DAY 01 ROME / SANTO STEFANO DI SASSANIO
After your arrival at the airport, a personal assistant will meet you at the airplane gate. Private transfer to Rome city for lunch. After lunch you will reach Santo Stefano di Sassanio(Rome – Santo Stefano di Sassanio, distance 129 km). Check-in at the “Albergo diffuso”Sextantio. Free time to relax. Night at the hotel.
DAY 02 SANTO STEFANO DI SASSANIO
Today you will enjoy a guided tour through the mountains of Abruzzo. This excursion contemplates the visit in two of the most historically important hermitages of the mountains in Abruzzo: the hermitage of Sant'Onofrio al Morrone and the hermitage of Saint Venanzio. You will visit the historical center of Sulmona, in the past called Sulmo, the most important center of the valley, note in order to be the place of birth of the poet Publio Ovidio Nasone. Transfer back to the hotel.
In this night excursion we will explore the wild spaces of two National Parks: the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, and the Majella National Park, in search of the traces of the most mysterious and elusive animal of the Appennino mountains: the wolf. It will not be easy to actually see the most wary and dreadful predator of these mountains; only the patience and the experience of Wolf-tour guides, as well as a necessary pinch of fortune, will allow us to see a wolf or to ear its howls.
DAY 03 SANTO STEFANO DI SASSANIO
In the morning free time at your leisure. This afternoon, you will start a Eno -bike tour through the Baronia land (Biking tour along the paths of Wine and typical Mountain products). This excursion gives an opportunity to get a close view of the area around Santo Stefano di Sessanio, and taste some of its wines and other typical products. Modern mountain bikes will be provided and you will be assisted by guides. The tour unfolds along the ancient paths of the Baronia di Carapelle, where the historical background blends into the flavors of traditional local cuisine. Indeed, staging areas will allow to taste typical products of the mountain and also to meet the producers, who will reveal some secrets of their “art”. Once back in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, the evening will end with a dinner of gastronomic specialties from the Abruzzi, in the Cantinone.
Climb to the highest peak of the Apennines, the Big Horn.
Day trip covering the climb to the highest peak of the Apennines chain. The tour includes the arrival at the Astronomical Observatory of Campo Imperatore and a mountain guide will accompanies you to the rise of the Big Horn that with its 2,912 m above sea level, is the roof of the Apennines. The rise will occur along the way “Direttissima” and the mountain guide will choose different routes.
DAY 04 SANTO STEFANO DI SASSANIO / L’AQUILA
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of l’Aquila. The visit of l’Aquila’s historical centre is an opportunity to appreciate the remarkable artistic and architectural quality of the city. At the same time it will be a unique occasion to visit places of artistic interest.
In canoe on the Tirino river and visit at the historic centre of Capestrano.
Daily excursion which contemplates canoe activity on the Tirino river, one of the most clean and clear river of Italy; during the day there will be a break along its banks, where it is possible to refresh oneself tasting local products of the farm “Terre del Tirino”. In the afternoon the visit to Capestrano, historical village and landmark of the valley.
DAY 05 STEFANO DI SASSANIO / CASTEL SAN GIOVANNI
After breakfast, your private driver will lead you to Castello San Giovanni. Check-in at Torre della Botonta (Botonta Tower) that is part of the medieval fortified village of Castle San Giovanni, dating back to the 14th century. Botonta is a uniquely special place, where you will enjoy romantic moments, discovering the true flavors of the organic produce of Umbria while immersed and cushioned in the relaxing and inspiring experience of our location.
In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour ofAssisi and Spello. Explore the birthplace of St. Francis and learn more about Italy’s famous patron saint. Admire Roman ruins integrated into medieval houses, they're still lived in by locals. Among the historic monuments of St. Francis you will visit is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where he first renounced the world to live in poverty. Continue to the Convent of San Damiano to learn about Saint Claire, founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, and visit the Eremo delle Carceri (Carceri Hermitage) in the forest gorge above Assisi, where St. Francis came to pray. After this tour, drive to the walled town of Spello on the slopes of Mount Subasio, with commanding views of the Umbrian plains, groves of olives, and vineyards. There will be the chance to taste wines and olive oils. You will also stop at the tiny hamlet of Collepino, perched in the forests between Assisi and Spello, it's a former settlement of shepherds and woodcutters. Transfer back to the hotel.
