EXPLORE: Lucca, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Castagneto Carducci, Bolgheri, Giglio Island, Argentario, Orvieto.
There is so much to explore and many travelers will agree that a journey to Italy is a never ending discovery. But could it be possible that some of the most fascinating areas and sites are remote and have yet to be discovered? We have gone out of our way to seek memorable activities that are not accessible by other tours, or even the average tourist.
This unique itinerary designed specifically to reawaken your romance, offers an easy, relaxed schedule, a range of activities and excursions seeking out intriguing and off the-beaten-path destinations with extra comfort and a leisurely pace (i.e. not starting our day trips at the crack of dawn).
Join an exclusive small group tour limited to just 6 couples, who will explore the idyllic secluded Tuscan coastline, the incredibly picturesque Cinque Terre, the fairy-tale villages in Umbria, and stays in amazingly sumptuous establishments on the Mediterranean coast.
(Itinerary is subject to change with or without notice. The sequence of day trips may vary. Final itinerary will be given on the first day of tour.)
Friday Day 1 | Benvenuto in Italia : Welcome to Italy!
Welcome to Italia! Tonight you will rest in a beautifully restored historic hotel in the heart of Florence and relax after a long trip overseas. Regain your energies tonight to start the trip of a lifetime in one of the world’s most amazing countries! Located just a few steps away from Brunelleschi’s Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio “Old Bridge”, and all the other main sites, this hotel will offer a warm welcome as you enjoy your first night in Florence.
Saturday Day 2 | La Vita e l'Amore : Life and Love
After check-out, we make our way towards the coast in two private luxury vans, with our first stop in one of Tuscany's culinary capitals: Lucca. A tasty group lunch in fabulous Lucca, the charming town completely surrounded by massive walls, on top of which lay a greenway adorned with secular trees. Enjoy some free time to explore the winding streets, the intricate churches, and the circular “Piazza Anfiteatro”, famous for being built over an ancient Roman Arena. Great shopping too. After this delightful visit, we'll make a quick stop in nearby Pisa. Gee, I wonder what is there to see here...?? Could it be this massive LEANING TOWER, arguably Italy’s most recognized landmark.? Go ahead, take the photo holding the tower and check it off your list. We'll continue our drive down the tranquil coast of Tuscany, making our final stop in a picturesque hilltop village called Castagneto Carducci, where we check into a private Villa B&B. Group dinner in a local trattoria in walking distance from the villa.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Sunday Day 3 | Da Villaggi a Castelli : Villages to Castles
A leisure late-morning departure to explore some surrounding villages, such as Casale Marittimo, a small off-the-beaten-path hilltop village of ancient Etruscan origin. Don’t be surprised if nobody speaks English here and locals "look at you funny", wondering whether you've gotten lost and ended up here by mistake! Enjoy some free time for photos before our group lunch in this charming town away from tourist crowds. Group lunch in a historical restaurant with regional specialties. Lunch & house wine included. Then we continue to Bolgheri, an ancient village situated in the heart of the Etruscan Coast, famous for the Viale dei Cipressi (Boulevard of Cypresses). This area, cultivated with vines and olive trees, is also very known for its highly valued ‘Super-Tuscan’ wines, where grow on softly-shaped hills, gently caressed by the zesty sea breeze. Free time to shop and explore this peaceful village on your own time before we go back to Castagneto Carducci for dinner in one of the town's many delightful restaurants and trattorias.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Monday Day 4 | Le Terre Incantate : The Enchanted Lands
Morning departure to the fascinating Cinque Terre, five fishing towns that have become a World Heritage protected site and a legacy left by man’s enduring spirit of adaptation to nature’s erratic forces, and the strenuous reliance on sea and land for survival. We’ll visit the most beautiful views of these “Five Hamlets” built into the sheer rocky coast, a small strip of roughly edged mountains dropping dramatically into the sea. We'll stop in Manarola, then Riomaggiore, from where we'll take the train to beautiful Vernazza, the "pearl of the Cinque Terre". Enjoy some free time for lunch & exploration. Why not take a quick scenic hike up the mountain for breathtaking views of the coastline? Then we continue to Monterosso and weather permitting, we’ll reach Portovenere by boat, admiring from the sea these amazingly steep fishing villages. If the ferries are not running, we’ll get there by car. Enjoy a leisurely group walk through Portovenere's ancient streets and along the picture-perfect harbor as the local families, children, adults, interact in daily activities of simple, but extraordinary life. Dinner in a local trattoria with seaside specialties.
