Italian Vistas Educational Tour

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Italian Vistas tour map

Italian Vistas

10 Days Venice 2 • Montecatini Terme 2 • Sorrento 2 • Rome 2

Accommodations

Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $320 per person.

Transportation

Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.

Meals

All breakfasts. All dinners.

Guides

Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.

Inclusions

Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.

Travel Protection

passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.

Days 1-2: Arrival Venice

Arrival transfer, Boatbus to/from the airport

Day 3: Venice

Venice Guided Walking Tour: Round-trip water bus to St. Mark's Square, Local Guide, Glassblowing demonstration

Day 4: Venice - Montecatini Terme

Sightseeing stop in Pisa

Day 5: Montecatini Terme

Excursion to Florence: Visit to the Accademia, Visit to the church of Santa Croce and its Pazzi Chapel, Visit to the nave of Florence's Duomo

Day 6: Montecatini Terme - Sorrento

Day 7: Sorrento

Excursion to Capri: Round trip shuttle to the port, Ferry Sorrento-Capri, Round-trip Capri funicular, Visit to Capri's Gardens of Augustus

Optional Tarantella Performance

Day 8: Sorrento - Rome

Visit to the ruins of Pompeii

Day 9: Rome

Rome City Sightseeing: Local Guide, Visits to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Visit to the Vatican Museums, Headset receiver for the Vatican sites, Visit to the Sistine Chapel, Visit to St. Peter's Basilica, Stroll on Piazza Navona, Visit to the Pantheon

Optional Dinner with music

Day 10: Departure

Departure transfer

Days 1-2: Arrival

A dream comes true as your wide-bodied jet thunders off the airstrip, Europe-bound. Time for a meal, a movie and a nap. Then it gets light again, first off the left-hand side of the airplane, then everywhere. It's morning, and Italy!

Relax or start exploring the "Pearl of the Adriatic." Remember Marco Polo, who set out from this magnificent harbor in 1271, at the age of 18, on a fantastic journey to Asia.

Day 3: Venice Guided Walking Tour

After a water bus ride to the greatest square in the West, Piazza San Marco, enjoy a walking tour led by a local guide. You will see the Doges' Palace and St. Mark's Basilica.

Head to the Rialto area to visit the nooks and crannies of Old Venice and the lively Rialto Market.

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Venice, will accompany your group.

Glassblowing demonstration

Visit a glass workshop, where a skilled glassblower will demonstrate the techniques and artistic sense required to produce the world-renowned Venetian glass.

Enjoy some free time in Venice today.

Use your vaporetto ticket to ride along the Grand Canal aboard a water bus: take either the #1 water bus, which makes every stop along the way, or #82, which travels along the same route with fewer stops. You will pass under the Rialto Bridge, which was once the only link between the two sides of the Grand Canal. Completed in 1591, this shop-lined stone bridge is a lively gathering place for visitors and locals alike.

If the weather is favorable, you may want to arrange a gondola ride along the canals, past stately palaces. This is a uniquely Venetian experience, as extravagant and as unforgettable as the city itself.

Day 4: Pisa, Montecatini Terme

Today, travel to Pisa.

This is the city whose navy once dominated the Western Mediterranean, before the Arno River silted up. Just north of the city center you'll discover the Campo dei Miracoli and its trio of remarkable Moorish-style religious buildings, the most famous of which is the Leaning Tower (now tilting nearly 13 feet from its vertical axis).

Travel over the rolling hills of Tuscany to Montecatini Terme, one of Europe's most famous health spas. Renowned for its mineral springs, the town began to gain popularity at the beginning of the 20th century, at which time several architectural additions were made in the posh Art Nouveau style. So fashionable was this town that Prince Rainier of Monaco and his American bride Grace Kelly spent their honeymoon here in the 1950s!

Day 5: Excursion to Florence

Never in the history of mankind has so much genius, in all its forms, been concentrated in one place as it was in Florence during the fifteenth century. Discover it all on today's excursion to the true Renaissance city.

View a wealth of artwork from the 15th and 16th centuries at the Galleria dell'Accademia, including the best known of all Florentine treasures, Michelangelo's monumental David.

Next on your program: the church that's the final resting place of luminaries such as Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo. Santa Croce is also famous for its art treasures, notably the Cappella dei Pazzi, a chapel attributed to Brunelleschi that's hailed as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.

