ITALY IN 10 DAYS
Milan, Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome

Lombardy, Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio: 5 regions where you will admire the extraordinary beauty of Italy, you will be seduced by its enchanting landscape, you will enjoy different habits and traditions as well as diverse yet most savory cuisine!!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Milan, the trendy 2,000-years-old capital of Northern Italy
  • Parma, where food is an art
  • Cinque Terre, the stunning 5 villages perched on the rocks
  • Pisa, how can it stand?
  • Florence, an open-air museum
  • Siena and San Gimignano, power in the Middle Ages
  • Val d'Orcia, where Man and Nature blend perfectly
  • Orvieto and Civita, the cities "on the rocks"
  • Tivoli, an invitation from the Emperor
  • Rome, walking in the shade of history

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

Accommodations with Continental Breakfast:

  • Day 1: 4* Country House in Parma area
  • Days 2 & 3: 4* Hotel in Cinque Terre area
  • Days 4 to 6: 5* Hotel in Florence city centre
  • Day 7: 5* Hotel in Orvieto area
  • Day 8: 4* Hotel in Tivoli area
  • Days 9 & 10: 5* Hotel in Rome city centre

Activities and transfers:

  • Day 1: 3-hour private walking tour of Milan city centre with an Authorised Tourist Guide - Transfer to Parma area
  • Day 2: Private guided tour of a Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese factory - Parmesan Cooking Class in a Villa near Parma - Transfer to Cinque Terre 
  • Day 3: Free time in Cinque Terre - OPTIONAL sunset boat tour along the coast with aperitivo on board
  • Day 4: Transfer to Florence city centre - Stopover in Pisa, free time
  • Day 5: 3-hour private walking tour of Florence city centre with an Authorised Tourist Guide - OPTIONAL admission and private guided tour of Galleria degli Uffizi OR Galleria dell'Accademia
  • Day 6: Full-day private round trip to Chianti area - Stopovers in San Gimignano and Monteriggioni – Visit of a Chianti wine cellar with tastings
  • Day 7: Transfer to Orvieto area - Stopovers in Pienza and Bagno Vignoni in Val d'Orcia, free time
  • Day 8: Tour of Orvieto Underground - Transfer to Lago di Bracciano area - Stopover in Civita di Bagnoregio, free time 
  • Day 9: Transfer to Tivoli - Full-day private tour of Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este - Transfer to Rome city centre
  • Day 10: Full-day private tour with an Authorised Tourist Guide of Rome city centre, including Colosseum and Imperial Fora Archeological Area and Vatican Museums in Vatican City

Admission Tickets to:

  • Orvieto Underground
  • Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este in Tivoli
  • Colosseum and Imperial Fora Archeological Area in Rome
  • Vatican Museums in Vatican City

All transfers by private luxury Sedan / Minivan

Pick up and drop off at Airports / Railway Stations 

Full assistance 24 hours/day by our Back Office

Day 1 & 2 - MILAN

Benvenuti in Italia, welcome to Italy!

Milan is first of all the Fashion Capital of Italy! The showrooms of all Italian manufacturers are located in the city and here buyers from worldwide distribution find the one and only “Italian Style”! But Milan is not only fashion, it is also and above all art, beauty and culture! Piazza del Duomo is the geographical and historical centre of the city. It is surrounded by palaces with arcades; in the middle, you can see the Duomo, one of Europe’s biggest Gothic cathedrals, whose construction started in the 14th and ended in the 20th century. And on the Gran Guglia, the cathedral’s highest spire, the Madonnina, a symbol of Milan, stands. To the left of the cathedral lies the 19th century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a covered passageway in a Latin cross shape linking the grand Piazza del Duomo with Piazza della Scala, featuring mosaics and a wrought iron and glass roof.

Milan

You will not miss Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece in Santa Maria delle Grazie, “The Last Supper”. Did you know that this painting miracolously survived a bombing in 1943, when a bomb fell just 100 meters from the northern wall fo the Refectory? Luckily, the wall was protected with scaffolds and sand bags, and the painting was not damaged.

