This tour has a little bit of everything: countryside, cultural sites, art, lake views, rolling hills, and religion. You will be picked up at your Florence hotel and cross the border from Tuscany to Umbria where the first stop on this small group excursion is Passignano sul Trasimeno. The walls and fortress of this medieval town are still standing, but will not prevent you from enjoying a breathtaking view over Lake Trasimeno.
You will then proceed through the verdant countryside towards Perugia, an ancient hilltop city known as one of the most art-filled in central Italy. Here, in the main square alone, you can take in such architectural masterpieces as the medieval city hall called Palazzo dei Priori, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and its Loggia, and the marble Fontana Maggiore, covered with lively depictions of saints, scenes from the Bible, and labors of the months.
Next comes Assisi, beloved as the birthplace of Saint Francis. The first stop will be at the foot of the hill to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the impressive structure built around the tiny church where Saint Francis first understood his vocation to live in poverty and eventually founded the Order of the Friars Minor.
After a break for lunch you will be driven to the upper part of Assisi where a local tour guide will take you to the town's most important religious places: the Renaissance Chiesa Nuova, built over St. Francis' childhood home; the Basilica of Saint Francis and its friary, with frescoes by Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti; the serene, pink-striped Basilica of Saint Clare; and Santa Maria sopra Minerva, built from the remains of an ancient Roman temple. You will also visit Monte Frumentario, a marble building with pink accents that first served as a hospital, now converted into an exposition hall with large, airy rooms.
You will return to Florence full of pictures and memories of some of the most beautiful and serene places in Italy, satisfied that you have seen more of the amazing diversity this country has to offer.
The small group tour includes:
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