Piemonte - Alto Adige - Tuscany - Umbria - Lazio

Enchanting Italy Uncovered

Destination
Piemonte - Alto Adige - Tuscany - Umbria - Lazio
Dates From
26/09/2019
Duration
22 nights
23 days
Price From
$13,995
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Package Tour Map

BOUTIQUE SMALL GROUP TOUR

Starting in Milan and finishing in Rome, this relaxing tour of northern and central Italy is certainly taking you on a road less travelled.
The tour starts out in a relaxed fashion staying four nights in a charming residence close to Turin. Explore the small hamlets of the picturesque Langhe area, famous for Barolo wines and white truffles.
Capturing some of Europe’s highest peaks, our stay in Bolzano will be the base for the next four nights when we take in the rich Tyrolean culture in The Dolomites and Innsbruck.
Travelling south, through Italy’s heartland, we visit some of Tuscany’s lesser known towns before we enter Umbria, province of lush rolling hills and medieval hilltop towns and the home of high quality pecorino cheese.
The tour winds up in one of Italy’s most captivating regions, northern Lazio, where you will take in the ancient culture of the Etruscans and learn about their rich heritage.

  • * Relax and enjoy convenient  4 night hotel stays in remarkable boutique accommodation
    * Learn about the ‘Slow Food Movement’ in the scenic Langhe area and spend time with a ‘Trifolao’ i.e. a truffle hunter.
    * Appreciate the magesty of the rose-coloured Dolomites and experience Tyrolean culture at its best.
    * Marvel at the ancient legacy of the Etruscan culture and view the old artefacts including frescoed underground tombs, pottery, vases and temples.
    * Dine on classic regional fare and experience old-fashioned Italian hospitality at its finest.
    * Travel off the beaten track and explore Italy’s most beautiful hilltop villages.
    * Mix with the locals and learn about their ancient customs and traditions.

Inclusions

  • THAI Airways economy class return flights ex Australia & departure taxes
  • 1 night Bangkok airport hotel stopover incl. buffet breakfast and transfers en route to Europe
  • Meet and greet and assistance during outbound flights
  • Airport transfers and airline check-in assistance in Europe
  • 20 nights in charming boutique/heritage hotels
  • Daily buffet breakfast, 3 course dinner (or lunch) with beverages based on typical traditional regional cuisine where indicated
  • Luxury coach travel in Europe
  • Entry fees covering sightseeing and entertainment
  • Hotel service charges city taxes, most tipping, baggage handling (1 bag pp)
  • Services of a full-time professional tour director and local city guides

Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: DEPARTURE AUSTRALIA / STOPOVER

Meet with representatives for assistance with your airline check-in (for Brisbane passengers). Interstate passengers will meet up at our stopover hotel. Sit back and relax and enjoy a good flight followed by transfer to your airport hotel. You will enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast included and the next day you will have access to your room all day until check-out in the early evening.
The 24 hours between outbound flights are at your leisure. On day 2, there is time to explore the local  surrounds on a guided tour, do some shopping, visit the day spa at the hotel or simply relax with a book around the pool.

Day 3: ARRIVAL MILAN

Welcome to Italy! In Milan, our private tour coach and tour director will be awaiting you at the airport for transfer to your hotel located in The Langhe area. After hotel check-in and a light welcome lunch, the remainder of the day is at your leisure to settle in and relax. At night a special welcome dinner is planned at the hotels charming restaurant offering typical regional cuisine and wine. Bordering France and Switzerland, Piedmonte is a region of snowcapped mountains, Italy’s first capital, FIAT, the stylish Borsalino hats and of course the refreshing Asti Spumante. (L/D)

Day 4: THE LANGHE

The tour starts off in a relaxed fashion as we take in the local surroundings of The Langhe area, a hilly region to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmonte, northern Italy, the birthplace of the ‘slow food’ movement. The Langhe is also a land of castles and today we visit one of the most famous with a local guide. This pristine area is also known for its Barolo wines, cheeses, and particularly the white truffles of Alba. It’s perfect for lovers of good food. With an organised lunch included today, the evening is at your leisure. (B/L)

Day 5: TURIN

Italy’s first capital Turin is situated in the centre of the Piedmonte region. Located on the Po River, the city offers wide tree-lined boulevards and fills a role as north-west Italy’s major industrial, cultural and administrative hub. It is known as the centre of education, science and the arts. Believe it or not, it also has a reputation as Italy’s capital of black magic and the supernatural. Join a local guide who will lead you on an exploration featuring the many treasures of this elegant city. Get a glimpse of the grand lifestyle of the House of Savoy as we visit the impressive Royal Palace. As you stroll through the exquisite, gilded rooms you are sure to be awed by the opulence. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 6: ALTE LANGHE - ALBA

