• 8 nights in selected 4 star-hotels with full breakfast (3 nights in Venice, 2 nights in Vicenza, 3 nights in Milan)
• Private guided visits with English speaking guides in Venice (private Canal Grand boat tour, St. Mark’s Church, Murano-Burano-Torcello Islands), Padua (Botanical Garden, Scrovegni Chapel, Cathedral, Baptistery, St. Anthony Cathedral), Vicenza (Basilica Palladiana, Teatro Olimpico), Verona (Duomo, Arena, house of Juliet), Milan (Duomo, Teatro alla Scala, Church Santa Maria delle Grazie, Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana); including all the entrance fees to the sites
• Welcome dinner in Venice
• Lunch in Padova
• Characteristic lunch in Verona
• Farewell dinner in Milan
* The tour is available as self-drive or by private chauffeured car or van available for all transfers and excursions
Day 1 / Welcome to Venice
Arrival and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon meet your local guide to enjoy a private Canal Grand boat tour. Exclusive welcome dinner and overnight.
Day 2 / Venice – St. Mark’s square, canals, bridges and much more
Breakfast. Morning private guided tour of the city highlights: you will visit all the famous landmarks in St. Mark's Square, the former political centre of the Venetian Republic, the Doge's Palace, once the seat of the government, we cross the Bridge of Sighs to walk through the dark cells in the Dungeons. The tour ends with a visit of St. Mark's Church. Afternoon at leisure; you could enjoy a typical gondola tour on the canals or just wander through the characteristic Venetian calle (typical Venetian streets). Overnight.
Day 3 / Glass blowing and coloured fishermen’s houses on Venice’s Lagoon Islands
Breakfast. Full day excursion by boat to the Islands. On Murano you are introduced to the amazing secrets of glass blowing; on Burano you admire the brightly coloured fishermen's houses and on Torcello you visit the old Cathedral S. Maria Assunta and the lonely brick Campanile. Return to Venice. Overnight.
Day 4 / Padua, the botanical garden and extraordinary fresco’s in the Scrovegni Chapel
Breakfast. Check out and departure to Vicenza. En route stop in Padua for a visit to the world’s first botanical garden, created in 1545, which still preserves its original layout – a circular central plot, symbolizing the world, surrounded by a ring of water. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon meet your local guide for a walking tour of the city’s highlights: the ancient Roman Amphitheatre (the Arena) which surrounds the Scrovegni Chapel with the most complete cycle of frescoes produced by Giotto (1303-1305), the Cathedral – erected between the 16th and the 18th century – in which design Michelangelo took part, the nearby Baptistery with the finest and most complete cycle of frescoes by the Florentine painter Giusto de' Menabuoi (1376-1378), the St. Anthony Basilica – an imposing construction in Romanesque Gothic style, with eight domes and spires of eastern inspiration. Then on to Vicenza and overnight.
Day 5 / Palladian Vicenza
Breakfast. Meet your local guide for a private guided tour of Vicenza. Founded in the 2nd century B.C. in northern Italy, Vicenza prospered under Venetian rule from the early 15th to the end of the 18th century. The work of Andrea Palladio (1508–80), based on a detailed study of classical Roman architecture, gives the city its unique appearance. Palladio's urban buildings, as well as his villas, scattered throughout the Veneto region, had a decisive influence on the development of architecture. Visit of Piazza dei Signori, a few yards south of Corso Andrea Palladio and heart of the town, which is dominated by two of Vicenza's most striking landmarks; the Basilica Palladiana, the town's medieval law courts, with an imposing later facade by Palladio, and the adjacent Torre di Piazza, a tall and skinny tower; the town's most famous individual sight: the Teatro Olimpico, Palladio's last work. The remainder of the day is yours to pursue your own passions. We recommend a visit to the villa’s just outside the town: La Rotonda is an important Palladian villa, Villa Valmarina ai Nani a charming and less formal house, and the views from Monte Berico on a clear day are absolutely fantastic. Overnight.
Day 6 / Fortified Verona and on to Milan
Breakfast. Check out and departure to Verona. Meet your local guide for a guided tour of Verona, commonly known as the setting for Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The rich history of the city extends back to Roman times. Still enclosed by ancient walls, Verona conserves an atmosphere that evokes a past of medieval and Renaissance splendour. The main monuments you will visit are: Duomo, Piazza delle Erbe with the famous high tower, Torre dei Lamberti, Piazza Bra dominated by the enormous Arena and the house of Juliet, with its famous balcony. The afternoon is free for you to relax, or perhaps do a little shopping in Verona's elegant stores. Lunch at a characteristic restaurant. In the afternoon continue to Milan and overnight.
Day 7 / Magnificent Milan
Breakfast. Pick up at the hotel by your local guide for a morning walking tour of Milan, discovering its history and some of the world’s greatest art, including the magnificent Duomo. Enjoy a tour at the Teatro alla Scala, taking you on to the celebrated La Scala stage and uncover the hidden gems of La Scala. Visit the Theatre Museum and find out about the treasures contained within the halls of the Museum and the Livia Simoni Library. Free time for lunch and the afternoon is yours to explore more of this magnificent city. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8 / Walking in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci
Breakfast. Pick-up at the hotel by your local guide for a morning tour “in the Footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci”. The visit combines Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper and the marvellous church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, an architectural gem by Bramante and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, which hosts a priceless collection of codices and volumes including Leonardo da Vinci's renowned “Codex Atlanticus” containing 1750 drawings on technical and scientific subjects. Free time for lunch and afternoon at leisure for relax and shopping. Farewell dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9 / Goodbye Italy