Italian Discovery

11 Days from $2,246 per person

Landmarks of Italy – the Vatican, marble Duomo and Doge's Palace – are the highlights of this journey through the birthplace of culture. 

Admire Michelangelo's frescoed ceiling, the idyllic beauty of Lake Como and stop in Verona to see Shakespeare's Juliet balcony and the 2,000-year-old Roman arena. You'll also savor the tastes of Bologna and wander through St. Francis' hometown, Assisi.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City. Relax after your journey or perhaps take a stroll through this historic city. Join your Travel Director and fellow travelers later for a Welcome Reception. An evening orientation drive will take you to admire the view of the magnificent St. Peter's Basilica - a perfect start to your Italian Discovery.
  3. Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist begins at the Vatican Museums. Trafalgar has priority early access as an official partner of the Vatican Museums allowing entry before other Tour Operators and the general public. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel when it is less crowded and more peaceful. Visit St. Peter's Basilica to see his famous Pietà. Your tour continues with views of ancient Roman sites and see Circus Maximus where chariot races were held. Visit the impressive Colosseum. There's time afterwards to explore the city on your own or simply relax and watch the world go by.
  4. Drive north through picturesque scenery to the Renaissance city of Florence in Tuscany. Your Local Specialist reveals Florence's rich cultural heritage during your walking tour. Visit Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and imposing palazzi. View the marble Duomo and the famous Baptistery renowned for its bronze doors with relief sculptures. View the ancient Ponte Vecchio, one of the most famous landmarks in Florence. Afterwards explore on your own or shop for high-quality leather and 18-carat gold jewelry. This evening enjoy a memorable Be My Guest dining experience in a castle on a wine and olive oil estate.
    meal(s):BB, BG
    hotel:Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
  5. A short journey brings you to Pisa and the famous Leaning Tower in Piazza del Duomo - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There's time for photos before you continue past the marble quarries of Carrara and the resorts of Portofino, Rapallo and Genoa. In Turin see the Antonelliana building and the Piazza San Carlo during your orientation tour.
  6. From Turin via Lake Como you arrive in Milan. Your Local Specialist takes you on a walking tour of the city's spectacular sights including the Galleria, the Gothic Duomo and the renowned La Scala opera house. This evening join your companions for a Regional Meal at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, RM
    hotel:Starhotels Business Palace
  7. Stop in Verona where Shakespeare based his most famous play, to view Juliet's Balcony and the 2,000 year old Roman arena still in use today. Continue across the Veneto plains to the magical city of Venice.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Viktoria Palace
  8. View the Doge's Palace and the Byzantine Basilica on your cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square. Stop at Giudecca Island to visit a traditional glassblowing workshop for a Cultural Insight into this ancient art form. Spend free time afterwards as you wish. Relax in a café, shop for souvenirs or take an Optional Experience to one of the islands in the lagoon.
  9. Visit Ferrara, a city of artistic importance during the Renaissance. Arrive in Bologna - famous for its university, architecture, fine sausages and hams. Your Local Specialist shows you the sights including Neptune's fountain, the Kissing Towers and Piazza Maggiore. Don't forget to sample the excellent local cuisine.
    hotel:AC by Marriott
  10. Cross the dramatic Apennine Mountains to Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio. Enjoy a walking tour of St. Francis' hometown with a Local Specialist. Visit the magnificent Basilica and see the tomb of St. Francis who founded the Franciscan Order in Assisi in 1208. Later travel south towards Rome passing the scenic hilltop town of Orte. Tonight join your companions and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner with wine.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Sheraton Parco De Medici
  11. Say ‘arrivederci' to your newfound friends at the end of your memorable Italian vacation. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 5 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • The Pazzi and de Medici feud is brought to light in this visit to the 12th century Castle of Trebbio where you will enjoy a traditional Tuscan buffet, explore the castle dungeons, and indulge in olive oil and wine tasting

Cultural Insight

  • Gain early access to the Vatican Museums to marvel at the magnificent work of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Milan, Bologna and Assisi

