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Small group tour / location tour - Italy

Isola Bontempi - Live the Marche!

Highlights

  • Get to know the Marche, rich in history and culture, during a small group tour

  • Individual support by a guide

  • Extensive presentations on the individual day tours the night before

  • High-quality accommodation in a thoroughly renovated centuries-old villa

  • Excellent cuisine and varied program of activities and excursions

Description

Would you like to experience the real, the original Italy, even live it? Then come with us on a wonderful journey through the picturesque hilly landscape in the heart of the still quite unknown Marche! The region on the Adriatic Sea is indisputably one of the most beautiful and varied areas of Italy.

Destination

Europe

Ancona - Recanati - Macerata - Montelupone - Frasassi - Jesi - Loreto - Sirolo - Ascoli Piceno - Fermo

In this part of Italy, summers are warm with temperatures up to about 30°C and winters are mild and rainy. For a round trip, the months of March to June and September to November are especially suitable.

Upon arrival you will already get to know the carefree hospitality of the Italians! In the arrival hall of the airport or train station in Ancona you will be welcomed by your guest advisor. A refreshing drink during the short journey to your accomodation, Villa Garulli, sets the mood for an unforgettable week.

From a distance you will spot the villa, which stands on the top of a hill in the middle of a dreamlike garden with over 500 olive trees. The villa itself has a centuries-old history and owes its name to an Italian noble family that had its residence there already in the 18th century.

After a warm welcome and a delightful glass of Garofoli sparkling wine, go on a short walk to nearby Montelupone. Distinguished as one of Italy's most beautiful medieval villages, it sits on a hill with breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains of the Sibillini National Park to the west as well as the coast to the east. Stroll through the narrow, winding streets and visit the beautiful theater on site.

After returning to the villa, something very special awaits: Since all excursions should be a unique experience for you, the places you will visit the next day will be presented each evening in a vivid, exciting presentation. Loreto will be the focus of your first evening. Afterwards, it's "buon appetito" in the in-house restaurant. With a good glass of wine and regional culinary specialties, you can end the evening comfortably.

7 nights in Villa Garulli**** with full board in double or single room, Montelupone, Italy

Good morning, Villa Garulli! After a hearty breakfast, including regional specialties, we will head to Loreto, one of the most important Marian pilgrimage sites in the world. Inside the basilica is the famous Santa Casa, the house where, according to tradition, Virgin Mary was born and lived. In it, it is said that the miraculous birth of Jesus was announced to her.

You will return to the villa for lunch, after which you will organize the first part of your afternoon yourself. You can, for instance, learn a little Italian in a class or relax by the hotel pool. In the late afternoon, the program includes a visit to San Firmano Abbey, which holds incredible secrets.

After the evening presentation of the plans for the following day, a typical Marchigian dinner perfectly rounds off this great day.

After breakfast and a panoramic drive through the hilly countryside of the Marche, explore the Frasassi caves. Embark on an adventurous journey inside the earth and look forward to one of the largest and most impressive cave complexes in Italy.

The first room, the Grotta del Vento, or Grotto of the Wind, is the largest single cave in Europe and would easily hold the Milan Cathedral. The stalagmites and stalactites within the caves are among the largest and oldest of their kind in Europe.

For those guests who don't like the idea of an approx. 2-hour tour with stairs and cool, damp air, there is the Federico II Museum in the nearby small town of Jesi. There you will learn a lot about the exciting life of the famous Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II, who was born in a tent in the marketplace of Jesi in 1194.

After lunch at the villa, you can spend the first part of the afternoon as you wish. Later in the afternoon, it's time for all cooking lovers to put on their aprons and get to work! With a good kitchen wine, you will learn how to prepare the so-called cappelletti. While the finished dumplings rest, you can hear about what awaits you the next day.

Today your itinerary takes you to the lively university town of Macerata. Perched on the gentle hills between the valleys of the Potenza and Chienti rivers, the medieval town boasts a breathtaking panorama. Here, music in particular, or more precisely, opera, plays a major role. With the Sferisterio Arena, the city has one of the most important open-air opera stages in Italy.

