Depart on an unforgettable journey through Italy, visiting some of the country’s most iconic destinations including Venice, Florence, Lucca, Tuscany and Rome. Walk through picturesque villages, explore medieval castles, stroll along winding canals and delve into the Renaissance masterpieces that hold such significance to this romantic and historic region. Be accompanied by National Geographic experts as you immerse yourself in local culture; dining on traditional cuisine and staying in a restored medieval castello.
Marvel at the works of Italian masters during after-hours visits to the Vatican museums and Venice’s Scuola Grande di San Rocco, and tour Florence’s iconic Uffizi Gallery with an art historian.
Explore the Roman Forum and the ruins underneath the Colosseum in the company of a renowned archaeologist.
Stay three nights in the Tuscan countryside at a family-owned and -operated 13th-century castello, and get to know members of the family
Itinerary - 10 Days
1-2 Venice, Italy
Arrive in Venice and transfer by motorboat to our hotel overlooking the Grand Canal. On a guided walk, see Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the Sansovino library, and the Rialto Bridge. Meet a local artisan to learn the science of traditional gondola construction, and access the private collections of Scuola Grande di San Rocco during an after-hours visit.
Venezia Palazzo Barocci (Day 1: D; Day 2: B/L)
Board a train to Florence, and take a walking tour of its historic centre. Stroll the medieval town and Piazza della Signoria, and see the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. Encounter Michelangelo’s “David” at the Accademia, then dine in the home of a Florentine family. The following day, journey to Pisa and Lucca and bike along the ancient city walls, or join an art historian at the famed Uffizi Gallery.
Gallery Hotel Art (Day 3: B/L/D; Day 4: B)
5-7 Tuscan Countryside/Siena
Travel into the Chianti region and stop at the renowned Badia a Coltibuono winery for lunch and a tasting, then head to the medieval hamlet of Gargonza. Settle into the 13th-century castello of the Guicciardini family, and opt to join the chef for a cooking lesson. Soak up the medieval flavour of Siena on a walking tour, and hike the scenic landscapes near Gargonza.
Castello di Gargonza (Days 5 and 7: B/L/D Daily; Day 6: B/D)
8-9 Rome/Vatican City
Continue to Rome. Venture into the Colosseum, stroll the Roman Forum, and enjoy a specially arranged visit inside the Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Miranda. Here, meet archaeologist Dr. Valerie Higgins, an expert in Roman archaeology who recently appeared in the popular National Geographic documentary series The Story of God. The next day, take in the grandeur of Vatican City with an early morning visit to its museums and the Sistine Chapel before they open to the public, then visit St. Peter’s Square and its basilica. Take a walking tour that includes the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. Toast our Italian sojourn at a farewell dinner. (Day 8: B/L Day 9: B/D)
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)
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