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Choose Your Departure Year:
Discover Italy’s most spectacular cities and top attractions on an unforgettable grand adventure. Begin with a tour of historic Padua, then experience the romanticism and grand waterways of Venice before immersing yourself in Tuscany’s charming countryside. Admire the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, with its famous art treasures such as Michelangelo’s David and explore the iconic buildings in Vatican City, including the Sistine Chapel. Stop in the medieval hill towns of Volterra, Cortona, and San Gimignano to learn about their ancient history. Gaze upon Rome’s archaeological masterpieces like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Trevi Fountain, then marvel at Pisa’s world-renowned Leaning Tower. Travel into the heart of the Italian Riviera for picturesque views as you venture through the colorful fishing villages of Cinque Terre and quaint Portofino, the Pearl of the Italian Riviera. Celebrate your travel memories with new friends as the trip concludes in Milan with a wonderful Farewell Dinner.
Travel through rich cultural history in Florence, the Birthplace of the Renaissance, and discover masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David, Ghiberti’s bronze Gates of Paradise, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and countless other iconic pieces. Stroll through the city and take in the beauty, architecture, and regional foods available at every turn.
Traverse the stunning Italian Riviera, starting with a gondola ride on Venice’s famous waterways. Admire the rugged landscape and vibrant coastal towns of Cinque Terre and Portofino while enjoying the immensely beautiful water of the Ligurian Sea.
The ancient country of Italy boasts fascinating history, immersive culture, and exquisite cuisines, all of which are major highlights when visiting. With stops in Florence, Venice, Vatican City, Tuscany, and many other incredible cities, you’ll get the most out of your journey and broaden your horizons.
September 7, 2024 - September 22, 2024
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 06/04/2024
Day 1 : Italy Bound
Our tour begins with an overnight flight to Italy.
Day 2 : Padua
We arrive in Milan, where our knowledgeable Italian guide and driver greet us before we transfer to Padua. This historic city is known for its beauty, world-renowned university, and as the setting for Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. After settling into our hotel, we enjoy a fantastic Welcome Dinner and get to know our fellow travelers.
Day 3 : Venice
Enjoy a delicious Italian breakfast before boarding the motorcoach for a comfortable drive, stopping just outside of Venice for a scenic boat ride on the Grand Canal. Once reaching the city, our tour begins at the Piazza San Marco, where we discover some of the best-known examples of Byzantine architecture. This city centerpiece features the Basilica di San Marco, former royal residence at Doge’s Palace, and Bridge of Sighs. Afterward, take time at leisure to explore the vibrant city on your own. Later, we experience a famed gondola ride on Venice’s charming waterways and wrap up our day in the Floating City with an included dinner, then return to our hotel in Padua.
Day 4 : Tuscany
We depart this morning for the Tuscany region, crossing the Apennine Mountains. Along the way, we stop to explore Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with elegant palaces dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Arrive this evening in the historic city of Florence, our home for the next two nights, and taste its famous regional cuisine with an included dinner.
Day 5 : Florence
Today we embark on a walking tour of Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance and home to many of the world’s greatest artistic treasures. Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia and view incredible masterpieces including Michelangelo’s famous David statue. Gaze upon Ghiberti’s famous bronze doors of the Baptistery, often referred to as the Gates of Paradise. We enjoy time on our own this afternoon to visit the area museums, indulge in a fresh gelato, or browse shops of Ponte Vecchio, a famous covered bridge housing many local vendors. To truly appreciate Florence’s beauty, we conclude the day with a scenic walk through the city center as it softly glows from an array of dimmed lights.
Day 6 : San Gimignano
After an included breakfast, we travel south through Tuscany and soak in the picturesque groves of olive trees and vineyards. We stop in the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, also known as the Town of Fine Towers, best recognized by its 14 magnificent towers and 13th-century encircling walls. Explore this spectacular community’s deep history and rich culture from the Middle Ages on a guided tour. Later, we arrive in the eternal city of Rome and check in to our hotel for the next three nights. A delicious dinner nearby is included this evening.
Day 7 : Vatican & The Sistine Chapel
Our day begins with a guided tour of the famous Vatican Museums, featuring some of the most renowned classical sculptures and Renaissance art in the world. Explore the Vatican’s many galleries culminating with the remarkable Sistine Chapel. Truly a magnificent sight to behold, the iconic ceiling fresco was painted by Michelangelo. Our visit to Vatican City continues with a special tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the most extraordinary churches in the world and home to the Catholic Church. Discover the immense history and relics, including the Altar of the Sacred Heart, the Chair of Saint Peter, and Michelangelo’s Piéta. Time at leisure this afternoon provides opportunities to see Saint Peter’s Square, climb the Spanish Steps, visit the Pantheon, or explore the statues and cafés of Piazza Navona.
