Day 1: Sunday, July 15th: DEPART USA - Direct Flight From Philadelphia to Italy
Depart Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) on American Airlines direct to Rome Airport (FCO)
(Other Departure Points Available Upon Request)
Day 2: Monday, July 16th: ARRIVE IN ITALY - Todi, San Martino al Campo
Upon arrival you will be met by your private guide Oliviero Olivieri and board the luxury coach. The first stop will be a short walking tour and lunch in the very charming town of Todi, surrounded by Roman and Etruscan walls. Todi offers relaxing moments and at the same time a sensational return to an ancient past. After lunch you will travel to San Martino al Campo and check into the luxurious Hotel La Posta dei Donini in Umbria. Enjoy its lovely rooms, gardens, pool and spa in the afternoon, then join the group for a welcome dinner and music by the City Rhythm Orchestra.
(Includes: Walking Tour of Todi, Lunch, Dinner, Music)
Day 3: Tuesday, July 17th: STUNNING LAKE TRASIMENO – Passignano, Isola Maggiore
After breakfast, depart for the area surrounding the beautiful Lago Trasimeno, one of Italy’s largest lakes. Begin at the small Medieval walled town of Passignano, dominated by an impressive fortress, and look out onto the enchanting water and islands. A small boat cruise will take you to Isola Maggiore a tiny fishing village with houses dating back to the 14th and the 16th century. The village is also home to the Romanesque churches of San Salvatore and San Michele Arcangelo. Enjoy time at your leisure and a traditional lunch in a local restaurant before returning to the hotel. In the evening, you can attend festivities at the world famous Umbria Jazz Festival held in nearby Perugia during this time of year.
(Includes: Breakfast, Boat Ride, Visit to Passignano & Isola Maggiore, Lunch)
Day 4: Wednesday, July 18th: JEWELS OF TUSCANY - Pienza, Montepulciano
After breakfast you will visit two of Tuscany’s artisitic gems - Pienza and Montepulciano, located within the landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Val d’Orcia. Its scenery has been depicted in works of art from Renaissance painting to modern photography. Pienza is a perfect combination of architectural beauty and harmony. The town’s most renowned tradition is its Pecorino cheese. Montepulciano is where the stately Renaissance buildings and churches are intertwined with the ancient tradition of its wine - Nobile di Montepulciano. Enjoy a wine tasting and time for lunch, then return to the hotel for a leisurely evening. Later there will be music by the City Rhythm Orchestra.
(Includes: Breakfast, Walking Tour of Pienza and Montepulciano, Wine Tasting, Music)
Day 5: Thursday, July 19th: BEAUTY AND TRADITION IN UMBRIA - Assisi, Spello
Relax at the hotel pool and enjoy a light outdoor lunch before heading to two magical towns of Umbria. The tiny village Spello is a hillside hamlet, with interlocked stone houses and splendidly intact walls draped around the historical center and decorated in local blossoms. You then will visit Assisi, regarded as a special spot on earth linked with its native son St. Francis. Enjoy time at leisure and see the Church of Santa Chiara, walk through the narrow streets to Piazza del Comune, Palazzo del Popolo, Temple of Minerva and the Basilica of St. Francis with masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue. After free time for dinner, there will be a public performance by the City Rhythm Orchestra as part of the Musica del Mondo Festival.
(Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Visit to Spello and Assisi, Music)
Day 6: Friday, July 20th: LE MARCHE HISTORIC CITIES - Tolentino, Macerata
After breakfast the group says farewell to the hotel and heads into the region of Le Marche, a land of culture wedged between the verdant Apennines and a turquoise Adriatic. The first stop is in Tolentino for a walk in the city to see the world-famous Basilica of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, admiring its renowned frescoes by Giotto. It is also a city of leather tanning, an ancient tradition that has its roots in the 15th century. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit Macerata for a guided tour of the historical center with particular attention to the Sferisterio Arena, Piazza della Libertà and the magnificent Teatro Lauro Rossi. You will then be transported to the Hotel Gallery Recanati and enjoy an evening at your leisure.
(Includes: Breakfast, Tours of Tolentino and Macerata, Lunch)
Day 7: Saturday, July 21st: THE ADRIATIC COAST - Recanati, Serra San Quirico, Conero Riviera
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then take a walk for a tour of Recanati, a remarkably attractive hill town and birthplace of one of the greatest Italian poets - Giacomo Leopardi. Around almost every corner, are plaques referring in his poems. You will then be taken to Serra San Quirico for a typical lunch in “Marchigian” style. Later you will have a panoramic drive to admire the Riviera del Conero with Mount Conero offering stunning and unique landscapes of beaches and crystal waters. Before returning to the hotel, you will visit the town of Loreto and the The Holy House, one of the most revered Marian shrines in the world. The evening is at your leisure.
(Includes: Breakfast, Walking Tour of Recanti, Visit to Loreto, Lunch)
Day 8: Sunday, July 22nd: RENAISSANCE CITY AND MUSIC FESTIVAL - Urbino & Fano
Two very diverse experiences await the group on this day. You will visit Urbino - the “Cradle of the Renaissance” and birthplace of Raffaello, then head to the seaside town of Fano for the “Jazz by the Sea” Festival. The guided tour of Urbino takes you through the UNESCO World Heritage designated historic center, Renaissance Square, the famous façade of “Torricini”, Fortress of Albornoz and Ducal Palace. In the afternoon you reach Fano with both a lively beachfront and a historic old city. The City Rhythm Orchestra will perform as part of the region’s annual jazz festival.
(Includes: Breakfast, Tour of Urbino, Jazz by the Sea Festival)
Day 9: Monday, July 23rd: CELEBRATE LE MARCHE FOOD & WINE - Ascoli Piceno & Ripatransone
Enjoy breakfast at the Hotel, then depart for Ascoli Piceno. Visit its fascinating center entirely built with ivory colored local travertine, crafted over the centuries to decorate aristocratic buildings, churches and squares. Catch a coffee break at the historic Caffé Meletti and sample their famous anisette. Ascoli is also known for the production of fried olives and you’ll enjoy a lively cooking demonstration and tasting at the lovely country estate of Villa Cicchi. Later head to the town of Ripatransone and its panoramic views, then end the day at the wonderful Tenuta Cocci Grifoni winery.
The estates, vinyards and olive groves have been cared for by four generations of the Grifoni family. Enjoy a tasting of their fine wines, a lunch of local products and atmospheric music as you absorb all the charms of the region and reflect on the experiences of an amazing trip.
(Includes: Breakfast, Tour of Ascoli Piceno, Cooking Demonstration, Wine Tasting, Lunch, Music)
Day 10: Tuesday, July 24th: Return to USA
Early transfer to Roma Airport for return flight direct to Philadelphia.
(Includes: Breakfast, Transport to Airport)