Sample Custom Tour

Day 1 - Friday - Depart Detroit

Day 2 - Saturday - Arrive in Venice  - We meet our tour director and transfer to our hotel, where we meet our guide for a walking tour of the elegant Piazza San Marco, visiting the Basiica of San Marco and the Doge’s Palace. This evening, we will enjoy a welcome dinner hosted by our tour director.

Day 3 - Sunday - This morning, we will tour the islands of Murano, famous worldwide for its glass , and Burano, known for its lace work. After lunch, we will visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, and San Georgio Maggiore, designed by Palladio, with wonderful frescoes by Tintoretto.

Day 4 - Monday - Today, we drive along the Brenta Canal  to Vicenza, to see examples of Palladio’s genius, including La Rotonda, one of  his greatest masterworks.  Driving on to Verona, we visit the Roman Arena, third largest in the world, completed in 30 AD, and still in use,  and Juliet’s House, and the famous balcony. Continuing on to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, we visit the Ponte Vecchio (“old bridge”), and  the Piazza della Signoria where we will see the Palazzo Vecchio and copies of several famous sculptures. This evening perhaps a passeggiata (evening stroll) along the Arno river with a gelato.

Day 5 - Tuesday - This morning, we visit the Accademia, where we will see Michelangelo’s David, then tour the Medici Chapel, home of several Michelangelo sculptures.  Outside, we may wish to shop in the bustling street markets. Our tour guide leads us to the stunning green, white and pink marble Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo, or main cathedral of Florence, with its towering dome by Brunelleschi, and Giotto’s beautiful Bell Tower, the adjacent Baptistry, with Ghiberti's celebrated bronze doors, dubbed by Michelangelo the "Gates of Paradise".

Day 6 - Wednesday - Today we will tour the Bargello, the city’s old prison, now home to a rich collection of applied arts and sculpture, including Giambologna’s Mercury, Donatello’s David and Michelangelo’s Bacchus.  Then on to the Uffizi, Italy’s greatest art gallery, second only to the Louvre, in Paris.  We will visit Santa Croce, where we discover the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Rossini, and Machiavelli.  We then walk through the sacristy to the Scuola del Cuoio,  the famous leather school, where we can get fine leather goods at very reasonable prices.  Tonight we enjoy a festive dinner in the hills overlooking the city.

Day 7 - Thursday - Today we drive to Monteriggione, one of the best preserved medieval hill towns. Next, in Volterra, we see the world’s greatest collection of Etruscan artifacts.  We then continue on to Rome.

Day 8 - Friday - Today, we travel back in time to Ancient Rome.  Our guided tour begins with St. Peter in Chains (home to Michelangelo’s Moses), and includes the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine, and, of course, the magnificent temple ruins of the Roman Forum. Then we climb to the Piazza del Campidoglio (designed by Michelangelo), and descend his famous stairs, entering the Piazza Venezia with the monument to Vittorio Emaneulle II. Walking up the Via del Corso, we  visit the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, where we will have lunch, and then board our bus and drive to the catacombs and St. Paul Outside the Walls.  Perhaps we will be fortunate enough to hear the Benedictine monks sing vespers.

Day 9 - Saturday - Today, we tour the Vatican Museums, home of the Vatican's incredible collection, including the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel. We then enter St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in Christendom, where we will see Michelangelo’s Pieta. This afternoon is free to shop, explore, or re-visit a favorite site. This evening, after a farewell dinner hosted by our tour director, some of us may wish to visit Trevi Fountain, to toss in our coins, assuring our return.

Day 10  - Sunday - Reluctantly, we bid Arrivederci Roma and board our flight to Detroit