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Italian Itineraries

Italy Travel Destinations Personalized to meet Your Specific Interests

Travel Programs for friends and family, schools and theme groups with educational workshops, food and wine itineraries and visits to museums, medieval villages, nature parks and archaeological sites.

Abruzzo is on the Adriatic Coast, east of Rome. It is home to national parks, hilltop medieval and Renaissance towns and numerous nature reserves. The Apennine mountain chain forms much of its interior while the coastal plain has sandy beaches and dunes.

Puglia borders the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southernmost portion, the Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the boot of Italy. 

Campania is famed for its ancient ruins, coastal resorts and culinary traditions. A cultural and national capital for much of its nearly three-millennia history, Naples is home to art museums, the San Carlo opera house and a spectacular bay framed by Mt. Vesuvius, affectionately and fearfully referred to by the local inhabitants as The Monster

Lazio the Roman countryside is a vast alluvial plain surrounding the city of Rome while the south is characterized by flatlands. The Apennines of Latium are marked by the Tiber River valley and three mountains of volcanic origin whose craters are occupied by Lakes Bolsena, Vico and Bracciano. South of the Tiber, the Alban Hills, are of volcanic origin. 

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Marche is slowly being discovered as the new Italian frontier; an abridged expression of the varied charms of Italy with a variety of seasonal and year-round attractions: authentic food, breathtaking landscapes, a lively cultural landscape, artistic and natural treasures.

Veneto If your idea of travel includes admiring, without being rushed and in total tranquility, masterpieces by Giorgione, Lotto, Palladio and Canova or spending a carefree day in the vineyards of Asolo and a Prosecco winery,  or experiencing a unique and high quality cuisine in the company of gracious hosts, then welcome to the Veneto region of Italy. 

The Cultural and Culinary Traditions of Emilia Romagna

Emilia arts and gastronomy in Ferrara and Modena. Weekly Courses, available year-round, designed to acquaint you and expand your knowledge of the arts, culture and cuisine of Ferrara and the Emilia Romagna region. The Cooking Classes take place in Ferrara restaurants, the balsamic vinegar program in Modena and the Fresco art course at the Belriguardo Museum. 

Your Italy Travel Plan

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Milan Monza and Lake Como

Water History Food Fashion and Design

Unlike most European and world leading cities, Milan was not settled on a river or by the sea, but in the middle of the Po River Valley. Hence, Milan’s is a history about water and how water was brought to the city. The concentric layout of the city center has been influenced by the Navigli, an ancient system of navigable and interconnected canals, now mostly covered.

Water History and Leonardo Da Vinci

A Source of energy for transportation and as a defense system throughout the centuries.Leonardo Da Vinci spent his most productive years in Milan, and his activity as an engineer crossed with the water history of the city; marks of his activity are still visible after hundreds of years. Water, sustainability and Leonardo are the threads that unify the different epochs in the city’s history and this part of Italy.

Traditions and Innovations in Energy and Water

Classical Milan the old Roman city of Mediolanum, and the more hidden parts of Milan, will connect the visitor with old artisan shops, the new Museum of Cultures, Villa Necchi Campiglio and the Last Supper.

Shopping and Design Milan is a global capital in industrial design, fashion and architecture. It is also a mecca for food lovers.As the commercial capital of Italy and one of Europe’s most dynamic cities, it accounts for the lion’s share of the fashion trade, with some of the most renowned fashion houses headquartered here. Its upscale fashion district- il quadrilatero della moda – and La Galleria, the world’s first shopping mall, offer the best shopping opportunities anywhere. 

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The Royal Villa in Monza has its own history dating back to the middle ages with a Royal Villa and the surrounding Monza Park. Recently restored the villa rivals in size and quality Versailles and Caserta’s Royal Palace. Behind the Royal Villa, Monza Park is the largest walled park in Europe. You may be already familiar with it as the racetrack where the Monza Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place every September.

Lake Como Bellagio is a cozy old village where the two branches of the lake converge in a narrow Canyon and where the water is still feeding an old-fashioned power plant. Isola Comacina is an old settlement with ruins dating back from the middle ages, and a terrific view of the Lake. The road back to Milan is via the Strada Regina – Queen’s Road – along the lakeshore and an opportunity to look at some gorgeous villas, including George Clooney’s residence.

Traveling to Milan Monza and Lake Como

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A Journey into the Venetian Past

Venice Isles Food Wine and History

A Walking Itinerary of the most famous sights, including St Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Rialto Bridge, the Doge Palace and the Ponte dei Sospiri.

