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Italy North and South Tour 2017

 Ostuni South Italy tour

Tour of Italy North and South with Lake Garda and Como

Italy North tour

12 days/11 nights    # 2
On this lovely tour of Italy North and South with Lake Garda and Como you will also visit Assisi, Siena Florence Padua Venice, Rome, Naples Pompeii Sorrento Capri, Alberobello and Matera.

Departures from Rome on Mondays Between  Apr 24 and October 9, 2017
10% early bird discount on bookings made before 30 Jan 2017

DAY 1 Monday. ROME – ASSISI – SIENA – FLORENCE
Departure to Florence at 8 a.m. Our first stop in Assissi, the mystic town of Saint Francis still surrounded by ancient walls. Visit the Basilica of Saint Francis with its early Renaissance masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue.  We will continue towards SIENA, the beautiful medieval city renown for its late Gothic city hall and unique town square, the Piazza del Campo, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the yearly Palio horse races take place every July.  Continue on to FLORENCE. Dinner and overnight in Florence.

DAY 2 Tuesday  FLORENCE
After breakfast at the hotel we will take you on a guided sightseeing tour of this Renaissance art city to see the beautiful Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of St. John, and Santa Croce, the 13th century Franciscan Church with Cimabue’s famous crucifix. The afternoon is at leisure for optional sightseeing tour to PISA or walking around the city often called: the Cradle of the Renaissance or to visit museums. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 3 Wednesday FLORENCE – PADUA – VENICE
After your buffet breakfast at the hotel we will depart to VENICE by coach via Padua., where you can admire the famous Cathedral of St. Anthony, guarded by Donatello’s “Gattamelata”. Upon arrival in VENICE,  you can enjoy a guided walking tour of this unique city of lagoons. You will see the St. Mark’s square, the Basilica of St. Mark, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and the Prisons from the outside. Dinner and overnight at the hotel near the Grand Canal.

DAY 4 Thursday  VENICE

Breakfast, then morning tour by boat to the nearby islands. We will cross the lagoon with a view of the islands and reach the island of Murano famous for it fantastic glass works, where you will have a demonstration of glass blowing.  Return to Venice where you will have the afternoon to yourself  to visit museums, galleries or to try one of the gondola rides. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 5 Friday VENICE – VERONA – LAKE GARDA – COMO LAKE – MILAN
Breakfast, then morning departure by coach to Verona, the town of  Romeo and Juliet. Brief visit of the renaissance town of pink marble side walks town including the view of  “Julia’s Balcony”.  Continue to charming SIRMIONE on the shoes of beautiful lake Garda, one of the most scenic and inviting gems of Italy. Free time for lunch and walk around the town. In the afternoon, we continue to an other famous lake, scenic Lake Como for a panoramic tour by bus. In the evening arrival in Milan. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Milan.

DAY 6 Saturday MILAN – ROME
After breakfast at the hotel panoramic tour of the city including the shopping gallery Vittorio Emanuele II, the Sforza castle, and the magificient Duomo, one of the world’s largest and most striking Gothic cathedrals. Return to Rome by coach, arrival around 7:30 p.m. Overnight in Rome. Dinner on your own, not included today.

DAY 7 Sunday ROME Day at leisure to explore the city on your own or optional guided tours can be added to the Vatican museum, Colosseum, the Catacombs, etc. Overnight at the hotel. Dinner not included in  Rome.

DAY 8 Monday ROME – NAPLES – POMPEII – SORRENTO
Departure to Naples at 7 a.m. by coach with a multilingual tour leader. Upon arrival in Naples the local guide will take you for a walking tour of the historical center to see the PIAZZA DEL PLEBISCITO, ROYAL PALACE, GALLERY OF UMBERTO I, and the SAN CARLO OPERA HOUSE. From Naples, we continue to POMPEII, where we stop at a coral and cameo factory. We will have lunch at a typical restaurant, followed by a visit of the excavations of this ancient Roman city which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvio in 79 b.C. and buried under 4 to 6 meters of ash and stones.  Walk on ancient Roman streets and see that some of the buildings still have surprisingly well preserved rooms with frescos. Continue to SORRENTO, Queen of the Sorrentine Coast settled among oranges, lemons and olives trees. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Sorrento.

DAY 9 Tuesday SORRENTO – CAPRI – SORRENTO
8 a.m. departure to the island of Capri. You will board the ferry and arrive at the Grand Marina from where you visit the famous BLUE GROTTO (weather permitting). Continue to the AUGUSTUS GARDENS, then stop at the famous “Piazzetta”. A Minibus will take you up to top of the island to ANACAPRI for beautiful views. After lunch in Anacapri, you will return to Marina Grande where you will board the boat for your transfer back to Sorrento. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Sorrento.

DAY 10 Wednesday SORRENTO – CASTELLANA CAVES – LOCOROTONDO – ALBEROBELLO
Today we depart APULIA, the less known east of southern Italy, so different from the rest of the country. Along the way we will visit the CASTELLANA CAVES discovered in 1938. The Grottos of Castellana are one of the most important attractions of Puglia and a natural heritage site. The unique guided tour winds along the caves to more than 60 meters deep in an amazing display of stalactites, stalagmites of  incredible shapes, fossils and canyons. Time at leisure for lunch then continue to the white-washed town of Locorotondo where we can enjoy tasting local wines at a nearby cellar. Drive to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site village famous for its TRULLI, the cone-shaped slate houses unique to this part of Italy.  The entire village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Drive to Castellana Grotto for dinner and overnight at the Hotel Semiramide Palace.

DAY 11 Thursday LECCE – GALLIPOLI – OSTUNI 
This morning we go an an excursion to the very “heel” of Italy to the southernmost eastern corner, the Salentina peninsula. First we visit LECCE famous for its sparkling white baroque buildings erected at the end of the XVI century and the first half of the XVII century. During the tour you will admire the rich and beautiful decoration of the S.Oronzo church, the basilica of Santa Croce and the Celestini palace and the roman amphitheater.  Continue to the Greek fishing village of Gallipoli (Kallipolis in Greek, meaning beautiful town) where we will have free time for lunch. There are plenty of restaurants serving fresh seafood. The old center of the town is built on a limestone island protected by a mighty fortress and connected  to the mainland by a 16th century bridge. In the afternoon continue to an other Apulian town, Ostuni, an other architectural gem of the south, the old town dating back to Pehistoric times. Return to the hotel Semiramis  Palace. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 12 Friday MATERA – SORRENTO or ROME
Buffet breakfast at the hotel and departure to MATERA an other World Heritage Site of the south where most buildings look like beehive structures with ornated street level tops. This town is internationally known for the “SASSI” (stones), originated from a prehistoric settlement, and are suspected to be the first settlements in Italy. The Sassi are houses carved into the soft tufa rock characteristic of the Basilicata and Apulia regions of Italy as well as Cappadocia in Turkey.  There is also great similarity with ancient sites in and around Jerusalem. The Sassi provided the set of various movies like “The Gospel according to St. Matthew,  “King David”, “The Passion of the Christ” and the “ Nativity story”. Free time for a snack in Matera and return via Pompeii from where you have an option to be transferred back to Sorrento or Rome. Arrival in Rome late evening. End of services. Extra nights in Rome can be added. Extra nights at the beginning and/or at the end of the tour can be added as well as extra local tours.

Price:
Euro 2042 per person in double or twin rooms,
Euro 2509 per person in triple rooms,
Euro 1952 in single rooms.
Child rate ages 2-12 is euro 1636 (applies only to one child sharing per room sharing room with 2 adults)

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation at 4* hotels
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • 9 dinners (drinks NOT included)
  • 2 lunches (drinks NOT included)
  • Full day excursion to Pompeii
  • Full day excursion to Capri
  • Visit of the BLUE GROTTO (weather permitting)
  • Ground transportation by deluxe motor coach with air conditioning
  • Service charges and taxes included
  • Tour is monolingual Enlish north of Rome  and  multilingual in the south
  • Sightseeing tours as per itinerary
  • English speaking local guides
  • Entrance fees

Hotels Used on the tour:
FLORENCE : Hotel Rivoli 4 *  or  Adriatico 4 *
VENICE : Hotel Continental 4 *
MILAN : Hotel Antares Concorde 4 *
ROME : Hotel Villafranca 4*, or Gioberti 4 * or Commodore 4*
SORRENTO : Hotel Vesuvio 4 *
Castellana Grotte: Semiramide Palace 4 *

 

Rome Optional day tours and descriptions