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Hosted By: Tom McIntyre
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 30th, 2023 - October 8th, 2023
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 06/27/2023
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.
WMBD TV Pickup Locations:
Chicago, IL - O'Hare International Airport
East Peoria, IL - Holiday Inn & Suites
Normal, IL - Sam's Club
Tom has been a fixture on Central Illinois radio and television for half a century, beginning with WGLT-FM in Normal and continuing over the years at WIOK, WIRL, WWTO, WEEK, and now the veteran broadcaster calls WMBD-TV his media home.
An ISU graduate and navy veteran, Tom has won awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, The Illinois News Broadcasters Association, and a regional Edward R. Murrow award. He counts among his highlights a trip to Saudi Arabia with Peoria army reservists before the first Gulf War, and going to the White House to quiz Bill Clinton.
Join Tom and WMBD/WYZZ viewers on this spectacular vacation.
Interested in more travel opportunities? Click here or visit www.holidayvacations.com and enter keyword PEORIA.
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.