Surprisingly small as it is, this riverside city looms large on the world’s ‘must-sees’ list. Cradle of the Renaissance it preserves some of the greatest works of art and most beautiful buildings in the world. Florence (Firenze) is magnetic, romantic and busy. The passing of time has brought hardly any changes, its narrow streets evoke a thousand tales, and its food and wine are so wonderful that the label ‘Fiorentina’ has become an international brand of quality assurance.
In this tour you will also discover how, with the fall of the Roman Empire, religion has kept drifting away from pure worship and the misuse of the Bible.
CHIANTI TOUR: The ancient vineyard in this postcard-perfect part of Tuscany produce the grapes used in Chianti and Chianti Classico, world-famous red sold under the Gallo Nero (Black Rooster) trademark. This part of Tuscany has a landscape to fall in love with. Rugged Chianti’s bumpy backroads reveal a timeless terrain raced with cypress avenues and criss-crossing wines. As we crest the nearby western hills, the 14 towers of the walled town of San Gimignano rise up like a medieval Manhattan. Here you will be able to taste one of the best gelato ever. You will enjoy tasting wine in ancient castles producing their own wine and olive oil among other products. Lunch will be in a very typical and unforgettable place.
SIENA – PISA – LUCCA – VAL D’ORCIA – CORTONA – AREZZO and more…
This city built on waters is unique with its magical, spectacular scenery is not just beautiful, it is a real miracle of creative genius, a city built on mud, sand and slime of a difficult, inhospitable landscape. For centuries the Venetians, slowly and stubbornly insisted on recovering even the smallest bit of land from the water. Venice is the symbol of wise government and freedom.
What surprises about Venice, now as in the past, is its impressive palazzi that face the Grand Canal, important symbols of prestige for their owners who were almost always merchants.
In addition the Venetian Lagoon includes other islands, some only partially drained. The island of Murano famous for glass-working. Burano with every property painted in blazing colours and also famed for its production of lace. Torcello, tradition has it that the first refugees escaped here from the mainland invasions around 400 AD.
You may like to enjoy a gondola ride too.
Linking the coastal villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.
The 5 Lands Coastal Walkway, or like the Italian call them the Cinque Terre, is a spectacular route tracing along some of the most breathtaking coastline of the northern region of Liguria.
The history of the villages date back in the centuries along with its culture, unique life style, local products such as olive oil, wine and special dishes.
A boat trip can be arranged on request.
AMALFI COST & THE ISLAND OF CAPRI
Deemed by Unesco to be an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, the Amalfi Coast is a beguiling combination of great beauty and gripping drama: coastal mountains plunge into the sea in a stunning vertical scene of precipitous crags, picturesque towns and lush forests.
Among the glittering string of coastal gems, legendary Positano and Amalfi sparkle the brightest, while mountaintop Ravello has the glossy fame of its grandiose villas and Wagnerian connection. Sorrento is a beautiful town overlooking the water to Naples and Mt Vesuvius.
Capri’s beguiling combination of fabled beauty and hedonism has charmed Roman emperors, Russian revolutionaries and Hollywood stars for decades. It’s the perfect microcosm of Mediterranean appeal – a smooth cocktail of chichi piazzas and cool cafes, Roman ruins and rugged seascapes.
Capri’s single most famous attraction is the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), a stunning sea cave illuminated by an other-worldly blue light.
Since exploding into history in 79 AD, Vesuvius has blown its top more than 30 times. What redeems this slumbering menace is the spectacular panorama from its crater, which takes in Naples, its world-famous bay, and part of the Apennine mountains. Vesuvius is the focal point of the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio, with nine nature walks around the volcano.
Europe’s most compelling archaeological site: the ruins of Pompeii. Sprawling and haunting, the site is a stark reminder of the malign forces that lie deep inside.
Although it’s most famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona has much more to offer than its connections to the star-crossed lovers! From the 3rd century BC Verona was a Roman trade centre with ancient gates, a forum and a grand Roman arena, which still serves as one of the world’s great opera and concerts venues. The city is rich in culture and history, in fact, has been awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.
Lake Como is a jewel-like oasis of tranquillity, a magical combination of lush Mediterranean foliage and snowy alpine peaks. Its magnificent scenery has enchanted artists and travelers for centuries.
Even today Lake Como continues to attract members of the international jet-set and celebrities that appreciate the evocative beauty of the Lake and its surroundings.
Breathtaking villas, one after the other, encircle the lake, a resort destination of the nobles of Lombardy since the 16th Century.
Italy’s largest lake, blessed with a benign climate and diversity of landscape, with Venice to the east and Milan to the west. It’s resorts attracts some Europe’s best windsurfing. On the more sheltered stretch on the western shore , are lush groves of olives, vines and citrus trees. Scenically the shores of the lake are varied, the rich vegetation of its middle reaches gives way to the rugged north.
The shores of Garda are studded with pretty harbour towns some with Roman history while others with beautiful Medieval castles. Writers have sung Garda’s praises over the centuries. Halfway down, at Gargnano, DH Lawrence and Frieda lived for several months – a marble plaque identifies the house. “The lake lies dim and milky,” Lawrence wrote, “the mountains are dark blue… the sky glistens… the light burns gold.”
AND MORE …