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zHeart of Italy

10 days

Never more than 16 guests.

Small Group Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Indulge in genuine Italian warmth and hospitality when you sit down to dinner with a Roman family in their inviting home.
+ Tour the wine cellar with the owner of Pagnanelli’s Restaurant in historic Castelgandolfo and then join the chef for a hands-on cooking class featuring classic Roman dishes.
+ Journey into the pastoral landscapes of Umbria and Tuscany and sample the region’s esteemed wines and cuisine.
+ Delight in a leisurely 3-night stay at Hotel Borgo Brufa
+ Taste the traditional salamis and cheeses of Antica Macelleria Falorni, a celebrated Tuscan shop founded in 1729.

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Welcome to Italy

You’ll be met upon arrival in Rome and escorted to the Rose Garden Palace Hotel, ideally located in the heart of the Eternal City just off the Via Veneto. Our local Roman host will be on hand to provide some informative information to enhance your stay in the Eternal City.


Glory of the Vatican

Join your experienced Roman guide this morning for a tour of the Vatican Museums, home to one of the world’s greatest collections of art and antiquity. Ascend the beautiful Spiral Staircase and marvel at the Gallery of the Tapestries. You’ll also visit the fascinating Gallery of Geographical Maps and, of course, the famous Sistine Chapel with its magnificent fresco of the Last Judgment by Michelangelo. Your sightseeing ends with a guided visit of St. Peter’s Basilica. Begun in the middle of the 15th century, the world’s largest church was built over a span of more than 100 years by the greatest architects of the time. After your guided tour, you can linger on to explore more of the area at your own pace or make your way back to the Rose Garden Palace Hotel where the rest of your afternoon is free to do as you wish. This evening, experience a genuine slice of Roman life when you dine in the home of a local family.  Meals B+D


Castelgandolfo + Cooking Class

After breakfast, you’ll set out along the historic Via Dei Laghi (Road of Lakes). Traveling through the lovely countryside, you’ll come to Castelgandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence since the 17th century. Here in this lovely village, we’ve made arrangement for a very special culinary experience at Pagnanelli, an enchanting lakeside restaurant that has been welcoming distinguished guests since 1882. Your visit begins as the owner guides you through his wine cellar, where you’ll see thousands of bottles of the world’s finest wines and vintages. Then join the chef in his kitchen for a hands-on cooking class featuring classic Roman dishes.  Lunch will be accompanied by a wine tasting guided by Pagnanelli’s knowledgeable sommelier. Return to Rome where the rest of your day will be free to enjoy at you wish.  Meals B+L


Off to Umbria

Journey into Umbria and check in to the wonderful Borgobrufa Spa Resort, surrounded by rolling hills of ancient vineyards and olive groves. Your destination is the medieval town of Torgiano. After time to refresh, visit the unusual Wine and Olive Oil Museum to learn about the region’s ancient wine culture. Tonight, you’ll sample the fine cuisine of your hotel’s celebrated kitchen.  Meals B+D


Assisi + The Lovely Hill Towns of Umbria

Your guided exploration of the region begins in the nearby town of Assisi, hailed for splendid examples of medieval architecture like the Basilica of St. Francis – embellished with marvelous frescoes by Giotto. In Perugia, you’ll wander with your guide along cobblestone streets graced with the medieval homes of noble families. Today, historic Perugia is also a friendly university town filled with the energy of its younger residents. Before returning to Torgiano, you’ll also discover the evocative charms and fine architecture of two more Umbrian towns: Spello, with its ancient stone houses and small-town charm, and Todi, perched on a two-crested hill overlooking the Tiber River. This evening, you’ll sit down to another elegant dinner with wine.  Meals B+D


Taste of Umbria

Travel to the nearby town of Montefalco to visit the Arnaldo Caprai Winery, one of Italy’s finest. Enjoy a tour of this lovely vineyard estate and sample some of the fine wines including its esteemed Montefalco Sagrantino, the perfect complement to a delightful lunch featuring fresh countryside fare. This afternoon, you’ll have ample time to enjoy the historic ambience of Torgiano and your hotel.  Meals B+L+D


Onward to Siena + Florence

After breakfast, you’ll depart Torgiano for a scenic drive into the Val D’Orcia. Regarded as one of Tuscany’s most picturesque valleys, this is a region of rolling hills, medieval hilltop towns, avenues of Cypress trees, olive groves and vineyards. Arriving in Siena, you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour including the Piazza del Camp; built on the site of an ancient Roman market, this impressive town square has been the heart of Siena’s social and civic life since the 12th century. You’ll also visit the Siena Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece built of gleaming white marble in the 13th and 14th centuries. Continue to Florence and check in to the Hotel Santa Maria Novella in the heart of this historic city. Later this evening, our engaging Florentine guide will take you to dinner at one of his favorite local restaurants.  Meals B+D


Taste of Chianti

Today’s guided excursion showcases the wines and culinary delights of Italy’s beautiful and world famous Chianti region. In the historic town of Greve, you’ll be treated to a sampling of the traditional salamis and cheeses of Antica Macelleria Falorni, founded in 1729. You’ll also stop at an historic vineyard estate for a cellar tour, wine tasting and lunch. Back in Florence, our experienced host will be happy to offer personal recommendations for your final dinner in this wonderful city.  Meals B+L


The Renaissance Glory of Florence

This morning’s walking tour with our native-born Florentine expert reveals the Renaissance glory of this beloved city. Walk through the lovely Piazza della Signoria and marvel at the historic Duomo complex including the gilded bronze doors of the Baptistery and the spectacular dome designed by Brunelleschi. In the famed Accademia Gallery, you’ll see famous Renaissance masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David.  Meals B


Depart Florence

You’ll be escorted to the airport or rail station for your onward journey.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Venice Post-Tour

3 Day Post-Tour Extension

Enhance your trip to Italy with the magic of Venice! Enjoy the heart-of-it-all location of our first class hotel and set out with our engaging resident guide on a private walking tour featuring St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and more.

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Day 9: Rome to Venice

You’ll be escorted to the train station today for your included first class rail journey through the Italian countryside to Venice. Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted by our in-the-know Venetian guide and transferred to your first class hotel, ideally situated for convenient access to the city’s best known landmarks as well as its world class dining and shopping.


Day 10: Private sightseeing

After breakfast, your resident guide will be waiting to lead you on a private walking tour of Venice’s beloved landmarks. Stand in the celebrated Piazza San Marco and admire the imposing silhouette and façade of St. Mark’s Basilica. Hear the sad tale behind the aptly named Bridge of Sighs and tour the magnificent Doge’s Palace with its masterpieces by Titian, Tintoretto and other renowned Italian painters. Return to your hotel and enjoy the balance of your afternoon and the evening at leisure. Meals B


Day 11: Depart Venice

Our services end this morning after breakfast at your hotel. Meals B  [Note: A private departure transfer to the airport or rail station is available for optional purchase.]

Private Tour Add-Ons


Enhance your exploration of Italy’s enchanting Tuscany region with our perfectly-planned sojourn in Siena. We include a choice of fine hotels, private transfers from Florence and a walking tour with your own private guide.

Sorrento and Pompeii

Our 3-day FreeStyle Tour includes our handpicked deluxe hotel in Sorrento, daily breakfast, private car transfers from Naples, and in-depth sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide


We include everything for a perfect stay in one of Italy’s most romantic cities: Private round-trip water taxi transfers, a choice of hotels in the heart of Venice close to shopping, dining and historic sites, and a private walking tour showcasing the glories of St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace.

Italy MapSearch

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.

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