ITALY IN 2 WEEKS – The Grand Tours Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome

The best of Italy in 2 weeks! A circular tour starting from Milan, reaching Florence, Rome and Venice. You will trek in the idyllic Cinque Terre, take part to a cooking class, taste wine in Val d’Orcia, visit tiny and charming villages in Tuscany and Umbria, relax in a thermal town in Veneto, and finally stroll in Venice. Make this dream real…. Join us in this wonderful tour!

SUMMARY

  • 14 Full Days + 14 Nights
  • Type of Tour: circular
  • Start and end in: Milan
  • Minimum number of participants: 4

 

PRICE PER PERSON

Double occupancy in 3 Star Hotel - Country House*

  • Spring Summer 2018: 4,600 € (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 4,390 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Autumn Winter 2017 - 2018: 4,195 € (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 3,995 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Supplement per person for accomodation in single room: 420 €

Double occupancy in 4 Star Hotel

  • Spring Summer 2018: 5,320 € (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 5,050 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Autumn Winter 2017 - 2018: 4,920€ (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 4,650 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Supplement per person for accomodation in single room: 560 €

Quotation on request for accomodation in 5 Star Hotel - Historical Palace - Groups up to 18 pax

* Accomodation in Abano Terme is in a 4 Star Hotel

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • 14 nights with European Breakfast
  • 14 3-course dinners (wine not included)
  • Private transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned van
  • English speaking full-time Tour Leader
  • Visit of a wine cellar in Montalcino with tasting
  • Cooking class in Val d’Orcia
  • Admission to Galleria degli Uffizi OR Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence
  • Admission to Coliseum and Imperial Forums in Rome
  • Admission to the Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel
  • All taxes and tips

 

Optional:

  • Private tours of all attractions with an Authorised Tourist Guide
  • Baroque Concert in Venice

Day 1 – MILAN

Welcome to Italy! You will meet at the hotel your Tour Leader and your travel mates who will join you in this unforgettable tour around Italy. Let’s have a coffe together, just to know each other!
Milano is the Fashion Capital of Italy, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there is some great shopping to be done in this city! We will stroll down the streets of the Quadrilatero D’oro, admiring the shop windows of Prada, Armani, Verace, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino.
A must-see is the Duomo of Milan. It’s one of the biggest churches in the world, a fact which may surprise you when you stand outside it – the Duomo sits on the grand Piazza del Duomo, and beside the immense and beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, so it doesn’t actually look as massive on the outside as it feels once you get inside. We can also take an elevator up and walk around on the cathedral’s roof!
Overnight in Milan

Day 2 - CASTELL’ARQUATO

Our first stop will be Castell’Arquato, in Emilia Romagna region, one of the most beautiful little medieval towns in Italy, which still appears as it was in the early 10th century. We’ll walk along the winding streets, climbing up to the central square, admiring the Fontana del Duca (Duke’s Fountain) , the Torrione and Palazzo del Podestà, and finally the Castle or Rocca Viscontea. Castell'Arquato is in the area of the Colli Piacentini (Piacenza Hills), an important area for wine production.
In the late afternoon our Tour Leader will drive us to the unique, wonderful Cinque Terre National Park in Liguria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. We will stay in Manarola, one of the five fishing villages which are part of the Park, perched high atop the rocky Mediterranean coastline.
Overnight in 5 Terre



Day 3 - CINQUE TERRE

Today is the day for trekking! From Rio Maggiore starts the Via dell'Amore (Lovers' Lane), a well-paved coastal path linking Rio Maggiore with Manarola. Studded with stone beaches embedded in the cliffside, it offers stunning sea views. Either by train or on foot we will also reach the other fishing villages: Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. The vineyards, typical of this area, contribute to create a unique landscape with dry-laid stone walls, winding paths, enchanting beaches between cliffs and clear waters!
Do you like anchovies? They are a local specialty of Monterosso! Ever tried “Linguine al Pesto”, a sauce made from basil leaves, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts and pecorino cheese? And what about Ligurian wines? Sciachetrà will seduce you!! Tonight, after a long but satisfying day, we will appreciate a typical Ligurian dinner!
Overnight in 5 Terre