In the nave of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as the Duomo, you will marvel at one of the largest cathedrals in the Christian world, consecrated in 1436. Within its striking walls, it houses precious masterpieces, notably Domenico di Michelino's 1320 painting Dante and the Divine Comedy.

You may want to check out Florence's leather and jewelry shops, or the boutiques where you can acquire beautiful reproductions of Florentine artwork at reasonable prices.

One of Florence's main attractions is the vast street market on Piazza di San Lorenzo. Look for leather goods, shoes, clothes or souvenirs. Nearby stands the city's main food market, Mercato Centrale, a two-story building overflowing with fresh cheeses, meat, poultry, fish and produce of all sorts. This is the perfect place to select items for a picnic lunch.

Day 6: Travel to Sorrento

Today, journey south to Sorrento, the fabled town of poets and sunsets, also renowned for its embroidery and intarsia (wood-inlay).

The evening is free to enjoy Sorrento's scenic delights and spectacular views. For the finest overlook of all, you may want to go to Punta di Sorrento and watch the sunset from the belvedere.

Day 7: Excursion to Capri, Optional Tarantella Performance

Descend the winding road to the port of Sorrento.

A ferry will take you to the Isle of Capri.

Transfer by funicular to the town of Capri's main square (Piazzetta), passing tropical gardens on the way. On the island stands Villa Jovis, the imperial residence from which Tiberius once ruled his empire. Recall tales of the Emperor Augustus, and of the mischievous Caligula.

From Capri's Piazzetta, it's an easy walk to the Gardens of Augustus, a magnificent public garden landscaped in the 1930s by the German industrialist Friedrich Krupp. Its terraces adorned with colorful and fragrant vegetation are perched atop a cliff with a sheer drop to the sea. The gardens face Capri's southern coast and provide splendid views of the 14th-century Charterhouse of San Giacomo, the Bay of Marina Piccola, down below, and the Faraglioni, the needle-like rocks that soar above the sea.

Optional Tarantella Performance

This evening, enjoy a colorful Tarantella show with performers in traditional costumes dancing to the sound of guitars and mandolins.

Day 8: Pompeii, Rome

Today's program focuses on one of the most famous Roman cities.

Walk through the excavated Roman city recognized by UNESCO as a treasure of Western Civilization. See how well-to-do Romans lived 2,000 years ago, until Mt. Vesuvius all at once destroyed this city in one day and preserved it for all time.

A coach ride up the autostrada takes you to the "Eternal City".

Proceed to your centrally-located hotel, settle in and get ready to explore your surroundings.

Plan a visit to the Trevi Fountain, one of Rome's most celebrated sights, which was the terminus of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. Throw a coin over your right shoulder and into the spray to ensure your return to this wonderful city!

Day 9: Rome City Sightseeing, Optional Dinner with Music

Set out on a sightseeing tour of Rome.

A full-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Rome, will accompany your group.

Visits to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum

Walk through the best known monuments of Ancient Rome, the Colosseo and the Foro Romano. Once the heart of a vast empire, the Forum was filled with extravagant buildings and crowded with people from all over the known world.

Visit to the Vatican Museums

Discover outstanding masterpieces collected for the Vatican Museums since the early 1500s. You will see exceptional statues from antiquity, such as Laocoön and His Sons and the Apollo Belvedere, and stunning Renaissance paintings, notably in the Raphael Rooms with The School of Athens fresco.

Headset receiver for the Vatican sites

Marvel at Michelangelo's Last Judgment and brightly-colored ceiling frescoes in the Cappella Sistina.

Enter the sanctuary recognized as the world's largest church. The Basilica di San Pietro also houses priceless works of art, in particular Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's Dove of the Holy Spirit.

Stroll on Piazza Navona

Walk through the plaza built on the site of Domitian's Stadium. Lined with grand buildings and trendy cafes, this oblong square is adorned with statues and fountains, notably Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Inside the "Temple to All the Gods," you will understand why it has been called one of the better-preserved and most harmonious monuments of antiquity.

Optional Dinner with music

Tonight, enjoy dinner while local singers and musicians entertain you with O Sole Mio, Volare and other favorite Italian songs.

Day 10: Departure

Ciao, Europa! Statistics show that visitors do in fact return to Rome, although it may not have anything to do with coins in a fountain. Race the sun and arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.

Departure Date is required.
Departure City is required.

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