Golf Italy

The Best of Italy Escorted 2020 

Rome, Florence and Lake Como

12 Nights | 5 rounds | August 30 – September 11

Italy stands alone in our portfolio for the greatest range of course styles and the most fascinating collection of cultural marvels. This 12 night / 5 round fully Escorted Tour from August 30 – September 11, 2020 includes mountain, parkland and links style layouts found in three of Italy’s most famous destinations: Lake Como, Florence and Rome 

Our four nights in Lake Como include speechless panoramas plus a guided tour of Bellagio along with one of the lake’s most beautiful villas, Villa Balbianello. On our way to Florence we’ll tour Milan, home to Leonardo’s Last Supper which he completed after five years in 1497. Four nights in the capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance will never be forgotten for treasures like the Cathedral and Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’. The schedule for the surrounding area is impressive too with visits to Siena, Pisa and San Gimignano. Finally, from the heart of Rome for four nights at the 5-star Hotel Bernini Bristol, you’ll find one of the most profound records of human history in all its artistic and architectural glory at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. We will also take a day to tour the Amalfi Coast including Positano and Amalfi along with the remarkably well preserved ruins of Pompeii. 

Our golf includes more iconic names, Arnold Palmer’s Le Pavoniere Golf Club found on the former estate of Leopoldo de Medici and Marco Simone in Rome seat of the Ryder Cup in 2022. Ugolino Golf Club in Florence is perhaps our favorite. Like everything in Italy, it’s historic as the country’s first course and for hosting the 40th Italian Open won by Bernard Langer in a play-off with Severiano Ballesteros and Sandy Lyle. Mostly however it is beautiful for the way it follows the natural contours of the Chianti slopes through indigenous olive trees, maritime pines and broom with castles, farmhouses and vineyards visible in all directions.

This fully Escorted PerryGolf tour is inclusive of meals as listed, five rounds of golf with cart, all privately guided sightseeing, a cooking class, wine tasting, airport transfers and train fares. See Tour Inclusions for details.

Detailed Itinerary

SUNDAY, AUGUST 30: COMO, ITALY

Arrive Milan where you will be met at the airport by Perry Golf staff who will assist you to your private transfer awaiting to take you to Como.

Check-in to Hotel Villa Flori, a 4-star superior property on the outskirts of Como, which occupies a historic 19th century villa overlooking the lake. The rest of the day is free to relax.

Enjoy a guided tour of Como this afternoon before dinner. Passing the Cathedral, The Porta Torre Tower marking the entrance to the City and Cavour Square with its lively pavement cafes looking out to the lake. 

Your Welcome Dinner will be held in a local restaurant.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Villa Flori – Deluxe Room

MONDAY, AUGUST 31: COMO, ITALY

GOLF: Today play Villa d’Este Golf Club. The course winds its way through chestnut groves, birch and pine woods. It is considered one of the most varied and challenging courses in the country. A superb clubhouse with views over the course and the lake of Montorfano adds the final touch to this tranquil and elegant site.

SIGHTSEEING: Non-Golfers will be invited to join an excursion to Lake Maggiore where you will visit Stresa and by private motorboat the three islands as well. Lunch on your own before returning to the hotel early in the afternoon.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Villa Flori – Deluxe Room

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: COMO, ITALY

All guests enjoy a full day exploring the lake with a local guide beginning with a private motorboat whose first stop is Bellagio, the pearl of the lake. The village is characterised by century-old buildings, stone lanes and picturesque cobbled stairways filled with shops showcasing the finest Italian wares. 

Lunch will be served on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni before continuing to one of the most beautiful villas on the lake – Villa Balbianello, famous for its terraced gardens.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Villa Flori – Deluxe Room

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2: COMO, ITALY

GOLF: Today play Monticello. This is one of the classic courses in Italy, where many Italian Open Championships have been held. The Rosso (Red) Course is all out in front of you with the Alps as a backdrop and fairways lined by clusters of trees. Its challenges are clearly in view and judiciously spread in order to avoid overwhelming the average player. No. 7 is a memorable par 3 measuring almost 200 yards and protected on all sides by water.

