THE BEST OF CENTRAL ITALY & UMBRIA TOUR
Embark on the ultimate culinary tour to central Italy and discover one of the most fascinating and beautiful regions, Umbria. Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria’s rolling hills are patchworks of yellow sunflower fields and ancient stone towns.
Taste the highest quality local cuisine, enjoy fabulous wines and delicious food and meet passionate local producers. See the magnificent cathedral of Orvieto, the glowing pink buildings of the hill town of Assisi, and the stately, medieval Gubbio.
Rome – Pesaro – Ancona – Conero – Loreto – Urbino – Recatini – Macareta - Morro D’Alba Pesaro – Gubbio - Montefalco – Assisi – Wine Route & Bevagna – Spoleto Cooking Class – Orvieto – Todi
* Roundtrip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Pesaro: four nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Montefalco: four nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Excursions: Wine tasting experience at local winery Rosso Conero, wine tasting at experience at local winery Morro d’Alba, Spoleto cooking class
• Eight breakfasts, one lunch and six dinners
• Private motor coach transportation
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
Related Services Available to Add:
DAY 1: OCTOBER 17, 2020 | DEPART TORONTO-ROME
Board your overnight flight to Rome.
DAY 2: OCTOBER 18, 2020 | ARRIVE IN ROME – PESARO
Arrive at Rome Fiumicino airport and meet your local tour manager. Once you board your private minivan, the tour will start passing through some of the most beautiful countryside of the Central Apennines, with your final destination being Pesaro, on the Adriatic Coast. Reach your villa in the Pesaro countryside, and after checking in have some free time to relax in the swimming pool before enjoying a fabulous welcome dinner.
Overnight at Relais Villa Giulia (four nights)
DAY 3: OCTOBER 19, 2020 | ANCONA – CONERO – LORETO
After breakfast, you will board your minivan and transfer to Ancona. Overlooking the sea, with one of the largest ports in Italy, Ancona is a city full of monuments and beautiful landscapes. It is also known as "City Dorica", a name which refers to its Greek origins.
Here you will find the Cathedral which dominates the city from above, the picturesque arch of Trajan and Mole Vanvitelliana on the side of the harbor. The War Memorial overlooks the sea in one of the most unique areas of the coast. Walking through the alleys and historical streets, you can discover hidden spots and panoramic views.
During lunch at a local winery, Rosso Conero, you will taste one of the best red wines of the region, and then enjoy a panoramic tour of the Conero Riviera. This stretch of coast on the slopes of Monte Conero, has plentiful beaches, bays and coves of exceptional beauty.
Last stop of the day will be in Loreto, a beautiful hill town second only to Assisi and Rome as a place of religious pilgrimage. The town is a showcase of some of Italy’s greatest artists and architects. People come here from all over the world to visit the Basilica della Santa Casa, known for enshrining the house in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed by some to have lived. Return to the Relais Villa Giulia for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: OCTOBER 20, 2020 | URBINO
Today after breakfast we explore the land once ruled by the lords of Montefeltro. The day is devoted to visiting Urbino, one of Italy's most fascinating towns of the Renaissance. It is also the birthplace of Raphael. A conducted tour of the magnificent Ducal Palace, which houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with its precious paintings by Piero della Francesca, Tiziano, Paolo Uccello and Raphael. Lunch will be independent, and your local expert tour manager will be happy to give you some advice on choosing where to dine. In the afternoon you will visit a local farm and observe the farmer making casciotta cheese and have a sample of it with crescia bread. Return to the Relais Villa Giulia for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: OCTOBER 21, 2020 | RECANATI – MACERATA – MORRO D’ALBAstrong>
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will go to Recanati, the small town that gave birth to the famous poet and essayist Giacomo Leopardi, one of the most radical and challenging thinkers of the 19th century. The poet’s memory is kept alive throughout the town, in fact you can admire Casa Leopardi, the home of the poet, which houses his valuable library, as well as visit his mother’s house; the Antici Mattei Palace. Recanati also honored Beniamino Gigli, one of the greatest Italian tenors.
