Grand Tour of Italy with Armando & Francesca
(Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Veneto – duration 7 days)

With this tour Armando & Francesca (both licensed guides and happily married since 1989) will make you experience the famous “Grand Tour” that since the late sixteenth century, and for the next 300 years, it became fashionable for young aristocrats, artists and intellectuals to visit Venice, Florence, Naples and, above all, Rome, as the culmination of their classical education. With their expertice in touring people since the last 20 years Armando and Francesca will make you experience the fascinating landscapes and cities of Italy bringing to mind the impressions of famous Grand Tourists such as Stendhal, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Turner, West…etcetera.
Our aim is to promote the knowledge of the Italian cultural and naturalistic heritage in the mood of the travellers of that age, a way to travel nowdays lost in the context of modern “mass tourism”.
We provide different type of Italy Grand Tours of various duration (from a minimun of 5 days up to 30 days), for private, families and small groups, off the beaten tracks and away from the crowded routes (the itinerary below is flexible and it can be modified on the base of clients’ interests).

Visits: Rome (2 nights), Vatican City, Narni, Marmore’s Falls, Spoleto, Assisi (1 night) Lake Trasimeno, Cortona, Arezzo, Firenze (2 nights), Bologna, Padua, Venice (2 nights).

Day 1st – Rome (2 nights): morning, pick up from the Leonardo Da Vinci Rome Airport and check into hotel; then you’ll start to discover Rome: its history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC; Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe; it is referred to as “The Eternal City” (Latin: Roma Aeterna) and “Caput Mundi” (English: Capital of the World), two central notions in ancient Roman culture; In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization; since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic. We’ll have lunch in a typical restaurant and in the afternoon we’ll show you the magnificent archaeological area of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum, that reveals what the central goverment of the Roman Empire must have been like in ancient times; visit to the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains (Michelangelo’s Moses); then time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 2nd – Rome & Vatican City: after a good breakfast we’ll get you to the Vatican City State: it is a walled enclave within the city of Rome; with an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842, it is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population; we’ll show you the wonders of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica; lunch in a typical restaurant, then we’ll walk to see Castel Sant’Angelo, the Tiber River, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain; then back to your hotel, time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 3rd – On this day we’ll leave Rome to drive to Assisi (1 night): after breakfast we’ll drive to Narni: it is an ancient hilltown and comune of Umbria, in central Italy; it overhangs a narrow gorge of the Nera River in the province of Terni; in 299 BC it became a Roman Municipality, and took the name Narnia; the Roman Emperor Nerva was born at Narni in 30 AD; visit to the Arch of Augustus and the Cathedral of St. Giovenale; then we’ll drive to the Marmore’s Falls: is a man-made waterfall created by the ancient Romans, its total height is 165 m (541 feet), making it one of the tallest in Italy and the tallest man-made waterfall in Europe; then we’ll drive to Spoleto: an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennines; visit to the Roman theater and the Albornoziana Fortress; and then we’ll reach Assisi: one of the most preserved Medieval towns in the Umbria Region and birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare; visit to the Church of St. Francis and to the Church of St. Clare; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 4th – On this day we’ll leave Assisi to drive to Firenze (Florence; 2 nights): after breakfast we’ll drive to Lake Trasimeno: it is the fourth lake for surface in Italy, and the site of the famous battle of the Ancient Romans against Hannibal in April 217 B.C. during the Second Punic War; then we’ll reach Cortona: beautiful hilltop town in Tuscany; visit to Etruscan Academy Museum; and then we’ll drive to Arezzo: one of the most preserved Medieval/Renaissance towns in the Tuscany Region; visit to Basilica of St. Francis with Frescoes by Piero della Francesca; then we’ll finally reach Florence; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 5th – Firenze: Florence is famous for its history, a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Firenze is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called “the Athens of the Middle Ages”; its turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions; from 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy; Florence contains numerous museums and art galleries where some of the world’s most important works of art are held; after breakfast we are going to walk Florence to visit the Cathedral, Piazza Signoria, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge); time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 6th – On this day we’ll leave Florence to drive to Venice (2 nights): after breakfast we are going to drive to Bologna: over the centuries, the city has acquired many nicknames: “the learned one” (la dotta) is a reference to its university (founded in 1088, is the second oldest existing university in the world); “the fat one” (la grassa) refers to its cuisine (Bologna is renowned for its culinary tradition); visits to Church of St. Petronio and to the Archiginnasio Palace with its Anatomical Theater built in 1637; then we’ll drive to Padova (Padua): the city stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Venice, it hosts the renowned University of Padua, almost 800 years old and famous, among other things, for having had Galileo Galilei among its lecturers; visit to the Scrovegni Chapel with its remarkable cycle of frescoes completed in 1305 by Giotto, and Basilica di Sant’Antonio da Padova – outside the church is Donatello’s magnificent equestrian statue of the Venetian general Gattamelata – Erasmo da Narni -; then we’ll finally reach Venezia (Venice); time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 7th – Venice: sited on a group of 117 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges; the city historically was the capital of the Republic of Venice; it has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”; Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture; visit to St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant (End of the Grand Tour).

The above itinerary is ideal for a couple, as well as for a family with children, or for a small group of people (friends/family), and it can be modified on the base of client’s interests; also it is possible to make a shorter vacation (minimum 5 days).

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