Discover the worlds most celebrated underground mushroom, the truffle. Venture into the woods to meet a ‘trifolao’ (truffle hunter) and his hunting dog. Get to know the techniques used in gathering
truffles during a hunting demonstration. Then the opportunity to sample this rare delicacy.
Next we travel to Alba to independently explore this culinary mecca renowned for white truffles and chocolates. In the afternoon, we venture deep into the Alte Langhe area and visit a family-owned
hazelnut business, a highlight of your trip. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 7: SIRMIONE - LAKE GARDA

Today we transfer to the Trentino-Alto Adige region, relatively untouched and situated in the very north of Italy bordering Austria and Switzerland and best known for the beauty of its stunning peaks.
Offering an extraordinary variety of landscapes, from dramatic rose-coloured mountaintops to forests and crystal clear lakes, this unspoiled region is breathtaking, little wonder Leonardo da Vinci depicted The Dolomites behind his Mona Lisa. It is also the region where Gothic art blends with that of the Italian Renaissance. En route to Bolzano, we will enjoy free time for lunch in the historic town of Sirmione, located on Lake Garda, complete with narrow, cobbled streets that wind their way through medieval arches. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 8: BOLZANO

Settled in, we start the day with a guided morning visit of the Castle Roncolo. Restored in 2000, this red-roofed meticulously kept castle sits among green hills and farmhouses just north of Bolzano, once voted Italy’s most liveable city. The castle was built in 1237, destroyed half a century later, and then rebuilt soon after. A beautifully preserved cycle of chivalrous medieval frescoes can be viewed inside. Tyrolean culture dominates Bolzano’s language, food, architecture and people and it is hard to remember that you are in Italy and not Austria when walking with our local guide along the city’s cobblestone streets. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 9: INNSBRUCK (AUSTRIA)

Today we head for the region of Tyrol (Austria) and visit Innsbruck, the capital of The Alps. We take in the best of the well-preserved historic part on a guided visit and follow the trail of the Habsburgs.
The city dates from 1180 and started as a little market settlement. It is a gem of a city, where nature meets culture and tradition meets design. View the Golden Roof of Emperor Maximillian and the Royal Palace. The afternoon is free to enjoy at your leisure. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 10: THE DOLOMITES

Unlike other famous Alpine ranges, The Dolomites in northeast Italy are relatively undeveloped. This expansive land of rocks and valleys covers some of the highest peaks whilst the lowland valleys are
laced with rivers and dotted with secluded villages, fairy-tale castles, unexpected historic sites, rarely seen animals such as bears, deer, mountain goat, birds of prey and unique plant species.
The Dolomites play host to a mixture of culture and languages and amongst German and Italian, there is still another language to be heard in the area called ‘Ladin’, an offshoot of Latin, testament of centuries of isolation in mountain strongholds. Sit back and relax and take in the best of this stunning region on a panoramic tour. Today will include a hearty organised lunch instead of dinner so the evening is at your leisure. (B/L)

Day 11: MODENA

This morning we transfer south to central Italy and enter the heart of Tuscany, possibly one of the most beautiful regions of the world. Rolling hills, dramatic cypress trees, silver green olive groves and enchanting hill towns greet us, not to mention the richness in art and architecture. A visit here is simply magic and food for the soul. Around lunchtime, en route, we break in Modena for some free time. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 12: A DAY AT YOUR LEISURE

Sleep in a little, have a leisurely breakfast as today is at your leisure and perfect for those who wish to explore and venture into nearby Florence. With the lily as its symbol, Florence gave birth to the
Renaissance and changed the way we see the world. For centuries, its art has captured the imagination of travellers who walk in the footsteps of native sons Dante, Donatello, Botticelli and Michelangelo, a keystone of the famous ‘Grand Tour’ in the 17th c. continues to exert the same fascination today. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 13: BRISIGHELLA

Travelling through the Apennini mountain range, we arrive in Brisighella, once named ‘the most beautiful medieval village in Italy’. Well recognised as ‘the three hills village’, its character is enhanced by three surrounding rocky hills: one with a 14th century castle, La Rocca, another with an 18th century church sanctuary, the Monticino and a third with a clock tower of the 19th century. This charming thermal town is made up of ancient lanes and streets and remains of the defensive walls and stairways carved into the chalky rocks. We will enjoy the best during a guided visit followed by free time. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 14: LUCCA

Lucca, a scenic fortress town, was the first town in Tuscany to accept Christianity. Within the city’s 16th to 17th c. ramparts, the famous composer Puccini was born. Lucca is rich in history, Roman origins, Medieval and Renaissance power and wealth. Our local guide will walk us through these areas, from Imperial times to the Lucca of the 1800’s, a century that began with the reign of Elisa Bonaparte. We will explore the massive walls and fortifications, the piazzas and palazzos of Lucca’s many transformations. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 15: PIENZA

