“Open my heart and you will see, engraved inside of it, ‘Italy’” – Robert Browning
Alluring history, hidden mystery and magnificent art come together in this extraordinary journey to the heart and soul of Italy. One of William Henry’s signature tours its designed and personally guided by him to take you on a quest of a lifetime. You’ll spend ten days immersed in some of the world greatest architectural wonders and richest art while in some of the most beautiful places anywhere. As we explore the corridors of the world’s greatest museums and basilicas, and tour the glorious countryside, which has scarcely changed for centuries, you’ll feel all your heart and senses come alive and soul rise like never before!
Day 1: UNITED STATES TO FLORENCE
Depart your hometown and take an overnight flight across the Atlantic. Enjoy in-flight entertainment and meal service as you travel to start your vacation.
Day 2: ARRIVAL FLORENCE "Benvenuti in Italia!"
Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival, your escort will be waiting to help you outside of the restricted customs area and will accompany you to your motor coach. The rest of the day on own. Free for lunch. Dinner at hotel or nearby restaurant. Seminar this evening with William Henry, DINNER ; OVERNIGHT: HOTEL CAROLUS, FLORENCE
Florence, Italy. The home of the Renaissance
Day 3: FLORENCE SIGHTSEEING
This morning we head to San Marco for morning sightseeing after breakfast, an early afternoon walking tour of enchanting Florence. See Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery with its bronze doors and the famous cupola by Brunelleschi. Also visit the famous Santa Croce Church. A short walk brings you to the Accademia Gallery (with entrance), which houses the statue of David by Michelangelo. In the afternoon, Conclude at the Uffizi Gallery showcasing a spectacular collection of Renaissance Art assembled over centuries of careful acquisitions. The collections, consisting mostly of Italian and foreign sculpture and paintings from the 13th to 18th Centuries, include an extraordinary survey of the Florentine school including artists such as Cimabue, Leonardo, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Free for lunch.
Jesus in the Tree of Life at Santa Croce, Florence
Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Santa Croce, Florence
Michelangelo's David, a Renaissance masterpiece, in Florence
Decode Botticelli’s “Pallas and the Centaur” and other masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Be inspired by the magnificent frescos of Fra Angelico in San Marco, Florence. Jesus descends into Limbo, Fra Angelico
The Transfiguration, Fra Angelico, San Marco, Florence
St. Francis receives the Stigmata from Jesus as a seraphim angel at Santa Croce, Florence
The Duomo, Florence
Day 4: SIENA & ASSISI
After breakfast, drive to Siena. Discover Siena, built over a hilly countryside dotted by ancient olive trees, cypresses and vineyards, it greets visitors with a Latin inscription translating into “Siena opens its heart to you”. The city is the most harmonious, uniform and possibly beautiful of the large Tuscan towns and you walking tour highlights its historical center, wealth of attractions including the Cathedral and the shell- shaped Piazza Del Campo where the “Palio” horse race is held twice a year. Proceed to Assisi. Stop at St. Mary of Angels, situated in the plain at the foot hill of Asissi. The basilica was constructed between 1569 and 1679 enclosing the 9th century little church, the Porzuincola, the most sacred place for the Franciscans. Free for lunch. Dinner at hotel. DINNER; OVERNIGHT: HOTEL SUBASIO, ASSISI
Day 5: ASSISI HIGHLIGHTS
After breakfast, morning guided tour of Assisi. See the famous sights and visit the major Basilicas like the Basilica of St.Francis and St.Clare Basilica. In the afternoon, drive to see the Carceri Hermitage. St. Francis first began coming to this beautiful place in the forest in 1205. At the time, the only building here was a tiny 12th-century oratory. Francis lived alone in a cave, where he prayed fervently and did penance. Soon other men followed him to the mountain, finding their own isolated caves nearby in which to pray. The rest of the day on our own to shop and walk the medieval streets of this enchanted town with its stupendous views. Free for lunch. Dinner at the Buca di San Fransisco Restaurant, DINNER & OVERNIGHT: HOTEL SUBASIO ASSISI
Assisi, ‘the heart of Italy’
Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi, mother church of the Franciscan Order
Inside San Franceso is one of the greatest assemblages of mediaeval fresco painting, including the controversial cycle of the Life of St Francis, who followed the way of the heart, met Jesus as a Seraphim angel, and ascended into heaven. To some, he is the ‘Second Christ’.
