Tour: LH - 2013 (LH) - 2013 / 2014

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Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Rome, Italy

Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and leave the hotel for a special welcome dinner with wine at one of Rome’s lively restaurants. (Dinner)

Saint Peter Enjoy the beautiful architecture in Rome Enjoy the gorgeous views of Rome 
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DAY 2Rome

Sightseeing with your Local Guide this morning concentrates on religious Rome: visit the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL, world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgement. Next, visit monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA. To make the most of your stay, join our optional Roman Highlights excursion, and see the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and other sites and squares of medieval Rome made famous in the movie Angels and Demons. (Breakfast)

Enjoy the gorgeous views of Rome Enjoy the beautiful architecture in Rome The Sistine Chapel is world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings Saint Peter 
The statue of Laocoön and His Sons can be seen at the Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums


"In the early 1500s, Rome was full of neglected ruins from the days of the ancient Empire, which still contained artworks buried amongst the rubble. The Renaissance had seen a sudden growth of interest in all things classical, and the popes – cultivated men who were in touch with the intellectual currents of the day – were the richest art collectors in Italy. They began offering substantial cash rewards for any sculptures, until Rome was scoured by freelance treasure hunters on the hunt for pagan masterpieces. The most dramatic discovery occurred in 1506, when a Roman father-and-son team of excavators reported a promising find near the ruined Baths of Titus. The artist Michelangelo himself excitedly hurried over to help with the work, followed by the pope’s official agent, Guiliano da Sangallo. When the excavators brushed away the dirt of 1,000 years, they found an enormous marble sculpture, perfectly intact, of a muscular Trojan hero being attacked by giant snakes. Guilano cried out in amazement, “This is the very Laocoön described by (the ancient Roman author) Pliny!” The sculpture was carted off to the Vatican Museum."
Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain


"Rome is one of the most filmed cities on earth, with its signature set location being the Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, a romantic, 85-foot-high baroque masterpiece depicting the god of the sea, Neptune, and his Tritons. Not surprisingly, the best time to visit Fontana di Trevi is late at night, when the crowds have gone, the din of Rome’s traffic has died and floodlights dance magically on the water. In fact, the whole centro storico takes on a calm, timeless aspect after dark, and it is well worth stretching your legs after dinner on your own Fellini-esque promenade."
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DAY 3Rome–Florence

A guided visit to the magnificent COLOSSEUM brings the days of the gladiators alive. Also admire the Arch of Constantine, and enter the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. In the early afternoon, drive through Umbria along the Highway of the Sun north into Tuscany and its hill-clad vineyards, which house the famous Chianti wine, to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Time to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry, sold by the ounce. A Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite special dinner with Tuscan specialties and wine awaits you at Finisterrae restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Tuscany is known for its landscapes and its artistic legacy See the vineyard covered hillsides of Tuscany Visit the great Colosseum in Rome Roman Forum 
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DAY 4Florence

During your walking tour with a Local Guide, visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David, admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE, and take pictures of Ponte Vecchio. This afternoon is your chance to join an optional excursion to the picturesque town of San Gimignano. (Breakfast)

Florence San Gimignano is a small walled hill town in the province of Siena Admire the detailed craftsmanship of Michelangelos David 
La Piazza Della Signoria

La Piazza Della Signoria


"What’s the best vantage point to ponder the most illustrious town square in Florence, the Signoria? An outdoor table in the venerable Caffè Rivoire – preferably over a delicious, if not painfully expensive cioccolata con pane, a dark and mud-thick hot chocolate. Late at night, when the crowds have gone, you can search the long shadows and imagine that very little has changed here since the 1400s. The Signoria is the most elegant sculpture garden in Europe. Masterpieces include the splendid Neptune Fountain by Ammannati, Hercules and Cacus by Bandinelli and a precise copy of Michelangelo’s David, all strategically poised in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. This grand public space has been the centerpiece of Florence since the 15th Century, the golden age when the city was established as the most beautiful in Europe. Eminent merchants in their ostentatious finery met here to discuss business in the midst of Florence’s raucous daily life."
Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio


"As the Nazis retreated from Florence during the Second World War, they blew up all of the bridges across the River Arno except one – the Ponte Vecchio. It was evidently saved on Hitler’s personal orders. This was where he had met the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1938, cementing the “pact of steel” alliance. The Führer had been so impressed by the elegant “Old Bridge,” which had graced the spot since being built in stone in 1345, that he decided to save it. The German army instead blew up all of the ancient buildings on either side, so that the bridge could not be used by the Allies, but the Ponte Vecchio itself was salvaged for posterity."
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DAY 5Florence–Venice Island

A spectacular drive through the wooded Apennine Hills brings you to Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. Enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT to meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are ST. MARK’S SQUARE, a favorite location for many movies, and the Byzantine BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite skilled GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner, and receive a Venetian mask gift, just for you! (Breakfast)

St. Marks Square Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world 
The Bridge of Sighs in Venice

Bridge of Sighs


"The world’s most poetically-named bridge, Il Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs, was built in 1614 so that prisoners of the Venetian state could be transferred in secret from the Doge’s Palace to the so-called Nuovi Prigioni, or New Prisons. The wistful name was actually conceived by the English poet Lord Byron in the early 1800s that imagined the horror of prisoners taking their last glimpse of Venice before going underground to captivity. "
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DAY 6At Leisure on Venice Island

Immerse yourself in the wonderful atmosphere of Venice. Wander through the narrow streets, discover Rialto Bridge, and top it all off by enjoying a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite farewell drink at famous CAFFÉ FLORIAN, while musicians entertain you. Later, why not join an optional cruise to the charming island of Burano followed by a delicious meal of local specialties to celebrate the success of your Italian vacation? (Breakfast)

Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world 
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DAY 7Venice Island

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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