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Italian Splendour

Solo Travellers 45 years & over
Sunday 13 May – Sunday 3 June 2018

Itinerary

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A relaxing three night stay in Rome, Sorrento, Florence and Lake Maggiore
  • In Rome, visit the superb Vatican Museums and admire Michelangelo's ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
  • A guided tour through the cobble-stoned streets of the ill-fated town of Pompeii.
  • Guided tours of Ravello & Positano, local towns of the Amalfi Coast
  • A day tour to Isle of Capri, off the Amalfi Coast
  • A guided tour of the Commonwealth Cemetery of Montecassino.
  • Time in Assisi, a charming hilltop town of Umbria
  • All lunches and dinners highlight experiences including a glass of wine with your meal, and a dining experience in the Chianti Hills, Florence.
  • A sightseeing tour of Florence including a visit to see Michelangelo's original statue of ‘David'.
  • A Tuscan highlight lunch
  • A superb day discovering the delights of the Cinque Terre (or Five Lands).
  • Two nights staying Venice Mestre; visit Venice and Murano Islands included guided tours
  • A full day of visiting the three magnificent islands of Lake Maggiore
  • Concluding with a city tour in Milan

 

Guided Tours with Headsets
Our travellers are provided with a headset each and a guide narrates using a radio microphone. This eliminates background noise, interruptions from other tour groups and offers a more intimate touring experience.

 

 

PRE TOUR STAY
We encourage travellers to arrive the day prior to the tour commencement, to allow time to adjust to the new time zone. The cost of the additional hotel night of stay applies.

When you book your flight with us on the nominated group flight (see GETTING THERE page for details), and stay at the group hotel, as part of your package, the airport arrival transfer is also included for a pre tour stay Sunday 13 May 2018. 

DAY 1 – SUNDAY 13 MAY 2018
Ex Australia

Depart Australia for your flight to Rome, Italy with nominated group airfare for travellers who have booked the tour and airfare package (see GETTING THERE page for details) with us.

DAY 2 – MONDAY 14 MAY 2018
Rome

Welcome to Rome, Italy, the ‘Eternal City' for a three night stay.

If you have booked the group flight with us, you will be met at the airport and transferred to our group hotel by a private group transfer.

You will have some time at leisure this afternoon before you meet with the group Tour Director for a welcome drink and tour briefing at 5:30PM.   After a long flight the rest of the evening will be at your leisure.

Meals: Welcome Drink 

DAY 3 – TUESDAY 15 MAY 2018
Rome

A relaxed morning at your hotel.

After a relaxing breakfast, mid-morning we head out for a guided walking tour of Rome. You will be escorted by an expert local guide, as you visit Rome's iconic landmarks and places of interest including entrance to The Colosseum and Roman Forum, to explore ancient Rome.

This afternoon you have time at leisure to enjoy your choice of sightseeing, shopping or relaxing in Rome.

We celebrate our tour commencement with a wonderful group dinner including a glass of Italian wine, at a local restaurant in Rome.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY 16 MAY 2018
Rome 

An early breakfast today, and then we complete our discovery tour of the highlights of Rome.  We have a group reservation (no queues) for our guided tour of the Vatican Museums to see Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel plus visit St Peter's Basilica* built around the tomb of St Peter, and designed by some of history's greatest architects, Bramante, Bernini and Michelangelo.

Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. Shop till you drop, explore more of Rome or you may be tempted to throw another coin into the famous Trevi Fountain to ensure your return one day!

The evening is at your leisure and this evening the chance to make your own local discoveries for a dinner spot. We suggest you ask your tour director for recommendations.

Meals: Breakfast

* shorts or short skirts not permitted

DAY 5 – THURSDAY 17 MAY 2018
Rome – Pompeii - Amalfi Coast 

Today we travel to the Amalfi Coast for a relaxing three night stay.