Statue of St. Francis meditating at Assisi
Francis receives the Stigmata from Jesus as a Seraphim angel
The Ascension of St. Francis
William Henry with St. Francis in the Gate of Eternity
Day 6: EXCURSION LA VERNA
After breakfast, depart for La Verna, in Latin Alverna and geographically known as Monte Penna, is a locality on Mount Penna, an isolated mountain of 1,283 m situated in the centre of the Tuscan Apennines, rising above the valley of the Casentino. The place is known especially for its association with Saint Francis of Assisi—it is here that he is said to have received the stigmata—and for the Sanctuary of La Verna which grew up in his honor. Administratively it falls within the Tuscan province of Arezzo and the commune of Chiusi della Verna, Italy. Free for lunch. Dinner at hotel. Enjoy a lecture this evening with William Henry, DINNER & OVERNIGHT: HOTEL SUBASIO, ASSISI
Door at the Hermitage of St. Francis
Day 7: ASSISI TO SORRENTO
Early breakfast, depart for Sorrento (approx 5hrs drive). Stop for lunch on own. Before checking in at your hotel, enjoy a panoramic drive of the splendid views of the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Dinner at hotel. DINNER & OVERNIGHT: HOTEL MICHELANGELO, SORRENTO
Sorrento from above. Isn't this view such pure natural beauty? The cliffs, the buildings fading into the landscape and the mountains meet the ocean... aahh
Day 8: POMPEII & ROME
Depart for Rome. En route, stop in Pompeii. Enjoy a half day private tour to UNESCO listed Pompeii, the ancient city covered by ashes during Mt. Vesuvius’ massive eruption. Considered sacred to Hercules by the Greeks and Romans, in 79 AD the volcano - currently classified as dormant - buried the surrounding towns, including Pompeii, under feet of ash, cinder and mud killing almost 20,000 inhabitants. Your fascinating archaeological journey through the city, literally frozen in time, highlights the Roman Forum, the marketplace and superb patrician villas including the Home of the Vettii. Afterwards, drive to your final destination Rome. Free for lunch. Dinner at hotel. DINNER & OVERNIGHT: HOTEL PALATINO, ROME
Like all of William Henry’s tours, Soul Rising Italy focuses on the secrets of the (star) gates of the gods. We’ll see this Roman wall painting depicting the water ceremony of Isis in Pompeii
Day 9: ROME
After breakfast, morning visit to one of the most splendid museums of the world, the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon a guided tour of Ancient Rome. Relive Rome’s ancient glory on a morning tour that passes legendary monuments, palaces, ruins and squares. Highlights include the monumental Colosseum - battleground of gladiators and, according to tradition, site of martyrdom for early Christians - and the Roman Forum lost between history and legend. This most ancient and “romantic" group of ruin, once a marshy hollow that was later drained, became the political, commercial and religious center of the city. Continue to the Palatine Hill and immerse in its extraordinary beauty, see the remains of the city’s most ancient homes and the "Roma Quadrata" (Square-shaped Rome) dating from the times of Romulus, its legendary founder. Free for lunch. Dinner at hotel. DINNER and OVERNIGHT: HOTEL PALATINO, ROME
The Vatican Museum
Day 10: ROME
After breakfast, morning visit Maria Sopra Minerva. The only Gothic church in Rome, the Basilica Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva) is so named because it was built directly on the foundations of a temple to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. The basilica that stands today was begun in 1280. Architectural changes and redecorations in the 1500s and 1900s stripped it of some of its magnificence, but it still includes an awe-inspiring collection of medieval and Renaissance tombs. Continue on to visit The National Museum of Rome (Museo Nazionale Romano in Italian) is a set of museums split among various branches across the city. It was founded in 1889 and inaugurated in 1890, with the aim of collecting antiquities from between the 5th centuryC to the 3rd century AD. Its first collection was formed from the archeological collections of the Museo Kircheriano, a collection assembled by the antiquarian Athanasius Kircher, soon supplemented by the numerous new discoveries in Rome during the expansive city-planning after it became the capital of the new Kingdom of Italy. This was initially meant to be displayed in a 'Museo Tiberino' (never realized), but in 1901 the State granted the institution the Villa Ludovisi and the important national collection of ancient sculptures. The rest of the day on own. Free for lunch. Dinner at nearby restaurant. DINNER & OVERNIGHT: HOTEL PALATINO, ROME
Jesus with the Divine Heart, Sopra Minerva, Rome
Jesus With The Enlightened Heart, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome. Notice the rainbow surrounding his body
Day 11: RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES
Sadly, today your Italian vacation has come to its final day. Transfer to Rome Airport in good time to check in for your flight. You may do some last minute shopping at the duty free stores. Then board your aircraft and fly back to the United States.
$3,499.00 per person double occupancy, land only airfare is additional.
$3,999.00 per person single occupancy, land only airfare is additional.
$200.00 per person non-refundable deposit due upon signup.
Final payment due 65 days prior.
Cancellation insurance available upon request.
Soul Rising Italy is expertly planned by Kevin Fitzgerald.
Contact Kevin for reservations at 805-587-7734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions? Email William at email@example.com