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Duration: 11 days Visiting: Italy
Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.
Rome is one of the world’s most historic cities, filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers to your hotel depart Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Then this historic city is yours to discover. At 17:30, join your Travel Director for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner. Get to know your travelling companions over a relaxed evening of dinner and wine.
Exploring The Vatican City.
A Local Expert introduces the grandeur of the city. Start off in the Vatican State, the richest community in the world. While others wait in line, you will be fast-tracked through the VIP entrance into the Vatican Museums. Admire the collection of priceless art gathered by Popes over the ages. Your visit also includes behind-the-scenes access to a part of the Vatican denied to the general public such as the famous Bramante Staircase. Then enter the sublime Sistine Chapel where you'll 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. For the rest of the day, enjoy free time.
Rome at Leisure.
Spend another day enjoying Rome at your own pace. Perhaps take an Optional Experience to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in A.D 79. Alternatively, stroll to the boutiques of the Via del Corso and Via Nazionale or visit the elegant designer stores near the Spanish Steps. As night falls, why not sip a glass of prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza Navona, the 'Living Room of Rome', and enjoy life's pageantry pass by?
Under the Tuscan sun to Assisi.
Journey through Umbria and up the foothills of the Apennine Mountains to reach 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. Continue through the picture-perfect scenery of the Tuscan hills, where deep-green cypress trees pierce blue skies and olive groves hug the rolling hillsides to reach Renaissance Florence.
Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance.
(Relaxed Start)Join a local art historian to see Michelangelo's David in the Accademia Museum. Walk on to the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, where Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise have been recreated in all their glory. Visit Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune as well as Hercules and Cacus, along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The area around Santa Croce Basilica is famous for the quality of its luxury goods of gold and leather and there's free time to shop or continue exploring with the rest of the day at leisure.
Pisa and the Tuscan Countryside.
(Relaxed Start) After a leisurely morning in Florence, explore the nearby town of Pisa with a Local Expert and see the baptistery with its intricate marble facade, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral and of course the famous Leaning Tower. On return to Florence, stop at the il Poggio organic farm for a guided walk through the vineyards and olive trees, learning about the production of olive oil and wine. On the veranda, take in beautiful views of the rolling Tuscan hills as you enjoy tasting the farm's freshly-produced wines and olive oil, in addition to an authentic Italian meal prepared with locally-sourced ingredients.
Verona and Venice, Queen of the Adriatic.
Passing the city of Bologna, look forward to a highlight stop at the elegant city of Verona, legendary home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Walk with your Travel Director past the Roman Arena to the famous balcony in the courtyard of the reputed Capulet home. After free time to explore, take the autostrada east to Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Your luxurious hotel gazes out over the Giudecca Canal complete with memorable views of the city skyline.
Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
Wake up ready to embrace the most sensuous of cities. Admire the art of glassblowing on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then board your private launch, sit back and enjoy your introduction to this unique city of ornate palaces, bridges and gondolas. Disembark and stroll to the Bridge of Sighs before turning the corner to stand in awe at the marble arcades of Piazza San Marco. St. Mark’s Basilica, with its dazzling domes, occupies the corner next to the clock tower. Beside it stands the pink and white marbled Doge’s Palace. In the afternoon, there will be plenty of time to explore the museums, galleries and churches or browse through the shops on the Rialto Bridge. Perhaps cruise out to some of the other islands in the lagoon to experience the age-old lifestyle of Venetian fishermen and lace-makers.
Venice at Leisure.
(Relaxed Start) Who could refuse another day to take in the unique atmosphere of this wonderful city? Lose yourself in the back lanes and campi, the small squares where tourists seldom tread and the Venetians go about their daily lives. Maybe visit some of the 90 churches that house masterpieces of Venetian art or explore the modern artworks in the Guggenheim. Relax a while at a canal-side cafe and sip the local wine or sample delicious lagoon-fresh fish. Later, board a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals. Toast your travels with fantastic food, great wine and wonderful company during your Celebration Dinner in this magical setting.
Bid farewell to this enchanting city today and depart for Venice Marco Polo Airport to arrive at 08:00 or 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 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.
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 35.00
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
Join your Tour 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.
Adult Price: EUR 52.00
With our local expert, let's take a “passeggiata” (stroll) to enjoy the backstreets and secrets of pedestrian Rome. Be amazed at sights such as the fascinating Pantheon and the beauty of 17th-century fountains and beautiful Piazzas. Come and enjoy the Rome of the Romans.
Adult Price: EUR 33.00
We travel south to the famous Roman city of Pompeii, buried in 79 ad, by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Here we visit one the greatest archaeological sites in the world! Our local guide strolls us into a 2,000 year old town revealing fascinating discoveries preserved in time! Later a panoramic tour of the Bay of Naples with the dormant Volcano as a back drop. We then return to Rome passing the formidable Abbey of Montecassino, one of the greatest shrines of Christendom, and the site of the epic battle of 1944.
