Reflections of Italy
HIGHLIGHTS: Rome, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Assisi, Perugia, Cortona, Florence, Michelangelo’s David, Chianti Winery & Cooking Class, Venice, Murano Island, Milan
Embark on a captivating journey that takes you from the piazzas of Rome to the canals of Venice. Discover the rolling hills of the scenic Tuscan and Umbrian countryside. Explore medieval hill towns and visit Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. Spend time at a historic winery in the heart of the Chianti region and enjoy a chef-led cooking class with lunch. Discover the masterpieces of the Renaissance in Florence. See glass transformed into exquisite art on Murano Island. Linger in iconic Venice for 2 nights. Take in the lively city of Milan. Encounter a land rich in history, culture, art and romance.
We begin with an overnight flight to Italy, a land rich in history, culture, art and romance.
Today, we begin in Rome, the “Eternal City.” This evening, we will get to know our fellow travelers during a welcome dinner featuring regional specialties. (D)
This morning, we will have a locally guided tour of the Vatican Museums, exploring Papal palaces, halls and galleries housing priceless artifacts from ancient Egypt, as well as statues from classical Greece and Rome. After admiring the Gallery of Maps and works by great Renaissance masters such as Perugino, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, we will visit the Sistine Chapel and marvel at Michelangelo’s frescoed ceiling and brilliant Last Judgement. Next, we walk among the towering columns of St. Peter’s Basilica which are a daring feat of human artistry and engineering. Admire the baroque spirals of Bernini’s altar canopy and gaze up at Michelangelo’s dome – still the tallest in the world. Later this afternoon, we take in views of the River Tiber, the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum during a panoramic drive back to our hotel. The evening is free to relax and perhaps enjoy a local restaurant, on your own. (B)
Today, we travel to Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis. After taking in the old-world atmosphere on a guided walking tour of the old city, including the Basilica of St. Francis, we’re off to medieval Perugia, the historic capital of Umbria. Take some free time to explore, which might include wandering along the Piazza IV Novembre or visiting medieval palaces and ornate cathedrals. (B)
Heading through Tuscany’s graceful low-lying hills today, we travel to the Etruscan city of Cortona. These ornate facades and medieval architecture are perched on the side of a hill, where a view of the adjacent Lake Trasimeno is situated off in the distance. This is the city that was the charming setting for the book and film Under the Tuscan Sun. We end our day in Florence – the “Cradle of the Renaissance” – and visit the world-famous Academy Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David. (B)
This morning, we experience Florence’s cultural treasures on a walking tour, passing by the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Piazza della Signoria. The rest of the day is free to explore. Perhaps join an after-hours tour of the 14th-century Certosa monastery, followed by dinner on your own, featuring local wines, Tuscan food, and live entertainment. (B)
We start our day today with a visit to a historic winery in the heart of the Chianti region. In the shadow of its 12th-century castle, we learn about Tuscan wines and enjoy an Italian chef-led cooking class. Next, we sit back and savor regional delicacies during a delicious lunch. This afternoon, we take a journey through central Italy, crossing the wooded Apennine Mountains toward the Po River Valley. Enchanting Venice awaits with 117 tiny islands and a latticework of 150 canals and 400 bridges. (B, L,D)
Today, we see Venice from the water and take a boat to Murano Island. At a glassblowing demonstration, we will experience the secrets of this ancient art up-close and marvel at the one-of-a-kind designs. Then, we make our way to the historic center of Venice and see the Castello district with a local expert. Ending in St. Mark’s Square, we visit the basilica and the ornate façade of the Doge’s Palace. The remainder of the day is free to explore. Consider an optional tour featuring Venice’s most famous pastime – a serenaded gondola ride. (B)
This morning, we travel to Milan. Then, it’s your choice! Take in some of the city’s iconic sights on a walking tour. View the La Scala Opera House and Vittorio Emanuele Gallery before visiting the Duomo – a Gothic cathedral that is the third largest in Europe -OR- join a local guide for a tour of the Quadrilatero della Moda, Milan’s high-fashion district, including visits to some of the city’s best ateliers and fashion stores.
This evening, celebrate the end of an unforgettable trip with a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant, featuring regional delicacies and fine Italian wines. (B, D)
Our journey comes to a close in Milan this morning. (B)
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• 10 days accommodations
• 12 meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
• Round trip air from Lambert STL
• Air taxes and Fees/Surcharges
• Hotel Transfers
• Roundtrip Transportation to STL
• Locally-guided tour of Assisi
• Locally-guided tour of Florence
• Locally-guided tour of Venice Castello District
• Chef-led cooking class
• Glass-blowing demonstration on Murano Island
• Guided tour of the Vatican Museums
• Fully Escorted by Jane’s Journeys