Itinerary: 8 Glorious Days Exploring
Venice, Florence & Rome
Discover the Magic of Venice, the Renaissance of Florence and the Empire of Rome without the stress of planning the trip! We've taken the work out of the equation so you can simply enjoy the destination.
Look here for our other Savvy Affordable Tours of Italy:
Click here www.SavvyByStory.com
Looking for our Deluxe Italy Tours? Click here www.ItalyStory.com
International Flight Day
Day 1: Fly from USA to Venice, Italy
This is your flight date. International Flight not included, however, we can help you book your international flight. Click here for a separate flight quote.
Welcome to Amazing Venice
Day 2: "Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go." Truman Capote
Upon arrival Venice Marco Polo VCE Airport or Train Station, make your way to the hotel on San Marco. The Difference with Savvy ®: Your hotel is on San Marco, not Lido, the Mestre (mainland) or some other island.
Would you like a Meet & Greet arrival transfer? Consider our Venice Meet & Greet with private water taxi transfer to our hotel on San Marco up to 2 guests - inquire for pricing. More than 3 guests? Just inquire for our small supplement.
STAY ON SAN MARCO
Don't settle for a mainland hotel, instead make your way to our hotel located on beautiful San Marco Island. There is time to freshen up before meeting your Savvy Local Host® and fellow travelers for our Orientation Walking Tour of Venice.
INCLUDED VENICE WELCOME DINNER
Ah! Venice! After the walking orientation, our Savvy Local Host® welcomes you to the included welcome dinner.
This evening, enjoy a delicious Venetian Welcome Dinner at one of Venice's wonderful Italian restaurants. You will have a selection from which to choose: an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. You will also be provided with your choice of one glass of house wine or beer or soft drink or bottled water included with your dinner. If you would like additional wine, beer, soft drink, or bottled water, you may purchase additional beverages independently from the Italian restaurant.
Following dinner, we suggest that you enjoy a casual stroll across the lovely St. Mark's Square and absorb the sights and sounds which establish Venice as one of the greatest, most beloved, and most beautiful cities in all of Italy.
ACCOMMODATION: 2 Nights in our Classic Budget hotel in Venice such as Hotel Kette, Hotel al Codega or Similar. Our hotel will be located just minutes away from Piazza San Marco.
Hotel Upgrade Option: Upgrade to our Deluxe Hotels package in Venice with 2 nights at Hotel Saturnia & International. You may also upgrade your entire vacation:
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Deluxe Package Upgrade Option: Upgrade your entire vacation to our Deluxe Hotels Package throughout and enjoy:
• Automatic Upgrade to our 4 and 5-Star Deluxe Hotels
- Venice: Saturnia & International Deluxe Rooms
- Florence: Hotel L'Orologio
- Rome: Grand Hotel de la Minerve
• Automatic upgrade to our Story Way® Dining with Unlimited Premium Beverages and Free-Style Ordering at our premium restaurants with Farm-to-Table Dining
• Premium Train Tickets Venice to Florence to Rome
• Meet & Greet upon arrival Florence with walking transfer
• Meet & Greet upon arrival Rome with vehicle transfer
All included with our Deluxe package upgrade. See Dates & Pricing Tab for details.
Day 3: ROMANTIC VENICE
The romance of Venice is apparent every step of the way, from the fine Venetian hand-blown glass in the traditional style to the romantic gondola ride - meet our local Guide and enjoy our included sightseeing tour of Venice today.
INCLUDED EXCURSION: SIGHTSEEING TOUR WITH LOCAL GUIDE & SMALL GROUP TOUR
You will awaken and enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Following breakfast, you will enjoy your small-group tour of Venice. Most of the major sites of Venice are conveniently located within walking distance of each other. Your morning guided walking tour of Venice with Savvy® is guaranteed to be in a small group, having no more than 25 guests.
THE STORY OF VENICE
Your experience this morning will feature the awe-inspiring St. Mark's Basilica. Meet our expert English-speaking guide and small group and experience fast-track Skip-the-Line access to venues. Our professional guide will point out the details of the church which are important, as well as explain the history behind the 1000-year-old stunning gold mosaics and the precious artifacts which are on display here. Yes, legend tells us even the bones of St. Mark are contained here within St. Mark's Basilica.
Our guide will provide you with an audio headset for your entire morning tour, which will help to ensure that you won't miss anything which is being shared by your professional guide. Having the headset also allows you to take photographs while listening to your outstanding guide's commentary at each site as well.
