Eat and Drink Like a Northern Italian
Experience Italy Tour

Book Your Sacred Heart of Italy Tour Now!

The Sacred Heart of Italy

Much more than just the geographical centre of the Italian peninsula, in the provinces of Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, we find the living, beating sacred heart of a nation.   We’ll visit the must see highlights as well as some lesser known but equally intriguing attractions as we journey from the Renaissance splendour of Florence to the medieval hill towns of rural Tuscany;  from the serenity of Assisi to the cacophony of the Eternal City – Rome.  As always with an Eat and Drink Like a European Tour, there are plenty of memorable food and drink experiences.  Expect fresh, local, and delicious!  And what would a tour of the Sacred Heart of Italy be without art, architecture, history, and natural beauty?  You really get it all on this tour.  With our tour director taking care of the details, our private coach acting as full-time designated driver, and plenty of free time built in for your own explorations, we know you will fall in love with the Sacred Heart of Italy.

Experience Italy Tour

CITIES & TOWNS

  • Florence
  • Pisa
  • Siena
  • Volterra
  • San Gimignano
  • Assisi
  • Orvieto
  • Civita di Bagnoregio
  • Rome

HIGHLIGHTS – History, Art, and Architecture

  • Accademia Museum – Florence
  • Uffizi Gallery – Florence
  • Renaissance Walking Tour of Florence
  • Palazzo Vecchio – Florence
  • Cathedral and Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Etruscan Museum – Volterra
  • Torre del Mangia – Siena
  • Duomo – Siena
  • Sant’Agostino Church – San Gimignano
  • Basilica Inferiore di San Francesco – Assisi
  • Chapel of the Incarcerated – Civita
  • Chapel of the Madonna di San Brizio – Orvieto
  • The Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica – Rome
  • The Ancient Colosseum and Forum – Rome
  • The Catacombs of Priscilla – Rome
  • Castel Sant’Angelo – Rome

HIGHLIGHTS – Food and Drink

  • Authentic Florentine Welcome Dinner Feast
  • Wine bar tour – Florence
  • Mostodolce Brewery and Pizzeria – Florence
  • Archea Brewery – Florence
  • La Staffetta Brewery – Pisa
  • Traditional Osteria degustation at La Cantina di Tipi – Pisa
  • Tour and tasting at Buonamico Winery – Rural Tuscany
  • Tuscan cooking class and dinner at our Agriturismo – Rural Tuscany
  • Wine and cheese experience – Volterra

  • Perugian winery tour and tasting – Assisi
  • Tour and tasting at Decugnano dei Barbi Winery – Orvieto
  • Tre Fontane Trappist Brewery – Rome
  • Traditional wine bar crawl – Rome
  • Modern Roman Banquet – Rome
  • Jungle Juice Brewery  – Rome
  • Gelato creation experience – Rome
  • Traditional cooking class and wine paired feast – Rome
  • …and many more!!!
Northern Italy Tour

August 12 – August 23, 2019

$3695

Per Person + Air Based on Double Occupancy

All prices in US dollars.  Payment in other currencies possible – contact us.

Book Your Sacred Heart of Italy Tour Now!

Day 1: Benvenuto - Welcome to The Heart of Italy

Day 1:  Benvenuto – Welcome to the Heart of Italy!

We’ll meet at our centrally located hotel in Florence in the late afternoon and enjoy a refreshing apertivo (drink) before heading out to this evening’s traditional Florentine feast at a restaurant that has been a local favourite for decades.

Sleep in Florence (3 nights) / Bus: none / Walking: Light

Meals provided: Dinner

Day 2: Into the Light

Day 2:  Into the Light

After we fuel up with our hotel’s varied and generous breakfast offerings (including cappuccino of course!), we will bypass the legendary lines at the Accademia Museum and walk right in to lay our eyes on Michelangelo’s masterpiece – the David.  Much more than just a slab of marble made into the image of man, the David is a symbol of Europe’s emergence from the dark ages and into the light of the Renaissance.  Your guide will then take you on a Renaissance-themed journey through the streets of Florence, followed by lunch at the Mostodolce Brewery and Pizzeria.  The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to explore on your own, with some great advice from your tour director.

