2017 Italy: City, Coast & Country Tour Be quick! Only 4 seats remain
With its rich cultural heritage, fabulous food and wines, great cites and picturesque villages, Italy is an eternally popular destination.
Enjoy its variety with all 3 night stops in 4 star hotels, full luggage handling, an excellent sightseeing programme and many meals.
This family-friendly tour is timed to coincide with Australian school holidays.
Departs 13 September 2017 for 23 days.
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Day 1, Wednesday, Sep 13th
Our tour commences today in the City of Canals, Venice. Our 4 star hotel overlooks the Grand Canal. Settle in and watch the lights come on as the waterbuses chug past. Get to know your fellow travellers at Welcome Drinks. [D]
Day 2, Thursday, Sep 14th
Every day on the Great Trains of Europe Tours starts with a full Buffet Breakfast. [B] This morning we begin to explore the art and history of Venice. Byzantine St Mark’s is considered by many to be the most beautiful church in the world. The historic Doge’s Palace and its Bridge of Sighs are ‘must sees’. Venice is best taken slowly, wandering along her canals and bridges. [B]
Day 3, Friday, Sep 15th
There is time for a visit to an outer island - Burano for exquisite lace, Murano for world-famous Venetian glass. Art lovers will want to see the Tintoretto paintings in the Scuola di San Rocco, the Titian in the Friary Church, and the collection of Venetian Renaissance art in the Accademia Gallery. [B]
Day 4, Saturday, Sep 16th
Our luggage is taken on ahead, as always between stops, while we take a local train via Milan to our lakeside village on Lake Como, in the Northern Italian Lakes. [B] [D]
Day 5, Sunday, Sep 17th ^ Top ^
Enjoy the view from the terrace of our lakefront hotel, or ride a steamer on the lake. [B]
Day 6, Monday, Sep 18th
Another quiet day on the lakefront or join a visit to Milan, the world capital of the fashion industry and of opera, and home to one of the great art treasures of the world - Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” [B]
Day 7, Tuesday, Sep 19th
Italy’s flagship high-speed train the Frecciargento delivers us at 300kph to Florence, the cradle of our civilisation and birthplace of the Renaissance. [B] [D]
Day 8, Wednesday, Sep 20th
After a brief orientation tour, the city is yours - museums, churches, leather shops to die for, and the markets. [B]
Day 9, Thursday, Sep 21st
There are visits today to the beautiful town of Lucca (Puccini’s birthplace) and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. [B]
Day 10, Friday, Sep 22nd ^ Top ^
Our luggage is transported on ahead as we take our reserved First Class seats on Italy’s flagship train, the High Speed Eurostar Italia to Naples. Here we change to the local Circumvesuvio train around the Bay of Naples to Sorrento, and on to our hotel on the heights of Positano with sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast. [B] [D]
Day 11, Saturday, Sep 23rd
A quiet day celebrity spotting on the Positano beach, or explore the villages along, and above, the Amalfi Coast. Back to our Positano hotel this evening. [B]
Day 12, Sunday, Sep 24th
A morning to explore ruined Pompei, still presided over by the looming presence of Mt Vesuvius, and in the afternoon we cross to visit Capri and the Blue Grotto. [B]
Day 13, Monday, Sep 25th
We retrace our steps on the high speed Frecciarosso to the Eternal City, Rome, for our 3 night stay. [B] [D].
Day 14, Tuesday, Sep 26th
Today’s sightseeing focuses on Classical Rome and includes entrances to the Pantheon, and the Colosseum. “Roma - non basta una vita!” - non basta una vita! (Rome - one life is not enough!) Join your Tour Leader for a stroll to the Trevi Fountain after dinner. If you throw three coins in the fountain, your return to Rome is guaranteed, so the legend goes. [B]
Day 15, Wednesday, Sep 27th ^ Top ^
Catholic Rome today, including entrances and a guided tour of St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s masterpiece. The fashion shops on the Via Condotti are open this afternoon. Dinner in the Piazza Navona as we watch the water play in Bernini’s fountains? [B]
Day 16, Thursday, Sep 28th
Our luggage is transported on ahead as we take our reserved First Class seats on the High Speed train to Florence, then a slower pace through archetypal Tuscan countryside - vineyards, olive-grove - down the Vale of Chianti and up the hill to San Gimignano. This walled hilltop village with its 13 towers, standing almost unchanged since the 12th century, is our home for 4 nights. [B] [D]
Every day a short excursion from San Gimignano is provided (and included in your tour cost). You may choose to join the excursion or simply stay in San Gimignano and relax.
Day 17, Friday, Sep 29th
A drive off the beaten track today through Southern Tuscan vineyards and olive groves to visit two beautiful hilltop villages and wine centres - Montalcino and Montepulciano. [B]
Day 18, Saturday, Sep 30th
This morning we explore the artistic gem of Siena, which stands today much as it did in the twelfth century. You know it from “My House in Umbria” and “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Where better to take lunch than at one of the open air trattoria on the Campo? This is the historic city square, the setting for the Palio horse race in the summer. Home to San Gimignano this afternoon for our final night. [B]
Day 19, Sunday, Oct 1st
A lazy Sunday in our beautiful mediaeval village.. [B]
Day 20, Monday, Oct 2nd ^ Top ^
A local train along the North West Coast of Italy brings us to the Cinque Terre. We arrive in our seafront hotel in Santa Margerita Ligure.. [B] [D]
Day 21, Tuesday, Oct 3rd
Today you ramble in the beautiful Cinque Terre, with an opportunity for the sprightly to walk the 5 villages, while others may chose a dip in the Mediterranean or a ridiculously long lunch in a seafront restaurant. [B]
Day 22, Wednesday, Oct 4th
Nearby Genoa was Christopher Columbus’ birthplace, and you have the opportunity to visit it today or, alternatively, a leisurely day in your seafront hotel, or nearby uber-touristy Portofino. [B]
Day 23, Thursday, Oct 5th
Arrivederci Italia! By train today to Rome (or Rome Airport) where your tour ends. [B]
Escorted Tour costs:
$AUD 11,950 per person Twin Share.
Land Content only (i.e. join in Rome and leave in Venice).
Single supplement $AUD 1,500
“AnyDay departure” tour cost - 25% discount applies:
$AUD 8,900 per person Twin Share.
Land Content only (i.e. join in Rome and leave in Venice).
Single Room supplement $AUD 1,500.
Enquire about our competitive air fares.
What’s included?^ Top ^
- First Class rail travel in reserved seats
- 4 star city centre boutique hotels
- 3 & 4 star historic village inns
- 7 dinners (Escorted tours only)
- Full luggage handling (Escorted tours only)
- Full-time Australian historian Tour Director who is the Company Principal (Escorted tours only)
The TOUR COST does NOT include:^ Top ^
- Hotel incidentals (eg. Mini-bars, telephone calls, laundry), airport and departure taxes, local transport in any city,
- optional excursions listed or meals other than breakfast and the one restaurant dinner in each city - the first night in each new city, except Venice where it takes the form of a farewell dinner.
On other nights, the Tour Leaders are available to accompany group members to local, authentic restaurants.
About the 2017 Italy: City, Coast & Country escorted tour
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