Rome Explorer Winter 2016-2017

Colosseum, Rome
9 Days

Historic giants the Colosseum and the Vatican meet show-stopping fountains in Tivoli's beautiful gardens, taking you inside the heart of this great city and surrounding area. 

ou'll enjoy Insider moments like… rubbing shoulders with the locals as you pick out the freshest ingredients at Campo di Fiori market, sampling focaccia straight from the baker's oven, then learning how to make your very own pasta the Italian way.

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Tour Pace: Leisurely
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome, capital of Italy. After check-in at your centrally located hotel, relax or take a leisurely stroll through the city's ancient streets. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a traditional pizzeria Welcome Reception.

  3. After a leisurely start enjoy a walking tour with a Local Specialist through some of the oldest streets in Rome. Visit the famous Spanish Steps immortalized in many Italian movies and the Trevi Fountain where you will stop to toss coins over your shoulder and make a wish to return to Rome. Visit inside the breathtaking Pantheon and marvel at the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome. See some of the impressive squares and admire the many monuments including Bernini's Fountain of Four Rivers. During the festive season, enjoy free time walking around the city center, soaking up the lights and atmosphere from Via Veneto to Via del Corso, or visit any number of churches to see the presepi, or Nativity Scenes. This afternoon leave the city center and visit the ancient catacombs with a Local Specialist for a fascinating insight into Christian history in the city.

  4. Today experience life like a local in this bustling and vibrant capital city. Visit a local food market for a Cultural Insight  and select delicious local ingredients. Take a walk through the Jewish quarter and try focaccias and other delicious specialties in the neighborhood bakeries. Arrive at Fooxia for a cooking course with a professional chef and learn how to make proper Italian pasta. Enjoy a delicious lunch with typical Italian hospitality.

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  5. A completely free day to explore the city. Your Travel Director will give you some ideas and suggestions on how to spend your day. Alternatively you may wish to take an Optional Experience to visit the renowned excavations at Pompeii.
  6. Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist begins at the Vatican Museums. Grand European Travel 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. Later visit St. Peter's Basilica to see the famous Pietà. This afternoon return to your hotel or perhaps consider a shopping experience to Via Condotti where you will find many fashionable boutiques.

  7. Explore to ancient Rome with a Local Specialist. Visit inside the impressive Colosseum and see the Circus Maximus where chariot races were once held. Later travel to Tivoli for a guided visit with a Local Specialist of the UNESCO World Heritage Italian gardens of Villa d'Este. The architectural elements and water features here had an enormous influence on European landscape design.
  8. Your last day in the city is completely yours to explore further or do last minute shopping for souvenirs. Your Travel Director will be able to suggest activities such as museums, shopping or sightseeing in the city. In the early evening meet for a unique Cultural Insight. Enjoy a Roman Farewell Dinner with a local family in their Isola Tiberina apartment. This apartment formerly belonged to film director Michelangelo Antonioni amongst other famous inhabitants. Today it is the home of Fabio and either he or other members of his family will host you for a delicious meal with your fellow travel companions.
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  9. After breakfast, say farewell to Rome and your newfound friends as you prepare to return home after a memorable week in one of the world's greatest cities. Transfers to Rome Fiumicino Airport are available at 7 am and 9:30 am. 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.

7 nights' accommodations, 7 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners.

Your included sights

  • City tour in Rome.
  • Visit the Colosseum, Tivoli Gardens at Villa d'Este, St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Roman Catacombs.
  • View the ancient sites of Rome including Circus Maximus, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and Bernini's Fountain of Four Rivers.

Your Insider Experiences

  • Cultural Insight: Meet a professional Italian Chef who will tell you about fresh produce and the basic principles of local cuisine. Visit an apartment which formally belonged to Antonioni and meet a local family and experience typical Italian hospitality.
  • Local Specialist: For included sightseeing in Rome and the Vatican Museums.
  • Hidden Treasure: Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
24 Dec 16 1 Jan 17 checkmark $2,095$1,990pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,095 $1,990 pp
4 Mar 17 12 Mar 17 $1,895$1,800pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,895 $1,800 pp
11 Mar 17 19 Mar 17 $1,895$1,800pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,895 $1,800 pp
18 Mar 17 26 Mar 17 $1,895$1,800pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,895 $1,800 pp
25 Mar 17 2 Apr 17 $1,895$1,800pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,895 $1,800 pp

Christmas & New Year's Eve Highlights: The December 25th, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve in Rome. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

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 $380.

Shared Rooming: Room Share is not available on this trip.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $61 per person.

Christmas Day In Rome: Please be advised that on Christmas Day, major sights and shops will be closed. Most churches hold services on Christmas Day. In St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Pope Frances will give his Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi speech, at noon. The Pope appears at the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica and blesses the crowd. (His Holiness only does this one other time each year, at Easter). Tickets are not required but expect large crowds. Your Grand European Travel Director will advise further options on your arrival in the city.

Airport Transfers: On arrival to Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm. 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 7am and 9:30am.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only 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 traveling to 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.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. Lunch (pranzo) is traditionally 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 fruit.  Finish with espresso and maybe a splash of liqueur.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water.

    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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