Come experience Italy’s history, culture, art and romance. While in Rome, you’ll attend the weekly papal audience and receive the blessing given by His Holiness, Benedict XVI. You’ll also visit St. Peter’s Basilica and view such artistic treasures as the Sistine Chapel. A guided panoramic tour of the “Eternal City” features the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, and the famous Trevi Fountain. Explore the birthplace of St. Francis when you travel to Assisi. A scenic journey through Tuscany’s low-lying hills brings you to the mystical city of Siena, with its narrow Gothic streets, magnificent palaces and historic Piazza del Campo. Learn the traditional Italian techniques of leather making during a visit to a family-owned leather shop in Florence. Here, a visit to the world-famous Academy Gallery reveals Michelangelo’s Statue of David. Explore the hub of Venetian life, St. Mark’s Square and travel to Murano Island for an up-close glass making demonstration when you spend two nights in Venice. Conclude your amazing journey with a performance of the world-renowned Oberammergau Passion Play in Oberammergau, Bavaria. Watch as the entire village gathers together to present you with their rendition of this biblical story.
Day #1 Overnight Flight - Welcome to Italy, a land rich in history, culture, art and romance. Your journey begins with an overnight flight to Rome, "The Eternal City."
Day #2 Rome, Italy - Tour Begins - You arrive in Rome today. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a special welcome dinner at a popular local restaurant featuring regional delicacies and fine Italian wines.
Day #3 Rome - Vatican City - Papal Audience - This morning, visit Vatican City to attend the weekly papal audience* and receive the blessing given by His Holiness, Benedict XVI. Later, visit St. Peter’s Basilica, built on the site where St. Peter was martyred. Known as the grandest of the world’s churches, St. Peter’s is unsurpassed in beauty. In the Vatican Museum* you will view such historical treasures as the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s restored mural of the Last Judgment.
Day #4 Rome - This morning enjoy a locally guided panoramic tour of Rome featuring the impressive Piazza Venezia, the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine and the famous Trevi Fountain. This afternoon, explore Rome on your own - perhaps visit the legendary Spanish Steps or shop for one-of-a-kind gifts.
Day #5 Rome - Assisi - Perugia - LANGUAGE DISCOVERY: Today, your Tour Manager will help you discover the origin and history of the language(s) you will experience on your tour along with key words and phrases that will help you communicate with the locals. Today you are off to Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis. Take a guided walking tour of the old city, including the Basilica of St. Francis. Then, travel to medieval Perugia, the historic capital of Umbria. Here you will behold one of the grandest squares in Italy, the Piazza IV Novembre, and delight in the medieval palaces and ornate cathedrals.
Day #6 Perugia - Siena - Florence - A scenic journey through Tuscany’s graceful low-lying hills brings you to the mystical city of Siena. You will be delighted by its narrow Gothic streets, magnificent palaces and historic Piazza del Campo. Upon arrival in Florence, visit a family-owned leather shop and learn the traditional Italian techniques of leather making.
Day #7 Florence - In Florence, the “Cradle of Italian Renaissance,” visit the world-famous Academy Gallery to see Michelangelo’s incredible Statue of David. During your cultural tour of Florence, you'll also view the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Church of Santa Croce, burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy this fascinating city on your own.
Day #8 Florence - Padua - Venice - Today you journey through central Italy to the medieval city of Padua to view the impressive six-domed Saints Basilica, dedicated to St. Anthony. Then it is on to the canal-laden city of Venice. This enchanting city was built on 117 tiny islands and is characterized by a latticework of 150 canals and 400 bridges.
Day #9 Venice - Murano Island - Venice - Your day begins with a boat trip* (weather permitting) to Murano Island for an up-close glass making demonstration. Next, return to Venice and visit charming St. Mark’s Square, the lively hub of the city's activity and events. A local expert will guide you on a walking tour of the area featuring St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, and the Clock Tower with its famous Moors.
Day #10 Venice - Trento - Oberammergau, Germany - Today you make the scenic journey to the Bavarian village of Oberammergau. En route, travel through the majestic Dolomites with a special stop made in the Alpine town of Trento. During your visit, stroll the quaint streets and admire the artistic heritage of this Renaissance-inspired center.
Day #11 Oberammergau - Passion Play - The morning is at leisure for you to explore this lovely village. This afternoon, witness a performance of the Passion Play. The original performance dates back to 1634. During the Thirty Year War, the village of Oberammergau was spared the Black Plague and for this reason, the villagers vowed that every ten years they would give a play to honor the life of Christ. The performers are native Oberammergauers. To lend authenticity to the performance, the cast start to grow their hair and beards more than a year in advance. Also, the intricate costumes are made locally by the villagers. During the break in the performance, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of a memorable trip.
Day #12 Oberammergau - Tour Ends -