We get off to an early start to first reach Pompeii where an expert local guide will walk you through the streets of this Roman resort buried by an eruption of the volcano Mt Vesuvius in AD79. From Pompeii it’s only about a forty minute drive to reach the city of Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast

Once we arrive to the Amalfi Coast, you will have some free time at your leisure in the afternoon before we meet for a group highlight dinner at a local restaurant including a glass of Italian wine with your meal.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 6  - FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018
Amalfi Coast

It’s a fabulous day of sightseeing, escorted by your tour director, as we get to know the Amalfi Coast, including a visit to the resort town of Ravello, perched above Amalfi, renowned for its views and wonderful gardens and a visit to Positano.

This evening, why not try the local seafood at a local restaurant for dinner?

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 7 – SATURDAY 19 MAY 2018
Amalfi Coast (Isle of Capri)

We take a hydrofoil ride from Sorrento to the Isle of Capri and around the Isle to appreciate the isle’s beauty from the water. By boat, visiting the Blue Grotto (subject to suitable weather conditions), then returning for a tour to Ana Capri.

Before returning to the mainland, there will be some time at leisure in the town of Capri. This evening, another chance to dine locally on the Amalfi Coast with the group.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 8 – SUNDAY 20 MAY 2018
Amalfi Coast – Assisi

From the coast, we depart first thing to make our way to Assisi for a two night stay.   A few hours along the way, we enjoy a guided city tour on foot at the Commonwealth Cemetery of Montecassino. After lunch we take the afternoon to reach Assisi. It’s a scenic drive to the hill top town of Assisi home of St Francis.

The evening is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast  

DAY 9 – MONDAY 21 MAY 2018
Assisi

In the morning, there's a guided city tour on foot to visit the Basilica of St Francis with its magnificent frescoes by the artist Giotto and other highlights of Assisi.

The rest of the day is free to wander the cobblestone streets and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. We come together in the evening for dinner at a local restaurant in Assisi.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 10 – TUESDAY 22 MAY 2018
Assisi - Florence

We depart Assisi to make our way to Florence for our three night stay.

On our way to Assisi, in the heart of Tuscany, on a hilltop stands the majestic medieval walled town of San Gimignano. It has retained all its old streets, its walls, gates, palaces, strongholds and thirteen towers.  There’s a guided city tour on foot to explore this many towered and very charming town with its squares and winding streets.

The afternoon we travel to Florence, just over an hour from San Gimignano and the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 11 – WEDNESDAY 23 MAY 2018  
Florence 

In Florence this morning, there's a city tour which includes a visit to the Academy of Fine Arts, to show you Michelangelo's statue of ‘David' in the Academy Gallery. We continue, to visit the Cathedral and Baptistry, Giotto's 14th century Campanile (said to be the most beautiful bell-tower in the world), the ‘Gates of Paradise' and enjoy a view of Signoria Square, the political stage of the Florentines.

This afternoon, there's a wonderful excursion to Greve in the picturesque Chianti region including wine tasting.

The evening is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Wine tasting

DAY 12 – THURSDAY 24 MAY 2018
Florence

Time to discover Florence at your leisure. It's a wonderful time for wandering, shopping and simply absorbing the atmosphere.

A gorgeous evening ahead, as we visit the Monastery of Certosa where we'll enjoy a three course menu and welcome drink, along with Tuscan entertainment.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 13 – FRIDAY 25 MAY 2018
Florence – Pisa – La Spezia

A relaxing start to our day with a mid-morning departure to make our way to Florence via Pisa to Spezia, the eastern end of the Italian Riviera. Your tour director will take you on a guided walking of Pisa.

Today, we stop in Monte Carlo for a highlight Tuscan lunch at a Tuscan farm and winery for some of the best of Tuscan cuisine.

After lunch we make our way to La Spezia, where the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Lunch 

DAY 14 – SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018
La Spezia (Cinque Terre)

Today, is the highlight excursion to the Cinque Terre (or the five lands), which were for years only accessible by donkey. Luckily, today we take the train to explore the spectacular area.

