Welcome to Venice, Italy. This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its sights. Your Italian adventure will begin with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. There are no activities planned before the meeting, but if you arrive early there are plenty of things to keep you and the family busy. Take a walk around the maze of streets behind Piazza San Marco and begin to understand the complex canal system of Venice. The Grand Canal is a great place to start, as you can stroll over the Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. After the meeting, enjoy dinner with the other families at a local restaurant.
After breakfast, venture out and explore Venice on an orientation walk. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Wander around at the Doge’s Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs, taking in the views of the waterways as you go. Once the walk comes to an end, take a quick gondola ride over to Rialto – the heart of the city. Take some free time to explore the city, and consider catching a vaporetto (water bus) to San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for a panoramic view of Venice. Otherwise, travelling down the Grand Canal via Venetian gondola is a great way to immerse yourself in the waterside culture, or the Palazzo Ducale overflows with paintings from Italian masters making it well worth a visit too. Meet up again in the afternoon at the private workshop of a professional mask maker, where you’ll learn to make your own mask using traditional working methods treasured by the people of the city.
Take a morning trip to the Italian Riviera – a region studded with tree-coated mountainsides and colourful townships sitting in the background of the tranquil Ligurian sea. The first stop on this trip through is Levanto – nestled between a thickly wooded valley and the ocean. During your stay here, chop and blend up basil, olive oil and other ingredients as you enjoy an authentic pesto making class with a local family. Once you’ve got a grasp of these traditional Italian culinary techniques, cooking at home will no doubt become that much better.
Venture out on the footpaths of Cinque Terre – a region of Italy famed for its coastline and pastel villages on sharp cliff faces. These paths weave between the villages past olive groves, vineyards and onwards to idyllic, breathtaking vistas. You can choose to walk just a few sections if you like – all of the available paths offer excellent views of the majestic scenery. Otherwise, you’re also more than welcome to take a train from village to village if you’d prefer to put your feet up and relax.
Spend some time relaxing on the beautiful Cinque Terre coastline – perhaps go for a dip in the waters or source out some fresh local seafood. Afterwards, travel on an early afternoon train to Pisa (approximately 2.5 hours). Once you arrive, take a bit of time to explore the Field of Miracles while taking in the intricately structured architecture of Duomo Cathedral, Piazza Del Duomo and of course, the World Heritage-listed Leaning Tower of Pisa. Snap up some family photos with this iconic building, or, if you’re daring enough, scale up the 300 spiralling stairs to get a better view of the field below. As the evening rolls in, settle down to a traditional Tuscan dinner in a trattoria – known to be simple but full of flavour.
Take a train towards Rome (approximately 3 hours). After arriving in Italy’s history-soaked capital city, play gladiator for a day at an afternoon training class that teaches the basics of this historical method of combat. Relive Roman history during a hands-on session while donning on armour, fighting with training weapons and cooling down with a drink afterwards. Tonight is free for you to eat the best Roman pizza and gelato in town – it’s not hard to find them, but it takes local knowledge to eat away from the tourist traps and in authentic places. Luckily you’ve got a local leader to show you the way and give you all suggestions!
Take part in an exhilarating art safari as you rummage through the heart of Roman Baroque. Travelling with a group leader, explore the Villa Borghese while keeping an eye out for clues and hotspots as you navigate the grounds with your map. Begin at the Borghese Gallery, immersing yourself in the woods and gardens of this historically rich area as you learn more about the stories of the past. Avoid the gaze of Medusa, keep an eye out for other mythological beasts and discover why the villa is littered with exotically carved fountains on this art adventure the whole family can enjoy – especially the kids!
This Northern Italy Family Holiday comes to a close today and there are no further activities planned. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to end! If you would like to extend your stay in Rome, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
|Start date - End date||Trip Status||Price|
|27/JUN/2020 - 04/JUL/2020||FS DG||AU$2461|
|04/JUL/2020 - 11/JUL/2020||FS DG||AU$2461|
|11/JUL/2020 - 18/JUL/2020||FS DG||AU$2461|
|01/AUG/2020 - 08/AUG/2020||FS DG||AU$2461|
|19/SEP/2020 - 26/SEP/2020||FS DG||AU$2461|
|26/SEP/2020 - 03/OCT/2020||FS DG||AU$2461|