The Lazio region holds treasures far beyond Rome, as plains and hills give way to the mountains and crater lakes in the countryside. Spend you
The Lazio region holds treasures far beyond Rome, as plains and hills give way to the mountains and crater lakes in the countryside. Spend your holiday visiting the hidden gems beyond Rome’s borders before exploring the Eternal City. First, we will explore the Ciociaria region in the wilderness of southeast Rome, an off-the-beaten-path region where local traditions have held steady for centuries. Rich in history, architecture, art, and cuisine, the area is named after the traditional shepherd footwear from centuries past. We’ll visit Certosa di Trisulti, enjoy a private tour of the local cheese factory, and sample some of the best cheeses, wines, and local sandwiches (complete with succulent meats and local olive oil). Next, the village of Anagni will indulge your palate with a hands-on cooking class where you will enjoy your prepared dishes paired with delectable local wines. Back in Rome, we will visit the typical sites while exploring the quiet, hidden nooks of the City of Love: the Colosseum, Sistine’s Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more. Rome’s streets are full of history, and this comprehensive tour will engage your love of food, architecture, history, and conversation in healthy measure.
“Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy”
- BERTRAND RUSSELL -
DAY 1 - Pick-up in Rome Fiumicino Airport and drop-off to hotel
Welcome to the “Eternal City.” Arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport and meet our expert driver who will transfer you to your preferred hotel located in the area of Fiuggi. Take time to check in and relax, then enjoy dinner at the restaurant of the hotel. Overnight stay at 4 or 5-star hotel in Fiuggi area.
DAY 2 - The Essence of the Ciociaria Region: Cheese Factory Tour, Panino Ciociaro and the Certosa di Trisulti
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, our driver will transfer you to a little village nestled in the heart of Ciociaria Region. We will have a private tour of a cheese factory founded in 1933. Nestled at the foot of the Lepini Mounts, an ancient manor house still houses the cheese factory today. The hallmark of the factory is the Gran Cacio cheese. In the past, this cheese was of little commercial or economic interest; in fact, it was produced during periods of excess milk and was seasoned so it wouldn’t spoil as quickly. This gave it an unforgettable, unique flavor. Today, the Gran Cacio cheese is considered by many a small gastronomic jewel, handed down from generation to generation, increasing the exquisitely cultural value of the territory. After the tour, we will enjoy lunch at the gastronomic osteria that is part of the cheese factory. Your lunch will be a sandwich, but not your typical sandwich...The Panino Ciociaro is a gourmet experience to savor the agricultural history and culinary traditions of this part of Ciociaria Region stretching from the Lepini Mounts up to the Amaseno Valley. The Panino Ciociaro (sandwich of Ciociaria Region) includes a selection of gastronomic products like bread, cheese, sausages, and extra virgin olive oil coming from the immediately surrounding area This will be a mouthwatering experience you cannot miss! After lunch, we will transfer you to Collepardo for the guided tour of the Certosa di Trisulti, the famous and stately Carthusian monastery founded by Pope Innocenzo III in 1204 in the middle of secular woods. Inside, you can see the rich and invaluable works of art as well as the church grounds and pharmacy dating back to the 17th century. The Monastery is a National Monument and contains a well supplied State Library. After the tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy dinner at the restaurant of the hotel. Overnight stay at 4 or 5-star hotel in Fiuggi area.
DAY 3 - Cooking class and visit of Anagni
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, our driver will transfer you to a nice agriturismo not far from Fiuggi area, where you will enjoy an authentic hands-on Italian cooking class! Your lunch will include the dishes you prepared paired with a tasting of local wines! If you fancy a taste of ancient Rome, try the local Cesanese wine —a full-bodied red wine using grapes (now dwindling in supply) from the Ancient Roman era. In this class, you will learn to cook local food the traditional way from a chef with decades of experience in fine Italian dining. This will allow you to take some of your experience home with you, as you prepare authentic Italian dishes that will delight your friends and family. After lunch, you will be transferred to Anagni, a magnificent town that stretches along the ridge of a long hill overlooking the Valley of Latini (or Sacco Valley) at the foot of the Ernici mountains. Here, you will be met by our expert guide who will lead you through the beauties of the so-called “City of Popes.” You will walk the medieval streets of the town and visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria considered to be one of the best preserved examples of Romanesque art in central and southern Italy and the Crypt of St. Magnus, known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Middle Ages”. The crypt is located underneath the altar and only open for thirty minutes at a time to preserve the physical integrity of the space. After the tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy dinner at the restaurant of the hotel. Overnight stay at 4- or 5-star hotel in Fiuggi area.
