Country Roads of Italy - 16 days land only
|Starting from||R56 430|
Selected departure dates: 20 APR 2018 - 12 OCT 2018. *** Book between NOW - 29 JAN 2018 & pay a R3000 deposit within 7 days and pay the balance by 29 JAN 2018 & SAVE R6270, discount already included in the price ***
- Return airport/hotel transfers
- 15 nights accommodation
- Breakfast daily & 5 dinners
- Touring by luxury coach
- Assistance of a Tour Director
- Sightseeing in all towns & cities visited
- Exclusive experiences
Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome
Rome is not only the modern capital of Italy, but also a spectacular encyclopedia of living history. You will be met on arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30, transfers depart for your hotel. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception & the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner & wine.
Papal & Imperial Rome
In the morning, you will be joined by a Local Expert who guides you through the art collection of the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry & the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. More of Michelangelo's genius is on display next door in St. Peter's Basilica. Next, cross the Tiber & visit the Colosseum with a Local Expert, where you can imagine the scene of bloody contests, wild beasts & Gladiators. Rome will then be yours to discover at your own pace.
The Picturesque Amalfi Coast
Travel along Italy's finest coastline, the Amalfi Coast. Stop for a bird's-eye view of the terraced houses of Positano before boarding minibuses to the heart of the town. There will be time to be tempted by the boutiques.
Ill-fated Pompeii & on to Sorrento
In the morning, head to Pompeii & walk through the cobbled streets. A scenic clifftop drive leads you to the pretty resort of Sorrento.
Exploring Capri, the Isle of Dreams
Cross the Bay of Naples to reach the beautiful Isle of Capri, a rock rising sheer from the Mediterranean! For 2,000 years, Capri has beckoned visitors from Tiberius Caesar to Gracie Fields. Arriving at the Marina Grande by boat, ascend to Capri town by funicular railway. Explore the narrow alleyways & enjoy the sea views before returning to Sorrento by open-topped taxi. Back in Sorrento, investigate the art of ‘intarsio' or marquetry wood inlaying.
The Umbrian Hill Town of Orvieto
Travel into the heart of Italy to enjoy free time in Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard covered plain. Savour the distinctly medieval ambiance during your orientation & admire the richly decorated façade of the Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo. In the evening, take in the flavours of the region, learn about the ingredients & Italian food culture. Join Chef Lorenzo for a fascinating live cooking demonstration, followed by dinner & a glass of the Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience!
Umbria to Assisi & on to Perugia (Relaxed Start)
Cross the River Tiber to arrive at St Mary of the Angels Church. Under the dome is a small medieval chapel & the spot where St. Francis died. Continue on to hilltop Assisi to visit the huge Basilica. With a Local Expert, walk down the Via San Francesco to St. Clare's Church, then see the Cathedral with its baptismal font. Move on to stay in beautiful Perugia - the jewel of Umbria.
Perugia, the Jewel of Umbria
Your morning guided sightseeing begins on foot in the main street of Perugia's Old Town. See the Collegio del Cambio, the splendid Priors' Palace, the Cathedral & the finely sculptured Great Fountain in the magnificent main square. Later, visit a workshop to see how the art of hand-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations. After, spend time at leisure in this beautiful, historic town.
Tranquil Tuscany: Siena & Radda in Chianti (Relaxed Start)
Drive past Lake Trasimeno to Siena. On arrival, walk with a Local Expert through narrow cobbled streets to the Piazza del Campo, where the bi-annual Palio horse race takes place. See the superb 14th century Town Hall with its slim Mangia Tower, then climb up to the hill-top cathedral decorated with stripes of black & white marble. Later, travel through the cypress clad hills & vineyards of Tuscany to your elegant hotel. Later, enjoy a delicious exploration of Tuscany's red wines, their robust flavours & absorbing history.
The Towers of San Gimignano (Relaxed Start)
Visit the hilltop town of San Gimignano. Enjoy a tasting with award-winning, master ice cream maker, Sergio Dondoli, whose great inventions include very innovative & mouth-watering flavour combinations. After time to explore, return to the tranquil surroundings of your hotel where you are at leisure. Perhaps take an optional experience to the medieval spa town of Bagno Vignoni & Pienza?
Florence & on to Lucca
In the morning, journey to renaissance Florence, on arrival walk with a Local Expert to see the marble clad cathedral, bell tower & Gates of Paradise on the baptistery. See Signoria Square, an open-air gallery of sculpture & fountains. After free time, continue on to Lucca, join a Local Expert to view its churches, squares & palaces perfectly preserved within encircling medieval ramparts. Pause a while & taste the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread, said to be a favourite of the ancient Roman army.
Exploring the Cinque Terre
Get ready to explore the ‘Cinque Terre', or ‘five villages', that for years, were only accessible by donkey. At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, join a Local Expert in one of the picturesque fishing villages, before cruising along the rugged coast. Enjoy plenty of time to explore the old medieval quarter & popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel in Lucca.
To Modena & on to Parma
Descend to the town of Modena – the home of balsamic vinegar. Visit a top producer of authentic traditional artisan balsamic vinegar & take a master class to understand what makes this vinegar as expensive as top-rate wines. Move on to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, for an insight into the iconic car brand that embodies the nation itself - fashionable, feisty & a touch flashy! Head on to Parma, famous for its local cheese. On arrival, learn the whole process of making Parmigiano-Reggiano at one of the local producers - the smell in the cheese cave is unforgettable!
Lake Garda, Verona & Venice
In the morning, journey via Lake Garda to reach the elegant city of Verona, legendary home of Romeo & Juliet. See the ancient Roman Arena & stand beneath Juliet's balcony in a Renaissance courtyard - can you recite Shakespeare's immortal words? Continue on through the Soave vineyards, past Padua to Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Later, to the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways & rococo palaces. As evening descends, enjoy a perfect tour finalé - dinner ‘alla Veneziana', with good food, wine & company in the most magical settings.
Venice & the Magic of 'La Serenissima' (Relaxed Start)
Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the art of glassblowing on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth & power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. Admire also the Doge's Palace & its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. The rest of the day is at leisure.