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 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.

Hidden Venice

To only experience Venice's big set pieces -- St Mark's Square; the Rialto; the Grand Canal -- is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.

Adult Price: EUR 34.00

Code: VEN0002

Burano Excursion & Meal

Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy coloured houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialities with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!

Adult Price: 71.00

Code: VEN0003

Venetian Magic

An unforgettable introduction to this unique and magical city. We cruise along the Grand Canal by private water taxi, admiring the magnificent and elegant palazzos. We see the Rialto Bridge and then reach "the most beautiful outdoor drawing room in the world" - St Mark's Square.

Adult Price: EUR 41.00

Code: VEN0004

San Gimignano Excursion

A wonderful excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town! Visit San Gimignano, considered a medieval Manhattan, due to its towers which dominate the skyline. Soak up the unique atmosphere of this ancient gem which has remained intact since the 14th century and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Adult Price: EUR 36.00

Code: FLO0002

Tuscan Dinner & Cooking Demonstration

Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we'll travel into the hills near Florence to the northernmost part of the Chianti, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. This wonderful cooking demonstration, with superb food and wine, will provide warm and genuine Tuscan hospitality.

Adult Price: EUR 69.00

Code: FLO0003

Dinner In The Tuscan Hills

A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: FLO0005

Illuminations Drive & Pizza Dinner

Tonight enjoy a pizza dinner in a typical Roman restaurant before rounding off the evening with a sparkling illuminations tour of Rome's floodlit ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches. Marvel at the 'wedding cake' Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Forum, mighty Colosseum and Campidoglio.

Adult Price: EUR 49.00

Code: ROM0010

Guided Visit To Colosseum & Roman Forum

With our local expert, We'll explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Enjoying priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds, we'll hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat inside the mighty Colosseum. Then, we'll walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and gaze over the incredible ruins of the forum, once the centre of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty Roman Empire. Truly an incredible vision as history comes alive! n.b. On the first Sunday of the month, the price of this optional experience will be reduced. Please note: This optional is subject to availability

Adult Price: EUR 54.00

Code: ROM0003

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
10914 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 16 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Not a moment wasted, our optional tours helped to round out and complement the experience. It wasn't too jam-packed so as to feel overwhelming and stressful either. Very intimate, with focus on food and artisanal items that carry the country's DNA.

    Service: In both of our itineraries, our guides were very personal, attentive to our concerns, and expressed genuine hospitality and care, and, despite the (on paper) hectic schedule, never did we feel hassled, or stressed, and never did we worry AT ALL about our belongings or if we would get to see the sight that we came all the way across the world for. Just as they have been very personal with us, we would like to personally commend our directors, as well as their partner drivers, and hope that these are reflected in their record somehow, because this played a VERY BIG part in making Insight an absolute delight to book a tour with, a thought we fully intend to act on when we plan our next vacation, or recommend to a friend. MR MARCO *Personal information removed by Feefo* was our tour director for Italian Intermezzo, and he was a pure delight to listen to on the road. His knowledge of each region we passed was extensive, and tempered historical and linguistic facts with warm and personal details, and tips, that made us feel less tourists and a whole lot like we were on our way to settling in; that is to say, less the awkward intruder than the family friend who's only just come back after a long time away. He ensured we all had our bearings, especially when we got to a new city after a long journey, and made sure we were all accounted for at the end of the day. Mr *Personal information removed by Feefo* was professional, sincere, and very knowledgeable, and made us wish our dearest family friends could experience the brand of flair and storytelling with which he wove our trip with. He made us look forward to our next Italian package from Insight, and has raised the bar for travel directors very high. MS SUSANNA *Personal information removed by Feefo* was a great complement to Mr *Personal information removed by Feefo* brand of tour direction, which suited our Glories of Greece leg very well; where it was easy to simply be awestruck and frankly astounded by the millennia of history our sites took us to, *Personal information removed by Feefo* gentled these with a background of Greek mythology, grounding our experience in story. Her presence was calming and reassuring; motherly in the best ways, she also selected calm, beautiful tiny towns along the way with which to take our breaks. These were picturesque and quiet, and modern, with VERY good local fare. Ms *Personal information removed by Feefo* personally escorted us to the nearest Orthodox church when we just asked for directions on how to get to one on a Palm Sunday morning, during free time. She personally saw everyone off in the end as well. Our drivers were amazing people as well, and we were NEVER late for anything; likewise, they slid us right through impossible tiny side streets. Already, my family is casting lots and taking votes where we intend to go next year/ or later this year, and we want to go with Insight again. These people have made our decision!

  • 15 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great tour and ideal locations

    Service: Our tour director Danieli was so amazing. He added so much value to our tour.

  • 15 April, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: We saw all the highlights

    Service: Although we had a full agenda each city was planned with unique and highlights. We had a real Italian experience. Our guide Marco was so knowledgeable and helpful. He loves his country and had everyone feeling the same way!

  • 14 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very well planned helped us avoid crowded areas as able and still see it all well. Extra options great way to see more.

    Service: Tour director responded quickly to emails and helped with all details. Requests were handled without having to ask twice.

  • 14 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Milan and Pisa we're not worth the visit. If you add the Last Supper by Leonardo de Vinci then it would make it better. We saw The Last Super on our own. Well worth it. Leaning toward of Pisa too many pick pockets and overcrowded.

    Service: The tour guide was very knowledgeable and had great people skills. Overall each hotel was very clean except the one in Florence. May need to reconsider that one although it was centrally located. They were all located in the heart of the city. The hotel in Venice was perfect on the channel. Lots of great food and music. Pisa and Milan are okay but my least favorite... little to do. The Tuscany Hills at Macaveli's was as impressive as St. Mark's in Venice. The trips to the islands of Murano, for glass blowing and Bruano, known for lace and as a fishing community we're definitely a must see. The lunch held there was extremely delicious. Rome had so much to offer.

  • 14 April, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Best tour guide ever!!! Bus driver was great as well

    Service: Recommend looking to go with insight to Greece next year rated good because travel agent did all the work for me with insight he stated they were good.

  • 14 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was a good mix and flowed nicely.

    Service: Very well planned and we highly recommend this to others. We will travel with insight again in the future.

  • 14 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Top notch locations and knowledge of travel director.

    Service: Everything on Insights part was top notch, our tour guide was a ten on a five star system. Our bus driver was in the same catagory. Our hotel in Florence was below standard compared to all the others. Milan, Venice and Rome were great.

  • 04 April, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Mark as tour leader made our experiences absolute wonderful. Unforgettable value added to our life's.

    Service: Mark was a wonderful tour guide. Well organized and we gain a lot knowledge and history about Italy from mark. What a unbelievable tour. Bravo!!!!

  • 01 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The tour gave you a great appreciation of the jewels of Italy. Considering how much the tour packed in, it wasn’t rushed and the early morning starts weren’t too early.

    Service: Hassle free booking. Tour itinerary was comprehensive and detailed.

  • 01 April, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Great time of year to travel to avoid massive crowds

    Service: Our tour guide was exceptional!! The tour covered everything we hoped to see and more. They were very full days and we took advantage of the extras. A perfect was to see Italy.

  • 08 February, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    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.

*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.