Festive celebrations in the Eternal City
Spend an unforgettable Christmas in the glorious Italian capital. Take in the sights, and soak up the atmosphere of one of the world’s greatest cities - a place crowded with history and culture where the pursuit of "la dolce vita" can be found on every plaza, and every shop, cafe, restaurant and bar. Enjoy a fascinating guided city tour and a special Christmas meal, pay a visit to the Vatican City to marvel at its wonders, stroll along the city's famous shopping streets - the Via Del Corso and Via Dei Condotti - and perhaps join the crowds in front of St Peter's Basilica for Pope Francis’ Christmas Day address.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Outbound flight to Italy
Fly to Rome and transfer to your hotel. Settle in to your room, then venture out to enjoy your first glimpse of this extraordinary city, and perhaps find somewhere for dinner – Rome is blessed with a vast number of restaurants, as well as a huge variety of bars.
Day Two: Included Vatican City tour
This morning, our first included tour takes you across the River Tiber to the Vatican City. Here vast St Peter’s Square, overlooked by the great dome of St Peter's Basilica, is one of the world’s most recognisable sights. Step inside St Peter's to see Bernini’s towering bronze baldacchino above the high altar, Michelangelo’s exquisite Pieta, and the ancient bronze of St Peter himself - his right foot worn smooth by the hands and lips of centuries of visiting pilgrims. There will also be the opportunity to visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s frescoes and ceiling - some of Western art’s greatest masterpieces.
This afternoon, explore the city at your leisure. Why not climbing to the top of the Vittorio Emanuele monument to take in the views, or head to the Capitoline Hill to look down on the Forum and the Colosseum - a five-acre site from which the vast breadth of the Roman Empire was once controlled? Shoppers can head to the chic Via Condotti, the stores of the Via del Corso or the colourful stalls of Piazza Navona’s Christmas Market. Seek out Rome's current creative culture on the narrow, cobbled streets of bohemian Trastevere, where you'll also find some fantastic restaurants and bars.
Day Three: Included guided tour of Rome
Join this morning’s guided tour to discover the Eternal City’s major sights. Highlights may include the Capitoline Hill, the Colosseum and the Forum, the jaw-dropping Pantheon, Piazza Navona (Rome’s most famous square), the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, into which many a trio of coins have been thrown.
After another afternoon left free, begin your Christmas celebrations with a special meal in a local restaurant, and then perhaps even attend Midnight Mass at St Peter’s.
Day Four: Christmas Day
Although the city is largely quiet today, you will have the chance to join the crowds in St Peter’s Square for the Pope's annual Christmas Day address to Urbi et Orbi – the city and the world. You'll also have time for a stroll through Rome’s, less crowded than usual, streets and to enjoy a leisurely lunch – many establishments stay open to cater for visitors to the city.
Day Five: Optional Villa d’Este excursion
You've one last day to explore Rome, today, as the city's major museums, such as the Musei Capitolini, which houses a treasure trove of ancient art and archaeology, re-open. But you'll also have the chance to join our excursion to the stunning Villa d’Este in hill-top Tivoli, a sumptuous 16th-century Renaissance villa surrounded by terraced gardens and beautiful fountains and water features.
Day Six: Fly back to the UK
Bid “Arrivederci, Roma”, as you transfer to the airport to catch your flight home, at the end of a wonderful Christmas break.
Midnight Mass at St Peter's
Tickets for Midnight Mass are free, but very popular. Visit www.papalaudience.org/papal-mass to find out how to reserve your tickets.
European closing times
Shops in Europe will generally close from early afternoon on Christmas Eve until 27th December. Included tours and excursions have been chosen for their scenic or historic value.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Foreign Office travel advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.