DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Italy
Depart for Italy
DAY 2, Saturday - Arrive in Venice
Arrive in Venice and transfer to your hotel; remainder of the day is at leisure in this magical city built over a hundred small islands and connected by 400 bridges, before tonight's orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the upcoming journey that awaits you in Italy, followed by a Welcome Dinner
DAY 3, Sunday - Venice City Tour
The discovery of Venice begins with a boat ride to the Island of Murano, known for its artistic and colorful Murano glassware. While here, enjoy a visit to one of the factories to witness the art of glass blowing, Afterward, to St. Mark's Square where you begin the guided walking tour of this romantic city. View the Golden Basilica of San Marco, built over several centuries in a fusion of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian architecture. Walk via the Bridge of Sighs, created at the beginning of the 17th century to serve as a link between prisons. Continue, to the pink marble Doge's Palace, the official residence of the Venetian ruler; its facade is highlighted by a massive late-Gothic gate, known as the Porta della Carta. The rest of the day is yours to explore Venice independently. Or, participate in this afternoon's optional Gondola Ride with music - it's definitely one of the highlights of any Italian holiday!
Optional: Gondola Ride with Music (PM)
DAY 4, Monday - Tuscany & Pisa en route to Florence
Depart Venice and travel through the stunning golden landscape of Tuscany, dotted with olive and fig trees. Visit a typical Tuscan farm in the countryside for a wine tasting coupled with delectable local specialties. On to Pisa, to view the famous Piazza dei Miracoli with its Leaning Tower, among the most instantly recognizable structures on earth. The monuments on the extraordinary Piazza dei Miracoli create a unique architectural blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Then, travel to the lively Renaissance city of Florence, with its priceless art and architecture for overnight
DAY 5, Tuesday - Florence City Tour
Today's tour of Florence begins with a visit to the Accademia of Fine Arts, where Michelangelo's David is housed; stand in awe of this glorious work of art. Walk to the Duomo, celebrated for its magnificent dome designed by Brunelleschi, and view the Baptistery's renowned "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti. Continue on a walk through the open-air museum at Signoria Square, and view the splendid Ponte Vecchio. Florence is indeed the center of the world's finest art and architecture. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in this spectacular Renaissance city, or participate in the optional guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery* that provides insight into the history of the structure and its collections. The tour highlights include exceptional examples of Florentine painting to help you better understand the works of the masters, including Giotto, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. Tonight, a delightful optional evening begins with a ride through the Tuscan hills to a lovely restaurant where a sumptuous Tuscan dinner is served along with unlimited wine and entertainment
*Optional Uffizi Gallery Tour ($62) - available for purchase only in Italy from your Tour Manager. Tour participation guarantees immediate entry to the Gallery, with no lengthy waits in 2-3 hour lines
Optional: Dinner at a Tuscan Restaurant (PM)
DAY 6, Wednesday - Medieval Assisi City Tour en route to Rome
Depart Florence to the small medieval town of Assisi perched high on a hill in the Umbria region, with its Roman ruins, winding medieval streets and sacred shrines. Assisi is best known as the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi - patron saint of Italy. Its main attraction is the 13th-century Basilica di San Francesco, one of the artistic highlights of medieval Europe with Giotto's astonishing frescoes. The town of Assisi has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its significant art and architecture. Afterward, continue to Rome, the astonishing city built on seven hills. Dinner together at the hotel tonight
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 7, Thursday - Vatican Museums & Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel
Today visit the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Stroll through one of the most important art collections of the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries and the Geographical Maps before arriving to the Sistine Chapel, with its great frescoes by Michelangelo. Continue to St. Peter's Square, passing Bernini's famous colonnade to view St. Peter's Basilica*, built on the burial site of Saint Peter, with the most famous Michelangelo's Pieta. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or, join the optional walking tour of the Eternal City's grand piazzas that begins at the Spanish Steps and continues to the legendary Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the baroque Piazza Navona. Tonight's optional tour in Rome includes a delicious four-course Italian dinner with unlimited wine, and a drive to see some of Rome's most famous sights**
*Due to Religious events, the opening times of St. Peter's Basilica are subject to change without notice. In these cases, you will visit the Vatican Library instead of the Basilica.
**Available for Nov-Dec departures only.
Optional: Piazzas of Rome (PM)
Optional: Dinner & Evening Sightseeing Drive of Rome (PM)
DAY 8, Friday - Depart Italy
Arrivederci Roma! Transfer to the airport for your departure flight