Day 4 - PISA

Leaving Cinque Terre, today we will discover Pisa, the beautiful Tuscan town famous all over the world for its Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower). Its construction started in 1173 but was finished at the end of the 14th century; the cylindrical tower, 54 meters tall, has eight floors, six of them with open galleries, and inside the spiral staircase has 294 steps leading to the top. Then we will visit the large square “Campo dei Miracoli” (Field of Miracles), with its Romanesque buildings, the Duomo and the Baptistery, to end with the Camposanto, the cemetery for noble citizens of Pisa in the past. Upon request we will be able to climb to the top of the tower (please note that advance booking is required).
Overnight in Florence


Day 5 -FLORENCE

Welcome to Florence, the land of Giotto and Dante! Today a guided sightseeing tour introduces us to the city’s splendor. We’ll admire the Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile and the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city, in the Florentine Romanesque style with its famous bronze doors made by Pisano and Ghiberti in the 14th and 15th centuries.
In Piazza della Signoria we will see the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, one of the symbols of Florence and still the seat of government of the city, with the crenellated tower of Arnolfo, and the famous “Loggia dei Lanzi” with its incredible classical statues, a true museum in open air . At midday we will have lunch with “Panino con Lampredotto” in a typical Florentine market.
In the afternoon we will reach Galleria dell’Accademia which hosts Michelangelo's David, the most famous sculpture in the world! Alternatively, we may visit Galleria degli Uffizi, an impressive collection of masterpieces of the most acclaimed artists of the Reinassance. After that, we’ll visit the Convent of Santa Croce where Michelangelo, Galileo and other Italian glories are buried. We will also spare some time to relax, visiting a typical market for shopping, strolling through the pedestrian streets of the city and crossing the oldest bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio, rich of jewellery shops.
Tonight dinner in Oltrarno, the Florence of the Florentines, enjoying a Florentine grilled steak with a glass of good red Chianti wine!
Overnight in Florence

Day 6 – SIENA and VAL D'ORCIA

Heading south, we will visit Val d’Orcia, one of the most scenic areas of Tuscany. Here we will stop in Pienza, “Pio’s town”, famous for its Palace and for the Pecorino Cheese, then we will reach Bagno Vignoni, a tiny and charming village where the main square is a pool 49 meters long and 29 wide, from the bottom of which bubble up a number of hot springs whose therapeutic quality has been renowned since antiquity! All this creates such a pleasant sensation, it will be hard to leave!
Our next stop will be the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a former Benedictine monastery near Montalcino. In this elegant Romanesque edifice of the early 12th century, when possible, we will listen to the Gregorian chants of the Monks living here. Quite a moving experience!
We will spend the afternoon in a splendid country house among vineyards and olive trees! We will also attend a cooking class and taste the excellent wine of the estate. Dinner will be served in this relaxing place, where you will eat what you have cooked in the afternoon!
Overnight in Montalcino







Day 7 – WINE TASTING IN VAL D’ORCIA - ORVIETO

Rows of olive-trees and of precious grape vines and the yellow fields create an enchanting landscape in Val d’Orcia. We will head for Montalcino, where we will visit a cellar and have a sip of one of the most famous wines in the world, Brunello di Montalcino.
On the way to Rome we will stop in Orvieto, one of the most interesting hill towns in Italy, perched up on volcanic rock, its history dating back to the Etruscans. Although just an hour from Rome, the architecture is different, with many of the buildings constructed out of tufo, a type of volcanic rock. Orvieto’s main attraction is its 14th century Cathedral – a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with a glistening façade of stained glass, mosaics and sculptures.
Overnight in Rome



Day 8 – ROME

Welcome to the Eternal City!
In the morning we will visit the 2,000 years old Colosseum and the Imperial Forums, the administrative and monumental centre of the Roman Empire.
Then we will see the Pantheon, dedicated to the worship of every god (Pan-every Theon-divinity), now memorial chapel of great Italian people of the past, then the Church of St. Louis of the French famous for the cycle of paintings by the Baroque master Caravaggio at the end of the 16th century, Piazza Navona and finally Fontana di Trevi, a Rome icon known all over the world.
In the afternoon we’ll reach the Vatican and we will be stunned by the grandiosity of the Basilica of St. Peter, framed by the magnificent four column-deep colonnade designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
In the evening, we will have dinner in Trastevere, a charming medieval neighbourhood with a fiery temperament! Here we will taste the Roman Cuisine in a typical Trattoria: you may try “Saltimbocca alla Romana” ( veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage),“Bucatini cacio e pepe” (pasta with Pecorino Romano cheese and ground black pepper) and, in season ,”Fiori di Zucca Fritti” (fried zucchini flowers)!
Overnight in Rome