In the afternoon board the minivan and proceed to Macerata, the birthplace of the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, this historical town is bordered by ramparts dating back to the XVI century. It is crossed by many roads that lead up to Piazza della Libertà, the heart of the old town, which is surrounded by the most important monuments and churches and the entrance to the University Palace. Nearby, you will find the Civic Museums of the Buonaccorsi Palace, known for its XVIII century paintings depicting the Stories of the Aeneid. Macerata also houses the famous Sferisterio Opera Festival, in the harmonyous outdoor arena.
On the way back to Pesaro you will stop at a local winery in Morro d’Alba, where you will taste the town’s real attraction. The Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is produced in very limited qualities and offers a uniquely aromatic red wine which is soft and full-bodied. Morro d’Alba is also known its covered walkway around the town’s XV century walls. Return to the Relais Villa Giulia for dinner and overnight.
DAY 6: OCTOBER 22, 2020 | PESARO – GUBBIO – MONTEFALCO
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will leave Le Marche and transfer to Umbria. Your first stop will be Assisi where you will meet your local guide and enjoy a half day tour, including the Roman remains under the still-standing temple of Minerva, and the Basilica of San Francesco with Giotto's frescoes which decorate the lower church. The Basilica of Santa Chiara, dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi, a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi and founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, (known today as the Order of Saint Clare), the remains of Saint Clare are kept in the Basilica.
In the afternoon continue to Gubbio, a town with a decidedly medieval aspect, known for its dark grey stone, narrow streets, and Gothic architecture. Many houses in central Gubbio date from the 14th and 15th centuries and were originally the dwellings of wealthy merchants. The hills above the town were already occupied in the Bronze Age and it was an important town of the ancient Umbrian people in pre-Roman times. The area is famous for the discovery of the Eugubine Tables, a set of bronze tablets that constitute the largest surviving text in the Etruscan language and transcribed into ancient Umbrian.
At the end of the day you will arrive at your farmhouse style accommodation in the Montefalco area. Enjoy a typical Umbrian dinner this evening with local products.
Overnight at Villa Pambuffetti (four nights)
DAY 7: OCTOBER 23, 2020 - ASSISI | THE WINE ROUTE & BEVAGNA
Breakfast to begin. This morning transfer to Assisi. St. Francis was born here in 1182 and spent most of his adult life preaching around this area of Umbria. Assisi is the quintessentially quaint and tranquil Italian hill town, and here you will be able to visit the Basilica di San Francesco. In the afternoon, go to Torgiano, famous throughout the world for its fine wines. Visit a cantina and have a wine tasting session. Then, visit Bevagna. The town was recently voted the most beautiful village in Italy. Return to the Villa Pambuffetti for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8: OCTOBER 24, 2020| SPOLETO & COOKING CLASS
Breakfast to begin. This morning you will visit Spoleto, one of the loveliest of the Umbrian hill-towns. Founded by the Umbrians, Spoleto was one of central Italy’s most important colonies. You will have a free morning to explore Spoleto. In the afternoon, you will join a cooking class and learn some traditional Umbrians recipes. Along with your private chef you will prepare local dishes and enjoy dinner. Return to the Villa Pambuffetti for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9: OCTOBER 25, 2020 | ORVIETO & TODI
After breakfast in hotel, explore more of the Umbria region, Italy’s green heart. You will first stop in Orvieto, which looks down over a vineyard-spotted plain. Visitors flood into the town to admire the Duomo, among the greatest of Italy’s Romanesque-Gothic Cathedrals. In the afternoon, continue to Todi, a town famous for its striking location on a hillside. An ancient Etruscan, and then Roman settlement, it still preserves an uncorrupted medieval air, with several tiny churches, three austere public palaces and many sleepy corners. Return to the Villa Pambuffetti for dinner and overnight.
DAY 10: OCTOBER 26, 2020 | DEPART ROME – TORONTO
After breakfast, board your transfer to the airport for your departure flight home.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,100. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 12 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host. ON-4499356/4499372 | BC-34799 | QC–7002238 | 111 Peter Street, Suite 200, Toronto, ON. M5V 2H1 | ®Merit Travel is a registered trademark of Merit Travel Group Inc. All rights reserved.
® Merit Travel trademark owned by, and use is granted by, Merit Travel Group Inc. Offers are based on availability and may be subject to change. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit, https://dev.merittravel.com/terms-and-conditions/.