Brindisi & Lecce
You are greeted at the Brindisi airport and transferred to your luxury hotel in Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South,’ with a festive Welcome Dinner.
A morning guided tour introduces you to the wonders of Lecce, a town with more than 2,000 years of history. For lunch, we drive into the countryside to Manduria in the heart of the Primitivo wine district. We return to Lecce, with the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure.
Monopoli (Matera, Alberobello & Martina Franca)
We drive up the heel of Italy’s boot this morning to the ghost town of Matera. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city of stone has been inhabited since prehistoric time. We’ll explore the ancient inhabitants’ cave homes. We continue up the Adriatic coast to Monopoli for our two-night stay in a luxurious masseria, a ‘fortified farmhouse.’
A day of exploration begins with a scenic drive to Alberobello, where we’ll visit some of its famous white stone houses, or trulli. Afternoon takes us to the lovely old city of Martina Franca, perched high above the sea. We return to Monopoli in late afternoon.
Sorrento (Trani, the Amalfi Coast & Positano)
This morning, we travel from Italy’s east coast to its west coast, stopping in the charming seaside enclave of Trani on our route. We feast on local specialties for lunch and arrive in colorful Sorrento for a relaxing evening with captivating views of Mount Vesuvius in the background.
A full day awaits us as we drive the spectacular Amalfi Coast, a 30-mile winding roadway, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll stop to visit the charming village of Positano before heading back to Sorrento for a sip of their most favored product, lemoncello. Enjoy the evening at your leisure in our beautiful resort.
Perugia (Pompeii, Assisi, Torgiano, Spoleto & Spello)
On our way to Perugia, we stop at one of the world’s most amazing sites – the stunning ruins of Pompeii. The city was destroyed in three short days as Mt. Vesuvius violently erupted and buried the city and its inhabitants in searing ash and debris. Today, you can view this catastrophic event as a moment frozen in time.
We explore Perugia's National Gallery of Umbria and its important collection of Medieval and Modern period art. Visit the Collegio del Cambio, to view the work of the city’s most honored son, Pietro Perugino, one of the earliest Italian practitioners of Renaissance painting in Italy. We also make time to taste the famous Perugina chocolate. A morning excursion takes us to Assisi, the ‘crown jewel’ of Italy’s medieval hill towns. This is also home to Italy’s own patron saint, St. Francis. After lunch, we’ll continue to Torgiano, the lush vineyard capital of Umbria. Here we’ll visit the intimate Wine and Olive Oil Museum and, of course, find time to sample the local products.
We take a morning drive to Spoleto, gently nestled on a small hill and overflowing with magnificent Roman ruins. We drive across the scenic Umbrian plains for lunch in charming Spello, where local wines and delicacies will tempt our palates. We return to Perugia for a final evening here.
Rome & Home
This morning, we drive through Umbria to Rome, stopping in medieval Orvieto and enjoying one last lunch in the Umbrian countryside. You can enjoy the delights of Rome at your leisure, and delight in a horsedrawn carriage promenade before our festive Farewell Dinner. In the morning, we will take you to the airport in Rome for your flight home or to your next destination.
Patria Palace Hotel, Lecce
At Lecce, a city of art and culture, right at the heart of the historical centre and opposite the monumental Santa Croce's Basilica, the Patria Palace brings back to life a XVIII century aristocratic mansion, the D'Anna-Petrarolo Palace. Sumptuously refurbished by artists and craftsmen, the palace has been embellished with frescoes and Art Deco frills. 63 rooms and suites, different from one another, are all personalized with frescoes painted by John Duggan. They are finely furnished and equipped with all services, comforts and modern technology. The bathrooms, particularly well made, are built with precious marbles like the Calacatta White, the Verona Red and the Guatemala Green.
Il Melograno, Monopoli
In a little known corner of Italy, once part of Magna Graecia, rich in history and architecture and blessed with a tradition of fine cuisine, you will find Il Melograno: a 17th century "Masseria" or fortified farmhouse built originally as a defence against Saracen and Byzantine invaders. Today, after an impeccable restoration, it is a luxurious five star Relais & Chateaux hotel, nestled in a sea of olive trees bent by breezes from the Adriatic and gnarled by the passing centuries. Each of the 37 rooms, classics, classics with patio, deluxes, jr suites and suites, nestled around the central piazza has been individually furnished with antiques under the care of the owner Camillo Guerra, an art and antique dealer. All of the rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with satellite TV, security safe, mini bar and internet access.
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento
The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is a historic, family-friendly luxury destination resort located in the center of Sorrento, 35 miles south of Naples. It rests on five acres of private grounds full of beautiful Mediterranean plants and flowers, containing a number of very old specimens and magnificent blooms such as olive trees, orange and lemon trees, pine trees, palms, and colorful bougainvillea. A 2015 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel
Hotel Brufani Palace, Perugia
Situated in a unique location, on a hilltop, within the historical center of Perugia, at very close walking distance from the main historical sites, the 5 star deluxe Hotel Brufani Palace offers an enchanting view of the Umbrian valley. This 5 star hotel with restaurant in Perugia is famous for its refined dishes of regional cuisine, with the addiction of a touch of creativity, realized by the skilled hands of an experienced chef. Each of the 94 bedrooms is fit for a king - walls of ornate frescoes and tapestries, spacious bathrooms in pale marble on which the light reflects as on newly-fallen snow and, as a backdrop, the boundless Umbrian valleys or the heart of the Medieval city.
St. Regis Grand, Rome
Built in 1894 as the first deluxe hotel in Rome, the 5-star St. Regis Grand is within walking distance of the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and Via Veneto. The St. Regis Grand is one of the finest hotels in Rome, being named to Conde Nast Travelers Gold List from 2020 through 2011. Hotel facilities and services include a full-service spa, business center, and concierge service. You can enjoy a unique dining experience at the restaurant Vivendo, nominated by Zagat as the number one restaurant in Rome. The private wine cellar offers private dining with regional and international menus enhanced by a wide selection of wines to complement each course. The St. Regis Grand features luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites in an eclectic combination of Empire, Regency and Louis XV styles. Every guest room has a unique hand-painted fresco depicting a Roman scene installed above the beds' headboards, and features Murano glass chandeliers and Hermes bathroom amenities. Each room features a flat screen TV, high-speed internet (fee), a minibar, in-room safe as well as a hairdryer, make-up mirror, robe and slippers. A 2014 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel