Itineraries

Trip ideas

Sicily

Dominating Sicily

Palermo is a city which almost inevitably gives the tourist wandering through its ancient streets the impression of being immersed in a film set. The vibrant market of Vucciria is the symbol of old Palermo, where the air is filled with the intoxicating scents of the Mediterranean. Passing through the doors of the city's cathedral or those of the church of San Giovanni degli...

Sicily

The sea beyond the strait

From Reggio Calabria and the Italian mainland, a short journey by ferry and we arrive in Sicily, in Messina, city where one of the greatest artists of the 15th century was born, Antonio di Giovanni de Antonio, better known as Antonello da Messina. His magnificent San Giorgio Polyptic is housed in Messina's Peloritano Museum, the same museum in which Caravaggio's...

Liguria

A taste of paradise

From Genoa the old Roman Road to Pisa, the Aurelia, heads at first Eastwards. The road, carved into the mountainside, with many modern overpasses, crosses over ancient villages and towns which cling to the cliffs, wending through pine forests and rocky hills, across a spectacular landscape until it reaches Portofino. This Roman Road crossed over a bridge at your first stop,...

Liguria

From Rapallo to Sestri

The bay of San Michele di Pagana lies tucked behind a bend in the panoramic coastal road which from Santa Margherita leads to Rapallo. The village's Prelo beach is sheltered by Pagana point, a woody promontory on which to find one of the few Saracen Towers to have survived the passage of time intact. Embedded in a green crown of the hills, Rapallo is situated just 2kms from...

Tuscany

From Florence to Chianti

Florence: a treasure chest brimming with artistic masterpieces. Symbol of the Tuscan capital and the spiritual heart of the city, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its majestic dome designed by Brunelleschi dominates the historic center. Next to the cathedral there is the bell tower, realised by the great 14th century painter Giotto, and considered by many to be...

Tuscany

Crete Senesi

Long avenues of cypress trees, centuries old olive groves, and great expanses of vines which cover the hills and valleys with a soft carpet of intense color. We are in the heart of Tuscany, in the midst of a marvellous landscape where the historic city of Siena rises up supreme. Built on three hills, the Cathedral and Santa Maria dominate the cityscape. The things to see are...

Puglia

Puglia's sunny mountain

The "Sunny Mountain" as the Gargano promontory has been nicknamed for obvious reasons, is blessed with wonderfully clean beaches, secluded coves, and enchanting bays all of which lapped by the bluest of seas. From the white pebble beaches of Mattinata to the soft sandy dunes of Vieste and as far as the much loved seaside town of Peschici, the panoramic SS89 highway...

Sardinia

Golden Place

In order to reach Olbia, from Sassari we take the SS131, road which winds its way through the part of Northern Sardinia known as the Logudoro, a territory still miraculously untouched by mass tourism. Here the land is exceptionally fertile thanks to the volcanic soil and the waters of the artificial lake Coghnias, a large expanse of water resulting from the damming of the...

Umbria

Art, nature, and jazz

Perugia is the cultural and historical heart of Umbria which for the last 30 years has played an increasingly important role on the international music scene as host city for the "Umbria Jazz" festival. Miles Davis, Satn Gets, Dizzy Gillespie, Keith Jarrett, and Sting are just some of the performers to have graced the stage of this world famous music review....

Sardinia

Cruising the Emerald Coast

Destination: Emerald Coast. An itinerary which winds its way along one of Italy's most beautiful coastlines, through a landscape of immense natural beauty, which has been elected favourite summer playground of the rich and famous. The first part of our journey takes us to one of the region's most important archaeological sites, the massive prehistoric stone alter of Mount...

Amalfi Coast

From Positano to Vietri

The Amalfi Coast is a unique place, where time seems to assume a quite different dimension. A stretch of coast dotted with thirteen towns, each of which, for centuries, has attracted a steady flow of the most illustrious visitors: from venerated artists and politicians to the most glamorous members of the international jet-set. Travelling along the SS163 highway,...

Sicily

Mountains of fire

Known as "the home of the winds", the islands of the Aeolian Archipelago now have few permanent inhabitants but are a favourite haunt in season of many tourists, drawn here by the myriad beaches and azure waters. Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the islands are all volcanoes, each of a different age and having unique characteristics. All, except two, are...

Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta

The key to Italy

As you leave Turin on the SS25 road you enter the Susa Valley. The road traces the whole length of the valley, gradually climbing up through the mountain. After 15 kilometres you come to the monastery and hospital complex of St. Antonio di Raverso, founded in 1186 and enlarged during the 13th and 14th centuries. You can see frescos by Giacomo Jaquerio and an early polyptic...

Puglia

Puglian Romanesque

Puglia is the region of Southern Italy which boasts the greatest number of buildings from the Romanesque period: a time when a succession of magnificent churches and cathedrals were erected from the north to the south of the region, cathedrals such as those of Trani and Otranto and Sanctuaries such as that of San Michele Arcangelo in Monte S. Angelo. "La...

Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta

Following the flow

From Turin we travel just a few kilometers to reach Vallinotto and the small 18th century "Sanctuario della Visitazione". The chapel-sanctuary, with unusual pagoda-like dome, was designed by Bernardo Antonio Vittone, right at the start of his illustrious career. We continue our journey, via the secondary roads which follow the flow of the river Po, as far as...

