Day 1: Australia – – Rome
Head to the airport today and catch your flight to Rome!
Day 2: Rome
Benvenuto a Roma! You arrive in the Eternal City and take an included transfer to the hotel for check in. The rest of the day is at your leisure. You may head out into the city to begin soaking up the atmosphere of the incredible Italian capital, or you might make a beeline for some of Rome’s most frequented sites or spend time resting after your flight.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 3: Rome (B)
Take breakfast at the hotel this morning to fuel up for your first full day exploring the culture and history of Imperial Rome. You will be met by your local guide at 10:00am. An itinerary by coach and on foot to see the classic monuments of Rome await! Ensure your return to The Eternal City by tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain, admire La Colonna di Marco Aurelio (a Roman victory column built in honour of emperor Marcus Aurelius) and the Palazzo di Montecitorio. Wander inside the 2000 year old Pantheon and marvel at its spectacular design and elegance. Cap off the day with a visit to one of Rome’s most iconic locations, St Peter’s Square, where you will learn about the Basilica in Vatican City.
Day 4: Rome – Pisa – Florence (B)
After breakfast, take the 4.5 hour drive north into Tuscany towards Pisa. Upon arrival, you will begin your tour of this symbolic ancient port city. Start with a walk alongside the Medieval walls up to the old entrance gate, Porta Santa Maria, and gain access to an extraordinary vantage point for views that will take your breath away! From here you will be in front of a unique panorama: Piazza dei Miracoli with its marble architecture and neat grass lawns. Once outside you can admire the Baptistery, the Monumental Graveyard and, finally, the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, discovering all its secrets. (Note: entrance to the Leaning Tower is an additional cost). Later, make your way back to the coach where you will proceed to Florence. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure.
Day 5: Florence – Venice Mestre (B)
Wake up for breakfast at 9:00am, checkout of your room and be met by your local guide for a short walking tour to take in the last of Florence before moving onto Venice. The tour will take 2 hours, and will have you visit Repubblica Square, one of the most elegant squares in Florence. Walk through the characteristic streets and alleys until you reach the Loggia Del Mercato Nuovo, where you will discover how to gain good luck caressing the nose of the famous Porcellino (wild boar) bronze statue. The journey to discover the wonders of Florence will culminate in San Giovanni Square, home of the wonderful Duomo and Brunelleschi’s Dome as well as the Baptistery and Giotto’s Bell Tower. Your journey through Italy continues northwards as you make your way back to the coach travelling to Venice.
Day 6: Venice Mestre (B)
Take breakfast at 9am then transfer to Venice Island by coach. The drop off point will be at Piazzale Roma parking lot, and your tour director will take you to San Marco Square by a Vaporetto (Water Taxi), where you will meet your local guide for the day. Start with an outdoor visit of the area between Piazza San Marco and the awesome Rialto Bridge. On the way, pass by notable places including the La Fenice Theatre and the Scala del Bovolo. The cherry on top is when your tour guide takes you to a gondola dock and you can enjoy an unforgettable trip on the most beautiful boat in the world, the gondola! Return by water taxi to Piazzale Roma parking lot and then return to your hotel by coach.
Day 7: Venice Mestre – MSC Cruise (B, L, D)
Leave the Italian mainland behind today as it is time to set sail on MSC Lirica for an incredible cruise around the Mediterranean. Your transfer to the cruise terminal is included so you can take a hearty breakfast without having to worry about transportation.
Day 8: Bari (B, L, D)
The cruise navigates south to make its first port in Bari, a fortified town on the Adriatic Coast of Italy. The ancient city is a labrynth of seemingly endless passages, you’ll find yourself weaving through courtyards and under arches – originally designed to protect the inhabitants from the wind and throw invaders into a state of confusion. In the heart of Bari’s Old Town discover the Basilica di San Nicola built in 1197, it’s stonework is exquisite and the 12th century throne behind the altar – a supurb piece of work. Continue to explore the charms of Bari with independent exploration and leisurely meander between piazzas, cafes, boutiques and bustling thoroughfares, before the cruise departs around 8:00pm
Day 9: At Sea (B, L, D)
Your first full day at sea is the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself further with the facilities and opportunities offered aboard the MSC Lirica. This elegant cruise liner comes boasting swanky bars and lounges, casino room, library, theatre, day spa, pool areas, and a number of restaurants where you can take breakfast, lunch and dinner (all included in your package!). Get to know the deck plans and lay out of the ship, scope out the menus at each of the eateries, or mingle with fellow passengers.
Day 10: Santorini (B, L, D)
Next on the agenda is beautiful Santorini! Dock this morning and be welcomed by gaunt, sheer cliffs looming hundreds of metres above the deep blue sea providing an awesome view. There’s plenty to be explored today. Make a beeline for Fira to take in the many sights and landmarks, including the famous Three Bells of Fira, a Greek Catholic church known for it’s blue dome and pictureques views, quaint cave houses and vibrant narrow streets packed with shops, bars and restaurants. Head to Oia in the early afternoon for a rooftop lunch overlooking the calm blue ocean, or capture that iconic photo of the white-washed houses that line themselves along the spectacular cliff face. Be back on-board your cruise by 7:00pm ready to depart for your next destination.
Day 11: Chania (B, L, D)
Rise this morning to head out to explore the island of Chania, a lively port city on the northwest coast of the Greek isle of Crete. Known for it’s 14th century Venetian style harbour, it’s the perfect place to taste traditional Cretan cuisine in small family run tavernas, soak in historic monuments and museums, and just spend hours wandering the charming Old Town.
Day 12: Corfu (B, L, D)
Corfu is one of the most elegant island capitals in the whole of Greece. Set off inland to discover the town’s districts and their tall, narrow alleys that conceal some of the most beautiful architecture.
Day 13: Dubrovnik (B, L, D)
Cruise into Dubrovnik and explore the delightful Old Town. Dubrovnik is known as ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic,’ and one of the highlights of this spectacular city is the walls that surround the historic centre. You can even take walk along the top of the 6,365-foot-long walls, which were constructed to defend the city from invaders. Alternatively, take the cable car to the top of Srd Hill for incredible views of the Old Town and Elaphiti Islands.
Day 14: Venice – – Australia (B)
Arrive into Venice this morning and feel a twinge of sadness knowing this is your final port. Disembark as needed and then take an airport transfer to begin your return journey home. Alternatively, you might choose to extend your stay with Flexi Flights to give you the opportunity to spend more time in Italy’s famous canal-strewn city.
Day 15: Australia
Arrive home today.