Piazza San Marco, Venezia
September 23 – October 7, 14 Days, 13 Nights:
$3,350 $3250 per person in a Double Room, $995 Single Supplement
Tour is now closed to further enrollment.
Last Revision: 9/20, Final Draft
Wednesday 21 September, Verona option group fly from USA
Thursday 9/22, Verona option group arrive in Verona
When you arrive in Verona either at the main train station (Verona Ports Nuova) or the airport, take a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Accademia. Rest up, take a shower, and at 6:30 let’s meet in the lobby and I’ll lead you to the Osteria Casa Vino for dinner at 7:00, taking you through Piazza Erbe to get you oriented to our location in Verona. After dinner, we will return to the hotel via Piazza Bra and the Arena. Overnight in the Hotel Accademia.
Friday 9/23, 3-nights in Venice group fly from USA
Mike & Danae Hollinger and Frani Jenkins & Bart Lohnes arrive at the airport at 17:30
VERONA GROUP: 9:00 AM walking city tour to include Santa Maria in Organo, various Roman sites and, of course, Casa di Giulietta, 7:00 pm dinner at La Greppia.
Saturday 9/24, 3-nights group and Verona option group arrive in Venice
Upon arrival in Venice and picking up luggage and clearing customs, look for a driver with a sign saying “Barker Group.” (Make sure your group is all together before leaving the airport.) You will then be driven to the train/bus station and directed to your pre-arranged water taxi. The taxi will drop you off at the hotel door. Those of us coming from Verona will be met at the train station by a representative and will take a water taxi to the hotel. IMPORTANT: If you miss your flight and will not be arriving at the time listed on the itinerary, call or text me at +39 331 333 3854 or call the hotel at +39.041.2410447. Likewise, if you can’t find the driver at the airport, call the hotel to inform them of the problem. Don’t “wing it” and head out on your own. After arriving and checking into the hotel, use the rest of the day for recovery from your travels and if you feel up to it, walk over to Piazza San Marco. Let’s all gather at 7:00 for a meet and greet social hour on the second floor Salone Nobile. Please be on time since I will have some announcements and vaporetti passes to distribute. Depart hotel at 7:25 for a very short walk to dinner at Osteria Al Mascheretti Overnight at the Ruzzini Palace Hotel.
Roz Zager & Carole Jordan and Susan Cleveland arrive at 9:25; Paul Alessi & Bill Curtis arrive at 11:05. The Verona Group will depart Verona at 9:30 and arrive in Venice SL at 10:42. (To be confirmed.)
Sunday 9/25, Venice
Breakfast at the hotel (and every morning on tour.) You will be given a 2-day pass for the vaporetti that will allow you to travel all over Venice and the outer islands. There is no set itinerary as a walking guided tour would be all but impossible. Also, some of the group has been to Venice countless times; for others, this will be the first trip. Plan ahead. Decide where you want to go and stick to your plans. Bring me your receipts for any museum visits and I will reimburse you up to €50.00. (Sorry, shopping is on your own!) Just be back at the hotel and ready to walk to Osteria Ae Sconte at 7:20.(Optional: Meet at he Salone Nobile for a bit of social time before dinner.) I have chosen a fish menu consisting only of an antipasto and a pasta. (If you are allergic to shellfish please let me know and I’ll have the restaurant prepare an alternative menu.) Overnight at the Ruzzini Palace Hotel.
Monday 9/26, Venice
Continue using your vaporetti pass and exploring Venice. Be back at the hotel ready to walk at 7:25 to Trattoria al Giardinetto. (Optional: Meet at he Salone Nobile for a bit of social time before dinner.) Overnight at the Ruzzini Palace Hotel.
Rebecca Marti arrives at 9:20
Tuesday 9/27, Coach to Ravenna
Check out of hotel and take water taxis to the Tronchetto where we will meet our coach and driver. Depart Venice at 10:00 to drive to Ravenna. On the way we will make a rest stop and pick up some lunch. Upon arrival in Ravenna and the Hotel Palazzo Bezzi, we will be assisted by hotel staff to get our bags up the steps and to the elevators. After checking in and having a bit of time to refresh, depart hotel by coach at 2:15 to meet our guide for the Ravenna World Heritage Site Tour a private walking tour of Ravenna to discover the ancient world of the Byzantine civilization through its beautiful, opulent mosaics. We will begin at BASILICA OF ST APOLLINARE IN CLASSE, known above all for the magnificent polychrome mosaics in the apse and the ancient marble sarcophagi placed along the naves. The coach will then take us into the city center, where we’ll visit: the BASILICA OF ST VITALE, the highest expression of early Christian art and architecture; the MAUSOLEUM OF GALLA PLACIDIA, a kind of “magic casket” which contains in its small perfect structure the V century mosaics, considered the most beautiful in the world; and the BASILICA OF ST APOLLINARE NUOVO, built by the King Theodoric for the Arian cult as a Palatine Chapel, which preserves the largest wall mosaics that have survived from ancient times. The tour ends here and it is a very short walk back to our hotel.
