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Welcome to VaFeltre & TourDCwithUS


Textiles & Costumes of Italy

Tour hosted by Luana Rubin

December 2024


Embark on a captivating journey through Italy, where each day unfolds like a chapter in a cultural tapestry. From the historic streets of Lucca to the enchanting canals of Venice, immerse yourself in the rich heritage of art, fashion, and tradition.


Guided tours of iconic cities, immersive museum experiences, and indulgent culinary delights await, offering a blend of history, craftsmanship, and scenic beauty. Traverse the Tuscan countryside, savoring local wines amidst breathtaking landscapes, and explore the vibrant world of fashion in Florence.


In Venice, discover the legacy of Mariano Fortuny and indulge in a whimsical adventure through the city's streets adorned in fabulous costumes. Extend your journey to Bolzano and Innsbruck, where festive markets and scenic vistas beckon, adding an extra layer of magic to your Italian odyssey.


As our adventure draws to a close, bid farewell to Italy with hearts full of inspiration and memories to cherish. Departure day arrives, but the spirit of Italy lingers, guiding us on new adventures and enriching our lives with its timeless allure.


Day 1 - Thursday, Dec 5th, 2024

Upon arrival to Florence airport, guests will be transferred privately to the hotel. Following this, they will have the opportunity to unwind. Dinner will be provided either within the hotel or at a nearby restaurant. We will assess flight information from guests to decide whether to host a welcome dinner on the same evening or opt for a welcome drink, taking into consideration the exhaustion of those who have traveled long distances.

Day 2 - Friday, Dec 6th, 2024

Our designated driver will greet us and transport us to Lucca, which is approximately 1.5 hours away, for a guided tour of the city. Additionally, if possible, we aim to visit Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago. 

Following that, our driver will accompany us to the Mansi National Art Museum. A highlight of the visit will be the workshop of Maria Niemack, showcasing the rustic textiles of the Lucchesia.

Following our exploration in Lucca, there will be an opportunity for drinks or coffee and leisurely shopping. We will then return to the hotel.
If the Welcome Dinner was not possible on the first day, we will schedule it here.

Day 3 - Saturday, Dec 7th, 2024

Our driver will chauffeur us into the picturesque Tuscan countryside to Siena (1 Hour 10 min Drive). There, we will embark on a 90-minute guided tour of the city, during which we will visit the renowned Duomo and delve into the history of the famous horserace in the central palazzo – the historic Palio.


Following this, we will explore an Altelier, renowned for weaving the fabrics utilized by the Contrade in the Palio di Siena, and discover its connection with Venice.


About Atelier: In 1906, the first Couture Textile Mill was established in Florence. Today, the tradition persists, crafting invaluable silk velvets and brocades in the identical manner, exclusively by hand, utilizing ancient Jacquard looms. The overarching goal remains unaltered: to perpetuate the artistry of weaving esteemed textiles.

In the afternoon, we will enjoy a wine tasting luncheon at a local vineyard, providing ample time for relaxation amidst the picturesque surroundings. Following this delightful experience, we will return to the hotel. Dinner will be at your leisure, allowing guests to explore dining options independently.

Day 4 - Sunday, Dec 8th, 2024

We will embark on a guided visit to the Prato Museo del Tessuto, a renowned textile museum nestled in the heart of Prato, Italy (35 min Drive). Here, we will immerse ourselves in the rich history and intricate artistry of textiles, guided by knowledgeable experts who will illuminate the significance of each exhibit. From ancient weaving techniques to modern innovations, the museum offers a comprehensive journey through the evolution of textile craftsmanship.

As we explore the museum's vast collection, we will encounter a diverse array of textiles, ranging from luxurious fabrics to everyday textiles, each bearing its own story and cultural significance. From delicate lacework to vibrant tapestries, every piece reflects the creativity and ingenuity of generations of artisans.

Our guided visit will delve deep into the museum's exhibits, providing insight into the cultural, social, and economic importance of textiles throughout history. We will learn about the traditional methods of textile production, including spinning, weaving, and dyeing, and gain an appreciation for the craftsmanship involved in creating these intricate works of art.

The afternoon presents an opportunity for leisure and socializing, allowing guests to unwind and enjoy the company of fellow travelers in a relaxed setting. Whether strolling through the charming streets of Florence or simply indulging in a leisurely café experience, this time is yours to savor at your own pace.

