From Florence to Rome, across the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside

An itinerary in the green heart of Italy, through picturesque villages, along the ancient Roman roads, through Tuscan valleys and crossing rolling Umbrian hills. We get off the beaten track, explore authentic medieval towns, and taste the wonderful products that these lands produce as we head towards the Tiber valley to the Capital, Rome.


Itinerary:

  • Day 1 Florence
  • 2° Day – Firenze
  • Day 2 Arezzo, Cortona e Perugia
  • Day 3  Perugia
  • Day 4 Visit Bevagna, Montefalco, Spello.
  • Day 5 Visit Spoleto, Norcia, Cascia
  • Day 6 Visit Assisi
  • Day 7 Todi, Orvieto, Roma
  • Day 8 Roma

You can link this itinerary with our proposal:

In this case you can end in Siena and from Siena leave for Perugia.


Day 1 – Florence

Arrival in Florence where we will welcome you to accompany you in your hotel accommodation. We leave your luggage in the room and let yourself be accompanied through the streets of one of the most fascinating cities in the world, which is often called an “open-air museum” and actually it is just like that, rich in art, history and beauty, which can be seen and admired even just walking through its neighborhoods, squares, bridges, the hidden corners, the lungarno. In Florence art is everywhere and everywhere.

Second day. Firenze

Morning dedicated to the guided tour of Florence. The city is not big but at every meter there are wonders that must be observed, known and appreciated, Florence is not just any city, at every step it envelops us in its architectural beauties and every architectural beauty has a story to tell, this is the difference between a magical city and a normal one, the stories that tell and that we can read in the walls of the buildings, in the squares, bridges and most hidden corners. So, if you do not want to lose the essence of Florence, let yourself be guided for a while by those who will make you fall in love with the details and all the rest.

In the afternoon that we leave you free, you will have only to choose between walking aimlessly through Florence, entering one of its fabulous museums, shopping, savoring the delicacies of Tuscany sitting on the banks of the Arno, or climbing the hills overlooking the city for an unmissable evening, on the one hand Piazzale Michelangelo and on the other Fiesole.

Third day. Firenze – Arezzo – Perugia

Today we leave Tuscany, but not before visiting the fascinating city of Arezzo, the birthplace of brilliant masters such as Piero della Francesca and Giorgio Vasari. Arezzo is a beautiful city. Among the richest in the region, it stands proud on a hill at the intersection with four valleys. Located along the Via Cassia, it has always played an important and prominent role in Tuscan history.

Our tour starts from the main square, the magnificent Piazza Grande. The steep square is famous for being the movie set of “Life is Beautiful” by Roberto Benigni. In the upper part of the city stands the majestic Cathedral of Arezzo, named after San Donato. Built on an ancient early Christian church, the cathedral is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows. The French master Guillaume de Marcillat executed the seven windows, a masterpiece of glass art, in the 16th century.

In the afternoon, we continue our journey to the small hill town of Cortona, described in the famous book “Under the Tuscan Sun”, by the American author Frances Mayes.

Located right on the border of Umbria and close to Lake Trasimeno, its magnificent views extend over the surrounding plains and hills. Fra’ Angelico lived and worked here 15th century, and fellow artists Luca Signorelli and Pietro da Cortona were both born within the walls.

In the evening, we arrive in the region known as green heart of the Italy, Umbria, and its largest city Perugia.

Fourth day. Perugia

Perugia is the Umbrian capital of culture par excellence, home to two important universities; the 700 year old University of Studies of Perugia and the University for Foreigners, where students from all over the world come to study the Italian language and culture.

Elegant, bright and lively, Perugia, nevertheless, is a city full of secrets. While there are remnants of its Etruscan and Roman past, the remaining core of the city is largely medieval. The real entrance to the hilltop city is hidden inside the Rocca Paolina. Ride the escalators up through the fortress, part of the two sets of walls that surround it.

The historic center of Perugia is divided into five easily walkable districts, each named after a medieval gate to the city. Every corner hosts another treasure; museums, churches, palaces and Roman and Etruscan ruins. In the main square, Piazza IV Novembre, you’ll find a masterpiece of sculpture from 1280, the Fontana Maggiore. Also are Perugia is also well known for its chocolate (especially the Baci from Perugina) and hosts the annual chocolate festival, Eurochocolate, as well as the internationally acclaimed music festival Umbria Jazz in July. The plan for the evening is to dine in Torciano, a beautiful village in the hills not far from Perugia. With excellent restaurants and local wine, Torciano is the perfect place to experience the local cuisine.