7:00 pm depart hotel for dinner at Al Passatore, a restaurant very close to our hotel. We will have a fixed menu of antipasto, two local pastas, a mixed grill of meats and veggies, plus dessert if you want it. Wine and water included, of course. Overnight at the Hotel Palazzo Bezzi.
Wednesday 9/28, Ravenna
9:05 After breakfast at the hotel, a short walk to Koko Mosaico for a half-hour presentation on the process of creating mosaics. After presentation, the rest of the day is free until dinner. Undoubtedly our guide yesterday will have suggested other things to see in Ravenna. Enjoy!
7:00 pm depart hotel for dinner again at Al Passatore, only this time we will have pizza, along with a green salad, wine & water. Overnight at the Hotel Palazzo Bezzi
Thursday 9/29, Coach to Ancona
On our way to Ancona, we will visit Colonnara a winery outside of Jesi. We will taste at least five of their wines accompanied by local salami, cheese. and bread There is a strong possibility that our visit will coincide with the annual harvest, but this is dependent on the weather and the maturity of the grapes. Late afternoon arrival at the SeePort Hotel. After checking in, there will be some free time before we walk to a nearby Trattoria for dinner. Overnight in the SeePort Hotel
Friday 9/30, Ancona
Meet in hotel lobby at 9:15 so we can be in position to leave by coach for a city tour beginning at the Duomo located at the highest point of Ancona. the city tour will include a visit to the excellent Archaeological Museum. The tour will end at a central piazza where you can find lunch (at own expense). Afternoon free to either explore the town or return to the Archeological Museum to visit parts that were not covered on the tour. Return on your own to the hotel. (It’s mostly downhill.) 7:30. 3-course dinner with local wines at the hotel restaurant. Overnight in the SeePort Hotel.
Saturday October 1, Coach to Sarnano
On our way to Sarnano, we will visit the Roman site of Urbs Salvia, which was sacked by Alaric and his men on their way to Rome. Afternoon free. At 5:00, weather permitting, meet at Piazza Perfetti 15/D for a glass or two of wine on my terrazzo overlooking the town and the Sibillini Mountains. At 6:00 we will adjourn to Pizzeria Il Borgo for dinner. If weather is lousy, we will skip coming to my apartment and just go directly to Il Borgo. Overnight in the Hotel Terme
Sunday 10/2, Coach to Pescara
Check out of Hotel Terme and drive to Chieti to visit the National Archeological Museum of Abruzzo. After the visit we will take time for lunch and a bit of sight-seeing in Chieti before continuing on to Pescara and the Hotel Carlton. Dinner at Panta Rei Beach restaurant, overnight in the Hotel Carlton.
Monday 10/3, Pescara
Free day to catch up on sleep, post pictures on Facebook, walk on the beach, shop, whatever. Dinner at the hotel restaurant (tentative), overnight in the Hotel Carlton.
Tuesday 10/4, Coach to Campobasso, Sepino / Altilia; hunting for truffles with aperitif; Campobasso
Check our of Hotel Carlton and transfer to Campobasso. On our way, we will meet our guide, Patrizia (3385454332) in Altilia/Sepino. We will visit Saepinum, a Roman city of Samnite origin built at the intersection of two sheep tracks coming from Abruzzo (Pescasseroli-Candela) and from the Matese mountains. It began as a resting place for shepherds and flocks, before becoming a center for trade. The continuity of life is very clearly evident in the cluster of rural houses (Altilia) built in the 17th century on the remains of the Roman city. Today the hilly medieval center of Sepino is included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy and offers a pleasant setting where history, nature and art blend harmoniously.
At the end of the morning, transfer to the woods of the Busso area for a short truffle hunt with a light lunch (included) afterwards.
Transfer to Campobasso and visit of the historic center and the Samnite Museum.
