DAY 1, September 19, 2020 | Rome
Upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino International Airport, you will be welcomed by your local English-speaking assistant and transferred to your hotel by private motor-coach. Enjoy a tasty lunch in a local trattoria. Check-in to your hotel with the afternoon at leisure. This evening you will enjoy a typical roman dinner in a local restaurant, located at walking distance from the hotel.
DAY 2, September 20, 2020 | Rome
Today you will meet your English-speaking tour guide in the hotel lobby and you will depart for an orientation tour of the Eternal City. Discover a lively hub of Roman life before the spectacle of the Piazza Navona opens before you. The stunning oval-shaped piazza maintains the form of its original purpose as a Roman athletics track. Today the piazza is flanked by cafes and restaurants with al fresco terraces, and whose centerpiece is Bernini's famous Quattro Fiumi fountain. A short stroll away is the Pantheon, arguably Rome's most inspiring site-the best-preserved of all Roman monuments in the city.
A short walk through narrow cobble-stone streets with your guide brings you past the ministries of the Italian Government, across the Via del Corso to the world-famous Trevi Fountain. Be sure to throw in a coin to ensure you will return to Rome one day! Finally, your guide shows you the elegant Piazza di Spagna, with the Spanish Steps rising to the Trinita di Monti. At the end of the visit, enjoy a tasty lunch in a local trattoria. After lunch, you will be privately transferred back to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. In the evening, enjoy a typical Italian restaurant for dinner.
DAY 2, July 29, 2020 | Reykjavik
Morning – Drive to Hellisheidi and visit the Geothermal exhibition at Hellisheidi Power Plant. Learn about the utilization of geothermal energy in Iceland.
Then continue to Ljosafoss Power Plant to experiencing the wonder of energy and electricity.
Afternoon – Visit the Fridheimar Greenhouse and gain an insight into the process of greenhouse horticulture.
Then continue to Gullfoss (The Golden Waterfall) and the Geysir Area with numerous hot springs, fumeroles and geysers, including the 30 meter spouting world known Strokkur; Þingvellir, a remarkable geological site and a historic site.
Overnight in Reykjavik (at Cabinn Hotel or similar)
DAY 3, September 21, 2020 | Vatican
This morning, you will meet your English-speaking tour guide and you will depart for a visit of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929, the Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world. Cross the Tiber River into this awe-inspiring place and discover the Vatican Museums. Part of the Papal Residence, the museums are estimated to contain 1,400 rooms, chapels and galleries! Witness the extraordinarily rich collection of precious arts, maps, sculptures and antiquities, and marvel at its most breath-taking masterpiece, Michelangelo's frescoed ceiling, which famously adorns the Sistine Chapel. Afterwards, head to the center of the Vatican, to the vast Basilica of St Peter. The present cathedral is a beautiful mix of Renaissance and Baroque architecture, formed under the hands of masters such as Michelangelo. Take in its stunning interior, an elaborate and detailed display of marble, mosaic, gilt and bronze. Enjoy a tasty lunch in a typical restaurant. After lunch, you will be privately transferred back to your hotel for an afternoon and evening at leisure.
DAY 4, September 22, 2020 | Rome
Today you will meet your English-speaking tour guide and you will depart for a visit that shows you the heart of the Roman Empire. Marvel at the imposing Colosseum, commissioned by Emperor Vespasian. The stadium accommodated up to 50,000 spectators who came to view the gladiatorial battles that sometimes lasted up to one-hundred days! Adjacent is the Arc of Constantine; dating from AD 315, it is a forerunner to many other Triumphal Arches around the world. Next, discover the excavations of the vast Roman Forum, where remains of temples, streetscapes and palaces can be appreciated up close. Your guide helps brings to life the atmosphere of Rome's pulsating heart and explains the other nearby Emperor Forums; Trajan, Augustus and Caesar. Finally, discover the Palatine Hill, inhabited since the ninth century BC; archaeologists believe this to be the place where Romulus, founder of Rome, lived. Lunch and the afternoon is at leisure. In the evening, enjoy the characteristic Trastevere area for dinner.
