Rome, Pompei & Herculaneum
March 21st – March 24th
After departing Jacksonville on March 20th, you will arrive in Rome the following day. After boarding your bus you will be given a guided city tour* en route to the hotel including visits to the Colosseum* and Forum*. Rome the “Eternal City” and capital of Italy, is a magnificent city built on seven hills, and is literally layered with history, one civilization built on top of another. Twenty First century Rome is a breathtaking mixture of ruins and monuments, fantastic fountains, beautiful piazzas and innumerable museums. The following morning you will enjoy a guided visit to the Vatican Museums*, where you will have a chance to view religious relics and treasures accumulated over the centuries. You’ll also get a chance to visit the gorgeous Sistine Chapel, painted by the illustrious Michelangelo, and explore the massive St. Peter’s Basilica. That afternoon, embark on a sojourn with your tour leader to stop at such sights as the Capitoline Museum* Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and more. On March 23rd enjoy an excursion for a unique chance to visit the ruins of Pompei*. Here your guide will point out ancient frescoes, theatres, graffiti, and even take-out restaurants. Before returning to Rome, enjoy a fantastic opportunity to visit the preserved remains of the ancient city of Herculaneum* which also found itself caught in the calamities of the Vesuvius explosion centuries ago.
Florence & Assisi
March 24th – March 26th
Bid farewell to Rome as you travel to Florence with a visit to Assisi en-route. The lovely Umbrian hill town of Assisi is the home of St. Francis and the Basilica di San Francesco*, which dominates Assisi and is one of the greatest Christian shrines. During your scenic drive to Florence, a stop is planned to enjoy a Tuscan Lunch*. After arriving in Florence later that afternoon, you may enjoy exploring area points of interest after checking into your hotel. Birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is sure to thrill with its artistic and cultural treasures. The next morning you will discover the treasures of Florence on your guided tour* of the city. The magnificent Duomo, eclectic Ponte Vecchio and more all await you on Florence’s historic streets. Also included is a visit to the Academia*, where one of Italy’s most impressive Renaissance collections can be found. The jewel of this museum would most certainly be Michelangelo’s “David”, a massive and iconic statue of the Biblical hero. The afternoon will be centered on sightseeing with your tour leader. Choose your own destinations, including possibly the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, Medici Chapel or maybe even the bustling Straw Market.
Venice & Milan
March 26th – March 29th
Venice is the next stop on your Italian expedition. Upon your arrival, embark upon a guided tour* of this amazing floating city. With 118 islands, 160 canals and 400 bridges, this seaside outpost offers all kinds of incredibly unique experiences. Walk through St. Mark’s Square, gaze upon the massive Bell Tower and explore the mysteries of the colorful Doge’s Palace*. The following day is geared towards exploring even more of this enchanting city with your tour leader. Take in the picturesque canals and numerous cathedrals. You will have a chance to enjoy a gondola ride (free to those who submit their application and deposit by the deadline). The next morning you will transfer to Milan and enjoy an afternoon visit to The Last Supper (pending availability) marking the perfect end to your Italian travels. On March 29th board a plane bound for home. With new memories, exciting adventures, and perhaps even a souvenir or two, rest assured that Italy will be waiting for your inevitable return.