Group Travel to Italy
We begin our group travel with two days to visit Venice. We start with a sightseeing tour of Venice’s St. Mark’s Square and St. Mark’s Basilica, including the Golden Altarpiece and Doge’s Palace. We continue walking to the Bridge of Sighs. The following morning of our group travel, we return to Venice island to finish up touring in Venice with Rialto Bridge, San Rocco Art Museums and an optional Gondola ride. The afternoon will be at leisure for shopping, climbing the Campanile or Bell Tower or taking an optional boat ride to Murano for real glass.
Marvel at Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
After a very early breakfast, our group travel continues by train to Milan where we will visit Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting of The Last Supper. We then head to the massive Duomo in the center of town for a tour inside. We have the option to visit the rooftop terrace here for an additional fee. The area around the Duomo is famous for its shopping. Stroll the adjoining Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in the golden quadrilater of the fashion world where Prada and Louis Vuitton have their shops. We continue our group travel at Lake Como for a full day boat ride along the lake. We visit Bellagio and Villa Melzi with its beautiful garden. Enjoy a local restaurant lunch on your own and free time for shopping. Then we go back to Milan by coach for dinner on our own near the hotel and overnight.
The Fishing Villages of Cinque Terre
We begin the next day of our group travel by train to La Spezia. We have a full day train ticket to hop on and off at the Cinque Terre fishing villages on the cliffs of the Italian coast. We will stop at Monterosso, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Corniglia. We will have time to walk in each village, or even to the top if you are able. Have lunch on our own in one of the fishing villages. You could perhaps walk the Via Amore to Manarola and skip the train. Optional boat rides between fishing villages may be possible depending on the weather, but not included. Dinner on our own in one of the villages or after we return to La Spezia. Return by train to La Spezia for overnight. Beautiful Pisa is next on our group travel itinerary. Upon arrival, we view the famous leaning bell tower, visit the Baptistery, and the Basilica, which is adorned with an exceptional Gothic/Florentine art style. We then drive to Florence. On the way into the city, we stop at Piazzale Michelangelo square for a look over the city and visit the Basilica San Miniato al Monte. We will explore the Uffizi gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art museums of Europe, hosting marvelous paintings from Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Giotto, Caravaggio and many others.
Did you know? Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" is 15 feet tall by 29 feet wide!
Renaissance Art and Architecture
The following morning of our group travel, we enjoy a walking of Florence with a local guide including the Duomo and Baptistery of St. John, which features Ghilberti’s famous Gates of Paradise. We continue with the Palazzo Vecchio and the Piazza della Signoria. Then we will tour Piazza Santa Croce with its gothic Basilica, the principal Franciscan church of Florence, burial place of Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo, Machiavelli and other illustrious Italians. We will perhaps enjoy a visit to San Lorenzo Food Market, where it is possible to stroll around the little food shops, taste the best cheeses, salami, breads, olive oil, balsamic vinegars and wines. The next day of our group travel, we board our train to Rome. Upon arrival, we meet our English speaking professional guide for a half day tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, the celebrated Chapel of the Popes and the venue of the Conclaves for Papal election. It is one of the most splendid masterpieces in the history of world art and is well known around the world for its magnificent ceiling, beautifully decorated by Michelangelo. The next visit of our group travel will be to the Basilica of St Peter, the largest church in the world which overlooks the enormous Piazza San Pietro. We will have some free time this evening to explore Rome and have dinner on our own.
The Splendor of Mount Vesuvius
The first stop of our group travel this morning is Naples, one of the most enchanting cities in the Mediterranean. The town overlooks the bay of Naples, and the skyline is dominated by the majestic and still active volcano Vesuvius. After a short walk along the picturesque coast road, we travel south and stop for lunch. Then we visit the spectacular ruins of Pompeii, one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. The city was covered by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. and remained buried and undiscovered for almost 1500 years until excavations began in 1748. These excavations continue today and provide insight into life during the Roman Empire. We return to Rome in the evening for dinner on our own and overnight. We depart Rome the following morning and return home the same day.