For those interested in further exploring Florence's rich cultural offerings, optional visits to iconic landmarks such as the Accademia Gallery to admire Michelangelo's masterpiece, the David, or the renowned Uffizi Gallery can be arranged. These cultural excursions provide a deeper insight into the artistic heritage of Florence, allowing guests to marvel at priceless works of art by renowned masters and immerse themselves in the city's vibrant cultural scene.

We will meet in the evening for an included dinner featuring the famous Bistecca Fiorentina, with other menu options available. 

Day 5 - Monday, Dec 9th, 2024

This morning we will embark on a guided visit to the Galleria del Costume, also known as the Museum of Costume and Fashion. Situated in the heart of this historic city, the museum offers a fascinating journey through the evolution of fashion and style, spanning centuries of sartorial history.

Led by our knowledgeable guide, we will delve into the museum's extensive collection, which showcases a diverse array of garments, accessories, and textiles from different eras and cultures. From exquisite Renaissance attire to avant-garde contemporary designs, each exhibit offers a glimpse into the changing trends and social dynamics that have shaped the world of fashion.

As we explore the museum's galleries, our guide will provide insightful commentary, illuminating the cultural significance and craftsmanship behind each piece. We will learn about the techniques used in garment construction, the symbolism of various accessories, and the ways in which fashion has reflected and influenced society throughout history.

Following the guided tour, guests will have the opportunity to further explore the museum at their own pace, allowing for a more intimate and in-depth appreciation of the exhibits. Whether admiring intricate lacework, studying the details of period costumes, or marveling at the innovation of contemporary designers, the Galleria del Costume promises a captivating and enriching experience for all lovers of fashion and art.

Guests will have free time in Florence, during which they can explore additional museums if desired. Those who have not yet seen Michelangelo's David or visited the Uffizi Gallery are encouraged to book tickets. Luana will accompany them to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Day 6 - Tuesday, Dec 10th, 2024

Today we depart for Venice – a very exciting day!

We will break up our 3 hour drive from Florence to Venice, with a stop for lunch in Padua in Prato della Valle, the second largest square in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, and then a quick visit to Giotto’s Chapel.  Get out your movie star sunglasses as we arrive in Venezia, as we board the glamorous Water Taxi private boat, and motor across the lagoon with the wind in our hair. As we approach this historic city, the views of the ancient skyline are a sight to behold. Our water taxis will drop us near to our hotel so we can quickly immerse ourselves in the ambiance of this cultural treasure of a city.

This afternoon we jump right in the deep end of the textile history pool, with a visit to the couture textile mill – Bevilacqua. These ancient looms have produced exquisite cut velvet designs, woven by hand by skilled artisans, for the Vatican, couture design houses like Valentino, and historically-correct reproductions for film.

Tonight we will dine at a beautiful restaurant chosen by our local guides, specializing in Venetian cuisine.

Day 7 - Wednesday, Dec 11th, 2024

We will embark on a captivating journey to the Center for the History of Textiles and Costume, immersing ourselves in the rich tapestry of Venice's textile heritage. Located within the heart of this historic city, the center offers a treasure trove of knowledge and insight into the evolution of textile and costume design throughout the ages.

Led by our expert guide, we will delve into the center's extensive collection, which spans centuries of Venetian craftsmanship and creativity. From sumptuous fabrics adorned with intricate embroidery to elaborate period costumes worn by Venetian nobility, each exhibit showcases the exquisite artistry and cultural significance of Venice's textile traditions.


Engage in a visit to an atelier within their studio space.

About Atelier:  The origins of a family deeply rooted in the textile industry can be traced back to 1499. An artwork from that era, depicting "The capture of St. Mark in the synagogue," highlights the involvement of noblemen, including one identified as a weaver. The current Tessitura, established in 1875, saw its inception through the efforts of an individual who repurposed looms and machinery once utilized by the Silk Guild of the Republic of Venice. Historical documentation suggests that weavers associated with this lineage may have been active as early as the 18th century.

Enjoy some free time to shop and wander around Venice.