After a few minutes walking, you will reach Palazzo Buonaccorsi, which was built by the noble Buonaccorsi family. Today the palace houses splendid collections of ancient and modern art, as well as the Carriage Museum in the basement, where the stables once were. Right next door is a special jewel of Macerata, the beautiful little Santa Maria della Misericordia Chapel. The story goes that in 1447 Macerata was threatened by the plague. In their distress, the citizens decided to build the small chapel in a single day to implore the Blessed Mother for help. In later years it was enlarged and decorated with fascinating frescoes and paintings of Mary's life.

After lunch, spend the rest of the day as you wish. We recommend an optional excursion to the beautiful Villa Buonaccorsi in Potenza Picena (surcharge of EUR 25 per person). The gardens of the 18th century villa are among the most beautiful in Italy. A walk through the park, among rare plants, orangeries, fountains, niches, obelisks and water features, will immerse you in times gone by.

After a hearty breakfast, discover the charm of Ancona, the capital of the Marche region. The Cathedral of San Ciriaco - the jewel of the city - shines white from the hilltop above the harbor. From there you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding bays and the city. In the cathedral, a beautiful Madonna awaits you, which even sent Napoleon's men running.

After a visit to Passetto, Ancona's public beach, the journey continues past the Riviera del Conero. With its alternation of sheltered beaches, snow-white sand and steep stone walls, it is arguably one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the Marche region. The center is the mountain Monte Conero. With its charming, romantic bathing bays and a mountain peak at 572 meters, the rocky massif rises majestically on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.

The small nearby town of Sirolo has just 3,800 inhabitants. It is considered the pearl of the Adriatic with its pretty old town and a tree-lined piazza perched like a balcony high above the sea.

After lunch at the villa, an optional excursion to a nearby shoe outlet is offered for those interested. The Marche is known far beyond the borders of Italy for its first-class shoe manufacturers, which continue to produce high-quality designer shoes to this day.

After dinner at the villa, end the evening with a good glass of wine or a stroll through the extensive olive garden.

In the morning you can look forward to the romantic hilltop town of Recanati, birthplace of the unforgettable tenor Beniamino Gigli and the world-famous poet Giacomo Leopardi, the Goethe of Italy. Stroll through the small medieval village, visit the Gigli Museum and walk a little in Leopardi's footsteps.

Lunch at the villa picks up the themes of the morning excursion. Culinary specialties from the Recanati area are served, such as the traditional Vincisgrassi, a lasagna-like pasta bake.

The afternoon is dedicated to visiting two abbeys shrouded in legend. The extraordinary 11th-century Romanesque Abbey of San Claudio is composed of two churches built on top of each other. Its particular façade is flanked by two towers that represent the Gates of Heaven. Charlemagne is known to have stayed very often in this church. Some experts even suggest that his bones rest in the sacred halls of San Claudio.

After a short drive you will reach the Abbey of Santa Maria a pie di Chienti, dating back to the 12th century. For centuries, this jewel of clerical architecture has also preserved many stories, anecdotes and secrets.

Back at the villa, dinner and the all-evening presentation await you. The rest of the evening is dedicated to the great tenor Beniamino Gigli. You will hear not only his music, but also amusing stories from his eventful life.

Today an excursion to Ascoli Piceno awaits you. Ascoli Piceno is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns of the Marche. Almost every buildings is made of travertine, a light-colored calcareous sandstone that gives the city a unique appearance. Linger in the famous Piazza del Popolo, the people's square that Ascolans affectionately call salotto - their living room. For lunch, dine at a local restaurant where the menu includes olive all’Ascolana. The antipasti stuffed with meat and deep fried are typical of the region.

