From scenic country villages to the glittering cities of Milan and Florence, you’ll fall in love with some of Italy’s most creatively, artistically and agriculturally fertile regions. Discover the flavors and origins of such classic foods as Prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar and Chianti wine. Experience iconic works of art and architecture, from Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia to La Scala and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. En route, meet vital farmers, craftspeople and culinary experts, see how legendary Italian sports cars are made, and recall historical highlights from the Renaissance to World War II. You’ll head home saying, “Io amo l’Italia!”
- Round trip air from U.S. to Europe included
- Tours of Milan, Siena, San Gimignano, Gubbio and Ravenna
- See such famed sites as Palazzo Te in Mantua and leaning tower of Pisa
- Cultural highlights including La Scala Museum, Michelangelo’s David, and Puccini’s home
- Florence American War Cemetery and Memorial
- Ferrari and Lamborghini tours
- Meet culinary and agricultural experts to learn about Parmesan cheese, Parma hams, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, wines, more
Following our overnight flight from the U.S., join our English-speaking Tour Director for a guided panoramic tour of and lunch in magnificent Milan. See highlights including famed La Scala Theater Museum, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuale II shopping area, and more before continuing to Parma, where we’ll enjoy a festive and traditional, three-course Welcome Dinner. L, D
DAY 3—PARMA HAM/PARMIGGIANO CHEESE/MANTUA
Today after breakfast, we embark on our exploration of regional agriculture and culinary crafts. At the Azienda Agricola of Grana D’Oro, we’ll learn from experts about the processes for making famous Parmesan cheeses and curing prosciutto or traditional Parma ham. Next, we head north to the unspoilt town of Mantua for another delizioso three-course lunch in a local trattoria, followed by a guided walking tour. You’ll be especially impressed by the Palazzo Te, a huge palace with ornate gardens and a horse racing track. B, L
DAY 4—LEANING TOWER OF PISA/PUCCINI’S LUCCA/FLORENCE
Today we travel west along the scenic Versilian Riviera and Mediterranean Sea, then head inland again to Pisa for photo opportunities at the Leaning Tower, Baptistery and Cathedral in the Campo dei Miracoli. Next, in the walled town of Lucca, after lunch at leisure we’ll join a local guide to immerse ourselves in the life of local son, composer Puccini. Try tea/coffee and delicious pastries at the elegant Antico Caffé di Simo, Puccini’s favorite, and visit the Puccini Museum House, the apartment where he spent many years perfecting his music. Tonight, we unpack and enjoy a wonderful dinner in Florence. B, D
DAY 5—MICHELANGELO’S DAVID/FLORENCE AMERICAN WAR CEMETERY/CHIANTI COUNTRYSIDE
The morning starts with a guided walking tour in the historic center of beautiful Florence, topped by a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia, site of Michelangelo’s legendary “David” statue. After taking free time for lunch on our own in Florence, we’ll check out and continue south for a moving visit to the Florence American War Cemetery. We’ll pay our respects at the resting place of 4,401 military dead—many of whom died in heavy fighting in the Apennines Mountains, after the capture of Rome in June 1944, shortly before WWII’s end. Finally, we’ll unpack for the next two nights in the delightful countryside of Chianti and enjoy another wonderful multi-course dinner with local wine. B, D
DAY 6—THE SINGING BUTCHER/PANZANO WINE AND OLIVES
After breakfast and free time to enjoy our country hotel, we’ll coach out to the nearby village of Panzano-in-Chianti for a wonderfully entertaining, six-course feast with wine in the restaurant of famous, opera-singing village butcher, Dario Cecchini. Later, at the nearby Il Palagio farm, Signora Monia welcomes us for a tour of the vineyard, olive grove and wine cellar. Knowledgeable staff will explain the history of wine production at Panzano, and end with a tasting of four splendid wines paired with local cheeses and hams. The rest of the day is yours to recreate, shop, explore and dine your way. B, L
DAY 7—SAN GIMIGNANO/SIENA/UMBRIA
Today, we continue our Tuscan journey with a full day’s touring in two fascinating medieval towns, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. First, enjoy a guided introduction to the walled medieval hill town of San Gimignano, renowned for its well-preserved architecture and several art masterpieces. Next, we enjoy lunch and leisure time in Siena before our tour of city highlights, including the Duomo and the Piazza del Campo where the Palio horse race is staged twice a year. A special treat is the chance to meet a contrada to see the how the horses are bred, and learn about the jockeys, the ceremonies and pageantry that surround this most ancient of races. We settle in for two nights in Umbria. B, D
