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Country Roads of Umbria & Tuscany

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
San Gimignano
Tour Style: Premium
10 Days from $2,575 per person

This magical tour devotes quality time to the medieval hill towns and evocative landscapes of Italy's two famous regions. Drink the wine, meet the local people around plate-laden tables and hear their fascinating life stories.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Transfers to your centrally located hotel, a short stroll from the Via Veneto depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Relax and settle in before the evening's Welcome Reception. Meet your Tour Director and fellow guests over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
    meal(s):WD
    hotel:Kolbe Hotel/Romanico Palace, Rome.
  3. Explore the Vatican Museums in the morning, where the hidden gems of the vast Papal art collection are unveiled by a local historian. Your special VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. View the imposing St. Peter's Basilica, the largest in the world. Next, head north to the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto; its Cathedral is one of Italy's most celebrated buildings. You're welcomed into the kitchens of zesty ‘Etruscan chef' Lorenzo Polegri, who shares with you his virtuoso cooking skills and love of Italian food. Delicious pasta fresca, combined with the local staples of olive oil, cheese, prosciutto and focaccia, make for a memorable lunch, all washed down with a chilled glass of Orvieto Classico wine. Continue to Perugia, one of the most beautiful centres of art in the whole of Italy. The evening is at leisure to dine or explore as you please.
    meal(s):BB, HL
    hotel:Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia (3 nights).
  4. In the morning, join a Local Expert to navigate the underground labyrinth of little streets, alleys and arches. Promenade the wide Corso Vannucci, resplendent in pale-pink stone, past the princely Priors' Palace, Cathedral and finely sculptured Great Fountain in the main square. Then, visit a workshop to see how the fascinating art of hand-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations. Afterwards, you will be free to enjoy the many delights of Umbria's capital city. For dinner, choose your ideal ambience and palate-pleasing menu from a handpicked selection of Perugian restaurants. Buon appetito!
    meal(s):BB, DA
    hotel:Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia.
  5. Journey on to the medieval walled town of Assisi. With a Local Expert, visit the imposing Basilica of St. Francis - its early frescoes served as an inspiration to Renaissance artists. Move on through the twisted groves that carpet the side of Mt Subasio. At a family-run mill, meet a third generation specialist to follow the evolution of the olive, from tree to table and relish the intense flavours drizzled over crusty bread with a splash of salt – delizioso!
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia.
  6. Follow the shores of Lake Trasimeno to Cortona, one of the oldest hill towns in Tuscany. After time to explore, move on to the narrow cobbled streets of Siena. Standing in the shell-shaped Campo, imagine the frenzied atmosphere of the biannual Palio horse race and see the superb 14th century Town Hall. Then, with your Local Expert, there is time to climb up to the black and white striped marble cathedral. Your home for the next three nights is a delightful villa near the medieval town of San Gimignano.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Villasanpaolo Hotel, San Gimignano (3 nights).
  7. An orientation in the morning shows you San Gimignano's medieval skyscrapers, serpentine streets and hidden squares. It also boasts the world champion gelato maestro Sergio Dondoli. At his artisan ice-cream parlour on the cobbled Piazza della Cisterna, the jaunty gelataio doles out his silky frozen treats in a range of mind-boggling flavours. The rest of the day is at leisure; you could take an optional trip to Pisa and Lucca.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Villasanpaolo Hotel, San Gimignano.
  8. The morning is devoted to the Renaissance city of Florence. A fascinating walking tour with a Local Expert takes you to the marble-clad cathedral crowned by Brunelleschi's dome. See the baptistery with its beautiful 'Gates of Paradise' and Giotto's splendid bell tower. Walk on to Signoria Square with its open-air gallery of Renaissance sculptures, followed by free time to shop for top-quality Florentine leather or seek bargains in the gold workshops. A delightful drive through the cypress and olive groves of Tuscany will bring you to Greve in Chianti. Here you can taste the local produce and explore the artisan shops beneath the arched loggias of the triangular Piazza Matteotti. Stop along the winding Via Chiantigiana in Panzano - originally a medieval castle, with its beautiful stone houses and Church of Santa Maria Assunta, built into the remains of the fortifications. On your return, we visit a wine cellar for an exploration into their wine-making process and enjoy a tasting.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Villasanpaolo Hotel, San Gimignano.
  9. Descend from the Apennines before crossing the fertile valley of the River Po and continue to magical Venice, where the city seems to float on the lagoon. Wonder at the marbled expanse of St. Marks Square – the Byzantine Basilica, Doge's Palace and lofty bell tower. Later, embark on a romantic gondola ride through the charismatic canals while musicians serenade you with some of Italy's best loved songs. In the evening, enjoy a farewell Celebration dinner ‘alla Veneziana' with good food, wine and company in the most magical of settings.
    meal(s):BB, CD
    hotel:Boscolo Bellini, Venice.
  10. Delight in your final views of this sea-lapped city in the morning. Transfers arrive at Venice Airport at 08:00 and 09:30. This trip fits perfectly with the Country Roads of Puglia & the Neopolitan Riviera. Why not combine these tours for a full Italian Experience?
    meal(s):BB
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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Included Quality Dining

8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Highlight Lunch (HL), 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

Rome:

  • Gain VIP fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and enjoy a special private viewing of the Bramante Stairs before being confronted by the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.

