Explore the green heart of Italy, indulge in its beauty, art, gastronomy, nature and tradition. These lands are rich in history, visit sanctuaries, places
of worship, the birthplace of the world famous painter Raffaello, typical farmhouses, gourmet shops, and wineries where you will learn the secrets of the local gourmet flavors and delicious wines. This unique vacation will end in Rome where you will witness the grandeur and the ancient history of this Imperial city.
Le Marche is perched between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. The region boasts 28 Blue Flag Beaches, has a higher number of native grape varieties than any other region, is the birthplace for Italian Shoe Making as well as to the great composer, Gioachino Rossini.
Abruzzo has been a popular destination with Europeans for decades. Thanks to its untouched natural landscapes, medieval villages, quaint beach resorts and unique cuisine, this Italian region is on the brink of an international tourism boom. Whether you’re a trailblazer, history buff or gourmand, Abruzzo will satisfy your craving for discovery! Donna Franca has crafted this unique, off the beaten path itinerary that encompasses the historic and culinary traditions of both regions, crowned with a one night stay in the Eternal City.
- Private car, van transfer from Bologna to Urbino
- Private arrival and departure, and transportation throughout, by deluxe English speaking chauffeur-driven car or van
- 2 nights in Urbino at the first-class Hotel San Domenico (or similar)
- 2 night in Ascoli Piceno at the first-class boutique Hotel Palazzo dei Mercanti (or similar)
- 2 nights in Sulmona at the first-class Hotel Rojan (or similar)
- 1 night in Rome at the first class Hotel Quirinale (or similar)
- Buffet breakfast daily
- Private guided walking tour of medieval Urbino including entrance fee to the House of Raffaello and the Oratory of San Giovanni Battista
- Full day private car service to the towns of Gradara and Pesaro
- Private guided walking tour of Castello di Gradara with entrance fee included
- Private guided walking tour of Persaro with Rossini Highlights
- Transfer by private car, van with English speaking driver to Grottamare, Offida, and Ascoli Piceno
- Private guided walking tour of Ascoli Piceno
- Aperitivo at the historic Caffe' Meletti in Ascoli Piceno
- Ascolana Olive Demonstraton and tasting in Ascoli Piceno
- Private car, van transfer with Englsih speaking driver to San Benedetto del Tronto, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Chieti, Sulmona
- Guided walking tour of Sulmona with visit to a historic confetti artisan shop for a demonstration and tasating of this local delicac
- Full day private car, van excursion to visit Scanno, Anversa d'Abruzzo, Porta dei Parchi, Villa Lago and Castrovalva
- Lunch in a local trattoria featuring Abruzzese specialties
- Private car, van transfer with English speaking driver from Sulmona to Rome via Avezzano
- Apericena at a local cafe' of the Eternal City
- Private car, van transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport
DAY 1 - BOLOGNA/REPUBLIC OF SAN MARINO/URBINO
Independent arrival at Bologna Marconi Airport . Private car transfer with English speaking driver to Urbino, a former village which evolved to the “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Even today, the air permeates with the scent of the 14th Century!
Stop on the way to the Republic of San Marino, a mountainous microstate surrounded by Northcentral Italy and one of the world’s most ancient democracies. The historic center retains much of its medieval architecture. Enjoy a private guided walking tour before proceeding to Urbino for check in .Time to Relax and unwind. Overnight.
DAY 2 - URBINO
Buffet breakfast at hotel and soon after meet your English speaking guide/lecturer for a private walking tour of the city . Enjoy highlights such as the Ducal Palace, Raffaello Sanzio’s House and the Oratory of St John the Baptist. Free time for lunch on your own. Afternoon at leisure to self-discover this charming town.
DAY 3 - URBINO/GRADARA/PESARO/URBINO
Buffet breakfast at hotel and depart for a full day excursion to explore your off the beaten path surroundings. The first stop will be in Gradara, a medieval hilltop village located on the border of Le Marche and Emilia Romagna. Enjoy a guided visit of this imposing and well preserved fortress with entrance fee included. Legend has it that the castle was the scene of the tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, caught in each other’s arms and killed by Gianciotto, Francesca’s husband. This love story was immortalized by Dante in his Divine Comedy.
Proceed to Pesaro, a gorgeous coastal resort town on the Adriatic Sea famous for the annual Gioacchino Rossini Opera Festival. Enjoy a private walking tour featuring Piazza Grande and the famous Old Fountains of Piazza del Popolo. Late afternoon return to Urbino. Time to freshen up relax and unwind.
