Rome to Venice
October 4 - 13, 2018
10 Days / 9 Nights
Rome ~ Amalfi Coast/Pompeii/Rome ~ Siena/San Gimignano/Montecatini Terme ~ Montecatini Terme/Florence/Montecatini Terme ~ Montecatini Terme/Cinque Terre/Montecatini Terme ~ Montecatini Terme/Verona/Venice ~ Venice
Italy has been, since antiquity, the center of history, culture, and art. Artistic wonders can be found everywhere. Italy has more cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country. It offers exciting journeys through time, from the ancient Greeks and Romans, to the present day. Italy offers an unmistakable explosion of flavors, scents, and aromas, and some of the best food in the world. As the heart of one of the world's most significant religions, Italy has always been a destination for those who have made their faith a way of life and who wish to explore the roots of a world that has produced some of the most spectacular art, music, and architectures.
Rome to Venice
October 4 - 13, 2018
10 Days / 9 Nights
(Air to Depart U.S. on October 3rd to Arrive in Italy on October 4th)
Day 1 | Depart the US
Depart the US to Italy on your overnight flight.
Day 2 | Arrive Rome (D)
Upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino airport, be met by our local tour manager, board the coach and transfer to the city centre. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Rome: as your guide provides commentary about Rome’s long history and iconic landmarks, you’ll enjoy views of Capitoline Hill, Palatine Hill, the Colosseum and more. See Castel Sant’Angelo, St Peter’s Basilica and the Tiber River. Then, transfer to your centrally located hotel and have some time to relax before a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Rome.
Day 3 | Rome (B)
Breakfast in hotel. In the morning, you’ll be visiting the Vatican with Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, the official residence of the Pope, in the Vatican City. Its fame rests on its architecture, which evokes Solomon's Temple of the Old Testament, its decoration, frescoed throughout by the greatest Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo whose ceiling is legendary. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided walking tour of Baroque Rome. Take a stroll through the streets and alleys of the city centre to visit the most famous squares, fountains and palaces of the baroque art. From the Spanish Steps to the spectacular Trevi Fountain, on to the amazing architecture of the Pantheon, and the lively atmosphere of Piazza Navona, with the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. At the end of the tour, return to the hotel by private coach and enjoy a free evening and dinner. Overnight Rome.
Day 4 | Rome - Amalfi Coast - Pompeii - Rome (B)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning board the coach and depart for a full day excursion to the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. During the approximate 3-hour journey, your guide will tell you about what to expect from the day. Then arrive at your first stop, the town of Amalfi, a former naval power now famous for its cliffside perch on the coast of the Tyrrenhian Sea. You have free time here to explore independently. Perhaps visit landmarks like the Cloister of Paradise (Chiostro del Paradiso), relax over a coffee or limoncello at a café (own expense), or take a walk to admire the Mediterranean architecture. Next, head to Positano, stopping along the way for photo ops from the coastal road. Once again, you have free time in the village to get lunch (own expense) and explore on your own, enjoying views of the sea and hillside homes. Then meet back up with your guide to continue your day trip to Pompeii for a 2-hour guided tour of its World Heritage–listed ruins that were covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. As you explore with your guide, learn about the discovery of the ruins in the 18th century and hear stories about life in the village during the days of Ancient Rome. At the end of the tour, return to the hotel by private coach and enjoy a free evening and dinner. Overnight Rome.
Day 5 | Rome - Siena - San Gimignano - Montecatini Terme (B,D)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning check out your Rome hotel, board the coach and depart for Tuscany. Your first stop will be Siena: begin with a private tour of the Siena Cathedral, admiring the unique marble stripes of its interior as well as the Piccolomini Library, which hosts illuminated choir books and frescoes. Your tour will continue to the Piazza del Campo, the famed site of the Palio di Siena, the horse races held twice a year. Afterward, soak up some free time to continue exploring independently or to purchase lunch. Reunite with your driver and travel to the walled medieval city of San Gimignano. Resting on the top of a hill, explore the area’s impressive Romanesque and Gothic architecture, frescoes, towers and more. Continue on to Montecatini Terme and check in your hotel. Dinner and overnight Montecatini Terme.
