Autumn in Tuscany and Umbria Special 2016

Autumn in Tuscany and Umbria Special

Tour begins in Lucca
and ends in Rome

Cost A$7,700 per person all-inclusive in Italy
Single Supplement A$1,210
Max 14

Lucca, Florence, Castel Volpaia, Trequanda, Arezzo, Lucignano, Sinalunga, Montisi, Petroio, Castel Muzio, San Giovanni D'Asso, Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Siena, Montepulciano, Sant'Antimo, Montalcino, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, Perugia, Assisi, Radicofani, Sovana, Sorano, Pitigliano,Rome

This special itinerary takes a leisurely roam through the famed and the fabulous nooks of beauty, history and culture of this rightly much-lauded part of Italy, with time to observe, experience, share thoughts and contemplate along the way.

The tour covers much of the land once known as Etruria which extended roughly from the river Arno around Florence in the north to the river Tiber around Rome in the south, east to Perugia and west to the Tyrrhenian Sea. This was the land of the ancient Etruscans. We will take you on a detailed exploration of this area, along the way uncovering something of the legacy of these skilled, cultured people who lived, loved and ruled here for almost a thousand years.

Our trip begins with two nights in wonderful car-free Lucca, where we’ll begin our time together with a stroll through this lovely walled city for an evening drink in the Piazza Anfiteatro and dinner in a typical osteria. We’ll spend a day exploring the many icons of this city: the Cathedral dedicated to San Martino in lavish Pisan style, Palazzo Pfanner and its peaceful gardens, Villa Guinigi and its small but distinguished collection, the Romanesque Basilica of San Frediano.  In the evening we climb the many steps up the Guinigi Tower for spectacular360 degree views over Lucca’s terracotta rooftops. We’ll again dine on savoury regional cuisine in one of Lucca’s excellent restaurants.

Spend two nights staying right in the centre of Renaissance Florence appreciating just some of what this amazing city offers – Michelangelo’s extraordinary Medici tombs and his original David, the Cathedral and Ghiberti’s bronze Baptistery doors, Ponte Vecchio, the monks’ cells painted by Fra Angelico at San Marco, the leather and food markets of San Lorenzo, the Loggia della Signoria. Our evening meals will be in small Florentine trattorie renowned for their delicious cuisine.

On our way further south into Tuscany, we visit Castel Volpaia winery in the Chianti area; a whole village or “borgo” dedicated to the production of top of the range red and white wines. Here we’ll enjoy a guided winery visit, tastings and lunch at the little family osteria. Travel on to our villa apartments, part of a picturesque oil and wine-producing farm near the medieval village of Trequanda. Dine on excellent local foods and wines and meet many of the people who produce them. From this idyllic base we explore places of particular Tuscan significance at Montalcino, Montepulciano, Arezzo, Lucignano, Pienza and Siena and in Umbria visit Assisi and the gracious university town of Perugia.

There’ll be time too to wander tranquil country lanes and gardens, breathing in their timeless perfumes, and to shop for those special gifts in hill towns such as Siena, Florence and Perugia.Next, we travel to pretty little Sovana in the heart of Etruscan “homelands” of southern Tuscany, stopping to visit the ‘Bandit” castle of Radicofani on the way. This area around Sovana is of major importance to Etruscan history and includes the extraordinary valley of hillside burial sites with Hildebrand’s tomb. See Pitigliano rising seamlessly out of the volcanic tufo, explore clifftop Sorano and enjoy the gastronomic delights of this area.Continue to Rome along the coastal road with views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, its waters no doubt still sailed by the ghosts of Etruscan seafarers and traders. The tour will end with your being dropped off at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport around midday.