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Hosted By: Cynthia Fodor
KCCI TV Retired Anchor
Discover Tuscany’s charming, picturesque countryside and explore the colorful villages of Cinque Terre. Stay in a classical villa for four nights and visit breathtaking locations in Tuscany each day. Stop in the medieval hill towns of Volterra, Cortona, and San Gimignano. In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, visit the Duomo and the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s David. Tour Pisa and see its famous Leaning Tower. Travel north to the heart of the Italian Riviera for two nights to explore the pastel-colored fishing communities of Cinque Terre and take a pleasant boat ride to quaint Portofino, the Pearl of the Italian Riviera.
You can earn a $100 Travel Show Credit good for your next trip with Holiday Vacations by simply clicking the photo to watch the online travel show! The show is about 10 minutes long and at the end, you'll have the ability to submit your contact information and receive a travel credit which can be applied to this or any Holiday Vacations tour. Get started now!
September 28th, 2024 - October 6th, 2024
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 06/25/2024
Day 1 : Overnight flight to Europe
Our tour begins with an overnight flight to Italy. Anticipation builds as we fly across the ocean.
Day 2 : Arrive in Rome
Upon arrival, we are greeted by our Italian guide who will accompany us throughout our tour. We then journey through the famous rolling hills of Tuscany to our home for the next four nights, the delightful Hotel Casafrassi. This Neoclassical villa is nestled among a panorama of landscaped gardens, olive groves, and vineyards, offering us a chance to relax while surrounded by the beauty of Tuscany. All rooms overlook the Chianti hills. This evening we get to know our fellow travelers over authentic Tuscan cuisine, complete with local wine.
Day 3 : Volterra & San Gimignano
Today we visit two of Italy’s best preserved medieval hill towns, both of which are surrounded by fortified walls and overlook rolling farmland. Pre-dating the Roman Empire, Volterra was once an important Etruscan city. Learn about its ancient history and see the more recent 12th-century Romanesque cathedral. In the afternoon we visit San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers once used by feuding noble families. During our free time here, roam the quaint cobblestone streets and squares that make this ancient hill town so mesmerizing. Discover the tastes of the region with an included dinner.
Day 4 : Florence
This morning we tour Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia and view incredible works including Michelangelo’s David. Marvel at the Duomo, the largest brick dome ever constructed, and gaze upon Ghiberti’s bronze doors of the Baptistery, often called the Gates of Paradise. Take time to visit the iconic Ponte Vecchio Bridge with its unique hanging houses and shops or enjoy a fresh gelato. This evening offers a special treat, the winery at Castello di Verrazzano. Learn the history of celebrated navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano. We delight in an included dinner featuring a fantastic selection of wines for our sampling pleasure.
Day 5 : Cortona
After a splendid breakfast, we make our way to the hilltop town of Cortona. Our Italian guide will provide a fascinating tour of the medieval architecture of Piazza Garibaldi, sights and shops of the Via Nazionale, and Palazzo Casali, displaying relics from the Etruscan, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the Renaissance churches, olive groves, and terraces that surround us in this picture-perfect town. Following an included dinner, we bid farewell to our time in Tuscany.
Day 6 : Pisa & Ligurian Coast
Enjoy breakfast on the terrace and say arrivederci to Tuscany as we travel north to Pisa, known for its opulent churches and palaces. Our guide introduces us to the area famously called "The Field of Miracles," where we see the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. We then have some time at leisure in the city before we continue our journey to our home for the next two nights, Santa Margherita Ligure, nestled along the Ligurian Coast.
Day 7 : Cinque Terre
Today we visit Cinque Terre, an Italian National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive by rail on the Cinque Terre Express for a day of exploring cities on this rocky coastline along the Mediterranean Sea. Pastel colored buildings in the tiny fishing villages make for stunning pictures. Enjoy superb views of the distinctive terraced vineyards that produce local wine, the specialty here being dry whites. Our adventure begins at the quaint village of Riomaggiore, we continue on to Vernazza, and end our visit in Monterosso al Mare, with a lovely beach and beautiful lemon trees. We return to our hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 8 : Italian Riviera
A short boat ride takes us to Portofino, known as the Pearl of the Italian Riviera. This enchanting fishing village with its picturesque harbor is frequented by some of Europe’s wealthiest and most discerning pleasure seekers. This afternoon we travel to Milan for our overnight accommodations near the airport where we gather for a Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner and toast our new friendships.
Day 9 : Fly Home
After an included breakfast, we make our way home with fond memories of our Italian adventure.
KCCI TV Pickup Locations:
Des Moines, IA - Des Moines International Airport
Cynthia Fodor started at KCCI in 1994, anchoring evening newscasts and the 5:00 p.m. news for 23 years.
In 2015, she transitioned to Chief Political Reporter. She interviewed numerous presidents and presidential candidates while covering the Iowa Caucuses. Fodor won a regional Edward R. Murrow award in 2004 for her story “Big Flag”. She is also a two-time regional Emmy Award winner.
Cynthia is a Pittsburgh, Penn., native and received her degree in journalism from Ohio University in Athens. She spent five years as a reporter in Pittsburgh and worked in Albany, N.Y. A highlight of Cynthia’s career was her experience with ABC News in New York, London, and Washington, D.C., where she worked as Peter Jennings’ researcher. She retired in 2022.
Join Cynthia and KCCI TV viewers on this wonderful tour!
Tour days tend to be shorter in length, at a relaxed pace, and include lots of unscheduled time for leisure. Expect standing and walking for extended periods of time on flat surfaces, mostly low altitudes, and consistent temperatures.
Tour days usually move at a leisurely pace. Some days’ scheduled activities last longer than others. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on occasionally uneven terrain. You may experience changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a consistent pace, and may include long travel days. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on uneven surfaces. Some destinations may have changes in altitude and/or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a brisk pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a vigorous pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on rough surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.