2020 Covid-19 Road Trip Day 3Wyoming USA August 25 – September 5, 2020 Lincoln, Nebraska to Saratoga, Wyoming Day 3: Arrival at
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The unique Award Winning and peerless beauty of the 4-star Hotel in Florence’s historic center is partly due to the historical context furnished by its incredible location.
The hotel is housed between the Byzantine walls of the Torre della Pagliazza, built between 541 and 544 A.D., actually the most ancient in the center. The archaeological excavations have revealed many Roman finds, one of the most precious of them is also considered to be a true jewel: the Calidarium of the thermal baths, a hammam once used as a sauna.
After these discoveries, a museum was erected inside the Brunelleschi where the findings can be admired enriched by extensive photographic documentation of every single step of the works.
Visitors will be able to admire remarkable ceramic objects and historic fragments from Rome and various examples from Medieval times. The Renaissance Montelupo collection is truly distinctive, composed of Compendiario-like plates with rural-style decorations, animal figures, or polychromatic figures, finished with a group of harlequins from the first half of the 17th century. An unmissable opportunity to dive into culture during your 4-star stay.
ACTIVITIES in FLORENCE:
Stop At: Palazzo Strozzi Hear the story of one of the richest Florentine families until it was exiled from Florence in 1434
Stop At: Piazza Santa Trinita See one of the most lively squares of the city and admire the elegant Renaissance Palazzo Bartolini-Salimbeni
Stop At: Saint Remigio Church Have a look at the Vasari corridor that connects the Pitti Palace with Uffizi and find out why
Stop At: Palazzo Vecchio Enter the museum near Palazzo Vecchio and discover everything about life in Florence during the year 1490
Stop At: House of Dante Dante’s District Go through the life of one of the biggest Italian poets in history
Stop At: Palazzo Medici Riccardi Medici Palace The renaissance home where the powerful Medici family lived.
Stop At: Brunelleschi’s Dome No renaissance excursion is complete without Brunelleschi’s Dome: The masterpiece of Florence
Stop At: Museo dell’Opera del Duomo Get a full access ticket and visit the less touristy part of the Duomo – Museo Dell’Opera del Duomo. See some true masterpieces inside and get the perfect view from above to see the Dome. – The ticket will also give you access to the rest of the duomo for whenever it suits you!
Skip the line and make the most of your stay in Florence visiting the most famous museums of Florence: the Accademia museum and the Uffizi gallery. Your guide will let you skip the line at the entrance and introduce you to the famous works of art of the Renaissance: the famous David by Michelangelo at the Accademia and Botticelli’s Venus at the Uffizi Gallery.
Indulge at Florence’s famous gelato shops, chocolate artisans, and cannoli makers!
You’ll get to go behind the scenes of a gelato laboratory to learn how gelato is made and taste freshly churned gelato straight from the machines, including a Sicilian Gelato Shop to taste chocolate from Modica and some of the best cannoli..
You will visit artisan gelato shops in the city’s heart and meet iconic artisan gelato purveyors behind the scenes while observing gelato in the making. Learn the curious stories and legends behind gelato in world cuisine, the famous figures who introduced the beloved Italian dessert to the world, and meet the makers who churn the stuff out daily with only the most prime, raw ingredients. You’ll understand the difference between the tourist trap gelato shops and the truly homemade ones, which refuse to make nothing but the best natural gelato in town.
This experience also has the option to participate in a gelato-making lesson to make your own gelato.
Make your way to meet your English-speaking bike guide at his bike shop to get properly geared up and fitted for your bike. With your helmet and a few tips, you are ready for your fun and panoramic ride on the hills surrounding Florence.
On your ride, you will see beautiful overviews of the city of Florence below as well as the stunning countryside filled with olive orchards, vineyards and Renaissance villas. As you cruise back down through the Porta Romana your guide will take you to MaMa Florence Cooking School. After a few minutes to relax with a cool drink on our patio, your Tuscan chef will invite you back inside to start your hands-on cooking class.
First up is a wonderful Tuscan appetizer, then you will move on to learning how to make homemade pasta such as ravioli, tagliatelle, or gnocchi and a delicious sauce to accompany it. From there, on to the main dish – perhaps a delightful roast with sage or a hearty stew depending on the season. The last dish you will prepare is a mouth-watering Tuscan dessert such as cantucci cookies dipped in Vin Santo. Enjoy a full sit-down meal of all the delicious dishes you have created with your chef, paired with fantastic Italian fine wines.
