Taste of Italy – 10 Days
Watch for our 2018 dates released in September! Gastronomic delights to savour on a culinary adventure through Italy Robust wines, fragrant olive oils and delicate handmade pasta are just a few of the foods that define classic Italian cuisine. Explore this region of the…
Watch for our 2018 dates released in September!
Gastronomic delights to savour on a culinary adventure through Italy
Robust wines, fragrant olive oils and delicate handmade pasta are just a few of the foods that define classic Italian cuisine. Explore this region of the world as famous for history as it is food.
There are no castles in the Castelli Romani area, but your appetite is treated like royalty here! Thirteen historic towns dot the vineyard-dotted countryside, each boasting flavourful ingredients. Visit a local farm to sample olive oil and artisan meats in Genzano and sip local wine in Cecchina.
Florence welcomes you with the aromas of farmers’ markets and trattorias, while Pisa offers a chance to see the famous Leaning Tower. Learn to make your own authentic Italian meal at a cooking school in Siena, each course perfectly paired with red or white wine.
In Southern Tuscany, enjoy a delightful picnic of cheese and other delicacies paired with wine or craft beer, overlooking the vineyards and farms where your meal was produced! Rome is the perfect final destination, where history and renowned food make for a fabulous send off.
Nestled in Chianti and a short drive southeast of Florence is tiny Castelnuovo Berardenga. Dating back to the year 600, ancient churches and villas line the streets, providing a lovely opportunity to learn about the history here. At a local cooking school, learn to prepare traditional dishes: silky paté, tender tortelli and pappardelle, and juicy tomatoes bursting with flavour are just a few of the ingredients! Learn about the subtle flavours of olive oil and what goes into pairing wine with your meal. Save room for dessert – fresh tarts, cakes and crunchy almond cantucci are on the menu!
Return airfare from Toronto, motorcoach transportation, 8 nights accommodation, 8 breakfasts,
4 lunches, 5 dinners, all highlights, tour director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST.
• Visit Roman Castle gastronomy area
• Appian Way
• Castel Gandolfo
• Cantina di Villafranca (or similar)
• Cecchina wine tasting
• Visit to local farm in Genzano di Roma
• Guided tour of Florence
• San Lorenzo Market tour
• Guided tour of Pisa
• Guided tour of Lucca
• Visit local farm in Lucca for dinner with wine & oil tasting
• Greve & Panzano wine-tasting & Tuscan foods
• Castelina wine tasting
• Guided tour of Siena
• Castelnuovo Berardenga winery visit & cooking class
• Southern Tuscany
• Caseificio Cugusi cheese factory & picnic
• Brunello di Montalcino
• Guided tour of Ancient Rome
Rome: The Building Hotel (2 nights)
Florence Area: Borgo San Luigi (5 nights)
Rome: The Building Hotel (1 night)
(click to enlarge)
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New: Taste of Italy – 10 Days
Day 1-2: Overnight flight to Rome, City tour of Rome
Start your Italian culinary adventure with an overnight flight to Rome. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your DeNureTours representative and enjoy a guided tour of Rome before settling into your hotel.
Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, boasts St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.
Stay: The Building Hotel, Rome (or similar)
Meals: D (Day 2)
Day 3: Roman Castle Gastronomy Area, Appian Way, Castel Gandolfo, Cantina di Villafranca, Cecchina for wine tasting, Genzano, Visit to local farm, Wine & olive oil
Travel the path between the Alban Hills to discover the Castelli Romani, to the Via Appia, passing through places of great historical and artistic interest and the vineyards of some of the production areas of the Castelli Romani on the way. The area produces fine wines, olive oil and a series of typical products such as pork, bacon and cold meats.
Along the Appian Way, you reach Castel Gandolfo which is the most charming of the small towns in the area. Castel Gandolfo was chosen in the 17th century by Pope Urban VIII (born Maffeo Barberini) to be the summer residence of the Popes. The Pope spends the months of July and August here. The Papal Residence cannot be visited, but you can see the Palace and the square from the outside. A short distance away is the charming historical center of the town.
