Italian Intermezzo - Insight Vacations

Italian Intermezzo (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 9 days Visiting: Italy

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Italy’s most famous and best loved cities reveal a treasure-trove of riches on this concise, yet surprisingly diverse itinerary that is equally enjoyable touring in autumn, winter or spring.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Lively Milan

    Welcome to Italy. After being greeted by your Tour Director at Milan's Malpensa Airport, your transfer departs at 09:30 or 12:30. In the evening, you are invited to a warm Welcome Reception, with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3

    Verona to Venice, Queen of the Adriatic

    Head east to elegant Verona for a leisurely walk past the well-preserved Roman Arena that is still used today for opera performances. Stand beneath the balcony in the courtyard of Juliet's house, the supposed location of the famous Shakespearean love scene. After some free time for browsing around the local market, it’s on to the glorious city of Venice.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’

    (Relaxed Start) Even for the experienced traveller, there can be no better joy than waking up in Venice. Transfer to Giudecca Island to witness the art of glassblowing, then appreciate the splendour as you cruise by Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark's Square. Your Tour Director will explain the glorious history of ‘La Serenissima', once one of the greatest trading centres of the world – its wealth and power is echoed by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. See the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Spend the afternoon as you wish. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals while musicians set the mood with traditional songs.

  5. Day 5

    Tuscany, Pisa and Florence

    Follow the fertile valley of the River Po, into the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Continue to Pisa to see the world-famous Leaning Tower in the ‘Meadow of Miracles' and also the 11th century cathedral and baptistery. Then venture on to beautiful Florence - a treasure house of the Renaissance. On arrival, meet a Local Expert for a walking tour of the historic centre. Visit the Accademia Museum to see Michelangelo's masterpiece statue, 'David'. Admire the marble-clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti's ‘Gates of Paradise' have been recreated in all their glory. Next, stop in Signoria Square, filled with Renaissance sculptures.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Renaissance Florence

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, learn all the secrets of traditional Florentine leather-work. The rest of the day is free for you to fully immerse yourself in the Tuscan capital. Perhaps shop for leather goods at the markets around Santa Croce or relax and soak up the atmosphere in one of the many street cafes? Be sure not to miss the magnificent museums and galleries that house some of the most famous works of art in the world. In the evening, there is an opportunity to sample the true flavours of the region with a sumptuous Tuscan dinner and local wine.

  7. Day 7

    Assisi and Rome

    Travel through the vineyards of the Chianti region in the morning, past Lake Trasimeno - the Italian Peninsula's largest lake and site of a great battle in ancient times against Hannibal and his war elephants. Travel into the foothills of the Apennine Mountains to delightful Assisi, a stone-built town spilling over the steep hillside. With a Local Expert, visit the tomb of St. Francis and see the beautiful frescoes by Giotto in the great basilica, before continuing along the valley of the River Tiber towards the ‘Eternal City' of Rome.

  8. Day 8

    The Eternal City of Rome

    Your Intermezzo reaches its crescendo during a visit to the Vatican. While others wait in line, you will be fast-tracked through the VIP entrance into the Vatican Museums, treasure house of the Catholic faith. With an expert historian, admire the vast collections of ancient and Renaissance art gathered by Popes over the ages and enjoy a behind-the-scenes viewing of the Bramante Staircase. Then, enter the sublime Sistine Chapel to gaze up and admire Michelangelo's famous painted ceiling. Next door, in St. Peter's Basilica, see one of Michelangelo's early works, the Pietà and the splendid dome completed after his death. There's free time to do as the Romans do, or perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum? Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included afternoon orientation tour has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon - the best preserved monument from the Roman period - and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona. In the evening, immerse yourself in the quintessential Italian experience. Over a sumptuous dinner of Roman cuisine, fill your glass with wine, and enjoy an evening of spine-tingling operetta.

