What do you want from your Italy tour—amazing architecture, sumptuous food, delicious wine, breathtaking art, historical treasures, and scenic beauty? Whatever it is, this Italy vacation offers it to you! You’ve seen photos of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square—now’s your chance to stand in this square, where people gather to hear the Pope. You’ve heard about gladiator contests in ancient Rome—now’s your chance to visit the Colosseum, where the contests took place. You know the story of Romeo and Juliet—now’s your chance to see Juliet’s balcony in Verona. You’ve seen photos of Michelangelo’s famous David—now’s your chance to see it yourself. You’ve heard of the famous Venice glass—now’s your chance to watch a skilled glassblower fashion it in an age-old, traditional manner. You’ve seen photos of the Leaning Tower in Pisa—now’s your chance to take a photo of yourself pushing back at it. But that’s not all…on this Italy tour, scenic rides between cities will show you some of the country’s most beautiful scenery: the Tyrrhenian coast, the Lombardian plains, the flat Po area, the wooded Apennine mountain range, and Tuscany’s Chianti wine country, with its vine- and olive-clad hills. Plus, Globus has arranged special experiences to give you a true local perspective, such as a tortellini lunch at a local Verona restaurant and a taste of traditional gelato in Florence. These are just a few of the many highlights offered on this tour through Italy’s great cities. At the conclusion of your tour, travel via air to Sicily for three nights, a guided walking tour of picturesque Taormina, and a visit to the Greek-Roman Amphitheater, built in the 3rd century BC. All services in Sicily, including Local Host assistance, are provided by Monograms. It’s the vacation of a lifetime!
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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 at one of Rome’s lively restaurants. (Dinner)
Enjoy Globus’ unique guided sightseeing, including inside visits to all highlights of religious and ancient Rome: the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà, the amazing COLOSSEUM, and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more. (Breakfast)
The Roman Forum
"Visitors can be a little confused by the Roman Forum; at first glance, it is a rather lifeless array of marble fragments. But we must remember that in ancient times, this space was far more than the temples and monuments whose ruins we can explore today. It was filled with bustling, noisy life as the popular crossroads of the city – the predecessor, in fact, of the modern Italian piazza. Every morning at dawn, average Romans would escape their cramped, dark apartment blocks (called insulae, or “islands”) and spent their days outdoors. "
"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."
"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."
Follow the Aurelian Way along the Tyrrhenian coast and enter Tuscany. In Pisa, take the traditional picture pushing back the amazing Leaning Tower, then continue to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Tonight is your chance to try out local specialties on an optional dinner outing to a fine Tuscan restaurant. (Breakfast)
"It was the most perfect experiment in the history of science. Holding both a cannon ball and a small musket ball, the 30-something Pisa native Galileo Galilei scaled the steps of his city’s famous Leaning Tower, and held them dramatically over the edge. Eight stories below, the town’s most learned scholars and priests were gathered as observers. They watched as the two balls dropped to the ground at the same speed – disproving, with a single stroke, the ancient idea that objects fall at different rates depending on their weight and size. This archaic concept, which had been espoused by the ancient Greek author Aristotle, had been accepted without question for more than 2,000 years, Galileo’s great innovation was to put it to a practical test of observation. Unfortunately, this famous story is probably not true. Galileo never wrote about it himself – it was recounted in a late biography penned by his secretary, Vincenzo Viviani. Most historians now believe that it was Galileo’s imaginative disciples who invented the Leaning Tower tale in order to make the theory so clear that even a child could understand it. "
Guided sightseeing features a visit to the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS to see Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Admire the magnificent marble cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Taste a gelato artigianale (traditional ice cream). (Breakfast)
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."
DAY 5Florence–Verona–Venice Island
A special visit to Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Take pictures of Juliet’s balcony and rub the shining breast on her statue for good luck. Next, admire the Arena, an incredibly well-preserved pink marble Roman amphitheater, where gladiators used to fight. Built in the 1st century AD, it is now the magical venue for world-famous opera performances. Enjoy a tortellini lunch at Rubiani restaurant on lively Piazza Bra. Arrive in Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 6Venice Island
Start the day in style by PRIVATE BOAT and meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are ST. MARK’S SQUARE and the byzantine BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Afterwards, enjoy Venice at your own pace or join an optional cruise to the charming island of Burano. (Breakfast)
"It is no accident that one of history’s greatest explorers, Marco Polo, came from Venice. His hometown had been Europe’s gateway to the East long before he set sail in 1271; the influence of the Orient could be seen in its art, its fashion and its architecture, creating, in the words of one historian, “the most colorful, sumptuous, and sensually bewitching civilization that history has ever known.” Thanks to Venetian conquests in the eastern Mediterranean, the 17-year-old Marco had the first leg of his travel route mapped out for him – he was able to island-hop through friendly territory as far as Constantinople, from there he was seduced by China for more than 20 years. When Polo returned to Venice in 1295 as a bearded and vaguely Eastern middle aged man, even his relatives did not believe he had been in China the entire time."
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. "
DAY 7Venice Island–Ferrara–Rome
A scenic drive today through the lush plains of the mighty Po River to Ferrara. Stroll past imposing Este Castle to the marble cathedral before continuing to Rome across the wooded Apennine mountain range, past the vine- and olive-clad Tuscan Hills, home of the popular Chianti wine. This evening, a special farewell dinner with wine is the best way to say arrivederci, Roma. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 8Rome–Taormina Riviera
Travel by AIR on selected flights to Catania. Then, transfer to your hotel in beautiful Giardini Naxos on the Taormina Riviera. Your Local Host can help you make the most of your stay. (Breakfast)
DAY 9Taormina Riviera
Morning guided sightseeing includes a walking tour of picturesque Taormina and a visit to the GREEK-ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. (Breakfast)
DAY 10Taormina Rviera
Your Local Host will have many suggestions for your day at leisure. (Breakfast)
DAY 11Taormina Riviera
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (nearest airport is Catania). (Breakfast)
Motorcoach; private boat ride in Venice. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Full buffet breakfast daily; 1 special lunch in Verona; 2 three-course dinners with wine: special welcome and farewell dinners in Rome
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
ANNE PALMER PUCCINI
Years of Experience: 38 years
As a veteran Tour Director, I find no other destination as stimulating and exhilarating as Italy. Here we have something for everyone--ancient ruins, delicious cuisine, breathtaking scenery, vibrant cities, amazing art, and more. Join me so you can absorb and understand the multi-faceted nature of this country without any of the difficulties, pitfalls, and time-wasting often encountered by individual travelers. I look forward to meeting and welcoming you to my beautiful country.
|Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Italy’s Great Cities with Taormina Riviera:
- Vatican City
- City of Verona
- Ferrara, City of the Renaissance
- Historic Centre of Florence
- Historic Centre of Rome
- Venice and its Lagoon
- Historic Centre of Rome - various properties Vatican City