Group Dinner

Day 8 - Thursday, Dec 12th, 2024

In Venice, we will start our day with a visit to the Fortuny Museum. Situated in a stunning palazzo, this museum showcases the works of the renowned artist Mariano Fortuny. Delve into the world of Fortuny's artistry as you explore his unique creations, including textiles, paintings, and decorative arts. Learn about his innovative techniques and distinctive style that have captivated audiences for generations. This immersive experience offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of one of Venice's most celebrated artists.

This afternoon, we will immerse ourselves in a captivating creative activity where we'll have the opportunity to explore and indulge our passion for costumes and textiles. It promises to be an unforgettable experience, filled with creativity, discovery, and perhaps a touch of Venetian charm.

Let's dive into a world of whimsy and excitement! Get ready to unleash your inner fantasy with costumes galore as we hit the streets of Venice in true style. We'll rent some fabulous costumes and strut our stuff through the city, capturing every magical moment with some epic photography along the way! It's time to let loose and make some unforgettable memories in the most enchanting setting imaginable! 

Group Dinner followed by Baroque concert, Palazzo della Musica, or Musici Veneziani in costume.

Day 9 - Friday, Dec 13th, 2024

If individuals choose the 9-day option, we'll arrange for a private water taxi service to transport them to the airport.

For those staying on, we will meet with a private bus to transport us to the city of Bolzano (3 Hour Drive). After checking in, there will be time to explore the Christmas markets, one of the most famous in Italy.


Secure your spot now! To ensure seamless arrangements and guarantee your hotel reservations, we kindly request registration by

June 1st.

Don't miss out on this incredible journey – reserve your place today!

Textiles & Costumes of Italy Tour

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9 Days 8 Nights

Dec 5th - 13th, 2024

🛧  Airfare Not Included "?"

Alpine Christmas Market Extension Tour

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4 Days 3 Nights

Dec 13th - 16th, 2024

Based on 12 Passenger Min.



  • 24/7 Tour Director

  • Private Motor Coach

  • Hotel Lodging

  • All Breakfasts

  • Vineyard Lunch

  • 4 Dinners

  • Local Tour Guides

  • All Entrances listed

  • Cotume rentals

  • Photography and Cafe experience

  • 2 Evening Performances

  • Water Taxin in Venice

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Luana Rubin the owner of, a Bernina ambassador, and a frequent guest on Quilting Arts TV on PBS in the USA. She is an artist-activist, color trend forecaster, textile designer and wildlife photographer. Her company has raised over US$2 million for charity and non-profits including Medicins Sans Frontieres. She has worked in the garment and textile industries  since 1980. She received a degree in fashion design from FIDM in Los Angeles, and lived in LA, Hong Kong and New York working as an import design specialist.

Over the last several years, she has worked as a curator and juror, organizing the "Love Your Mother" and "For the Love of Gaia" exhibits. Her art quilts have been displayed at the United Nations in Geneva, NASA in Houston, The Carter Center, Clinton Presidential Library, US Peace Institute and Library of Congress in Washington DC, in addition to many museums, galleries, and quilt festivals including the Houston Intl Quilt Festival.  In 2023 she was named in the Top 20 of the quilt industry by Quilting Daily, and has recently been accepted as a SAQA Juried Art Member.

Her Flickr photo pages have over 15,000 photos from quilt shows and travels around the world, with 20 million views.  She has traveled to 50 countries, and given trend lectures in Asia, Australia & New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, France, Russia, and the UK. She has hosted retreats and tours in the US, Japan, Bali, Ireland, Cuba, Churchill (Polar Bears), Tanzania, Ireland, China & Italy. You can see her travel and art photos here:


Alpine Christmas Market Extension:

For those continuing the adventure, we'll rendezvous with a private bus to whisk us away to the picturesque city of Bolzano. After settling in, it's time to dive into the holiday cheer at the famous Christmas markets, where we can browse, shop, and indulge in the magical atmosphere.

About Bolzano:

Bolzano, also known as Bozen in German, is a picturesque city nestled in the heart of the Italian Alps, serving as the capital of the South Tyrol region in northern Italy. With a rich blend of Italian and Austrian influences, Bolzano boasts a unique cultural ambiance. Its historic center features medieval architecture, including the striking Gothic-style Bolzano Cathedral and the charming Walther Square. Renowned for its vibrant markets, such as the bustling fruit market in Piazza delle Erbe, Bolzano offers a delightful culinary experience with a focus on Alpine and Mediterranean flavors.

