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The tour director was amazing, cheerful, resourceful and effective. All side tours and optional tours were great experiences.
You're in for a bellissimo journey through the spectacular cities of Italy, which kicks off in the Eternal City of Rome. Join your travel companions and Travel Director for a memorable Welcome Reception. Your introduction to la dolce vita begins with a short walk this evening to see the timeless Roman Colosseum and the ancient centre of Rome – the Forum.
We embark on a very special included 'Dive Into Culture' sightseeing tour with our Local Specialist at the Vatican this morning. Skip the queue and wander through its Museums, Sistine Chapel and Gardens, admiring the artistry of great masters and walking in the footsteps of popes who have found peace within its beautiful green landscapes for centuries. We'll enjoy a rare opportunity to board a train within the Vatican Walls bound for the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's Summer Residence. Here, we'll embark on a tour through its beautifully manicured green heart before enjoying an included lunch against the backdrop of this enchanting setting.
The narrow lanes and expansive piazze of Rome are yours to explore today. Ask your Travel Director for tips on what to see and do, or consider an Optional Experience delving into the fascinating history of Pompeii.
This morning meet with your Local Specialist to visit St. Peter’s Basilica. Then we journey north to the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi where your Local Specialist will take you to the Basilica of St. Francis, the final resting place of this famous saint where we will see Giotto's enchanting frescoes. Later we continue our journey through the scenic Tuscan countryside to Florence.
Enjoy a leisurely encounter with the artistic and architectural marvels of Florence during your walking tour with a Local Specialist. Visit the striking Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and palazzi. Amble through the charming cobblestone lanes to the multi-coloured marble Duomo and Baptistery, before admiring the scenic view of the Ponte Vecchio straddling the Arno River. Learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries at demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold. Spend the rest of the afternoon sauntering through the historic centre of Florence, shopping for high-quality leather for which the city is famous, or admiring the artistic contribution of the Medici family at every turn. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to San Gimignano.
After free time in Florence, cross the fertile Arno Valley to Pisa and join a Local Specialist to visit the Square of Miracles, home to the incredible Leaning Tower and beautifully sculpted marble Cathedral. See the ornate Baptistery and the Camposanto, built on sacred soil brought back from the Holy Land during the Crusades. Your unforgettable encounter with Tuscany continues this evening as you 'Connect With Locals' over a Be My Guest dinner, joining Count Miari Fulcis on his 15th-century organic olive oil estate that has featured in many famous films.
Travel north, through the Apennines, to the medieval city of Bologna, perhaps best known for the delicious spaghetti sauce that bears its name. Your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist includes views of the Kissing Towers which lean towards each other, seemingly poised to embrace. Then it's off to the romantic island city of Venice with its rich cultural and artistic heritage. Spend time at leisure gliding along its enchanting canals in a gondola or wander through the city's labyrinthine lanes, over bridges and into quiet campi.
'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into the delicate Venetian art of glassblowing on Giudecca Island. Savour the iconic and unexpected highlights of Venice as you cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square to admire the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian churches, Customs House, St. Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Sites made famous in poetry, song and prose are explored today when we join a Local Specialists for a Small Group Sightseeing walking tour. During a leisurely stroll from our hotel along the canals to the famous Rialto Bridge, where all the flavours of Italy are brought to life at a centuries-old food market. Amble through the narrow calli of Venice and admire the beautiful architecture, walking over the Rialto Bridge before spending the rest of the day to visit the sights of your choice. Our love affair with Italy's great Italian cities comes to an end this evening as we enjoy a Farewell Dinner.
For now it's time to say a fond arrivederci to Italy and newfound friends who have shared in the memorable sights, sounds and flavours. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
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
Join our expert on a tour of the excavations of Pompeii, the perfectly preserved Roman town which was engulfed by Mount Vesuvius' eruption in AD 79. You'll witness the devastating destruction it had at the time, and have the opportunity to go back in time and get a glimpse of everyday Roman life, frozen for almost 2,000 years. Later, enjoy a panoramic tour of Naples, before returning to Rome, passing the abbey of Monte Cassino.
Adult Price: €100
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
Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We visit the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €47
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
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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