The Difference with Savvy®'s approach to Italy: We will provide you with special inclusions in each major city, which most other tour operators do not provide their guests. For example, in your tour of St. Mark's Basilica, Savvy® provides their guests with special access to the terrace of St. Mark's Basilica, which will allow you to step out onto a balcony overlooking the vast and picturesque St. Mark's Square. You'll no doubt want to take photographs from the balcony of St. Mark's Basilica, which provides amazing views over St. Mark's Square, the Doge's Palace, and the Venice Lagoon, all from a special balcony which most other visitors to Venice will never visit.
THE STORY CONTINUES
After visiting St. Mark's Basilica and seeing the exterior of the Doge's Palace, as well as the Campanile (Clock Tower), all located at St. Mark's Square, your guide will then lead you on a delightful stroll through a romantic maze of surrounding backstreets to discover the lanes, alleys, canals, and piazzas of the city.
Your outstanding expert guide will not only show you the important sites in Venice, but your guide will also provide you with the incredible background history of what you are viewing as well. In addition, your guide will assure that you will walk through the most-significant streets and alleys of Venice, showing you Venice's lesser-known gems, where the locals carry on life in this amazing Italian city --- all in a small-group which will have no more than 25 guests.
Your guided tour will also include a visit to see Marco Polo's house, where you'll hear all about the sailor who set sail for China and came back with stories of a land no one could comprehend at the time. In addition, you'll learn about how the water supplies and structures keep the city of Venice afloat. Our expert guide will be eager to answer your questions about this beloved Italian city.
You'll enjoy your guided walking tour through Venice, as you'll have the opportunity to cross several of Venice's lovely smaller, less well-known, bridges before reaching the world-famous, picturesque Rialto Bridge which spans the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge is the large white-marble bridge, which is so impressive, but ran far beyond its budget at the time of its construction. When the sunlight dances on its smooth stone and its reflection shines in the water below, you will surely agree that this beautiful bridge was truly worth the cost.
Following your morning guided tour, enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.
This Afternoon: Consider one of our Optional Experiences.
We believe you will enjoy having an independent, free afternoon in Venice to see and explore the sites which are of the greatest interest to you. Your choices of what to see-and-do in Venice are endless!
You may wish to book our wonderful optional experience, which will provide you with greater insight into one of the real treasures which the city Venice has to offer, by booking our Guided tour of the Doge's Palace & the Bridge of Sighs. Just ask us for more information about this outstanding optional experience.
Perhaps you'll want to independently plan a visit this afternoon to view the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of Europe's foremost museums focusing on Modern European and American Art of the first half of the 20th century. The personal collection of masterpieces of Peggy Guggenheim are displayed in this, the former residence of Peggy Guggenheim, located on the Grand Canal in Venice.
You may choose to independently hop on one of the vaporettos, sit back, relax, and cruise through the canals of Venice --- being sure to take special photos of this incredible Italian city --- one of the most beautiful and most photographed cities in all the world.
The afternoon is all yours to experience all that which will provide you the greatest interest and enjoyment!
GONDOLA WITH SERENADE
Savvy®'s Gondola Ride with Serenade (included). Unlike most other low-cost tour operators, Savvy® believes that our guests should not visit Venice without having a gondola ride included in their tour package. We have made arrangements for you to enjoy a truly special and memorable Venetian experience you will always cherish --- an evening Venetian gondola ride, boarding time at either 6:30 pm or 7:30 pm in the center of Venice --- with a maximum of 6 guests onboard. One of the gondoliers in a small flotilla of gondolas will be singing and playing music throughout the 35- to 40-minute gondola ride through the canals of Venice to make sure that your gondola ride is truly extra-special.
You should know that a ride aboard one of the authentic Venetian gondolas is the only way to visit many of the unusual and fascinating corners of Venice, off the beaten track, and where time seems to have stood still centuries ago. For most visitors to Venice, an evening gondola ride accompanied with singing and music is "a dream come true." You'll enjoy leisurely passing such famous Venice landmarks as the Rialto Bridge, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and centuries-old palaces. Your gondola ride will include the Grand Canal as well. Yes, you'll always remember and cherish your delightful evening gondola ride in Venice, the city of canals. Once again, we believe that Savvy® proves that it provides more value and more included tours, activities, and experiences in our tour packages than any tour operator providing low-cost tours in the travel industry. (Space is limited on the EVENING gondola ride, so this included activity is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If no more space is available for the included evening gondola ride at the time you book, you will still be provided with an included afternoon gondola ride. Book your tour package today).
The balance of the day is at leisure to explore.
WHERE TO DINE TONIGHT? Exploring and discovering a new restaurant can be a wonderful experience. Or go with one we recommend for you.
