Day 1, arrive Venice, Sunday (WR)
You will be met at Venice Airport and then transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure until you gather with your fellow travelers and your tour director for a welcome reception and orientation.
Day 2, in Venice, Monday (B)
We begin our exploration of Venice at St. Mark’s Square with a walking tour which includes visits of the St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. We take in the amazing views of the Bell Tower and the Bridge of Sighs. During our tour we stop for a tasting of Spritz, a typical Venetian aperitif. The balance of the day is at leisure to enjoy Venice on your own.
Optional tour: Gondola serenade
Optional tour: Pub crawl “Venetian style”
Day 3, to Florence, Tuesday (B)
We drive to Ferrara, a Renaissance gem in the Emilia-Romagna region, situated on the banks of the Po River. After our orientation tour of Ferrara, we continue to Pisa where we view the famous Piazza del Miracoli with its Leaning Tower, Baptistery, and Duomo. Then on to Florence for a free evening.
Day 4, in Florence, Wednesday (B)
Our morning city tour begins at the majestic Piazza del Duomo to see the Cathedral crowned by Brunelleschi’s awe-inspiring Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, and the Baptistery with Ghiberti’s splendid bronze “Gates of Paradise.” Then, we visit the Academy of Fine Arts, where Michelangelo’s David is displayed. The tour ends at the Piazzale Michelangelo with a spectacular view over Florence. The remainder of the day is free to savor the Renaissance splendor of the Tuscan capital on your own.
Optional tour: Visit to San Gimignano with wine tasting
Day 5, to Rome, Thursday (B)
We travel through the stunning panorama of Tuscany on our way to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis. Here, we will take a walking tour to see the main square and visit the impressive Basilica of St. Francis. Later, we continue to Rome for an evening at leisure.
Day 6, in Rome, Friday (B)
This morning, we visit the Colosseum, a symbol of Rome. After our visit, we continue to see the splendid Arch of Constantine, climb the ancient Palatino Hill, overlook Circus Maximus and the Imperial Palace; and stop on the legendary Via Sacra or “Sacred way”. In the afternoon we have time at leisure for more discoveries and activities on your own.
Optional tour: Visit of the Grand Piazzas & food tour
Day 7, in Rome, Saturday (B, D)
Today we will visit the Vatican Museums, located within that city’s boundaries. We see the works of Raphael & Michelangelo, and admire the Sistine chapel’s magnificent frescoes. We continue to St. Peter’s Square where some of the most important Papal ceremonies take place. In the evening, there is a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers and your travel director.
Day 8, depart Rome, Sunday (B)
One last breakfast in Italy before you are transferred to Rome’s airport.