Day 1 - Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!
Your accommodations for the next three (3) nights is in quaint boutique hotel set in the heart of Venice and close to restaurants and local transportation.
We'll begin with a fun and interesting but easy walking tour with a local Venetian. Here we take you on a different journey, away from the crowds, and uncover the most secret parts of the city.
Learn about the history and all the mysteries that Venice has hidden in its narrow alleys and waterways.
Once everybody has worked up an appetite, experience Venice like a local as we spend the evening exploring the lively atmosphere of the Bacari (Wine bars), hidden gastronomic gems of Venice where you can enjoy the most delicious Venetian cicchetti (like Tapas) and wines. (D)
Day 2 - Venice Highlights
Next we'll head over to the Rialto Market. Located near the landmark and famous arched Rialto Bridge (which you’ve probably seen pictured in countless photos of Venice), the Rialto Market, has been the historical place where Venetians have bought and sold goods from all over the world for over 900 years.
This busy and colorful daily market stands in the commercial center of the city alongside the city’s famed Grand Canal. Venetian locals and international tourists alike frequent this centuries-old market for fish, fruit, and vegetables.
Your private guide will fill you in on the history of the market, market traditions, and local foods & customs. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon for some free time to explore, visit a museum or gallery, or shop.
In the evening there is an option for a special dinner* event set right on water. (B, D*)
Day 3 - Venice: Visiting the islands of Murano & Burano
We will explore the island on foot and stop at a glass factory and watch a skilled glass blower create brilliant works of art. Time to shop or visit some other glass workshops before heading over to the island of Burano.
The island of Burano is one of the most colorful and picturesque with fishermen's houses painted in bright pastel colors. Here, you’ll find the famous lace – abundant since the 16th century and once considered the most refined in Europe.
Browse local shops and find lace on display at a museum dedicated to the craft of lace making. If your lucky, you might even catch one of the local women fast at work.
Optional Lunch* at an incredible restaurant where the fish doesn't get any fresher! (B, L* & D*)
Day 4 - Florence: The Birth of Florence, the Medici’s and the Renaissance
Upon our arrival you'll enjoy a private “Introduction to Florence” walking tour. On this 4-hour tour, we’ll be hitting all of the highlights while learning about the mystery, seduction, and history of Florence, which includes the Renaissance, its important noble families, and its famous artists.
We’ll uncover the many secrets and treasures found within the historical walls as this tour lays out the foundation of what made Florence the fascinating city it is today.
Then, check-in to your boutique-style hotel for the next 2 nights, set right in the heart of the historical center.
Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing or exploring this magnificent city until the evening when the group meets up for a wine-pairing dinner. (B, D)
Day 5 - Florence: Ancient Trades and Crafts - Artisan Traditions of Tuscany
We’ll head off on a 4-hour private Artisan Walking Tour with our expert local guide – You’ll meet the people behind Florence's century-old handicraft and artisan production.
We’ll visit shops “off the beaten path” and get an intimate look into their workshops while actually watching the artisans work. Goldsmiths, shoemakers, crystal, leather workers, hat makers, bookbinders, and stone mosaic creators…and much more. Of course you will have the opportunity to shop!
After, we have lunch reservations at a lovely enoteca. The rest of the afternoon is yours: Experience Florence as the Florentine do, enjoying the cafés, restaurants, markets and shops.
In the early evening we'll meet and enjoy the city from a different perspective on a 2-hour private tour as you are whisked into the hills above Florence to view beautiful vistas with an opportunity to watch the sun set over the Ponte Vecchio. (B, L)
*Optional afternoon guided tours to museums or galleries.
Day 6 - Chianti : Wine & Olive Oil
First stop: The Chianti region! This region of Tuscany made famous by the red wine of the same name, is a beautiful area of terra-cotta-roofed towns and winding roads leading through miles of vineyards, with cypress and olive groves stitching sun-dappled rolling hillsides – this is classic wine country.
We'll stop at a local farm that produces olive oil, and wine. After our tour, we'll enjoy a typical lunch showcasing all their products. Leaving Chianti, we will make our way to our accommodations in the countryside for the next 2 nights– an agriturismo villa.
After checking in and getting settled, the group will meet up in the dining room for our group dinner served with plenty of local wine. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Tuscany: Pecorino and the Val D’Orcia (Montepulciano, Pienza)
Montepuliciano – home of the famous Nobile di Montepulciano wines. Pienza – Birthplace of Pope Pius II. Pienza is also known for its many sheep farms producing the famous Pecorino cheese.
Enjoy lunch with a view overlooking the valley. Dinner at our agriturismo. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Siena: The Heart of Tuscany & Home of the Palio
Siena's heart is its central piazza known as Il Campo, known worldwide for the famous Palio run here, a horse race run around the piazza two times every summer.
Free time in the afternoon to grab lunch and explore on your own before we head off to Rome - our destination for the evening. Check into your hotel for the next 3 nights - set right in the center of Rome, very near the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
Tonight enjoy a wine-pairing dinner as a group. (B, D)
Day 9 - Vatican City: St. Peter’s Basilica & Vatican Museums
We will explore the Vatican in its entire splendor with a focus on hidden symbols, secrets, myths and stories along with its poignant great works of art and their history giving you an insider's view that you will never forget.
The afternoon is free for you to rest or take in some more sites. You can visit galleries, parks, museums, the various catacombs, or just grab a gelato and people watch. The possibilities are endless. (B, D*)
- Optional afternoon private walking tour of the key sights of Rome: Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and more.
- Optional evening cooking class with a local & dinner*
Day 10 - Rome: Ancient History
Our guide will weave fascinating tales of intrigue and power struggles, murder and ambition while at the same time highlighting the civilization and law, beauty and religious piety.
Ancient Rome will be brought back to life with stories of emperors, philosophers and great politicians.
Lunch on your own and the rest of the day is yours to explore this "Eternal City". In the evening, the group will meet up for a fun evening out and final group dinner. (B, D)
Day 11 - Departure Day
Private transfer to Rome Airport (FCO).
Bid "Arrivederci" to Italy! Or...you could add days on to your tour.
12 Days/11 Nights
Where: Venice, Tuscany & Rome
Group size: 8 Guests Maximum
Tour Cost: $5,495 per person/double occupancy
Single Supplement: $850
Balance due: March 1, 2018
All tours are quoted in U.S. Dollars
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