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Macerata Opera Festival and the Highlights of Umbria

Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Rome. On arrival in Rome, transfer by coach to Trevi and the Hotel Anica Dimora Alla Rocca.

Day 2: Full day tour to Perugia. The well-preserved hill town of Perugia, the regional capital, is as close to a city as it gets in Umbria. Full of lovely museums, churches and 400 year old architectural treasures to explore, Perugia’s two universities give the town a wonderfully vibrant atmosphere. Housed in the great Gothic Palazzo dei Priori, the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria is a must visit.

Day 3: Full day tour to Assisi and Spello. Assisi’s fate as a pilgrimage site was sealed when St Francis was born here in 1182. A charming medieval hill town, Assisi can be quite busy, but there are still pockets of tranquillity as you wander the old streets. The Basilica di San Francesco is a fantastic monument to 13th and 14th century Italian art with one of the greatest art collections outside of a gallery in the world. Pink-stoned Spello sits above the Vale of Spoleto. Originally a Roman settlement there are plenty of historic buildings, but the real charm here is to wander its lovely streets at leisure.

Day 4: Morning visit to Montefalco with evening transfer to Macerata for opera performance. This morning we head into the hills of Montefalco, a medieval walled hill town at the centre of the eponymous wine region. We visit the Romanelli Agricola, a winery and olive oil producer, where we will taste locally produced wine and oil alongside other local produce. Return to Trevi with time to freshen up before late afternoon transfer to Macerata for an evening performance of Madama Butterfly at the Arena Sferisterio. There will be time before the concert for you to have dinner at one of the many restaurants in the town.

Day 5: Morning free in Trevi with an afternoon visit to the Castello della Rancia and the Botanical Gardens at Camerino. This morning you will have the chance to relax and explore Trevi at your own leisure before heading into the Le Marche region for an afternoon visit to Castello della Rancia. Built in the middle of the 9th century as a tower-house to shelter agricultural commodities, the castle was enlarged in the 14th century to be used as a residence by order of Rudolph II da Varano. After our visit here we will visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens at Camerino, filled with over one thousand different varieties of trees and flowers, as well as fountains including one decorated with a sculpture by Gino Marotta, entitled Apollo’s Fountain.

Day 6: Full day tour to Gubbio. The town of Gubbio climbs its way up the steep slopes of Monte Ingino, its Gothic splendour backed by the mighty Apennine Mountains. A powerful town in the early Middle Ages, Gubbio may appear austere thanks to the dark grey stone of its architecture, but its past is both turbulent and fascinating. Although most of the architecture is 14th and 15th century, you’ll find Roman remains, a 12th century Duomo and the magnificent ancient Umbrian Eugubine Tables in the Palazzo dei Consoli.

Day 7: Full day tour to Spoleto and Todi. One of Umbria’s most charming towns and in a spectacular setting, ancient Spoleto was once an important Roman city and capital of the Duchy of Spoleto. Perched in the foothills of the Apennines it is in the medieval hilltop Upper Town where you’ll find some of Italy’s oldest Romanesque churches, the Duomo and a variety of museums and galleries, whilst in the modern Lower Town there are Roman ruins and more lovely churches. Perhaps Umbria’s best known hill town, Todi is believed to have one of Italy’s most perfect mediaeval piazzas, surrounded by fairy tale architecture and ancient walls in its beautiful hilltop position.

Day 8: Transfer by coach back to Rome airport for your return flight to London Gatwick with an en-route visit to the seaside resort of Lido di Ostia.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.

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