Towns and Gardens of Umbria and Northern Lazio
This tour takes us deep into the green heart of Italy. Led by experts in Italian history and culture we will discover the beautiful towns and cities of Umbria and Northern Lazio. Our journey will also encompass intriguing gardens, delicious local food, unspoilt landscapes, and a rich array of works by some of Italy’s most important Renaissance artists.
“Alto Lazio,” as the northern part of the region is known, is a well-kept secret hidden in central Italy. Like its neighbour, Umbria, it is rich in traces of the Etruscans, the mysterious people who made this their territory, and home to great artistic treasures.
Lazio’s soft hills give way to the more rugged landscapes of Umbria, with unspoilt views, hilltop villages and precious cities. While exploring small towns and villages such as Spello and Bagnoregio, and cities such as Perugia and Assisi, we will discover frescoes by Giotto and Pinturicchio and paintings by Piero della Francesca among many other masterpieces. And alongside this rich strand of art history, we will be guests in some of the region’s most exceptional private palaces and gardens.
Other treats include private visits to renowned gardens such as La Foce, originally the home of writer Iris Origo, the famous Renaissance garden of Villa Farnese at Caprarola, and Quando Fioriranno le Rose, a modern rose garden designed by Michael Marriott and Richard Stubbs.
Dedicated Tour Manager
Strict Covid-19 Safety Protocols
Our tour proposals are designed for private groups and art history organisations and societies.
Itineraries may also be specially adapted for individuals and families.
Contact us for details and prices:
Three nights in 5-star relais in Orvieto and three nights in 5-star hotel in Perugia
Upon request, possible extension of three nights in a 4-star relais in the Tuscan countryside near Siena
- Three nights in a 5-star relais near Orvieto and three nights in a 5-star hotel in Perugia.
- Meals as per programme
- Experienced licensed local guides for all your visits
- Guided visits to all monuments and museums listed in this programme
- Comprehensive services of a dedicated Tour Manager
- All ground transportation
- All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
- Upon request, possible extension of three nights in a 4-star Relais in the Tuscan countryside near Siena.
This tour requires a moderate fitness level with a few hours of walking on each day.
Terms and Conditions.
For all of the holidays that we offer, we require a minimum number of 8 travellers to have booked on to each holiday, in order for us to be able to operate it.
Prices shown are for groups of at least 20 travellers, and are variable dependant on the final group number.
For more details and a complete overview of our terms and conditions please visit our travel info and booking conditions page.
Day 1 - Orvieto
After arrival at Rome airport, we drive to our spectacular 5-star country hotel near Orvieto, our residence for the first three nights. (D)
Day 2 - Vitorchiano, Vignanello and Caprarola
Our tour begins in Vitorchiano at the Mutan Botanical Centre. This is the world’s largest peony nursery, where we will admire the extraordinary spectacle of these lush flowers in full bloom. In Vignanello we visit the magnificent formal garden of Palazzo Ruspoli, where we are treated to a private lunch in the castle. This is one of the finest residences in Italy and still in the hands of the ancient aristocratic Ruspoli family. After lunch, we make the short journey to the town of Caprarola. Here we visit the spectacular Villa Farnese, a bizarre pentagonal palace commissioned by the powerful Farnese family in the sixteenth-century. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Bolsena and Bagnoregio
Today we travel to the lakeside town of Bolsena, to visit the Church of Saint Christine, famous for the thirteenth-century ‘Miracle of Bolsena’. After a lunch beside the water, we continue to Bagnoregio. This picturesque village, founded by the Etruscans two and a half thousand years ago, is perched atop a tufa rock, and reachable only across a narrow pedestrian bridge. (B, L)
Day 4 - Lago Trasimeno and Perugia
Our day begins with a visit to a private garden near the delightful Lake Trasimeno. The garden was designed by its current owner, and is testament to her lifelong passion for plant collecting. After lunch in a private villa nearby, we continue to Perugia for the first of three nights in a specially selected 5-star hotel.
Hugged by the gentle Umbrian hills, Perugia is filled with ornate architecture and works of art. After settling in to our new hotel, in the afternoon we visit the National Gallery of Umbria, home to an outstanding array of Medieval and Renaissance artworks, including Piero della Francesca’s Annunciation. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Sansepolcro
Following in the footsteps of Piero della Francesca, we cross the border into Tuscany. The small town of Sansepolcro holds many of his masterpieces, including his Resurrection, one of the artist’s best known works. Following lunch in an idyllic agriturismo near Monterchi, we return to the hotel for some free time, or a visit to the Perugina Chocolate Factory, one of Italy’s most popular chocolate makers.
Day 6 - Assisi, Foligno and Spello
We begin our day in Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis. Its basilica is dedicated to the saint and boasts a wonderful fresco series by Giotto, the first of the great Italian masters. Just outside of Assisi sits the wonderfully named Quando fioriranno le Rose, an exceptional rose garden designed by Michael Marriott and Richard Stubbs. Following a restaurant lunch, we travel to Foligno to visit a garden specialising in David Austin roses, where we will be given a private tour by the owner.
Before returning to Perugia, we stop at Spello to visit the Capella Baglioni. The chapel is decorated with a fresco series on the life of Christ by Pinturicchio at the turn of the sixteenth-century. We return for a farewell dinner in the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Departure. Alternative extension to Val d'Orcia
We leave Perugia to Rome airport for our return flights.
Alternatively, upon request, possible extension to Val d’Orcia and Chianti in Tuscany:
On route to our 4-star relais in Castelnuovo Berardenga, we take the opportunity to visit the Church of San Biagio. This masterpiece of Tuscan Renaissance architecture is home to the anonymous Madonna and Child Enthroned, an exceptional fresco that dates back to the fourteenth-century.
We continue to Villa La Foce. The fifteenth-century villa is surrounded by a beautifully manicured garden, designed in the 1920s for the writer Iris Origo by the great Cecil Pinsent. After enjoying an al fresco lunch in a restaurant near La Foce, we visit Pienza, a model Renaissance town created by Pope Pius II. Here we visit the magnificent hanging gardens of Palazzo Piccolomini.
Our evening will be spent settling into our beautiful relais and enjoying the views of the Chianti countryside, surrounding the city of Siena in the distance. (B, D)
Day 8 - Siena
Our penultimate day is spent in the walled city of Siena. A busy morning includes a visit to the lavishly ornate duomo and its jewel of a museum, as well as dropping in on the Raphael paintings in the Piccolomini library. In the Palazzo Pubblico we enjoy Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s iconic fresco cycle Allegory of Good and Bad Government. After an independent lunch, we have time to explore, before returning to the relais.
Day 9 - Badia di Coltibuono
Today we spend the morning strolling around the peaceful monastic gardens of Badia di Coltibuono. Lunch is prepared in front of us using only local produce, which we will enjoy with the abbey’s excellent organic wines.
A relaxed afternoon at the relais allows time for packing, and is followed by a grand farewell dinner combined with a Brunello wine tasting.
Day 10 - Departure
Leave by coach to Pisa airport for our return flights.