Escape to Italy to discover the timeless wonder of Rome, Umbria & Tuscany. The classical art, history and beauty of Rome will inspire you. The quaint medieval hilltop cities of Assisi and Perugia will charm you. The breathtaking Tuscan landscapes and Renaissance grandeur of Florence will impress you.
Departure from the United States on your overnight flight to begin your tour of Rome, Umbria & Tuscany.
Upon arrival in Rome, you and your English speaking tour escort will meet your private motorcoach driver for a direct transfer to your 4* hotel in Rome. Relax and make yourself comfortable for the remainder of the day. Meet your fellow travelers and tour leader for a transfer to a local Roman restaurant. Get to know your fellow travelers and enjoy dinner tonight (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person).
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking local guide for a tour of Ancient Rome. Enter the Colosseum, the iconic Roman amphitheater remembered for its ancient gladiator battles. See the Arch of Constantine as you venture over to the Forum, the excavated center of Ancient Rome, to view the ruins of temples, squares and government buildings. Next to the Forum is Palatine Hill, the most central of Rome’s 7 hills, which today is a vast archaeological site showcasing many ruins and ancient palaces of imperial Rome’s nobility (entrances to the Colosseum and the Forum are included with headsets). Enjoy a group lunch at a local Roman restaurant (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person). The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the Eternal City. Perhaps you’d like to see the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps or leisurely shop at the Roman shops. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking local guide for a tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Tour the treasures of the Vatican Museum which is comprised of numerous galleries, including the awesome frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. Learn more about the Basilica of St. Peter with an in depth visit and guided tour. Reservations (including headphones) are included for the visit to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. Enjoy a group lunch at a local Roman restaurant (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person). After lunch, the remainder of the day and dinner tonight is at your leisure.
Breakfast included at hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking guide for a drive through Umbria to the cities of Assisi and Perugia. Relax on your scenic drive north through the rolling hills of Umbria. Upon arrival in Assisi, your English speaking local guide will begin a tour of the Basilica of St. Francis which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Learn about the magnificent frescoes painted by Giotto that depict the life of St. Francis, along with other works by Cimabue, Lorenzetti and Martini. Descend into the crypt that preserves St. Francis’ tomb. The crypt was built after the discovery of St. Francis’ tomb in 1818 upon order by Pope Pius IX. Embark on a tour of the rest of Assisi to see the city’s most significant monuments, such as the Chiesa Nuova (New Church). This church was built in 1615 on the site of St. Francis’ family home. Off an alley is the small Oratory San Francesco Piccolino, the place that was once the family’s stables where St. Francis is believed to have been born. Please enjoy some free time for lunch and to explore this charming hillside city. Return to your private motorcoach for the ½ hour drive to the city of Perugia. Check into your 4* hotel and relax for the rest of the evening. Enjoy a group dinner at your hotel (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person).
Breakfast included at hotel. Meet with your English speaking local guide for a half day tour of the city of Perugia – the hilltop capital of Umbria filled with a maze of alleyways and piazzas. With strict traffic regulations, Perugia is pedestrian friendly with numerous escalators, elevators and a Minimetrò to reach the historical city center. As part of your tour you’ll see the main square, Piazza IV November, and the Palace of Priori. First built in the 13th century, this fortress-like Gothic building was once the seat of local magistrates, but today houses the city’s main art museum. On the opposite side of the square, you’ll find the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Don’t let the cathedral’s stark exterior fool you; its interior is ornately designed in a Gothic style. The Chapel of the Holy Ring (Santo Anello) is located inside which holds the supposed wedding ring given to the Virgin Mary by Joseph. There are 14 keys needed to get to the treasure chest that holds the ring. The bronze statue of 16th century Pope Julius II stands watch outside the cathedral overlooking the main piazza. The centerpiece of Perugia’s main square is the Fontana Maggiore. This pink and white marble fountain was designed in the 13th century and has 25 sides with depictions of Biblical scenes and the signs of the zodiac. At this point, you’ll be given a Perugia Museum Card which allows you admission to 5 museums of your choosing from the following:
Baldeschi Al Corso Palace: 15th century art collection and large collection of Majolica ware (Renaissance era painted ceramics)
Capitolar Museum: in the cloister next to the Cathedral, a spectacular display of religious artifacts, vestments, paintings, etc. spanning from the 11th through the 19th centuries
Chapel of San Severo: small chapel that contains one of Raphael’s earliest frescoes, The Holy Trinity with Saints
Civic Museum at Palazzo della Penna: a 16th century nobleman’s palace built upon the ruins of a Roman amphitheater, today houses contemporary art and exhibitions
National Gallery of Umbria: housed in the famous Palace of Priori, the greatest collection of works from the Umbrian School of painting from the 13th through the 19th century.