DAY 4 - Castelli Romani: Castel Gandolfo, Porchetta, Catacombs, and Nemi Village
Enjoy breakfast and check-out from the hotel. After breakfast, you will be transferred to Castel Gandolfo for a visit of the natural, botanical, and archaeological wonders of the Pope’s summer residence.First, we will tour the Barberini Gardens (the “green heart” of the Pontifical Villas) onboard a comfortable ecological vehicle. Next, we will visit the Apostolic Palace before having lunch at a traditional Fraschetta (an Osteria where you taste local food and wine.) For your lunch, we will taste the specialty of this area: Porchetta (a savory, fatty pork roast) and Romanella (a traditional wine of the Roman Castles area). Let your palate be envirgorated with this delightful combination, as you taste centuries of refined practice in the culinary arts. After lunch, we will visit the Catacombs of San Senatore, formed in a disused quarry pozzolan dating back to the 4th or 5th century, which remained in use until about the 9th century. Inside the catacombs, there are some frescoes from the 5th century, a Byzantine fresco dating back to the 9th century, as well as various pagan and Christian burial inscriptions. Architecture and history buffs will be delighted as you explore the ancient grounds and learn more about the tumultuous history that lines its walls. After the visit to the Catacombs of San Senatore, we will have a brief visit of Nemi, the smaller village of Castelli Romani. Famous for its strawberry harvest and the lake below, which was considered sacred in ancient times, you will enjoy hours spent wandering its alleys and discovering local gelaterias overlooking the panoramic view. After the tour, you will be transferred to the hotel in Rome. Enjoy dinner on your own. Overnight stay at 4-star hotel Rome.
DAY 5 - Olive Oil Experience
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, our driver will transfer you to an olive farm located 1 hour and 15 minutes from Rome. “The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Experience” will let you travel back in time to explore the territory of Sabina and discover the oldest food used by man: extra-virgin olive oil! You will learn its many qualities, how and when to use it in its natural form or “cooked,” the history behind the oil, and how to use the natural product for lighting lamps and cosmetics. With the guidance of our qualified experts, you will learn to differentiate between the pure qualities of extra-virgin olive oil and the other oils available. You will wander through ancient olive groves, modern farms, huge pollinators, and unspoilt landscapes. Crossing Sabina, you will get to the Poggio San Lorenzo, a village located at 650 m.a.s.l.(approx. 2,100 feet), the highest altitude where olive groves can be cultivated. You will visit the ruins of an old castle surrounded by olive groves as well as the village historic center. You will walk along the ancient Via Salaria and among the majestic Roman walls of Villa Laberia Crispina, which in medieval times was the foundation on which the oil mill was built. The oil mill has a museum dedicated to Roman findings, and it hosts part of an aqueduct of the 2nd century! Playing with taste and culture, you will discover that quality eating equals a healthy life ...while treating your palate at the same time! After the tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy dinner on your own. Overnight stay at 4-star hotel Rome.
DAY 6 - Ancient Rome Tour: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Museum
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you will reach the Colosseum area on your own, where you will be met by our expert guide who will lead you through a 3-hour walking tour of the beauties of Ancient Rome. The Colosseum remains on of the most iconic symbols of Rome. Having survived many earthquakes and the modernization of the city, you will feel steeped in history being surrounded by the classic architecture. The Colosseum is a relic of a bygone era when entertainment included gladiators fighting animals like rhinos, elephants, lions, and crocodiles in the amphitheater with audiences of up to 50,000 spectators. Continuing through the day, you will visit Palatine Hill, one of the most historical and awe-inspiring destinations in the city. Taking in the views at one of the highest points in the city, you will gaze upon striking views of the rooftops and alleyways below. The nearby Roman Forum was the center of social life in Ancient Rome, where events, speeches, and forums were frequently held. This area includes countless basilicas, temples, and statues to keep you intrigued throughout the journey. During your downtime, we also recommend that you visit the Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, or Piazza di Spagna. Enjoy dinner on your own. Overnight stay at 4-star hotel in Rome.
DAY 7 - Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, our driver will transfer you to the Gianicolo Terrace, one of Rome’s top lookout points to enjoy the view and say your final “good morning” to Rome. After the brief stop to the Gianicolo Terrace, our driver will transfer you to the Vatican Museums. Spanning 7km of exhibits, there is enough to see here that you could spend several days taking it all in. Join your expert guide to go back in time through twenty centuries of art and architecture. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will engage your mind as well as your senses as you gaze upon the art of the greats like Raphael, Caravaggio, and Leonardo. On the way out, snap a photo at the famous double helix stairwell. Next we will visit The Sistine Chapel, including the rooms of Raphael and the art gallery Pinacoteca (just a small part of their extensive priceless collection). The Sistine Chapel was originally called the Cappella Magna and, after being rebuilt by Pope Sixtus from 1477 to 1480, was renamed in his honor. Notice the architectural features like staircases, vaulted ceilings, intricate moldings, and many of the best artworks in the world. Finally, we will reach St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world, where you will have a thorough tour of this holy Catholic shrine. Lunch and dinner will be on your own in the heart of Rome, where you can find countless culinary treasures from fine dining to a mom-and-pop trattoria. Spend your leisure time in the afternoon exploring the city centre and fulfilling your last desires in Italy. Overnight stay at 4-star hotel in Rome.
DAY 8 - Transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport
Breakfast at the hotel. Pick-up at your hotel and transfer to Rome Fiumicino airport according to your flight schedule. Arrivederci and we hope to see you again!
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