FOCUS

Dear Elizabeth, Edith, John and James. We would like to present the fourth and final draft of the tour Hotels. All Confirmed 4 NIGHTS Garabaldi Blue. Deluxe with View.  Fresco rooms asked for Not guaranteed 3 NIGHTS Locandi Franca. Deluxe room and Superior (toss the coin I guess) 3 NIGHTS Hotel Convento Luna. Confirmed Deluxe rooms 2 NIGHTS Casa Montani Rome. Superior double rooms Saluti Tim      

Table of contents


Testimonial for the Tour

Tim did an excellent job interleaving wine with exploring Italy, keeping it balanced so that we didn’t get overwhelmed with tastings. Our palates were primed before going to each region: on the eve before going to Tuscany, he recommended we explore the fabled Brunello and several other Sangiovese-centric wines. By the time we were at the tasting he had set up for us at Montalcino’s Capanna winery, we were acclimated and knew what to look for. This ensured that we maximized our time there and enjoyed these wines to the fullest.

Tim really went out of his way for us to understand how the wines varied throughout the country, reflecting the independent identities of each of Italy’s regions. Whilst staying on the Amalfi Coast, he braved the narrow roads and snow-capped mountains to bring us bottles of the local Piedirosso and Tramonti. These bold wines made lasting memories of our travels in Campania.

Tim made sure that what we experienced in Italy would be accessible, even when the vacation was over. Our tour of the Fèlsina winery was a memorable one, and upon our return to the States we were able to recommend a vintage of theirs when we spotted it on a menu at our favorite Italian restaurant. (You’d think we’d be tired of Italian food by this point, but you’d also be wrong.)

Tim helped us to discover the “real” Italy. His patience and courteousness made learning the nuances of Italian culture accessible. The careful-chosen wine and tour guide selections set us up for success. This led to a trip that was enjoyable, educational, and most of all, memorable!

James Clarendon
24 Mar 2019 USA

Hotel: Garabaldi Blu. Florence Tuscany

Location Location Location and this hotel has it in spades. We have been working with this locally owned chain Why the best since we started in Florence in 2011. All their hotels are extremely well run, staff well trained and the rooms tend towards the larger in Florence and they will always try to adapt to the needs of our clients be that early check ins, upgrades and the likes. This is a hotel that takes in 3 different buildings and it come sometimes feel a little confusing about where you actually are. There are some very quirky superhero full size models which add to this curious mix.
The refit conducted in this property has been done by the owner and the style is modern refined with style. Think parquet floors, Brazilian woods cooling blues and white linens. All the hotels with the exception of Villa Cora enjoy this melding of modern and traditional. The Santa Maria Square is one of Florences most iconic and we suggest a frontage room. All other services are as you would expect at this 4 star hotel.

Hotel Garibaldi Blu Website

TripAdvisor Comments

Hotel: Locanda Franci / Villa La Fortezza. Montalcino. Tuscany

Locanda Franci and Villa La Fortezza are two super structures in the centre of Montalcino.

Locanda offers three rooms, all similar in size, not huge but incredibly tasteful and with all the modern conveniences you might need. You can access the rooms through their own external entrance or through their downstairs little restaurant, Drogheria Franci, The family have spread their wings, and now have a small wine shop (they are not alone) and Drogheria Franci serving up typical Tuscan fare. There are three rooms to choose from the Sommeliers room is cute but having the shower inside the room means we would choose the writers or painters room which have super separate shower and bathrooms. Expect wooden floors, beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls and some beautiful design elements and artwork. All the  suites are equipped with modern amenities and breakfast has all the fresh pastries and fruit and coffee to set you up for the day.

A notable new addition to the Locanda is Villa La Fortezza; Again lovingly restored by the fmaily and with three bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms this can offer a super solution for families of 4 or 6. Being a Villa you have your own kitchen a great place for entertaining or making a cooking experience with Paola our local expert. There is a small delightful  garden equipped with a barbecue.

