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Harbour of Vernazza
Leaning Tower or Pisa
Arno river and Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Cinque Terre, Italy
Departs: September 30th, 2019 Tour Dates & Pricing
Discover the charming Tuscany countryside and explore the colorful villages of the Cinque Terre. Stay in a classical villa for four nights as we visit breathtaking destinations in Tuscany each day. Visit medieval hill towns in Volterra, Cortona, and San Gimignano. In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, we will visit the Duomo and the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s David. Tour Pisa and visit its famous Leaning Tower. Continue north to the heart of the Italian Riviera for two nights where we explore the pastel-colored fishing communities of Cinque Terre and take a short boat ride to picturesque Portofino, the Pearl of the Italian Riviera.
Hosted By: Chef Michael Feker
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Day 1 : Ciao Italia!
Our tour begins with an overnight flight to Italy. Anticipation builds as we fly across the ocean.
Day 2 : Arrive in Rome
Upon arrival we are greeted by our Italian tour guide who accompanies us throughout our tour. We then begin our journey through the famous rolling hills of Tuscany to our home for the next four nights, the delightful Hotel Casafrassi. This Neoclassical villa sits nestled among a panorama of landscaped gardens, olive groves and vineyards and offers optional wine tasting and much more. All rooms overlook the Chianti hills. This evening, enjoy a Holiday Vacations Welcome Dinner at the hotel’s cozy restaurant and meet our fellow travelers over expertly prepared Italian cuisine and local wine.
Day 3 : Volterra & San Gimignano
Today we visit two of Italy’s best preserved medieval hill towns, both still surrounded by fortified walls and overlooking rolling farmland. Pre-dating the Roman Empire, Volterra was once an important Etruscan city. Learn about its ancient history, see the more recent 12th-century Romanesque cathedral and perhaps shop for something made from locally mined alabaster. In the afternoon we visit San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers once owned by feuding noble families. During your free time here, roam the quaint cobblestone streets and squares that make this ancient hill town so mesmerizing. Discover the tastes of the region at an included dinner tonight.
Day 4 : Florence
Today we tour Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia and view incredible works including Michelangelo’s David. Wonder at the Duomo, the largest brick dome ever constructed and gaze upon Ghiberti’s bronze doors of the Baptistery, often called the Gates of Paradise. Take time this afternoon to visit the Ponte Vecchio, a famous bridge housing local gold vendors, or enjoy a fresh gelato, traditional Italian style ice cream. This evening offers a special treat, the winery at Castello di Verrazzano. Learn the history of Giovanni da Verrazzano, celebrated navigator and the first European to discover the Bay of New York. We delight in an included dinner featuring a fantastic selection of wines, meats and cheeses for our sampling pleasures.
Day 5 : Cortona
After a splendid breakfast, we make our way to the hilltop town of Cortona. Our Italian guide will provide a fascinating tour of the medieval architecture of the Piazza Garibaldi, the sights and shops of the Via Nazionale and the Palazzo Casali, displaying relics from the Etruscan, Roman and Egyptian civilizations. The afternoon is yours for individual pursuits to enjoy the Renaissance churches, olive groves and terraces that surround us in this picture-postcard town. Tonight we take in an included dinner and bid farewell to our time in Tuscany.
Day 6 : Pisa & Sestri Levante
Enjoy breakfast on the terrace and say arrivederci to Tuscany as we travel north to Pisa, known for its opulent churches and palaces. Our guide introduces us to the area of the city famously called “The Field of Miracles” where we see the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. We continue to the comfortable coastal town Sestri Levante along the Italian Riviera. The original part of this lovely city is on a peninsula and our hotel is located in a park-like setting overlooking the sea.
Day 7 : Cinque Terre
Today we visit the Cinque Terre, an Italian National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site. We have the day to visit this rocky coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. The pastel colors of the buildings in the tiny fishing villages make for stunning pictures. Enjoy superb views of the distinctive terraced vineyards that produce the local dry white wines. We start in the morning at the little village of Riomaggiore, sightsee to Vernazza and end our visit in Monterosso al Mare, the village with the best beach and beautiful lemon trees. We return to Sestri Levante for an evening at leisure.
Day 8 : Italian Riviera
A short boat ride takes us to Portofino, known as the Pearl of the Italian Riviera. This enchanting fishing village with its picturesque harbor is frequented by some of Europe’s wealthiest and most discerning pleasure seekers. This afternoon we travel to Milan for our overnight accommodations. Tonight, we gather together for a Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner and toast our new friendships.
Day 9 : Arrivederci, Italia
After an included breakfast, we make our way home with fond memories of our Italian adventure.
September 30th, 2019 - October 8th, 2019
Category - Occupancy
Price (Per Person)
Final Payment Date: 06/27/2019
WISN TV Pickup Locations:
Chicago, IL - O'Hare International Airport
Madison, WI - Dane County Regional Airport
Milwaukee, WI - General Mitchell International Airport
Michael Feker is a renaissance man who spreads his passion and joy for cooking and eating healthy meals through his varied role as: chef; restaurateur; corporate culinary consultant; caterer; culinary instructor, and kitchen home design consultant for JFK Design Build. As founder of the Culinary and Hospitality Education Foundation (CHEF) he creates skilled, inspired “flavor ambassadors” who are ready to enter the culinary and hospitality industry in Southeast Wisconsin by empowering veterans, high school and college students, and low income adults.
In addition to his restaurants, Michael has worked as a culinary consultant to Wisconsin’s largest healthcare provider, Aurora Health Care. He assisted them in revamping and reviving their culinary techniques and practices to bring fresh and pure foods to both patients and staff. His cooking videos are also shown on their in-house television network for patients to view.
In 1997, he opened the IL MITO brand in Milwaukee, his wife Maricela’s hometown, and then opened a second IL MITO in 2006, in Wauwatosa, making his “Fekeroodie” fans very happy. The Wauwatosa location also houses CMF’s School of Culinary Magic/Chef’s Counter, where Feker hosts private cooking lessons, gourmet wine and beer tastings, private cooking demonstrations and corporate events.
In 2015, Michael opened Zesti in Hartland, Wisconsin. Based on his worldly travels and experiences, Zesti serves up global cuisine from South African to Chinese dishes.
Michael lives in Milwaukee with his wife and three children. The culinary duo and restaurant entrepreneurs, were featured in Milwaukee’s M magazine as community and Milwaukee-minded activists who have been recognized for using their vocational skills, creativity, and influence to move the city forward and ensuring the city continues to thrive.
Chef Feker is indebted to cooking and knows he is at his best when he is teaching. It has shown him his way in life and how to love and give back.
Join him and WISN-TV viewers on this fabulous trip of a lifetime.