Enjoying walking around the postcard pretty villages, which both retain their charm and reputation for producing one of Italy's most sought after and exclusive wines. For the adventurous there is a hill side track which leads from one village to another. There's also the option to return by boat after the walk (which is spectacular) or you can choose to walk further to more of the five villages and then return by train to La Spezia.

After an adventurous day, the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15  -  SUNDAY 27 MAY 2018
La Spezia – Bologna - Venice

Today, it's a longer drive to cross the Italian peninsular and see the quarries at Carrara, its milky white stone attracting everyone from Michelangelo to Mussolini before we arrive to Venice, a glorious city of quaint bridges, ornate palaces, and gondolas.

On our way, we take a stop to experience an Italian vinegar tasting, before arriving to Bologna.

We arrive to Bologna, a medieval town in northern Italy. Your tour director will take you on a short walking tour and then, you have time to wander at your leisure. More importantly, take the time to enjoy lunch, as Bologna is often regarded as the culinary capital of Italy. The market in the city centre displays an impressive array of deli produce; cheeses, meats, fruits, vegetables and baked delights.

From Bologna it’s a few hours to arrive to Venice Mestre where our hotel is located.

Dinner tonight is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 16 – MONDAY 28 MAY 2018
Venice

Your morning tour today is by boat and by foot. 

There’s a walking tour from the famous Piazza San Marco. You'll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour that also includes entrance to the Doges' Palace and a view to the adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Also today there's a visit a glass showroom for an interesting demonstration of the traditional craftsmanship of Murano glassware, unchanged for centuries. We also see visit the ornate St Mark's Basilica.

The afternoon is at leisure to explore Venice on your own.

This evening, we come together again to dine near to Piazza San Marco, Venice a local restaurant with traditional Venetian and regional cuisine and of course, a glass of a Italian wine.  After dinner, we are escorted back to our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 17 – TUESDAY 29 MAY 2018
Venice – Verona – Lake Maggiore

This morning we drive to the elegant city of Verona. There's a guided city centre walking tour in Verona and it includes entry to the Arena Di Verona, an ancient Roman arena and venue for the opera each summer and entry to Juliet's house and the balcony (from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet).

Lunch is by your own arrangement.

In the afternoon, we make our way to our lake-side hotel at Lake Maggiore.  It’s an impressive lake, south of the Alps. It’s here that you take a leisurely three night stay, at our hotel in Stresa as a finale to your Italian Splendour tour. This evening is at your leisure. 

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18  - WEDNESDAY 30 MAY 2018
Lake Maggiore 

Today's highlight is a full day of experiencing the magnificent Lake Maggiore, visiting three of the islands.

A local guide joins the group to escort us on our cruise to visit the first two islands; Isola Madre being the largest of the Borromeo Islands and Isola Bella. At each of the islands we enjoy a visit to the monumental baroque palaces and their majestic gardens.

Today, enjoy a highlight lunch at a fabulous restaurant on Isola Superiore di Pescatori, the third of the three islands.  Isola Superiore di Pescatori is renowned as a quaint village with its narrow cobbled street, pretty harbour and charming homes.

After lunch, we return by ferry to our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Lunch

DAY 19 – THURSDAY 31 MAY 2018
Lake Maggiore 

A day at leisure. Perhaps you’d like to visit Switzerland today; it’s close and easily reached by a short train ride.

Tonight, come together for a dinner at a local Stresa restaurant enjoying a four course deluxe dining experience.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 20 – FRIDAY 1 JUNE 2018
Lake Maggiore – Milan

Today after breakfast we transfer to Milan. There will be a city tour of Milan before a final farewell group highlight dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

DAY 21 – SATURDAY 2 JUNE 2018
Depart / Return to Australia

Our memorable tour comes to an end after breakfast. The remainder of the day is at your leisure until it’s time to transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Those group members travelling on the group nominated flight (or if you have made other arrangements with us) will be transferred to the airport (Milan Malpensa International Airport) for the return journey home.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 22 – SUNDAY 3 JUNE 2018
Return to Australia

Arrive home

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   


ABN: 23 119 642 992