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Day 4: Florence, Italy
This morning you will transfer independently to the Venice Santa Lucia train station, where you will board your 2-hour, 10-minute train journey to Florence, arriving mid-day.
Included in your tour package will be reserved Economy-class advance-purchase seats.
WELCOME TO FLORENCE
You'll arrive at the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence, and your hotel in Florence is conveniently located just a 5 to 10 minute walk from the Florence train station. Should, upon arrival at the Florence train station, you prefer to take a taxi, you may do so by your own arrangement.
After you are checked into your hotel in Florence, leisurely wander and explore the streets, piazzas, alleys, and important sites in the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence, the capital of Tuscany.
SUNSET OVER FLORENCE
May we suggest that you consider an independent walk or taxi ride up to Piazzale Michelangelo, the perfect site to experience one of the most beautiful and spectacular settings anywhere in Europe to capture an unforgettable sunset over Florence. Watch the magic happen, and take plenty of photos as the lights of the city of Florence begin to twinkle across the city, as night approaches.
INCLUDED FLORENCE DINING
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Tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner in Florence and experience Tuscan cuisine and vino at one of our Savvy restaurants.
ACCOMMODATION: 2 Nights, Rosso 23 or similar.
Day 5: Small Group Walking Tour in Florence
This morning we enjoy our expertly-guided walking tour of Florence with special Skip-the-Line access to the Accademia Gallery to visit the legend of Florence: Michelangelo's David.
INCLUDED EXCURSION: SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION TOUR ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING WITH LOCAL EXPERT GUIDE & SMALL GROUP TOUR.
A Special Morning in Florence
Mid-morning you will begin your tour which will show you the important sites in Florence. SAVVY® assures you that your guided walking tour of Florence, just like in Venice, will be a small-group tour, limited to no more than 25 guests, to assure our travelers that you will not feel like you are part of a large herd, but rather a part of an enjoyable small group.
You will awaken and enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel. The major sites of Florence, just like in Venice, are conveniently located within walking distance of each other.
THE STORY OF FLORENCE
Your tour of Florence begins at 9:00 am with a fast-track, Skip-the-Line entrance ticket and access to the Accademia Gallery, where you'll have the wonderful opportunity to stand in awe at Michelangelo's four large unfinished sculptures of the Slaves.
Then it's time to stop and gaze at Michelangelo's 17-foot magnificent white marble masterpiece statue, the David.
Your guide will then continue your walking tour to the astounding Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence's Duomo), from where Brunelleschi's dome dominates the skyline of Florence and never ceases to impress.
You'll be glad once again that you are part of our tour group, which has access to the Skip-the-Line entrance to enter the large, impressive Florence Cathedral.
You will then walk to the nearby architectural wonder of the Baptistery, where you'll have the opportunity to view the incomparable bronze Baptistry Doors by Ghiberti, coined the Gates of Paradise by Michelangelo. Throughout your morning walking tour, you will be provided with interesting insight and information from your professional English-speaking guide about the wonderful city of Florence. You'll learn all about the fascinating history of Florence as you walk towards the heart of the Renaissance Civic and Political Center. You'll have the opportunity to view the ancient statues, glorious fountains, the exterior of the famed Uffizi Gallery, the Piazza degli Uffizi, the Piazza della Signoria, and the Medieval Palazzo Vecchio on your morning tour. Our tour will continue toward the Religious Center, stopping at the Church of Orsanmichele, where you'll admire crafted statues by famed artists such as Donatello, Ghiberti, and Verrocchio.
Also, on our tour you'll have the opportunity to rub the nose of the legendary boar, il Porcellino, to ensure your return to Florence.
You'll visit Piazza della Repubblica, once the Ancient Roman Forum, which is now a popular meeting place for famous writers, artists, and locals. The tour will end about noon at Lungarno, facing the popular, unique, and world-famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge, which stretches across the Arno River.
We thought you would enjoy having time at leisure this afternoon to see-and-do what is of greatest interest to you.
You may inquire about our Optional Experiences in Florence. For example, you you can then select one of two wonderful Half-day Options this afternoon.
You may wish to book our afternoon guided tour to Pisa to view the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Perhaps you might want to choose to book our afternoon guided tour of Florence’s world-renowned Uffizi Gallery, which is one of the largest, oldest, and most outstanding art museums in the world.
You may wish to book one of our Evening and Dinner Options, which you can ask about. You have three wonderful options available this evening: Pizza and Gelato Making; Florence Cooking Course & Dinner; or Dinner and Concert in the Heart of Florence.
The balance of the day is at leisure.
