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(c) 2001-2008 Rita O'Connor Ferracin


Tuscany & Umbria

 

Duomo, FlorenceUffizi, FlorencePonte Vecchio, Florence

Day-to-Day Itinerary

(13 turtle days)

Day 1: Florence. We'll meet at the hotel in Florence this evening about 6:00PM for some cheese and wine, then a short walk to dinner in a local restaurant to get to know your fellow travellers.

Day 2: Florence, oh beautiful Florence. We start the day with a guided walking tour to introduce you to Brunelleschi's dome, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria. We'll have a light lunch of pizza in a typical Florentine spot, then the afternoon is free to slowly absorb the birth of the Renaissance city. (Museum visit when available.)

Day 3: 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 café, a passeggiata through the narrow Florentine streets, then dinner with some new-found friends?

Day 4: Florence deserves another full day to visit the Accademia, home to Michelangelo's David, and not to be missed, the Uffizi to admire the paintings of Botticelli, Giotto and Cimabue, in short, the art capital of Italy. You might also choose to shop for gold on the famous Ponte Vecchio. Dinner in a trattoria to chat about what you've seen and prepare for our departure tomorrow.

(c) Chris Fleck(c) Chris Fleck
Day 5: Umbria: We leave the Renaissance city behind as we set off to the green hills of Umbria. Our first stop will be Assisi to meet our guide for a walking tour down the hills of this medieval walled city. We'll visit the Basilica of San Francesco to admire the frescoes by Giotto, then time to wander about some more before arriving at our Inn in the hillside for the next four nights. Time to unpack before dinner.

Day 6: Spoleto: We'll start our walk in the Piazza della Liberta, stopping enroute to visit the Teatro Romano, still used today during the summer music festival. A short walk through the outdoor central market square brings us to the oldest part of the city. Free time to visit the Duomo, elegant shops and perhaps lunch in an outdoor café. We'll meet again in the early afternoon to walk to the picture-perfect castle then across the medieval acqueduct. Back to our country setting and dinner.

Day 7: Orvieto: Perched high on a cliff overlooking the vineyards below, we'll make our way up to Orvieto. First stop will be the Duomo with its awe-inspiring façade. The cathedral contains The Last Judgment by Luca Signorelli, an inspiration for Michelangelo's masterpiece frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Time to admire the colorful pottery in the many local shops and luncheon. Early return to relax in the countryside.

Day 8: Gubbio. A steep walk up the hills will bring us to the tiny town of Gubbio. The houses are built of a rosy-pink stone contrasted with tiled roofs giving Gubbio a picture-perfect feeling of a Middle Ages town. First stop will be the Palazzo dei Consoli to visit the museum displaying the Eugubian Tables, seven bronze tablets discovered in 1444. We'll also have time to visit the Fontana dei Matti (the fountain of the mad) before returning to the Inn.

(c) Chris FleckDuomo, Siena(c) Chris Fleck

Day 9: The Tartaruga returns to Tuscany. Lucca will be our first stop. We'll visit the Duomo of San Martino to admire the works of Nicola Pisano, walk the walls of the city and time to admire the colorful pottery in the many shops. Dinner this evening in a restaurant in the Tuscan hills.

Day 10: Carrara. Our first stop this morning will be to see, first-hand how the hundred year-old olive trees we've been passing on the country roads produce the oil we've been sampling. We'll make a stop at a frantoio where they have been crushing the juices out of those beautiful olives for centuries. A chance to sample the virgin oil, some fresh bread with tomatoes, and a dribble of oil. We continue to Carrara to admire the marble quarries. Michelangelo spent months here in his search through Roman quarries for the perfect stones to carve his David. Return to the Inn late afternoon and dinner near home.

Day 11: 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. There are seventeen neighborhoods (contrade) each with its own church and animal mascot plus its colorful local flag.
Elegant shops line the narrow streets and we'll have time to explore and practice your Italian passeggiata. Dinner in a small country restaurant.

Day 12: San Gimignano calls us today. This picture-perfect hilltown has to be climbed, so we'll make stops along the way. Fifteen of the original 27 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 stores. We'll make our way back to the Inn in time for another Tuscan sunset before leaving for a farewell dinner in a local trattoria.
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Day 13: Tour ends after breakfast. We can arrange to take you to the Florence train station or the airport.

Departure Dates

All tours last 13 days, 12 nights.

 

 

2009

April 14

May 19

2010

April 6

May 4

Price of Tour

Tartaruga Tours Inc. are small group journeys with a minimum of ten and maximum of eighteen participants. Euro 3,900 per person, based on double occupancy. A few single spots are available with a single supplement of Euro 600.

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