A Splendid Wine Tasting Tour

Italy is famous for a vast array of products, from the haute couture created in Milan’s fashion houses to the world famous wines from the Chianti region.




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And if you like to think of yourself as a wine connoisseur, or if you simply enjoy a tipple now and again, then our Wine Tasting Tour would be ideal.

 

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.Not only do you get a chance to discover some of our best wines, but you can also sample some very tasty region delicacies, while also getting to see two fascinating towns, Orvieto in Umbria and Montepulciano in Tuscany.

 

ORIVETO,  UMBRIA

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The tour first takes us to Orvieto, which has been producing wine since the Middle Ages. We will first visit the Cantina Foresi at the Piazza Duomo. Here you will be able to taste the town’s most famous wine, the ‘Orvieto Classico‘, along with other fine white wines and some delicious local foods, such as wild boar and pork salamis, porchetta colonnata and an excellent range of cheeses.

After the tasting you can take a tour of the cellar and then you will have the opportunity to buy any of the wines that you just tasted.

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Orvieto, Umbria

Orvieto, Umbria

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Orvieto is also worth visiting for its tourist sights, especially the 14th century cathedral, and you will have time to admire the building, as well as stroll around the town’s shops, many of which sell Orvieto’s other famous product, namely ceramics.

 

MONTEPULCIANO, TUSCANY

 

We now continue to the charming hill-town of Montepulciano in the beautiful Chianti region of Tuscany. This town is great for walking, as the centre is almost free of traffic.

 

Montepulciano, Tuscany

Montepulciano, Tuscany

 

Here we will taste both red and white wines, the most famous being Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Rosso di Montepulciano, and we will follow this with a visit to a vineyard and olive grove.

After tasting some of the palatable delights that Montepulciano offers, you will have time to discover the town itself, including the shops and attractions.




There is the 17th century Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Palazzo Comunale, which was designed by Michelozzo in the same tradition as the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence, and also the town’s impressive castle, which was the site of many a battle between the locals and the Republic of Siena.

 

Montepulciano, Tuscany

Montepulciano, Tuscany

 

One of our most popular tours, the Wine Tour is both relaxing and interesting, and with the added bonus of trying some authentic regional food and wine!

 

Tour Highlights

Orvieto :: Montepulciano

Pick up time: approximately 8.00am

Return time: around 6.00pm to 7.00pm




Full tour details can be found here: http://www.stefanorometours.com/tours/winetasting/

 

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.




with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

 

 

 

Tivoli Villas: The Most Popular Out of Rome Tour

The ancient city of Tivoli is located only about 20 miles from Rome and is a popular tourist destination, especially for those who want to visit somewhere slightly further afield from the sights of the Italian capital.

The city was already a Roman establishment way back in 338 BC, and was well known for its beauty and good water and became popular as a resort for rich Romans.

 

 

Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana)

Hadrian’s Villa: Ares and the tow Wounded Amazons, at the Canopus

 

There are no less than two UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city and our Tivoli Villas Tour is an enjoyable way of visiting them.




As the name of the tour suggests, we will be visiting two villas, the Roman Villa Adriana and the Renaissance Villa d’Este.

 

HADRIAN’S VILLA (VILLA ADRIANA)

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Hadrian's Villa / Villa Adriana, Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa / Villa Adriana: Maritime Theater and Euripus Pool

 

Villa Adriana was a gigantic complex initiated and used by Emperor Hadrian as his countryside retreat.

In fact it was as large as many towns of the day with an area of about 250 acres and comprising of several palaces, thermae, temples, libraries, state rooms, slave quarters and even a theatre.

It is said that Emperor Hadrian also ruled the Roman Empire at one point from here.

 

Hadrian's Villa / Villa Adriana, Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa / Villa Adriana: Statue of Neptune, near the Canopus

 

Underground, there is an extensive network of tunnels, which were mainly used for the transportation of both servants and goods from one area of the complex to the other.

Due to its enormity, Hadrian himself probably needed to have a guide himself to get around the villa!

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VILLA D’ESTE

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Villa d'Este Water Fountains

Villa d’Este Water Fountains

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Villa d’Este is also a UNSECO site, but being of Renaissance architecture, it is not as old as Villa Adriana and dates back “only” to the late 1500s.

The villa was originally commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, grandson of Pope Alexander VI and has undergone many improvements throughout the years.