Tuesday Day 5 | Tra Terra e Mare : Between Land & Sea
Enjoy a relaxing morning on your own. Our drivers will be available for those who wish to spend some time by the beach. Why not a refreshing swim in the Mediterranean? it’s a vacation after all! Or, have your Tour Leader make reservations for a relaxing massage and spa pass at the nearby Tombolo Talasso Resort & Spa, which includes 6 indoor heated therapeutic pools. We'll regroup in the afternoon to go to a nearby boutique winery for a private tour and to try some local Super Tuscan wines the area is famous for.
For our evening, we have planned a fun home-made pizza dinner & Italian movie night on the beautiful patio at the villa! Then, take a nice stroll in the center of Castagneto Carducci walking by busy wine bars and gelaterias, stopping for a glass of vino in one of the lively piazzas - simply immerse yourself in the laid-back Italian lifestyle! above
Wednesday Day 6 | La Passione Italiana : Italian Passion
We leave the Villa today and take a scenic drive South, along Tuscany’s Riviera. We’ll stop in Massa Marittima for time for a bountiful lunch and some free time to explore. We continue to Porto Santo Stefano, a fisherman’s village on the side of Mount Argentario. Arrive at our hotel that is perched on a dramatically steep cliff, with outstanding views of the Island of Giglio and breath-taking sunsets. Check-in for the following 4 nights, unpack and relax. Group dinner with local specialties.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Thursday Day 7 |Tramonti Dorati : Golden Sunsets
Travel back in time as you explore some of the best preserved and scenic Etruscan towns dating back to ca. 1,000 BC. We’ll drive by and make a few stops along the way, as the drive alone is simply astonishing. Explore Orvieto, a delightful ridge-top village in Umbria, boasting one of central Italy’s most spectacular Gothic Cathedrals. Then we continue on to the striking Pitigliano, an ancient Etruscan town perched on a limestone ridge, carved into the stone called “Tufo”. Group dinner in a family owned trattoria before returning to our hotel.
Friday Day 8 | Isole, Sole e Mare : Islands, Sun, and Sea
We leave from Porto Santo Stefano for a boat excursion to the Islands of Giglio. We’ll enjoy a lunch on board the boat and discover hidden caves and inlets around the island, where you’ll be able to take a refreshing swim. We’ll also dock and take a scenic drive up to the island’s highest point, where the picturesque Medieval town of Giglio Castello sits. FREE TIME to explore. Return to Porto Santo Stefano. Drive back up to resort. The vans will be available if you choose to go back to Porto Santo Stefano to have dinner on your own in this lively seaside village, where there are shops, restaurants, and pretty walkways along the water.
Saturday Day 9 |Meraviglie Marine : Marine Wonders
Aaaah!! A fun morning cooking class at our resort by the private chef! We'll have a group lunch, then you can enjoy some free time on your own to relax, destress, read a book, meditate, walk in nature, and lay out on a chair by the hotel’s beautiful patio to the sultry sounds of gentle waves coming in. In the late afternoon, we’ll drive to nearby Capalbio, a lovely hill-top town with an intact encircling Medieval wall structure, where you can take a stroll and see the beautiful view of the Tuscan hills and sunset over the coast before an ultra-romantic candle-light dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Sunday Day 10 | La Citta' Eterna : The Eternal City
Check-out from Hotel and drive down the coast heading towards Rome (about a 3-hour drive with break). Check-in Rome hotel for final night stay. Enjoy the afternoon on your own in the Eternal City! This is the final night of the itinerary...make it a special one! Please let us know if you’d like to add extra days in Rome, guided tours, museum tickets, etc.
Monday Day 11 | Arrivederci!
Check-out from Hotel and ... Arrivederci! As hard as it may be to leave these beautiful sites, we hope to see you again very soon in lovely Italy!
What's included in the Seacret Escape Tour:
- 1 Night in luxury Hotel in Florence + 4 Nights in Villa on Coast + 4 Nights in Luxury Resort + 1 Night in 4-star hotel in Rome, for a trip totaling 11 Days/10 Nights. The first day of the tour is Friday, starting in Florence (departure from U.S. on Thursday for an overnight flight). Last day of the tour is Monday, ending in Rome (arrival in the U.S. is the same day of departure).
Small group travel! Maximum of 6 couples per group.
- Full-time service of a friendly and knowledgeable Italian-born, English-speaking Tour Leader (in some cases, it's Nada herself!).
