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|Itinerary at a Glance
Fabulous Florence & Rome
|5||Rome, Assisi & Florence|
|8||Florence & Rome|
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Highlights||Imperial city tour of Rome, St Francis Basilica Assisi, Accademia in Forence|
Art, antiquities, mystery and faith: this tour will immerse you in the wonders of two of Italy's favorite cities. This 9-day visit combines guided tours by local experts, with ample time for exploring on your own.
Walk in the footsteps of gladiators and emperors in the “Eternal City” of Rome. Explore the Roman Forum excavations, the Colosseum where gladiators battled, and spend two full days on your own to take in the multitude of monuments and museums. Take some time to taste the gelato, sip a glass of wine, and throw a coin into a fountain.
Next, you'll see the mystical town of Assisi, with its famous frescoes at the Basilica of St. Francis.
Finish in Florence, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and driver of the Age of Discovery. The city's rich culture and history are on daily display. Marvel at the intricate carvings and life-sized statues of Giotto's towering 14th century bell tower and cathedral Duomo. A full day on your own allows time to stroll the open air markets and shops. And of course no visit would be complete without paying homage to Michelangelo's David.
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Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting trip to the “Eternal City” begins today as you depart for Rome, Italy.
Day 2: Rome. Upon arrival in Rome, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day to relax in your hotel. Accommodations: Visconti Palace or similar.
Day 3: Rome. This morning, depart on your guided tour of Imperial Rome. Explore the excavated Roman Forum, including the ancient market place surrounded by government buildings. For centuries, this was the center of Roman life and a public venue for triumphal processions, trials and elections, and commerce. Walk among the remains of the buildings and temples, and marvel at the Arch of Titus. Continue to the Colosseum, the most well-known landmark of Rome. The amphitheater was capable of seating 50,000 spectators and was used for gladiator contests, dramas from Classical mythology and re-enactments of famous battles. Later, view the Arch of Constantine, the Circus Maximus, the Great Synagogue, Isola Tiberina and Castel Sant'Angelo. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Rome. Enjoy the day to discover the wonders of Rome on your own. The city is filled with monuments, fountains, piazzas, shops and restaurants. Stand on the Spanish Steps, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, or sample tartufo ice cream in Piazza Navano. You can also visit the nearby Vatican City with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Square and Basilica. Shop and stroll through the Villa Borghese, enjoy a Roman pizza and a glass of wine or gelato. Breakfast provided.
Day 5: Rome, Assisi & Florence. This morning, depart Rome heading north to Florence. En route, stop in the mystical town of Assisi, on the slopes of Mt. Subasio. Meet your local guide and visit the Basilica of St. Francis, which houses some of the most important frescoes in Italy, including works by Cimabue and Giotto. Later, arrive in Florence and check in at your hotel. Accommodations: Grand Hotel Cavour or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Florence. Start the day with a walking tour of Florence. See the famous cathedral or Duomo, which dominates the skyline of Florence, Santa Maria del Fiori. Marvel at the Baptister's doors, the Gates of Paradise designed by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti as well as Giotto's Bell Tower, and later, walk around Signoria Square. End your tour at the Accademia of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo's David. The remainder of the day will be at leisure. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Florence. Enjoy the day at leisure to discover Florence. Your centrally located hotel is within walking distance of many famous sites. Stop at Ponte Vecchio and marvel at the jewelry stores, or visit the Basilica of Santa Croce. Stroll through the open air San Lorenzo Market, or enjoy a cappuccino at an open air café. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Florence & Rome. Transfer today from Florence to Rome, and check-in at your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your last day in Rome. Accommodations: Visconti Palace or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Rome/USA. Bid "arrivederci" to Italy as your journey comes to an end. Transfer to the airport for your return flight. You will arrive in New York later today.
My husband and I learned about Friendly Planet Travel through friends who went on a trip to China. They returned home raving about the great value and good time they and other travelers had while in the Far East. We began our own study of Friendly Planet trips and found one to Italy that offered just about everything but cannolis. Based just outside San Gimignano, we were more than satisfied with the family-owned Hotel Sovestro, had no issues with our little rental car, found it an easy public bus ride to and from Florence and even a night of opera music in Siena. Added to our travel bliss was a non-stop Emirates flight to and from Milan and JFK/New York. There was also much joy in making new friends who were also guests at Hotel Sovestro. Thank you, staff, for making this a most memorable trip. You'll be hearing from us again.
Gail Giannetto, Wakefield, MA