Day 1: Arrive Rome (3 Nights)
You're in for a bellissimo journey to the spectacular capitals of Italy and a Bavarian village that kept its 17th-century covenant with God. Upon arrival in Rome, spend the day at leisure before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, followed by a short walk this evening to see the timeless Roman Colosseum and the ancient centre of Rome - the Forum.
Day 2: Rome and Castel Gandolfo Sightseeing
We embark on a very special 'Dive Into Culture' sightseeing tour with our 'Local Specialist' at the Vatican this morning. Skip the queue and wander through its museums, Sistine Chapel and Gardens, admiring the artistry of great masters and walking in the footsteps of popes who have found peace within its beautiful green landscapes for centuries. We'll enjoy a rare opportunity to board a train within the Vatican Walls bound for the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's Summer Residence. Here, we'll embark on a tour through its beautifully manicured green heart before enjoying an included lunch against the backdrop of this enchanting setting.
Day 3: Rome At Leisure
The narrow lanes and expansive piazze of Rome are yours to explore today. Ask your Travel Director for tips on what to see and do, or consider an Optional Experience delving into the tragic history of Pompeii.
Day 4: Rome - Assisi - Florence (3 Nights)
This morning meet with your 'Local Specialist' to visit St. Peter's Basilica. Then we journey north to the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio. Your 'Local Specialist' will take you to the Basilica of St Francis, the final resting place of this famous saint. See Giotto's enchanting frescoes before your journey continues through the scenic Tuscan countryside to the Renaissance city of Florence.
Day 5: Florence Sightseeing and At Leisure
Enjoy a leisurely encounter with the artistic and architectural marvels of Florence during your sightseeing tour with a 'Local Specialist'. Visit the striking Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and palazzi. See the multi-coloured marble Duomo and Baptistery, then view Ponte Vecchio, straddling the Arno River. Learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries at demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold. Spend the rest of the afternoon discovering the historic centre of Florence, shopping for high-quality leather, or admiring the artistic contribution of the Medici family at every turn. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to San Gimignano.
Day 6: Florence - Excursion to Pisa
Cross the fertile Arno Valley to Pisa and join a 'Local Specialist' to visit the Square of Miracles, home to the incredible Leaning Tower and beautifully sculpted marble Cathedral. See the ornate Baptistery and the Camposanto, built on sacred soil brought back from the Holy Land during the Crusades. Your unforgettable encounter with Tuscany continues this evening as you 'Connect with Locals' over a 'Be My Guest dinner', joining Count Miari Fulcis on his 15th-century organic olive oil estate that has featured in many famous films.
Day 7: Florence - Bologna - Venice (3 Nights)
Travel north, through the Apennines, to the medieval city of Bologna, perhaps best known for the delicious spaghetti sauce that bears its name. Your sightseeing tour with a 'Local Specialist' includes views of the Kissing Towers which lean towards each other, seemingly poised to embrace. Then it's off to the romantic island city of Venice with its rich cultural and artistic heritage. Spend time at leisure gliding along its enchanting canals in a gondola or wander through the city's labyrinthine lanes, over bridges and into quiet campi.
Day 8: Venice Canal Cruise and Orientation
'Dive Into Culture' and delve into the delicate Venetian art of glassblowing on Giudecca Island. Then savour the iconic and unexpected highlights of Venice as you cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square to admire the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian churches, Customs House, St. Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. Visit the Fine Arts Academy, relax at a café on St. Mark's Square or consider a boat trip to the colourful fishing island of Burano for a delicious meal.
Day 9: Secret Venice Walking Tour and visit to the Rialto Food Market
Sites made famous in poetry, song and prose are explored today when we join a 'Local Specialist' for a Small Group Sightseeing walking tour from our hotel along the canals to the famous Rialto Bridge, where all the flavours of Italy come to life at a centuries-old food market. Amble through the narrow calle of Venice and admire the beautiful architecture, before spending the rest of the day to visit the sights of your choice. Tonight, enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers.
Day 10: Venice - Innsbruck
This morning, say arrivederci to Italy as you cross the Brenner Pass into the Austrian Tyrol. Arriving in Innsbruck we see the Golden Roof, enjoy free time before checking into your hotel.
Day 11: Innsbruck - Oberammergau (2 Nights)
After a leisurely start to your day, explore Innsbruck on your terms and discover the city's ties to the Winter Olympic Games. Later, travel to the Bavarian town of Oberammergau where devout villagers perform their once-in-a-decade Passion Play. This evening, dine at your hotel.
Day 12: Oberammergau (Passion Play Performance)
Witness a Trip Highlight and a display of enduring faith - a performance that has given thanks to God's grace every ten years since 1634, when the villagers of Oberammergau pleaded to God to spare them from the ravages of the plague. Take your premium seats for this poignant performance depicting the life and death of Jesus Christ. Dine at a local restaurant this evening, before returning to your seat for the captivating second half of this performance as night falls.
Day 13: Oberammergau - Depart Munich
Say farewell to your fellow travellers at the end of a spiritual journey. Transfers are available to Munich Airport. Conditions apply.
VIP ADMISSION to the Vatican Museums
SMALL GROUP SIGHTSEEING guided walking tour of 'Secret Venice' to the Rialto food market, with a group size of no more than 25 guests
VISIT the Sistine Chapel and Castel Gandolfo in Rome and the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi
VIEW Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo in Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice
SCENIC CRUISE by private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice
PREMIUM TICKETS for the Passion Play in Oberammergau
ORIENTATION of Pisa and Innsbruck
SEE the Colosseum and the ancient sites of Rome
5 dinners (including Be My Guest)
First class travel Highlights:
Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
Optional Experiences and free time
All porterage and restaurant gratuities
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
VIP entry to many sights
Note: Rows highlighted in green below are guaranteed departures
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