Locanda Franci Website

TripAdvisor Comments

Hotel: Convent Luna. Amalfi. Campania

It is hard to believe that this was a monastery until you see the incredible cloisters which are this 4 star hotels selling point along with their spectacular views. The date of construction dates to 1222, by the follows of St. Francis of Assisi. Why is that the religious orders always choose the right places. It served as a monastery until the early 1800s until the signing of the  Terracina Agreement which changed religious freedoms drastically. The First hotel on the whole coast Built on a rocky outcrop, between the coastal inlets of Amalfi and Atraniis situated just 400 meters from the main town of Amalfi and is better for it. Access to the town although close is along the main road (Built in 1857) which is not comfortable for some guests especially in summer when its incredibly busy, Some road noice is felt in the hotel. The Hotel does has a range of rooms, but remembering their cell like origins, and we suggest moving up a few categories. Restaurant is good, expensive and breakfast a highlight due to the views. The hotel has been blessed with the great and the good over the years including Wagner, Simone de Beauvoir 1960 and Ibsen is said to have written “The Doll’s House” here.

Luna Hotel Website

TripAdvisor Comments

Hotel: Casa Montani. Rome

Casa Montani, a small and perfectly formed luxurious B&B  run and owned by Guiseppe and Carlotta the owners, with just 5 bedrooms and two brand new apartments. Fantastically Located 1 minute from Plaza del Popolo, the original gateway to Rome and the entrance to the Borghese Gardens. The facilities and decoration reflect their attention to detail and superb continental breakfast is served in the room is a lovely plus. Memory foam beds and the softest of pillows and total sound proofing ensure a very comfortable stay. Housed on the third floor of a beautiful building with furniture and fabrics from the best Italian and French brands and commissioned furniture, each room is unique.  Being so small we suggest booking early. The feeling is very personal and intimate.

Website Casa Montani

TripAdvisor Comments

Tour Outline – The Whitsitt Clarendon Tour of Italy 2019


TOUR OUTLINE


DAY 01: Sunday 3rd March
Arrival IN / Rome / Transfer  Florence / Welcome wine tasting / Sleep Garbaldi Blu

DAY 02: Monday 4th March

Sightseeing Florence Half Day PM: Cultural Experience

DAY 03: Tuesday 5th March

Sightseeing Florence Full Day: Cultural Experience, Including Uffizi and Academia

DAY 04: Wednesday 6th March
Sightseeing Chianti with Monteriggioni: Wine & Food Experience

DAY 05: Thursday 7th March
Check out / Guided Siena with Lunch/ Montalcino / Sleep Locanda Franci

DAY 06: Friday 8th March
Sightseeing Montalcino and Pienza and Beyond: Wine & Food Experience

DAY 07: Saturday 9th March
Umbria. Assisi and Perugia

DAY 08: Sunday 10th March
Check out / Transfer to Amalfi/ Sleep Hotel Luna

DAY 09: Monday 11th March
Full tour day of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Guided Cultural Experience

DAY 10: Tuesday 12th March
Capri  and Amalfi Coast Sightseeing

DAY 11: Wednesday 13th March
Check out / Naples Non Guided / Transfer to Rome / Sleep Casa Montani

DAY 12: Thursday 14th March
AM Half Day Guided Rome Sightseeing

DAY 13: Friday 15th March
Check out / Rome / Departure OUT

End of Services


 

TOUR Day BY DAY:The Whitsitt Clarendon Tour


TOUR DAY BY DAY



TRANSPORT

Nissan XTrail 4×4 or Similar. Full damage cover

MEALS

(B) BREAKFAST
(L) LUNCH


DAY 01: Sunday 3rd March
Arrival IN / Rome / Transfer  Florence / Guided Walking Tour / Sleep Garbaldi


 

John and Liz

Arrive United from  (EWR ) to  (FCO) 8:05

Tim will always be there to meet you at arrivals

We could take a spin in the transport to take a look at Rome for the couple of hours we have. What do you think?

