AAA President's Trip
Join AAA Colorado President & CEO Linda Cavanagh, her husband Kevin, and fellow AAA Colorado members on a unique cultural and culinary journey through the heart of Italy. This leisurely paced itinerary takes you to some of the country's most historic sites, naturally beautiful landscapes and renowned vineyards. AAA Colorado’s Italian experience offers you exclusive tours and tastings at local Italian wineries, freshly prepared meals at family run restaurants, the finest Italian guides and stays in distinguished hotels.
Get a glimpse of where you'll be staying in Perugia!
- 10 nights in our tour hotels
- 26 meals including 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 10 dinners
- All on tour transportation via deluxe 50 seat motor coach
- Dedicated local tour manager for all 11 days
- All sightseeing and entrance fees
- Porterage at airports and hotels
- Welcome + departure assistance at airports
- Bottled water while touring
- International Airfare
- Tips or Gratuities
- Local Taxes required to be paid by guests directly to hotels upon checkout
*Price is per person based on double occupancy. Rates are based on availability and are subject to change at any time.
Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the stylish Rose Garden Palace Hotel, perfectly situated in the heart of the city just off the elegant Via Veneto.
After gathering for a welcome cocktail and snacks, you’ll have the afternoon free to relax and refresh before our welcome dinner here at the hotel. Meals D
In the engaging and illuminating company of our Italian guide, this morning’s walking tour through the Eternal City will show you some of its most famous and captivating sites, including the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona. Graced by a trio of impressive fountains and built on the site of an ancient Roman stadium, this piazza is regarded by many as one of Rome’s most handsome town squares. At the Trevi Fountain, you can join the many others who have tossed in a coin to ensure their return to Rome.
A midday break allows you to choose from the many inviting cafes and restaurants for a relaxing lunch on your own. Of course, our in-the-know guide is happy to offer recommendations to suit your tastes and style. In the afternoon, your sightseeing will continue with the city’s most celebrated sites of antiquity. Standing in the Colosseum, it’s easy to imagine the roar of the 70,000 spectators who filled the seats on Opening Day. Continue onward to the Roman Forum. Filled with impressive ruins of temples, basilicas and other public buildings, this sprawling space was the social, political and commercial center of ancient Rome.
For dinner tonight, we’ll take you to one of our favorite restaurants in the city. Meals B+D
After breakfast, we’ll visit the Vatican Museum, home to one of the world’s finest collection of Renaissance masterpieces. Marvel at the Sistine Chapel with its remarkable ceiling frescoes by
Michelangelo and tour St. Peter’s Basilica, delving into its history and admiring one of Michelangelo’s most famous statues, The Pietà.
After our visit enjoy lunch in one of our favorite restaurants and then we’ll leave the bustling pace of the city behind and travel into the rolling pastoral landscapes of Umbria – a fertile region with olive groves and vineyards. At the Wine and Oil Museum in Torgiano, your privately guided visit delves into the traditions behind these famous products and finishes with wine tasting in the museum’s own cellar.
From here, you’ll continue to our enchanting hotel, the Sina Brufani in Perugia. After settling in to your room, the rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish. You can relax by the pool, stroll
through town which is hosting the Euro Chocolate Festival or take advantage of the hotel’s free WiFi to email your friends and family. This evening, raise a glass of wine to La Dolce Vita and enjoy a delightful 4-course dinner here at the hotel. Meals B+L+D
This morning you’ll join our guide to explore Perugia, the capital of Umbria. Strolling through its lively streets, you’ll discover a variety of landmarks like the imposing Palazzo de Priori, built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the Maggiore Fountain which stands in the center of the handsome Piazza IV Novembre.
You’ll have lunch in the nearby town of Gubbio followed by a walking tour here in one of Umbria’s most evocative towns. Filled with fine examples of medieval and Italian Gothic architecture, Gubbio’s
Communal Palace is one of the most impressive landmarks in all of Umbria. There will be time to refresh and relax at your hotel before you dine this evening at Casa Vissani, a Michelin 2-star restaurant. Enjoy a 4-course dinner accompanied local wine. Meals B+L+D
Today’s exploration of this captivating region begins in the nearby town of Assisi, hailed for its splendid medieval architecture. Delve into its glorious history as you enjoy a guided stroll along its cobbled streets to visit the Church of St. Claire and the Basilica of St. Francis, embellished with marvelous frescoes by Giotto. Inside Santa Maria degli Angeli (Church of St. Mary of the Angels), we’ll see the famous chapel where St. Francis died in 1226.
Then continue to the picturesque hilltown of Montefalco to visit the Arnaldo Caprai Winery, esteemed for its fine vintages including Sagrantino; indigenous to Umbria, this relatively rare varietal is dense and dark, with a profile that ranges from black cherries to ripe blueberry, with many secondary spicy and earthy notes. Of course, you’ll have an opportunity to sample the estate’s award-winning Sagrantino as you enjoy a delicious country-style lunch.
Back at the Sina Brufani, there will be time to refresh and relax before a hands-on cooking class. Learn to prepare homemade pasta and Tiramisu then sit down to enjoy a lovely dinner at our hotel. Meals B+L+D
This morning’s begins with a visit to Cortona. With its fine medieval landmarks, charming cobblestone streets and sweeping views over the olive groves, cypresses and gently rolling hills, this is a delightful town to visit! After a guided walk through Cortona’s historic city center we’ll continue on to Montepulciano. Standing high on a hilltop with commanding views over the rural landscapes of southern Tuscany.
