The Great by benbenzhou


									                              The Great Cities

                                September 29 - October 9,2010

Wednesday, September 29                           Depart the U.S.A. on our flight to Italy. Plan to
sleep on the overnight flight because your arrival in Rome will be the next morning. (Meals in

Thursday, September 30                     Arriving in the bustling metropolis of Rome we clear
customs and board our transportation for the short drive to our hotel. This afternoon enjoy a
walking tour on ancient cobblestone streets to some of the famous sites in Rome. Visit the Spanish
Steps, a local gathering place with 138 steps and a unique fountain by Bernini, nearby is beautiful
Trevi Fountain. Remember to throw a coin over your shoulder for good luck! The Pantheon, built as
a temple to all gods, was rebuilt in 125 AD and has been in continuous use throughout its history.
Within the walls, are the mortal remains of the great artist Raphael. A great gelato shop is just
around the corner! Piazza Novona, which dates back to the 15th century is home to 3 amazing
fountains designed by Baroque artists. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to shop and
explore on your own before dinner. Overnight in Rome. (B in flight, D)

Friday, October 1                   Established in 1506 the Vatican is a separate Country within the
Nation of Italy. As we tour the Vatican Museums, our personal guide will share history of the
priceless works of art preserved by the Catholic Church. See paintings and sculptures from the
great Renaissance artists, including Raphale, Michelangelo and Sandro Botticelli. Visit the Sistine
Chapel which was originally decorated by Raphael, yet Michelangelo painted 12,000 square feet of
the ceiling on his back between 1508 and 1512. The work is widely believed to be Michelangelo's
crowning achievement. Our guided tour of the Coliseum and Roman Forum will highlight the history
and culture of ancient Rome this afternoon. Overnight in Rome. (B,D)

Saturday, October 2                   A full day of sightseeing is in store as we make our way to
Naples where we will enjoy a city tour of ancient Naples. The history of Naples dates back over
2,800 years allowing the city to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. In the gift shops
you will find unique gifts including a popular product of this region: "LIMONCELLO" which is the
liqueur of lemons. Very popular as gifts, it goes great over ice cream, or by itself! Traveling to the
ancient, once bustling Roman city of Pompeii we see Mount Vesuvius; the volcano which erupted in
AD 79. Touring the excavated ruins of Pompeii we learn how quickly this town was covered in ash
and the resulting devastation. Returning to Rome, your evening is on your own. Overnight in Rome.
(B, L)

Sunday, October 3                   This morning we have free time to relax over an extra cup of
coffee, or go exploring on your own. On the outskirts of Rome, tour the ancient underground
catacombs dating back to the 2nd century; used for overcrowding and providing a place for
persecuted Christians as secret burial grounds. Some of the tunnels are several kilometers long
and multi-stories tall. Travel through Rome this evening for an illuminated tour of many famous
and historic sights, followed by dinner at a typical Italian restaurant complimented by local wine
and folk music. Overnight in Rome. (B,D)

Monday, October 4                   Say goodbye to Rome on our way to the hill-side fortification
of Assisi. Home to Saint Frances, explore his beautiful Cathedral perched at the edge of the
village. Charming cobblestone streets are home to shops and markets where locals and visitors
mingle. Tuscany is calling today as you enjoy the beauty of this region. Arriving late afternoon,
check into our hotel and make our way to dinner, followed by free time this evening. Overnight in
Florence. (B,D)

Tuesday, October 5                  Florence, which is recognized around the world for its art,
architecture, history and importance in the Middle Ages is considered to be the birthplace of the
Italian Renaissance. On our walking tour, view the famous bridge: Ponte Vecchio which crosses the
Arno River and houses many fine jewelry and silver shops. Visit the Basilica of Santa Croce, easily
recognized by the green, pink and white marbled exterior. Consecrated in 1442 by Pope Eugene IV,
the site was marshland and is now the burial place of well known Italians, such as Michelangelo,
Donatello, Galileo, Machiavelli, Fermi Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini and Marconi. Our visit will include
the Academy of Fine Art to see the original “David” by Michelangelo. This afternoon is set aside
for you to explore on your own. Overnight in Florence. (B)

Wednesday, October 6                 Our motor coach will transport us into the Chianti region of
Italy where we will visit a cooking school. Tour and sampling is included! Time permitting, we will
stop in San Gimignano to explore this classic Tuscany village. Return to Florence for dinner and
overnight. (B,L)

Thursday, October 7                 Travel by train to Pisa, home of the famous leaning bell tower.
In the walled “Cathedral Square” we find green, well landscaped lawns which offset the striking
white marble Tower, Duomo and Baptistery. Although built to stand vertically, the tower started to
lean soon after construction began in 1173, due to a poorly laid foundation and bad soil. Having
been re-enforced in the 21st century, it looks to have a long, leaning life. Return to Florence where
we collect our luggage and prepare for our relaxing trip through the center of Italy to the islands
of Venice. Enjoy the scenery as it changes from rolling hills dotted with cypress trees to the
coast line with the classic ocean breeze. Transfer by water taxi to our hotel for the next two
nights. Venice is made up of 118 small islands, connected by bridges and walkways. This afternoon
we have free time to explore the open air market near the Rialto Bridge or visit the many glass and

jewelry shops. Relax at a café along the Grand Canal. Overnight Venice Island. (B,D)

Friday, October 8                  Our local guide will take us on a walking tour of Venice Island to
include San Marco Basilica and the beautiful Saint Marks Square. In the square, you will find
Casanova’s favorite restaurant. During the 18th century, he was the epitome of romance in the
European Social life. We will cross the Bridge of Sighs, built in 1600, which led from the old
prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. It was named for the breath (sigh) taken
by the prisoners as they took their last view of beautiful Venice on their way to their prison cell.
This afternoon our gondola will transport us through the city’s secluded waterways as we pass
candy cane striped poles and duck under small bridges. This evening enjoy our farewell dinner.
Overnight Venice Island. (B,D)

Saturday, October 9               This morning transfer by water taxi to the mainland and the
airport for our return to the USA. We will sleep tonight in our own beds! (B, meals in flight)

Included: Air from San Antonio, All group transportation, 9 nights lodging at centrally located
hotels, 17 meals on land, plus in-flight meals, entrance fees as listed above, bag handling (1 per
person), all gratuities, trip insurance, tour director will travel with you from San Antonio.

Not Included: Cost of passport, meals not mentioned, personal items, side trips not listed as a
group activity.

Cost: $4250 per person with 2 people sharing a room
      $4880 single occupancy

Deposit Due:$500 per person Payments may be made until final payment, as listed below.

After deposit, monthly payments may be made.

***All payments are 100% refundable until final payment date which is listed below.

Final Payment Due: July 29, 2010

Contact:      Vacation Unlimited
              4243 Piedras Drive East, Suite 200
              San Antonio, Texas 78228


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