WHERE TO DINE IN FLORENCE TONIGHT? Exploring and discovering a new restaurant can be a wonderful experience. Or go with one we recommend for you.
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Rome: Where All Roads Lead
Day 6: Welcome to Rome
Following breakfast, you will walk from your hotel to the nearby Santa Maria Novella train station where you will board your 95-minute high-speed train journey to Rome.
Included in your tour package will be reserved Economy-class advance-purchase seats. You'll arrive at the Roma Termini train station in Rome, and your hotel in Rome is conveniently located just a 5- to 10-minute walk from the Roma Termini train station, but if upon arrival at the Rome train station you prefer to take a taxi, you may do so by your own arrangement.
Following checking-in at your hotel in Rome in the early afternoon the balance of your day is at leisure to explore the streets of Rome.
WALKING TOUR OF ROME'S HISTORICAL SITES & FOUNTAINS: LET THERE BE GELATO!
Small-Group Guided Tour of Rome's Historical Sites & Fountains (included)
You’ll enjoy our guided tour with English-speaking guide of the important historical architectural sites in Rome: the Piazza Navona, the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. As an added treat on this late afternoon tour, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious, yummy Italian gelato as well --- included at no extra cost to you. The tour will begin at 5:00 pm.
The Savvy® Difference: Unlike most other low-cost tours, SAVVY® includes this essential 2 ½- hour guided walking tour in your tour package. We do not believe that any traveler should miss even a single one of these sites which you will see and visit on this tour, so SAVVY® has included this extra tour in your tour package.
THE STORY OF ROME
Your late afternoon tour of Rome’s most special landmarks and sites includes Piazza Navona, which is the home of the world-famous Fountain of the Four Rivers, created by Bernini. Your guide will point out and share with you the history of several important landmarks in and around Piazza Navona. Your expert guide will then lead you on your walking tour to one of Rome’s most important sites --- the Pantheon --- a structure completed by the Emperor Hadrian and dedicated about 126 A.D. The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman buildings, and it has been in continuous use throughout its history. After almost two thousand years, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The Pantheon is also the burial site of several important, well-known Italians, including the artist Raphael.
Our guide will point out and share with you the history and the significance of this important Roman landmark. Following your visit to the Pantheon, you will visit one of the most beautiful and beloved fountains in all the world --- the Trevi Fountain. It is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome, and one of the most famous fountains in all the world. Restoration of this impressive, spectacularly-beautiful fountain was completed in November, 2015. The restoration included the installation of more than 100 LED lights to provide improved illumination of the fountain at night. Legend states that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain using your right hand over your left shoulder that it will “guarantee" that you will return to Rome in your lifetime. This was the theme of the 1954 classic movie, Three Coins in a Fountain, and the Academy-award winning song by that name is still a cherished favorite of many people. Your final stop on this tour will be the well-known Spanish Steps, which is the widest staircase in all of Europe. The Spanish Steps is a stairway of 135 steps leading from the Piazza di Spagna to the Trinita dei Monti church at the top. These steps became well-known and famous because of the 1953 film, Roman Holiday, which starred Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Following your guided tour, we suggest that you walk to Via Condotti (Condotti Street), which is only one short block from the Spanish Steps, where your guided tour will end.
Via Condotti is the top fashion street in Rome, which has most all of the upscale Italian fashion retail stores and shops --- e.g., Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Bally, Gucci, Christian Dior, Hermes, Bulgari, Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Max Mara, Valentino, Montblanc, and many others.
The balance of the evening is at leisure to explore more of Rome’s incredible sights and treasures.
ACCOMMODATION: 3 Nights, Hotel Marco Polo or similar.
WHERE TO DINE TONIGHT? Exploring and discovering a new restaurant can be a wonderful experience. Or go with one we recommend for you.
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Day 7: Skip-the-Line Ancient Rome Walking Tour
You will awaken and after breakfast meet our expert guide to begin the guided tour of Ancient Rome including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. This experience is guaranteed to be, once again, in a small group, having no more than 25 guests with a professional English-speaking guide included in your tour package.
The Savvy® Difference: Remember that most other low-cost tour operators will have 35 - 55 participants in their tour groups. Go with the finest affordable tour operator in Italy --- SAVVY Affordable Tours®.
ANCIENT ROME SMALL GROUP WALKING TOUR
Experience the wonders of Ancient Rome with your Skip-the-Line entrance tickets on this half-day tour, which covers the most-important ancient historical sites in Rome: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
This included tour of some of Rome's most important historical ancient treasures is a tour you will always remember! Your guided tour of the ancient sites will also be conducted by a professional English-speaking tour guide, who is licensed and expertly-trained-and-qualified to provide you the important information and insight which will make this tour of Ancient Rome truly memorable.
