Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, the home of Michelangelo, the city of art, Italian literature, science… Surely Florence would deserve more than just a day trip from Rome, but if you’re in Rome and you have one day, let’s do it! We meet you in the morning and drive to Florence (Firenze in Italian) via the motorway A1. The trip takes less than 3 hours and the scenery along the motorway is absolutely beautiful. We drive through north Lazio, Umbria and finally Tuscany. This is some of the most spectacular countryside in the world and you’ll not just see it through the car’s windows, but the most interesting facts about the areas we’ll pass through will be commented and the most interesting towns will be pointed out to you. Arriving in Florence we’ll make our first stop at Piazzale Michelangelo where we can enjoy the spectacular view of the whole city and then continue to the city center to visit the Accademia Museum where the famous statue of David by Michelangelo is kept. We could then stop for a quick lunch and continue to explore the city in the afternoon including in our tour the church of Santa Croce, where people like Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo and Dante are buried and where the famous leather school of Florence was started by the Franciscans and we can see the artisans and their disciples at work. We could then continue to Piazza della Signoria, the main square of Florence, and the Ponte Vecchio and the gold craftsmen at work. Obviously you’ll also be taken to the Duomo, the cathedral of Florence. For those who would like a more thorough visit of the museums and the churches a driving guide from Rome can provide, can arrange for a local guide to meet us and take you on a 3-hour tour which will include a guided visit to the sites as per your specific interest. The supplementary cost for this guide tour is presently 200 Euros. We might even be able to squeeze in some time for shopping. At the end of the tour you’ll be driven back to your hotel in Rome.
You can choose to travel to Florence by train for a lower price, but not much lower for groups from 4 up, but please consider the following:
• The train takes 1.5 hours but considering the time needed to transfer to the train station and the fact that you need to be there 15 min. before train’s departure the trip will take the same time the car takes: 2.5/3 hours.
• As you’re travelling in a train there’s no one there to tell you anything about what you’re seeing and you only see the scenery from one side of the train.
• Once in Florence you’ll have to find your way to the places and this will take time and the consequence will be that you’ll not be able to see half of what we can show you.
You’ll be met at your hotel in the morning and driven to Assisi via the A1 motorway and the Via Flaminia passing through north Lazio and Umbria. The drive will offer beautiful panoramas which will change from the rolling hills of the Tuscia region to the mountains of Umbria covered with woods, because of which Umbria is also referred to as the “green heart of Italy”. This tour will take you to: Assisi, the city of St. Francis built out of the local “Pietra Subasia” stone. In spite of the disastrous earthquake that devastated it years ago, Assisi is still appears as a perfectly preserved medieval Umbrian town and one of the most charming. Really an enchanting place, walking through its streets you feel an intense mystical atmosphere that would be difficult to experience anywhere else. From Assisi we’ll on the freeway and drive past Perugia towards Deruta the city of ceramics where we might stop to look at some of the shops selling the local artistic products. We will then continue to drive in the countryside and the beautiful landscapes to Todi which is another charming medieval Umbrian town, a bit out of the way for most tourists, built on top of a hill overlooking the Tiber river, this town has a unique charm and exquisite food this is where we could stop for lunch. Todi is referred to as the model sustainable city and the ideal place where to live due to its scale and its ability to change and reinvent itself over time. Finally we’ll reach Orvieto where we’ll be visiting the famous gothic cathedral and one of the typical wine cellars dug out of the tufo stone underneath the buildings. Orvieto is in fact built on top of a plateau of “tufo” stone which also served as the quarry for the material for the town’s buildings, including the huge “Duomo” church, which was built with the tufo the inhabitants of Orvieto quarried underneath their homes and the resulting space was then used for cellars or even workshops. Orvieto’s cathedral, the Duomo, is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy and surely its facade, entirely decorated with gold mosaics, is impressive! After a stroll through the beautiful streets full of characteristic shops, we’ll get in the car to drive again on A1 motorway and return to Rome.
Again we have to say that the tours and excursions we list on this website are nothing but suggestions, we want to give you an idea of what you can see in a half day or a full day and, in this particular case, you are free to change the itinerary and spend the whole day in Assisi or omit Assisi and visit other places, for example Civita di Bagnoregio or simply spend more time in Orvieto and Todi and visit a winery and/or an oil press.
You’ll be met at your hotel in the morning and taken on a great tour that will cover the most beautiful coastline of Italy and its most famous excavation site. We’ll drive on the A1 motorway through southern Lazio to reach Campania and Naples. We skirt Naples and continue to on the A3 motorway which will then get us onto the Sorrento Peninsula. The drive offers unforgettable panoramas. Driving along the winding coastal road, on top spectacular overhanging cliffs, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples we’ll be able to see from far the isle of Capri, the city of Naples and the mount Vesuvius. We’ll then drive over the hills to our first stop: Positano. This lovely, small coastal town founded by the Romans, was a poor fishermen’s village until the 1950’s and then it became one the most famous vacationing places in the world, also thanks to Steinbeck and the American military who were sent there for rest and recuperation during WWII and today tourism is surely the main industry there. All this because Positano is simply spectacular, just the vies of it from the top of the cliff is worth the trip there. After our exploration of Positano we’ll drive to Sorrento which is a another charming resort area. Located at the tip of the Sorrentina peninsula that separates the Gulf of Salerno from the Gulf of Naples. This town is larger than Positano but equally interesting. We suggest to have lunch in Sorrento at a little “trattoria” on the old marina, away from the most touristy side of Sorrento. You’ll enjoy walking around the streets of Sorrento and looking at the colorful shops selling typical products like Limoncello, inlaid wood works, ceramics and embroidery. After a good lunch, whether an authentic fish and mozzarella based typical Italian lunch by the sea or a quick snack, we’ll hit the road again to visit Pompeii. The most famous excavations in the world? The most famous volcanic eruption in the world? Maybe, what is sure is that we can take you to see the place and we’re sure that you’ll be thrilled by the visit! You’ll have about 2 hours to spend visiting the excavations, which means you’ll just scratch the surface considering the fact that Pompeii was a city of 30,000 inhabitants when the volcano destroyed it, but you’ll be satisfied. After visiting Pompeii we’ll get on the motorway again to return to your hotel in Rome.
Driving guides aren’t allowed to guide their clients through the ruins and we recommend you hire a local guide to get the most out of your visit. The cost for hiring a local guide is about 150 Euros, for a group up to 6 people, for a satisfactory 2-hour tour. The alternative is renting an audio guide, a sort of portable mp3 player that you take with you and activate once the spot marked on the map they give you and tells the story of what you see from that particular spot. After visiting Pompeii we return to Rome to arrive there in the early evening.