An intoxicating mix of world-shaping cities and imagination-firing landscapes, Italy is a land where unforgettable experiences lie around every corner. And with an abundance of tantalising flavours and wines on the menu, this Back-Roads adventure is sure to help you savour every moment.
Day 1 Roma – Assisi – Perugia
They say all roads lead to Rome but after we meet today, our route will whisk us away to awe-inspiring Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis. After getting to know the famous hilltop town a little better on a walking tour, well move on to Perugia where well start things as we mean to go on (with a delicious included dinner).
Day 2 Perugia – Siena – Tuscany
Introducing Siena: a magnificent Gothic city bursting with fabulous architecture. After exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Centre, well make tracks to tonights idyllic accommodation: a country villa hotel set amidst the vineyards of the world-renowned Chianti region.
Day 3 Tuscany
Interested in learning a few Italian culinary secrets? Youre in luck! Today our friendly hosts will help us to prepare a classic Tuscan lunch. This afternoon will be yours to take in the panoramic countryside views, take a dip in the pool or relax in the shadow of one of the villas many pine trees. Tonight, theres another tasty dinner in store.
Day 4 Tuscany – Florence – Lucca
Today well turn our attention to Florence: the birthplace of the Renaissance and home of some of the worlds most treasured masterpieces. A local guide will bring the city alive as we stroll by the likes of the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio on a walking tour. Then, as the afternoon turns to dusk, well press on to lovely Lucca.
Day 5 Lucca – Pisa – Lucca
Prepare to see an Italian icon up close today our first stop will be Pisa, where well pay a visit to the legendary Leaning Tower. This afternoon will see us return to Lucca, where youll have the rest of the day to explore the cobblestone streets at your own pace.
Day 6 Lucca – Camogli – San Fruttuoso – Portofino – Santa Margherita
Its time to experience the glitz and glamour of the Italian Riviera! Today well make stops at romantic Camogli, picture-perfect San Fruttuoso and glittering Portofino before settling in Santa Margherita Ligure. This evening, why not take some time to wander along the beautiful beachfront, taking in the pastel-coloured houses, elegant hotels and sparkling waters?
Day 7 Santa Margherita – Barolo – Asti – Cherasco
Away from the coast and onwards to Barolo, in Piedmont: a region of rich red wines and luxurious cuisine. This afternoon theres a treat is in store for the sweet-toothed among us – well be visiting a distillery near Asti to taste some regional liquors and handmade nougat. Finally, well move on to Cherasco where a group dinner awaits.
Day 8 Cherasco – Alba – Lake Orta – Lake Maggiore
Rise and shine this morning well be heading out into the hills of Alba to join a truffle hunt with a local farmer and his dog. After a risotto tasting lunch well hit the road to the captivating Lake Orta, a tranquil retreat sitting pretty at the bottom of the imposing Monte Mottarone. Then: from one blissful Italian lake to another! Lake Maggiore will be the final stop on todays scenic journey.
Day 9 Lake Maggiore
Today well leave dry land behind us and set sail for the Borromean Islands, a charming collection of islets located in the western corner of the lake. Well have plenty of time to explore Isola Madre, wander the terraces of the ornate baroque garden on Isola Bella and discover the pretty harbour of Isola dei Pescatori before we return to shore for the afternoon.
Day 10 Lake Maggiore – Lecco – Tirano
After bidding a fond farewell to Lake Maggiore well move on to Lecco, a small commune on the southeastern shore of the exquisite Lake Como. Well take in the sights on a walking tour before making our way to Tirano – where well continue our culinary adventure with an included dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 11 Tirano – Lake Molveno – Trento
Today well shine the spotlight on one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy: the spectacular Lake Molveno, a swathe of iridescent blue that lies at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites. There will be just enough time for a walking tour of the mountain city of Trento before we get together for tonights farewell dinner.
Day 12 Trento – Verona – Venice
Filled with impressive ruins and romantic hotspots, fair Verona beckons today. After taking in the Doges Palace, St Marks Basilica and the Rialto Bridge, well board the mini-coach one last time for the journey to our show-stopping finale: the floating city of Venice.