Upon arrival in Rome, we will be met by our representative and transferred to the city center.
En route we‘ll visit St. Paul Outside the Walls, the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle. The chapel has numerous relics, the most notable are a set chains said to be the prison chains of St. Paul, used in the last days before his execution.
We will then proceed the Appian Way on our way to visit the Catacombs where early Christians held their forbidden service to escape persecution.
In the afternoon we visit the Basilica of St. John in Lateran. This is “The Cathedral of Rome”. The first great Christian Church built next to the Lateran Palace and a gift to Emperor Constantine. Next we visit Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, built on the spot where a 3rd century pope witnessed a miraculous midsummer snowfall.
On the way to the hotel, a view from the bus of the Colosseum (if time permits, photo-stop).
Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Rome.
Breakfast at the hotel.
We travel to monumental St. Peter’s Square to attend the Audience with the Pope. Time will be available to explore and shop in the Vatican area.
We proceed the day by visiting the Vatican Museums overflowing with art treasures and admire “the Sistine Chapel”, world famous for Michelangelo’s Ceiling Paintings and “the Last Judgment.” We then visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world, built over the tomb of St. Peter. This is where Peter preached, died, and is buried along with 148 of his papal successors.
Upon entering the Basilica, we find Michelangelo’s Pieta and many works of art from Giotto and Bernini.
Overnight in Rome.
After breakfast, we enjoy a walking tour through the streets and alleys of the city centre to visit the most famous squares, fountains and palaces of the Baroque Rome.
From the spectacular Trevi Fountain, on to the amazing architecture of the Pantheon, and the lively atmosphere of Piazza Navona, with the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. After this fascinating stroll departure to Assis.
Arrival, visit to Santa Maria degli Angeli Basilica and the Porziuncola.
Overnight in Assis.
After breakfast, we will begin with exploring the town of St Francis.
Assis is a small Umbrian town in central Italy best known as the birthplace of St. Francis Of Assis — patron Saint of Italy, founder of the Franciscan order, and one of the most popular Catholic saints in history.
Assis’s main attraction is the 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis, which contains the sacred relics of Francis and beautiful frescoes of his life.
We will visit St Claire Basilica, which is a 13th-century church that houses the relics of St. Claire friend and protégé of St. Francis of Assis as well as the miraculous crucifix that spoke to Francis.
We’ll leave for Siena, a medieval town which invites us to stroll through its Gothic streets. We will admire the famous Piazza del Campo. This shell shaped square is the dramatic setting for the annual Palio bareback horserace. The piazza`s focal point is the Palazzo Pubblico, the public palace, which dates back to 1250.
We continue uphill to visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Shrine and House of St. Catherine, which has become a popular place of pilgrimage.
The house of the saint, which was proclaimed Doctor of the Church, was converted into a sanctuary in 1464 and today contains a number of documents and paintings related to her.
After the visit we continue to Florence. Overnight in Florence.
Breakfast in hotel.
In the morning, a guided walking tour of Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance.
This is the city of Dante, Boccaccio, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. It was a Florentine by the name of Amerigo Vespucci after whom a continent was named.
We see the city highlights: Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) the largest and most beautiful of all Italian Franciscan Churches and the burial place of Michelangelo and Galileo, Piazza Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio with its courtyard, Piazza Del Duomo and its Cathedral, Giotto’s Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistery.
Time to shop for Florentine gold and leather goods.
Overnight in Florence.
After Breakfast, we leave the elegant city of Florence and travel through Tuscany region to Bologna, the capital of Emilia Romagna and one of the most developed cities in Italy.
Bologna is known for its beauty, wealth, cuisine, and streets lined with beautiful arcades.
It is home to one of the oldest universities in the western world (1088), historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law. It is also Italy’s gastronomic capital.
We stop in the medieval center and see Piazza Maggiore, which is still the same as it was during the Renaissance. We see Piazza Nettuno and climb if you wish the medieval tower of “Torre Degli Asinelli”, for a great view of Bologna.
We continue to Padua, which is a city in the Veneto region, in Northern Italy, known for Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, home of Italy’s second oldest university: Galileo lectured in Padua’s 13th century university; Dante, Petrarch, and Tasso studied here. We visit the 13th-century Basilica of Sant’Antonio, characterized by Byzantine-style domes and valuable works of art, which houses the tomb of the saint to whom it is dedicated. In the historic center of the city there are streets with arcades and elegant cafes frequented by the students of the University of Padua, founded in 1222.
Overnight in Padua.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by bus to Venice Tronchetto Terminal and embarkation on the boat to reach the city centre.
Venice, the city where everything and everyone floats. This lovely Lagoon-city on the Adriatic coast is like a giant maze with tiny alleys and hidden piazzas linked by narrow foot bridges over 400 large and small canals. It is with good reason that Venetians call their city “La Serenissima” (the most serene).
Venice awakes each morning with a refreshing absence of speeding cars, and roaring mopeds. We arrive by boat, in St. Mark’s Square. We visit St. Mark’s Basilica, a masterpiece of Venetian – Byzantine architecture built in 830 to shelter the tomb of St. Mark. We see the marble Ducal Palace, and the famous “Bridge of Sighs”. On foot is the best way to explore Venice.
Perhaps we might take on optional “Gondola Ride” across the “Grand Canal” or walk on the Rialto Bridge and visit the market.
To experience the real Venice head towards the side streets to “Strada Nova” and we’ll see how Venice’s citizens live and shop.
Overnight in Padua.
After Breakfast, we drive to Verona, the famous city where William Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet, one of his most romantic works.
Many tourists all over the world visit this beautiful city to see the home of Juliet and her grave, and to visit other important monuments, such as the Arena, a Roman amphitheater, which is internationally known for the large-scale opera performances held there; we will enjoy a relaxing walk through Verona squares and monuments: Piazza delle Erbe (the old Roman center and now Market Square), Piazza dei Signori (the political center in middle age Verona), and finally Piazza Bra.
We continue to Milan for overnight.
After breakfast and according to flight departure time, we will have the opportunity to visit Milan the commercial capital of Northern Italy and the world capital of Design and Fashion.
We visit the magnificent Duomo which represents the “Heart of Milan.” Its Gothic Vaults are the highest in the world. It has the world’s largest collection of marble statues. We visit the oldest shopping mall in the world, the glass-domed “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II” which extends from the Duomo to Piazza Della Scala. La Scala is the world’s premiere opera house. Within a short walk we view the imposing Sforzesco Castle.
Transfer to the airport for our flight home.
End of services.
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