This is the perfect vacation to see Italy’s highlights—from the historical treasures in Rome and the splendid art in Florence to the picturesque, walled medieval town of San Gimignano and the romantic canals in Venice. On this Italy tour, you’ll of course visit the famous sights on your sightseeing tours, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum in Rome, St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the glass-domed Galleria in Milan, the medieval square in Siena, Juliet’s balcony in Verona, and the Santa Croce Basilica with Michelangelo’s tomb in Florence. You’ll even join a Venetian lagoon cruise to the picturesque fishing village of Burano, known for its bright pastel-colored houses.
Italy is an amazing country filled with beautiful art, magnificent architecture, extensive history, sumptuous cuisine, fine wines, and friendly people. You’ll experience its splendor on this fabulous vacation highlighting Italy’s most-treasured places. Be sure to pack your camera, because you’ll have plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and enjoy a special welcome dinner with wine at the rooftop restaurant of your hotel overlooking Rome. (D)
Your guided tour focuses on religious Rome: visit the fascinating VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL, world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment. Continue to monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA and admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more. (B)
This morning, your Local Guide will take you first to ST. PETER IN CHAINS to see Michelangelo’s famous Moses, followed by visits to the magnificent COLOSSEUM and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. Then, time to savor la dolce vita or join an optional excursion. (B)
In Siena, enter the impressive medieval walls and walk through ancient, narrow lanes to PIAZZA DEL CAMPO, site of the biannual Palio, Siena’s spectacular medieval-style horse race. Then, continue through unforgettable landscapes of gently rolling, vine-clad hills to hilltop San Gimignano, and walk through the most picturesque of Italy’s perfectly preserved medieval towns. Next is Florence, the splendid capital of Tuscany and birthplace of the Renaissance. (B)
During your walking tour with a Local Guide, visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS to see Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE, and visit SANTA CROCE BASILICA with the tomb of Michelangelo. The afternoon is free to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry sold by the ounce, which are attractive buys. And tonight is your chance to try out the culinary delights of a fine Tuscan restaurant. (B)
A fast journey will bring you to Pisa. Here, take the traditional picture pushing back the amazing Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and no less than 12 feet out of the perpendicular. Then, the highlight of today: hear about the fine art of blending four types of grapes to obtain the famous Chianti at VERRAZZANO CASTLE; enjoy a WINE TASTING and lunch before returning to Florence. (B, L)
A spectacular drive through the wooded Apennine Mountains brings you to Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. Join an unforgettable Venetian LAGOON CRUISE to the picturesque fishing village of Burano, renowned for its bright pastel-colored houses and for its lace making. Take pictures of traditional fishing boats, still used by the island inhabitants. Continue to the island of Murano. This evening, transfer to ST. MARK’S SQUARE by PRIVATE WATER TAXI to discover Venice by night. Exciting optional excursions are available: dinner in one of Venice’s excellent restaurants and a gondola ride through its canals. (B)
This morning, watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner before boarding your PRIVATE BOAT to ST. MARK’S SQUARE. Meet your Local Guide for a walking tour including visits to the byzantine ST. MARK’S BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Then, enjoy Venice at your own pace. (B)
In Verona, the medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, take pictures of Juliet’s balcony and rub the shining breast on her statue for good luck. Next, admire the Arena, an incredibly well-preserved pink marble Roman amphitheater, where gladiators used to fight. Built in the 1st century AD, it is now the magical venue for world-famous opera performances. Then, on to the dynamic city of Milan, hub of Italy’s economic miracle. Visit the MUSEUM of the famous La Scala Opera House, the glass-domed GALLERIA, and admire the magnificent gothic Duomo. A special farewell dinner with wine at Calafuria Unione restaurant has been prepared as a proper way to say arrivederci, Italia! (B, D)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Land Only Price Per Person, based on double occupancy: $2,969
Price does not include international air travel. Please call Satrom Travel (701-258-5000 or 1-800-833-8787) for air prices from your gateway city.
When planning your trip, allow 1 extra day before the tour for travel between the USA and Europe.