DAY 06 CASTEL SAN GIOVANNI / CASCIA / NORCIA / MARMORE WATERFALLS
Experience the beautiful landscape of Umbria on a full-day tour of the Marmore Waterfalls, the Sibillini Mountains, and Valnerina Valley. Taste the black truffle, hams, and cheeses of Umbria. Drive to the remote town of Cascia, home of the Augustinian nun Santa Rita. Visit the home of Santa Rita in the nearby hamlet of Roccaporena. Stop for lunch in Norcia, birthplace of the founder of the Benedictine order, St. Benedict, and see the Gothic façade of the Basilica of Saint Benedict. Depart Norcia for the staggering Marmore Waterfalls, among the highest in Europe, were constructed by the Romans in 271 B.C. to drain the stagnant waters of the Velino River’s swamps, directing them to the natural leaps of Marmore and on into the Black River. Built over 2,000 years ago, this is the largest manmade waterfall in the world.
DAY 07 CASTEL SAN GIOVANNI / MONTEFALCO / BEVAGNA
Enjoy a tour including the visit of the medieval cities of Montefalco and Bevagna and taste the deep red Sagrantino wines of the region; made from an Italian grape variety mainly found in the area.
In Montefalco visit the Museo di San Francesco (Museum of St. Francis), a former Franciscan church with frescoes that tell the story of one of Italy’s most famous patron saints. Admire the 13th to14th-century Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), and the former church of San Filippo Neri; now a town theater. Other historic churches include Sant' Agostino and Santa Illuminata. Continue to Bevagna, where ancient Roman monuments date back to the 1st century B.C. Just a few steps from the Forum, see the remains of a temple and check out the thermal baths which are still decorated with frescoes. Explore the medieval heart of the city, including the 13th-century Palazzo dei Consoli, and the 19th-century theater with decorations by Domenico Bruschi and a ceiling of dancing muses by Mariano Piervittori.
DAY 08 CASTEL SAN GIOVANNI / CINIGIANO
This morning, your private driver will lead you to Castel Porrona Relais in Cinigiano (Grosseto).Inthe hearth of the striking Tuscan countryside, surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, corn- and sunflower fields, lies Castel Porrona, a charming medieval village dating back to the 11th century, smartly restored and transformed into an exclusive relais. ideal destination for lovers of arts, wine, food and relax, Castel Porrona welcomes his guests in a unique and exclusive atmosphere. Time to relax at the Spa of the hotel: a holiday at Castel Porrona is also made of pleasant moments dedicated to sport activity, relax, wellness and beauty. The wellness centre offers a wide variety of beauty treatments, a relaxing Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath and a modern gym with Techno gym equipment. For sport lovers: the big outdoor swimming pool and the tennis and football court surrounded by nature.
DAY 09 CINIGIANO / SIENA / SAN GIMIGNANO
Enjoy an excursion through the picturesque hills of the Chianti countryside, admiring the ever-changing landscapes of vineyards, olive trees, and ancient towns. Your first stop will be Siena. Upon arrival in Siena, enjoy a guided tour of the old town centre: walk along its narrow medieval streets, admiring its splendid palaces until you reach the magnificent Cathedral of which you can visit the superb interior and the amazing frescoes of the Libreria Piccolomini. Depart for San Gimignano, a tiny city that has remained intact through the centuries. It is situated on a hilltop and known for its numerous towers, frescoes, and other art treasures. You’ll have free time to discover this fascinating place, and for a visit to a small and exclusive museum located in the heart of the town, San Gimignano 1300.
At the end of the guided tour you’ll have the opportunity to taste typical local foods and products. Sample Sienese sweets of medieval origin such as panforte, ricciarelli, and panpepato, accompanied by delicious local wines such as the famous Vernaccia of San Gimignano.
DAY 10 CINIGIANO / VOLTERRA
Today you will relax and admire the Tuscans atmosphere enjoying a walking tour of Volterra’s city center. Discover the Etruscan history as you explore Porta all'Arco (the Arch Gate), walk into the medieval cathedral, and take a look at the ancient Roman theatre. You will also have the chance to see the people at work in the many alabaster workshops. Experience the lifestyle of the locals as you observe the old citizens of Volterra spending their time in the shade of the Palazzo dei Priori, the most ancient town hall in Tuscany.
DAY 11 DEPARTURE
After breakfast, private transfer to the airport for your flight home.