Come explore Italy, home to beautiful palaces and majestic castles, charming villages and quaint cities, the Eternal City, and centuries of traditions and celebrations. Italy makes a spectacular destination any time of the year, but for an even more magical experience, come during the Christmas season to join festivities celebrating the holiday season which date back for centuries. Lights are in the trees and there are decorations everywhere, just waiting for you in the most beautiful cities of Italy. During your Christmas Holidays in Italy you will make memories for a lifetime and you will bring back home the best traditional Christmas presents. Travelers looking for a different Christmas experience are in for a delicious and visually enchanting treat when visiting Italy from late November until Christmas each year. With so much charm, culture, and tradition, a trip to Italy during the Christmas season is bound to inspire awe in any traveler, and luckily there are several tour options available to allow you to make the most of these Christmas-wonder-lands.
Christmas & New Year Italian Delights - 12 Days
This Tour starts and ends in Rome and takes you on a 12-Day tour of Italy visiting 13 destinations. Accommodations, meals, transportation, and an expert guide are all included with the tour. Start off in Rome and meet your tour guide in the afternoon for a drink and welcome dinner with your fellow travelers. Explore the Eternal City on a guided tour and take in all of the famous sights and attractions such as the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain. Have the option to tour Vatican City as well on a separate excursion. Get a look at Mt Vesuvius and have a chance to explore the ruins of Pompeii on the way to Sorrento. Have the option to explore the Amalfi coast during some free time. Enjoy 2 nights in Sorrento with a free day to explore the gorgeous old town hugging the coastline. Sorrento is the perfect place to celebrate Christmas - explore the town in your own time, and seek out little shops producing lacework, ceramics and specializing in marquetry. In the evening, enjoy a festive dinner. Then depart the coast and head north to Assisi, stopping en route in Cassino. Famed for the site of the Abbey of Montecassino, along with its rolling green hills, vineyards and rivers. After a comfort stop here continue on to Assisi, whose most famous son, St. Francis, was born here in 1181. Enjoy the ancient churches and basilicas, many of them are just as St Francis would have seen them. Leaving the churches and basilicas behind, head to Venice, stopping off in Europe's third-smallest state, San Marino. Once you've had a look around, it's off to the canals of Venice. Take an orientation walking tour with your tour leader including the Rialto Bridge and St Marks Square. Sample some of the city's culinary delights and marvel at this incredible city. Enjoy a free day in Venice as you choose. You can get a classic Venetian view from the famous Rialto Bridge, board a gondola and see Venice the way it should be seen, try Venetian cuisine, visit museums & art galleries and get the full Venetian experience. Leave Venice for a stop in Verona to see the ancient city gates, a 2,000 year old arena, and Juliet's balcony from Shakespeare's classic. After your stop here, head for the Italian lakes for a mix of luxury and rural charm. Leaving the beautiful Italian Lakes, head to La Spezia, your base for exploring the famous Cinque Terre region. Made up of five picturesque Italian towns, Cinque Terre features hiking routes and trains running regularly along the coastline between the towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Taste local wines along with local produce such as pesto, freshly-caught fish and sweet lemons. Stop for a visit in Pisa on the way to Florence for a look at the leaning tower. Take a guided walking tour in Florence to explore many of the most famous sights. Sights to see in Florence include Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence Cathedral, the Basilica of Santa Croce and of course Michelangelo's David. A cultural and political focal point during the Renaissance, Florence is endowed with a huge variety of important buildings and famous artworks. After immersing yourself in art and history, it's time to ring in the New Year and watch the fireworks exploding vibrant color over the iconic landmarks of Florence. Then it's off through one of the world's most picturesque countryside landscapes, admiring Tuscan farmhouses, vineyards and olive groves as you drive by. Your first stop of the day will be in San Gimignano, a small walled hill town. Known as the 'Town of Fine Towers', it offers beautiful Romanesque and Gothic architecture and 12 well-preserved tower houses. Then make the short drive to Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for the 'Palio' horse race held twice a year in the main piazza, or public square. Enjoy a wine tasting accompanied with antipasto, before heading back to Rome and round the off the day with a farewell dinner on your last night of the tour.
