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Bridges of Florence
View over Florence from Inside the Boboli Gardens
Rome by Night - Orientation Tour of Rome
Experience the Real Venice

Bella Italia! Escorted Tour from Venice to Rome Back

  • Tour Code : TUR-00634
  • Type : Small Group
  • Duration : 8 days
  • Departs from : Rome
  • Meeting Place : Airport or Hotel

Description

Discover Rome, Florence, Venice and the glorious Tuscan countryside on this fantastic eight day, small group tour of Italy.  

Highlights include: a guided tour of Vatican City and Ancient Rome, walking tours of Florence and Venice, and optional tours to discover more about these wonderful cities.  

Centrally-located accommodation (upgrades available), transportation, entrance tickets and most meals are included in the tour, as well as English-speaking guides and tour escort.

Itinerary

 

Day 1 - May 4 - Arrival in Rome

Where we visit : Rome
Meeting Location : Airport or Hotel
Welcome to the Eternal City!  Arriving at the airport, our driver will be waiting to meet you, to take you to your city center hotel.  Once you have checked in, you'll have time to start exploring the area, go shopping or relax for the evening ahead.

Over a welcome drink on the hotel rooftop, you'll meet your host and your fellow travelers and find out more about what the week has in store before heading out for dinner at a nearby restaurant.  And the day isn't over yet, as once the sun has set, dinner will be followed by a driving tour of some of Rome's most important monuments.  Beautifully lit up during the night, and devoid of the daytime crowds, Rome will be waiting to give you a very special welcome, before you return to the hotel for the night.

 
Meals : Dinner
 

Day 2 - May 5 - Vatican City & optional tour of the Jewish Ghetto

Where we visit : Rome, Vatican City

After breakfast we will go to Vatican City for an tour of the largest private museums in the world. Our guide will show you the highlights of this amazing collection, begun by Pope Julius II in the 16th century and added to by successive popes ever since. The path through the galleries, leads us to the Sistine Chapel, where you will need a little time to absorb the wealth of detail and color surrounding you from the Creation on the ceiling, to the Last Judgment adorning the altar wall.

We will continue into the Basilica of St. Peter's, the most imposing of Rome's four Major Basilicas.  Julius II declared that this was to be the greatest church in all of Christendom and with Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Bernini all playing a role in its design and construction, there was destined to be.  Prepared to be awed by the space, the light, the lavish decoration and the wonderful works of art that have been commissioned by successive popes keen to leave their mark here.

Our morning will come to an end outside in St. Peter's Square and you will be more than ready to sit down for lunch together nearby.

In the afternoon, you can choose to explore the city on your own, or join us for an optional tour of the former Jewish Ghetto and an exploration of one of the more shameful chapters in Rome's history. The Jewish community of Rome is the oldest in the world, with a history that dates back to ancient times and for much of that time, they lived here peacefully, until 1555 a Papal Bull was issued confining the Jewish population to a tiny, flood-proned area, adjacent to the city's fish-market. Denied access to most professions, the impoverished population was forced to attend weekly sermons in an effort to convert them, yet the community survived and Roman-Jewish culture flourished in spite of the church's efforts. In 1870, with the unification of Italy and the end of the Papal States, Jews in Italy were finally granted citizenship, beginning a period of prosperity which saw the construction of the Great Synagogue, one of Rome's most recognisable domes and by 1905 Italy even had a Jewish Prime Minister. But with the outbreak of the Second World War, began the darkest chapter in the city's modern history. In October 1943, SS officers went door-to-door in the early morning, waking up Jewish citizens and forcing them from their homes. Thanks to the help of their neighbors and churches that offered refugee, only a fraction of the Jewish population was captured that day, still more than 1000 citizens, many of them women and children, were deported to Auschwitz, with just 15 destined to return.

Today the former ghetto occupies just a few blocks, but its streets and filled with Roman-Jewish restaurants serving delicious examples of the ingenious dishes created by Jewish housewives with access to very few ingredients. We will be meeting here for dinner and we definitely recommend you try the carciofi alla giudia, before we wander back to the hotel for the night.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 3 - May 6 - Ancient Rome & optional tour of Early Christian Rome

Where we visit : Rome

Today will take us back to the days of ancient Rome and the heart of the great Roman Empire. From its mythical foundations, to its expansion throughout Italy and the Mediterranean, Rome continued to be ruled from the narrow stretch of land in the center of the city: The Roman Forum. Today a mix of temples, churches and monuments spanning more than 12 centuries of history, our guide will help you unravel this mix of beautiful structures and explain the story of their survival.

Standing above the Forum is the Palatine Hill, where Romulus and Remus are said to have been raised by the She-Wolf and where Augustus and the emperors who followed, chose to build their palaces. Here we will see the remains of some of these palaces and the wonderful view the emperors would have had of the races in the Circus Maximus, without having to mix with the people!

The final monument in the archaeological complex, is perhaps the pinnacle of Roman engineering and lasting symbol of power: the Colosseum. Here we will skip-the-line and head inside to learn about the violent world of public entertainment in the Roman Empire, discover how and why the Colosseum was built and why this spot was chosen and to dispel a few myths!

After a quick lunch, you can again opt for a free afternoon to visit the city at your leisure, or to continue on our journey to the next chapter in Rome's history with the Rise of Christianity. From catacombs to monumental basilicas, the power of the emperors was replaced by the power of the church and the pope. This afternoon we will visit one of Rome's many catacombs, see an example of an early church, learn about the legalization of the Christian religion and the construction of the monumental basilicas (the exact itinerary will depend on opening times and any ceremonies that may be taking place).

