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Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, renaissance palaces and baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director at 17:30, and get to know your fellow travellers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
In the morning enjoy the very best of the city’s highlights including visiting the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican with your Local Expert and see the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. In the afternoon, enjoy fast-tracked priority entry into the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and observe the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age. Enter the Sistine Chapel to marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpiece on its ceiling. After, dine in the Vatican's elegant Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, should weather permit, where you will enjoy incredible views of the cupola of St. Peter's during your private Highlight Dinner.
Take the autostrada north to Renaissance Florence. Explore Florence with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the Accademia Museum and see Michelangelo's David. Alternatively, wander through the market stalls on a shopping tour, enjoying all the Italian treats and finery on offer. From there, see the cathedral, campanile and the baptistery, adorned with the Gates of Paradise. Walk on to Piazza della Signoria with its open-air gallery of Renaissance sculpture. There is time to shop for Florentine leather or gold before continuing to your elegant hotel in the picturesque town of Radda in Chianti.
In the morning, visit medieval Siena where narrow cobbled streets lined with palaces and patrician mansions, lead to Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horse race. Explore with your Local Expert and visit the beautiful, striped cathedral. Continue to hilltop San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers that scrape the azure Tuscan sky. Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan gelato parlour of world champion gelato maestro, Sergio Dondoli, for a taste of his finest frozen treats.
Drive through the patchwork of vines, olives and cypresses that typify the Chianti hills before continuing to the delightful town of Lucca. Taste the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread. Head for Pisa and see the incredible Leaning Tower, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. See the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. Continue along the coast to the pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.
Head for the port of La Spezia for a highlight of your travels and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes, the Cinque Terre. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat. Enjoy a delicious Sea-to-Table lunch in Monterosso. There is time to explore the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps make the most of the hotel’s private beach.
Cruise along the rugged Ligurian coast to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, the epitome of la dolce vita (should weather permit). Enjoy leisure time to admire the coloured houses, browse the boutiques or simply stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbour. Next, head north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with lush vegetation.
Travel down through more majestic Dolomite scenery to one of the world’s most breathtaking wine regions. Protected by the Alps to the north, and caressed by the warm breezes from the Adriatic, the vineyards around Conegliano Veneto produce Italy’s most prized sparkling wine.Stop at Carmina where great care is taken to ensure these hand-picked grapes produce the world's finest prosecco. See how production differs from its more famous French counterpart, champagne. Be tempted with a taste of the crisp and aromatic flavours and learn how to make the perfect bellini.Continue through the Dolomites, to the mountain resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.
The whole day is free for you to explore the colourful peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites, one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the Alps. During summer, once the snow and ice have melted away, a breathtaking landscape is revealed. There are a number of walking tracks through pristine Alpine wilderness for the adventurous to explore, or for a more relaxed pace, perhaps take a thrilling Optional Experience to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking panoramic views?
Descend through the mountains to the romantic city of Venice. A private boat glides you past canals lined with ornate palaces to St Mark’s Square. See the basilica, the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs, before checking into your luxurious hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, why not cruise the Venetian Lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialities and wine?
Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience during a visit to a traditional arts centre, where you can see how beautiful handcrafted glass is made by expert glassblowers, safeguarding traditional skills.Then there is free time to enjoy the magical atmosphere of this incredible city at your own pace. Mingle with the locals at the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge and explore the back lanes and squares where Venetians go about their day. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. This evening, stroll past the famous Opera House to La Fenice restaurant for a magical Celebration Dinner. Indulge in traditional Venetian dishes that are enriched with inspiration from seasonal produce.
Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 and 09:30.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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