We begin your guided tour with a wonderful panoramic view of the Colosseum atop Colle Oppio ("Opium Hill"). The Colosseum was officially designated as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007. The Colosseum is the most recognizable landmark in all of Rome, and you will be provided with a tour of not only the exterior, but also the highly-sought-after and preferred Skip-the-Line entrance tickets so you can see and experience the interior of this famous, recognizable structure without waiting in a long line (often 2- 3 hours).
Your expert guide will point out all the important facts and history which you should know, provide you some of the interesting tales of gladiators, mock sea-battles, and executions which took place here, as well as answer your questions. A guided tour of the Colosseum with your professional guide will be a tour which you shall never forget.
Next your tour guide will lead you to the Arch of Constantine before we arrive at Palatine Hill, which is the most-famous of the 7 hills of Rome. From here you will have the opportunity to absorb the incredible panorama and take special personal photos of the Roman Forum, as well as Nero's Circus Maximus, where chariot races were held.
Then your guided tour will provide you, once again, with Skip-the-Line ticket entrance tickets to the famous Roman Forum. Your guided tour of the Roman Forum will include a walk along the "Via Sacra" (Sacred Way), which is the most-important path through the Roman Forum. The most-important facts and history of the Roman Forum will be shared with you during your tour of this vast and impressive historical archeological site.
Your tour will include a visit to the Temple where Julius Caesar was cremated. Your morning guided tour of Ancient Rome will end at the end of the Via Sacra near the Senate House.
You are free to stay at the Roman Forum and leisurely explore further.
Most travelers want to have the opportunity to enjoy leisure time this afternoon in Rome, which allows them to see-and-do what is of the greatest interest to them.
You may also inquire about our Optional Experiences in Rome such as Skip-the-Line Small Group Guided Tour of the Catacombs & Crypts.
The Borghese Gallery & Gardens tour, which is the other optional experience we offer in Rome, is not offered on Mondays, as the Borghese Gallery & Gardens is closed on Mondays. If you wish to take our optional tour of the amazing Borghese Gallery and Gardens, you may book that optional experience the following day --- Tuesday afternoon.
You may want to consider booking our optional Rome at Night Illuminated Tour Including Dinner. Inquire with us for details.
The balance of your day is at leisure.
WHERE TO DINE TONIGHT? Exploring and discovering a new restaurant can be a wonderful experience. Or go with one we recommend for you.
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Day at Leisure in Rome
Day 8: Leisurely Explore or Opt for Vatican City.
Enjoy a day at leisure or opt for Savvy®'s Vatican City Experience.
Skip-the-Line Ancient Rome Half-Day Small-Group Guided Tour of Vatican City (Included Admission with this Excursion) Opt for this tour and following breakfast, you will be treated to one of the finest tours of the Vatican, led by our expert guide.
For many travelers, a guided tour of Vatican City is a dream-come-true experience. Did you realize that a visit to Vatican City is actually a visit to another country, separate and distinct from Italy? The Pope serves as the official head of state of this, the smallest country in the world. Geographically, however, the city of Rome and Vatican City are connected and appear to be inseparable. Your visit to Rome would not be complete without providing you a fascinating and comprehensive guided tour of Vatican City, led by a professional Vatican expert guide who will point out the most-significant historical artifacts which are housed here. Our guide will provide you with invaluable insight and information, which will enhance your understanding and appreciation of all that is a part of Vatican City. Please note that, once again, SAVVY® will provide you a small group tour experience with no more than 25 guests on your guided tour of Vatican City.
If you want immediate access to the Vatican Museum, rather than waiting in what is almost always a very long two-to-three-hour queue, then this Skip-the-Line tour of Vatican City with our English-speaking guide is exactly what you want.
With the exclusive access which is provided for your small group tour, you can enter the Vatican Museum with your expert guide at 10:00 am and immediately begin admiring and learning about the world's most extensive private collection of art, sculpture, tapestries, etc. which are housed in the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica.
Yes, the special no-wait access option will allow you to skip-the-line and avoid two to three hours of waiting. To be sure that you hear all the commentary your guide will provide each guest with a personal headset so that no one will miss a thing during this incredible tour. Your English-speaking, Vatican-expert tour guide will personally cater to your needs, answer your questions, and make your visit to Vatican City truly unforgettable.
The Vatican Museums occupies over 2,000 rooms and an incredible nine (9) miles of the most extensive collection of art in the world. Obviously, you will be so grateful that your outstanding guide at the Vatican will escort you to the most-important rooms in the Vatican Museums, so that you see the most-significant works which are on display here. Your guide will include all the following on your guided walking tour: the Pinecone Courtyard, the Hall of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Candelabra.
In addition, you'll visit Raphael's Rooms and marvel at the interconnecting galleries that showcase the true artistic genius of Raphael. One of the highlights of your walking tour will be your included visit to the Sistine Chapel. Here the vast beautiful, brightly-colored frescoes will cause you to stand in awe, along with other visitors, of this world-renowned site. The late 15th-century frescoes depict the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ. If you are like most visitors, you'll enter the Sistine Chapel and truly be awe-struck by the incredible frescoes which were painted on the walls of the Sistine Chapel about 500 years ago. At the beginning of the 16th century, Michelangelo spent four years of his life and painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel --- a masterpiece which is without precedent. Years later (between 1535 A.D. and 1541 A.D.) Michelangelo returned to the Sistine Chapel and spent six years of his life painting The Last Judgment. Yes, you'll have the opportunity to personally gaze upon these world-famous masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel. You should know that the Sistine Chapel is also the special important site in the Vatican where the College of Cardinals elect each successive Pope, whenever the reigning Pope dies or resigns. Your next stop on your full-morning tour will be at the vast and imposing St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church building in all the world --- with the capacity to accommodate 60,000 people. The interior of St.Peter's is lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture, and gilding. Housed and on public display for all to see in St. Peter's Basilica is one of the most famous and beautiful white-marble sculptures to have ever been crafted --- Michelangelo's beloved masterpiece the Pieta, depicting Mary, the Mother of Jesus, holding the body of Jesus as He has been taken down from the cross. The baldachin, or canopy over the Papal Altar, claims to be the largest piece of bronze in the world, and it was designed by Bernini. The sanctuary culminates in a sculptural ensemble, also crafted by Bernini, containing the symbolic Chair of St. Peter. As the tour draws to a close, your guide will escort you outside to admire magnificent St. Peter's Square. From here, you will be able to personally see the balcony from which the Pope delivers his public addresses. You are free to stroll St. Peter's Square on-your-own at the conclusion of this tour.
Enjoy time at leisure. Inquire for our optional experiences in Rome.
SPECIAL INCLUDED FAREWELL DINING
Farewell to Rome Dinner
This evening, Savvy® has made arrangements for you to enjoy a delicious authentic Roman FAREWELL DINNER at one of Rome's wonderful Italian restaurants. You will have a selection from which to choose: an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert --- all included by SAVVY Affordable Tours®. You will also have your choice of one glass of house wine, beer, soft drink, or bottled water with your FAREWELL DINNER. If you would like additional wine, beer, soft drink, or bottled water, you may purchase additional beverages independently from the Italian restaurant.
It has been a wonderful delight for all of the senses as our journey comes to a close. But it doesn't have to just yet: Consider extending to the Sorrento Peninsula and the Enchanted Amalfi Coast!
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Day 9 - Departure Day or extend your stay.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay to visit Sorrento.
## Your Journey Ends: Or does it? Read on below to learn about extending your itinerary to Sorrento. ##
Day 9 - Extend to the Amalfi Coast & Sorrento Peninsula
3 DAYS, 2 NIGHTS TO AMALFI COAST
Extend your trip with two nights in Sorrento, gateway to the Enchanted Amalfi Coast.
Morning: Train Journey from Rome to Naples, where you will be met and driven to the Ruins of Pompeii, followed by an early-afternoon drive to Sorrento (included)
You will enjoy your included breakfast at your hotel in Rome before you walk from your hotel to the Roma Termini train station. (For those guests who prefer, you may transfer to the Roma Termini train station independently at your own expense by taxi.)
TRAIN TO THE COAST
You will board your 80-minute train journey to Naples. Upon arrival at the Naples train station, you will be met by our Italian professional and driven to the Ruins of Pompeii, where you will have the opportunity to visit this famous, historical site and view the Ruins on-your-own, with entrance ticket provided to this popular site. (A guided tour of this site is not included, but you can add a professional English-speaking guided tour of the Ruins of Pompeii if you do so no later than the time you make final payment of your tour package. You may wish to simply take an independent stroll through the Ruins of Pompeii on-your-own, however. You will have a full two hours here at this site.)
Pompeii was destroyed and its inhabitants killed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in the year 79 A.D. The ancient city was “lost” for more than 1,500 years, buried under 13 - 20 feet of ash and pumice. In 1997 the Ruins of Pompeii was designated an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, and holds an intense fascination for travelers from around the world.
