Day 1 – Pisa – Montecatini Terme
Arrival at Pisa airport: meeting with the Italia Highlights representative.
Transfer to the spa town of Montecatini for hotel accommodation for the next four nights. Free time to explore in the afternoon. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 2 – Florence
Today we have a morning visit of the Cradle of Reinassance to see the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo (the fourth largest cathedral in the world) and Piazza della Signoria. Much of the beauty of the city is found indoors, with a fifth of the world’s Renaissance art on display in Florence’s museums, galleries, churches, monasteries and palaces; including the Basilica Santa Croce, burial place of some of Italy’s most celebrated icons including Galileo Galilei, Macchiavelli and Michelangelo, and as many as 1,700 masterpieces in the world-famous Uffizi Gallery. You are free to explore at your own pace in the afternoon, an opportunity to visit the Uffizi or Accademia galleries and the market of San Lorenzo as well as some of the fashion luxury shops of the centre. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 3 – Pisa – Lucca
Today’s excursion by private coach will take you to Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower and then on to walled Lucca, one of the most perfectly preserved medieval towns in Italy to enjoy a guided tour through its narrow lanes and historic palaces. Lunch in a local “Trattoria” is included to sample the local cusine like the traditional spelt soup, tordelli or one of the excellent meat mains. Return to Montecatini Terme for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Siena and San Gimignano
Guided tour of Siena. A guided morning tour of Siena, the famous city of the Palio horse race and historic rival of Florence. One of the jewels of Tuscany with its marvellous square (Il Campo), monuments and churches to include its beautiful Cathedral. Free time for lunch.
Afternoon dedicated to discover San Gimignano, the city of the towers. A mediaeval town remained intact through the centuries, located on a hill, San Gimignano is famous for its numerous towers, the frescoes of its cathedral and its white wine, the “Vernaccia” as well as its saffron production. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 5 – Montecatini Terme – Padua – Venice
Transfer by coach to Venice.
Morning guided tour of Padua. University town (its university is the oldest in Italy after Bologna ) and pilgrimage destination (thanks to St. Anthony of Padua ), Padua has lived its history in the shadow of Venice, yet it is a city of art with the masterpieces of Giotto, who executed an admirable cycle of frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, and Donatello, as well as those of the great local painter, Andrea Mantegna, inventor of foresight. Arrival transfer to your hotel at the Lido. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 6 – Venice
We transfer by private boat to St Mark’s for a guided tour of the square, which is dominated by the magnificent St Mark’s Basilica and the venerable Palazzo Ducale, or Doge’s Palace, an impressive and marvellous building, residence of the Venetian rulers.
You are free to explore Venice at your own pace in the afternoon. Take an enchanting gondola ride on the canals, learning about the city’s history from the informative gondoliers. Possibly the best way to enjoy the captivating charms of Venice is to let yourself get lost in the myriad of winding alleys and twisting lanes that make up the city centre. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 7 – Verona
Morning guided tour of Verona. Known as the city of Romeo and Juliet, Verona has much to offer. Of ancient origins, founded in in the first century bC, the city experienced periods of expansion in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries under the Venetian Republic.
It is a true open-air museum which harmoniously combines monuments from antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Verona has the richest collection of Roman ruins in the North of Italy. It is particularly famous for its Roman amphitheater called Arena, whose shape and use recall the Coliseum in Rome. Its Ponte di Pierta (Stone Bridge) has survived intact until the Second World War (it was completely rebuilt with stones recovered from the river).
The Arena is currently an important lyric theater. Just behind it there is Piazza delle Erbe, a fanstastic and impressive square.
Free time to explore in the afternoon. An opportunity to visit the house of Romeo and Juliet and Juliet’s tomb. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 8 – departure
Transfer to Venice airport