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Cruise your Bentley through the Italian countryside

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Jerry Lai/AP/File

(Read caption) The hood ornament of a 2008 Bentley Azure is pictured at the Chicago Auto Show in this, Feb. 7, 2008 file photo taken in Chicago. Bentley is now offering luxury car tours in countries around the world.

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When you buy into a company like Bentley you're buying into a little more exclusivity than you get from many marques, and customers expect to be treated that little bit better than they might elsewhere.

Where one manufacturer might offer cheap branded merchandise alongside its vehicles, Bentley is going one better and offering customers and driving enthusiasts alike a series of 'Grand Touring with Bentley' holiday packages, traveling bespoke routes around the world on Bentley-themed luxury breaks. These routes take in some of the great drives in countries like the U.S, Great Britain, Italy and France, and others will be added in due course.

'Secret Britain' is the first of these tours, beginning with fine dining and hospitality in London before heading into the picturesque Cotswolds and on to Bentley's facility at Crewe, with a private lunch afterward at Bentley Mews. 'Guest of Chanel' takes on a French route, aiming showcase the best of French culture, fashion, cuisine and hospitality inspired by the famous French fashion house. Vineyard tours and a trip into Paris, including a look at Coco Chanel's private apartment, conclude the tour.

'Italian Legend' takes its inspiration from the Mille Miglia road race in Italy, and in particular, Stirling Moss's famous victory at the race in 1955. The Bentley-devised route carefully follows that of the original road race with stop-overs in fine hotels and guided tours around some of Italy's most famous monuments, including the Coliseum and the Sistene Chapel. The 'Luxury of Spontaneity' driving series is a more freeform take on the luxury break theme, with routes including a 130-mile tour around the Mediterranean island of Mallorca and a 745-mile trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Other drives in Oman, Australia, Malaysia, Scotland and Canada will join the roster soon.

The tours aren't cheap--listed in U.K. prices, the Italian Legend tour will set you back over $7,400 per person based on two people sharing a room and 'Guest of Chanel' is over $16,000 for a couple. But hey, this is Bentley we're talking about. You pay for exclusivity, and these trips are about as exclusive as they get...


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