Fifth day . I Borghi d’Autore Umbria, two days of pure magic starting from Perugia

To visit the medieval Umbrian villages it is necessary to let yourself go in the atmospheres of other times, in the tones of color and flavors, follow the pleasure and not the time, let the eye of the room immortalize corners of pure magic and the eye of the soul enjoy everything else.

  • Bevagna

One of the most beautiful villages in Umbria, Bevagna is famous for the medieval festival “Mercato delle Gaite” held every year in June. Each the four Gaite, or quarters, compete against each other to recreate the daily life of the residents between 1250 and 1350. There are markets, parades, archery and craft competitions all in period costume. This area of Umbria is famous for its production of a much-prized red wine called Sagrantino.

Bevagna is one of the few villages not built on a hilltop. Surrounded by perfectly preserved walls, the village is divided in two by an ancient Roman road that is now the main street. Brimming with picturesque restaurants and bars, it’s the place to enjoy the local specialties such as gnocchi al Sagrantino.

  • Montefalco

Often nicknamed Umbria’s balcony, Montefalco is famous for its position high in the hills and the breathtaking views over the landscape towards Perugia, Assisi and even Spoleto. Although Montefalco still retains some elements of its Roman origin, the atmosphere of this charming small town is very medieval, as are the perfectly preserved 13th century walls that surround it. Although known today primarily for its textiles, wine and olive oil, this tiny town has produced no less than six saints. Because of its environmental, cultural and artistic heritage, Montefalco has become part of the club The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy.

Although known today primarily for its textiles, wine and olive oil, this tiny town has produced no less than six saints. Because of its environmental, cultural and artistic heritage, Montefalco has become part of the club The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy.

  • Foligno

The last stop on today’s tour of Umbria is Foligno, the town where Italy’s greatest work of literature, Dante’s Divine Comedy, was first printed in 1472. Our walk starts from main square where we will visit the Basilica of Saint Feliciano, the city’s patron saint, and continues to Palazzo Trinci and Palazzo Orfini. Finally, we will see where the famous Quintana Joust is held every June and September. The jousting event, a display of dexterity on horseback, is a historical re-enactment of the joust of February 10, 1613 to deliberate on whether it was more honourable for a knight “to maintain the grace of the prince or to pursue the favour of a fair lady.”

Last stop of our today’s itinerary among the Umbrian villages:

  •  Spello

Spello, another Umbrian entry in the The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy club, is nestled on the southern side of Mount Subasio. In the first century BCE, it was an important Roman colonial town called Hispellum. Roman ruins now coexist beautifully with Spello’s current medieval urban appearance. Today the narrow streets are adorned with colourful flower-filled balconies as neighbours vie to outdo each other. Spello holds its most famous event, the Infiorata del Corpus Domini, every year on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The streets and main piazzas are transformed into a spectacular and immense carpet of flowers that exceeds 1.5 km. If you’re feeling peckish, try some of the local dishes, like bruschetta with Spello’s olive oil, gnocchi with goose sauce made from Colfiorito’s red potatoes, radish salad, and local lentils, a particular favourite in Spello.

The streets and main piazzas are transformed into a spectacular and immense carpet of flowers that exceeds 1.5 km. If you’re feeling peckish, try some of the local dishes, like bruschetta with Spello’s olive oil, gnocchi with goose sauce made from Colfiorito’s red potatoes, radish salad, and local lentils, a particular favourite in Spello.

potatoes, radish salad, and local lentils, a particular favourite in Spello. Evening return to hotel in Perugia.

Sixth day. Borghi Umbri, second day that begins in Spoleto

Romantic Spoleto, with its remnants of Roman and medieval history is intimate, charming, and littered with artistic treasures. Today, it’s best known for its annual summer cultural event The Festival of Two Worlds (or Spoleto Festival), honouring music, opera, theatre and dance. Our visit will start at the majestic Rocca Albornoziana, which dominates the city. The fortress, symbol of the city, is an imposing walled structure punctuated by six square towers. It has two internal courtyards; one was for military purposes and the other for ceremonial functions.

For those who do not suffer from vertigo, we will cross the Ponte delle Torri (Towers Bridge) that unites the fortress to Monteluco hill. This is impressive and unique bridge is 230m long and 82m high, and was constructed between the 13thCent. and 14thCent. Dual purposed; it also transports water to the city from the Cortaccione springs.  

Spoleto’s Duomo (cathedral) Santa Maria Assunta, is one of the most beautiful in Umbria. The apse features Renaissance frescoes depicting stories of the Madonna, (1467) by the Filippo Lippi.

