Day 1, Friday Arrival
Arrive in Rome airport and meet your driver in the arrival hall. Transfer to your hotel in the heart of Rome. Check in hotel and time at leisure to relax oe start to enjoy Rome on your own. In the late afternoon you’ll meet your Tour Leader for a welcome briefing and review the itinerary. We will then take a short walk to a nearby restaurant where you’ll meet and get acquainted with your travel companions over a wonderful welcome dinner.
Day 2, Saturday Heart of Rome & Vatican
After breakfast, meet your driver and your guide and proceed to the Vatican Museum by private van. You’ll easily enter the Museum with your skip the line tickets. Your visit will be memorable: our guides have drawn up a route to include all the major sights as well as some unexpected surprises. See the Belvedere Courtyard, the Raphael Rooms, and of course the spectacular Sistine Chapel followed by a visit of St. Peter’s Basilica. Once we’re done, you’ll return to your hotel where you’ll have a chance to relax after a busy morning. In late afternoon you’ll meet your tour leader for a walking tour of the Baroque part of Rome, follow the narrow streets of the ancient city, pass through Piazza Navona, enter the Pantheon, see the Spanish Steps and beautiful Piazza di Spagna. We’ll return to the hotel or, if you prefer, just hang around, enjoy an aperitivo and later in the evening have an independent dinner in the very heart of the eternal city. Overnight in Rome
Day 3, Sunday Rome
Today will be a free day. We strongly believe that it’s important to have time to explore and get to know the city at your own pace. We purposely design each itinerary to allow for free time so that you can truly get to know the city on your own terms. Take time to sit at a cafe, to sip on a cappuccino, stroll along the via Condotti or the via Veneto and live life as a Roman. There are lots of great experiences in the city. Some of our suggested activities are the exploration of Imperial Rome – the Colosseum and the Roman Forum; the visit of one of the most beautiful art collections in Europe at the Palazzo Borghese. You might want to take a ride out to nearby Tivoli with the astonishing Villa Adriana, built by the Emperor Hadrian and Villa d’Este, a masterpiece of Italian gardening. In this day and age, you can even take the high-speed train to Naples for a pizza. You’re there in about an hour and if you want you can even go to Capri or Pompeii for the day. If wine is your thing, consider going north to Viterbo. There are several wineries in the area, along with wonderful places to stop and have a delicious lunch. Overnight in Rome.
Day 4, Monday Rome - Siena - Florence
Today after breakfast, we’ll head North to Tuscany. You’ll meet your tour guide at your hotel and will proceed to Florence by coach. We’ll stop on the way in Siena. The ride itself is a magnificent way to enjoy the beautiful rolling Tuscan hills, pass small enchanting villages, vineyards, olive groves and castles which are a rich part of the region. When we arrive in Siena, you’ll get to enjoy a wine & food experience in the heart of the old town. Centuries ago, there was only one city that competed against Florence for power, wealth and art: Siena a true rival. We’ll walk through this Renaissance city, working our way to Piazza del Campo, the main central square where the famous Palio horse race takes place every year. We’ll explore the quieter backstreets and learn about the Contrade, the 17 medieval city districts that compete against each other in the Palio. After our visit of Siena, we’ll continue to Florence where we will arrive in late afternoon Overnight in Florence.
Day 5, Tuesday Florence
After breakfast you’ll start your exploration of Florence, experiencing the lesser known and most picturesque sides of the city – the market of San Lorenzo where it’s possible to see food arriving from the Tuscan countryside. It’s a chance to taste local cheeses, fruits, vegetable, and breads. If you’re still hungry, there’s even free time for an independent lunch at one of the many great restaurants in the city. In the afternoon, meet your guide back at your hotel and get ready to explore the soul of this magnificent town. Lorenzo de Medici transformed Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance by attracting the best artists, architects, and writers of the time; da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli were commissioned to produce spectacular works of art and architecture. We’ll visit Piazza della Signoria, walk by the Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo with Giotto’s bell tower (from outside), the Ponte Vecchio. Our walk through Florence will end with a visit to the Accademia to admire, among the many masterpieces, one the jewels of city: Michelangelo’s David. Overnight in Florence.
Day 6, Wednesday Florence (Optional Cinque Terre)
Today is at leisure. Why not join a group tour to the Cinque Terre? This full day outing will enable you to explore the magical fishing villages of Cinque Terre and enjoy a relaxed escape from the crowds, through lush vista’s, walking through vineyards, sloping down to the sea. You’ll experience an amazing boat trip to the most beautiful sights of Cinque Terre. Take time to savor an independent typical fresh Seafood lunch and don’t miss enjoying some of the Cinque Terre wines. Overnight in Florence.
Day 7, Thursday Florence - Venice
After breakfast, you’ll head over to the Florence train station where you’ll board a high speed train to Venice. You’ll arrive in late morning and be taken to your hotel in the center of the city. The city of Venice has no cars but only boats and canals. It is built on 118 small islands linked by hundreds of bridges. Today there will be free time to explore Venice on your own. There’s no better way to connect to Venice then getting lost to discover what the next turn has in store. Overnight in Venice.
Day 8, Friday Venice
The afternoon is the best time of day to enjoy Venice. The time when most of the visitors leave the city, the cruise boats depart from their pier, the narrow streets again become fascinating and mysterious, a secret path to the past. Our guide will show you the main sights of the city, but will also help you discover the real soul of Venice, spending some time outside of the main tourist areas, places that you can reach later on your own. At the end of our walk through this floating city, you’ll board a Gondola, the iconic symbol of Venice. Ride through the canals in a quiet rush, pass beneath bridges and watch the lights reflected in the still water. In the evening, we’ll end our weeks journey, sharing our experiences with our traveling companions over a delicious Venetian dinner.Overnight in Venice
Day 9, Saturday Departure
Independent Transfer to Airport or Railways Station.