Day 8 : Ancient Rome
Today’s adventure brings us through the fascinating sights and landmarks of ancient Rome. Begin with a visit to one of the most celebrated monuments of the Roman Empire and the largest amphitheatre in the world, The Colosseum. Learn about the many uses of this legendary arena and walk the same steps of the ancient gladiators. Next, tour the Roman Forum, once the governmental and financial center of the city, and home today to several of the best-preserved pieces of architecture including the Arch of Constantine. We complete our tour today with the stunning Trevi Fountain. Completed in 1762, it is one of the most prominent fountains in the world. According to legend, tossing a coin into the fountain ensures your return visit to Rome. Tonight, we gather with our new friends one more time for a special dinner featuring live musical entertainment before beginning the second half of our grand adventure tomorrow morning.
Day 9 : Chianti
After breakfast, we meet the expert Italian guide who will accompany us throughout the rest of our tour. We then begin our picturesque journey through the famous rolling hills of Tuscany to our home for the next four nights, the delightful Hotel Casafrassi. This Neoclassical villa is nestled among a panorama of landscaped gardens, olive groves, and vineyards, offering us a chance to relax while surrounded by the beauty of Tuscany. All rooms overlook the Chianti hills. This evening we get to know our fellow travelers over authentic Tuscan cuisine, complete with local wine.
Day 10 : Volterra & San Gimignano
Today we visit two of Italy’s best preserved medieval hill towns, both of which are surrounded by fortified walls and overlook rolling farmland. Pre-dating the Roman Empire, Volterra was once an important Etruscan city. Learn about its ancient history and see fascinating sights such as the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral, the Roman Theater with ruins of 3rd-century baths, and archaeological artifacts at the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum during time at leisure. In the afternoon, we have another opportunity to explore San Gimignano and roam the quaint cobblestone streets that make this ancient hill town so mesmerizing. Later, we return to our hotel in Chianti, then discover the tastes of the region with an included dinner at Ristorante Albergaccio di Castellina.
Day 11 : Florence
This morning we enjoy another walking tour of Florence to gaze upon more of the city’s iconic masterpieces, such as the Duomo, the largest brick dome ever constructed. The afternoon is yours to shop for souvenirs in Ponte Vecchio, visit the Uffizi Gallery to see ancient sculptures and paintings, or pursue other interests. This evening offers a special treat, the winery at Castello di Verrazzano. Learn the history of celebrated navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano as we delight in an included dinner featuring a fantastic selection of wines for our sampling pleasure.
Day 12 : Cortona
After a splendid breakfast, we make our way to the hilltop town of Cortona. Our Italian guide will provide a fascinating tour including the medieval architecture of Piazza Garibaldi, sights and shops of the Via Nazionale, and Palazzo Casali, displaying relics from the Etruscan, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the Renaissance churches, olive groves, and terraces that surround us in this picture-perfect town. Later, we return to our hotel for a wonderful dinner together.
Day 13 : Pisa & Ligurian Coast
Enjoy breakfast on the terrace and say arrivederci to Tuscany as we travel north through breathtaking scenery to Pisa, known for its opulent churches and palaces. Our guide introduces us to the area famously called "The Field of Miracles," where we see the world-renowned Leaning Tower of Pisa. We then have some time at leisure in the city before we continue our journey to our home for the next two nights, Santa Margherita Ligure, nestled along the Ligurian Coast.
Day 14 : Cinque Terre
Today we visit Cinque Terre, an Italian National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We travel by rail on the Cinque Terre Express for a day of exploring cities on this rocky coastline along the Mediterranean Sea. Our adventure begins at the quaint village of Riomaggiore, we continue on to Vernazza, and end our visit in Monterosso al Mare, with a lovely beach and beautiful lemon trees. Pastel colored buildings in the tiny fishing villages make for stunning pictures at each stop. Enjoy superb views of the distinctive terraced vineyards that produce local wine, the specialty here being dry whites. We then return to our hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 15 : Italian Riviera
A short morning boat ride takes us to Portofino, known as the Pearl of the Italian Riviera. This enchanting fishing village with its picturesque harbor is frequented by some of Europe’s wealthiest and most discerning pleasure seekers. Later, we travel to Milan for our overnight accommodations near the airport where we gather for a Farewell Dinner and toast to our new friendships and incredible trip.
Day 16 : Fly Home
After an included breakfast, we begin our flight home with fond memories of our Italian grand adventure.
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Tour days tend to be shorter in length, at a relaxed pace, and include lots of unscheduled time for leisure. Expect standing and walking for extended periods of time on flat surfaces, mostly low altitudes, and consistent temperatures.
Tour days usually move at a leisurely pace. Some days’ scheduled activities last longer than others. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on occasionally uneven terrain. You may experience changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a consistent pace, and may include long travel days. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on uneven surfaces. Some destinations may have changes in altitude and/or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a brisk pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a vigorous pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on rough surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.