|8 days and 7 nights|
Italy (Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto, Bettona, Bevagna, Corciano, Gubbio, Todi, Castiglione del Lago, Magione, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Torgiano)
Italy (Rome, Perugia)
Day 1 Lake Trasimeno: San Feliciano
Arrival in afternoon in San Feliciano, on the shore of the Lake Trasimeno, one of the largest lakes in Italy. Check-in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight in San Feliciano.
Day 2 Lake Trasimeno: Castiglione del Lago, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Magione
Today we drive around the Lake Trasimeno to discover some of the hidden gems of Umbria. Set on a promontory overlooking the Lake Trasimeno, Castiglione del Lago still keeps its original 13th century medieval structure with its well preserved city walls and fortress built by the German emperor Frederick II. Its main attraction is the famous Della Corgna Palace, a 16th century building frescoed by Niccolò Circignani known as “il Pomarancio”, which is linked to the medieval Lion Fortress by a corridor. From the fortress, you will enjoy one of the most astonishing views of Lake Trasimeno! The next stop on the lakeshores is Passignano. Time permitting, you can take an optional ferry to the islands. We continue on to the Castello di Magione to visit the cellars and sample the local wines. Return for dinner and overnight in San Feliciano.
Day 3 Assisi, Perugia
In the morning we head to Assisi, delightful medieval town, with flower-hung streets, lovely views over the Umbrian countryside and fountain-splashed piazzas, famous for a single event – the birth of Francis, the most revered saint in Italy. The Basilica, begun two years after the death of the saint in 1228, becaming one of the most beautiful shrines in the Christian world. It is composed of two churches and a crypt housing the Saint’s tomb. The lower Basilica was decorated by the greatest painters of the 13th and 14th century: Cimabue, Giotto, the Lorenzetti brothers, and Simone Martini. The upper Basilica is adorned by Giotto’s frescoes illustrating the life of St Francis. The visit continues with the the Piazza del Comune, taking us back in time with its mansions dating back to the Middle Ages, and the Basilica of St Clare, the founder of the Poor Clares and buried in the church where the crucifix that spoke to St Francis is still conserved. The next stop is ancient Perugia, one of Umbria’s most picturesque and elegant cities with rich Etruscan and Roman history. The architecture of the city has changed little in more than 400 years. We will admire monuments from many different periods: Fontana Maggiore, a masterpiece of Gothic sculpture, the Palazzo dei Priori, the town hall that dates back to Perugia’s golden age, the Etruscan Arch from the 3rd century BC, and the Rocca Paolina fortress with its unexpected but fascinating underground passages. You will have some leisure time to explore the town at your own peace. Return for dinner and overnight in San Feliciano.
Day 4 Spello, Montefalco, Bevagna
In the morning, we will visit the charming town of Spello, the former Roman colony “Hispellum” built with the local pink limestone. We will walk through the medieval piazzas, the Roman arches and the narrow streets to the Santa Maria Maggiore Church to admire a magnificent Pinturicchio cycle frescoes. We continue on to Montefalco, the ‘balcony of Umbria’, known for its panoramic views and for its Church of Saint Francis with the famous Renaissance frescoes by Perugino. Montefalco is also well known as the city of the Sagrantino wine, a strong and full-body red wine appreciated by connoisseurs around the world. We will visit the town and then a wine producer to taste some of the local wines accopagned by a light lunch. Drive to nearby Bevagna, another former Roman settlement with quiet streets lined with local craft shops, delicatessen, trattorias and Romanesque churches. Return for dinner and overnight in San Feliciano.
Day 5 Corciano, Gubbio
Today we head to Corciano, a little medieval town in the Umbrian hills, surrounded by two concentric city walls with a gate defended by a picturesque circular tower. We will visit this perfectly preserved medieval town strolling through the narrow streets and will admire the St. Mary tower, Palazzo della Corgna and the paintings by Perugino in St Mary church. Our next stop is the picturesque town of Gubbio, one of the Italy’s best preserved medieval towns. A walk through its alleys is like going back in time. The main square is a daring construction, a so-called hanging-square upon which rises the impressive town hall: the Palace of the Consuls. The Palace now hosts the City Museum, which keeps, among other treasures, the only written testimony of the autochthonous Umbrian population: the so-called seven bronze tablets of Gubbio, written in Umbrian language using the Latin and the Etruscan alphabets and dating from the 2nd century BC. Return for dinner and overnight in San Feliciano.
Day 6 Orvieto, Todi
Orvieto is probably Umbria's most peculiar town, built high up on a vulcanic rock of tufa-stone. It was founded by the Etruscans more than 2700 years ago. In the heart of the medieval town we will find one of Italy's most astonishing gothic churches, the Cathedral, with the Luca Signorelli’s colorful frescoes vividly depicting the Apocalypse in the chapel of San Brizio. The streets, the noble and public palaces, the ancient houses, all built in tufa stone, give Orvieto an original and unique atmosphere. Orvieto is just as interesting below ground as it is above. The creation of the underground city started by the Etruscan and continued beyond the middle ages. There are thousands of grottoes along with cisterns, medieval old presses, millstone among other things. Orvieto is also famous for its ceramics and wines, most notably the Orvieto Classico. We continue on to Todi. Called Tular in ancient times, which literally means “border”, the city was an important centre between the Etruscan and the Umbrian civilizations. We will admire here the elegant “temple” of the Consolazione, masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, the imposing gothic St Fortunato Church and the Piazza del Popolo, ancient Roman forum with the underground Roman cisterns. Return for dinner and overnight in San Feliciano.
Day 7 Torgiano, Deruta, Bettona
In the morning, we head to Torgiano, hilltown overlooking lush green vineyards, originally Etruscan enclave became later Roman fort. We will tour the Torgiano’s Museum of Wine, which takes us through the history of winemaking through artifacts ranging from wine presses to paintings. Continue on to Deruta, charming town known since 1290 to be the land of origin of one of the most famous handicraft production in central Italy: deruta ceramic. We visit the town center, the Ceramics Museum and a couple of artisan shops in town before we head to Bettona. One of the most picturesque villages in Umbria, Bettona stands on a hill in the valley of Chiascio eternally green colored and where you can enjoy a splendid view of the nearby Perugia, Assisi and Spello. We will wander through the narrow streets to the 13th century Church of Santa Maria Maggiore with works by Perugino. The 14th century Palazzo del Podesta houses inside the Municipal Art Gallery with works by Perugino and many artifacts such as sculptures, ceramics, prints and much more. Return for dinner and overnight in San Feliciano.
Day 8 San Feliciano
Breakfast and departure for return journey. End of our services.
Accommodation, depending on your option, in good 4* hotels centrally located or 3* not centrally located hotels, double occupancy rooms, as described:
7 night accommodation in hotel in San Feliciano on a half-board basis, drinks not included
Local English speaking guides in Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio, Orvieto. Other languages are available on request.
Guided visit and wine tasting accompanied by light lunch in Montefalco and Castello di Magione
Entrances to the Basilica San Francesco and Basilica of St Clare in Assisi, Santa Maria Maggiore Church and Church of Saint Francis in Spello, St Mary Church in Corciano, Cathedral in Orvieto, Torgiano’s Museum of Wine, Ceramics Museum in Deruta, Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bettona
Optional ferry from Passignano sul Trasimeno to the islands on the Lake Trasimeno
Bus GT for the entire tour with arrival and departure from Rome / Perugia airport, including all expenses (check point and parking fees, board and lodging for driver)