Midnight waters, strewn with stars. Bustling bazaars that yield the occasional treasure. Placid lakes, edged with century-old pines on towering cliff tops. Architecture that has witnessed the rise and fall of civilisations. Italy has centuries of history and beauty to offer those who seek an atmosphere favourable to romance. From the watchful mystery of Venice’s serene canals to the awe-inspiring loveliness of the Sistine Chapel or the Colosseum, Italy is every lover’s dream destination.
The sheer excess of beauty here can
prove overwhelming to the unsuspecting
visitor. Roman columns soar up beside
medieval basilicas, the tinkling of water
fountains fills the air at Renaissance palaces,
colour and aroma fill the sprawling markets
and cobbled streets. Rome is also one of the
world’s fashion capitals, and its shopping is
amongst the most popular in the world.
Southern Italy’s prettiest seaside
town, Sorrento is both the birthplace of
the poet Tasso and that most piquant of
liqueurs - limoncello. Set on steep white cliffs
overlooking the Bay of Naples, the city offers
glorious sunsets generously infused with the
scent of oranges and lemons from the orchards
that dot the landscape. Legend has it that it was
in Sorrento’s waters that the sirens lured sailors
to their doom. The same magical pull draws
tourists to the city today, with happier results.
The city rises from the
breathtaking landscape of Tuscany like a
living piece of history. Even the simplest street
or building is a work of art, embodying the
classical beauty that defined the
Renaissance. Everywhere you turn you will see
works by Michelangelo, Donatello and other
artists of Italy’s Golden Age. But Florence is
also a city of today - the piazzas are full of
fashionable boutiques and fashionable people;
and cafés are still central to its social life.
It captures the imagination more
powerfully than any other city in Europe.
Its fabled canalled thoroughfares and
gilded palaces possess a beauty unsurpassed
anywhere on earth. Grandiose buildings in
fabulous colours lean at crazy angles over dark
water. In Venice, light and water combine to
create a restless magic. Here, priceless art is
commonplace and the bland is the exception.
Business capital to some, fashion
paradise to the rest. Set in the mid-western
plains of Lombardy, this is the city that dictates
style and fashion to the rest of the world. While
here, immerse yourself in the rich history and
culture that is an inherent part of Milan.
About half an hour from Milan,
you will find paradise. Lake Como is possibly
both the most beautiful and the most peaceful
place in Italy. Several small towns circle the
lake, with a ferry to take tourists around.
A City tour of Rome
Drive past the Quirinal Square and the Presidential Palace towards Piazza Venezia at the heart of the city with its monument to Victor Emanuel II, also called the ‘Vittoriano’. Walk up to Capitol Square, designed by Michelangelo, for a magnificent view over the Roman Forum. End your tour with a visit to the Colosseum.
Capri and Anacapri
The island of Capri has been immortalised in
song and literature over the centuries. Here,
you may choose to visit the villa of local
author Dr. Axel Munthe, or take the chairlift
to the top of Mt. Solaro. Explore Capri Town’s
winding streets, the several pretty cafés at
Piazza Umberto, and the verdant Gardens of
Augustus overlooking the Faraglioni Rocks.
Florence City Tour
Take the coach to Fiesole, a delightful town of Etruscan origin on the hill that dominates Florence and the Arno Valley. Your tour continues to the historic centre for a visit to the Church of Santa Croce. A short walk brings you to the famous Piazza della Signoria, where you can admire the imposing Palazzo Vecchio and the beautiful Loggia dei Lanzi. Visit the Uffizi Gallery to admire the paintings of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Giotto and Masaccio. The Uffizi Gallery is closed on Mondays.
A Wine tasting tour
Tuscany is known for its exquisite wines. Stop over at a vineyard for a day, and wander through the fields, learning about the process of wine making. End your tour at a farm over a snack and a wine tasting.
A Gondola ride in Venice
Escape from the crowds that throng St. Marks’s Square and stroll about La Fenice, Sant’Angelo and Santo Stefano with a guide for company, up to Santa Maria del Giglio gondola station where you will enjoy a gondola ride. These canals travel along the Grand Canal, providing a very special panorama of the historic palaces that line this spectacular waterway.
Murano, Burano and Torcello
Sail past the island of San Giorgio Maggiore
and on towards one of Murano’s glass
factories, to learn how the eponymous
coloured glass is made. Continue to Burano,
famous not only for its lace but also for its
brightly painted fishermen’s houses. After
another short cruise, reach Torcello, the
earliest centre of civilisation in the estuary.
Here, you will halt for half an hour before
returning to St. Mark’s Square.
Step into the third century in an exhilarating 3D journey through imperial Rome. A virtual world is created using motion capture animation, right down to the frescoes on the walls. Stroll along the Roman forum or participate in gladiator fights. Become part of this grand civilisation.
WANDERLUST IN ITALY (9D/8N)
Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Venice.
Make your way through the most romantic country in the world, stopping every once in a while at magnificent structures, dreamy canals and vineyards.
Rome 2 nights
Sorrento 2 nights
Florence 2 nights
Venice 2 nights
Arrive in Rome and check in at your hotel.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the city by
yourselves. Overnight in Rome.
After a delicious breakfast, set off for a tour of
the city, where you will see the Colosseum and Palatine
Hill. Return to your hotel once you've explored the city.
Rise early today. After an early breakfast, travel
to Naples by train. Upon reaching Naples, head to your
hotel in Sorrento. This is where you will be spending the
next two nights.
After an early breakfast, set off to explore Capri
and Anacapri. Later, return to your hotel.
Rise early and board the 8.50 am train to
Florence. From the station, head to your hotel and check
in. The afternoon is reserved for a city tour that will
show you all the sights you can take in before you return
to your hotel for the night.
Today, you may choose to visit the Leaning Tower
of Pisa at the Field of Miracles, or go on a wine tasting
tour in the Tuscan region. Overnight in Florence.
Post breakfast, make your way to Florence train
station to travel to Venice, where you will spend the
afternoon exploring the canals on a romantic gondola
ride. Later, return to your hotel.
After an early breakfast, explore Murano, Burano
and Torcello. You will be returning to Venice at the end
of this tour.
After a buffet breakfast at your hotel, head to
Venice Airport to catch your flight home, or extend your
holiday to Lake Como and Milan.
YOUR CHOICE OF EXTENSIONS
Lake Como, Milan.
Lake Como 2 nights
Milan 1 night
Board the train to Lake Como, one of Italy’s most
peaceful, most beautiful places. Spend the day exploring
on your own. Overnight at Lake Como.
This morning, you may choose to take a twohour
ferry ride to Bellagio by yourselves. This pretty
resort town has played host to several artists and writers
through the ages. Later, return to your hotel. Overnight
at Lake Como.
Board the train to Milan by yourselves, and
check in at your hotel. Later in the afternoon, explore
the area on a city tour. In the evening, stroll through the
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, famous for being the world’s
oldest arcade. Overnight at Milan.
Head to the airport to catch your flight home.