Depart from the U.S.
The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight
itinerary and airline tickets.
Day 2 - Arrive in Rome
/ Transfer to Orvieto
Upon arrival at the Rome
airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. VBT's local representative will
meet you outside the customs area in your arrival terminal and will be holding
a VBT sign. Your local representative helps you transfer by private car
(approximately 2 hours) to your hotel in Orvieto to begin your trip. If you
arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 1 p.m. You may store
your luggage with the Reception Desk.
You have the rest of the day free to explore this wonderful,
historic city. Situated in the Paglia
Orvieto boasts centuries of history and architecture, including towers, palaces
and noble houses. It began as an important Etruscan center and became
prosperous in Roman times thanks to its production of ceramics. After being
overrun by several invasions, Orvieto enjoyed the status of a free state in the 11th and 12th centuries.
In 1354, it became a city of the Church Estate until 1798. After brief
Napoleonic domination, it was finally annexed to the kingdom of Italy
in 1860. During your stay, be sure to visit Orvieto's impressive Gothic
cathedral and archaeological museum.
In the evening, relax in one of the city's restaurants and
sample the local cuisine.
Day 3 - Meet Trip Leaders / Warm-up ride / Welcome reception
VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders and
the rest of the group in the Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station at 2:15
p.m. Please plan to buy some lunch on your own before this meeting. Your Trip
Leaders will be wearing VBT staff garments. If your arrival at Orbetello-Monte
Argentario train station is scheduled later than 2:15 p.m. or if you are
delayed, you must take a taxi at your own expense (approximately 30 euros/$45
USD) to Antica Fattoria La Parrina (approximately 10 minutes). Please contact
Antica Fattoria La Parrina to advise of any travel delays or changes, and the
staff will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.
VBT Air Package guests & Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet
your VBT Trip Leaders at the hotel in Orvieto at 11:00 a.m. They will be
wearing VBT staff garments. We will transfer by motorcoach (approximately 2 1/2
hours) to Antica Fattoria La Parrina. The coach will make a stop to buy lunch on
the way to the hotel in Pitigliano.
Antica Fattoria La Parrina is a welcoming 4-star country
resort that has been featured in Condé
Nast Traveler magazine. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, this hotel
produces its own wine, cheese, yogurt, vegetables, oil, balsamic vinegar and
flowers. Organic pasta, delicious jams and sauces and cosmetics are also partly
prepared and marketed there. All products are made with natural and healthy
ingredients. In the afternoon, we join our Trip Leaders for a safety and bike-fitting
session followed by a short warm-up ride over the Tenuta along quiet country
roads. Later, gather with the group for a welcome cocktail reception on the
terrace. Dinner is at the hotel.
Day 4 - Cycle through Maremma
Park / Explore Talamone /
After breakfast, we leave La Parrina and cycle to the coast
and Talamone, where we'll discover the many Greek legends linked to this little
fortress village. There'll also be time to swim in the glittering blue sea.
This medieval hilltop town is set in the rolling countryside of the Maremma,
one of the least-developed areas of central Italy. Talamone stands on a small
promontory overlooking the Mediterranean and
is dominated by an ancient Sienese castle. This little town of fishermen
originally stood on the Talamonaccio hill and served as an ancient Etruscan
port. Currently, Talamone is set inside a World Wildlife Fund nature reserve
known as Parco Regionale Della Maremma (Maremma Park), which features an
incredible variety of protected flora and fauna. Lunch today is a delicious
picnic prepared by your Trip Leaders.
In the afternoon we cycle back to our hotel, where we can
relax at the wonderful pool or take a walk on the mapped trails that weave
through the estate. Or you may opt for horseback riding in the area, well-known
for its local breed of Maremma horses.
Tonight our hosts at La Parrina conduct a cooking class. Out
on the terrace, learn how to prepare typical Tuscan cantucci – delicious almond
cookies that are best when dipped in sweet Vin Santo wine. Enjoy dinner at the
Day 5 - Cycle to Porto Ercole and Orbetello /
Enjoy swimming / Meet some fishermen
This morning, ride through the countryside towards the coast
and Ansedonia, passing elegant villas and gardens, with great views of the sea
and the old watchtower that once was used for defending this stretch of coast.
Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way at a typical Maremma country farm that grows
its own organic vegetables and breeds cattle. This afternoon, we cycle through
a thick pine forest, and then roll along a sandy beach where you can take a
refreshing swim. This is one of the most beautiful routes of the week. After a
short visit in the fishing village of Porto Ercole, we continue to the old town
of Orbetello, traversing a cycling strip built on the lagoon. We explore the
lush byway around the lagoon, then rejoin our Trip Leaders and follow them to a
great gelato spot. A short shuttle will take us back to our hotel.
Tonight we meet some local fishermen and enjoy a tour on
their fishing boat on the lagoon and a taste of local fish and wine. Dinner in on your in Orbetello, and you can
opt to remain at your hotel if you prefer.
Day 6 - Explore Giglio
Island or Tarquinia
This morning, we say goodbye to our hosts at La Parrina and
transfer to the bustling harbor and quaint village of Porto Santo
Stefano (except during March and October — see
note below). From this port town, we board a ferry to Giglio
Island, arriving in the village of Giglio Porto. With a local guide, we shuttle
to the walled hilltop town of Giglio
Castello, dominated by a fortress called the Rocca
Pisana, and explore the site with her. This town is the oldest inhabited center
on the island and still retains much of its medieval atmosphere.
