OPERA & FOOD
1 Aug - 11 Aug 2017
The tour begins in Rome highlighted by an afternoon guided walking tour to many of the Capital’s landmarks. The next day we travel to Le Marche Region in Central Italy. We will have four days in Macerata to experience its world renowned Opera Festival held at the imposing open air arena: the Sferisterio. After Macerata, we head north to the City of Pesaro situated on the Adriatic Coast, a city proud of its talented and famous son Rossini, born in 1792. Naturally, the city is a centre of musical appreciation with performances at the annual Rossini Opera Festival in August.
The City of Pesaro is rich in culture and historical landmarks. From Pesaro we will visit the famous Renaissance town of Urbino with its Ducal Palace which houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche. There are also guided visits to Loreto, Recanati, Gradara, San Marino and Novilara.
The tour includes four opera performances. There are two performances at the Sferisterio in Macerata and two performances at the Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro.
Day 1 Rome (D) Your tour leaders Mario, Viny and Gianni will meet you at the hotel in the centre of Rome at 4.00pm. Introductions and a small talk on the tour will precede an afternoon stroll through some of the famous ‘piazze’ of Rome. The guided walking tour will include Piazza della Repubblica, The Fountain of Trevi, The Spanish Steps, Piazza Barbarini and Via Veneto. The walk will end with an early dinner in a traditional restaurant.
Day 2 Rome/Ascoli Piceno/Macerata (BD) After breakfast we say goodbye Rome as we travel north east in air-conditioned comfort through some of the most beautiful countryside of the Central Apennines toward Macerata in Le Marche Region. Before reaching Macerata we make a stop at Ascoli Piceno for a tour of the historical centre of the City. We will explore the Piazza del Popolo and the other main square Piazza Arringo renowned as two of the most beautiful squares in all of Italy. After lunch we then proceed to Macerata for check in at our hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant before an evening at the opera at the magnificent Sferisterio.
Day 3 Macerata (BD) After breakfast we will spend the morning on a guided walking tour of Macerata through the city’s famous landmarks and museums. The afternoon is free for you to explorer some of the beautiful streets of Macerata. A special dinner is organised at a local restaurant specialising in local cuisine and wine.
Day 4 Macerata/Recanati (BD) Today we will visit the town of Recanati. This was the birthplace of Giacomo Leopardi, Italy’s greatest romantic poet. It is also the home of the world renowned tenor Benianimio Gigli. We visit the museum in Villa Colloredo-Melson on the outskirts of the town which holds Recanati greatest art treasures, a room with four of Lorenzo Lotto’s finest pictures. The afternoon is free. An early dinner before a performance again at the Sferisterio.
Day 5 Macerata/Loreto/Pesaro (BD) After breakfast we leave Macerata and travel to the northern most part of Le Marche Region and our stay for the next 6 nights is in the City of Pesaro. Pesaro is situated on the Adriatic Coast. On the way we will make a stop at Loreto, a beautiful hill town second only to Assisi and Rome as a place of religious pilgrimage. The town is a showcase of some of Italy’s greatest artists and architects. Check-in and dinner at the hotel in Pesaro will be preceded by an optional passeggiata through the historical centre of the city.
Day 6 Pesaro (BD) Our first day in Pesaro begins with a guided walking tour of the historical centre of the city. We will visit the house and museum of the Gioachino Rossini as well as the now world famous music school he founded, the Rossini Conservatoire which hosts artists and musicians from all over the world. We will explore the ancient centre of Pesaro with its Ducal Palace and Piazza del Popolo. Free afternoon to rest up at the hotel or further explore the city centre. Dinner at the hotel before attending a performance at Teatro Rossini.
Day 7 Pesaro (BD) Free day for your enjoyment. Travellers may wish to hire a bike or visit the beach or explore the many boutiques and specialty shops of the historical centre of Pesaro. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 8 Pesaro/Gradara (BLD) Today’s visit is to Gradara, a medieval village dominated by its magnificent castle which overlooks the Adriatic Sea. We will tour the castle and the impressive old walled town. Gradara was made famous by the legendary love affair between Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini as immortalised in the 5th Canto of Dante’s Inferno. Lunch at Gradara with piadina and local wine. In the afternoon you will have time to relax before an optional tour of the Villa Imperiale. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 9 Pesaro/Urbino (BL) Today we explore the land once ruled by the medieval lords of Montefeltro. We visit Urbino one of Italy’s fascinating towns of the Renaissance. It is also the birth place of Raphael. A conducted tour of the magnificent Ducal Palace which houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with its precious paintings by Piero della Francesca, Tiziano, Paolo Uccello and Raphael. A lunch is organised in a traditional osteria in Urbino. There will be a second opera performance in Pesaro.
Day 10 Pesaro (BLD) After breakfast we will visit the Civic Museums and several important churches and their art treasures. Lunch is organised at Novilara, a nearby hill town, in a traditional trattoria which is famous for its local produce and pasta e fagioli on the menu. After a pleasant stroll of Novilara, we travel back to Pesaro. There will be a special farewell dinner in a famous restaurant in Pesaro.
Day 11 Pesaro (B) The tour officially ends after breakfast. Mario, Viny and Gianni will farewell the group at the hotel.
The weather: it is summer and it can get quite warm and humid. We recommend light, conformable clothing. You will be staying in comfortable accommodation with air conditioning. On tour the countryside is undulating and hilly. Many of the hill towns have their historical centres closed to traffic and therefore some walking is required. You should expect to stroll leisurely for up to an hour with many breaks for sightseeing, coffee and a taste of the local produce. The program appears to be full; however it is mixed with long restful lunches and leisure time for your enjoyment and comfort. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the beach and the sun. An umbrella on the foreshore is available for your use. If you need to, you can always take time off from the organised program.
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