Join us for this exciting exploration of the Tuscany and Piedmont regions of Italy including Cinque Terre with Bob Morse.
About your Host:
Bob currently teaches advanced Italian courses at the Scuola Italiana di Portland, Oregon. He taught Italian language, culture, and literature full-time at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, for nine years, after earning his master’s degree in Italian from the University of Virginia. A true Italophile, his connections to Italy began fifty years ago when played professional basketball, first in Varese, then in Reggio Emilia. Later he lived in Rome where he had his own sports event management company. Bob is known as a “legend” of Italian and European basketball. He considers Varese his Italian “hometown”, where the City Council voted to make him an Honorary Citizen in recognition of his contributions on and off the court. After working, living, studying, and traveling extensively in Italy for 15 years, Bob has returned about once a year to see old friends and visit new places in this fascinating country. This tour will be his fifth in collaboration with Customized Journeys.
Bob looks forward very much to accompanying you on this journey of exploration of the country he knows and loves: the spectacular natural, artistic, and architectural beauty, the cultural and historical highlights, and the delicious regional cuisines and wines of Northern Italy. If you choose to participate in the optional three-day extension, Bob will be your guide to learn about and experience Italian basketball first-hand in one of the cities where basketball is part of the culture: Bologna – “Basket City”.
Check out these beautiful photos from Bob’s previous trips!
*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.
Fly from the USA to Pisa, Italy
Upon arrival in Pisa, you will be transferred to your hotel in the nearby medieval city of Lucca. You will then have some time to relax before enjoying a welcome dinner with your group at a quaint local restaurant. Overnight in Lucca
This morning we will explore the charming walled city of Lucca on a walking tour. The city’s main piazza, incredible Duomo and lovely shops make it an ideal place to stay. We learn about the city’s many legends and remarkable Medieval past. After lunch, you will have the afternoon free to continue exploring. Overnight in Lucca
Today we will explore the Tuscan countryside where the hills are dotted with charming villages, olive tree groves and vineyards. During our exploration, we will visit an olive oil production and enjoy a wine tasting. Then we will participate in an engaging cooking class followed by a light meal. Overnight in Lucca
Today we will visit Pisa and see the spectacular Piazza dei Miracoli and world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa while also learning about the city’s storied past. After lunch, we will return to Lucca for our last evening in the city. Overnight in Lucca
This morning, we’ll travel north for an unforgettable day spent in Cinque Terre where the “Five Lands” (villages) sit nestled on hillsides overlooking the sea. Built in the 12th century, the Cinque Terre coastline is now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will explore a few of the villages and enjoy a boat ride (weather permitting). After our time visiting the Cinque Terre, we will travel to our hotel in Piedmont where we will enjoy a delicious dinner of local cuisine. Overnight in Piedmont
Today we will pay a visit to a local producer and enjoy a tasting of Asti spumante in the charming Piedmont town of Canelli. While there, we can also visit the grand and historic Ottolenghi Palace. Our lunch today will be a special treat at a restaurant located inside a castle in the nearby village of Pollenzo. Overnight in Piedmont
We will start our exploration today with a visit of the Grinzane Cavour castle. We’ll then enjoy lunch at a small-scale organic creamery and sheep farm that produces “formaggio del pistone.” The owner, a true local character, will explain to the group what it takes to make the business fully self-sustainable, and expound on the origins of the Slow Food movement. You will then go for a tasting of Barbaresco wine in the afternoon. Overnight in Piedmont
Today we will reach the Sacra di San Michele on our way to Turin. This spectacular Romanesque-gothic abbey is built on the top of a mountain. We’ll pause there to take in the breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding mountains. After we will enjoy lunch and visits in Turin including the Basilica of Superga and Parco del Valentino. Overnight in Turin.
Today we will continue to explore the amazing city of Turin. Home to the Italian Royal family for centuries, Turin attracted the international spotlight thanks to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Turin hosts several fascinating buildings such as Mole Antonelliana, the symbol of the city, the Royal Palace, which now displays a wonderful painting museum, and the beautiful Renaissance Cathedral. After a walking tour with a great local guide, we’ll sample delicious hand-made gianduiotti chocolate. Overnight in Turin
This morning, we will visit the spectacular Egyptian Museum in Turin. It’s considered the second best in the world, after The Cairo Museum. After visiting this impressive collection, we will have the afternoon on our own before a farewell group dinner. Overnight in Turin
Today you will be transferred to Turin International Airport for your return flight to the US or join Bob for a 3-night extension focused on Italian professional basketball.
4 nights in Lucca
3 nights in Piedmont
3 nights in Turin
Total: 10 nights / 11 days
$4,475 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $750 USD
12 travelers minimum
3 nights in Bologna
Total: 3 nights / 4 days
Extension Trip Price:
$1,055 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $450 USD
4 travelers minimum
Join Bob on this basketball focused extension to the city of Bologna, fondly referred to as “Basket City”. Some activities will include: