Day 1 - Depart USA
Boarding your overnight flight, you’re off to Italy on the adventure of a lifetime!
Day 2 - Arrive in Rome - Afternoon at Leisure - Dinner in Hotel
Benvenuti a Roma! We are pleased to offer complimentary transfers from the Rome airport to your hotel at scheduled times. Your Perillo representative will be at the airport to greet you.Enjoy some free time this afternoon—take a walk on Via Veneto, have a gelato or maybe do some shopping. Tonight, we’ll meet our tour leader for a brief orientation and welcome drink, followed by dinner in our hotel.
Day 3 - Rome - Vatican Museum - Sistine Chapel - St. Peter's Basilica - Dinner Out
This morning, it’s a ten-minute bus ride over to another country—Vatican City. With our expert local guide we’ll tour the Vatican Museums—a massive collection of ancient Greek sculptures, medieval tapestries and Renaissance paintings.Our visit culminates in the Sistine Chapel, renowned for its Renaissance art, especially the ceiling which was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. This room, which attracts more than five million visitors each year, is also where the Pope is elected.Next we visit St. Peter’s Basilica, by far the largest church in Christendom. We’ll see Michelangelo’s Pietà, sculpted when he was just 24 years old, as well as Bernini’s seven story bronze canopy located above the main altar.Afterwards, we explore some of the oldest areas of Rome – the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere.There’s been a Jewish community in Rome since the second-century BC. It was Pope Paul IV who ordered them into a walled-off section of town in 1555. But In 1870, the Papal States lost control of the area and the Jews were free to leave the Ghetto!All this walking will make us hungry… Si mangia! You’ll get a taste of real Italian cuisine and fine wines in a family-style restaurant in the characteristic district of Trastevere. This lively area is just what one imagines Italy to be like, with tiny cobblestone streets and music-filled trattorias on every corner.(Please note that the visit of St. Peter’s Basilica is subject to availability based on any events planned by the Pope.)
Day 4 - Rome - Colosseum
Hail Caesar! All aboard our chariot for a relaxing, panoramic driving tour of Imperial Rome including the Roman Forum, downtown ancient Rome, the Circus Maximus, and the Great Synagogue, built in the heart of the Jewish quarter.Then we’ll enter the Colosseum, reliving the brutal entertainment of the gladiators and the lions, refereed by the Emperor himself.Tonight, we thought you’d enjoy a dinner on your own. Ask your tour leader for a recommendation, or venture out and explore the lively restaurants of Rome! Be sure to try Pasta cacio e pepe—pasta in a creamy olive oil, pecorino cheese and black pepper sauce—a specialty of Rome. Don’t forget the gelato after dinner! You’re doing a lot of walking on this tour so it’s a well-deserved treat!
Day 5 - Rome - Florence - Dinner in Hotel
After a hearty breakfast, we enjoy a ride through the Tuscan countryside on our way to Florence. Our deluxe motorcoach navigates the rolling hills, scenic vineyards and postcard perfect vistas of Tuscany. Your tour leader will give you some useful information about the region while you relax and enjoy the scenery.We check into our beautiful hotel, Villa Olmi. This villa, located just fifteen-minutes from the historic center of Florence, is a peaceful oasis of Tuscan tranquility. Tonight, we enjoy a Florentine dinner with local wines at our hotel.
Day 6 - Florence City Tour - The David - Lunch
Florence—the fountainhead of the Renaissance awaits our inspection! Our day of sightseeing includes the majestic Duomo built in 1926, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery with its renowned Gates of Paradise doors.We follow the medieval streets to the most striking square in Florence, Basilica di Santa Croce, where Michelangelo is buried.“Breathtaking” is the only word to describe one’s first view of Michelangelo’s David. Yes, it’s quite large and detailed. But the real magic is in how Michelangelo transformed lifeless rock into a man—full of pride, wary of his adversary, yet quietly confident. All with just a hammer and chisel!Next we enjoy a typical Tuscan lunch. The evening is yours to do as you please!
Day 7 - Florence - Lucca - Pisa
After breakfast (colazione), we drive to Lucca, also known as “the city of 100 churches”. The churches are protected against Medieval invasions with huge, fortified walls. We visit the famous Duomo, the Amphitheater and the impressive Church of San Frediano.This afternoon we visit Pisa! The Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) is recognized as one of the main centers for medieval art in the world, with four great religious edifices: the Cathedral, the Campanile (the famous leaning Tower), the Baptistery and the Camposanto.We’ll enter the Cathedral dedicated to St. Mary of the Assumption. The big candelabrum near the altar is where Galileo Galilei tested his laws of pendulum physics!Next we enter the marble Baptistery, the largest in all of Italy. Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the building took 211 years to construct. The acoustics are amazing…you can whisper to a person 30-feet away and they’ll hear you clearly.Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own at a local Florentine restaurant. Be sure to try Ribollita, one of Florence’s most delicious specialties. This hearty soup is made from cannelloni beans, vegetables, red cabbage and chunks of bread (pane).
Day 8 - Florence - Siena - San Gimignano - Chianti Oil & Wine Tasting with Dinner - Florence
Today we travel back in time to medieval Siena – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit the famous Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares and the site of the famous Palio horse race.We’ll visit Siena’s town hall, Palazzo Pubblico, and the enchanting Duomo (cathedral) featuring the most ornate mosaic tile floor in all of Italy.Next, we drive through the beautiful rolling hills of Chianti, for a most unique winery visit. You’ll get to meet our dear friend, Pierluigi Giachi, the world’s most enchanting and entertaining sommelier. Enjoy an oil and wine tasting and early dinner at the Tenuta Torciano. Salute!
Day 9 - Flight Home - Florence - USA
This morning you board your flight home arriving in the USA the same day. Grazie mille for traveling with the Perillo family!