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Discover Italy at its best from the stunning scenery of Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, Venice, Rome, Florence and more. Explore bella Italia on one of Tauck's most popular journeys... in scenic Tuscan hill towns, centuries-old cities and countryside villages, and along the Amalfi Coast… in the treasures of Florence, coloring an era of enlightenment with a rich palette of paintings and architecture by Renaissance luminaries like da Vinci, Botticelli and Brunelleschi... along saltwater roads in Venice lined with magnificent palaces frozen in time... in sun-dappled Tuscan villages, medieval icons reigning over vineyard-draped landscapes that produce wines and foods that are regionally inspired, locally flavored and ultimately delizioso... and on an after-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel for an extraordinary look at ageless masterpieces – without the crowds – during a three-night stay in the Eternal City...
TAUCK'S YELLOW ROADS – Encounter spectacular scenery around every bend on a drive along the celebrated Amalfi Coast – the perfect blending of earth, sea and sky
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – After-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, without the crowds – see the Vatican treasures at your own pace
- A wine tasting from local vineyards in Umbria, where you'll also discover the secrets of making Perugia's famous chocolate
- An in-depth briefing by an art historian before a walking tour of Florence
- Guided visit through the famed Galleria dell'Accademia, the oldest art school in Europe
- A boat cruise along the Mediterranean shores of Cinque Terre for an in-depth look at these remote, centuries-old coastal villages (weather permitting)
- Cruising the canals of Venice in an iconic gondola
- Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
- 26 meals; service charges, gratuities to local guides, admission fees, taxes and porterage
Day 1: Arrive in Naples and head to Sorrento
Tour begins: 6:30 PM, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. A transfer is included from Naples International Airport to Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in the southern resort town of Sorrento. Your historic hotel – family owned and operated since 1834 – overlooks the beautiful Bay of Naples and powerful Mt. Vesuvius. Get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome cocktail reception and dinner this evening. Note: On 2019 departures, we’re offering guests who pre-stay or arrive early in Sorrento an optional daytime sightseeing tour from Sorrento to the island of Capri on Day 1; see Pricing & Availability for details or ask at booking.
Day 2: A drive along the spectacular Amalfi Coast
Take an unhurried drive along the Amalfi Coast, one of Europe's most dramatic shorelines. Stop in Positano and visit Amalfi, where some medieval dwellings date to the 10th century, and Ravello, perched on towering cliffs above the sea. Explore Sorrento’s piazzas, old Roman streets and narrow alleys as you please upon your afternoon return, spending the evening as you wish and enjoying dinner on your own.
Day 3: Explore Pompeii, then on to the Eternal City of Rome
Today, explore an ancient community captured in time – the excavated ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii, buried in volcanic ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Walk through city streets with a local expert, where you'll discover remarkably preserved ancient architecture and artifacts that portray what daily life was like in this 1st-century city. Continue on to remarkable Rome, where your next three nights are spent at The Westin Excelsior, Rome, one of the most prestigious addresses on the famed Via Veneto.
Day 4: Tauck Exclusive in Rome - After-hours Vatican Museums visit
Your sightseeing today begins with a drive to St. Peter's Square in Vatican City for a tour of St. Peter's Basilica to view the art and architecture of one of the largest and most famous churches in the world. After a free afternoon spent as you wish in Rome, your evening is highlighted by a special Tauck Exclusive – an after-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (subject to availability and day of the tour may vary). This after-hours visit means you'll avoid the long lines found earlier in the day; the experience is rich when you explore the treasures in the Vatican Museums without the usual crowds. See the Candelabra Gallery, Map Gallery, and the Tapestries. In the Sistine Chapel, you'll view artist Michelangelo's masterpiece frescoes adorning the chapel's ceiling – and be able to contemplate all that you see in quieter surroundings. It's certain to be a true highlight on this most memorable of escorted Italy tours... one that you'll remember forever.