The ancient and the modern are married at Rua Frati, creating a whole that leaves you breathless, and manages to make the spaces of the Hotel at the same time sumptuously elegant and intimately welcoming. They have taken the best from the historicity of the sixteenth-century building and combined it with the highest quality furnishings. You have the result in front of your eyes.
The fact that the 5-Star Rua Frati is part of the Italian historic houses should not be misleading. In fact, what they have done is to enhance the precious heritage that the Hotel itself is, bringing it to its current dimension, with modern and top quality furnishings, Frau leather armchairs, and bathrooms with large Jacuzzis.
The best of yesterday and today, amalgamated for you in a single splendid reality.
ACTIVITIES on your way to MODENA:
Check out at Brunelleschi, pick up your Rental Car, and head to Bologna.
Eat your way through Bologna’s culinary scene on a private food tour. Go on a delicious journey as you try 10 of the best food items beloved by the locals: from savory to sweet and local drinks; this tour will leave every foodie satisfied!
Enjoy tastings typical of the local cuisine and hand-picked by a local guide passionate about food like Tortellini fritti and Formaggio Bianco Bologna. This tour is more than just food; it’s a cultural experience as you’ll also find city highlights making this a well-rounded tour that will satisfy every foodie.
Check-in at Hotel Rua Frati 48
MORE ACTIVITIES in MODENA:
Learn the secrets of Modena cooking in this half-day cooking class. Meet your host, a local “cesarina,” at a nearby market to shop for ingredients. Head to her home and enjoy a glass of regional wine as you help prepare four traditional Italian recipes: a starter, pasta, main course with side, and dessert. At the end of the evening enjoy an espresso and don’t forget your take-home gifts—a Cesarine apron and tote bag.
The Maranello structure is the one that everyone knows about, it has been built in the 1970s and it is next to the factory and the Fiorano track, so it has all the historical value that you will ever find.
Enjoy vintage Ferraris plus a collection of Formula one cars. The Maranello museum offers the possibility to tour the factory ground by shuttle bus. (This does not include entrance to the production facility).
Enjoy an exclusive shuttle bus tour to the Fiorano track and along the Viale Enzo Ferrari boulevard in the factory complex.
A museum guide will also discuss the various characteristics of the Ferrari track where the Prancing Horse has carried out all its competition and road car tests since 1972.
Likewise the Ferrari Campus, the heart of the complex where all the Prancing Horse cars are built. The buildings and facilities designed by world-leading architects of the likes of Renzo Piano, Massimiliano Fuksas, Jean Nouvel, Marco Visconti, and Luigi Sturchio are also fascinating. Equally interesting is the historic part of the factory that has been meticulously preserved.
Lunch includes a Guided Tour in the Production of Balsamic Vinegar
Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena is housed in a structure designed by Jan Kaplicky and it resembles a Ferrari car bonnet.
Inside you have a collection of vintage Ferraris, and sometimes other cars designed by Enzo in collaboration with other car manufacturers such as Stanguellini or Maserati.
The yellow structure is also attached to Enzo Ferrari’s house where you can learn about the designer’s life from this interactive part of the museum. There is also a restaurant that offers fancy dishes from the traditional Modenese cuisine.
Put on a lab coat and get ready to visit a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese factory! Discover the production secrets, see where the cows are bred and milk, witness the whole cheesemaking process, then complete the visit with a delicious tasting!
• Visit the cowshed, the Parmigiano Reggiano’s cheese factory, and the seasoning room.
• Welcome breakfast and Tasting of 3 seasonings of Parmigiano Reggiano, traditional cold cuts, a glass of Lambrusco wine, and other local products.
• Claudio will uncover and explain every step of the Parmigiano Reggiano-making process.
Enjoy a private and authentic cooking class in a local Rubiera home with your host Francesca. This is a perfect experience for anyone looking to connect with the local culture over food.
You will learn to cook a variety of traditional pasta and then join her together for your meal.
Francesca grew up in one of the first Michelin star restaurants in Italy. Her family has owned and run the restaurant since 1936. Working in this family-owned, Michelin-star restaurant for many years taught Francesca everything there is to know about ingredients, cooking techniques, plating, serving, and hosting.
The sheer beauty of Ca’ Sagredo Hotel is weep-with-joy wondrous. As you pull up alongside the Grand Canal, you’ll need to pinch yourself and again when you step inside.
The 15th century Palace has been declared a National Monument and still preserves the untouched beauty of an ancient noble Residence. It oozes romance while the opulently frescoed ballroom and lounge echo epic events of the past. Just gliding up the imposing marble staircase; whilst resisting a tap on a cherub’s peachy cheek, feels positively regal. Ca’ Sagredo’s views of the canal life and the historical Rialto Market opposite are storybook scenes of old.
