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Italy

Day 1 - USA…MILAN
Depart USA for your transatlantic flight to Italy.  Dinner and overnight aloft.

Day 2 - MILAN…COMO
Upon your arrival in MILAN airport you will be met by your English-speaking Renaissance Group tour operator who will help transfer you to your hotel in Como.  COMO with its flower-filled gardens, villas built for the wealthy of the 17th and 18th centuries, and mild climate, it’s among the most scenic spots in Italy.  In the afternoon you will take an boat excursion to the  romantic and lovely Lake Como, which is the best way to admire it.  Welcome dinner.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 3 - COMO…TURIN        
After breakfast you will depart to TURIN is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin which is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have been physically traumatized in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.  
It is believed to be the cloth placed on the body of Jesus at the time of his burial.  City sightseeing and lunch in Turin.  Wine tasting on route.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 4 - COMO…MILAN…SOTTO IL MONTE…LUCCA
After breakfast in your hotel, half day sightseeing MILAN, The city is one of the major commercial and financial centers in the world. The city is famous for fashion firms and shops (via Montenapoleone) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the Piazza Duomo, reputed to be the world's oldest shopping mall.  We will visit Santa Maria delle Grazie, houses one of the world's most celebrated works: Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper”.
Followed the visit at the Milan Cathedral.  The Gothic cathedral took five centuries to complete and is the fourth-largest church in the world.  In the afternoon depart to visit SOTTOLMONTE the birthplace of John XXIII.  Dinner in LUCCA, a charming Tuscan town enclosed by massive red brick walls.  Sites in LUCCA includes the Duomo of San Martino, Lucca’s finest Romanesque building, the Torre Giungi, a 15th century 130-foot high tower topped with a tree; Palazzo Pfanner with its fine gardens, statues, loggia, and fountains.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 5 - LUCCA…CINQUE TERRE
After breakfast in your hotel you will depart for a full day excursion to CINQUE TERRE,  eighteen kilometers of sheer rocky coastline in northern Italy, terraced hills and vineyards sloping steeply down to the sea. Five little villages are built into the rocks between the beach and the hills.
Human activity and especially viticulture, have contributed to create a unique landscape.  All this, combine with the characteristics of a crystal clear sea makes the Cinque Terre an increasingly sought after location among Italian and foreign tourists. Lunch will be in the Cinque Terre area.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 11 - FLORENCE
After breakfast in your hotel you will be mesmerized on an unbelievable tour of the city of FLORENCE, the heart of the Renaissance and city of artistic wealth and beauty which holds many treasures for you to discover.  Begin your visit to the Uffizi Gallery and then to the beautiful Piazza Del Duomo to see the delicately patterned green, white, and pink cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore crowned by Brunelleschi’s cupola.  See Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Romanesque Baptistry of St. John with its exquisite bronze doors which Michelangelo called, “the Gates of Paradise”.  Later, visit the Academy of Fine Arts for a view of Michelangelo’s superb “David” and many of the master’s unfinished works. You will marvel at the other celebrated landmarks such as the Piazza della Signoria, with the City Hall; the Ponte Vecchio, famous old bridge of Florence which rises over the Arno River and where the boutiques of the most ancient jewelers are located, jewels which are themselves pieces of art; the Piazzale Michelangelo, from where you will enjoy a superb view on the city.  Your last stop will be at the Church of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce) which contains the tombs of the Florentine masters.
Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 12 - LUCCA…SANGIMINIANO…SIENA…SORRENTO
After breakfast, you will visit SAN GIMIGNANO for a wine tasting.  You will depart to SIENA with its famous Piazza del Campo where all roads converge and where the city competes in the yearly “Palio,” a highly contested horse race recently filmed in the OO7 film Quantum of Solace.  In Siena you will have a traditional Tuscan lunch.  After lunch a Motorcoach will we take us to SORRENTO which sits high above the cliffs and commands a breathtaking view of the Bay of Naples.   Overnight in SORRENTO.   

Day 13 - SORRENTO… optional CAPRI
After breakfast, you may want to depart SORRENTO to take a full-day optional excursion to the fabulous isle of CAPRI  where you can see the Gardens of Augustus,  or just enjoy a full day at leisure exploring the charms of beautiful Sorrento. Dinner in SORRENTO.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 14 - SORRENTO…POMPEII…LENOLA…ROME
After breakfast you will depart, by private motorcoach, for POMPEII,  the ancient city that lay under volcanic ash for 2000 years.  During the guided tour you will see the remarkable preserved ruins of temples, houses, gardens, and public buildings. Today, the ancient city offers the richest insight into the daily life of the Romans.  On the way to ROME  stop in the hilltop town, LENOLA for a bucolic country dinner.  Time allowing we will visit the 17th century Shrine of MADONNA del COLLE and take a stroll in the middle of the town.  Overnight in your hotel in ROME.
 
Day 15 - ROME
After breakfast in your hotel, you will be taken to St. Peter’s Basilica for a general audience with Pope Benedict XVI followed by an afternoon tour of Christian Rome.  Dinner will be at a typical Roman restaurant where you will experience the cuisine of central Italy.  Overnight at your hotel.


Day 16 - ROME
After breakfast in your hotel, your visit of the city will focus on Renaissance Rome and the Sistine Chapel.  Afternoon at leisure for last minute shopping before a Farewell Dinner to conclude the events of the trip in a typical Roman restaurant.
Overnight in your hotel.

Day 17 –ROME…USA
After breakfast you will check out and be transferred to the airport for your return flight home where you will arrive on the same day.


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tel. 703.430.0030    I    fax. 703.430.1440    I    toll free. 800.304.8259

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