Day 1: Rome
After a meet & greet at Rome Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: ROME – ASSISI – SIENA – FLORENCE
At 07h15 you will depart from the Hotel Massimo D’Azeglio on a deluxe coach bound for Assisi. You will have some time at leisure to explore this tiny town, surrounded by walls built in the middle ages. Make sure to leave some time for visiting the Basilica of St. Francis where you will see masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue. After some more leisure time during which you should grab some lunch (not included), you will again board the bus travelling to Siena. This medieval town surrounded by ancient walls is known for the Palio, an annual summertime horse race around the shell-shaped town square, Piazza del Campo. From there you will continue to Florence, the day’s final destination.
Overnight: Florence (D)
Day 3: FLORENCE
Today will be spent exploring beautiful Florence, the “cradle of Renaissance”, where Michelangelo, among others, helped Italian art reach its peak. Based on Etruscan-roman origins, the city flourished in the middle ages as a free “commune” and was further refined by the renaissance. You will be fascinated by its numerous monuments, churches, and buildings, like Santa Maria del Fiore more commonly referred to as the Duomo. As you walk past you will be sure to see the magnificent dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi which graces most pictures of the city. You will cross a small piazza and see the campanile tower (partially designed by Giotto) and thereafter the baptistery, with its bronze doors opening to the East that Michelangelo dubbed the “gates of paradise.” In the heart of the city, you will walk through Piazza Della Signoria, Palazzo della Signoria (also known as Palazzo Vecchio), and see the Basilica of Santa Croce. You will have lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant at Piazza Santa Croce. Shortly thereafter the guided portion of today’s program will end and you have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to continue wandering the cobblestone streets of Florence discovering even further wonders, or perhaps you could take an optional tour to Pisa at your own expense.
Overnight: Florence (BL)
Day 4: FLORENCE – BOLOGNA – PADOVA – VENICE
In the morning you will depart to Bologna, a city well famous for almost 38 kilometers worth of elegant arcades (or porticos). From Piazza Malpighi, you will walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore (Neptune square and Major square) located in the heart of the city, where you will find Neptune fountain. You will also see King Renzo’s Palace, Podestà Palace, and the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the biggest in the world. Thereafter you will be given some time at leisure to grab lunch (not included). In the afternoon board the bus and continue toward Padova, home to Sant’Antonio basilica, one of the most visited churches by pilgrims of the Catholic world. Later in the afternoon, you will arrive in Venice, world-renowned for its classic gondola boats and its elegant, refined art.
Overnight: Venice (BD)
Day 5: VENICE
Hit the water after breakfast as you board a private water bus to St. Mark’s square where you will enjoy a tour of the of St. Mark’s Basilica with special tickets skipping the queue. Then see the Doge’s palace, a symbol of the glory and authority of Venice as it housed the seat of the government and the court of justice. Nearby you will see the legendary bridge of sighs. The afternoon will then be at your leisure to continue roaming along Venice’s canals and discovering more of the city’s wonders.
Overnight: Venice (BD)
Day 6: VENICE – MONTEPULCIANO – ROME
Today you will be travelling through Tuscany, known for its romantic churches and castles and its delicious wines. You will proceed to Val di Chiana stopping along the way in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich with history and art. Known for its “nobile” wine, which can be purchased in wine houses in town, Montepulciano is also the host of an annual jazz and wine festival every July. Lunch in a restaurant is included after which you will have a little time to explore the town and perhaps get some countryside shopping done. Then the tour continues to Rome where you will arrive in the evening.
Overnight: Rome (BL)
Day 7: ROME
At 07h45-08h00 you will leave the hotel to go on a half-day city tour of Rome during which you will visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica without having to worry about the queues at these sites. The first stop will be at the Vatican where your guide will lead you into the museums holding one of the most important art collections of the world. Walk along the beautiful Gallery of Tapestries; admire the geographical maps and Raphael’s rooms, before continuing to the famous Sistine Chapel. After admiring the chapel you will continue to St. Peter’s Basilica and finally the tour will end in St. Peter’s square. After that, the tour ends and the rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure to explore the city some more.
Overnight: Rome (B)
Day 8: ROME
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Rome Airport. (B)