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Benvenuti a Roma where we begin our exciting journey through some of Italy's most beautiful cities. Spend time recovering from your travels or take a walk down memory lane, tracing centuries of art, antiquities and culture before joining your travel companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive through its intoxicating cityscape.
We visit the centre of Christianity this morning, joining a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour which includes a visit to the imposing St. Peter's Basilica to see the Pietà, Michelangelo's masterpiece carved from the most "perfect" block of marble. Our next stop is in Ancient Rome where we'll visit the Colosseum. Here gladiators and slaves met their end in a blaze of glory. See the Circus Maximus before returning to the Holy See this afternoon. 'Dive Into Culture' and gain priority admission to the Vatican Museums where a Local Specialist will take us on a guided tour. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel when it is less crowded and observe the array of incredible artefacts at the Museo Gregoriano Profano, founded in the Lateran Apostolic Palace at the behest of Gregory XVI Cappellari in 1844. We will also enjoy exclusive al fresco dining against the spectacular backdrop of St. Peter's. Should there be adverse weather, a contingency is provided in a newly-created dining space within the Cortile della Pigna.
Enjoy a full free day in Rome or consider spending the day in beautiful Tivoli. Join an Optional Experience to see the exquisite house and gardens of the 16th-century Villa d'Este - a marvellous example of Renaissance landscape architecture. As the sun sets over the seven hills of Rome, sit on the Spanish Steps and watch the beautiful people, or admire the Trevi Fountain, tossing a coin to secure your return to Rome.
Sit back on the high-speed train and watch the Tuscan landscape go bound for Florence. Join a Local Specialist on a walking tour to gain insights into the city's Renaissance treasures. View the 674-year-old Ponte Vecchio, lined with goldsmiths and souvenir shops, and visit the Fine Arts Academy to see one of Michelangelo's masterpieces, the statue of David. Our love affair with Florence continues as we stroll to the Piazza della Signoria, featuring Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery.
Cross the Arno River and see the enchanting skyline of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo before driving to Pisa through the Arno Valley. Meet your Local Specialist to explore the Square of Miracles and see the famous Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, Baptistery and Camposanto, built on soil brought back from the Holy Land during the Crusades. This evening, stroll along the Arno River in search of the perfect gelato, see the beautifully lit Duomo or visit a cosy enoteca for some wine tasting and live music.
Today is yours to discover the beauty and elegance of Florence - a city filled with exquisite galleries, lush gardens and opulent palaces. Consider a visit to the Boboli Gardens with its magnificent collection of sculptures and explore the galleries at the 15th-century Pitti Palace. Venture outside the city to see Tuscan villages and taste rich panforte and tortas, or shop for the latest fashions in Florence's sophisticated boutiques. This evening, consider joining an Optional Experience in Chianti for a delicious Tuscan dinner.
All aboard the express train for Venice. We cross the spectacular Appenines and fertile Veneto plain before arriving in this island city. Get lost this afternoon, wandering its narrow lanes in search of a cosy bacaro, people-watch in St. Mark's Square, the gateway to Venice, or take an unforgettable gondola ride along the city's enchanting canals.
This morning, we 'Dive Into Culture', witnessing first-hand the centuries-old craft of glassmaking on the island of Giudecca. Breathe in the salty sea air as you board a private launch and cruise to St. Mark's Square to see the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian Churches, the Customs House, St. Mark's Basilica and Campanile, as well as the Doge's Palace. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the city on your own terms. Find a quiet campo and pavement café or take a cruise to colourful Burano for a delicious meal.
The sights and sounds of modern Venice come to life today as we join our Local Specialist for an orientation walk and explore the vibrant Rialto Food Market, which has been feeding Venetians since the 11th century. We wander through the narrow calli - seeing the ornate façades of merchant houses that line the canals, before enjoying an afternoon at leisure for one last taste of Venice. Our adventure through Italy's charming cities is about to come to an end. We celebrate newfound friendships and an unforgettable experience at a Farewell Dinner.
Say arrivederci to Italy and your fellow travellers as your fascinating holiday comes to an end. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
Start Date: Mon, Jul 8, 2019
Return Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2019
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Return Date: Wed, Aug 28, 2019
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Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Discover the most charming areas in the city with a Local Specialist. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares of Rome's historic centre, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.
Adult Price: €33
Spend an evening getting to know Rome. We’ll take you via coach where you’ll have the chance to see some of the city’s much-loved sights. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a delicious light dinner of Italian specialities, alongside local music and drinks.
Adult Price: €49
Visit the ancient Sabine town of Tivoli to enjoy the gardens and fountains of the Villa D’Este. You’ll get to see its grottos and pavilions, the Avenue of a Hundred Fountains, and the Dragon Fountain of the Organ.
Adult Price: €45
Marvel at the legacy of the Medici as you visit Palazzo Vecchio, the symbol of Florence's political power for over seven centuries. With our Local Specialist we’ll visit the wonderful "Hall of the Five Hundred", dedicated to the Medicis' popes. We’ll also visit rooms decorated with masterpieces by famous artists of the Renaissance like Michelangelo and Donatello.
Adult Price: €39
Join us for a drive to the nearby hilltop town of San Gimignano, known as the ‘medieval Manhattan’ of Tuscany. Surrounded by fields of sunflowers, vineyards and olive groves, this is Italy’s best preserved medieval city and will give you a taste of day-to-day life in Italy during the Middle Ages.
Adult Price: €36
A scenic drive into the Chianti hills, past vineyards, brings us to a delightful hamlet. Our destination is the ancient stone house of Machiavelli, where the great political theorist wrote his immortal work, ‘The Prince’. After a welcome drink and visit of the villa and its wine-cellars, we'll enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine accompanied by great music and drinks, including of course, Chianti from the Villa’s own vines. This is the essence of all great things Tuscan, past and present, condensed into one memorable evening!
Adult Price: €65
Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant where a selection of regional favourites is served, accompanied by a selection of local wines and live music. A truly unforgettable experience, with an atmosphere that is the essence of all things Tuscan.
Adult Price: €65
On arrival in Venice, a private boat will be waiting to take you to St Mark's Square, where you’ll enjoy a gondola ride while being serenaded by local musicians. Later, private water taxi's will take you along Venice's Grand Canal, where you’ll admire the magnificent palazzos and Rialto Bridge.
Adult Price: €70
Join us for a scenic cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal. You’ll admire the magnificent palazzi, as well as catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways.
Adult Price: €70
Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-coloured houses - a real photographer's paradise.
Adult Price: €72
Accompanied by a Local Specialist, you'll visit the magnificent Doge's Palace and its elegant courtyards, which were home to the rulers of the Venetian republic. Afterwards, we've booked an entrance into the Byzantine Basilica of St. Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of Venice.
Adult Price: €42
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