ART & CULTURE ROAD – Rome
A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and charismatic cities.
The result of 3000 years of ad hoc urban development, Rome’s cityscape is an exhilarating sight. Ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon recall the city’s golden age as caput mundi (capital of the world), while monumental basilicas tell of its history as seat of the Catholic Church. Lording it over the skyline, St. Peter’s Basilica towers over the Vatican, testifying to the ambition of Rome’s Renaissance popes and the genius of its game-changing architects. Elsewhere, ornate piazzas and showy fountains add a baroque flourish to the city’s captivating streets. Can’t miss the visit at City of Vatican.
Few cities can rival Rome’s astonishing artistic heritage. Throughout history, the city has starred in the great upheavals of Western art, drawing top artists and inspiring them to push the boundaries of creative achievement. The result is a city awash with priceless treasures. Ancient statues adorn world-class museums (Musei Vaticani & Cappella Sistina, Galleria Borghese, Colosseo, Foro Romano e Palatino); Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance frescoes dazzle in art-rich churches; baroque facades flank medieval piazzas. Stroll through the centre and without even trying you’ll come across masterpieces by the titans of European art – sculptures by Michelangelo, paintings by Caravaggio, frescoes by Raphael and fountains by Bernini.
Living the Life
A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at streetside cafes and people-watching on pretty piazzas – these are all central to the Roman experience. The tempo rises in the evening when fashionable drinkers descend on the city’s bars and cafes for a sociable aperitivo (drink with snacks) and trattorias hum with activity. Elsewhere, cheerful hordes mill around popular haunts before heading off to hip cocktail bars and late-night clubs.
Eating out is one of Rome’s great pleasures and the combination of romantic alfresco settings and superlative food is a guarantee of good times. For contemporary fine dining and five-star wine there are numbers of refined restaurants, but for a truly Roman meal head to a boisterous pizzeria or convivial neighbourhood trattoria. That’s where the locals go to indulge their passion for thin, crispy pizzas, humble pasta dishes, and cool white wines from the nearby Castelli Romani hills. To finish off, what can beat a gelato followed by a shot of world-beating coffee?
Art & CULTURE Road – UMBRIA
Umbria is one of the smallest regions in Italy and entirely landlocked, but that does not limit the landscape. Umbria’s countryside can be as breathtaking as its medieval towns, from the mountainous splendour of the Monti Sibillini national park (best reached from Norcia) to the softer countryside of the Valnerina and the beaches of Lake Trasimeno (50’ of drive). Umbria is renowned for its rustic countryside and historic hill towns of pinkish grey stone. It echoes the Middle Ages with a profusion of medieval villages, castles, and monasteries. Today, the old towns are Umbria’s masterpieces. In Perugia, the region’s capital, and in the smaller centres of ASSISI (30’ of drive), GUBBIO (45’ of drive), MONTEFALCO (45’ of drive), and TODI (45’ of drive), you’ll discover numerous Romanesque churches, civic palaces, and endless medieval nooks and crannies. Spoleto blends medieval monuments with Roman remains and some of Italy’s oldest churches. In Orvieto, Etruscan remains abound, and one of Italy’s finest Romanesque- Gothic cathedrals perches on a high plateau. Also SPELLO (35’ of drive) and MONTONE (39’ of drive) are something not to be missed during your trip in Umbria: two typical hill- top medieval hamlets that are both among the most beautiful villages listed in the Club of “Borghi più belli dell’Italia”.
If you are keen on shopping, then Italy is one place you can really enjoy this activity. Experience the great artisan tradition of the Green Heart of Italy and create your own ceramic masterpiece. Look for the best cashmere directly in a knitwear factory. Discover shops, workshops, antique fabric, inlaid furniture… There are a number of places that you can visit, we can provide detailed directions or arrange for you private transfer with driver.
It is not by chance that the English, fond of the luxuriant wool, refer to the area around Trasimeno as the “Cashmere Valley”, and that they put shopping right next to the region’s artworks, landscapes and cuisine on their list of reasons to visit Umbria. Between the most renowned Cashmere producers we may enumerate Brunello Cucinelli, Lamberto Losani and Rocco Ragni.
Solomeo, Brunello Cucinelli’s place
Deruta ceramics are a milestone in the history of Italian pottery and probably the most popular among traditional Italian ceramics. The production of pottery is still the main economic activity, with more than 200 laboratories and factories producing dinnerware and decorative pottery in a large variety of traditional designs – such as Raffaellesco, Ricco Deruta, Arabesco, Geometrics – and more modern patterns. The most important places to visit are the Grazia Museum and Domiziani Company.
Shopping Malls Valdichiana Outlet Village – approx. 40 minutes from Perugia
The Mall – approx. 1h and 40 minutes from Perugia- You will find famous brands such as Gucci, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Ferragamo, Loro Piana, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Tod’s, etc.
