Italy Tour - Extended
ARTSand FOOD, SHOPPING, HISTORY and WINE
* Venice *Murano *Burano * Padua * Bologna * Florence * Siena * Rome
This deluxe tailor-made itinerary is a 10 DAYS presentation of Italy . An English speaking guide/driver will be available daily with suggestions for site visits, shopping and typical culinary experiences and regional wines which vary according to the season. This itinerary can be modified to the desire of the traveler.
* 3 nights in Venice * 3 nights in Florence * 3 nights in Rome
*Day 1- Arrival in Venice
I.D.I. Travel staff will meet you at the airport in Venice and accompany you, by private boat, to your hotel Palazzo al Bauer (deluxe room) where you will be able to rest.
*Day 2- Classic Venice
The morning itinerary will start from the Riva degli Schiavoni. Your first stop will be the magnificent church of San Zaccaria where your interest will be captured by the outstanding paintings of Bellini, Tintoretto and Vivarini. You will proceed to the fantastic square of San Marco where you will visit the Doge’s Palace and the Secret Passages, the Cathedral, Palace Correr and the Procuratie, where you will find the real Venetian atmosphere. The incredible beauty of the San Marco ‘s square will whet the appetite, and your guide will suggest a typical Venetian trattoria preferred by the local people. In the afternoon we will cross Campo San Gregorio to reach one of the most magnificent views of Venice from the church of Santa Maria della Salute, built between 1631 and 1687, to thank the Virgin Mary after a grievous plague. English speaking escort at complete disposal (8 hours).
*Day 3- The hidden Venice and its Islands
The tour is dedicated to exploring the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon, beginning with Murano, famous around the world for its glass foundries. Here, you will admire all the most beautiful glass creations and watch the artisans at work in one of the most important foundries. Your second stop will be in Burano, famous for its lace making, where in its narrow streets with small houses of different pastel colors, we can enjoy the special handmade cookies. Your last stop will be in Torcello the furthest island in the Lagoon where Venice originated. The rest of the day will spent in the most hidden part of the town, from Rialto following the top bend of the Grand Canal , a visit to the Corner della Regina Palace . Second stop will be at the Great School of St. Rocco and its Tintoretto, and it is a very important example of architecture that represents both the Renaissance and the Baroque styles. The stately church of St. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari , which stands beside it, has one of Venice ’s highest bell-towers and represents the splendor of the history of Serenissima. English speaking escort at complete disposal (8hours).
* Day 4- Venice-Padua-Bologna-Florence
After leaving Venice , you will stop in Padua to privately visit Giottos' famous "Scrovegni Chapel". We will drive though the Padana plains to reach Bologna with its historical center where brickwork buildings, arcades and mediaeval palaces clustered in a tight tangle of streets, mingle perfectly. Bologna is very famous for its longest portico composed of 666 arcades that wind more than two miles up the Colle della Guardia to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Saint Luke. Also characteristics of the city are its mediaeval towers, especially the two towers that serve as Bologna 's symbol: the Asinelli Tower (322 feet high) and the Garisenda Tower immortalized by Dante (158 feet high, leaning fully 10.56 feet off center). At the very heart of the city is the main square, Piazza Maggiore, the quintessential place for strolling and meeting friends, surrounded by buildings that testify to the coexistence of many powers throughout the city's history Afterwards your tour proceeds towards Florence in Hotel Helvetia & Bristol (Junior Suite), giving you the opportunity to enjoy a completely different landscape as we are now in the Apennines, the mountain chain that characterizes all of central Italy. Car and driver available 24 hours.
* Day 5- The Florence of the Uffizi
The day will be dedicated to visiting the historical center of Florence . You will visit the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Dante’s house and Piazza del Duomo. You will tour the Uffizi Gallery, which houses the most important art collection in Italy and one of the finest in the world. Founded in 1580, it was erected by Vasari and completed by Buontalenti. Fundamental for the Tuscany schools of art from the 13th century onward, it includes works by Venetian, Roman, Emilian, Flemish, German, Spanish and French artists. Car and driver available 24 hours.
