Very few regions of the world evoke the same romantic images as do the Italian Riviera, Tuscany and Florence. Italy is a gift to the senses and a foodie’s dream vacation. On May 18, 2018, join Travac Tours for a 14 day, 12-night holiday to this incredibly beautiful part of Northern Italy renowned for art, culture, and cuisine.
You will start your holiday in The Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre. The Italian Riviera, synonymous with Italy’s Liguria region, is a crescent-shaped strip of Mediterranean coastline spanning between the south of France and Tuscany. It is defined by its rugged cliffs, turquoise coves, pastel seaside towns, colourful fishing villages as well as resort areas such as Portofino.
On to Tuscany to experience all that this province of Italy is world famous for. You’ll see picturesque medieval cities with their signature skylines of bell towers. Each day in Tuscany will offer spectacular rolling landscapes blanketed in grapevines and olive groves. You will enjoy lunch and a chance to sample recent vintages at a local winery after your tour with the vintner. This will surely be a highlight of your trip. Complete your visit of Tuscany with a trip to Pisa, famous for its leaning tower and inspirational cathedral.
From Tuscany, you will travel to Florence. This city was the cradle of the Renaissance and once the most powerful city in Europe. Florence holds world-class art collections that rival any city such as the Uffizi Museum and of course Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. To properly experience Florence our Italian guide will take you on a walking tour through its ancient streets and piazzas.
Travac’s tour to Italy includes round-trip flights from Montreal, ground transportation, 12 nights’ accommodation and day trips throughout your holiday. This holiday is fully escorted by an experienced Travac Tours director whose first priority is your satisfaction.
Depart Ottawa by motorcoach for your overnight flights to Genoa from Montreal. You will be served a dinner and a continental breakfast on board your overnight flights. (D-on aircraft)
Upon arrival in Genoa you will meet your Travac Tours Director in the baggage claim area and then be transferred to your hotel. A welcome dinner is included tonight. Monterosso al Mare is a picturesque town in the province of La Spezia on the Italian Riviera that is part of the region of Liguria. It is one of the five villages in Cinque Terre. The area is known for its natural beauty and unbelievable vistas. (B-on aircraft, D)
This morning you will embark on a full day tour of Monterosso and some of the villages that make up Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera. (B)
Your day is free to rest and enjoy Monterosso. The city has one of the nicest beaches in Cinque Terre. Your tour host will offer some options for your free time. (B)
One of the best ways to see the Italian Riviera is by boat. Long before there were roads it was the only way to travel between the colourful villages that dot the coastline. It is also the best way to appreciate the cascading hills that make their way into the blue waters of the sea. Each village along the way has its own distinctive flavours with brightly painted buildings and tourist promenades that help make the Italian Riviera one of Italy’s favourite playgrounds. It is indeed a highlight of your time in Cinque Terre. (B)
This morning we depart Monterosso for Siena. The drive from Monterosso to Siena is approximately 2 1/2 hours. We will make a stop enroute for lunch. Upon arrival, we will embark on a 2-hour walking tour of Siena with a local guide to experience the history of this medieval city. (B)
After breakfast we’ll embark on a full day tour of Tuscany. Tuscany is renowned for its history and art, its evocative landscape, and, perhaps most notably, its food and drink. Our tour will encompass eastern and central Tuscany. We’ll visit Cortona, with its spectacular hillside views and Montepulciano, known for its Renaissance palazzo. (B)
Today we will explore the wineries and olive groves of Tuscany. You will have a chance to visit one of the region’s noted wineries (more details to follow). Lunch and tasting is included. (B,L)
Once a regional capital that challenged Florence’s power, Siena might be Italy’s prettiest medieval town. Its old alleys and its town square, the Piazza del Campo, possess a unique charm that captivates visitors to this historic town. Take the day to explore the sights of Siena on your own. (B)
After breakfast, we depart Siena for Florence – the drive is approx. 2 hours. Once we arrive in Florence we will have time for lunch. After lunch we will meet our local guide at the hotel for a 2 hour walking tour of Florence. Our tour of Florence will encompass many of the city’s churches, monuments, and squares. Florence first began life as a Roman colony in 59 BC and has been ruled by some of the most notable Italian families. The most famous of these – the Medici family. During this time, Florence was the cultural and intellectual heart of Europe. Artists, architects, and sculptors flocked to the city and their work is still evident in the city’s fabric. (B)
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Today we explore the western region of Tuscany. Our full day tour will highlight the city of Pisa. In its early days Pisa was famous for its powerful Navy, which had trade links to Spain and North Africa. We’ll see the Leaning Tower of Pisa,(admission intoTower not included) one of Italy’s best known icons. Other stops on today’s tour will include Lucca, a Roman town dating back to 180 BC the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini and Leonardo da Vinci. (B)
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Today is free to explore Florence at your leisure. You might also consider walking through the eastern part of the city, which still retains a distinctly old-world Italian atmosphere. You may wish to visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia or The Academy of Fine Arts, where you can see Michelangelo’s David. A must-see is the richly decorated Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore. The church’s dome, built by the famous architect Brunelleschi, was the largest and most impressive such construction of its time. (B)
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Today is another free day in Florence. Enjoy all the museums, shops and cafes Florence has to offer. Your Travac Tours Director can help you with ideas for sightseeing today. Tonight is our farewell dinner. (B, D)
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Today we depart for our return flight to Canada. Details will be provided by your Travac Tours Director.
(B – Lunch onboard aircraft)
Itinerary subject to change.
** Please note that you are required to have a valid Canadian passport with you. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months past your return date. Non-Canadians may require a visa to enter the Italy. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have such a document if required. Any other nationality other than Canadian persons must identify themselves to the booking agent for verification of documents required. IF YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR DEPARTURE POINT WITHOUT PROPER ID YOU WILL BE DENIED BOARDING. **