START OF TOUR IN ROME
Welcome to Rome! Arrive in Italy’s capital city in the morning and check into the hotel. Meet up with your tour leader who will provide the group with an overview of the upcoming itinerary. Then, head out into the city for some free time. Get ready to see Ancient Roman architecture, medieval buildings, Renaissance artworks and more. Make a stop at the Trevi Fountain to toss a coin in the hopes that it will bring you both luck and the opportunity to return to Rome one day! Tonight, enjoy an included welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Then, set out on a guided walking tour of the city. Highlights include the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and more!
(Start Point Rome: 10:00AM)
ROME - POMPEII - AMALFI COAST
Today, it’s time to head to the coast! Leave Rome behind and travel to the province of Salerno along the Amalfi Coast via Pompeii. See the legendary Mount Vesuvius from the road and explore the well-preserved ruins of this ancient Roman city which was destroyed by a catastrophic volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. Later, travel to the hotel in Salerno where the tour will be based for the next two nights. Amongst other things, this area is famous for its stunning beaches and its well-preserved historical centre! Enjoy an included dinner tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
AMALFI COAST: FREEDAY
Salerno is the ideal location from which to explore the famous Amalfi Coast and its many seaside wonders! Explore the surrounding towns in your own time, and seek out little shops producing lace-work, ceramics and specialising in marquetry (the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to create incredible artwork). Alternatively, choose to join the optional excursion to the famous Isle of Capri. Capri has charmed everyone from Roman emperors to the biggest names in Hollywood! Enjoy exploring the vibrant mix of cafés, rugged coastline views, ancient Roman ruins and stylish piazzas with a locally guided orientation tour.
MONTECASSINO - ASSISI
Today, depart the coast and head north to Assisi, stopping en route in Montecassino. Famed for the site of the Abbey of Montecassino, along with its rolling green hills, vineyards and rivers, the city was also the scene of fierce fighting in World War II, which left the town almost completely destroyed. After stopping here, continue to the region of Umbria and the medieval town of Assisi which is known for being the birthplace of St Francis in 1181. A charming town and the most popular pilgrimage site in Italy, admire the ancient churches and basilicas – many of which are just as St Francis would have seen them almost one thousand years ago! Dinner is included at the hotel tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
SAN MARINO - VENICE
Leaving the churches and basilicas of Assisi behind, head to Venice, stopping off in Europe’s third-smallest state, San Marino, on the way. Claiming to be the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world, San Marino was founded by Saint Marinus in the early 4th century, and is now one of the most popular day-trip destinations for visitors to the area. Situated on a hilltop, San Marino offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the Adriatic Sea. Later, arrive in Venice in the early evening. The evening is free to relax at the hotel or join the tour leader on an optional twilight water taxi cruise of the Venetian canals.
This morning, take an orientation walking tour through the heart of Venice. See top sights including the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. The rest of the day is then free to explore as you wish. Every visit to Venice should include a traditional gondola ride, which can be organised by your tour leader. An optional trip further out into the lagoon to visit Murano and Burano is also highly recommended. These islands are famous for their local crafts and beautiful multi-coloured houses. Later in the afternoon, there is an option to join a food tour and sample delectable local treats while wandering Venice’s enchanting streets. For the ultimate Venice itinerary, why not enjoy all three optional excursions today?
VERONA - ITALIAN LAKES
First up today, stop off in “fair Verona” to catch a glimpse of Juliet’s balcony, where Romeo wooed Juliet in Shakespeare’s classic play. Beset by family feuds, drama and romance since its founding in Roman times, Verona has its share of stories to tell, and is an unmissable stop on Italian tours. Look out for the 2,000 year old arena and the ancient city gates during an orientation tour. Later, head to the Italian Lakes and find out why famous writers like DH Lawrence and Hemingway were so inspired by this stunning region of Italy. Arrive in Sirmione, a picturesque town on Lake Garda and enjoy free time to explore before settling into the hotel for the evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
CINQUE TERRE - PISA - NORTHERN TUSCANY
Today, leave the Italian Lakes and travel to another one of Italy’s most beautiful destinations; Cinque Terre. Located on Italy’s west coast, Cinque Terre is made up of five picturesque Italian towns: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. They are all connected by hiking routes and trains making it a beautiful and unique section of the world to explore by train or on foot! Enjoy several hours here to explore! Next, visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Be sure to snap some great photos of this iconic Italian landmark! Later, travel to Northern Tuscany and settle into the accommodation for the night.
FLORENCE - SOUTHERN TUSCANY
Get ready for a day filled with Italian adventure! Travel to Florence this morning. Arrive and enjoy a locally guided tour of the city which is beloved for its incredible Renaissance art and architecture. Then, visit a local Italian leather shop to learn more about local leather crafting and why Italian leather brands have been dominating the fashion world for centuries. Enjoy free time to explore the city this afternoon! Join the Taste of Tuscany optional excursion to experience local culinary traditions and delicious Tuscan recipes! Later, travel to the hotel in Southern Tuscany and enjoy a complimentary wine tasting on arrival followed by a free evening to spend at your leisure.
SAN GIMIGNANO - SIENA - ROME
Travel through one of the world’s most picturesque countryside landscapes this morning. Admire Tuscan farmhouses, vineyards and olive groves along the way. The first stop of the day is the walled hilltop town of San Gimignano. Known as the “Town of Fine Towers”, it offers exceptional Romanesque and Gothic architecture and 12 well-preserved tower houses. Then, drive to Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for the Palio horse race held twice a year in the main piazza. Here, enjoy a wine tasting accompanied with antipasto before heading back to Rome. Round off the day with one last dinner together at the hotel in Rome.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Enjoy a full free day in Rome, Italy’s “Eternal City”! Explore more of the city’s top sights, go shopping or simply stroll through the buzzing streets, and soak up the atmosphere. Alternatively, use this free day to head to the Vatican City and learn more about the world’s smallest country and home of the Pope. Here, see the famous Sistine Chapel and the spectacular Vatican Museums. Or, stay in Rome and explore at your leisure. Spend some time exploring the city’s top sights in depth or simply relax at a café or do some shopping.
END OF TOUR
After an unforgettable 12-day Italian tour, it’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travel companions and depart for home. The tour concludes after breakfast this morning. Arrivederci, Italia! (End Point Rome: 10:00AM)