TRAVEL STYLE: IN-DEPTH EXPLORER
Visit: Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Venice, Milan & more
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Want to spend 12 days floating around Italy? Now there’s an idea! Learn to make pizza, watch the intricate art of Italian leather, and enjoy Chianti and antipasto at a 16th-century Tuscan winery. Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice and beyond… It’s Amore!
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Hello, Italy! These are the 12 days you have been dreaming of since you booked. Meet your fellow globe-roamers at your Rome digs before hitting the streets for dinner and your first taste of the city.
Today we travel south towards Naples, the home of pizza. This morning, there’s a chance to take a guided tour of ancient Pompeii. Later, we’ll reach Sorrento, where you’ll enjoy a sunset drink overlooking the stunning bay saying, “I’m so, so, so in love with Sorrento!”
This morning, it’s a boat ride to the main marina of the island of Capri, famous for its stunning caves and surrounding rock formations. Get out on the water of the Bay of Naples in an optional cruise around Capri to see the world-famous Green and White Grottos and choose to get even closer to the Blue Grotto on a separate boat ride into the cave. With plenty of swimming stops on the cruise around the island, cool off in the Mediterranean before exploring even more of the island. Soak up the views and head off into the white-washed villages where you can try out limoncello, the region’s sweet lemon liqueur. If you have time, explore Sorrento’s web of narrow streets or the Villa Comunale Park, which has stunning views of Mt. Vesuvius.
Wind through the Apennine Mountains and pause for some wine tasting in the Tuscan countryside. Then, it’s on to breathtaking Florence. You will know you have arrived when you see the Duomo Cathedral rising above the city below. Take a moment to soak up the unique culture and spirit of la dolce vita.
Jump-start the day with the inside track from your trip manager. Learn about Florence’s cultural beginnings and explore streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Learn about the art of leather on a guided walking tour, and begin your love affair with Tuscan food at an optional dinner – think olives, cured meats, crostini and wine. Yummo.
Say “arrivederci” to Florence before professing your love in Verona, the home of Romeo and Juliet. Next up: the canals and gondolas of Venice.
Known as the “floating city,” Venice is crammed with character. Take a trip on our private boat through the waters of the lagoon to visit the city’s historical heart. The limestone Bridge of Sighs, the Gothic arches of the Doge’s Palace and the expanse of St. Mark’s Square (pigeons and all!) show off Venice’s unique beauty and way of life. An optional guided walking tour will take you through the labyrinth of interweaving lanes, waterways, palaces, piazze and markets. Cap off the day with an optional gondola ride – seeing Venice from on the water is unforgettable!
Along the pretty shores of Lake Garda, we drop into the quintessential European lake town of Sirmione, complete with vine-covered villas, Roman ruins and a castle. For amazing views of the surrounding mountains and an interesting lakeside look at the local lifestyle, we’ve organised a chance to go out on Italy’s largest lake in an optional cruise. Later, the energy levels turn up a notch as we head to Italy’s fashion capital and economic powerhouse, Milan. Your trip manager will show off Milan’s monuments and talk to you about the elegant shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the world-famous La Scala Opera House, where many singing greats have graced the stage. With a free afternoon, hit the streets of this cool capital and you’ll be rewarded with designer stores and funky little boutiques.
Heading south, we hit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre, where colourful coastal villages dot ragged cliffs and old-world vineyards tumble down the hillside almost to the water’s edge. It’s a great journey by train along the coast, giving you the chance to take in the unique atmosphere. Watch the locals fishing along the shore, rub shoulders with the rich and famous in Portovenere and check out the picture-postcard town of Monterosso. Later, chill out and get a slice of the good life; grab a table at a beachfront cafe and try some mouthwatering pesto with locally baked focaccia bread.
This morning, there’s free time in Pisa and some fun photo-ops of its most famous monument, the Leaning Tower. Later, we head back to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome. This city oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age which you’ll encounter at almost every corner. Our special access coach tour gets you right into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your trip manager shows you the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Continue on foot to check out the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the waters (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!) or maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sitting back with a slice of pizza and people-watching.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so get up early to make the most of this ancient city. Take an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Religious or not, the Vatican’s Italian Renaissance church will send shivers down your spine. This is also your chance to do a bit of your own exploring. Snap pink azaleas at the Colosseum, throw coins in fountains and sip espresso in a charming street cafe watching Italian life pass by.
The trip ends after breakfast when it’s time to say “arrivederci” to your new friends and start dreaming of your next adventure.