Rome Florence Venice Lake District Tour
8 Days/7 Nights
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa (optional) Padua, Venice, Verona, Sirmione (Lake Garda), Lake Como, Milan
DAY 01 (Saturday): ROME
Arrive in Rome, the Italian capital, and receive transportation to your hotel. After checking in, you will have the remainder of the day at your leisure. Stroll the streets independently and explore some of the city’s treasures. If you are arriving in Rome in the morning, we suggest you to visit in the afternoon the Vatican Museums in order to admire the beautiful Sistine Chapel among other artistic treasures. Dinner is not included on this day, so consider a quaint café or authentic restaurant of your choosing. Overnight at your hotel accommodation in Rome city center.
DAY 02 (Sunday): ROME
Start the day with a buffet breakfast served at the hotel. Around 9:00 a.m. you will depart for an English speaking walking tour, a 3 hour excursion around the city’s most historic and popular areas. Rome is filled with history and culture, having stood the test of time since the height of the Roman Empire. More than 2,500 years old, it is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities, and it retains much of its classical architecture and art. Now, Rome blends this amazing antiquity with modern urban conveniences and activity. This combination makes Rome among the most interesting cities in the world. During the exploration, you will see the Largo Argentina, a typical Roman square that houses the remains of Pompey’s theater, the Campo de’ Fiori, named for the fields of flowers that use to reside here and where a statue of Giordano Bruno resides in honor of what many people consider his martyrdom. Next on the tour will be the Piazza Navona, a Roman city square that was originally built in 1st century AD and called the Stadium of Domitian. The Piazza Navona was later built on top of the stadium. Piazza Farnese will be next on the guided tour. This is a late renaissance palace that was originally constructed in 1514. The famous Pantheon, originally built as a place to worship pagan gods, the Spanish Steps, a stairway of 135 steps and Europe’s widest staircase will both be enjoyed along the journey. The completion of the day’s tour will be at the Trevi Fountain where legend holds that if a visitor throws a coin into the fountain, they will return to this beloved city. This fountain is truly magnificent as the architecture will likely be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
After the tour, enjoy the rest of the day experiencing this world-renowned city on your own, at your own pace. We may suggest taking part at another walking tour that will bring you to discover the Ancient Rome including a visit inside of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Dinner is not included on this day, so dine wherever you choose or ask us for some suggestions. Overnight stay at your Hotel.
DAY 03 (Monday): ROME, ASSISI, SIENA, FLORENCE
Prepare for the day with breakfast enjoyed at the hotel. Depart from Rome at 7:00 a.m. and head for Assisi by coach. The walled town of Assisi is the home of the beloved Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Here, you will see the beautiful Basilica of Saint Francis, a church that began in 1228 and is actually made up of two churches. It also houses famous Renaissance art pieces, some of which were created by famed Giotto and Cimabue. The tour will then proceed to Siena, a small medieval city that garners major attention twice a year for its famous Palio horserace. After your time in Siena, you will travel to Florence. Once in Florence, enjoy dinner and settle in for the night at the local hotel in the city center.
DAY 04 (Tuesday): FLORENCE, PISA (Optional, not included)
Breakfast at your Hotel. Start the day with a guided trek around Florence, considered the cradle of the Renaissance. Florence experienced centuries of great wealth, drawing tradesmen and creative thinkers of all types. Though Florence was originally built to be a garrison settlement for the Roman Empire, it experienced its greatest period of growth during the Renaissance. As such, Florence is home to a huge variety of influences, both in architecture and culture. Ranking on Forbes list of the most beautiful cities in the world, the entire city is a work of art. During your stay, you will see the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and its amazing stained glass windows erected between 1434 and 1455. Across from the Cathedral is Giotto’s Bell Tower that houses seven beautiful bells. The tower was completed in 1359 and encases a stairwell of 414 steps, which once climbed, gives a panoramic view of Florence. The Baptistery of St. John is adjacent to the tower and is an octagonal baptistery that was completed in 1128, making it one of the oldest buildings in the city. Santa Croce, a 13th century Franciscan Church and final resting place for Michelangelo and Galileo, will also be visited.
After the tour, you will spend the rest of the day sightseeing at your own pace. Consider taking the half day Pisa tour to see the Leaning Tower and Piazza dei Miracoli (optional, not included), or spend some time shopping in the Florence Piazzas and streets.
