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Ciao Roma! The Eternal City opens its doors for an unforgettable At Leisure jaunt through Tuscany and two millennia of culture, history and fiery Italian verve. Spend the afternoon exploring the city before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. Embark on an orientation drive past Rome's iconic and unexpected highlights, including views of the Colosseum and Circus Maximus, once the site of exhilarating chariot races which attracted thousands of enthusiastic spectators.
Our journey through Rome begins in the centre of Christendom, where we join a Local Specialist on an included sightseeing tour to visit St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's much-admired Pietà. This afternoon, we enjoy a leisurely drive through the scenic Tuscan hills to the thermal spa resort of Montecatini, the largest and most famous spa town in Italy and your home for the next six nights.
Your Local Specialist will reveal the history of Renaissance Florence during your walking tour. View the magnificent Duomo and visit Piazza della Signoria. In your free time, consider visiting the Ponte Vecchio bridge, one of the city's most famous landmarks and lined with goldsmiths and jewellers. This is a legacy of the 16th-century decree which mandated that only jewellers and goldsmiths be allowed to ply their trade on the bridge. Later, learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries at demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold.
Relax in the soothing waters of Montecatini Thermal Spa on your day at leisure or join an Optional Experience to the Cinque Terre, whose quaint pastel-hued villages cling to the rugged Ligurian cliffs.
Travelling inland, we arrive in Pisa where we join a Local Specialist to view the famous Leaning Tower, the finely sculpted marble Cathedral and the ornate Baptistery, said to be the largest in Italy. We continue through Tuscany, arriving in Vinci where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' at Museo Leonardiano and gain a deeper understanding of the life of this talented master. Admire Leonardo da Vinci's machines and models, his sketches and handwritten notes, as well as interactive exhibits during your visit.
Saunter through the beautifully preserved medieval city of Siena to see the 13th-century marble Cathedral and the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo which hosts the biannual Palio horse race. We venture to the walled medieval town of San Gimignano, renowned for its towers. Enjoy some free time strolling through its narrow lanes and shopping for locally-produced delicacies and hand-painted Tuscan pottery - the alluring aromas of pecorino and cured meats can be found around every turn. Tonight 'Connect With Locals' during a Be My Guest dinner enjoyed with beautiful views over the Tuscan hills.
Feast your eyes on the vibrant colours and busy stalls heaving with fresh produce at a local Florence food market where you will join a Local Specialist professional chef for a tasty introduction to Italian cuisine. Learn how to cook like only an Italian mamma can, selecting your fresh produce from the market and preparing lunch which you will enjoy with a delicious glass of local wine. The tastes of Tuscany still lingering after an unforgettable Regional Meal, we return to our hotel in the Tuscan hills for the night.
Departing Tuscany, we travel south to Rome. This evening, we 'Dive Into Culture' and enjoy an exclusive Farewell Dinner amidst the stunning Roman and Ancient Greek artistry showcased in Museo Gregoriano Profano or the magnificent surrounds of the Salone di Raffaello in the Pinacoteca. We'll have access to the Museum before dinner and join a Local Specialist later for a guided evening tour of the Vatican Museums, including a visit to Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel when it is less crowded.
Today we bid a sad farewell to newfound friends and an epic At Leisure experience, departing Rome today. Airport 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.
Take a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside to a delightful regional restaurant set among the pines and cypress trees. Here a feast of gastronomic specialities awaits, accompanied by song and music.
Adult Price: €64
We’ll visit the Bay of Poets and the beautiful Porto Venere, where we can admire the UNESCO protected Cinque Terre. Still to this day, the villages retain their charm and reputation for producing some of Italy's most exclusive wines.
Adult Price: €60
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 as we explore the beautiful city of Lucca, birthplace of the composer Giacomo Puccini. You’ll explore with a Local Specialist as the monumental architecture transports you back to thirteenth century Tuscany.
Adult Price: €37
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