Wednesday, December 26: Plan to arrive at the airport 2 hours before departure (airline requirement for international travel.) Keep in mind that most of the airports are going to be extremely busy.
Depart San Antonio at 7:55 a.m. on Delta Airlines #2011, arr. Dallas at 9:01. Depart Dallas at 12:00N on DL #584, arr. JFK at 4:33 p.m. (Ginger & Lisa–your flight is at 10:05 through Atlanta, arriving JFK at 4:10)
Depart Austin at 10:35 a.m. on Delta Airlines #94, arr. Cincinnati at 1:57 p.m. Depart Cincinnati at 2:35p.m. on DL #318, arr. JFK at 4:45 p.m.
Depart Phoenix at 9:35 a.m. on Delta Airlines #490, arr. JFK at 4:24 p.m.
Depart Seattle at 8:10 a.m. on Delta Airlines #490, arr. JFK at 4:27 p.m.
Everyone: Depart JFK at 6:00 p.m. on DL #84 for Milano.
Thursday, December 27: Arrive Milano Malpensa at 8:15 a.m. Coach transfer to Verona and the Hotel Accademia (011390) 45 596222. Afternoon free for recovery. If you are feeling up to it, there is a wonderful collection of presepii (manger scenes) from all over the world in the Arena on the Pizaa Bra. At 6:00 p.m. we will depart the hotel to join the “passegiata” along the Via Mazzini ending up at dinner at Trattoria Molinara (fixed menu w/choices).
Friday, December 28: Depart hotel at 9:00 for morning walking tour of Verona with our local guide, Andrea. Before the tour, I will give you a VeronaCard which is a bus pass and can be used to get into all of the museums and churches that we will visit plus any number of attractions that you can visit independently. Today we will visit San Zeno, Castelvecchio (exterior only), San Lorenzo, Corso Cavour, Porta Borsari, Piazza Erbe, Torre dei Lamberti, Porta Leoni and San Fermo. Afternoon free. Dinner at 7:45 at the hotel (fixed menu w/choices).
Saturday, December 29: Depart hotel at 9:00 for morning walking tour. Today we will visit Santa Maria in Organo, Ponte Pietra, Santa Anastasia, Arche Scaligere, Casa di Romeo, Casa di Giulietta, and Piazza dei Signori. Afternoon free. Dinner at Papa e Cicia (fixed menu).
Sunday, December 30: Depart hotel at 9:00 for morning walking tour, this time concentrating on Roman Verona–L’Anfiteatro Arena and Il Teatro Romano. Dinner and cooking demonstration from 6:00 p.m. at BET European Headquarters. Come see where I live and enjoy some of the local wines and cuisine. I’ll be serving risotto, pollo ripieno, contorni, panetone & gelato.
Monday, December 31: Depart hotel at 10:00 a.m. for excursion to Sirmione on Lago di Garda. We will explore the Roman ruins together (I’ve been assured that thye will be open. However, this is Italy.) You will then have free time to poke around the interesting village, have lunch (independent) and perhaps explore the 15th century castle. Return to hotel approximately 4:00. Depart hotel at 8:30 for New Years Eve dinner (Capodanno or San Silvestro depending on which altar you wish to observe) at La Taverna via Stella. Warning: arrive hungry as this is a huge meal–four courses with three dishes in each course. Also, do not indulge in any warmup drinking beforehand. There will be more than enough wine available during the evening.
Tuesday, January 1: Happy New Year! Morning free to sleep in, whatever. 12:00 noon departure from hotel by bus for Venice. Arrive Venice at 13:57. From the station, we will board two water taxis to take us to the Hotel Saturnia (01139) 041 520 8377, a 4-star splurge just off of Piazza San Marco. It is doubtful that much will be open today. I will lead us to the Piazza San Marco to get you oriented. If the famed basilica is open, I will pay for the entrances to get you up to the loggia to see the 3rd century BC horses and for a great view of Piazza San Marco. We will then proceed to Pala d’Oro to see the altar screen. Dinner at La Rivista.
Wednesday, January 2: If we were able to see San Marco yesterday, we will proceed directly to the Accademia to view Venetian art from the 14th through the 18th centuries. Lunch at All’Antica Carbonera near the Rialto Bridge (fixed menu w/choices.) Afternoon and evening free. If you are interested in modern art, you are encouraged to visit the Peggy Guggenheim collection.
Thursday, January 3: Free day in Venice. Dinner at the hotel (fixed menu with choices.)
Friday, January 4: 9:45 a.m. transfer to Venice airport by water taxi. Depart Venice on DL #155 at 12:15, arr. JFK at 3:40.
San Antonio: Depart JFK at 5:15 p.m. on DL #491, arr. San Antonio (via DFW) at 11:30
Seattle: Depart JFK at 5:30 p.m. on DL #2109, arr. Seattle at 8:54
Phoenix: Depart JFK at 5:40 p.m. on DL #491, arr. Phoenix at 9:35.
OPTION: Continue on to Florence! Depart Venice at 12:28 on a Eurostar train and arrive in Florence at 15:18. Continue itinerary with Friday, January 4, below.
Friday, January 4: Arrive Florence at 15:18. Our luggage will be picked up and we will walk to the Hotel Le Due Fontane (011390) 55210185. Dinner at Ristorante Accademia (order from menu.) Plan ahead note: There is a nice, clean laundromat around the corner from the hotel.
Saturday, January 5: Florence is about museums. I will give you descriptions of the various attractions and then reimburse you for the entrances to the ones you choose to visit (up to ¤ 30.00` Florence is also about shopping. Sorry but I can’t reimburse you for the bargains you find in the San Lorenzo and straw markets. Dinner at Trattoria il Teatro (fixed menu w/choices.)
Sunday, January 6: See January 5. Also, Dr. Alessi will lead anyone interested to the nearby Archaeological Museum (great Etruscan artifacts.) Dinner at Le Botteghe di Donatello (order from menu.)
Monday, January 7:Transfer by taxi to the station. Depart Firenze at 9:26, arr. Roma at 11:00. Short walk to the Hotel Diana (01139064827541).Afternoon visit to Forum and Palatine Hill. 7:30 depart hotel for dinner at Alfredo’s (fixed menu w/choices.)
Tuesday, January 8: Morning excursion to ancient Ostia, afternoon free. 7:30 depart hotel for dinner at Tiffany (fixed menu w/choices.)
Wednesday, January 9: Imperial Fora, Markets of Trajan, Colosseum and Nero’s Golden House. 7:30 depart hotel for dinner at La Gallina Bianca (order from menu.)
Thursday, January 10: Vatican and St. Peter’s. 7:30 dinner at hotel (fixed menu w/choices.)
Friday, January 11: Excursion to Tivoli and Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este. Lunch in Ristorante Sibilla in Tivoli (fixed menu.)
Saturday, January 12: Depart hotel in time for 7:21 (7:51) departure from Roma Termini, arrive airport (FCO) at 7:53 (8:23). 10:15 a.m. departure on Delta Airlines #71, arrive Atlanta at 3:40. Depart Atlanta at 5:25 p.m. on DL #4795, arrive San Antonio at 6:54.
Allan & Maureen Nowotny
Sara & Charles Lewis
Carrol Smith & Linda Nelson-Baugh
Julie and Ken Ortolon
Charles & Esther Mae Lundy
Constanza Serna & Katrina Garza