Visiting: ROME- ASSISI- FLORENCE- RAVENNA- PADUA - VENICE -VERONA - MILAN - GENOA - PISA- SIENA - ROME-NAPLES-SORRENTO-CAPRI
Tour escorted by a professional tour leader. Continental buffet breakfast and fifteen meals (always varied, typical and minimum four courses) are included.
1st day - Rome - Assisi - Florence
Departure from Rome at 7.30 a.m. Drive through verdant hilly countryside to Assisi, a quaint Umbrian town on a hillside. with a mystical atmosphere, birthplace of St. Francis, where every step, every stone reminds us of his life. We will see the great Franciscan Basilica and its frescoes (Giotto and Cimabue), the church dedicated to St. Claire, a loyal follower of the saint and founder of the Clarisse Order and many other famous religious landmarks.
After sightseeing and luncheon continue via Perugia, along the shores of Lake Trasimeno and the Arno Valley to Tuscany. arrive in Florence late afternoon.
Dinner and overnight.
2nd day - Florence
Breakfast at the hotel. A full day in Florence, an art lover's paradise, rightly renowned all the world over as "the cradle of the Renaissance", also as the city of the Medicis, where Michelangelo.
Dante, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, and many other great men lived and worked. An extensive morning sightseeing tour will feature Piazza della Signoria, dominated by lofty Palazzo Vecchio (now City Hall); the world's richest collection of paintings in the Uffizi Gallery; the immense cupola of the Cathedral, and Giotto's Bell Tower the Baptistery. the old bridge "Ponte Vecchio" spanning the Arno River with Its goldsmiths' shops, the Academy of Fine Arts housing Michelangelo's David, etc. Afternoon at leisure for shopping or other independent activities.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
3rd day - Florence - Ravenna - Padua - Venice
After breakfast at the hotel leave Florence northbound over the scenic Apennine range and then over the plain towards the Adriatic coast to Ravenna, an ancient imperial city renowned for its precious Byzantine mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale. See also the tombs of Theodoric, Galla Placidia and Dante Alighieri. Lunch is included.
Then continue to Padua, an ancient university town with many arcaded streets, in time to visit St. Anthony's Basilica and tomb, and the Scrovegni Chapel housing Giotto's precious frescoes.
One hour drive to Venice. From the Piazzale Roma motor terminal transfer by private water-bus service to your hotel. Remaining afternoon hours at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
4th day - Venice
Breakfast at the hotel, lunch on your own. The morning sightseeing walk will take you to the heart of the city, the impressive St. Mark's Square, to view the Great Basilica, a masterpiece of Romanesque Byzantine architecture and its interior lined with fine mosaics. You will also see the Campanile (clock tower), the Palace of the Doges housing masterpieces by Titian and Tintoretto, the Bridge of Sighs, and the city's "main street", the Grand Canal, flanked by historic palaces .
The afternoon will be at leisure, available for a visit to other well known landmarks or for optional motor-launch tours to the lagoon islands.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
5th day - Venice - Verona - Milan
After breakfast and transfer by private water-bus to the Piazzale Roma terminal depart Venice via the causeway to the mainland and on to Verona, about two hours away. Verona is a nourishing city associated with Shakespeare's plays, where you will see,
among other things: the picturesque, lively Piazza delle Erbe market square, the historic center reminiscent of the Scala dynasty's rule, the Old Castle, the famous Roman Arena (site of the Summer Opera Festival), Juliet's tomb, etc.
After lunch in a good restaurant continue westward and arrive via motorway in Milan, the great Lombard metropolis, cultural and economic hub of Italy, where you will be shown the famous Duomo Cathedral), the finest example of Gothic architecture in Italy, the Scala Opera House, the Sforza Castle, St. Ambrose's Basilica, etc. Then check into your hotel. Before retiring you may like to stroll along the Corso under the arcades and the glass covered Galleria. Dinner and overnight stay ut the hotel.
6th day - Milan - Genoa - Pisa
After breakfast set out for Genoa and enjoy an extensive sightseeing tour of this city. Italy's top harbor, whose buildings seem to climb up from the sea into the hills; will see many stately palaces and churches. such ac St. Lawrence's, the former Royal Palace, St. George's, the house where Columbus was born, the old quarters and the port.
After a break for lunch (included), continue along to the scenic Eastern Riviera via Rapallo, Santa Margherita and other popular resorts on the way to Tuscany. Arrive in Pisa for dinner and spend the night at the hotel.
7th day - Pisa - Siena - Rome
Breakfast at the hotel. Before leaving Pisa, the historic city, you will be taken to the so-called "Square of Miracles" to see the famous Leaning Tower, the Cathedral and Baptistery.
Then proceed inland across hilly countryside to Siena, a medieval town in the heart of Tuscany on three hills, birthplace of St. Catherine and many great artists.
Here you have lunch on the shell-shaped square where the traditional Palio horse-race is run every year; also see the Gothic Cathedral with inlaid marble floors, the Town Hall, the churches of St. Francis and St. Dominic and the winding alleys of fine medieval architecture preserved almost intact over the ages. In the afternoon continue southbound and reach Rome.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
8th day - Rome
After breakfast you will begin a guided tour of incomparably beautiful sights with an experienced local guide. Piazza Repubblica, the Aurelian Walls, the Pantheon, the park of Villa Borghese the Foro Italico, Piazza Navona, the Fontana di Trevi, the Piazza and Church of Saint Peter in the Vatican. The afternoon is available for individual visiting, shopping and any other personal activity. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
9th day - Rome - Naples - Capri - Sorrento - Rome
Early morning departure: following the Autostrada del Sole motorway across the Roman countryside. You will see, halfway to Naples, the Abbey of Montecassino high up on a hill and destroyed during World War II, and then the well-tiled fields and orchards of the Neapolitan countryside. After having quickly crossed Naples down to the harbor, leave by hydrofoil for Capri, the dream island of the Mediterranean.
Weather permitting we shall visit by motor launch and row boat the unique Blue Grotto and also enjoy a funicular ride to Capri's centre, the Piazzetta. and a walk to Augustus' Gardens.
Lunch at a good restaurant then return by steamer to Sorrento, a famous climatic resort high on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples.
After a short visit proceed to Pompeii for a panoramic view of the excavations of this lovely city in Roman times, buried in 79 A.D. under the ashes of erupting Mt. Vesuvius. Then in the early evening start the return back to Rome with a break for dinner en route near Cassino. Arrival in Rome hotel around 11,30 p.m.
10th day - Rome
Breakfast at the hotel and end of our services with transfer to the railway station or to the airport.