Villa d’Este is most famous for its beautiful gardens and water features, which later had an enormous influence on landscape design throughout Europe and beyond.

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Villa d'Este Gardens

Villa d’Este Gardens

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After the tour you can enjoy a typical meal in the trattoria near to the villa, before we continue our journey back to Rome.

This tour is also possible as a shore excursion from Civitavecchia. 

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Tivoli Day Tour Highlights:


Villa Adriana :: Villa d’Este

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Pick up time: approximately 9.00am

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Full tour details can be found here: http://www.stefanorometours.com/tours/tivolivillas/





Thank you very much for visiting our blog. We look forward to seeing you in Rome!

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team 

 

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Castles and Lake Tour: Bracciano Lake, Cerveteri

Rome has numerous monuments and attractions to visit, but why not get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a day and explore the Lazio countryside?

Whether a day tour from Rome or a shore excursion from Civitavecchia, this unique  Castles and Lake Tour is the perfect way to explore the beautiful and mainly unspoiled region of Lazio.

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On this tour you will visit the formidable Renaissance Bracciano Castle (Castello Orsini-Odesalchi), have an authentic Italian lunch at a restaurant in the charming medieval clifftop hamlet of Ceri,and explore ancient tombs that belong to this ancient mysterious civilization inside the ancient Banditaccia Etruscan Necropolis in Cerveteri.




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click to watch the “Castles and Lakes” Tour video 

 

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BRACCIANO CASTLE  / CASTELLO ORSINI – ODESCALCHI 

 




Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi

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The tour’s first stop is the small town of Bracciano, which is reached via the Roman Via Aurelia road that dates way back to 241 BC.

This quiet town is home to Odescalchi Castle, a well-kept castle that was made famous when Tom Cruise decided to marry his bride (Katie Holmes ) there in 2006.

After the castle we will take a walk around the village where you can do a spot of shopping, sight seeing and enjoy a nice stroll.

 

LAKE BRACCIANO

 




View of Lake Bracciano from Odescalchi Castle

View of Lake Bracciano from Odescalchi Castle

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Next stop will be the actual lake itself. Lake Bracciano is one of Italy’s cleanest and largest lakes, with a circular perimeter of approximately 20 miles, and was originally a volcanic crater. It is a popular location for sunbathing and swimming for those who want to avoid the busy beaches.

 

THE MEDIEVAL BORGO OF CERI

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The Medieval Borgo of Ceri

The Medieval Borgo of Ceri

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After a relaxing stop-off at the lake, we will continue to the small village of Ceri, just outside Cerveteri.

This picturesque village occupies a fortified plateau of tuff and was inhabited by the ancient Etruscans, as well as the Romans. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the Romanesque Church of the Madonna di Ceri with its Giotto-inspired frescoes and ‘cosmati’ floors.

 

CERVETERI BANDITACCIA ETRUSCAN NECROPOLIS

 

Banditaccia Etruscan Necropolis Tombs, Cerveteri

Banditaccia Etruscan Necropolis Tombs, Cerveteri

 

After lunch at one of the excellent value-for-money restaurants, we will head to our final stop, Cerveteri.




This home to the ancient Etruscan tombs, built by a civilization that we know very little about and who occupied parts of Italy even before the Romans.

 

Tomb of Reliefs, Banditaccia Etruscan Necropolis in Cerveteri

Tomb of Reliefs, Banditaccia Etruscan Necropolis in Cerveteri

 

Please remember: To enter churches, you will have to have your shoulders and knees covered, otherwise you will be refused entry!




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Castle and LakesTour Highlights:


Orsini – Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano :: Lake Bracciano :: Ceri :: Banditaccia Etruscan Necropolis in Cerveteri

Pick up time: approximately 9.00am

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Full tour details can be found here: http://www.stefanorometours.com/tours/castlesandlakes/

Thank you for reading our blog. We look forward to seeing you in Italy

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

 

 

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Christian Rome – Day tour in Rome

A visit to Rome would not be complete without a tour of some of the city’s best known Christian monuments and landmarks, which include the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Wall and of course the Vatican, home to St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

 

 

Our Christian Rome Tour available as a day tour from Rome or a shore excursion from Civitavecchia, will introduce you to the main points of interest that made Rome the centre of Christianity, and you will have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Saints, Popes, and ancient Romans who have contributed to what Rome is today.




