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 7369 reviews received during the past year.

  • 09 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: I had an amazing time on my tour. Tour leader Belinda Richardson was wonderful. What an asset to your company. The tour was just the right length and allowed us to have a good oversight of each city. Everything was on time and organised. The meals as provided were great as was the entertainment. Overall great trip.

    Service: I thoroughly enjoyed my tour with Insight. Belinda Richardson was absolutely wonderful. We were on time always and everything was very well organised. Had a great trip.

  • 05 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good selection of cities/towns to visit.

    Service: Excellent itinerary and sterling service provided by our tour director, Belinda.

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: All locations were very rewarding

    Service: Great people, excellent tour guide, most food was exceptional, more time could have been spent in Milan. Driver was great.

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good service provided by Tour Director and driver

    Service: it is a fantastic trip, thanks to wonderful tour director Belinda Richson

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: With the added tours we were able to see everything we wanted and more.

    Service: Our tour director BELINDA *Personal information removed by Feefo* was amazing. We didn’t know what to expect on our first visit to Italy and with Insight but she met any expectations we had and more. She was professional, knowledgeable, personable and a genuinely nice person. Everything ran smoothly and on schedule because of her and our driver Carlo.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: My main reason for booking the tour was because we were told we would visit two Christmas markets. We were not notified at any time that we would not visit the Christmas markets. I approached the tour director which then told me we would not. Since it was a highlight in the catalog I received, I was really disappointed and feel it was misleading.

    Service: This was my very first tour since I prefer to vacation by cruising and I found it to be well organized making the experience pleasant.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: The tour provided an opportunity to see many of the classic sights in middle Italy

    Service: Service was top notch...tour director, driver, hotel staff, local experts.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary is packed with "Kodak moments"!

    Service: The sites visited are memorable. The tour director is highly knowledgeable, experienced, supportive and friendly. Insight Vacation has earned another happy customer.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Would have been good to have had an extra day in Rome as there was not much free time. Other than the Melia Milano Hotel in Milan, the others were not up to Insight stds and honestly, quite disappointing especially the breakfasts which were rather basic. Otherwise it was great. Belinda Richardson was a fantastic tour director.

    Service: I don't have direct dealings with Insight as I go thru my travel agent but I feel that they are prompt and efficient in getting back to me/travel agent. I also appreciate them sending me new brochures as and when they become available.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Too many slots for optional tour

    Service: Only me didn't join the following optional tour so my tour director arrange a taxi to send me back to hotel first.

  • 19 November, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good sampling of Italy with not too much bus time.

    Service: Excellent. Well-informed.

  • 19 November, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: I loved everything that we got to see I didn't like Assisi and would have liked more time in Milan

    Service: I loved everything about the tour except the sales pitches! I wish more activities were included over being sold glass or gold. Or at least more time.

*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.