James and Edith

Arrive BA from (LHR) to (FCO ) 13:00

We head straight to Florence

Check in Garbaldi Blu

Tim will make a welcome tasting at the hotel in the lobby before you go out for dinner

Sleep Garbaldi Blu

(No Meals included)


DAY 02: Monday 4th March
Sightseeing Florence Half Day: Cultural Experience; Including Davide


AM to relax

Lunch suggestion, informal and something for everyone and close to the Hotel

The Mercato Centrale
 (open from 10 AM to midnight) is upstairs from the morning-only San Lorenzo market. It’s an Italian take on a food court, a series of specialty stands with quality offerings.​ Mercato Centrale

A Half Day Guided Tour of Florence

This will be both external Florence as most of the important museums are shut today so this will be a walking tour taking in external sites and Churches etc

Sleep Garbaldi Blu

(B)

Note: Tim will not be with you today


DAY 03:Tuesday 5th March
Sightseeing Florence Full Day:  Cultural Experience, Including Uffizi and Academia 


A Full Day Guided Tour of Florence

This will be Internal Florence with our guide giving you an incredible insight to this world famous art gallery and make it come alive

Ufizzi and Academia strongly suggested

Lunch suggestion (Must book)

http://www.cibreo.com/en/cibreo-cafe/

Dinner  Take a look at this, Tuscany-city-guide-with-restaurants

Sleep Garbaldi Blu

(B).   Note: Tim will would like to accompany you to the Uffizi if you agree?


DAY 04:Wednesday 6th March
Sightseeing Chianti with Monteriggioni  Wine & Food Experience 


Drive through Chianti

Transfer to Sant Agnese or Castello Rampolla or for wine tasting.
http://www.santagnesefarm.com/

www.castellodeirampolla.it

Transfer to Osteria di Fonterutoli Mazzei for lunch

Extensive lunch with a bottle of their super Chianti Classico Fonterutoli included

www.mazzei.it/it/Ospitalità/Osteria-di-Fonterutoli/

Note that If you are not wined out, we can have an informal bar tasting at their Enoteca over the road and a look at this gorgeous Borgo and their gardens if they will open them for us (depends if the owners are in Situ)

Transfer to Monteriggioni. 20 minutes

Sightseeing by yourselves in the Fortified Borgo of Monteriggioni

Return to Florence

Farewell suggested dinner to Florence and dinner at Enoteca Pitti Gola (Our go to restaurant in Florence, food is super, its not all about the wine) http://pittigolaecantina.com/

Sleep Garbaldi Blu

(B) (L)


DAY 05: Thursday 7th March
Check out / Guided Siena with Lunch/ Montalcino / Sleep Locanda Franci


Check out of Hotel Garbaldi Blu

Transfer to Siena 50 minutes

Sightseeing guided in Siena 3 hours

Lunch with wine in Siena included at Compagnia dei Vinattieri a super little restaurant I have worked with for years

http://www.vinattieri.net/

Transfer to Montalcino. 45 minutes

Visit and Tasting at Mastrojanni winery. Owned my Illy Coffee and some of the best wines of Montalcino
http://www.mastrojanni.com/

Check in to Locanda Franci

Dinner suggestion in Montalcino. www.osticcio.it
(It has changed hands and Chef and my clients were so impressed, but I have not had the chance to eat here, need to book)

Sleep Locanda Franci

(B) (L)


DAY 06:Friday 8th March
Sightseeing Montalcino and Pienza. Wine & Food Experience


AM

A later start this morning so you can enjoy Montalcino and I will pick you up at 10.30 am for our wine tasting at Capanna.