The Space – Montevarchi, approx. 1h and 40 minutes from Perugia. The Space is Prada’s official outlet, something very unique to find. The Space offers also: Miu Miu, Church’s, Car Shoe, Helmut Land, etc.
The Chocolate Road is suitable for chocolate lovers in all seasons in Umbria. At Dulcinea Perugia and Perugina you will discover a magical tour for both adults and children. The Dulcinea Perugia „Chocolate Factory“ started its activities in October 2011. It creates unique sweets through the selection of the finest ingredients that express some of the excellence of Italian agro-food (honey, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, etc…) and pure fine chocolate to ensure a perfect and refined harmony of taste and quality. The pleasures of chocolate are discovered at Perugina Casa del Cioccolato. CNN named it as one of the top 5 destinations in the world for chocolate lovers and The New York Times listed it as a must see for anyone visiting Perugia. So a visit to the Wonka-esque world of Perugina chocolate factory and museum is really something that you cannot miss when you come to Umbria!
After visiting the museum, you’ll wend your way through an enclosed sky bridge, watching as the white-outfitted Oompa Loompa-factory workers go about their chocolate-creating business. And for the most sweet-toothed the visit may end at the chocolate store!
Perugina chocolate house
QUAD BIKE TRIPS
Thanks to quad tours you can discover Umbria in a different way, which will take you deep into the countryside and all in very safe conditions. A fun adventure to enjoy with your friends, partner or family! The guided tour of Lake Trasimeno hills and surroundings is an unconventional way to explore this beautiful area.
A funny, adrenaline-fuelled and unforgettable experience to live a day far away from the city.
Ride the many trails winding through the enchanting hills of Umbria. Take a step back in time as you wander through olive groves, meadows and woodlands. All levels of riding experience are welcome. Horses are gentle and suitable for children. The nearest riding centre is situated about 10 minutes from the Estate while another one is at only 20 minutes by car, and both offer the opportunity for experts and beginners to enjoy horse riding in the countryside. Riding lessons are also available for adult beginners and children.
Discover the real authentic Umbria standing in a wicker basket thousands of feet up in the air, looking down at forests, vineyards and historic towns. Without question, morning is the best time for hot air ballooning. The air is calm, fresh and the land is quiet. Being up in a balloon, drifting quietly is an almost spiritual experience!
The balloon flight normally lasts approximately an hour and ends with the traditional picnic breakfast or aperitif on a picturesque location with amazing views merged in the countryside.
This is the perfect activity if you wish to make your holiday in Umbria unique and unforgettable.
(Minimum 8 people, for smaller groups please ask an estimate)
Length of flight: 1 hour – 1 hour and a half – Total duration of the activity: about 3 or 4 hours.
The Estate and the surrounding area are perfect for all biking lovers, from beginners to expert racers!
Our bike rental company may provide different types of bikes for our guests who wish to enjoy all the Estate adventurous trails.
Guided tours are also available. Please ask to us.
Bikes are supplied with a bottle cage, puncture repair kit, pump and normal pedals. You can also decide to mount your pedals or request quick release pedals. At the time of booking you will be asked to indicate the exact days when you need the rental, your height, where and when the bikes are to be delivered and what kind of pedal normally used.
RAFTING IN UMBRIA
The ideal place for rafting in Umbria is located under the Marmore Falls, less than 90’ drive from Perugia you can find the fantastic descent of the rapids in a rubber dinghy. Practicing Rafting even if you are a beginner is truly a unique and adrenaline-pumping emotion. The ideal place to try this electrifying adventure in Umbria is located at the suggestive Cascata delle Marmore, a magical place of history and nature not far from Perugia. Here the Nera River flows rapidly, bubbling on the rocks for almost three kilometres, forming fourth grade rapids (from 1 to 6 the difficulty of rafting), surrounded by lush vegetation, in an environment that will remind you of the atmosphere of the tropical forest.
With over 7,000 kilometres of coastline, you can bet Italy is full of divers. From its sandy beaches to steep walls, its endless caves and limestone tunnels with unparalleled visibility to its true coral forests and colourful gorgonians, the diversity of the underwater scenery is only matched by the gorgeous out-of-water landscapes of this Mediterranean country.
Italy is also home to a dozen different islands of all shapes and sizes, each with their own above as well as below water characteristics and which offer up a multitude of different sites:
Tuscany and its marine reserves with red corals are listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. There are so many little territories in Italy that it’s possible to go diving every year without tiring. The Italian waters owe their reputation not only to their clarity, but also to the quality of the fauna you will find there. They’ve got groupers, moray eels, schools of multi-coloured fish – what more could you ask for?!
And for the real enthusiasts, Italy abounds with shipwrecks! To sum up, Italy is nothing but the good life incarnated – a real cultural, artistic, historic, and culinary treat. And now you can add ‚diving haven‘ to the list. Enjoy!