Afternoon Optional Activity-Private Gladiator School Session
Meet your English-speaking assistant and head to the Gladiator school for a fun-filled 2-hours session, based on the re-enactment of Roman life and Gladiatorial combat, with an English speaking instructor. Your session includes a brief introduction to the history and world of Gladiators, after which you are given your own tunic, belt and wooden sword before proceeding to learn the basic skills of gladiatorial sword fighting. After the techniques have been mastered, try on a variety of the heavier Gladiator amours, like those used in Roman times. Continue with an exciting gladiatorial tournament using rubber swords. The winner of the tournament receives a prize and all the participants receive a certificate. *(minimum number of 10 attendees at an additional price).
DAY 5, September 23, 2020 | Tivoli
Today, travel with your English-speaking tour guide and private motor-coach to Tivoli, just a short way out of Rome. Your destination is the UNESCO-listed Villa d'Este, the palatial villa of the powerful Cardinal Ippolito d'Este from the sixteenth century. The villa was designed as a monument to power and excess, its construction involved demolishing a monastery and diverting an entire river to fit the eighty tumbling fountains in the gardens. Whilst the interior is hugely impressive, the stupendous gardens are a phenomenal example of Italianate gardens, much copied in noble and regal palaces across Europe. After lunch, the visit continues with the superb Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana), one of the best kept and most visited archaeological sites in Italy, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.
The villa was built by Roman Emperor Hadrian at the foot of the Tiburtine Hills between 118 and 138 AD. The vast residential complex extended over an area of about 120 hectares (about 300 acres) and looked very much like an ancient Roman city. The site included buildings, baths, temples, barracks, theatres, gardens, fountains and nymphaea. The villa itself was designed on two levels: the upper floor, quiet and welcoming, was reserved for the emperor’s official use, while the lower floor was noisy and bustled with the work of slaves. Return to the hotel for dinner at leisure.
DAY 6, September 24, 2020 | Castel Sant’Angelo
Today, your tour guide will lead you through Castel Sant’Angelo and the Jewish Ghetto. Castel Sant’ Angelo was built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian (AD130-139), but it has also been a prison and a papal residence. It was used by former Popes who absconded there for protection in times of danger. There has been a covered passageway which still connects Castel Sant'Angelo to the Vatican. The castle has various exhibits ranging from Renaissance paintings and pottery to antique military weapons. A huge spiral ramp ascends upwards the Castel Sant Angelo for about 400 feet. As in the last act of Tosca, admire the beautiful view from the terrace. Walk then to the Jewish ghetto, on the other side of the Tiber River. The age-old presence of Jewish community in the city of Rome is commonly identified with one specific area – that bounded by the Isola Tiberina section of the Tiber, the Ponte Fabricio, Via del Portico d’Ottavia and Piazza delle Cinque Scole, designated by Pope Paul IV in the bull of 14 July 1555 as Rome’s ghetto. From the archaeological, historical and urban point of view this fascinating area of the city reveals many layers of Jewish history in the city. Lunch will be in a typical restaurant located in the area. The afternoon and evening will be at leisure.
DAY 7, September 25, 2020 | Rome
Today, you will have the day at leisure with a morning and afternoon optional activity. Tonight, you will be privately transferred to the famous restaurant Alfredo’s to taste their world-renowned fettuccine! At the end of the dinner, return to your hotel.
Morning Optional Activity-Private visit of the imposing Palazzo Colonna
The family's celebrated art collection, one of the most important Roman collections that developed after the Renaissance, is still housed in the most famous wing of the Palazzo, the renowned Galleria Colonna, an extraordinary, magnificent example of Baroque architecture, built and decorated from the mid seventeenth century on by Cardinal Girolamo Colonna I and opened in 1730.*(minimum number of 10 attendees at an additional price)
Afternoon Optional Activity-Rome’s Trastevere & Villa Farnesina
Explore Rome’s lively Trastevere district including a guided walking tour. Named for its location across the River Tiber, Trastevere was once the city’s Bohemian quarter and retains its artistic character. Afterward, enjoy a lunch of local specialties in a nearby restaurant before transferring to the 16th century Villa Farnesina for a private visit. The villa was built by Agostino Chigi, treasurer of Pope Julius II and patron of the Renaissance. Admire its architecture and interior design, as well as works by famous artists of the time, including notable frescoes by Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo and Il Sodoma.*(minimum number of 10 attendees at an additional price)
DAY 8, September 26, 2020 | Rome
Breakfast at your hotel followed by a private transfer to the Rome Fiumicino International Airport. Ciao!