National Archaeological Museum of Umbria (M.A.N.U.): in a former Dominican monastery, the greatest collection of prehistoric, Etruscan and Roman artifacts found in central Italy
Nobile Collegio del Cambio: part of the Palace of Priori, the Moneylender’s Guild in medieval times – it has one of the finest examples of a Renaissance room (and ceiling) fully intact painted by local artist “Perugino” – Pietro Vanucci
Nobile Collegio della Mercanzia: also part of the Palace of the Priori, the Merchant’s Guild is a spectacular, yet very rare, example of Renaissance style inlaid woodwork with highlights of gold and color that covers the entire room from floor to ceiling
Etruscan Well: this well, dating back to the 3rd century BC, is an example of groundbreaking Etruscan engineering. A modern glass and steel walkway allows you to walk through the center of the well and see its ancient construction up close
Volumni Hypogeum: 3 miles from the city center, this underground Etruscan burial site was built for the Volumni family in the 3rd century BC. Other unearthed burial sites are on display as are other found artifacts in the small museum
Meet back up with the group for lunch in a local restaurant (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person). Depart for a visit to the Perugina Chocolate Factory located just outside the center of the city. Italy’s #1 chocolate producer got its start in 1907. A visit to the company’s museum will show you their humble origins and how they’ve perfected the Italian art of chocolate making. After the museum, you can indulge in a chocolate tasting by sampling a number of chocolate varieties. Next, proceed to the Perugina factory where you’ll watch the chocolate production from a suspended walkway above the factory floor. Your tour ends in the Perugina gift shop where you can purchase memorabilia and, most importantly, Perugina Chocolates. Return to the center of Perugia and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. Perhaps you’d enjoy some shopping or would rather explore one of the many museums included with your Perugia Museum Card. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.
Breakfast included at hotel. Depart from your hotel with your English speaking guide for a tour of Florence, famously called the art capital of the world. Highlights include the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge and the city’s main square, the Piazza della Signoria. Here you’ll see the impressive Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of city government beginning in the 14th century. In front of the Palazzo Vecchio is the stunning Neptune’s Fountain. The Loggia dei Lanzi is an open-air sculpture gallery next to the world-renowned Uffizi Gallery. See such Renaissance masterpieces as Perseus With the Head of Medusa and The Rape of The Sabine Women. Head over to the Piazza del Duomo and take in the beauty of the marble facades. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the main attraction and its red dome, built by Brunelleschi, defines the Florentine skyline. The Duomo’s bronze Baptistery doors were called the “Gates of Paradise” by Michelangelo. You will be given a ticket that permits entrance to the following parts of the Duomo complex:
Florence Cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore): completed in the 16th century and currently the 3rd largest church in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Brunelleschi’s Dome: iconic Cathedral dome constructed with red bricks built in 15th century. Visitors are required to climb 463 steps.
Giotto’s Bell Tower: the best example of 14th century Gothic architecture in Florence, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors are required to climb 414 steps.
Baptistery: sitting opposite the Cathedral, UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the 11th – 12th century – one of the oldest buildings in Florence, magnificent mosaic ceiling and bronze doors
Crypt of Santa Reparata: from a staircase in the Cathedral’s nave, descend to find the 5th century church that was discovered after an archaeological dig in the 1960’s, originally stood where the present-day Cathedral is and the crypt contains tombs of notable figures such as Brunelleschi.
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo: museum dedicated to the building of the Cathedral and pieces of art it has housed over the centuries, marble, brass and silver statues are beautifully preserved including a set of the original Baptistery doors and Michelangelo’s The Deposition. The 3rd floor opens up to a panoramic terrace with unparalleled views of Brunelleschi’s Dome.
Enjoy a group lunch at a local restaurant (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person) and after lunch continue your tour of the city and use your Duomo complex ticket at your leisure. The remainder of the day and dinner tonight is at your leisure.
Breakfast included at hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking guide for a morning excursion to the city of Pisa. Your English speaking local guide will show you the famous Square of Miracles. On the square stands the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Cemetery and the famous Leaning Tower. The entire Duomo complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These structures are all unique examples of Pisan Romanesque architecture. While construction on the Duomo began in 1064, the campanile (the leaning bell tower) took over 170 years to build as it was done in stages. Learn all about the history of the Leaning Tower and the efforts to preserve it over time. Entrances to the Tower, the Duomo and Italy’s largest Baptistery are included. Enjoy a group lunch at a local restaurant (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person) before returning to Florence. The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure to either relax or further explore the city. This evening, enjoy your Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant in Florence (including ½ liter water and ¼ liter wine per person).
Breakfast included at your hotel. Transfer with assistance by your private motorcoach from your hotel to Florence Airport. Say “Arrivederci Italia!” as you return home with wonderful memories of your journey to discover the timeless beauty of Rome, Umbria & Tuscany.