We continue through the Apennines and towards the Marche Region to visit:

  • Norcia

Norcia, the birthplace of Saint Benedict, is situated at the centre of the Sibylline Mountains National Park. Between May and July, Norcia’s green pastures erupt into a patchwork of colour; poppies, daffodils, violets, asphodels, sorrel and the highly prized local lentils. The city is famous for its unique food products, in particular pork products like salami, sausages and prosciutto but also for pecorino cheese and Umbrian black truffles. Not to miss are its numerous works of arts and the romantic heart-shaped walls. Just outside Norcia, we will stop at a farm for lunch and sample some of the best products the territory has on offer.

A few kilometres from Norcia is Cascia, the birthplace of another saint, Saint Rita. Every year the city welcomes pilgrims from all over the world to the Basilica and Monastery dedicated to her. Famous too, is the wonderful rose window in the gothic church of Saint Frances. In the evening, we return to Perugia.

  • Assisi and Santa Maria degli Angeli

Perched on Mount Subasio, the beautiful medieval village of Assisi is one of the most famous places in the Italy and the birthplace of St Francis. The basilica dedicated to him, a UNESCO World Heritage site is an absolute masterpiece of medieval art. Actually two overlapping churches, the upper Gothic and the lower Romanesque, it is decorated with frescoes by the greatest painters of the 1300s, Giotto, Cimabue and Lorenzetti.

After our visit to St Francis’ Basilica, we will take a guided tour of the town, including perfectly preserved Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, this first century BCE building was once a temple dedicated to the pagan goddess Minerva. Just 4 kms from the centre is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli where St Francis died on the 3 October 1226. The basilica was built to surround and preserve a small church, la Porziuncola, where St Francis and his companions started their movement in the 1200s. Outside is the famous Rose Garden where a special variety of thornless rose grows: “Rosa Canina Assisiensis”.

  • At the end of the day we return to Perugia, for an evening stroll in city’s  historic centre and a taste of one of its most famous products chocolate! — Cooking Class Option: In the hills just outside Perugia, a morning cooking class with lunch and an afternoon visit to a wine cellar.

Seventh day. Perugia, Todi, Orvieto and Rome

In less than an hour along the antique Roman road, Via Amerina, we arrive in Todi.  This spellbinding town, perched on a hillside, looks as if it’s straight out of a fairy tale. Its palazzi, churches and belfries are encircled by three sets of concentric walls, each from a different historical era: Etruscan, Roman and medieval. In the heart of town is the splendid Piazza del Popolo, one of the most beautiful squares in all of Italy, so perfect it has been set of many movies.

Time for a coffee and a stroll before we leave for the nearby Orvieto, one of the oldest cities in Italy. It owes its origins to the Etruscan civilization and the first settlements date back to the 9th cent BCE in caves, carved into the tufa outcrop on which the city now stands.

After a short cablecar ride up to the historic centre, we take the local shuttle to the Piazza del Duomo and Orvieto’s Cathedral, one of the most majestic creations of Italian architecture. Its magnificent Gothic façade is decorated with mosaics and bas-reliefs and inside, it is full of 15th cent masterpieces. It was often a refuge of the Popes during times of military and political turmoil in Rome. Our next stop is an extraordinary work of civil engineering of the 16th century, St Patrick’s Well.

Excavated during the sack of Rome in 1527 and built to resist natural disasters or a siege, the well is 62 meters deep, and has two separate helical staircases that make it possible to go down the well to get water without bumping into those going back up.

Hidden underneath the town lies another surprise, the fascinating Orvieto Underground. Our tour will explore the maze of tunnels, cisterns, wells, quarries and cellars that have guaranteed the survival of the inhabitants on the surface for centuries.

But before leaving Orvieto take the time to enjoy the breathtaking views, relax in the cafès and restaurants and browse in the shops. It hard to leave Orvieto but Rome awaits us and we will arrive in the evening for our overnight stay.

Rome All roads lead to Rome. The entire historic centre of Rome is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we can only but suggest some of the thousands of fascinating things to discover….there’s a saying that goes even the locals cannot know the city….and it’s true a lifetime is not enough to discover all the city has to offer.

Do you want to continue the trip to Rome? This is our proposal for four days in the capital.

Do you want to know Tuscany before embarking on this journey? This is our proposal for 6 nights in Tuscany


  • What’s included:
  • 6 overnight in hotel
  • All transfer
  • Tour Leader all day
  • Guided visit
  • Tastings in the program
  • Insurance
  • What’s not included:
  • Anything not explictly specified
  • Personal expenses.
  • Lunch and dinner

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