The Flavors of Christmas in Umbria
Have a taste of the Christmas atmosphere in Italy joining in this unique vacation package. In Umbria the food traditions in the Christmas time have been deeply respected and kept for centuries. Christmas decorations and trees are popular in Umbria. Gubbio has the biggest Christmas tree in the world. It lights along the slopes of Monte Ingino from the last stone houses of Gubbio up to the basilica of S. Ubaldo, the patron saint of the town, close to the place where the star of Bethlehem shines till 6 January. The main focus of decorations continues to be the presepe, Nativity scene or Creches. Almost every church has a presepe. Displays often go beyond the manger scene and may even include a representation of the entire village.
This tour starts in Perugia and ends in Assisi and gives you 5 days in 3 different destinations in Italy. Accommodations, meals, transportation, and an expert guide are all included. Your first day is set aside for arrival and getting to know your guide and fellow travelers. On the next day, you will prepare a four course lunch. For lunch you will eat your creations accompanied by specially chosen wines. In the afternoon you will visit the cities of Corciano accompanied by a professional guide. Corciano is a classic central Italian medieval town. It sits on a hill, is surrounded by a city wall and is full of priceless works of art and architecture. 'Presepe a Corciano' takes place over the Christmas period. The streets of the whole town feature scenes from the Nativity with life size models of shepherds, children, animals etc. The event also coincides with the "Mercato dei sapori di qualita" where visitors can taste typical Umbrian food and wine products. On the next day of your tour, you will prepare another four course lunch. For lunch you will eat your creations accompanied by more selected wines. You will visit the mystical city of Assisi, a beautiful medieval town based on Mount Subasio, overlooking a peaceful Umbrian landscape. Assisi is essentially known for the fact that it's the place of birth of St. Francis in and that of Santa Chiara. You will have a guided tour of the city and the famous churches like the St. Francis Church filled with spectacular frescoes by Giotto, and also the Eremo delle Carcer, a peacefully isolated church and monastery in the wooded slopes just outside Assisi's walls and the St. Damiano church. On your next day, receive more cooking lessons and prepare another four course lunch that you will enjoy along with more selected wines. You will visit Gubbio with a professional guide. Lying on the slopes of Monte Ingino, it is one of the most ancient towns of Umbria, extremely well preserved during centuries and rich in monuments testifying its glorious past. Here in the Christmas time you can see the Christmas tree which lights every year in the evening on December 7 along the slopes of Monte Ingino. It is the biggest tree in the world, by now a real symbol of Gubbio. Your tour concludes the next day.
Venice and the Venetian Lagoon at Christmas
by CroisiEurope River C...
Experience Venice and nearby areas at Christmas time on this exciting tour that starts and ends in Venice. The tour lasts for 5 days and takes you to 4 destinations in Italy. Accommodations, transportation, and meals are all included with your tour cost. Board your cruise ship on the first day of the tour and enjoy a welcome cocktail to get to know the staff and fellow travelers. On the second day, Cruise through the magnificent bay of Venice to Chioggia and enjoy free time in the city. In the afternoon, go for a guided visit of Padua, which is probably one of the most important artistic towns in Italy. Many painters, architects and sculptors have left their mark on the town. Once the sightseeing is done, reboard for the cruise back to Venice. On the third day, excursion by private boat to visit the islands in the Venetian Lagoon: Burano, famous for its lacework, and Murano, home of Venice's glassmaking industry since the late 13th century. Then return to Venice for guided visits of the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square. On Christmas Eve evening, participate in midnight mass in Venice at St Mark's Basilica, if there is availability. On the fourth day, Christmas Day, enjoy a free day to explore Venice's extraordinary architecture before an Evening Gala to celebrate the holiday. On the 5th day your tour concludes after breakfast onboard the ship.
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