After the tour, we continue westward to Campese Beach
for an informal lunch in one of the restaurants. You have free time to swim or
relax on the beach. If you prefer, opt for a hike along the Faraglione cliffs,
where our guide points out some of the 700 different species of wildflowers and
plants growing in this remote little corner of Tuscany. On our way back to Giglio Porto,
stop for a gelato before ferrying back to the mainland.
Alternate Itinerary in Mid-March, Late September and October:
Due to the seasonal ferry schedule, guests on March and
October departures spend this day exploring historic Tarquinia, a vibrant,
welcoming town with medieval towers and Etruscan necropolises. From La Parrina,
we transfer by shuttle to this city, about 45 minutes from the hotel. Then, we
meet a local guide for a short presentation on Etruscan history and culture.
The Etruscan Necropolis of Tarquinia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage
Site list in 2004. Afterward, we visit some of the most beautiful and
well-preserved painted tombs from the ancient world. Because of their
uniqueness, they are comparable only to Egyptian tombs.
After visiting the necropolis, we stroll to the city center
of Tarquinia, where you have free time to explore this medieval Etruscan
capital. Known as the heart of ancient Tuscany,
Tarquinia gently rises to breathtaking views overlooking the Tyrrhenian
Sea. We'll visit the archaeological museum, stroll through the
medieval district, or have lunch in the beautiful city center. In the
afternoon, we cycle along the coast from Tarquinia to Montalto di Castro. In
Montalto, board a coach to our hotel, Fattoria di Magliano, where we have time
to swim in the hotel pool before dinner.
If you prefer, you can opt for a bike ride to the Argentario
promontory, or you can spend the entire day playing golf at the scenic
Argentario Golf Resort & Spa in Porto Ercole, magnificently set on the
hills of the Argentario peninsula with a view of the sea. Our Trip Leaders will
facilitate your choice.
Dinner is at the hotel tonight.
Day 7 - Follow the Wine Road
/ Explore the medieval city of Magliano
/ Wine tasting
After a leisurely breakfast, we ride on quiet country roads,
passing fields of poppies and sunflowers, with vineyards gently sloping down to
the sea. Tour the wine roads south of Scansano, famous for the red Morellino
wine. Then, we join the Andreini family for a picnic lunch at their olive-oil
mill. Before lunch, we tour the facility and participate in an interesting
olive-oil talk and tasting. After lunch, cycle through Magliano, a walled city
that in the Middle Ages housed the Aldobrandeschi mobile court in winter. Some
of the 14th-century city walls are still intact.
From Magliano, cyclists who wish to have a taste of hilly Tuscany can take an optional,
gentle-but-steady climb to the lovely villages of Pereta and Scansano. Back at
the hotel this afternoon, relax or swim in the pool before sipping local wines
— produced right on the farm — during an included wine tasting. Dinner is on
your own. You can opt to follow your Trip Leaders to Magliano, where you can
choose an area restaurant, or dine at the hotel.
Day 8 - Discover Capalbio / Farewell dinner at local organic farm
Today we bike to the medieval town of Capalbio. Dating to the 11th century,
historic Capalbio is surrounded by great walls. Stroll along these ancient
ramparts above the city and take in the panoramic views of the surrounding
countryside. Enter the historic center through one of two gates—the Sienese or
the Porticina—and visit the city's Romanesque Castle of Saint Nicholas, with
its dramatic bell tower. The tower features two rows of mullioned windows
dating to the 12th century. Explore the town's winding cobblestone streets,
medieval churches and shops. Finish your week with a rewarding bike ride all
the way back to the hotel, or hop in a van shuttle.
Tonight, enjoy an aperitivo watching the sunset. Our festive
farewell dinner at a local farm features organic vegetables from the garden and
Day 9 - Transfer to Rome
/ Free time / VBT No-Air Package ends
VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, transfer back to
Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station by private motorcoach, arriving at
approximately 9:30 a.m. Important:
Flight departures from Rome
airport prior to 3:30 p.m. are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you must
make transfer arrangements from the last hotel at your own expense. Taxi cost
to Rome airport
is approximately 300 euros/$450 USD (travel time approximately 3½ hours). Taxi
cost to the Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station is approximately 40
euros/$60 USD (travel time approximately 30 minutes). If you prefer, you are
welcome to board our coach to Rome and get off
at our Rome
VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, we transfer by
private motorcoach (approximately 3 hours) to our centrally located Rome hotel for your final
overnight stay. We arrive at approximately 11:30 a.m. and have the rest of the
day to shop or relax in one of the city's outdoor cafés.
If you have chosen the independent Post-Trip Extension to Rome, you remain at this
hotel for the next three nights. Upon your arrival, a VBT Rome representative
will be there to answer your questions. An optional walking tour of Baroque
Rome will be offered.
Day 10 - Depart for U.S.
After breakfast* this morning you will transfer to the Rome airport
(approximately 40 to 60 minutes depending on traffic) for your departing
flight**. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the
*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures,
breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk
to verify the times that breakfast is served.
**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer
time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are
finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you
extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to
the airport will be at your own expense.