SIGHTSEEING: Non-Golfers will visit Lugano, the ‘Monte Carlo of Switzerland’. The 45 minute trip itself is a treat, much of it traveling along the shore of picturesque Lake Lugano. Your guide will show you this vivacious, lakeside city with its chic boutiques, bars and pavement cafes tucked in the spaghetti maze of cobblestone streets.

COOKING CLASS: Tonight everyone will experience a cooking class to learn how to prepare several signature Italian recipes like the sauces (pesto, bolognese, amatriciana) or how to make gnocchi and tagliatelle or the pizza to end with a marvellous tiramisu. Just to be sure you have made the correct job, you will taste your “work” for dinner accompanied by some good wine.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Villa Flori – Deluxe Room

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3: FLORENCE, ITALY

Check out and transfer to Milan, famous for fashion and fascinating architecture such as Castello Sforzesco, Teatro la Scala and the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) which took nearly six centuries to build and is the 5th largest church in the world.

You will be welcomed by a local guide who will begin your tour with the extraordinary fresco by Leonardo da Vinci, the Last Supper, which he worked on from 1494 to 1497. Continue to the Duomo di Milano, gothic in style, with a majestic façade it is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world.

Lunch today is on your own and the day will include time for shopping at one of the most famous fashion streets in Europe, the Via Monte Napoleone, home to designer boutiques and Italian shoemakers.

Late afternoon we transfer to the railway station to take the high speed train to Florence. Upon arrival in Florence transfer to the 5-star Relais Santa Croce, located in the historic centre of Florence in an 18th century palazzo.

After check in dinner is included in the hotel. 

OVERNIGHT: Relais Santa Croce – Deluxe Room

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4: FLORENCE, ITALY

GOLF: Today play at Firenze Ugolino Golf Club, the oldest course in Italy. The layout follows the natural contours of the Chianti slopes through indigenous olive trees, maritime pines and broom. Lift your eyes and see incomparable Tuscan beauty with castles, farmhouses and vineyards in all directions. The course isn’t long by modern standard but the greens are small and well protected by clever bunkering. 

SIGHTSEEING: Non-Golfers will enjoy a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery. Famous worldwide for its outstanding collections of ancient sculptures and paintings. Collections from the 14th-century and Renaissance period include some absolute masterpieces. Moreover, the Gallery boasts an invaluable collection of ancient statues and busts from the Medici family, which adorns the corridors and consists of ancient Roman copies of lost Greek sculptures.

The two groups will reconnect this afternoon to meet a local guide in the lobby for a walking tour of Florence through narrow streets which take you to the wonderful Florence Cathedral with its famous dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the Battistero di San Giovanni, the oldest building in Florence, made out of white and green marble and Giotto’s Bell Tower.

OVERNIGHT: Relais Santa Croce – Deluxe Room

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5: FLORENCE, ITALY

Today is full with much to enjoy. After breakfast, we leave for Siena and a guided tour of this town famous for architectural beauty beginning with its Piazza del Campo, one of the most marvellous medieval squares in Italy plus the Palio, the medieval horse race.

Next we will visit San Gimignano, a medieval village famous for its towers that form an unforgettable skyline and also for his architectural masterpiece in the town centre. A lunch will be served in a local trattoria before entering a short guided tour of the village.

We will leave San Gimignano at 4:00 PM to reach one of the best vineyards in the Chianti area. Here you will taste some of their wines accompanied by snacks before we return to the hotel early in the evening.

OVERNIGHT: Relais Santa Croce – Deluxe Room

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6: FLORENCE, ITALY

This morning is at your leisure for another opportunity to visit fascinating Florence. At midday, our coach will leave the hotel with the Golfers for the 40 minute drive to Le Pavoniere. Sightseers will enjoy a relaxing one hour train ride to Pisa accompanied by a guide.

GOLF: Today play Le Pavoniere Golf Club. This Arnold Palmer layout is found on the former estate of Leopoldo de Medici. The course is nicely secluded with a links feel and a collection of Tuscan-style brick walls and bridges used around the water hazards plus of course the ever-present cypresses of Tuscany.

SIGHTSEEING: Non-Golfers will visit Pisa, the town famous for The Leaning Tower. The 184 foot white marble bell tower for the Romanesque cathedral beside it in the Piazza dei Miracoli was already tilting when it was completed in 1372! After a guided tour of the town, we will join the Golfers for the return to Florence.

