FOLLOWING THE D-DAY DODGERS THROUGH SUNNY ITALY
Rome – Florence – Monte Cassino – Pontecorvo – Roccasecca – Ortona – Moro River – Montecchio – Gradara – Rimini – Coriano Ridge – San Marino – Ravenna – Villanova – Venice
May 17 – 29, 2020 (13 days)
Departure from Canada for Italy.
After arrival in Rome check-in and dine
We start today visiting Rome's most famous war monument. Dedicated to the former king Vittorio Emanuele, this massive altar dominates the Piazza Venezia in the centre of the Eternal City. We will see the city's iconic sites as we visit St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, and enjoy a panoramic tour to see the Colosseum, Forum Romanum, Piazza Navona and other famous monuments.
We'll take the high-speed train to Florence and enjoy a tour of the historic centre around the Duomo, Piazza Signoria, Ponte Vecchio and also Santa Croce, the final resting place of many of the city's fabled luminaries. We return to Rome later in the afternoon.
This morning we leave the capital and drive along the coast to Anzio. After time to enjoy the port and lunch we will continue inland and check into our hotel in Cassino in the afternoon.
This morning we tour the Hitler Line with a stop at the Canadian memorials in Pontecorvo and Roccasecca. After lunch, we will visit the Melfa River Crossing where Major Jack Mahony of the Westminster Regiment was awarded the Victoria Cross, and tour some of the battlefields on the Advance to Rome. We will also visit the Cassino Commonwealth War Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in Italy.
This morning we drive up to the historic abbey of Monte Cassino overlooking the Liri Valley, which was captured by the Allies on May 17-18, 1944.
We'll also visit the nearby Polish Cemetery. After time for lunch in town, we will proceed to Ortona on the Adriatic, arriving in the late afternoon with a little time to walk along the beach or relax before dinner.
Monte Cassino Polish Cemetery-Radomił Binek
We'll explore the sites significant to the fight for the town on a walking tour, including the Church of Santa Maria di Constantinopoli where the Seaforths famously contrived to hold Christmas dinner in 1943. Following a visit to Ortona’s Peace Museum, we'll enjoy an included lunch.
In the afternoon we'll visit Moro River War Cemetery before returning to our hotel for the evening, driving past Casa Berardi along the way.
Ortona cimitero canadese-RaBoe Wikipedia
Departing earlier, we'll travel North along the Adriatic Coast. After lunch en route we'll stop at Montecchio Cemetery and travel through scenic countryside to Gradara Cemetery before ending our day in Rimini.
Rimini bridge Georges Jansoone
Today we visit the battlefields of the Gothic Line, broken by the Canadians August – September 1944. We'll stop at Tavullia before travelling to Coriano Ridge Commonwealth Cemetery. Then we'll head to San Marino, the oldest Republic in the World. Hike up to the castle or simply enjoy the scenic vistas here. Returning to the hotel, we have time to visit the beautiful beaches of Rimini or do some shopping in the historic centre.
Rocca della Guaita San Marino
This morning we travel north to visit Ravenna War Cemetery then proceed to Villanova, where the Regiment fought bloody battles to cross the Lamone River and Naviglio Canal in November and December 1944. We will meet with locals as we visit sites around Bagnacavallo area, and at the end of the day travel to Venice, where we check in and enjoy dinner.
We'll take a water taxi into the heart of Venice, La Serenissima, and enjoy a tour of the fascinating centre around Piazza San Marco and the Basilica.
Then there is time to do some shopping, explore on your own, or visit the Guggenheim Museum.
In the afternoon we return to the hotel for dinner.
Venice Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti - Didier Descouens
This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight home, where we arrive the same day.