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Canadians to Italy
80TH ANNIVERSARY BATTLEFIELD TOUR
“Canadian Armour Passing Through Ortona ” created by Canadian war artist Dr. Charles Fraser Comfort (Copyright: Canadian War Museum CN 122451)
ITALY: WWII | A CANADIAN HERITAGE
This unique tour covers the areas Canadian troops fought for 80 years ago, during the Second World War, in central Italy.
From Landing at Pachino in Sicily to beyond the Gothic Line, famous battle sites such as Cassino, the Moro River, and Ortona will be visited along with the grave sites of the D-Day Dodgers who gave their all while stationed in “Sunny Italy.”
While the focus of this trip is to explore the unique battlefields of Italy, there is an authentic and entirely Italian component to this tour offering you more than just a historical orientation. Enjoy exploring areas such as San Marino, the Adriatic Coast and Venice. In addition to viewing this beautiful countryside, experience some delicious meals prepared in equally incredible places, and witness the true culture of Italy in a way you have never dreamt possible.
Tour Dates: July 5th, 2023 - July 16th, 2023
Destinations: Rome, Montecassino, Catania, Ortona, Rimini, Venice
The difference between the Canadians in Italy Tour Program and the rest of our Battlefield Programs is found in the destination we are visiting.
Italy has a long and perilous history when it comes to their involvement and experience during the Second World War, but their preserved battlefields, cemeteries, memorials and monuments are less known compared to the iconic views, flourishing culture, and mouth watering traditional dishes that the country boasts at its forefront.
This tour was created to provide you with the best of both worlds: the captivating history and heritage, complete with breathtaking landmarks and battlefields - accompanied by the sights and sounds, tastes, and beauty that Italy encapsulates as a whole. The Canadians to Italy Tour is not just for the military enthusiast to expand their insight; let this tour also be an authentic Italian holiday for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
This program sees us dining at our favourite local restaurants, meandering through the Italian countryside, shopping at our own pace in the ancient and historic towns along the way, and enjoying the Italian way of life - all while exploring some of the most significant Canadian involvements in the Second World War.
This tour runs at a slower pace, with flexibility and relaxation in mind. Indulge in a genuine and classic Italian autumn as you explore an important battlefield history that is often overlooked.
Canadians to Italy | Map & Outline
A journey to Campobasso, otherwise known as the "Maple Leaf City" as Canadian Troops found it the place to get some much-needed R & R
Exploring the Ancient City of Catania
Exploring the bunkers along the German Gothic Line
Taking in the panoramic mountaintop views, overlooking the old walled town of San Marino
Indulging in the fine cuisine and culture throughout the tour, especially on our Farewell night in Venice
Explore by scrolling through the cities we will be visiting, and zoom in to get a feel for where we will be exploring on this tour:
^^^ Scroll through the map above to explore where you will be visiting on tour
The Daily Itinerary
Our Day-to-Day Itinerary
Day 1 | Friday July 14th 2017 | Flight Departure
Meet at Toronto’s Lester B Pearson International airport for your flight to Paris. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]
Day 2 | Saturday July 15th 2017
Upon arrival at 0830am the following morning, you will be met by your driver and tour manager to begin your journey with a visit to the Compiegne Forest and the Compiègne Wagon, the historical train wagon in which the First and Second World War Armistice documents were signed. After the first armistice was signed on Nov.11, 1918, the wagon was eventually moved to a protective place in a French museum. Later, during the Second World War, the wagon was moved by Hitler to Berlin to symbolize Germany’s superiority over France. We then travel to Ypres, (Pronounced “EEP” or "EEP-ER") Belgium, - the City of Peace - with time for an orientation, a Welcome Dinner at the Old Tom, and the optional attendance at the Menin Gate Ceremony at 8pm. Every night since 1918 (other than during WW2), a moving ceremony takes place under the Menin Gate. The local people are proud of this simple but moving tribute to the courage and self-sacrifice of those who fell in defense of their town. [Overnight –Ypres (B, D)]
Day 3 | Sunday July 16th 2017
