Hamburg * Berlin * Hannover * Bremen * Dresden * München
Itinerary: Trip by bus via Munich - Brenner pass - Sterzing - Florence - Lago di Trasimeno (in the Umbria region) to the La Dogana, Tuoro estate.
Excursions by bus to: 1. Assisi and Perugia (Umbria), 2. Siena and possibly S. Gimignano (Tuscany), 3. Montepulciano and Pienza (Tuscany), 4. Bagno Vignoni and the hot springs (Tuscany), 5. visit of a pottery (Umbria), 7. Citta d. Pieve (Umbria), 8. by boat across the Lago Trasimeno, 9. one day excursion to Florence, excursions by bike to 1. Castiglione del Lago (market in Umbria), 2. Cortona (Tuscany). By bus back via Florence - Sterzing - Munich to Hamburg or Berlin.
Accommodations: Depending on where you start your trip one night on bus with reclining seats or futon-type sleeping area. 6-7 nights in apartments suitable for 6-8 people, double-beded rooms on request. All apartments have a bath room with shower, kitchen, some have terraces with a view of the lake. On way back one night on bus with reclining seats or futon-type sleeping area.
Meals: Welcome dinner
Tour Escort: Tour coordinator
Extra: Entrance fees, food, drinks, additional excursions by boat to the island of Lago Trasimeno for 3000 Lira per person, three-course farewell dinner, including drinks for approx. $25, etc.
Climate: Spring and fall: day 70 degrees, night 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer: day 90 degrees, night 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Currency: 1 USD = 1,109 Euro; 1 Euro = 0,901 USD
Visa: No visa required for US-citizens
Attention: For biking-fans we have organized the same tour called Biking in Italy (Tuscany). Please visit.
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La Dogana - Enchantment on the Lago Trasimeno
We've often tried to decide which is more beautiful... the timeless elegance of Tuscany, with its well-kept grape orchards and sleepy wineries, or the region of Umbria with its white crested mountain peaks and valleys. In fact, it's so difficult to say, that we'll leave it up to you!
If you take the chance to look at a detailed map of Italy, you'll find our first destination, "la dogana", about 90 miles from Florence. Here near Tuoro sul Trasimeno, we'll spend a comfortable vacation at the same estate which served as a "rest and relaxation" stop for such luminaries as Goethe, Michaelangelo and Lord Byron. We're sure that you'll be as charmed by Tuscany as they were.
The estate is made up of big, roomy apartment houses, complete with antique furniture. Each house has several bedrooms, a bathroom with shower/bath and a fully equipped kitchen. Our biggest house sprawls over 600 square feet and has 3 large bedrooms, each with a fireplace.
To be completely honest, you couldn't have chosen a better location. The nearby town of Tuoro (only about 30 minutes by foot) has plenty of shopping possibilities, as well as several bars, a bank, a post office, a boat landing and a train station. From here, you'll be able to make easy train connections to Perugia, Arezzo and Assisi.
Both Tuscany and Umbria have a historical past which are filled with prominent names. In fact, it's hard to find a place in the entire area which isn't connected to some famous person or event! Beautiful statues and memorials are strewn all over the landscape. The Etruscans were among the first here. Hannibal later chased the Romans from the rear region of his garden into the nearby lake. We don't have to be chased, we'll go swimming voluntarily either in the lake or in the nearby sulphur bath. It seems that everywhere we're tripping over the remains of the early Romans! The past and the present are inseparably joined to each other at every turn.
Further on during our stay, you can look forward to an excursion to the city of Siena, one of the cultural strongholds of Tuscany. Here at the Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, you'll be the guest to an authentic festival production celebrating the far-reaching history and customs of Tuscany. Not far from here, you can visit Assisi, birthplace of Saint Francis, or Perugia, the capital of Umbria and one of the most lively university towns in the country.
Since we're learning so much about these two regions, we'll naturally want to take a stroll through a typical Italian market. Here, among these charming stalls, you'll find everything from second-hand clothes to mozzarella to silverware, not to mention the freshest fruit and vegetables. After a trip to such a market, our next course of action is clear. Back to the apartment, and more particularly, our kitchen! Our tour coordinators will doubtlessly be of help in this area of Italy as well. They are not only knowledgeable about the scenery and monuments of Tuscany, but also about its fabulous cuisine. As for liquid refreshment, we'll have no problem getting a delicious Italian wine directly from the landowner. After a huge, Tuscan dinner, we'll start planning for our next adventure.
The next day, bright and early, we'll be taking a bicycle trip through some of the most handsome scenery that Tuscany has to offer...rolling hills and bold mountains, crystal clear mountain streams and lakes. There are not many places in the world that can boast such landscape. And while we're here in wine country, we shouldn't pass up the opportunity to attend some wine tastings. We'll have a wonderful time learning to discriminate between the different grapes and vintages which are available in this area of Italy. If we're here during the grape harvest, we'll be able to see first-hand how the wine is made!
On the day of our departure, we'll head toward the first city of Tuscany, Florence. We'll spend the entire day in this incredible city of historic elegance. After a day of sight-seeing through these lovely streets, we'll meet each other for dinner at Fiesole, just a few miles away, tucked in amongst the beautiful rolling hills surrounding Florence. Here we'll enjoy a typically Tuscan parting dinner before heading back north.
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