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Duration: 9 days Visiting: Italy
Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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, 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
Milan (Central) - Italy
The recently renovated 5-star Meliá Milano is located in the most dynamic and fastest-developing district of central Milan.
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.
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.
Florence (Contemporary) - Italy
A modern hotel which is fantastically-located for Florence’s highlights, especially the David.
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.
Our guests rate us
11427 independent user reviews received during the past year.
19 November, 2018
Trip: It was very thorough but a little rushed. However, I realize that this was necessary in order to maximize the number of attractions seen in the limited amount of time available.
Service: Excellent and very curteous.
19 November, 2018
Trip: The main itinerary was very well planned while the Optional Tours were quite interesting even if it involved a lot of walking. Did not do much on our start of the Tour, Milan,
Service: All Insight Staff (Driver / Local Expert / Tour Director) were very accommodating and friendly.
18 November, 2018
Trip: I would have rated a 5 but didn’t because the trip to Pisa wasn’t worth the travel time to and from. I get it’s a push the pin in the map bucket list item for some people but the time could have been better spent in Florence or Rome at least in my opinion
Service: Everything was very well coordinated and drama free before and during the trip. Clearly professionals at the their vocation. I would highly recommend to future customers. I’m sure we’ll be using Insight Vacations again. Just amazing.
18 November, 2018
Trip: We hit upon all the expected highlights and more. Anne Kennedy and our Local Experts were absolutely great. Anne and our Local Experts obviously put a great amount of preparation into all our experiences. Our coach driver, Tiziano Tediosi, was outstanding. We really appreciate everyone's efforts.
Service: I would certainly recommend Insight Vacations and the team again. We wanted to be thoroughly entertained without having to be concerned about any logistics and this trip certainly accomplished that.
16 April, 2018
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.