Adult Price: EUR 100.00
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 54.00
St Mark's Square, tick, the Rialto, tick, Grand Canal, tick... To only experience Venice's big set pieces 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: EUR 70.00
Rome (Traditional) - Italy
The elegant 4-star Veneto Palace hotel is located in one of the most elegant parts of the historical centre.
Florence (Contemporary) - Italy
A modern hotel which is fantastically-located for Florence’s highlights, especially the David.
Venice (Historic) - Italy
The Hilton Molino Stucky Venice Hotel is located in a magnificently restored 19th century granary on Giudecca Island, only minutes away from St. Mark’s Square by boat. Amenities include a rooftop pool, spa and wellness centre, and five different restaurants and bars. Enjoy excellent views from the roof bar.
15 November, 2017
Trip: great saw all that we wanted plus more
Service: did not deal with them directly went through a travel agent who recommended them.
14 November, 2017
Trip: Great mix of busy cities, historical sites and beautiful country side tours.
Service: Vincenzo was an excellent tour guide and Alessio was the best bus driver! This trip is everything I thought it would be. Beautiful country and city tours, highly educated local tour guides, amazing optional experiences. I highly recommend this tour. Everything was handled and we traveled in comfort the whole way. Bravo!
10 November, 2017
Trip: Loved it! Historically fascinating.
Service: Well organized. Interesting itinerary
07 November, 2017
Trip: enjoyed all of our stops and tours
Service: yes, i would recommend them and would use them again. i have only one small complaint. while i was sitting with my travel agent, she called insight to see if the tuscany tour included a stop in sienna. she was told by your agent that, yes, we would be stopping there. we did not. i would like to add that our guide, sara, was wonderful.
05 November, 2017
Trip: A couple of the days were a bit too busy. Packed too much into the vatican day in Rome.
Service: The trip was a wonderful experience. Very well organized and the accommodations were great. The bus was spacious, clean and comfortable.
31 October, 2017
Trip: Skip Verona and add a day to Venice.
Service: Customer service was superior due to the tour director Vincenzo Tassone. He is personable, patient, and kind.. He provided interesting commentaries on each excursion as he is very knowledgeable about European and Italian history. Vincenzo gives the impression that he cares about each and every member of the tour. He handled all situations well and provided special accommodations for those of us with mobility problems as well. This tour was well planned and I look forward to another trip with Insight Vacations due mostly to Thisour positive experience with Vincenzo.
31 October, 2017
Trip: Overall this was an excellent tour. However, the side trip to Verona should be dropped in favor of more time in Venice.
Service: This was an excellent tour due in large part to the efforts of our tour director, Vincenzo Tassone. He is a warm, caring man who went out of his way to make each of us feel as though we were part of a first class tour. Each of us left feeling as though we had made a friend in Vincenzo. On top of that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of Italy and Italian history which he shared with us throughout our time together. A personable, supportive man who is on the top of his craft is an unbeatable combination. Because of our experience we are contemplating another tour with Insight Vacation.
26 October, 2017
Trip: It was a very pleasant experience
Service: They were well organized.i thought their willingness to serve was professional. Yes I would buy from them again and recommend them to my freiends
26 October, 2017
Trip: included in comments above
Service: Best part was our tour director, Sara Brocki. She was thorough, attentive, super organized, sensitive to all challenges in the group. She offered pick-me-ups at every stop, ran a fascinating narrative to enhance the experience of the coach travel, as well as running perfectly-matched music for the sights we traveled by, enriching the whole experience. The local guides were all fantastic, especially Titziana in Rome. The sights chosen for this tour were spot-on! And dinners planned for our group were all outstanding, bringing out the camaraderie so natural to travelers from everywhere, thrown together for an enriching experience, while immersing us in the culture of each unique location. Hotels chosen were appropriate, and daily buffet breakfasts hit the mark in every location, providing a nutritious and balanced start to each exciting day. One misnomer, however---this was NOT an Easy Pace tour at all, but rather exhausting in many instances. One tip would be to separate the experiences in Rome of the Vatican and the Ancient City, do them on different days, fit in the optional experiences in a different order so there is time for rest. Also, we had two members of our group in wheelchairs, extremely difficult for them and their caretakers over the cobblestone streets, bridges and stairs---special provisions had to be made at great strain on Sara and the caretakers, and involving many members of the group as helpers---travel agents need to be coached on the difficulty of the terrain---perhaps come up with a new name for this trip. Yes, we would do it again, perhaps in a different season that isn't so crowded. We did not know that early Oct is high season, so we were saturated by the throngs of tourists, especially in Venice that now hosts cruise ships. Great experience overall!
26 October, 2017
Trip: Very reasonably priced for all we did in Italy.
Service: My husband and I celebrated 30 years of marriage by traveling to Italy with Insight vacation. We really enjoyed our stay at the hotels. The excursions were great! I highly recommend the services if going out of the country.
25 October, 2017
Trip: Attention to detail is well thought out
Service: Always a pleasure, my second tour and already planning my next. Would recommend to anyone.
24 October, 2017
Trip: Perfect, will use insight again.
Service: Everything was perfect , we had an amazing time, and our tour Director Shanna was marvelous, she had everything planned and keep us so motivated.
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