The Magic of Italy and Greece
Featuring Rome, Piombino, Florence, Venice, Milan, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos & Athens
Truly two of Europe’s most beautiful countries, with each offering something quite different, Italy and Greece are a traveler’s dream. This trip offers the best of both in a package that will have you showing trip photos to your friends and family for years to come. It’s that fabulous!
Begin with a visit to Rome, where you’ll stay for 3 nights, plenty of time to explore the major sights of the Eternal City and partake of cultural events and culinary delights. On your first full day in Rome, embark on a half-day walking tour, which includes entrance to the Colisseum and Palatine Hill. It’s a perfect introduction to Ancient Rome. Afterwards, spend the afternoon and evening exploring on your own, seeing sights not covered on the tour. The next day, you’ll be awed by a trip to the Vatican Museums, where you’ll view one of the world’s most extensive art collections. You’ll also visit the Sistine Chapel and magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica.
Next, depart Rome via rail for Piombino, where you’ll enjoy a 1-night stay and time to explore the town on your own. Located in Tuscany, lovely Piombino lies on the border of the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas and boasts a number of early historic sites including churches and cathedrals, a palace, and the ancient tower from the city’s old walls.
Leave Piombino and head for Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the most cultural city in Italy. Stay for 3 nights, giving you plenty of time to explore on your own. Visit the Accademia or Uffizi art galleries, the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, the Ancient Forum, and Ghilberti’s stunning “Gates of Paradise.” During your free time, sample the exquisite cuisine of Florence, stroll the Boboli Gardens, and shop for leather goods, jewelry, handmade paper, apparel, and other local wares.
Next, depart for Venice by train and check in for a 2-night stay. Spend time exploring on your own. Famous for its canals but offering so much more, this city is graced with beautiful architecture, interesting neighborhoods, outdoor markets, and plenty of 5-star restaurants where guests can enjoy the best in food and locally-cultivated wines. A good way to begin exploring is with a Grand Canal boat tour. Then head to the famous St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and Rialto Bridge, and the beautiful Zattere waterfront promenade.
Leave romantic Venice and head to Milan via the Eurostar Italia train. Check in for a one-night stay and spend the afternoon exploring this Italian city, known for its fashion scene and the famous La Scala Opera House.
Next you’ll hop a flight to Greece where your first stop will be Crete. Enjoy a 2-night stay and plenty of opportunity to explore this city, once the center of the Minoan civilization. Take time to visit the archaeological sites of Knossos and Phaistos and make a stop at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Be sure to make time to lounge on pretty Vai or Elafonissi Beaches, visit the Historical and Folk Art Museum, explore local villages like artistic Kritsa, take the kids to Aquaworld Aquarium, or stroll along the Old Venetian Harbor.
Depart Crete by ferry and enjoy the excursion to beautiful Santorini, where you and your traveling companions will stay for 2 nights. Explore on your own, checking out such locations as the archeological site of Akrotiri, home to ruins of the Minoan civilization. This picturesque island is also host to enticing black sand beaches and is well known for its wine, which you can enjoy with the tasty local cuisine featuring the freshest produce and delicacies from the Aegean Sea.
The next leg of your visit to Greece takes you to the island of Mykonos, where you’ll remain for two nights. This 33-square-mile gem is the ideal place to relax and kick off your shoes. The water and sand are warm and the locals are more than eager to welcome you into their midst. Consider a side-trip to Delos to view the fascinating ruins located there.
Finally, depart for Greece’s magnificent capital city, Athens. Spend 3 nights in this historic city, where you’ll be treated to a half-day Acropolis walking tour, including the chance to photograph such famous sights as the Parthenon. The following day, depart on a full-day trip to Delphi and explore this magical area, the site of the most famous oracle in the Classical Greek world. Long a major site for the worship of Apollo, Delphi was once considered the center of the world. Visit the archaeological site and its accompanying museum and head to the Temple of Apollo and the Castalia Spring before returning to Athens to pack for your trip home.
Day 1 Arrive in Rome, afternoon at leisure
Day 2 Half-day Colisseum/Ancient Rome tour
Day 3 Tour of Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s
Day 4 Depart for Piombino, afternoon at leisure
Day 5 Depart Piombino for Florence, afternoon at leisure
Day 6 Day at leisure in Florence
Day 7 Day at leisure in Florence
Day 8 Depart Florence for Venice, afternoon at leisure