Day 10 - Saturday, Dec 14th, 2024

Our Driver will take us through the Brenner Pass to Innsbruck.  (1 Hour 45 min Drive)


Innsbruck, Austria:


Where imperial grandeur meets Alpine wonder. This charming city, nestled in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps, captivates visitors with its stunning mountain vistas, colorful architecture, and rich history. Whether you're exploring the historic Old Town, hitting the slopes in winter, or hiking in the summer, Innsbruck offers an unforgettable blend of culture and adventure.

In the afternoon, we're making a pit stop in Merano! (2 Hour Drive) Get ready to soak up the festive vibes at the Christmas markets, where we'll have plenty of time to browse, shop, and sample some seasonal treats. It's the perfect way to add a little extra fun to our adventure! 

About Merano, Italy

Welcome to Merano, where the dolce vita meets Alpine charm in a delightful fusion that will leave you breathless and buzzing with excitement! Picture-perfect Merano is nestled in the heart of the South Tyrol region of Italy, cradled by the majestic peaks of the Italian Alps.


Step into this charming town, and you'll be greeted by a symphony of sights, sounds, and flavors that will tantalize your senses. Cobblestone streets wind their way through the historic center, lined with colorful buildings adorned with cascading flower boxes, giving the town an enchanting fairy-tale vibe.

Merano is a haven for foodies, with quaint cafes and bustling trattorias serving up mouthwatering dishes bursting with Mediterranean and Tyrolean flavors. Indulge in a leisurely Italian espresso at a sidewalk cafe or savor a hearty bowl of homemade pasta paired with a glass of local wine.

But Merano isn't just about culinary delights; it's also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails that crisscross the surrounding mountains, offering breathtaking panoramic views at every turn. Or, if you prefer a more leisurely pace, soak your cares away in the town's famous thermal baths, where relaxation reaches new heights.

Culture vultures will find plenty to feast their eyes on in Merano's vibrant arts scene. From art galleries showcasing local talent to music festivals that fill the air with melodic tunes, there's always something to inspire and delight.

And let's not forget about the shopping! Merano's charming boutiques and markets offer a treasure trove of unique finds, from handcrafted souvenirs to stylish designer goods.

So, whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a taste of la dolce vita, Merano invites you to come and experience its magic for yourself. 

Then we go to Caldaro, the Wine Road

Get ready for some vino fun in Caldaro (29 min Drive) along the scenic Appiano Wine Road! We'll indulge in delicious wine tastings, soak up the stunning views, and maybe even discover a new favorite bottle or two. 

Dinner at a mountain restaurant serving traditional Tyrolean fare with a view of the valley below. 



Day 11 - Sunday, Dec 15th, 2024

As the sun peeks over the rugged peaks of the Dolomites, casting a golden glow on the snow-capped summits, our journey from Merano to Venice begins. Our private transfer awaits, ready to whisk us away on a scenic drive through this awe-inspiring mountain range.

As we wind our way down the picturesque roads, we make a stop in Feltre (1 Hour 45 min Drive), a quaint town with a rich history intertwined with the legacy of Dante's Nonna. Here, amidst the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture, we have the opportunity to visit the historic theater, a gem designed by the same mastermind behind the original La Fenice in Venice, before it tragically succumbed to flames. Let's immerse ourselves in the enchanting atmosphere and imagine the echoes of performances past resonating within these hallowed walls.


Continuing on our journey, we find ourselves in Valdobbiadine (30 min Drive), affectionately known as the land of Prosecco. Nestled amidst rolling hills adorned with vineyards, this charming town beckons us to indulge in a leisurely lunch paired with exquisite Prosecco wine tasting. With each sip, we toast to the memories we've made and the adventures yet to come, savoring the effervescent joy of this sparkling nectar.

As the day draws to a close, our driver guides us towards our Venice Airport Hotel, where we'll bid farewell to the breathtaking landscapes of the Dolomites and prepare for the final leg of our journey. But before we part ways, there's one last celebration in store – our final dinner together. Amidst laughter and camaraderie, we relive the highlights of our travels, our hearts brimming with inspiration from the diverse experiences we've shared.

