From Rome’s monumental Colosseum to Florence’s architectural masterpieces to medieval hill towns, your Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany tour is filled with special experiences like the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Three nights in the heart of Rome set the stage for viewing landmark sights such as the Roman Forum, ornate architectural masterpieces such as St. Peter’s and preserved ancient hill towns dotting the countryside like Siena, Perugia, Assisi and Orvieto.
Day 1 – Welcome to Rome
Your one-week Rome, Umbria and Tuscany tour begins at the Hotel Majestic Roma. You’ll understand why Rome is called the Eternal City from the first moment you arrive – past and present blend together effortlessly at every view.
Day 2 – Exclusive Vatican Tour
Take a walking tour of Rome, accompanied by a local guide, then spend some free time as you please before a special visit to the Vatican with an after-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums, including the Candelabra Gallery, the Map Gallery, and the Tapestries, as well as the Sistine Chapel. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the treasures of the Vatican without the crowds – where discoveries include the fact that the floor of the Sistine Chapel is almost as amazing as the ceiling! You’ll view Michelangelo’s frescoes of The Last Judgment on the altar, and of course Genesis on the ceiling. There’s a good chance that today will be one of the most memorable days on this Florence, Rome, Umbria and Tuscany tour.
Day 3 – The Eternal City
First up is a view of the Roman Forum, and a tour of the Colosseum, which opened in 80 AD for gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles and other entertainment for the Roman masses. You’ll also view the art and architecture of amazing St. Peter’s Basilica, and visit St. Peter’s Square. The remainder of the day is clear to pursue whatever interests you most in glorious Rome.
Day 4 – Country Life in Umbria
Travel north through Lazio and Umbria to Orvieto, set on a 984-foot plateau overlooking vineyards below; enjoy a guided visit to the town’s 14th-century Duomo, one of Italy’s most renowned Romanesque-Gothic cathedrals, built over a span of 300 years. After time to explore and have lunch on your own in Orvieto, then journey to Perugia, capital of Umbria. Your home for the next two nights is a luxury hotel set atop a hill in the historic center of the city, overlooking the Umbrian valley below and boasting some of the most remarkable views in the region.
Day 5 -Medieval Assisi
Embark on an excursion to hilltop Assisi, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its art and architecture, and renowned as the hometown of St. Francis, the beloved patron saint of animals. A highlight is the Basilica di San Francesco, built by St. Francis’ followers and the saint’s final resting place; a local expert shares insights on the Basilica’s 13th- and 14th-century frescoes during your tour. Take some time to stroll the cobblestone lanes on your own, then attend a wine tasting and lunch at the osteria of a noted local winery before returning to Perugia, a city that has been ruled by the Etruscans and the Romans, and was once under direct control of the Papal State. Enjoy the pleasures of life in Umbria’s capital, famed for its delectable chocolate, on your own this evening!
Day 6 – Siena to Florence
Traverse Tuscany’s lush landscapes to Siena and visit its black-and-white Duomo, one of Italy’s great cathedrals, with scenes inlaid in the marble floors and sculpture by Michelangelo. See the Piazza del Campo – where the famous Palio bareback horse race has been held twice every year for centuries – before continuing on to Florence. Your first stop in the “birthplace of the Renaissance” is the Galleria dell’Accademia, where you’ll feast your eyes on acclaimed works of art including Michelangelo’s marble statue of David. In the evening, a lecture by a local art historian helps you better appreciate the incredible artwork you’ll see throughout the city during your stay, followed by dinner at your hotel – set within a historic 15th-century palace that once housed the Kingdom of Italy’s Parliament.
Day 7 – Florence
Stroll among some of Florence’s architectural landmarks on an orientation walk with a local expert, prior to a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery, the world’s oldest art gallery and one of Europe’s greatest art museums. Gaze in wonder at works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, and many more of Italy’s most illustrious artists. The rest of the day is free in Florence to explore this showpiece city of the Renaissance as you please.
Day 8 – Arrivederci
Your tour ends in Florence, but you could easily extend you vacation with a river or ocean cruise.