“A man who has not been to Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what is expected a man should see.”
Your trip is about engaging all your senses. It is not about just seeing. After all, if you just wanted to ‘see’ Italy, you could stay at home and live vicariously through film and television. We want you to taste the fabulous food, feel the Tuscan sun upon your face and listen to the sounds of the bells ringing out across the towns and cities. In essence we want you to be touched by Italy the way we have been. Buon Viaggio!
“The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.” (Mark Twain)
Day 1 Florence
Upon being met at the airport, you will be whisked away to the hotel where you can relax and unpack before welcome drinks and a brief walk to dinner with an early night to ensure you are ready for the adventures ahead. (D)
Day 2 Florentine Culinary Specialties
It’s hard not to admire the view in Florence, but we don’t want you to feast merely with your eyes, we want you to feast upon the local delicacies and as such, once you have gazed upon Michelangelo’s David, we will introduce you to some Tuscan specialities as part of the tour. The afternoon is free in order for you to digest what you have seen and eaten and then this evening’s meal comprises some of Italy’s myriad famous dishes. (B, D)
Day 3 Siena
The jewel in the Tuscan crown has to be Siena, a city as famous for its beautiful Piazza del Campo, which opens up like a golden fan as the sun creeps into the square, as for its Palio horse race which takes place in that same square. Having enjoyed a lie in and morning at leisure in Florence, we will head there for an afternoon’s guided walk around, free time and then supper at a local restaurant in Siena before heading back to Florence. (B, D)
“For us to go into Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery.” (D H Lawrence)
Day 4 Tuscan Vineyards to Umbrian Villages
Having enjoyed all the fine dining in Tuscany, it is only fitting that we should enjoy some fine wining. As we depart for Umbria we will stop at a typical little Tuscan village to enjoy the excellent local wines. Upon arrival in the wonderful, ancient Umbrian town of Spoleto, enjoy a free evening to explore and perhaps take some time to compare the Umbrian wines with the Tuscan ones. (B, L)
Day 5 Truffle Hunting
Today we metaphorically don our Sherlock Holmes hats and head off in search of the elusive truffle. Fortunately we are to be assisted in our quest and as a reward for our efforts we learn how to prepare and then eat this famous Italian delicacy. The evening is free. (B, L)
“The Bold Adventurer succeeds the best.” (Ovid)
Day 6 From Umbria to the Gargano Peninsula
Today we head down to Vieste stopping off at Sulmona, the hometown of Ovid. Once there we will have an opportunity to sample the famous local sweets and then some free time for lunch.
We then continue down to the coast and to Vieste, in the marine resort of the Gargano. This evening enjoy your first Pugliese cena, a region famous for its orecchiette and sagne ‘ncannulate pasta. (B, D)
Day 7 Private Boat Tour of the Gargano Reserve
The only way to see the Gargano reserve is on a private boat. And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper boat trip if we didn’t have a bottle or two of prosecco to toast our voyage. Lunch and the afternoon are at leisure. Dinner is an opportunity to continue our journey through Pugliese cuisine. (B, D)
Day 8 Polignano al Mare
This morning we head south to Polignano al Mare, stopping to see the famous Trulli houses on our way. Upon arrival in the town the afternoon is free, but this evening don your chef hats as we are off to make and eat pizza. (B, D)
Day 9 Matera
A morning at leisure, or the opportunity to enjoy a private yoga lesson to start the day, accompanied by lots of healthy smoothies and juices to help digest all the fabulous Italian food you have been eating. Late morning and lunch are at your leisure. In the mid afternoon we head to Matera for a guided visit of the lovely town, some time at leisure and then aperitivi and dinner before returning to the hotel later that evening. (B, D)
Day 10 Grotte di Castellane & Ostuni
Geological wonders abound with a visit to the stalagmites and stalactites of Grotte di Castellane, followed by continuing down the coast to Ostuni where we dine on yet more local cuisine. Some free time to explore this lovely little town before returning to Polignano for a free evening. (B, L)
Day 11 Lecce
A walking tour which comprises all the delights of the south, be they the sights of the Florence of the South (Lecce) or sampling the local food specialities.The afternoon is free for more exploration. Our final dinner is at a local hotspot. (B, D)
Day 12 Departure
It’s time to say Arrivederci, until the next time. (B)
Included in this trip:
Accommodation & Services:
- 3 nights in Florence, 2 nights in Spoleto, 2 nights in Vieste and 4 nights in Polignano al Mare.
- Centrally located, upmarket hotels.
- The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
- Transfers to and from the airport.
- Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
- All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
- We will be visiting: Florence, Siena, Spoleto, Sulmona, Vieste, Alberobello, Polignano al Mare, Ostuni, Matera and Lecce.
Food & Beverages:
- Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
- When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
- Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.
Entrances & Tickets:
- Santa Croce
- Siena’s cathedral
- the Grotte de Castellane
- trip by private boat
- truffle hunting
- pizza lesson
- cookery lesson
- wine tasting
- Aperitivi tasting
- private yoga lesson
- a surprise (we are all children at heart, after all)
NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:
- Flights not included. I would suggest flying into Pisa or Florence and out of Bari or Brindisi.
- Travel insurance.
- Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when travelling to Europe).
There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.
Please note that in booking a trip with me, you are also contributing to charities which support young people in education. The charity I currently give to is the Malala Fund: www.malala.org , whose mission it is to help the 130 million girls worldwide, who are currently unable to access education.
Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.
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