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Umbria Itinerary

Umbria 

11 Days 24 May – 3 June 2020

Trip highlights

  • Tour Rome in a vintage open-top Fiat 500, there’s no better way to see the Colosseum
  • Based for eight nights at just one hotel in Trevi, a medieval Umbrian hill town ringed by olive groves – no packing and unpacking
  • Walk along trails once used by pilgrims en route to Rome, where shrines still stand along the wayside
  • See the fiorita, the amazing mosaic of wildflowers that carpets the Plain of Castelluccio
  • Hunt for truffles in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains, and enjoy a lunch of truffles with home-made pasta
  • Explore the Duomo in Perugia, including the shrine with the wedding ring believed to be that of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Experience the culinary delights of Norcia, Italy’s capital of pork
  • Explore the fortified hilltowns that overlook the Via Flaminia, the Roman consular road built in the 3rd century BC
  • Drive through the Valnerina, still guarded by castles that once protected this lovely valley from invaders
  • Sample fine, contemporary Italian cuisine at Redibis, housed in the walkways of Bevagna’s former Roman amphitheatre
  • Walk along a Roman aqueduct from Spello to the tiny village of Collepino
  • Taste Sagrantino wines, grown only in a small area around the town of Montefalco, and Italy’s finest olive oils
  • Experience the medieval crafts of papermaking and silk weaving still kept alive in Bevagna and the multicoloured ceramics of Deruta

DAY 1

24 May

ARRIVE ROME

Arrive in Rome, guests arrive at hotel by train/taxi. Airport transfer can be arranged by private vehicle for an additional fee.

Overnight hotel Due Torri (2 nights), a small hotel in a great location within walking distance of major sights in Rome.

DAY 2

25 May

ROME

This morning we’ll take a three-hour tour of Rome in open-top vintage Fiat 500s. Guaranteed to put a smile on your dial – think Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday.

Afternoon at leisure

Welcome dinner at the small and cosy Da Armando al Pantheon, specialising in traditional Roman cuisine

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3

26 May

SPOLETO AND TREVI

Transfer by vehicle to Trevi via Spoleto. We’ll take a 3-hour tour of the city, which sits beneath an imposing medieval fortress surrounded by the muscular hills of the Apennines. It’s a city full of surprises – fashionable boutiques in the shadow of ancient archways, a 12th century Romanesque cathedral with notable frescoes and an amphitheatre that dates back to the time when this was a Roman colony.

We’ll continue to Trevi, where we’ll spend the next eight nights at a charming four-star hotel

Antica Dimora alla Rocca

Dinner at Hotel Antica Dimora alla Rocca Trevi

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4

27 May

TREVI AND MONTEFALCO

Rising from the rows of olive trees that cover its lower slopes, Trevi is one of the classic hilltowns of Umbria. Set on the Via Francigena, the pilgrimage trail that leads to Rome, Trevi still has remnants of the city walls that once protected it from invaders, and houses that were once occupied by artisans in the town’s Jewish quarter.

Since we’re staying in one place there’s time to immerse ourselves in the daily life of an Italian town – morning espresso in the piazza, aperitifs in the local wine bar, idle wanderings past palaces that once sent cardinals to Rome and where the local church carries votive plaques from survivors spared from the black plague – as well as making day trips to explore other parts of Umbria. This morning we’ll get to know Trevi on a walking tour through its knotted streets.

Wine tasting at Cantina Scacciadiavoli in Montefalco to taste Sagrantino over lunch. Sagrantino is a red wine made from a grape grown only on the surrounding hillsides. We’ll follow this up with a tour of Montefalco, a walled hilltown with a charming medieval centre rising to the stage set of the main square, Piazza del Comune. Although small, Montafalco punches well above its weight with the Museo Civico di San Francesco, among the region’s finest small galleries, centred on a superb Renaissance fresco cycle on the Life of St Francis by the Florentine Benozzo Gozzoli.

Dinner with Virginia, Liz’s sister, at the medieval olive mill where she has lived for the past two decades just outside the city walls of Trevi.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5

28 May

ASSISI AND SPELLO

Today we’ll take a guided tour of Assisi. The sole reason that many travellers come to Umbria, Assisi was the home of St Francis, patron saint of Italy and root of the Franciscan order he established resonates with spiritual force. The burial place of St Francis, the overwhelming Basilica di San Francesco is decorated by some of the masters of Italian art, including Giotto, Cimabue and Simone Martini.

We’ll also explore Spello, another delightful hill town famous for its artists’ studios and also for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, decorated with vivid frescoes by Pinturicchio, who also assisted Perugio in his work in the Sistine Chapel.

Lunch at Vinosofia, a tiny enoteca that specialises in organic and natural wines, and taste some of the regional produce.

Dinner at leisure in Trevi

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6

29 May

TRUFFLE HUNT PETTINO

Get set for a very special day in the wild hills of Umbria. Above the tiny village of Pettino, a transplanted New Zealander will take us out into forests of oak and hornbeam along with rambunctious hounds to search for truffles. It’s a day of surprises, with sheep, pecorino cheeses, homemade pasta with fresh truffles and a wonderful meal in a farmhouse kitchen where everything on the plate is sourced from within walking distance. We’ll learn much about life in rural Umbria, drink some nice wine, enjoy wonderful company and get some mud on our boots.

On the way back to Trevi we’ll visit tiny Rasiglia, known as Umbria’s “village of streams”.

