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Duration: 10 days Visiting: Italy
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.
In the morning venture to the Casteli Romani’s Castel Gandolfo to explore the artistic treasure of the Villa Barberini Gardens. Ride in electric golf buggies along the pathways to marvel at the intricately designed mosaic flower beds and fountains. After free time for lunch return to Rome to enjoy special fast-tracked VIP entry into the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and enter the Sistine Chapel to marvel at Michelangelo's masterpiece on its ceiling. Observe the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age. After, dine in the Vatican's elegant Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, should weather permit, where you will enjoy incredible views of the cupola of St. Peter's during your private VIP Highlight Dinner.
Rome at Leisure.
This morning enjoy visiting the magnificent St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City with your Local Expert. Then there is free time, why not head to the Colosseum to learn about the city's ancient past? In the afternoon check out boutiques of the Via del Corso and Via Nazionale or visit the elegant designer stores near the Spanish Steps. Or why not, embark on a leisurely walking exploration to see the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Then there is time to relax and absorb the atmosphere of Piazza Navona. As night falls, why not sip a glass of prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in 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.
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. Perhaps join a local historian to see Michelangelo's David in the Accademia Museum?
Pisa and the Tuscan Countryside.
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.
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 to 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 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.
With our local expert, step back in time to explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Admire the Arch of Constantine and tread in the footsteps of Gladiators and Roman Soldiers. Enjoy priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds and once inside the mighty Colosseum hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat and the mighty Roman Empire. Please note: This optional is subject to availability and involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: EUR 50.00
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
Enjoy a guided passeggiata with a Local expert through the cobblestoned streets of Rome. Visit the spectacular Trevi Fountain, toss a coin to secure your return to Rome. Venture into the heart of Ancient Rome to be amazed at Rome’s best preserved building, the Pantheon, then stroll on through charming squares and admire the city's unmissable monuments, including Bernini's Fountain of Four Rivers in the city’s most animated meeting point, Piazza Navona.
Adult Price: EUR 33.00
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 50.00
Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we'll travel into the hills near Florence to the Chiantri countryside, 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
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
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: EUR 72.00
Rome (Traditional) - Italy
The Veneto Palace Hotel is located in the monumental and unique scenery of ancient Rome, not far from Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain and Villa Borghese, which is the largest park in central Rome. The guest rooms offer a classic style that blends in perfect harmony with the style of the building.
Florence (Traditional) - ITALY
A modern hotel which is fantastically-located for Florence’s highlights, especially the David.
Venice (Historic) - Italy