Then you may we will stroll down the streets of the Quadrilatero D’oro, the heart of the fashion industry, admiring the shop windows of Prada, Armani, Versace, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino. And in late afternoon don't lose the chance to taste a gorgeous Cappuccino at Pasticceria Cova, as locals often do in via Montenapoleone, “Montenapo” for the Milanese!

At dinner, what about a tasty yellow “Risotto alla Milanese”? According to an ancient tradition, the Duomo is where Risotto alla Milanese was “born”, invented by a boy who worked for the stained glass artist Valerio di Fiandra, nicknamed “Zafferano” for its habit of adding spices to his colours. One day, he also put some saffron in the rice, and the result was a great success!

Day 3 – PARMA

Parma is known for its delicious food products. First, we will visit a Parmigiano Reggiano factory, where we will see cheese masters at work: a very special way to get into the production culture of the area and to discover how a true gastronomic gem is made! (see the article in our BLOG).

Later on, we will savour the authentic cuisine of Emilia on a fun-filled cooking class led by a local “rezdora” (a femal cook in Parmesan language). We will immerse ourself into the tradition of fresh Italian pasta and study the secrets of preparing pasta dough from the scratch, using just flour and eggs. We will make our own “Tortelli d'erbetta” (Parma most traditional pasta with a filling of ricotta cheese and chards) and delicious tagliatelle with tomato sauce – all local ingredients! Once your amazing meal is ready, you will enjoy what you prepared matched with a glass of local Lambrusco wine. A very tasty experience at the end of an unforgettable day!

Parma

Day 4 – CINQUE TERRE

Welcome to Cinque Terre, the beautiful villages on the Ligurian Sea included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. You will be stunned by the sea views and the contrasts between the sea and the cliffside. From Monterosso, by train or on foot we will reach the other fishing villages: Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The vineyards, typical of this area, contribute to creating a unique landscape with dry-laid stone walls, winding paths, enchanting beaches between cliffs and clear waters!

The area is divided into 5 seaside and agricultural villages enriched with colours, simplicity and charm. The first true stop in the Cinque Terre is Monterosso, a well-known tourist destination embellished with elegant villas and a large beach. The old town centre, whose narrow alleys clamber up the hill, is home to the Gothic parish church of San Giovanni Battista and the 17th-century church of San Francesco, which is connected to the convent of the Capuchins.

Next is Vernazza and its charming marina, which is surrounded by the medieval little town and its characteristic little piazza, two Genoese lookout towers and the enchanting Gothic two-storey church dedicated to Santa Margherita d’Antiochia.

Just a short distance away is Corniglia, a village perched on the ridge of a promontory and connected to the beach by a stairway with 365 steps. This town - which is traditionally dedicated to vineyard cultivation - offers visitors a marvellous view.

The enormous black cliff overlooking the sea and home to Manarola - which is known for wine and oil production -  with its colourful houses seemingly coming out of the rock also makes a big impact. 

The last town in the Cinque Terre, and heart of the homonymous park, is Riomaggiore, a picturesque fishing village with tall, narrow, pastel-coloured houses and alternating light and darkness coming from the tight alleyways.

We are in Liguria, so we will not miss Linguine with the real “Pesto Genovese” because only here you can find the original ingredients, basil in particular (if you want know more about Pesto, see the article in our BLOG). If you like anchovies, you may try the local “acciughe”, they are a speciality of Monterosso! And what about Ligurian wines? Sciachetrà will seduce you!!

5 Terre

Day 5 – PISA

On the way to Florence you will stop in Pisa, the beautiful Tuscan town famous all over the world for its “Torre Pendente” (Leaning Tower).

Piazza dei Miracoli, set over an ample green field, hosts four whiter-than-white masterpieces of grandiose Medieval art: the renowned Leaning Tower (also the Bell Tower), the Camposanto (or graveyard), the  Baptristy and the Cathedral itself. These last two are so unique that their creation gave origin to a new style, "Pisan Romanesque". 

