Luxury Italy - Food and Wine Tour
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Wow! This luxury tour gives you not only the best of wine tours, cooking lessons and culinary tours in the Rome region, but also the famous historical sites and some off the beaten track places! Enjoy a week in the lovely city of Rome in a luxury hotel, and days filled with fabulous wine, fantastic foods and much more!
ADDITION RATE INFORMATION
Rate based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies, $1400.00 CAD or ask us about pairing with a same sex room mate. 5% GST not included. International flights not included.
Day 1: Arrive Rome / Evening Tour And DinnerRome, Lazio, Italy
You arrive into this beautiful city on your international flight, and are met by your tour leader. Your transfer to your hotel is included; dependent on your group size you may be taken in a taxi or larger private transport. Your international flight should arrive in the afternoon on Saturday (make sure you depart on Friday!). You have some time to relax and accommodate yourself before we jump into exploring the food and wines of the country, as well as the history!
We are picked up from the hotel at 6:00 pm. Start your evening with a traditional Italian dinner. The coach will drop us off at the restaurant, where you’ll feast on three courses of traditional Italian cuisine. Taste typical Roman dishes and soak up the lively atmosphere in an area that’s beloved by tourists and locals alike. Your tour also includes a special walking tour and a stop at the Trevi Fountain. Legend says if you throw a coin in, you’ll return to Rome, so make sure you have some change!
Enjoy an enchanting panoramic night tour of Rome, and discover the magic of the city’s most famous monuments illuminated under a darkened sky. It’s a special look at some of the most important monuments in Italy, viewed in a new way. You’ll see Capitoline Hill, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Castel Sant’Angelo and St Peter’s Basilica. Finish your evening with a walking tour in the Traveste area, one of the most-visited areas in Rome full of restaurants and pubs.
Day 2: Santa Benedetta Winery And Evening Colosseum With DinnerMonte Porzio Catone, Lazio, Italy
We use Rome as our base to explore the different regions as we learn about the food and wines of this country. At 10:00 am we will depart our hotel and head to the hills of Castelli Romani, the Lazio region’s easy-on-the-eye winemaking area. While its name hints at an abundance of Roman castles, Castelli Romani is actually a collection of 13 extremely scenic villages in the Alban Hills, punctuated by volcanic lakes and secluded valleys.
We head on to the hamlet of Monte Porzio Catone, and visit Santa Benedetta – the oldest winery in Castelli Romani. On a tour of the rustic estate, hear how it was once a convent, and learn about the winemaking traditions that have been passed down by generations of the Benedetti family. At this secluded little spot, sit down for your wine-tasting session, sampling three important Santa Benedetta wines – complexus, gigi and tre vecchie. Soak up the wine with a plate of local delicacies, including the winery’s extra virgin olive oil, bruschetta (pane di Lariano, an aromatic, crusty white bread), cheeses and cured meats.
After relaxing at the estate, enjoying the fine wine, food and great company, we return to Rome and our hotel. We arrive at approximately 3:00 pm and you have free time to relax or enjoy the area before our evening tour and dinner.
We will depart the hotel at 7: 00 pm to meet our local guide at the Hotel Forum in central Rome, and start the evening by heading up to the prestigious hotel's rooftop restaurant. The terrace overlooks the sights of Ancient Rome, boasting incredible views of monument such as Trajan’s Forum. Gaze out at the ruins and toast the start of the evening with a glass of prosecco — the crisp Italian fizz!
As you sip, listen to the guide give an introduction to the history of Rome, bringing the enchanting sights sprawled before you to life. Take a seat at your private table and soak up the sights from the elegant terrace. Then, dine on your gourmet 4-course meal with wine, and enjoy a tantalizing selection of Roman specialties such as saltimbocca alla Romana (prosciutto-wrapped veal) and more. Finish your meal with an espresso, just as the Italians do, and then follow the guide out of the restaurant and through the Roman Forum on your way to the Colosseum. A monument that needs no introduction, the city’s star attraction is quiet in the evening, meaning its ancient walkways are filled with atmospheric shadows rather than its daytime crowds.
Stroll around the first tier of the virtually empty Colosseum and make your way to the reconstructed arena floor to stand in the space where brutal gladiatorial battles of bygone days were fought. Hear how the crowds of the amphitheater roared as fighters battled not just each other, but wild beasts such as lions and tigers, too. Head below ground to see the underground chambers where the gladiators psyched themselves up for the fights of their lives, and the pens where animals were kept before being released to the arena. Few visitors are able to walk through these chambers as they are only open to a select number of visitors per day. Even better, you will be one of the rare few to see the chambers at night!
After exploring the underground chambers, our tour finishes and we head back to our hotel.
Day 3: Tuscan Cooking Class, Lunch And Wine TastingChiusi, Tuscany, Italy
We depart our hotel after an early breakfast at approximately 7:30 am. We are travelling this morning by train, so you can relax on the journey north to Chiusi in Tuscany where our hosts await. At the station, we transfer to a minibus and travel out to the Tuscan hills to experience a day on an agriturismo farm. The working farm boasts some 16 hectares (40 acres) of land with the rolling hills, vineyards and rows of fig and olive groves that have become quintessential Tuscan sights. Learn about life on the farm as you explore with the owners, and perhaps see some of their produce being made.
After checking out various ingredients grown on the estate, head inside the farmhouse and enter the kitchen for your Tuscan cooking class. Under the expert eye of the farm’s matron or a local chef, immerse yourself in the cuisine of Tuscany. Learn the best ways to eat seasonally, how to make the perfect pasta and the secrets to creating a silky smooth pasta sauce as you rustle up a 3-course lunch. The dishes change with the seasons, but typical creations include fresh pasta, bruschetta, rich Tuscan ragu and traditional tiramisu.
