Hay I - Rome
Independent arrival to your hotel in Rome Welcome drinks it 6.00p.m. Overnight stay in Rome.
I >av 2 - Rome
Breakfast. A day .it your leisure to explore the ancient city of Rome. Take a stroll through Piazza Navona, Rome’s most beautiful piazza lined with palaces. cafe> and three Baroque fountains Visit rhe Pantheon built between ADl 18-125, the famous Spanish steps, the Trevi Fountain, Vatican City. St Peters Basilica, the Colosseum and the famous Piazza Venezia. Overnight stay in Rome (B).
Day 3 - Rome - Fisa — Montecatini
After breakfast proceed north to Pisa. You will have time to explore ‘Campo dei Miracoli’. the area where the Cathedral, Baptistry and Leaning Tower of Pisa are located. Then continue on to charming San Miniato, perched high on a hill for a brief stop before reaching our spa town ot Montecatini Terme. Overnight stay at Montecatini. (B& D)
Day 4 - Montecatini - Lucca
After breakfast depart tor a full ^ excursion to one of the great Tu*ai cities, Lucca. The Media family, grand dukes of Tuscany, had the m fortified by surrounding it with massive and eleven bastions The city walls ofo visitors a wonderful way to scroll oversee the great architecture of the cay Lucca offers many great churches li* the [Xiomo, San Michele in K*o, S«a Maria Fonsportam and San Gimaa*. Explore the medieval quarter and & famous ’Case dei Guimgi' h;«uses dae^ from the 1400V and the elliptical ihaped ‘Piazza del Mercarto.' originally rhestu^f a Roman amphitheatre. Ovenu^bt stays Montecatini. (B & D)
Day 5 - Montecatini - CinqueTerre - Montecatini
After breakfast we head west tor a || j day excursion of the charming villages on the Ligurian coast. We pass the 'Gsi of La Spezia* ro reach the picture^* cape of Portovenere. Continue on o Riomaggiorre, the southernmost villagei the 'Cinque Ten-re \ where you will ha*? time to hop on the milk-run’ tramand
the other 4 villages or alternatively stroll the romantic ‘love path’ to
Manarola, the second of these ancient fishing enclaves. Return to Montecatini
for an overnight stay. (B & D)
Day 6 - Montecatini - Florence After breakfast depart for Florence, en route stopping at two other ‘jewels’ of Tuscany: the towns of Prato and Pistoia. Prato, famous for its textiles, features an exquisite cathedral, the church of Santa Maria delle Carceri and Museo dePOpen del Duomo. Continue to Pistoia to see the Palazzo del Podesta, Palazzo del Comune and the exquisite churches of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, Saint Andrea and Madonna Dell’Umita. Overnight stay in Florence. (B)
Day 7 - Florence - San Gimignano - Siena - Florence
After breakfast depart for another full day of sightseeing in San Gimignano and Siena. The small multi-towered town of San Gimignano is rich in works of art. Collegiata, a 12th-century Romanesque church contains frescoes from the Old Testament, the Life of Christ and the Last Judgement. In the Piazza del Duomo you will find the Palazzo Vecchio del Podesta, the towns oldest tower, Museo Civico and Palazzo Del Popolo. Our next stop is Siena, one of Italy’s prettiest medieval towns. This medieval town is a maze of narrow streets and alleys formed around a fan-shaped piazza, one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares (Piazza del Campo). This piazza is the setting for the twice-yearly Palio, a festival centred around a bareback horse race. Overnight stay in Florence. (B).
Day 8 - Florence
Breakfast. Full day at your leisure to explore the historical city ot Florence. Visit the Duomo and Baptistry, Europe’s fourth largest church and Florences tallest building. Also visit the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo- To the south of the Duomo you will find the Piazza della Signora, Palazzo Vecchio and the town hall. Visit the Uffizi, one of Italy’s leading art galleries, where you will find not only the world’s greatest collection of Italian Renaissance but also masterpieces from Holland, Spain and Germany. Take a stroll over the oldest surviving bridge in the city, Ponte Vecchio built in 1345, which offers some of the finest jewellery in Italy. Overnight stay in Florence. (B)
Day 9 - Florence - Arezzo - Perugia
After breakfast depart for Perugia, en route stopping at one of Tuscany’s wealthiest cities, Arezzo, the setting for the award winning movie ‘Life is Beautiful’. Visit the Piazza Grande and the 13th-century church of San Francesco which houses one of Italy’s greatest fresco cycles, the Legend of the True Cross. Continue on to Perugia with a brief stop in Cortona, one of the oldest hill-towns in Tuscany. Overnight stay in Perugia. (B)
Day 10 - Perugia - Assisi - Perugia After breakfast depart for a full day excursion to Assisi, the mystic town of Saint Francis. The beautiful medieval town is perched halfway up Monte Subasio. Basilica di San Francesco (the burial place of St. Francis) was begun in 1228, two years after the Saint’s death. It comprises of two churches; an upper and
lower church. The upper church contains Giotto’s sequence of 28 frescoes
depicting the life of Sr Francis. Piazza del Comune, Assisi’s main square, is
dominated by the columns of the Tempio di Minerva, ■* Roman temple front from
the Augustan age. Return to Penigia for overnight stay. (B)
Day 11 - Perugia
Breakfast. Full day at your leisure to explore the charming city of Perugia. Visit Fontana Maggtore, San Pietro and Palazzo dei Priori. "Hie Galleria Nazionale delPUmhria is one of the finest examples of Gothic communal architecture and it shelters some of Umbria’s greatest collections of paintings dating back to the Brh century. Overnight stay in Perugia. (B)
Day 12 - Perugia — Rome After breakfast depart for Rome airport with a brief stop in Spoleto. This quiet town comes alive each June and July when it hosts the ‘Festival dei Due Mondi'. (Festival of Two Worlds). The festival was founded in 1958 by Gian Carlo Menotli, with the aim of creating an occasion for matching and exchanging the Italian, American and European artistic cultures in Spoleto.
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“. . . Beautiful the city lies along the Ample vale, Cathedral, tower and Palace, piazza and street, the river trailing like u silver cord ...”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61) Aurora Leigh