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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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Windham Italy 2017

You are invited on a tour of Italy specially curated for you and your friends. Rather than simply visit Italy, we invite you to experience Italy. We’ll show you our favorite sites, take you to the best restaurants, and ensure that you have an inspiring and renewing experience in this treasured country.  Whether gazing up at Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel or over the rolling hills of Tuscany, you will have an unforgettable travel experience unlike any other.  

EXPERIENCING ITALY

DATES
October 8 - 18, 2017

PRICE
$2,995 per person, land only


Hotel balcony view in San Gimignano

Hotel balcony view in San Gimignano

INCLUDED IN YOUR TOUR

  • Three and Four and Star Hotel Accommodations in central, walkable locations 
  • Authentic meals and wine at local restaurants, per itinerary
  • Transportation
  • Engaging site guiding and lectures
  • Museum and Site entrance fees, per itinerary
  • Festive cultural activities and experiences
  • Attentive support in the States and while abroad
  • Taxes and Tips

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Select meals as noted on the itinerary

DAILY ITINERARY

Day 1 & 2 – Depart USA, Arrive San Gimignano
Depart USA, arrive Florence, Italy. We transfer to our hotel in the medieval hill town of San Gimignano in the heart of Tuscany and settle in for five wonderful nights. We'll gather together for a welcome reception and opening dinner at the restaurant above our hotel with breathtaking views of the rolling Tuscan hillside. (D)

Day 3 – San Gimignano, Farmhouse Vineyard Tour
Enjoy the morning on your own, settling in to Italy and exploring the charming town of San Gimignano. We'll offer a guided tour of 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. Overnight San Gimignano. (B,D)

Day 4 – Siena
Siena is one of the most appealing towns in Tuscany with its well-conserved medieval streets and its monumental square, the Piazza del Campo. The piazza's focal point is the Palazzo Pubblico with its frescoes depicting good and bad government dating back to 1250. We also visit the impressive Duomo, Siena's cathedral, and enjoy time to wander the picturesque city. In the late afternoon we return to San Gimignano for dinner at cozy, local trattoria. Overnight San Gimignano. (B,D)

Day 5 – 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, and the accompanying Baptistry of St. John with Ghiberti’s famous Gates of Paradise, a seminal work of Renaissance sculpture. Enjoy a taste of modern Florentine life at the bustling Central Market with free time to shop at the stalls of the outdoor San Lorenzo market before heading to the political center of Renaissance Florence, the Piazza della Signoria, where we explore this grand square with its public sculpture gallery, the Loggia dei Lanzi.  After visiting the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge spanning the Arno River, we enjoy free time in the city, including optional visits to the Academy, to see Michelangelo's David or the Uffizi Gallery to see many of the greatest canvases from the Renaissance, including Botticelli's The Birth of VenusOvernight San Gimignano. (B)

Day 6 – Free Day, Tuscan Cooking Class
Spend the morning at your leisure in San Gimignano, taking in the views over coffee, shopping for leather goods, or taking a long walk through the verdant hillside. Look forward to a festive evening as we prepare a full Tuscan menu, including homemade pasta, all under the guidance of a local chef.  After an evening of relaxed cooking, enjoy the diner that you have prepared. Overnight San Gimignano. (B,D)

Day 7 – 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 8 – 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 9 – 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 10 – Free Day
Enjoy your last day in Italy on your own, or take an optional excursion out of Italy as we step foot in 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 final, celebratory dinner. (B,D)

Day 11 – Depart Rome, Arrive USA
Depart Italy with unforgettable memories! (B)


post tour extension

PICO  | NAPLES  |  FLORENCE

4 Nights  |  October 18 - 22, 2017

Join us as we go off the beaten path to the unforgettable Medieval village of Pico on this four night extension as we end our trip with serene surroundings, warm hospitality, and a slice of the authentic Italian countryside life. Dine on local specialties, participate in the yearly olive harvest, sample wine with local experts, see the amazing sights of Pompeii, and enjoy the simple pleasures for which Italy is famous. Then, spend a night in the heart of Renaissance Florence for your final evening in Italy.
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Price: $1,325 per person, double occupancy

Included in Price

  • Three nights at a quaint hotel in the Medieval village of Pico and one night at a four star hotel in the heart of Florence

  • Matchless culinary experiences: enjoy freshly made cheeses, freshly produced olive oil, local wines, Neapolitan pizza, homemade specialties, and much more! 

  • Transportation from Rome to Pico, between activities, from Pico to Florence, and from Florence to the airport

Not Included in Price

  • Lunch and dinner on Day 14
     
  • Visit to Pompeii ($70 per person, includes guided tour)

Reservation and Deposit

A $300 deposit per traveler is due by January 27, 2017. Please mail a check to Sofia Travel Co 3907 Cherrywood Rd Austin, TX 78722 or pay by credit card here (3% processing fee applies). 


EXTENSION ITINERARY

Day 11 – Wine Tasting, Arrive Pico

Departing from our hotel in Rome, we arrive in the Medieval town of Anagni, the "City of Popes", where we explore the beautiful city center. We visit a prestigious wine cellar where an expert of the house will offer us a tasting of local wines alongside delicious local produce. After lunch, we arrive to our charming hotel in Pico. We are greeted by the owner and shown around his beautifully restored hotel and his home town of Pico, recently included as one of "The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy". In the evening, enjoy a specially prepared meal by the house chef as we enjoy the locally-made ingredients. (B,L,D)

Day 12 – Cheese Factory, Olive Harvest

On this unforgettable day, we begin along the Pontine coast as we visit a factory that produces buffalo mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. After a tour from the owner, we sample the deliciously fresh products. We then return to the countryside surrounding Pico to participate in the yearly olive harvest. After collecting a few boxes of olives, we move to the traditional olive oil mill where we experience the oil production techniques. We enjoy the freshly produced olive oil we just produced along with a traditional lunch in the olive mill. In the evening, return to Pico for another custom dinner from the house chef. (B,L,D)

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Day 13 – Naples

Today we visit the colorful city of Naples, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on the planet. We begin at what may be the world's single greatest archaeological museum, the Archaeological Museum of Naples, which contains the majority of the finds from ancient Pompeii. Marvel at vibrant ancient art, items from day to day life, intricate mosaics, and lifelike statuary as you get a one-of-a-kind look at life from 2,000 years ago. Leaving the museum, enjoy the world's best pizza in the city where it was first created and traditional Neapolitan coffee. For those interested, take an optional extension to the extensive, unforgettable ruins of Pompeii and explore ancient homes, bathhouses, and temples, and stand in the arena of an ancient amphitheater. Otherwise, stay in Naples for a visit to the famous Chapel of San Severo, walk through the vivid streets, and stroll along the picturesque harbor. In the evening, return to Pico. (B,L,D)

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Day 14 – Florence

Departing Pico after breakfast, we arrive in Florence where we check into our centrally located hotel along the Arno River and just steps from the Ponte Vecchio. Enjoy the late afternoon and evening at leisure in this great Renaissance city. (B)

Day 15 – Depart Florence for USA

In the morning, transfer to the Florence airport and return to the States. (B)


RESERVE YOUR SPOT

Use the button below to make a secure online payment by credit card, or mail a check for $300 per person to
3907 Cherrywood Road Austin, TX 78722

Windham Extension Deposit
309.00

per person.

includes 3% processing fee.

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