This area was chosen to construct the Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta exactly for its centrality; founded in 1064, it was intended to celebrate the grandeur of Pisa during the Marine Republic’s epoch of power. "The temple of marble white as the snow" is how the structure is described on the gravestone of its architect, Buscheto di Giovanni Giudice. Consisting of five naves with its transept divided into three naves, it is surmounted by a splendid dome encircled by a loggia. The Duomo’s façade and exterior lateral sections feature elaborate decoration in marble (which can also be seen on its interior), mosaics, and bronze.  

In front of the Cathedral stands the Baptistry, also in a particular version of the Romanesque style. Initiated in 1152 by Diotisalvi, the Baptistry was finally completed in the 14th century; at that point, Gothic elements were also added. Of cylindrical form and circled by arcades of columns, this structure in white marble even boasts amazing acoustics. 

The Camposanto closes the northern end of the piazza in which the complex lies. This monumental cemetery, begun in 1278, is bordered by a fence of marble and houses a cloister at its centre. The majority of the frescoes that once coloured its walls were, unfortunately, destroyed in a fire in 1944 during the battle for Pisa.

Ultimately, the real symbol of Pisa is the Campanile, that is the Leaning Tower, that completes the image of this city. Because of land sinkage beneath it, the Tower stands at a significant incline – this sinkage impeded its very construction to a great extent. It was started in 1173, taken up again in 1275, and not completed until the second half of the 1300s. In cylindrical form, its lower part is done in blind arcades that then mutate into six floors of loggias, repeating motifs from the Duomo. Inside, a spiral staircase of 294 steps leads to the heights of one of the most famous towers in the world, where the lovely belfry and a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape await.

Pisa

DAY 6 - FLORENCE

Welcome to Florence, the symbol of Italian Reinassance.

Despite its international fame and greatness, Florence is also a small city, whose history is interwoven with that of its passionate citizens for more than one thousand years

In Piazza Duomo you will be astonished by the Duomo, with the incredible Brunelleschi’s cupola, a masterpiece of art and architecture whose building techniques building are still covered with a veil of mystery. Beside it, Giotto’s Campanile (Belltower) and the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city, with its famous bronze doors made by Pisano and Ghiberti in the 14th and 15th centuries. In Piazza della Signoria we will walk in the middle of bronze and marble masterpieces by Giambologna and Cellini inside the marvellous Loggia dei Lanzi, and will admire the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, one of the symbols of Florence and still the seat of government of the city. We will also spare some time to relax, visiting a typical market for shopping, strolling through the pedestrian streets of the city and crossing the oldest bridge in Florence, “Ponte Vecchio” (Old Bridge), rich of jewellery shops.

Your itinery includes Galleria dell’Accademia, hosting Michelangelo's David, the most famous sculpture in the world! The David was uncovered and shown to the Florentines on September 8, 1504, and with its height of 4 meters, the impeccable physical features and the political significance that the iconography of David had taken over the previous century left the Florentines of the time speechless and has done the same ever since with visitors from all over the world.

If you want to stay away from crowds and still marvel at the sight of a true masterpiece, you should not miss the funeral chapels of the Medici family, “Le Cappelle Medicee”. Here you will admire Cappella dei Principi (the Chapel of the Princes), a monumental mausoleum decorated entirely in polychrome marbles and semi-precious stones, and the Crypt with the giant sculptures executed by young Michelangelo.

Florence is also the main Italian centre for the production of high-quality leather goods. The Florentine artisans are so famous that many fashion brands have opened their factories in the city or close to it, due to the high skill of the artisans involved and to the continuous inspiration that designers take from the town’s masterpieces. The area around Piazza Santa Croce is full of leather shops and workshops.

Thanks to the tradition of Tuscan tanneries, there is no better place to find shoes for all tastes than Florence: from the creations, designed and produced by hand by skilled craftsmen, to the large collections available in stores, renewed every season. Above all, for refinement and elegance, Ferragamo (also worth seeing the museum), Gucci and Prada. If you prefer a simpler style, across the river Arno there are many shops specialized in handmade shoes and sandals.

At lunch, you may enjoy “Panino con Lampredotto” in a typical Florentine market. At dinner, taste the simple yet unforgettable recipes of the Tuscan tradition, such as "Crostini", "Panzanella" and "Peposo". And remember, Florence is the home of "Fiorentina" steak! In case you are a vegetarian, don’t worry: Tuscan cuisine offers tasty alternatives like “Pappa al Pomodoro” or “Ribollita” (for an overview of Tuscan cuisine see the article in our BLOG).

