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Passion seeps into all aspects of life in Italy – you can hear it in the opera, taste it in lovingly prepared pasta, and see it in action as the Italians promenade across their piazzas, talking with their hands. Only the most hard-hearted of visitors can fail to be caught up in the Italian love of life. In its capital of Rome and its fashion and business powerhouse of Milan, life is lived at a fast pace and often via a host of speeding Vespas. Life flows through Venice via its canals and into its grand palaces and shines from the artworks housed in the living museum that is the renaissance jewel of Florence. Deep in the countryside, however, Italian life slows down a little – here there is time to savour a new wine, linger over lunch under the vines, and contemplate a field of sunflowers. There’s something timeless about a Tuscan landscape of hilltop towns, stately cypress and olive groves, and a sense of history is palpable in the ruins of Pompeii and in Rome’s eerie Colosseum. On the coast, villages washed in pastel colours cling to cliffs; and in the Italian Alps, elegant villas overlook tranquil lakes. No wonder Italy was home to so many inspired painters and composers. La Dolce Vita, living the sweet life!
An espresso shot at breakfast before treading the nearly 2000-year-old steps in the Colosseum, a slice of gourmet pizza served among jostling, exquisitely dressed Romans, a gelato in delectable Piazza Navona, ravioli for dinner near the Spanish Steps: the Romans love to eat and drink, so when in Rome… There is so much history to discover in Rome, and in the world’s tiniest state that lies within it: the Vatican City. Follow in the ghostly sandalled footsteps of a Roman senator through the Forum or tread the marble floors in the wake of the Popes in St Peter’s Basilica. A few steps off the tourist trail and you’ll find another side of Rome: a black-clad Italian ‘mamma’ hanging out the washing, and children running home with the daily fresh bread.
Trastevere – A maze of alleyways, terracotta coloured buildings and restaurant-lined cafes. It is where the Romans go for an evening out and is great fun.
The Pantheon – Often missed but a must-see between Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain. Believed to be the oldest building in Rome dating back to 120AD, the only light into the church is from the opening in the ceiling dome.
St Peter’s – Make the climb to the top as the views it offers of Rome and the Piazza San Pietro are breathtaking.
Papal Audience – There are generally thousands of people keen to see the Pope and we therefore recommend booking the Papal Audience Tour. You will be sure to arrive at St Peter’s Square in plenty of time for the Pope’s blessing, avoid queues and get a good position.
Catacombs – The underground burial site of early Christians dating back to the second century, you will see the bones of people buried there.
Vatican Museum – If you don’t attend the Papal audience on a Wednesday morning then this is a great time to visit the
Vatican Museum, as you’ll avoid the crowds.
Ferrari – For those car enthusiasts – visit the Ferrari Shop on Via Tomacelli where you can buy a key ring for about EUR100 or a baby blanket for EUR240!
Villa Borghese – When you feel like taking a break from the monuments and museums, this vast park overlooking the city has relaxing walks around the lake. It's a great spot to take a picnic, lie on the grass and enjoy the sunset over Rome.
Explore one of the world's most extensive art collections on this fascinating tour. Experience Michelangelo's famous Creation of Adam as you explore the Sistine Chapel. Be humbled by the beauty of St Peter's Basilica, and stop to admire the magnificent St Peter's Square.
Skip the Line Vatican Experience Tour
Skip the long lines and head straight inside the labyrinth of galleries, where an expert local guide will lead you to ancient and Renaissance highlights. Learn the stories behind the masterpieces, then get direct entry into the stunning interior of St Peter’s Basilica.
OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card
A great sightseeing package which opens up some of Rome's top attractions to visitors, allowing you to make the most of your holiday.
Not only do you get free entry and reduced entrance fees but also the all-important fast track entry allowing you to skip the lines.
Crypts and Catacombs
Peel back the layers of history as you descend into the Eternal City's underground burial chambers, catacombs and crypts. Hear the story behind the Cappuccini Crypt – chapels decorated entirely by human bones. Most of this tour is underground.
Advertised airfares are per adult and are based on a return fare in economy class on specified airline • Prices include ticket taxes & surcharges based on most direct routing with no stopovers and are correct as at time of loading, but may fluctuate depending on exchange rates • From Auckland a Prepaid Passenger Service Fee of $14 per person is included in the package price – this replaces the New Zealand Departure fee of $25 per adult. • On/after 01 Jul 10 all direct international departures from Christchurch will include a NZD $25 departure tax this is additional to the advertised prices above. • Fares are exclusive of departure fees from other airports • Prices exclude a House of Travel booking fee of $24.95 per person • Flight & routing restrictions apply • Sales end as specified above • Travel as specified above. • Full payment is required upon purchase • Min/max stays apply • Capacity is limited and may not be available on all services • Prices shown are for online bookings only.
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