Dinner this evening is on your own.

OVERNIGHT: Relais Santa Croce – Deluxe Room

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7: ROME, ITALY

Today you will travel to Rome by train (90-minute journey). Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a private coach and guide whose orientation tour of the town will include the Colosseum and the Imperial Forums which include a series of monumental piazzas built between 46 B.C. (the Forum of Caesar) and 113 A.D. They were the hub of Ancient Rome’s political activities, and were eventually surrounded by majestic structures built over the course of centuries.

Check-in at the Sini Bernini Bristol, located near Via Veneto in the heart of Rome and within walking distance of the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Spanish Steps. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore at your own pace.

Dinner this evening is included in a local restaurant in the Trastevere area. A bohemian part of the Eternal city, known for its traditional and innovative trattorias.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Bernini Bristol – Double Deluxe

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8: ROME, ITALY

GOLF: Today play Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, future host of the 2022 Ryder Cup. The course is found 10 miles from the centre of Rome and is built around a castle of the 11th century. Saint Peter’s dome may be seen from several holes.

SIGHTSEEING: Non-Golfers will enjoy a visit to the Villa d’Este and Tivoli Gardens. A former Franciscan monastery expropriated by the governor of Tivoli, the Villa d’Este was built during the sixteenth century in Tivoli as a stately Renaissance-style mansion with enchanting gardens. Nowadays, it is a museum listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

All the rooms in Villa d’Este are beautifully decorated with frescoes painted on the walls and ceilings with fantastic views of the garden and countryside below. Designed to impress the Cardinal’s guests, the Villa d’Este’s gardens are composed almost exclusively of water features. Fountains of every description dazzle the onlooker, from the grand ‘Fountain of the Dragons’ and ‘Hundred Fountains’, to a miniature watery reproduction of Rome.

The centrepiece, the gigantic Water Organ Fountain, cascades down a huge drop into quiet, shady pools.

Dinner this evening is on your own.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Bernini Bristol – Double Deluxe

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9: ROME, ITALY

Today we visit amazing Pompeii which begins after breakfast with a 70 minute train ride to Naples. Our guide for the day will meet us at the train station where we’ll transfer to a private coach for the 30 minute ride to the excavations. It’s believed the town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today was founded in the 7th or 6th and became a Roman colony in 80 BC. By the time of its destruction, 160 years later, its population was approximately 11,000 people, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheatre, gymnasium and a port. The Vesuvius eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash more than 8o feet deep. The site was lost for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599. Due to the lack of air and moisture, the city and its artefacts are remarkably well preserved providing extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city. 

After lunch continue south to the Amalfi Coast stopping in Positano and Amalfi, both located on a beautiful stretch of coastline where vertiginous houses tumble down to the sea in a cascade of sun-bleached peach, pink and terracotta. No less photo-worthy are its steep streets and steps, flanked by wisteria-draped hotels, smart restaurants and fashionable retailers.

Return to Naples late afternoon to return to Rome by train.

Dinner this evening is on your own.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Bernini Bristol – Double Deluxe

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10: ROME, ITALY

This morning we visit the Vatican City, whose 109 acres makes it the smallest sovereign state in the world. It was created by a treaty with the Italian government in 1929 and is home to the world’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square (designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini – the namesake of our hotel), the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.

Much of our attention will be dedicated to the Sistine Chapel. The original structure was restored between 1477 and 1480 followed by work over the next 61 years to produce the masterpiece we see today. It is famous now as the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected, and for the frescos that decorate the interior. The most renowned are those found on the ceiling and above the altar by Michelangelo.

Lunch is on your own and the afternoon is at your leisure.

This evening our Farewell Dinner will be served in the hotel’s roof top restaurant where panoramic views of Rome are among the best in the city.

OVERNIGHT: Hotel Bernini Bristol – Double Deluxe

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11: ROME, ITALY

Check-out and private transfer to the airport.

Golf Schedule

Villa d’ Este

The course lies beyond the wonderful lake of Montorfano in a splendid setting in the sunny Brianza. The course is at an altitude of 1200 ft in what may be described as a Scottish landscape. The course was designed in 1926 by Peter Gannon, tweaked by Graham Cooke later on and the 18 holes wind their way between chestnut groves, birch and pine woods. It is considered one of the most varied and difficult par 69 courses anywhere.