We suggest splitting up if John doesn’t want to join in the AM for winery visits. Be good to know his thoughts

Walks : Montalcino to Sant’Antimo. 17 kms. 6 Hours. Part of this is through Via Francigena. If we can get into the Winery I am thinking about I may have a shorter walk for him that could work
Or
Drop you off  close to Buonconvento and enjoy the tremendous walk through the Massimo Ferragamo  property Castiglione del Bosco to Sant Antimo Abbey.) 5 hours

Capanna Winery

http://www.capannamontalcino.com/

Lunch at Rei de Macchia in Montalcino with wines (Note. without view but most authentic kitchen in town)

TripAdvisor Reviews Re di Macchia

PM
Pienza, dubbed the perfectly formed town surrounded by the clay hills and suggestive Cypress trees of the Val d’Orcia. Note Not Guided

Montepulciano, Stunning Hilltop town

Dinner Suggestion in Monticchiello. This is Darias brand new restaurant, she’s a legend and we will be very welcomed especially as its Daria’s Birthday today
www.ristorantedaria.it

Sleep Locanda Franci

(B)(L)


DAY 07:  Saturday 9th March
Umbria Assisi and Perugia.


Suggest a slightly earlier start today

Transfer to Assisi. 1 hour and 45 Minutes

Saint Francis (San Francesco) and Saint Clare (Santa Chiara). The Basilica, Saint Clare’s church. Minerva ‘s Temple, “Capitano del popolo” and  “Rocca Maggiore”. Note Non Guided

Lunch suggestion. Bibenda. Super located for you and a superb reputation and lots of Umbrian wines by the glass

http://www.bibendaassisi.it

Returning through Perugia or Arezzo or straight home

Farewell dinner in Montalcino. Suggestion Boccon Di Vino, one of my favorites. I will take you and pick you up. Just 5 minutes drive but too much a hill and on main road.  Need to book

http://www.boccondivinomontalcino.it/boccondivino/

Sleep Locanda Franci

(B)


DAY 08: Sunday 10th March
Check out / Transfer Amalfi/ Sleep Hotel Luna


Our  Total Journey time today is  5 and half hours

We leave when your ready and we calmly make our way to Amalfi. As we have lost a day in Amalfi lets get there, stop on the motorway services and grab a Panini and coffee (they are really very good in Italy) and move on this way we should be at the hotel for 3 to 3.30pm which gives you time to enjoy Amalfi and settle in

Arrival and Check in at Hotel in Amalfi

Dinner in Amalfi. The Hotel have a great restaurant and I think tonight would be a good opportunity to use it
Please let me know as they are asking for a reservation

Sleep Hotel Luna

(B)


DAY 09: Monday 11th March
Pompeii  and Herculaneum Cultural Experience


Transfer to Pompeii, 1 hour

Prefer to start the day a tad earlier so we are the first ones in

Pompeii in the morning with an expert guide who is an Archaeologist

I am going to speak to him in these days to find out which is the best way round to do these and how many hours we realistically need with him, He’s more expensive than I budgeted for but I know this is one of your highlights of the trip

Herculaneum. with our Archaeologist

PLEASE NOTE I have decided to change the included lunch today to the Naples day, as we may find today we just want to move on to Herculaneum and not be weighed down by a sit down proper lunch

Note: Tim would like to come with you to the sites today if you agree. I have never done either, I know shame on me; But, I am always with clients in wine or dashing around seeing hotels and restaurants

Sleep Hotel Luna

(B)


DAY 10: Tuesday 12th March
Capri and Sorrento Sightseeing


Transfer to Sorrento Capri

Transfer to Sorrento 1 hour 15 mins approx

Take ferry to Capri

Enjoy Capri by yourselves

I will get you a lunch recommendation if you like. Please let me know

I will drop you off for the ferry. There is a 8.45,  9.25 and 9.40. I believe later will cause us light (thinking of Liz) problems for the coast, so an earlier start would be appreciated

I will get you a lunch recommendation if you like. Please let me know

You can sms- whatsapp me when you  know what ferry you are coming back from Capri

Enjoy: Sorrento Postiano. Note Self Guided

WALKS
I cannot see time for this now, but let me know. Amalfi: Path of Gods (Highly Recommended). Starting at Priano or Agerola. 3 or 5 hours. Valle dei Mulini 5 kms, 3.5 hrs. Positano (Santa Maria del Castello loop 6 kms 4.5 hrs). Both with big inclines

