Italy Tour Plan

As a country that starts with I listed on Countryaah.com, the Republic of Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia to the north and shares a sea border with Croatia. Italy’s coastline is over 7,000 kilometers, the highest mountain in the country is Monte Bianco at 4,810 m on the border with France, better known as Mont Blanc (although the borderline is controversial and France claims the summit for itself). By far the highest mountain in the south is the 3,380 m high, active volcano Etna in Sicily. Visit Itypeusa.com for other countries that start with I.

Italy 1

  • Day 1: Ciao, Italia!
  • Day 2: In the valley of the Aries – a day around Montone
  • Day 3: Monte Acuto – In the footsteps of the Etruscans on Umbria’s panoramic mountain
  • Day 4: Perugia and the Strada del Vino
  • Day 5: Dolce far niente!
  • Day 6: Truffle hunting in the Umbrian forests
  • Day 7: Umbria Sacra – In the footsteps of Francis of Assisi
  • Day 8: journey home

The view sweeps over the red roofs below us and gets lost somewhere in the green hills. During a short tour of Montone, we pass the Gothic church of San Francesco, which has many frescoes, and stop for an espresso or aperitif in the bar on the main square.

Near Montone we move into the L´Ariete estate for a week, which lies between forests, meadows and vineyards high above the Valle della Carpina. Sometimes when our hosts serve us the menu in the evening, the scent of lavender and herbs comes in from outside. From this pleasant base we explore the area.

The green heart of Italy offers its visitors an impressive variety of impressions that we will discover on our hikes – from the untouched nature of the Umbrian mountains to the world cultural heritage Assisi, from the rugged peaks of the Appenin to the centuries-old picturesque olive groves in the Tiber Valley, from secluded hermitages to the happy life in the authentic Italian villages. And of course the honest and regional cuisine with truffles, homemade pasta and olive oil is just as neglected as the local wine.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Ciao, Italia!

We will be picked up in Florence at 3: 00 p.m. at the main train station, the meeting point is the stylish Agriturismo L’ARIETE in Montone. Surrounded by meadows, forests, olive groves and vineyards, with a view of the medieval town of Montone. Martina and Andreas, 2 Austrians, have fulfilled their dream of living in Italy here and are happy to share their enthusiasm and 20 years of experience with their guests.

We all get to know each other over dinner, and over a glass of local wine we discuss the program for the next few days in a relaxed atmosphere.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours
overnight at the agriturismo in Montone
(- / – / A)

2nd day:

In the valley of the Aries – a day around Montone

The first day is dedicated to Aries. The name of the agriturismo – L’ARIETE, the ram – refers to Montone, which has the ram in the local coat of arms. Sheep farming has an ancient tradition in this region and is still of great importance, and it has also shaped the landscape.
After a hearty breakfast with lots of homemade food, we get ready for our first hike. Today we explore the gentle hills around Montone, celebrate our first “small summit victory” on Monte Cucco and stop at the Monni cheese dairy on the way for a cheese tasting.
The path leads us through centuries-old olive groves, past flocks of sheep that are guarded by good-natured shepherd dogs, through oak and beech forests, always keeping an eye on the impressive silhouette of the medieval town of Montone, which is surrounded by massive fortification walls. The path leads us to the Monni cheese dairy, whose sheep we already got to know on our hike – the family has been producing the classic Umbrian pecorino and other cheeses for several generations. We get an insight into cheese production and of course we taste the excellent products of this family business. The way back leads us to Montone. It was not for nothing that the location was voted into the illustrious club of the most beautiful Italian towns – “uno dei borghi piu belli di Italia”.

The last 15 minutes are lively back to the agriturismo, where we end the day with dinner together – of course with fresh cheese from the Monni cheese dairy and a matching glass of red wine from the local Blasi winery.

