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Ciao Roma! Get swept away in the effervescent energy of the 'Eternal City', once the centre of the ancient world and today a dizzying collection of archaeological treasures and Renaissance architecture. After checking in, indulge in the sweetness of doing nothing, which the city's residents seem to have mastered as they loll in piazze people-watching. Later, you'll meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a glimpse into what lies ahead. Embrace life lived the Italian way - to the fullest. Take a leisurely stroll and follow your nose into a local trattoria for a heaped plate of Italian pasta to set the tone for the rest of your trip.
Start your day, the Italian way - slow and relaxed, or perhaps join an Optional Experience to Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. Get to grips with the city's main attractions, joining a Local Specialist at the Vatican City, the world's smallest city. Stand in St. Peter's Square, sharing your space with devoted pilgrims and pigeons. Visit St. Peter's Basilica and view Michelangelo's greatest work, the sorrowful Pietà. Cross the Tiber next, to view the mighty Colosseum and the countless other ancient sites which featured prominently in the days of the powerful Roman Empire.
Catch glimpses of the medieval town of Siena through lush Tuscan landscapes as you make your way to this hilltop settlement surrounded by fortified walls and towers. This former economic and military power today hosts the biannual Palio horse race, injecting a shot of colour amidst the burnt sienna façades of the city's Il Campo. Your orientation tour will reveal the city's rich heritage, architecture and cuisine, most notably why Siena is renowned for its signature panforte fruit cake, which you should try to sample during a visit to a pasticceria. Dinner is included tonight.
Head north through Tuscany, stopping in Pisa to snap a few strategic selfies with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Admire the Pisan Romanesque Square of Miracles in all its striped marble glory. Its structures are said to symbolise the three main stages of human life - the Baptistery (birth), the Cathedral (life) and the Camposanto (death). Continue through the scenic Tuscan hills to the thermal spa resort of Montecatini, the largest and most famous spa town in Italy. You may wish to spend some time admiring the town's many glorious fountains.
The birthplace of the Renaissance beckons and you'll head to Florence for the day where a Local Specialist will reveal the splendid treasures left behind by the Medici dynasty and famous artists like da Vinci and Michelangelo. Embark on a walking tour of its historic centre, including views of Ponte Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery. Visit Piazza della Signoria, the city's main square where many of the political and artistic treasures of the city can be seen, then head to Piazzale Michelango and admire Florence's signature skyline.
Today's first stop is the legendary city that served as a backdrop for Shakespeare's famous love story and you'll have an opportunity to view the very balcony where the fictional Juliet once called for her Romeo. Admire the Roman Arena where gripping performances are held to this day. Your journey continues to Venice, one of the world's most romantic cities. Upon arrival, maybe embark on an optional Gondola ride. After dinner at your hotel, maybe spend the evening enjoying an Aperol Spritz. It's the perfect way to end the day. Salute!
Meet the master craftsmen of Giudecca Island to learn about the centuries-old glass-blowing tradition. See how exquisite glassworks are crafted before returning to the waters of the canal. Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square, the gateway to the city. Admire the ornate Doge's Palace, the Basilica of St. Mark and the Bridge of Sighs, whose bittersweet views once elicited sighs from prisoners who were unlikely to see their beloved city ever again. Later, consider an Optional Experience to the vibrant rainbow-coloured façades of Burano Island, which beckon to resident fishermen seeking a safe beacon for their return journey home through the lagoon's thick fog.
Travel west to Bologna, the gastronomic capital of Italy. A special treat awaits at our stop at FICO, the largest food park in the world, where you can learn about the culture, traditions and craftsmanship that make Italian food the most famous in the world. You'll delve into the heritage of Italian agri-food biodiversity before joining a Local Specialist for a city sightseeing tour to view the Kissing Towers and Il Gigante, commonly known as Neptune's Fountains. Dinner is included at your hotel - chase tortellini around your plate or twirl Spaghetti Bolognese like a local.
Your return journey to Rome this morning features a stop in beautiful Passignano sul Trasimeno, boasting over a thousand years of art and architecture on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, secluded within the medieval walls of this resort town. You'll arrive in Rome later just in time to enjoy an Optional Experience dinner with your fellow travellers, toasting the end of a wonderful trip through Italy.
You'll have a hard time saying goodbye to Italy and new friends after a mesmerising round trip from Rome to the Italy's iconic cities and stunning Tuscan landscapes. Get your final fix of Rome and secure your speedy return by tossing a coin in the Trevi Fountain, then bid your Travel Director and travel companions a fond farewell before taking a transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport. Conditions apply.
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