La Serenissima - Europe

La Serenissima (Summer 2017)

Duration: 22 days Visiting: Italy

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

Welcome to the ultimate in guided vacations, river cruising and first class rail. From the water-lapped piazzas of Venice, embark on a romantic journey of discovery that unveils the unmissable landmarks of Italy along with some of her revealing treasures. Experience the Dorsoduro and Rialto districts on a 'Do as the Locals Do' tour of Venice. Explore the idyllic Venetian Lagoon. Stay at the 5-star Capri Palace Hotel. Discover the magnificence of Venice on a once in a lifetime private evening tour of the Doge's Palace. Enjoy a luxurious lunch at the Michelin-starred Mammà restaurant in Capri.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Milan

    On arrival at Milan Malpensa Airport, enjoy a private transfer to your hotel.

  3. Day 3

    Exploring Magnificent Milan

    Vibrant Milan is the fashion and design capital of Italy. Today you'll explore this dazzling city with a Local Expert and encounter two of its greatest sights — the towering Gothic cathedral and see Da Vinci's astounding The Last Supper.

  4. Day 4

    Verona, city of Romeo and Juliet and Venice

    Journey to 'fair' Verona and with a Local Expert, explore its maze of elegant squares and see the well-preserved Roman Arena, still used for Opera performances. Set within a beautiful Valpolicella wine estate, stop to sample this intensely flavoured wine, that has made this region so famous and enjoy a delicious lunch. On arrival in magical Venice, you will board your stunning, award-winning boutique cruise ship and embark on your exploration of the 'Queen of the Adriatic'.

  5. Day 5

    Venice

    Explore 'hidden Venice' - the back lanes and ‘campi', small squares, where tourists seldom tread. Upon emerging into Piazza San Marco, the dazzling Basilica, pink marbled Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs stand as testimony to the city's former wealth and power. Next, enjoy a truly memorable experience - an exclusive, crowd-free, lighting ceremony inside the spectacular St. Mark's Basilica. In the evening, you're invited to the Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Chioggia (Padua)

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy magnificent views of the Grand Canal as you leave Venice and journey South to Chioggia. Disembark and journey to the walled city of Padua to enjoy a walking discovery tour. This medieval walled city is home to Italy's second-oldest university, established in 1222, with frescoes by Giotto in its Scrovegni Chapel and the vast 13th-century Basilica of St. Anthony, a pilgrimage site. Marvel at the ancient arcades and porticos of the old city finishing in the Palazzo della Ragione, Padua's historic city center, and enjoy a treat at a local cafe. Perhaps discover Chioggia, often referred to as “Little Venice,” on a discovery tour; or for an active day, join a bicycle ride along the beaches of Chioggia.

  7. Day 7

    Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara)

    Choose to spend the whole day in Bologna, its portico-lined streets are home to Europe's oldest university and amazing food markets. You also get to grips with the age-old techniques of Italian cooking at a pasta-making workshop. Alternatively, spend a half-day in Ferrara, one of Italy's best-kept secrets and discover how the city became an artistic hub for the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian and Petrarch, amongst others.

  8. Day 8

    Taglio di Po, Chioggia, Venice

    There's no better place to indulge in Italy's famed frutti di mare than Chioggia, a colourful fishing village on the Venice Lagoon. Embark on a guided stroll through the town's bustling fish market, or alternatively, head to a casoni (fisherman's hut) to learn the art of mussel harvesting from local fishermen. You'll get to steam your own freshly gathered mussels in prosecco and enjoy them on the waterfront - a unique culinary experience (mussel harvesting weather and maritime conditions permitted). Later, head to the Sun Deck of your luxury ship to take in views of two more Venice Lagoon isles: sleepy Pellestrina, and Lido, home to the prestigious Venice Film Festival.

  9. Day 9

    Venice Islands (Torcello, Burano and Mazzorbo), Venice

    Spend the day exploring the Venice Lagoon and three of its entrancing islands. Start with a visit to Torcello, home to spectacular Byzantine mosaics. Then take a stroll through Burano with its rainbow of colourful homes, and visit a lace-making atelier. Complete the day with a venture to Mazzorbo, where you are treated to a very special wine tasting made from a salt-water-tolerant heirloom grape, Dorona.

  10. Day 10

    Venice

    Today, choose to experience Venice like a local during a 'Do as the Locals Do' walking discovery tour of the Dorsoduro district and the Rialto, the city's historic core. Alternatively, join an Art Historian for an in-depth exploration of the Accademia. Absorb yourself in the rich collection of works by Bellini, Carpaccio, Bellotto and Longhi to name but a few. This evening, celebrate the culmination of your cruise at the Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

  11. Day 11

    To Rome by rail

    Transfer to the station to board your high-speed train to Rome. Enjoy the ever-changing scenery and business class comfort as you head South across the back-bone of Italy. On arrival in the Eternal City, you are met and transferred to your charming downtown hotel. At 18:00, meet your Travelling Concierge for a short stroll to the Trevi Fountain, enjoying the romance of the Eternal City as night falls, before an evening of authentic food and wine.

