This 9-day tour of Italy begins in stunning Venice. You’ll then stay in a charming villa in Florence, before visiting Siena, Rome and Pompeii.
- Walking tour of Venice, including Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Cathedral, and the Bell Tower
- Hotel on the Grand Canal
- Visit to Pisa
- Luxury villa in Florence
- Guided tour of Florence, including Michelangelo’s “David,” Santa Croce Church, and the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, and Galileo
- Free day in Florence with excursions available to Cinque Terra
- Tour of Siena and its famous cathedral
- Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon
- Visit to Coliseum and Roman Forum
- Vatican Tour
- Day trip to Pompeii
- Winery visit, including tasting near Naples
We will gather at the St. Louis airport for overnight flight to Venice, Italy (IF)
On arrival in Venice, we will meet our tour director, and a local guide will take us on a walking tour of Venice, including inside visits to the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Cathedral, and the Bell Tower. We will also visit St. Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs (Pont de Vecchio). The rest of the day is at leisure to explore. We can shop in the famous market area around the Rialto Bridge, watch glass-blowing, take a gondola ride, or enjoy a coffee and some people-watching at St. Mark’s Square. We will have a Welcome Meal this evening. (IF/D) Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice
We will head to Florence via Pisa to check out the leaning tower. Here we will stop for lunch and drive to Florence to check into our luxury villa in the afternoon. Enjoy free time to drink wine or just enjoy the beautiful scenery around the villa. We will have dinner together at our villa Art Hotel VILLA AGAPE (B/D)
Today’s day trip is to Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance. On the way into the city, we will stop at Piazza Michelangelo for an amazing view of the city. A local guide will take us on a walking tour of Florence, including a visit to Accademia to see Michelangelo’s incomparable “David.” We will see the beautiful Santa Croce Church with the tombs of many famous residents of Florence including Michelangelo, Dante and Galileo. We will tour the famed Baptistry and the Duomo. Tickets will be available for those who want to climb Brunelleschi’s famous dome. We will have free time in the afternoon (B)
Today is a free day, with options like a cooking class at the villa, including wine-tasting. This will be a great way to engage with the culture and learn new cooking techniques. Other options will include a free day in Florence or a guided tour to Cinque Terre. (B)
We will say goodbye to Florence and travel to Siena. This morning a local guide will take us on a tour of Siena, including the Sunken Piazza del Campo and the Duomo, perhaps the finest Gothic cathedral in Italy. After lunch, travelers will have time to explore Siena and shop. This evening we will drive to Rome where we will check in our hotel and eat dinner as a group This evening we will drive to Rome where we will check in our hotel and eat dinner as a group. (B/D) HOTEL GENOVA
Today we will explore Ancient Rome with our full-day guide, beginning with an inside tour of the Colosseum. We will tour the Forum, and Palatine Hill. In the afternoon we will have a walking tour of Rome, including the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. In the afternoon, we will visit the Vatican City and St. Peter’s Cathedral, home of the Roman Catholic Church and the largest building in Christianity. Also included is a visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, with stunning artwork. (B) HOTEL GENOVA
This morning we will visit to Pompeii. Today’s highlight will be a tour of Ancient Pompeii with an expert local guide. Lunch at a winery that includes a tasting. The rest of the evening is free to explore. (B/L) HOTEL GENOVA
We will return home today with wonderful memories and new friends. (B & I/F)
Day 8: Thursday, June 6, 2024: Rome/Santorini
This morning we will visit to Pompeii. Today’s highlight will be a tour of Ancient Pompeii with an expert local guide and lunch at a winery that includes a tasting. In the afternoon, drive back to the airport for an evening flight to Santorini. We will then check info the El Greco Resort and Spa (B,L)
Day 9: Friday, June 7, 2024: Santorini We will have the morning free to relax by the pool or explore the town. This evening we will visit the village of Oia to see the stunning sunset and relax at a small taverna. El Greco Resort and Spa (B)
Day 10: Saturday, June 8, 2024: Santorini.
Today we will do the famous Catamaran “Red Cruise”. Our first stop is the Hot Springs, then we’ll sail past Aspronisi ancient lighthouse, Akrotiri and Indian Rock. On the Red Beach we’ll have time for swimming and snorkeling. The first stop is the White Beach, where we’ll have barbeque cooked on board the ship. This evening is free, but we will have an option to attend a fun Greek wedding show, complete with appetizers, dancing, and unlimited wine! El Greco Resort and Spa (B/L)
Day 11 : Sunday, June 9: Santorini Optional Winery tour and tasting
Drive through the scenic Santorini countryside and visit 2 different wineries. At each winery, you’ll taste some of Santorini’s finest wines such as Nycteri, Asyrtiko, and Vinsanto. Sample 6 to 8 different varieties of wine throughout the tour. Sip a glass of Vinsanto, a Santorini specialty made from dried grapes, whose sweet taste is renowned throughout Europe. Learn about Santorini’s rich viticulture tradition which dates back to ancient times. In between your winery visits, drives through Santorini’s impressive countryside and admire its scenic villages. Experience the world-famous sunset of Santorini as you sip a glass of wine at a winery perched upon the caldera cliffs. Explore the cellars of each winery and learn about the centuries- old techniques employed by Santorini’s winemakers. The tour starts by picking up from your Hotel. The wine tour begins from the wine museum of Koutsogiannopoulos where you will see the only wine museum in Greece and furthermore they will have a wine tasting of four different local wines. The second stop of the tour is the famous Venetsanos Winery. While you will have the wine tasting you will experience the world famous sunset of Santorini overlooking the Caldera Cliffs.
El Greco Resort and Spa (B)
Day 12: Monday, June 10, 2024 Athens
We will fly to Athens this morning where we will have a city orientation tour and visit the Acropolis and the museum. The rest of the day is free to explore the Plaka.
Divani Palace Athens (B)
Day 13: Tuesday, June 11, 2024: Return to US.
- Land only in shared room
- Transportation in deluxe motor coaches
- Accommodation in 4 and 5 star centrally-located hotels
- All meals specified in itinerary
- Professional tour guide and local step-on guides
- All transfers as a group (additional cost for separate airport transfers)
- All tips and taxes
- Travel insurance
- Additional meals
- Single supplement ($)
- Personal costs such as passports
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Flights will be available from St. Louis, and we will share when they are available for purchase.
Group airfare will be available for purchase when flights become available.