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I have nothing but praise for the tours I have taken with GET. I especially enjoyed the "Be My Guest" with the lovely--and beautiful--ninth generation owner of a grand mansion in the Chianti Hills.
Benvenuti a Roma! Open your heart to a whirlwind of fiery passion, antiquities and hearty flavours crafted by Italian mammas over centuries. Enjoy a leisurely first encounter with the Eternal City before joining your travel companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive to see the bustling cityscape.
'Dive Into Culture' on an included sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist at the Vatican Museums. Admire the works of great masters - the Bramante staircase, magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and sorrowful Pietà inside St. Peter's Basilica. In Ancient Rome, we pay tribute to the brave gladiators who fought for supremacy at the Colosseum during our included visit. We'll see the Circus Maximus where chariots thundered to the applause of thousands before a free afternoon.
We travel north to Lucca and enjoy time to wander through the medieval streets and admire the 14th-century San Martino Cathedral and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, built on the site of an ancient Roman arena. Relax in Piazza San Michele or ascend one of the city's ancient towers for panoramic views in your free time.
A sea of pastel pinks, yellows and blues cling dramatically to the Ligurian cliffs in Cinque Terre UNESCO World Heritage Site, which we will have an opportunity to explore today on our included excursion. Join a Local Specialist and delve into the daily life of these picturesque fishing villages. Stop in Pisa and visit its UNESCO-listed Square of Miracles to view the architectural feat that is the Leaning Tower.
The gentle Tuscan landscape gives way to our next destination, the hilltop town of San Gimignano, famed for its stunning medieval architecture and historic towers, which stand today as a testament to the wealth and power of aristocratic families who lived here centuries ago. We 'Connect With Locals' over a Be My Guest lunch with wine in a beautiful family owned vineyard overlooking the rolling Chianti Hills, before arriving in Florence, our home for the next two nights.
Discover Renaissance treasures, extraordinary art and exquisite architecture in one of the cultural capitals of the world. We join a Local Specialist who will bring the legacy of the influential Medici family to life. Walk along grand avenues and narrow lanes into expansive piazze, viewing the magnificent marble Duomo and replica of the David statue in Piazza della Signoria. View the 674-year-old Ponte Vecchio and admire spectacular panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo. You'll also learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries at demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold. The rest of the day is yours to explore the Cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the masterpieces of Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci at Uffizi Gallery, wander through the architectural wonder of Palazzo Pitti or shop for high-quality leather and gold.
Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers are remembered today during our jaunt to the romantic city of Verona where we will view Juliet's Balcony and the 1st-century Roman Arena, still used today to host spectacular operatic performances. We venture to Venice next, spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the city's labyrinthine calli on our own in search of hidden treasures. Wander along the Grand Canal, watch the sun set over St. Mark's Square or join an Optional Experience.
On the island of Giudecca, we 'Dive Into Culture' and witness the centuries-old tradition of Venetian glassblowing before seeing St. Mark's Basilica, the ornate Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Cruise by private launch to see the city's most iconic attractions before enjoying free time to explore the city on your terms. Amble through the labyrinthine alleys, over ornate bridges and into quiet campi as you get lost in this enchanting city.
Travel through scenic countryside to the mystical town of Assisi, stopping en route in the city of Bologna to view its Kissing Towers that lean towards one other, seemingly poised to embrace. Continue to your hotel in Assisi where you'll dine this evening.
Discover the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi in his home town on the slopes of Mount Subasio. Join a Local Specialist for a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis, renowned for its beautiful frescoes depicting the life of this much-loved saint. We continue to Tivoli for a guided visit with a Local Specialist of the UNESCO-listed terraced hillside Renaissance gardens of Villa d'Este. Wander past bubbling fountains, manicured hedges and ornate statues as you soak up the tranquil atmosphere of this historic hill town. This evening we enjoy a special Farewell Dinner with our fellow travellers and Travel Director before returning to Rome.
It's time to say a fond arrivederci to Italy and our newfound friends after a memorable journey. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
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