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Meet the Makers: Slow Italian Roadtrip from Portofino to Porto Ercole

Portofino, Florence, Umbria, Porto Ercole

Meet Molly

This example itinerary

from £13,500 $17,930 pp

10 days

HOME > DESTINATIONS > ITALY > Meet the Makers: Slow Italian Roadtrip

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Whether it’s supporting conservation programs, sustainable hotels or expert local guides, you will have a positive impact on the people and places you visit.

Highlights

  • Wine tasting in a grotto with a Portofino Master followed by dinner in situ
  • Perfume masterclass, insight into how it is produced to such high standard in Florence and the opportunity to make your own bottle to take home
  • Hunt for Italian gold in the woods with a local forager and his four-legged keen nosed friend
  • Cruise along the Tuscan coastline, exploring private bays, beaches and islands from dawn until dusk
  • Learn how to master Italian delicacies like ravioli and tiramisu and hone some new Italian cooking skills

This example itinerary

from £13,500 $17,930 pp

10 days

Speak to Molly

+44 (0)203 137 1247

+1 (0)800 635 8124

What’s Included

  • 9 nights Bed & Breakfast
  • Private wine tasting with local master
  • Guided hike along the Cinque Terre
  • Leather workshop with Artisan
  • Perfumery Tour with Olfactory Specialist
  • Truffle hunting excursion
  • Tour of Carrara marble quarry
  • Private Tuscan Cooking lesson
  • International Economy Class Flights
  • All domestic transfers
  • Car Hire

Example Itinerary

Day 1-3

PORTOFINO, Italy

  • Allow local winemaker Mino to guide you into an atmospheric wine cellar for a spot of local wine tasting
  • Explore the pastel-coloured towns and Cinque Terre with a hiking guide to discover the beauty of this stretch of coastline
Perched on Italy’s northwest coast, Portofino is one of the most perfect, most photogenic fishing ports in the Mediterranean. Home to the exclusive Hotel Splendido, it has been a magnet for Europe’s cool crowd for decades.

Portofino rightly so is one of Italy’s most famous coastal towns. Scented by honeysuckle, the sea laps against pastel-coloured houses and cafes and restaurants serving Italian classics galore. During your couple of nights at the stunning Belmond Splendido Mare, enjoy local experiences that get the absolute best out of this Italian classic. 

On your first full day, explore the area by foot. With a local guide, venture out to take in the best of the scenery in Portofino National Park. Come late afternoon, meet local winemaker Mino for an atmospheric wine tasting in a restored grotto. Learn about the organic wines and other homegrown specialities of La Portofinese eco-farm and sample the delicious produce.

For your final Portofino experience, before you head to the hustle and bustle of Florence, you will be met on the seashore by your own skipper and private speed boat to experience the coastline at sea level. Visit the excluded inlet of San Fruttuoso, home to an ancient Benedictine Abbey. Continue onto Camogli to admire the colourful buildings, harbour and thyme-scented hillsides.

Day 3-5

FLORENCE, Italy

  • Meet leather makers and experience why Florence has become so famous for this product
  • Take in the city by foot, visiting churches and galleries between stops for pasta and coffee

A city whose historic centre was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1982. Today, Florence makes for an easy city break bursting with galleries, museums, trattorias and churches. 

If anywhere in the world can claim to have shaped modern Western consciousness, it is Florence’s grand piazzas and palazzos. With 48 hours in Florence, you will spend your time taking in the highlights whilst escaping the crowds for experiences most people do not think possible.

But first, stop for some gelato tasting. With your guide learn how gelato was invented, see how it is made on the premises of a gelato parlour, and naturally, lots of flavours will be tasted and compared. Next, an exclusive visit to a perfume Atelier including a behind-the-scenes tour of some artisanal products. Your visit will end with some fragrance tasting, a sensorial journey into the world of rare essences and perfumes, learning techniques that will refine your olfactory perception and enhance your appreciation for the products of artistic and traditional Florentine perfumery.

The following day, discover the history and artistic heritage of Florence’s Gothic masterpiece on a private tour of Santa Croce Basilica. Wander the cloisters and chapels, admiring original frescoes by Donatello and Giotto, and see the ornate tombs of Italian luminaries like Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo. Trace the roots of the famous Florentine leather industry on a tour of the church’s leather workshop, founded in the 13th century by Franciscan friars.

Day 5-7

UMBRIA, Italy

  • A cooking lesson in situ, forage in the kitchen garden for fresh vegetables to accompany your pasta and fresh herbs to decorate your pudding
  • Wake up your taste buds with a tantalising truffle hunt at a local farm

Italy’s ‘Green Heart’ Umbria is an expansive area of countryside free of the crowds in parts of Tuscany but with the same rolling hills and authentic character that keeps people coming back

During your days in Umbria, you will have the opportunity to embrace the beauty of your surroundings and immerse with some locals to learn their trade. On your first full day, head into the woods alongside trained dogs who’ll help you sniff out some Italian truffles. Your local farmer turned guide will explain the techniques used to locate truffles. After a successful forage, you’ll sit down to a well deserved truffle tasting and light lunch.

After a morning making the most of the hotel, by the pool, hiking along one of the many trails or horse riding through the meadows, venture to cooking school to learn how to creatively forage for wild ingredients and or try your hand at a traditional four-course Italian meal. Make the most of the on site Umbrian chefs and learn how to transform rich, local produce into delicious dishes.

Day 7-10

PORTO ERCOLE, Italy

  • A Mediterranean resort remains an Italian legend. Why? The position is stunning, on a cliff overlooking a rugged private cove
  • A Michelin-starred spot, with chef Michelino Gioia at the helm. Expect fresh seafood (try the John Dory with Gallinacci mushrooms and wild sorrel sauce)

In 1965 two lovers, a charismatic American socialite and dashing British aviator, created a romantic hideaway in a secret cove. Glamorous friends came to bathe in the delicious azure sea and party by moonlight, soon the gorgeous Tuscan home was transformed into Il Pellicano.

Based on the Tuscan coast on the charming island of Porto Ercole, you will want to make the most of the incredible coastline that is on your doorstep. At the beach club, it’s possible to organise sailing boat charters, waterskiing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Away from the sea, the hotel has a tennis court and lessons can be pre-booked. Still feeling short of experience, it is possible to arrange horse-riding, trekking, and cycling excursions through the Maremma with the concierge. For your final Italian experience, a private boat will take you to the coves, beaches and small islands to enjoy away from anyone else.

The Fishers

Our family are hooked on Italy and Molly‘s passion and knowledge means she keeps finding us something new. The latest trip was in the Dolomites – Rosa Alpina is the dream. Officially our favourite hotel ever. We’re going to Puglia next but we have to wait until next year for that!

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EXCEPTIONAL:

A very high standard of five-star properties, with top-notch service and a wide range of amenities and experiences ensuring an unforgettable stay.

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These four to five-star accommodations offer the high level of service that our team look always look for, with a range of facilities on offer.

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