Contrary to the late singer-songwriter John Denver’s monumental 1970 folk/country/pop ballad Take Me Home, Country Roads, about the little winding roads he travelled, I asked some other off-the-beaten-path byways to not take me home, but, rather, take me ALONG.
Let me explain.
For eight days I traveled in style as a guest travel writer of Insight Vacations, the global, upscale travel company, to sample a portion of one of its premium-escorted “Country Roads” itineraries around the Bel Paese.
As part of a group of international media — now forever known as the “Band of Merry Media” — I experienced firsthand Insight’s off-the-beaten path tour of Central Italy’s Umbria and Tuscany regions, bookended by Rome and Venice.
We started out in the Eternal City and the Vatican and ended up in La Serenissima. Along the way, our business-class legroom motor coach stopped in Orvieto, Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Cortona, Fonterutoli — in the heart Chianti wine country — San Gimignano, and the Ferrari Museum in Maranello.
And, every kilometer we traveled we were under the watchful eye of a dedicated, professional tour director/concierge/storyteller and a host of expert local art-history guides.
We had VIP FastTrack to all of the sights; we stayed at some of Insight’s signature and gold-level hotels, including a 17th century Tuscan villa-estate; we savored extraordinary regional cuisine prepared by master chefs and paired with exquisite wines; and, we toasted the end of our journey with a Bellini, the stylish peachy Prosecco aperitivo created at American author/journalist Ernest Hemingway’s favorite Venetian watering hole, Harry’s Bar.
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Well, it was.
Like a multi-course Italian dinner feast, I filed a series of dispatches, dishing out my observations of traveling some of those Country Roads of Central Italy aboard an Insight Vacations executive motor coach.
If you’d like to retrace my steps along the cobble with Insight, just click on the story links below.
©The Palladian Traveler