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Hosted By: Donna Bell
News Director & Anchor
Discover charming, picturesque Tuscany 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 visit its famous Leaning Tower. Traveling north to the heart of the Italian Riviera for two nights, we 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 23rd, 2023 - October 1st, 2023
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 06/20/2023
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 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 is nestled among a panorama of landscaped gardens, olive groves, and vineyards offering us a chance to relax in an environment 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 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 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. Find 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. 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 Giovanni da Verrazzano, celebrated navigator. 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 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. After an included dinner we bid farewell to our time in Tuscany.
Day 6 : Pisa & Portofino 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 continue to our overnight accommodations along the Portofino coast.
Day 7 : Cinque Terre
Today we visit the Cinque Terre, an Italian National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive by rail on the Cinque Terre Express for a day exploring cities on 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 local wine. Dry whites are the specialty here. We start in the morning at the little village of Riomaggiore, continue on to Vernazza, and end our visit in Monterosso al Mare, the village with the best 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 : Arrivederci, Italia
After an included breakfast, we make our way home with fond memories of our Italian adventure.
WJHG TV Pickup Locations:
Panama City, FL - Panama City Bay City International Airport
Donna Bell is the WJHG News Director and Anchor of NewsChannel 7 at 11 a.m.
Donna graduated from the University of Florida and started her career at WJHG as a reporter in 1994. In 2018, as News Director, she led the news team through Hurricane Michael. WJHG was awarded the National Association of Broadcasters prestigious Service to America award for coverage of the storm. Under her leadership, WJHG has won over 100 awards for excellence in journalism.
Donna also volunteers with the American Cancer Society and serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists, and the Advisory Board for the UF College of Journalism.
Donna and her husband Dirk have been married for 26 years, and together they have two sons who are currently playing college baseball.
Join Donna and other WJHG viewers on this exciting adventure!
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.