The Italians have invented some pretty nifty things—batteries, , the espresso machine, eyeglasses, the piano, and…pizza. That’s right foodies, without Italy, there would be no pizza! Although pizza isn’t the main reason to visit Italy—after all, there are the ancient ruins, amazing works of art, fascinating museums, world-class shopping, and historical landmarks—it certainly makes Italy that much more exciting. And no one brings you Italy like Monograms. In fact, on this 13-day vacation, we’ve arranged your hotel reservations, daily breakfast, sightseeing in each city, transportation between the cities, and transfers to/from the train stations. Plus, a-one-of-a-kind feature is the Monograms Local Host®, an insider who is there throughout your stay to answer questions, offer suggestions, help you navigate the cities, arrange activities, and ensure your vacation runs smoothly. You’ll have a Local Host in each city: Venice, Florence, Rome, & the Taormina Riviera.</BR></BR>Your vacation begins the moment you arrive in romantic Venice. We can pick you up at the airport and seamlessly take you to your selected hotel. Here, your Local Host will greet you with a warm welcome and present you with information to familiarize you with the city and to help you personalize your trip. In fact, your Local Host in each city will greet you upon arrival, help you get settled, and present you with a Destination Guide full of useful information.</BR></BR>In each city, we’ve also arranged for you to have guided sightseeing with a local expert. You’ll hear the inside stories around the must-see attractions, such as St. Mark’s Square and Basilica in Venice, the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Greek–Roman Theater in Taormina. And these are not the only attractions you’ll see. In Venice, you’ll visit Doges’ Palace, a symbol of Venice built in 1340, and the Bridge of Sighs, built in the 1600s and offering prisoners their last view of Venice before their imprisonment. In Florence, we’ll take you on a walking tour through Cathedral Square; sculpture-studded Piazza della Signoria, the center of the city’s political life since the 14th century; and Santa Croce Square. We’ll also take you inside the Academy of Fine Arts to see Michelangelo’s David. In Rome, you’ll visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, where you’ll see Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment and his famous ceiling paintings; St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, built in 313 AD; and the Roman Forum, where you’ll see the ancient city’s oldest structures. In Taormina, you’ll see the Badia Vecchia fortress, dating to the 1300s; the 13th-century gothic cathedral; and more. And never fear…for your inside visits, we’ve included VIP access, which means you get to skip the lines! After all, why waste your time waiting in line like all the other tourists when you can be up close and personal with Italy’s most famous treasures? In Rome alone, that will save you over four hours of time!</BR></BR>In each city, you’ll have a full day to explore on your own. In Venice, you may want to take a gondola ride traveling through Venice’s canals as you are serenaded; enjoy a ghost walking tour; climb to the top of St. Mark’s Bell Tower for fabulous views of Venice; grab a drink at Harry’s Bar, one of Hemingway’s favorite haunts; or browse the shops for the perfect carnival mask. In Florence, you may want to take an excursion to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower; enjoy an excursion to the Chianti countryside, often described as the most beautiful in the world, to see San Gimignano, Italy’s most famous medieval town, and Verrazzano Castle, where you’ll have a wine tasting; or shop for local specialties, such as gold jewelry, pastas, and olive oil. In Rome, perhaps take an excursion to Borghese Gallery and Gardens to see the diverse collection of sculptures and paintings; take one of the many walking tours, including a ghost and mystery tour; shop along the Via Condotti; or sample some typical Roman cuisine, such as pizza alla Ramana (thin crusted, white pizza with olive oil and rosemary). In Taormina, you may want to take an excursion to Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano, to see the sunset; take an excursion to the Valley of the Temples, with some structures dating to the end of the 6th century BC; visit some of the sights used during the filming of The Godfather; or just relax on the tranquil beach. Your Local Host in will have plenty of suggestions and can help arrange the activities you desire.</BR></BR>Plus, your package includes transportation between the cities. You’ll take the high-speed train (first-class) between Venice, Florence, & Rome. We’ll take you from/to your hotels, to/from the train stations and we’ll even make sure you get on the correct train! From Rome to the Taormina Riviera, we’ve included transfers to/from the airports. We’ve also included a glassblowers demonstration in Venice, so you can learn about this important part of Venice’s history. And that’s not all…we’ve even included entrances to Venice’s Marciana Library, one of the oldest Italian libraries built in the 16th century, and the Correr Museum and Archaeological Museums, which offer interesting insight into Venice’s art and history. Between the sightseeing, inside visits, and guides we’ve arranged; the transportation and transfers we’ve included; and the hotels we’ve booked, you just have to sit back and relax. Add the comfort of knowing you’ll have a Local Host in each city to assist you, and it’s a vacation of a lifetime!
Guided sightseeing; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE. ALSO INCLUDED: personal headset for included city sightseeing in Venice, Florence & Rome; entrances to the Marciana Library, and the Correr and Archaeological Museums in Venice.
Buffet breakfast daily
Travel by high-speed train (First class) Venice-Florence-Rome; transfers to/from train stations; by air on selected flights Rome-Taormina Riviera with transfers.