Country Roads

Italian Elegance (Summer 2018)

Duration: 13 days Visiting: Italy

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Experience the epitome of Italy’s historic cities, exquisite resorts, rustic towns and idyllic fishing villages.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

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

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.

    On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, your airport transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. In this unique city, ancient monuments happily co-exist with some 900 churches, fine palaces, bustling piazzas, green parks and a vast urban sprawl. At 17:30, join your fellow guests and Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner, a fun evening of Italian cuisine and wine.

  3. Day 3

    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 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, 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.

  4. Day 4

    Renaissance Florence and on to Monteriggioni.

    Take the autostrada north to Renaissance Florence. Accompanied by an art expert, venture inside the famous Accademia Gallery to admire Michelangelo’s original statue, David. From there, see the cathedral, campanile and the baptistery, adorned with the Gates of Paradise. Walk on to Piazza della Signoria with its open-air gallery of Renaissance sculpture. There is time to shop for Florentine leather or gold before continuing to your elegant Tuscan villa near the walled town of Monteriggioni. After spending two days in the metropolis of Rome, your villa resort will be a welcome retreat. Rest in the shade of the lush, verdant gardens, swim in the pool, or participate in a variety of leisure activities.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Siena and Gelato in San Gimignano

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, visit medieval Siena where narrow cobbled streets lined with palaces and patrician mansions, lead to Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horse race. Explore with your Local Expert and visit the beautifully-striped cathedral. Continue to hilltop San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers that scrape the azure Tuscan sky. Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan ice-cream parlour of world champion gelato maestro, Sergio Dondoli, for a taste of his finest frozen treats. On return to your hotel, stop at a local winery to sample some of the robust red wines of Tuscany and learn about their origins.

  6. Day 6

    The Chianti Hills to Pisa, Lucca and Santa Margherita.

    Drive through the patchwork of vines, olives and cypresses that typify the Chianti hills. Head for Pisa and see the incredible Leaning Tower, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. See the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble, before continuing to the delightful town of Lucca. At a traditional steam bakery, taste the history in the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread. Continue along the coast to the pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.

  7. Day 7

    The Cinque Terre.

    Head for the port of La Spezia for a highlight of your travels, the Cinque Terre - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat. There is time to explore the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps make the most of the hotel’s private beach before enjoying a delicious farm-to-table dining experience for dinner.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Portofino and onto Lake Maggiore.

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, should weather permit, cruise along the rugged Ligurian coast to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, epitome of la dolce vita. Enjoy leisure time to admire the coloured houses, browse the boutiques or simply stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbour. Next, return to the mainland and head north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with lush subtropical vegetation.

  9. Day 9

    Verona, the Dolomites and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

    Journey to the town of fair Verona, legendary home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Enjoy free time to admire the well-preserved Roman Arena still used for opera performances, or perhaps recite Shakespeare’s immortal words and get cozy with Juliet’s well-worn statue beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived. Continue through the magnificent Dolomites, to the mountain resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Experience the Dolomites.

    (Relaxed Start) The whole day is free for you to explore the colourful peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites, one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the Alps. During summer, once the snow and ice have melted away, a breathtaking landscape is revealed. There are a number of walking tracks through pristine Alpine wilderness for the adventurous to explore, or for a more relaxed pace, perhaps take a thrilling cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking 360-degree views.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Venice, Queen of the Adriatic.

    (Relaxed Start) Descend through the mountains to the romantic city of Venice. A private launch ferries you past canals lined with ornate palaces to St Mark’s Square. See the basilica, the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs, before checking into your intimate and luxurious hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, why not cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialties and wine?

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima

    (Relaxed Start) Visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. Then there is free time to enjoy the magical atmosphere of this incredible city at your own pace. Mingle with the locals at the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge and explore the back lanes and squares where Venetians go about their day. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. In the evening, toast the finale of your journey with good food, good wine and good company at your Celebration Dinner in a magical setting.

  13. Day 13

    Arrivederci Venice.

    Bid farewell to Bella Italia and your newfound friends. Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 or 09:30.




  • Vatican City: Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums and see Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo’s monumental statue, David, in the Accademia Gallery, while an art expert explains the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing as you watch artisans create delicate works of art.


