Full buffet breakfast daily; 3 three-course dinners at a local restaurant in Rome, at Verrazzano Castle, and in Milan
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY. Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
ROME. EXCURSION TO CASTEL GANDOLFO. Meet your Local Guide and visit the VATICAN MUSEUMS, the SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings, The Last Judgment, the monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Then, look forward to a unique experience: [LF] enjoy a guided visit of the impressive PAPAL PALACE in Castel Gandolfo, former summer residence of the popes and, since 2016, a museum that is open to the public. Also visit the magnificent BARBERINI GARDENS, where ruins of the residence of the Roman Emperor Domitian are still visible.Today’s Distance: 25 mi / 40 km
ROME. Guided sightseeing starts with a visit of [LF] ST. PETER IN CHAINS to see Michelangelo’s famous Moses, followed by visits to the ancient COLOSSEUM and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. An optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore Rome's famous sites.
ROME–PISA–FLORENCE. Drive north to the city of Pisa. Here, take pictures of the legendary Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and at least 12 feet out of the perpendicular. Continue to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.”Today’s Distance: 298 mi / 480 km
FLORENCE. EXCURSION TO SIENA, SAN GIMIGNANO & VERRAZZANO CASTLE. In Siena, admire the impressive medieval walls and walk through ancient, narrow lanes to the shell-shaped PIAZZA DEL CAMPO, site of the biannual Palio, Siena’s spectacular medieval-style horse race. Continue through vine-clad hills to hilltop San Gimignano with its medieval houses with towers, visible from far away. Then, the highlight of today: a WINE TASTING of the famous Chianti wine and dinner at Verrazzano Castle before returning to Florence.Today’s Distance: 124 mi / 200 km
FLORENCE. Meet your Local Guide, and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Continue your walking tour through the historic center and stand in awe in front of the magnificent cathedral, admire Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise.” Also visit sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE, and the SANTA CROCE BASILICA with the tomb of Michelangelo. Afterward, you may wish to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry, sold by the ounce. This evening is your chance to taste the culinary delights at a fine Tuscan restaurant.
FLORENCE–VENICE ISLAND. EXCURSION TO BURANO. A spectacular drive through the wooded Apennine Mountains brings you to Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. Join an unforgettable Venetian LAGOON CRUISE to the picturesque fishing village of Burano, renowned for its bright pastel-colored houses and for its lace-making. Take pictures of traditional fishing boats, still used by the island’s inhabitants. Tonight, you may wish to try out local specialties in one of Venice’s excellent restaurants.Today’s Distance: 174 mi / 280 km
VENICE ISLAND. Enjoy a PRIVATE BOAT RIDE to ST. MARK’S SQUARE. Meet your Local Guide for a walking tour including visits to the Byzantine ST. MARK’S BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE, and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old tradition. Time to wander through the little streets or take an optional gondola ride.
VENICE ISLAND–VERONA–MILAN. In Verona, the medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Walk to PIAZZA DELLE ERBE, once the site of the Roman Forum, and PIAZZA BRA to admire the Arena, an incredibly well-preserved pink marble Roman amphitheater, where gladiators once fought. Built in the 1st century AD, it is now the magical venue for world-famous opera performances. Then, on to the dynamic city of Milan, Italy’s financial hub.Today’s Distance: 186 mi / 300 km
MILAN. Your guided walking tour starts with a visit to the SFORZESCO CASTLE GROUNDS and MUSEUM. Also admire the glass-domed GALLERIA, the famous La Scala Opera House, and the magnificent gothic Duomo. Afternoon at leisure to explore Milan’s famous shopping streets at your own pace and tonight, a farewell dinner has been prepared at one of Milan’s fine restaurants as a proper way to say arrivederci, Italia!
MILAN–LAKE COMO. Transfer to beautiful Como, the city on the lake that bears its name. Your Local Host can help you make the most of your stay.
LAKE COMO. Your guided walking tour includes the charming historic center; the Broletto (Town Hall) with its fascinating gothic facade; and the imposing, marble-clad DUOMO. Experience a BOAT RIDE on Lake Como for panoramas of stunning mountain scenery and luxury lakeside villas. Disembark at picturesque Bellagio with free time for exploration on your own.
LAKE COMO. Your Local Host will have many suggestions for your day at leisure.
LAKE COMO. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Milan Malpensa).