01 – THURSDAY VENICE – SIRMIONE (Lake Garda) – LAKE COMO – MILAN Meet tour leader at Tronchetto in Venice at 8:00am (you can contact the tour leader the day before departure for extra information) and depart for SIRMIONE known as the Pearl of Garda Lake, “the gem of all the peninsulas”, as the poet Catullus wrote. The visit to the village starts with the spectacular Scala Castle dating back to medieval times. It was built at the end of the 13th century by the Lords of Verona. Wandering along narrow medieval streets one reaches the Parish Church of S. Maria which houses many images and paintings to be admired, together with different altars and precious 18th century works of marble. Slightly uphill, one reaches the S. Salvatore Church, which dates back to the 8th century. Optional boat tour to admire the park of the prestigious and luxurious 5 star Hotel Villa Cortine and the nearby Villa of Maria Callas, from here you will reach the entrance to the Grotte di Catullo. It is the most important archaeological area in the entire region of Lombardy, with imposing remains of what was once a luxurious Roman Villa on the edge of Lake Garda. In the afternoon, proceed to COMO LAKE where your tour leader will walk you around all the historic highlights. As we stroll through the ancient streets in the heart of the town, surrounded by Roman walls, we can admire beautiful Romanesque and Baroque churches, Piazza Volta and Piazza Duomo, with its charming old Town Hall building, called Broletto, with its characteristic bell tower and the superb 600-year old Cathedral. Depart to MILAN where you can enjoy a panoramic tour to see: Sforzesco Castle, the medieval Piazza Mercanti and Piazza della Scala, admire the marble façade of Milan Cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Your tour ends in the historic Piazza del Duomo. In the evening check in at hotel, dinner and overnight at the hotel in Milan
Meals: B D
02 – FRIDAY MILAN – LA SPEZIA – PORTOVENERE – VERNAZZA – MONTEROSSO – LUCCA Breakfast in the hotel and check out. Depart to LA SPEZIA to embark on an unforgettable day dedicated to the discovery of one of the most amazing and enchanting landscapes in the World: “CINQUE TERRE”. We will reach the first village of PORTOVENERE, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its picturesque harbor is lined with brightly colored houses, while narrow medieval streets, lined with shops, lead up the hill from the ancient city gate to the castle. By boat you reach VERNAZZA, a characteristic small fishing village, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The village is surrounded by steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce amongst the finest olive oil in the country. The last stop will be in MONTEROSSO, the largest of the five coastal villages. Its amazing beaches, beautiful reefs and the sea’s crystal clear waters, make this small village one of the most convivial of the Ligurian Riviera. In the late afternoon return to La Spezia by train and take the coach to LUCCA. With your tour leader, stroll through the cobblestone streets and bustling piazzas, to the old Renaissance walls. Trace the city’s Roman past along Via San Paolino and Piazza San Michele and see the birthplace of local composer Giacomo Puccini. Admire the medieval buildings along Via Fillungo, peek inside San Frediano church and visit landmarks such as the Cathedral of San Martino, Piazza Anfiteatro and Torre delle Ore. At the end of the walk transfer to your hotel for check in. Dinner and overnight in Lucca .
Meals: B D
03 – SATURDAY LUCCA – PISA – MONTEPULCIANO – ROMA Breakfast in the hotel and check out. Depart to PISA for a walk with your tour leader to the heart of the city. Admire the Cathedral Square with the Duomo di Pisa, Campo Santo, Pisa Baptistry, and, of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take time for lunch and shopping and in the afternoon depart to cross VAL D’ORCIA, the area famous for its superb wine production and for its amazing landscape, symbolic of the Tuscan region. Enjoy a stop in the most iconic town in the area, MONTEPULCIANO. Surrounded by the ancient city wall, Montepulciano is a symbol of the power and wealth of the noble families from the 14th to 16th centuries. Be enchanted by the beauty of Piazza Grande, with the magnificent Duomo and Palazzo Tarugi; continue on to see the Fortezza and the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, one of the finest examples of Renaissance art. Montepulciano is well known for the production of its fabulous red wine. The “Nobile di Montepulciano” is one of the most lauded Italian wines in Italy and abroad. Montepulciano has a distinct peculiarity, in that you can find several historic cantinas right within the city walls, which have been dug out underneath the prestigious palazzos. Take time to taste local wines and buy some souvenirs. Proceed to Rome where you will arrive around 7.30pm. End of our services.
1 night’s accommodation in 4* hotel in Milan.
1 night’s accommodation in a 4* hotel in Lucca
2 American buffet breakfasts.
2 dinners (drinks NOT included)
Boat and train ticket in Parco delle Cinque Terre.
Ground transportation by deluxe coach with air conditioning
Multilingual escorted tour (English / French or English / Spanish).
Only one bag per person allowed (any size) plus one piece of hand luggage
city tax is not included and is to be paid directly at the hotels
drop off to hotel in Rome at the end of the tour.