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Italy: Tuscany, the Alps & the Riviera 2014

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Trip Extensions

Pre-trip: Rome, Italy

More than 50% of our travelers have reserved this extension in 2014

Rome, the "Eternal City", is one of the great centers of Western Civilization and the civic and historic heart of Italy. Here, the ancient monuments of the vast Roman Empire stand side-by-side with the more recent wonders of the Renaissance. We think you’ll agree with us that this additional time to explore the Eternal City in depth is an opportunity not to be missed—and an exceptional value.

It's Included:
Accommodations for 3 nights at the First-Class Victoria Hotel or similar
4 meals: 3 breakfasts and 1 dinner
Included tours: Rome discovery walk, Rome by Night tour & dinner
Exclusive services of a Hospitality Desk representative
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    Depart the U.S. for your flight to Rome. Please refer to your individual itinerary for exact flight times.

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    After arriving in Rome, you’ll be met at the airport and assisted to your hotel. Then you’ll join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink. You can inquire at the Hospitality Desk for suggestions on where to enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

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    After breakfast, join us for an informative briefing about your upcoming days in Rome. Your Hospitality Desk representative will answer any questions you may have about your stay. Then join the hospitality desk representative for an included discovery walk in the neighborhood around the hotel. The remainder of your day is at leisure. Tonight, join us for a Rome by Night tour of the city. You'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a panoramic drive by some of Rome's most famous sites.

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    Explore Rome's treasures on your own today. You might stroll along Via del Corso, an almost mile-long stretch of palaces and shops, or spend time in the beautiful gardens of the Villa Borghese. Or you could visit the magnificent Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, or the Pantheon, one of the most remarkable structures from Ancient Rome. You might also marvel at the stunning mosaics of the church in the Trastevere district, or sip an espresso in a local cafe in this colorful neighborhood. Or stroll the Campo dei Fiori and explore the piazza with its booksellers, inns, small shops, and colorful morning markets (except Sundays). It is a lively spot by day and night.

    Or join our optional Rome of the Caesars tour this morning, which includes a visit to the Roman Forum and the Coliseum. Though it's only a shell of its former glory, the Coliseum remains the greatest architectural heritage from ancient Rome. It was here in this massive structure, capable of holding 80,000 people, that the fabled and bloody gladiatorial combats took place. In the Middle Ages, the structure was used as a fortress and later sustained damage from several earthquakes.

    The ancient Roman Forum was the political and commercial center of Rome when Rome was at its greatest power. The Forum was constructed over some 900 years with various emperors adding and extending temples, monuments, and buildings. Here the emperors, Roman senators, and consuls met to plan and pass the laws that governed Rome. The Forum remains one of the most powerful monuments to the grandeur that was Rome. You will view the Basilica Aemilia (the site of the great meeting hall) and the Curia (the Senate house), as well as other historic sites.

    Tonight, have dinner on your own in one of Rome's exquisite restaurants.

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    • Meals included:

    Enjoy a day to make your own discoveries.

    Or, join us today for an optional half-day tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. You’ll go beyond the costumed Swiss Guards in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica to explore the museums of the world’s smallest independent sovereign state, Vatican City. Started in 1506 by Pope Julius II, the Vatican Museums contain one of the finest art collections in the world. Although it’s impossible to see all of the vast collection, you’ll witness many of the priceless treasures acquired by the church over centuries. Following the grand corridors of the museum, you’ll continue to the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel, which contains the world’s most famous frescoes on its ceiling and one of its walls. Inside, you can admire Michelangelo’s most famous and dramatic masterpieces, including The Creation and The Last Judgment, both of which have been restored to fully reveal their majestic glory.

    This evening, you'll join your fellow travelers and begin your Northern Italy: Tuscany, the Alps & the Riviera Land Tour.