Florence

Day 7 – SAN GIMIGNANO

In the morning, we will stroll with our head upwards along the streets of one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany, San Gimignano, also known as the "Medieval Manhattan", thanks to its very old and impressive 14 towers that dominate the town skyline. Originally the towers were 72, built by patrician families probably to demonstrate their wealth and power. Seven of San Gimignano's towers are around Piazza del Duomo, the tallest one is Torre Grossa, 54 meters high, dating back to 1298.

San Gimignano

From San Gimignano we will move to Monteriggioni, the famous Senese fortress which guarded the boundary between the Senese Republic and the Florentine “Signoria”. A step back in the medieval times that will impress you. All around are Chianti vineyards and pasturelands, it’s amazing! The village can only evoke the Middle Ages with its 13th-century walls and 14 quadrilateral towers. Towers that Dante compared to the Giants of hell, in the time when this fortified site was an outpost of the Senese against the Florentines, passing several times from one to the other.

Monteriggioni

Day 8 – VAL D’ORCIA

On the way south, today you will explore Val d’Orcia, one of the most fascinating places in Italy, included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites. The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, redrawn and developed when it was integrated into the territory of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries to reflect an idealized model of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture. The landscape’s distinctive aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which rise almost conical hills with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists. Their images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. 

Your first stop will in Pienza, “Pio’s town”: here, Pope Pius II decided to build the perfect palazzo for his papal court according to the project of an “Ideal City" drawn up by artists such as Piero della Francesca. From the loggia of the Palace we will enjoy a breath-taking panorama of the landscape all around! Pienza is also famous for its typical Pecorino cheese, a real delight to the palate! At lunch, taste all its different varieties, above all the excellent “Pecorino di Fossa” (Pecorino seasoned in a cave), a real delight to the palate!

Then, you will move to Bagno Vignoni, a tiny and charming village where the main square is a pool 49 meters long and 29 wide, from the bottom of which bubble up a number of hot springs whose therapeutic quality has been renowned since antiquity! All this creates such a pleasant sensation, it will be hard to leave!

In the evening you will reach the spectacular Orvieto. At dinner, don't miss “salumi di cinghiale o cervo” (boar or deer sausage) and pecorino cheese and taste the region's prized white truffle oil, together with the delicious white wine of the area, Orvieto Classico!

Val d'Orcia

DAY 9 – ORVIETO & CIVITÀ DI BAGNOREGIO

Orvieto in Umbria is one of the most interesting hill towns in Italy, perched up on volcanic rock, its history dating back to the Etruscans. Although just an hour from Rome, the architecture is different, with many of the buildings constructed out of tufo, a type of volcanic rock. Orvieto’s main attraction is its 14th-century Cathedral – a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with a glistening façade of stained glass, mosaics and sculptures. Another point of interest is St. Patrick’s Well, a 62-meter-deep (203 feet) feat of engineering characterized by two spiral staircases that wind around the well (yet never meet), with 248 steps down to the water. A pleasant guided tour along a straightforward route makes it possible to get to know Orvieto’s underground world, created by its ancient inhabitants over about 2,500 years of uninterrupted digging. A tour to discover a millenary, surprising and unexpected “Underground City”, you will surely enjoy it!

Orvieto

Civita di Bagnoregio, the spectacular “borgo” slowly sliding towards the valley, is also known as the “Dying City”. The town is noted for its striking position atop a plateau of friable volcanic tuff overlooking the Tiber river valley. It is in constant danger of destruction as the edges of the plateau collapse due to erosion, leaving the buildings to crumble as their underlying support falls away.

Bagnoregio

Day 10 – ROME

Here you are in Rome, a place where ancient history, excellent art and religious icons mix in a unique blend!

You will start from the 2,000-year-old Colosseum, the most famous amphitheatre in the world, and the Imperial Forums, the administrative and monumental centre of the Roman Empire. On the Palatine Hill, the grandiose ruins of the Palaces of Augusto, Tiberius and Domiziano still dominate the Circus Maximus valley, 50-meter-high structures giving a unique view of the city.

