The ultimate tour at the discovery of the Excellences of the Country. From the wines of Veneto and Tuscany to the prosciutto of Emilia and olive oil of Umbria, from the cheese of Val d’Orcia to the buffalo mozzarella of Paestum and the bread of Matera, from alabaster in Volterra to Ceramics in Deruta. A once-in-a-lifetime experience which you’ll never forget!


  • Verona, crossroads of tastes
  • Parma, the art of food
  • Volterra, masters of the “smooth” stones
  • Chianti, winemakers for 800 years
  • Val d’Orcia, where man and nature blend perfectly
  • Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis
  • Umbria, the green heart of Italy
  • Castelli Romani, where Romans enjoy life
  • Naples, Pizza time
  • The coast of Amalfi, where divas are at home
  • Paestum, when Greeks ruled Italy
  • Matera, the city of stone


Accommodations with Continental Breakfast:

  • Day 1: 3* to 5* Hotel in Verona city centre
  • Days 2 & 3: 3* to 4* Country House in Parma area
  • Days 4 & 5: 3* to 4* Country House in Chianti area
  • Days 6 & 7: 3* to 4* Country House in Val d’Orcia area
  • Days 8 & 9: 3* to 4* Country House in Assisi area
  • Day 10: 3* to 4* Hotel in Castelli Romani area
  • Days 11 & 12: 3* to 5* Hotel on the Amalfi Coast
  • Day 13 & 14: 3* to 5* Hotel in Matera city centre
  • Day 15: 3* to 5* Hotel in Naples city centre

Activities & Transfers:

  • Day 1: Transfer to from Milan city centre to Verona city centre - 2-hour Private guided tour of Verona city centre with an Authorised Tourist Guide - Private Visit of a Valpolicella wine cellar with tastings
  • Day 2: Transfer to Modena area - Private visit of a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Estate with tasting – Parmesan Cooking class in Parma area
  • Day 3: Full-day private tour of Parma area with an Authorised Tourist Guide, including visits to a Parmesan Cheese factory, a Parma Ham factory and a Lambrusco wine cellar with tastings
  • Day 4: Private transfer to Volterra – Visit of an alabaster laboratory in Volterra– Transfer to Certaldo – Private dinner at your accommodation with a Tuscan “Mama”
  • Day 5: Full-day ebike OR Vespa motorbike of Chianti area - Private visit of a Chianti Classico winery with tasting and light lunch
  • Day 6: Transfer to Val d’Orcia - Stopover at San Galgano Abbey - Visit to an organic Brunello di Montalcino wine cellar with tastings
  • Day 7: Full-day private tour of Val d’Orcia area, with stopovers in Pienza and Bagno Vignoni - Private visit of an organic “Pecorino di Pienza” cheese laboratory with tasting and light lunch
  • Day 8: Transfer to Assisi - Private visit of a Sagrantino di Montefalco winery with tasting
  • Day 9: Truffle hunt experience with lunch – OPTIONAL round trip tour to Deruta - Visit of an Artisan Ceramics Laboratory in Deruta
  • Day 10: Visit of an Umbrian olive oil mill with tastings and lunch – Transfer to Castelli Romani area
  • Day 11: Full-day tour of Castelli Romani area – Visit of a Frascati wine cellar with tastings - Transfer to the Amalfi Coast
  • Day 12: Lemoncello experience with lunch – Free time
  • Day 13: Transfer to Matera - Stopover in Paestum – 2-hour private walking tour of Paestum Archeological Area with an Authorised Tourist Guide – Visit of a Buffalo Mozzarella farm with tastings and light lunch
  • Day 14: 3-hour private walking tour of Matera city centre - 3-hour Materan Cooking Class
  • Day 15: Transfer to Naples - 3-hour private Food tour of Naples city centre with an Authorised Tourist Guide

All transfers by private car / minivan

Full assistance 24 hours/day by our Back Office

Optional pick ups and drop offs at Airports / Railway Stations


Benvenuti in Italia, welcome to Italy.

In a stretch of land designed in accord with the bends and twists of the River Adige, we find Verona, a visually-stunning city of excellence. It is a city of many faces whose history can also summarize Italy's history – think of the works left by the Romans, the Medieval streets and the “palazzi” of the Renaissance.

