Le Marche Italy's Secret Region with Macerata Opera Festival

Land Only July 2019

"...a wonderfully inviting and engaging person who has made my experiences amazing. Laura certainly knows her stuff but more importantly she knows how to make incredible experiences" Ian, Canada

DAY 1: Thursday 25thJuly 2019 

Depart for Bologna, Italy and transfer to your hotel

Bologna is nicknamed La Grassa (the fat one) for its sensational food including the origins of Bolognese meat sauce; La Dotta (the learned one) as it is home to the world’s oldest university and La Rossa (the red one) for its bright red terracotta medieval centre and left-wing politics. 

Welcome Dinner this evening at 8pm in the heart of this elegant city.

Included Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: Friday 26thJuly 2019

In the morning leave Bologna for Ravenna, a UNESCO world heritage site, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and home to the world’s best collection of early Christian mosaics. Enjoy a guided visit to the most striking examples including the sensational Basilica of San Vitale followed by some free time to take in the pretty town centre and have a slow lunch Italian style.

In the afternoon depart for the Grotte di Frasassi one of the most important cave complexes in Italy and indeed Europe, a place the locals rave about, for an atmospheric guided tour.

Afterwards we travel to the Conero National Park where the forest meets the sea along stunning clifftop views and check into our overnight hotel before dinner and a relaxing stroll through village craft markets.

Included Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 3: Saturday 27thJuly 2019

Depart the Conero area for a short drive to Loreto one of the most important Christian pilgrimage sites in Italy since the 13thCentury. Visit the Basilica and the Holy House, by local lore the house in which Mary and Jesus lived in Nazareth later flown intact to this site from the Holy Land by four angels to protect it after the end of the Crusades!

Then to Macerata for lunch, our home for the next two days, a town voted this year one of the top 20 places to live in Italy by the Italians themselves. Check in to our hotel and enjoy some free time to rest or explore a local museum.

In the early evening we take a short journey to a nearby winery to enjoy views of the countryside while drinking local wines and eating local specialities.

This evening is the main event in the truly unique open air Sferisterio Arena – the largest open-air theatre stage in Italy after Verona - to see Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi as part of the Macerata Opera Festival. The performance begins at 9pm and runs until late.

Included Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 4: Sunday 28thJuly 2019

After a late night we enjoy a slower morning start before meeting to take an Italian cookery class in a local delicatessen. Ever wondered how easy it is to make pasta, well now is your chance to find out. Eat the food you prepared for lunch in a local house and then enjoy some free time to explore the town by yourself, rest or visit more of the local museums and sights.

In the early evening we regroup before dinner for a short walking tour of the city centre and hear about the fascinating history of this town which has one of the oldest universities in Italy and was once part of the Papal States.

Tonight, revisit the Macerata Opera Festival again should you wish to see Carmen by Georges Bizet (at an optional extra cost) or enjoy the festival atmosphere around town at your leisure.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 5: Monday 29thJuly 2019

In the morning we depart Macerata for Assisi a strikingly preserved hill town and birthplace of St Francis. Visit the two layered Basilica with its outstanding early mural frescoes by Giotto before enjoying some free time in the shops and lunch.

In the afternoon we leave Assisi for Lake Trasimeno, the fourth largest lake in Italy and perhaps its most undiscovered. Take a swim in the shallow water – the average depth is only 5 metres - or enjoy the stunning views and the changing light, perhaps visit the medieval fortress for some amazing photo opportunities or wander the narrow streets.

This evening we share a farewell dinner together overlooking the Lake.

Included Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 6: Tuesday 30thJuly 2019

Depart Lake Trasimeno in the morning and drive to Bologna to arrive by noon in time for lunch before heading to the airport in time for late afternoon flights. 


- A premium seat for Rigoletto at the Macerata Opera Festival

- The services of an Insider Guide from the local region throughout (not including tips which are at your discretion)

- All your Accommodation based on twin/double rooms

- Meals as listed above

- Coach Touring, Entrance Fees, Visits, Local Guides as listed above

- Transfers to and from the airport


- Flights to and from the tour start point in Bologna

- Single Room Supplement (now reduced to €100)

- Personal Holiday Insurances

- Meals other than those mentioned above

- Drinks, Snacks and Personal Incidentals

- Tips and Gratuities


For a booking form or if you have any questions please contact:


Want to Stay On Before or After the Tour?

If you are looking to stay In Italy before or after the tour and want a customised package of places to stay and things to do please let us know and we would be delighted to assist you.

Who Flies Where?


Air Lingus – Dublin to Bologna

Ryanair – Dublin to Bologna


Easyjet - London Gatwick to Bologna

Ryanair – London Stansted to Bologna

British Airways – London Heathrow to Bologna

If you need assistance with flights please get in touch and we would be happy to help

Laura Fusari, Tour Leader (Macerata Local)

Laura Fusari, Tour Leader (Macerata Local)

Hotel Guide



Our hotels are chosen based on local insider information for the best trade off between quality and location. We tend to favour location so you can enjoy the best of the area by walking out the door of the hotel and straight into the action.


I Portici Hotel****

Via Dell'Indipendenza 69, 40121 Bologna Italy

I Portici Hotel****

On an elegant arcaded street in the centre of Bologna within walking distance of the main sights.

Via Dell'Indipendenza 69, 40121 Bologna Italy



Hotel Sorriso***

A short walk to the beach and the old town surrounded by sea and gardens.

Via Flaminia 109, 60026 Numana



Hotel Lauri***

In the heart of Macerata in a quiet side street in a wonderful 17th Century building.

Via Tommaso Lauri 6, 62100, Macerata, Italy


Residence Al Lago***

Via Pescatori 10, 06061 Castiglione del Lago, Italy

Residence Al Lago***

Almost on the lake itself and a short walk to the atmospheric old town.

Via Pescatori 10, 06061 Castiglione del Lago, Italy



We chose the best three and four star hotels based on availability in the regions we travel in.

These hotels are our preferred partners however we reserve the right to substitute hotels for ones of equal standard.