GlobusAny way you slice it, this 11-day journey through the kitchens and countryside of Umbria & Tuscany will inspire?La?Dolce Vita! How will you feed your travel appetite? Hunting for truffles or tapping in a putt? Soaking in the beauty of waterfalls or stirring watercolors? With our complimentary YourChoice Excursions, you can choose to say "ciao!" to golf swings or thermal springs and everything in-between.? Break the mold with fresco paintings overhead and St. Peter at your feet with three more colossal nights in Rome, courtesy of Globus. Why This Tour Conquers Travel Cravings:
- A winding, wonderful journey through high hilltop towns with deep discoveries and in-depth storytelling.
- This flexible tour appeals to foodies and cultural fanatics, alike, inviting you to Mangia (eat up!) Italy in every way!
- Included YourChoice Excursions in Spoleto and Siena.
- Olive You, Italy!
Visit the well-preserved ruins of ancient Rome's port in a beautiful park of pines and cypresses less than 15 mi/24 km from Rome. The extensive excavations expose the empire's remarkable architecture—from houses and stores to temples. Practice your oratory in the perfect acoustics of the Roman theater that seats 3,000 and then wander the miles/kilometers of alleyways. Take along water and a picnic lunch. The site is open 8:30 am-3:30 pm late October to mid-February, until 4 pm mid-February to mid-March; until 4:30 pm mid- to late March; until 6:15 pm late March to late August; until 6 pm in September; until 5:30 pm in October, with everyone required to leave 90 minutes after the ticket booth closes. Museum open 10:30 am to closing time. Both the excavations and the museum are closed on Monday.
Nearby is the necropolis of Isola Sacra, the Castle of Pope Julius II in the borgo of Ostia Antica and the fishing port of Fiumicino. To reach the area by car (a 45-minute drive), take Via del Mare 14 mi/23 km from Rome. No turns—just follow the signs to Ostia Antica. Or even better, take the train (a 20-minute ride) from Ostiense station on Line B of the Metro (trains leave every 30 minutes). The train station is just across a footbridge from the excavations. Live music concerts are held in the park throughout the summer months. Daily except Monday 8:30 am-5 pm (till 4 pm in winter, 6 pm in summer). Admission 8 euros. Viale dei Romagnoli 717 (Ostia), Rome. Phone 06-5635-8099 or 06-5635-0251 for tickets. http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/en/archaeological-site/ancient-ostia.
Spoleto, Italy, is a truly charming Umbrian hill town only 60 mi/95 km northeast of Rome and best known for the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) or simply known as the Spoleto festival.
This annual festival of international music, theater and art is held during the last two weeks of June and the first two weeks of July. Composer Giancarlo Menotti organized the first one in 1958, and it now includes performances of opera, dance, theater, concert and film. Tickets are best purchased six months to a year in advance. http://www.festivaldispoleto.it.
Spoleto is divided into upper and lower towns: Spoleto upper is a beautiful Renaissance town in itself, with arched, narrow, winding streets and Roman architecture that includes a theater, an arch, about a mile/kilometer of Roman walls and a remarkable first-century house that belonged to Emperor Vespasian's mother. Roman stonework forms parts of many buildings.
Just on the other side of La Rocca, an old prison and hilltop fortress, is a spectacular gorge—cross the 750-ft-/233-m-long, 14th-century brick footbridge (built over an older Roman aqueduct) for sweeping, panoramic views.
