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From the lakeside city of Como to the many splendours of Rome, this tour encompasses many of Italy's most famous cities, comfortably, by comfort-class rail.
On arrival in Milan, you will be met and transferred by private car to your Como hotel for check-in. Settle in and then it's time to explore Como at your leisure; relax in the cafes, people watch, drink pure Italian coffee, and absorb the history and elegance of your new surroundings. The remainder of today and all day tomorrow is free to visit and absorb the delights of Como. Be sure to visit Como's walled Old Town and, at its heart, Piazza San Fedele with its many 400-year-old buildings & basilica. (B)
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel before making your way to Como's rail station to board a first-class train for the journey east to Venice. Once you arrive in Venice you will be met and guided to your motor-launch, the Venetian mode of transportation, and transferred to your hotel. Comprising of more than a hundred small islands, a hundred and fifty canals and more than four hundred bridges, Venice is built like no other city in the world and your afternoon is free to start your exploration of this fascinating city. (B)
This morning an experienced guide will escort you through the millennium of life of the Serenissima Republic. Your tour starts with a historical introduction of St. Marks’s Square, and its architectural delights, allowing you to discover the history of the majestic St. Mark’s Basilica, the illustrious Doge’s Palace, once the seat of the power of the Republic of Venice, and the extraordinary, renaissance clock tower. Leaving the square, you will be guided into the residential Castello area, allowing you to discover this part of Venice in all of its elegance, through its labyrinth of narrow alleys - “calli”, many bridges, winding canals and wide picturesque squares - “campi”. You can expect to discover the Santa Maria Formosa Square, one of the largest squares in Venice with its church, named after its visitation of the Holy Virgin; the Saints Giovanni and Paolo Square where you will be able to admire the famous church, the resting place of several Doges; and the equestrian monument of Bartolomeo Colleoni, an Italian mercenary Captain. The former residence of Marco Polo, probably the most famous Venetian merchant, and the Malibran theatre are also part of the itinerary. After this 1.5-hour walk, you will head to the Doge's Palace, formerly the seat of power of the Republic of Venice, for a guided tour. Once inside the Palace, you will visit the halls where the Duke (Doge) and his Council controlled the fate of the Serene Republic, whilst surrounded by hundreds of artistic masterpieces, and discover the political history of Venice and its people. You will be able to admire the paintings realized by some of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance, amongst them, the world's largest oil painting by Tintoretto. Passing through the famous Bridge of Sighs, you will reach the new prisons before the tour concludes in the courtyard of the Doge's Palace. The remainder of the day free to pass as you please, perhaps selecting an optional excursion to visit the famous islands of Murano, Burano & Torcello. (B)
This morning a guide will lead you from your hotel to your motor-launch to transfer you to the train station where you'll board a first-class train to Florence. Sit back and enjoy watching the scenery change as you travel from Veneto through Emilio Romagna to Tuscany. When you arrive in Tuscany's capital city of Florence, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by private car. Check-in to your hotel and now it's time to start discovering Florence and the many artistic & historical wonders it offers. The remainder of your day is free. (B)
Today you can live an immersive experience in the history of Florence and the art of Michelangelo, by visiting the city centre and the unique Accademia Gallery. Skip the line to enjoy, at your own pace, the beautiful Accademia Gallery, one of the most famous art galleries in the world. Among other wonderful masterpieces, you will be able to admire works of art by Michelangelo including his most famous work, David, as well as other important works of art such as“I Prigioni” and “San Matteo”. Then discover the best of Florence during a 1.5 hours guided walking tour. Starting from the very heart of Florence, your guide will take you on an exciting journey through time, revealing the history, anecdotes & secrets kept in this wonderful city from the still visible traces of the Roman foundation of the city (in 59 BC), to the Middle Ages and up to the glorious Renaissance, a period in which Florence was ruled by the powerful Medici family. You will admire the most iconic squares and monuments of Florence among noble palaces and artisan shops. Discover the spectacular Piazza della Signoria dominated by the majestic Palazzo Vecchio, the Renaissance Palazzo Strozzi, the iconic and picturesque Ponte Vecchio, the district of the Medici family with the ancient Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Medici Chapels, and Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, their first residence. You will surely be left breathless by the beauty of the monumental complex of the Duomo, with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the famous Dome by Brunelleschi, the elegant Giotto's Bell Tower, and the beautiful Romanesque Baptistery of San Giovanni. Along with the guided walk, you can also enjoy the audio guide provided by an APP included in your tour. From your own mobile device, you will have unlimited access to the mobile city guide allowing you to explore other aspects of the city and suggested itineraries in total freedom and at your own pace! (B)
Today, after a morning to pass as you choose, you'll discover one of the most fascinating areas of Tuscany, known all over the world for its wine and its countryside of unrivalled charm, where woods alternate with vineyards and olive groves, in a landscape dotted with Romanesque parish churches, farmhouses, villas and castles of rare beauty. The first stop of the tour is in the heart of the Florentine Chianti Classico, a small cozy winery. Here, guided by the owner, you will discover the secrets of winemaking and enjoy a delicious tasting of the best wines produced, accompanied by local products. The tour continues then to the picturesque medieval village of Greve in Chianti, the birthplace of the famous navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano, where every year takes place the most important wine fair of the Chianti region. Here we will have free time to admire the famous main square of the ancient "market" with its characteristic arcades and to browse through the local artisan shops. Then, moving along the historical "Via Chiantigiana", you will cross the Sienese Chianti Classico area, admiring the breathtaking views of the rolling hills that made so famous this part of Tuscany, before reaching a family-run Winery, which stands out for the excellent quality of its wines. Here, you will be welcomed by its passionate winemaker with an introductory walk along the slope through the vineyards. Once arrived, a guided tour of the cellars and the lovely aromatic garden will be waiting for you, followed by a delicious tasting of four different wines and unique local products that you can find only here. Do not miss this unique opportunity of tasting, but also to buy and bring them home as your best travel memory! Return to your hotel in Florence for a well-deserved rest. (B)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before a private car transfer whisks you to the railway station to board a comfort-class train with reserved seating to Rome where on arrival a private car will take you to your next hotel. Check-in and the remainder of today is free to relax or explore on your own. (B)