Before turning in for the night, sit down for a pleasant meal at the hotel.
Day 05 (Wednesday): FLORENCE, PADUA, VENICE
Begin the day with a buffet breakfast served at the hotel before leaving for Venice via coach. Before arriving in Venice, you will stop by Padua, home of the breathtaking Cathedral of St. Anthony. Outside the cathedral is Donatello’s “Gattamelata,” portraying Erasmo of Narni, who was a fierce mercenary that fought for the many city-states that made up Italy before nationalizing. Padua sits along the Bacchiglione River and has multiple bridges that enter into the city for access, and is the setting for the Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare.
Once in Venice, embark on a comprehensive walking tour around the aptly named City of Bridges. A stop in St. Mark’s Square, the primary public square in Venice where politics, religion and social life intermingle, will be included in the tour. You will visit the Basilica of St. Mark, the city’s main cathedral since 1807, with some of its earliest construction dating back to 832. You will also admire the exterior of the Doge’s Palace. The palace has had several reconstruction projects and restorative works done. Originally built in 810 and later restored, it has seen its share of fire and other destruction through the centuries. Each time, different sections were either repaired or other additions were made. Connected to the Doge’s Palace are also the Prisons and the famous Bridge of Sighs.
End your day with dinner with your group and spend the night in your new hotel accommodation right on Venice Island.
Day 06 (Thursday): VENICE
The day starts off with a buffet breakfast at the hotel before leaving by boat for a tour of the Venice lagoon. Sail across the tranquil lagoon and watch the islands as you float peacefully by. You will arrive in Murano, a small island with a population of around 5,000. Murano is famous for its exquisite glass, particularly, lit lamps and lanterns. Some of the glass factories on Murano have been around for over a century. While there, you will be able to observe this famous glass being made and have the opportunity to assist in a demonstration. You will have a bit of time to shop at the eclectic boutiques for something unique to take home with you.
Once back in Venice, you will have the afternoon to yourself to explore the romantic city. Venice is known for its art and the city attracts aspiring painters from around the world.
Return to the hotel in the evening for a delicious dinner and a restful night’s sleep.
Day 07 (Friday): VENICE, VERONA, SIRMIONE (LAKE GARDA), LAKE COMO, MILAN
Begin the day with a buffet breakfast enjoyed at the hotel, then leave for Milan.
The first brief stop will be in Verona. “Fair Verona”, as many people know it from the Shakespearian love story of Romeo and Juliette. It is a romantic town filled with excellent examples of medieval and Roman architecture, particularly the Roman amphitheater.
Depart from Verona and travel to Sirmione, a small picturesque town on the edge of Lake Garda. Sit down for lunch at a local eatery and then explore this town’s heritage. Sirmione was originally a resort town, but was converted into a defensive stronghold by the Romans meant to defend the southern parts of the lake. Its stalwart ramparts still stand today, evoking the powerful influence the empire held over the word for so long.
After leaving Sirmione, the driver will take you for a scenic trip along the banks of Lake Como, a pristine lake formed by glacier activity.
Arrive in Milan in the evening and check into the hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before settling in for the night.
Day 08 (Saturday): MILAN or FREE TRANSFER TO ROME
Prepare for the day with a buffet breakfast offered at the hotel. Explore the second-largest urban area in Italy, with a population that rivals Rome in scope. Milan is a connected world city and the commercial and financial heart of the country. Resting near the foot of the beautiful Alps, Milan doesn’t retain the same level of Roman history that Italy’s other cities do, as the city was redesigned in the 4th century. However, it still retains a lot of history and features the world’s oldest shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galleria is fitted with a cast iron and glass roof that brightens the interior designs, showing beautiful detail in every direction. Other highlights of the tour include the Duomo and the Sforza castle. The Sforza castle is a 15th century castle that was erected atop a 14th century fortification. It had continuing construction through the 16th and 17th centuries and currently houses many of the cities art collections and museums. The Duomo took nearly six centuries to finish and is the fifth largest in the world. Nowadays Milan is also one of the most important fashion and design reference in the world.
Around 12:30 p.m., the tour will come to a close at the central railway station. (Airport or new hotel transfer in Milan is not included). If you wish, you can travel back to Rome with a free bus transfer. If you choose this option, you should arrive in the Italian capital around 7:30 p.m.