From Piazza Venezia, we will head inside “Baroque” Rome, starting with the Pantheon, dedicated to the worship of every god (Pan-every Theon-divinity), now the memorial chapel of great Italian people of the past. After that, we will not miss the Church of St. Louis of the French, famous for the cycle of paintings of the great Caravaggio at the end of the 16th century. Then Piazza Navona, a splendid oval area corresponding to the underground Domitianus’ Stadium, with the gorgeous Fountain of the Four Rivers by Lorenzo Bernini in the centre of the Piazza. And finally Fontana di Trevi, the biggest and most famous fountain of the city, a Rome icon known all over the world: here statues of travertine marble stand over the cliff and the wide basin, in an epic representation of the Kingdom of the Oceans.

On teh other side of River Tevere, the immense St. Peter’s Basilica dominates the extraordinary Piazza framed by the magnificent four column-deep colonnades designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Basilica itself is an extraordinary casket for some of the most beautiful works of art in the world, such as Michelangelo’s “La Pietà” and Bernini’s “Baldacchino”, along with works of the most important artists of the Renaissance, from Raphael to Canova.

Colosseum

Inside the Vatican Museums, you will be astonished by the exquisite and unique Sistine Chapel, the "Sancta Sanctorum" of Roman Catholic Church, where cardinals of the Catholic Church gather to elect the new Pope! The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (pontiff from 1471 to 1484) who had the old Cappella Magna restored between 1477 and 1480. The decoration of the walls was executed by a team of painters, Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli, assisted by their respective shops. Julius II della Rovere (pontiff from 1503 to 1513), the nephew of Sixtus IV, decided to partly alter the decoration, entrusting the work in 1508 to Michelangelo Buonarroti, who painted the Ceiling and, on the upper part of the walls, the lunettes. The nine central panels show the Stories of Genesis, from the Creation to the Fall of man, to the Flood and the subsequent rebirth of mankind with the family of Noah. Again, towards the end of 1533 Clement VII de' Medici (pontiff from 1523 to 1534) gave Michelangelo the task of painting the Last Judgement on the altar wall.

To make the most of your visit, you will have an exclusive chance to enjoy the Vatican Museums before the crowds. Your Vatican Museums guided tour includes VIP early entry before regular ticket holders are allowed inside. You'll be able to wander the almost empty halls and marvel at the Sistine Chapel, with an expert guide there to fill you in on the cultural and religious context of the Vatican's famous treasures. Then, as the first regular visitors begin to stream into the museums, you will enjoy a rich American breakfast in the evocative atmosphere of the Cortile della Pigna.

After a day full of emotions, sit down at a local "trattoria" or "fiaschetteria", the typical home-style restaurant, to taste the true Roman cuisine in a popular and cheerful atmosphere (for an overview of Roman cuisine see the article in our BLOG).

Day 11 – TIVOLI

Discover one of Italy's hidden gems! Here is Tivoli, a small town about 30 Km east of Rome, boasting 2 of the most spectacular sites in Italy, Emperor Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este.

Emperor Hadrian built his villa to escape the crowd and turmoil of the capital. Much of the enormous, luxurious ancient villa remains intact today, and you will be surprised by the clever application of Renaissance plumbing in the fountains and waterworks, perfectly integrated with the landscape. There are about 500 fountains here!

Tivoli

The other masterpiece in the area is Villa d’Este, the great Villa commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito of the Este family around 1560. Among the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance that most inspired landscape architects and painters, it is an ideal reinterpretation - in a sumptuous way - of the hanging Eden of Babylon. The prestigious residence is surrounded by terraces, stairways and avenues set on each other, decorated with water games so audacious as to reveal considerable engineering skills. The monument was elected the most beautiful park in Europe, as well as UNESCO Heritage with the motivation: "one of the first gardens of wonders, which from the beginning had a decisive influence on the development of European landscape painting ».

The tour is over, but the memories of a fantastic journey will accompany you for a lifetime!

Arrivederci for another tour with VITOR, Visit Italy on the Road.


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