Ancient Sites and Civilizations - October 6-12, 2024
ANCIENT SITES and Civilizations…
is an experiential tour created especially for art, history and archeology enthusiasts. From the evocative necropolis of Orvieto to the jaw-dropping cave roads of Pitigliano, each day includes visits to some of Italy’s most important historic sites, including the Santuario Ritrovato – an ancient site recently discovered in Tuscany, that is revealing itself to be one of the most important finds in Italy’s history.
THE ROAD Less Traveled
For nearly 20 years we’ve been creating relationships with locals that allow us to take you along the road less traveled, to experience places and meet people who are off touristy routes. This means that your vacation in Italy is much more than that. It’s an authentic immersion into true Italian culture – including being based in an unspoiled medieval village.
From delicate ravioli, stuffed with sheep’s milk ricotta and spinach, to peposo, slow-simmered in red wine and rosemary, our hand-selected menus include dishes made with the freshest local ingredients. Plus we include ancient Etruscan and Roman specialties, like “brustico”, made with delicate white fish from Lago Chiusi that are smoked over coals.
- 7 days/6 nights stay at Boutique Hotel Vannucci in Città della Pieve
- Group transportation by private transport service to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure dates
- Private transport service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
- All breakfasts
- 5 dinners
- 4 lunches
- Daily accompaniment to ancient, historic sites in the regions of Tuscany and Umbria
- Guided tour of Etruscan necropolis
- Private “backdoor” visit to one of Italy’s most important, active archeological sites
- Walk along the ancient cave roads of Pitigliano
- Guided visit inside 5th century Cristian catacombs
- Medieval village walking tours
- Private, insider visits (exclusive to Strada Toscana)
- “Etruscan pasta” cooking lesson
- Pizza night!
- Free time for shopping and exploring on your own
Not included: Airfare, meals, alcoholic drinks, buses, trains or boat transportation outside of that which is specifically listed in the trip package, gratuities for villa staff and drivers
The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: At Strada Toscana we weave amazing, authentic experiences into every trip, but sometimes unexpected things come up. If a site has an unscheduled closing, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of the trip is never at risk, as our team is committed to excellence, along with our vast, local, Italian connections.
ANCIENT SITES AND CIVILIZATIONS
Day 1 ~ Arrival
- Highlights: Welcome and trip introduction
Benvenuti in Italia! Upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport, sit back and relax as you are transported by our private drivers to your beautiful accommodations in the medieval village of Città della Pieve – and your home base for the fascinating days ahead. After check-in, and some time to get settled, you’ll head out with your trip host for a walking tour of the village, followed by a classic Italian aperitivo and delicious, regional-style dinner prepared by Chef Vito.
Day 2 ~ Orvieto
- Highlights: Necropolis, guided tour of historic center and duomo
- Breakfast, dinner
This morning, after breakfast, it’s off with our private drivers to the scenic hill town of Orvieto, an ancient city layered in thousands of years of extraordinary history. First stop is an Etruscan necropolis (city of the dead) where you’ll get an up-close look at an ancient burial site and its unique family tombs. Afterwards we’ll continue to the historic center of Orvieto, where you’ll have the opportunity to visit the 13th century cathedral, as well as take an underground tour (optional). Lunch is on your own (so many inviting cafes to choose from) followed by time on your own explore or shop.
In the afternoon we’ll make a stop at the 15th century “double helix” well of San Patrizio before continuing back to Città della Pieve for some free time to relax and recharge. This evening you’ll enjoy a friendly aperitivo with your fellow travelers, followed by dinner featuring exceptional local olive oil (on bruschetta) and a traditional dinner cooked alle brace (over coals).
Day 3 ~ Pitigliano, Sorano
- Highlights: Walk on ancient cave road, abandoned tomb site (optional), archeological park of Sorano
- Breakfast, lunch, light dinner
This morning, after a delicious breakfast, our drivers will transport you to a lesser known part of Tuscany, where you’ll discover the vast network of cave roads dug thousands of years ago. This unspoiled area will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, and it’s here we’ll explore the spectacular Etruscan caves roads and some stunning, carved tombs. After a walk through Sorano’s well-kept archeological park, you might also explore a wooded path to arrive at the “forgotten tombs” – a site that conjures up images of Indiana Jones. So fascinating!
