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Great Italian Cities 2014

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Ponte Vecchio in Florence, ItalySt Mark's Square
Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy
St Mark's Square
  • Duration: 11 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: Europe & Britain 2014
    At Leisure 2014
    Italy 2014
  • Style: At Leisure
  • Description: Floating islands, Papal splendour and Renaissance masters. Italy's greatest cities are in the spotlight on an epic discovery of Venice, Florence and Rome. It's Insider moments like… tasting rich, traditional Tuscan soup, garnished with aromatic basil picked straight from your hosts' own garden. The warmth of the charismatic Baj Macario family envelops you as they welcome you to the halls, vineyards and olive groves of their 14th century castle and share their family history. They tell stories of the murderous Pazzi, the original owners, as you stand in cellars that once were their dungeons, and invite you to enjoy an exclusive tasting of the Chianti wines produced on their estate.

Guest Experiences

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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1


    Overnight flight to Rome.

  • Day 2


    Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! Relax after your journey or explore this fascinating city on your own. Later, meet your companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. It's the perfect opportunity to get to know everyone! An orientation drive will take you to view St. Peter's Basilica - a great start to your Italian holiday!

    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

    Hotel: Grand Palatino

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 3


    Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Expert begins at the Vatican Museums. Experience a Unique Insight in the Vatican when you ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and then visit St. Peter's Basilica to see his famous Pietà. Later, view the Forum, centre of daily life in ancient Rome as well as visit the impressive Colosseum, the largest in the Roman Empire. See the Circus Maximus where Ben Hur-style chariot racing took place. Spend free time discovering more of the city or relax at a pavement café and watch the world go by.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 4


    Spend today as you please. Your Travel Director will be able to help you get the most from your day at leisure. Alternatively, consider joining an optional experience to the renowned excavations at Pompeii, close to the Bay of Naples.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 5


    Drive north to the mystical town of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio. Your Local Expert shows you all the sights. Visit St. Francis' Basilica and see Giotto's enchanting frescoes. Visit the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which stands on the site where St. Francis died. Arrive later in Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: Ambasciatori

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 6


    Learn about Florence's rich cultural history during your sightseeing tour with your Local Expert. See Piazza della Signoria, with its impressive sculptures and imposing palazzi, and the multi-coloured marble Duomo and Baptistery, famous for its bronze doors with relief sculptures. View the Ponte Vecchio, one of the city's most famous landmarks.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 7


    Cross the Arno Valley to Pisa, a former maritime city on the Ligurian Sea. In the Field of Miracles, home to some of the city's most famous sights, see the incredible Leaning Tower and the beautifully sculpted marble Cathedral. See the Baptistery and the cemetery, built on soil brought from Calvary in the Holy Land. Spend free time shopping for souvenirs in Florence, renowned for high quality leather and 18-carat gold jewellery. This evening, travel to a Tuscan wine and olive oil estate for a special Be My Guest dinner in a historic castle.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining)

  • Day 8


    Travel through the Apennines to Bologna, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and  famous for sausages and salamis! Your sightseeing tour with a Local Expert includes views of the Kissing Towers, which lean towards each other, seemingly poised to embrace. Later, cross the Veneto plains to Venice. This Byzantine city, constructed in a lagoon, has an incredibly rich cultural and artistic heritage. This evening, you might like to take a gondola ride along enchanting canals - it's the perfect introduction to this magical city! Dine tonight at your hotel.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine)

    Hotel: Boscolo Bellini

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 9


    Savour the unique sights of Venice as you cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square. See the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian Churches, Customs House, Grand Canal, St Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating a Local Speciality at a glass-blowing workshop on Giudecca island. Free time is an opportunity to visit the Fine Arts Academy, simply relax at a café on St. Mark's Square or consider a boat trip to the Island of Burano for a delicious seafood meal.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 10


    Enjoy a boat trip along the canals to the Rialto Bridge to join your Small Group Sightseeing walking tour with a Local Expert of the colourful, centuries-old fish market and narrow 'calle' or streets. See the beautiful architecture, including Marco Polo's house. For the rest of the day you are free to visit the sights of your choice. Celebrate this evening with your fellow travellers at a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

  • Day 11


    Say ‘arrivederci’ to Italy and your newfound friends at the end of your memorable Italian vacation! Transfers are available. Conditions apply.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Be My Guest You will be welcomed by the owners of a magnificent castle in the Tuscan hills and taken on a tour of the castle and the cellars – once used as the dungeons! Enjoy a memorable dinner in the Great Hall or Castle gardens and taste some delicious Chiantis.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Expert in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Bologna and Venice.
  • Local Specialty Visit Giudecca Island for an insider look at Venetian Arts. See glass-blowing artisans and other craftsmen in action.
  • Small Group Sightseeing In Venice, enjoy a walking tour with a Local Expert of 'Secret Venice' and the Rialto food market with a group size of no more than 25 guests to enhance your experience. Then take a cruise along the Grand Canal.
  • Unique Insight Follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo and da Vinci when visiting the Vatican Museums. Ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante, in a part of the Vatican not open to the public.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tours in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Bologna and Venice.
  • Orientation of Pisa.
  • Visit St. Francis Basilica, St. Peter's Basilica, the amazing Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and the Roman Colosseum.
  • Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square.
  • View Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica and the Roman Forum.


  • 9 hot buffet breakfasts
  • 4 dinners (including Welcome Reception, Be My Guest, three course dinner with wine and Farewell Dinner).

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo.

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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