Venice – Villanova – Ravenna – Rimini – Florence – Assisi – Ortona – Cassino – Anzio – Frascati/Rome
September 13–28, 2022 (16 days)
✔ Explore the beautiful cities of Venice, Padova, Rimini, Bologna and Assisi, as well as the Chianti and Frascati wine regions.
✔ Join in the “Beaches & Bunkers Golf Championship”; five rounds will take place throughout the tour in or near Abano Terme/Venice, Florence and Rome, with Golf Pro Ryan Anderson from The Glencoe Golf & Country Club.
✔ Follow in the footsteps of our Canadian soldiers during the 1943-45 Italian Campaign with Military Historian Karen Storwick; honour the contributions of the D-Day Dodgers in their fight against tyranny at the key battle areas of Coriano Ridge, Ortona, Monte Cassino, the Liri Valley and Anzio.
After arrival in Venice, transfer to your hotel in Abano Terme. Free time to relax until dinner. (D)
Proceed to Venice, also known as La Serenissima, for a tour of the historic centre, including the splendid Doge’s Palace and Basilica San Marco, which both display spoils of the Crusades from an era when Venice was one of the great Maritime Republics. Enjoy a gondola ride through the canals. Option to play a round of golf at a local course for those who have been to Venice.
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Optional; course to be confirmed
Return to your hotel in the afternoon and rest, or enjoy the resort's facilities until dinner. (B,D)
First Golf Game of your “Beaches & Bunkers Championship”.
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To be confirmed
Short visit to the historic city of Padova. Tucked away within its ancient heart lies one of the greatest artistic treasures in Italy – the precious Giotto frescoes of the Cappella degli Scrovegni. (B,D)
Today explore the battles of the Rivers. Travel south to Villanova, where the Regiment fought bloody battles to cross the Lamone River and Naviglio Canal in November and December 1944. Meet with locals as you visit sites around the Bagnacavallo area and Cesena War Cemetery. Late afternoon arrival in Ravenna, the last capital city of the Roman Empire. (B,D)
After a brief tour of Ravenna, most famous for its dazzling collections of mosaic artworks, proceed to Rimini. Visit Coriano Ridge Cemetery and view San Fortunato Ridge. Free time to explore the beautiful beaches of Rimini or enjoy some shopping in the historic centre. (B,D)
Today proceed to ancient Bologna, home to the oldest university in the world (1088) and known for its typical brick terracotta-roofed architecture and porticos.
Continue to Tuscany and the irresistible city of Florence, on the banks of the Arno river. (B,D)
Start the day in the best way possible, with the Second Golf Game of your “Beaches & Bunkers Championship” at the Golf Club Poggio dei Medici. Once game reserve of the Medici, this course in the heart of the Mugello valley offers spectacular natural surroundings.
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Golf Club Poggio dei Medici
This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Florence, exploring the historic centre around the Duomo, Piazza Signoria, the iconic Ponte Vecchio and Santa Croce, final resting place of some of the city's fabled luminaries, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and the composer Rossini. (B)
Third Golf Game of your “Beaches & Bunkers Championship” at the Circolo Golf dell'Ugolino.
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Circolo Golf dell’Ugolino
Then visit Tuscany’s famous Chianti region to enjoy some wine tasting and dinner. (B,D)
Proceed to the hilltop village of Assisi, home of several saints and monastic orders, first amongst them the Franciscan. Visit the basilica, which is endowed with art by some of the greatest medieval artists.
This afternoon, drive to the Adriatic Coast and visit some of the sites around Ortona, site of a bloody battle known as 'Western Stalingrad'. (B,D)
Explore more of the sites in and around Ortona, including the Peace Museum, the Church of San Tomaso, which houses the bones of St. Thomas the Apostle, and the Church of Santa Maria di Constantinopoli where the Seaforths famously contrived to hold Christmas dinner in 1943. There are a number of significant war cemeteries in the region, including Moro River, Ancona and Gradara.
In the afternoon, drive to Cassino and discover the historic abbey of Monte Cassino overlooking the Liri Valley, which was captured by Allies in a Polish-led initiative May 17-18, 1944. (B,D)
Today visit the battlefields of the Hitler Line and the memorial in Pontecorvo. Then it is on to the Melfa River Crossing, where Major Jack Mahony of the Westminster Regiment was awarded the Victoria Cross, and Roccasecca.
In the afternoon you will have time to tour some additional battlefields on the Advance to Rome. (B,D)
Depart Cassino, following the Allied advance toward Rome. Stop at Anzio and explore the events around Operation Shingle, a crucial landing by the First Special Service Force during the Italian Campaign.
Visit the local museum and enjoy some free time in the port town.
End the day in Frascati, an elegant wine town in the Alban hills south of Rome, famous for its aristocratic villas, built as summer retreats by rich Roman families in the late Renaissance and early baroque period. (B,D)
Fourth Golf Game of your “Beaches & Bunkers Championship” at the Acqua Santa Golf Club.
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Acqua Santa Golf Club
Drive to Tivoli and visit the Villa d’Este, famous for its terraced hillside Italian Renaissance garden and especially for its profusion of fountains. It is now an Italian state museum, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy dinner in the area before returning to Frascati for the night. (B,D)
Fifth and final Golf Game of your “Beaches & Bunkers Championship” at the Country Club Castelgandolfo.
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Country Club Castelgandolfo
This afternoon, visit Castelgandolfo, the scenic hill town overlooking Lake Albano which is home to the papal summer residence. The famous gardens in which the palaces sit were once the site of Emperor Domitian’s villa. (B,D)