Italy touring

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ROME: The capital of Roman Empire to which it owes its name, and the center of Christendom since the fall of the Empire, Rome is rich in monuments of its ancient history which justify its renown as the "Eternal City".Tday Rome is no longer the marble city left behind by Augustus and the Emperors, nor is it the opulent court of the Papal era: since 1870, the year in which it was proclaimed capital of Italy.

NAPLES: The beauties and surprises of Naples have been praised by innumerable poets and writers. Even UNESCO's committe fell under her spell, to the extent that in 1995 they included the historic centre of the city in their World Heritage List. The lovely bay, with its horizon bounded by Posillipo, the islands, the Sorrento Peninsula and lofty Vesuvius is one of the most beautiful in the world.

FLORENCE: Florence is without doubt the city where the Italian genius has flourished with the greatest display of brilliance and purity. For three centuries from 13C to the 16C, the city was a cradle of an exceptional artistic and intellectual activity from which evolved the precepts which were to dictate the appearence of Italy at that time and also the aspect of modern civilisation throughout Europe. The main characteristics of this movement, which was later to be known as the Renaissance, were partly a receptivity to the outside world and on the expanding of the known horizons.

VENICE: Venice is a legendary city. She chose the waters of the lagoon for her queen-like existence that has lasted over a thousand years, the same water that has saved her from the clutches of time and yet threatens her very being. She is a city of a multitude of moods and faces: lively and embracing to the inhabitants that fil her street with their chatter; on the verge of painful goodbye fir those who prefer her in the tragical guise of Death in Venice.


Day 1
Arrive Venice Apt, Trf to Htl. Welcome drink and briefing. Dinner in Htl

Day 2
A.m. guided visit of Venice classic ind. lunch.
P.m. Opt Murano - Burano - Torcello.
Eve : Ind. Dinner. Opt Gondola Serenade and dinner
A walking tour of the historical heart of this unique city will begin in the Piazza San Marco. A visit to the Byzantine Basilica of San Marco, built in the 11th century, with rich decoration of marble and mosaics. It is here where generations of artists have spent years of uninterrupted labor to create some of the world's greatest masterpieces.
A scenic cruise by a private motor launch over the blue water of Venetian lagoon brings us to the sleepy fisherman's island of Burano with its picture-postcard multicolored houses. We have the opportunity to see the islanders skillfully creating hand-made laces, embroidery, handkerchiefs, shawls and tablecloths all of which adorn the walls and doorways. Then on to Torcello, where the venetians landed on their flight from Barbarian hordes many centuris ago. We visit the 11th century cathedral, famous for its masaics. Our last visit is to the island of Murano, where the art of glass-blowing has been passed down from father to son for generations.

Day 3
Venice at leisure. Opt FD Vicenza and Verona incl. lunch. Dinner ind.
We transfer by private motor launch to the mainland and drive toVicenza, a proud and noble city in a picturesque setting. This was the home of the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, whose style influenced the architecture of the American White House. We visit Palladio's Olympic Theater. Onto Verona we visit the huge roman arena, rivaling the roman Colosseum in size. We see the famouse balcony at Juliet's house. We walk to the colorful and vibrant open air market "Piazza delle Erbe" with its town hall.

Day 4
Departure for Florence. Morning guided visit of Florence classic. Lunch ind.
P.m. at leisure.
Eve : dinner in Htl
Florence'a must for every visitor to Italy. This unforgettable tour takes us to the heights of Piazzale Michelangelo for a splendid panoramic view of Florence. Our expert guide takes us to the Cathedral, the Baptistery with its famous bronze doors of Paradise, and the house of Dante. We enter the fine arts of academy to see the jewel of the Florentine Renaissance - Michelangelo's statue of David - and more.

Day 5
Florence at leisure. Opt FD Siena + Chianti wine making and tasting incl. lunch. Eve : Opt dinner Florentine steak
This tour is a pleasure-filled threequarter day excursionthrough the world renowned Chianti wine growing area. We arrive at Siena, second only to Florenc for its art in Tuscany region, a medieval town built on three hills between the Arno and Elsa Rivers, birth place of Saint Catherine, patron saint of the city, as well as many famous artist. We will see the huge Cathedral, the Town Hall, world?s oldest bank and many masterpieces of Italian paintingand sculpture. For landscape lovers and nature admirers, this famous unspoiled world renowned growing area provides a wonderful opportunity to simple and gracious hospitality of the local people. The scenery, with its dressed vines and abundance of olive groves is beautiful in all seasons. In the Chianti area we will stop at a private wine cellar belonging to a vintener's family for generations, where the age old tradition are the order of the day.

Day 6
Opt Cinque Terre incl. lunch and dinner
Lying northwest of the Gulf of La Spezia, the Cinque Terre (Five lands) is, even today, an isolated region, best reached by train or boat. This rugged coast is wild but ospitable with its vineyards and fishing villages where the people remain strongly attached to their old customs and traditions. In 1997 Cinque Terre, together with Portovenere and Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto islands, was included in UNESCO?s world heritage list.

Day 7
Departure for Rome. Guided visit of Rome Classic lunch ind. Eve : dinner in Htl
This tour provides an opportunity to see some of the most famous sights that have made Rome unique among the world's cities. Our starting point is Piazza Navona with its 17th cebtury baroque trimmings. We continue to the 1900 years old Pantheon, a pagan temple built by Agrippa in 27 B.C. and redesigned by Emperor Hadrian about 118.

