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Italy: Rome & the North (2016)
Limited to 24 guests
Days: 11 | From: $6,595
Days 1-3: Arrive Rome, Italy
Arrive in Rome, the Eternal City, where you are met and escorted to your hotel. Tonight, gather with your Resident Tour Director and fellow guests for a welcome dinner. Awaken the next morning in Rome, where you begin your journey through history. First stop: a visit to the Imperial Roman Forum and the Colosseum, where fierce gladiators once fought wild animals and each other. In the afternoon, explore the raucous, vibrant Campo de Fiori, the beautiful Piazza Navona and its flamboyant Fountain of the Four Rivers, and the Pantheon, one of the most widely copied buildings in the Western world. Later, stop at the iconic Trevi Fountain before taking in the 18th-century Spanish Steps — and some of the city’s best people watching. On your third day, explore the Vatican City, Rome’s independent papal state packed with incredible treasures. View the Sistine Chapel with its sweeping frescoes by Michelangelo, as well as St. Peter’s Basilica. Among the city’s most spectacular cathedrals, discover more from Michelangelo within, as well as Bernini’s 95-foot canopy set over the altar.
Boscolo Exedra Roma | Meals: D (Day 1); B L (Day 2); B D (Day 3)
Days 4-6: Florence / The Art of the Renaissance & Tuscany
Continue north to the famed region of Tuscany, stopping en route in medieval Siena. Here, your local expert introduces you to the Piazza del Campo, home of the famous Palio di Siena horse race. Continue to Florence, a vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance. The next day, in the company of a specialist art guide, visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David and the Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the world’s most important works of art. Renaissance masterpieces are the focus, including a Botticelli hall packed with innumerable, deeply spiritual works. Later, cross the Ponte Vecchio to stroll the delightful Boboli Gardens on the grounds of the Pitti Palace. On your last day, savor the sights of the historic Mercato Centrale market, filled with the region’s best food artisans. Then, enjoy a three-hour culinary class, where your chef shares the secrets of Florentine cooking.
Hotel Brunelleschi | Meals: B D (Day 4); B (Day 5); B L (Day 6)
Day 7: Pisa / World-Famous Leaning Tower
Drive to Pisa, where you explore with a local guide. See the iconic Leaning Tower and explore the heart of the region, the Pisa Cathedral, piled high with dome upon dome, as well as the Baptistery. Stop in Lucca to walk its lovely pedestrian quarter, then continue on to your next destination, the stunning Italian Riviera.
NH La Spezia | Meals: B L D
Day 8: Cinque Terre / Beauty Along the Coast
Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”), five scenic villages on the Italian Riviera, which rise up to meet the sea along the steep coastal cliffs of Liguria. Explore Vernazza with its protected harbor and the main street of Riomaggiore. Enjoy lunch in Manarola, a fishing village set amid terraced vineyards.
NH La Spezia | Meals: B L
Days 9-11: Venice / Palaces & Canals
Travel by coach to Venice, Italy’s fascinating, canal-laden wonderland. Stop en route to enjoy a private tasting of balsamic vinegar at a family-owned acetaia (vinegar factory). After lunch, continue on to visit Verona, known to the world as the setting for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In Venice the next day, visit St. Mark’s Basilica, with its lavish decoration of marbles and golden mosaics, and the Doge’s Palace. By special arrangement, spend time at a workshop famous for crafting Venetian carnival masks, taking part in a class where you create your own to bring home. This evening, gather for a festive farewell dinner. Transfer to the airport the next day for your flight home.
Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli | Meals: B L (Day 9); B D (Day 10); B (Day 11)