- Board your flight Relax and enjoy your journey to Italy.
Bridge of SighsDoge's PalaceTeatro La FenicePiazza della SignoriaDuomoVatican CityTrevi FountainColosseumForum Romanum
- Meet your Tour Director Arrive in Venice and meet your Tour Director, who will accompany you for the duration of your trip.
Venice guided sightseeing tour
Bubbling up on more than 100 islands in a lagoon off the Adriatic, Venice is an absolutely unique and unquestionably beautiful city. Step into Piazza San Marco, an airy expanse of arches, sunlight, and pigeons. The multi-domed Basilica on one end, completed in 1094 but decorated for centuries afterward, is the final resting place of the apostle St. Mark, Venice’s patron saint. The mosaics beneath the basilica’s outside arches depict the arrival of St. Mark’s body, stolen from Egypt in 828 by Venetian traders. The Venetian Gothic Doge’s Palace stands next door.
Bridge of Sighs View the famous Bridge of Sighs, which was built in the seventeenth century and connects the Old and New Prison. Local legend is that as prisoners walked across the bridge to their execution they would sigh as they got one last glimpse of the outside world.
Doge's Palace visit Visit the Doge's Palace, former residence of the rulers of Venice. We will explore the ornate and grandiose rooms of the palace, including the Grand Council chamber, featuring Tintoretto's Paradise, said to be the world's largest oil painting. We will walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs to the cells where Casanova was once imprisoned.
- Teatro La Fenice guided visit Tour La Fenice, Venice's famed opera house. La Fenice was destroyed by fire twice, or our tour will take us through the new building, which has been remodeled into a 19th Century style. Many of the major bel canto composers had works premiered here, including Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, and Donizetti. Please note the theater can only be visited as certain times due to performances taking place.
- Venice performance Potential venues include (but not limited to): St. Mark's Basilica, the Chiesa di San Pietro di Castello (formerly the seat of the Bishop of Venice,) the Chiesa San Stae or a daytime concert at "Vivaldi Church" - the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pieta (a formal evening concert can be arranged here for additional cost) or an exchange concert with a local school, university or community group.
- Travel to Florence
- Florence guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets Immerse yourself in the charms of old-world Firenze. The birthplace and focal point of the Italian Renaissance, Florence still has the masterpieces to prove it. Brunelleschi’s monumental cuploa (dome) atop the city's renowned Duomo dominates the skyline. Your local licensed guide will take you to Giotto's Bell Tower and the aptly named Gates of Paradise, the bronze east doors of the Baptistery that spurred the burgeoning Renaissance. Don’t overlook the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Chiesa di Santa Croce, or Florence’s amazing leather goods. You can check them out when you visit one of the area’s famed workshops!
- Duomo ascent
- Accademia visit Founded in 1563, the Accademia was the first school in Europe established to teach drawing, painting, and sculpting. Michelangelo's David (the biblical hero who slayed Goliath) is the most famous work on display.
- Florence performance Potential venues include (but not limited to): Istituto Comprensivo Don Lorenzo, Chiesa di Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, the American Cemetery, Chiesa di San Filippo Neri - San Firenze, Santa Maria Del Fiore, Casa Di Riposo Il GignoroChiese Di Santa Maggiore, St. James American Church or an exchange with a local school, university or community group.
- Travel to Rome Known to many as the "Eternal City," Rome is the capital of Italy, with an uninterrupted history spanning 2,500 years. As one of the founding cities of Western civilisation, Rome is filled with incredible historical sites. It is a city with many faces, encompassing medieval, renaissance, and modern styles. To define Rome is an impossible task, but to enjoy Rome is a wondrous experience.
- Vatican City guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets Tour St. Peter’s Basilica with a licensed local guide and whisper headset so you don't miss a word. Outside the church, four rows of columns radiate out like welcoming arms; inside, the church seems enormous enough to embrace the entire world. The dome, partially designed by Michelangelo, rises 452 feet above the ground. Michelangelo’s mark is everywhere here, from the costumes worn by the Swiss Guards to his exquisite “Pietà” sculpture (the only sculpture he ever signed) to the amazing frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. Because he considered himself a sculptor and not a painter, Michelangelo hated working on these paintings, now considered masterpieces.
Rome city walk
Take a walk past Rome's most beautiful and unusual Baroque fountains. At the foot of the Spanish Steps, elegant cafes surround the central fountain. The water pressure here was so low that the artist had to sink the fountain into the ground to get any water going through it, so he went ahead and designed the fountain to look like a sinking ship. There's no shortage of water pressure at the nearby Trevi Fountain, a Baroque extravagance designed by master sculptor Bernini.
Piazza Navona We will spend some time in the Piazza Navona area. Built on the foundations of Domitian's Circus, this magnificent square was designed by Borromini in 17th century. It is full of life and is highlighted by one of Rome's most spectacular fountains, the Four Rivers designed by Bernini. The square is often filled with local artists. The surrounding neighborhood is also one of the best places in Rome to get a tasty tartufo or gelato ice cream.
- Ancient Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets The ultimate symbol of Ancient Rome, the Colosseum still dominates the modern city. Tour the amphitheater with your local licensed guide. Built by the emperor Vespasian in A.D. 72, the structure held almost 50,000 spectators but was so well organised that the entire place could be emptied within 15 minutes. Inside, the spectacles varied from gladiator battles to immense naval contests to wild beast shows, in which thousands of exotic animals like giraffes and ostriches were popped into the stadium through trap doors and left to fight Roman hunters. See the system beneath the floor that operated the trap doors and housed the animals, then continue on to the relative calm of the Forum. Ancient Rome’s commercial, religious and political center, the Forum held markets, temples and the Senate House. Near the Rostra, or speaker’s platform, you can still see game boards scratched into the marble by bored politicians--anyone up for a game of tic tac toe?
- Rome performance Potential venues include (but not limited to): The Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, the gardens of the Vatican, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore or Sant'Agnese in Agone just off the Piazza Navona. Choral groups may wish to perform during a mass, or have a separate concert. Exchange opportunities with local schools, universities or community groups are also an option.
- Return home Bid farewell to Europe and begin your journey home.
- Optional extension: Rome - Naples Travel to Naples via Pompeii.
- Pompeii guided visit Pompeii is a vast archaeological site located in southern Italy’s Campania region. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried in meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Near the coast of the Bay of Naples, the well-preserved site features excavated ruins that visitors can freely explore.
- Teatro di San Carlo guided visit Built in 1737, Teatro San Carlo is the oldest opera house in the world and the historical center of Neapolitan Opera. Rossini was once composer-in-residence here, and Donizetti, Bellini, and Verdi all had works premiered in the stunning shrine to Italian opera. Please note the theater can only be visited as certain times due to performances taking place.
- Naples performance Potential venues include (but not limited to): Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano or the Chiesa di Santa caterina a Chiaia. Subject to final confirmation.
- Return home Bid farewell to Europe and begin your journey home.