We will first travel north from Rome through the country side of Lazio to Orvieto, a charming hill town, which is in the lush Umbria region.
Upon our arrival in the town of Orvieto
, you have the option to visit the Cantina Foresi
, located right on the beautiful Piazza del Duomo di Orvieto
in the shadow of the cathedral.
Here in the old Cantina Foresi you will have the opportunity of tasting some wonderful local specialties, some of which you just might not be able to find at home! Orvieto and famous for its wild boar ham and salami, cheese, bacon (pancetta), and porchetta colonnata
. Porchetta is one of the most delicious dishes in all of Italy. It is similar to a pork roll; the pork is arranged carefully with layers of stuffing, meat, fat, and skin, then rolled, put on a spit and roasted, traditionally over wood. It is usually salted in addition to being stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel, or other herbs, often wild. The colonnata is a type of cured pork fat, which comes from the little village of Colonnata
, high up in the Apuan Alps
in Northern Tuscany. Colonnata is close to Carrara
, famous for its fine marble, and lardo
was the food of the marble quarriers: cheap and filling. Today, lardo di colonnata
is a delicacy, rather like a fine ham. It is silky, smooth and very tasty along with the porchetta. And what is delicious gourmet food without a wonderful wine to sip with it?
In Orvieto you can taste a variety of fine wines at various local wine shops: Orvieto Classico
, and Cervaro Muffato Room
, Sassicaia, Tignanello
, Sagrantino di Montefalco
, Brunello di Montalcino
, Chianti Classico
. The excellent wines are mainly white wines made from a blend of mostly Grechetto
. The region has been producing wine since the middle ages, and today’s white Orvieto is dry, but a semi-sweet style, known as Orvieto Abboccato
, and dolce (sweet), are also produced in small quantities.
Wine tastings are offered throughout Orvieto's wine shops, providing you with ample opportunities to sample the local wines while you enjoy the historic town.
You will also have some free time for shopping for local hand painted ceramics, or visit the stunning cathedral which was built in the fourteenth century. Pope Urban IV
ordered the construction of the cathedral to provide a beautiful, holy place for the Corporal of Bolsena
. The Corporal of Bolsena was a miracle that is said to have occurred in the town of Bolsena
in 1263. The Corporal is the small cloth upon which the host and the chalice are placed during the Roman Catholic Eucharist
. It was believed that this particular Corporal had drops of blood on it, thus substantiating the Roman Catholic belief that the bread and wine used in the observation of the Eucharist become the literal body and blood of Christ. The Corporal is still held in a reliquary in the center of the cathedral and brought out for various religious observances.
The cathedral’s façade contains many of the elements of design that were common to religious construction from the 14th to the 20th century. The cathedral’s construction was begun in 1290 and lasted for almost 300 years. During the course of that time, the design evolved from Romanesque
Many significant works of art can be found in the cathedral, and a visit to the Chapel of the Madonna di San Brizio
is a must-see. It contains frescoes begun by famous artists Fra Angelico
and finished by Signorelli
. The frescoes represent many events in Christianity including the Apocalypse
, and the Last Judgment
. They begin with the Preaching of the Antichrist
and continue to the Doomsday
and the Resurrection of the Flesh
We will then journey further north into the Toscana
region to the town of Montepulciano
, a hill town packed with interest and charm. You will have the pleasure of tasting the delightful wine of this region while in Montepulciano. During this visit, you can sample both red and white wines. Since we are your designated drivers, enjoy the nectar of the gods!
Tuscany region is legendary for its exceptional wines, but “Montepulciano is King of all wines”
according to Francesco Redi, the renown 17th century Italian poet and physician, in his famous poem, Bacchus in Tuscany
. The noble wine of Montepulciano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano,
is one of Tuscany’s classic red that has been a favorite among the aristocracy and royalty ever since Lorenzo de Medici in the 15th century.
The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has also been elevated to the
status - Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita
. According to the stringent DOCG law, the wine must contain at least 70% Sangiovese
grapes from vineyards surrounding Montepulciano, up to 20% Canaiolo
grapes, and up to 20% other red variety. The wine must also be aged for two years in oak or chestnut barrels before being released, and three years for riserva
labels. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has found its special place in wine collector’s cellars and dinner tables world wide.
While you sample the wines at various wine shops, you also have the opportunity to enjoy Montepulciano, one of the most attractive hills towns in Tuscany. It is built on a ridge of Monte Poliziano
in the province of Sienna
in Tuscany. It was once the ancient Etruscan
city of Nocera Alfaterna
, which made an alliance with Rome against the Samnites
in 308 B.C. Florence controlled the area in the middle ages, but it was conquered by Sienna in 1260. The cathedral was built in 1619, from plans by Scalzo
and it held the tomb of Bartolomeo Arragazzi
, secretary of Pope Martin V, until the 18 century. The tomb was a work of Michelozzo. The church of the Madonna di San Biagio
was planned by Antonio da Sangallo (1518-37).
The façades of the church of Saint Agostino
and of the Oratorio della Misericordia
are well worth a visit. You will see the Tarugi Palace
, the Contucci Palace
designed by Sangallo and the fourteenth-century Palazzo Municipale
, which contains a small gallery of Sienese and of Umbrian art. The most famous men of Montepulciano are Cardinal Bellarmine
, Pope Marcellus II
, Angelo Ambrogini
, better known as Poliziano
(1454-1494), and the humanist Bartolomeo of Montepulciano
. St. Agnes of Montepulciano
died in 1137.
There are many other products that this area is known for including biscotti
, spicy oil
, and a vast variety of pasta
. Be sure to leave room in your luggage to take some home!
This tour is not only one of the most interesting tours that we offer as it provides you the opportunity to enjoy both wine tasting and the towns together, but it's one of the most relaxing countryside tours, and the wine tastings in Umbria and Tuscany are superb.
Tour price does not include lunch or any tasting fees. Winte tastings are offered at various wine shops in Orvieto and Montepulciano. This tour does not include visits to wineries or vineyards outside of towns.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER if you don't receive correspondence from us within 24-48 hours, especially if you use hotmail or msn email accounts.
* This tour is offered throughout the year, and available only from your Rome accommodation.
* The price of this wine tasting tour includes private deluxe vehicle with a knowledgeable and English speaking driver, VAT tax, fuel, insurance, parking and applicable toll fees. The does not include wine tasting fees, lunch, gratuities, entry tickets to any sites you wish to visit on your own, or other client personal expenses.
* Wine tastings usually run between 5-15 Euros per person which is paid directly to the wine shop (enotecha). This tour does not include visit to vineyards or wineries in the countryside.
* The total price for the tour is per vehicle. Guests may split the cost of the tour among themselves if they wish.
* Payment will be made in Euro funds at the end of your journey directly to your Driver, or you may prepay in advance via PayPal. Please let us know when you book your tour if you wish to prepay and just enjoy yourself on the day of your tour.
* Please allow up to 24 hours for email inquiry replies and service confirmation. We have limited office hours on Sundays, please allow for additional time.
* Please wine taste responsibly,
and please do not drink alcoholic beverages or wine on an empty stomach. Excessive consumption of wine or alcoholic beverages may interfere with the enjoyment of your tour. In case that excessive consumption of wine and/or alcohol results in your desire to return to your hotel early, please be advised that you will not be reimbursed for the remaining portion of the tour, and you accept financial responsibility for the full fare of the tour as originally booked.
* CANCELLATION POLICY
: We do not ask for your credit card information, require advance payments, or penalize you for cancellations. We operate on the honor system, so we kindly ask that cancellations be made at minimum 7 days in advance so we can rebook your service and your driver does not lose work for that day.
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