top of page

Classical Italy

12 Day Itinerary

Venice ... Padua ... Siena ... Assisi ... Florence ... Rome

Classical Italy

Day One - USA Departure: Today we begin our journey to Europe.  Meals will be served aboard our overnight flight.


Day Two - Venice / Mestre: After connecting in our gateway city, we arrive in Venice and are greeted by our tour manager and coach driver.  We will arrive in Mestre with time to check-in and relax before dinner in our hotel.


Day Three - Venice: This morning we will board a motor launch and travel through the canals to the islands of Venice. Our walking tour will include a visit to one of the glass factories for which the city is so famous, St. Mark’s Basilica and Square and views of the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and Rialto Bridge.  Following time for lunch, the afternoon is free to enjoy people-watching from a cafe in St. Mark’s Square or to shop along the narrow streets and canals filled with bustling activity. In the late afternoon, we have the opportunity to enjoy an optional gondola ride arranged by our tour manager, before we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.  In the evening we return by private boat to the mainland for overnight in Mestre.


Day Four - Mestre / Padua / Florence: This morning we journey first to Padua to visit a city which considers itself to be one of the oldest in Italy – according to local tradition, it was founded by the Trojans.  We will see the beautiful Prato della Valle as we walk to the Basilica of St. Anthony, which houses the Saint’s tomb and relics.  We will celebrate Mass and enjoy a guided visit of the Basilica complex.  Following free time for lunch, we will journey south to Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, for dinner and overnight.


Day Five - Florence: Today we will discover Florence and experience its heritage as we begin our morning walking tour. We will visit the Accademia where we will see Michelangelo’s famous David; the Duomo and Giotto’s Tower; the Baptistry’s Gates of Paradise; the open-air gallery of Signoria Square; and Santa Croce Church where Michelangelo is buried.  The remainder of the day is ours to relax, or better yet, to become better acquainted with this lively city where the artistic heritage of the Renaissance is part of everyday life. Overnight in Florence.


Day Six - Florence (Tuscany Excursion):  No visit to Italy could be complete without experiencing the breathtaking view of its most famous landmark – but the Leaning Tower of Pisa is just one of a quartet of spectacular buildings on Pisa’s ‘Field of Miracles,’ which includes the Cathedral, Baptistery and Cemetery.  Following our visit to Pisa we continue to San Gimignano, the most remarkable of the medieval, Tuscan hill towns, where time seems to have stood still since the Middle Ages.  There will be time to absorb at leisure the unique atmosphere of this walled city, before we return to Florence for our overnight.

Day Seven - Florence / Siena / Assisi: This morning we continue through the rolling hills of Tuscany to picturesque Siena, where we stroll through narrow Gothic streets lined with palaces and patrician mansions, and visit the magnificent Cathedral, as well as the birthplace of St. Catherine of Siena. In the afternoon, we continue to Assisi and its spectacular location in the heart of Umbria.  Before driving up to the hillside town to our hotel, we will enjoy wine-tasting and early supper at one of the local wineries.


Day Eight - Assisi / Rome:  This morning we will explore this hilltop, walled town, which is a monument to the all-embracing spirituality inspired by St. Francis. We will tour the Basilica of St. Clare, the Piazza del Commune, and the Basilica of St. Francis (where Mass is requested at the tomb of St. Francis), after which there will be some free time to absorb the unique atmosphere of this special place.  We will depart Assisi in the afternoon to pause in the valley below the town and visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli with the Porziuncola - the chapel given by the Benedictines to St. Francis and his followers, which became the cradle of the Franciscan Order.  We continue to Rome for dinner and overnight.


Day Nine - Rome (Papal Audience): This morning we will participate in the Papal Audience, which will be requested for our entire group (if the Pope’s schedule permits).  In the early afternoon, those who wish can return to the hotel with our motorcoach.  Those who prefer to explore further on foot can join our tour manager to walk from St. Peter’s Square, across the River Tiber to Piazza Navona and on to the Pantheon.  We are then free to return to the hotel on foot or by taxi for an evening of leisure.


Day Ten - Classical and Christian Rome: Today will begin with a visit to the Basilica of St John in Lateran, the Mother Church of Rome. Later we explore the enduring legacy of the Roman Empire by coach and on foot - we will see the Baths of Caracalla, the Circus Maximus, Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.  The afternoon and evening are free to continue exploring the Eternal City.


Day Eleven - Rome (St. Peter’s Basilica): This morning we will visit the incomparable St. Peter Basilica and Square, where our guide will lead us in an exploration of the majestic space.  The afternoon is free for individual exploration.  Some of us may wish to schedule a visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, while others may wish to spend the time shopping or visiting other sites in Rome.  Late this afternoon we will gather for the final Mass of our tour and enjoy our farewell dinner.


Day Twelve  - Rome / USA: This morning we say ‘Arrivederci’ to Italy and to our tour manager as we begin our journey home. We arrive Chicago this afternoon.

bottom of page