The city’s commercial hub is Piazza delle Erbe, where the original Roman Forum was located. This piazza represents the synthesis of several different historic moments; such is affirmed by the 13st-century buildings – among which Casa dei Mercanti (House of Merchants) stands out - the painted facades of the Mazzanti Houses, and the Madonna Verona Fountain, with its central statue from the Roman times. Also dating back to Roman times is the monument that is most symbolic of Verona, its Arena (1st century B.C.). Originally constructed to host gladiator combats, it saw a long period of abandonment before it returned to the limelight with a new form of entertainment, in 1913: after having hosted the premiere of Aida in that year, it has been known around the world for the sounds of opera that emanate from its stage, in addition to hosting concerts and theatre performances.

The palazzi of Verona narrate its long history of wealth and power. In Piazza dei Signori - which sits under the dominating Lamberti Towers - the portico of the Loggia del Consiglio catches the eye; it is here where 16st-century political life took place, while the Palazzo di Cansignorio and Palazzo del Comune (or “della Ragione”) were the seats of military, judicial and administrative power. Nearby lie the Scaliger Arches, in the same-named piazza, and some of the most suggestive views of the city, including glimpses of the monumental tombs of the Lords of Verona. 

Finally, the Verona of Shakespeare and the “star-crossed lovers” is a legend all over the world and lives indefinitely through the places made famous in the play, Romeo and Juliet. Yet the original literary work was created by Luigi da Porto, a writer from Vicenza, in the 1500s; it eventually circulated Europe, reaching England. It was the Bard who rendered it the immortal story that it is today, allowing Verona to rest as one of the most admired and visited places in the world.

A few kilometres west of Verona, in a landscape of valleys and hills descending from the mountains to the plains around the Adige, Valpolicella hosts the vineyards supplying the grapes for two of the greatest red wines of Italy: Recioto and Amarone. The starting point for both wines is the same: ripe and high-quality grapes, which are harvested and stored in the "fruttai", well ventilated and dry places, where they are left to dry for 100 - 120 days. Grapes with their thick skin lose water and sugars concentrate. After crushing, fermentation takes place, shorter for the Recioto, to leave a high percentage of sugars, longer for the Amarone. Two wines for connoisseurs, which you can enjoy at one of the most beautiful wineries in the area.

Verona, the Arena


From Lake Garda, you will head for Modena, the capital of the “Motor Valley”.

The city of Modena hosts petite jewels of art, such as the Romanesque Cathedral, completely constructed with white marble and located in the heart of Modena, in Piazza Grande. The Piazza with the Cathedral and the Ghirlandina Tower is one of the 48 Italian sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Ghirlandina, the bell tower rising majestically over the rooftops, derives from its marble balustrades around the steeple, suggesting the lightness of garlands. But the town is also known all over the world for famous people - such as Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti - who were born and lived here, as well as for some of its gastronomical products. Modena lies in the so-called “Motor Valley”: the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini and Maserati are located here.

Here you will visit the estate of a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Producer, to delight in the unique, enticing taste of traditional balsamic vinegar. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is obtained from partially fermented, cooked and concentrated grape must. The grapes come exclusively from the vines of the area, and the most important processing phase is refinement, inside containers of fine wood, such as oak, chestnut, oak, mulberry and juniper. The minimum period of ageing is 60 days; at the end of refinement, the product obtained is subjected to an analytical and organoleptic examination, entrusted to a group of expert technicians and tasters: this is the step to be taken to ensure that the product can be certified as Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. (see the article in our BLOG).

And finally, you may savour authentic Italian cuisine on a fun-filled Parmesan cooking class led by a local “rezdora” (a female cook in Parmesan language). Immerse yourself into the tradition of fresh Italian pasta and study the secrets of preparing pasta dough from scratch, using just flour and eggs. You will make your 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!


DAY 3 - parma

Your next destination is a particularly savoury one: Parma.

First, you will visit a Parmigiano Reggiano factory, where you 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, time for a visit to a Parma ham factory, where you will learn the secrets of the most delicious ham, Prosciutto di Parma (see the article in our BLOG).



On the way to Chianti, here is Volterra, Tuscany’s oldest continuously-inhabited town, with settlements documented since 1,500 B.C. Volterra has an unmistakable Medieval character, where the atmosphere of an ancient village can still be felt and whose authenticity is protected by the relative isolation that has limited the development of the city centre in the industrial era, safeguarding the city from urban speculation. Here you may visit Piazza dei Priori, the main square, the centre of civic power since the 8th century, Porta all'Arco, the 4th century B.C. Etruscan gate to the city walls, its 12th-century Cathedral and the ruins of the Roman Theater (40 B.C.) and Roman Baths (3rd century AD).