ACTIVITIES in VENICE:
Explore Venice with the benefit of a private walking tour that covers famous monuments and lesser-known sights. Hear live commentary from your guide as you see Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, and Saint Mark’s Square, and go inside Saint Mark´s Basilica. Learn about the architecture, art, and history of Venice on a walking tour that proceeds at a leisurely pace.
Discover three of the most beautiful islands on a private, half-day tour aboard a typical Venetian motorboat. See where the world’s finest blown glass is made in Murano, visit the home of artisan lace makers and famous biscuits in Burano, and set foot on Venice’s oldest settlements in serene Torcello. Enjoy a customizable itinerary and the personalized attention of a private boat captain.
Enjoy this private food tour without the hassle of researching or planning with multiple foods and alcoholic beverage tastings, from fresh mozzarella to prosecco. Learn little-known facts about Venice’s history, and visit local eateries you may otherwise have missed on your own.
Occupying an enviable spot in the heart of the city center, just a few steps from the financial district, the Teatro Alla Scala, the Fashion District and the Duomo Cathedral, the Grand Hotel et de Milan with its bar and restaurants, gourmand enclaves of the city, is the perfect place to stay, whether for pleasure or for business. Point of reference for guests looking for luxury, discretion, and privacy, set in the cozy and pleasantly vintage atmosphere of an aristocratic historical Milanese palace.
For three generations, the management of the hotel has been passed on to the Bertazzoni Family, who runs it with great passion. Among the many distinguished guests staying here in the past, the Maestro Giuseppe Verdi chose the “Milan” for many years: since then, the love for music and the Opera has permeated its rooms as a sublime leit motiv
ACTIVITIES in MILAN:
Tickets of this type of Italotreno coach include a catering service with a wide choice of mouthwatering Italian products available. Onboard you’ll find reclining leather seats with extra-wide armchairs, footrests, and independent tables for your convenience.
The train is equipped with additional facilities, such as a personal screen, individual power sockets, and free Wi-Fi access. Newspapers and magazines are also provided to read at your leisure. In addition to that, this type of ticket provides complimentary entry to the Lounge Italo Club.
Enjoy the Alfa Romeo car museum for a three-hour full immersion tour. Inside the cinema of the museum, you will see a short 5 D funny movie about some Alfa Romeo cars. If you like you can also have a coffee break and visit the stand of the latest new Alfa Romeo cars on sale.
Private tour of the worldwide famous Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Your guide will take you on a journey through the discovery of one of the most important artworks in history. Get to know Leonardo and his mind in a unique way with the insight that only a guide can provide.
ACTIVITIES in LAKE COMO:
Meet your boat captain in Como and board a Cranchi E26, an elegant 8-meter yacht, designed and built-in Como.
Blevio and Torno – Villa Troubetzkoy, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Villa, Villa Pliniana
Blevio and Torno are the first villages after Como town.
Nesso – The Waterfall and the village
Isola Comacina – The only island of the lake
Villa Balbianello – The villa of the movie Star Wars and Casino Royale
Bellagio – The most famous village of Lake Como, in the center of the lake
Tremezzo – Opposite Bellagio, it is famous for the beautiful gardens of Villa Carlotta
Varenna – A little village with pastel-colored houses
Moltrasio, Carate Urio, and Laglio – Villa Oleandra (George Clooney house), Villa Fontanelle
Cernobbio – Villa d’Este, Villa Erba
Como – Villa Olmo, Volta Monument, the Cathedral
Before getting offboard after your Lake Como full-day boat tour, you will be able to admire the beauty of Como center, with the exquisite Villa Olmo, the Volta monument, and in the background the cathedral.
The NH Torino Lingotto Congress hotel, formerly known as NH Lingotto, is part of the old Fiat factory in the Lingotto area of Turin. It’s connected to both a conference center and shopping and cinema complex and is just steps away from a range of Italian restaurants as well as the Lingotto metro station.
Defined as one of the masterpieces of the modern industrial architectures by Le Corbusier, the Lingotto building was born as the most iconic factory of the FIAT group (now known as FCA).
The rooftop of this impressive building still hosts the 1.5 km test track, built-in 1919 and used to test the FIAT automobiles once assembled.
The building was later re-developed as an entertainment and cultural location by Renzo Piano and features a shopping mall, the hotel, the Gianni and Marella Agnelli Art Gallery, and La Bolla, a glass ball-shaped meeting room with spectacular views over the Alps and the skyline of Turin.
ACTIVITIES in TORINO:
It’s time for an Aperitivo. This glamorous Italian tradition is loved all over the world, and this is your chance to learn how to prepare it for yourself.
