The sensory overload continues in every quaint Italian village along the way, where you'll sip espresso at an outdoor café, sample Umbrian prized wines, or savour a long, leisurely meal bursting with fresh vegetables, homemade pasta , meat from the regions famed charcuterie, local cheese, prized truffles, river fish, lentils all part of the country’s tradition and have not been affected by modernisation or haste.
Day 1: Perugia
Arrive in Perugia late morning. Perugia, the capital of the Umbria region, lies at the heart of Italy in a peaceful and beautiful landscape. This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive in Perugia at any time. Note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. Late afternoon we meet Giuliana, Beppe, Paolo (our tour leaders) and our fellow travelling companions at a Welcome Meeting (usually at 4pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place in a notice, located near the reception at our hotel) where you will give us a briefing on what lies ahead on our tour. Dinner not included.
Day 2: Perugia – Cortona
After breakfast transfer to the Vespa rental location to receive your bikes and tour information. Ride to Cortona, the town made famous by Frances Mayes’ book, “Under the Tuscan Sun” passing Lake Trasimeno on our way. Lake Trasimeno (Italy’s fourth largest lake covering some 126 km²) is classified as a Regional Park, and its circular waters, surrounded by gentle hills are covered in olives and vines. Overnight: Villa Aurea
Day 3: Cortona – Montepulciano
This morning we ride a short distance (40km) to Montepulciano, in order to give you the time to get acquainted with your Vespa and with Italian roads. Montepulciano, a small yet magnificent Renaissance town. Inside the walls, the streets are crammed with Renaissance-style palazzi and churches. From here, you have your first view of the “Nobile” vineyards and cypress crested hills. It is the home of one of Italy’s much praised wines – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Day 4 Montepulciano – /Pienza/ Monticchiello – Montepulciano
Visit Montepulciano before heading to Monticchiello, a tiny hamlet with cobbled alleys and geranium window-boxed gardens. Have lunch on the terrace of a small café that commands one of the most beautiful views of the whole trip. After lunch we travel to Pienza where you will taste pecorino cheese. Pienza is a wonderfully preserved tiny Renaissance ‘city’ with a fine Duomo, museum and Palazzo. Return to Montepulciano for a wine tasting at Cantine Redi.
Day 5: Montepulciano - San Casciano Bagni
The route to San Casciano Bagni is an amazing sequence of grand sceneries; visit Bagno Vignoni, the Roman ancient thermal baths and Radicofani, dominated by its imposing “Rocca”.
An afternoon cooking course at a charming country estate. After the cooking class have a relax in the hot pool at Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort then head back to your overnight accommodation and the dinner you prepared earlier in the day.
Day 6: San Casciano Bagni – Orvieto
Today you return to Umbria. Orvieto is a small jewel perched on a ‘tufo’ cliff. Tufo is a soft golden stone. Some of the ancient caves have now been turned into wine cellars. Visit a famous wine cellar and enjoy supper there.
Day 7: Orvieto – Montefalco
Today you travel past the lovely Lake Corbara to Todi. Continue towards Montefalco.
Day 8: Montefalco – Bevagna – Assisi
Today follow small country roads, winding among luscious vineyards. Stop for lunch and wine tasting at Dionigi winery and visit the charming town of Spello. Spello’s medieval town centre boasts numerous Roman remains, such as the theatre, amphitheatre, baths and the Arch of Augustus, an ancient gate leading into this former acropolis. Late afternoon cooking class and dinner at Alfonsas house (15kms from Assisi) . Overnight in Assisi.
Day 9: Assisi - Villa Il Poggiolo
Today you return your Vespas at Villa il Poggiolo, a charming 19th century villa where you will spend the night. Join Cristina at the Saturday market (dependent on market days) to buy food for dinner and in the late afternoon prepare bruschetta and appetizers while in the relaxing environment of her home.
Day 10: Tour concludes
Your tour concludes today with a transfer to the Perugia railway station or airport.
If you have a small party we can provide the options of a guide, support vehicle, cooking classes, wine and olive oil tastings and dinners.