Highlights of the tour:
Visit of Giovanni Pierlugi da Palestrina birthplace
Visit of Castelli Romani and Tivoli’s majestic villas and gardens
Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica
Neaples and Pompei
We offer an extra opportunity to add one more day to this tour to visit Florence with no-queue visit to Uffizi Gallery and guided tour of the centre of Florence (Duomo).
Singing at a mass in St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican. This is the holiest site to perform in Italy.
Singing in a famous St Francis’ Basilica in Assisi.
Sacred Music Episodes: Palestrina and the Popes
DAY 1: Arrival to Rome and sightseeing in Rome (Colosseum)
Arrival of a group to Rome. Greeting by our assistant and transfer by our motor coach to hotel in Rome.
In case of early arrival, an afternoon visit of Rome by coach with our guide. We shall be visiting the most important sites of ancient Rome: including the Colosseum, the Roman Forums, Capitoline Hill, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and much more.
In case of arrival in the afternoon, we recommend relax in hotel, free dinner in a suggested typical restaurant. Overnight in hotel in Rome.
DAY 2: Frascati (Castelli Romani) – Palestrina (composer’s birthplace) – Tivoli (Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana)
After breakfast in hotel, we depart for visiting Frascati, a historical town which makes part of famous Castelli Romani hills. We enjoy a view of impressive Villa Aldobrandini, designed by Giacomo Della Porta for the nephew of a pope. This palace dominates the town, hovering above the central piazza in faded splendour. After a short stroll in a town, we continue a half an hour driving to Palestrina.
In Palestrina we visit the natal house of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, which hosts the ‘Palestrina Foundation, Museum and a Library’. We enjoy a visit of a permanent biographical and iconographic exhibition about the musician, with panels illustrating his life and works and the cultural context in which his art flourished, a rich portrait gallery and a library, containing works of great musical and musicological interest (7,000 volumes) with one entire section on Renaissance culture. The 15th century house, a birthplace of Palestrina, dominates a small town and gives you fantastic views all over Castelli Romani Hills.
Then we proceed our way to Tivoli. After a lunch in a typical restaurant in Tivoli, we start our visit of fabulous Renaissance Villa d’Este, built in the 1550s for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, the son of Lucretia Borgia. Designed to impress the Cardinal’s guests, the Villa d’Este’s gardens are composed almost exclusively of water features. Fountains of every description dazzle the onlooker, from the grand ‘Fountain of the Dragons’ and ‘Hundred Fountains’, to a miniature watery reproduction of Rome. The centrepiece, the gigantic Water Organ Fountain, cascades down a huge drop into quiet, shady pools. We continue our visit of Tivoli to Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana). Villa incorporates lakes, fountains, libraries, baths, temples and gardens. Return to hotel in Rome. Free dinner in one of suggested restaurants. Overnight inhale in Rome.
DAY 3: Rome: Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica and concert
After breakfast in hotel, we travel by coach to St Peter’s Basilica, Rome’s most famous church and one of the most important catholic landmarks in the world. As the holy epicentre of the Roman Catholic faith it’s vital to the history and culture of Rome – even to this day it is a place of global pilgrimage. With its impressive dome, gilt and marble interior it’s a wonder to behold not only for its symbolism but for its art and architecture, too.
After admiring St Peter’s Square, created by Bernini, a wonderful example of Baroque art in Rome, we are heading for a guided tour of Vatican Museums. We shall see the breath-taking Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo masterpieces like La Pietà.
After Vatican Museums, we walk to Castel Sant’ Angelo and have free time for a lunch in a typical Roman trattoria.
In the evening the choir sings in a mass in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome.
Overnight in hotel in Rome.
DAY 4: Full day to Naples and Pompei
After breakfast in hotel we depart for Neaples. Arriving in Naples you will enjoy a panoramic view of the city, proceeding towards the hill of Posillipo, which boasts on of the most spectacular views of the Gulf of Naples and the Volcano Vesuvio. The city tour continues crossing the historical centre to see Piazza del Plebiscito, the Royal Palace, the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, the San Carlo Opera House, the Gallery of Umberto I and the imposing Maschio Angioino. Photo stop at the impressive Castel dell’Ovo. In Pompei you enjoy an awesome 2 hour archaeological walking tour of the excavations of Pompeii. Return to Rome. Overnight in hotel in Rome.
DAY 5: Assisi and concert
After breakfast in hotel, we depart from Rome and cross the valley of the Tiber river. The tour continues through the green hills covered in olive groves and vineyards. This is the land of some Italian best known wines. We will stop to taste local wine and typical Umbrian products. We have a guided waling tour of Assisi, walk through the narrow streets of the ancient town which sweeps the flanks of Monte Subasio, visit the Church of Santa Chiara, the site where St. Francis was born. Free time in Assisi and in the afternoon the choir sings in St Francis’ Basilica in Assisi. Transfer to Rome and overnight in hotel in Rome.
DAY 6: Departure
After breakfast in hotel, transfer to airport of Rome.
Program 7 days: Basic tour as described above and 1 day in Florence.
Full day Florence tour. After breakfast in hotel, we drive to Florence and start a guided tour in Florence’s centre to see the Duomo, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. You will cross the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge offering beautiful views of the Arno River, and stroll through Piazza della Signoria.
Then we bypass the queues with your skip-the-line entrance ticket to Uffizi Gallery. As you walk, your guide will entertain you with tales of the artists, architects and wealthy patrons who’ve contributed to the gallery’s collections. Gaze at masterpieces by renowned Italian artists, such as Raffaello, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and see Botticelli’s famous Birth of Venus and Primavera paintings. Da Vinci’s The Annunciation and Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo paintings are also showcased here. Return to Rome and overnight in hotel close to Rome. Next morning departure for the airport.
Single room supplement on request;
Entrance fees to places of interest (State run museums free to over 65s);
Lunches, dinners and tastings during the tour;
Audio headphones during the excursions;
City taxes if applicable to be paid directly in hotels (from 1,50 up to 3,50 euro per person per day);
Full day tour to Florence.