Best of Italy - Insight Vacations

Best of Italy (Summer 2017)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Italy

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

Roman antiquities, saintly Assisi, Venetian canals, Renaissance Florence and Capri's brilliant sunlight are brought together in this superb tour of Italy, with the option to end in Naples or Rome.

  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 the tour hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. In the evening, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner.

  3. Day 3

    VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local

    The day is devoted to the ‘Eternal City'. 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 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 general public. Now into the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected to admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door in St. Peter's Basilica, wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pietà', and stand beneath the 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 walking tour this afternoon 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 for dinner in Piazza Navona.

  4. Day 4

    Renaissance Florence

    Travel north through glorious Tuscan landscapes to reach renaissance Florence. On arrival, enjoy a delicious exploration of Tuscany's red wines, their robust flavours and absorbing history.

  5. Day 5

    Florence Sightseeing

    Join an 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, the 'Queen of the Adriatic'

    Journey to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon and across the causeway to the unique city of Venice.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’.

    (Relaxed Start) Your private launch awaits you in the morning, ready to cruise past Palladian churches and 13th century palaces to St. Mark's Square. The first sight is 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 comes 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

    Into 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 today 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. On arrival, investigate the art of ‘intarsio' or marquetry wood inlaying before continuing to your hotel.

  10. Day 10

    Capri, the Isle of Dreams

    In the morning, cruise to 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 of Capri? Descend to the port in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis and return 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

    Head for Rome

    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 AD79. 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 approximately 07:00 & 09:30.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Rome: Gain VIP fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and enjoy a special private viewing of the Bramante Stairs before being confronted by the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Rome: Sightsee the local way with a leisurely passeggiata through the backstreets, where a friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
  • 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.
  • Venice: Enjoy a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals.
  • Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe with a Local Expert.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle to meet your Local Expert. In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.

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: Cruise to St. Mark's Square by private launch. See St. Mark's Basilica, bell tower, clock tower, Doges' Palace and Bridge of Sighs.
  • Pisa: See the Cathedral, Baptistery and ‘Leaning Tower'.
  • 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.
  • Sorrento: Demonstration of ‘Intarsio' inlay woodworking.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Florence: With a Local Expert, learn what to look for in a local vino rosso and what foods to pair it with - useful information when ordering Florentine cuisine.
  • Sorrento: Enjoy a glorious Celebration Dinner of fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine.
  • 10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 3 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

  • 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: Even though it is situated in the centre of the city, Hotel Michelangel is a tranquil oasis. The hotel structure has been developed around an ancient tower, dating back to the seventh century.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips 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.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

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 Dei Borgia Rome

Rome (Central) - Italy

Hotel Romanico Palace/Dei Borgia, Rome

Londra Hotel Athenaeum Hotel Florence

Florence (Central) - Italy

Londra Hotel/Athenaeum Hotel, Florence

Boscolo Hotel Bellini Venice

Venice (Central) - Italy

Boscolo Bellini, Venice

Giotto Hotel and Spa Assisi

Assisi (Central/Scenic) - Italy

Giotto Hotel & Spa, Assisi

Hotel Michelangelo Sorrento

Sorrento (Central) - Italy

Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento

Hotel Dei Borgia Hotel Beverly Hills Rome

Rome (Central) - Italy

Hotel Dei Borgia/Hotel Beverly Hills, Rome

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10076 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 23 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was great for what we were interested for the first time to Italy.

    Service: The customer service was excellent. We had an incident where we left our important papers in the room safe in our hotel room. We were halfway to Florence from Rome when we realized it. Our tour guide immediately contacted the company and the hotel. Contact was made with other tour guides and our paperwork was hand delivered to us by the next afternoon. We were very impressed how our tour guide Anna Target handled the matter. We also cannot thank her colleagues enough for all their help. In addition to that, the tour was amazing. We would surely go with insight again in the future. Our tour guide was very informative and a joy to be in her company. Anna really made our trip the best experience!!!! I

  • 20 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Just a great tour of many of Italy's great treasures, wonderful cities and fantastic regions.

    Service: The Best of Italy gave us the opportunity to see many of Italy's fantastic cities and regions. Our tour director was fabulous and our traveling companions were just wonderful. It was just a wonderful experience.

  • 19 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great choice for our 10 days on the ground in Italy

    Service: My wife and I had a great experience. All arrangements were handled well. We liked the tour director. Everything went smoothly.

  • 19 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw everything and more than we ever imagined!

    Service: Our tour director, Annalies and our Bus Driver, Mario were amazing!! Thanks to them, everything went perfectly!

  • 19 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was exactly what we wanted to do on our vacation.

    Service: Excellent. Every eventuality was covered.

  • 19 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Itinerary included all of the major sights. Would have preferred more time in Pisa. After being released to tour, the ~45 minutes was not enough time to buy tickets, visit the main attractions, wait in line for a rest room, and purchase a drink.

    Service: Travel documents were originally sent to my travel agent instead of me. Had to call to get them resent. Otherwise was fine.

  • 18 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: All points of destinations were excellent and full of informative and exciting experiences

    Service: The Best of Italy exceeded our expectations. The planning was outstanding we never had to wait for any scheduled events or travel departures or pickups.

  • 18 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great itinerary for a detailed view of Italy for someone who has never been and may not return. It covered everything that we wanted to see and gave us ideas for future travel.

    Service: Everything was handled for us. From luggage to check in to tickets and everything else, Insight did a superior job of making sure we were properly accommodated.

  • 15 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The first 2 nights we stayed at Romanico Palace and the last night we stayed at Hotel Michelangelo. Michelangelo was a much much better hotel than Romanico Palace. Compared to all the other hotels, this place was shabby.

    Service: Cannot get any better...loved the trip. Our tour director Anna Targett was brilliant...very knowledgeable, extremely helpful...gave the right tips needed to move around seemlessly. Italy is a beautiful country and travelling with Insight was a pleasure!

  • 14 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: BELLISIMO WE SAW EVERYTHING WE HOPED FOR

    Service: WE ARE THOROUGHLY PLEASED WITH EVERY DETAIL OF OUR TOUR. ANNA TARGETT IS OUTSTANDING.

  • 14 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The Tour director seamed focused on selling optional tours. We felt a couple of them were not worth our free time and the cost.

    Service: Really good. Our travel agent dealt directly with the Insight agent.

  • 13 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Timing for the itinerary was a good mix of tours & free time. Our only complaint is that so many "extras" cost more money on top of an already pricey tour package.

    Service: Gigi Bromage was very attentive, organized, personable and professional and kept the group on track! Alessio was an excellent driver in very difficult conditions. All the local experts were wonderful (especially Franca in Rome, Alexandria in Assisi and Enzo in Pompeii).

*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.
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