From Rome's ancient monuments to Florence's beautiful Renaissance architecture and the stunning canals of Venice, Italy offers so much to see that first-time travelers should plan to maximize their time and focus on the main highlights of such an artistic and culturally rich country. This 8 day escorted group tour does a great job of condensing many of Italy's most famous attractions, exposing travelers to historic landmarks, impressive museums, scenic landscapes, and much more. There will be time dedicated to the major cities of Rome, Florence and Venice, the so-called "Big Three", as well as smaller gems such as Assisi, Siena, Padua, Verona and Lake Como. A perfect tour for those who want to see as much as possible during their vacation, this travel package ensures that travelers will experience all of Italy's history, culture, beauty and food.
From Rome to Milan (or Rome)
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 arrive in Rome in the morning, we suggest visiting the Vatican Museums in the afternoon to admire the beautiful Sistine Chapel, among other artistic treasures (optional activity, guided tour with skip the line entrance reservations strongly recommended and can be arranged separately). Dinner is not included on this day, so consider a quaint café or authentic restaurant of your choosing. Overnight stay at your hotel accommodation in Rome's 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 world's oldest continually inhabited cities, and it retains much of its classical architecture and art. Today, Rome blends this amazing antiquity with modern urban conveniences and activity. This combination places Rome among the most interesting cities in the world. During the exploration, you will see the Largo di Torre Argentina, a typical Roman square that houses the remains of Pompey’s theater, as well as Campo de’ Fiori, named for the fields of flowers that once resided here and where a statue of Giordano Bruno stands watch. Next on the tour will be Piazza Navona, a Roman city square that was originally built during the 1st century AD and called the Stadium of Domitian; Piazza Navona was later built on top of the stadium. Afterwards, continue on to Palazzo Farnese, a late Renaissance palace that was originally constructed in 1514. The famous Pantheon, originally built as a place to worship pagan gods, as well as 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.
After the tour, enjoy the rest of the day experiencing this world-renowned city on your own, at your own pace. We suggest taking part in another walking tour that will bring you to discover the main monuments of 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 at the hotel. Then, depart from Rome at 7:00 a.m. and head for Assisi by motor coach. The walled town of Assisi was the home of beloved Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Here, you will see the beautiful Basilica of Saint Francis, which is actually composed of two churches and houses famous Renaissance art pieces, some of which by famed artists Giotto and Cimabue. The tour will then proceed to Siena, a medieval city that garners major attention twice a year for its Palio horse-race held in the main city square. After your time in Siena, you will travel to Florence where you will enjoy dinner and settle in for the night at your 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 large variety of influences, both in architecture and culture. Ranking on the 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, offers 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 the 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 a half day excursion to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and Piazza dei Miracoli (optional, not included), or spend some time shopping in Florence's 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 motor 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” statue portraying Erasmo of Narni, who was a fierce mercenary that fought for the many city-states of Italy before unification. Padua sits along the Bacchiglione River with multiple bridges that enter into the city and it is the setting for the Taming of the Shrew by William 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, which has undergone several reconstruction projects and restorative works. 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 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 by peacefully. 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 witness a glass-blowing 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, or we could say “Fair Verona”, as many people know it from the Shakespearian love story of Romeo and Juliet. Verona is a romantic town filled with excellent examples of medieval and Roman architecture, particularly the historic Arena, a Roman amphitheater.
Depart from Verona and travel to Sirmione, a small picturesque town on the edge of Lake Garda. Stop 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 Roman Empire held over the world 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, there are still plenty of historic monuments to enjoy including 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 city's art collections and museums. The Duomo took nearly six centuries to finish and is the fifth largest church in the world. Nowadays, Milan is also one of the most important fashion and design capitals in the world.
Around 12:30 p.m., the tour will come to a close at the Centrale 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 will arrive in the Italian capital around 7:30 p.m.
Emily worked with us for the perfect trip. Our pre-vacation planning session was helpful to lessen any anxiety on what to expect when arrivi
Thank you for a wonderful planned precruise tour of your beloved Rome. We were able to walk or take the Hop On Hop Off everywhere we wanted
PACKAGE START AT $1,564.00 INCLUDES:
- Transportation by Deluxe motor coach as per itinerary;
- 7 Nights accommodation in 4 Stars Hotels centrally located in double/twin rooms with private facilities (please note that in Venice depending on availability the hotel might be 3 or 4 Stars Hotel on the Venice Island);
- Daily Buffet Breakfast;
- 5 Dinners as per itinerary;
- English Speaking Tour-Escort from day 3 to day 8;
- Panoramic Visits as per itinerary;
- Local Guided tours and entrance fees as per itinerary;
- Vat Taxes and service Charges;
- Optional return transfer to Rome;
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- All Land & Air prices: Additional U.S. & Foreign Departure Taxes and Surcharges Fee(s) assessed by the Airlines.
- Hospitality city tax which varies by city and hotel category. Where applicable it must be paid locally to the hotel.
- Other monuments and museums entrance fees, Tips and Extras.
- All which is not listed under “PACKAGE INCLUDES”.
Only English speaking escorted group tour.
All departures are guaranteed.
The itinerary may be reversed or modified for technical reason.
(*) Rate based on two adult persons sharing a double or twin bedded room with private bathroom. Single rooms are available at an additional supplement. Children’s, triple room rates and alternative accommodation arrangements are available upon request. (Additional and different charges may apply).
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