Alabaster is a soft stone, much easier to work than marble, which is far harder. This malleability makes it perfect for carving small sculptures and richly detailed ornamental motifs. Historically, alabaster was used to carve the human face. More than 2,000 years have passed since the Etruscans first began carving alabaster, but it is still crafted today in the hilltop town of Volterra. Although it no longer represents a significant part of the local economy, it is nonetheless a fundamental part of the town’s culture. In the city, you will visit a laboratory and find beautiful shops selling artefacts and handmade unique pieces carved into this semi-transparent stone.


DAY 5 – chianti

Today you will wander around Chianti, home of the world-famous wine!

Only a few regions can offer such a beautiful and rich panorama as Chianti: green hills sketched by miles and miles of vineyards and olive groves, ancient walled villages, panoramic curvy roads. Chianti Classico area spreads from Florence to Siena and includes the municipalities of Greve, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina. Most of the route consists of the grid of roads connecting the larger towns to villages and castles, like the one leading to Radda, former headquarters of the Chianti Military League, and then to Castello di Brolio where Bettino Ricasoli devised the “recipe” for Chianti wine.

The history of Chianti has always been deeply linked to its wines and other first-rate products, making it the perfect destination for a journey through traditional Tuscan food and wine: the towns in the area make up the production zone of world-renowned Chianti DOCG red wine.

After Sagrantino, Brunello and Vino Nobile, Chianti will be the ideal conclusion of your tour at the discovery of the wines of Central Italy!


DAY 6 – val d’orcia

In these days 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 almost conical hills with fortified settlements on the top rise, inspired many artists. These images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. 

The “pici” are the most famous pasta dish in the Province of Siena. It is a type of pasta made by hand, thicker than normal spaghetti, which is made by rolling the dough and rubbing it with both hands. In the afternoon of your first day in the area, you will pleasantly learn to make not only pici, but also tagliatelle and tasty sauces for seasoning, such as meat ragout, aglione sauce, or cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper). At the end of this cooking course on fresh pasta, you will enjoy the first courses, properly paired with a glass of wine.

Val d'Orcia

DAY 7 – val d’orcia

Your first stop today will be 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, you will enjoy a breath-taking panorama of the landscape all around! Pienza is also the area of the typical “Pecorino di Fossa” cheese, a real delight to the palate; here you will visit a cheese factory, where the cheese masters will uncover the secrets of this ancient cheese, a real delight to the palate!

Then, you will get to Montalcino, one of the prettiest hill towns in Tuscany. Around the village, rows of olive-trees and precious grapevines and the yellow fields create an enchanting landscape. Here you will visit a Brunello winery, for a tasting of the most famous Supertuscan wine, probably the best Italian red!

You will finally stop in 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 several hot springs whose therapeutic quality has been renowned since antiquity! All this creates such a pleasant sensation, it will be hard to leave!

Pecorino di Fossa

DAY 8 – ASSISI and bevagna

In upper Umbria, the spiritual centre of Italy, you will be based in Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis.

The splendid Basilica, one of the emblems of Christianity, located on Mount Subasio and overlooking the entire valley, is dedicated to him. Apart from being a strong appeal for millions of religious believers, the Basilica is a monument of great artistic value. The construction of the Basilica began two years after his death, in 1228, and between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century the basilica's walls were frescoed by the best artists of that time: Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. St. Francis's Basilica consists of two churches laid upon each other and a crypt containing the tomb of the Saint.  The Lower Basilica, with a double front portal, presents a simple facade embellished with a rose window and a mosaic. The interior is decorated with frescoes by some of the most important painters from 1200 to 1300, from Cimabue to Giotto and from the Lorenzettis to Simone Martini. In the Upper Basilica it is possible to see the life cycle of St. Francis in frescoes painted by maestro Giotto, the stories of the Old and New Testament covering the entire nave, and other wonderful frescoes by Cimabue and Torriti.

Try to enjoy the mystical atmosphere of Assisi:

"Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
Who feeds us and rules us,
And produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs."

(St. Francis, Prayer of the Canticle of the Creatures)

Assisi, the Basilica of St. Francis

DAY 9 – deruta

In the morning, you will wander in the local woods with a professional truffle hunter and his talented dog, looking for precious truffles. At the end of the hunt, you’ll enjoy your freshly foraged truffles tossed with fresh tagliolini egg noodles and fried eggs – a delicious combination (pls note: the hunting season starts in March and ends in December, the best time is October and November).

In the afternoon you will head for Deruta, famous for its splendid brightly coloured maiolica. Here you will visit a ceramics laboratory, to enjoy the colourful creations of ceramics master artisans.

At dinner, enjoy “salumi di cinghiale o cervo” (boar or deer sausage) and pecorino cheese, or taste the region's prized white truffle oil.

