• 7 nights in selected 4 star-hotels with full breakfast (2 nights in Florence, 5 nights in Montefalco)
• Private guided visits with English speaking guides in Florence (the Cathedral, Santa Croce Church) – Brolio Castle – Montefalco – Assisi (Basilica of San Francesco and Giotto frescoes) – Perugia (Collegio del Cambio, National Gallery of Umbria) – Bevagna & Spello (Baglioni Chapel); including all the entrance fees to the sites
• Welcome dinner in Florence
• Wine tasting and lunch at the Brolio Castle
• Cookery class and lunch Montefalco
• Bread and pizza making Perugia
• Dinner country house Assisi
• Wine tasting and light lunch in Bevagna
• Farewell dinner in Osteria (Montefalco)
* The tour is available as self-drive or by private chauffeured car or van available for all transfers and excursions; possibility of a 2-3 night post-tour in Rome (on request)
Day 1 / Ciao Florence
Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Time at leisure. In the evening enjoy the welcome dinner. Overnight.
Day 2 / Florence, cradle of the Renaissance
Breakfast. Meet your local guide for a morning tour of Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, with its famous highlights… Michelangelo’s David, the Baptistery, Giotto’s bell tower, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) and the picturesque Signoria Square. Here you may take the opportunity to admire statues by Cellini, Giambologna and Ammannati before proceeding to the Ponte Vecchio and the Santa Croce Church, containing the tombs of illustrious Florentine citizens such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli, as well as fascinating works by Giotto and Donatello. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this amazing city as you please; choose from Florence's many culinary offerings for lunch and on request visit the inspiring Uffizi Gallery. Overnight.
Day 3 / Tuscan landscape, Chianti wines at the Brolio Castle and on to Umbria
Breakfast. Check out and travel to Umbria through the Chianti area. En route stop at the Brolio Castle for a guided tour that takes you through history by visiting the 12th century castle including the gardens, the Ricasoli family’s private chapel and unique museum. After this visit to the past, you will visit the ultramodern wine-making facilities and finish the tour with a special wine tasting and lunch. Barone Ricasoli is the fourth oldest family in the world, in possession of the same company for 32 generations, and the oldest winery in Italy. Then on to Montefalco, known as the Balcony of Umbria and the centre of the sagrantino wine zone. Overnight.
Day 4 / Cooking class in Montefalco
Breakfast. Today you will learn to cook traditional pasta and other regional dishes using local ingredients. Following the cooking class, participants get to sit down and enjoy their lunch in the historic garden of the Villa. After lunch enjoy a guided visit of the lively medieval 12th-century town of Montefalco, with its five gates each one of which is associated with a parish church and giving into a lane that leads up to a (more or less) five-sided piazza at the town's highest point. Visit the church of San Francesco, with Benozzo Gozzoli's Saint Francis fresco cycle of 1452. Montefalco also has a tradition of woven linen and linen-cotton. Overnight.
Day 5 / Discover Assisi, home of St. Francis
Breakfast. Head for Monte Subasio for a private guided walking tour of Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis and Italy’s famous pilgrimage site. Discover all the facets of the Old Town (Roman walls and medieval houses), including the Basilica of Santa Chiara, dedicated to the founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, and the papal Basilica of St. Francis, built between 1228 and 1253. Now home to the consecrated remains of the saint, the stunning monument is also said to have the best collection of art in any church of Italy, including frescoes and paintings by Cimabue, Giotto, Lorenzetti and more. Time at leisure for lunch and the remainder of the day is yours to explore Assisi as you please. Complete your day by a marvellous genuine dinner in a family run country house. Overnight.
Day 6 / Art of baking: learn to make bread & pizza with the master baker in Perugia
Breakfast. Today is about art, pizza and bread in Perugia, Umbria’s largest town with its very extensive historic centre. Our guided tour includes a walk through the medieval ghost town built in to the foundations of the Papal castle, Palazzo dei Priori, the Collegio del Cambio with frescoes by Pietro Perugino, the Collegio della Mercanzia with late 14 C wooden interior and the National Gallery of Umbria which hosts one of the richest collections in Italy with works of international renown. The impressive number and variety of artistic works housed in the museum range from paintings on wood, canvas and murals, to sculptures in wood and stone, to goldsmith's art and fabrics, which exemplify the artistic evolution in the territory between the 13th and 19th centuries. Afternoon with Andrea Pioppi, Italian master baker and expert teacher, who after 20 years at the family bakery firm, has decided to follow his vocation as a liberoimpastatore (free-spirited dough kneader). Be inspired by his passion for the art of baking and learn how to create your own bread and pizza. Return to Montefalco and overnight.
Day 7 / Discover the medieval towns of Spello & Bevagna and enjoy a special wine tasting
Breakfast. In the morning guided tour of Spello to enjoy both art and flowers. You’ll walk around the labyrinth of floral decorated streets to take in the atmosphere and visit the Porta Venere, an Augustan-era gate flanked by two 12-sided towers, the impressive 12th-century Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore which houses the Baglioni Chapel with Pinturicchio’s beautiful frescoes of the life of Christ and where even the floor, dating back to 1566, is a masterpiece. Then on to Bevagna for a special wine tasting and light lunch savouring the local colours and fragrances. Top off the day with a guided tour of this wonderfully preserved medieval town and admire its ancient theatre, the temple, the forum (main square), the Roman baths and its mosaics and the Medieval House of Mastro Cecco. Return to Montefalco and farewell dinner in the Osteria. Overnight.
Day 8 / Arrivederci Italy