Nature, art, flavors and medieval reenactments
Thursday 15-22 June: Welcome to Umbria! Orvieto and the Well of Desires
Arrival in Orvieto for a visit to the city and its monuments. The city of Orvieto, in symbiosis with the tuff cliff on which it is built, is an exceptional example of integration between nature and man’s work. During the Middle Ages there was a fervent work of building palaces and sacred buildings in the city, among which stands the famous Duomo, dating back to 1263, undoubtedly the most important architectural evidence of the city, with its splendid Gothic facade and the richness of its decorations. Of the inner chapels. In the ancient city you can then admire the famous St. Patrick’s Well, built in 1527 by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, the Palazzo dei Sette in 1300, the Capitano del Popolo Palace (XII century). Traveler’s lunch. In the afternoon in Bevagna, for accommodation in the rooms, welcome cocktails and participation in assisted cooking classes, to learn the secrets for the preparation of nursery tradition dishes. At the end of dinner with tasting of the menu so prepared with local wines. Optional walk in the center of Norcia, overnight stay.
Friday 16th/23rd June: among breathtaking views, vineyards and historical parades
Breakfast in hotel and departure for Bevagna with en-route stop in Montefalco to visit the
village, also called the “balcony of Umbria” because of its fascinating landscape, the Church and Museum of Saint Francesco. Stop at a local artisan weaver and light lunch in a typical country-inn. Following visit to a wine cellar and vineyards of a producer of the DOC wine Sagrantino di Montefalco with final tasting. At the same time, it’ll be possible to visit a near outlet that produces cashmere items. We’ll then proceed towards Bevagna. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation in the rooms. Free time at disposal for a short relaxing pause before entering the suggestive medieval atmosphere of the historical centre, tasting typical menus and admiring the involving historical parade that passes through the streets and starts the Mercato delle Gaite (Gaite’s Market).
This is a local event of ancient appeal, where streets and corners of the center are populated with citizens that live in the old-fashioned clothes of their ancestors everyday by eating, working, playing like them. Drink for a short break in the hotel and then again in the center for a medieval dinner in one of the trattorias in the hamlet and later walk through the huts and the booths of the village to discover ancient trades and traditions:
The Gaita San Giovanni, the Paper Company, where to learn the old methods of producing paper paper, made with pulp resulting from maceration of rags and cloth; The Gaita Santa Maria, the Setificio, which allows to understand the silkworm loop and silk loom processing to produce fabrics; The Gaita San Giorgio, the “dipintore” workshop, where you can experience tempera techniques on the table, using pigmented pigments, tied together with egg yolk.
Saturday 17th /24th June: discovering Perugia and the ancient crafts
Breakfast in the hotel and following departure for Perugia to visit one of the most important town in central Italy. Perugia was a very important Etruscan town and this is still visible in many monuments such as the Etruscan Arch, the Etruscan well and the Porta Marzia, one of the Etruscan city gates.
In the II century a.C. Ottaviano took possession of the town and this, after being heavily destroyed, was given the name of “Augusta Perusia”. In the XI century, Perugia became a powerful independent city-state allied to the Papal State till 1860 and it was enriched with splendid palaces, valuable sculptures and paintings. Heart of the upper part of Perugia is Palazzo dei Priori, the town hall that grew from a modest foundation between the end of the XIII and the beginning of the XIV centuries. It’s one of the most important and imposing example of the Italian Middle Ages. The main portal with a monumental staircase, facing Piazza IV Novembre, leads to the Sala dei Notari. We can admire two levels of three-light windows and a wonderful gothic portal enriched with the statue of the three patron saints: Sant’Ercolano, San Costanzo and San Lorenzo.
The Palazzo dei Priori houses on the ground floor the Collegio del Cambio and the Collegio della Mercanzia and on the third floor the National Gallery of Umbria. Near Palazzo dei Priori, the Fontana Maggiore can be found. This represents a 13th century masterpiece and was carved by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, together with Fra’ Bevignate da Cingoli, between 1277 and 1278. The Main Fountain is composed of two polygonal basins, the upper one with a smaller diameter. Over the upper basin there is a bronze round vessel with three bronze statues, the nymphs representing the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity).
Centuries have left many remains in town: the Etruscan tombs and walls, Roman gates, medieval churches and Renaissance palaces: a fascinating puzzle of styles, periods and histories that turns Perugia into an excellent Italian example of town. Time at disposal for lunch and, after the visit to the Paolina Fortress, afternoon return to Bevagna for relax and medieval dinner in one of the many trattorie of the historical centre. Following walk through the suggestive historical centre, where it is possible to start the Circuito Culturale dei Mestieri Medievali (guided tour of Medieval Crafts) from “gaita” (as here the districts of the town are called) San Giovanni, the Cartiera (paper-mill), where to learn the ancient methods for the production of the cotton-wool paper, Gaita Santa Maria, the Setificio (silk mill) where to learn the life cycle of a silkworm and the production of textiles with a loom, Gaita San Giorgio,the painter workshop where to admire the tempera painting with the use of coloured powder pigments joined together with the egg-yolk. Return to the hotel.
Sunday 18th / 25th June: art pottery in Deruta and the culture of wine in Torgiano
After breakfast, excursion to Deruta, located on a hill dominating Tevere valley. It’s considered the land of pottery production not only in Umbria but also in Italy. Walk through the historical centre among shops of typical gourmet products and local craft items, comparing medieval with modern proposals.
En-route stop to visit an artisan pottery workshop, plunge into the artisan tradition of pottery’s production, and learn the processing, cooking and decoration techniques as well as the differences among the materials used. Walking through the centre of Deruta, we can meet numerous characteristic alleys and reach Piazza dei Consoli with its palace, that hosts the town hall, whose fourteenth-century tower has Romanesque double lancet windows. It also hosts the Pottery Museum with wonderful local ancient majolica objects and the Pinacoteca with valuable paintings of different periods. Free time at disposal for lunch. In the afternoon, excursion to Torgiano to visit the Museum of Wine and Olive Oil belonging to the Lungarotti Company. It’ll be possible to taste the company wines and typical products in a near osteria and have free time at disposal for…gourmet shopping. End of the tour.
Individual participation fee in double room for 2-4 pax
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
Overnight stay 4 nights in hotel in b & b, single room supplement € 40 for night;
Lunch and dinner where provided by the program including menu items;
Wine tastings by program;
Entrances for museums and the like;
Medical non stop.
THE PRICE NOT INCLUDES:
Transport for the entire itinerary (quotable on request);
Local guided for tour guided (available on request);
Cooking course (available on request);
Meals not included in the program or indicated as free;
Extra food such as specialty wines and truffles;
All activities indicated as optional (can be quoted on request);
Tips, supplements and extra in general;
Anything not expressly mentioned in the program or in the “quota includes” entry.