Day 1 ARRIVE ON VENICE ISLAND, ITALY.
Welcome to Venice! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 2 VENICE ISLAND.
After a PRIVATE BOAT RIDE, follow your Local Guide on a walking tour and visit ST. MARK’S SQUARE with its byzantine Basilica, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. [LF] A highlight is a GONDOLA SERENADE, the traditional way to explore the canals. Later, you may wish to join an optional excursion to the picturesque island of Burano. (B)
Day 3 VENICE ISLAND–MODENA–FLORENCE.
Enjoy a special treat today: a [LF] Leonardi Acetaia VINEGAR TASTING near Modena. Continue through the fertile Po area and the Apennine Mountains into Italy’s most popular province, Tuscany, and arrive in Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Tonight is your chance to join an optional dinner to try out Tuscan specialties. (B)
Day 4 FLORENCE–SIENA.
This morning, follow your Local Guide to the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS to see Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Also admire the magnificent marble cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Arrive in Siena, the city where the world-famous Palio, the spectacular medieval-style horse race, is held twice a year. (B)
Day 5 SIENA–PIENZA–ROME.
Your guided walking tour takes you inside its historic ramparts to the Duomo and to the PIAZZA DEL CAMPO, where the Palio medieval-style horse race is held. Next, join the Via Cassia, named after the antique road leading to Rome, and stop in Pienza, famous for pecorino cheese. This picturesque town has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to a member of the Piccolomini family who became Pope Pius II in the 15th century and redesigned the town in perfect renaissance style. Tonight, in the “Eternal City,” an optional dinner with local specialties is available at one of Rome’s famous restaurants. (B)
Day 6 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 7 ROME–POMPEII–SORRENTO.
A scenic drive southwards along the Highway of the Sun. Arrive in fascinating POMPEII, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Your Local Guide will walk you past patrician homes, public baths, and commercial districts that strikingly recall day-to-day life when Rome was at the apex of her power. Overnight in the charming, bayside resort of Sorrento. (B)
Day 8 SORRENTO. EXCURSION TO CAPRI.
Speed across the glittering bay by JETFOIL to the world-famous Isle of Capri. Ride the FUNICULAR to Capri village for a guided visit of this beautiful town. Free time to explore the little shops on the pretty piazzetta before returning to Sorrento. The remainder of the day is at leisure, and this evening, [LF] a special farewell dinner and a taste of Limoncello at O' Parrucchiano restaurant has been arranged to celebrate the success of your Italian vacation. (B,D)
Day 9 SORRENTO
. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Naples). (B)