Day 1 – Rome
Depart for Rome, Italy.
Day 2 – Rome
Buon giorno! Welcome to Rome, where your private bus and driver will escort you on a guided City Tour. See Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus (seating capacity: 300,000!), the Arch of Constantine, Piazza Venezia, the Monument to Vittorio Emmanuel, and visit the Colosseum. Then on to Capitoline Hill where you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of the Roman Forum. Continue to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Trevi, the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo. Next leave Italy behind as you enter the independent city-state of the Vatican. See Bernini’s legacy, St. Peter’s Square. The 284 Doric columns and 140 saints that ring this oval ‘square’ encompass a 2000 year old obelisk. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world. Covering over six acres, St. Peter’s can accommodate 95,000 visitors. From St. Peter’s, continue to the Vatican Museum. Among the impressive works is the Sistine Chapel’s vault by Michelangelo. This stunning depiction of the Old Testament was completed in four years and is perhaps the single greatest work ever created. Tonight, enjoy a walking tour with your courier to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Piazza di Trevi. Sample a delicious gelato at the Piazza Navona and throw a coin into the beautiful Trevi Fountain to guarantee that you will return to Rome.
Day 3 – Rome
Today’s optional excursion is Firenze, the artistic and intellectual capital of the nation. It was in Florence that the Renaissance began nearly 500 years ago. Modern Florence still reflects the glory of its past in the architecture of Brunelleschi, Giotto and Alberti; the sculpture of Pisano, Donatello and Cellini; and the paintings of Lippi, Boticelli and da Vinci. Explore Florence and take in the highlights of the city. On your city tour, see the Piazza del Duomo with the magnificent cathedral and baptistery whose East door is Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, a renowned landmark of Renaissance sculpture. Continue to see the Medici Chapels in the Church of San Lorenzo, visit the Accademia, home of Michelangelo’s David and see the Bargello, the former city hall. This afternoon, shop for bargains in the Straw Market. Or spend the day exploring Rome on your own, perhaps shopping along the Via Veneto or the Via del Tritone.
Day 4 – Rome
Another free day for discovery, or as an option, explore the ruins of Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. You’ll find the reality of Roman life in the bakeries, wine-shops, groceries, villas and temples buried in giant showers of cinders and volcanic pebbles.
Day 5 – Rome
Board your flight home with wonderful memories of your adventures in Roma!