Rome, Florence & Venice by rail
With visits to Pisa, Siena, Chianti and San Gimignano
Day 1: Rome arrival
Upon arrival at the Rome Airport, private transfer to your centrally located hotel. Check-in and unpack. Time to relax and then explore this fascinating city.
Day 2: Rome Discovery
Today, enjoy an Elite Walking Tour with full visits to three world famous symbols of Ancient Rome: the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum.
Your tour starts at the Arch of Constantine, one of the largest and best preserved triumphal arches in Rome. From there our guide will take you inside the Colosseum, the main symbol of ancient Rome (skip the line entrance tickets). Next you will visit Palatine Hill, the location of the Roman Forum Archaeological Area (skip the line entrance tickets).Views from the Palatine alone would make your trip to Italy worthwhile! You will also discover the House of the Vestal Virgins, Capitol Palace,Senate House, and Triumphal Arches. The tour ends inside the Roman Forum. (BB)
Day 3: Vatican Experience
Join a small group walking tour of the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica led by an expert guide (skip the line entrance tickets). You will explore some of its 2000 rooms filled with the most extensive collection of art in the world. Marvel at the sight of the Sistine Chapel, the most renowned example of papal patronage during the Renaissance period. Michelangelo created his masterpiece, The Creation of Adam, on the chapel’s ceiling, as well as his incomparable, Last Judgment, on the altar wall.
Our guide will show you many more art treasures, and when we leave the Vatican Museum, we will proceed to the imposing beauty of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Its dome was designed by Michelangelo, who also designed the plan of this Renaissance church. Inside, we will experience the beauty of its world famous sculpture, La Pietà (another Michelangelo masterpiece, and the only sculpture personally signed by the artist). The tour ends in St. Peter’s Square, where you will also discover the genius of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s massive, semi-circular Colonnade. You may decide to stay in Vatican City for the rest of the day, or continue to explore Rome on your own. (BB)
Day 4: Rome to Florence
After breakfast, private transfer to the Rome rail station for a train ride to Florence. Upon arrival, private transfer or self-transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop and discover. (BB)
Day 5: Florence Discovery
Our tour starts with discovering views of the city from one of the most romantic panoramic points in the world: Piazzale Michelangelo. From here we will enjoy a breathtaking view of Florence, and of the green landscape that surrounds it. The tour will resume in the heart of the city at the Accademia Gallery. There you will be able to admire the original version of Michelangelo’s David, along with the unfinished I Prigioni, San Matteo, Pietà di Palestrina and other masterpieces. The tour will continue through the historical streets of Florence, and will take us in front of the Duomo. There our guide will explain the significance of Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery with its golden bronze doors including the famous Porta Del Paradiso, and lastly, the Cathedral itself with its inner mosaics. (BB)
Day 6: Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti & Pisa
Enjoy the rich history and art of Tuscany in a single memorable day, which includes a delicious lunch with wine tasting! Drive through the lovely vineyards of Chianti, arriving in Siena while the town is still asleep. It’s the perfect time of day to wander the pedestrian-friendly heart of this beautiful hilltop town. Our local guide will take you on a walking tour along the small medieval streets and squares, passing the oldest bank in the world, the spectacular Cathedral, and the Piazza del Campo -site of the famous 600-year-old Palio horse-race. During your free time, explore Siena at your own pace.
A short ride takes us to a family run wine-farm in the heart of Tuscany. Here we will have a traditional lunch of fresh, homemade products straight off the farm. It includes handmade pasta and homemade cured meats, salad and typical local cheese, all served with plenty of wine from the region: Vernaccia from San Gimignano, along with Chianti and Vin Santo (dessert wine).
After lunch, we visit San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its still intact medieval town planning. It is often nicknamed the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” because its famous tall, narrow towers create a skyline that looks a bit like a modern city. Here you have free time to explore the town center and the town’s cobblestone streets.
From San Gimignano, we drive past hilltop hamlets until reaching the Field of Miracles in Pisa. Leaving the vehicle, we see an expanse of grass dominated by dazzling white buildings. Pisa’s Cathedral, Tower and Baptistery are exquisite examples of Pisan Romanesque architecture. The Leaning Tower is almost 56 meters tall (about 183 ft.), and leans at about 4 degrees, making it one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the world. (BB, L)
Day 7: Florence - Venice
Private or self-transfer to Florence rail and board your first class train to Venice. Upon arrival, private transfer to your hotel. A Grand Canal boat ride would be hard to resist as it offers you the opportunity to view the city from a completely different perspective. You’ll feel like a VIP as you enjoy this small group tour of the Grand Canal.
In a city built on water, this boat tour provides the ideal way to admire the beauty and uniqueness of Venice. Our luxurious motor-launch is limited to a maximum of eight participants. This guarantees that everyone will enjoy the experience to the fullest, while listening to a detailed commentary by your expert guide. The Grand Canal Boat Tour finishes back at San Mark’s Square. (BB)
Day 8: Venice Discovery
This morning join a walking tour of Venice. Your guide will escort you through this unique city, recalling its charming past. The tour starts in Piazza San Marco with an explanation of the city’s origins, history, and descriptions of the main monuments: Basilica San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, the Bell Tower, and Clock Tower. You will see the “Pantheon” of Venice, and Marco Polo’s house. Anecdotes and past and recent history cross each other in this beautiful corner of Venice. Return to San Marco through the Mercerie, a vital connection between Rialto and San Marco, and the main street for the city shopping. Later, why not join an optional tour to discover the islands of the lagoon, including a visit to the famous Murano glassmaking factory. (BB)
Day 9: Italy- USA
After breakfast, private transfer to the Venice airport for your flight home. (BB)
What is included:
• First Class Hotels Centrally Located
• Buffet Breakfast Daily
• Airport Arrival and Departure Transfers
• First Class Rail
• Rail Transfers
• Baggage Handling of One Piece of Luggage
• Sightseeing as Described with Hotel Pickup for the Rome and Vatican Tour
• Rome City Tour (3 hours)
• Vatican Tour (3 hours)
• Florence City Tour (3 hours)
• Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti & Pisa With Wine Tasting (Approx 12 Hours)
• Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour (1 hour 10 minutes)
• Venice Tour (Approximately 2 ½ hours)
• Venice Lagoon Tour (3 ½ hours)
The itinerary includes suggested sightseeing. We can arrange many other sightseeing options. All sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary can also be arranged on a private basis.
Intercontinental Flight; Gratuities; Porterage at airport; Beverages and meals not mentioned in the program; Tips, other Entrances and Personal Items; Travel Insurance; All that is not specifically mentioned above.
(BB) Buffet Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner