Day 01, Thursday: U.S. to Rome
Overnight flight to Rome, Italy. Celtic Tours World Vacations will be delighted to book your air in conjunction with your tour, or purchase this tour on a land only basis, where your tour would begin on day 02, in Rome.
Day 02, Friday: Rome
Transfer from the airport in Rome to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner is not included.
Day 03, Saturday: Rome
American buffet breakfast at the hotel. In the morning you will enjoy a 3-hour “Discovering Rome”, walking tour (English only). You will be picked up at your hotel at about 9.00 am. The tour will start from Largo Argentina and continue to Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Farnese , Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps. Rest of the day at leisure and overnight. Dinner is not included.
Day 04, Sunday: Rome, Montepulciano, Pienza and Siena
American buffet breakfast. Pickup at 7.30 am at the hotel. Meet your multilingual tour leader and start a delightful trip through the rolling hills of the Chianti Region. Will reach the hilltop town of MONTEPULCIANO, an ancient village rich of medieval and Renaissance buildings, famous for producing one of the oldest wines of Italy, the “Nobile di Montepulciano”. You will stop for a visit to a wine cellar and experience a tasting of wines and local products like ham, cheese, and salami. Proceed to PIENZA, the Renaissance town built under Pope Pius II and also well-known for its pecorino cheese. The tour will proceed to SIENA, where you will enjoy a visit of the old city center. You will be walking along the medieval streets admiring splendid palaces. The sightseeing tour will end in the Piazza del Campo. This is one of the most beautiful squares in the world and site of the famous 600-year-old horse race, called “Il Palio”. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 05, Monday: Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and La Spezia
After breakfast at the hotel, departure to SAN GIMIGNANO, a tiny city that has remained intact through the centuries; situated on a hilltop and famous for its numerous towers, frescoes and other art treasures. You will then proceed to Tavernelle Val di Pesa located within the CHIANTI CLASSICO “Gallo Nero” region, where we will make a stop at the farmhouse La Tancia to enjoy an excellent wine tasting with light lunch. The tour continues onto PISA, where you will have free time for lunch. Early afternoon our expert tour leader will take you for a pleasant walk into the enchanting historical center, Piazza dei Miracoli, with its famous Leaning Tower (exterior visit), The Baptistery (exterior visit) and other beautiful monuments. Proceed to LA SPEZIA. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 06, Tuesday: La Spezia, Portovenere and Cinque Terre
After breakfast, departure by boat for an unforgettable day dedicated to the discovery of one of the most amazing and enchanting landscape in the World. The five villages, “CINQUE TERRE” is an area suspended between sea and land, hanging from sheer cliffs surrounded by hills and vineyards. You will enter into a little piece of heaven. By touring the coast line by boat, you will have the possibility to admire this amazing landscape from the seaside like in a postcard (in the event of rough sea, the visit will be done partly by coach and partly by train). During the tour, the boat will reach Portovenere and the most important villages. You will be able to stop at PORTO VENERE, VERNAZZA, MONTEROSSO and visit them at leisure. PORTOVENERE: Portovenere, on the Gulf of Poets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its picturesque harbor is lined with brightly colored houses, while narrow medieval streets lined with shops lead up the hill from the ancient city gate to the castle. VERNAZZA: The small fishing village Vernazza is probably the most characteristic of the Cinque Terre and is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The village is surrounded by very steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce among the finest olive oil in the country. MONTEROSSO: It is the largest of the five coastal villages. Its amazing beaches, its beautiful reefs and the sea’s crystal clear waters, make this small village one of the most hospitable of the Ligurian Riviera. Board the train from Monterosso and arrive in La Spezia. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 07, Wednesday: La Spezia, Carrara Marble Caves and Rome
After breakfast at the hotel, the tour will take you to CARRARA for a visit of the impressive marble quarries carved deep into the mountain. This is where Michelangelo took the raw material to create his superb masterpieces. By visiting the quarry museum you will admire ancient tools, some sculptures and the quarryman’s house. Continue to MONTECARLO DI LUCCA, a lovely town located on the hills around Lucca. This territory is ideal for the production of top quality wine and extra virgin olive oil. We will stop and visit a farmhouse where the owners will have you taste delicious Tuscan food specialties, from olive oil to cheese, from bread to wine and of course pasta, which you will taste with different wines. Proceed to Rome and arrival in the evening. Overnight.
Day 08, Thursday: Rome
American buffet breakfast at the hotel and transfer at the airport.