SienaSiena is . . . the city of the blessed Virgins and the "Balzana"; black and white; decisive, just as its heraldic symbol; passionate and contemplative; always climbing and descending; clear and at the same time obscure; steep and narrow streets; the red of the Piazza del Campo appearing blinding and suddenly. In the alleys, in the museums and oratories of the Contrada, the spiritual songs of the Palio evoke very ancient rituals and modern allegories, while during the evening the shuffling of soles on the deserted pavement is in contrast with the peacefulness of the green valleys providentially enclosed within the wall, which ancient administrators had erected hundreds of years before it became common practice. Siena is also the Cathedral and the extraordinary panorama from the Facciatone; the Sala del Pellegrinaio in Santa Maria della Scala, the Libreria Piccolomini and the prestigious Accademia Chigiana; the enormous Medicean fortress that on the inside, at the Enoteca Italiana, harbors the most precious wines of Siena, Tuscany and the peninsula; sweet-smelling Trattorias, sweet spices, the sounds of the artisans and spouting fountains; Fontebrande and the mystery of the Diana, a famous river underneath Siena; the alchemy geometry of the Piazza, suggestively neo-Gothic and cathartic. And these are the reasons why "Siena opens up its heart more than any other place," as the famous inscription reads on the Porta di Camollia.
Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always been and remains the Eternal City.
Rome enjoyed its greatest splendor during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman legions swept outward, conquering all of Italy. These victorious armies then swept across the Mediterranean and beyond to conquer most of the known world. With Rome's establishment as capital of the western world, a new ascent to glory began.
Today's Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafes and elegant shops, is one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Colosseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combats between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals.
Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city's political and commercial center. In later times, Rome's squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di Trevi. Join the millions who stand in awe of Christendom’s most magnificent church and admire the timeless masterpieces of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Rome jars the senses and captures the soul. Grasp all you can during the short, precious time you have available in the Eternal City. With so much to see and do, a day or two will only allow you a sampling of the city's marvelous treasures.
Caution: As in many big cities and tourist destinations purse snatching and pickpocketing is common. Valuable jewelry and excess cash are best left in a safety deposit box in your hotel.
Shopping For most visitors shopping for beautiful Italian leather articles, designer shoes, fashions for men and women, linens, knitwear, silk scarves and ties is a favorite pastime. Except for tourist-oriented shops, the majority of stores are closed on Sundays. Some of the department stores, such as Rinascente, open in the late afternoon on Sundays.
Cuisine Rome's choice of restaurants is mindboggling as is the variety of cuisine. Whether your meal is at a top-rated restaurant or a rustic trattoria, you can be sure that you will enjoy your food, especially when accompanied by wines from the hill towns surrounding Rome.
Other Sights Rome's attractions are endless, and depending on how much time you have at your disposal a careful selection has to be made about what to see. Be aware of horrendous traffic conditions and major construction work all around the city in preparation of Jubilee 2000, the Holy Year. Some of the sights not to be missed:
Piazza Venezia - This busy square is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. The white marble structure was inaugurated in 1911 as a symbol of Italy’s unification.
The Forum - Once the civic heart of ancient Rome, today the remains include a series of ruins, marble fragments, isolated columns and some worn arches.
Colosseum - No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this awe-inspiring theater, which is among the world’s most celebrated buildings. Here ancient Rome flocked to see gladiatorial contests and numerous other spectacles.
Trevi Fountain - Take a stroll to Rome's famous fountain. A spectacular fantasy of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water, the fountain is one of the city's foremost attractions. Legend has it that visitors must toss a coin into the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.
St. Peter's Square - Part of Vatican City, this square created by Bernini is considered one of the loveliest squares in the world. Twin Doric colonnades topped with statues of various saints and martyrs flank either side of the square. In the center stands an 84-foot obelisk, brought from Egypt in 37 A.D.
St. Peter's Basilica - At the head of the square stands Christendom's most magnificent church, which was begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such Renaissance masters as Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Of special note are Michelangelo's Pieta and the bronze canopy over the high altar by Bernini. The immense dome was designed by Michelangelo.
Vatican Museum - To see this museum's immense collection would take days. As you enter, there are special posters that plot a choice of four color-coded itineraries. They are repeated throughout the museum and are easy to follow. It is a good idea to pickup a leaflet at the main entrance and concentrate on exhibits of major interest. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is a must. Most likely you may have to wait in line to enter.
Valid Date Ranges
Charges not included in the land vacation price: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges; passports; visas and vaccinations; transfers; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ships' crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary; porterage at airports or train stations; Travel Protection premiums; and all other items of a personal nature.
All fares are quoted in US Dollars.