This evening, you will be free to enjoy dinner at your leisure and to make your own way back to the hotel.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
 

Day 4 - May 7 - Rome - Siena - San Gimignano - Florence

Where we visit : Siena, San Gimignano, Florence

After breakfast this morning, we will depart Rome for Tuscany. Our drive will take us through the countryside of northern Lazio in a luxury minivan and into Tuscany, famed for its vineyards and Renaissance towns. It will take us about 2.5hrs to reach Siena, where we will stop to visit the town; the lovely traffic-free center, the instantly recognizable striped cathedral and the Piazza del Campo where the Palio horse-race takes place each year.

Our next stop will be a local vineyard where we will enjoy a light lunch and taste some of the local wine. This area produces one of Tuscany's few white wines: Vernaccia di San Gimignano, which you will try along with the classic reds of the region like Chianti and Merlot.

The afternoon will beginning in San Gimignano, famed for its Medieval towers. If you are feeling energetic, a climb to the top of the Torre Grossa is highly recommended for its wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.

Our final stop will be Florence, where you will have time to check into the hotel and relax a little before dinner. Even though Italy is famed for its pasta and pizza, you'll soon realize that food in Florence is quite different from Roman cuisine, with every region taking full advantage of what their land readily produces.

After dinner, you will be free to return to the hotel or do as the locals do and take an evening stroll along the river with an ice-cream.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Tasting
 

Day 5 - May 8 - Walking Tour through Historic Florence & Free Afternoon

Where we visit : Florence

Our day will begin with a walking tour through Florence with a local guide who will show you some of the highlights of the city, explain the history of the powerful Medici family who ruled much of Tuscany during the Renaissance and were patrons to a young artist whose incredible painting skills you have already admired in Rome. In Florence, Michelangelo was better known as a sculptor, and our tour will include the Accademia Gallery which houses his monumental statue of David.

After the tour, you will have the rest of the day free to have lunch on your own and to decide whether you want to visit more galleries or go shopping in the city's famed leather market. If you would like an additional tour this afternoon, please speak to one of our travel consultants.

Evening at leisure.

Meals : Breakfast
 

Day 6 - May 9 - Florence to Venice by Train

Where we visit : Florence, Venice

This morning we will be taking the high speed train to incredible floating city of Venice.  From the station, a private water boat will take us to our hotel to check in and relax before lunch.

​In the afternoon a local guide will introduce us to the city, leading us through the tiny streets and over endless bridges as only a local can! You'll find yourself confronted by incredible views, both ancient buildings and surprising scenes of daily life in a city which has found some ingenious solutions to the absence of cars. Our tours will finish in true Venetian style, in a bacaro, a small wine-bar, common to Venice, where the locals start the evening with a glass of Veneto wine and some cichéti, small snacks to whet the appetite for dinner!

After dinner together, the evening is yours to get better acquainted with the city, just remember to take a map with you!

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 7 - May 10 - Venice at Leisure / Optional Tour of the Lagoon

Where we visit : Venice

You may wish to explore the city on your own in more depth, or to join us for an incredible tour out into the lagoon to visit one of the most endangered environments on earth.

The wetlands of the lagoon are home to an amazing variety of species, all living under constant threat. This 'slow' tour will take you to some of the islands, minutes from Venice, yet overlooked by mass tourism, where you can appreciate the natural beauty of the lagoon, admire the flocks of birds nesting and feeding here and catch a glimpse of what life on the water is really like for locals.

In the afternoon, you will have plenty of time to visit some more of the city.

In the late afternoon, we will enjoy a 30-minute gondola ride before our final dinner together.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
 

Day 8 - May 11 - Time to Say Goodbye!

Where we visit : Venice
This morning our Absolute Italy tour comes to an end after breakfast with a transfer to either the train station or the airport.

For pre and post-tour travel options in Italy, our travel consultants will be happy to help you shape your own unique vacation, wherever you would like to go.
Meals : Breakfast

Map

 

Inclusions/Exclusions

Tour Highlights and What's Included

  1. Accommodation in Centrally Located, Four Star Hotels
  2. All hotel taxes and service charges
  3. All transfers
  4. Entrance Fees
  5. Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  6. Private Gondola in Venice
  7. Road Tolls
  8. Siena and San Gimignano
  9. Small Group Sizes
  10. Transfer from Venice Railway Station to hotel in Venice
  11. Transportation in comfortable minivan
  12. Walking Tour of Florence
  13. Wine Estate Visit

What's Not Included

  1. Food and beverages not mentioned in the program
  2. Gratuities of any type
  3. International fights
  4. Optional excursions during your tour
  5. Personal Expenses or Extras at hotels

Sites and Locations Visited on this Tour

Pricing & Availability

Please contact us today by either phone or email for assistance with this booking.
Email : team@italygroupspecialists.com
Toll Free : 1-866-779-2565

Hotels

Hotel Barberini Rome

Hotel Barberini is located in the historic center of Rome in front of Palazzo Barberini among Trevi Fountain, Via Veneto, Piazza di Spagna and the Quirinale. Our hotel is a perfect synthesis of classic style of settings and modern technologies of the installations and safety: the art of hospitality enhanced by impeccable service..

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Client Testimonials

The trip was great we appreciate all the hard work you and your team invested to make our experience a once in a lifetime trip. We appreciate all the attention to the details in particular Giuseppe spending the time and the focus with us on the road and as we were exploring your great country.
- Leon and Michele Read More

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