After lunch at a local trattoria, you’ll have time on your own to explore the lovely village of Pitigliano, with its sweeping views over the green forests and rocky outcroppings of this part of Tuscany. This afternoon we’ll head back to Città della Pieve for some free time, followed by a casual aperi-cena together (aperitivo + light dinner).
Day 4 ~ Chiusi
- Highlights: Private tour of Chiusi underground, national museum and 5th century catacombs
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
After breakfast this morning, it’s off to the nearby town of Chiusi – once the expansive, ruling city-state of the Etruscan civilization. Here you’ll join up with an exceptional local guide/archeologist who will take you through some of the region’s most fascinating ancient sites – including a museum filled with treasures found in local tombs and a labyrinth of underground passages. Afterwards we’ll continue to nearby Lago Chiusi for a lunch featuring brustico – a delicious preparation of the local lake fish which dates to Etruscan times.
In the afternoon, we continue on to the nearby countryside where you’ll discover early Cristian catacombs, and enjoy a private tour of the winding passageways . Our local guide will even translate some of the fascinating Latin inscriptions, and explain how the catacombs were used throughout the centuries. Afterwards we’ll return to Città della Pieve where you’ll have the evening on your own.
Day 5 ~ Città della Pieve
- Highlights: Etruscan pasta lesson, private cantina tour, pizza night
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
This morning, after breakfast, we meet up for a walking tour of the historic center of Città della Pieve – including a look at beautifully preserved frescoes by Renaissance artist, Perugino. Afterwards we continue to our friend, Cristian’s, bistro, where where you’ll learn to make a pasta that dates back thousands of years – plus you’ll get a peek inside Cristian’s amazing wine cantina. Lunch will be served up afterwards, featuring your handmade pasta, of course.
After lunch you’ll have free time to relax, recharge or explore on your own, before gathering together for a friendly aperitivo followed by a short walk to our favorite pizzeria for dinner.
Day 6 ~ San Casciano dei Bagni
- Highlights: Visit to active archeological site
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
This morning, after breakfast, our drivers will transport us to the charming village of San Casciano dei Bagni, situated on a picturesque hill, teeming with mineral-rich, hot springs that have been used as thermal baths for centuries. Here we’ll meet up with our friend and archeologist, Ludovico, for a private visit of a newly discovered archeological site, featuring the remains of Roman sanctuary and ancient temple. Afterwards we continue to our friend, Daniela’s chic restaurant, nestled beneath the walls of the castle, for aperitivo and a delicious, Tuscan-style lunch.
This afternoon you’ll enjoy some time on your own before heading to a private home for a special aperitivo, followed by a farewell dinner prepared by Chef Vito.
Day 7 ~ Departure
Early morning departure for Rome Fiumicino Airport
ACCOMMODATIONS Boutique Hotel Vannucci
Hotel Vannucci began as a project of Vittoria Spinola, daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele II, who fled Pisa (and an arranged marriage with her elderly husband) to start a new life with her lover in Città della Pieve. Here, she and her soon-to-be new husband, Paolo, built two villas that became luxurious holiday accommodations for wealthy Romans vacationing in the countryside. In 1903 one of the villas became Hotel Vannucci, and today it maintains the elegance and refinement of its inception, with luxurious sleeping rooms, marble bathrooms and inviting gardens. A stay here is truly special, nestled just outside the medieval walls of the historic, and unspoiled, village of Città della Pieve.
DATES & DETAILS
- Dates: October 6-12, 2024
- Trip Price: $3,295 USD – $3,795 USD (select room type upon booking)
- Room Descriptions:
- Single: Single occupancy, single bed, private ensuite bathroom
- Classic: Single occupancy, double bed, private ensuite bathroom with walk-in shower
- Superior: Single occupancy, double bed, private ensuite bathroom with tub/shower combination
- Deluxe: Double occupancy, double bed or two singles, private ensuite bathroom with tub and shower (specifically for couples or friends traveling together)
- $700 deposit is required to secure your space on this tour
- Terms and Conditions