Venice, Florence, Ortona & Rome

Venice, Florence, Ortona & Rome
Float down Venice’s iconic canals, dine on traditional Florentine pizza, then experience the cultural and historical significance of the Battle of Ortona through a private remembrance ceremony and a visit to the War Museum. Finish in Rome with a tour of the Vatican, a trattoria dinner and more.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Ciao Venice
Meet your tour director, travel to Venice & check into hotel
Dinner en route to Venice
Day 3 Venice landmarks
Venice guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
St. Mark’s SquareSt. Mark's BasilicaDoge's Palace visitglass-blowing demonstration
Details: Venice guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Bubbling up on more than 100 islands in a lagoon off the Adriatic, Venice is an absolutely unique and unquestionably beautiful city. The weight of its opulent architecture – bulbous domes, gothic spires, and lacy marble – may be sinking the city by 10 inches a century, but your local guide will make sure you don’t sink out of sight as you tour the intricate labyrinth of streets and bridges. Step into Piazza San Marco, an airy expanse of arches, sunlight, and pigeons. The multi-domed Basilica on one end, completed in 1094 but decorated for centuries afterward, is the final resting place of the apostle St. Mark, Venice’s patron saint. The mosaics beneath the basilica’s outside arches depict the arrival of St. Mark’s body, stolen from Egypt in 828 by Venetian traders. The frothy Venetian Gothic Doge’s Palace stands next door. Continue on to a glass-blowing demonstration. Venetian glass has long been considered the best in the world, and its production was such a state secret that during the Middle Ages, any Venetian glassblower who attempted to ply his trade outside the city was immediately arrested.
Day 4 Venice--Florence
Travel to Florence via Bologna
Italian pizza dinner
Day 5 Florence landmarks
Florence guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Palazzo VecchioPiazza della SignoriaChiesa di Santa CrocePonte VecchioDuomo visitleather workshopGates of ParadiseGiotto’s Bell TowerDante's House
Optional  Pisa guided excursion  $75
Baptistery visitLeaning Tower
Details: Florence guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Immerse yourself in the charms of old-world Firenze, a red-brick splendor set in the rolling green hills of Tuscany. The birthplace and focal point of the Italian Renaissance, Florence still has the masterpieces to prove it. Brunelleschi’s elegant Duomo (dome) dominates the skyline, and around every corner is an architectural triumph filled with wall after wall of incomparable art. Your local licensed guide will take you to Giotto's Bell Tower and the aptly named Gates of Paradise, the bronze east doors of the Baptistery that spurred the burgeoning Renaissance. The boy guarding the Palazzo Vecchio with his slingshot is just a copy of Michelangelo’s David; the real statue is over at the Accademia. Don’t overlook the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Chiesa di Santa Croce, and definitely don’t overlook Florence’s amazing leather goods. Check them out when you visit one of the area’s famed workshops.
Day 6 Florence--Ortona
Travel to Ortona via Assisi
Details: St. Francis of Assisi Basilica visit
Pope Gregory IX laid the first stone of the Lower Basilica the day after the canonization of St Francis, on July 17, 1228. Two years later the saint's body that had been resting in the church of San Giorgio (the future church of St Claire's) was brought here in secret for fear of looting by tomb raiders and buried in the unfinished church. No date has been recorded concerning the start of works on the Upper Basilica, but it must have been after the abdication from the order of Brother Elia in 1239, who had hitherto directed the works on the Romanesque Lower Basilica. Both churches were consecrated by Pope Innocent IV in 1253.
Day 7 Ortona
Ortona Tour Director-led Sightseeing Tour
Private Remembrance Ceremony at Moro Cemetery
Ortona War Museum
Day 8 Ortona--Rome
Travel to Rome via Monte Cassino
Piana delle Orme Museum visit
Details: Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery
Pay your respects to the Canadian soldiers who gave their lives at the battle of Monte Cassino.
Details: Monte Cassino Monument visit
Monte Cassino saw some of the fiercest battles of the Italian Campaign during WWII. Visit the site of the Cassino Memorial that commemorates over 4,000 soldiers who lost their lives all over Italy and have no known grave and then learn more about the battle itself at the war museum.
Day 9 Rome landmarks
Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel visitSt. Peter’s Basilica visitColosseum visitPiazza VeneziaForum Romanum visit
Authentic trattoria dinner
Details: Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Gods and gladiators, glory and gore. Ancient Rome lives on in its spectacular monuments, flavoring the frenetic present with tastes of the past. Don a space-age Whisper headset to get the inside scoop on the most spectacular, the Colosseum, a grisly battle arena that seated more than 45,000. An enormous retractable roof awning system kept spectators cool on sunny days. The nearby Forum provides a glimpse into everyday ancient life, with markets, meeting places, and temples all combined into one vast space. Move into Christian Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica, the triumphal Renaissance church flanked by rows of columns radiating outward like welcoming arms. Within the church Michelangelo’s masterpieces are on display, the “Pietà” in the main church and the recently restored ceiling frescoes and “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel. Continue your trek through time at Piazza Venezia, site of the enormous monument to Victor Emmanuel II, Italy’s first king, and of the Palazzo Venezia, where Mussolini set up his headquarters and from whose porch his mother was said to eavesdrop on citizens below. (The Sistine Chapel is closed on most religious holidays and Sundays, except for the last Sunday in each month).
Day 10 End tour

