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Northern Italy and Switzerland

Day 1 - USA…VICENZA
Depart from USA on a major European transatlantic carrier where you will have dinner, breakfast and entertainment aloft.

Day 2 – VICENZA
Morning arrival in VICENZA where your RENAISSANCE GROUP representative will greet you after you have cleared customs and lead you to your private motorcoach for the transfer to your hotel.  After you have settled in and relaxed a bit, the group will meet to go on a guided tour of the city.   A city of art and one of the most important in Italy, Vicenza has Roman origins (Vicetia): the 1500s was its golden century.  Vicenza was transformed into a virtual laboratory for the architectural experiments of Andrea di Pietro, known as Palladio, one of the greatest architects of the High Renaissance.  Palladio peppered the city with palazzi and basilicas, and surrounding hills with villas for patrician families.  The tour includes, among other sites, the Palladiana’s Basilica which was partially designed by Palladio, and the Olympic Theater, Palladio’s masterpiece and last work - ideal for performances of classical plays.  One of the world’s greatest theaters, it was completed in 1585 by Vincenzo Scamozzi, five years after Palladio’s death and is still in use today.  The ancient roads, the bridges on the water course, the magnificent public squares, and the enormous guarded artistic patrimony in its museum emphasize the enormous cultural value of the city of Vicenza.  After the tour, enjoy a Welcome Dinner in a typical restaurant in the locale.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 3 – VICENZA…VENICE…VICENZA
After breakfast in your hotel, you will depart for a full day excursion to VENICE. The secret to seeing and discovering the real romance and beauty of Venice is to walk it.  The city is built on 117 small islands and has some 150 canals and 409 bridges.  Highlights of the tour will feature Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) which Napoleon thought of as the finest drawing room in Europe.  St. Marco’s Basilica, which houses the body of the saint, embodies a magnificent blend of architectural and decorative styles.  See the Grand Canal, a little dilapidated these days but still a rival to the world’s great boulevards; the Ca’d’Oro (Golden House), acclaimed as the most beautiful Gothic building in Venice; the 16th century Ponte di Rialto; and the Doge’s Palace.  Dinner will be served at “Al Graspo de Ua”.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 4 – VICENZA…VERONA…SIRMIONE .
After breakfast in your hotel, you will depart for VERONA for lunch at “I Dodici Apostoli” (the Twelve Apostles).  After lunch, local guides will take you to the picturesque resort of SIRMIONE, a little spa near the end of the promontory called “the Pearl of Lake Garda.”  Dinner on your own and overnight in your hotel in Sirmione

Day 5 – SIRMIONE
After breakfast in your hotel, there will be a tour of the city.  SIRMIONE is a popular bathing spot but retains a comparatively relaxed atmosphere.  The area of interest (watch for the castle) is an islet attached by a bridge to the rest of the peninsula. The Romans had built two castles, two harbors, a settlement and the gigantic villa that rises on rocks and which towers over the lake. On the foundations of the old eastern harbor, the Scaligers later built their famous fortress: a charming, graceful yet strong and imposing bulwark, one of the most beautiful buildings in the word. The numerous villas, churches such as Santa Maria Maggiore's and San Pietro in Mavino's, the wonderful frescoes, unique portals, belfries, battlements, arches and columns, the hamlets of Lugana and Colombare, which inviting gardens lead to the center of the town, all are slats of the fan known as Sirmione.  Dinner will be served in a local restaurant.  Overnight in your hotel. 

Day 6 – SIRMIONE…COMO…ISOLABELLA…COMO
After breakfast in your hotel, you will depart for COMO.  The heart of Como is Piazza Cavour with its hotels, cafes, and steamers departing for lakeside resorts. You might want to take a cruise on the lakes from STRESA to Lake Maggiore  You will take a short boat ride to Isolabella (“Beautiful Island”); dominated by the 17th century Palazzo Borromeo which is surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens.  Napoleon enjoyed his visits to this picturesque island.  Your evening is at your leisure there and where you will overnight.

Day 7 – COMO…BELLAGIO
After breakfast in your hotel, there will be a tour to BELLAGIO, one of the prettiest towns in Europe.  There will be plenty of time to shop in its quaint streets and little boutiques which have attracted wealthy visitors, even royalty, for centuries and today remains a thriving and lovely resort town.  While lunch is on your own, dinner will be served in a local restaurant.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 8 – COMO…SWITZERLAND…COMO
After breakfast in your hotel, you will ride into SWITZERLAND for a day’s tour of the Lugano Lake.  Lugano is third behind Zürich and Geneva as a Swiss banking centre, and the city centre reflects this, with none of Locarno’s Belle-Epoque stuffiness – its old alleys and winding lanes are full of commerce, whether in the form of enticing delicatessens and boutiques or graceful, villa-style hotels and apartment buildings. Ancient churches and a clutch of world-class art galleries, including the famous Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, are draws in themselves, quite aside from the simpler pleasures of a stroll under the lakeside palms alongside the shimmering lake. Overnight in your hotel.

Day 9 – COMO…MILAN…COMO
After breakfast in your hotel, you will depart for a half-day excursion to MILAN where lunch will be served.   Milan is Italy’s most dynamic city.   In the 1700s, Milan was dominated by the Hapsburgs, a legacy that left it with scores of neoclassical buildings in its inner core and an abiding appreciation for music and work.  La Scala is one of the Europe’s most prestigious opera houses. In the evening, a “Farewell Dinner” will be served in COMO for you to enjoy traditional northern Italian cuisine.  Overnight in your hotel in Como.

Day 10 – Depart COMO…MILAN…USA
After breakfast, you will check out and leave Como for Milan Malpensa airport for your flight back to the USA.  You will arrive later the same day.

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Renaissance Group LLC
20897 Planetree Forest Ct. Potomac Falls, VA 20165  
tel. 703.430.0030    I    fax. 703.430.1440    I    toll free. 800.304.8259

info@rengp.com

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