*note: this is 2017 agenda - 2018 dates and agenda will be coming soon. This should give you a basic idea of the Tour.
-Arrival (*Bologna, BLQ is the recommended airport).
-Piero will meet you at the airport and escort you to Hotel Taddeo e Federico in the heart of the beautiful village, Sant’Angelo in Vado, and within walking distance of shops, markets, restaurants and village life unspoiled by time.
- Take time to settle in, unpack and explore the village a bit before we all meet up.
-Our wonderful host and native Marchegiano, Piero Pagliardini, will welcome us over drinks and give us an overview of the days to come. We'll have an authentic Marchigiano dinner at Castello della Pieve, the renaissance landmark overlooking the fertile Metauro Valley. A stroll, a nightcap, and a good night’s sleep.
-Wake up to the smell of pastries baking under your hotel window and the sounds of street vendors setting up their booths. Enjoy a local breakfast at the hotel of cappuccino and pastries, followed by a leisurely stroll through the travelling open-air market. Explore the shops, booths and flower boutiques, while nibbling on samples of olives, cheese and porchetta.
Break for a delicious seasonal/regional lunch and time to rest.
-That evening, just in time for sunset, we will drive through the Italian countryside, taking in the iconic sunflower and lavender fields of central Italy. We'll also make time to stop along the Metauro river and visit ancient Roman pathways. Afterward, we will follow a windy road to visit the last village along the Metauro River for an evening meal al fresco – in a truly off-the-beaten-path location.
-Pastries and espresso at your hotel
-Mid-morning we'll head to Urbino – the city on a hill. We'll meet Paolo - who is an art historian with a deep and passionate knowledge of all things Ducale. We'll see the frescos, frieze work, important paintings and architecture of the high Renaissance at the spectacular Palazzo Ducale. In a loose yet structured manner, we'll wander the main squares and winding medieval pathways and pay a visit to Raphael’s childhood home. You will be immersed in local color, and texture, as well as examining architectural motifs, contemporary art, and design. Bring your cameras!
- Open air lunch at Le Tre Piante restaurant (home to some of the best pizza in the region!) – beautiful view included.
-Return to Sant'Angelo to freshen up before our private gelato making class!!!
-Free evening to explore Sant'Angelo.
-Free morning to people watch while enjoying fresh pastries and cappuccino at the hotel.
-That afternoon we will drive through the Le Marche countryside for an afternoon trip to Cartocetto - a village famous for the best and only DOP olive oil imported from Le Marche. We'll visit the inimitable Vittorio Beltami - www.gastronomiabeltrami.com. "The Einstein of Cheese," says Lydia Bastianich, and not just because he looks like Albert Einstein but because Senor Beltrami is a genius cheese maker. His pecorino di fossa - a sheep’s milk cheese wrapped in grape leaves, and buried under stone for 90 days - is indescribably intense, earthy and like nothing you have ever tasted. From the cheese cellar, we'll walk over to his shop where Senora Beltrami will prepare us an in depth sampling of the Beltrami cheeses, cured meats, and breads, with wine pairings along with house made sweets.
(*Please note a separate dinner is not mentioned this day because our late afternoon tasting usually leaves our painters stuffed until morning!)
-Load up and prepare to leave the country (no passport needed)! This day is dedicated to visiting San Marino – the 5th smallest of the world’s 196 independent countries, and arguably the most curious. Located on the boarder of Le Marche and Emilia-Romagna, this ancient surviving fortress is one of the most treasured jewels of Italy.
-Group lunch and time to explore the rich beauty and shops of this idiosyncratic country.
-Dinner and gelato in Sant'Angelo!
-Patries and coffee at the hotel
-Just outside the Roman gates of the beautiful village of Sant' Angelo in Vado, sits one of the biggest archeological discoveries in the last 50 years - Domus Del Mito - www.domusdelmito.com .We'll see the mosaic treasures of this ancient Roman Villa with an archeologist.
-Time to rest at the hotel and buy last minute souvenirs
-Late afternoon we'll head east towards the Adriatic to the exquisite hilltop village of Fratterosa for an afternoon visit to Terracruda Winery. We'll start off with a refreshing glass of Spumante Rosato. After a tour of the area and wine making process, we'll move to the vineyards for a farewell dinner and in depth tasting of some of the finest examples of Marchiggiano wines. From biodynamic reds such as Pergola Rosso and Sangiovese dei Colli Pesaresi, to the (white) Bianchello del Metauro, named after the river that winds through Le Marche. We'll also drink Terracruda's award winning Campodarchi Bianchello DOC Superiore - (a gold medal winner in Lyon, France). All this while watching the sunset, and sharing your creations from the week. Don’t forget our final toast to instructor Nancy with a glass of La Visciola, the sweet cherry dessert wine made only in Le Marche. Cin-cin! Cheers! And a warm salute until next year!
Departures (*Please arrange departures for after 12:00 noon.)
Pick-ups at BLQ Bologna airport and Bologna Centrale Train Station will be offered between 12:00-3:00 p.m.
Departures at BLQ Bologna airport and Bologna Centrale Train Station will be offered from 12:00 noon onward. In order to arrive for your flight with ample time, we recommend scheduling departing flights after 2:00 p.m.
Pick-up and Departures from other locations, or at times outside these parameters can be arranged at an additional fee.