Day 1: Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.
Rome is one of the world 's most historic cities, filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers to your hotel depart Rome 's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Then this historic city is yours to discover. At 17:30, join your Travel Director for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner. Get to know your travelling companions over a relaxed evening of dinner and wine.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2: Exploring The Vatican City.
In the afternoon, enjoy special fast-tracked VIP entry into the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and enter the Sistine Chapel to marvel at Michelangelo 's masterpiece on its ceiling. Observe the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age. After, dine in the Vatican's elegant Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, should weather permit, where you will enjoy incredible views of the cupola of St. Peter's during your private VIP Highlight Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 3: Rome at Leisure.
Spend another day enjoying Rome at your own pace. Perhaps take an Optional Experience to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in A.D 79. Alternatively, stroll to the boutiques of the Via del Corso and Via Nazionale or visit the elegant designer stores near the Spanish Steps. As night falls, why not sip a glass of prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza Navona, the 'Living Room of Rome', and enjoy life's pageantry pass by?(Breakfast)
Day 4: Under the Tuscan sun to Assisi.
Journey through Umbria and up the foothills of the Apennine Mountains to reach delightful Assisi, a stone-built town spilling over the steep hillside. With a Local Expert, visit the tomb of St. Francis and see the beautiful frescoes by Giotto in the great basilica. Continue through the picture-perfect scenery of the Tuscan hills, where deep-green cypress trees pierce blue skies and olive groves hug the rolling hillsides to reach Renaissance Florence.(Breakfast)
Day 5: Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance.
Walk on to the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, where Ghiberti 's Gates of Paradise have been recreated in all their glory. Visit Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune as well as Hercules and Cacus, along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The area around Santa Croce Basilica is famous for the quality of its luxury goods of gold and leather and there's free time to shop or continue exploring. Later, join a local historian to see Michelangelo's David in the Accademia Museum.(Breakfast)
Day 6: Pisa and the Tuscan Countryside.
After a leisurely morning in Florence, explore the nearby town of Pisa with a Local Expert and see the baptistery with its intricate marble facade, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral and of course the famous Leaning Tower. On returning to Florence, stop at il Poggio organic farm for a guided walk through the vineyards and olive trees, learning about the production of olive oil and wine. On the veranda, take in beautiful views of the rolling Tuscan hills as you enjoy tasting the farm's freshly-produced wines and olive oil, in addition to an authentic Italian meal prepared with locally-sourced ingredients.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 7: Venice, Queen of the Adriatic.
Passing the city of Bologna, take the autostrada east to Venice, 'Queen of the Adriatic'. Your luxurious hotel gazes out over the Giudecca Canal and a romantically unforgettable city skyline.(Breakfast)
Day 8: Venice and the Magic of 'La Serenissima '.
Wake up ready to embrace the most sensuous of cities. Admire the art of glassblowing on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then board your private launch, sit back and enjoy your introduction to this unique city of ornate palaces, bridges and gondolas. Disembark and stroll to the Bridge of Sighs before turning the corner to stand in awe at the marble arcades of Piazza San Marco. St. Mark 's Basilica, with its dazzling domes, occupies the corner next to the clock tower. Beside it stands the pink and white marbled Doge 's Palace. In the afternoon, there will be plenty of time to explore the museums, galleries and churches or browse through the shops on the Rialto Bridge. Perhaps cruise out to some of the other islands in the lagoon to experience the age-old lifestyle of Venetian fishermen and lace-makers.(Breakfast)
Day 9: Venice at Leisure.
Who could refuse another day to take in the unique atmosphere of this wonderful city? Lose yourself in the back lanes and campi, the small squares where tourists seldom tread and the Venetians go about their daily lives. Maybe visit some of the 90 churches that house masterpieces of Venetian art or explore the modern artworks in the Guggenheim. Relax a while at a canal-side cafe and sip the local wine or sample delicious lagoon-fresh fish. Later, board a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals. This evening, stroll past the entrance doors of the famous Opera House to La Fenice restaurant for a magical Celebration Dinner. Indulge in traditional Venetian dishes that are enriched with inspiration from seasonal produce.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 10: From the lakes of Venice to mountain-ringed Innsbruck.
Your journey continues north through spectacular scenery as you follow the Adige River. Travel via the Brenner Pass through the magnificent Dolomites and cross the impressive Europa Bridge to arrive at wonderful Innsbruck. Your orientation will show you the 14th century houses of Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the Golden Roof.(Breakfast)
Day 11: Innsbruck to Oberammergau.
Plenty of time this morning to explore the alpine town of Innsbruck. A short journey north, cross the German border and you arrive at Oberammergau in the heart of the Bavarian Alps and home of the Passion Play since 1634.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 12: The Passion Play.
After a morning at leisure in charming Oberammergau, take your premium reserved seats to witness the world famous Passion Play, re-enacting the last days of Christ on earth. After a break for dinner in a local restaurant, the captivating performance continues into the evening.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 13: Depart Oberammergau
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Transfers arrive at Munich Airport at 09:30.(Breakfast)
Vatican City: Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums and see Michelangelo 's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Visit the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age. Then you'll be privileged an exclusive VIP Highlight Dinner at the Vatican's Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, whilst enjoying views of the cupola of St. Peters, should weather permit.
Tuscany: Visit Il Poggio to learn about organic olive and grape farming. Then enjoy a tasting as you sit down to a fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities, complimented by stunning views.
Venice: Join your fellow guests for an extra special Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine in the heart of romantic Venice.
Oberammergau: Dine in a local restaurant amid the buzz of excitement from Passion Play goers and enjoy local hospitality before the second half commences.
Dining Summary: 12 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners (D) with wine (DW).
Vatican City: Venture inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
Venice: Visit an artisan showroom and workshop to see master craftsmen honouring age-old Venetian crafts.
Top Rated Highlights:
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
Assisi: Enjoy strolling through this quaint little town with your Local Expert and seeing it's beautifully preserved medieval lane ways and streets.
Assisi: A Local Expert will explain why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.
Florence: View the city skyline from the sumptuous terrace of Piazzale Michelangelo. During your orientation of the city, your Travel Director will show you the cathedral, the Gates of Paradise adorning the baptistery and Piazza della Signoria.
Florence: See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a leather-work demonstration.
Pisa: Your Local Expert will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the 11th century cathedral and of course, the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.
Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
Oberammergau: Experience the spectacular Passion Play that has made this town famous. Watch from your premium seat as local villagers perform as they have since 1634 in this once in a decade event. An emotive and critically acclaimed performance depicting Christ 's last days, this is an event not to be missed.
Included Insight Services:
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
Note: Rows highlighted in green below are guaranteed departures
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