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Sofia Travel Co.
3907 Cherrywood Road
Austin, TX 78722

T: 214-493-3702
E: Info@SofiaTravel.org

 

3907 Cherrywood Road
Austin, TX 78722

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Texas Exes Experiencing Italy 2018

DATES

April 11 - 22, 2018

PRICE

$4,595 Per Person, Land Only

Single Supplement

+$1,050

OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS

Amalfi Coast  |  April 22 - 26
 

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3 Nights Florence  |  3 Nights Tuscan Countryside  |  1 Night Umbria  |  3 Nights Rome

Gaze up at Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel •  Get lost in the enormity of the Colosseum • Spend a delightful evening making pasta with an Italian chef • Wander the alleyways surrounding Siena’s grandiose main square • Eat gelato with a view of the Pantheon • Mavel at the masterful scultpures of the Borghese Gallery • Be humbled by Saint Francis’ life and legacy in Assisi • Dine at a traditional Tuscan farmhouse and vineyard • Stay in the centers of Italy’s most amazing destinations


12 DAY ITINERARY

Day 1 & 2 – Depart USA, Arrive Florence
Depart USA, arrive Florence, Italy. Check-in to our hotel in the heart of this amazingly preserved Renaissance city.  Step back in time to the age of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and the Medici as we settle in for three nights.  After a welcome reception, introductory meeting and cultural orientation, we enjoy our first taste of the wonderful Italian cuisine at a local trattoria. (D)

Day 3 – Florence
Florence is truly one of the world’s most amazing cities. Our walking tour will include many of the signature works of the Renaissance as we learn about the city that launched modern European culture.  We’ll begin at the heart of Florence, the magnificent Duomo, capped by Brunelleschi's gigantic, red-tiled dome. On the Baptistry of St. John we see Ghiberti’s famous Gates of Paradise, a seminal work of Renaissance sculpture, before continuing to the Academia to see perhaps the greatest work of art from the Renaissance: Michelangelo’s David.  We then get a taste of modern Florentine life at the bustling Central Market before free time to shop at the stalls of the outdoor San Lorenzo market or an optional climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome for stunning views of the city.  In the evening we enjoy dinner out and Italy’s best gelato. (B,D)

Day 4 – Florence
Our second day in Florence begins at the Piazza della Republica followed by an up close examination of the groundbreaking sculptures of the Orsanmichele.  Arriving at the political center of Renaissance Florence, the Piazza della Signoria, we explore this grand square with its public sculpture gallery, the Loggia dei Lanzi.  We then tour the Uffizi Gallery, which contains the single greatest collection of Renaissance art on the planet, including works by Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, and Caravaggio.  After lunch, we visit the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge dating back to 1345 spanning the Arno River. (B)

Day 5 – Siena
Beautiful Siena is magical with its medieval streets and impressive heritage that has remained amazingly intact for the past 800 years. Strolling through the town, we visit the impressive cathedral with its fantastic intricate inlaid stonework and enjoy free time in the stunning main square, the Piazza del Campo. In the late afternoon we arrive to the amazingly preserved medieval hill town of San Gimignano.  This picture-perfect Tuscan town will be our home base for the next three nights as we explore Tuscan culture, cooking, history, and wine. (B,D)

Day 6 – San Gimignano, Tuscan Vineyard Tour and Farmhouse Dinner
The morning begins with a guided tour of San Gimignano as we visit the 13th century Palazzo Comunale and cathedral with time for an optional climb to the top of one of San Gimignano’s famous Medieval towers.  In the afternoon we head to the nearby village of San Donato where we visit a family run vineyard and farmhouse.  After sampling the wines, we sit down to a festive Tuscan spread in this unforgettable setting.   (B,D)

Day 7 – Tuscan Cooking Class
After a free morning to explore the Tuscan countryside, we head to the town of Certaldo for an unforgettable cooking class from a Tuscan chef.  Make and eat fresh pasta and traditional desserts while sipping wine and soaking up the vivacious culture of Tuscany. (B,D)

Day 8 – Assisi
Walled Assisi is miraculous with its many churches, including its main church dedicated to the matchless life of St. Francis.  St Francis was born here as the son of a wealthy merchant.  After renouncing his earthly possessions and living a life of holiness and poverty, Francis was venerated as one of the chief saints of the Catholic Church.  His basilica is a magnificent tribute to the venerated man, with frescoes by Giotto, Cimabue and Martini.  We then head to a family run country villa in the Umbrian countryside for dinner, a walk through the gardens, and overnight. (B,D) 

Day 9 – Rome
All roads lead to Rome.   For thousands of years tourists, merchants, and pilgrims have journeyed to the city of seven hills on the Tiber. Rome has unarguably one of the richest, fullest histories of any city on earth, all the while incorporating some of the finest architecture still surviving.  Upon arrival, we visit the elegant Borghese Gallery, a refined museum housed in the former Borghese estate that contains the greatest collection of Baroque sculpture by the artist Bernini.  After marveling at the delicacy of his works and the paintings by Raphael and Titian, we check into our hotel located in the heart of this ancient city.  (B,D)

Day 10 – Rome
Our day begins at the world famous Colosseum, where we’ll marvel at the impressiveness of Roman architecture while learning about the deadly games that once took place.  We then walk down the ancient Sacred Way to the heart of the Roman Empire, the grand Roman Forum, where we see the Temple to Divine Julius Caesar, the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, and the Senate building.  After leaving the forum, we take a walking tour to Rome’s most famous sites, including the Trevi Fountain, Column of Marcus Aurelius, and the unforgettable Pantheon before ending our day in the picturesque Piazza Navona.  (B)

Day 11 – Rome, Vatican City
In the morning take an optional excursion to the Vatican City for a visit to one of the world’s most important museums.  After admiring the greatest works from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance masters, we visit the stunning Sistine Chapel where we marvel at its famous frescoes by Michelangelo.   We end our tour in monumental St. Peter’s Basilica, the spiritual center of the Catholic faith and its grandest church.  In the evening, we gather together for our closing meeting and a final, celebratory dinner. (B,D)

Day 12 – Depart Rome, Arrive USA
Depart Italy or enjoy a four night extension to the matchless Amalfi Coast. (B)


OPTIONAL POST TOUR EXTENSION

Amalfi Coast

There is no better way to end your time in Italy than to spend three nights relaxing in a stunning 11th century villa overlooking the famous blue waters of the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy five star accommodations in the peaceful town of Ravello, wander the beautiful palatial gardens, linger over meals of fresh seafood, shop in the local boutiques, visit the haunting ruins of Pompeii, and sail along the Amalfi Coast to the unforgettable towns of Amalfi, Positano, and Capri. 

INCLUDES

Five star deluxe hotel with deluxe sea-view accommodations

Private boat ride along the Amalfi Coast to the island of Capri

Transportation to and from Rome

Guided tour of Pompeii and one night in Naples

DETAILS

April 22-26, 2018

$2,150 per person, double occupancy

+$1,200 single room supplement

Suite upgrades available, please inquire


RESERVE YOUR SPOT ON THIS TOUR FOR 2018

We look forward to traveling with you!

If you have any questions about this trip, please contact us or give us a call at (214) 493-3027. We'd love to hear from you!


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