2018 President's Tour – Backroads of Tuscany & Umbria
Our 2018 President’s Tour takes us back to one of my all-time favorite destinations… Italy! And one phrase perfectly captures the essence of this journey, “La Dolce Vita.” It means, “the sweet life” and let me assure you, the sweet life we will live. Four nights in Tuscany, four nights in Umbria, and a night in Rome to cap it all off. The wine will be flowing, the food will be authentic and the landscapes will be breathtaking.
Together we’ll explore the backroads of Tuscany and Umbria to discover Volterra, San Gimignano, Siena, Spoleta, Bevagna and the capital of Tuscany, Florence. I invite you to review the itinerary to see all of the amazing sites we will be visiting during our 11 days together. But before you do, let me describe for you the things I am most looking forward to:
– Watching a Tuscan sunset melt into the rolling hills while sipping a glass of wine
– Shopping through quaint cobblestone streets in search of Italian treasures
– Getting to know an Umbrian family in their own home over a home cooked meal
– Telling stories at the end of the day with old friends and new (happy hour!)
– THE FOOD!!! If you have never taken part in a real Italian feast, OMG, you’re in for a treat!
Italians take a tremendous amount of pride in good food made with fresh simple ingredients. At several of our hand-picked meals, you’ll have the opportunity to taste Italian delicacies such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, cured meats, Balsamic Vinegar, fresh olive oil and handmade pasta cooked to perfection. And don’t forget Tuscany’s famous steak… my mouth is watering just thinking about it! All of this complimented by wine from one of the world’s most famous wine regions.
Beyond great food, iconic sites and delectable wine, we have outstanding accommodations. What I love most is that we have two four-night stays so we’re not constantly packing and unpacking. First, we’ll be staying at the Hotel Paggeria Medicea, set right in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, surrounded by picturesque views. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is the quintessential Tuscan Villa experience you have been dreaming about! In Umbria, we’ll be staying at the Hotel Dei Duchi in the town of Spoleto. Perfectly situated within walking distance of many sites, restaurants and cafes, the Dei Duchi has earned the right be called TripAdvisor’s #1 (of 26) hotel in Spoleto.
See you in Italy!
Per Person Double Occupancy
Single Supplement: $599
September 3-13, 2018
11 Days / 10 Nights
Relax on your overnight flight to Tuscany.
Welcome to Tuscany! You’ll fall in love with the picturesque Renaissance landscape of the hills and villages in this region of Italy. Say hello to your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner while a local musician serenades you. (D)
Tuscany: Volterra, San Gimignano
Roll along the country roads to Volterra, a former Etruscan city perched high above the countryside, flanked by rivers and surrounded by ancient stone walls. Spend time at the Guarnacci Museum, one of the oldest public museums in Europe, founded in 1761. Then it’s on to an alabaster carving demonstration at a local workshop. Later, we travel to San Gimignano, known as the “City of Beautiful Towers.” Look up to see the town’s fourteen medieval towers that date back to the 13th century. Enjoy a stroll along Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Cisterna. (B)
Tuscany: Siena, Monteriggioni
Travel to the city of Siena. During your locally guided walking tour, visit the historic piazza famous for the Palio Horse Race. Then, the choice is yours! Explore the 14th-century Torre (Tower) del Mangia, the 3rd tallest tower in Italy at your own pace or join your guide to get to know local life in a Contrada (neighborhood). Each of these small, close-knit communities are unique and have traditions of their own. Then it’s off to the walled town of Monteriggioni. Stroll its quaint streets, seemingly frozen in time. Take an afternoon break and try some local snacks before heading back to your quiet Tuscan retreat. Tonight, enjoy an interactive pasta- making demonstration, then take your seat for an authentic Tuscan dinner expertly paired with local wines. (B, D)
Today it’s Florence, “Cradle of the Italian Renaissance.” Join a local guide for a walking tour of the city’s iconic sights. Return to another age as you view the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, located in the religious center of the Piazza Del Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio. Catch a glimpse into the creative side of Florence when you meet a local artisan in his workshop to see how and where he refines his craft. Take some time to browse the shops and explore Florence on your own. (B)
Tuscan Winery to Umbria
This morning we’ll make a stop at a local winery to see the wine cellar, family estate, vineyards and olive groves. The winery’s chef creates an authentic Tuscan lunch, expertly paired with wines produced on-site. Later, we are on our way to Umbria where you’ll spend the next four nights immersed in country life in a pristine Umbrian hill town. (B, L)
Umbria: Montefalco, Winery, Bevagna, Olive Oil Farm
