Day 1 - Sunday - Depart USA
Boarding your overnight flight, you’re off to Italy on the adventure of a lifetime!
Day 2 - Monday - Arrive in Venice, Afternoon Free, Dinner Out
Benvenuti a Venezia! We are pleased to offer complimentary motorboat transfers from the Venice airport to your hotel at scheduled times. Your Perillo representative will be at the airport to greet you. After you settle in at your hotel, take a stroll through Venice. Get lost in the traffic-free streets and alleyways. There are so many wonderful things to see! Tonight we’ll enjoy our first dinner together as a group at our favorite restaurant in Venice just steps from St. Mark’s Square. D
Day 3 - Tuesday - Venice, City Sightseeing, Murano Glass Factory
This morning we’ll meet our expert local guide for a walking tour of St. Mark’s Square, the great Byzantine Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs and an inside visit of the Doge’s Palace.
Next we’ll board our motoscafi to visit one of the world’s oldest glass blowing factories on the island of Murano. This afternoon you’ll have a chance to “get lost” in the city’s labyrinth of canals, bridges and tiny piazzas. Being a small island, it’s impossible to stray very far. But it won’t hurt to master the phrase “Dov’e’ Piazza San Marco?” Dinner is on your own tonight and there are lots of great choices around your hotel. Even Hemingway’s famous “Harry’s Bar” is just around the corner. Your guide will be happy to make suggestions. Just ask. BB
Day 4 - Wednesday - Venice, Padua, Florence, Dinner in Hotel
This morning it’s back to the mainland where we’ll meet our dependable driver for the ride to Florence. But on the way we’ll make a memorable stop.
Visitors to Padua are often surprised by a sense of deep spirituality. St. Anthony (patron Saint of lost objects) is interred here in the serene Basilica which dates back to the 1200s. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at our hotel. A toast (“brindisi”) to Florence and new friends! BB, D
Day 5 - Thursday - Florence, Sightseeing including ‘The David’, Dinner Out
Florence, the fountainhead of the Renaissance-city of Dante, Boccaccio, Bottecelli and Da Vinci!
Enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the city atop Piazzale Michelangelo, followed by our tour of the Academy of Fine Arts where Michelangelo’s proud David stands, the majestic Cathedral built in 1296, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery with its ‘Gates of Paradise’ doors. We follow the medieval streets to the most striking square in Florence, Piazza della Signoria and then to Florence’s most compelling Franciscan church built in 1294 - Santa Croce. It’s not only an artistic shrine with frescoes by Giotto, but also the burial place of 270 of the city’s most eminent inhabitants - among them Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Rossini.
In the cloister next door we see the Pazzi Chapel - widely regarded as one of the most perfect early Renaissance creations. Tonight, please be our guest at a fine local Florentine restaurant with flowing wines and great friends. BB, D
Day 6 - Friday - Florence, Siena, Wine Tasting in Tuscany
While the ambitious city of Florence was launching the Renaissance, Siena was her “laid back” country cousin. Just 30 miles south of Florence, she is considered the best preserved medieval city in Italy.
Our guided tour will include the elaborately carved Gothic cathedral, Town Hall and Piazza del Campo-site of the famous Palio horse race. You’ll have time for lunch on your own, shopping and a little more exploration. This afternoon we’ll visit a typical Tuscan winery to learn about the grape, the “nose,” food pairings and more importantly-which glass to use! We’ll enjoy a wine tasting with these special wines and an early light dinner. Cin-Cin! BB, D
Day 7 - Saturday - Morning Drive to Rome, Imperial Rome & the Colosseum, Dinner in Hotel
This morning we enjoy our drive south to Rome through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio - the “green heart” of Italy.
This afternoon we enjoy a panoramic tour of “Imperial Rome” including Castel Sant’Angelo, the Roman Forum, Largo Argentina, the Jewish Ghetto and the Circus Maximus. Then we’ll enter the Colosseum, reliving the brutal entertainment of the gladiators and the lions, refereed by the Emperor himself. Tonight, we rejoin the 21st century with a typical Roman dinner at our hotel. BB, D
Day 8 - Sunday - Rome, Day of Leisure
A free day in Rome! But don’t sleep in too late - there’s much to do and see! Ask your tour guide for suggestions.
Why not start with an espresso in Piazza Navona, toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return and stroll across the Tiber for another look at the Vatican. Rome is a great city for walking, shopping and people watching. Tonight, you’re free to enjoy a night in Rome on your own with your new friends. Be sure to have an ice cream at one of the best shops in Rome, close to the Trevi Fountain, “Il Gelato di San Crispino.” BB
Day 9 - Monday - Rome, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica*, Dinner in Trastevere
This morning, it’s a 10 minute drive to another country – Vatican City! With our expert local guide we’ll tour the Vatican Museums, a treasure trove of ancient Greek sculptures, medieval tapestries and Renaissance paintings.
Our visit culminates in the Sistine Chapel, the room where the Pope is elected. Next we visit St. Peter’s Basilica*, by far the largest church in Christendom. We’ll see Michelangelo’s Pieta, sculpted when he was just 24, as well as Bernini’s seven-story bronze canopy located above the main altar. Tonight, we enjoy a delicious dinner in the characteristic district of Trastevere, one of the centers of the Roman night life. This lively area of tiny winding streets gives a taste of what one imagines Italy to be like, with cobbled streets and music-filled trattorias on every corner. BB,D
* Please note that the visit of St. Peter’s Basilica is subject to availability based on the events planned for the Jubilee 2016.
Day 10 - Tuesday - Rome, Flight Home
This morning you board your flight home, arriving in the USA the same day. While we say “arrivederci” to Italy, we realize we’re taking a little piece of it back home with us. Thanks for traveling with the Perillo family and please return soon. BB
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