DAY 4 URBINO/SIROLO/GROTTAMMARE/OFFIDA/ASCOLI PICENO
Breakfast at hotel and check out. Depart for the southern part of Le Marche by private car Our first stop will be in Sirolo, a charming town where white cliffs covered with fragrant pine forests fall steeply into the azure sea. After some free time proceed to Grottammare, a fortified medieval village with breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. Grottammare has ancient origins. There are anthropogenic traces dating back to the Neolithic Age. Nearby was discovered a Piceno necropolis dating back to the 10th century B.C. We continue to the fortified village of Offida, a medieval gem. Afternoon arrival in Ascoli Piceno. Check in and room assignment. Overnight.
DAY 5 - ASCOLI PICENO
Breakfast/Ascolana Olives Tasting
Following a leisurely buffet breakfast depart for a private guided walking tour of Ascoli Piceno. Enjoy the most charming sights such as the famous Piazza del Popolo, Arengo Square, the Bishop’s Residence and Palazzo del Comune. At the end of the tour, enjoy a tasting of a local tradition, Ascolana Olives made with local green olives and other delights. Afternoon at leisure
DAY 6 ASCOLI PICENO/SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO/ROSETO DEGLI ABRUZZI/CHIETI/SULMONA
Breakfast /Confetti Tasting
Buffet breakfast at hotel and check out. Private car transfer to Sulmona, passing the resort towns of San Benedetto del Tronto, Roseto degli Abruzzi . and Abruzzo’s regional capital, Chieti. Stop at a historic confetti artisan shop for a demonstration and tasting. Sulmona is located in the Peligna Valley, a former lake that disappeared in prehistoric times. In ancient times, it was one of the most important cities of the Paeligni Tribes from the pre-Roman era. Sulmona is also known as the birthplace of the Roman poet, Ovid..Check in and room assignment. Time to relax before joining a private guided walking tour of featuring the Cathedral of San Panfilo, built on the site of a Roman temple. Walk through the ‘Villa Comunale’ (town park) until you reach the beginning of Corso Ovidio. The Corso itself is the main thoroughfare which connects the principal buildings and monuments and is lined by elegant, covered arcades, shops, and cafés. You will also find a number of shops selling confetti candies and other typical local produce. Pass the Palazzo Tabassi, Annunziata Complex, Piazza XX Settembre,the Statue of Ovid, Palazzo Giovanni delle Pelle, the Aqueduct, Piazza Garibaldi and the Fontana del Vecchio. Overnight.
DAY 7 SULMONA/SCANNO/ANVERSA D’ABRUZZO/VILLA LAGO/CASTROVALVA/SULMONA
Following buffet breakfast, depart for a full day private car service to tour the marvelous Medieval Villages and lakes of the “Sagittario Valley”. Our first stop is in Scanno. Visit the popular heart shaped lake. Then proceed to Anversa D’Abruzzo. This picturesque village offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. We proceed to the tiny village of Castrovalva, perched high on a sliver of rock in the Apennines of Abruzzo. Stop for a typical Abruzzese lunch at a local trattoria. In the afternoon visit the village of Villalago located in the upper valley on the summit of Mount Argoneta. This beautiful fortified town was founded by the Benedectine Monk San Domenico .Late afternoon return to Sulmona. Overnight.
DAY 8 SULMONA/AVEZZANO/ROME
Buffet breakfast and check out. Private car transfer from Sulmona to the Eternal City, Rome. Check in and room assignment. Balance of the afternoon at leisure. This evening enjoy an “Apericena”, a popular dinner/cocktail at a local café’ of the city.
DAY 9 - DEPARTURE
Buffet breakfast at hotel and check out. Private car transfer to Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport for your return flight home, or extend your stay!
Accommodation, Departure Dates and Prices
FIRST CLASS PACKAGE
Urbino – San Domenico Hotel
Ascoli Piceno – Palazzo dei Mercanti Dimora Storica
Sulmona – Rojan Hotel
Rome – Quirinale Hotel
VALID FOR TRAVEL APRIL 1, 2023 - OCTOBER 31, 2023
PRICING PER PERSON, DOUBLE OCCUPANCY ON REQUEST
Vacation may be personalized to suit. Larger parties welcome. Please contact us for a price quote and details.