  12. Day 12

    Rome and the Vatican in style

    In the ultimate VIP experience, enter the Sistine Chapel for a private tour with a Local Expert before it is open to the public and view its majestic treasures without the crowds. Our fast-tracked entry into the Vatican Museums ensures maximum enjoyment of the priceless Papal art collection. After contemplating Michelangelo's frescoed ceiling, continue into St. Peter's Basilica, before visiting the Colosseum where the gladiators prepared for battle.

  13. Day 13

    Pompeii and The Isle of Capri

    Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. Explore ancient shops and patrician villas with a Local Expert. Next, board your hydrofoil bound for the sun-drenched Isle of Capri. Transfer to open-top taxis and ride up to your exclusive hotel in style. Once the day-trippers have returned to the mainland, you will be offered a selection of discerning restaurants to choose from on your Dine-Around evening.

  14. Day 14 - Relaxed Start

    Explore the Isle of Dreams

    (Relaxed Start) Relax on-board a cruise around the island. See the white grotto and spectacular cliffs, before ascending to Capri town by funicular. Cool off with a refreshing lemon granita, then walk with your Local Expert to the gardens of Caesar Augustus to view the Faraglioni Rocks. Lunch will be served at Mammà - a Michelin-starred restaurant.

  15. Day 15

    Into the Green Hills of Umbria to Assisi and Perugia.

    After returning to the mainland, follow the Highway-of-the-Sun north to the winding, cobbled streets of Assisi for a guided visit inside the imposing Basilica of St. Francis. Move on to the Umbrian capital of Perugia. Ascend from the lower town, through the maze of medieval streets, to your 5-star deluxe hotel. This afternoon meet your Local Expert and walk along Perugia's Corso Vannucci to the main square, before spending the evening at your leisure.

  16. Day 16 - Relaxed Start

    San Gimignano and Tuscany

    (Relaxed Start) This morning you are visiting a workshop to see how the art of hand-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations. Continue to hilltop San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers. Ascend serpentine alleyways to taste the award-winning gelato of Sergio Dondoli. Journey on through the vines, olive groves and cypresses of the Chianti hills for a delicious exploration of the regional wines.

  17. Day 17

    Renaissance Florence

    Meet an art historian for an insider's guide to Florence. Admire Michelangelo's original ‘Statue of David' in the Academy Museum before strolling to the cathedral, ‘Gates of Paradise' and open-air gallery in Signoria Square. The afternoon is free to enjoy Florence at your own pace before a delicious dinner with wine in delightful Barberino Di Mugello.

  18. Day 18 - Relaxed Start

    Tuscan Cooking Class and Pisa

    (Relaxed Start) Join a qualified chef to experience authentic Italian cooking at a hands-on culinary master class with lunch. In the afternoon, head to Pisa and view the splendid Duomo, baptistery and of course, the gravity-defying bell tower!

  19. Day 19

    Exploring The Cinque Terre and The Italian Riviera

    Journey northwest, towards the Mediterranean, and continue along the coast to the Cinque Terre where you join a Local Expert in the picturesque fishing village of Manarola. Then cruise along the rugged coast to explore Monterosso's medieval quarter and popular sandy beach. After free time for lunch, board the train bound for the resort of Rapallo. Your prestigious hotel overlooks the Portofino Promontory.

  20. Day 20

    Magnificent Venice and the Doge's Palace

    Cross the fertile Po Valley to Verona, home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. Stroll past the well-preserved Roman Arena and through a maze of elegant squares to stand beneath the balcony said to have belonged to the Capulet family. Head on to Venice and to your exclusive 5-star luxury hotel. In the evening, you are invited to an out of hours private visit of the magnificent Doge's Palace. As all crowds disappear, discover the history, art and culture of the Venetian Republic.

  21. Day 21 - Relaxed Start

    Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’

    (Relaxed Start) A Local Expert will introduce you to the joys of Venice. Admire St. Mark's Basilica and see the Bridge of Sighs. Witness the age-old skill of glassblowing at an arts centre. Later, take your seat in a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals. In the evening, cruise to the idyllic fisherman's island of Burano for a celebratory dinner.

  22. Day 22

    Arrivederci Venice

    Your Luxury Gold journey will come to an end after breakfast with a private boat transfer to Venice Airport for your onward flight.

Highlights

 

EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS

  • Rome: In the ultimate VIP experience, enter the Sistine Chapel for a private tour, with a Local Expert, before it is open to the public. Our fast-tracked entry into the Vatican Museums ensures maximum enjoyment of the priceless Papal art collection.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
  • Isle of Capri: Relax aboard a cruise around this magical island.
  • Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe with a Local Expert.
  • Perugia: Visit a workshop to see how the art of hand-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations.
  • San Gimignano: Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan ice-cream parlour of World Champion gelato Maestro, Sergio Dondoli for a taste of his finest frozen treats.
  • Florence: Enjoy an insider's guide with an art historian, admire Michelangelo's masterpiece, the 17ft marble statue of David in the Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Cinque Terre: Cruise along the rugged coast of the Cinque Terre to explore Monterosso's medieval quarter and popular sandy beach.
  • Venice: Discover the secrets of the Venetian Republic on a private evening tour of the Doge's Palace.
  • Venice: Take your seats in a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic Venetian canals.
  • Milan: Experience the towering Gothic cathedral and see Da Vinci's astounding The Last Supper.
  • Verona: Explore 'fair' Verona with a Local Expert.
  • Venice: Enjoy a walking discovery tour of the city and an exclusive visit inside St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Padua: Join a walking discovery tour of this medieval walled city.
  • Venice Islands: Discover the Byzantine mosaics of Torcello, learn about lace-making in Burano and taste the luscious golden wine of Mazzorbo.
  • Polesella: Choose from a full-day excursion to Bologna with an exclusive pasta-making workshop and lunch or a half-day excursion to Ferrara.
  • Venice: Choose from a 'Do as the Locals Do' exploration of the city or visit the Accademia with an Art Historian.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: Visit St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's ‘Pietà'.
  • Isle of Capri: Walk to Augustus' Gardens for views of the Faraglioni Rocks. Descend from Capri town by funicular.
  • Perugia: A Local Expert will show you the Great Fountain, Collegio del Cambio and splendid Prior's Palace.
  • Florence: See the cathedral, Giotto's bell tower, ‘Gates of Paradise', and open-air gallery of Signoria Square.
  • Venice: See St. Mark's Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs.

EPICUREAN DINING

  • Isle of Capri: For your dining pleasure, you will be offered a selection of discerning restaurants to choose from on your Dine-Around evening.
  • Isle of Capri: Savour a delicious lunch at Mammà, a Michelin-starred restaurant, in a beautiful Mediterranean setting.
  • Florence: Dine out in delightful Barberino di Mugello, at a family-run restaurant where ‘nonna' makes delicious desserts! Enjoy a four-course menu with wine that pays homage to Tuscany's most famous flavours.
  • Tuscany: Join a qualified chef to experience authentic Italian cooking at a hands-on culinary masterclass with lunch.
  • Burano: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine on this picturesque island.
  • Chioggia: Choose from a guided stroll through the town's bustling fish market or head to a casoni (fisherman's hut) to learn the art of mussel harvesting from local fishermen (mussel harvesting weather and maritime conditions permitted).
  • Marzzorbo: Learn about the Dorona grape and taste its luscious golden wine.
  • Including Quality Dining: 20 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 6 Lunches (L), 2 Welcome Dinners (WD), 7 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW), 1 Dine-Around Evening (DA), 1 Michelin Highlight Lunch (MHL), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD) and 2 Celebration Dinners (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. While Cruising: You can enjoy unlimited beverages on-board, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water.

OUTSTANDING HOTELS

  • Isle of Capri: The 5-star luxury boutique hotel Capri Palace Hotel and Spa, is furnished with elegance inspired by the Mediterranean.
  • Tuscany: A short drive from Florence, the luxury Villa Le Maschere is a grand, late Renaissance country house, built in the 16th century.
  • Venice: The Bauer Palazzo is divinely located on the Grand Canal just off St Mark's Square and offers spacious and elegant guest rooms.
  • Uniworld's River Countess: The recently remodeled, 130-passenger River Countess is filled with light and color. Muted shades of turquoise complimented by soothing cream, taupe, and white accents create a luxurious and sophisticated environment for your northern Italian adventure. The River Countess was the top-rated cruise ship (river or ocean) in Travel + Leisure's prestigious 2013 World's Best Awards. It offers lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites with handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, with a menu of pillow options.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'. Concierge services are also available on-board your cruise. Enjoy 24-hour room service while cruising.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40-seat coach, with extended leg room and an on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery to inside your door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels as well as port charges during your cruise.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available) also available on selected River Cruise ships.
  • With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Airport transfers to and from your hotel are included in Milan on the first day and Venice on the last day. Train from Venice to Rome and transfers between hotels and train stations included.

Optional experiences

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.

Accommodation

 

Rosa Grand Milano

Milan (Contemporary) - Italy

Uniworld River Countess

Uni world (Cruise) - Italy

The recently remodeled, 130-passenger River Countess is filled with light and color. Muted shades of turquoise complimented by soothing cream, taupe, and white accents create a luxurious and sophisticated environment for your northern Italian adventure. The River Countess was the top-rated cruise ship (river or ocean) in Travel + Leisure’s prestigious 2013 World’s Best Awards. It offers lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites with handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, with a menu of pillow options.

Hotel Bernini Bristol Rome

Rome (Central) - Italy

Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome

Regina Baglioni Rome

Rome (Central) - Italy

Regina Baglioni, Rome

Hotel Brufani Palace Perugia

Perugia (Central) - Italy

Brufani Palace, Perugia

Villa le Maschere Barberino Di Mugello

Barberino Di Mugello (Scenic) - Italy

Villa le Maschere, Barberino Di Mugello

Grand Hotel Bristol Rapallo

Rapallo (Scenic) - Italy

Grand Hotel Bristol, Rapallo

Bauer Palazzo Venice

Venice (Heritage) - Italy

The Palazzo is divinely located on the Grand Canal, just off St Mark's Square, and offers spacious and elegant guest rooms.

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