A journey from the eternal city of Rome through the golden circle of Italy! You’ll spend ten days sampling the best of Siena, Florence, Verona, Venice, the Italian Lakes, Milan, Cinque Terre, and the Tuscan wine region! Catch the spirit of “La Vita Bella” as you explore elegant Italian piazzas, rummage through handcrafted artisanal treasures, sip world-class wines, and admire the colours of Cinque Terre!
Upon your arrival, meet your driver and transfer from the airport or train station in Rome to the Hotel. A day at leisure and overnight in Rome. Dinner not included.
American buffet breakfast at the hotel. In the morning you will enjoy a 3-hour “Discovering Rome” walking tour. You will be picked up at your hotel at approximately 9.00 am. The tour will start from Largo Argentina and continue on to Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. The tour will end at the Spanish steps (no drop off at the Hotel). Rest of the day at leisure and overnight. Meals: B
American buffet breakfast and pick up at the hotel from 7.30 am to 7.45 am then departure by coach to Siena, the beautiful medieval city renowned for the Palio horse race. Discover the street, Palazzo Salimbeni, which is now used as the headquarters for the Banca Monte dei Paschi Di Siena. Visit the main square of the town, Piazza del Campo, a beautiful seashell shaped square, where the famous Palio horse race is held every year on July 2nd and August 16th. Don’t miss the chance to discover the impressive facade of the Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, covered with colourful local marble, where several artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Bernini have work.
Before you go, don’t forget to taste the typical local dishes such as “Pici”, homemade pasta, and the almond biscuits “ricciarelli”, symbols of the town. Arrival in Florence around 2:00 pm, and after check-in at the hotel, possibility to have an optional tour of the Uffizi Gallery or Accademia Gallery. Welcome dinner in a local restaurant to taste a typical Tuscan menu. Meals: B D
After breakfast meet our local guide and visit the fascinating backstreets of mysterious Florence: from Piazza del Duomo, with its Baptistery and Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, to Ponte Vecchio; from Piazza della Signoria with its Palazzo Vecchio and Loggia dell’Orcagna, up to the central avenues paved with stone, where you’ll find authentic masterpieces whenever you direct your gaze. An intense and concentrated tour in the very heart of Florence that will introduce you to the many wonderful “must see” places of interest.
Free time for lunch and then, in the afternoon, your tour leader will take you to see excellent traditional local producers: visit one of the most famous jewellers where you can admire the collections of a Florentine goldsmith master; walk around San Lorenzo’s leather market that offers high-quality products made with high-grade leather. Processed according to the most traditional methods, it gives life to the classic elegance of Florentine leather bags, wallet, shoes and jackets that represent the essence of local artisan creativity. Finally, let your nose twitch in delight whilst visiting an old perfume shop, which still produces fragrances using the medieval monks’ methods and recipes. Overnight at the hotel. Meals: B
American buffet breakfast at the hotel, check out and departure to Venice by coach. Along the way, you will stop in Verona. Explore the streets of this historical center, that was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage-site. Be enchanted by the gem of the city: the ancient Roman Arena (outside). Built-in 30 AD, it is very well preserved and in the last century has hosted over 30,000 people for international music concerts, including the Verona Arena Festival, a summertime opera celebration that draws classical music lovers from all over the world. After taking some photos of the arena, head to the former home of the famed opera singer, Maria Callas.