Day 5: Imperial Rome's Colosseum & more
A sightseeing excursion begins the day in Rome, once the virtual capital of the ancient world, and now Italy's capital city. Tour the 2,000-year-old Colosseum; see Circus Maximus, the 4th-century BC stadium where chariot races were held, and the ruins of the Imperial Palace. This afternoon and evening, enjoy some free time to explore what interests you most in Rome.
Day 6: Orvieto's Duomo & a wine tasting in Perugia
Journey to Orvieto, set on a 984-foot-high plateau overlooking vineyards below. Visit the Duomo of Orvieto, a notable Romanesque-Gothic cathedral built over a span of 300 years. After a trattoria lunch near the Piazza del Duomo and some time to explore, continue through the wine-producing regions of Umbria. Arrive in the region's capital, Perugia, and your home for the next two nights, the Borgo dei Conti Resort, a Relais & Chateaux® property whose origins lie in what was once a fortified medieval village. Tonight, attend a wine tasting followed by dinner at your park-like resort.
Day 7: Back in time in old Assisi... plus chocolate
Drive to Assisi, a well-preserved medieval hill town designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its art and architecture, and the hometown of St. Francis, the revered patron saint of animals and founder of the Franciscan order. Visit the Basilica di San Francesco, built to honor Assisi's beloved saint and favorite son and his final resting place. Gaze at the basilica's impressive 13th- and 14th-century frescoes, some of Italy's finest, and enjoy some free time in the center of town. This afternoon, return to your resort, where you'll discover the secrets of creating Perugia's most famous product in a chocolate-making class – another highlight of one of Tauck's most popular escorted Italy tours!
Day 8: Medieval San Gimignano & Viareggio in Tuscany
Depart your Umbrian resort and head for Tuscany, where for centuries the beauty of nature has blended with the ingenuities of mankind; your travels through the rolling Tuscan hills take you through golden landscapes dotted with olive and fig trees. Arrive in the hilltop town of San Gimignano, one of its gems. Medieval towers, built in the 12th century by the nobility, are visible from afar. Stroll along the quaint streets and visit Piazza della Cisterna, one of Italy’s most picturesque town squares. Continue your journey through lush Tuscan countryside to the seaside resort town of Viareggio for an overnight stay.
Day 9: Cinque Terre's seaside storybook villages
Cinque Terre was accessible only by sea for hundreds of years, five picture-book fishing villages nestled between the Mediterranean’s blue waters and the rugged coastal mountains. Cruise along the shores of the Italian Riviera (weather permitting) where views of these centuries-old Cinque Terre villages, set on rocky bluffs hemmed in by steep cliffs, are a knockout! Next, travel by train through the mountains to one of the villages, where you’ll get a look at daily life – from the colorful fishing boats home from the sea, to the wine, olives, and citrus fruit produced locally. You’ll have some time to explore the cobblestone streets and alleyways, perhaps sampling the unique flavors of the local cuisine for lunch. Journey on to the Tuscan city of Florence for a three-night stay in its Renaissance heart; you'll have an opportunity to dine at your hotel's glass-walled rooftop restaurant with 360-degree views of one of the world's most beautiful cities.
Day 10: All about art in Renaissance Florence
A briefing by an art history lecturer precedes a guided visit through the collections of works by many of the greatest artists of the 14th and 15th centuries – including Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David and paintings by Botticelli, Uccello, Ghirlandaio, del Sarto and others – at Galleria dell’Accademia. Flourishing for more than four centuries, the world-renowned institution was established in 1563 as the first art school in Europe. Following a walking tour of Florence with a local guide, and lunch, the remainder of the day is free to explore Florence as you please; your hotel is right in the heart of the city.
Day 11: Masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery
Join a local expert for a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence's extraordinary art museum founded by the Medici family in the 16th century; it can be rightfully called the oldest art gallery on Earth. Admire some of the world's greatest art masterpieces on display within its walls, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and more. The remainder of the day is spent as you please; you may want to visit the Pitti Palace or the Medici Chapels, or stroll across the Ponte Vecchio to the lovely Boboli Gardens.
