DAY 1: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2023Arrive Rome (2 nights)
Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, renaissance palaces, and baroque churches. You have one group transfer from the airport to your hotel. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director and get to know your fellow travelers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
MEAL(S):Dinner with Wine
ACCOMMODATION: Romanico Palace Hotel (or similar)
DAY 2: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2023
Our exploration of Rome begins at the Vatican Museums to view the masterpieces collected by Popes throughout the centuries and the bramante staircase. ‘Dive Into Culture’ during an included sightseeing tour with a Local Expert, admire Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and visit St. Peter’s Basilica to see his famous Pietà. Crossing the Tiber, we venture to Ancient Rome to visit where hundreds of thousands of spectators would cheer chariot riders to victory at Circus Maximus followed by a visit to the imposing Colosseum. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the magnificent sites of what was once the capital of the world, or kick back in a piazza soaking up the aromas of fine coffee while you watch the world go by.
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2023
WWII Sightseeing (3 nights)
Cassino - Italy
Today we pay homage to the thousands of brave souls whose final resting place is at the Anzio War Cemetery and visit the Anzio Beachhead Museum. The Anzio Beachhead Museum is devoted to the Allied amphibious landing on 22 January 1944, along the coastline between Anzio and Nettuno, in Italy. We then visit the Sicily-Rome American War Cemetery and Visitors’ Center. The World War II Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy covers 77 acres, rising in a gentle slope from a broad pool with an island and cenotaph flanked by groups of Italian cypress trees. Beyond the pool is the immense field of headstones of 7,845 of American military war dead, arranged in gentle arcs on broad green lawns beneath rows of Roman pines. We journey to Cassino for an evening at leisure.
ACCOMMODATION: Best Western Rocca Hotel Cassino
DAY 4: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2023
Monte Cassino - Cassino - Italy, Cassino - Italy
We head to Monte Cassino Polish Cemetery and Visitors’ Center. This cemetery holds the graves of over a thousand Polish soldiers who lost their lives as they stormed the Benedictine Abbey during the Battle of Monte Cassino. Visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery of Cassino, the largest British and Commonwealth cemetery in Italy. Then, we'll make our way to Liri Valley and on the Hitler Line to look at where the final battle for Cassino took place. Afterwards, we make our way to River Rapido to see the memorials. This evening we dine at a local restaurant.
MEAL(S):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 5: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2023
Visit San Pietro, and explore the ruins of a small village in the crucial Mignano Gap, where American forces fought a tough battle in 1943**. Afterwards, visit the Italian Cemetery at Mignano and the French Cemetery at Venafro. Spend sometime paying respects to the fallen soldiers before we make our way to the Formidable Gustav Line and Museum**. Here you can immerse yourself in the history of what was the battle of Garigliano for the breakthrough of the notorious Gustav Line. (**subject to availability as usually open only on weekends)
DAY 6: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2023
WWII Sightseeing - Florence (2 nights)
Today drive north and visit the Mausoleum of the 40 Martyrs in memory of 40 Italians who were massacred by German troops. Afterwards, we continue to the Renaissance city of Florence and enjoy an orientation drive. Explore the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to the Medici dynasty, whose penchant for beautiful art and architecture created one of the cultural centers of the world.
ACCOMMODATION: Adler Cavalieri Hotel Florence (or similar)
DAY 7: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2023
Gothic Line - Lucca
Lucca - Italy, Florence - Italy
Today head to the Gothic Line Museum in Borgo a Mozzano***. The Gothic Line was a heavily fortified defensive line built by the Germans. Head to Lucca for lunch on your own and a little time to explore. Then visit the Florence American Cemetery and memorial before returning to your hotel. Your Celebration dinner is included at a local restaurant. (**subject to availability, as usually only open 9am to 12:30pm on Thursdays)
MEAL(S):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 8: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2023
It's time to say a fond arrivederci to Italy and our newfound friends after a memorable journey. After breakfast, you have one group transfer to the airport.