The Great Italian Adventure

Includes:

  • Airfare to and from Europe will be arranged and charged by separate document
  • All transfers (6 per person)
  • 13 nights’ accommodation (3/4 star)
  • 8 tours (per person)
  • 2 train tickets (per person)
  • All entrance tickets to sights as described
  • Any included lunches noted in tours below

 

Day 1 – Arrive in Venice (Marco Polo Airport) and after collecting your luggage you will be picked up by your driver and transferred to your hotel.  The rest of the day is yours to discover, rest, relax, however you see fit. 

Day 2 – Best of Venice with Entrance to St. Mark’s Basilica and Skip the Line Doge’s Palace

Our Best of Venice tour is perfect for visitors with only a limited time in Venice or for those who want to get the main sights done and dusted early to leave time for exploring more off-the-beaten-track locations. This tour takes in all the highlights of Venice by foot – with a few less expected gems thrown into the mix. With Skip the Line access we cut out waiting time so you can spend more time exploring and less time queuing and allowing your dedicated guide to whisk you easily from one Venice highlight to the next.

It’s at one of these highlights that we’ll make our first stop. The Rialto Bridge is a favorite of many – a vast marble beauty that ran far beyond its budget, yet when the sunlight dances on its smooth stone and its reflection shines in the water below, it’s worth every penny.

Our walking tour is a head-spinning journey past some of the best known sights of Venice along with some unassuming gems. We’ll stop by Marco Polo’s house and hear about the Venetian son who went to sea one day and came back with stories of China and a world in the East that few had ever seen. We’ll see lively Campo San Luca and Campo SS Giovanni Paolo where locals carry out their daily lives in the shadow of spectacular architecture.

Just as we started with a pop we’ll end our tour with a bang, visiting Piazza San Marco – the number one sight in Venice. We’ll stand in front of the impressive Doge’s Palace where Venice’s famous lover and writer Casanova was held in an attic prison before he managed to escape.

Then it’s on to the main event – the stunning Basilica San Marco. Marvel at the diversity of Venetian culture as your guide points out the spots where eastern architecture and western design have blended to create a structure with an onion dome that could only have been created in Venice. In a rare extended tour of the basilica you’ll hear about how St. Mark’s remains arrived here illegally and see all sorts of treasures, molded in this very city or plundered during the crusades. We’ll visit the second level of the basilica for views over the piazza below where string quartets play and waiters bustle around piazza-side cafés.

Finally, we’ll have a full guided tour of the Doge’s Palace. Our tour of the palace visits all the best sights open to the public. Marvel over ceilings frescoed by Tintoretto to show Justice presenting herself to the Doge while you think of all the feet that have shuffled on the tiles you stand on – ambassadors waited nervously in this very spot for an audience with the Doge in the Hall of Four Doors. Then there’s the numerous flattering works produced on demand by the masters of the time – Virtues of the Republic in the Council Room was Veronese’s rosy outlook on the state of his nation while The Triumph of Venice in the Senate Hall was where Tintoretto paid his dues on a high ceiling.

In the Chamber of the Council of Ten, as you marvel over Veronese’s Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice your guide will point you in the direction of a dark corner, dwarfed by the vibrant masterpiece. This unassuming slot was where friends and foes condemned each other in the form of accusations – warranted or not – that were investigated and acted on with frightening brutality.

Our last stop at the Doge’s Palace is the Bridge of Sighs – so named for the prisoners that walked its length on their way to cells across the canal. As they took their last look at beautiful Venice they couldn’t help but sigh.

Itinerary

  • Grand Canal – view from Rialto Bridge
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Marco Polo’s house
  • Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo
  • Campo SM Formosa
  • Bridge of Sighs (both outside and inside view)
  • Columns of San Marco and the Lion of Venice
  • St. Mark’s Basilica (Skip the Line)
  • Terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Doge’s Palace inside visit

Includes

  • Skip the Line Access to St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Entrance Ticket to the terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Skip the line Access and tickets to the Doge’s Palace
  • Expert English speaking guide

Excludes

  • Meals and drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional activity costs

Day 3 – Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands Tour

Board a Gran Turismo motor boat from St. Mark’s and ride through the Venetian lagoon to explore the three main islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.

Murano is the closest island to Venice town and is famous for its glassmaking industry, with pieces known for its particular colors and exquisite chandeliers. Visit a typical glass factory and watch a “maestro” working on an artistic glass piece.