Liguria

Five star Liguria

Surrounded by vineyards planted on hills which plunge straight in to the sea, the towns of the Cinque Terre are a veritable natural oasis which in 1997 were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. To visit them, given that they are happily free of viable roadways, visitors are well advised to forget the car and use the local train service instead or, during the summer, the...

Tuscany

The sea and hills of Versilia

Our tour of Versilia commences in Viareggio, one of the most elegant town's on the Tuscan coast, famous for its baths, villas and Grand Hotels, all of which built in sophisticated Liberty style. Despite being blessed with wonderful sandy beaches and shady pine woods, Viareggio is actually best known for the Carnival which, since 1873, has been held here each year. Whilst in...

Tuscany

Maremma and the Etruscans

This itinerary takes you through two very different territories within the Maremma, the Tuscan littoral south of Grosseto - the finest untouched coastline in Italy - and the unique Tufo area in the hills - an extraordinary mix of archaeological, medieval and natural beauty. The coastal area once contained vast expanses of marshland, the breeding ground of malarial mosquito...

Bay of Naples

Irpinia land of wolves and ancient culinary traditions

Between the provinces of Benevento and Avellino the vegetation is particularly lush, favored by the abundant rains which fall here during great part of the year. A gentle and relaxing panorama from the slopes of the Apennines to the plains to the west, towards the Tyrrhenian coast; this is the land known as "Irpinia", the province of Avellino, the air of which is...

Calabria and Basilicata

Calabria, sea, and sacrality

Begin this exciting tour with the Island of Dino, Ulysses' landing place in Homer's Odyssey. The island lies just off the coast after you pass Praia a Mare. In the 12th century a Norman fort was built here to protect the island and the Gulf of Policastro. Another story, connected to the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grotta, recounts that a carved wooden likeness of the...

Amalfi Coast

Cilento. Living the legend

This tour follows the coastline of the Cilento, which climbs dramatically from the flat Piana del Sele at Agropoli to a series of huge cliffs, green valleys dotted with olive trees and promontories which stretch southwards. The journey begins in the cliff top town of Agropoli. Near here the Romans established a settlement, "Ercula" on lower ground but the later...

Calabria and Basilicata

A journey through time

Little remains of the five fingers of Pentedattilo other than its name, deriving from the Greek penta+dakitlos. Today, the five points of the mountain looming above Pentedattilo are only partially visible and the town itself has long since been abandoned by the inhabitants, who have descended in to the valley leaving behind them a veritable ghost town where curious tourists...

Veneto

Venice's lagoon pearls

One of the finest expressions of the ingenuity of mankind, many have attempted to imitate Italy's city of Venice, with its charming labyrinth of canals and bridges, and proliferation of ornate churches and elegant palazzi. Venice constituted a vibrant commercial hub where the East traded with the West. A flourishing exchange of goods, but also culture, aided by the sea which...

Emilia Romagna

Riviera Romagnola

To explore the Romagnola Riviera take the SS16 through the serene countryside beginning at the Marche border, at Cattolica. Ornithologists come here to visit the Monte Bartolo Nature Reserve. There are also important archaeological sites at Monte Castello and Colombarone. Like other Riviera towns, Cattolica has an array of hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and swimming...

Veneto

The art of history in Veneto

This journey through the fertile plains of Venice's hinterland begins in the legendary city of Verona, famous as the setting for the tale of Romeo and Juliet. Due to its strategic siting on the River Adige the city has been important for centuries and has been named an UNESCO heritage site because of its many historical buildings. The city is also the backdrop for the most...

Marche

Exploring Conero

Our journey commences on the enchanting Conero coast. From Ancona we take the panoramic SP1 road in the direction of Montacuto, where to taste a glass or two of the marvellous Conero Docg red wine. Heading onwards, directly towards the sea, after just 4 kilometers, we are greeted by a stunning view of the Mezzavalle Beach. The 20 minute trek down the steep slopes to reach...

Emilia Romagna

The Via Emilia

Nature, history and culture, and the tastiest cusine, all combine in this tour of the Po valley around Piacenza and Parma, following along the side of the Roman, Via Emilia, trunk road. The tour begins in the province of Parma. The majestic Rocca Sanvitale at Fontanellato makes a dramatic start to your journey. Begun in the thirteenth century, the castle is today still...

Marche

Around and about Ancona

Ancona and its cathedral dedicated to San Ciriaco. Built on the site of a Hellenic temple and paleochristian basilica, the cathedral dominates the city from the heights of the Colle Guasco. Outside, a gothic façade; inside, a Greek cross plan and a majestic altar realised in 1738 by Luigi Vanvitelli. The work of Vanvitelli can also be found in the Church del...

Umbria

In the steps of St Francis

The tour begins in the market town of Città di Castello. Start in Piazza Garibaldi, visiting one of the many palaces, the 16th century Palazzo Vitelli a Sant'Eglio, then go on to see the work by Alberto Burri (d. 1995) displayed in the Palazzo Albizzini. The collection includes sculptures, paintings and stage designs by Burri who was born in Città di Castello in...

Lombardy

Lake Como's water-edge wonders

Breathtaking, inspiring terrain and an apparently unending string of palatial villas typify Lake Como. Begin the tour of the lake by taking the old "Strada Regina", stopping first at Cernobbio. Here the splendid Villa Erba, the childhood home of the film director, Visconti, stands, facing the lake, amidst vast grounds. A medieval town, Cernobbio is a favourite...

 

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