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Castello Di Petrata exterior

A Taste of Umbria

8-day Tailor-made self-drive from £1,105 pp incl. flights

Free car hire on this itinerary

Summary

Short description

A self-drive tour within the green heart of Italy

Highlights

  • Escape to the rustic beauty of Umbria where medieval towns intersperse rolling valleys of pretty villages and award-winning vineyards
  • Drive through backcountry idylls, marvelling at Renaissance masterpieces and staying in everything from manor house heritage to pilgrim’s inns
  • Bring it all to life with a pair of cooking courses, a wine tasting session and spa indulgences

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Colle San Paolo
  • 1 Night Perugia
  • 2 Nights Assisi
  • 2 Nights Orvieto

Itinerary

Recommended for:
Food & wine | History & culture | Self-drive

Escape to the rustic beauty of Umbria where historic settlements intersperse rolling countrysides of pretty villages and award-winning vineyards. You'll begin with a private villa stay right in its green centre before turning to successive medieval towns and the region's stately capital, Perugia, a majestic town laced with masterpieces of both art and architecture. Along the way, a pair of cooking courses and a wine tasting session will introduce you to the region's world famous cuisine while you stay in historic properties that showcase the best of the region. There's everything from manor house heritage to pilgrim's inns.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Rome / Colle San Paolo

Fly to Rome, collect your hire car and plunge into the rustic good looks of Umbria on a scenic drive to Colle San Paolo. Here, you’ll check into the superb Villa Monte Solare; resting idyllically among Umbria’s picturesque valleys and olive tree groves, marble fireplaces, antique furnishings and authentic cotto flooring remember the villa’s 18th century aristocratic heyday. Its stunning rural vistas are best taken in when dining al fresco at the traditional restaurant or from the gorgeous pool. 

Stay: Villa di Monte Solare (Superior)

Day 2
Colle San Paolo

After breakfast, a hands-on cooking lesson will introduce you to the art behind the region's famous gastronomy. Known as the 'Green Heart of Italy', Umbria's specialties include pasta sauces of grey-white truffles, porschetta roast suckling pig and immaculately prepared rustic soups. You'll get to taste your morning's work over lunch, wine-paired of course. If you've room, consider taking the short drive to nearby Castiglione del Lago, a well-preserved medieval location on Lake Trasimeno that seems to be governed by a "law of threes". Walls have three gates and the town features precisely three squares and three churches. We've also included entrance to your hotel's spa where you can replenish yourself with a range of luxury treatments.

Stay: Villa di Monte Solare (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 3
Perugia

Make the short drive northeast to enjoy a full day in Perugia, the capital of Umbria. This ancient town has a unique aspect – the upper part was an Etruscan and Roman acropolis that today descends gracefully down to a collection of medieval quarters. Here, masterpieces of art and architecture are now incorporated into modern life. Wander its historic Corso Vannucci main street to link arched stairways and magnificent piazza lined with cathedrals, grand palazzo mansions and fountain flourishes. Don't miss out on the National Gallery of Umbria and the Collegio del Cambio for its celebrated frescoes by Perugino, one of the great masters of Italian Renaissance painting. For lovers of chocolate, head to the Perugina House of Chocolate and Museum just outside the city centre.

Stay: Hotel Brufani Palace (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 4
Assisi

After breakfast, continue your journey east to Assisi – a medieval town built on a Roman settlement. Capping a spur of Mt. Subasio, the views haven't changed much either with its privileged position overlooking much of the green vale of Umbria. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims to the 13th century St. Francis Church, famed for its colourful frescoes by Giotto, before tracing the history of the region's favourite saint even further at St. Chiara, a fine Gothic basilica that contains the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis. For your time here, you'll stay at the Castello di Petrata, a historic country house squatting on a 14th century fortress. Three miles from the town centre, it's an idyllic slice of the Umbrian countryside. 

Stay: Castello di Petrata (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5
Assisi

Today we recommend a trip to Montefalco. Termed the 'Balcony of Umbria', it's a 12th century pentagon where five gates and their associated lanes and churches point the way to a piazza that commands unrivalled views over the surrounding countryside. It's also particularly known for its viticulture – something you'll explore on a visit to Sagrantino di Montefalco, one of only two DOCG-standard wineries in Umbria. Here, a guided tasting will bring you through its finest varietals as a cooking class adds extra detail to Umbria's cuisine. Long unfairly overshadowed by its neighbour to the north – Tuscany – you'll learn why Umbria's traditional cuisine is finally getting the attention it deserves. The secret is in the farmhouse recipes.

Stay: Castello di Petrata (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 6
Orvieto

Loop back west to arrive at Orvieto. We recommend breaking up your journey with a stop at Spoleto; watched over by an imposing medieval fortress and backed by the equally impressive Apennines, it's a visual pastiche of Roman amphitheatres and Lombardian cathedrals. Orvieto's medieval beauty – surrounded by vineyards and cypress trees – is equally enticing and is reached by a charming drive through the Umbrian countryside. Break for lunch at any number of inviting farmhouse eateries along the way. On arrival, you'll stay in the Locanda Palazzone whose 13th century history as a pilgrim's inn belies interiors realised in faultless Scandinavian chic.

Stay: Locanda Palazzone (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 7
Orvieto

Orvieto lies on a spectacular rock of volcanic tuff – the ideal mantelpiece for one of Umbria's most historic centres. You'll have a full day to explore a town whose past bears traces of medieval pragmatism, Renaissance flourishes and Etruscan archaeology. You'll want to take in its Duomo's stirringly Gothic disposition that ranks it among Italy's finest, the town's stern 14th century fortress and the Bridge of Towers, a daring medieval work, 76 metres high and 230 metres long. Lastly, don't miss out on the trio of papal palaces. 

Stay: Locanda Palazzone (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 8
Departure

After breakfast, drive back to Rome Airport in time to catch your return flight.

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

8-day Tailor-made self-drive from £1,105 incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £1,105 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £1,370 pp. incl. flights

Valid for travel: until 31 October 2017

Includes:

  • Return flights to Rome
  • Car hire for 8 days Economy car
  • 7 nights B&B accommodation
  • 2 cooking classes
  • 1 wine tasting
  • Entrance fees to the spa
  • Entrance to wine museum at Villa di Monte Solare Resort & Spa.


Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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