Italy: From Rome to Piedmont
Come with us for an adventure from Rome through the most important sites on the road to Piedmont, in Italy's north. We will spend three days exploring Rome, the "Eternal City," its ancient ruins, the Vatican, its Barroque architecture and the picturesque neighborhood of the Trastevere. We'll continue to Siena, one of the most beautiful small cities in Italy with its rich Renaissance traditions. We'll visit Florence and its cathedral and baptistery, and we'll spend a morning in the beautiful small town of San Gimignano before stopping in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and cathedral. We'll continue to the Mediterranean coast for a journey by boat through the "Cinque Terre," five towns constructed on cliffs with views of the sea, before concluding in Piedmont. The end of the excursion coincides with the start of the tour of the Waldensian Valleys, or one may depart directly from Torino for other destinations or return home. Throughout the trip we will stay in tourist or superior-class hotels.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Participants from North America depart for Europe.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Flights arrive from the United States at Rome’s Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) Airport (FCO). Mark will meet flights and escort everyone to Rome’s city center, about 20 miles away. Transportation to the hotel from the Rome train station or airport is included in program cost.
We’ll spend the rest of the day relaxing. You’ll need some time to get your biological clock back on track; Italy is seven hours ahead of U.S. Central Time. You might want to walk to the Castel Sant’Angelo, the fortress one block from the hotel that was originally the mausoleum of the Roman emperor Hadrian, but which served mostly as the fortress protecting the Vatican. Walk across the beautiful bridge that crosses the Tiber River below the fortress walls. Or, walk to the Vatican, roughly six blocks from our hotel. We’ll find dinner this evening close-by at a restaurant, or a “trattoria.”
Friday, June 23, 2017
Breakfast this morning and throughout the tour is buffet style and is self-serve. We'll take public transportation to the Forum and the Colosseum for a four-hour guided tour in English of the ruins of Rome's imperial era. Rest of the day free to explore on your own, or you may join Mark to have lunch in the Trastevere neighborhood on the way back to the hotel.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel. We’ll walk the eight blocks or take taxis to the Vatican Museums for a guided tour in English, which will conclude with a visit to the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica of St. Peter. Rest of the day free.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel. Free day. Those who wish may join us for the service at the Waldensian Church in Piazza Cavour, about six blocks from the hotel. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Piazza Narvona (Narvona Square), the Piazza Spagna (the famous square with the “Spanish steps”), the Roman Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain.
Monday, June 26, 2017
After breakfast at the hotel, our 16-passenger bus will pick us up for the trip north. We’ll arrive in Siena around noon, check into the hotel, and take a half-day guided tour in English of the old part of the city, within the old city walls. The old quarter is hilly, but our hotel is only a few minutes walk from the cathedral and the Piazza del Campo, the main attractions. We’ll have dinner close to the hotel.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Our bus will take us to Florence, about an hour and a half away, for a half-day guided visit in English to the cathedral (the “Duomo”), the baptistery, the “Old Bridge” and the Piazza della Signoria. Return to Siena in the late afternoon.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel. Today we drive through Tuscany and enter Liguria in the late afternoon. In the morning we’ll stop in San Gimignano, one of the famous “hill towns” of Tuscany, to stroll through this beautiful village and go up one of its towers from the thirteenth century. We'll stop in Pisa in the mid-afternoon to see the Leaning Tower, the cathedral and the baptistery. We'll continue north, passing by the marble quarries at Carrara, and arriving at La Spezia, on the Mediterranean coast, where we spend two nights.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
This morning we'll take a train to Levanto, where we embark for the boat trip to Monterosso, the first of the "Cinque Terre” or "Five Lands," five wine-producing villages constructed on the rugged Ligurian coast. From Monterosso we'll stop at two more of the towns, among Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, then return to La Spezia in the late afternoon by boat. Dinner and lodging in La Spezia.
Friday, June 30, 2017
This morning we'll depart La Spezia in our minibus for the trip to Piedmont, in northweat Italy. We'll arrive in Torre Pellice in the late afternoon. Our hotel is situated on a hill overlooking the town. We'll walk into town in the evening for dinner.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel. Mark will accompany those who depart today from the Torino airport (at Caselle) or from Torino's Porta Susa train station. Flights to the United States arrive on the same day. Those who continue with the Waldensian Valleys tour will remain in Torre Pellice.
Fees and payments
Costs for this eight-night program are 2600 U.S. dollars per person for a double-occupancy room, and 3000 U.S. dollars for a single occupancy room. Fee includes eight nights of tourist-class lodging with continental breakfast buffets, all local transportation in Italy as described in the itinerary, museum entrances as detailed, and accompaniment from arrival in Rome to departure from Torino by a multilingual guide. Fee does not include international airfare, lunches or dinners, travel insurance, or tips. The price will be reduced for those continuing on the Waldensian Valleys tour.
A deposit of 500 U.S. dollars is due on March 1, 2017. The balance is due on April 1, 2017. Fees are to be paid by check or interbank wire transfer to River Plate Seminars.