Italy: Family Style 10D/9N

| Italy | | Vatican City |
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Summary

Travel with your private party on this luxury tailor made journey, departing when you choose and with expert local guides leading the way; you can even customize the itinerary to your interests.

On a privately guided journey designed to inspire all ages, experience Italy's history come to life on treasure hunts through the Vatican and the streets of Rome, learn ancient combat skills at Gladiator School, discover the legends behind the famed Palio race in Siena, visit Galileo's museum in Florence, and make your own Venetian mask at a workshop in Venice.


TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

- Explore the splendors of Rome, Florence and Venice on an inspiring, family-friendly adventure

- Set out on treasure hunts in the Vatican and through the streets of Rome

- Attend Gladiator School, where you learn ancient combat skills and compete in a tournament

- Discover the history of the Palio in Siena, immersed in the traditions and symbols of this legendary horse race

- Go behind the scenes at a top gelateria in Florence, and sample the gelato

- Ride by high-speed rail from Florence to Venice

- Visit a workshop in Venice where you design your own Venetian mask to take home

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2

Arrive in Rome, capital of Italy, where you are met, transferred to your hotel and assisted with check-in. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

ACCOMMODATION: Gran Meliá Rome
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 2 - 3

Join your expert guide for a morning of exploration by private vehicle through the narrow streets and wide-open piazzas of central Rome. Listen as your guide tells the stories behind the fountains and monuments you pass, creating a treasure hunt for symbols and animals among Rome's famous marble sculptures. In the stunning oval-shaped Piazza Navona, see the still-visible outline of the Roman athletics track that once stood in its place and view Bernini's famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers).

Stop for a stroll to the nearby Pantheon, Rome’s best-preserved ancient monument. Walk narrow cobblestone streets, past the ministries of the Italian Government, across the Via del Corso, to the world famous Trevi Fountain, where you may wish to toss a coin, to ensure, so it’s said, you return to Rome one day. Finish your morning at the elegant Piazza di Spagna, with the Spanish Steps rising to the Trinita dei Monti. Climb to the top (or choose the elevator) for stunning views over the hills of Rome.

After time for lunch at leisure, continue to the Vatican, where you set out on a visual, all-ages treasure hunt through the magnificent collections of art, maps and sculptures kept in the museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Vatican City, the smallest sovereign state in the world, is one of the biggest highlights of any visit to Rome. Home to the Pope, and perhaps most famous for Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the walled city-state also encompasses the circular, columned grandeur of St. Peter’s Square; glorious St. Peter’s Basilica; and a complex of museums filled with centuries worth of fine art, sculpture and manuscripts.

ACCOMMODATION: Gran Meliá Rome
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 3 - 4

Begin today at Rome’s most famous landmark, the Colosseum. Built in AD 72, the great amphitheater hosted gladiatorial combat and other spectacles that entertained some 50,000 spectators. Continue to the Roman Forum, a patchwork of ruined temples set amid the remains of churches and archways.

Then, visit Palatine Hill, site of the mythical founding of Rome and see the Farnese Gardens. This afternoon, it’s back to school — Gladiator School, that is. Enjoy a two-hour, all-ages session that starts with a brief historical introduction. Then, don a tunic, pick up a rubber sword and take part in a series of exercises that prepare you for a mock tournament, complete with a prize for the winner and a certificate for all participants.

ACCOMMODATION: Gran Meliá Rome
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 4 - 5

Drive to Florence, stopping en route in the Tuscan town of Siena. Enjoy lunch at leisure before you explore this medieval city and learn about its famous Palio, one of the world’s oldest and most famous horse races. Pay an uncommon visit to the contrade — the neighborhoods from which Palio contestants are chosen — taking part in an intriguing scavenger hunt around the city. Receive a map of the city, a scarf from a contrada and a customized wooden coat of arms as you set out to discover the traditions and legends of knights and jockeys. Enjoy breaks from the hunt with tastings of ricciarelli, almond cookies traditional to Siena. Following your time exploring Siena, continue to Florence and check in to your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Savoy
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 5 - 6

This morning, set out on a walking tour of Florence, passing the Piazza della Signoria and visiting the Palazzo Vecchio (City Hall). Next, see the astronomer Galileo’s works at the History of Science Museum, viewing his telescopes, microscopes, clocks and other scientific apparatus. Then, cool down with a behind-the-scenes tour of Florence’s oldest and best gelateria. Briefly learn the heritage of gelato in Florence, before sampling all manner of gelato concoctions, including cocktails. Finish with a ride on the carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica before enjoying the remainder of the day at leisure.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Savoy
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 6 - 7

Journey to Pisa, a city resplendent with historical landmarks, reminders of its glorious past as a maritime republic. Once there, embark on a walking tour with your local guide to view the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. Climb the tower, if you’re so inclined (minimum age 8 years). Visit the inspiring 11th-century Duomo, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture, and the majestic, circular Baptistery — the largest of its kind in Italy. Just like the tower, both the cathedral and the baptistery have a lean (as do other buildings in Pisa), due to the unsteady soil rich in ground water. Return to Florence and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Savoy
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 7 - 8

Stroll the city, admiring its lovely piazzas, churches and palaces. See the Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), as well as the Galleria dell’Accademia, where you behold Michelangelo’s David. Walk through Florence’s historic Mercato Centrale and enjoy tastings of various Tuscan street foods. After lunch at leisure, zoom by high-speed rail to Venice, where you continue by boat to your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 8 - 9

Visit magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica on a family-oriented walking tour, viewing the four bronze horses on the exterior and admiring the interior filled with luminous mosaics and marble floors. Also visit the Doge’s Palace, and continue on foot through unique local sites, as your private guide explains their history. Arrive at a Venetian mask studio, where you learn how to decorate a genuine Venetian mask. You may choose to make a mask from Carnival, Venetian daily life, the theater (Commedia dell’Arte) or perhaps try your hand at a modern, fantasy mask. Finish with a handmade mask of your own design to wear and take home with you. Tonight enjoy an evening gondola ride on the iconic Grand Canal.

ACCOMMODATION:
San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 9 - 10

Enjoy a day in "La Serenissima" completely at your leisure, free to relax, enjoy the many amenities of your luxurious accommodations or explore the city on your own.

ACCOMMODATION: San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 10 -

After breakfast, transfer to the Venice airport and depart.

End of the trip!

MEALS: Breakfast

- This is a guide itinerary and can be modified to suit. It is subject to availability and price at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply -

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