Day 1 – Depart USA / Overnight flight to Rome.
Day 2 – Arrive Rome / On arrival at Rome Fiumicino airport we are met and transferred to our hotel. After check-in the remainder of the day is at leisure, perhaps to relax or explore. This afternoon, we enjoy a welcome drink with our Tour Director and fellow travelling companions.
Day 3 – Rome sightseeing & at leisure / This morning after breakfast, the first highlight of our day, with our local guide is a visit to the Sistinew Chapel where the works of Michelangelo are brought to life by the guide’s clear and exciting commentary thanks to the use of an excellent audio system. Then we head into St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, to see this amazing building. From here we cross the Tiber into ancient Rome stopping in the Forum to admire the mighty Colosseum, before heading to the Circus Maximus where at one time ‘Ben Hur’ style chariot races took place. The rest of your day is at leisure perhaps to sightsee further or relax with a cappuccino at a pavement cafÃ© on the Via Veneto. This evening, why not discover the city’s culinary delights and vibrant nightlife? (Buffet Breakfast)
Day 4 – Rome â€“ Pompeii â€“ Sorrento / Today our journey takes us past the Abbey of Monte Cassino en route to the Bay of Naples. Next we will enjoy a guided tour of Pompeii, the town frozen in time when it was engulfed by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Later, we continue our journey along the coastline to Sorrento where we spend the next two nights. Dinner is included at our hotel this evening. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 5 – Isle of Capri Excursion / After breakfast, we witness the art of inlaid wood-working, one of the crafts of the Sorrento peninsula. After we will embark on an excursion by ferry to the Isle of Capri. There’s plenty of time to explore this lovely island. Why not visit the villa of the Swedish doctor Axel Munthe with its magnificent views over the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius? Tonight, we enjoy dinner in a picturesque restaurant. (Buffet Breakfast / Highlight Dinner)
Day 6 – Sorrento â€“ Assisi / This morning’s drive will take us to the province of Umbria and mystical Assisi, perched on Mount Subasio and overlooking a peaceful Umbrian landscape. This city under the protection of St. Francis is still enclosed by medieval ramparts. On our arrival a sightseeing tour includes the Basilica of St. Francis, famous for its fresco paintings depicting the life of this much-loved saint. Later time is your own to do as you please. Why not shop for local handicrafts? This evening we will dine at our hotel. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 7 – Assisi â€“ Ravenna â€“ Venice / We enjoy a morning drive along the Adriatic Coast to the Roman town of Ravenna with its ancient mosaics and Byzantine architecture. Here we will visit the Church of St. Apollinaris in Classe before seeing the Romanesque Basilica of Pomposa. Next we drive to the floating city of Venice for our two-night stay. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 8 – Venice sightseeing & at leisure / This morning after breakfast we will absorb this city’s unique atmosphere on our included canal cruise by private motor launch to St. Mark’s Square. We view the Bridge of Sighs, Doges’ Palace and Basilica. After, we will stop to visit a traditional glass-blowing factory to witness a demonstration of this ancient Art. Then with time on your own you may wish to discover the island of Burano and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch. This evening a gondola serenade would be hard to resist! (Buffet Breakfast)
Day 9 – Venice â€“ Verona â€“ Milan â€“ Lake Maggiore (Baveno) / Our day will start with a drive to the home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Verona. We stop to admire the Roman Arena and Juliet’s balcony. From here we cross the plains of Lombardy to the fashionable city of Milan. Here we see the gothic ‘Duomo’, ‘La Scala’ Opera house and the famous Galleria. Finally, we make our way to our hotel in the Italian Lake District for dinner and our overnight stay. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 10 – Lugano Excursion / This morning we will enjoy an excursion into the Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, where we stop to visit the beautiful resort of Lugano. On our arrival there’s time to shop or simply relax with a cappuccino in the main square. Later, we return to our hotel for dinner and the night. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 11 – Lake Maggiore (Baveno) â€“ Pisa â€“ Florence / Our morning drive takes us via the Plains of Lombardy and cross the Apennine Mountains to Genoa, Columbus’ birthplace. Next off to Pisa to see the extraordinary Leaning Tower, before arriving at Florence, cradle of the Renaissance. Tonight, why not venture out into the hills surrounding the city for a meal of excellent Tuscan cuisine accompanied by some delicious Chianti wine? (Buffet Breakfast)
Day 12 – Florence sightseeing & at leisure / The Cathedral, Signoria Square and a visit to Santa Croce Basilica feature on our guided sightseeing tour on foot, and enhanced by the use of an audio system. Later, enjoy a panoramic view from Piazzale Michelangelo before free time. Perhaps discover the artistic wonders in the museums or shop for leather and gold. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 13 – Florence â€“ Siena â€“ Serre di Rapolano â€“ Rome / We enjoy a scenic drive through the Chianti wine-producing region to medieval Siena, famous for its exciting Palio horse-race. Here there’s time to explore the wonders of this city before we stop to visit the grounds of the ancient castle of Serre di Rapolano. We arrive in Rome late in the afternoon. This evening, why not discover the city’s culinary delights in a local trattoria? (Buffet Breakfast)
Day 14 – Rome â€“ USA / ‘Buon viaggio’ to new-found friends.