Due to magnificent architecture, world famous paintings and sculptures, as well as remarkable frescoes, as all of these spiritually significant sites have a very important and interesting history and are part of Italy’s cultural heritage.

 

 

We start at the Circus Maximus, the enormous ancient Roman stadium at the foot of Palatine Hill where the chariot races took place (think Ben Hur).

 

From here, we continue to one of the four great basilicas of Rome, St. Paul Outside-the-Wall, which was built by Emperor Constantine and said to be located above the burial ground of Saint Paul.

 

 

Continuing along the Appian Way, the 2000-year old road that leads to Apulia and Brindisi and where Spartacus and his army were crucified, we will make our way to the ancient catacombs. It is here where the early Christians would bury their dead or hold church services out of sight from the public, due to a fear of persecution.

Before stopping off for some lunch we will continue the tour to Piazza Venezia and the Vittorio Emanuele Monument, which was dedicated to the first king of Italy.

After enjoying a delicious traditional Roman lunch it is now time to head towards the Vatican, noted as one of the world’s smallest states and more importantly home to the Pope and the Catholic Church.

You will be given the chance to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with its amazing ceiling painted by Michelangelo. After viewing the masterpieces found in the Vatican, the tour will take us to the Pantheon, once the temple to all Roman gods, it remains one of the best preserved Roman buildings.

Just around the corner from here is our penultimate destination, the city’s largest Baroque fountain, the instantly recognisable Trevi Fountain, where visitors throw in a coin to be assured of a return visit to Rome.

Our tour finally ends at the Spanish Steps, where you can take a rest and enjoy a tasty Italian gelato before we set off back home.

Please don’t forget: To enter any of the churches in Rome, you will have to have your shoulders and knees covered, otherwise you will be refused entry!

Tour Highlights
Circus Maximus :: St. Paul Outside the Wall Church :: Appian Way :: Catacombs :: Vittorio Emanuele Monument :: Vatican Museum :: Sistine Chapel :: St. Peter’s Basilica
Pick up time: approximately 9.00am
Return time: approximately 5.00pm
Full tour details can be found here: http://www.stefanorometours.com/tours/christianrome/       




We look forward to seeing you in Rome!

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ostia Antica: The perfect short tour outside Rome

If you are looking for a reasonably short tour, and one that takes you outside of Rome for a few hours, then our Ostia Antica Tour would be the perfect choice for you.




We pick you up at 9.00 AM from your hotel, show you the sites of the ancient town of Ostia Antica, and then return you back to your hotel at about 1.00 PM, giving you enough time for a siesta and to discover a little more of Rome!

However, if you prefer, you can also stay longer in the town for a small extra fee …

Ostia Antica is a fascinating town that has a wealth of Roman ruins and beautiful, well-kept frescoes. Amazingly, the town was the seaport of Rome during the Roman times, and just like Pisa, it was once located directly on the coast! Over the years, the drop in sea water level and the additional silting from the River Tiber means that the town in now situated about 2 miles inland from the Mediterranean coast.




Some of the oldest visible buildings date way back to the 3rd century BC. But the city did not peek in size until between the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, when its population reached 75,000 inhabitants, the size of a large town today. The Roman ruins in the town are perhaps second to none, apart from Rome itself of course. Some of the highlights include 2nd century mosaics, insulae (Roman apartment blocks), early graffiti, the theatre building, and the ancient warehouses along the old Tiber banks.

Please note: The ruins are closed on Mondays and also there are no restaurants on-site, so we recommend that you bring your own little picnic and cold drinks. The entrance fee, which is currently 6.50 Euros, is not included in the tour and should be paid on arrival.




We look forward to seeing you in Rome! Thank you for visiting our blog.

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day Tour

A warm welcome to our Stefano Rome Tours blog.
 
 
Obviously we specialize in tours, mainly of Rome and the nearby regions, and to start off we are going to introduce you to a lesser known tour, namely the one-day Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoreggio Tour. Both these small towns lie to the north of Rome, close to Bolsena Lake.

