Elite Classic Tour English speaking only
Rome-Assisi-Siena-Florence-Padua-Venice-Verona-Sirmione ( Garda Lake )- Como Lake-Milan
6 days/5 nights, Rome/Milan or Rome
2019 depart Sun: Apr 07 TO Oct 20
4* hotel from: $2249 pp (s/sup $559)
day 1 sun Rome-Siena-Florence
07.30-07.45 pick up from your centrally located hotel or 08.00 at the meeting point and departure by motor coach to Siena the beautiful medieval city renowned for the Palio horses race. Discover along the streets, Palazzo Salimbeni, which is now used as the headquarters for the Banca Monte dei Paschi Di Siena, it was built in the 14C. Visit the main square of the town, Piazza del Campo, a beautiful seashell shaped sqare, where the famous Palio horse race is held every year on 02 July and 16 August. Do not miss the chance to discover the impressive facade of the Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, covered with colourful local marble, same marble used by artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Bernini. Before you go, do not forget to taste the typical local dishes such as “Pici” Home made pasta and the almond biscuits “ricciarelli”. Then proceed to Florence where you arrive around 14.00. Your tour manager will assist you if you wish to visit the Museum such as Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio. Your welcome dinner is based on a traditional Tuscan menu.
day 2 mon Florence
After breakfast meet our local guide to visit the fascinating backstreets of mysterious Florence: from Piazza del Duomo, with its Baptistery and Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral to Ponte Vecchio, from Piazza della Signoria with its Palazzo Vecchio and Loggia dell’Orcagna up to the streets paved with stone, where you'll find authentic masterpieces wherever you direct your gaze. This intense tour in the very heart of Florence will uncover the many wonderful “must see” places of interest. Free time for lunch and in the afternoon your tour leader will accompany you to discover the excellence of traditional local productions: visit one of the most famous jewellery where you can admire the collections of Florentine mster goldsmiths; stroll through the San Lorenzo markets or along the boutique lined streets where you can admire elegant Florentine leather goods that represent the essential of local artisan creative. Finally, you will be delighted to visit an ancient perfume workshop which still produce fragrances using the same methods and recipes of medieval monks.
day 3 tue Florence-Verona-Venice
Our morning departure for Venice will be enhanced by a stop to explore the streets of the historical centre of Verona (UNESCO World Heritage site). You will be fascinated by the ancient Roman Arena, built in 30 AD, it can host over 30,000 people attending international musical concerts and the Verona Arena Festival, a summertime opera celebration that draws classical music lovers from all over the world. After taking some photos of the arena, head to Juliet's House, the structure that inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Wander back to Piazza Bra and free time for lunch. Proceed to Venice, travel by boat to Saint Mark’s Square where you meet local guide who will introduce you to the most important buildings such us the Doge’s Palace, the Campanile, the Clock tower, the Library. Here you’ll be told about the birth of the city and its glorious history. Walk through the hidden Venice, its alleys, lovely canals, picturesque campos (squares) and witness its everyday activities. Reach the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal, the heart of the city with its market area. At the end of the visit have a lovely walk to your hotel for check in followed by a typical dinner at a local restaurant.
day 4 wed Venice
After breakfast join your tour leader for a boat ride across the Lagoon to the colourful island of Murano to get an inside peek into the world-famous glass-blowing workshops of this island. Attend a glassmaking demonstration by a master craftsman, and enjoy time to browse the showroom featuring finished works of art. Return to St Mark’s Square and afternoon at leisure for shopping and private visits.
day 5 thu Venice-Sirmione (Lake Garda)-Lake Como-Milan
Check out after breakfast and departure for Sirmione, known as the Pearl of Lake Garda, as the poet Catullus wrote "the gem of all the peninsulas". The visit of the village commences with the suggestive Scala Castle of medieval times, built at the end of the 13C by the Lords of Verona. Along the narrow medieval streets one reaches the Parish Church of St Maria which contains many images and paintings to be admired together with different altars and precious 18C marble sculptures. Slightly uphill, one reaches the St Salvatore Church, which dates to the 8C. At last, after admiring the park of the prestigious Villa Cortine and the nearby Villa of Maria Callas, you arrive to the entrance to the Grotte di Catullo. This area is the most important archaeological area of the entire Lombardy region with imposing remains of what has once been a luxurious Roman Villa on Lake Garda.
In the afternoon, proceed to Lake Como, with your tour leader walk you through all the historic highlights. As we stroll through the ancient streets in the heart of the town, surrounded by Roman walls, we can admire beautiful Romanesque and Baroque churches, Piazza Volta and Piazza Duomo, with its charming old Town Hall building, called Broletto with its characteristic bell tower and the superb 600-year old Cathedral.
Departure for Milan where you can enjoy a panoramic of the city’s highlights: the Sforzesco Castle, medieval Piazza Mercanti, Piazza della Scala, admire the marble facade of the Duomo of Milan (Cathedral), and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Conclude your tour in the historic Piazza del Duomo. In the evening check in at the hotel, dinner and overnight in Milan.
day 6 fri Milan-Departure
Your tour comes to an end after breakfast.
Inclusions: twin share at 4* hotels centrally located, American buffet breakfast daily, 3 dinners, 3 wine tastings with local products, ground transportation by deluxe motor coach with air conditioning, English speaking tour escort, sightseeing tours as per itinerary, local tour guides, service charges and taxes.
Exclusions: meals not mentioned above, drinks, arrival & departure transfer, gratuities and city tax.
Optional: extra nights before and after the tour, arrival and departure transfer and optional suggested tour.
Hotels: Florence/Palazzo Ricasoli, Venice/Hotel Continental, Milan/Hotel Antares Concorde or Stahotel Business Palace (or similar)
Notes: Only one suitcase per person (any size) plus one hand luggage. During the Venice film festival on 27 Aug & 3 Sep, the group could be hosted in alternative hotels in the Venetian lagoon. City tax to be paid directly to hotels
Some departures may be bilingual English/French
Note: Venice film festival, the group could be hosted in alternative hotels in the Venetian lagoon. Only one bag per person allowed (any size) plus one hand luggage. Due to technical reason, the tours might be operated in English and French.
On request: pre & post-nights, departure transfer, optional tours