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  • Writer's picturePatrick Millard

A Week in Italy: From The Charm of Florence to the Tranquility of Umbria

Updated: Jan 10

Hotels: The Place Firenze, Lupaia between Montepulciano & Pienza, Vocabolo Moscatelli in Umbria & Hotel de Ricci in Rome


Embarking on a seven-day journey through Italy in early November, I discovered a world of enchanting landscapes, boutique accommodations, and immersive experiences that left an indelible mark on my travel memories. From the bustling streets of Florence to the serene countryside of Tuscany and Umbria, each destination offered a unique blend of luxury and authenticity. Join me as I recount the highlights of this unforgettable trip, filled with exclusive tours, culinary delights, and hidden gems.

The Place Firenze: A Boutique Haven in Florence

My Italian adventure began in Florence, where I found refuge in the heart of the city at The Place Firenze. This beautiful boutique hotel, perched in the center of Florence overlooking Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, felt more like a private home than a traditional hotel. Boasting 5-star luxury, it catered to those seeking intimacy, cutting-edge technology, and exquisitely appointed guest rooms and bathrooms. The hotel set the tone for a week of opulence and sophistication.

Exclusive Access to the Florence Duomo

A highlight of my time in Florence was an exclusive access tour of the iconic Florence Duomo. Walking along the top of the church's terrace, I was treated to a unique perspective of the Duomo and breathtaking views of the entire city. This immersive experience allowed for a deeper connection with Florence's rich history and architectural wonders, making it a must for any visitor.

Ginori: Behind the Scenes of Artful Ceramics

The journey continued with a visit to the world-renowned ceramic company, Ginori. A behind-the-scenes tour unveiled the intricate craftsmanship behind their exquisite dishware and vases. Immersing myself in the artistry and history of Italian ceramics added a cultural layer to my trip, showcasing the country's commitment to preserving traditional craftsmanship.

Lupaia: Tuscan Tranquility and Culinary Delights

Venturing into the Tuscan countryside, I discovered Lupaia, a boutique property nestled between Montepulciano and Pienza. With sunset views overlooking Montepulciano, this retreat provided a picturesque setting for a hands-on pasta-making experience. The culinary adventure continued with an interactive truffle hunting experience alongside a local truffle hunter and his loyal companion, Spugna, creating memories that would linger long after the trip.

Vocabolo Moscatelli in Umbria: A Boutique Retreat

Crossing into Umbria, I found solace at Vocabolo Moscatelli, a boutique resort managed by a delightful young couple with a background in luxury hospitality. Surrounded by the region's renowned vineyards and less touristy towns, this intimate retreat provided the perfect base to explore the authenticity of Umbria. With only 12 rooms, the resort offered exclusivity and a personalized touch.

Civita di Bagnoregio: The Dying Town

Breaking up the journey to Rome, we made a stop at Civita di Bagnoregio, a town built on a cliff gradually eroding over time. With just 16 residents and no cars allowed, the town is only reachable by a pedestrian bridge, making it a unique and Instagram-worthy destination. Witnessing the ongoing erosion added a poignant touch to this hidden gem known as "The Dying Town."

Hotel De' Ricci: Exclusive Elegance in Rome

Finally, my Italian sojourn concluded in Rome at Hotel De' Ricci, a beautiful 4-star property near Campo di Fiore. Ideal for multi-generational trips, the hotel's exclusivity with only 8 rooms provided a sense of intimacy in the heart of the eternal city.


My seven-day trip through Italy was a kaleidoscope of experiences, from the grandeur of Florence to the tranquility of Umbria. Each boutique accommodation, immersive tour, and culinary adventure added layers to the journey, creating a tapestry of memories that celebrated Italy's rich cultural heritage. Whether exploring historic landmarks, crafting pasta in the Tuscan countryside, or discovering hidden towns, every moment was a testament to the beauty and diversity that Italy has to offer to those willing to explore beyond the well-trodden paths.

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