 

 

 

VIDEO: Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day Tour from Rome or Civitavecchia
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Orvieto (Umbria)

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Orvieto, Umbria

Orvieto, Umbria

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After picking everyone up, we will take the 2-hour drive to Orvieto. This small city can be found on one of the most dramatic sites in Europe, as it is located on the flat summit of a large hill of volcanic tuff. It also has an elevation of 325 metres, sitting above an almost vertical cliff face.

The centre point of the city is the 14th century Duomo, or cathedral, with its spectacular façade that took more than 300 years to complete.

It was constructed under the orders of Pope Urban IV and is also home to the San Brizio Chapel, where you can see some amazing frescoes by Fra Angelico and Signorelli.

After touring the Duomo, you can choose to take the 248 steps to the bottom of St. Patrick’s Well, which was built during Pope Clement VII time, as it was thought that Orvieto’s only military weakness was its lack of self-sufficiency in water. Be aware though, at the bottom of the well there is only water!

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Orvieto, Umbria

Orvieto, Umbria

 

 

About this time it will be lunchtime, and several great restaurants can be found in the city, especially as it is a member of Cittaslow, the slow food movement in Italy, so you can expect to have a truly enjoyable lunch. After lunch there will be time to browse the centre and pop into the ceramic shops, or even do a spot of wine tasting, as this area is also well known for its local white wine production.

 

Civita di Bagnoregio (Lazio)

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Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

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Civita di Bagnoregio is a tiny hill community that once belonged to the nearby village of Bagnoreggio. Originally founded by the Etruscans, it is now only accessible by a 500-metre uphill footbridge.

The walk is well worth it, but please bear in mind the walk, if you plan to take the tour! There is of course no traffic here, but there is a small selection of delightful shops, some ancient architecture and some amazing views of the surrounding area.

 

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

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Pick up time: approximately 8.00 am
Return time: approximately 5.00 pm


Full tour details can be found here:http://www.stefanorometours.com/tours/orvieto-civitabagnoregio/

Thank you very much for reading our blog. We look forward to seeing you in Italy!

Warmest Regards,

The Stefano Rome Tours

 

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Florence Day Tour and Shore Excursion

We at Stefano Rome Tours are glad to introduce you to one of our other tours outside Rome: our popular Florence Day Tour, offering you a day to explore marvelous city which was once home to the Renaissance and is today one of Italy’s most precious tourist destinations. If you are on a cruise docking in Livorno Cruise Port,  Florence is the top shore excursion destination in Tuscany

 

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If you are visiting Rome for a few days, then why not get that little extra out of your holiday and come with us to see the beautiful city of Florence?




It is only nine hours from the time of picking you up to dropping you off, so you will be back by around 5.00pm and in time for a siesta, before dining out at your favorite Roman restaurant and/or enjoying the capital’s sights. 

After you are picked up from your accommodation in Rome or Livorno Cruise Port, we will make our way to the Tuscan capital via the picturesque countryside.

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Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

 

.On reaching Florence, or Firenze as it is called in Italian, we will initially stop off at Michelangelo Square (Piazzale Michelangelo), which offers probably the best view of the city and the surrounding Tuscan hills.




This enticing panorama will give you a sweet taster of the good things to come on the tour.

Now from here, we will continue to the old part of the city, which is mainly pedestrianised and where most of the well-known sights are located.

 

Florence Ponte Vehccio

Florence Ponte Vehccio

 

As noted below in the ‘Tour Highlights’, we will be visiting all the major attractions that make Florence such a mecca for discerning tourists, such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio.

Furthermore, we will see works from some of Italy’s finest artists and architects, including Brunelleschi, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Giotto, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Vasari.

 

Piazza della Signoria, Michelangelo's David

Piazza della Signoria, Michelangelo’s David

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Our Tour of Florence really is an excursion not to be missed, and we always recommend that you book in advance to ensure you have a reserved place.




Please remember there is a dress code on entering churches in Italy, so please make sure that your shoulders and knees are all covered.

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Florence Tour Highlights


Michelangelo Square :: Church of Santa Croce :: Academia Gallery /  Michelangelo ‘David ‘:: Piazza della Signoria :: Duomo :: Ponte Vecchio

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Pick up time: approximately 8.00am
Return time: approximately 5.00pm

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Florence Day Tour from Rome and Shore Excursion from Livorno tour details can be found here:
http://www.stefanorometours.com/tours/florence/

 

Thank you very much and we look forward to see you i Italy!

~The Stefano Rome Tours Team

 

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