The most beautiful and interesting island is Burano. See all the fishermen’s houses painted in pastel colors and examine their famous hand-made lace as you visit one of the lace shops of the island. Make sure you have your camera ready because you would not want to miss a photo opportunity in this unique island.

Torcello is situated just behind Burano. This small island is famous for its cathedral with spectacular Byzantine gold and stone mosaics. Explore this small yet magical island and find peace as you walk around its ancient monuments and the Ponticello del Diavolo (Devil’s Little Bridge), a term given to ancient bridges believed to be constructed either with the help of the Devil or against the wishes of the Devil.

Itinerary/Activity Schedule

  • Lagoon ride
  • Murano Glass Factory
  • Burano Lace Shop
  • Torcello

Includes

  • Lagoon ride
  • Visit to Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands
  • Glass factory and lace shop visit

Excludes

  • Meals and drinks
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Entrance to Cathedral, Museum and Bell Tower of Torcello

Day 4 – Today we depart Venice and head by train to Florence. 

Once in Florence you will be picked up at the train station and transferred to your hotel.  Enjoy the rest of your day in Florence on your own.

Day 5 – Highlights of Tuscany (Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti, Pisa), including Wine Tasting and Lunch.

Duration: 12 hours

Included: Lunch

Depart for Siena, driving through the lovely Chianti vineyards and arriving while the town is still immersed in early morning drowsiness. This is the perfect time of day to wander around the pedestrian-friendly center of this beautiful hilltop town. A local guide who will take you on a walking tour that will trace the history of Siena. You will marvel at the 13th century streets and squares as you pass by the oldest bank in the world and vist the famous Piazza del Campo.

During your free time, you will be able to stroll through Siena at your own pace while soaking up the Tuscan sun.

A short journey then takes us to a family run vineyard and farm in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. Here we will have a delicious, traditional Tuscan lunch of fresh, handmade pasta, home cured meats, salad and typical local cheeses, all served with plenty of wine from the region. After lunch, San Gimignano is only minutes away. Considered one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, this Unesco World Heritage site is often nicknamed the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” because its famous narrow towers that create a modern city skyline. Here you will have free time to explore the charming craftsmen shops along the cobblestone streets and sample award-winning gelatos.

From San Gimignano, we will drive through some of the most beautiful and enchanting countryside in the world before arriving in Pisa. Here we will visit the Field of Miracles, a green grass field dominated by the dazzling white buildings of the Duomo and the world famous Leaning Tower. Here we invite you to revel in the city’s beauty and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

Day 6 – Florence Guided City Tour with Accademia Gallery and Lunch

Drive along the romantic Viale dei Colli up to Piazzale Michelangelo and make a stop to admire the wonderful panorama of the city, one of the most beautiful in the world. The tour will proceed by coach through the old city centre. Take an outdoor guided tour of the Duomo complex: see the Baptistery with its bronze doors including the famous Porta del Paradiso and visit the Cathedral with the magnificent Cupola del Brunelleschi and Giotto´s bell tower. A short walk through the historic streets of the heart of Florence brings you to the renowned Galleria dell´Accademia where you can admire the famous David by Michelangelo and other works by the great artist. The tour includes light lunch and drinks in a historic restaurant in the centre following the guided tour.

Day 7 – Cinque Terre: Full-Day Private Tour from Florence

Your day begins when we pick you up from your hotel in Florence. Our expert driver/guide will take you through the western part of Tuscany while you enjoy views of the lovely countryside. You’ll learn about the history and culture of the places we pass through, including the medieval city of Lucca, the famous Carrara marble quarries and La Spezia – the popular resort on the sea.

We’ll spend a good part of our day in the national park of Cinque Terre. The park is a popular place for hiking, trekking and scuba-diving. During our time here we’ll visit four of the five fishing villages situated along this spectacular rocky coast.

You’ll walk between the first and second villages on the “the path of love” and then enjoy a boat ride to Vernazza, considered to be the loveliest of the four villages. We’ll have lunch here, and spend some relaxing time in Cinque Terre.

After lunch we’ll drive to the upper side of the national park for some fantastic views of the coastal villages from above.

