Day 1: Australia – – Rome
Depart Australia today to begin your journey of Italy.
Day 2: Rome
Today, arrival in to Rome! On arrival, please make your own way to your hotel. There are plenty of transport options with the quickest being the Leonardo Express train from the airport to the city.
Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Roman Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, boasts St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.
Day 3: Rome (B)
In the morning, meet your Tour Escort and then embark on a full day tour of Italy’s historic capital city. Start the tour at the famous Trevi Fountain. Legend has it, that if you make a wish and toss a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain, you are sure to return to Rome! Pay tribute to the brave Gladiators of Rome, with a visit to the Colosseum. At this amphitheatre, the notorious and gory gladiatorial games were held, where they fought one another and wild animals while the crowd roared! See the triumphal Arch of Constantine, one of the most important commemorative monuments of antiquity and then drive through Piazza Venezia, the main square in Rome, where the grandiose monument to the reunification of Italy is often referred to as the Marble wedding cake! Head to the Vatican City, the smallest nation in the world! Headed by his holiness the Pope, it is the administrative and spiritual capital of Roman Catholicism. It boasts a priceless art collection and is probably per square foot the richest country in the world! Visit the Vatican museum, one of the largest museum complexes in the world. A must see is the Sistine Chapel. The most famous square of the Vatican is St. Peter’s Square with St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world.
Day 4: Rome – Pompeii – Sorrento – Rome (B)
After breakfast, we drive to Pompeii, the affluent Roman town which was buried under tons of ash which poured down from Mount Vesuvius in AD79. Today, on this half day guided tour visitors can walk through the preserved remains, revealing the daily life of Roman civilisation which was captured in a few dramatic moments. You will be led through the ancient cobbled streets, houses, temples, shops and cafes by a local guide, who will impart the history of one of the world’s most fascinating archaeological experiences. On leaving Pompeii, the coach will follow the spectacular clifftop road to the picturesque coastal resort of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Return to your hotel in Rome.
Day 5: Rome – Florence (B)
Today’s journey sees us head north, into the Province of Umbria, Italy’s green heartland and the only Italian region that has neither the sea nor another country as its border. Continue onto Tuscany, famed for its picture-perfect landscapes and superb cuisine. Arrive in Florence late afternoon and immediately capture the essence of the heart of the Italian Renaissance.
Day 6: Florence (B)
After breakfast, we proceed to Giotto’s bell tower and then see the Gates of Paradise, located in front of the Cathedral and one of the most famous works of art in the world. Visit the Piazza della Signoria open-air museum then stroll on to Piazza Santa Croce, famous for its Basilica and luxury shops. Your half day guided sightseeing of Florence will end late afternoon but there will still be time for more exploration, maybe wandering down the ancient streets to the Arno River and crossing the historic Ponte Vecchio to the newer district of Oltrarno. This evening is at leisure.
Day 7: Florence – Cinque Terre – Rapallo – Genoa (B)
Leave Florence and met your full day local guide for a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cinque Terre, a string of centuries-old seaside fishing villages set on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. The oldest of the villages is Monterosso, located on a hilltop and where the main attractions are the Old Castle, the Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Convent of the Capuchin. On leaving Cinque Terre, continue to visit the Italian Riviera town of Rapallo, across the bay from Portofino with its colourful houses, boutiques, café bars on the piazzetta and luxurious yachts moored in the harbour. The day ends in Genoa, capital of the Liguria region where you will be checked into your hotel.
Day 8: Genoa – Lake Maggiore (B)
After breakfast, we drive north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous. This drive meanders through pretty Alpine scenery before arriving at Lake Maggiore, situated on the south side of the Alps and the second largest lake in Italy. The climate is mild all year, the result being a landscape of exotic plants and luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation. After check-in to our hotel the afternoon is then free for you to enjoy the wonderful natural surroundings and fresh mountain air.
Day 9: Lake Maggiore – Verona – Venice (B)
Today, continue to Verona, situated in northern Italy’s Veneto region and most famous as being the setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.Enjoy a half day guided walking tour of Verona . Then following a 2½ drive, you will arrive in Venice.
Few cities can claim such a priceless art and history heritage as Venice. This unique city with its magical, spectacular scenery is not just beautiful; it is a real miracle of creative genius: a city built on mud, sand and the slime of a difficult, inhospitable landscape. Venice is the symbol of wise government and freedom. The lagoon was its only defence, there were no palace guards except the Arsenal workers and no parade ground except the sea. During centuries of feudalism and barbarism, Venice symbolised democracy and civilization.
Day 10: Venice (B)
After breakfast, we embark on a half day guided walking tour of Venice. We embark on a cruise from Tronhetto Pier and glide past fairy tale palaces, through incredible miniature canals to the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) to where you start your tour. Enjoy Venice’s history as your meander through the narrow alleys. The tour ends with a brief visit to a glass-blowing factory on Murano. One of the oldest and most respected trades in Venice. Learn about the Murano glassmakers, arguably some of the most famous glass artists in the world.
The afternoon is then free to discover Venice Island’s many treasures at your own pace. Some say no visit to Venice can be complete without a ride on one of the iconic gondolas, and you will have time to take a trip on the famous Grand Canal as well as through the smaller canals around the neighbourhood of Venice should you wish (on own account).
Day 11: Venice (B,D)
This morning is free at leisure.
This afternoon, you will be transferred to Venice port to board your deluxe 7 night Mediterranean cruise of Croatia and the Greek Islands on board MSC Sinfonia
Day 12: Split, Croatia (B,L,D)
A former Roman imperial complex contains Split’s lively Old Town, whose sights include shops, cafés, pagan temples, palazzos and a magnificent cathedral. Nearby Split are ruins, beaches, seaside resorts, fairy-tale towns and more.
Day 13: At Sea (B,L,D)
Today, enjoy a relaxing day at sea to enjoy everything your ship has to offer. Jam pack your day with every type of activity or simply do nothing! The choices are endless.
Day 14: Santorini, Greece (B,L,D)
No other Greek island is more famous for its romantic setting, mythic beauty and volcanic scenery. Santorini enchants with a deep blue bay, high cliffs, black and red sand beaches, and white-washed towns perched on the crater rim.
Day 15: Mykonos, Greece (B,L,D)
As one of the Cycladic Islands, Mykonos has enjoyed great popularity as a holiday destination since the 1950s, offering travellers traditional Greek hospitality plus a lively nightlife against a backdrop of stunning beaches, whitewashed houses and a scenic interior
Day 16: Dubrovnik, Croatia (B,L,D)
Set between cobalt seas and the rugged Dinaric Alps, Dubrovnik is a medieval delight. Behind the thick defensive walls of its Old Town, discover lively promenades and narrow lanes lined with churches, monasteries, shops and cafés.
Day 17: Ancona, Italy (B,L,D)
Ancona is a city on Italy’s Adriatic coast and the capital of the Marche region. It’s known for beaches, like Spiaggia del Passetto, and the hilltop Cathedral of San Ciriaco. In the city centre, the Fontana del Calamo is a fountain with bronze masks of mythic figures.
Day 18: Venice – Disembark cruise (B)
This morning we arrive back in Venice. As you disembark make your own way to the airport for your onward flight.
Day 19: Australia
Arrive home today.