Dinner at leisure in Trevi

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7Umbria Itinerary

30 May

BEVAGNA AND DERUTA

We’ll take a tour of Bevagna, a town on the Via Flaminia, an important road running north from Rome. One of the two churches in the main square dates from the 12th century but down in the crypt is an earlier church, perhaps 1000 years older it is believed, tucked away underground so that Christians could practice their faith free from persecution. The town is divided into four parts each of which is dedicated to the production of a craft – paper, silks, metal or candles – and every year Bevagna celebrates its links with the past with a giant fair. During a period of 12 days the true believers of Bevagna retreat to a world of centuries past. They can eat no tomatoes nor potatoes since these are a product of the new world.

We’ll taste local olive oils at Frantoio Ronci  and continue to Deruta, which specialises in the production of majolica ceramics. Said to have originated from the Spanish island of Majorca, Deruta’s majolica echoes Moorish designs laid down centuries ago. Richly decorated, majolica plates, jugs and vases make fine souvenirs.

Dinner at La Forestiera Alzatura in Montefalco

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8

31 May

PERUGIA AND GUBBIO

This morning we’ll take a guided walk through the cobbled alleys, arched stairways and piazzas of Perugia, capital of Umbria. The historic centre includes one of Italy’s outstanding Gothic palaces, the Palazzo dei Priori, which also houses a superb gallery of Umbrian art spanning several hundred years as well as frescoes in the Collegio del Cambio.

Perugia also has an impressive underground city with remnants of medieval architecture and an ancient cobbled road, first used by the Etruscans and later the Romans, on which the ruts left by cart wheels are still visible. Perugia is also the home of Baci Perugina. Chocoholics are in for a treat or two.

In the afternoon we’ll visit Gubbio. This is the classic Umbrian hill town, tailor made for Game of Thrones, angular and severe on its perch on the steep slopes of Monte Ingino, Instagram moments at every turn. Gubbio is an outstanding example of a medieval town, in a miraculous state of preservation. We’ll wander through and visit the Palazzo dei Consoli and its gallery and a medieval wonder, the Piazza Grande and the 14th-century Palazzo del Bargello, still in original condition and home to the Society of Crossbowmen, visit the Basilica of the 12th century Sant’ Ubaldo whose body lies in a glass coffin above the altar and ride the funicular to Mount Ingino for panoramic views.

Dinner at Biancomangiare in Foligno, fine dining with specialities of Sicily as well as Umbria.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9

1 JUNE

TODI AND ORVIETO

Todi is Umbria’s style central, perfect in every way. This is an outstanding example of an Umbrian hill town, known for its wonderful architecture including a couple of fabulous churches. Although its rich architectural heritage dates primarily from the Middle Ages remnants date back to Roman times.  Just outside the town walls, Santa Maria is rated one of the finest Renaissance churches in Italy, an absolute jewel. Todi is well padded with bars, cafes, galleries, shops and restaurants that reflect its reputation as a popular avant-garde artsy hangout, fashionable with Italians as well as visitors.

Perched on top of an enormous volcanic plug, the spectacle of Orvieto challenges the imagination. Highlight is the Duomo, a towering wedding-cake of a church three centuries in the making, exquisite in its detail. No less impressive inside thanks largely to Luca Signorelli’s graphic frescoes (1499-1504) of The Last Judgement. Beneath the city is a labyrinth of caves used over the centuries to store wines and to escape barbarian raiders and the bombs of WWII. We’ll visit the Museo Claudia Faina which showcases Orvieto’s rich Etruscan past and the National Archaeological Museum.

Dinner at Redibis Bevagna, known for its outstanding contemporary Italian cuisine, served in the walkways of Bevagna’s former Roman amphitheatre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10

2 JUNE

NORCIA AND PIANA DI CASTELLUCCIO

Italy’s capital of pork, the entire town of Norcia is dedicated to this single commodity. Not only domesticated pigs but also the cinghiale, the wild boar. Salamis hang like Christmas decorations from shopfronts and you get these incredible mouth watering smells just walking down the main street. As well as pork Norcia is the place to sample black truffles, provolone and goat cheeses.

Afterwards drive to view the Plains of Castelluccio, a subset of Mont Sibillini National Park, which should be exploding with wildflowers, and possibly seeing the first flocks of sheep coming to graze on summer pastures.

Farewell drinks on the terrace at Virginia and Giancarlo’s house overlooking the valley below then dinner at Aprito Sedano or Ristorante Maggiolini in Trevi.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11

3 JUNE

DEPART UMBRIA

Depart Trevi, transfer to station at Foligno. Optional vehicle transfer to Fiumicino/Rome at additional price.

 

Cost: AUD $5250 per person twin share

(Single Supplement $825)

Price includes:

  • Airport transfers
  • Safe and comfortable air conditioned vehicle
  • English speaking professional driver/guide
  • 10 nights accommodation in a double/twin room with breakfast
  • Admission to all historic monuments
  • Lunches on 4 days
  • Dinners on 7 nights
  • Local city guides for private tours
  • Gratuities (driver/guide, city guides, servers etc)
  • Still water with meals
  • Still water on board the bus and on day tours

It does not include:

  • International air travel
  • Travel Insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Soft drinks including those with meals
  • Laundry, mini-bar charges, phone charges, spa treatments and other optional services provided by the hotel
  • Lunches or dinners not included in the itinerary

Download the Umbria Itinerary here

 

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