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It's all about the why, what, how and when, and it makes you feel like a VIP ("very important person" - or as we've been told, a "very inspired person") on this trip. It's riding in convertible cars on a magical island called Capri... special after-hours entry to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel - you and no crowds viewing Mr. Michelangelo's masterpieces... learning how to make Neapolitan pizza, olive oil and mozzarella cheese... stories about gladiators, volcanoes and a fountain that grants wishes... sweet.
Day 1: Arrive Rome... the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum and more
Tour begins: 3:00 PM, Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & SPA. A transfer is included upon arrival from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Fiumicino to Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & SPA. A brief city tour shows you some of Rome's most famous sights - view the Circus Maximus, Piazza Venezia, and the Caracalla Baths and visit inside the Colosseum with a guide. We invite you to join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.
Day 2: Gladiator school, the catacombs & after-hours at the Vatican Museums
Experience a close-up look at ancient Rome as you head out along the Appian Way. Your first stop is Gladiator School, where you'll not only get a fun introduction to ancient Roman history but also learn the essentials of fighting, gladiator style. Next up is a guided visit to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus where you'll learn all about the "secret language" of the early Christian symbols found throughout the underground tunnels of the Catacombs; take a look at frescoes and inscriptions that reveal clues. Have lunch at a restaurant on the Appian Way, then enjoy some free time in Rome. Tonight - a special family experience - a Tauck Bridges Exclusive after-hours, guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (subject to availability, day of visit may vary). See the Candelabra Gallery, Map Gallery and the Tapestries, as well as the Sistine Chapel - without crowds. You won't be rushed, you won't have to maneuver through masses of people blocking your views, and you'll be able to take your time to contemplate the inspirational and artistic treasures. Marvel at the spectacular Biblical scenes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel which changed the course of western art and took Michelangelo four years to paint, standing on a scaffold - he had impaired vision and a serious stiff neck afterward - and see why the floor of the Sistine Chapel is almost as famous as the ceiling frescoes.
Meals: B, L
Day 3: St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon & the Trevi Fountain
Your day begins with a visit to the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Peter's Square, accompanied by a local guide. A walking tour takes you to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain, where legend has it that if you turn your back, throw a coin into the fountain and wish for it, you'll return to Rome some day. Have lunch today at a local restaurant and spend the rest of the day enjoying Rome, as you please, with your family.
Meals: B, L
Day 4: From poignant Pompeii to pizza making in the countryside
Travel first class from Rome to Naples aboard a high-speed train. Upon arrival, you're off to Pompeii, which was buried in the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD - take a walk through the ancient streets with a local guide. Following lunch at a local restaurant, head to Sorrento for a three-night stay. Late afternoon, drive to Agriturismo La Galatea Farm to see how olives are pressed to make olive oil and how mozzarella cheese is made. A local expert teaches you how to make your own pizza for dinner, where you'll discover the magic of Neapolitan music and learn how to dance the energetic "Tarantella." Your family will enjoy Executive Level, Sea View rooms during your stay at Hilton Sorrento Palace.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: To the Isle of Capri by jet boat, touring by convertible and back to Sorrento
From Sorrento, take a trip across the Gulf of Naples by high-speed jet boat to the Isle of Capri. A fabulous ride in a private convertible brings you along the cliffs of the Anacapri road, ending in the town of Anacapri. Ride a funicular to the highest point on the island before lunch in the town of Capri, and a return by high-speed jet boat to Sorrento. Late afternoon, your Tauck Director takes you on a walking tour of Sorrento; spend the rest of the day and evening with your family as you please.
Meals: B, L
Day 6: Positano, a cruise and paper making on the amazing Amalfi Coast
You're in for an exciting ride today as you drive along the Amalfi Coast - the road rises, falls, twists and turns like a roller coaster. In Positano, take a walking tour before boarding a private boat for a cruise to Amalfi. Spend some free time in the lovely medieval town of Amalfi with its labyrinth of winding streets. Return to your fabulous hotel late afternoon, and join us for a farewell reception and barbecue dinner.
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Journey home
Tour ends: Sorrento. Fly home anytime. A transfer from the Hilton Sorrento Palace to Naples Airport is included. Allow a minimum of 3 hours for your flight check-in at the airport.
After hours guided visit to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, gladiator school in Rome, guided visits to Catacombs and Pompeii, explore Isle of Capri by convertible & Amalfi coast by boat, cheese & olive oil presentation & pizza making at countryside agriturismo
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