The medieval old town surrounds the slopes of Colle S. Antonio on which stands the Monforte Castle and the church of S. Maria del Monte. Slightly further down, going down the Viale della Rimembranza, are the two Romanesque churches of S. Giorgio and S. Bartolomeo up to the sixteenth-century church of S. Antonio Abate, one of the richest in works of art. Outside the last circle of walls, at the base of the hill, the nineteenth-century city extends with its large elegant spaces, squares and tree-lined avenues. In the Savoia theater and in the numerous liberty houses it often happens to see examples of balconies and wrought iron decorations. Of considerable interest is the Samnite National Museum which allows a thousand-year journey through the history of this land, while the Museum of the Mysteries, on the other hand, has a particularly important place in the affective and popular historical memory of the city, in fact it preserves 13 eighteenth-century wooden and steel structures called “Ingenuities”, protagonists of the Mysteries parade that takes place on the occasion of Corpus Domini.
Dinner and overnight at the Hotel San Giorgio
Menu: Cavatelli con Caciocavallo e Tartufo (Local Pasta), then choose either Parmigiana di Melanzane con Provolà Fumé or Arrosto di Salsiccia e Peperoni (Eggplant Parmigiana with Provolà Fumé or Roast Sausage and Peppers)
Wednesday 10/5, Campobasso
Breakfast and transfer to Pietrabbondante; visit of the archaeological area where the remains of a shrine complex from the Samnite era are preserved but the most monumental testimony is that of the theater / temple complex B built in axis overlooking the underlying Trigno valley.
Transfer to Agnone known as the Athens of Sannio, visit to the Pontifical Marinelli Foundry where bells are produced, still in an artisanal way, since the year one thousand. Then visit the historic center full of important churches, and notable buildings with clear Venetian influences especially in private architecture and craft activities.
Free time for lunch in Agnone or they can organize a light lunch for €10.00 per person.
Dinner and overnight at the Hotel San Giorgio
Menu: Spaghettone al Pomodorino di Collina, Basilico e Stracciata (Spaghetti w/small tomatoes, basil, and cheese), then choose either Baccalà alla Campobassana (Codfish) or Tagliata di Vitello (Sliced veal)
Thursday 10/6, Coach to Rome
Breakfast and transfer to Venafro center of Samnite origin occupied, without interruption, until modern times. Walking through the historic center, built on the pre-existing Roman urban structure, you will come across churches and monumental buildings. At the height of the medieval historic center, on the slopes of Monte Santa Croce, the Pandone Castle stands out, which was built around the original Longobard tower. Guided tour of the Castle, with its Renaissance frescoes, and of the National Museum of Pandone Castle, with works of art of great interest.
Lunch (included) along with tastings of buffala mozzarella & olive oil in the restaurant
After lunch, transfer to Cassino and visit the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino.
Famous abbey built by San Benedetto in 527, it was the villa of European culture for 1500 years, until February 15, 1944 when 500 tons of bombs were dropped in a few hours. Rebuilt the same as the original, it still retains many original parts and the traces left by the war are still visible.
Continue on to Rome and the Hotel Mediterraneo (Lunch was included, dinner is on your own.)
Friday, 10/7, Return flight to USA or stay in Rome a 2nd night
Gretchen, Carrol, and Rebecca fly back to USA. Day free in Rome for those of you staying on.
Saturday, 10/8, Return flight to USA or stay in Rome a 3rd night
Greg & Judy take train to Milano. The rest continue to explore Rome.
Sunday, 10/9, Return flight to USA
Mike & Danae Frani & Bart, Carole & Roz fly to USA
Monday, 10/10, Return flight to USA
Bill & Paul fly to USA, Connie to London.
|ARRIVAL In Verona
|DEPARTURE From FCO
|Greg & Judy Parks
|9/22, 11:15, El410 VER
|10/9, 11:25, AA412 MXP
|9/22, 1:30, EN8826, VER
|9/22, 9:20 VCE
|10/9, DL9448, 10:20
|Mike Chu & Ana Liu
|9/22, UA19, 9:20 MXP
|10/9, UA885, 11:00
|Gretchen Quinn & Carrol Smith
|9/22, AA198, 9:05 MXP
|ARRIVAL In Venice
|Mike & Danae Hollinger
|9/23, 17:30, LH328
|10/9, 11:20 (from Ciampino)
|Frani Jenkins & Bart Lohnes
|9/23, 17:30, LH328
|10/9, 8:05, LH1873
|9/26, 9:20, DL 38
|10/7. 13:15, DL 68
|Paul Alessi & Bill Curtis
|9/24, 11:05, DL192
|10/10, 10/05, DL63, 10:50, DL113
|Roz Zager & Carole Jordan
|9/24, 9:25, AA714
|10/9, 12:50, AA721
|9/24, 9:25, AA714
|10/7, 10:00, AA239