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April 26, 2016

Authentic Italy

Written By Giovanna Consonni

BADIA

ON THIS PRIVATE TOUR YOU WILL DISCOVER THE MOST AUTHENTIC SOUL OF ITALY: A MARKET IN MILAN TO TASTE GENUINE FOOD, AN ABBEY NEAR FLORENCE KNOWN ONLY TO EXPERTS, THE EXCELLENCE OF THE CHIANTI WINE PRODUCED WITH PASSION AND A STROLL ALONG THE BANKS OF LAKE COMO TO DISCOVER EVOCATIVE CORNERS AND BREATHTAKING VIEWS. BY TRAVELLING BY TRAIN AND HEARING THE ITALIAN CHATTER, YOU WILL ENJOY ITALY LIKE A LOCAL

Day 1 – Milan

Arrival at Milan and private transfer to the hotel. Milan is so widely recognized as being the capital of fashion and business that people tend to underestimate its abundance of cultural opportunities: visit the most famous places like the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an arcade known as the “drawing room” of the Milanese, Piazza alla Scala with the world’s most celebrated opera house, the Castello Sforzesco and the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Mix with the locals at the covered market of S. Maria del  Suffragio, where you will sit in a colorful space, with a casual atmosphere to sample some of the best Italian gourmet food

Day 2 – Day trip to Lake Como

Reach Como by train and walk to cafè-lined lakeside Piazza Cavour and adjacent Public Gardens containing a neoclassical rotunda called the Tempio Voltiano, make your way to the town’s main square, Piazza del Duomo lined by medieval buildings, including the zebra-striped Broletto (Town Hall), the Torre del Comune and by Como’s top sight, the Gothic-Renaissance Duomo. From the Duomo Square, amid the tangle of medieval alleys lined by wood-beamed buildings of shopping, take the shopping street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and reach the church of San Fedele, parts of which date back to the 6th century. Take a quick trip up the Brunate Funicular which takes you in only 7 minutes up for some spectacular lake views.  You can spend the afternoon strolling along the lake shore to the splendid Villa Olmo or visit the Romanesque church of Sant’Abbondio which will take your breath away. Alternatively you can reach Bellagio by boat admiring the lake’s unspoilt landscapes, its banks filled with luxuriant vegetation, sumptuous villas and small villages of rare beauty where tourism, history, art and nature combine harmoniously. Lake Como has fascinated famous people like George Clooney or the Versace family who own residences by the lake

Day 3 – Milan & Florence

Florence in reachable in less than two hours by fast train from Milan. With its museums, palaces and churches Florence is home to some of Italy’s most precious artistic gems. The heart of the city is Piazza della Signoria with the Palazzo Vecchio, headquarters of the city government. Next to it a copy of Michelangelo’s David, the bronze group of Judith and Holofernes and, on the opposite side, a copy of Donatello’s lion. In the middle of the square are the Neptune Fountain and a number of statues showcased under the Loggia dei Lanzi. We suggest you take a stroll through the streets of the old town up to the Arno River, enjoy the views from the romantic Ponte Vecchio, before continuing to Palazzo Pitti with the grand Giardino di Boboli.

Day 4 – Half day trip to the Chianti area

Feeling out of the world takes only a moment, yet you are a 45 minute drive from bustling Florence. A sweet and quiet area of Chianti is the backdrop to a beautiful Benedictine Abbey dating back to the year 395, the Badia a Passignano, the result of huge architectural and decorative changes dating back to the Renaissance, reflecting the strong presence of Florence in rural areas. Friends of Florence, a no-profit foundation established in 1998 in the United States, supported the completion of the refectory’s restoration of the abbey, in particular the refined Last Supper by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1476-77). A stunning landscape of rolling hills planted with a sea of vineyards and olive groves, tiny villages, charming parish churches, stone farmhouses and noble castles: this is the region of Chianti. You will taste one of the most famous wines in the world, its story must be told  by those who were born with a passion for wine, who have been making wine for years, for whom every vintage is a new beginning, having their roots in the past but looking towards the future. Your trip to the Chianti area takes half of your day and then you can spend the afternoon in Florence: a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio towards the centre will take you to the Galleria degli Uffizi, one of the world’s most famous art galleries with works by Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raphael. Make your next stop Piazza Duomo with the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore and Brunelleschi’s extraordinary dome, the neighboring Baptistry of San Giovanni decorated with three wonderful gilded bronze doors and Giotto’s bell tower.

Day 5 – Florence & Milan

After seeing the top tourist attractions, head off the beaten path and visit Florence’s ‘less popular sights’.  The Chiesa di Santa Croce, for example, dominates a square that has managed to preserve most of its original medieval charm. A must-see in Florence, it holds the tombs and memorials of some famous, notable Italians who left a significant and lasting mark on Italian history like Michelangelo and Galileo. Not far from here, beside the Mercato del Porcellino stands the bronze statue of a boar. It is supposed to bring good luck to those who rub its snout.  Return by fast train to Milan and don’t leave town without visiting Milan’s world famous fashion district. Do not miss the most renowned stops for food lovers such as Peck’s, Milan’s celebrated gastronomic emporium and the Pasticceria Cova, a historic pastry shop in via Montenapoleone, in the heart of the fashion

Day 6 – Milan and departure

Transfer to the airport and departure

Additional stay

If you wish you can extend your stay in Italy in a golf resort or a historical mansion with spa to relax and enjoy Italy at its best

Price: €  1028 per person (based on 2 people travelling)

Inclusions:

·         3 night accommodation in double room on BB basis in a 4**** hotel in Milan

·         2 night accommodation in double room on BB basis in a 4**** hotel in Florence

·         Private transfer from/to Milan Linate airport (see supplements for Malpensa airport)

·         Dinner at the covered market of S. Maria del Suffragio in Milan (drinks not included)

·         Return train tickets from Milan to Como on day 2

·         Private transfers from/to the hotel and the train station in Milan

·         Return train tickets from Milan to Florence by fast train

·         Private transfers from/to the train station and the hotel in Florence

·         Half day private tour to the Chianti area by private car with driver including a guided visit to the Abbey of Passignano and wine tasting experience (visit to the vineyards, the cellar and wine tasting)

Exclusions:

Airfare, Travel Insurance

Supplements:

Transfers for arrival/departure from Malpensa airport € 36 each way per person

Notes:

You can choose the most suitable train schedule for your trips, tickets will be arranged at the time of your booking

The hotels in Milan and Florence are centrally located

This itineray is fully customizable to your needs

Additional Info
Country: Italy
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: EUR
Top Travel Voucher: TTC Members Exclusive
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Around the world tours , Europe


About Author

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Giovanna Consonni

I have been working for more than 25 years in the travel and tourism business. I worked for an Italian tour operator in Greece and then for the following 16 years I worked for some of the major European airlines like British Airways, KLM and Air France. Two years ago I opened my own company, Stile Italiano Tours, a boutique tour operator which organizes tours and provides authentic experiences in Italy for discerning travellers

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