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 at one of Rome’s lively restaurants. (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 visit 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–ASSISI–VENICE ISLAND.
Entering the province of Umbria, arrive in peaceful Assisi and visit ST. FRANCIS BASILICA, the hub of a religious order devoted to the ideals of humanity, forgiveness, simplicity, and love for all God’s creatures. Arrive in Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. Enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT! (B)
Day 4 VENICE ISLAND.
Meet your Local Guide and take your walking tour featuring ST. MARK’S SQUARE 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. Afterwards, enjoy Venice at your own pace or join an optional cruise to the charming island of Burano. (B)
Day 5 VENICE ISLAND–PISA–FLORENCE.
Drive through the Apennine Mountains to Pisa and marvel at the Leaning Tower, then continue to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Tonight is your chance to try out local specialties on an optional dinner outing to a fine Tuscan restaurant. (B)
Day 6 FLORENCE.
Guided sightseeing features a visit to the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS to see Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Admire the magnificent marble cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. A highlight is [LF] your visit to the SANTA CROCE BASILICA to see the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Rossini, and other historic and famous figures. And, of course, you will taste a gelato artigianale (traditional ice cream). (B)
Day 7 FLORENCE–SIENA–ROME.
Arrive in Siena for an orientation walk through ancient, narrow lanes to PIAZZA DEL CAMPO. See the square where the biannual Palio, Siena’s spectacular medieval-style horse race, is held and [LF] taste traditional panforte and ricciarelli (local specialties). Return to the “Eternal City” and tonight, enjoy a special farewell dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate the success of your Italian vacation. (B,D)
Day 8 ROME.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)