Welcome to Italy, where history, culture, art and romance take on new meaning! This grand vacation takes you to the must-sees of Rome, Florence and Venice, and through the vineyards and olive plantations that dot the Tuscan countryside. Your two-night stay in Rome includes visits to the fabulous landmarks of Classical Rome, including the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. After a visit to the outlying medieval town of Assisi, you'll venture through the low-lying hills of Tuscany to Siena and San Gimignano. In Florence, you'll see Michelangelo's Statue of David and the Uffizi Museum, and maybe shop a bit among the city's legendary shops. You'll enjoy a visit to San Marino, one of the smallest countries in the world, while on the way to romantic Venice. Here you will enjoy a glass making demonstration and a leisurely walking tour. You'll conclude your memorable adventure in the picturesque Italian Lake District with a stay in the beautiful resort of Como.
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 - This morning it’s your choice! Perhaps a trip to Vatican City, with an optional tour to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica* will be on your personal sightseeing list. This afternoon, 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.
Day #4 Rome - Assisi - Perugia - Umbria - 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. Travel to Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis. Take a guided walking tour of the old city, including the Basilica of St. Francis. Then you are off to medieval Perugia, the historic capital of Umbria. Behold one of the grandest squares in Italy, the Piazza IV Novembre, and delight in the medieval palaces and ornate cathedrals.
Day #5 Umbria - 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. After a walking tour with a local expert, take some time to explore the medieval corners of Siena with its great shops and outdoor cafes. En route to Florence, visit a family-owned leather shop and learn the traditional Italian techniques of leather making.
Day #6 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 #7 Florence - Venice - Start your day with a trip to a historic winery in the heart of the Chianti region with its very own 12th century castle. Learn about Tuscany’s famous wines and enjoy a lunch filled with local specialties. This afternoon, journey through central Italy, crossing over the wooded Apennine Mountains toward the Valley of the Po. Enchanting Venice awaits with 117 tiny islands and its latticework of 150 canals and 400 bridges.
Day #8 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 #9 Venice - Lugano, Switzerland - Como, Italy - Milan Malpensa - Today you travel to the picturesque Italian Lake district. Cross into Switzerland and the lakeside resort of Lugano to enjoy beautiful views of Lake Lugano with excellent shopping opportunities. Returning to Italy, spend time in the elegant town of Como. Lake Como’s charm is tied to its beautiful villas, lush gardens and spectacular views. Continue to Milan Malpensa for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of an unforgettable trip.
Day #10 Milan Malpensa - Tour Ends - Your tour ends in Milan Malpensa this morning.