Ceramics in Deruta


On the way to Castelli Romani, you will stop at an organic farm near Todi, where you will learn about organic cultivations and have a typical Umbrian lunch.

The area south of Rome is known as “Castelli Romani” (Roman Castles). The entire area originated from a series of volcanic eruptions that shook an original crater, creating some lakes. The area, a traditional destination for the out-of-town excursions of the Romans, is dotted with several pretty hill towns famous for their ancient history and highly regarded wine: Castelgandolfo, the summer residence of the pope, Rocca di Papa and Grottaferrata, known for their culture and gastronomic delicacies, Frascati, popular for its breathtaking views and its sweet and refreshing white wine named after the city, are only some of them.

The Lake of Nemi

DAY 12 – amalfi coast

Welcome to the Amalfi Coast!

Costiera Amalfitana is widely considered Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline, a landscape of pastel-coloured villages terraced into hillsides, steep panoramic roads, luxuriant gardens and enchanting vistas over turquoise waters and green mountains. Considered by UNESCO "an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values," the coast is a World Heritage Site since 1997. You may go from town to town at the discovery of Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello, three of the most beautiful villages in Southern Italy, world-famous for their charm and colourful architecture.

Amalfi has a typically Mediterranean architecture, made up of lanes and characteristic white houses piled one upon the other. In the Middle Ages, it was one of Italy's four powerful maritime republics (with Venice, Pisa, and Genoa). All sea trade in the Mediterranean was once governed by the 12th century “Tavole Amalfitane”, one of the world's oldest maritime codes. A must-see in Amalfi is the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, fronted by an intricately patterned façade, redone in the 19th century. Founded in the 9th century, the cathedral's subsequent alterations have spared its principal glory, the main portal's 11th century Byzantine bronze doors. Next to the church lies the Chiostro del Paradiso (1268), or Cloister of Paradise, whose serious Romanesque tone is enlivened by the Arab elements in its sinuous columns. To escape the bustle of Amalfi, take the popular walk along the “Valle dei Mulini”, a steep-sided valley dotted with ruined watermills – “i mulini” - once used to make paper, an industry for which Amalfi was, and still is, famous. Here you will enjoy a particular “Lemon Experience” with our friend Salvatore, the owner of the biggest lemon farm in Amalfi, who will introduce you to all the secrets of the famous “Sfusato” lemons and limoncello and will host you for a lunch lemon-based.

Positano sits in a splendid panoramic position on one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline. Its enchanting town centre of delightful pastel-coloured houses surrounds the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta; its streets are lined with quaint, colourful shops and its numerous beaches are world-famous.

Ravello is situated in a more elevated position than the other pearls of the Amalfi Coast, boasting exceptional views of the coast and its marvellous villas and gardens which, according to French novelist André Gide, are “closer to the sky than the sea”. Here you may visit Villa Rufolo, built in the 13th century, which hosted popes and kings, as well as Richard Wagner, who composed part of his opera Parsifal here in 1880. Views from its idyllic gardens are magnificent!

A trip to Cetara is an absolute must. The village is renowned for a particular gourmet speciality, “colatura di alici” (anchovy sauce), which has been produced according to an ancient procedure for generations. Spaghetti with colatura di alici is the typical recipe of the place, a dish which you will remember forever (see the article in our BLOG).

At dinner, don’t miss Spaghetti with clams in olive oil and garlic sauce, or Seafood Risotto, with a glass of excellent Greco di Tufo white wine.

Amalfi Limoncello


Located in the South-East of the Gulf of Salerno, Paestum is an archaeological site of extreme importance, recognised by UNESCO as part of the World Cultural Heritage. Built by the Greeks around the 7th century BC with the name of Poseidon, the city was later occupied by Romans who made it a thriving colony, giving it its current name. 

In addition to the cultural value, the importance of Paestum is linked to the excellent state of conservation of properties starting from its walls, built by the Greeks and later strengthened by the Romans. The most striking thing is represented by the view of three majestic temples located in a green plain, which reflects a different light, depending on the hours and seasons. Many writers, poets and artists like Goethe, Shelley, Canova and Piranesi were fascinated by this sight, that later became their inspiration. 

The Greek Temples of Paestum

These large buildings are a remarkable example of Doric style architecture. The Temple of Hera, dating to the 6th century BC, is the most ancient building. The Temple of Neptune (5th century BC) is a huge construction made of travertine marble, in a warm golden colour that varies at different times of the day. The Temple of Ceres (6th century BC), actually dedicated to the goddess Athena, back in the Medieval times was transformed into a church.