Perugia:

  • Visit a workshop to learn about the art of hand-weaving textiles.

Assisi:

  • A Local Expert will explain why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.

Venice:

  • To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
17 Jun 17 26 Jun 17 checkmark $2,625pp Call 1-877-622-9109
24 Jun 17 3 Jul 17 checkmark $2,625pp Request Quote Book Now
29 Jul 17 7 Aug 17 checkmark $2,575pp Call 1-877-622-9109
2 Sep 17 11 Sep 17 checkmark $2,625pp Call 1-877-622-9109
9 Sep 17 18 Sep 17 checkmark $2,625pp Request Quote Book Now
16 Sep 17 25 Sep 17 checkmark $2,625pp Call 1-877-622-9109
7 Oct 17 16 Oct 17 checkmark $2,625pp Request Quote Book Now

There is a 90% reduction to the Single Supplement charge for April 9th and August 13th departures, and a 75% reduction on the April 30th departure, subject to availability

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $40 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $76 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Italy must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Italy.

  • The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in Italy, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Italy. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink.  Find out about some local specialties to try in Italy’s top destinations below.

    Florence

    Food in Florence is simple and humble, and relies on the fresh ingredients of the surrounding Tuscan countryside. Many of the local recipes have evolved from peasant dishes to international favorites. Bread is an important staple in Florentine cooking, and is featured in everything from antipasti (appetizers) such as bruschetta to traditional main dishes. Panzanella is a popular summer salad prepared with day old crusty bread and tomatoes.  Papa al pomodoro is a delicious soup made with bread, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and herbs.  You’ll also find a variety of dishes featuring white beans, including the hearty ribollita soup.  But the flagship of Florentine cuisine remains the famous bistecca alla fiorentina (T-bone steak).  For a sweet finish, meals are topped off with traditional cantuccini (almond cookies) and the local vin santo dessert wine.

    Venice

    A visit to Venice offers an opportunity to discover a variety of truly unique gastronomic traditions.  Venetians have a long-standing tradition of eating cicchetti, small bites similar to Spanish tapas. You can enjoy a variety of these before lunch or dinner, paired with a glass of local wine at restaurants and bars around town. Other common dishes include polenta, risotto with peas, salted cod, sardines, and local bigoli pasta.  

    Rome

    Roman cuisine is deeply rooted in the past. Despite the city’s imperial history, the food in Rome and the surrounding Lazio region is anything but refined.  Humble pasta dishes such as carbonara, amatriciana, aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) and cacio e peppe (pecorino cheese and pepper) are local favorites served in trattorias around town. Other foods to try in Rome include pizza, a variety of fritti (fritters) made with everything from salted cod to zucchini flours, stewed oxtail, suppli (rice and Bolognese sauce croquettes) and sharp pecorino cheese. For dessert, try crostata di ricotta (Italian cheesecake) or zeppole (donuts).

  • In Italy, the weather changes very quickly, with temperatures varying from morning to night. We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At bars and restaurants, tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Reviews

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Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Rome

Rome By Night - Illuminations Drive

Adult Price: € 19.00

Join your Tour Director for a classic journey through one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Rome by night is a vision with its ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches beautifully illuminated against the evening sky. A wonderful introduction to the Eternal City!

Perugia

Umbrian Dinner Experience

Adult Price: € 62.00

Umbria is not only a region which is culturally rich and full of beautiful vistas, it is also a region rich in its gastronomic offerings as well! A journey to explore the edible treasures of the traditional Umbrian kitchen and the superb wines of this region too, all served to you in a beautiful rustic restaurant!

Excursion To Spello

Adult Price: € 25.00

Enjoy an afternoon excursion to the breathtaking Umbrian hillside town of Spello, its centro storico still enveloped by Roman walls. With a local expert ascend through ancient arches and tight cobbled streets, where houses cascade with hanging flower pots and churches seemingly sanctify almost every street corner.

Florence

Dinner In The Tuscan Hills

Adult Price: € 65.00

A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!

Tuscan Dinner & Cooking Demonstration

Adult Price: € 69.00

Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we travel into the hills near Florence to the northernmost part of the Chianti, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. A great cooking class, superb food and wine, with genuine and warm Tuscan hospitality.

San Gimignano

Pisa and Lucca Experience

Adult Price: € 56.00

Enjoy the day visiting two of Italy's most beautiful cities, Pisa and Lucca, with local experts. First, we’re off to Pisa, where you'll have time to explore the famous Square of Miracles, dominated by the leaning tower. We'll continue to the quaint and picturesque town of Lucca where you’ll take a leisurely tour of the medieval centre to admire the beauty of this Tuscan gem. Then, enjoy free time to do your own exploring.

Venice

Magical Venice

Adult Price: € 54.00

Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.

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