After a homemade anisetta, an anise liqueur from the Art Nouveau coffee house Caffè Meletti, make your way to Fermo. The buildings of the Roman Colonia from the 3rd century BC are witnesses of the long and rich history of the region. Highlights include not just the center with its wonderful Renaissance square, but especially the cathedral and the huge underground Roman cisterns, which were the second largest in the Roman Empire and remain completely preserved. There is even a genuine Rubens entitled Adoration of the Shepherds to marvel at in the Pinacoteca Civica.

Back at the villa, the last dinner of the trip awaits you, but we also have a special treat for you. Sorpresa, sorpresa! Let us surprise you!

Arrivederci, bella Italia! Arrivederci, belle Marche! After an eventful week, say goodbye to the splendid Marche and the charming Montelupone. During a brunch you will enjoy the last hours at Villa Garulli. But before it’s time to finally go to the airport to Ancona, there is still a small farewell gift. A bottle of the house's own olive oil, the precious gold of the Marches. Maybe on the way back you can take some time to review the beautiful memories of hours spent together, of the wonderful flavors, landscapes and people of the Marche.

Villa Garulli****, Montelupone, Italy

Villa Garulli is built in the typical Mediterranean style and is located in the immediate vicinity of the enchanting village of Montelupone, which was awarded by the Italian Touring Club as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Villa Garulli owes its name to an old noble family that resided here in the 18th century. In the 60s, the house was completely renovated, but it has lost none of its elegance.

The original state of the house park has been preserved and is available to guests for walks or relaxation with its centuries-old trees and a large olive grove.

Villa Garulli is designed to make guests feel at home. Here you will be lovingly cared for by the Isola Bontempi team in a family atmosphere.

The 19 rooms of the Villa Garulli hotel are comfortably furnished and most of them have a private balcony or terrace. Rooms are available both in the villa and in the annex building. Amenities include TV, air conditioning, shower/WC, free WiFi.

But the centerpiece is the beautiful outdoor pool with its fantastic panoramic view, which invites you to relax and sunbathe. From here you can not only see the rolling hills of the Marche, but also experience breathtaking sunsets.

Closest city: Montelupone

Closest airport: Ancona Falconara Airport

Number of rooms: 19

Duration of the trip: 8 days / 7 nights

Date of the trip: Arrival and departure every Friday from April to October.

Including

  • 7 nights in the exclusive, historic "Villa Garulli" or in the adjacent building
  • Full board (set menu) including regional specialties, including house wine (red or white) and mineral water at meals
  • Lunch in Ascoli Piceno (7th day)
  • Tasting of Anisetta liqueur at the Meletti Art Nouveau cafe in Ascoli Piceno
  • 6x rich breakfast
  • 1x brunch
  • All excursions as described in the program, including all transfers and entrance fees
  • Italian language class / ital. cooking class, surprise evening, Gigli evening, tombola game;
  • Welcome reception
  • 1x ice cream dinner in Montelupone
  • Farewell gift
  • Transfer package (please specify when booking) from/to Ancona (airport or train station)
  • The starting price is valid in the travel period 07.05.21 - 19.11.21

Not included

  • International flights
  • Optional excursions (outlet tour, Villa Buonaccorsi in Potenza Picena. These can be booked locally at an additional cost of EUR 25 each per person).
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Personal expenses such as tips

Notes

  • The program is expressly subject to change.
  • The excursions and/or events may vary depending on the season and regional, tourist offers (cultural/historical events, gastronomic events, etc.).
  • If there is interest, special events can be integrated into the program/substituted in the program with a corresponding extra charge.
  • The program and its focus are always adapted to special holidays, events and happenings in the region as well as special short-term events. This gives the trip a very high repeat value and appeals to different interest groups. Contact our travel consultants, we will be happy to inform you about upcoming events.
  • The group tour only takes place in the travel period 07.05.21 - 19.11.21.

Events

  • Visit to the "Sferisterio" opera arena in Macerata, (www.sferisterio.it/en). Additional costs: EUR 100 per performance, including shuttle to Macerata and back.

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