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Rome, Florence, Milan, Bologna, Assisi
  • Orientation of Turin, Venice
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Colosseum, the medieval city of Ferrara, St. Francis Basilica in Assisi
  • Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice
  • View the ancient sites of Rome, Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo in Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, beautiful Lake Maggiore, the Gothic Cathedral and La Scala Opera House in Milan, the Roman Arena and Juliet's Balcony in Verona, the Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, the Kissing Towers in Bologna
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
13 Apr 17 23 Apr 17 $2,575$2,318pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,575 $2,318 pp
20 Apr 17 30 Apr 17 $2,575$2,318pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,575 $2,318 pp
27 Apr 17 7 May 17 checkmark $2,575$2,318pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,575 $2,318 pp
4 May 17 14 May 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
11 May 17 21 May 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
18 May 17 28 May 17 checkmark $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
25 May 17 4 Jun 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
1 Jun 17 11 Jun 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
8 Jun 17 18 Jun 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
15 Jun 17 25 Jun 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
22 Jun 17 2 Jul 17 $2,550$2,295pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,550 $2,295 pp
29 Jun 17 9 Jul 17 checkmark $2,550$2,295pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,550 $2,295 pp
6 Jul 17 16 Jul 17 $2,550$2,295pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,550 $2,295 pp
13 Jul 17 23 Jul 17 $2,550$2,295pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,550 $2,295 pp
20 Jul 17 30 Jul 17 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,495 $2,246 pp
27 Jul 17 6 Aug 17 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,495 $2,246 pp
3 Aug 17 13 Aug 17 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,495 $2,246 pp
10 Aug 17 20 Aug 17 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,495 $2,246 pp
17 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,495 $2,246 pp
24 Aug 17 3 Sep 17 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,495 $2,246 pp
31 Aug 17 10 Sep 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
7 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
14 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
21 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,595 $2,336 pp
28 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 $2,575$2,318pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,575 $2,318 pp
5 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 $2,575$2,318pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,575 $2,318 pp
12 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 $2,575$2,318pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,575 $2,318 pp
19 Oct 17 29 Oct 17 $2,575$2,318pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,575 $2,318 pp


Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $530 p.p.

Triple Discount: $90 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7:00 am and 9:30 am.

Cruise Connection: This trip starts or ends in a popular cruise port, and can be combined with a cruise with a more in-depth guided vacation in Europe.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Italy must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Italy.

  • The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in Italy, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Italy. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink.  Find out about some local specialties to try in Italy’s top destinations below.


    Food in Florence is simple and humble, and relies on the fresh ingredients of the surrounding Tuscan countryside. Many of the local recipes have evolved from peasant dishes to international favorites. Bread is an important staple in Florentine cooking, and is featured in everything from antipasti (appetizers) such as bruschetta to traditional main dishes. Panzanella is a popular summer salad prepared with day old crusty bread and tomatoes.  Papa al pomodoro is a delicious soup made with bread, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and herbs.  You’ll also find a variety of dishes featuring white beans, including the hearty ribollita soup.  But the flagship of Florentine cuisine remains the famous bistecca alla fiorentina (T-bone steak).  For a sweet finish, meals are topped off with traditional cantuccini (almond cookies) and the local vin santo dessert wine.


    A visit to Venice offers an opportunity to discover a variety of truly unique gastronomic traditions.  Venetians have a long-standing tradition of eating cicchetti, small bites similar to Spanish tapas. You can enjoy a variety of these before lunch or dinner, paired with a glass of local wine at restaurants and bars around town. Other common dishes include polenta, risotto with peas, salted cod, sardines, and local bigoli pasta.  


    Roman cuisine is deeply rooted in the past. Despite the city’s imperial history, the food in Rome and the surrounding Lazio region is anything but refined.  Humble pasta dishes such as carbonara, amatriciana, aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) and cacio e peppe (pecorino cheese and pepper) are local favorites served in trattorias around town. Other foods to try in Rome include pizza, a variety of fritti (fritters) made with everything from salted cod to zucchini flours, stewed oxtail, suppli (rice and Bolognese sauce croquettes) and sharp pecorino cheese. For dessert, try crostata di ricotta (Italian cheesecake) or zeppole (donuts).

  • In Italy, the weather changes very quickly, with temperatures varying from morning to night. We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At bars and restaurants, tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


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