Enjoy breakfast before being collected from your hotel for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St Peter's Square. The Vatican Museums are one of the richest and most beloved art collections in the world: they display around 20.000 pieces of art. With such a huge amount of artwork, it’s easy to feel lost. That’s why a professional guide can make a difference. After meeting your professional guide, you’ll be given a headset and reach the Vatican Museum’s entrance, in a group of no more than 20 people. This less-stress guided tour will grant you a real skip-the-line, faster access through the exclusive official partners’ entrance, saving you the hassle of waiting in line for several hours. You’ll tour the gallery, visiting all those main spots you’ve heard about like the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Borgia Apartments. The guide will tell you everything about the Raphael Rooms and their exceptional frescoes, including The School of Athens, and will bring you to the Sistine Chapel, whose ceiling is one of the cornerstone works of High Renaissance art. The tour wouldn’t be complete without St. Peter’s Square, the open space which lies before the basilica, redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and which is itself an architectural masterpiece of the Baroque age. You’ll admire St. Peter’s Basilica (outside) which isn’t only the largest church in the world but also contains several pieces of fine art: think the canopy designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini or the Pietà by Michelangelo. The tour ends in St. Peter’s Square and the afternoon is free to pass as you wish. (B)
This morning you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some time to explore Rome on your own before a guided afternoon tour of Imperial Rome. The Romans built an empire of truly gigantic proportions and testimony of its greatness is still visible in many places where the city was built, more than 2772 years ago, by the legendary twin brothers Romulus and Remus. To see it with your own eyes, join us and our professional guide on this 3-hour tour: we’ll provide you with a pocket radio receiver and earphones, and let you access the Colosseum by skipping the long line. Walking inside the Flavian Amphitheater, you'll see the places where the Ancient Romans used to watch a variety of events, including gladiatorial shows or staged animal hunts, and learn about the way Romans used to enjoy their leisure time. You will stroll around Palatine Hill, the place where Rome was founded and where Roman emperors used to live. Make sure to get your cameras ready for some perfect shots as the view from up here is spectacular. Then admire the well-preserved ruins at the Roman Forum, the pulsating heart of ancient Roman life. Let the tour guide take you back in time and try to imagine what it was like to be a Roman citizen. The tour which has a duration of 3 hours ends inside the Roman Forum and you can decide to remain inside the Forum and then make your own way back to your hotel at your own pace. (B)
After an early morning departure from Rome, you'll see Southern Italy highlights on your minitour from Rome. Your journey begins heading south along the so-called Sun Highway, crossing the fertile Roman countryside and the area known as Castelli Romani, dotted with enchanting medieval villages. Arrive in Naples, one of the largest and well-known cities in Italy for a short panoramic tour climbing up to Vomero hill to enjoy beautiful views of the Gulf of Naples with the Vesuvius, Capri, Ischia and Procida and the city below; time to take some nice pictures. Descending towards the port of Mergellina, you will leave the city and travel south toward Mount Vesuvius, and once you reach the town of Pompeii you will have lunch enjoying some real Neapolitan pizza! After lunch, you will enter the world-famous archaeological site of Pompeii with “Skip the Line” tickets for a guided tour. Visit the haunting ruins of Pompeii, travelling back in time to the tragic days in 79 AD when the silent Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted, covering the prosperous Roman city in deadly volcanic ashes and poisonous gases, leaving this prosperous city crystallized until our days. You’ll learn how people lived at that time, visiting houses and “bars” of the time, admiring frescoes and mosaics to imagine how rich and prosperous was the city before that fateful day. After the visit, continue along the Sorrentine Coast, arriving in Sorrento in time for dinner (dressy casual attire is required) and an overnight in your hotel. (B.L.D)
After breakfast at your hotel, you'll depart by boat to the island of Capri. Depending on weather conditions, you’ll take a boat ride to the popular and dreamy “Grotta Azzurra” (Blue Grotto), where the sunlight passes through an underwater cavity and shines through the seawater, creating a magical blue reflection. You'll then board a minibus for a scenic drive to Anacapri, 918 feet (280 meters) above sea level. Take in the wonderful views of the bay of Naples, before continuing to a local restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time to explore Capri at your leisure or to go shopping, before returning to Marina Grande where you will board the boat back to Sorrento. Dinner tonight will be served at your Sorrento hotel. (B.L.D).
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before a full day at leisure to explore the famous and charming town of Sorrento, or to visit one of the jewels of the peninsula such as Positano, Ravello or Amalfi. Departure from the hotel at 3:30 pm to meet our tour leader for the return trip to Rome. Approximate arrival time in Rome will be 9:00 pm. (B)
Today you have an entire day to discover Rome on your own perhaps returning to one of the many places visited during your guided tours or visit one of the many famous shopping areas of Rome. (B)
After breakfast, a private car transfer will take you from your hotel to Rome airport for your return flight. Arrivederci! (B)
The Michelangelo Tour can also operate in reverse.