Today we tour the Ypres Salient Battlefield beginning with a visit to Essex Farm, the place where John McCrae wrote “In Flanders Fields”. We will sing Dale Wood’s composition “In Flanders Fields” here. We then take a visit to the Brooding Soldier at St Juliaan (Otherwise known as Vancouver Corner - the first gas attack/chemical warfare against the Canadians). We visit the Langemark German Cemetery as well as a visit to Hill 62 where we will have the chance to explore the original trenches in the outdoor Museum. We will also see a small area of the original battlefield in the Hooge which was part of the Canadian Front Line, and will finish our day of visitations at the Tyne Cot Cemetery followed by the battlefields at Passchendaele. [Overnight – Ypres (B, D)]
Day 4 | Monday July 17th 2017
This morning, we have a day tour to Bruges, also called “Venice of the North”. Bruges is a gorgeous city with canals, great shopping and an original Michelangelo sculpture. [OR], you can visit The Canada Museum at Adagem (optional). Known as the Canada Museum, it features an impressive collection of authentic World War II paraphernalia, and the associated and amazing Maple-Leaf Miniature Museum which displays a dozen authentic WW II battlefields in 1/35 scale. The museum complex is also host to some beautiful gardens. This evening, after dinner, we will be part of the ceremony: singing and laying a wreath at the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony at 8pm, led by the Ypres Fire Department. The names on this monument represent all those whose graves have not been identified. This will surely be the most memorable Last Post Ceremony in your life. [Overnight – Ypres (B, D)]
Day 5 | Tuesday July 18th 2017
After breakfast, we will tour Vimy Ridge. It was on Hill 145, on April 1917, that Canada truly became a nation in the eyes of the world. It’s troops combined and stormed Vimy Ridge after other allied forces had failed to do in the previous two years. You will tour the tunnels, trenches and memorial. We will sing at the memorial. Then we will tour onto Albert to give you a perspective on the Somme with a visit at the Musee de Arbris. You will then tour the Somme Battlefield with a visit to the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval, as well as one of the only surviving intact First World War monuments at the Beaumont Hamel Memorial Park. The park, maintained by Canada, remains as it was during the Battle of the Somme. It is now dedicated to the Newfoundland Regiment who lost so many men on that first day of battle. We will sing two Newfoundland songs there, in their honour. [Overnight – Amiens (B, D)]
This itinerary includes ceremonial events & may be subject to changes
Thinking about arranging a custom pre-tour or post-tour extension to your in Europe? We encourage it!
Should you have any questions regarding your flight, insurance, or travel extension options, we encourage you to reach out to your local travel agent. If you don't have a local agent, contact our host travel agency:
DH TOUR OFFICE
(Office Phone) 905-639-9954
(Toll-Free) 1-888-597-3519 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- - Tuesday, July 4th, 2023 | Departure Day
You will depart from Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport (or int'l airport closest to you) with a flight to Rome. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]
Day 1 - Wednesday, July 5th, 2023 | Arrival in Rome
Upon arriving in Rome and clearing customs, you will be greeted by our tour manager and board our coach. We begin with a brief orientation tour of the city before arriving at the hotel for our welcome dinner followed by an early night. [Overnight - Hotel Atlantico 4**** – centrally located in Rome close to Termini train station (D)]
Day 2 - Thursday, July 6th, 2023 | Introduction to Rome
This morning, a local guide will meet us at our hotel for a full-day tour of Rome. You will be visiting the Vatican Museum, and view the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica before touring on to visit Ancient Rome's Colosseum. Dinner will be at a favorite local restaurant of ours, near your hotel. [Overnight - Rome Hotel Atlantico 4**** – centrally located in Rome close to Termini train station (D)]
Day 3 - Friday, July 7th, 2023 | Anzio to Cassino
After breakfast, we will tour south to Anzio, with a visit to the Anzio Beachhead Museum, before continuing on to Piana delle Orme in Latina and then travel on to the infamous Gustav Line and into the Liri Valley - where Allied troops fought vicious battles while on the march to liberate Rome. After a brief stop in Pontecorvo, near the old Hitler Line, we complete our day by traveling to the town of Cassino. Destroyed by the 1943 fighting, the town has been rebuilt on higher ground. Here, we will enjoy our dinner and overnight. [Overnight – Cassino Hotel Forum Palace 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 4 - Saturday, July 8th, 2023 | Exploring Caira & Cassino
