11 Nights / 12 Days • Group Departure
- Walking tour of Rome’s sites, including the Vatican and the Coliseum
- Stay in Siena and explore the Tuscan wine region
- Stay in the famously beautiful Cinque Terre
- Sunset boat ride in Vernazza
- Winery visits and samplings (Tuscany and Vernazza)
- Visit the producer of Prosciutto di Parma
- Culinary walking tour of Venice
- 11 nights hotel (3-4 star, comfortable and well-located)
- Guide throughout and local guides at some attractions
- Attractions and excursions as listed in itinerary
- Transportation in air-conditioned minibus or coach
- Meals (daily breakfast, two dinners, two lunches)
Price is per person, based on double occupancy.
DAY 1 – Rome
Welcome to Rome. One of our representatives will meet you and take you to your hotel for check-in. You’ll have plenty of time to freshen up and get your bearings – perhaps to even try the local espresso. This evening, dinner with the group is included: it’s the perfect way to get acquainted. Head back to the hotel for a well-earned nights’ sleep.
DAY 2 - Rome
This morning our guide will meet us in the lobby after breakfast – have your daypack ready: we have a full day of exploring ahead of us!
First up is Vatican City. Actually a country in itself – inside of the city of Rome – Vatican City only has a population of about 1,000 people. We’ll have a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and the stunning Sistine Chapel – with enough time to soak up this beautiful atmosphere and enjoy the incredible artwork painted by Michelangelo.
Once you’ve had your fill of artwork, we’ll stop for everyone to get lunch – our guide will make excellent recommendations, and there’s no rush: it’s customary for Italians to sit down for hours and enjoy a fresh delicious meal with wine, something we can expect during the week to come.
We’ll meet up again mid-afternoon near the Vatican before heading over to the beautiful neighbourhood of Trastevere together for a walking tour – for which this area is perfectly suited. The medieval neighbourhood in itself is stunning: a photographer’s paradise, the cobblestone streets are lined with coffee bars, and beautiful historic bridges span the picturesque Tiber River. We’ll take a relaxed pace as we learn the history of the buildings and the surrounding area.
After this tour is finished, we have free time – there’s always window-shopping or more sightseeing – but the best plan is to stop and get a coffee (or a glass of wine) in one of the lovely bars and simply watch Italian life go by. We’ll meet up later at a convenient location to go back to the hotel. Freshen up and head out to the delightful surrounding neighbourhood, or stop in the hotel and eat in.
DAY 3 – Rome
After breakfast our guide will meet us in the hotel lobby. Today we’ll see some more of Rome’s incredible historic sites. First, we’ll visit the famous Coliseum, and learn about its fascinating and gory history – but it’s not all guts and gore – we’ll also learn about the genius design behind this engineering marvel.
From here we walk through the nearby Ancient City, the Roman Forum, before heading to Palatine Hill, the core of the Seven Hills. This is the most ancient part of the city, where, according to the legend in 753 BC Romulus founded Rome after killing his brother Remo.
The rest of the day is at leisure to continue to explore. Our guide will give you directions back to the hotel and will be happy to suggest areas of interest – from art galleries to restaurants or historic sites, there’s almost too much to choose from in this tourist-friendly city.
DAY 4 - Rome – Siena
This morning we check out of our hotel, say farewell to Rome and make our way into the stunning Tuscany region – towards our destination, Siena. The landscape is gorgeous and there are plenty of places to stop. We’ll pop into a beautiful small town called Orvieto – here we’ll have a guided tour of the underground cave network and learn about Etruscan history before lunch. Our guide will suggest some local restaurants, and we’ll make sure we have time for a glass of wine.
After our break, we head back on the bus for the pretty drive to Siena. Here, we’ll check in to our hotel – home for the next two nights.
DAY 5 - Siena
After breakfast, it’s time to spend the day soaking up the local sites of stunning Siena. This historic city offers up picturesque cobblestone streets lined with beautiful old buildings, dark wood coffee bars with cases full of pastries, colourful flowers overflowing from balconies – and layer upon layer of Italian history. We’ll have a 2-hour walking tour to admire all of the famous landmarks, churches, and cathedrals. The rest of the day is free to wander and find our own hidden gems – there are heaps of options for dinner, wine, gelato, espresso, pizza – whatever appeals. Our hotel is easy to find and we’ll have directions back from our guide.
DAY 6 - Tuscan wine region
Eat a good breakfast! Today we’re heading out of Siena to enjoy what Tuscany is famous for: wine. This morning we’ll visit some of the local wineries for tours and tastings – there will be plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery, ask questions and simply sample the vintages. We have a special lunch today at one of the wineries – so it won’t be until later this afternoon that we make our way back to Siena. If you’re still hungry, our guide will offer suggestions near our hotel.
DAY 7 - Cinque Terre - Vernazza
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel: today we say farewell to Siena and make our way to Cinque Terre’s Vernazza.
As the name suggests, Cinque Terre is made up of 5 villages: Vernazza, Monterosso, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. All five are famous for their colorful seaside houses that cling to steep terraces.
En route, we’ll stop for a few hours in the small town of Lucca. Also breathtakingly scenic, Lucca is a walled medieval town, famous for its watchtowers. Despite its small size, the town has many lunch options and we have plenty of time to eat, have a glass of wine and explore before meeting back at the bus.
When we get to Vernazza, we’ll check into the hotel – this is such a small village that you’ll have no problems finding somewhere to find a place to eat – and stop for another glass of wine before making your way back to the hotel.
DAY 8 - Vernazza
Today is entirely free to explore this cliff-side village – Vernazza is a very small and interesting town; it’s easy to wander and difficult to get lost. If you’re feeling active and want to get a wonderful vantage point from which to see the town, we have a well-planned hiking excursion available.
Hiking and wandering aside, the very best way to experience the true beauty of these seaside villages is by boat. So, this evening we’ve arranged a sunset boat tour including a welcome drink and snacks. Getting a panoramic view of the Cinque Terre is pretty much the perfect ending to a delightful day.
DAY 9 - Vernazza
After breakfast, our guide will take us through some of the region’s beautiful – and functional – terraced vineyards. We’ll walk through this gorgeous area and learn the history of the local wine and what makes it so unique to other wines in the region. Of course, no visit is complete without a sampling or two! We’ll have lunch at the winery before heading back to Vernazza for an afternoon at leisure.
We have an early start this morning – we’re heading to Venice, our final destination for this trip. To break up the journey we’ll make a stop in Parma and visit the producer of Prosciutto di Parma for lunch.
After checking into our Venice hotel, we’ll be given suggestions for places to eat and explore this evening.
DAY 11 - Venice
Today we have a long (3.5-hours!) but gentle walking tour to explore Venice’s culinary side. We’ll wander through the narrow cobblestone streets at a leisurely pace, stopping to sample local wines and delicacies along the way.
From here, we’ll have a relaxed afternoon before our farewell dinner this evening. We’ll compare notes and pictures at a local restaurant, where our guide will make sure we get a delicious and enjoyable send-off.
DAY 12 - Departure Day
After breakfast, we’ll be picked up from our hotel and driven to the airport for our flight home.
- Ask us about affordable airfares and pre- or post-stay options
- This trip can be adjusted to suit your interests, please ask
Price is per person based on two people sharing a standard room. Other room types: please inquire. Proof of insurance is mandatory; if you need to purchase trip cancellation or health insurance please inquire. For full Booking Conditions, please see thetravelsociety.com/booking-conditions/ Tour is operated by The Travel Society, Inc., 174 Spadina Ave., Suite 404, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C2, Canada; 1 (877) 926 2500; TICO Registration #1280649