Montepulciano is famed as much for its eponymous wine as its rich history and architecture. Today you’ll enjoy a private visit at Avignonesi Winery, one of the region’s most famous estates. After touring their picturesque vineyards and cellars, you’ll sit down to an elegant 3-course luncheon paired with their fine organic wines.
Return to your hotel in mid-afternoon for a little time at leisure. This evening, you can raise a glass of fine Umbrian wine to toast your fellow travelers as you sit down to a congenial 4-course dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in town. Meals B+L+D
Over the past few days, as we’ve shown you the history, food and wine for which Umbria is deservedly famous, you’ve surely also noticed the wonderful scenery of the region. So for today, we’ve designed a unique program that will allow you to fully experience Umbria’s scenic beauty and natural wonders. Starting in Fonte del Clitunno, a delightful park centered on a tranquil lake, you’ll take some time to stroll along its well-maintained paths. This relaxing morning out in nature is also a wonderful time to engage more deeply with our guide and to learn more about Italian life and culture.
After lunch at Le Casaline, a wonderful family-run restaurant, we’ll take you to Cascata delle Marmore. Surrounded by rugged terrain and deeply forested slopes, you would be hard-pressed to guess that these impressive waterfalls are man-made! As you take the time to enjoy the view, you’ll hear the fascinating story of their origin – which date back to ancient Roman times when Umbria first came under Roman rule. From here, we’ll make a stop in the lovely hilltown of Spoleto, home to a number of architectural landmarks including the well preserved remains of an ancient Roman amphitheater and a fine Romanesque cathedral from the 13th century.
We’ll continue to our home for the next four nights. Set on the grounds of an 11th century monastery that grew into a noble country estate, the Hotel Castel Monastero is the perfect base for experiencing the magic of Tuscany. This evening’s dinner at La Cantina, one of the hotel’s signature restaurants, features traditional Tuscan dishes accompanied by local wine. Meals B+L+D
After a leisurely breakfast, journey through the lovely countryside to Podere La Marronaia. Here on this family-run organic farm, famed for its fine extra virgin olive oils and wines, you’ll enjoy a guided visit of the property and a cellar tour. Finish with a tasting of the estate’s fine vintages and sit down to a delightful finish, capped off with cantuccini – the local version of Italy’s famous almond biscotti.
In the afternoon, you’ll explore one of Italy’s most famous towns. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Gimignano was controlled throughout the 13th century by Patrician families who built their homes with ever-higher towers as testament to their wealth and power. Today, the 14 towers that remain are a striking legacy of San Gimignano’s rich medieval history. After your walking tour, we’ll take you to a nearby farm that offers one of the finest views of the town’s medieval “skyline”!
Continuing to Siena, your guided walking tour includes the Siena Cathedral, a splendid Gothic masterpiece of gleaming white marble built in the 13th and 14th centuries. This evening you’ll dine at Taverna del Capitano, a wonderful restaurant overlooking the Piazza del Campo; built on the site of an ancient Roman market, this lively town square has been the heart of Siena’s social and civic life since the 12th century. After dinner, we’ll take you back to the Hotel Castel Monastero. Meals B+L+D
It’s just a 60-mile journey, but the scenic drive through the Tuscan countryside to Florence brings you into an entirely different world - of architectural majesty and some of the world’s most beloved sites. Home to the glories of the Renaissance, your guided exploration in this city on the Arno River includes all the highlights. Walk through the lovely Piazza della Signoria and marvel at the historic Duomo complex including the gilded bronze doors of the Baptistery and the spectacular dome designed by Brunelleschi. In the famed Accademia Gallery, you’ll see Michelangelo’s David.
Enjoy some free time to have lunch on your own. The city center is home to many tempting restaurants, from contemporary cafes to traditional trattorias, and in-the-know guide will be happy to offer personalized suggestions. In the afternoon, continue your sightseeing in the Uffizi Gallery, home to important masterpieces by Botticelli, Lippi, da Vinci, Raphael and many other famous Renaissance artists. This evening’s dinner at Ristoro L’Antica Scuderia begins with a culinary demonstration and class that will add depth and appreciation to your meal! Meals B+D
This morning we will visit Pienza and have a short guided tour through the town and enjoy a visit to a local farm famous for its Pecorino cheese. We will tour the property and the cheese factory on site to learn about the cheese production and enjoy a tasting of several cheeses accompanied by wine before returning to our hotel.
After a relaxing afternoon and time to soak up the romantic ambience of our hotel’s storied setting, we’ll take you into the heart of Chianti for an unforgettable evening of food and wine. In the historic Brolio Castle where Baron Bettino Ricasoli pioneered the development of Chianti wine in the 19th century, you’ll tour the gardens, family chapel and private museum of this illustrious noble family. After visiting the castle’s wine cellars, you’ll sit down to an exceptional farewell dinner hosted by the winery’s sommelier. Dinner will feature a 5-course meal paired with fine wines carefully selected from the estate’s top vintages. Our guide will be with you throughout the evening to answer any questions you have about the food, wine and culture of the Chianti region. Meals B+D
After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport in Florence where you’ll be assisted with check in for your departure flight. Meals B