Blaze a trail through la bella Italia - your epic journey begins in Rome, once the powerful capital of the world and yours to explore before meeting your travel companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive introducing you to some of the city's iconic and unexpected highlights.
Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims who for centuries have flocked to the Vatican City. Visit St. Peter's Basilica, one of the holiest sites in Christendom, joining a Local Specialist for an included sightseeing tour. See Michelangelo's magnificent Pietà, hewn from the most 'perfect' block of Carrara marble. Then, venture into Ancient Rome to see Circus Maximus, where the thundering noise of chariot races once filled the air, followed by a visit to the Colosseum. The afternoon is yours to explore at leisure. Sit on the Spanish Steps, shop up a storm on Via Veneto or continue your encounter with Ancient Rome on Palatine Hill to see the Temple of Apollo and Flavian Palace, among other excavations.
We travel east through the Campania Mountains and the orange and olive groves of Puglia near the Adriatic coast, our home for the next two nights. This evening, we enjoy a delicious local dinner at our hotel.
Enjoy a leisurely morning on your own. Consider an Optional Experience or indulge in delectable local flavours at a traditional trattoria. This afternoon, the conical limestone houses of Alberobello take centre stage during our guided tour with a Local Specialist. Here, we'll see the UNESCO-listed collection of almost 1,500 trulli dating back to the 14th century. This evening, we Connect With Locals with a Be My Guest experience at a traditional masseria. Meet Signor Luciano for dinner on his Alberobello farm where you can taste seasonal produce, including fresh almonds, cherries, tomatoes and olive oil, as well as enjoy a local stone masonry demonstration.
The fresh aroma of lemons is your constant companion in the stunning coastal town of Sorrento, your home for the next two nights. View the bustling Piazza Tasso and Corso Italia before spending the rest of the day on your own. Kick back and sip delicious Limoncello di Sorrento, enjoy lunch in this picture-perfect town or spend the afternoon soaking up la dolce vita. Tonight we dine at our hotel in Sorrento.
Cruise the deep blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the beautiful Isle of Capri. Enjoy a guided tour of Capri town, watching the beautiful people sip their cappuccino in the glamorous piazzetta.
Explore the tragic history of the ancient lost city of Pompeii with a Local Specialist. Gain a deeper understanding of what life was like in this Roman settlement that lay buried for centuries after Mount Vesuvius erupted. Continue your journey through the rolling green and golden fields of Umbria, arriving at the mystical hilltop town of Assisi. Meet your Local Specialist for a visit of the stunning Basilica of St. Francis, featuring exquisite frescoes by Giotto. Tonight, we dine in our hotel.
Celebrate the epic tale of Romeo and Juliet during this morning's visit to the fair city of Verona where you will view Juliet's Balcony and the Roman arena built in the 1st century. We venture to the Adriatic coast this afternoon bound for Venice. Our home for the next two nights is one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories - Hyatt Centric hotel, preserving the tradition of Murano glass art.
Dive Into Culture this morning and witness the delicate craft of Venetian glassblowing that spans centuries. Glide by private launch along bustling waterways to view the Bridge of Sighs, Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica before spending free time exploring the city. Stroll along the Grand Canal, nibble on delicious cicchetti at a cosy bacaro or cross the lagoon on an Optional Experience to the colourful Burano Island.
This morning, we traverse pastoral Veneto plains to the sophisticated town of Trento surrounded by the Dolomites. Once located within the Austrian Empire, the town exudes both classical Italian elegance and cultural influences from the north, which you can enjoy at one of its many beer halls or cafés. Consider sampling the delicious local apple strudel, then wander around the Piazza Duomo before checking in to your hotel for the night.
Continue west through Italy's stunning Lakes District to the sophisticated powerhouse of Milan. You'll have some free time to explore on your own after an orientation of the city's iconic sights. See the exquisite Gothic Duomo, La Scala Opera House and the Galleria, one of the world's oldest shopping malls. We spend this afternoon on the quiet shores of Lake Maggiore, soaking up the pleasant lakeside atmosphere and exploring Baveno.
Journey to Genoa where a Local Specialist will show us this city's majestic architecture. Continue to the seaside resort of La Spezia where we will dine at our hotel.
Indulge in a full free day to soak up the laid-back atmosphere. Stroll along the waterfront or consider joining an Optional Experience to Porto Venere and the Bay of Poets where you'll embark on an encounter with the cliffside villages of Cinque Terre.
Travelling south through the unforgettable scenery of Tuscany, we arrive in Pisa to view its famous Leaning Tower before continuing to the Renaissance city of Florence. This afternoon is yours at leisure to wander through the grand squares and labyrinthine lanes of Florence, whose connection with the Medici family saw this city become one of the world's most cultural centres. Consider a visit to the Academy of Fine Arts to see the Michelangelo's statue of David, amble along the Arno River or ascend the stone steps up to Piazzale Michelangelo for spectacular views of the city.
Join a Local Specialist this morning to view the city's finest masterpieces - the magnificent Duomo, Giotto's Bell Tower and the 13th-century Santa Croce Basilica, the final resting place of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Later, learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries at demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold. The rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy at leisure. Maybe, walk across the Ponte Vecchio that. Walk across the Ponte Vecchio that has straddled over the Arno River for almost 700 years, or wander through the Renaissance Boboli Gardens, stopping for a slice or two of schiacciata along the way.
Journey through the sprawling vineyards of Chianti, past the hill-towns of Umbria before arriving in Rome. This evening we Dive Into Culture at an exclusive farewell dining experience in the Museo Gregoriano Profano, with its centuries of Roman and ancient Greek sculptures and antiquities, or the magnificent surrounds of the Salone di Raffaello in the Pinacoteca. Gain access to the Museum before dinner, then continue your evening with a tour of the Vatican Museums with a Local Specialist, before the weekly evening opening, including views of Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
Our epic encounter with Italy has come to an end. We say arrivederci to Rome and our newfound friends at the end of our Grand Italian Experience. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.