This itinerary is for a past tour program.
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Indulge in la dolce vita on a fabulous 10-day journey to Italy. Our tour takes you to the Italian classics - Venice, Florence and Rome - as well as some hidden, "off the beaten path" gems including Bologna, Montecatini Terme, Siena, San Gimignano, and Orvieto. Learn about how Italy's history, culture, religion and art have helped shape the world as we know it today. Everything you need to explore these classical treasures, from convenient flights, transfers, great hotels in fabulous locations in the heart of each city, buffet breakfast daily and 4 dinners, a comprehensive sightseeing tour program plus special optional tours are part of this deal. If you are interested in tracing the roots of our Western civilization, including the religious and artistic heritage that defines our modern culture, you won't find a better and more attractive opportunity anywhere. But don't wait too long. At these prices, our Italian Treasures tour is sure to sell out quickly.
Day 2: Venice. Welcome to Venice, the "Queen of the Adriatic." After customs formalities, transfer your centrally located hotel for check-in. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore independently one of the most popular and unique cities in the world. You do not need to wander far in any direction to discover the beauty of Venice. At virtually every turn, you’ll encounter winding streets and canals, ancient palaces and piazzas, or a gondola sailing by on the torch-lit waterfront. The city is also home to an abundance of world-famous museums and impressive art collections. This evening, enjoy dinner and fabulous views of the canals at your hotel restaurant. Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky Dinner provided.
Day 3: Venice. This morning’s half-day guided walking tour will take you to one of Venice’s most stunning treasures, St. Mark’s Basilica. Combining Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic styles, this cathedral is not only an impressive architectural accomplishment; it is also a testament to Venice’s historical role as a bridge between East and West. Later today, delve deeper into Venice’s cultural heritage as you experience Mardi Gras at its finest at a Carnival costume making demonstration. This delicate art form dates back to the 13th century, when the Venetians celebrated the first Carnival to mark the transition from winter to spring. Now celebrated during the ten days before Lent, it is one of Europe's most popular parties.
Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure or take advantage of an exciting optional tour to Murano Island where the world famous glassworks are housed. Your tour also includes admission to the Murano Glass Museum ($ ). Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Venice, Bologna, Montecatini. After breakfast, depart Venice and travel via motorcoach to Bologna. Originally founded by the Etruscans in c. 534 BC, Bologna has evolved into what many consider the gastronomic capital of Italy, thanks to its handmade tortellini, ragu meat sauce, and mortadella, the antecedent of the bologna that we know in the US. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour of this historic city which is home to the western world's oldest university (1088) and to over 20 miles of covered walkways, called arcades.
After your tour, proceed to Montecatini Terme, a peaceful spa town in Tuscany. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure to indulge in the town’s world famous springs and thermal baths. Or, join our optional excursion to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery and the Duomo, all located in Campo Dei Miracoli or "Field of Miracles" Hotel Ambasciatori Montecatini Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5: Montecatini & Florence. After breakfast this morning, head south to nearby Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance and often regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A local expert will guide you on a leisurely walking tour of the city’s highlights: the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Church of Santa Croce, burial place of Michelangelo and Galileo. Your tour culminates with a visit to the Accademia of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo’s David. After your tour, enjoy time at leisure to explore Florence on your own, shop for traditional Florentine crafts, stroll among the piazzas, or view the work of the Italian masters in some of the city's magnificent museums. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon for evening at leisure. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: San Gimignano & Siena. Today is dedicated to two of Italy's hidden treasures: Siena and San Gimignano. One of the most charming of all Tuscan hill towns, San Gimignano is best known for its medieval towers that dot its landscape. With its dazzling gothic cathedral and impressive frescoes, the well-preserved, medieval town of Siena is truly an art-lover’s paradise.
Enjoy panoramic guided tours in each city plus leisure time to explore each on your own. Before the day is over, be sure to sample some of Italy’s famous gelato and pizza Hotel Jolly Siena (Passengers on the March 18 departure will stay at the Hotel Athena). Breakfast & dinner provided.
Grand Hotel Palatino Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8: Rome. Today’s guided tour takes you to the heart of the Roman Empire. Your tour includes a visit to Coliseum, that most famous of all Roman stadiums, where gladiators fought to the death before audiences of thousands. You'll also visit the Forum, political heart of the Roman Empire and site of some of history's greatest events, and Palantine Hill, site of Rome’s aristocratic residences and palaces for centuries.
Day 9: Rome, Vatican City. After breakfast this morning, transfer to the Vatican for a tour of the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, and that most famous of religious and artistic treasures, the Sistine Chapel.
Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. You'll find plenty to see and do as you stroll the picturesque and bustling streets of Rome. Shop, stroll through the Villa Borghese, enjoy a Roman pizza and a glass of wine or espresso in a sidewalk café, and savor the wonderful ambience that is found only here in the Eternal City. Breakfast provided.
Day 10: Rome/USA. Your memorable Italian journey ends today as you say arrivederci Italia and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA. Arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Italy, click here.