Hike: approx. 4 hours (+ 160m / -300 m)
overnight stay in the agriturismo in Montone
(F / L / A)

3rd day:

Monte Acuto – In the footsteps of the Etruscans on Umbria’s panoramic mountain

Today we go on the trail of the ancient cultural history of Umbria. Monte Acuto is located in the center of Umbria and offers a fantastic view. The 360 ​​° view sweeps over the Tiber Valley, to Lake Trasimeno, into the hills of Tuscany and to the Appenine, which borders the horizon in the east. Perhaps that was one of the reasons why the summit of Monte Acuto was already a place of worship in the time of the ancient Umbrians and Etruscans. Remains of temples and houses were discovered on the summit plateau and can still be guessed today.
Our hike takes us on an old trade and pilgrimage route that connected Tuscany with the Umbrian Tiber Valley, past abandoned farmsteads and still lovingly tended tortures along the western slope of the Bergstocks. Downy oaks, gorse and juniper dominate the vegetation, and up on the mountain pastures of Monte Acuto you can see the silhouettes of the herds of horses living freely there. In spring, the slopes of Monte Acuto are a popular destination for gourmets. Here you will find wild asparagus, a local specialty whose intense taste is a wonderful addition to pasta and meat dishes. Our guide Andreas knows the best places and so we too will “work out” the basis for a delicious dinner during the hike.
At the summit of Monte Acuto we take a long rest, eat a hearty snack and enjoy the fantastic view.
On the way back we make a detour to the Tomba del Faggeto, a burial chamber from the Etruscan period, which is located in a beech forest far away from any civilization.
The harvested wild asparagus is immediately received by Martina on our return and ends up as a side dish in one of the dishes for dinner tonight.

Driving time: approx. 1 hour.
Hike: approx. 4-5 hours (+/- 450 m)
Overnight stay in an agriturismo in Montone
(B / L / A)

4th day:

Perugia and the Strada del Vino

Perugia – one of the most underrated cities in central Italy, with a history spanning more than three thousand years, which accompanies you every step of the way. The first settlements by the Etruscans are in the 6th century BC. Occupied. Perugia soon became a powerful city thanks to its strategic location and proximity to the Tiber. In the 3rd century BC Perugia was the seat of Lucumonia (king and spiritual leader revered as a deity) and a member of the Etruscan Dodekapolis, the association of the twelve most important Etruscan cities. The importance of Perugia lasted until the Renaissance, accordingly there is a lot of culture to discover and visit; today it is a vibrant and international university town, and in the summer it is home to for example. the world famous Umbria Jazz Festival.
On the way to Perugia we stop in Ponte San Giovanni and visit the Ipogeo die Volumni, an Etruscan family grave with very well-preserved and richly decorated sarcophagi made of travertine, which give an interesting insight into the life of the Etruscan elite.
Under the guidance of Martina, who studied at the art academy in Perugia, we discover the Umbrian capital while strolling through the small, traffic-calmed alleys of the old town, which thanks to its many universities, a wonderful mix of old and new, culture and full Italian Life offers. Time for a cafe or, above all, an ice cream, of course – you can be sure, we know the best addresses on this topic: -)
The historic old town of Perugia is located on a prominent hill in a mountainous landscape with a wonderful view over the Appennines, Lake Trasimeno and the Tiber Valley; a sightseeing tour corresponds to a small “mountain tour”. After this excursion into Italian culture, you continue to the hills south of Perugia, to the center of Umbrian viticulture – still quite an insider tip, but one that is highly valued internationally.
We combine the wine tasting with lunch, and then we conclude the visit with a digestive walk through the vineyards with a wonderful panoramic view over the Valle Umbra all the way to Assisi.

Driving time: approx. 1 hour
city ​​hike and wine hike in total: approx. 3 hours
overnight stay in the agriturismo in Montone
(B / – / D)

5th day:

Dolce far niente!

Today is a hiking-free day – if you can’t let it go, you can of course go on your own – maps and tips for excursions are available from your hosts in abundance.
If you want to relax at the agriturismo, you can try your hand at making homemade pasta at a cooking course under the direction of Daniela, our good friend and owner of a well-known local trattoria. Together we cook a 3-course menu – and together we enjoy it afterwards.

