Best of Italy - Insight Vacations

Best of Italy (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Italy

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Roman antiquities, saintly Assisi, Venetian canals, and Renaissance Florence are brought together in this superb trip of Italy, with the option to end in Naples or Rome, on autumn, winter and spring trips. In Spring, you’ll also get to enjoy Capri’s brilliant sunlight.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

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

  2. Day 2

    Rome the 'Eternal City'

    Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. In the evening, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner.

  3. Day 3

    Rome with a Local

    Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and your included guided walking tour in the morning 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. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to do as the Romans do, or explore more gems of the 'Eternal City'. Why not join a tour inside the mighty Colosseum?

  4. Day 4

    VIP Vatican and Renaissance Florence

    Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged a special VIP entrance to avoid the crowds, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the public. Head into the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected, and admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door in St. Peter's Basilica, marvel at another of his works, the emotive 'Pietà', and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. Journey north through glorious Tuscan landscapes to reach Renaissance Florence.

  5. Day 5

    Florence Sightseeing

    Join a local art historian for a walking tour of the historic city centre. A highlight is the visit to the Accademia Gallery to study Michelangelo's monumental statue, 'David'. Continue to the multi-coloured marble cathedral to admire Giotto's bell tower and ‘Gates of Paradise'. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and the area around Santa Croce Basilica - famous for the quality of its luxury goods. After a demonstration of leather-work, there's free time to shop or continue sightseeing. In the evening, don't miss the chance to sample the fine Florentine cuisine - tasty starters and rich pastas, accompanied by Chianti wine.

  6. Day 6

    Pisa to Venice

    In the morning, journey to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower. After, enjoy the scenery as you cross the spectacular Apennines, through the Emilia-Romagna region - one of Europe's most intensely farmed fertile planes. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon before crossing the causeway to the unique city of Venice.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’

    (Relaxed Start) Walk to St. Mark's Square and see the pink marble of the Doge's Palace, connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape. Turn the corner, and the gilded regalia of St. Mark's Basilica will come into view. A visit to an arts centre on Giudecca Island will allow you to admire the age-old skill of glassblowing. Later, board a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    The Hills of Umbria to Assisi

    (Relaxed Start) Leave Venice and continue through the Appennines to peaceful Assisi, one of Italy's most beautiful mountain towns. In the valley, see the famous Church of St. Mary of the Angels, much venerated as the place of St. Francis' death, then continue up Mount Subasio to the upper town. With your Local Expert, step inside the huge Basilica of St. Francis, built in the 13th century, where the frescoes by Giotto heralded a new era in Italian art.

  9. Day 9

    Cassino and Sorrento

    An early start as you travel southwards past Cassino, scene of a fierce battle in World War II. Follow the spectacular clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento.

  10. Day 10

    Capri, the Isle of Dreams

    In the morning, cruise to the Isle of Capri. Under the Mediterranean sun, take a funicular ride up to Capri town where your Local Expert will take you around the narrow alleyways, to browse in exclusive boutiques and enjoy the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Perhaps join an optional cruise around the island? Descend to the port in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis before returning to Sorrento for some relaxation time. At night, join your fellow guests for an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Head for Rome

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, journey to Pompeii, the opulent Roman town which was preserved by layers of ash from the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. A walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets and extensive excavations reveals the daily life of Roman civilisation. Visit the Forum and peer into ancient shops and patrician villas, decorated with colourful wall paintings. Then continue on to your hotel in Rome.

  12. Day 12

    Arrivederci Rome

    Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Rome: Sightsee the local way with a leisurely walk through the backstreets, where our friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
  • Rome: With a Local Expert, gain VIP fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and enjoy a special private viewing of the Bramante Stairs, before witnessing the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Florence: Gain a fascinating insight into the work of Michelangelo's masterpiece statue, 'David', with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.
  • Assisi: With your Local Expert, find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to the famous island and explore the narrow alleyways with a Local Expert.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pisa: See the famous Leaning Tower, baptistery and cathedral as you explore this historic town.
  • Venice: Enjoy a traditional gondola ride, as you are serenaded through the romantic canals.
  • Isle of Capri: In unique style, enjoy a ride on one of the island's iconic open-top taxis.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: Enjoy a private guided visit to St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Assisi: See the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
  • Venice: Walk to St. Mark's Square to see St. Mark's Basilica, bell tower, clock tower, Doges' Palace and Bridge of Sighs.
  • 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 stunning autumn colours of the fields of Tuscany.
  • Winter: With a 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 wild flowers and delight in a tasting of the region's famous wines.
  • Sorrento: Savour a glorious Celebration Dinner of fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine.
  • Included Quality Dining: 10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 Three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year's Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Rome: The central Romanico Palace, located near Via Veneto, boasts a spectacular roof garden affording incredible views.
  • Florence: The Athenaeum Personal is a 4-star modern hotel conveniently located minutes away from central Florence. The hotel showcases a unique exhibition venue for up and coming artists.
  • Venice: The Starhotels Spendid is an outstanding luxury boutique hotel resting in the centre of Venice, a stone's throw away from all the sights and infused with Italian hospitality.
  • Assisi: The Giotto is located in the centre of the medieval village of Assisi with beautiful views over the Umbrian countryside. Guest rooms are decorated in local Umbrian style.
  • Sorrento: The Regina Hotel is located on the sea front, surrounded by trees and splendid scenery on all sides. Enjoy the spectacular views while relaxing away from the crowds.