Head to the “Balcony of Umbria.” The charming medieval town of Montefalco received this moniker because of its unobstructed views of the Umbrian countryside. Step back in time as you explore independently. Then it’s on to a local winery to sample one of this region’s most prized wines, Sagrantino. Next, savor a lunch of authentic Umbrian dishes. Continue to Bevagna where we meet a local expert for a walking tour featuring Roman and medieval archaeological and architectural marvels. Cap off your day by learning about another locally made product, olive oil, at a family-run ‘frantoio’ (olive-presser). (B, L)
Umbria: Assisi, Home-Hosted Lunch
Travel to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. Set out on a walking tour of the old city with a local guide. Come to know its history as you stroll the medieval streets, pausing along the way to see its famed Basilica of St. Francis. Next, you are in for a treat when an Umbrian family welcomes you into their country home as they prepare you a delicious home- cooked meal. Share stories and make an Umbrian friend (or two). (B, L)
Umbria: Spoleto, Cooking Class
Set off for a guided walking tour of historic Spoleto. See medieval palaces, the ornate Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta and the magnificent Ponte delle Torri, an aqueduct dating back to the 13th century. Enjoy free time to peruse the town’s shops and cafés. Next, visit a country restaurant housed in a 16th- century farmhouse. This is the Italy few get to experience. Take a stroll through their herb garden (weather permitting) and see how they make their own cheese. Afterwards, join the chef for a hands-on Umbrian cooking lesson. Indulge in an early dinner in the countryside before turning in for the evening. (B, D)
Umbria to Orvieto to Rome
Travel to the Etruscan hill town of Orvieto. A local expert leads you on a walking tour amid the town’s treasures, including a visit to its prominent Gothic cathedral, home to a Signorelli fresco. Explore the many sides of Orvieto on your own. Perhaps pause for a leisurely lunch, sip on some white wine and become a part of the local scene. Then it’s on to Rome – Italy’s dynamic capital city. Tonight, gather for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. (B, D)
Rome: Return Home
Your journey comes to a close in Rome. Tell tales of your Italian adventure on your flight home. (B)
- International economy class airfare
- Hotel accommodations as listed below*
- 16 meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
- Custom luggage handling
- Professional Tour Manager, drivers & guides
- Sightseeing as described in itinerary
- Modern, air-conditioned coach transportation
- Complete services of Cruise & Tour
- Escorted by Dennis & Peggy Crull
*The tour operator reserves the right to substitute a hotel for similar accommodations should circumstances so require
- Taxes & fees of $150 as of 9/20/17 (subject to change regardless of payment status)
- Travel insurance
- Baggage fees (if applicable)
- Items of a personal nature
- Any meals not described in itinerary
Additional Nights in Rome – Please Inquire
DEPOSITS AND PAYMENT: A $1000 per person deposit is required with your reservation. A second deposit in the amount of $1500 per person is due 2/5/2018. Final payment is due 5/4/2018. Your first and second deposits may be paid by credit card, check or cash. Please be advised: FINAL PAYMENT IS PAYABLE BY CHECK OR CASH ONLY.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS: Your initial $1000 deposit is refundable through 2/5/2018, less a $500 per person cancellation fee. Between 2/6/18 and 5/4/2018 the cancellation charge is 50% of deposits paid; after 5/4/18 or non-appearance on departure day, 100% of the cost of your travel arrangements is forfeited. This policy supersedes any other published cancellation and refund policy. Cancellation must be made in writing to Cruise & Tour. It is understood and agreed that in the event of cancellation, Cruise & Tour reserves the right to process refunds by check payment or with multiple transactions. If flights are purchased other than the designated group flights, separate airline penalties may apply. If any other arrangements outside of the group package have been made, penalties may apply and are not the responsibility of Cruise & Tour. We strongly encourage the purchase of travel insurance to protect the investment in your vacation and to help in dealing with the unexpected emergencies.
How to Book
- Call Cruise & Tour at (800) 383-3131 or REQUEST A CALL
- Ask to have a place held on this trip
- You will receive an email with a link to our online registration form
Fill it out and you’re in!
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Travel Insurance Information
Pro Plus Plan
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SPECIAL NOTE: Travel outside of the U.S. requires a passport with an expiration date six months or more beyond your return date. If you have a valid passport, please include a copy of the picture page with your completed reservation form. See below for more information on passport application or renewal. The name on your reservation must match the first and last name on your passport. Non-U.S. citizens must consult the appropriate consulates to determine if any visas are needed and are responsible for obtaining all visas and entry documents.