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  • Day 10 Rome--Palermo
    Travel to Naples via Pompeii
    Overnight ferry from Naples to Palermo
    Details: Pompeii guided excursion
    Stop to see the city where time stood still, literally. Once an important Roman city with 20,000 residents, Pompeii was frozen in time nearly 2000 years ago, when Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city under 30 feet of mud and volcanic ash. Forgotten for centuries after the eruption, Pompeii was discovered in the 1600s and is now completely excavated. On your tour you will learn how Romans of all classes lived their lives--not only from large public structures, but from details like political graffiti, bars, and street signs.
    Day 11 Palermo--Agrigento
    Palermo guided sightseeing tour
    Quattro CantiPalermo CathedralTeatro MassimoLa MartoranaMonreale visitMonreale Cathedral
    Travel to Agrigento
    Details: Palermo guided sightseeing tour
    Explore the chaotic and vibrant capital of Sicily, where a mix of Italian, Arab, French, and Phoenician influences -- to name only a few -- has created a culture unique in all of Italy. Islamic filigreed windows throw intricate shadows on 17th-century Baroque cupolas; gold and marble mosaics sparkle in churches while leafy palm trees ruffle in ocean breezes outside. With a licensed local guide, start your tour of this energetic city at the Baroque Quattro Canti ("four corners"), Palermo's central intersection. Head to the Norman Palace, once home to the finest and most learned court in Europe. (Notice the halos on the statues -- they were added to the original Moorish statues when the Christian Normans arrived in 1072 and took over the building.) Step inside La Martorana, one of the few buildings remaining from the Middle Ages, for a peek at its glittering gold Byzantine mosaics. And don't miss the rows of pastry shops selling marzipan, a Sicilian specialty; the sweet almond-paste candy is sculpted and dyed to resemble realistic fruits, vegetables -- even shellfish!
    Day 12 Agrigento--Taormina
    Travel to Taormina via Piazza Armerina & Agira
    Piazza Armerina visit
    Details: Agrigento guided sightseeing tour
    Legend claims that Daedalus, the creator of the original labyrinth, founded the ancient Greek city of Agrigento. Today it’s a maze of amazing ruins. The Valley of the Temples holds the remains of the largest Doric temple in the world as well as the impressive Temple of Concord, a picture-book example of a perfect Greek temple. (Its conversion to a Christian church in the sixth century helps explain its preservation; anti-Paganism teamed up with several earthquakes to topple most of the surrounding structures.)
    Details: Agira Canadian War Cemetery visit
    Agira Canadian War Cemetery contains 490 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. On 10 July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the North African campaign in mid-May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who would shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little-determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17 August when the two allied forces came together at Messina but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines. Agira was taken by the 1st Canadian Division of 28 July and the site for the war cemetery was chosen in September for the burial of all Canadians who had been killed in the Sicily campaign.
    Day 13 Taormina landmarks
    Taormina guided sightseeing tour
    Palazzo CorvaiaBotanical GardensGreek theater visit
    Details: Taormina guided sightseeing tour
    An earthly paradise. From the ancient Greek theater on a Taormina hilltop, your eye wanders over the violet outline of Mount Etna dominating the skyline, through the almond and lemon groves releasing the fragrance of blossoms and marzipan and lemonade, across bright fishing boats bobbing on the ocean's blue waves to the distant misty view of the Italian mainland hovering above the water. With a licensed local guide, explore the views and history that have enchanted so many, from the ancient Greeks to the Romans to the Moors to the Normans to the Spanish to Francis Ford Coppola, who filmed scenes for "The Godfather" nearby.
    Day 14 End tour
    Map of Venice, Florence, Ortona and Rome
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 8 overnight stays (11 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • 1 overnight stay on ferry on extension
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Guided sightseeing tours with high-tech headset as per itinerary
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.

    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.

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    3123.00 total fee
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