DAY 8—GUBBIO CERAMICS/LEISURE TIME
This morning starts with a fascinating morning tour of Gubbio, especially well known for its earthenware and majolica (tin-glazed) pottery. After a walking orientation tour, we’ll learn about the city’s traditional arts at its noted Ceramics Museum, housed within an ancient Roman Tower. Later, enjoy free time back at Città di Castello and spend the afternoon your way before another delicious dinner in a traditional osteria favored by locals in the town. B, D
DAY 9—RAVENNA MOSAICS/BOLOGNESE CUISINE
The sights are delightful today as we coach northward over the Appenine Mountains to the coastal plain of Ravenna. On a guided tour of this Byzantine city, we will visit several of the foremost monuments and famed mosaics. Just some highlights will include the Neonian Baptistery, Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, and the Basilica of San Vitale. Continuing, we’ll head to lunch in the Emilia Romagna region’s capital city, Bologna, and discover why locals eat so well in this city! After lunch, we’ll “walk it off” with our guide, who will reveal the secrets of the ancient outdoor food market near to Piazza Maggiore. We will learn the characteristics of the most important local foods such as Mortadella di Bologna, Parmiggiano- Reggiano cheese, and aceto balsamico; how to prepare the famous Bolognese sauce; and where to get the best pastas: Tortellini, Tortelloni, Tagliatelle, Garganelli and Gnocchi. We’ll unpack for two nights in Modena. B, L
DAY 10—LAMBORGHINI TO FERRARI/MODENA’S BALSAMIC VINEGAR
We “rev” up after breakfast for a fun day of super-cars starting with a visit to Sant’Agata Bolognese and Lamborghini Museum, where we can see masterfully engineered classic, contemporary and professional racing cars, and learn about the Lamborghini factory production line. Lunch is at leisure in Fiorano, near the Ferrari track at Maranello, before heading to the official Galleria Ferrari to view a huge collection of those celebrated red racing cars from all eras of the prancing horse’s glorious history. This evening, we dine at the wine and vinegar cellar of the Osteria di Rubbiara, where we’ll see how balsamic vinegar is made. B, D
DAY 11—LAKE GARDA CRUISE
This morning, we head north again to our final hotel, set at beautiful southern end of Lake Garda. We’ll board a leisurely morning cruise of Lake Garda, with a guide calling in at several charming lakeside towns. We’ve certainly dined well during our Italian adventure, and our last evening together is no exception; we will gather for one last, delicious three-course Farewell Dinner with local wines, “American coffee” and excellent company. B, D
Today we say fond farewells to our new amici—both our fellow travelers and the warm, welcoming new friends we’ve made throughout Italy’s vibrant Tuscany and Umbria. B
Depart/Return: Chicago, IL
Price Per Person: Double: $3,977; Single: $4,425*
*Land-only pricing available. Please call.
Pre/Post-Tour Hotel: $218/$228 night
high 81°/ low 61° (Sept)
+7 hours from Central Time
Available 90 days prior to the tour.
Available 90 days prior to the tour.
Pre/Post-tour hotel offers complimentary shuttle service.
Free parking is offered during the tour at our hotel in Chicago with a Pre- or Post-tour night booked, only.
Moderate walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking will be on uneven paths.
Hair dryers, TV/cable, Internet access, telephone, and spa services available at most hotels.
Travel Protection Available?
Yes, see About Travel Protection.
Terms & Conditions
Tour reservations are subject to the terms and conditions outlined by Country Travel DISCOVERIES on our website at Terms & Conditions.
Have a group? We can make your group's vacation cost-effective and easy, with discounts for groups as small as five and other benefits. Learn more at Country Travel DISCOVERIES for Groups.
Land Only tours begin one day later. Airport transfers not included with Land Only Tours. Air & Land Tours include government imposed taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges at time of printing.
Dress on tour is casual.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further details approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing all your final documents.
Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/ITY.Terms & Conditions
Tour reservations are subject to the terms and conditions on our website at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/terms.
Have a group? We can make your group's vacation cost-effective and easy, with discounts for groups as small as five and other benefits. Learn more at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/groups.