This morning we travel to Caira, a small community to the north of Cassino - and the grave site for nearly 24,000 German troops who died in the area. From here we will visit the Commonwealth Cemetery in the town of Cassino, before driving up the mountain above to the Abbey on Montecassino. This famous landmark, built in 529 was destroyed in 1943, then rebuilt in the 1960’s, now housing a beautiful chapel. While on the mountain you will visit the Polish obelisk and the Sherman tank monument at Albaneto Farm before paying respect to the Polish soldiers buried in the scenic cemetery nearby. Tonight’s dinner will be at your hotel in Cassino. [Overnight – Cassino Hotel Forum Palace 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 5 - Sunday, July 9th, 2023 | Travelling to Catania
This morning, we fly from Napoli to Catania where we will then explore the terrain and visit the scenes of the First Division taking Leonforte and Agira, in one of the toughest campaigns in the toughest of conditions - a harrowing and captivating tale. We will also pay our respects at the Canadian CWG Cemetery outside Agira before finishing our day at our hotel in Aci Trezza. [Overnight - Aci Trezza (Catania area) Hotel Malavoglia 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 6 - Monday, July 10th, 2023 | 80th Commemorative Ceremonies
This morning, we will tour down to Pacino to join in on the Commemorative Ceremonies marking the landings in Sicily 80 years ago today by the Canadian, British, and American Forces establishing the successful invasion Force in all of Occupied Europe. We will also explore more of Catania's Ancient Roman city before dinner. [*Please note - today's itinerary is dependent on the official ceremonial schedule, and may be subject to change*] [Overnight - Aci Trezza (Catania area) Hotel Malavoglia 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 7 - Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 | The Maple Leaf City
Today, we fly back to Napoli, crossing over the mountains and touring towards the Adriatic Coast to Campobasso. In the 1940s this was Maple Leaf City, a place where the Canadian Troops were able to enjoy a bit of R & R. Both our team at the Battlefield Tours and the local communities of Campobasso highly encourage this tradition to continue! Tonight, we arrive in Rocca San Giovanni where we enjoy our dinner and overnight. [Overnight – Rocca San Giovanni Hotel Villa Medici 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 8 - Wednesday, July 12th, 2023 | Ortona
Today we visit the Moro River Battlefield, the Church at San Donato, and the infamous Gully. We will take a circular route to Sterlin’s Castle, then Casa Berardi, where Paul Triquet of the “Vandoo's” Regiment won his Victoria Cross. We then pass through to Cider Crossroads before re-entering into Ortona. This town was the scene of terrible fighting involving the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and the Seaforth Highlanders who carried out their “mouseholing” technique against the 1st German Parachute Division. [Overnight – Rocca San Giovanni Hotel Villa Medici 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 9 - Thursday, July 13th, 2023 | North to Rimini
This morning you will head north along the Adriatic Coast past Pescara, Ancona and Pesaro to Rimini. Along the way, we will turn west to follow what was the German Army’s haunted Gothic Line. Visits to Casinina to view the old bunkers, a museum commemorating the Gothic Line, the Italian monument dedicated to the Canadians at Tavullia, the Cemetery at Montecchio, and the Cemetery at Gradara will make for a full day. Tonight we will overnight and savor our dinner in Forli. [Overnight – Forlì Grand Hotel Forlì 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 10 - Friday, July 14th, 2023 | San Marino
After breakfast, we will visit the Coriano Ridge Cemetery - a mute testament to the fighting along the Gothic Line. The nearby tiny nation-state of San Marino offers a scenic panorama which we will view from the mountaintop of the old, walled town. After a brief visit to the Ghurka Cemetery, you will have some time in the afternoon to explore and rest. [Overnight – Forlì Grand Hotel Forlì 4**** - (B, D)]
Day 11 - Saturday, July 15th, 2023 | Po Valley to Venice
Our coach will take us into the Po Valley - the last area of fighting for the Canadian 1st Division before being moved to invade France in late 1944. We continue on to Venice, where we will explore the heart, enjoying a walking tour of San Marco, Rialto, and the Ducal Palace. After what will be a dream of a day, let us join together for our final dinner at a favorite local restaurant in the heart of the city. [Overnight - Mestre-Campalto, Antony Hotel 4**** (B, D)]
*Note: Our overnight hotel tonight is not on the island of Venice. Some of you may wish to choose the option to transfer to the Centre of Venice.
