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Harbour of Vernazza
Leaning Tower or Pisa
Arno river and Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Cinque Terre, Italy
Departs: September 15th, 2020 Tour Dates & Pricing
Discover the charming Tuscany countryside and explore the colorful villages of the Cinque Terre. Stay in a classical villa for four nights as we visit breathtaking destinations in Tuscany each day. Visit medieval hill towns in Volterra, Cortona, and San Gimignano. In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, we will visit the Duomo and the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s David. Tour Pisa and visit its famous Leaning Tower. Continue north to the heart of the Italian Riviera for two nights where we explore the pastel-colored fishing communities of Cinque Terre and take a short boat ride to picturesque Portofino, the Pearl of the Italian Riviera.
Hosted By: Donna Hamilton
Former WBAL-TV Anchor
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Day 1 : Ciao Italia!
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 tour guide who accompanies us throughout our tour.
We then begin our journey through the famous rolling hills of Tuscany to our home for the next four nights, the delightful Hotel Casafrassi. This Neoclassical villa sits nestled among a panorama of landscaped gardens, olive groves, and vineyards and offers a chance to relax in an environment surrounded by the beauty of Tuscany. All rooms overlook the Chianti hills.
This evening, enjoy a Holiday Vacations Welcome Dinner at the hotel’s cozy restaurant and meet 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 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, see the more recent 12th-century Romanesque cathedral, and take in an alabaster carving demonstration.
Take time this afternoon to visit the Ponte Vecchio, a famous bridge housing local gold vendors, or enjoy a fresh gelato, traditional Italian style ice cream.
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 tonight.
Day 4 : Florence
Today we tour Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia and view incredible works including Michelangelo’s David. Wonder 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.
This evening offers a special treat, the winery at Castello di Verrazzano. Learn the history of Giovanni da Verrazzano, celebrated navigator and the first European to discover the Bay of New York. We delight in an included dinner featuring a fantastic selection of wines, meats, and cheeses for our sampling pleasures.
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 the Piazza Garibaldi, the sights and shops of the Via Nazionale and the Palazzo Casali, displaying relics from the Etruscan, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations.
The afternoon is yours for individual pursuits to enjoy the Renaissance churches, olive groves, and terraces that surround us in this picture-postcard town. Tonight we take in an included dinner and bid farewell to our time in Tuscany.
Day 6 : Pisa & Sestri Levante
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 of the city famously called "The Field of Miracles" where we see the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
We continue to the comfortable coastal town Sestri Levante along the Italian Riviera. The original part of this lovely city is on a peninsula and our hotel overlooks the Ligurian Sea.
Day 7 : Cinque Terre
Today we visit the Cinque Terre, an Italian National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site. We have the day to visit this rocky coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. The pastel colors of the buildings in the tiny fishing villages make for stunning pictures. Enjoy superb views of the distinctive terraced vineyards that produce the local dry white wines. We start in the morning at the little village of Riomaggiore, sightsee to Vernazza, and end our visit in Monterosso al Mare, the village with the best beach and beautiful lemon trees.
We return to Sestri Levante 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.
Tonight, we gather together for a Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner and toast our new friendships.
Day 9 : Arrivederci, Italia
After an included breakfast, we make our way home with fond memories of our Italian adventure.
September 15th, 2020 - September 23rd, 2020
Category - Occupancy
Price (Per Person)
Final Payment Date: 06/12/2020
WBAL TV Pickup Locations:
Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Washington International Airport
Donna Hamilton is a self admitted wanderer…someone for whom travel and discovering new places has been a lifelong passion. She was fortunate enough to be able to often satisfy that passion on the job.
Through Evening Magazine, Great Country Inns and other “gigs”, she visited parts of all continents….except Australia and Antarctica. As Donna says, “They still elude me, but I’m hopeful!”
She happily spent the last two decades medical reporting and anchoring the evening newscasts at WBAL-TV, bringing the news of the day to Baltimore and much of Maryland. Recently retired, she plans on more travel with her husband David, and hopes you’ll accompany her finding new places!
Join them and other WBAL viewers on this fabulous trip of a lifetime.