Sleep in Florence / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3: Birthplace of the Modern World

Day 3:  Birthplace of the Modern World

On the surface, the Renaissance seems to be simply a shift in art and architecture… but it was much more than that.  Ideas that have shaped our modern world were born in the offices and banquet halls of the Medici family.  We will explore these ideas in depth as we tour the Uffizi Gallery (former offices of the Medici and now the greatest collection of Italian painting in the world), and the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall, where the Medici ruled over the city state).  At the palazzo we will ascend the tower for commanding views of the city, including Brunelleschi’s famous dome.  Tonight we will have a wine paired dinner at a classic Florentine enoteca.

Sleep in Florence / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4: The Field of Miracles

Day 4:  The Field of Miracles

Today we say arrivederci to Florence, as we meet our private coach driver who will take us on the ultimate journey through the Sacred Heart of Italy.  Not far from Florence is its former medieval rival city of Pisa, home of the most famous engineering error in the world.  The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, and we’ll not only be climbing the stairs to the top of it, but also visiting the striking cathedral on Pisa’s Field of Miracles.  A riverside brewery visit followed by a hearty lunch at a local’s favourite osteria will complete our visit to Pisa.  Later in the afternoon, we’ll visit one of the finest wineries in all of Tuscany near the tiny hilltop village of Montecarlo for a tour and tasting.  Then we’ll settle in to our home for the next three nights – a beautiful agriturismo in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.

Sleep in Tuscan Countryside (3 nights) / Bus: 4hrs / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 5: Unfinished Business

Day 5:  Unfinished Business

Siena, with its grand towers and massive town square is the ultimate Tuscan hill town.  It never quite made it out of the Middle Ages – its Renaissance superstar neighbour Florence kept it from moving forward.  Siena’s unique zebra-striped cathedral was meant to be expanded into the largest church outside of Rome… but military and economic losses to the Florentines halted construction and left a lot of unfinished business in this once powerful city state.  We will spend the morning exploring the best of this medieval time warp, including the cathedral and the city hall’s iconic tower.  With excellent advice from your tour director, you will enjoy your free afternoon exploring the twisting lanes and the fantastic food and wine of Siena.

Sleep in Tuscan Countryside / Bus: 1 hour / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6: Fine Towers and Fine Wine

Day 6: Fine Towers and Fine Wines

Today we visit two of Tuscany’s gems – the walled towns of Volterra and San Gimignano.  With our coach driver chauffeuring us in air-conditioned comfort, our travels through the countryside will be a breeze.  Both of these towns have deep histories stretching back to the pre-Roman Etruscan era (where Tuscany gets its name from).  In Volterra we will take a tour through the historical highlights with our charming local guide, followed by a “Wine Tasting 101” sampling and lesson about the wines of Tuscany.  In San Gimignano, we’ll stroll amongst the fine towers that harken back to the days of feuding noble families, and have some free time to explore and sample the famous Vernaccia di San Gimignano – judged by some to be the best white wine in Italy.

Sleep in Tuscan Countryside / Bus: 2.5 hours / Walking: Moderate (with hills)

Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7: The Sacred and the Profane

Day 7: The Sacred and the Profane

Every town in Italy has at least one church, one relic, and one patron saint.  More than any other town, Assisi is defined by its patron – Saint Francis.  Leaving Tuscany we’ll journey through the Umbrian countryside that inspired Saint Francis’ spiritual journey, and visit some of the sacred places that were inspired by him.  As we wander the streets of Assisi, we’ll learn about this influential monk, and use the beautiful frescoes of the Basilica of Saint Francis to illustrate his his life.  Then we will depart for a much more Bacchanalian experience at a family-run winery, enjoying many of their fine wines while we share a traditional Umbrian feast!  The winery’s hotel will be our base for the next two nights.

Sleep in Umbrian Agriturismo / Bus: 3.5 hours / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided:  Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8: The Hill is Alive

Day 8:  The Hill is Alive

Orvieto is the ultimate Umbrian hill town.  Dramatically rising from the surrounding lowlands, Orvieto is perched on the edge of volcanic cliffs.  Don’t worry – there’s a lift.  We’ll orient ourselves to the town in the cathedral square,  admiring the animated facade and the vibrant frescoes of the Orvieto duomo.  You’ll have plenty of time to explore the streets, shops, and cafés of the old medieval centre before we return to our agriturismo to relax with a glass of wine and take in the rural ambience before our dinner tonight.

Sleep in Orvieto Agriturismo / Bus: 1 hour / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided:  Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9: Saints and Suds

Day 9:  Saints and Suds

According to legend, when St. Paul was martyred in 67 AD just outside of Rome three fountains (tre fontane in Italian) miraculously sprung from the ground on the spot of his execution.  Today the Tre Fontane trappist monastery sits on this sacred site, and like their brethren in Belgium, these monks brew divine beer, which we will be enjoying today!  We’ll follow that up with a visit to one of Rome’s hip new craft beer hubs for a distinctly Italian take on burgers and brews.  This afternoon we will visit the rugged but surprisingly ornate Castel Sant’Angelo – mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian and fortress of the popes.

Sleep in Rome (3 nights) / Bus: 2 hours / Walking: Light

Meals provided:  Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10: The Eternal City

Day 10:  The Eternal City

Rome has existed for what seems an eternity, and today we will focus on some of the oldest remnants of the glory of Ancient Rome.  Your guide will bring the Colosseum and the Roman Forum to life, providing an essential context for the remains of the former centre of the western world.  We’ll lunch like the locals at a popular enoteca (wine bar).  After lunch, we’ll visit the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, and you’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to stroll to the Spanish Steps and find your own special restaurant for dinner (with advice from your tour director, of course!)

Sleep in Rome / Bus: None / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11: The Holy City

Day 11:  The Holy City

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, but it is packed with sites of enormous significance and beauty.  We will start our day with an exclusive tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica with our passionate local guide.  This afternoon you’ll be free to explore on your own, with lots of excellent advice from your tour director.  We’ll get together in the evening to swap stories from our own adventures in Rome, and to enjoy a final Roman feast in the true spirit of the Sacred Heart of Italy.

Sleep in Rome / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12: Arrividerci!

Day 12:  Arrividerci!

The tour is over after breakfast.  Your tour director will be happy to give you advice on your further adventures in Europe if you are staying on, and if you are heading home, the Leonardo da Vinci Airport is a short train or cab ride away.  Arrividerci!

Meals provided: Breakfast

The Fine Print – What You Get:


Not so much fine print: 
We believe in up front pricing, not a hard-to-read long list of extra costs.
Group Size: We run small group tours, less than half the size of a normal big bus tour. Our average group size is 14-18 travellers, plus a tour director and a driver.
Transportation: Most transportation is in a private chartered coach. Lots of free space on the bus to stretch out and relax! In the Cinque Terre, we will use local train service as well. Transportation to and from airport is your responsibility. Both Venice (first city) and Milan (last city) are well served by train connections and close to major airports.
Activity level:  This tour is suitable to people with a basic fitness level. You will need to carry your own bags, climb hotel stairs, and keep a leisurely to moderate pace on city walking tours. On our hiking days, you choose the level of activity you wish to engage in – from strenuous high mountain treks, to leisurely seaside promenades – you decide. This trip is suitable for adults. It is not suitable for young children.
Accommodations: We choose generally smaller, family-run hotels, in the 3-4 star category, that are close to the action, rather than large impersonal hotels in some industrial park outside of town. All rooms have private ensuite bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Most rooms are doubles.

  • Solo travelers: You may choose to pay extra for one of the limited number of single private rooms, or you can room with another solo traveler in the group of the same gender and skip the extra fee.  See the registration form for specific prices.
  • Couples: Couples will usually share a room with one double or queen bed (larger King beds are not common in Europe).
  • Two friends traveling together: Two friends or siblings traveling together will be roomed together with two beds in a twin room. Note: some European twin beds share one headboard but they will always have separate sheets.
  • Triple room: A typical triple room will be one double bed and one single bed, rollaway or cot.

Sightseeing tours and attractions: This is the main reason you are in Italy, and we understand this! Led by your OneLife tour director, and local guides when appropriate. Entrance fees to all attractions are included. Most tour companies sell many of their attractions as expensive “optional excursions” which add up really quickly. Not us.

Meals: Breakfasts are always included. Note that because we stay in characteristic European hotels, breakfasts will reflect local preferences . Many lunches/dinners are on us – the rest are up to you. See itinerary for breakdown.

Gratuities: Unlike most tour companies who ask you to pay a “mandatory” tip to the driver and guide, with us tipping is neither requested nor required.

Book Your Sacred Heart of Italy Tour Now!

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