THE FOLLOWING IS A REPRESENTATIVE ITINERARY
DAY 1 (Venice)
Arrival in Venice. Benvenuto a tutti! They will all meet at the hotel in the late afternoon. This evening will be free for us to get their bearings, perhaps catch up on their sleep and, of course, explore this magnificent city.
DAY 2 (Venice)
This morning, and every morning of the tour, they will enjoy breakfast in the hotel. Mr. Vincent will take this opportunity to introduce you to the wonders of Venice. Breakfasts may include the reading of a sonnet or a short performance. The first romantic order of business in Venice is a boat ride along the storied Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco (don't leave your camera in the room!). When they have arrived, and while their hearts are still pounding from the sheer beauty of the Piazza, they will be given an informed and congenial guided tour of the basilica of San Marco and the Ducal Palace. Nothing can adequately prepare you for the grandeur of the palace, especially the sight of Jacopo Tintoretto's paintings and the somber silence of the Bridge of Sighs. This afternoon everyone is free to explore the shops around the Piazza, or perhaps take a boat ride to the Lido. In the evening they will meet at the hotel and travel out for their first dinner together.
DAY 3 (Venice)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning they will meet a native Venetian who will show us a personal side of Venice. They will be led first through the Rialto shopping district, then to the studios of world-famous mask makers, Sergio and Massimo Boldrin, who will give us a demonstration and the opportunity to create their own masks. From there their guide will join us for lunch in a local restaurant and then lead us on to the historically shrouded Jewish Ghetto. This day will include performances from Shakespeare's powerful and challenging play "The Merchant of Venice." Their evening will be free.
DAY 4 (Venice/Verona)
Breakfast in hotel. Today they will take the leisurely trip to Verona to visit Juliet's "house" and the gorgeous Roman monuments. Though it is unlikely that the Romeo and Juliet monuments are genuine, the city and its narrow backstreets lend themselves perfectly to Mr. Vincent's performances from this great play. They will lunch together in the historic Piazza Erbe and still have time for shopping before returning to Venice to have their evening free.
DAY 5 (Venice)
Breakfast in hotel. This is their last day in Venice. It will include an unguided visit to the magnificent Museo Correr. their lunch together near Piazza San Marco will include some reminiscing and a discussion of their trip to the "eternal city." This last evening in Venice is free to roam and memorize its splendor.
DAY 6 (To Rome)
Breakfast in hotel. their farewell to Venice may include a short stroll for a souvenir before they board their private, air-conditioned luxury bus for the drive to Rome. This drive south through Italy is breath-taking in itself. they will travel through Tuscany and stop in the famous hill-town of Orvieto for their lunch and a visit to the splendid Cathedral. From Orvieto it is a short distance to Rome. they will arrive in the "cradle of civilization" in the evening and, after checking into the hotel, they will celebrate their arrival with dinner together.
DAY 7 (Rome)
Breakfast in hotel. At breakfast they will learn more about the formal plans for Rome. Your host will give us all the information and resources they will need to spend their first day in Rome on their own. Happy hunting!
DAY 8 (Rome)
Breakfast in hotel. This day, at breakfast, they will discuss Shakespeare's powerful story of Julius Caesar. they will be treated to a guided tour of the Roman Forum and the spectacular Colosseum. Performances from the play are to be expected. Next, they will walk the short distance to visit the church of San Pietro in Vincoli (home of the chains used to imprison St. Peter and the statue of Moses sculpted by Michelangelo) This afternoon is free to relax before they meet for a sumptuous Roman dinner together.
DAY 9 (Rome)
Breakfast in hotel. No visit to Rome is complete without a trip to the Vatican, and this day is dedicated to St. Peter's, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel (the complete renovation of which has just been completed). their lunch together will be sandwiched between St. Peter's and the Museum. Once they have made their way back to the hotel, their heads full of Michelangelo's masterworks, the evening will be free.
DAY 10 (Rome)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning is their chance to gang up and experience the thrill of a Roman Metro ride to Piazza Barberini. they will visit Bernini's Fontana del Tritone, the very interesting church of Santa Maria della Concezione (you won't believe your eyes!), stroll up the Via Veneto, one of the grandest shopping experiences on the planet, then make their way to Rome's most sensational backdrop, the Spanish Steps. The afternoon will be free for all to bid a fond farewell to this great city. This night they meet for their own farewell feast together. Your host will probably be singing by the end of the night. Vino! Alimenti! E canzone!
DAY 11 (Italy / U.S.)
Early rise. Farewell breakfast in hotel. Arrivederci Roma! they will help with arrangements to get everyone to the airport. The flight from Italy arrives home the same evening.