Day 01: Rome Arrival | Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival at Rome airport please proceed through the Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Just outside this area meet your driver who will transfer you to your Hotel in Central Rome. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Rome.
Day 02: Rome | After breakfast at the Hotel meet your driver and guide at the lobby. You begin your private tour with a visit to the Villa Giulia, National Etruscan Museum, the world’s foremost collection of Etruscan art & artifacts. It is housed in a Renaissance villa created from an earlier villa by Pope Julius III shortly after 1550 to entertain his guests & to get away from the pressures as head of the Church. Next we drive out to Cerveteri, site of one of the most powerful of Etruscan city-states, to the necropolis which furnished some of the objects in the Villa Giulia Museum. Here we see tombs & large burial mounds laid out along streets forming a true city of the dead. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 03: Rome – Sangiovale – Viterbo | After breakfast at the Hotel meet your driver and guide at the lobby. Today’s visit is to San Giovenale and Aquarossa Etruscan town-sites. On our way to San Giovenale we shall make a brief stop at Blera to walk down to a small Roman bridge which spans a brook lost in a ravine far below the modern road. The sites were excavated in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s by the king of Sweden and a team of Swedish and Italian archaeologists. San Giovenale and Acquarossa, have provided Etruscologists with most of the available information on Etruscan houses and are among the very few sites where ruins of Etruscan houses can be seen. Then a brief stop at the gracious medieval town of Barbarano Romano, after which we proceed to Viterbo, a gracious provincial capital north of Rome with one of the most picturesque Medieval quarters in central Italy. In Viterbo we visit a unique exhibit on Etruscan houses, the only one of its kind in the world. All the material on display has come from the San Giovenale & Acquarossa. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 04: Day at Leisure or *Optional Tour: Viterbo – Tuscania – Tarquina – Viterbo | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver at the lobby. This morning visit Tuscania, a small town completely encircled by massive walls with high towers, full of imposing churches, palaces and regular streets with ancient mansions and shops, manifestly a very rich place since a remote past, Tuscania was a powerful Etruscan town from the VIII cent. B.C. We then continue to Tarquinia, the most populous and important of the Etruscan cities – a place of riches and high culture 3,000 years ago, long before the rise of the Romans. Its historical legacy has been passed on to us via their more than 200 painted tombs and numerous artefacts. After a visit to the necropolis we’ll have a guided tour of the Etruscan National Museum of Tarquinia. Late afternoon return to Viterbo. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 05: Viterbo – Bettona – Perugia | After breakfast you will depart Viterbo to reach Bettona, located only 20km from Perugia in Umbria and is known as the ‘Etruscan balcony’ for its fabulously panoramic setting above the Spoleto Plain. In fact, the imposing Etruscan walls are the first things to be admired in the town, as well as the ancient gates still protecting the north, south, east and west entrances to Bettona. We then continue to Perugia. The town marks the border between the lands of the Etruscans and the Umbrian. Originally a Villanovian settlement, Perugia became an Etruscan town in the 6th century BC. Overnight in Perugia.
Day 06: Day at Leisure or *Optional Tour: Perugia – Cortona – Chiusi – Perugia | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver at the lobby. This morning vsit Cortona (Under the Tuscan Sun). Cortona’s medieval streets are pleasant to wander and you’ll be rewarded with fabulous views of the countryside along the Etruscan town walls. We then continue to the lowlands around Chiusi; a treasure trove of tombs for Etruscan civilization. We will visit the Etruscan Museum of Chiusi, one of the most important repositories of Etruscan remains in Italy. Late afternoon return to your hotel. Overnight in Perugia.
Day 07: Perugia – Orvieto | After breakfast you will depart for the spectacular city of Orvieto. The town sits on an outcrop of volcanic tufa rock, with thousands of caves underneath the city, dug out during Etruscan, Medieval and Renaissance times. We will explore a fascinating subterranean tour of Orvieto Underground. Afternoon free time. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 08: Rome or Florence Departure | Breakfast at the Hotel. Unfortunately it is time to say Arrivederci. At your convenience we will transfer you to the airport of your choise. Ciao!