LIVING ITALY 25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR
27 Sept to 17 Oct 2020
Thank you for your booking on Living Italy’s Etruscan Enigma in October 2020. We are pleased to let you know that we have received the minimum number of bookings required for the tour to proceed.
As you may have read on our website, after more than 20 years of operations we have decided to step back a little bit, offering just a small number of tours. As part of this restructuring, we have handed over processing of final payments for the Mysteries of the Mezzogiorno tour to our colleagues at Academy Travel in Sydney. Your final invoice will now come from Academy Travel and your final payment should be made to the account nominated by them.
All other aspects of the tour remain unchanged. The tour will be led by Neil Moore and all hotels, restaurants and other services will be booked by Living Italy.
We look forward to seeing you in Italy in September!
Etruria was the land that lay between Rome and the Tuscan and Umbrian borders, east if the Tiber river, and is characterised by thermal spas, volcanic lakes, sandy beaches, rugged hills, Roman roads, and medieval hill towns.
The robust red wines, extra virgin olive oil, chestnuts, hazelnuts, freshwater fish, black truffles, seafood, wild mushrooms, game, pork products, lamb, and pecorino (sheep) cheeses are among the best you’ll find anywhere in Italy. The Etruscans left their mark, but so did other pre-Roman peoples, like the forgotten Faliscans around our home area of Montefalco.
Our itinerary offers plenty of archaeological , oenological and culinary interest in the cities and cemeteries of the Etruscan peoples who predated the Romans here as well as the medieval towns that inherited the ancient legacy. That legacy continues today, remarkably unspoiled.
Our culinary repertoire is covered in delicious meals and local wines in restaurants and trattorias dedicated to rediscovering and keeping alive a traditional local cuisine.
The territory of the Etruscans thrived into the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
ETRUSCAN ITINERARY September / October, 2020
We start our Etruscan adventure in Rome with an exploration of the ancient roman forum including a sighting of the cloaca maxima, Rome's original main drain built by the last Etruscan king, Tarquinius Superbus. In the afternoon we explore the Museo Capitolino with its unmatched collection of roman sculpture. (overnight Rome)
We spend the morning with Italy's finest collection of Etruscan material at the Villa Giulia. Lunch is in Trastevere with a visit to the Tiber island, and in the afternoon a trip to the archaeological park of Veio, the site of Rome's closest Etruscan neighbour. Cocktails in the Via del Corso in the evening. (overnight Rome)
Today we have a day trip to the town of Cerveteri with it's fascinating Etruscan necropolis and visit the picturesque Lago di Bracciano on the way. (overnight Rome)
We start our journey north, stopping for lunch in Tarquinia with its fabulous winged horses and the painted tombs that so fascinated D.H. Lawrence. In the afternoon we arrive in delightful Tuscania where we will stay the next 3 nights. (overnight Tuscania)
We visit the important town of Viterbo. There is free time in the afternoon in Tuscania. (Overnight Tuscania)
From Tuscania we go north east to Bolsena on its eponymous lake and then Orvieto, the religious centre of the ancient Etruscans. We visit Vitorchiano and Civita' di Bagnoreggio on the way back. (overnight Tuscania)
We now make our way to our next hotel in Sorano, one of a series of mini-Orvietos in this heartland of the ancient Etruscans. Free time in the afternoon to get to know this delightful town. (overnight Sorano)
Today's tour is of nearby Pitigliano with its underground Synagogue and the quite extraordinary Cave Etrusche, sacred roads cut up to 20 meters deep through the surrounding hillsides in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. There are also ancient temple remains at the so-called Tomb of Hildebrand. (overnight Sorano)
In the morning we visit Sovana, once the largest and most important Etruscan city of the area with a stunningly beautiful early christian basilica. For the afternoon we drive to nearby Saturnia to experience the Terme with hot volcanic springs. (overnight Sorano)
A trip down the Fiora valley to the Argentario promotory in the Maremma area awaits us today, where we first visit the archaeological site of Cosa and then have a fish based lunch in Orbetello, which has impressive Etruscan sea walls from the 6th century BC. Before returning we pay our respects to Porto Ercole where Caravaggio died and whose remains have been recently found. (overnight Sorano)
We now go to Florence, but on the way we visit the impressive sites of Roselle with its cyclopean walls and Populonia, notable for the evidence of extensive mining activity. It's then on to Volterra with its breathtaking views and an interesting Etruscan museum with finely worked alabaster sculpture. Cocktails on our arrival in Florence in the evening. (overnight Florence)
After the Villa Giulia in Rome Florence's Archaeological museum is the next best collection of Etruscan art around and it has the extra bonus of being the home of the amazing Chimaera, a mythical bronze creature that confirms the Etruscans' place as the leading artists of ancient Italy. Free time in the afternoon. (overnight Florence)
When Florence was just a crossroads the Etruscan city here was Fiesole, and we spend the day visiting and exploring this impressive site with its large sections of cyclopean walls still visible. (overnight Florence)
Leaving Florence today we travel to her arch-rival, the city of Siena where we have lunch. In the afternoon we move on to Cortona, our next stopping point with its wonderful view of Lake Trasimeno. We'll have aperitivi in its medieval piazza. (overnight Cortona)
We have the day in Cortona, which not only has an exceptionally interesting Etruscan museum but also a wonderful collection of paintings by artists like Luca Signorelli and Fra Angelico. (overnight Cortona)
Our final destination is Perugia, but on the way there we loop around Lake Trasimeno to visit Chiusi, home to an excellent Etruscan museum and also of Lars Porsenna, the Etruscan warlord who so troubled the Romans back in the 6th century BC (overnight Perugia)
Today we set aside for Perugia itself, one of the most important of the Etruscan league of twelve cities (dodecapolis) and home to the monumental Etruscan gate, amongst other significant items of interest. (overnight Perugia)
The border town of Todi (it means border in ancient Etruscan) is today's destination, perched high on a hill looking down on the Tiber river which used to mark the boundary of ancient Etruria. We lunch in Torgiano and visit the remarkable wine museum there, and on the way back take a look at the Ipogei dei Volumni family tomb on Perugia's outskirts. (overnight Perugia)
a 45 minute to the south that involves leaving Etruscan territory for that of their neighbours the Umbrians.
You will have the entire day at leisure today,
with an excursion in the evening to Carol and Neil's home, There will be an optional concert in the evening.
A deposit of EUR 1000 per person is required to reserve a place on the tour.
There will be an interim payment of a following 20% of the total after Sept 2019 in order to finalise our accommodation options.
Final Payment is due 60 days before the first tour day
A limited number of upgrade possibilities may be offered. See below for more specific information
This program is costed on a maximum of 18 people travelling, with only 10 rooms held throughout
Enjoy the company of a small group of travellers, often Living Italy repeat guests, who have spent time with us in other regions of Italy.
Pre-Post Tour recommendation
We are meeting you on the first day at this tranquil spa hotel just minutes from the bustling airport, and we can deliver you back here at the end of the tour
You might enjoy a post flight recovery day in their indoor and outdoor spas in the style of an ancient roman villa.
We'll be there the night before the tour
You can also request a shuttle from the airport while booking a room
Or for a longer stay in Rome
We adore the small boutique Hotel Pantheon on a quiet street just next to - the Pantheon. Really charming, in an Olde Worlde sort of way