Paestum is popular not only for its temples but also for a gourmet speciality which you should taste on site: its “mozzarella di bufala” (buffalo mozzarella). Made with the best buffalo milk from the area, “mozzarella di bufala” is closely linked to the land of Campania, the dexterity with which it is made reflects the love that the cheesemakers put to create this Italian excellence. We will visit a cheese factory in the area, to understand how it is created and taste it freshly made, an unforgettable experience!

DAY 14 - matera

Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world, whose territory holds evidence of human settlements starting from the Paleolithic and without interruption until today. Touring Matera is like experiencing a forgotten past - you feel as though you are setting foot in a nativity scene when you visit this charming city in Lucania. It’s no coincidence it’s referred to as “the second Bethlehem” and was the setting for Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion”. 

Matera is widely known as the city of the “Sassi”, the original urban nucleus, developed from the natural caves carved into the rock and subsequently modelled in increasingly complex structures. It is at the centre of an incredible rock landscape that preserves a great heritage of culture and traditions and is home to exhibitions of great national and international prestige.

In the 1950s, when the inhabitants who lived in the grottos dug out of the mountain were forced to abandon those dwellings to settle in modern districts, no one would have ever thought that those grottos - the Sassi - would have become the symbol of a reborn city. UNESCO added the Sassi of Matera to its list of World Heritage Sites in 1993, as a whole and millennial way of life to be preserved and handed down to our descendants. It was recognized as a model for living harmoniously with the environment while integrating with it and taking advantage of resources without disturbing the environment.

Matera, the Sassi

Geologists call it calcarenite and common folk refer to it as tuff: it’s the rock surrounding Matera that this land’s master craftsmen learned to work with in ancient times. This friable, adaptable material is abundant in the mountain that dominates the city, so it seemed only natural for the people from Matera to go up there and dig out that rock to build a home in it. The material that was extracted was processed to make the façade of the dwelling. After the first home, others were built until there was a network of houses, tunnels and alleyways passing over and in each other to become that magic place called Sassi - a gigantic sculpture, a miracle of town planning!

In a food tour at the discovery of the roots of Materan cuisine, you’ll know one of the most beloved Italian bread: “Pane di Matera”. The only ingredients of Materan bread are wheat semolina and sourdough. The characteristics to recognize the bread of Matera are the shapes, croissant or high bread, and a straw-yellow crumb. But beside bread, you’ll not miss other local specialities such as the “Caciocavallo” cheese and the “Lucanica” sausage.

At night, sleeping in a real cave carved centuries ago will take you back in time, you will remember it forever and Matera will always be in your heart!


Visiting Naples's historic centre means travelling through 20 centuries of history. The design of its streets, piazzas, churches, monuments and public buildings and castles constitute a jewel box of artistic and historical treasures of exceptional importance, so much so that together, they earned their spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. Naples is a real treasure of art and history, of indelible signs from past dominations, each of which has contributed to this city's construction. 

The city dominates the Gulf of Naples, expanding from the Sorrentine Peninsula to the volcanic area of the Phlegraean Fields. The most prominent Neapolitan piazza is Piazza del Plebiscito that displays the grand colonnade designed by Gioacchino Murat, in front of which is the magnificent Royal Palace designed by Domenico Fontana. The different but well-integrated architectural lines of Castel Nuovo, otherwise known as “Maschio Angioino”, evoke the double role of palace and fortress that this building played during the domination of the Anjou and Aragon families.

The churches in this city are countless. The Cathedral - erected upon pre-existing buildings - over time has undergone radical modifications to repair the damages caused by the earthquakes, especially on the outside. The interior hosts the famous “Cappella del Tesoro di San Gennaro (“Chapel of St. Gennaro’s Treasure”), with the two vials containing the Saint's blood.

Naples is famous all over the world for its pizza. Yet there is much more to this unique city’s culinary traditions. You will be pleasantly surprised by the variety and richness of flavours and recipes that you’ll discover through our walking food tour. Your Guide will walk you into some of the best food venues of the city, known only to locals. Moving to the heart of the city, with its meandering streets and artisan shops, you will taste true mozzarella, and have a try at the best street food such as “pizza fritta” (fried pizza) and “frittatina di maccheroni” (maccheroni omelette), before moving on to a renowned restaurant of the city, where you will taste a sample of pasta made with unique local ingredients in explosive combinations of flavours. Of course, we couldn’t do without a delicious bruschetta with “colatura di alici” (anchovy juice, a special dressing with origins dating back to Roman times).

Naples, Piazza Plebiscito

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

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