* Day 6- The Unusual Florence . Special invitations to visit private villas.
Today’s tour is different from the normal tourist itinerary. With your car/driver and a special English-speaking guide, you will discover the most romantic and panoramic location in the soft surrounding hills of Florence . You will discover innumerable sceneries and incredible colors of Tuscany ’s countryside, visiting a few of the most important and beautiful private Villas around the hills of Fiesole (where the movie “Room with a View” was filmed). The morning will end with a stop at a typical characteristic “Osteria Toscana”. In the afternoon you will visit an unusual part of the city on the other bank of the Arno river and stop at Pitti Palace . This grand palace was the home of the Medici, the Asburgo-Lorena and the Savoia while Florence was a capital (1865-71). You will tour the magnificent Boboli Gardens , the finest example of a Renaissance "Italian garden", a true outdoor museum. It dates back to 1550 and it is a harmonious display of fountains, statues and scenic views. After exploring other delightful sites on this side of Florence you will return your hotel to rest. In the evening you will have a romantic and charming dinner at Villa San Michele in Fiesole , with a special table set in the Patio of the Villa with an unforgettable view of the city. Car and driver available 24 hours.
*Day 7- Florence-Siena-Rome
Leaving Dante’s city you will go to Siena , world famous for its Palio (horse race). Before reaching this fantastic town, you will stop in two fashion outlets that make Italian style famous around the world: Prada and Gucci. Siena is an unaltered, 14th century village surrounded by gentle sloping hills. Its streets radiate from the center and are always enlivened by the efforts of students at the renowned music school. You will visit the Cathedral, the Sala del Pellegrinaio in Santa Maria della Scala, the Libreria Piccolomini, the prestigious Accademia Chigiana and the enormous Medicean fortress. The Enoteca Italiana, harbors the most precious wines of Siena , Tuscany and the peninsula. You will enjoy the sweet-smelling Trattorias, sweet spices, the sounds of the artisans and spouting fountains; Fontebrande and the mystery of the Diana river underneath Siena ; the alchemy geometry of the Piazza, suggestively neo-Gothic and cathartic. And these are the reasons why " Siena opens up its heart more than any other place," as the famous inscription reads on the Porta di Camollia. Your guide will suggest a typical Tuscan restaurant. After our visit you will proceed to the Eternal City where you will arrive at dusk in time to settle in the Hotel St. Regis, Imperial Room. Car and driver available 24 hours.
* Day 8- The Imperial Rome (Imperial Forums, and Caracalla Baths)
You will plunge into Imperial Rome to discover the historical origins of the city. The itinerary takes you for a walk through the Imperial Forums and the Caracalla Baths, a glimpse into the world of the Emperors that only this site can offer. You will drive along the Street of the Imperial Forumarriving at Piazza Veneziawith its impressive monument dedicated to King Victor Emanuel IIand to the unknown soldier. Continuing on foot to the famous Piazza del Campidogliodesigned by Michelangelo you will have a fantastic view over the Roman Forum. Your coach will take you to the Circus Maximusand the Pyramid of Caius Cestiusbefore visiting the Basilica of St. Pauloutside the walls. The tour will be completed with a stop at the imposingColosseum. In the afternoon you will visit Altens Palace , which houses an incomparable collection of Roman masterpieces. Car and driver available 24 hours.
* Day 9- Rome the Vatican
The tour takes you to the center of the Christian world, the Vatican , a city inside the city. In the morning you will stop at St. Angelo’s castle, an imposing building along the Tiber River , which offered shelter to the Popes in perilous time. Afterwards, you will visit the Basilica of St. Peter, the most important temple of Christianity . In the late afternoon, we will tour privately the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, which houses 2000 years of history and famous works of art. Car and driver available 24 hours.
* Day 10 - Rome departure
I.D.I. Travel staff will accompany you to the airport for departure.
*Tour includes airport transfers, daily buffet breakfast, private guided museum entrances and fees, all taxes and service.