ITALY AT GLANCE
8 nights / 9 days – arrival city ROME departure city MILAN
DAY 01: ROME
Upon arrival in Rome, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. En route you will have a panoramic city tour along Piazza Della Repubblica with Najads Fountain, Via Nazionale, Piazza Venezia Drive on the Via Dei Fori Imperiali Roman Forum and capitol Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus, Aventin Hill, and Porta S. Paolo. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
DAY 02: PAPAL AUDIENCE AND VATICAN (MUST BE ON WEDNESDAY)
After breakfast, transfer to St. Peter’s Square for the Holy Father’s General Audience and Blessing. Proceed to visit the Vatican Museums, as well as the Sistine Chapel. Continue to Visit St. Peter’s Basilica built on the site where St. Peter was martyred. Construction of St. Peter’s began in 1506 and was completed in 1626. St. Peter is buried here along with many other popes. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
DAY 03: ROME/ ASSIS
After breakfast, we enjoy a walking tour through the streets and alleys of the city centre to visit the most famous squares, fountains and palaces of the baroque art. From the Spanish Steps to the spectacular Trevi Fountain, on to the amazing architecture of the Pantheon, and the lively atmosphere of Piazza Navona, with the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. After this fascinating stroll, free time for lunch and departure to Assis. Arrival and Mass and visit to Santa Maria degli Angeli Basilica and the Porziuncola.
Free time at disposal. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
DAY 04: ASSIS/ SIENA/ FLORENCE
After Breakfast, we will begin with exploring the town of St Francis of Assisi. Assisi is a small Umbrian town in central Italy best known as the birthplace of St. Francis Of Assisi — patron saint of Italy, founder of the Franciscan order, and one of the most popular Catholic saints in history. Assisi’s main attraction is the 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis, which contains the
sacred relics of Francis and beautiful frescoes of his life. We will visit St Claire Basilica, which is a 13th-century church that houses the relics of St.Claire friend and protege of St. Francis of Assisi as well as the miraculous crucifix that spoke to Francis; and other major monuments of the city.
We will discover this medieval town, Siena, which invites us to stroll through its Gothic streets. We will admire the famous Piazza del Campo. This shell shaped square is the dramatic setting for the annual Palio bareback horserace. The piazza`s focal point is the Palazzo Pubblico, the public palace, which dates back to 1250. We continue uphill to visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Shrine and House of St. Catherine, which has become a popular place of pilgrimage. The house of the saint, which was proclaimed Doctor of the Church, was converted into a sanctuary in 1464 and today contains a number of documents and paintings related to her.
Continue to Florence for Dinner and Overnight.
DAY 05: FLORENCE
Breakfast in hotel.
Morning dedicated to Florence which is famous for its history: a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called “the Athens of the Middle Ages”. As Florence is a small and walkable city, we can see so much simply by walking through the city. The tour includes a visit of the magnificent downtown including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with Brunelleschi’s splendid Duomo and Baptistry with the famous bronze doors, Giotto’s Belfry, Piazza della Signoria, with the great Loggia and the Ponte Vecchio.
Free time for lunch. Afterwards, explore on your own the charming streets and markets of Florence or visit the Museum of the Academy with the statue of David by Michelangelo or the Uffizi, one of the world’s finest art galleries.
Dinner and overnight in Florence.
DAY 06: FLORENCE/ BOLOGNA/ PADOVA
After Breakfast, we leave the elegant city of Florence and travel through Tuscany region to Bologna, the capital of Emilia Romagna and one of the most developed cities in Italy. Bologna is known for its beauty, wealth, cuisine, and streets lined with beautiful arcades. It is home to one of the oldest universities in the western world (1088), historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law. It is also Italy’s gastronomic capital. For lunch try “Pasta Bolognese.” We stop in the medieval center and see Piazza Maggiore, which is still the same as it was during the Renaissance. We see Piazza Nettuno and the medieval tower of
“Torre Degli Asinelli”. We visit one of the oldest libraries in the world with rare books and manuscripts and coat of arms. We also see the Anatomy Theater, used for staging the experiments conducted by the faculty of medicine. We then travel through the Veneto Region to Padua. Galileo lectured in Padua’s 13th century university; Dante, Petrarch, and Tasso studied here. We visit the Basilica of St. Anthony, which is a mixture of Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine architecture with the tomb and relics of the saint.
Dinner and overnight in Padua,
DAY 07: PADOVA FD EXC. TO VENICE
Breakfast in hotel. Departure by bus to Venice Tronchetto Terminal and embarkation on the boat to reach the city centre.
Venice, the city where everything and everyone floats. This lovely Lagoon-city on the Adriatic coast is like a giant maze with tiny alleys and hidden piazzas linked by narrow foot bridges over 400 large and small canals. It is with good reason that Venetians call their city “La Serenissima” (the most serene). Venice awakes each morning with a refreshing absence of speeding cars, and roaring mopeds. We arrive by boat, in St. Mark’s Square. We visit St. Mark’s Basilica, a masterpiece of Venetian – Byzantine architecture built in 830 to shelter the tomb of St. Mark. We view the marble Ducal Palace, and the famous “Bridge of Sighs”. On foot is the best way to explore Venice. Perhaps you might take on optional “Gondola Ride” across the “Grand Canal” OR walk on the Rialto Bridge and visit the market.
To experience the real Venice head towards the side streets to “Strada Nova” and you’ll see how Venice’s citizens live and shop.
Return to Padua for Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 08: PADOVA/ VERONA/ MILANO
After Breakfast, we drive to Verona, the famous city where William Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet, one of his most romantic works. Many tourists all over the world visit this beautiful city to see the home of Juliet and her grave, and to visit other important monuments, such as the Arena, a Roman amphitheater, which is internationally known for the large-scale opera performances held there; we will enjoy a relaxing walk through Verona squares and monuments: Piazza delle Erbe (the old Roman center and now Market Square), Piazza dei Signori (the political center in middle age Verona), and finally Piazza Bra.
After lunch, we continue to Milano for Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 09: MILAN
After breakfast and according to flight home departure, we will have the opportunity to visit Milan, the second-most populous city in Italy, serves as the capital of Lombardy region. Milan is world famous for being a center of art, music and education since antiquity and as a center of fashion and economy in modern times. We shall see the Cathedral, masterpiece of the Gothic architecture, which stands in the homonym square; the Galleria “Vittorio Emanuele II”, one of the firsts examples of art nouveau architecture in Italy, and then reach the “navigli”, which captured the curiosity of a genius like Leonardo da Vinci, who gave to this city one of his most beautiful works: “The last supper”, painted in the dining hall of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.