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Inaugural Tour 2007

Roger Williams University's Artisanal Tour of Italy
Umbria, Tuscany & Lazio
Culture, Traditions, Artisan Craftsmen, Food & Wine Shared With Fellow RWU Alumni!
Small Group Experience (Maximum 16 Alumni)
10-Nights June 2 - 12th, 2007
Sign up now for optimal availability!

Trip Highlights:

•  Travel with fellow alumni to one of the world's most beloved countries!
•  4-Nights in a family-owned country villa famous for hospitality and their family recipes.
•  4-Nights in a centrally located hilltop village hotel.
•  2-Nights in a centrally located hotel in Rome.
•  Archaeological tour of Etruscan ruins.
•  Chocolate making lesson at a village "pasticceria."
•  Vineyard visits and tastings.
•  Olive oil mill visit with tasting.
•  Pottery lesson in a pre-Roman village.
•  Historic tour of the 2,500 year old "sky" village of Civita di Bagnoregio.
•  Guided tours of off-the-beaten-path Norcia, Spello and the undiscovered Valnerina Valley.
•  Leisure time to browse the local markets and wander independently of the group and more!

Overview of Umbria:

"Imagine a magical place, where you can be transported back hundreds of years to medieval times. And in this place there are small villages, towers and castles clinging to the tops of hills. Imagine finding a small church containing frescoes by one of the Italian masters. And when you look around you there are mountains, lakes, forests and meadows. Acres of sunflowers turn their heads to the sky. Here and there an old farmhouse lies in abandoned splendour, its crumbled stone and terracotta blending into the burnt umber and rich ochre of the fields.

And then someone tells you that it isn't a figment of your imagination, this place exists. Its name is Umbria, the land-locked 'green heart' of Italy, also referred to as 'the land of 20,000 saints'. Its history dates back 3000 years; it was here that the mysterious Etruscans and the ancient Umbrian people battled for ownership of the land. The Etruscans have left their legacy all over the region in the form of tombs, arches, temples and strange stone tablets carved with a type of runic script. It wasn't really until Roman times that the name 'Umbria' was used for the first time, and even today Roman houses, baths and aqueducts are still being uncovered.

Umbria offers hundreds of hill towns, villages and hamlets, some of them not even marked on the map, waiting for you to discover. You can still witness women dressed in the traditional black, the men weather-beaten from a lifetime's work on the land. You will see them sitting outside their houses having a chat, or tending their vineyards and olive groves, the quintessential rustic Italian life many of us envision or dream." Excerpt from "Italy's Best Kept Secret" by Fiona Tankard

Daily Itinerary:

Day 1 - June 2, 2007 (flights must be scheduled for the evening of June 1st)

Benvenuto! Our group will meet at the Rome airport and be privately transferred to our country villa hotel for the first 4-nights of our special, RWU Alumni Tour of Italy. Check-in and time to relax by the pool or underneath the peragola before a late afternoon tour of the gorgeous hilltown of Orvieto. Dinner this evening is with our hosts where we will enjoy delicious homemade pasta dishes and thick soups with the finest extra-virgin olive oil, as well as Tuscan ribollita, prepared with produce and herbs from our host's garden. In addition, you will enjoy unbelievably savory roasts, fragrant homemade bread and pizza all from their own traditional wood-burning brick oven. Each evening, we will gather together around the large wooden table, like family, passing dish after dish of heavenly food all based on family recipes. During dinner and afterwards, we will enjoy wine and liquors, complimentary as a gift from our host. Welcome to the Italy we know and love!

Day 2 - June 3, 2007

After breakfast at the locanda we will enjoy a pottery lesson at a local studio! A master artisan will instruct us on the local techniques and styles allowing each of us a spin at the wheel. Afterwards, we will have free time for lunch. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a wine tasting in old Etruscan caves in the center of Orvieto. Dinner this evening is at the locanda and we're sure you won't be able to wait!