Following your independent visit to the Ruins of Pompeii, you will be driven to your hotel in Sorrento, a distance of about 20 miles. Sorrento is a lovely Italian resort town, overlooking the Bay of Naples in southern Italy. Sorrento’s spectacular sea cliffs and lovely hotels attract top celebrities from around the world. Also, the popular and well-known Italian drink, limoncello, is produced in Sorrento.
After you check-in to your hotel in Sorrento, the balance of the afternoon and evening you’ll be free to enjoy and explore independently the sights and ambiance of this beloved Italian resort town. With its cliff-top position overlooking the sparkling sea, the bustling port, and picturesque bays, the panoramic views of the Amalfi Coast and surrounding hills have made Sorrento a favorite resort with visitors since Roman times. You’ll appreciate the opportunity to have an independent free afternoon and evening here to savor the special atmosphere, attractions, and ambiance which make Sorrento so extra-special.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the streets and alleys of Sorrento, and the amazing vistas all around will surely be etched in your memory forever!
ACCOMMODATION: Our Hotel in Sorrento, 2 Nights, II Nido Hotel or similar.
Day 10 - Leisurely Explore the Coast
Enjoy exploring at leisure or opt for this tour: Full-Day Amafli Coast Highway Guided Small-Group Tour with visits to Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in Sorrento, which is included with your tour package. Following breakfast, you will be met and picked up at your hotel about 8:30 am to enjoy what most travelers have stated is “the most beautiful drive in all the world” --- a drive along Italy’s fabled Amalfi Coast Highway. The famed coastline highway offers breathtaking scenery from beginning to end. Your professional driver/guide will drive you to the three most popular and picturesque towns and villages along the world-famous Amalfi Coast Highway.
You’ll likely always remember the real “charm” and “colorful architecture” of each of these three towns you visit on today’s tour. There is even an opportunity to enjoy the beach or a boat trip (at your own expense) on today’s full-day tour. Unlike most other low-cost tours, Savvy Affordable Tours® does not use a large motorcoach seating 50 - 55 travelers on this full-day tour. Instead, you will experience a wonderful small-group tour of the Amalfi Coast Highway, with visits to Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello in an air-conditioned mini-van, which we believe is the “ideal” vehicle for experiencing the spectacular scenery along the breath-taking Amalfi Coast Highway.
What makes this tour really “special” is that you experience the spectacular Amalfi Coast Highway “roundtrip” --- not just one-way --- as most other tours offer. This full-day experience provides our Savvy guests what is, undoubtedly, some of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, spectacular scenery in all the world! Get your camera ready!!! Your first stop today will be the perfect picture-postcard town of Positano --- just a leisurely 35-minute drive from Sorrento. Positano is world-renowned for its spectacular setting and panoramic position and is often referred to as the Jewel of the Amalfi Coast. Positano’s unique tiered cliff-side setting on the Mediterranean Sea, its precariously-perched pastel-colored houses cascading down to the Sea, as well as its church’s gleaming dome have all made Positano a popular favorite with visitors from around the world for many decades. Positano is truly a sight to behold and one you shall always remember! After your visit to Positano, you will continue your drive along the Amalfi Coast Highway and pass the lovely villages of Praiano, Furore, Conca dei Marini.
We then will arrive in the town of Amalfi, where you will enjoy a two-hour visit at this picturesque town. Amalfi is an ideal spot to enjoy lunch overlooking the spectacular-blue Mediterranean vistas (lunch is on your own). Then, you’ll be enthralled as your mini-van ascends the stunningly-beautiful winding road to Ravello, where you’ll enjoy the amazing viewpoint of the Villa Rufolo. Ravello is situated on a more elevated position than the other towns along the Amalfi Coast Highway, so that you have truly exceptional vistas of not only the Sea, but also the lovely villas and gardens along the Amalfi Coast Highway as well. After your visit and time in Ravello, you will have one final opportunity to absorb and savor the beautiful exquisite coastal landscapes on your one-hour return drive along the Amalfi Coast Highway.
Expect to arrive back in Sorrento between 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm.
Or perhaps explore the beautiful Isle of Capri:
Full-Day Tour: Cruise and Guided Tour of Capri from Sorrento.
When you choose this optional excursion you will enjoy a full-day trip to the magical, fascinating isle of Capri. You will walk or transfer independently by taxi to the Sorrento port, where at 8:00 am you will board your jet boat for your trip with Savvy to the fabled and beautiful Mediterranean island of Capri.
