Welcome! We meet in the morning at Rome airport or town ready to start our tour together. Alessandro, your tour leader will be waiting for you with Mimmo, our professional driver. On our way home, if not too tired, we stop at Orvieto (Aiken, SC sister city), where we also have lunch. Orvieto was one of the capitol towns of Etruscan, a pre-roman population that was living in Tuscany and Umbria 1,500 years b.C. Transfer to your hotel where you have dinner.
Today, after breakfast, we journey to Siena which was a rival city to Florence during Medieval era. This was the town that aspired to build the largest Cathedral on Earth and tried to persuade the Pope to come and reside there. We will learn about the world's oldest bank still in operation (Monte dei Paschi di Siena) and the tradition of the "Palio", a horserace that has been run within the city walls for more than 600 years. After lunch we return home enjoying en route the magical Tuscan scenery which is famed worldwide (Val d'Orcia) stopping on the way to Pienza (Unesco World Heritage). Return to hotel where you will have dinner.
Today, after breakfast, we visit the town synonymous with St. Francis, where he was born and lived. We can admire the story of his extraordinary life as described by the artists Cimabue and Giotto in their captivating frescos that we will discover in the Basilica. We will also hear the account of this man's life: how he underwent a conversion experience that led him quitting his privileged lifestyle and adopting the values of poverty, simplicity and happiness which in turn led thousands of others to follow him. After lunch we keep visiting and then return to hotel where you will have dinner.
Today, after breakfast, we visit the town called the "Stone City" and is one of the best preserved medieval towns in the World. Its inhabitants also have, by tradition, the reputation of being crazy! Gubbio dates back to Roman times, remains of which can still be seen. During the middle ages the city went through a period of great development due to its convenient geographical position. Walking through its streets and gazing up at the towering ancient buildings you can physically sense the past of this place... it is truly like stepping back in time. After lunch keep visiting and return to hotel where you will have dinner.
Day 5 - Cooking class or Cortona + Perugia: Ancient Umbrian Capitol Today, after breakfast, we will have fun visiting Rosetta (Alessandro's mother) that will teach you how to prepare Italian Tiramisù and guide you through the local open market in Magione. If not available we will visit Cortona, the town of Under the Tuscan Sun. We will have lunch, tasting the fresh Tiramisù just made and then we visit Perugia which was one of the most important towns of the ancient Etruscan tribe. Named "Augusta Perusia" when conquered by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. The city today is the most important in Umbria. Return to hotel where you will have dinner
The Val d'Orcia is a scenic valley famous for quiet little medieval towns and their wine production and we will visit one of the most well-known, Montepulciano. We will visit wineries here and taste their wines. Have lunch in town. In the afternoon we will have a stroll on the shores of Trasimeno Lake and return to hotel where you will have dinner
Today we will leave towards Rome Airport or Rome town and goodbye, Arrivederci in Italian, until the next time!