Dates: October 18 - 24, 2021 (6 nights)
Pick up and drop off in Rome (FCO)
We’ll be touring through the Umbria and Le Marche regions. Umbria is known for beautiful mountains, amazing food, and delectable wines. Le Marche sits between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Umbria has been called the “other Tuscany” by numerous travel guides as it has all the beauty, but less of the crowds, than the region made famous by books and movies.
Our tour will be co-hosted by our professional Italian guides, Max & Cristiana, who have been our exclusive partners in Italy for 15 years. They know the region and its hidden beauty better than anyone we’ve ever met and we are super excited to share them, and their intimate knowledge of Italy, with you!
This tour is designed for those looking for a little more activity, adventure, authenticity, and intimacy than riding on a big, crowded tour bus could provide. Kevin Kubota, a professional photographer, will be one of your guides. He will be available for photography questions and ideas at all times! This is not a "workshop", so all interested adventurers are welcome. :-)
- Photography driven, but not a photography “workshop” per se.
- An active adventure with lots of walking/hiking.
- A truly authentic and culturally enriched experience of Italy.
- Wonderful hotels and delicious food & wine!
- Led by Kevin & Clare Kubota and their professional Italian team, Max & Cristiana from Ciao Adiamo.
Our Tentative Itinerary
Note that we may fine tune this as our deposits come in and our group goals become more clear. The earlier we get deposits, the better hotel options we have. We guarantee it will be a great experience, regardless!
DAY 1 (OCTOBER 18)
Welcome to Italy! Fly into Rome where your guides will meet you to start your adventure. You’ll head first to Umbria, where you’ll enjoy lunch with wine tasting at a favorite local winery, along with some time to explore the medieval hilltop town of Montefalco. Next, head to Norcia at the foot of the Sibillini Mountains, where you’ll check into your hotel and enjoy down time before gathering for a welcome dinner at the oldest restaurant in Umbria.
Following breakfast at your hotel (looking out over a beautiful mountain view), make your way to a cooking class in town where you’ll learn classic local recipes and feast on the fruits of your labor for lunch. Following lunch, head into the mountains to experience a traditional truffle hunt in the countryside surrounding Norcia. Then it’s back to town to witness the monks at the local monastery perform vespers with Gergorian chants. Afterwards, enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening on your own.
After breakfast at your hotel, venture into the hills and mountains for a day of hiking through Mount Sibillini National Park with an expert local guide. The day will be paced to fit all levels of experience, and will also include a gourmet picnic lunch prepared by a local restaurant and tastings featuring honey and cheese from the area. Then head back to your hotel to relax before gathering for four course dinner at Vespasia, the Michelin starred restaurant located right in your hotel.
After breakfast today, check out of your hotel and bid farewell to Norcia as you make your way to your next stop: Le Marche, a region located between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Along the way, you’ll stop in local villages to explore and stretch your legs, and also enjoy lunch at a local winery. At the end of the day, arrive in the charming fishing and beach town of Civitanova Marche, where you’ll check into your hotel before enjoying a group dinner.
Following breakfast at your hotel this morning, head out to explore Le Marche. Visit a local pasta producer in the town of Montegranaro for a taste of local cuisine. Then explore some of the many small villages and do some shopping in this area famous for its shoes and leatherworking. At the end of the day, return to your hotel for free time and dinner on your own.
This morning, enjoy some free time to eat breakfast, relax, and explore the town of Civitanova Marche on your own (we’d recommend a visit to the colorful local market). Following a light group lunch, you’ll travel to the town of Recanati, known as the “city of poetry” on account of the many writers and artists who have lived there throughout history. There, you’ll visit the palazzo where the famous Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi lived, including his elegant family library with frescoed ceilings and over 20,000 books. Then you’ll return to your hotel and convene for a final farewell group dinner on your last night together in Italy.
Following check out at your hotel, you’ll start the journey back to Rome where your group trip will end. On the way, you’ll stop to tour the town of L’Aquila, a beautiful hillside city that has endured for centuries (including at the epicenter of a deadly earthquake in 2009). Marvel at baroque and medieval architecture, as well as the indomitable spirit of the townspeople, and enjoy a local lunch before continuing on your way to Rome. There, we’ll drop you off and bid you arrivederci e buon viaggio for your return home!
OPTIONAL, Day 8
If you're not quite ready to leave, then a walking day tour of Rome is a perfect way to see the famous city and soak up a little more Italia. Our guides from Ciao Andiamo will make sure you have a great day. Please inquire about this add-on experience.
