Indulge all your senses in the imperial city of Rome, your introduction to a memorable encounter with Italy which will have you returning for more. Spend your afternoon relaxing after your journey, or explore the ancient city streets before joining your Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Reception. This evening, we take an orientation drive past Rome's most magnificent sights which we will have an opportunity to explore tomorrow.
Our encounter with Rome begins in the Holy See as we Dive Into Culture and visit the Vatican Museums in the company of a Local Specialist to admire the masterpieces that have been collected by Popes throughout the centuries. Gaining priority early admission, we admire the magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel when it is less crowded and visit St. Peter's Basilica, the greatest church in Christendom, to see Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà. Crossing the Tiber, we venture into Ancient Rome to visit the imposing Colosseum and view Circus Maximus, once the site of tremendous chariot races. Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring Rome. Admire the Spanish Steps or toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to secure your speedy return.
This morning, we venture north through the valley of the Tiber into the green and golden landscapes of Umbria. We pass the hilltop towns of Orte and Orvieto, travelling through Tuscany's terraced olive groves and the Apennine Mountains bound for Venice, the 'Queen of the Adriatic'.
We cruise by private launch to the city's most prominent sights, including views of the Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. Dive Into Culture witnessing first-hand the intricate craft of glassblowing. Soak up the pageantry and elegance of Venice before continuing to Verona, home of Shakespeare's ill-fated lovers Romeo and Juliet, where we'll spend the night.
Pisa's UNESCO-listed Square of Miracles is our first stop today where we will have the opportunity to view the Leaning Tower before arriving in Florence. Explore the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to the Medici dynasty, whose penchant for beautiful art and architecture created one of the cultural centres of the world. Tonight, we Connect With Locals over dinner at a Be My Guest experience enjoying delicious specialities against the backdrop of picture-perfect olive groves and vineyards.
We join a Local Specialist today to delve into the rich medieval and Renaissance history of Florence. Our sightseeing tour will take us to the Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and imposing palazzi. Wandering through the narrow streets, we encounter the multi-coloured marble Duomo and famous Baptistery. We'll learn about the quality and workmanship of one of this city's historic industries at a demonstration of Florentine leathercraft. Next, we'll view the almost 700-year-old Ponte Vecchio, a spectacular feat of engineering dating from the Middle Ages and today lined with jewellers. Our journey continues through Umbria to the valley of the Tiber River and back to Rome. Toast to a memorable holiday with newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast, it's time to say a fond arrivederci to Rome, Italy and your travel companions as you return home with wonderful memories of this magnificent destination. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.