Chamber Perks: Once in a Lifetime Trip to Italy

History, culture, art and romance await to be discovered on this wonderful introduction to a country you are sure to fall in love with. Take in a Venetian adventure that includes St. Mark’s Square. Stroll the streets of Bologna on a “foodie” tour and taste cheeses, cured meats, bread, chocolate, gelato and more. Savor an expert-led walking tour of Florence. Visit the Academy Gallery to view Michelangelo’s David. Discover Classical Rome and explore the famed Colosseum with a local expert. Enjoy a free day to experience all that Rome has to offer. Dine in true Italian-style with wine included at every dinner.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will take place March 17-March 24, 2019, and prices start at just $3,349 per person, including round trip air, accommodations, and meals.

Chamber members have the opportunity to go on an incredible vacation to Italy in the upcoming year. It will take members to the fabulous Italian cities of Venice, Florence and Rome where they will be able to experience art, culture and cuisine in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

The first day kicks off to a fun start with Venice, often called La Serenissima, which means the most serene of cities. This evening, members will meet their fellow travelers at an inclusive welcome dinner. The next day of the journey members will explore the city of Venice. Venice is surrounded by 117 tiny islands and is made up of 150 canals and 400 bridges. This day begins with Murano Island where members will watch a glass blowing demonstration followed by a tour of St. Mark’s square. Travelers will see St. Mark’s Basilica and the famous Clock Tower. Members will also be able to take a relaxing gondola cruise which navigates on the Grand Canal into smaller, more intimate canals. Travelers will relax and enjoy the scenery while the gondolier sings Italian songs to the group. For the rest of the day the members are free to explore Venice and find exciting hidden spots within the city.

Onto the next day! Members will travel the beautiful Veneto to Bologna, Italy’s foodie capital. There will be a leisurely walking tour to experience the culinary side of this city. Travelers will explore one of the oldest food markets in Bologna as well as old food shops while discovering its architecture, history and tasting its culture. The group will have tastings of cheese, cured meats, bread, chocolate, gelato and more! Next, the group is taking its travels to Florence.

Florence is an intricate and amazing city filled with some of the most beautiful architecture and art that the world has ever seen. Members will be able to take in all of that with an introduction of the city by a local expert followed by a walking tour that exhibits the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry as well as the Piazza della Signoria. Perhaps the highlight of the day will be going to the Academy Gallery where members will see Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David. The remainder of the day is left to explore the ins and outs of the beautiful city of Florence. The Tuscan Feast is an option for members of the group which sets off with a scenic drive to nearby Galluzo, famous for its Carthusian monastery which sits on one of the hills surrounding Florence. Travelers will be able to tour the 14th century monastery and learn about monastic daily life. The evening continues with a popular dining establishment where the group will experience a traditional Italian dinner served family-style! The dinner will be complete with local wines, food and entertainment. The next day, the group will continue its travels to one of the most famous Italian cities: Rome.

The largest city in Italy, Rome has so much rich history as well as numerous fun and exciting things to do during the day and at night. The afternoon in Rome begins with a locally guided tour of Classical Rome features like the Piazza Venezia, the Roman Forum, the Circus Maximus and the Arch of Constantine. The day will also include a visit to the famous Colosseum where gladiators fought to the death and magnificent naval battles were displayed to crowds of thousands of people. Members will also be able to explore the Catacombs, burial place of early Christians, as well as the mythic Pantheon and the Piazza Navona.

On the last full day of the trip members will enjoy a full day of leisure and fun as they explore Rome independently. The tour manager will be available to offer suggestions such as the Vatican City which includes an optional tour to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of art as well as the world famous Sistine Chapel. A guide will take the group on a three-hour tour through the vast collection of art and artifacts. Highlights include the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Sistine Chapel whose frescoes took Michelangelo four years to complete. His amazing Last Judgement rests on the altar wall which travelers will be able to admire. Members will also be given the option to indulge in Rome by Night which includes “Dine with the Tenors” at a popular Roman restaurant. The group will enjoy a lavish meal complete with wine while talented singers sing songs from famous operas. After dinner, travelers will embark on a Rome by Night tour where they will see famous Roman buildings such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Victor Emmanuel Monument and more illuminated by the night sky. Rome’s rich cultural history will be hard to pass up on this last day! The night will close with a farewell dinner and to toast the wonderful memories everyone made on the trip.

For more information about prices and to register for this once in a lifetime opportunity, click on this link: https://gateway.memberchoicevacations.com/link/883092 or contact Cindy McNair at mcnair.cindy@aaaalabama.com.