Sit down to savor your food in an idyllic outdoor setting, perhaps with a glass of wine, and then set out to explore the farm’s wine cellar with the owner’s daughter, who oversees the farm’s wine production. Enjoy a wine tasting, and learn about the different blends of grapes to product different varietals of Tuscan wine.
After roughly five hours on the estate, we bid our hosts a fond farewell and travel back to the station in Chiusi. Then, relax on the journey back to Rome by train. We arrive back at the hotel and you have the evening free to enjoy the city.
Day 4: Ponza IslandPonza Island, Lazio, Italy
We depart early this morning, at 6:30 am, to make our way to the prearranged meeting point in central Rome to begin a fun-filled day at sea and on beautiful Ponza Island. After a trip to the dock in an air-conditioned vehicle, we enjoy a typical Italian breakfast consisting of a cappuccino and a croissant. Then, we board a ferry boat to Ponza Island and prepare to take in the beauty of the azure sea.
On arrival, we swap the ferry for a small boat. We meet our local guide and captain, a native of Ponza, and listen to intriguing tales related to Ponza and its history as we set off on our cruise around the island.
The boat stops periodically for swimming breaks. Bob up and down in the sea, which turns a stunning transparent blue-green color near the island. Snorkel equipment is included, or simply lay your towel down on the boat’s deck and enjoy the sun and the sea breeze. At lunchtime, the captain whips up a delicious marinara — literally ‘mariner’s style’ — pasta, served with bottled water and wine.
At Ponza Island, 21 miles (34 km) off the coast, check out the many grottoes that dot the cliff sides. The most famous is the Grotto of Circe, named for the seducing sorceress of Homer’s Odyssey, who turned Odysseus’ men into animals. Spend some time exploring the island. Walk the narrow streets and pop into boutique shops around the port. The area might look familiar if you’ve seen Federico Fellini’s classic film Satyricon.
At the end of the day, relax on the journey back to the mainland, where we’ll meet our air-conditioned vehicle for the ride back to central Rome and our hotel. You have the evening free to enjoy the city.
Day 5: Roman Countryside Cooking LessonMazzano Romano, Lazio, Italy
Where better than the Roman countryside to take an Italian cooking class? We will spend the day with a skilled chef who will take us step-by-step through the process of preparing a traditional Italian meal, from appetizer to dessert. This class ensures you will have personalized attention from your expert chef and a highly memorable Italian culinary experience.
Our tour begins with pickup from our hotel. Our guide will take us off the beaten path to the ancient village of Mazzano Romano, where we’ll visit the local market to acquire all the necessary ingredients for our class. Our guide will give us tips for selecting the best and freshest vegetables, eggs, spices and meat. Then it’s time to start cooking!
Our cooking lesson takes place in a fully-equipped, typical Roman kitchen. Under the guidance of our chef, we will learn how to prepare a four-course Italian meal, including three different types of homemade pasta. We will also learn how to match each dish with suitable wines, selected from the best local varieties. Of course, no Italian cooking experience would be complete without sampling your creations – when you have finished in the kitchen, you’ll gather round the table with your fellow aspiring chefs, sip some wine and taste the delicious Italian meal you have prepared.
We return to Rome later in the day and have the evening free to enjoy the city.
Day 6: Breakfast At The Vatican, Vatican Visit And Free AfternoonRome, Lazio, Italy
We rise bright and early and head into the Vatican Museums before the general public set foot inside. Our expert guide will lead us through a section of the museum complex to Pinecone Courtyard, where a sumptuous buffet breakfast will be ready and waiting for us. Sit down outside and dine on an Italian-American breakfast of pastries, meats, cheeses, eggs, and even pancakes – flipped in front of you by a pancake chef! Savor the food with a coffee or fresh orange juice and soak up the peaceful ambiance of the Vatican free from the crowds!
After enjoying our relaxing start to our day, our guide will lead us back inside the Vatican Museum complex for our tour. At this point, members of the public are still not allowed inside, so there will only be a few other pre-booked tour groups exploring the museum alongside our small group – giving us plenty of space to enjoy the artwork.
The Vatican Museum complex is staggeringly huge, so our guide will show off its best bits on our 2.5-hour tour. Explore the Gallery of Maps to see intricately detailed maps, and gaze at visual illusions aplenty in the Gallery of Tapestries. Marvel at Renaissance frescoes in the interconnecting chambers that comprise Raphael’s Rooms, and then get ready for the glory of the Sistine Chapel.
As the pope’s private place of worship, the Sistine Chapel echoes with a sacred ambiance, made even more special by the incredible artwork that adorns the walls and ceiling. Hear the history and theories of Michelangelo’s famous frescoes from outside, and then head inside to gaze at The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement on your own.
Our Vatican tour finishes with a skip-the-line visit to St Peter’s Basilica – the home of the Catholic Church – where more artistic treats await. Head inside via a reserved entranceway, and admire Michelangelo’s La Pieta sculpture, as well as Bernini’s Baldachino canopy, while hearing their history. You can then stay inside St Peter’s Basilica if you wish, after the tour ends. The rest of the day is free for shopping or enjoying the sites on your own. Ask your tour leader where to go and what to do, or ask her to join you!
Tonight we have a goodbye dinner as we prepare to bid farewell to our new friends. Your tour leader will inform you of the time of departure for your dinner.
Day 7: Depart Rome For HomeRome, Italy
You may have free time before your transfer to the airport today. Please inform us of your departure time, so your tour leader can arrange for your transfers. If you are continuing on to another destination in Europe by train, we can also arrange transfers to the train station.
This is a small group, exclusive tour. Maximum 8 travellers.
35% deposit upon reservation, final payment due 60 days before departure date. OR Payment plans available for this tour: $250.00 deposit and equal monthly payments.
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