  • Vatican City: Venture inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
  • Vatican City: Visit the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age.
  • Florence: During your guided walk see the cathedral, bell tower and Gates of Paradise on the baptistery. Visit the political heart of the city, Piazza della Signoria.
  • Florence: See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a leather-work demonstration.
  • Siena: Explore medieval Siena with a Local Expert and visit the cathedral.
  • Cinque Terre: With your Local Expert, cruise to and explore two of the villages of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Portofino: Cruise from Santa Margherita and get a taste of the sweet life in this elegant fishing village.
  • Italian Lake District: Experience the social ritual of la passeggiata.
  • Verona: During your orientation, walk past the well preserved Roman Arena to Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces where once the likes of Casanova would have come calling.
  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Scenic Drives: Fall in love with the iconic scenery of the rolling Tuscan Hills, the Apennines and Dolomites mountain ranges and the Italian Lake District.


  • Vatican City: Enjoy an exclusive VIP Highlight Dinner at the Vatican's Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, whilst enjoying views of the cupola of St. Peters, should weather permit.
  • 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.
  • Tuscany: In the Tuscan countryside, where deep-green cypress trees pierce blue skies and olive groves hug the rolling hillsides, taste the wines of an eminent estate.
  • Lucca: Visit a traditional steam bakery and sample Buccellato, the sweet raisin bread typical of the region.
  • Cinque Terre: Savour a freshly-prepared Farm-to-Table meal, made of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients typical of the region.
  • Venice: Enjoy a special Venetian Celebration Dinner with wine in a restaurant situated in the heart of this historic city.
  • Included Quality Dining: 11 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.


  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

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.

Grand Tour Of The Dolomites

Explore the colourful peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites – one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the Alps. Your full-day of discovery includes a thrilling cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking 360 degree views. In a unique combination of nature and history, learn about the incredible war waged in the mountains with a visit to a WWI museum. Complimentary coffee and strudel is included. (Weather and season dependent).

Adult Price: EUR 63.00

Code: COR0003

Dinner in the Mountains

This evening we'll drive through the countryside to the foot of the Tofane Mountain in the heart of the Dolomite Ranges, where we'll enjoy fantastic Cuisine in a superb setting. We'll soak in the atmosphere of a popular local restaurant while enjoying traditional Northern Italian hospitality and sampling delicious regional specialties and local Wine.

Adult Price: EUR 61.00

Code: COR0008

Isola Bella

The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. A guided tour of this privately owned palace with free time to admire the gardens is a must.

Adult Price: EUR 42.00

Code: ITA0001

Dinner on Isola dei Pescatori

This evening escape to the charming and tranquil island of Isola dei Pescatori. A short boat ride from the shores of Lake Maggiore, this fisherman’s Island is inhabited year round by only 50 permanent residents. Stroll through the small piazza surrounded by the tight and winding alleys to enjoy a sumptuous dinner where reservations have been booked in one of the Island's splendid restaurants.

Adult Price: EUR 68.00

Code: ITA0006

Local Tuscan Dinner

The secret to dining well in Tuscany is knowing where to go, picking the small towns and restaurants where locals dine. Exploiting our countryside location, this evening we'll dine locally, keeping away from the big-city crowds. We'll enjoy classic Tuscan specialties, the favourites of the Sienese province, utilising the fresh territorial produce that makes this region so well known.

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: RAD0001

Rome By Night - Illuminations Drive

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

Code: ROM0001

Guided Visit To Colosseum & Roman Forum

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 54.00

Code: ROM0003

Magical Venice

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

Code: VEN0001

Hidden Venice

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

Code: VEN0002

Burano Excursion & Meal

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

Code: VEN0003



Hotel Dei Borgia Rome

Rome (Contemporary) - Italy

This elegant hotel is located in in one of the most central positions in Rome, close to all the key attractions.

Borgo San Luigi Monteriggioni Tuscany

Monteriggioni, Tuscany (Traditional) - Italy

The Borgo San Luigi is a restored 17th century country palazzo, once owned by the Duchy of Tuscany, offering high-quality service in a peaceful, relaxed setting in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.

Best Western Regina Elena Santa Margherita Ligure

Santa Margherita Ligure (Traditional) - Italy

A modern hotel boasting fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding coast.

