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Duration: 11 days Visiting: Italy
Rome the Eternal City.
Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for the your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director at 17:30 for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
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 entry to avoid the crowds and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected, to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, to 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 exploration 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.
Travel north through glorious, peaceful Tuscan landscapes. Meet your Local Expert for a guided visit through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, with a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Visit the Italian garden for views of Florence's iconic domed cathedral and see the historic cellar which connects to one of the oldest restaurants in Italy by a secret underground tunnel. Taste wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Continue on to Renaissance Florence.
Join an art historian for a walking orientation 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, recreated in all their glory. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence, and explore the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. After a demonstration of leatherwork, there's free time to shop or venture on your own. In the evening, why not sample the fine Florentine cuisine of tasty starters and rich pastas accompanied by Chianti wine?
Pisa to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
In the morning, journey to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles as well as the baptistery, with its intricately detailed marble facade, and the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral. Then relax and enjoy the scenery as you cross the spectacular Apennine Mountains, through the Emilia-Romagna region - one of Europe's most intensely farmed fertile plains. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon before crossing the causeway into the floating city of Venice.
Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
In the morning, your private boat takes you 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 by skilled artisans. Later, board a traditional gondola for a serenade along the romantic canals.
Into the Hills of Umbria to Assisi.
Leave Venice and journey to peaceful Assisi, one of Italy's most beautiful mountain towns. In the valley, see the 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.
Sorrento on the coast.
Travel south passing Cassino, the scene of a fierce battle during World War II. Follow the spectacular clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvious. After checking in to your hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
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 exclusive boutiques and enjoy views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Perhaps join an optional cruise around Capri? Descend to the port in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis and return to Sorrento for some time to relax. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a memorable Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine.
Pompeii, frozen in time and onto Rome.
Continue to Pompeii, the opulent Roman town which was preserved by layers of ash from the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. A walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets and extensive excavations reveals the daily life of ancient Roman civilisation. Visit the Forum and peer into shops and patrician villas, decorated with colourful wall paintings. Then continue north as you travel to your hotel in Rome.
Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 07:00 and 09:30.
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.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Join your Travel Director for a classic journey through one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Rome by night is a vision with its ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches beautifully illuminated against the evening sky. A wonderful introduction to the Eternal City!
Adult Price: EUR 19.00
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
Outside the ancient Roman city walls we visit the early Christian Catacombs, underground cemetries carved out of soft Tufa Stone. Nearby we also visit one of the major basilicas of Rome, St Pauls Outside the Walls. The burial place of St Paul the Apostle, famous for its Byzantine Mosaics. On some departures the Christian Catacombs are offered with a visit to St Peter in Chains to view the magnificent 'Moses' sculpture by Michelangelo, (instead of St Pauls).
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
Spend an evening getting to know Rome. We’ll take you via coach where you’ll have the chance to see some of the city’s much-loved sights. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a delicious light dinner of Italian specialities, alongside local music and drinks.
Adult Price: EUR 49.00
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
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
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
Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.
Adult Price: EUR 55.00
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
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
A chance to enjoy a delicious dinner of local specialities. We arrive at one of the area's unique local restaurants for an incredible dining experience featuring some of the famous dishes of this region!
Adult Price: EUR 61.00
Drive along the clear blue waters and picturesque resorts of the Amalfi Coast, arguably the most glamorous and scenic stretch of coast in Europe. Minibuses wind their way down serpentine roads to the exclusive artists' paradise of Positano, clinging to the cliff face, as if about to cascade into the turquoise waters below. Spend time exploring the elegant shops, watching the artists at work, or enjoying an 'aperitivo' in a beach side cafe.
Adult Price: EUR 44.00
Experience the spectacular cliffs and famous turquoise waters of Capri during a relaxing cruise to the most beautiful part of the island, the southern side. View the beautiful grottoes and unique coastline before ascending to Capri town. This optional experience is weather dependent and may be replaced by a minibus tour of the Island with a visit to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele.
Adult Price: EUR 42.00
Venice (Traditional) - ITALY
Situated in the Cannareggio Quarter and overlooking the Grand Canal, Bellini Venezia was converted from an 18th century palazzo to a luxury hotel. Indulge in its classic Venetian décor and enjoy free WiFi throughout the hotel.
Assisi (Historic) - Italy
Hotel Giotto Assisi 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.
Rome (Contemporary) - Italy
This elegant hotel is located in in one of the most central positions in Rome, close to all the key attractions.
Our guests rate us
11450 independent user reviews received during the past year.
