TUSCANY CINQUE TERRE AND THE LAKES

Day1 - THU I FLORENCE I PISTOIA
Arrive at Florence airport and transfer to your hotel located in the Tuscan countryside just outside of Florence. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for our welcome dinner. (D)
Day2 - FRI I PISTOIA I SIENA I CHIANTI CLASSICO I SAN GIMIGNANO I PISTOIA
This morning we travel to Siena through Tuscany’s rolling hills and Chianti’s Vineyards. Explore the maze of narrow streets and alleys around the Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s oldest and most spectacular public squares that is famous for the Palio bareback horse race. Lunch today in the Chianti territory gives you the opportunity to learn about local wines and culinary specialties during a wine tasting session followed by lunch. In the afternoon visit medieval San Gimignano known for its soaring towers. Delve into town’s center, called “Medieval Manhattan;” stroll the quaint alleyways and its colorful pottery shops and small museums; and sample one of the best Italian gelato’s on the triangular-shaped Piazza della Cisterna. Return to your hotel late in the afternoon. (B,L)
Day3 - SAT I PISTOIA I FLORENCE I PISTOIA
This morning, depart for a full day excursion to Florence. The tour begins at Michelangelo square with its breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Your walking tour takes you to Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery, Piazza della Signoria, and the church of Santa Croce. You will also visit the Accademia Gallery to view Michelangelo’s world-famous “David” statue. The tour concludes with a visit to a leather shop where you will learn about traditional leather gilding. Lunch at leisure gives you the opportunity to delve into Florence’s Tuscan food scene. In the afternoon, take time to enjoy the city center, Ponte Vecchio and opportunities for shopping in the abundant Florentine boutiques and shops. This evening you will share in a splendid included dinner at your villa in Pistoia. (B,D)
Day 4 - SUNI PISTOIAI CINQUE TERREI SANTA MARGHERITA
Depart Pistoia this morning and drive through the Tuscan Apennine hills towards the Italian Riviera’s rugged coastline. Revel in the day of exploring Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Starting in La Spezia, you will visit the most picturesque villages along the coast. See Riomaggiore, where the famous “Love Trail” (La via dell'Amore) begins; Vernazza, referred to as the most beautiful of these villages; and Monterosso, known for its well-developed fishing and cultivating on terraces. The area is acclaimed for the production of its light and refreshing white wines and fresh basil used in authentic green pesto sauce. Opt to try some of these local specialties as you venture off for lunch on your own. In the afternoon, journey north and check in at your hotel on the Italian Riviera. (B)
Day5 - MON I SANTA MARGHERITA I PORTOFINO I SANTA MARGHERITA
After breakfast, head to the port and board your vessel to the spectacular resort town of Portofino. Once a simple fishing village, Portofino today is a trendy vacation hot-spot, brimming with countless sleek and palatial mega-yachts. Enjoy free time to explore this breathtaking coastal gem and savor lunch on your own. Return to your hotel in the afternoon. (B)
Day 6 - TUE I SANTA MARGHERITA I MILAN I STRESA
Check-out of your Italian Riviera hotel and embark on today’s adventure, stopping first in Milan. Depart on an insightful city tour, starting at the 15th century Sforza Castle where you can admire the frescoes painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. Continue along to the world famous Opera House La Scala, founded by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1778. Take time to explore this vibrant cosmopolitan city at leisure and enjoy lunch on your own. Later in the afternoon, head to Stresa in the Italian Lakes District and check in to your hotel. (B)
Day7 - WED I STRESA I LAKE MAGGIORE I STRESA
Today’s exciting activities are truly a feast for the eyes, sure to include unforgettable moments that will be etched in your memory for a lifetime! Enjoy the day cruising and taking in the views of Lake Maggiore. Visit the Borromean Island of Isola Bella where you will tour its stunning 17thcentury palazzo and extravagantly landscaped gardens, then savor a special lunch there. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure for you to explore at your own pace. (B,L)
Day 8 - THU I STRESA I LAKE ORTA I STRESA
Rise and shine to a oneof- a-kind opportunity to explore the off-the-beaten path village of Orta. Often referred to by Milan’s locals as “La Cenerentola” or Cinderella, it is perceived by many to be the secret but superior sibling of the wellknown and larger lakes of Como and Maggiore. Explore Orta San Giulio, taking in the center's beautiful architecture, village vistas along its steep slopes, and lush wooded area that set it apart from many of the area's other islands. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before sharing in a special farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day9 - FRI I STRESA I MILAN TO USA (OR EXTEND YOUR STAY)
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home with amazing memories to cherish and share of your diverse travels throughout Italy! (B)