Day 12: By high-speed rail to Venice
Guests rave that one of the things they like best about our Italy tours is traveling by different modes of transportation; Classic Italy continues today with a journey aboard a sleek high-speed train from Florence to Venice. Transfer by canal boat to your hotel, conveniently located near St. Mark’s Square; after lunch, embark on a walking tour that includes guided visits to St. Mark’s Basilica as well as the sumptuous Doge’s Palace, once the official residence of the elected officials of the Venetian Republic. You'll also indulge today in the quintessential Venetian experience, a serenade aboard a gondola on the canals. Dinner tonight is on your own in Venice, a city embraced by the most popular Italy tours for its many fine restaurants!
Day 13: The romance of Venice, as you please
The entire day is free to do as you please in Venice – and to say that you have a lot of choices is an understatement. You might decide to visit the museums, an eclectic group housing some of the world’s most famed art; stroll the winding, narrow streets that lead to countless bridges; or perhaps you might choose to take a boat to one of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon, such as Murano, Burano or Torcello, where centuries-old crafts and a kaleidoscope of color are found... This evening, join us for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner that marks the end of one of Tauck's most popular escorted Italy tours.
Day 14: Journey home
Tour ends: Venice. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included from the Hotel Danieli to Venice's Marco Polo Airport. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in.
The Westin Excelsior, Rome
Set on the prestigious Via Veneto in the historic heart of Rome, The Westin Excelsior, Rome has welcomed crowned heads, heads of state and world-famous celebrities since 1906. You’ll feel like a celebrity yourself as this landmark hotel welcomes you to an ideal location for exploring the Eternal City as you choose during leisure time. An elegant ambiance created by many Renaissance, Imperial and Biedermeier reproductions, sumptuous, comfortable guest rooms featuring Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds® and exceptional service have earned this Roman monument to turn-of-the-century style and grace a place on the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List. From the indoor swimming pool to a gym equipped with everything you need for a great workout to a full-service spa, the new 3,200-square-foot health club is an oasis in the midst of the city. ORMV, the gracious, art-deco-style piano bar is the perfect place to relive the day’s activities with new friends over a nightcap. The readers of Travel + Leisure agree that The Westin Excelsior, Rome is among the 500 best hotels in the world.
The Westin Excelsior, Florence
Voted one of the 500 best hotels in the world by the readers of Travel + Leisure and named to the prestigious Gold List by Condé Nast Traveler, 5-star The Westin Excelsior, Florence richly deserves those accolades. Located in the very heart of fabulous Florence, close to the Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace and the Ponte Vecchio, this deluxe hotel offers both luxurious ambiance and top-notch service. The richly decorated, air-conditioned guest rooms feature Westin’s signature Heavenly Bed® as well as appreciated amenities such as satellite TV channels and in-room movies, hairdryer and bathrobes, minibar and an in-room safe. The WestinWORKOUT gym is the place to head to keep up with your exercise routine. The glass-enclosed roof garden with views out over Florence is home to a posh, retro restaurant featuring Italian culinary methods and cutting-edge ideas. Surround yourself with Tuscan style in the ORVM Bar as you begin or end your evening.
Hotel Danieli, Venice
Set directly on the waterfront, the legendary Hotel Danieli is mere steps away from Venice's world-famous Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace. This beautiful hotel more than deserves its coveted five-star rating. With its own origins as a palace of the Doge Dandolo in the late 14th century, its authentic historic ambiance artfully combines the definition of luxury down through the ages with thoroughly modern luxurious comforts and conveniences. The view from Restaurant Terrazza Danieli – its famed, newly restyled rooftop terrace restaurant – represents the same viewpoint once enjoyed by Venetian noblemen watching merchant ships arrive from the East... and it's not to be missed
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don't include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment's notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
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