Day 6 | Montecatini Terme - Florence - Montecatini Terme (B)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning depart for a full day to Florence. Meet your local guide and travel first to the neighborhood of San Lorenzo, a popular spot with visitors and locals alike for its open-air market, which sells a wide array of leather goods, clothing and more. As you go, your guide will discuss the rule of the Medici family and their significant impact on the city's politics and art during the Renaissance. Head past the Medici Chapels, designed by Michelangelo and Matteo Nigetti, and check out the Basilica of San Lorenzo, where members of the Medici family are buried. Next, wander over to one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks, the Duomo, where Brunelleschi’s Dome famously sits. Visit the Baptistery and Giotto’s Bell Tower while learning the history of the architecture. Continue through the bustling square of Piazza della Signoria, home to the Palazzo Vecchio, outdoor cafes and a collection of famous sculptures, including Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women. Visit Il Porcellino, the bronze piglet statue that offers luck to those who rub his nose. Free time at leisure in the afternoon. Return to Montecatini Terme for a free evening and dinner. Overnight Montecatini Terme.
Day 7 | Montecatini Terme - Cinque Terre - Montecatini Terme (B)
After breakfast in hotel, depart for a full day excursion to the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO-listed wonder and an enchanting region made up of five charming villages. Delight in the spectacular surrounding scenery as you follow the curve of the coastline and climb aboard a boat or train for the rest of your journey, depending on the weather and sea conditions. On arrival at the Cinque Terre, follow your knowledgeable guide on a guided walking tour of each distinctive town; stop first at Riomaggiore, an enclave replete with pastel olored houses that appear to tumble into the sea, and then travel onward to Manarola, the oldest village on the stunning landscape. Next, admire sweeping vistas of the Mediterranean Sea from the elevated perch of Corniglia; revitalize with a delicious Italian lunch in one of Vernazza’s sophisticated open-air restaurants (own expense); and then conclude with a rejuvenating stint on of one Monterosso’s beaches, famed for their silken sands and warm water. Return to Montecatini Terme for a free evening and dinner. Overnight Montecatini Terme.
Day 8 | Montecatini Terme - Verona - Venice (B)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning depart to Venice, stopping on the way in Verona for a guided visit. See the spectacular Verona Arena (Arena di Verona): home to a world-famous annual opera festival, this remarkably preserved Roman amphitheater has a fascinating history and grand modern allure. You’ll also stroll through the UNESCO-listed historical center to see top Verona attractions such as Juliet's balcony as well as elegant architecture. Continue on to Venice Tronchetto pier and then board your water taxis to the pier near the hotel. Check in your hotel and enjoy a dinner in Venice.
Day 9 | Venice (B,D)
After breakfast in hotel, go meet your local guide for a guided walking tour of Venice. As you explore by foot, your guide will show off Venice’s highlights while regaling you with little-known facts and history about the city. Admire Doge's Palace, from where the doges of Venice once ruled: you will see masterpieces of famous artists, such as Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto, as well as richly decorated rooms, sumptuous sculptures and decorative elements. You will also cross the famous Bridge of Sighs and visit the terrible dungeons where the famous Giacomo Casanova was imprisoned. Then head inside St Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) to see Italian Byzantine architecture at its finest. Dripping with gold and ornate mosaics, the cathedral came to symbolize the wealth and power of 11th-century Venice. Head back outside and stop for photos by St Mark’s Campanile – the cathedral’s iconic, red bell tower – and learn about the three interconnecting buildings next to it that are known collectively as the Procuratie. Free time at leisure in the afternoon: you may take an excursion to Murano and Burano Island, or have a gondola ride! Farewell dinner in Venice and overnight in hotel.
Day 10 | Departure (B)
After breakfast in hotel, board the water taxis and transfer to Venice airport for your return flight. Arrivederci Italia!