Day 3 - June 4, 2007

After breakfast, we will be picked up and transferred to one of the most ancient, fascinating villages in all of Italy, Civita di Bagnoregio. This village of 16 inhabitants has remained intact and untouched for thousands of years and will be one of the joys and memorable highlights of our trip for years to come. Lunch in a restaurant in Orvieto center. After free time to wander or shop, we will return to our locanda to relax by the pool or wander the grounds, followed by another stellar dinner.

Day 4 - June 5, 2007

After breakfast you will have time at leisure. In the afternoon, we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before partaking in a chocolate making lesson, learning how to prepare desserts made of chocolate as well as decadent truffles and filled candies. We will have the privilege of learning at one of the most famous "pasticcerie" in Umbria. Dinner this evening is another 5-course affair to remember!

Day 5 - June 6, 2007

After breakfast we will check out of the locanda, sad to leave but looking forward to what lies ahead! Our new home for the next 4-nights is centrally located in the gorgeous hilltown of Spoleto! This outstanding hotel is a beautiful 14th-century palazzo in the center of town located next to the Cathedral. After checking in, we will visit an olive oil mill where a member of the family will share the original methods of producing olive oil, followed by a tasting with brushetta. Afterwards, enjoy a guided tour of Spoleto with dinner at a local restaurant in this enchanting town.

Day 6 June 7, 2007

After breakfast we will visit the beloved town of Assisi where we tour the famous Basilica of St. Francis as well as the town itself. The rest of our time in Assisi is at leisure to wander the charming streets before meeting for lunch at a local restaurant. The afternoon is dedicated to free time in the enchanting village of Spello! Transfer back to Spoleto; dinner on your own in the historic center.

Day 7 June 8, 2007

Today is at leisure to explore, shop or take a train/bus to a neighboring town or city!

Day 8 June 9, 2007

After breakfast we will enjoy a full day tour of the undiscovered Valnerina! This is where we will discover sleepy villages untouched by tourism. The Valnerina is one of the Apennine Mountain's most beautiful valleys where you will find castles, bridges, forts and monasteries. The area is simply breathtaking and we will have the opportunity to explore peaceful Norcia, Cascia, Ferentillo among others. Today's lunch will be in a quaint trattoria in Norcia. Dinner this evening will be back in Spoleto.

Day 9 June 10, 2007

After breakfast we will check out for our transfer to Rome, the "Eternal City!" After checking into our centrally located hotel, we will partake in a guided walking tour of the most famous monuments in this vibrant and historically rich city. After our tour we will enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant. Dinner on your own; which delightful Roman restaurant will you try?!

Day 10 June 11, 2007

After breakfast we will be transfered to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel for an audio guided tour so that you may explore at leisure. The afternoon is at leisure to explore, shop or relax with an espresso in Piazza Navona, perhaps? Tonight's farewell dinner will be in a typical local restaurant where we will dine on hearty Roman fare, sharing favorite memories of our days together!

Day 11 June 12, 2007

Ciao Italia! After breakfast we will be transfered to the Rome airport. Extensions are available for those who would like to visit Rome longer or perhaps Florence, Venice or other regions of Italy.

Artisanal Italy Tour Includes:

Reservations exclusively for RWU alumni (guests are welcome)
Airport transfers on arrival and departure
10-Nights accommodations
Breakfast daily
7 multi-course dinners
6 multi-course lunches
Guided tour of Orvieto
Pottery lesson in local studio
Wine tasting in old Etruscan caves
Guided tour of Civita di Bagnoregio
Chocolate making lesson
Guided tour of Spoleto
Guided tours of Assisi and Spello
Oilve oil mill visit and tasting
Guided tour of the Valnerina Mountain Valley
Transfers between Spoleto and Rome
Guided tour of Rome
Entrance fee and audio guided tour of Vatican and Sistine Chapel
Professional English speaking guides and tour escort

Tour Excludes:

International airfare
Meals not indicated on itinerary
Travel insurance
Items of a personal nature

Rate: $2696 USD per person, double occupancy. Single supplements available. Rates based upon current exchange rate. $250 non-refundable deposit per person is necessary to secure this tour. Space is limited to 16 alumni. We have had an incredible response to this tour so please inquiry promptly to guarantee space!

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