After breakfast we enter the region of Umbria, the lush centre of Italy is ever changing, offering untouched landscapes consisting of hills with a few sparse trees, wide plains dotted with lakes and medieval hilltop towns. It is also the home of truffles – more are found here than anywhere else in Italy – sausage and rich green olive oil. En route we will enjoy some free time in the town of Pienza the ‘ideal city’ constructed by Pope Pius II, overlooking the cypress-lined hills of the stunning Orcia Valley, located just south of Florence. Admire the towns rich Renaissance splendour and take in the finest buildings and piazzas. The town is also known for its high quality ‘pecorino’, Italy’s sheep milk cheese, an unforgettable culinary experience! Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 16: GUBBIO - PERUGIA

In the morning, we head for nearby Perugia, possibly the best preserved hilltop town of its size, to enjoy free time and explore its many treasures. Gubbio is located in a rugged, mountainous corner of northern Umbria, this medieval, walled town is also called the ‘City of Silence’. The town is a true gem offering spectacular views of the surrounding green countryside. Accompanied by a local guide, this afternoon we will explore its narrow lanes and learn about its 12th c. Cathedral and Ducal Palace. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 17: TORGIANO - PANICALE

A visit to this lush part of Italy would not be complete without a tasting of the local olive oil and so we visit the Olive Oil Museum in Torgiano for a guided tour. Today will include an organised lunch in
Panicale following with a visit to Castiglione del Lago, a town dotted with olive trees and dominated by a 14th c. fortress. The evening is free and yours to enjoy. (B/L)

Day 18: ASSISI

The hill on which the walled town of Assisi sits rises dramatically from the flat plain. Best known for the legacy of St. Francis born here in 1181 and founder of the Franciscan monastic order, the city hosts several million pilgrims each year. Together with a local guide, we explore its ancient centre on foot and take in some of the many churches including the Basilica di San Francesco, with its brilliant
cycle of frescoes on the Life of Saint Francis by Giotto.
In the afternoon we will spend time in the Montefalco area and enjoy a tasting of some of the best wines known to this region, in particular the Sagrantino variety. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 19: ORVIETO

After breakfast we transfer to the region of Lazio, cradle of Christian culture, lakes and legends, thermal spa’s and ancient Roman roads. En route a visit is planned to Orvieto, located on an enormous plateau of volcanic rock high above a green valley, this town truly offers natural defences.
The Etruscans were the first to take advantage of this and settled here digging a honeycombed network of more than 1200 wells and storage caves out of the soft stone. Together with a local
guide, we will take in the best of the towns sights including its impressive Cathedral, one of the most dazzling in Italy, a triumph of Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 20: A DAY AT YOUR LEISURE

This ancient part of Italy is also famous for its thermal spa’s so it is time for some rest and relaxation. Our hotel is ideally positioned in the heart of ‘Termi di Saturnia’, known for its sulphur springs and baths. Relax today and enjoy the luxurious facilities of our accommodation at the in-house spa and reflect on the journey so far. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 21: TARQUINIA

Overlooking the sea, Tarquinia was home to the remains of ancient settlements and was also a major centre in the Middle Ages. From the 7th to the 6th c. BC, Etruscan culture was at its height. The Etruscans were pre-dominantly navigators and traders, competing against the Phoenicians and Greeks for markets in the Mediterranean. Tarquinia’s narrow medieval streets open onto quaint squares dominated by palaces and churches, encircled by medieval walls and towers. Together with a local guide we visit the local museum to take in the towns rich heritage and artefacts including pottery, vases, temples and frescoed underground tombs. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 22: PITIGLIANO - SOVANA

Nearby Pitigliano, with it medieval stone houses, is famous for its many local specialties including the white wine, olive oil, cured meats and cheeses. Etruscan tombs, which locals use to store the wine, are connected by a network of caves and tunnels. Pitigliano is one of the most unusual towns you can imagine, sitting atop a sheer cliff, lined with holes that were once tombs and now used as cantinas, stables and storehouses. With a local guide we will discover its impressive medieval centre, 16th century fortress, massive aqueduct and old Jewish ghetto. After lunch, it is time to visit Sovana and the nearby Archaeological Park where we’ll have a fascinating guided tour of the 2700 year old necropolis and the profound experience of walking along ancient roads. Enjoy a relaxing dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

Day 23: ROME FCO AIRPORT

All good things come to an end and after breakfast and hotel checkout, we will head for Rome Fiumcino International Airport for airline check-in.

DATES & PRICES

Starts Ends Price Status Book
26/09/201918/10/2019$13,995 p/p twin shareAvailable
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Exclusions

Optional excursions/sightseeing
Meals and beverages other than those specified
Everything which is not clearly specified under inclusions