If I have time to get to a winery on the coast we will taste the wine at the Hotel (if they allow us without cost) otherwise I will give you a bottle or two to enjoy by yourselves

Sleep Hotel Luna

(B)


DAY 11: Wednesday 13th March
Check out / Naples Sightseeing / Transfer to Rome / Sleep Casa Montani


Check out of Amalfi Hotel

Transfer to Naples  1 hour 20 mins Approx

Non guided Naples

Museo Archeologico
https://www.museoarcheologiconapoli.it/en/

Museo Sansevero
www.museosansevero.it

Lunch in Naples included with wines.

http://osteriadellamattonella.com/

Transfer to Rome 2 Hours and half

Check in to Casa Montani

Dinner suggestions will be made by the hotel depending on how adventurous you want to be tonight

Sleep  Casa Montani

(B) (L)

Note: Tim will leave the tour from here once you are all set at the Hotel


DAY 12: Thursday 14 th March
Half Day Guided Rome Sightseeing


1/2 Day Touring Rome Walking Tour with Manuela

Here you can see the major sites get a fuller perspective of Ancient Rome

Lunch  suggestion Osteria da Zi Umberto. More Roman Impossible. Real and inexpensive and perfectly placed after Villa Farnesina your last visit with Manuela

TripAdvisor Reviews

Enjoy Trastevere and walk to Forum and Colosseum

Our Dinner suggestion (Uber or Taxi) is Casa Bleve, Tremendous non touristic and not over priced. Highly recommended and need to book if you like the idea, we have weight here.

http://www.casableve.it

Sleep Donna Casa Montani

(B)


DAY 13: Friday 15th March
Check out /  Rome / Departure OUT

Check out of Casa Montani

Private transfer to Rome Airport (FCO). 50 minutes Approximately

John and Liz Depart  UA41 .(FCO) 8:55 AM To (EWR )

James and Edith Depart  BA 549 (FCO) 11:40am  to  (LHR)

Two separate private transfers to Airport

(B)

END of Services


Note: We will discuss Tipping together

Note: Please note for included meals, I am often offered a bowl of pasta and will do that on another table, normally out of eyesight. You are on your holidays and I do not want to be in the way, I have always found that works best, When meals are not included I will get you settled in and then go and do some work and pick up something light (heavy lunches are not the way for your driver). Also note, I will taste wine at the wineries we visit but will be spitting naturally

Note: Once Federica has worked out all the numbers, I will let you know, but from what I can see now the numbers will not move or the movement will be totally negligible as you have a credit from change of the Rome Hotel

 

Costs Inclusions & Exclusions -The Whitsitt Clarendon Tour of Italy 2019


COSTS


Final Price Hotels PER PERSON         1,695 EUR

Final Price Services PER PERSON      2,780 EUR

Final Price PER PERSON                      4,475 EUR


ITINERARY INCLUSIONS


Airport transfers
Private fully insured transport. Large 4×4
12 Daily breakfasts
4 Gourmet Lunches x4 with Wines for x3
Any Dinner Transfers when requested
Entrance fees & wine tastings at 4 wineries x3
2 Guided informal wine tastings with Tim

12 Nights of accommodation in the hotels included in the itinerary

4 NIGHTS Garabaldi Blue. Deluxe with View.  Fresco rooms asked for not guaranteed.
3 NIGHTS Locandi Franca. Deluxe and Superior rooms
3 NIGHTS Hotel Convento Luna. Deluxe rooms
2 NIGHTS Casa Montani Superior rooms

Expert guiding Florence x 1.5 Full Days
Expert guiding Siena x 1 Half Day
Expert guiding Pompeii with Herculaneum
Expert guiding Rome x 1 Half Day


ITINERARY EXCLUSIONS


International flights
Overnight tourist taxes
Lunches & dinners not included in the itinerary
Gratuities for restaurants
Gratuities for  guides
Personal expenses & others costs not included in the itinerary
Entrance fees to sites & museums
Activities not included in the itinerary

 

Tim Robertson
Owner & Director of Robertson Wine Tours
12th February 2019

Italian Inspiration

Pre travel we think a few films or books might be of use or worth a look at. 