Day 12 - Sunday, July 16th, 2023 | HOME DEPARTURE (or) OPTION TO EXTEND After breakfast, we transfer to Venice Airport for the return trip home. [Lunch & Snacks Served on board as per flight itinerary] (or) Choose the option to extend for an extra night in Mestre to catch a direct flight to YYZ the following day] [Overnight - Mestre-Campalto, Antony Hotel 4**** (B, D)]
*Note: Choose the option to extend for an extra night in Venice to get the direct flight to YYZ the following day! (17JUL) Add-on cost for July 17th $135 CAD pp
- - Monday, July 17th, 2023 | OPTION TO EXTEND After breakfast, you can transfer to Venice Airport for the direct return trip to Toronto. [Lunch & Snacks Served on board as per flight itinerary].
Arrival into Rome
Exploring Ancient Rome
A visit to Montecassino
Exploring Campobasso - The Maple Leaf City
Exploring Venice at the heart
Minimum Tour Capacity:
8 Travellers per 16-seat coach
Maximum Tour Capacity:
20 Travellers per 35-seat coach
Per person, land only
July 17th Add-on
**Air is also available from all major Canadian cities (starting at $1600 from YYZ) please contact your Travel Agent for more information**
TOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE
Initial Deposit: $500.00 (of which $300 is non-refundable) to guarantee your space is due immediately
Your Remaining Balance: Due by Wednesday, April 5, 2023 (90 days prior to departure)
METHOD OF PAYMENT
All funds will be collected by our host agency, DH Tour. If you would like to use your credit card, our agency will collect your payment details over the phone after you have registered. DH Tour accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, as well as cash and cheque payments.
Personal cheques can be made to:
Attn to: Karen Burwood [Travel Manager]
Mail to: 2289 Fairview Street, Unit 321, Burlington ON, L7R2E3
Please review our Groups Terms & Conditions before booking with us.
This Tour Includes...
This tour is fully customisable and comes with the following inclusions & exclusions:
Some Dinners, most Lunches, and all drinks with dinner
Gratuities to driver/tour manager
(may we suggest 3Eur per day for your driver and 5Eur per day for your guide)
Single Room Supplement
Porterage (luggage handling to your room is available upon request)
Travel Insurance (please contact your travel agent if you need assistance booking medical or trip cancellation insurance)
Custom Travel Extensions (either pre-tour or post-tour) (please contact DH Tour or your travel agent if you need assistance with organising and booking)
Domestic Flights R/T Napoli-Catania
Breakfast throughout, most dinners
Accommodations in Superior Tourist Class (3 - 4 Star Hotels)
Full Time Experienced Tour Manager
All Entrances as per your Itinerary
Executive Motor Coach with Washroom/AC/tea/coffee
Custom Map Kit & Resource Guide
All surcharges, fees, and departure taxes
Where to go from here
Early registration is required for this specialized battlefield program - This program will not be made available to more than 40 travellers, we suggest you register quickly to hold your space
No payment is required to register - An initial deposit of $500 CAD is due to reserve/secure your spot.
Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure [Wednesday April 5th 2023]