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 welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 2 ROME.
A fascinating day awaits. Your guided sightseeing includes inside visits of the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL where you can marvel at Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment. Visit monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Also, see the magnificent Colosseum next to the Roman Forum and the Arch of Constantine, and hear about the gladiators who fought here. An optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites. (B)
Day 3 ROME–ASSISI–FLORENCE.
Enjoy a morning break in the majestic medieval hilltop town of Assisi. Visit the massive 13th-century BASILICA OF ST. FRANCIS, the hub of a religious order devoted to the ideals of humility, forgiveness, simplicity, and love for all God’s creatures. Enter Tuscany and arrive in Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” (B)
Day 4 FLORENCE.
During your walking tour with a Local Guide, visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS, home to Michelangelo’s celebrated statue of David, admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Enjoy [LF] lunch next to Santa Croce Square with time to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry, sold by the ounce. (B,L)
Day 5 FLORENCE–PISA–VENICE ISLAND.
This morning, drive to Pisa. In the spectacular Square of Miracles, take the traditional picture pushing back the amazing Leaning Tower. Drive through the wooded Apennine Hills, known as the backbone of Italy, to Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. (B)
Day 6 VENICE ISLAND.
Take a PRIVATE BOAT to join your Local Guide for a walking tour. Highlights are ST. MARK’S SQUARE, a favorite location for many movies, 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. Immerse yourself in the wonderful atmosphere of Venice. Wander through the narrow streets, and discover Rialto Bridge. You may wish to take an optional gondola serenade. This evening, a farewell dinner awaits at one of Venice’s restaurants to celebrate the success of your Italian Escape. (B,D)