Day 1 :
Depart U.S. for Italy
- Flight to Italy :
Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America.
Day 2 :
Arrive in Milan - Venice - Padua Area
Venice is one of the few cities in the world that can truly be described as unique. It was
known as the gateway to the Orient, and during the Middle Ages became one of the most
powerful city-states in the Mediterranean. Built on a series of islands connected by bridges
and canals, Venice has survived all odds to become the intriguing and iconic city it is today.
The vaporetto is Venice's version of public transport, as no cars are allowed in this city on the
water. While in Venice, we will each have a vaporetto pass for transportation and
- St. Mark's Square:
Stroll the main focal point of the city and the center of its water transportation
system, as well as the most popular place for people watching and picture taking. Visit St.
Mark's Basilica, featuring interior walls encrusted with spectacular gold mosaics. Our visit will
also include an ascent to the Galleries to see the original bronze horses that once adorned
the facade, as well as a stunning view of St. Mark's Square.
- Grand Canal:
Take a vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal past Venice’s beautiful palaces and cathedrals.
We will also see the Rialto Bridge, the oldest and most famous of the bridges that span the
Our base for the next two nights will be Padua (area), where breakfast and dinner will be
provided at the hotel.
The old university town of Padua in northern Italy is rich in history, art, and architecture. Its
picturesque streets and piazzas charm visitors at every turn.
Day 3 :
Venice - Concert Performance
- La Fenice:
Tour Venice’s famed opera house. La Fenice was destroyed by fire twice, so our
tour will take us through the new building, which has been remodeled in the 19th century
- Grand Canal:
View the impressive Grand Canal that winds through the heart of the city and is lined on both
sides with ornate and graceful palaces and dotted with gondolas.
- First Concert Performance:
Your performance will be today. Venue options include the Basilica di San Marco, built from
the boundless wealth that Venice attracted during its heyday. This is a unique and inspiring
setting for participating in a Mass. The Church of San Stae (also known as St. Eustachius)
with its main façade on the Grand Canal is an impressive and unique venue. Situated near the
Grand Canal, the Chiesa di San Moise provides a magnificent baroque setting in which to
perform. The 13th century Chiesa di San Polo, has a clear acoustic with the added attraction
of containing works by Tiepolo and Veronese. Near the Rialto Bridge the Chiesa di San
Giovanni Elemosinario is also recommended for its excellent acoustic. The Liceo Artistico
near the Gallerie Dell' Accademia is also suitable for choral and instrumental groups. For the
experience of performing to a local community the Villa Schiatti-Giglioli, in Ficarolo around 80
miles South of Venice is an option. Similarly, situated 35 miles north east of Venice, the small
town of Torre di Mosto offers choral and instrumental groups a festival experience in a local
community setting during Carnivale. Choral and Instrumental Groups travelling in early March
can be considered for participation in the Sagra di san Giuseppe (St. Joseph's Festival), ask
your Tour Coordinator for details.
Day 4 :
Padua - Florence - Montecatini Terme Area
- Journey to Florence:
Today we will travel from Venice to Florence.
Florence is so deeply connected to the Renaissance movement in art and literature that it is
often called the “Cradle of the Renaissance.” A walk through the peaceful piazzas reveals the
architecture and sculpture that have made this beautiful city one of the world’s greatest
- Piazza del Duomo:
Enjoy the Piazza del Duomo, where the cathedral, tower, and baptistery exhibit the traditions
of Florentine art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. We will observe the massive and
detailed facade of the Duomo before viewing the baptistery’s bronze doors, designed by
Ghiberti and which Michelangelo commented were worthy to be the “Gates of Paradise.”
After a brief visit inside the Duomo, we will have the opportunity to ascend the Bell Tower;
climb the narrow steps to the top of the Red Dome and visit the spectacular interior of the
- Piazza della Signoria:
Spend time in the Piazza della Signoria, the political stage of Renaissance Florence and an
open-air museum of sculpture.
- Ponte Vecchio:
Stroll along the oldest of Florence’s six bridges and one of the best-loved
sites of Florence. Lined with numerous shops, visitors often do not realize they are on a
bridge until they reach the center arches that look out over the Arno.
- Montecatini Terme:
Montecatini Terme is a picturesque town in Tuscany that has hosted visitors since its famous
spa baths were created in the 16th century. Situated near Florence and Lucca, the town is a
perfect base for exploring.
Day 5 :
Florence - Concert Performance
- Accademia Gallery:
Visit where we will view Michelangelo’s statuary masterpiece, David, and Boticelli’s Madonna and Child. Music groups will continue to the Luigi Cherubini Music Conservatory and the Florence
Academy of Fine Arts, both located adjacent to the museum. The music conservatory
consists of over 50 instruments used in the 17th and 18th centuries, with exhibits on a vintage
Stradivari violin, made in 1690 as a gift to the Medici family, the invention of the piano by
Bartolomeo Cristofori in 1699, and a collection of harpsichords, string and wind instruments.