- Complimentary Travel Materials: Italian Phrasebook, Luggage Tags, Maps for towns visited, and much more!
- Destinations Include: Florence, Cinque Terre (Manarola, Riomaggiore, Vernazza), Castagneto Carducci, Bolgheri, Casale Marittimo, Lucca, Pisa, Pitigliano, Orvieto, Porto Santo Stefano, Capalbio, Massa Marittima, Giglio Island, Rome (itinerary and destinations may vary depending on time of year and are subject to weather conditions).
- Unique Experiences: Wine Tour in Tuscan Winery (Super Tuscan/Bolgheri), Cooking Class (including souvenir apron), Boat trip to Giglio Island, Pizza night at Villa, Romantic Candlelight Dinners, and fond memories that will light up your passion for years to come!
- Meals included: All Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners (included meals are shown at bottom of the description for each day as B for breakfast, L for lunch, and D for dinner). Beverages with meals: bottled water, soft drinks (in limited amounts), coffee drinks, and 2 glasses of wine per person (choice of red or white) with included lunches and dinners.
- Private Luxury Transportation throughout the stay in 2 comfortable air-conditioned vans with professional licensed drivers (not included: transfers from and to the airport, airfare, or any other personal travel expenses not associated with tour package).
- Complimentary Pre-trip Assistance with tips on making the best of your trip by expert Nada's Italy staff!
- Local VAT taxes, government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees, and hotel accommodation tax.
- Tips to staff and restaurants. (Additional gratuities can be given at the sole discretion of each individual traveler and are not required for participation on the tour.)
For more information, please call our office Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm at 704.877.2003. Price listed is subject to change with or without notice.
What's Not Included in Tour Package
Trip price does not include airfare and anything that is not specified to be included. Price does not include any personal related expenses or travel-related expenses outside of the scheduled itineraries. The food & wine that is included is what is presented during meals, all other items ordered by traveler including wine and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are not included in tour price. Trip price does not include the accommodation tax imposed by local municipalities - to be paid in cash by guests directly to the hotel (typically between 1-2 Euros per guest per night).
Before you sign up you should note the following:
- The first day of the tour is Friday, starting in Florence (departure from U.S. on Thursday for an overnight flight). Last day of the tour is Monday, ending in Rome. Arrival in the U.S. is the same day of departure. It is your responsibility to get to the city where the tour begins.
- Airfare is not included.
- There are no activities scheduled on your arrival day, Friday. Pick up at the hotel in Florence is at 10:00am on Saturday (the following day) to take you to the boutique hotel on the coast with a stop in Lucca and Pisa along the way.
- After you register, you will receive a "Benvenuto Box" by mail within approximately 10-15 business days. It will include reminders and important materials for your trip. The content may vary based on availability and by tour date/itinerary.
- Reminders, hotel information, and arrival instructions will be sent by email roughly 60 days before the start of the trip (please make sure we have your current email address).
- Transfers to and from the airport are not included in the tour rate. Please contact us if you'd like to add transfers to your tour package.
- Add extra nights in Florence or Rome before or after the tour and extend your stay in this amazing country. Contact us for a quote on additional nights (subject to availability).
- You must be in good physical condition to sign-up for this trip. This is not considered a physically challenging trip, nonetheless, there will be a lot of walking uphill, downhill, walking over uneven pavement, and standing for extended periods of time.
- The territory we are covering is full of windy roads, bring motion sickness pills if necessary.
- Even though basic tips to staff and restaurants are included, it is highly recommended that you put aside approximately $100 (US) in combined gratuities for your driver & Tour Director for your entire stay (and any voluntary additional restaurant gratuities are at your discretion).
- The earliest activity on this tour starts at 8:30am and the latest activity starts at 12:00pm.
- Nada's Italy highly recommends that you purchase Travel Insurance for your trip. For suggestions on policies, please contact us.
- Transportation for this tour is with two luxury vans that are licensed to access small hilltop towns, which larger vehicles cannot access.
- You should know that air conditioning in Italy, as well as wifi connections, are not as reliable as they are in the United States.
- The hotel staff assigns rooms to guests, some rooms may include stairs. A view is not guaranteed. Rooms differ in size and layout, in general, Italian rooms are smaller compared to US standards. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom with shower and/or tub, hair-dryer, and toiletries.
- It is your responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to Italy. Your passport should be valid for 6 months after your return date. Verify with your own country's travel laws and government agencies.