TUSCANY, ITALY
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Leave everyday life behind and escape to Tuscany! Known for its beautiful landscapes, its rich artistic legacy and vast influence on high culture, Tuscany is widely regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and has been home to some of the most influential people in the history of art and science. Visitors to Tuscany come for many reasons. Many come in search of fine art, others to explore the extraordinary countryside with charming medieval hill towns and sweeping hillsides full of vineyards. Join us as we explore the endless opportunities that Tuscany has to offer.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Extended stay in one location
  • Explore medieval town of Montecatini Terme
  • Enjoy scenic drives through gentle rolling hills of Tuscany
  • Admire Renaissance art and architecture of Florence
  • Marvel at legendary Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Visit Piazza dei Miracoli, a World Heritage Site, including Pisa Baptistery of St. John & Duomo
  • Visit medieval towns of Lucca, Siena & San Gimignano
  • Experience magic and spectacular scenery of Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover Chianti Classico wine region
  • Enjoy wine tasting
  • Tour eternal city of Rome
  • Discover amazing Vatican City, including Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 - Depart USA
Depart from New York, NY on an overnight flight to Tuscany, Italy. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Arrive Italy/Montecatini
Upon arrival proceed to baggage claim. After clearing customs, you will be met by our professional tour director and transferred to your hotel in Montecatini. You can spend the rest of the day at leisure. Have a welcome cocktail and briefing at 7:00 PM in the hotel. Tonight, dinner is at the hotel. (D)

Day 3 Montecatini - Florence Tour
Today’s tour will take you to Florence, a magical and magnificent city known for its art, history and culture. Your walking tour will take you through streets and piazzas lined up with elegant Renaissance-style buildings and gorgeous marble sculptures, fine leather and jewelry stores, and restaurants serving delicacies that have made the Tuscan cuisine famous worldwide. See the Cathedral, whose gigantic “cupola” is the symbol of Florence’s artistic achievements, the Baptistery (from outside) with its fine bronze doors adorned with the famous gates of Paradise and the Piazza della Signoria. Next, take part in our Cultural Discovery Series - Visit the artisans’ workshop in the vibrant Oltrarno district and see how local artists use centuries-old techniques when creating art, jewelry, and leather. Enjoy free time for shopping or visiting some of the numerous museums and art galleries. (B)

Day 4 Montecatini - Lucca and Pisa Tour
Today, enjoy a tour to Lucca and Pisa. Lucca is a peaceful place with narrow lanes that wind among the medieval buildings, opening suddenly to reveal churches, tiny piazzas, and many other reminders of the city’s long history, including a Roman amphitheater. This town is well known for its magnificent 16th and 17th century ramparts, which having remained intact, encircle its narrow streets which are lined with many medieval buildings. In the afternoon, we continue to Pisa to see its incredible Leaning Tower. It is 14 feet off center at the top because of settling after construction was started in 1173. Your visit of Pisa will also include a sightseeing tour of Pisa’s Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles, to see the Baptistery and Duomo (entrance included); all are fine examples of the Pisan- Romanesque architectural style. Later, visit a Tuscan farmhouse, meet the family members and learn about their organic farming on the guided tour of the estate. Later on enjoy music and delicious dinner in this lovely countryside estate - Cultural Discovery Series. (B,D).

Day 5 Montecatini - Siena Tour
After breakfast, transfer to Siena for your full-day tour. Set in the most beautiful Tuscan countryside of rolling hills, lush vines, and gray-green olive trees. Siena offers much to see, from the fine palaces that line the narrow cobbled streets and the superb Duomo, to the celebrated Piazza del Campo where the famed Palio horserace is run yearly. Enjoy the Piazza del Campo, the ancient Tuscan capitol, a fascinating art town. Take time to explore the museums and churches of Siena and the glamorous shops of the Via dei Banchi de Sopra. (B)

Day 6 Montecatini
Enjoy a day of leisure or join the optional full day excursion to Cinque Terre. After breakfast, depart from your hotel and transfer by coach to the train station of La Spezia. By train, you will discover the renowned region called Cinque Terre (Five lands in Italian), taking its name from the five villages nestled on the cliffs which overlook a blue sea and a coastline of astounding beauty. Our first stop will be the village of Manarola, the smallest "Borgo" after Corniglia, but with a nice tiny square and a lovely view of the coast. Some time for a coffee and we take the train to reach our second stop Vernazza. Last destination is Monterosso, the biggest village, where you will have time for your lunch in one of the typical restaurants or cafes facing the sea. This afternoon you will take the train back to La Spezia and by coach drive back to Montecatini. (B)

Day 7 Montecatini - San Gimignano & Chianti Region Tour
Today, enjoy a tour to San Gimignano, a town of Etruscan origin. Built by noble families, the fourteen remaining towers that line the ramparts look like medieval skyscrapers. As we drive south through the Italian wine country of Chianti this afternoon, your stop will include a winery to taste the superb local wine. Together we will learn what makes a Chianti Classico - Cultural Discovery Series. This day is sure to be a highlight! (B)

Day 8 Montecatini
Spend the day at leisure to explore Montecatini on your own, enjoy a spa treatment or just relax. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell Tuscan feast at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 9 Montecatini to USA or extend your stay with an optional Rome extension
This morning transfer to the airport for your return flight home, taking with you many wonderful memories of Italy. (B)

OPTIONAL ROME EXTENSION
Day 9 Montecatini/Rome - City Tour
Following breakfast we will say farewell to Montecatini as we board our deluxe motor coach and head to Rome, as in Italy all roads lead to Rome. This afternoon is dedicated to a guided tour of Ancient Rome, by bus and on foot with a stop at the Coliseum (entrance not included), Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. This evening enjoy some free time as the city comes to life. (B)

Day 10 Rome
Enjoy breakfast this morning. Today is yours to explore. You might want to consider experiencing Rome from an “open air motocoach” on a Hop On & Hop Off bus. Or perhaps enjoy an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. To avoid the long lines, our group will have reservations and will make our tour much more enjoyable. This afternoon is yours to explore and enjoy. Perhaps you will take in a walk where you can see the: Piazza Popolo, Spanish Steps, or the Piazza Navona. (B)

Day 11 Rome to USA
After breakfast we will bid farewell to this amazing city as we transfer to the Rome airport for your return flight home. (B) B – Breakfast, D – Dinner Hotel and Itinerary are subject to change.


Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York, NY
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 10 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Full day guided tour of Florence, Full day excursion to Pisa and Lucca, including the Leaning Tower, Duomo and the Baptistery, Full day tour of Siena, Full day excursion to San Gimignano and the Chianti region including wine tasting. Optional tours available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as a visit to the artisans’ workshops in the Oltrarno district in Florence, wine tasting in the Chianti region, and an authentic local dinner at a countryside estate
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Italy
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OPTIONAL ROME EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City tour of Ancient Rome. Optional tours available
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR MANAGER - Assistance of a professional Tour Manager for the entire length of the tour
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

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