Unlike in the United States, Christmas in Italy is not just a one-day celebration. Instead, the Italian Christmas celebration take place over a two week period. With Christmas being a vital time in the Italian culture, it will be an incredible experience to celebrate the festive season your Rome home away from home.
You can arrive between the dates of December 24th or 25th but the activities officially do not start until Christmas day Monday, December 25th. Everyone should arrive in Rome no later than 10am Christmas day. A group transfer will be at 11:30 a.m. Those arriving earlier, can taxi at your own expense.
For those in Rome for Christmas Eve, we will so see the Pope at midnight Mass (actually at 10PM, not midnight) on the grounds of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.
Christmas Day: First stop the Colosseum for photo in from of the giant Christmas tree. One of your photos will be transformed into a special Christmas image that you can shared with friends back home that are just wake. Spent afternoon in your Italian home getting to know family. The home will be filled with American and Italian holiday music as we prepare a Christmas dinner to share with orphan expats living in Roma. Bring with you any special spices needed for your dish. Each person will be given a budget upto 35 euro to shop for groceries. Also please bring a small gift to place under the tree forBGT secret Santa gift exchange. All gifts should be $25 or less unless you want to spend more.
Day After Christmas: Sleep-in from all the Christmas food and drinking. The day after Christmas is "La Festa di San Stefano" that marks the announcement of the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Three Wise Men. San Stefano is also a national holiday in Italy. When in Rome do as the Roman do Spend the day walking the Holiday Passeggiata. No Christmas celebration is complete without gospel music. This evening we will be attending a night at The Roma Gospel Festival is an annual gospel music event produced by the Music for Rome Foundation. The festival, which first began in 1995, features African-American choirs and gospel groups. The Roma Gospel festival is the largest of its kind in Europe. Oh Happy Day!
December 27th: It is said the best way to experience a culture is through its cuisine. Italian food is loved worldwide but only by visiting Italy can you taste the true passion and the best flavors this amazing country has to offer. Today you will have a food lovers walking tour that will take you by historical monuments, in picturesque markets, inside beautiful restaurants and secret places off the tourist trail while sampling food along the way. Get your taste bud ready!
December 28th: Today is your free day to Roam Rome on your own or follow Fleace. With her, you NEVER know what to expect, not even if you ask where she will be taking you. :) Just hold on an enjoy the ride!
December 29th: Trust us YOU WILL want to sleep in this morning! ;-) Grab your dark glassese and stumble to lunch. lol The evening will start with baroque architecture, art and concert a beautiful cathedral. After we will have dinner at one of Fleace's favorite restaurant near Piazza Navona. In the center of Piazza Navona sits the 2nd most important fountain in Rome. At the base of Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) sits four river gods that represent four major rivers of the four continents through which papal authority had spread: the Nile representing Africa, the Danube representing Europe, the Ganges representing Asia, and the Río de la Plata representing the Americas. Also in the piazza is the Fountain of the Moors. After dinner drinks at a popular night spot known for its upscale clientele and always having more men than women. We love those odds!
December 30th: Ahhhh... the start of the New Year Eve festivities. Today you will travel along the stunning Amalfi Coast for the "Luci d'Artista" (Artist's Lights of Salerno), a fairytale atmosphere filled with shimmering and cascading displays of Chirstmas lights.
Return to Rome in time for dinner and some New Year Eve Eve's night life.
December 31th: Today is not just New year's Eve but the beginning of the pre-sales leading up the January sale season in Italy. Can you say... Charge it!!!!! Your day will start early morning based on = your personal wiht a personal shopper. One personal shopper per 2 ladies. Fleace will be number 6. You will have lunch wit your shopper and learn more about Italy from a local's perspective. Return home for a little R&R before heading to special NYE dinner, followed by watching fireworks over the eternal city. BGT is known for exciting nighlife but New Year's Eve in Rome, we will be taking partying to another level. All we can say is get ready to be BGTed!
January 1: Starting with a noon trip to the mammoth Porta Portese Sunday flee market. Next stop the annual Rome New Year's Day Parade, followed by happy hour drinks and dinner.You will visit the Trevi fountain this night. It is said that by to tossing a coin that is fountain ensures you will return to Roma.
January 2: Return home with fond memories of Holidays with your BGT family. If needed, we can offer an extra night of housing.
Of course, Fleace has more up her sleeves with lots of added secret activities. Now, if we told you everything ... they would not secrets and surprises.