Grand Tour of Italy
|Resort:||Grand Tour of Italy|
Savour every flavour of Italy on our all-encompassing two-week tour, from the cultural highlights of the north to the carefree coasts in the south. Starting in the marshland-turned-masterpiece Venice, well sweep through the lyrical landscapes of the Italian countryside. Stopping in ancient Rome and Sicily, sipping a glass of red overlooking beautiful Siena, seeing the ruins of Pompeii – youll be indulging in the Italian way of life faster than you can say buongiorno.
10 excursions and visits
Day 1 UK – Venice – Bassano del Grappa
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Venice. We transfer to our hotel in Bassano del Grappa.
Day 2 Venice
Well whizz into Venice on a local train, for a guided walk that takes us to the main sights, including the Piazza San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs.
Afterwards, youre free to explore independently. Perhaps take some time to take in the stately arcades that line Piazza San Marco (and indulge in a thick hot chocolate at the famous Caf Florian); float along the Grand Canal on a gondola or get lost in the warren of backstreets and canals and discover the local Venice.
An optional excursion (pre-bookable only) to visit the Doges Palace will take place this afternoon. Youll see its grand faades and ornamentation – all a reflection of the citys 14th-century wealth and power, portrayed with elaborate, Venetian Gothic flair.
Day 3 Bassano del Grappa
On our third day in the area, youre free to explore on your own. Or, theres an optional trip to the old university town of Vicenza, filled with charming 16th-century buildings. Here, youll enjoy a guided tour and entrance to the grappa museum with a tasting.
Day 4 Ferrara – Bologna – Montecatini Terme
Today, we travel into the region of Emilia-Romagna en route to Tuscany. Well visit Ferrara, one of the greatest walled cities in Italy. And well stop by the regional capital Bologna, renowned for its food (though the porticoed red-brick buildings and ancient university are also worth a mention).
Day 5 Pisa – Lucca
Pisa and Lucca are on the itinerary today, as we head off on a full-day excursion. Pisas Miracle Square (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is where youll find the famous Leaning Tower, as well as the shiny white marble cathedral and baptistery.
In the walled medieval town of Lucca, we take a guided walk to Piazza del Mercato. Its also known as Piazza dellAnfiteatro – once upon a time, a Roman amphitheatre stood here (which explains the piazzas oval shape).
Day 6 Florence
A local train whisks us to Florence from our base in Montecatini Terme. Quite simply, Florence is utterly enchanting. From its towering, frescoed buildings, Gothic churches staggering red-tiled Duomo, you are sure to be charmed by this romantic city.
A guided walking tour reveals the citys highlights and includes entrance to the Basilica di Santa Croce, the burial place of some of the most eminent Italians. Brunelleschi and Vasari were involved in the architectural design of the basilica.
The afternoon is free in Florence to make your own discoveries, before returning to the hotel.
Day 7 Siena – Rome
After some time this morning to explore the contrade (districts) of Siena, one of Italys most beautiful medieval cities, we wend our way south towards Rome. Along the way, well quench our thirst with a wine tasting in one of the best grape-growing areas of Tuscany. Well arrive into Rome late afternoon.
Day 8 Rome
Known as the Eternal City, Romes ancient capital will take us back some 3,000 years with icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon dotted among the hustle and bustle of modern life. Our introduction to Rome includes a guided walk, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and entrance to the Colosseum.
Day 9 Rome
Spend this morning exploring on your own – perch on the Spanish Steps and throw a euro or two into the Trevi Fountain. Alternatively, join a morning optional excursion to Tivoli, for entrance to the remarkable Villa dEste. This afternoon well visit the world-renowned Vatican and Sistine Chapel and see iconic artworks, including those of Michelangelo.
Day 10 Caserta
Today we journey to Caserta for a two-night stay. Therell be some free time on arrival to wander – perhaps take lunch in a restaurant or venture to the Royal Palace (Reggia di Caserta).
Day 11 Pompeii – Sorrento
Our tour today takes us to Pompeii. This wealthy town was buried and frozen in time in AD 79, by a massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius. This is undoubtedly Europes most compelling archaeological site. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time in Sorrento, a pretty town on the Gulf of Naples.
Day 12 Giardini Naxos, Sicily
Well make our way south from Naples through Calabria – the toe of Italy – right down to Sicily. Well visit a mozzarella producer for a tasting of this delicious buffalo milk cheese – you may catch a glimpse of some of the buffalo herds as we travel through the countryside. We’ll make a stop in Cosenza and then a short sea crossing from Reggio di Calabria takes us across to Messina on Sicilys north-eastern tip.
Day 13 Giardini Naxos
Relax and spend today at leisure.
Day 14 Giardini Naxos
Spend another day enjoying your surroundings or join a full-day optional excursion to Mount Etna and then Taormina, where therell be a guided walk and entrance to the ancient Greek theatre, in its splendid elevated position with glorious views.
Days 15-16 Acireale – Catania – UK
After free time well depart for the airport, stopping en route in the coastal baroque town of Acireale. Your flight leaves late evening and will arrive into the UK in the early hours of day 16 (subject to schedule changes). Upon arrival in the UK, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.