Available Year-round for Groups
Day 1 - Depart USA
Overnight flight to Rome.
Day 2 • Arrive Rome & Walking Tour
Arrive at Rome airport, meet motorcoach and tour manager. En route to the hotel, stop at the ruins of Ostia Antica, which provides an idea of life in classical times. You will also see the Ostian Gate, today called the Gate of St. Paul, before arriving at the
hotel for check in and some relaxation time before dinner. There will be
a welcome reception before dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a
guided walking tour to discover Rome by night. (Rome 3 nights)
Day 3 • Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter Basilica
After breakfast you will begin a full day of site seeing. First visit
Vatican City where you will see the Basilica at St. Peter, the Sistine
Chapel and the Vatican Museums with stunning works of art at every turn.
After some free time for lunch, you will visit the 4th century Basilica
of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the traditional site of Paul’s tomb, and
the Scala Santa, where Martin Luther made his stand against the practice
of indulgences. Our last stop today will be the Church of Prisca, where
we find the burial place of Priscilla, Aquilla and a number of martyred
saints. The spiritual and historical insight gained from this
tour will be invaluable to you in your understanding and application of
Forum, Mamertine Prison, Coliseum, Catacombs
We begin our walking tour at the ancient Roman Forum, where our guide will divulge its secrets.
We will visit the Arch of Titus which commemorated the sack of Jerusalem
by Titus in AD 70. We will step inside the Mamertine Prison, where
tradition says the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. The Roman church would
say that Peter was imprisoned here as well, but there is no imperial
evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. Next, we visit the Coliseum, where thousands of people and animals perished during
gladiatorial games. The Coliseum first opened in AD 80 and within 100
days of its opening, 5000 wild beasts perished here. The slaughter of
both humans and animals continued for three more centuries. Historians
believe the Coliseum could hold between 40,000 and 80,000 people
depending on how close the seating was. The floor has recently had a
plank placed over the middle making it accessible for people to walk
over the labyrinth of brick cells, ramps, and elevators used to
transport animals and gladiators into the arena. Hear the stories of the
games that have fascinated people for years. We conclude our day at the
Catacombs where thousands of Christians were buried in a remarkable
tiered series of galleries.
Day 5 • Frescoes, Assisi & Florence
After breakfast you will say “Arrivederci Roma” and board your coach and travel to the ancient walled hillside village of Assisi. After lunch on your own, you will enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful, medieval town, which will include the Basilica San Francesco, decorated with some of the most renowned frescoes in the world.
Then, we travel on to the spa village of Montecatini, our place of
lodging for the next three nights.
Day 6 • Beautiful Florence, Michelangelo’s
David & Free Time
After breakfast, you will spend the morning enjoying a guided tour of Florence, one of the world’s greatest artistic capitals, which will include the Piazza della Signoria, Duomo, Baptistry and a visit to the Accademia Galley, home of Michelangelo’s David. A stop will also be made on the overlook across the river from Florence where we will take a panoramic group photo with the beautiful red-tiled roof cityscape in the background.
The remainder of the day is at your leisure
to enjoy lunch, shopping, visiting more galleries or strolling on the
famous Pont Vecchio, the old bridge which spans the Arno River. Remember that Florence leather shops are the best in the world and bargains on excellent quality goods are abundant. It may be the time to purchase those special Christmas gifts.
Day 7 • Pisa & Venice
This morning we tour Pisa where you will visit the Baptistry, Duomo and the famous leaning tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli.
Following lunch we travel northward to romantic Venice where we
overnight just outside the city for two nights.
Day 8 • Venice
After breakfast, we'll begin sightseeing on a leisurely walking tour of Venice. We'll visit the city's most famous landmarks such as the Basilica of San Marco, St. Mark's Square, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace. The remainder of the day is on our own. For those who wish, your tour host may arrange a private glassblowing presentation at the famous Murano Venetian glass makers. Shoppers will enjoy the vast array of beautiful pieces of glass available in the city's many fine stores. Before we return to the hotel we will board gondolas for a relaxing tour of criss-cross
canals, arched bridges, palaces, charming waterside restaurants and
little quiet piazzas.
Day 9 • Milan Last Supper & Beautiful Lake Stresa
After breakfast you will once again board your coach to travel to Milan for a guided tour of the city, which will include the famous Duomo, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world and Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous fresco – The Last Supper. Then on to the beautiful internationally renown resort town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore
for check in and dinner at the hotel. From the hotel we have a
wonderful view of the surrounding areas, rich with gardens, islands and
the lovely town. You may choose to stroll along the waterfront or shop
along the promenade during your free time. (Stresa 3 nights)
Day 10 • Alpine Train & Lake Cruise
A special alpine mountain excursion is planned today beginning in the charming little town of Domodossoa where you will board your mountain train ride to the panoramic village of Locarno, Switzerland. You will enjoy the gorgeous scenery along the way, taking the vineyards and chestnut forests and have free time in Locarno. To top off our experience today, we will board a Hydrofoil for a relaxing cruise along Lake Maggiore to our hotel.
Day 11 • Borromean Islands, Palace
The excursion to the Borromean Islands with a visit to Borromean Palace, will lead through a 17th-century palace with opulent displays of baroque architecture to fragrant-filled gardens, where the scent of jasmine lingers in the air. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy lunch, strolling along the lake promenade overlooking the Italian Alps or visiting some of the quaint shops. Your farewell dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 12 • Home
After breakfast in your hotel you will travel back to Milan to board your plane and return to the USA.