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September 2017 The Best Of Italy

The Best of Italy with Keri Evans – September 12-25, 2017

italy7Italy holds a romantic fascination for all of us. Excellent food, picturesque scenery, fascinating history, art and a friendly people make Italy a favorite for worldwide travelers.  Come with Italy-expert Keri DiSera Evans and experience an in-depth look at this historic destination.  Keri and her family lived in Italy and she loves sharing her favorite foods and sights of the country.

Included: round-trip airfare from many US cities, all hotel accommodations, sightseeing as outlined in itinerary, meals listed below, ground transportation via deluxe coaches, baggage handling, and excellent English speaking guides.

All travel will take place on a state-of-the-art motor coach, run by family-owned Principato Tours out of Sicily.

Itinerary:

Tuesday September 12 – Overnight flight to Rome, Italy

Wednesday September 13 – After your overnight flight, you will be met at the airport and transported by motor coach to the hotel. After checking in to the hotel and resting for a bit, we will meet in the hotel lobby for an informative introduction and welcome meeting. Enjoy a traditional, lively welcome dinner.

italy3Thursday September 14 – After a buffet breakfast, meet with our local tour guide, Alessia, to experience the highlights of Rome. You will tour the ancient Colosseum and Roman Forum, tour the Vatican museum, stand in awe of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and enter Vatican City to see the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon and evening on your own, free to explore Rome and its exciting shops, famous sites and incredible ristorantes. You are invited to join an optional walking tour of Rome with Alessia. She will introduce us to the city and many major attractions including Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. This tour costs 15 euro per person and lasts about 1 ½-2 hours. If you are tired, you will have the option of returning on the bus to the hotel.

Friday September 15 – After a buffet breakfast board the bus for an exciting visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Be sure to visit the beautiful chapel and baptistery that stand in its shadow, or if you wish, climb the famous tower itself. Next we will head to the charming Montecatini Terme in the Pistoia Provence. It is known for its world-famous thermal baths, large parks and gorgeous gardens. The ancient thermal baths are famous around Europe for their healing properties. Take the funiculare high above the town to Montecatini Alto, a fortified medieval town with amazing views of the Tuscan countryside. Discover the fashionable shops and restaurants downtown. Dine al fresco at a local agriturismo, Fattoria Il Poggio.

Saturday September 16 – After a buffet breakfast, your motor coach will take you to Florence. Alessandra, our local guide, will introduce you to artistic riches of the city that stood at the heart of the Renaissance. See Michelangelo’s David, the church of Santa Maria Novella, including Brunelleschi’s dome and Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise at the Baptistery. Discover the famous piazza’s scattered throughout the city. Join me for a visit to a local gold shop and leather shop (Florence is famous for both). The remainder of the day is yours for free time to explore more of the rich history and art only Florence can offer. The possibilities are endless! Wander across Ponte Vecchio, visit a market, explore the Uffizi Gallery, or one of the many fascinating museums. If you’re a lover of art and/or a shopper, this is the perfect city! Dinner on your own.

italy6Sunday September 17 – After breakfast we will begin our journey to Venice. Relax and enjoy the scenic drive to the “floating city”. Along the way we will stop at Ferrara, an enchanting city on the plains of Romagna. From 1200 to 1600, the Estes family ruled from their imposing palace-cum-fortress, the centerpiece of the city. After the Estes left, the city was neglected, and became a victim to a bombing raid during WWII. Much of this beautiful Renaissance city, adorned with rose-colored brick has been restored. Upon arrival at our final destination, travel the “streets” of Venice on an optional gondola ride – 25 euro per person.

Monday September 18 – After a buffet breakfast, board our private water taxi into Venice where we’ll meet our local guide at Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s square). Learn about the Basilica of San Marco, Doges Palace, and gaze up at the famous clock tower. Wander over the famous Bridge of Sighs, climb the Rialto Bridge and other interesting sights you’ll see only in Venice. Learn the amazing history of this one of a kind city, and get a glimpse of Venetian life. Take a tour of a glass blowing factory. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon exploring Venice and it’s 200+ islands. Board our private water taxi and travel to the charming fishing village of Burano, famous for its lace and vibrant, pastel homes on the island. We will dine at a local ristorante – ai Pescatori.

Tuesday September 19 – After a buffet breakfast, we’re on our way to the famous hill town of Assisi, in Umbria. This charming village is flanked by ruins of a medieval castle on one end and the stunning Basilica of St. Francis on the other. Learn about the beloved St. Francis of Assisi, of whom the current Pope took his name. St. Francis taught anti-materialism, humanism, equality and love. Have your camera with you at all times, you’ll want to capture every moment of your stay in this picturesque “Italian hill town”.

italy2Wednesday September 20 – After breakfast we will board the bus and make a stop in the valley below Assisi to visit the beautiful Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli, which was built in the 16th-century over a tiny chapel where St. Francis founded his order. It is considered one of the most beautiful basilica’s in Italy, and is my personal favorite. Next stop we’ll visit the Etruscan hill town Orvieto – well known for it’s unique, original handcrafted, painted ceramics (shipping is available). This city’s cathedral has Italy’s liveliest façade. Take time to admire this gleaming mass of mosaics, stained glass, and sculpture. If you are feeling adventurous, take a tour of the underground city of Orvieto and it’s 175 ft. deep well. Marvel at the archeological history of the Etruscan, medieval caves. After free time for exploring, shopping and lunch, we will make our way back to the “Eternal City” of Rome.
Opera dinner show at Ristorante Tanagra.

