Arrive Florence, Italy
Arrive in Florence, centerpiece of the Renaissance, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Join fellow guests for a welcome reception this evening.
Florence | Heart of the Renaissance
Explore one of the most culturally rich cities on Earth with a choice of curated excursions. Discover some of Florence’s most iconic sites before a stroll through the Oltrarno District, where you learn about the famous Renaissance families who resided here. Alternately, choose a quintessentially Italian experience, leaving the city behind for the rolling hills of Tuscany. There, meet a truffle hunter and his faithful dog and discover the history of this prized treat before savoring a truffle-themed lunch. History buffs, meanwhile, can visit Palazzo Vecchio, the former residence of the Medici clan and the setting where political power was wielded; the interior apartments contain decorations by Michelangelo and Donatello. This evening, drive to Artimino Villa for a welcome gala dinner, complete with a string quartet and an operatic recital.
Florence | Tuscan Treasures
Take another opportunity to experience the treasures of Tuscany with more excursions designed for discovery. Art lovers can head to the Accademia Gallery to see one of the most iconic sculptures ever created, Michelangelo’s David, and visit the Uffizi Gallery, where masterpieces such as Da Vinci’s The Annunciation and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus hold court. You may also leave Florence for Pisa, taking in its grand Baptistry, the Campo Santo and the Duomo before stopping at the worldfamous Leaning Tower, even climbing its 284 steps if you like. Alternately, visit the charming city of Lucca and stroll its picturesque town center, closed to car traffic. See the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, which follows the curve of the original Roman amphitheater, and the impressive 16th-century city walls and ramparts. Later, drive to Livorno to board ‘Le Bougainville’ and enjoy your first dinner on board.
Corsica, France | Mountainous French Isle
Your first port of call lures you beyond the borders of Italy for a not-to-be-missed chance to experience Corsica. Set out on an excursion that introduces you to the city of Bastia, a place of Baroque churches and charming harborfront. Visit the Mattei distillery shop to sample the city’s signature aperitif, Cap Corse, a wine with a uniquely bittersweet profile. Join your fellow guests for a lunch in a special venue and a true taste of Corsican life. Alternately, explore the mountainous heights of Bastia on a hike, taking in superb views of the city and shoreline. Then, gather for another of the day’s highlights, enjoying an awe-inspiring Corsican choir performance performed just for A&K guests.
Rome, Italy | The Eternal City
Disembark this morning in the port of Civitavecchia, and then board a motorcoach for the drive into Rome, where you have your pick of expertly designed excursions. If you are a food lover, opt for a three-hour, hands-on lesson in the art of Italian cuisine, learning the secrets to delectable pasta, ravioli and tiramisu. Alternately, discover Rome’s extensive Jewish heritage with a tour of the historic Jewish Ghetto, followed by the Vatican for an afternoon viewing its incomparable treasures. Also an option is a tour of central Rome’s narrow streets and sunny piazzas, including world-famous Trevi Fountain and a private visit to Palazzo Colonna.
Lipari | Afternoon at Sea
Spend the morning cruising the Tyrrenian Sea, enjoying postcard-worthy views of the Aeolian Islands and the volcanic peak of Stromboli. Arrive at the island of Lipari, where you may disembark for sightseeing or an evening at leisure in the lovely town.
Palermo | Sicily’s Capital
Begin your exploration of Sicily with a choice of three inspiring excursions. In the first, take in the sites of capital city Palermo, including the Teatro Massimo, Palermo’s Duomo; the Quattro Canti, a spectacular Baroque square; and the 12th-century Cataldo Church. Another option is a journey into Sicily’s rich cuisine, starting with a shopping expedition to a local outdoor market. Proceed to a private palace for a three-hour, hands-on cooking class, where you learn the importance of food to Sicilian culture and prepare a four-course lunch. For your third option, visit Segesta, one of the finest Greek temples in the world, and drive up the hill to Erice, stopping for lunch at a local farmhouse. Erice boasts tantalizing Sicilian views, as well as its own distinctive almond pastries, which you sample before returning to the ship for dinner.
Taormina | Mount Etna & Movie History
Explore the eastern shore of Sicily with a day in and around Taormina, a clifftop city of narrow, store-packed streets and spectacular views. Walk the city with a local guide and visit the Greek Theater, a great vantage point for viewing Mount Etna. Alternately, explore Catania and a private garden. If you prefer to get up close to Sicily’s greatest landmark, take a 4x4 excursion to Mount Etna, viewing its stunning crater and learning about this volcanic peak’s history. However you spend your day, enjoy an evening gala at a stunning private castello (castle), site of a famous movie set. Enjoy dinner and live music entertainment.
At Sea | A Day at Leisure
Relish a day of relaxation, enjoying the amenities of your ship and more engaging presentations by our experts.
Manfredonia | Gargano’s Natural Splendor
Disembark in Puglia’s coastal Manfredonia for an enticing array of excursion options. You may visit the Sanctuary of San Michael Archangel, a pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages; hike in Gargano National Park, a place of white limestone cliffs, serene olive groves and beautiful sea views; or explore Castel del Monte, claimed by the innovative Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and one of the most intriguing historic sites in Italy.
Ancona | Hidden Beauty
Further up the coast, in the Marches region, lies the port of Ancona, your starting point for an inspiring afternoon. One excursion takes you to Urbino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its Renaissance art and architecture. Enter the stately Palazzo Ducale, where masterworks by Raphael and Titian are on display. Alternately, privately visit the Villa Imperiale in Pesaro, proceeding then to the quaint port town of Senigallia, or opt for a Jesi wine experience.
Venice | City of Bridges
A worthy finale of your cruise, Venice is an endlessly inspiring place, and today’s excursions reveal it the way you want to experience it. The first option is a comprehensive tour of the island, from must-sees like St. Mark’s Square to places more off the beaten track, such as Frari Church, where Renaissance painter Titian is interred. Lovers of wine can opt for a visit to Mazzorbo Island, known for its walled vineyards, and to one of Venice’s bacaris: charming wine bars where locals and visitors alike gather for un’ombra (a short glass) and cicchetti (small bites). For a more active option, learn to row on a gondola like a Venetian.
Transfer to the airport for your departing flight or continue with A&K on our extension to Verona.