  9. Day 9

    Arrivederci Roma

    Bid farewell to the glories of Italy. Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Florence: Develop your understanding of the work of Michelangelo's masterpiece, 'David', with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.
  • Assisi: A Local Expert will explain why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.
  • Rome: Your Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the city's highlights including St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and VIP access to the Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museums.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals, gliding along on a gondola.
  • Pisa: See the famous Leaning Tower, baptistery and cathedral as you explore this historic town.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Verona: Walk past the well preserved Roman Arena to Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
  • Venice: Cruise to St. Mark's Square by private launch. See St. Mark's Basilica, bell tower, clock tower, Doges' Palace and Bridge of Sighs. Witness hand-made Venetian glass-blowing.
  • Florence: During your guided walking tour, see the cathedral, belltower, ‘Gates of Paradise' on the baptistery, and visit Signoria Square. Witness a leather-work demonstration.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Autumn: Learn about olive oil pressing and have a taste. Take in the beauty of the stunning autumn colours of Tuscany's fields.
  • Winter: With an expert vintner, learn about the origins of Italian mulled wine - Vin Brulé, and enjoy a tasting of this soul-soothing, aromatic drink.
  • Spring: Admire the fields of the wild flowers and rejoice in a tasting of the region's famous wines.
  • Rome: Over a sumptuous Celebration Dinner of Roman cuisine, fill your glasses with wine and enjoy an evening of spine-tingling operetta.
  • Included Quality Dining: 7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year's Eve enjoy a festive Highlight Dinner.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Milan: The recently renovated 5-star Meliá Milano is located in the most dynamic and fastest-developing district of central Milan.
  • Venice: Carlton on the Grand Canal is a family-run hotel with a unique location. Guest rooms are decorated in an 18th century Venetian style.
  • Florence: The Athenaeum Personal is a 4-star modern hotel, conveniently located minutes away from central Florence. Resulting from a close collaboration with the famous Accademia Gallery, the hotel showcases a unique exhibition venue for up-and-coming artists.
  • Rome: The elegant Veneto Palace finds itself in an exclusive part of Rome's historic centre, among the unique scenery of the ancient city.

OUR FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included; you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Complimentary transfers from Milan Malpensa Airport and to Rome Fiumicino Airport are available at scheduled times only on arrival and departure days. Should your flights not coincide with complimentary transfers, charged transfers are available on arrival and departure days, or when additional accommodation is booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Melia Hotel Milan

Milan (Central) - Italy

The recently renovated 5-star Meliá Milano is located in the most dynamic and fastest-developing district of central Milan.

Carlton on the Grand Canal Venice

Venice (Central) - Italy

Carlton on the Grand Canal, Enjoys a truly unique location on the Grand Canal. It is within walking distance to the Rialto Bridge and is perfect for exploring the San Polo district and the Jewish Ghetto. Guest rooms are in 18th century Venetian style with up to date facilities. Wi-Fi – none, FOC cable in public areas.

Anthenaeum Personal Florence

Florence (Central) - Italy

The Athenaeum Personal is a 4-star modern hotel, conveniently located minutes away from central Florence. Resulting from a close collaboration with the famous Accademia Gallery, the hotel showcases a unique exhibition venue for up-and-coming artists.

Atheneaum Personal Hotel Florence

Florence (Contemporary) - Italy

A modern hotel which is fantastically-located for Florence’s highlights, especially the David.

Veneto Palace Hotel Rome

Rome (Traditional) - Italy

The elegant 4-star Veneto Palace hotel is located in one of the most elegant parts of the historical centre.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7783 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 08 February, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Tour gave a generalized sampling of Italy.

    Service: Very knowledgeable tour director and excellent coach driver. They worked well together and made us feel safe to enjoy the tour.

  • 04 February, 2018

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    Trip: Itinerary well thought out. Francis made the entire trip memorable with his expert commentary

    Service: Good communication and clear timetables.

  • 25 January, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Well paced tour with all the highlights included.

    Service: Wonderful tour - fantastic guide, great hotels and unforgettable experiences. Would definitely recommend Insight tours to family and friends.

  • 22 January, 2018

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  • 21 January, 2018

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    Trip: Busy and enjoyable. Good range of optional extras

    Service: Guide Frances and driver Titziano were an excellent team and provided all the support required

  • 21 January, 2018

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    Trip: Interesting and scenic sights.

    Service: Tour director is attentive and caring. Driver is excellent.

  • 21 January, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: The best experience we had so far. We can't wait.

    Service: Yes, this is our first time going to Europa. We visit great places like Milan, Verona, Pisa, Florencia than the big one Roma, so beautifully plaves, full of history. Great hotels, great food, awesome service. We had a great time. This will not be possible but thanks to Frances the travel director and the driver Tiziano. They made this trip to remember for the rest of our lives. Thank you Inside vacations for a great experience. Raphael y Aida. Argueta.

  • 18 January, 2018

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    Trip: Saw a great deal in a short time - very efficient.

    Service: Excellent your guide- would use insight again!!

  • 11 January, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Covered a lot of sights in a short period of time. No way to replicate on our own.

    Service: Nice job of responding to needs. When we booked the trip there was some confusion on pricing, but this was clarified quickly. Lots of info prior to trip.

  • 11 January, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Very ambitious. Saw a lot

    Service: Excellent local experts. Great meals. Bus and driver quality. Very knowledgeable.

  • 04 January, 2018

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    Trip: We own a restaurant and Pizzeria and I was so excited when I got to to the kitchen at our Christmas supper! Extra thanks to our tour guide Bradford !

    Service: Bradford was very watchful and made us feel very safe ! He was also making everyone was be taken care of. I will defentily use insight vacations !

  • 04 January, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Everything I wanted to see and much,much more.I couldn’t asked for a better itinerary.

    Service: They were very professional and knowledgeable.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.