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Your journey begins in the Eternal City of Rome where your local guide will take you to the Forum, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and the stunning museums of Vatican City. Ascend the amazing staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante. Then venture to the coastal town of Sorrento where highlights include a guided tour of the fascinating city of Pompeii, buried in 79 AD by a volcanic eruption. Also take a day trip to the Isle of Capri, one of the most picturesque locations in Campania. And enjoy spectacular views along the Amalfi Coast en route to Positano, where you’ll walk the winding lanes and peruse boutiques of renowned local fashions.
Depart north for Venice and en route stop in Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This medieval walled city is the birthplace of St. Francis who founded the Franciscan religious order here in 1208. A walking tour includes the Basilica of St. Francis featuring priceless medieval frescos of the saint. Arrive in Venice, a city of canals, graceful bridges and narrow winding walkways. Take a private launch along the Grand Canal followed by a walking tour of the city's most important monuments: Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark's Square, the Basilica and the imposing Ducal Palace. Visit Giudecca Island to watch the ancient art of glass-blowing at one of the island’s oldest, traditional workshops. Continue with a stop in Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and in Milan for a brief tour.
Enjoy a day excursion to Lake Como followed by an exclusive Be My Guest dinner on an island in Lake Maggiore; share a delicious meal as your local host, Signor Telli, regales you with stories about the region. After stopping in Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower, conclude your adventure with two days in glorious Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your local guide brings the city's rich history to life as you take in the main sights: the Piazza della Signoria, Santa Croce, the Duomo, the Campanile and Baptistery, Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio.
• 12 nights in first-class hotels: 3 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Sorrento, 1 night in Assisi, 2 nights in Venice, 2 nights in Lake Maggiore and 2 nights in Florence
• 18 meals - Daily breakfast and 7 dinners, including a Be My Guest dinner
• On-tour transportation by deluxe motor coach
• Services of a professional Travel Director
• Excursion to Positano and the Amalfi Coast plus sightseeing with unique Insider Experiences
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure days (at specified times, conditions apply)
• All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes
• Travel wallet with your documentation plus complimentary keepsake photo
Day 1 - Arrive in Rome, Italy
Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! Check in to your hotel then spend the rest of the day relaxing or taking a leisurely stroll around the city. Join your companions and your travel director later for a welcome reception. Then enjoy an orientation drive to see St. Peter’s Basilica and other sights - a great introduction to this beautiful city.
Accommodation: Hotel II Cantico - 2 nights
Day 2 - Rome Sightseeing
Your included sightseeing tour with a local guide begins at the Vatican Museums. Engaging Experience: Enjoy a unique experience when you ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante in a part of the Vatican not open to the public. Admire Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and then visit St. Peter’s Basilica to see his famous Pietà.
Your tour continues in ancient Rome. View the Forum and see Circus Maximus, where chariot races were held. Visit the impressive Colosseum. There’s time afterwards to explore the city on your own or simply relax and watch the world go by!
Day 3 - To Pompeii & Sorrento
Depart Rome for Sorrento. En route, visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery near Monte Cassino. Arrive in Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where your local guide tells you all about the devastation caused to the city by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 during your walking tour of the excavations. Arrive later at your hotel in Sorrento where you dine tonight. AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Enjoy spectacular views as we drive along the famous Amalfi Coast en route to the exclusive artists' paradise of Positano. Upon arrival, walk the winding lanes and peruse boutiques of renowned local fashions.
Accommodation: Hotel Johanna Park - 2 nights
Day 4 - Isle of Capri Excursion
After breakfast, witness the art of inlaid woodworking for which Sorrento is famous at a woodworking demonstration. Later, embark on an included excursion by ferry to the Isle of Capri. See the local gardens and other sights during an orientation walk of Capri Town. Then spend time exploring this lovely island on your own. Perhaps consider visiting the villa of the Swedish doctor, Axel Munthe.
Day 5 - Sorrento to Assisi
Today, we travel north to Assisi, a mystical town perched on the slopes of Mount Subasio overlooking the peaceful Umbrian landscape. Under the protection of St. Francis, the city is still enclosed by medieval ramparts. Your local guide takes you on a walking tour which includes a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis, famous for its frescos depicting the life of this much-loved saint. Spend time afterwards exploring on your own and shopping for souvenirs. Dine at your hotel this evening.
Accommodation: Hotel Cenacolo - 1 night
Day 6 - Sorrento to Venice
Today, enjoy the glorious countryside and historic architecture of the Emilia Romagna region. The area is also renowned for its cuisine such as Tortellini, Mortadella and Parmesan cheese, which you could sample during your lunch stop. Arrive later in Venice, known as Queen of the Adriatic and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Accommodation: Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria - 2 nights
Day 7 - Venice Sightseeing
Your cruise by private launch to St. Mark’s Square is magical! View the Bridge of Sighs, the beautiful Doge’s Palace and the Basilica. Engaging Experience: Get an insider look at the Venetian arts at a traditional workshop on Giudecca Island where you will see glass-blowing artisans and other craftsmen in action. Then spend free time seeing the sights of your choice. You might like to see the house of Marco Polo or cruise across the lagoon to the Island of Burano and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch.
Day 8 - To Verona, Milan & Lake Maggiore
This morning travel to Verona, the home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. You’ll have a chance to admire the Roman arena and Juliet’s balcony. Then cross the plains of Lombardy to Milan for a walking tour of this fashionable city with your local guide. See the Gothic Duomo, La Scala Opera house and the famous Galleria. On to the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore where you will dine tonight at your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Simplon - 2 nights
Day 9 - Lake Como Excursion
Today we travel to beautiful Lake Como where you will have free time to explore or simply soak up the gorgeous Alpine scenery. Engaging Experience: This evening, take a private boat to an island on Lake Maggiore for a special Be My Guest dinner experience. Your host will share stories of the history of the island - which used to be a pirate’s hideaway! - followed by a delicious meal.
Day 10 - To Pisa & Florence
Leaving Lake Maggiore, we cross the Plains of Lombardy, the forested Apennine Mountains, past the city of Genoa to Pisa. View the extraordinary Leaning Tower before arriving in Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Tonight, you might like to sample some local Tuscan cuisine.
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Mediterraneo - 2 nights
Day 11 - Florence sightseeing
Today, your local Guide brings this city’s rich history to life during your walking tour. See the Cathedral and Signoria Square and view Ponte Vecchio. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo. Then spend free time exploring or shop for high quality leather and gold.
Day 12 - To Siena & Rome
Today we leave Florence for Rome. En route, stop for a visit to Siena. Set in scenic Tuscan countryside, Siena is a medieval town famous for its exciting Palio horse race. Arrive in Rome and check in to your hotel. This evening, join your travel director and newfound friends for a farewell dinner.
Accommodation: Sheraton Golf Parco de Medici - 1 night
Day 13 - Depart Rome
This morning after breakfast, say arrivederci Roma as your memorable vacation in Italy comes to an end. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Limitations & Restrictions
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Price given based on Jul 23 - Aug 22, 2014 departures; rates for other departure dates may be higher. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
**Restrictions apply to the AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 Member Care. Should you find a valid better rate for the exact same itinerary within 24 hours of booking, AAA will match the lower rate. Ask your AAA Travel Counselor for details.
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