As we retire for the night, our minds dance with the memories of our Italian escapade, each moment a testament to the beauty of discovery and the magic of travel. Tomorrow, as we journey homeward, we carry with us not only souvenirs and photographs but a treasure trove of cherished memories that will forever illuminate the tapestry of our lives. Grazie, Italia, for an unforgettable adventure.

Day 12 - Monday, Dec 16th, 2024

Departure – Activities for this day will depend on flight info as it becomes available.


How Physical is this Tour?

For our esteemed Guests joining us on our Italian tour, it's essential to be prepared for the physical demands of our itinerary. Throughout our journey, we'll be walking between 1-2 miles each day, exploring the rich cultural tapestry of Italy's vibrant cities and historical sites. During our site visits, expect extended periods of standing, as seating may be limited or unavailable. While our Tour Director will be there to assist as much as possible, it's important to acknowledge that there will be a significant amount of walking and standing involved.

The terrain we'll encounter varies, from uneven surfaces to limited handrails, unavoidable stairs, and surfaces such as marble and terracotta flooring, cobblestones, and loose gravel. Some areas may have steep inclines or dirt paths, requiring extra care while navigating. Additionally, be mindful that elevator use may be restricted or limited in some historic sites, necessitating the use of stairs.

As we explore bustling pedestrian centers and delve into the treasures of museums, anticipate crowded conditions, particularly during peak times. However, our Tour Director will navigate these challenges with expertise, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for all.

For our program-related travel and transfers, we'll primarily utilize private transportation, providing opportunities to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of Italy between destinations.

While the itinerary promises enriching cultural experiences and unforgettable moments, it's essential to be mindful of the physical demands and come prepared with comfortable footwear and any necessary mobility aids. Rest assured, our Tour Director will be there every step of the way to assist and support you throughout our Italian adventure.


Airfare is not included within the tour package, recognizing the diverse origins of our participants. However, we are readily available to assist with your flight arrangements should you require support. Please feel free to contact our dedicated Tour Specialist, Lorna Holland, via email at for further assistance in booking your flights.

Pre-Tour and Post-Tour Hotel Accommodations:

Should you require assistance in arranging hotel accommodations for the days preceding or following the tour, we are here to assist you. Kindly inform us upon registering for the tour, and we will gladly facilitate your hotel booking. You may reach out to us via email or phone, and our team will ensure that you secure the ideal lodging for your needs.




Travel insurance provides invaluable peace of mind, safeguarding against unforeseen circumstances like trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage. It offers financial protection and assistance during emergencies, ensuring a worry-free journey and mitigating potential financial risks. Whether facing flight disruptions, unexpected illnesses, or travel mishaps, having travel insurance provides essential support and assistance, allowing travelers to focus on enjoying their journey with confidence.


We do not sell Travel Insurance. If you choose Not to purchase Travel Insurance you will be bound to our Cancellation Policy as listed in our Terms and Conditions.

If you would like to view prices on Travel Insurance, please click here to view plans from one of our partners.



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  • Renewing Passports: If you answer 'Yes' to all 5 eligibility questions in the "Renew a Passport by Mail" section, mail your renewal form directly to the State Department. If you don't meet all the renewal requirements, you'll need to go to a Post Office in person and do a new, first-time passport application.

  • First-Time Passports (and Passport Photos): Schedule your in-person appointment online.



At our core, we stand apart from the crowd of big tour companies. To many, you may be just a statistic, but to us, you are akin to a cherished family member exploring our corner of the world. Our guiding principle is simple: "No Stress." We transform your tour into a delightful, interactive, and educational experience for both kids and groups alike. With us, it's not just a tour; it's an enjoyable journey. As Licensed Guides, we curate your itinerary, drawing upon our wealth of experience to ensure your stay is truly one-of-a-kind. Choose us for a seamless, stress-free adventure that leaves you with lasting memories. 


 We're not your average tour company; we're a family. Our small, close-knit team prioritizes quality over quantity, ensuring your journey is exceptional. With 20+ years of experience and top-notch guides, we make dreams come true. Our tour consultant is also your guide, creating a stress-free, customized itinerary. 






Please rest asured that we are here to make your tour a dream come true. Please email or call us any time!


Lorna Holland

+1 571 239 3889

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