Venetian Cooking Class our expert cook will teach you how to prepare the local dishes and entertain you by analyzing the intriguing fragrances, the exotic origins of some ingredients, the cooking processes as well as answer your questions about the products being used. Classes are held in a Palazzo apartment in Venice or in a Liberty Villa at the Lido beach, a fascinating bathing resort with tall trees and gardens traversed by several canals. 

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Venice wine tasting in a typical bar or in an ancient Palazzo on the Grand Canal, held by a professional Sommelier presenting various wines, accompanied by intriguing stories about local history, as you experience the lifestyle of a Venetian aristocrat.

Escape crowded Venice for a day and unwind on a trip to the islands of Murano and Burano for a rare glimpse into what Venice used to be; a community of traditional artisans where skills have been passed down from one generation to the next for centuries.

Murano’s Ancient Art of Glassblowing

Burano is famous for its lace making and for the colorful houses crammed along its canals, so painted by fishermen who wanted to spot their homes from a distance. Visit a small building where women sit stitching lace the old-fashioned way, just as their mothers and grandmothers did. Also, take time to admire the delicate lace in the museum, shop or wind your way along the kaleidoscopic streets.

Wine Tasting enter the fascinating Venetian back country and discover the Regional Park of the Euganean Hills, a natural area dotted with small villages, vineyards and typical osterie. Visit a family-owned wine cellar and taste its sparkling wines and the local genuine products. Experience the amazing ancient village of the Poet Petrarca, unchanged since the 14th century.

Journey into the Venetian Past

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A Tuscan Countryside Medieval Castle and Arms Museum

Monteriggioni stands on a hilltop surrounded by olive trees and vines. Its castle dates-back to the early 13th century; it was built by the Republic of Siena as a defensive outpost against Florence. The Medieval Town maintains its original architectural features and is unique among Tuscany’s borghi. The stone outer wall is 570 meters long and features 14 rectangular towers; they made a great impression on Dante Alighieri who defined them as giants in hell. Walking on top of the walls provides a spectacular view of the countryside, the Chianti region and the Elsa Valley.

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The Arms Museum houses faithful reproductions of medieval and renaissance weapons and armor as well as siege machines and techniques. Each room is devoted to a specific moment in Monteriggioni history. Visitors can wear the armor and handle the weapons.

The Church is located on the main square and is the best-preserved property in the borgo. Also built in the 13th century, it consists of a single interior space with a rectangular end. Its elegant façade displays a doorway with a stone arch topped by a round window while the renovated interior has plastered walls and domed vaults; the bell dates to 1299. The church is also home to a 17th century painting of the Madonna and Rosary which the town celebrates every year in October.

Porta Franca is the main entrance to the borgo; it stands below a tower with a pointed arch and facing towards Rome. In the past it likely had a drawbridge over a moat. To the left of the arch is an inscription commemorating the founding of Monteriggioni in the 1220s, while a plaque on the right celebrates the new Italian state in 1860.

Porta di Ponente is the gateway facing Florence. Some battlements incorporated in the walling above indicate that the defensive wall was probably lower. Similar battlements in the facing of the walls on the east side. To the right of the entrance, which used to have an outer protective wall, a plaque quotes lines from Dante that mention Monteriggioni.

In Medieval Times, on the southwest side of the outer walls, there was a third gateway, later walled in; the upper part is still visible from the outer road. In the 16th century, the base of the outer walls was reinforced with an earth rampart in response to the introduction of new and more powerful firearms.

A Medieval Travel Experience in Tuscany

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Food and Culture in South Italy

North of Naples and South of Rome

In the area between Rome and Naples, in Lazio and Campania regions, there are several small towns and medieval borgo. In many ways, these communities in Caserta Province are a microcosm of all the things visitors to Italy look for: history, culture, traditions and a local community waiting to show you around. These towns stand out for palaces, museums, cathedrals and convents from the XI to the XV Centuries. 

A Roman Era Basilica and Archaeological Museum

Food and Wine Traditions the fertile territory north of Naples in Caserta Province has historically been a major contributor to food production in the region from the days of ancient Rome.

A Farmers Museum is situated in the 15th Century palace of a medieval borgo; it features the special relationship between this land and its people with songs and dances by minstrels and cantors as well as tasting and making the local specialties.

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Mozzarella, perhaps the most famous local food product, and a major export, it is made with artisan skills from buffalo milk into ovoline, ciliegine, trecce and ricotta, among others.

Olive Oil is another local tradition. The flavor, appearance and unique characteristics of this territory’s extra virgin olive oil, along with various natural factors, influence harvesting, cultivation and production in a strictly artisanal undertaking.

Falerno Wine the hills present near ideal conditions for wine making. The Falerno Vines originated in this area and are still cultivated by hand in the local vineyards, continuing a tradition dating back to Romans times.