Hotel Simplon Baveno Italian Lakes

Baveno, Italian Lakes (Traditional) - Italy

Hotel Ancora Cortina dAmpezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo (Traditional) - Italy

Surrounded by the beautiful Dolomite Alps, Cortina's delightful Hotel Ancora is built in the characteristic Ampezzano style with wooden balconies and intricately carved and painted interior details.

Palladio Hotel and Spa or Splendid Venice

Venice (Traditional) - Italy

Palladio Hotel & Spa (Bauer Palazzo): Set on Giudecca Island in Venice, the Bauer Palladio is a luxury hotel boasting opulent decor and stunning facilities.
Splendid Venice: An outstanding hotel resting in the centre of Venice a stone’s throw away from all the sights.


Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7828 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 21 November, 2017


    Trip: Amazing coverage of Italy. What an eye opener!

    Service: The whole experience was all that was expected and plus much more. We were treated with dignity and the tour was excellent.

  • 09 November, 2017


    Trip: We were interested in sampling Italy and I think the tour was a good sample of northern Italy. We wish we would have had more time in Florence. The time spent in Florence was limited. We would have traded the dinner at the Vatican for more time in Florence.

    Service: The entire tour was very well run. We stayed on time and were well informed what our schedule would be for the following day. Our tour guide was always prepared and kept us moving. The local experts were excellent and very well versed in each city we visited. The bus was very clean and the driver was excellent. I would recommend Insight Vacations to friends and would certainly consider traveling with them again.

  • 06 November, 2017


    Trip: Too rushed and many electives should have been included at no cost as no additional expense to Insight - additional money making> Still enjoyed the trip

    Service: Enjoyed the trip, but far too rushed- especially the Greek Island Cruise which was exhausting and a blur. Most accommodation was very good, but preference seemed to be given if better rooms available to specific tourists. Also the celebration dinner was limited to 2 glasses of wine, which ended up being one glass of wine topped up after being half completed - not a @celebration@ by any means. The choices were extremely expensive, and walking trips or bus rides where no outside guides were required should be included in the cost. A "Heritage" trip should include a visit to see original "David" in Florence and Collusium as a minimum> Please note the trip was still very enjoyable.

  • 02 November, 2017


    Trip: Very good and especially interesting.

    Service: Great tour interesting places welll organised

  • 31 October, 2017


    Trip: This is an excellent tour of the northern part of Italy. The Dolomite mountains were the most beautiful I've every seen.

    Service: Hotels were excellent, tours were great, people (group) was a lot of fun.

  • 31 October, 2017


    Trip: Good itinerary . Motels mostly in good locations except for lake maggiora

    Service: Well organised. Food great

  • 27 October, 2017


    Trip: We saw and experienced so many great things if it wasn't for photos and the itinerary we would not remember all of them. I loved the varied hotels we stayed in along the way. They gave a particular flavor to the areas visited.

    Service: From soup to nuts everyone was giving and helpful to make the trip the best.

  • 26 October, 2017


    Trip: Great stops and venues. We would not have seen this much on ur own in the same time frame. All inclusive is the way to go.

    Service: Liz the tour guide was very knowledgeable and she kept us on schedule without delays. The tour bus driver Enrico was very good, we did not have any delays or detours.

  • 24 October, 2017


    Trip: Everything was great - Chris went above and beyond and was well organized. I was impressed by how he told us the history of each area as we drove through - can't say enough. All the excursions were very interesting and worth while. Some have asked what was my favorite place...I had none, loved them all.

    Service: Fantastic - thoroughly enjoyed everything, our tour guide - Chris Beck, and our driver - Giuseppe, were awesome. All the sights, hotels, food exceeded my expectations. Best tour ever....I will definitely use Insight again...I really liked the all inclusive package.

  • 24 October, 2017


    Trip: We were able to see quite a lot of northern Italy as we requested

    Service: Great trip through Tuscany, attention to detail, wonderful hotel locations, lovely food experiences, fantastic tour director (Chris Beck) and competent driver (Guiseppi)

  • 24 October, 2017


    Trip: We have been to some of these places before but this time we did it in more depth

    Service: The tour guide Chris Beck was very good and made our trip all the more enjoyable and all the people got on very well together

  • 19 October, 2017


    Trip: Could have used more time in Lucca. Enjoyed guide there!

    Service: Our guide was excellent! Very informative, helpful and organized!

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.


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