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Duration: 8 days Visiting: Italy
Welcome to Italy. After being greeted by your Travel Director at Milan's Malpensa Airport, your transfer departs at 09:30 or 12:30. Join your Travel Director at 17:30 and head to L'antica Riva, an elegant restaurant on the shores of Lake Como known for serving delicious fresh produce. Your Welcome Dinner provides the opportunity to mingle and get to know your fellow travellers over a pleasant evening.
Verona and on to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
Head east to elegant Verona, legendary home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Enjoy a leisurely walk with your Travel Director, passing the well-preserved Roman Arena that is still used for opera performances. Stand beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived and perhaps recite Shakespeare’s immortal words. There is free time to explore or perhaps browse the local market before continuing to the glorious city of Venice.
Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
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 with skilled artisans. Then appreciate the splendour of Venice as you cruise by Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark’s Square. Your Travel 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.
Tranquil 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 Square of Miracles as well as the 11th century cathedral and baptistery. Venture on to beautiful Florence - a treasure house of the Renaissance. On arrival, meet your art historian for a walk through the historic centre. Visit the Accademia Museum to see Michelangelo's masterpiece statue, David. With your Local Expert, admire the marble-clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise have been recreated in all their glory. Wander through Piazza della Signoria, an open-air gallery filled with Renaissance sculptures. In the evening, dinner is served with a selection of Tuscany's finest wines, presented by an expert sommelier who explains each of the wines being served.
Free Time in Renaissance Florence.
Florence is known for its quality leather goods and you will be privy to the secrets of traditional Florentine leatherwork when you visit a local workshop. The rest of the day is free for you to fully immerse yourself in the Tuscan capital. Perhaps shop for luxury 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 optional Tuscan dinner, served with local wine.
Chianti Country to Assisi and on to Rome.
Journey through the vineyards of the Chianti region passing Lake Trasimeno, the Italian Peninsula’s largest lake and site of a great battle in ancient times against Hannibal and his war elephants. Continue 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, before continuing along the valley of the River Tiber towards the Eternal City of Rome. In the evening, why not throw your coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to the city?
Rome Sightseeing and Dinner in the Vatican.
In the morning enjoy the very best of the city’s highlights including visiting the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Afterwards, enjoy some free time, perhaps joining a tour of the Colosseum? In the afternoon, gain exclusive fast-tracked VIP entry into the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and 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. You'll then enter the Sistine Chapel where you'll marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpiece on its ceiling. 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 Celebration Dinner.
Bid farewell to the glories of Italy. Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 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.
Enjoy a scenic cruise on Italy’s most famous lake. See some of the most beautiful villas in Italy – homes to the rich and famous where many have stayed including Gianni Versace, Sophia Loren, George Clooney, Mussolini and Churchill just to name a few. Afterwards there is free time to enjoy shopping in the boutiques of Como, famous for its silk products.
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
Milan (Historic) - Italy
The Palace Hotel has one of the most sought after addresses in Como, ideally located just steps from the shore of the lake. Originally built in 1898, it still retains much of its Belle Époque style, with rooms refurbished to ensure modern comfort.
Venice (Boutique) - Italy
Hotel Indigo Venice - Sant'Elena is a brand new, boutique hotel converted from an old convent, offering guests authentic Venetian charm as it reflects the history and culture of the surrounding area.
Florence (Contemporary) - Italy
Hotel Londra is an elegant hotel situated right in the heart of Florence.
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.