Food and Culture Travel between Rome and Naples

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Wellness Cultural and Culinary Travel

in Salento and Puglia Italy

The Salento Peninsula is in the southeastern corner of the Puglia region of Italy. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Messapi,  a term signifying “land amid the waters” – the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Towns and villages are characteristically made of whitewashed houses in narrow streets with local handicraft shops, immersed in the green of the olive trees and vineyards, bordered by the typical dry-stone walls. Sun, sea and breezes during a summer season lasting from May to mid-October. The mild winters are always pleasant with plenty of sunshine.

Wellness Bio Dances Holistic Massages Mystical and Healing Practices Influenced by Local Traditions

An enchanting setting along the Salento coastline, Villa Cesarea is on top of four marine grottoes that are the source of its famed mineral waters. It is also a place of pagan and Christian legends. In the former, the waters were created by giant men made of fire and sulfur, whereas the latter, from which name the Cesarea is derived, is based on the young maiden Cisaria whose sacrifice purified and sanctified the waters.

The Salentum Treatment consists of body scrubs, face masks and massages with local ingredients: wine and olives, olive oil, blackberries and pomegranates, Mediterranean citrus fruits.

Accommodations elegant apartments in a beautiful park surrounded by age-old olive and fruit trees and a biological garden; nearby: cycle tracks and an 18-hole golf course.

Baroque Architecture Food and Wine Traditions and Spectacular Coastlines

Culture famous for its soft stones, ideal for making sculptures, and its ceramics products, Lecce is over 2000 years old and renowned for its historic center and baroque architecture, stretching from Roman times to the 18th Century, the Acaya renaissance quarter, the Cavallino Widespread Museum, the Messapi archeological park and the MUSA University Museum. It is also a major agricultural center specializing in olive oil and wine, hence, numerous opportunities to experience the famed local wines and traditional cuisine.

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Nardò second largest town in the region, takes the concept of sustainability very seriously; it is built on local traditions that are especially manifest in food and wine as well as the arts and culture. The city’s monuments are characterized by different artistic styles representative of its long history. 

Gallipoli is on an island with ancient monuments, tiny streets, and churches surrounded by the pristine waters of the Ionian Sea.

Otranto is the eastern most city in Salento with magnificent sea views and monuments like Corigliano Castle and the Carpignano Byzantine Crypt.

Food and Wine experience Salento’s famed wines and traditional cuisine. Some local specialties: puccia, friseddhre, pittule, rustici, pasticciotti and sweets made ​​of almond paste, accompanied by the local wines: Negramaro, Primitivo and Malvasia.

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Historic Train Rides in Italy

Campania and Sicily in Original Locomotives and Railway Carriages

Travel aboard the original Centoporte and Corbellini carriages, which date back to the 1930s and 1950s, to visit some of the historic cultural and culinary sites in Campania region of Italy.

Pietrarsa runs from Naples to Portici along Italy’s first railway track. Inaugurated on October 3, 1839 by King Ferdinand II whose goal was to make his kingdom compete with the technological supremacy of England and France. The workshop was initially used to produce mechanical and pyrotechnical materials for the Navy, but later went on to build and repair locomotives and railway carriages. The very first locomotive made in Italy for the Royal Railroads bore the factory’s name. Pietrarsa was the first industrial complex in Italy, preceding the founding of Breda and Fiat by half a century.

Visit the Bourbon Dynasty Era Factory where Italy’s Rail History Begins

Reggia connects Naples with the Caserta Royal Palace. In 1750 King Charles of Bourbon (1716-1788), later king of Spain, decided to erect the Royal Palace as the ideal center of the new kingdom of Naples on the plains of Terra di Lavoro. The project was entrusted to the architect Luigi Vanvitelli (1700-1773), son of Gaspar Van Wittel, active under Pope Benedict XIV in the restoration of St. Peter’s dome in Rome.

Archaeo Train travels to the Roman and Magna Grecia archaeological sites of this region, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum and Velia.

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Sannio stops in S. Agata de’Goti, the region’s most beautiful borgo;

Telese Terme taste Falanghina and experience a wine tour of the vineyards;

Benevento area museums: Streghe, Egizio and Sannio as well as a tour of the Longobard era town; 

Padre Pio’s Pietrelcina, Fragneto Monforte e Pontelandolfo.

Sicily and Food by Train 87 municipalities are involved in the promotion of the island’s extensive culinary traditions along 50 itineraries traveling in carriages from bygone eras with diesel, electric, as well as a 1912 steam-driven locomotive to rediscover mountains and rural areas, borghi, castles, art and archaeological finds, parks and natural oases.

Explore Campania and Sicily Aboard Historic Trains