• Gems of Italy

  • Three legendary cities – steeped in culture. Venice with its old world charm – magical and timeless, offers a wealth of iconic sites. This floating city spreads across 100 islands. Its basilicas, palaces and towers bear witness to another time. Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Its network of narrow winding streets, icon fashion house and galleries displaying some of the world’s priceless art treasures. And Rome, the eternal city, where ancient landmarks and monuments tell the story of Rome’s history where every street tells a story. Sip an espresso and toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return.

gems-of-italy-tour
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ITINERARY

Sunday Day 1 arrive Venice (D)

Arrive in Venice airport where you will be met and transferred to the Hotel Carlton on he Grand Canal.  The rest of the day is at leisure. Welcome dinner and overnight.

Monday Day 2 in Venice (B)

We begin our exploration of Venice with a boat ride to the Murano Island, famous for its artistic glassware. Visit a glassblowing factory, where you will watch a demonstration of traditional Venetian glassblowing by master craftsmen. Then, on to St. Mark’s Square, for the walking tour, visiting St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, and enjoying views of the Bell Tower and Bridge of Sighs. The balance of the day is at leisure to enjoy Venice at your own pace, shop, or perhaps join an optional gondola ride. (B)

Tuesday Day 3 Venice to Florence (B/D)

Leaving Venice drive to Ferrara, a Renaissance gem in the Emilia-Romagna region straddling the banks of the River Po. An orientation tour (no interior visits) will take you past some highlights such as the San Giorgio Cathedral dating back to the 12th century, the city gates, mediaeval walls and cobblestoned streets and a storybook castle that has towers, a moat and a drawbridge. We now head to Pisa on the right bank of the River Arno to see the Piazza del Miracoli dominated by the five naved St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, the Baptistry dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the Campanile (Cathedral’s bell tower) located behind the Cathedral known worldwide for its tilt to one side and the Camposanto or old walled cemetery at the northern edge of the square. Our day ends in the Renaissance city of Florence, capital of the Tuscany Region with dinner. Overnight at the Crose Di Malta Hotel.

Hotels:

  • Venice: Carlton Hotel (F)
  • Florence: Croce Di Malta (F)
  • Rome: Grand Hotel Palatino (F)

Wednesday Day 4 in Florence (B)

Our morning city tour begins at the majestic Piazza del Duomo in the historic heart of the city to see the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) crowned by Brunelleschi’s Dome. Continue to Giotto’s Bell Tower, a focal point of Florentine Gothic architecture designed by Giotto. Next is the Baptistery with its three sets of bronze doors including the east pair by Lorenzo Ghiberti known as “Gate of Paradise”. Continue to the Academy of Fine Arts housing  Michelangelo’s marble statue of David created between 1501 and 1505 by Michelangelo.The tour ends at the Piazzale Michelangelo dedicated to the Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo and offers the most spectacular view over Florence. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the Crosa Di Malta Hotel.

Thursday Day 5 Florence to Rome (B/D)

Traveling towards Rome we drive through the stunning panorama of Tuscany and Umbria to Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan Religious order and St. Clare, founder of the Poor Sisters which later became the Order of Poor Clares. Enjoy a walking tour of the main square and visit the Basilica of St. Francis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Begun in 1228, the basilica was built into the hillside and is made up of two churches – the Upper Church and the Lower Church. We now set our sights on the Eternal City of Rome for dinner and overnight at the GRAND HOTEL  PALATINO.

Friday Day 6 in Rome  (B/L)       

A full day of touring begins at the Vatican Museums inside Vatican City where a priceless collection has been amassed by the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries. See the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo created the famous Last Judgement over the altar. Saint Peter’s Basilica, the center of Christianity and the largest church in the world was built on Vatican Hill. The most famous monument in St. Peter’s is the Pietà, a marble sculpture created by Michelangelo of a young looking Mary holding the dead body of her son, the only work by Michelangelo that bears his signature. We now head to the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater in Rome built primarily to entertain the masses with brutal and barbaric games. Next is Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, one of the most ancient parts of the city standing above the Roman Forum. Nearby is Circus Maximum, the largest stadium in ancient Rome where chariot races once took place, but occasionally used for gladiatorial combats. See the Imperial Palace and the Roman Forum, the marketplace of Rome. Using your imagination you can visualize what it looked like in the days of the Roman Empire. Overnight at the GRAND HOTEL  PALATINO.

Saturday Day 7 in Rome (B/D)

A full free day in Rome.  Your tour director will have suggestions on how to spend your time. You might want to visit some of the wonderful shops, galleries and museums or relax in a sidewalk cafe – there are plenty of things to do and see, depending on your interests. Tonight, a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers will provide a perfect way to celebrate your glimpse of Italy.  Overnight at the GRAND HOTEL  PALATINO.

Sunday Day 8, departing Rome (B)

Morning transfer to Rome airport. Your homebound flight arrives the same day.

YOUR LAND TOUR INCLUDES

Airport transfers

Private deluxe motorcoach with air-conditioning, extra leg room and emergency washroom

Professional English speaking tour director

First class hotels, rooms with private facilities

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners including a welcome dinner in Venice and a farewell

dinner in Rome

Service charges and hotel taxes

Sightseeing with local guides: Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome

Headsets will be provided for included sightseeing tours, so you can easily hear your

guide’s commentary

YOUR LAND TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE

Airfare, departure taxes, fuel surcharge, insurance, gratuities and tipping

 

NOTE:

A SIMILAR PROGRAM CAN BE CUSTOM TAILORED FOR INDIVIDUALS BASED ON UPGRADED HOTELS AND SIGHTSEEING BY PRIVATE CAR.