Day 8
Rome at leisure. Opt unbeaten Rome ind. Lunch and free afternoon.
Eve : Opt dinner show
We pass the Castle St. Angelo, Hadrian's tomb, later becoming the residence and fortressof the Popes, and then nearby the dramatic statues of saints and popes at St. Peter's Square, designed by Bernini. The interesting visit of inside St. Peter's Basilica allows us to admire among its many works of art, the Pietà done by Michelangelo when he was only 22 years old.

Day 9
Opt catacombs and Appian way lunch ind. P.m. Opt Tivoli with dinner
Our visit is to the catacombs...the curious maze of underground tunnels hollowed out of the volcanic rock, where the early Christians, persecuted by the Romans, had to pracrice their religious rites and bury their dead in secret. We return along a section of the old Appian Way, one of the firdt ancient Roman military roads that connected Rome to Naples on the west coast and to Brindisi on the Adriatic Coast.
Tivoli is a small town on the lower slopes of the Apennines where the river Anine plunges in a cascades into the Roman plain.
The villas testify to Tivli's importance as a holiday resort from the Roman period through to the Reinassance. We visit the Villa d?Este once the home of Cardinal Ippolito II. Using this villa as a pleasantcountry seat, he spent his years creating unbelievable terrace gardens filled with hundreds of fountains and waterfalls, grottoes and ancient trees. After the visit we have time to browse around the charming town streets and the markets stall.

Day 10
Departure for the Bay of Naples. Guided visit of Caserta Royal Palace and panoramic drive of Naples with lunch. Eve : dinner in Htl
Caserta, the Versailles of the Kingdom of Naples. When the Bourbon King, Charles III ruled the Kingdom of Naples in 1752, he began to built such a grandiose palace of 1200 rooms with its exquisitely decorated Royal apartments, and Empire style antiques, spread over six floors with a beautiful mile-long park. Our visit to Caserta gives us an opportunity to see the glory and graneur of a kingdom and its most exciting historical period, to be awed by its beauty.

Day 11
Opt Pompeii - Sorrento - Amalfi incl. lunch. Dinner ind.
We drive along the panoramic Sorrentine coastline and then the bustling to Pompeii, where we visit the incredibly well preserved ruins of this ancient Roman town, where all life was suddenly stopped in a momentby the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the year 79.
We drive through pretty orange and lemon groves to Sant'Agata sui due Golfi, the charming resort from where we have a splendid panoramic view of the Gulf of Sorrento. From there we start our descend passing some of the most beutiful scenery imaginable. We stop at the Positano Belvedere to admire this famous view of Positano and the celebrated Amalfi drive, one of the most scenic road

Day 12
At leisure. Opt Island of Capri lunch ind Eve : Departure by ferry boat, private
cabins, to Palermo incl. dinner.
We drive to the pier for the short hydrofoil or steamer trip to the Island of Dreams...Capri.
On arrival we are transferred to the Blue Grotto then we start our tour of the island and make our way with the local island minibuses.
Board a ferry ship to Sicily. Dinner aboard and accommodation in twin bedded cabins with bathroom (shower)

Day 13
Guided visit of Palermo /Monreale, lunch and visit of Agrigento.
Eve : in Taormina. Dinner in Htl
Palermo, the capitl and the chief seaport of the Sicily, is built at the head of a wide bay anclosed to the north of Mt. Pellegrino and to the south by Capo Zafferano. It lies on the edge of a wonderfully fertile plain bouded by hills and nicknamed the "Conca d'Oro" (Golden Basin), where lemon and orange groves flourish.
Agrigento, the Greek Akragas, is attractively set on a hillside facing out to sea. The Greek poet Pindar referred to Agrigento as "man's finest town". It include a medieval quarter and the impressive ancient ruins strung out along a ridge below, wrongly called the Valley of the Temples (declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997).

Day 14
A.m. guided visit of Taormina ind. Lunch. P.m. Opt Etna. Eve : ind. Dinner
Tauromenion was founded by a group of survivors from Naxos, destroyed by Dionysius the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse, in 404 BC. Tauromenion was never completely independent, it was ofeten destroyed by the Greeks and the Carthaginians. During the roman age it witnessed important historical events, such as the slaves'revolt in 132 BC. In Byzantine times it was on of the key strongholds gainst the threatning Arabs; in 902 AD a large part of itspopulation was killed by the Arabs led by cruel Ibrahim. The old town centre includes monuments from every epoch:
from the early Greek settlement and Roman age, to the remains of Byzantine and medieval constructions, up to the 18 cent. Baroque and Catalan buildings.

Day 15
Opt FD Siracusa incl. lunch. Eve : farewell dinner in Htl
Syracuse, superbly situated at the head of a beautiful bay, enjoys a very mild climate. It was one of Sicily's, if not Magna Grecia's most prestigious cities and at the height of its splendour rivalled Athens. Syracuse was colonised in the mid-8C by Greeks from Corinth who settled on the Island of Ortygia. It soon fell under the yoke of the tyrants, and it developed and prospered. In the 5C-4C BC the town had 300.000 inhabitants. Captured by Romans during the Second Punic War (212 BC), it was occupied successively by the Barbarians, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans.

Day 16
Departure Trf to Catania Apt.
Including: Deluxe bus transportation, tour leader throughout, 7 dinners, 2 luncheons, 14 nights in four stars Htl BB accommodation, 1 night on cruise to Palermo.
Guided tours of HD Venice, HD Florence, HD Rome, FD Caserta and Naples, FD Palermo/ Monreale/ Agrigento temples, HD Taormina.




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