Monticello – Red

Modified and improved by American architect Jim Fazio, this course has hosted the Italian Open tournament on several occasions. The natural setting is wonderful with wide and flat fairways surrounded by the mountains, two artificial lakes and 200,000 trees that complete this really unique golf course. The 16th is one of the more beautiful par 4s in the nation, a tricky dogleg left par-4 that is defended by water hazard on the left side and smart bunkering to protect a well-contoured green. 

Firenze Ugolino Golf Club

The course lies in the Chianti Hills to the south of Florence. It exploits the natural characteristics of the Tuscan landscape, the cypress trees and olive trees, the slopes that curve and follow the magnificent scenery and the small greens that are well protected. The course features tight, sloped fairways and small, undulating greens that can easily lead to three-putting if the approach is errant. Although not long it will provide a stiff test for all.

Le Pavoniere Golf Club

Located in the heart of Tuscany, the Arnold Palmer designed course features hazards that are cleverly brought into play. The fairways are slightly rolling, and the course is surrounded by holm-oak woods, cluster pines and cypresses. The land has been given some gentle relief but water and trees shape the majority of holes. The 6th hole is a spectacular par-4 featuring an island green that presents a treacherous approach shot. The 4th has an island green as well.

Marco Simone Golf Club

Established in 1989 by the fashion designer Laura Biagiotti, Marco Simone Golf Club was created to be suitable not only for relaxed play but also for international championships. In that regard, it was awarded the 2022 Ryder Cup matches. The fairways and greens fit seamlessly with the natural framework of the countryside. Hole 17 is a fearsome par-3, measuring 195 yards and a large depression means trouble for any wayward shots to the right. The dome of St. Peter’s is in view from here.

Accommodations

Hotel Villa Flori—Lake Como

Villa Flori Hotel occupies a beautiful panoramic position right on the shores of Lake Como, immersed in a beautiful age-old park where the Marquis Flori, ancient owner of the villa, grew lemons and oranges thanks to the mild climate. It was converted into a hotel in 1958 and the complete renovation in 1992 resulted in the creation of a place where the charm of the Venetian stucco work and the meticulously restored frescoes go hand in hand with a cutting edge technical efficiency. The hotel has 45 elegantly decorated bedrooms mostly with a terrace overlooking the lake of Como. The soft carpets, the silk fabrics, the precious hangings and the attention given to even the smallest detail create a warm and welcoming ambient. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, colour satellite TV, pay TV, minibar, direct telephone line, hairdryer and safe deposit box.

Relais Santa Croce—Florence

This elegant Florentine hotel is located in the central Via Ghibellina, between the Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore), and a few minutes from the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio bridge. At the beginning of the 1700s, Marquis Baldinucci, treasurer to the Pope, built a magnificent palace in Florence. The epitome of grandeur, it featured two imposing granite columns at the entrance, which he brought from Rome. Today, Ciofi-Jacometti Palace has returned to its age-old splendour. The recent restoration work was realised while fully respecting the original architectural elements of the building, recovering the precious fabric, the period furniture and the original frescoes dating back to the 18th Century. The result is a building with a unique atmosphere, where tradition and modernity live comfortably side by side. In this splendid setting, guests bask in the full attention of the hotel's professional staff, making a stay at Relais Santa Croce truly unforgettable. Luxury and refinement are the predominant features of the palace. Bedrooms feature adjustable air conditioning, internet, satellite TV, mini bar and safe deposit box, and are characterized by great attention to detail, period furniture, sumptuous fabrics and luxury finishings.

Hotel Bernini Bristol—Rome

One of the most elegant hotels in the heart of the Rome, the Bernini Bristol is at the beginning of the famous Via Veneto, within easy walking distance of the Spanish Steps and the most fashionable shopping areas. Rome's Fiumicino Airport is just 45 minutes by taxi. Since 1870, the Hotel Bernini Bristol has been the Roman residence of choice for royalty, artists and celebrities. Today, it continues to greet its guests with all of the gracious tradition of the past, enveloping them with magnificent standards of luxury and beauty. Precious 18th Century tapestries adorn the hall, and Murano chandeliers and antique furnishings are lavished throughout, creating a perfect old-world ambience for relaxation, entertainment or business.