You’ll cruise from Sorrento, arriving on the island of Capri in just about 30 minutes. The isle of Capri is well-renowned for its colorful harbors, white-washed streets, lanes, and alleys, chic boutiques, as well as spectacular hilltop views across the Gulf of Naples. The isle of Capri has been and continues today to be a popular resort, visited by tourists from all around the world --- including celebrities, as well as other of the rich-and-famous.
Our expert English-speaking guide will ensure you experience the best of this stunning Mediterranean island. Your outstanding expert guide will share with you information about the important sites on the isle of Capri, as well as provide you with guided walking tours of the two major towns/villages on the island.
In addition, you’ll appreciate having plenty of independent free time throughout the day at different times to enjoy and explore those sites on this island which are of the greatest interest and value to you. The isle of Capri is an impressive, large, limestone and sandstone rock. The sides of the island are amazing, impressive perpendicular cliffs, and the surface of the island is composed of more cliffs. Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius, who ruled the Roman Empire about two-thousand years ago, actually developed this island for their own use as a personal retreat. On the island of Capri is the main town, whose name is Capri, which obviously shares the same name as the island. Historically, Capri has long been a resort --- going all the way back to Roman times. One of the special and unique features of the town of Capri is that, even today, there are no cars allowed in the main part of the town. The other main town on the island, Anacapri (when literally translated, means, “above Capri”), is a small populated village located at a higher elevation than the town of Capri.
Anacapri also provides excellent ambiance and vistas all around. One of special sites you may wish to visit independently on the isle of Capri is Villa San Michele, built around the turn of the 20th Century and located between Capri and Anacapri. From the villa’s gardens, you have awesome panoramic views of the town of Capri and its harbor, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and Mount Vesuvius. San Michele’s gardens are adorned with many relics and works of art dating from ancient Egypt and other periods of classical antiquity. One of the most beloved and unique places you may wish to visit on the isle of Capri is the world-renowned Blue Grotto, a sea cave with sparkling blue water. Sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates a brilliant, beautiful, blue reflection illuminating the cave. The entrance to the Blue Grotto is the cave mouth, which is quite small --- only about six feet wide and about three feet high.
For this reason, entrance into the Blue Grotto can only be achieved when tides are low and the sea is calm, as the Blue Grotto becomes inaccessible at other times, as the three-foot high entrance is impossible to enter. To enter the Blue Grotto, visitors do so on a small four-person rowboat, where they must lie flat as they pass through the narrow entrance. The oarsman then uses a metal chain attached to the cave walls to guide the boat inside the grotto. It is truly a special, memorable experience for those who have the opportunity to experience it (when sea conditions and weather permit). Your included full-day tour visit to the isle of Capri includes your round-trip jet boat cruise from Sorrento to the isle of Capri.
Upon arrival and docking at the port of Capri, you will then transfer to a small minibus (which is the ideal vehicle to provide our guests with the best vistas), along with your English-speaking guide, and you’ll enjoy the vistas on the 20-minute scenic drive all the way up to Anacapri, the picturesque village which is the highest populated community on the island.
Our guide will provide you an informative walking tour which will introduce you to the lovely, quaint village of Anacapri. You then will be provided with independent free time to enjoy and explore this part of the island on-your-own. During this time you may wish to independently visit Villa San Michele, which is one of Capri’s most-popular attractions (at your own expense). You’ll want to enjoy impressive vistas from the lovely gardens at beautiful Villa San Michele if you visit this site.
Following your free time here, you’ll reconvene with your guide and board your minibus for a scenic drive down to the chic town of Capri, which is well-known for its designer shops, elegant hotels, and lanes which wind between traditional white-washed buildings. Here in the town of Capri, your expert guide will provide you a one-hour walking tour to discover some of Capri’s charming “nooks and crannies”.
Following your guided tour of Capri, you’ll then enjoy leisure time to do what is of greatest interest to you in this area.
You may also choose to book a cruise in a small boat around the island (at your own expense) to see up-close at sea level the Faraglioni rock formations and/or the dazzling Blue Grotto. Know that you may view the Faraglioni rock formations out in the azure sea without booking an optional boat ride to see them at sea level. If the weather conditions permit (please understand that, unfortunately, there are “no guarantees” that the Blue Grotto will be open), you may wish to see and experience the famous “Blue Grotto”, which can only be provided by booking an optional row-boat tour to enter and explore this beautiful, unique “sea cave”. About 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm, you will reconvene once again with your guide at the port on the island of Capri, where you’ll board your jet boat for the cruise back to Sorrento, arriving about 4:00 pm. Please Note: Any optional tours, experiences, and/or entrance fees which are not already included in this full-day tour, which you choose to independently book upon arrival on the isle of Capri, would be at your own expense.
Day 11 - Departure Day
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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