Day 1 ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY.
Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and leave the hotel for a special welcome dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 2 ROME.
Guided sightseeing includes inside visits to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, and monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Then, drive to the Roman Forum and see the amazing Colosseum, where gladiators once fought. An optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites for those who wish to see it all. (B)
Day 3 ROME–SAN GIMIGNANO–FLORENCE.
This morning, drive through Umbria along the Highway of the Sun north into Tuscany and its hill-clad vineyards. On your way to San Gimignano, the medieval hilltop town with its tower houses, enjoy [LF] a Chianti WINE TASTING, followed by lunch. Then, time to walk through the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next is Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” (B,L)
Day 4 FLORENCE.
During your walking tour with a Local Guide, visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David, admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE, and take pictures of Ponte Vecchio. Time to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry, sold by the ounce. (B)
Day 5 FLORENCE–VENICE ISLAND.
A spectacular drive through the wooded Apennine Hills brings you to Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. Enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT to meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are ST. MARK’S SQUARE, a favorite location for many movies, and the byzantine BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner, and receive an exclusive gift, just for you! (B)
Day 6 VENICE ISLAND.
Immerse yourself in the wonderful atmosphere of Venice. Wander through the narrow streets, discover Rialto Bridge, and top it all off by enjoying [LF] a farewell drink at famous CAFFÈ FLORIAN while musicians entertain you. Later, why not join an optional cruise to the charming island of Burano, followed by a delicious meal of local specialties? (B)
Day 7 VENICE ISLAND–LAKE COMO.
Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (first class) to Milan, then transfer to beautiful Lake Como. Enjoy a guided walking tour in charming Como, which includes the historic center and the imposing, marble-clad DUOMO. Your Loc
Day 8 LAKE COMO.
Experience a relaxing BOAT RIDE on Lake Como for panoramas of stunning mountain scenery and luxury lakeside villas. Disembark at picturesque Bellagio with its century-old buildings, stone lanes, and quaint cobblestone stairways filled with shops; free time for lunch and exploration on your own. (B)
Day 9 LAKE COMO.
Your Local Host will have many suggestions for your day at leisure. (B)
Day 10 LAKE COMO.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Milan Malpensa). (B)