Cooking course: optional – 25 € / person

Overnight at the agriturismo in Montone
(B / – / A)

6th day:

Truffle hunting in the Umbrian forests

Today’s hike takes us through the Carpina valley to the Rocca d´Aries, a medieval fortress from which Umbria was ruled for a short time in the 12th century by Braccio di Fortbraccio, who is still omnipresent in the region. The hiking trail leads us from the agriturismo to the hills of northern Umbria. While we were still hiking through olive groves and oak forests at the beginning, the characteristics of the landscape soon changed – southern Italian-looking macchia replaced the oak forests that dominated around Montone. Flora and fauna change accordingly – Andreas, a passionate nature observer, is happy to provide detailed information here, as he has known the area like the back of his hand for years.
At the foot of the impressive castle complex, we enjoy the view over the lonely mountains of northern Umbria and strengthen ourselves with a snack. Then we continue to the Mulini del Carpina, an old mill on the Carpina river. There we meet Pepe with his truffle dogs Bianco and Nero – Nomen est Omen: -)
For the next few hours we will be guided by the two noses – the well-trained truffle detectors will organize the side dish for dinner for us. It is always fascinating to watch the dogs together with their handler – a well-coordinated team with a perfect division of labor. After around 2 hours, the dogs are usually exhausted, drive home with Pepe, and we too comfortably return to the agriturismo.
In the evening there is a nice Umbrian dinner in which the truffle plays a role.

Services:
Overnight at the Agriturismo L’ARIETE
(F / J / D)

Alternatively:

Truffles are highly valued and much sought-after, but therefore also rare and endangered mushrooms. Accordingly, the “hunting season” is strictly regulated. The May date falls within the blocking period and we offer the following alternative program:

Today’s hike takes us through the Carpina valley to the Rocca d´Aries, a medieval fortress from which Umbria was ruled for a short time in the 12th century by Braccio di Fortbraccio, who is still omnipresent here. The hiking trail leads us from the agriturismo to the hills of northern Umbria. While we initially hike through olive groves and oak forests, the characteristics of the landscape soon change – at the
foot of the impressive castle complex, we enjoy the view over the lonely mountains of northern Umbria and strengthen ourselves with a snack.

Then we continue towards Pietralunga, where we visit Pepe and his son, both passionate truffle hunters, and his sniffer dogs. In conversation with the experienced team, we learn a lot about the art of truffle hunting.

You won’t get fresh truffles during this time – but a few typical truffle dishes can also be enjoyed out of season – our dinner is therefore guaranteed!

Hike: approx. 5 hours (+/- 350 m)
Overnight at the agriturismo in Montone
(F / L / A)

7th day:

Umbria Sacra – In the footsteps of Francis of Assisi

For centuries, Assisi has been one of the centers of Christianity, an (intermediate) destination for pilgrims and accordingly frequented. But do not worry – guided by Martina we will get to know one of the most beautiful and impressive places in Umbria, off the beaten track and in Goethe’s footsteps; As an art historian, she will also bring us closer to the world-famous frescoes of the Basilica of Assisi.
Then it gets quiet and contemplative in the Eremo delle Carceri, the first hermitage founded by Francis, which is hidden high above Assisi on the slopes of Monte Subasio. When visiting the Eremo delle Carceri, it becomes clear why Francis and his confreres chose this very place to found a hermitage: the quiet and mystical atmosphere of the hermitage in the midst of lush vegetation impressed every one of our guests.

In this beautiful atmosphere we strengthen ourselves for the following hike on the centuries-old pilgrim path towards Rome. We follow one of the most beautiful stages of the Via Francescana that runs from Assisi to Spello; Not for nothing also called Sentiero degli Ulivi – the path repeatedly leads through olive groves – often centuries-old trees that find perfect conditions on the slopes of Monte Subasio – accordingly the olive oil produced here is of the highest quality. The varied hike leads us past old monasteries, offers wonderful panoramic views and ends at the very well-preserved Roman aqueduct in Spello. The wealth of information about the most important Mediterranean cultivated plant that we received from Andreas during our hike,

Driving time: approx. 1 hour.
Hike: approx. 4.5 hours (+ 500m / – 900 m)
Overnight at the agriturismo in Montone
(F / L / A)

8th day:

Home trip

Today we start our journey home with many wonderful memories. Arrivederci Italia!
Arrival at the train station in Florence around 1: 00 p.m.

Driving time approx. 2 hours
(B / – / -)

Italy 2