Preparing the perfect aperitivo is an art; you will learn how to prepare a selection of five elegant nibbles to pair with a refreshing glass of fizz, ideal for sharing with friends in the early evening. Your aperitivo will be a bite-size representation of its local culture, using typical regional ingredients and local wines, such as a sparkling prosecco or a light red.
This car factory has now closed down but it was where they made Fiat cars from 1923-1982. The Lingotto building has since been renovated and turned into a commercial complex with hotels and a shopping mall, and you can visit it and see its most unique feature – a race track on the roof!
The Fiat Lingotto Factory was built in 1916 by architect Giacomo Mattè-Trucco, and was designed in a very special way that allowed every step of the car-making process to be carried out there. It was close to the train tracks so that raw materials could be delivered straight to the door and manufacturing work on the Fiats would start on the lower floors. The factory has a winding, internal ramp so that the cars could be driven up successive floors as they moved along the various stages of production. Finally, the finished cars would be taken to the top floor – the roof of the building where there is a test track for the cars to be road tested before they were taken to the showrooms to be sold.
Museo dell’Automobile of Turin boasts one of the rarest and most interesting collections of its kind, with over 200 original cars of 80 brands from all over the world. It is one of the most famous automotive museums in the world, but it is not only aimed at motoring enthusiasts. It has been designed to bring in a very wide, variegated audience.
The oldest items in the collection are linked to the history of its founder, Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia, who collected cars, chassis and engines with enthusiasm and determination. His work was patient and stubborn and – as he himself said – “it consists above all in discreetly disturbing everybody that comes within range to ask them: do you happen to know if there’s an old car anywhere?”.
Completely renovated, the Hotel Mont-Blanc welcomes you in an elegant and comfortable setting in the heart of Chamonix. Located in a quiet street in the city center, its complete renovation has been entrusted to the famous interior designer Sybille de Margerie. In this legendary hotel, the architectural style typical of the Chamonix valley is combined with a contemporary touch as well as a refined high mountain atmosphere.
Since 1849, the legendary hotel has seen a cosmopolitan clientele come from all over the world to discover the highest peak in Europe.
ACTIVITIES in CHAMONIX:
Enjoy a paragliding tandem flight over the Alps. You will fly up to 30 minutes just in front of the Mont-Blanc. This flight is the perfect way to get introduced to paragliding. While flying, you can admire the wonderful and unique views over the Alps and their summits.
Your pilot will give you the opportunity to try yourself to fly the parapente. Thanks to your professional instructor, you will be able to do this activity safely.
Chamonix is stunning with picturesque surroundings and majestic mountain peaks. It emerged as a winter-sports hub and hosted the first-ever Winter Olympics in 1924. Explore the beauty of nature as well as its turbulent history. Witness the historical land of Savoy, shared between France, Italy, and Switzerland.
Mont Blanc offers the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful places in Chamonix. It is not the Mont Blanc but the Aiguille du Midi, an iconic place that welcomes millions of tourists every year. In only 20 minutes and two cable car rides from the center of Chamonix, you’ll arrive at on top of some of the highest peaks in the Alps. There, enjoy jaw-dropping 360° views over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps, close enough you could almost touch them.
Emotion and memories are guaranteed! Visit the recent and exhilarating attraction “Step into the Void”! A 5 sided glass box suspended 1000 meters above the peaks. Your enthusiastic mountain guide will teach you everything you’ll want to know about the glaciers and the peaks.
Step into history and experience excellence. You are at Beau-Rivage Genève. Surrounded by the magical setting of the city, Lake Geneva, and the Alpine peaks, let yourself be swept up by the unparalleled elegance and unique art of living at our private hotel whose unmatched charm has been alive for over 150 years.
ACTIVITIES in GENEVA:
We will bring you to small artisan chocolate stores in the heart of Geneva as good or better as the biggest chocolate companies. Let yourself be surprised by local artisans with an incredible knowledge of chocolate, from traditional to the new wave. All aboard of an E-Tuk-Tuk where your guide will tell you the history and the most interesting facts about chocolate.
See Geneva through the eyes of a local on a private walking tour of the historic city. First-time visitors can use this tour as a way to get acquainted with the city and learn about the region’s history, while also getting to know a local. Plus, with a guide to lead the way you don’t have to worry about navigation or researching which sites to visit.
All journeys can be customized to your wishes.
Day 2 of my Road Trip to Wyoming! What a great experience. We traveled from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Lincoln, Nebraska, and found the most luxurious boutique hotel and had drinks at one of the most famous Olympic figure skaters of all time!!