Thursday September 21 – After breakfast we will continue our journey to the beautiful seaside city of Sorrento. We will take a “driving tour” through the city of Naples. This densely populated, port town is the birthplace of Italy’s beloved Sophia Loren and “pizza”. Packed with history, vivacious people, and more scooters than you’ve ever seen…this is a one of a kind city! We will make a stop at cameo factory store in Torre del Greco, where we’ll see a interesting demonstration by one of the local artisans. Enjoy the stunning panoramic views along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Sorrento.

italy5Friday September 22– After a buffet breakfast we take a ferry to beautiful Capri, the vacation hideaway of Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius (as well as many of today’s celebrities). Upon arrival join me on a1½ hour optional boat ride around the isle of Capri. This is a new discovery that my clients have loved! Take in some of the lesser-known grottos that are spectacular and not crowded with tourists. Spend the rest of your day enjoying the sights, shopping, and soaking in the sun on the Isle of Capri and Anacapri. Enjoy an authentic “caprese panini” on the island where it was born. I’ll share my favorite local grocery shop where the panini are made to order, and you can pick up everything for a picnic near the sea. Dinner at a favorite ristorante of the locals in Sorrento, Zi’Ntonio.

Saturday September 23 – Buffet breakfast. The day is yours to spend at your leisure in Sorrento, the “gateway to the Amalfi coast.” Today is yours to do as you wish. Enjoy the culture, sights, scenery, and shopping of this dreamy little town our family calls our “home away from home”.

3:00 pm Optional Amalfi Coast/Positano/La Sorgente Excursion Experience a breathtaking ride in our private mini-buses along the Amalfi Coast to the charming seaside town of Positano, literally built into the cliffs. Wander around this quaint town where you’ll find interesting shops, churches, and a beach. Next we’ll wind our way back to Sorrento for a tour of a working farm, La Sorgente., where they make their own olive oil, limoncello, wine, & mozzarella. We will have a demonstration of how mozzarella is made fresh, and a few lucky people will join in the pizza making demonstration. Afterwards we’ll feast upon delicious cuisines produced at their farm. This excursion is always a highlight for my clients!

Sunday September 24 – After breakfast we head to the incredible city of Pompeii. A local guide will take you through this ancient city preserved in ash after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. It is a fascinating walk back in time. Back to Rome where you will have the evening to spend as you wish, taking in some sights or doing some last minute shopping. Dinner on your own.

Monday September 25 – Departure – airport transfers. BUON VIAGGIO!

 

Meals included with tour: 12 – Breakfast, 8 – Dinner

Optional meals & excursions (reserve and pay while on tour):

– Walking tour of Rome – 10 euro per person
– Gondola ride – 25 euro per person
– Capri private boat ride around the island – 12-15 euro per person
– Artiginale Gelato experience – 20 euro per person
– Limoncello experience – 15 euro per person
– Amalfi Coast /Positano/La Sorgente excursion – 60 euro per person.

 

Your Host: Keri Evans

Keri DiSera Evans (wife of national bestselling author Richard Paul Evans) began her love affair with Italy more than a decade ago when her father took her back to the old country to find their ancestral home. Shortly after her return Keri talked her husband, Richard, into moving to Italy with their 5 children where her passion for Italia inspired another of Richard’s bestselling novels, an Italian love story called The Last Promise. Since that time, Keri has traveled nearly every corner of Italy and considers herself “a displaced Italian”. She studies the language, culture and cooking and continues to help her friends find the best sites, shopping and food in the country.

Keri’s dream is to help others discover the beauty of the Italy, whether it’s in the Chianti wine country, floating the canals of Venice or walking in reverent awe beneath Michelangelo’s masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel. From small hill towns to the bustling streets of Rome, you’ll have an experience you’ll never forget.

With Buon Viaggio Italy, you’ll experience the culture not just as a tourist, but as a part of a remarkable culture of the one country everyone must see at least once in their lifetime.

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Tour with airfare from many US cities – Double Occupancy – $3975 per person (includes tour, air and taxes)

Single Supplement – additional $1050

Credit Card Fee – 3.5% (only applies to final payment – pay by check to avoid it)

Deposit Required for Reservation – $1400 per person

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*Trip cancellation and emergency protection available
*Passports are required
*Full payment due 90 days before departure.
*Cancellation charges: non-refundable after deposit is made
*Cancellation charges: non-refundable after final payment is made
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