- Second Concert Performance:
Your performance will be today. Venue options include the great Santa Maria del Fiore, the
Duomo of Florence, where choirs are permitted to sing one acapella piece, the Chiesa Santa
Maria del Ricci, one of our most popular venues, the Chiesa Santa Maria Maggiore, which
has excellent acoustics, Chiesa San Filippo Neri/San Firenze, which is also suitable for
instrumental groups, and St. James Church which would serve as an ideal joint performance
venue. Secular venues include the elegant senior home, the Casa di Riposo on the outskirts
of Florence. Choirs and orchestras will enjoy performing in the historic Piazza Della Signoria,
in the center of Florence with the Loggia dei Lanzi acting as the outdoor covered stage, and
at the (former Chiesa) di Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio. School venues include the Isituto
Comprensivo Don Lorenzo Milani, where our groups always receive a very enthusiastic
welcome from pupils and staff. For a local community experience, which can often be more
rewarding, Montecatini Terme, a spa town about 35 miles west of Florence has several
venues for choral and instrumental groups.
Day 6 :
Montecatini Terme - Train to Rome
- Continue to Rome:
Today we will travel by train from Florence to Rome.
Known to many as the "Eternal City", Rome is the capital of Italy, with an uninterrupted
history spanning two and a half thousand years. As one of the founding cities of western
civilisation, Rome is filled with incredible historical sites. It is a city with many faces,
encompassing medieval, renaissance, and modern. To define Rome is an impossible task,
but to enjoy Rome is a wondrous experience.
- Vatican City:
Experience a specialist-guided tour of the Vatican City, including the Museums, home to one
of the world's most impressive collections of art. Our tour includes the map tapestry rooms,
the magnificent Raphael Rooms, and the spectacular Sistine Chapel, highlighted by
Michelangelo's ceiling and his Last Judgment. We will continue into St. Peter's Square to visit
St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the western world and the centre of Catholicism.
Highlights of our visit include Michelangelo's Pieta and Bernini's magnificent Baldacchino over
the high altar.
This evening we will dine near the spectacular Trevi Fountain where it is traditional to toss a
coin into the fountain to ensure a safe return to The Eternal City. Spend time at Rome’s
meeting place, the Piazza di Spagna, home of the famous Spanish Steps. The piazza and
steps are both named in reference to a 16th century Spanish ambassador who lived here.
English poet John Keats lived and died in the house to the right of the steps, which is now a
Day 7 :
Rome - Concert Performance
- Roman Empire:
Enjoy a guided tour, through the spectacular remains of the Roman Empire. The Colosseum,
considered to be the greatest symbol of Ancient Rome's power and glory, was completed
under Titus in 80 A.D. The Colosseum could hold 55,000 spectators, on a par with many of
today's modern sports stadiums. Among the sights included is the Arch of Constantine, a
triumphal arch finished in 315 A.D., commemorating the victory of Constantine I over
Maxentius in the year 312 A.D. We will also tour the ruins and excavations of the Roman
Forum, which features the remains of magnificent temples, basilicas, and triumphal arches
that once formed the heart of the Empire.
- Piazza Navona:
We will spend some time in the Piazza Navona area. Built on the foundations of Domitian's
Circus, this magnificent square was designed by Borromini in 17th century. It is full of life and
is highlighted by one of Rome's most spectacular fountains, the Four Rivers designed by
Bernini. The square is often filled with local artists. The surrounding neighborhood is also one
of the best places in Rome to get a tasty tartufo or gelato ice cream.
Visit Rome's best-preserved monument. The Pantheon is a masterpiece of architecture with its huge hemispherical dome. It also contains the tombs of the kings of Italy and that of the artist, Raphael.
This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
- Final Concert Performance:
Your performance will be today. Venues options include singing mass in St. Peter's Basilica,
which is the ultimate experience for many groups, the Chiesa Sant'Eustachio, the ancient
Roman Pantheon now a church, the Cathedral church of Rome the Chiesa San Giovanni in
Laterno, Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli, reconstructed by Michelangelo, the Chiesa Santa
Maria in Monte Santo, on the Piazza del Popolo, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the
existing core of the church was constructed between 432 and 440. The Chiesa Sant' Agnese
in Agone, which dominates one side of the Piazza Navona, and St. Paul's Within the Walls,
are both suitable for choral and instrumental groups. The latter church also hosts a regular
Opera series. Outside Rome secular venues include several schools including: the American
Overseas School, the Istituto Comprensivo Via Cassia, Istituto Comprensivo XXV Aprile,
Liceo Scientifico Statle Francesco D'Assisi. Each offers the enriching opportunity to interact
with the pupils after the performance. Frascati about 20 miles south east of Rome, at the
Villa Torlonia Gardens, is ideal for an evening concert in summer for choral and instrumental
groups seeking a local community performing experience. For groups wishing to perform in a
community service setting there are homes for the elderly including the Residence Il Poggio,
and the Casa Ronald Bellosguardo, a home for children undergoing chemotherapy at Rome's
Pediatrical Hospital Bambino Gesù.
Day 8 :
Depart Italy for U.S.
- Board flight for home:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to
the airport on our final day.