What’s Included:

–        Expert driver/guide

–        Tickets for the “path of Love” in Riomaggiore

–        Gas

–        Tolls

–        Parking

What’s Not Included:

–        Cost of lunch

–        Beverages

–        Tips

 

Good to Know:

The boat ride is on a public boat which runs subject to weather conditions. During the winter months we use the train or a minivan for transfers. The tours operate in all weather conditions, although for safety reasons the tour might be subject to changes.

Day 8 – Enjoy the day on your own. 

Day 9 – Today we depart Florence and head by train to Rome.

Once in Rome you will be picked up at the train station and transferred to your hotel.  Enjoy the rest of your day in Rome on your own.

Day 10 – Ancient Rome Tour – Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill  

Walk in the footsteps of giants on this guided tour through the heart of the Roman Empire. Travel back in time, embraced by 360 degrees of jaw dropping Roman architecture. Learn the history behind it all, from the minute to the magnificent.

Pause to contemplate the genius that took the Colosseum from concept to reality in 70-80AD, centuries before the advent of modern engineering. Once the most famous meeting place in the world, the Colosseum is estimated to have once held 50,000-80,000 spectators. Your Gray Line pass allows you to skip hours of long lines to enter the Colosseum directly. Once inside, breathe in the bloody past of the amphitheater, brought to life by your passionate, expert guide. Standing for nearly two millennia, the structure has been a symbol of both glory and scorn, serving vastly different purposes over the course of history.

Just outside, you’ll see the magnificent Arch of Constantine. Continuing our walking tour, discover the excavated ruins of the Roman Forum archaeological site, where many structures remain intact to this day. For a city founded in 753 BC, this is no small feat. Continue exploring the breathtaking monuments & sculptures of Capitoline Hill, ending your tour with a deeper connection to the history of Rome and a strong foundation of knowledge to continue exploring Rome.  We will bid you farewell to continue exploring the area on your own or return to your hotel.

Itinerary

  • Skip the long lines to see the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
  • Learn the history of ancient Rome and its most famous emperors
  • Walk in the footsteps of Roman citizens and see the Via Sacra
  • Visit the tomb of Julius Caesar

Highlights

  • Skip the line and avoid the crowds with this early access tour
  • Explore the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill
  • See the Arch of Constantine
  • Walk the Legendary ‘Sacred Way’

Inclusions

  • Skip the Line Admission to the Colosseum and Archaeological Zone
  • Professional Guided Walking Tour of Ancient Rome
  • Wireless Headset Use to Assist with Hearing the Guide

Exclusions

  • Roundtrip Transportation(“option” available to add for a fee when booking)
  • Food or Beverages

Day 11 – Amalfi Coast and Pompeii

The excursion from Rome to Pompeii and Amalfi Coast is available in 12 hours service (round trip included) with pick up at the hotel in Rome at 7:00am and drop off in Rome hotel at 7:00pm.

You will visit the 2000 years old Roman Resort with a Licensed Pompeii Archaeological tour guide the additional cost is a total of 110 Euro not per person rate and we will be pleased to arrange this for you if required with payment for this being made in cash directly to the guide at the conclusion of the service. Once in Amalfi, your Clients will love the stroll around Piazza Duomo (Central Square) dominated by the magnificent Cathedral of St. Andrew with its many styles of decoration, the historical building and stores, the fountain plus, on the waterfront, the ancient dockyards, the port area with its rocky beaches and the statue of Flavio Gioia considered the inventor of the sea compass for navigation.

Driver and guide for Pompeii included, however the 11,00 Euro per person entrance fee is not included.

Day 12 – Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Your expert guide will explain the significance of each sight as you tour the Vatican Museums, one of the most important art collections in the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries and the Geographical Maps before arriving at the famous Sistine Chapel. No trip to Rome is complete without a tour of these unforgettable sights.

Highlights

  • Skip the line and avoid the crowds with this early access tour
  • Visit the Pigna courtyard
  • Receive access to the museum Pius Clementino
  • Visit the Chandelier’s Gallery
  • See the Tapestries Gallery
  • Explore the Geographical maps gallery
  • Take in the incredible art located in Raphael’s Rooms
  • Experience the famed Sistine Chapel home to Michelangelo’s iconic Last Judgment, Creation of Adam fresco

Inclusions:

  • Skip the line
  • Entrance tickets
  • Local guide
  • Headsets to hear the guide better

Day 13 – Enjoy the day on your own.

Day 14 – Taxi pick up and transfer to the airport for your flight home!

Prices Starting from $2,999.00 Canadian Dollars, per person, based on double occupancy.

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