$4300 per person based on double-occupancy
$4800 per person for single room option
(Day tour in Rome on the 25th optional. Inquire for pricing. We also highly suggest arriving in Italy a day or two before the 18th to acclimate to the time zone before your adventure begins)
- 6 nights luxury accommodations including breakfast
- Dedicated private tour leaders for the length of your trip :-))
- Private transportation
- Winery visit and tasting with lunch in Umbria
- Hands-on Cooking Class with lunch in Norcia
- Guided truffle hunt in the countryside outside Norcia
- Guided full-day hike in Mount Sibillini National Park with picnic lunch
- Winery visit and tasting with lunch in Le Marche
- Tour of a pasta producer in Le Marche
- Admissions to the Leopardi house in Recanati
- Private guided tour of L’Aquila
- Daily lunch (where not otherwise indicated as part of a tasting or class)
- 4 group dinners (including a meal at the Michelin starred Vespasia)
- Friends and precious memories for a lifetime!
A deposit of $1075 per person is required to reserve your spot. We encourage you to do this asap as our spaces are limited, and we get better hotel options the sooner we can guarantee our visit with deposits. Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure.
Cancellation and Re-booking:
25% initial trip deposit ($1075) is non-refundable. For cancellations up to 60 days before travel, the remaining 75% of total trip cost is refundable. For cancellations 60-30 days before travel, 50% of total trip cost is refundable. For cancellations less than 30 days before travel, no refunds can be given.
(note: this cancellation policy is provided by our Ciao Andiamo partners based on their standard policy for all tours)
COVID 19 cancellation:
We are offering a 100% Flexible Booking Guarantee on all 2021 trips, for peace of mind that you can reschedule if needed. As we proceed through the year, if travel to Italy appears difficult or unsafe in the fall (either due to conditions here in the United States or in Italy), we will work with you to reschedule your trip without charging any change fees beyond any direct costs we might incur (which, in your case, we should be able to proactively avoid as we build your trip). Any money paid towards your trip (including your initial 25% deposit) would also be credited in full towards any future dates through 2022.
AKA, the Queen Bee. Clare is the one that keeps it all together. Her creativity, passion, and genuine love for travel and sharing her experiences makes her your go-to-gal when you really want the inside scoop. Clare has been co-leading workshops with Kevin from day 1.
OUR ITALIAN PARTNERS
Husband of Cristiana, and your quintessential non-typical Italian man. His knowledge of Italy and passion for sharing it is contagious. If you don't love Max for his encyclopedia brain, you'll love him for his sense of humor. Max is a lifelong motorcycle rider.
Many of our travelers are repeat customers, join us once and find out why! We take pride in offering a sincere and personal vested interest in your enjoyment and experience. We'll do everything we can to make sure you're a satisfied customer, too!
"I LOVE the whole trip it was amazing everything from where we stayed to the food and the company the trip was perfect. Great Job guys!! There is no other way to travel, you get the intimate backstage pass to the area."
"I loved this adventure because it was off the beaten track, and we were privileged to experience the Umbria and Tuscany regions of Italy in a way most tourists don't get to enjoy. The people you meet become friends, the places you stay are small local gems, the food you enjoy is awesome, the sights you experience and photograph are indescribable and the attention to detail and the way they work in activities that interest everybody is phenomenal. This was my first travel adventure with the Kubotas, and I look forward to participating in others!"
"EVERYTHING! The motos were so much fun! The weather was PERFECT- I feel like we got so lucky there. The food was incredible. I loved the places we stayed and all the places we visited. I didn't want it to end. The Italy motophototour 2016 was an epic adventure of a lifetime and food for the soul. I am leaving feeling alive and inspired in a way that I didn't know was possible."
"The Secret Italy trip was fantastic! The convenience of having everything planned out for us, from each stop along our way that offered incredible photo ops, all the way down to the wonderful Italian dinners we shared together. All we had to do was show up! My wife, who is not a photographer, had an awesome time as well. We made many friends and continue to stay in touch. A big thanks to Kevin, Clare, Max and Cristiana for their planning and hospitality. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
"Where do I begin? I loved the entire trip throughout Italy with Kevin, Clare, Max and Cristiana. They knew what photographers would be interested in seeing. Best of all, there was no one saying "why do you have to take so many pictures where ever we go?" It was great to be with so many people with exactly the same interests as me. There was a wonderful variety of places to photograph. There were endless photo ops whether you like photographing people, landscape, close-ups, architecture, or food. And there was endless food as well. The accommodations were beautiful and spacious. Max and Cristiana are so warm and knowledgeable about the history and culture of the various towns we visited. I loved their home town of Stroncone the best. I hope to go to Italy again with Kevin and Clare's tour some day."