Then move on to Juliet’s House (outside), the structure that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Wander back to Piazza Bra and time for lunch. Proceed to Venice. Travel by boat until Saint Mark’s square where you will meet a local guide who will introduce you to the most important buildings such as the Doge’s Palace, the Campanile, the Clock tower and the Library. Here you’ll be told about the birth of the city and its glorious history. Walk in hidden Venice, admiring its alleyways, lovely canals, picturesque campos (squares) where everyday life takes place and explore the structure of the city. Arrive at the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal, the heart of the city, with its bustling market area. At the end of the visit, there is a lovely walk to your hotel for check-in. After, enjoy a typical dinner in a local restaurant. Meals: B D
Breakfast at the hotel and then with your tour leader you will ride across the Venetian Lagoon to the colourful island of Murano. Here you will get an inside peek into the world-famous glass-blowing factories of the island. Watch a glassmaking demonstration from a master craftsman and enjoy time to browse the factory showroom, featuring finished works of art. Return to St. Mark’s Square for an afternoon at leisure and time for shopping and private visits. Overnight in Venice. Meals: B
American buffet breakfast at the hotel, check out and departure for Sirmione known as the Pearl of Garda Lake, “the gem of all the peninsulas”, as the poet Catullus wrote. The visit to the village starts with the spectacular Scala Castle dating back to medieval times. It was built at the end of the 13th century by the Lords of Verona. Wandering along narrow medieval streets one reaches the Parish Church of S. Maria which houses many images and paintings to be admired, together with different altars and precious 18th century works of marble. Slightly uphill, one reaches the S. Salvatore Church, which dates back to the 8th century. Optional boat tour to admire the park of the prestigious and luxurious 5 stars Hotel Villa Cortine and the nearby Villa of Maria Callas, from here you will reach the entrance to the Grotte di Catullo. It is the most important archaeological area in the entire region of Lombardy, with imposing remains of what was once a luxurious Roman Villa on the edge of Lake Garda.
In the afternoon, proceed to Lake Como where your tour leader will walk you around all the historic highlights. As we stroll through the ancient streets in the heart of the town, surrounded by Roman walls, we can admire beautiful Romanesque and Baroque churches, Piazza Volta and Piazza Duomo, with its charming old Town Hall building, called Broletto, with its characteristic bell tower and the superb 600-year old Cathedral. Depart to Milan where you can enjoy a panoramic tour to see: Sforzesco Castle, the medieval Piazza Mercanti and Piazza Della Scala, admire the marble façade of Milan Cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Your tour ends in the historic Piazza del Duomo. In the evening check in at hotel, dinner and overnight at the hotel in Milan. Meals: B D
Breakfast in the hotel and check out. Depart to La Spezia to embark on an unforgettable day dedicated to the discovery of one of the most amazing and enchanting landscapes in the World: “Cinque Terre”. We will reach the first village of Portovenere, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its picturesque harbour is lined with brightly coloured houses, while narrow medieval streets, lined with shops, lead up the hill from the ancient city gate to the castle. By boat, you reach Vernazza, a characteristic small fishing village, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The village is surrounded by steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce amongst the finest olive oil in the country.
The last stop will be in Monterosso, the largest of the five coastal villages. Its amazing beaches, beautiful reefs and the sea’s crystal clear waters, make this small village one of the most convivial of the Ligurian Riviera. In the late afternoon return to La Spezia by train and take the coach to Lucca. With your tour leader, stroll through the cobblestone streets and bustling piazzas, to the old Renaissance walls. Trace the city’s Roman past along Via San Paolino and Piazza San Michele and see the birthplace of local composer Giacomo Puccini. Admire the medieval buildings along Via Fillungo, peek inside San Frediano church and visit landmarks such as the Cathedral of San Martino, Piazza Anfiteatro and Torre delle Ore. At the end of the tour, transfer to your hotel for check-in. Dinner and overnight in Lucca. Meals: B D
Breakfast in the hotel and check out. Depart to Pisa for a walk with your tour leader to the heart of the city. Admire the Cathedral Square with the Duomo di Pisa, Campo Santo, Pisa Baptistry, and, of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take time for lunch and shopping and in the afternoon depart to cross Val D’Orcia, the area famous for its superb wine production and for its amazing landscape, symbolic of the Tuscan region. Enjoy a stop in the most iconic town in the area, Montepulciano. Surrounded by the ancient city wall, Montepulciano is a symbol of the power and wealth of the noble families from the 14th to 16th centuries.
Be enchanted by the beauty of Piazza Grande, with the magnificent Duomo and Palazzo Tarugi; continue on to see the Fortezza and the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, one of the finest examples of Renaissance art. Montepulciano is well known for the production of its fabulous red wine. The “Nobile di Montepulciano” is one of the most lauded Italian wines in Italy and abroad. Montepulciano has a distinct peculiarity, in that you can find several historic cantinas right within the city walls, which have been dug out underneath the prestigious palazzos. Take time to taste local wines and buy some souvenirs. Proceed to Rome where you will arrive around 7.30pm. Meals: B
Enjoy one final breakfast before departing. Arrivederci! Meals: B