Day 9 – ROME

After taking some free time in the morning, in early afternoon we will head north for Assisi, St. Francis’ birthplace.
Overnigth in Assisi



Day 10 – ASSISI and URBINO

In Assisi we will admire the famous Basilica di San Francesco. The construction of the Basilica began two years after his death, in 1228, and between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century the basilica's walls were frescoed by the best known artists of that time: Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. "The Basilica di San Francesco is unique. Nowhere in Italy there is so rich and complete representation of the art of the late 13th and early 14th centuries. One of the supremely important events in the history not only of Italian but of European art." This is what is said about the basilica of Saint Francis…. surely worth a visit!!
If the weather is good, let’s have a picnic in St. Francis Woods and try to enjoy the mystical atmosphere of Assisi:
"Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
Who feeds us and rules us,
And produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs."
--St. Francis, Prayer of the Canticle of the Creatures
We will then leave for Urbino ,a small and fabulous town in the region called “Le Marche”, where we will have dinner and spend the night.
Overnight in Urbino


Day 11 – URBINO

This morning we will visit Urbino, a nice town which became the cradle of the Renaissance culture. Inside Palazzo Ducale, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche (the National Art Gallery of the Marche) hosts one of the most important collections of Renaissance paintings in the world; Urbino is also Raffaello’s birthplace, one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance. Urbino represents a” pinnacle of Renaissance art and architecture, harmoniously adapted to its physical site and to its medieval precursor in an exceptional manner”, this is one of the reasons why it is a UNESCO World Heritage site!
Late in the afternoon we will then reach our accommodation close to Ferrara.
Overnight in Ferrara

Day 12 – FERRARA and TERME EUGANEE

This morning we will stroll through the historic centre of Ferrara, city of the Renaissance, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a cozy, deliciously quiet town, with its colossal palaces and still ringed by its intact medieval walls! You will be amazed by its beauty!
In the afternoon, time to relax in Abano, a spa resort in the Veneto region of north-east Italy, close to Padua. Here we will enjoy spa sessions and absorb the therapeutic qualities of a lazy afternoon.
Overnight in Abano Terme


Day 13 – VENICE

Welcome to the “unique” Venice, the city of lagoons! You will be astonished by the beauty and charme of this city!
Today we will visit Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and the interior of the Basilica, a 900 year-old marvel of architecture! The church is unique in Italy for its golden Byzantine and Medieval mosaics, its intricate stone and marble traceries and exuberant Middle Eastern domes. Near St. Mark’s Basilica is Palazzo Ducale, the most impressive secular building in Venice and once the official residence of the supreme authority of Venice, the “Doge”.
At lunch, we will relax by tasting wine and savoring delicious ”cicheti”, finger food ranging from simple cheese or salami to almost any kind of seafood, fried and grilled vegetables, sweet and sour sardines, creamy codfish and much, much more!
In the afternoon we will visit Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Saint Mary’s of Friars): this vast Gothic church is striking for its huge size and for the quality of its works of art, including masterpieces by Titian, Giovanni Bellini and Donatello, and several grandiose tombs. Then Santi Giovanni e Paolo, one of the city’s greatest Gothic church, built by the Dominicans in the 14th century, which houses monuments to no fewer than 25 Doges. We will explore the streets and savor everyday life in an intricate maze of ancient narrow alleyways, lively squares with magnificent buildings and meandering canals, and finally we will walk on the Rialto Bridge, the busy "heart" of Venice.
Tonight we will have dinner in a typical Venetian trattoria. We suggest you to try “Sarde in saor” (marinated sardines), a risotto with seafood, the typical “baccala' mantecato”, to finish with a fantastic bussola (a ring-shaped and cinnamon-flavored cake)!
Upon request, you will have the possibility to assist to a Baroque music concert in the evening.
Overnigth in Venice



Day 14 – MURANO

This morning we’ll start the tour with a visit to a very traditional glass atelier in Murano, where glass-making families have been carrying on the art of glass blowing for over 700 years. You’ll be amazed by the simplicity of the tools used and by the artist’s intense concentration in the heat and smoke of the burning furnace.
Back to Milan, tonight will be your last night in Italy! We will have our farewell dinner in a typical Milanese restaurant in the Navigli.
Arrivederci with another tour at the discovery of Italy with VITOR.
Overnight in Milan