THE SPLENDORS OF ITALY

Departure Date

Daily

Duration

9 Day

Views

752

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Sightseeing:
Visits to Orvieto Cathedral, Siena, San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti with wine tasting, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice, Assisi’s St. Francis Basilica.Guides:
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence; professional Tour Director while touringScenic Highlights:
Chianti Valley, ApenninesIndividual headsets

Notes:
December 21 Departure – Christmas lunch in Florence
December 30 Departure – New Year’s Eve in Rome

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Assisi, the Basilica of St. Francis
  • Historic Centre of Florence
  • Historic Centre of San Gimignano
  • Historic Centre of Siena
  • Venice and its Lagoon
  • Historic Centre of Rome – various properties Vatican City
  • Piazza del Duomo Pisa

Transportation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal transfer boat in Venice

 

 MEALS

Buffet breakfasts daily; 3 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Siena

 ACCOMMODATIONS

ROME Fleming (F) or Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (ST) or Holiday Inn Eur Parco Dei Medici (F) (hotel as shown or similar hotel as shown or similar)
SIENA Four Points by Sheraton Siena (ST)
MONTECATINI Settentrionale Esplanade (F)
VENICE Poppi (ST) or Holiday Inn Venezia (ST)
Good accommodations are vital to your enjoyment on tour, so we pre-screen before selecting. Hotels are as shown, although it may be necessary to substitute with an alternate hotel of equivalent standard.

Itinerary

DAY 1

ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY

Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this ancient capital. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
DAY 2

ROME

The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Other highlights are the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built; the Roman Forum; Piazza Venezia, and Campidoglio. An optional visit is available to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo’s impressive fresco of The Last Judgment. Breakfast Breakfast
DAY 3

ROME–ORVIETO–SIENA

Journey to charming Orvieto in the Umbria region to visit its black basalt and yellow limestone CATHEDRAL, an excellent example of Italian Gothic architecture. Reach Siena, with time to visit this jewel of Tuscany. Sit in one of the cafés surrounding the Piazza del Campo and admire one of Italy’s most unique squares, famed all over the world for its medieval-style Palio horse race. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner at a local restaurant. Breakfast BreakfastDinnerDinner
DAY 4

SIENA–SAN GIMIGNANO–GREVE–MONTECATINI

Arrive in San Gimignano and discover one of Tuscany’s greatest attractions. Its medieval squares, town walls, streets, alleyways, and 14 towers make it unique. Next, head into the very heart of the Chianti vineyards, where Chianti Classico wines are produced. Stop in Greve for some WINE TASTING at the Vicchiomaggio wine estate. Arrive in Montecatini in time to join the optional Tuscan dinner outing. Breakfast Breakfast
DAY 5

MONTECATINI. EXCURSION TO FLORENCE

This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled the entire day. Wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” Breakfast BreakfastDinnerDinner
DAY 6

MONTECATINI–PISA–VENICE AREA

This morning, drive to Pisa to see its SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and no less than 16 feet out of the perpendicular. Head across the wooded Apennine hills into the farmlands of the Po Valley to the Venice area. Breakfast Breakfast
DAY 7

VENICE AREA

Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and quiet piazzas. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. Breakfast BreakfastDinnerDinner
DAY 8

VENICE AREA–ASSISI–ROME

Travel across the Po Delta, then into the green Apennines to Umbria. Stop in medieval Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome. Breakfast Breakfast
DAY 9

ROME

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Breakfast Breakfast