Until February 25, 2017, a saving of €1448 (the equivalent of A$2050) is available to Australians who book two places on a week-long, all-inclusive walking tour of Umbria in Italy this May.
The offer of a half-fare for the second person is available through Australian travel specialists, Active Travel, on a seven-night gourmet walking tour with Hedonistic Hiking from Arezzo in Tuscany to Gubbio in Umbria, tracing pilgrim’s trails across the rolling hills forged by St Francis of Assisi.
The guided, baggage-free walk in spring includes all meals and wine, gourmet picnics in medieval towns and on rustic farms, connecting drives between walk sections and accommodation at three deluxe hotels including a restored 13th century abbey now sporting a resort-style swimming pool.
The adventure begins in Arezzo on May 22, 2017, with a visit to the Basilica of St Francis to see its famous, 15th Century Renaissance frescoes. After a gourmet picnic lunch on an organic farm, the group will head to the nearby hamlet of Sansepolcro for a two-night stay in the heart of the village at the beautifully restored Renaissance palace, Palazzo Magi.
Days of walking then unfold with a total of 57 km of trail hiking over the week, with between six and 18km covered each day. Along the way, walkers will visit tiny churches, Franciscan hermitages, ancient forts, cobblestoned villages, rustic stone houses, colourful markets and wineries with the trail taking hikers through woods and across farmlands. Picnics along the route feature local wine, cheese and meats.
A highlight of the tour is an indulgent, two-night stay at Abbazia San Faustino, a medieval, Benedictine monastery that has been converted into a luxurious country hotel complete with a swimming pool overlooking the hills and dales of Umbria.
The final three nights are spent in the four-star Relais Ducale, a boutique hotel in the heart of the Umbrian town of Gubbio. Daily walks from the town take in nearby abbeys and pretty, alpine meadows around Mt Cucco. A farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Gubbio and a transfer back to Arezzo ends the tour.
Including seven nights’ accommodation, all meals with wine and baggage transfers, the guided ‘Medieval Umbria’ walking tour is available for €2895 (approximately A$4103, subject to exchange rates) for the first person and €1447 (about A$2050) for the second person if booked by February 25, 2017. This represents a saving of €1448 (A$2052).
The start and end of the tour at Arezzo is easily accessible from Rome and Florence by train. Flights to Italy are extra but can be booked through Active Travel.
* For those in or near Canberra, Active Travel is hosting a free information session on the trip from 6-8pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, including refreshments.