Enjoy a hassle free Thanksgiving Holiday that celebrates the best of Italy’s sites, history and amazing food. This journey takes you through the majestic Alps, Lake Garda and Pisa in Italy's north, Venice on the east coast, through Tuscany to Florence and of course Rome and the Vatican! Your visit to Italy would not be complete without a Celebratory Feast at the famous Villa Machiavelli on Thanksgiving. Here we will enjoy four-courses of Tuscan classics, along with live entertainment and unlimited wine! Simply the best of Italy in 6 amazing days!
Following an early morning departure, we head south along the Rhine, through the snowcapped Swiss Alps, reaching Lake Garda by mid-afternoon, where we visit the town of Pesciera. Here you can take in the views from of the lakeside promenade from one of the cafés or local restaurants. For an early dinner, perhaps enjoy a delicious, real Italian Pizza, made in a wood-fired oven. Later in the afternoon, we depart for a short drive to Venice where we check-in to our hotel and spend the night.
After breakfast at our hotel and check-out, we cross the Venetian Lagoon by ferry, to St. Mark’s Square, the historical center of Venice. The guided sightseeing on foot provides an overview of this magnificent city and takes you to St. Marc's Basilica, Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs as well as a visit to a local glass-blowing workshop. You will then have free time where you can explore on your own, and perhaps take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal or find a cozy spot for a hot coffee or bite to eat. We depart Venice to travel further south, past the olive groves, Chianti vineyards and into Rome where we travel directly to our hotel for check-in.
Today we will explore the Eternal City with a grand sightseeing tour that takes you to some of Rome’s famous sites. We begin with the Vatican, where you can view Michelangelo's amazing copula at St Peter's Basilica, followed by stops at the Circus Maximus, the monumental Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and the Pantheon. At Trevi Fountain, throw a coin into the water to make a wish while you enjoy the festive ambiance of Piazza Navona. From here you are free to pick from the many restaurants in the area or perhaps dine together at our favorite family-style Roman trattoria and enjoy some great italian food.
Following breakfast at the hotel, we're off for a full-day excursion to the Bay of Naples and Pompeii, where we first visit Pompeii, which was buried by erupting Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. We will tour the excavations with an expert local guide and learn all about this historic place. Next, we take a short drive along the Peninsula Sorrentina, which is perhaps one of the most scenic roadways in Italy. This will take us to Sorrento, a famed resort on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. There will be free time for you to explore, shop around the quaint historical center and have a quick lunch. Before we leave Sorrento, join us for a visit to a local Limoncello producer to sample some delicious treats and perhaps purchase a few to take with you. For our return trip, you can travel by bus or choose to join us on a cruise, via jet boat, along the scenic coast to Naples where we will see the Anjou Castle at the Port of Naples before heading back to Rome and our hotel.
After breakfast and hotel check out, we head north into Tuscany for a late morning arrival in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the city of Art. Our sightseeing begins with the impressive Cathedral, Piazza Signoria and Santa Croce church which houses the tomb of Michelangelo. The afternoon offers free time for you to explore on your own, shop for Italian fashion, leather, gold jewelry, Tuscan specialties and enjoy a bite to eat before we journey to back to our hotel before and freshen up for an amazing Thanksgiving Celebration. Tonight we will enjoy a spectacular evening of Thanksgiving festivities at the Villa Machiavelli, which boasts over 500 years of rich history, including being the residence of the infamous Niccolo Machiavelli. We will tour the Villa, House Museum and Cellars, which have been beautifully restored to present a warm Tuscan atmosphere with rustic charm, refined cuisine and fine wine. This evening we will discover the secrets of the Borgo with a Thanksgiving Feast of Tuscan delights, live musical entertainment and a never-ending flow of wine!
Following breakfast and hotel check out, we journey east to visit one of Italy’s most famous and iconic buildings, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Built in the 12th century, on the so called Field of Miracles, this bell tower is treasured by Italian’s as an architectural wonder. We then travel back north, passing the impressive quarries of Carrara marble, back through the alpine regions of Switzerland into Germany.
Tour of Villa, House Museum and Cellars, followed by an exquisite four-course Tuscan meal, live musical entertainment, and unlimited wine and water.
Charcuterie featuring Tuscan pecorino cheese, salami and cured meats, accompanied with seasonal Vegetables
Handmade ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and spinach accompanied by truffle cream sauce
Spicey tomato sauce with meat and penne pasta
Regional specialty of herb-marinated, grilled porterhouse steak accompanied by rosemary seasoned oven roasted potatoes
Selection of classical Italian desserts such as Tiramisu (coffee cream cake), Panforte (fruit cake), Torte de la Nona (custard pie)