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(c) 2001-2008 Rita O'Connor Ferracin


photo (c) 2007 Deirdre' Straughan


Day 1: Rome. We will meet at the hotel this evening to enjoy some cheese and wine and to meet your fellow travelers before leaving for dinner in a nearby restaurant.

Day 2: Rome. Walking city tour with local guide to take in the Roman Forum, the Coliseum and the ancient history of Rome.

Day 3: Rome. We will visit the Vatican museums with a local expert. Afternoon free to explore the city on your own or with some new-found friends.

Day 4: Rome. Full day to visit museums, leisurely walks perhaps to the Spanish steps or the Piazza Navona to lunch in the square as the Romans do. We’ll meet again this evening for dinner and to share your adventures of your days in the eternal city.

Day 5: Rome/Tuscany. After breakfast, we leave the eternal city behind and head for Tuscany. We’ll stop in Assisi for a walking tour down the winding streets to the Basilica of St. Francis. Sunset arrival at the Castle of Gargonza near Arezzo. Time to unpack for your week in Tuscany, then dinner at the Castle restaurant.

Day 6: Siena controlled the wool industry during the XII and XIII centuries and was the crossroad from France to Rome. We’ll climb up to have a look at the grandest medieval square in Italy, home to the famous Palio horse race held twice a year. Sunday is the perfect day to visit the Duomo, Nicola Pisano’s pulpit portraying scenes from the life of Christ, and sculpture by Michelangelo. We’ll return late afternoon to our castle, then dinner at the Castle restaurant.

Day 7: Florence. We’ll start the day with a guided walking tour to introduce you to Brunelleschi’s dome, the Piazza della Signoria and more. We’ll have a light lunch of pizza, then a free afternoon to slowly absorb the birth of the Renaissance city. (Museum visit when available, either today or tomorrow.)

Day 8: Florence. Armed with your maps of the city, you’re free to explore today at your leisure. Why not do as the Florentines and visit the Piazzale Michelangelo to take some pictures of the city from above? A leisurely lunch in an outdoor cafe, a passeggiata through the narrow Florentine streets. Dinner in a trattoria this evening, to chat about what you’ve seen. Return to the Castle after dinner.

Day 9: Pienza. A visit to Tuscany would not be complete without a day to explore Pienza, the birthplace of Pope Pius II who transformed it into a Renaissance city. We will have lunch in a local trattoria to sample tartufo and mixed grilled meats. This afternoon, we’ll visit a local wine producer to taste the Tuscan red wines. Tonight, off to a small town for dinner.

Day 10: San Gimignano. This picture-perfect hilltown has to be climbed so we’ll make stops along the way. Fifteen of the original twenty-seven towers remain today; and the Romanesque church of San Francisco has been converted into a wine cellar for the locally produced white Vernaccia wine. Only in Italy. We’ll sample this light wine before continuing to the main square. Time for lunch and for dessert, why not mix several flavors of gelato from one of the many ice cream shops? We’ll return by early evening to the Castle for dinner.

C. Fleck C. Fleck C. Fleck C. Fleck

Day 11: Montalcino. This morning, we’ll stop outside the walls of Montalcino (no traffic permitted inside) and wind our way up to the center. Some more wine tasting? We’ll visit an enoteca for the famous Brunello di Montalcino wines. An afternoon return to the castle to prepare for our departure tomorrow and our farewell dinner to Tuscany at the castle.

Day 12: Bologna/Venice. After breakfast, we’ll take the autostrada north stopping in Bologna, the gastronomical capital of Emilia/Romagna for lunch. We’ll arrive late afternoon in Venice, our home for the next three nights. Walk to dinner in a nearby restaurant.

photo (c) 2007 Deirdre' Straughanphoto (c) 2007 Deirdre' Straughan

Day 13: Venice. Morning visit to St. Mark’s square and a tour of the Doge Palace including the prison. One of the best things to do in Venice is: get lost. Even the natives make some wrong turns and it is a good way to avoid the crowds in the main tourist spots. You’ll see small shops with traditional carnival masks, Venetians shopping for local produce and have a chance to see everyday life in this city on water.

Day 14: Venice/Burano. Today we visit the colorful island of Burano where each house is painted a different pastel color. We’ll have time to walk the narrow canals taking pictures of the small fishing boats. Luncheon on your own in an outdoor café but save some room for our farewell dinner this evening.

Day 15: Venice. Tour ends after breakfast.


All tours start on Tuesday at the hotel in Rome and last thirteen days, twelve nights.

  2009 2010

April 7

May 19

June 16

September 1

September 22

October 13

April 13

May 11

June 8

September 7

September 28

October 19

Price of Tour

Tartaruga Tours Inc. are small group journeys with a minimum of ten and maximum of eighteen participants. Euro 3,600 per person, based on double occupancy. A few single spots are available with a single supplement of Euro 600.

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