Be captured by the emotions of the natural scenery of the lake immersed in the green of cane thickets and surrounded by hills covered with olive trees, by a harmony emanated from old fabrics of the city of rare beauty, by the serenity generated by the powerful beauty of the spiritual places.
Crossing the Tuscan countryside, the first town we meet is Passignano sul Trasimeno, a small medieval hamlet with city walls and a beautiful fortress, a famous tourist resort and a magical location to viewpoint onto the enchanting lake and islands.
After this visit we proceed through evocative landscapes until we reach the hill on which the ancient city of Perugia rises. Evidence of its Etruscan origin is preserved in the travertine walls and in the well located in the village center. Perugia is one of the popular Italian cities of art, with a beautiful square in which you can admire real architectural jewels like the superb Palazzo dei Priori (1293-1443) and the splendid Cathedral (1345) placed beside the Loggia (1423), and one of the masterpieces of sculpture with an invaluable artistic value (13th century), the elegant Fontana Maggiore (1275). The excursion continues until reaching the beautiful places where the patron saint of Italy, Saint Francis of Assisi (1181- 1226) lived, worked and died. On a lowland at the foot of Mount Subasio, the hill on which Assisi rises we first visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, built around as a protection of the famous little church of the “Porziuncola”, where Saint Francis acknowledged his vocation and founded the Order of the Minor Friars.In this place even Santa Chiara began her monastic life. Here you can also see the “rosebush without thorns”, which continues to grow only in this magic place and that, according to a legend, originated from the contact of the Saint with a thorny bush.
After the lunch break we reach the center of Assisi where you will meet up with an expert local Guide who will accompany you on an exciting visit to the civil and religious artistic heritage of the city. Admire the splendid Gothic Basilica dedicated to Saint Chiara (1257) made in pink and white bands, the Renaissance Chiesa Nuova with the elegant Dome and the Roman temple of Minerva of which the first century AD facade remains. The wonderful frescoes cycles by Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini and Lorenzetti are preserved inside the Basilica.
Breathe the special atmosphere of serenity and joy that this city emanates and you will understand why it has been chosen as symbol of Peace by the delegates of the main religions in the world.
An itinerary through the more verdant region of Umbria, discovering eternally fascinating cities. Perugia has one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, where we can admire the Maggiore Fountain, the Gothic Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Palazzo dei Priori, home to the Town Hall.
The excursion continues to Assisi, famous all over the world as the native town of Saint Francis. We stop for lunch (included) in a well-known restaurant.
After lunch, a guided tour of the Basilica of Saint Francis, frescoed by Giotto and Cimabue, the Basilica of Santa Chiara, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and other important sites. Return to Florence in the evening.
Transport, tour escort, local guide, lunch and drinks are included in the price.
Today you will take a full-day tour in the green Umbria area and visit two of its most fascinating cities Perugia and Assisi. Man has been living in this region for at least 200,000 years since the Paleolithic age and this is evident in the many archeological finds of the territory.
Perugia was an Umbro village that later became Etruscan and the most important center in the Upper Tiber Valley. Perugia is today a thriving town with an important international university and one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, the Piazza IV Novembre. Steep streets pass through the ancient gates of the nucleus that was once the Etruscan center. In the center of the square you will see the beautiful Fontana Maggiore, a fountain built in the 13th century in order to bring water into the center via the acqueduct from Mount Pacciano. The fountain, one of the best examples of High Gothic in Italy, is formed by two basins and is decorated by the sculptures Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. One side of the square is taken up by the Palazzo dei Priori; this medieval building is now the town hall. In this square you will also see the gothic Basilica di San Lorenzo. Do you like chocolate? Perugia is the home of the Perugina chocolate factory. In October the town hosts a gigantic chocolate festival where you can taste dozens of samples. The town is packed with tourists in this period and chefs in the restaurants use their talents to invent many dishes using chocolate as the main ingredient.
Your Umbrian excursion continues with a visit to Assisi.
One of the most peaceful places on earth, Assisi is the birth place of the venerated Saint Francis. This quaint place built on a hill is made up of many, winding, stone-paved streets, and carefully restored houses. The more energetic of you might enjoy a steep walk up to the fortress. The views from here are worth the walk! In the main square named “Piazza del Comune”, you can visit the remains of the Temple of Minerva. The stunning frescoes by Giotto and Cimabue are some of the most important in Italy. Other famous churches in Assisi are the Basilica of Santa Chiara, where St. Clare is buried, and the Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncula is found at the foot of Assisi, slightly out of town.
You will love exploring the tiny streets of this town and looking at the many shops showing local handcrafts and religious items. Santa Maria degli Angeli is one of the largest churches in Christendom. Construction was begun on March 25, 1569 and finished in 1679. The entire structure was built in order to enclose the “Portiuncula” which now stands inside the large basilica. It was located on a piece of land called the “Portiuncula” and this name was also given to the chapel. This is the chapel restored by St. Francis and it was here that he finally understood his vocation and founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209. It was here that he lived, St. Bonaventure tell us “because of his reverence for the angels, and of his great love of the Mother of Christ” to whom the church is dedicated. St. Francis died inside his beloved Portiuncula on October 3, 1226. Your driver will bring you back to your accommodations later in the day.
During your drive, you will get the chance to see some of the green Umbrian countryside and the many hill towns for which Umbria is famous.