During your tour you are unlikely to have too much as all your senses will be overloaded.

 

Non Fiction Books

A Concise History of Italy. (Christopher Duggan).  Says what it does on the cover, a concise history to Italy.Absolute Monarchs,  Sicily and History of Venice. (John Julius Norwich). Three books you should read, start with the first and see if you like his writing, you will.

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire.2006 (Simon Baker). Fun book on the Roman Empire and part of the mini Series. Lite!

Cesare Borgia: His Life and Times. 1976 (Sarah Bradford) Biography of Cesare Borgia. The mesmerising figure who inspired Machiavelli’s classic The Prince. Was he really the most feared, hated, and envied man of his day.

Christ Stopped at Eboli.1945 (Carlo Levi). This is an important book about the south of Italy and how people were living just 50 years ago.

The House Of Medici: Its Rise And Fall. 1999 (Christopher Hibbert).  The Medici Palace and republic became the center of global power in the 15 century. If you are coming to Florence it will help you. This book spans from 1430 to 1737 to give you a feel of its depth.

The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance. 2004 (Paul Strathern). If Hibberts’ book sounds like too much take a look at this alternative. While the Medici family are centre stage its the renaissance and many other of its luminaries especially artists that balance this book

The Art of Italian Renaissance. 1998 (Rolf Toman). Coffee book art and some good text about the painters and their most important works.

Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere, Venice and  The Venetian Empire: Jan Morris. Born a Man, extraordinary life and travel writer from a travelling age now gone. Exceptionally eloquent observationalist.

Goethe in Sicily A Useful Review of the Book by Daniela Paglia Or Heinrich Hall contemplates. See if its your thing first.

Non Fiction Books

The Leopard. 1958 (Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa). Sicily through the eyes of the Elite during the unificaiton (Risorgimento) the end of the 19th century (also a 1963 movie starring Burt Lancaster).

The Decameron. 1351. (Giovanni Boccaccio) Post Plague masterpiece .

 Zeno’s Conscience  2003. psychological realism by Italo Svevo. Zeno is a neurotic and this is his confession.

 

Fims

The Great Beauty (2013)

Many of our tours start or end in Rome. See this film just for the beauty and  decadence. Directed by Paolo Sorrentino.  Toni Servillo has the acting part of his life.

Cinema Paradiso (1988) A Sicilian boy’s love for the movies and his friendship with the projectionist.

Il Postino (1994) Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda comes to Arezzo Tuscany.

Marriage Italian Style (1964) Sophia Loren, As Neapolitan prostitute by a master of Italian neo-realist cinema ,Vittorio De Sica. Trailer without Subs

Life Is Beautiful (1997) Roberto Benigni stars in this bitter sweet movie set in Nazi occupied Italy.

La Dolce Vita (1960) Federico Fellini’s masterpiece about the ‘sweet life’ may be. Anita Ekberg and  Marcello Mastroianni. A very important film.

Tea with Mussolini (1999) directed by Franco Zeffirelli, a period movie, during the rise of fascism.

The Italian Job (1969) High Jinks, Michael Caine and Minis.

The Bicycle Thieves (1948) Vittorio De Sica’s Post collapse of Mussolini. Rome becomes a character in its own right with its unique architecture being all pervasive.

Roman Holiday (1953) Rome with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Delightful.

Rome, Open City (1945)  Roberto Rossellini’s. Difficult provocative film of where Italy went under fascism.

 

The Work of Pier Paolo Pasolini, including  Medea, The Decameron,  The Canterbury Tales, 120 Days of Sodom are all important films by this Italian film director who was also gifted as a poet, writer, actor, journalist, novelist, playwright, and political figure. Also tragically murdered.

When it comes to Painters Caravaggio his life and his work are impossible to not to investigate.

Caravaggio. One of his less Harrowing Paintings

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