Travel through Albano Laziale, a holiday resort of the most important Roman families. It is the center of great historical and artistic interest. Arriving at the village of Cecchina you will visit a local Cantina where you will sample some local wines: Castelli Romani White, Castelli Romani Rosso, Frascati Superiore.
Situated in the Colli Albani area is the town of Ariccia where the countryside boasts of ancient vineyards dating to the days of the Roman republic. Ariccia is famous for its porchetta (roasted pork) and the famous local bread served in most restaurants.
Continue your day’s journey through Genzano in the DOC Area of the Lanuvini Hills, an ancient settlement built on the shores of Lake Nemi. Genzano is home of the famous bread of the Roman castles. At Lanuvio, you will visit one of the most renowned farms of the Castelli Romani. This farm specializes in organic farming both for the wine and olive oil. You will have the opportunity to sample the products and experience for yourself how it earned its distinction.
Meals: B, L
Day 4: San Lorenzo Market, Florence sightseeing, Wine & dinner experience
Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and birthplace of the Renaissance, is yours to discover today and is home to masterpieces of art and architecture. One of its most iconic sites is the Florence Cathedral with its terra-cotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and bell tower designed by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David”. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits preeminent works such as Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.” Enjoy a walking guided tour around one of the most beautiful local markets in Italy, San Lorenzo, where you will see all the best Tuscan produce and specialties. Relax and enjoy some local flavor during Lunch inside the market in a local “Trattoria”.
During the afternoon you will visit the historical center of Florence. Guided sightseeing includes: magnificent Santa Marie Del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” sculpture-studded Signoria Square, Michelangelo’s celebrated David in the Gallery of Fine Arts and the Old Bridge. End your tour by trying a typical Tuscan aperitif in a downtown bar so you can appreciate the local lifestyle.
Dinner in a romantic trattoria with plenty of wine will enhance your Italian wine journey and make a perfect ending to a perfect day.
Stay: Borgo San Luigi, Monteriggioni (or similar)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Pisa, Guided tour of Lucca, Wine & oil tasting
Pisa, a beautiful city on the River Arno is yours to discover today. The Piazza dei Miracoli is a unique historical and artistic complex. Here you can admire the bell-tower, better known as the Leaning Tower, the uncontested symbol of the city and one of the world’s most famous towers. The imposing white Cathedral building is an outstanding example of Pisan Romanesque architecture. These are only a few of the wonders waiting for you.
Lucca, a city on the left bank of the river Serchio, is enclosed by an imposing circle of walls and is your next destination. Visit the Cathedral, the city’s most important religious monument where an effigy of the Saint and the tomb of Ilaria Carretto can be seen, the work of Jacopo della Quercia. Via Giunigi, one of the most evocative and delightful roads in the city still preserves its unspoiled medieval aura. The Piazza San Michele is the bustling and picturesque hub of city life and the main axis of the historical centre enlivened by elegant shops.
Your day’s journey ends with a dinner, wine and oil tasting at a local Lucca farm.
Meals: B, D
Day 6: Chianti Region, Greve, Panzano, Siena
The region of Chianti wines covers quite a large area of northern Tuscany. “Chianti“ as an area usually refers to the Chianti Classico wine zone, a picturesque, oval-shaped territory situated between Florence and Sienna.
Today you will travel through Greve, a city of great historic presence and once the administrative center for wine in the region. Then on to castle Montefioralle, Verrazzano and arriving in Panzano where you visit a local wine farm for a wine-tasting and an assortment of Tuscan foods. Lunch today is an informal affair in a local Tuscany “Trattoria”.
Radda in Chianti, with its fortifications, offers a look into medieval Chianti with magnificent views over the countryside, in particular the Parco Naturale della Virglia. A final stop for the day brings you to Castellina where you can experience tasting of the Enoteca Vini Gallo Nero.