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/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 trips. 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

 

Hotel Romanico Palace Rome

Rome (Contemporary) - Italy

Located in the heart of Rome, the luxurious Hotel Romanico Palace offers easy access to all the historical sites of the Eternal City.

Atheneaum Personal Hotel Florence

Florence (Contemporary) - Italy

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

Starhotels Splendid Venice

Venice (Central) - Italy

The outstanding Starhotels Splendid Venice, is perfectly positioned in the centre of Venice Island - only a stone's throw away from all the sights and walking distance to St. Mark's Square.

Hotel Regina Sorrento

Sorrento (Contemporary) - Italy

This hotel is located in the sea front surrounded by trees and splendid scenery on all sides.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
8788 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 10 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw the highlights of the big cities like Rome, Florence and Venice, yet also smaller, quaint towns like San Gemignano and the Isle of Capri. It was a nice mix.

    Service: Everything was handled for us as a group and if an individual needed something, our tour director saw that their need was met. Everything was done to assure our comfort while affording a taste of Italy. I loved my experience with Insight.

  • 10 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We got a great taste of each beautiful city. This tour hit all the highlights and the extra made it even more memorable. Great vacation!

    Service: Our trip was great! Our tour guide, Debra, was fantastic. So knowledgeable and obviously loves what she does. I like that only 40 people were in our group. The bus was roomy. Just an all around great experience for us.

  • 10 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: First class! Accommodations, food, arrangements and on the fly adjustments to the weather made the trip another great adventure. Looking forward to the next journey.

    Service: As usual, our trip went off without a hitch, from beginning to end.

  • 10 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Insight tours were great! Our tour guide Deborah was amazing for our tour of Italy. The trip was top notch and we were well informed at each and every turn.

    Service: I actually didn't deal with the customer service.

  • 10 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Lots to see and do in a comfortable and friendly manner. The guides and drivers were excellent.

    Service: Very well organized. Great guides. Very friendly.

  • 08 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Saw an amazing amount in those few days. Excellent local guides

    Service: Debra rearranged tour events for weather changes. Example- Debra had us take our gondola ride in Venice the first day because it was going to rain the next day. Liked the surprises Debra gave of cheese and honey and gellato. Albert our bus driver was astounding on the narrow roads

  • 06 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I enjoyed all the cities but there was too much back and forth. That seemed to waste a lot of time when we could have spent more time in each city. I’m sure there is a more direct route. I was on an easy pace Italy - Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome. That made sense, no backtracking.

    Service: I was very pleased with our tour director who was very professional and dignified considering half the group were loud and boorish. They were either drunk or hungover and very rude, constantly talking while our tour director was trying to talk. If I hadn’t traveled with insight before and knew this was not the normal type of traveler I may not recommend but since I have I would be more inclined.

  • 05 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Well organized. This is so far the best vacation trip we have had.

    Service: Our agent Patti Portugues is on top of everything and keep us informed on any changes to our schedule. The tour director is very knowledgeable, courteous, and approachable.

  • 04 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent overview of Italy's top destinations.

    Service: The tour director was extremely knowledgeable and very responsive to the needs and desires of the travelers. The accommodations were very good and the local add on tours were great. The local guides were extremely knowledgeable and people friendly.

  • 04 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Disappointed in Vatican Tour. I was surprised at the number and cost of the optional experiences.

    Service: Overall we were very satisfied with the tour. Our tour director was excellent, well informed and very interesting. Two individuals encountered health issues and I was very impressed with the response and help Insight provided them. One disappointment was the Vatican Tour. This was rescheduled at the last minute because of a Holy Day closing of the Vatican, something that I feel should have been foreseeable. The tour was very rushed, very crowded, and really not a good experience. Initially this was one of the main reasons for us wanting to visit Italy and I was left wanting more from this experience.

  • 04 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw everything we dreamed of seeing. This tour took us to every big city and every part of the country from North to South.

    Service: Our tour was amazing! All the places we’ve ever dreamed about seeing were featured in this itinerary. We had wonderful local guides who were engaging and personable. We never waited to see the highlights in each city. The hotels were lovely (especially in Venice!) and centrally located. The coach was roomy and immaculate. Our tour guide, Bradford, was exceptional. Conversational, brilliant and witty, he kept us moving and stayed professional even though it had to be difficult to keep us all together and happy.

  • 03 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: With the exception of Rome, the itinerary was very good. Because of the change in itinerary my family and I had to go to the first two excursions before checking into our hotel in Rome. Also, the time spent at the Vatican and Sistine Chappel was rushed and too short. The gift shop was closed and I was told I could purchase items at Assisi; however, our tour there was at the end of the day and the gift shop there was also closed by the time our tour ended.

    Service: The customer service was excellent at most locations. Hotels were situated at great locations and the hotels provided good service. The tour guide was exceptional.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. 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.