Day 01: Rome Arrival | Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival at Rome airport you will be greeted by our Representative who will welcome you. He or she will escort out of the Terminal: your private driver will transfer you to your Hotel or Villa in the Latium countryside. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in the Latium countryside.
Day 02: Orvieto and Bagnoregio | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver and guide at the lobby. By crossing into Umbria, you will start with a morning private guided tour of Orvieto. The town boasts Etruscan origins, and examples of this can be found in its museums. You will admire the Pozzo di San Patrizio (St. Patrick’s well), a masterpiece of engineering constructed by Antonio di Sangallo during the mid 1500’s. Continue to the remains of the nearby Tempio del Belvedere (Temple of Belvedere), a structure dedicated to Tinia (the Etruscan Zeus). You will then arrive at the splendid Duomo and its rare mosaics, precious marble, its marvelous rose windows and above all, its many frescoes will all leave you breathless. After your Orvieto visit, your personal driver/guide will accompany you a local Wine Estate for a Lunch/Food and Wine Tasting. Here, the cuisine is simple delicious; you can enjoy local pasta, wild boar, truffle and mushrooms. For wine lovers, there is an excellent and abundant tasting list, with many local wines such as the famous Orvieto Classico. All of this is seasoned with a splendid panoramic view from this exclusive location. After lunch you will continue to Civita Bagnoregio, small town of Lombard origins. In the afternoon you can enjoy a walk around the village, discovering many of its hidden, evocative corners. Perched on top of a hill among the valleys formed by Chiaro and Torbido streams, Civita appears clinged to the edge of a cliff where it dominates the wide desolated valley made up of calanchi. This isolation is the result of continuous erosion that makes the tufa rock becoming thinner and thinner on an unstable layer of clay and sand altered by wind and rain. But when the town was founded by the Etruscans about 2.500 years ago, because of the different geological configuration, it was not so hard to get to Civita. During the Etruscan period, in fact, it was an important city for its position along an ancient road connected to a dense network of trade routes. Many traces of this population come from the necropolis found in the rock beneath the belvedere of San Francesco Vecchio. At the end of tour, your driver will take you back to your Hotel in the Latium countriside.
Day 03: Day at Leisure or *Optional Tour: Vulci & Tuscania | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver and guide at the lobby. This morning enjoy a visit of Vulci Archeological Park. Vulci is an ancient Etruscan town located in the hinterland and close to the sea. The site and the sea were connected by a river, which at the time was navigable. Vulci was one of the biggest city-states of the entire Etruria, thanks to its strong nautical and commercial development with Greece and the East World. Proofs of that are the luxurious grave goods found in the necropolis. Among the most known are the grave of the Cuccumella, the Cuccumelletta, the Rotonda, and the François. Among the most stunning monuments of the territory, there are the majestic bridge, known as the Bridge of the Devil and the 13th-century medieval Castel of the Badia. After lunch in a characteristic local restaurant, continue to Tuscania for a pleasant stroll through the historic center filled with ancient churches, palaces and noble path. It is a beautiful medieval village. Here you will find the church of Santa Maria della Rosa, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, and the Cathedral of St. James. The itinerary includes a visit to the Archaeological Museum, housed in the Renaissance building of St. Mary’s Rest. The museum displays fine sarcophagi and other artefacts from the Etruscan necropolis of the town. The symbol of the town is the hill of San Pietro with its imposing St. Peter’s Basilica with its Majestic thirteenth-century facade. Late afternoon return to to your Hotel in the Latium countryside.
Day 04: Lake Bolsena & Borgo | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver and guide at the lobby. This morning enjoy a visit of Bolsena’s medieval streets, an intensely atmospheric place to wander. The narrow cobbled lanes wind up steps and under archways, emerging at a 13th-century castle which crowns the town. Tiny shops, private homes, cafés and artists’ studios add colour and interest en route. Make sure you climb up the little Via delle Piaggie – a long, secret-seeming passageway which runs straight through a strange chapel and includes various Etruscan and Roman features. After lunch in a characteristic local restaurant, enjoy a Boat Tour on the Bolsena Lake. Bisentina Island is the largest island in the lake, it is splendid with its formal gardens, the great forests of oak, the beautiful landscapes and buildings and monuments that mark it. On the island there are important monuments, the most important of which is the Renaissance Church of Saints James and Christopher. Along the island there are also several small chapels. The oldest ones are the Oratory of St. Francis and the Oratory of Mount Olivet, dating from the early seventeenth century, probably replacing an older temple spoken of by Vasari. Late afternoon return to to your Hotel in the Latium countryside.
Day 05: Castelli Romani | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver at the Hotel lobby to be transferred to the Castelli Romani. Spend a half-day touring Castelli Romani, home to the famous hills known as “Roman Castles.” Escape from the bustle of Rome and visit a typical “fraschetta” the venue where Romans traditionally go to eat their own food paying for the table and the local wine served. Nowadays Fraschettas are specialized in both food and wine, so …relax and enjoy! The region is home to some of the oldest wine-producing vineyards in the world. Etruscans and Greek settlers produced wine in the country long before the Romans started developing their own vineyards in the 2nd-century B.C. Now, 2,000 years later, Italy is one of the world’s foremost producers, for approximately one-fifth of the world’s wine production. Lunch/Food and Wine Tasting is included in a local characteristic Wine Estate. Ariccia, Genzano, Albano, are popular amongst roman people for food specialties and wines. You will not only visit historical sites of great relevance and interest, but savor a cultural and gastronomic legacy developed over untold generations. You will meet and spend time with locals whose warmth and cheerfulness is matched only by their pride in their cultural traditions and their willingness to share them. Late afternoon return to to your Hotel in the Latium countryside.
Day 06: Day at Leisure or *Optional Tour: Tivoli with Hadrian Villa and Villa D’Este | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver at the Hotel lobby. Today’s excursion is a great getaway from Rome’s hectic center to the countryside. Your guide and your private driver will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and drive you throughout the countryside to the small town of Tivoli. First stop is to visit the largest palace that was constructed in the Roman Empire, which belonged to the Emperor Hadrian and designed by the emperor himself. This villa included more than 30 buildings across 300 acres: enormous baths, temples, palaces, libraries and theatres. Lunch in a characteristic local restaurant. Your day will continue to the upper town, where you can visit the small village of Tivoli and the most beautiful villa constructed in Italy, Villa d’Este. This visit takes you a magic journey into a Baroque time. Beautiful gardens, mazes and hundreds of fountains are the prime attraction of this gorgeous summer villa. Villa d’Este was built in 1550 for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, the son of Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso d’Este. It occupies a stretch of hillside below the town of Tivoli, with spectacular views over the plain towards Rome. Built around an earlier monastery, the building is lavishly decorated with frescoes, reliefs and internal fountains. The most striking part of the Villa d’Este, however, is its garden; a terraced extravaganza of shady trees and show stopping fountains. The garden is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its significance in the history of garden design, and its fountains are famous worldwide. Film fans will recognize many of the garden’s features in the opening sequence of Three Coins in the Fountain. Late afternoon return to your Hotel in the Latium countryside.
Day 07: Etruscan town-sites | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver at the Hotel 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. Late afternoon return to your Hotel in the Latium countryside.
Day 08: Rome Departure | Breakfast at the Hotel. Unfortunately it is time to say Arrivederci. At your convenience we will transfer you to Rome airport. Ciao!