21 November, 2018
Trip: We saw so many great things in each city
Service: Awesome tour, awesome tour guide. Would absolutely recommend to anyone.
20 November, 2018
Trip: Would have loved more time in the southern part. It was a little rushed, but had to so all the cities could get in.
Service: Early days, but great to not have to wait in long lines and avoid much of the crowds. Very organized. Guide was very attentive and worked tirelessly to accomodate everyone. Very clean and comfortable coach buses.
20 November, 2018
Trip: We saw so many places we would not have been able to have seen on our own. The only negatives were not having being dropped off at hotels entrances,had to drag carry-ons up hills etc. to hotels. Also some of the "optional" expenses were items that were "included" in our last trip to Italy. The added expense upset many of our fellow travelers also. All in all we had so much fun !!!!
Service: Very informative and helpful !!!
18 November, 2018
Trip: Well planned with convenient scheduled reservations
Service: Excellent,pleasant and helpful.
16 November, 2018
Trip: We were very pleased with all the places we went to and the extra side trips we took. It was our first trip to Italy and we saw everything we always wanted to see. We saw a lot of different places in a short amount of time but the way it was paced was not tiring.
Service: Everything about the trip went so smoothly. As soon as we signed up we received emails communicating things we needed to know or do up until we left on the trip. Our trip was everything we'd hoped it would be. Our tour guide - Chantal Sucaud - was excellent. She was so informative and personable. I know she worked very hard behind the scenes so that everything went smoothly for us. She also did extra nice things like a birthday surprise for one of the group and special things for a honeymooning couple. She was great. Our bus driver - Andras - was great as well. We liked all the hotels and their location. The Del Borgia in Rome and the Bellini in Venice were our favorite. The staff at every hotel went out of their way to help us.
15 November, 2018
Trip: Should warn potential tourists that it involves a lot of walking. I was thankful that there was so much to see and do in eleven days, but some might think it too strenuous. Also some of the hotels especially the one in Assisi could have been nicer. In Assisi the bedspread was torn and the shower was ridiculously small even by European standards.
Service: Excellent. Always available to answer questions
14 November, 2018
Trip: In 12 days we saw the highlights of Italy and got to experience art, music, history, culture and culinary delights from 5 major cities of Italy as well as some beautiful villages and countryside. It was the perfect pace!
Service: Everything about our Insight vacation was truly magical! From our fabulous accommodations to our witty and knowledgeable tour director, we felt like we were experiencing the vacation of a lifetime. Our fellow travelers quickly became friends and we reveled in enjoying the sights & tastes together. We will definitely choose Insight when we plan our next trip!
12 November, 2018
Trip: Spectacular sites and tour director. Very knowledgable specialist tour guides in specific areas. Very seemless travel. No problems, everything ran perfect and on time. Spectacular food and restaurants. Great extra tour choices. Absolutely loved EVERYTHING!!
Service: Spectacular and very accommodating tour director. Loved Chantal Succaud. Super coach driver... loved Andrea...... Excellent food places and wine tour in Tuscany. Mostly great hotels with the exception of 2 of them.
11 November, 2018
Trip: We wanted to see the exact places even though we had visited before. As I said before, the itinerary was not moderate rather fast paced.
Service: The tour guide was terrific coupled with the driver. All was excellent except it was too much walking. Upon returning home. there were spider veins all over my legs! Moderate walking is different to different people. Perhaps the next time, I should ask for light walking if it is available. It is me of course but I felt as though I aged five years in less that two complete weeks. The times of the excursions were not provided prior to the tour. We asked AAA several times. I have been to Italy before but do not recall eating so many carbs....very little choice but oh the coffee was more than excellent!!!!!! I know that you cannot help with the unhealthy food or perhaps you can. ????? Thanks for everything! The great thing is that we had only a little rain.....and then Venice flooded about a week after our trip. So sad....
11 November, 2018
Trip: Great You ask too much! Nice knowing you.
Service: Because of Chriw Beck and Max, the Setar bus, the sights and the Hotels.
11 November, 2018
Trip: Everywhere we went was just amazing starting from Rome then back to Rome the best of Italy really was just that.
Service: Yes I would recommend Insite and I will travel with them again, my only fault was that we didn’t have much time to shop, and who doesn’t like to shop when in a location far from home? My tour director Chris Beck and Driver Max were excellent, my dietary needs were attended to constantly and the accomodation was as expected. My lost camera sought and found by Chris made my trip even more a relief.
11 November, 2018
Trip: The included tours were sufficient. The optional tours truly enriched the experience.
Service: Chris Beck could not have been more accomodating.