Meals: B, L
Day 7: Siena, Castelnuovo Berrandenga winery and cooking school
Siena, situated in central Tuscany, is distinguished by its medieval brick buildings. The superb twelfth century cathedral, crowned by a cupola with black and white bands, dates from 1264 and is one of Italian art’s most ingenious creations. The fan-shaped Piazza del Campo is dominated by the Palazzo Pubblico and the gothic town hall. Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th-century tower, offers sweeping views from its distinctive white crown. From this square at the center of town extend the city’s 17 historic contrade (districts or wards). Experience all this and more on your guided tour this morning. Then enjoy some free time to continue to explore on your own.
The afternoon a unique experience awaits you at Castelnuovo Berradenga where you visit a local winery and then participate in preparing a traditional meal at the cooking school. You will learn to prepare some items, such as: a delicious paté with vin santo; gnocchi with ricotta and herbs; tortelli with pecorino and nuts; homemade pappardelle with cherry tomatoes and pecorino; pizzicotti with sugo finto; pappa al pomodoro, ribollita; panzanella salad; cockerel with balsamic vinegar; larded pork; rabbit with lemon; scottiglia; osso buco Sienese; twice cooked mixed boil; Chianti chicken or rabbit rolls; potatoes with capers; flan of goat cheese and arugula; marmelade of onions; as well as delicious sweets like a nut tart with vin santo, almond cantucci and flourless chocolate cake.
Along with the cooking class you will learn about olive oil and have a wine tasting when you visit the wine cellar. After preparing this sumptuous feast sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour along with the wines of the Fattoria that are carefully selected and paired with each dish. The appetizer is served with I.G.T. Tuscan Red.
The fresh pasta is served with Chianti Classico. The main course is served with Chianti Classico Riserva. The dessert is served with Grappa di Chianti Classico and Vin Santo
Meals: B, D
Day 8: Southern Tuscany, Pienza, Caseificio Cugusi, Brunello Do Montalcino
Today you tour Southern Tuscany. The perfectly Renaissance town of Pienza is a great place to purchase wines, cheeses, and ceramics as they have products from all over Tuscany. One of the most beautiful places to taste the famous “Pecorino Toscano” is Caseificio Cugusi located between Pienza and Montepulciano. Cugusi started the Pecorino production in 1962 when the parents of the owners of the factory came from Sardinia. The Pecorino origins are from Sardinian sheep that are bred in wild herds in pastures of rich grasses and aromatic herbs. This gives it the unmistakable and characteristic delicate taste. They still use the ancient techniques to produce the several types of pecorino that they sell.
The Cugusi Cheese factory offers you the chance to taste their cheeses and other local products, all accompanied by wines of Montepulciano and craft beer. Montalcino is the capital of one of the greatest Italian wines the famous Brunello di Montalcino. You can admire the sweeping views of the valley and the medieval winding roads throughout the city, then taste the sumptuous Brunello. A light lunch at Enoteca La Fortezza allows you to sample the wonderful treasures of Montalcino-prosciutto, salami, biscotti, honey, cheese, wines and grappa. In the afternoon, enjoy a winery tour to sample their local reserve types.
Meals: B, L
Day 9: Guided tour Ancient Rome, Farewell dinner
Ancient ruins, such as the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. During the afternoon take a guided tour of Ancient Rome. Step back into antiquity during a 3-hour stroll through the archaeological sites: Roman Forum, the forums of Caesar Augustus and Trajan, the Capitol, Colosseum and Palatine Hill.
Let the magic of ancient Rome’s archaeological marvels cast their spell: Marcanthony on the rostra; the stones of Caesar’s cremation site; assembled senators in the Curia; Vestal Virgins meditating in the romantic surroundings of their home; and the eternal fire burning in Vesta’s temple, Rome’s most cherished shrine.
Cicero’s flaming oratory in Rome’s basilicas; generals and their legions triumphal processions under the solemn arcs of the Via Sacra; emperors in their majestic Palatine Hill palace; the wild atmosphere of gladiatorial games in the Colosseum. They will all seem to materialize. It’s easy to let your imagination carry you through an exciting archaeological journey of the history of this ancient town.
Finish you tour of Italy with a farewell dinner in typical Roman style.
Stay: The Building Hotel, Rome (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Day 10: Return flight home
After a hearty breakfast you will be transferred to Rome Airport for your return trip to Toronto.