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Best of Italy

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Ancient Pompeii
Tour Style: First Class
14 Days from $2,995 per person

Add a dash of ‘issimo' to your love affair with Italy as you explore its captivating landscapes, culture, and the mouth-watering flavors that have inspired its residents to coin the phrase: “First we eat, then we do everything else...” Your Italian discovery made ever more delectable amidst the lemon scents of Sorrento, Renaissance romance in Florence and imposing Rome.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Ciao Roma! 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. Explore this imperial city of emperors and senators, gods and goddesses, before joining your companions and Travel Director later for a Welcome Reception. Our introduction to the Eternal City is an evening orientation drive to view some of the sights which await you.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Una/Victoria
  3. The Holy See takes center stage today as we join a Local Specialist for an included sightseeing tour in the fascinating Vatican Museums. Witness first-hand the masterpieces of Bramante and Michelangelo in a Cultural Insight, admiring the smooth, step-less staircase, the magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel Experience and the marble masterpiece of Pietà, housed in St. Peter's Basilica. We venture across the Tiber and into Ancient Rome to see the famous Colosseum and Circus Maximus, once the site of celebrated chariot races. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the city streets of Rome on your terms.
    meal(s):BB
  4. Today we pay tribute to the brave souls of the World War II Italian Campaign whose last resting place is the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino. We view the Benedictine Abbey, which featured as the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944, before heading south to the well-preserved ruins of Pompeii. Here we join a Local Specialist who will share details of the devastation caused by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:La Residenza/Johanna Park
  5. We cross the Bay of Naples today by ferry to the glamorous Isle of Capri where we will visit some of its landmark sights. Wander past the chic boutiques and sidewalk cafés in Capri Town in the company of a Local Specialist. Later, we return to the mainland and enjoy a Cultural Insight into the intricate art of inlaid woodwork for which Sorrento is famous.
    meal(s):BB
  6. We join our Local Specialist in Assisi for a walking tour to visit the Basilica of St. Francis. See the remnants of Roman heritage at the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and the Lion Fountain in the central piazza before dining at your hotel this evening.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Cenacolo Authentic Accommodation
  7. Fall in love with the Renaissance architecture and delicious flavors of Emiglia Romagna. The story of star-crossed lovers is celebrated later during our stop in the exquisite city of Verona, where we will admire Juliet's Balcony, and the Roman arena, before arriving in Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria Authentic Accommodation
  8. We venture to the island of Giudecca where talented tradesmen share their centuries-old glassmaking traditions in a Cultural Insight, before meandering through the domain of St. Mark to view the impressive square and Basilica that still bear his name. Our journey through Venice takes us past the opulent Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, before an afternoon at leisure.
    meal(s):BB
  9. Today we cross the lush green plains of Lombardy to sophisticated Milan, the global capital of design and fashion. An orientation tour takes us past the intricate Gothic Duomo, La Scala Opera house and the famous Galleria, before dinner is served tonight at our hotel.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Simplon
  10. The glistening blue waters of Lake Como welcome us today, with free time to enjoy the lakeside lifestyle and beautiful scenery that has enchanted visitors for millennia. This evening we venture by private boat to an island on Lake Maggiore for an unforgettable Be My Guest dinner experience.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  11. The charm of Tuscany lures us across the forested Apennine Mountains, past Genoa to the famous city of Pisa and its Square of Miracles where we will enjoy an opportunity to view the Leaning Tower. Our next stop is Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Mediterraneo/Adler Cavalieri
  12. Delve into the extravagant legacy of the de' Medici in the company of a Local Specialist. The elegant Duomo dominates the skyline as we visit Piazza della Signoria with its exquisite statues and palazzi. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the beautiful skyline of Florence and the 400-year-old Ponte Vecchio from Piazzale Michelangelo.
    meal(s):BB
  13. This morning we visit the charming Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano, within whose colorful city walls are extraordinary examples of medieval architecture and history. We head back to Rome this evening for a Farewell Dinner spent in the company of newfound friends and our Travel Director.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Sheraton Parco De Medici
  14. Our discovery of the best of Italy has sadly come to an end. Return transfers will arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7am and 9.30am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):BB
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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.
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15 Dec 18 28 Dec 18 $3,225pp Request Quote Book Now
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19 Dec 18 1 Jan 19 $3,450pp Request Quote Book Now
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  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
  • 2019 Departures: are subject to change of itinerary, price, discount and hotels.

 

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 $600 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: up to $120 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $127 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, so you can combine a cruise with a guided vacation in Europe.

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.

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

Meal Summary

12 nights, 12 hot buffet breakfasts, 7 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Join Signor Telli for an exclusive dinner and ‘bei tempi' at his family run restaurant on the secluded Isola Madre island on Lake Maggiore

Authentic Accommodations

  • Built to welcome pilgrims visiting Assisi, Hotel Cenacolo is a fully renovated old Franciscan convent in nearby Santa Maria degli Angeli

Cultural Insight

  • Follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo when visiting the Vatican Museums. Ascend the smooth and stepless spiral staircase designed by architect Donato Bramante, in a part of the Vatican not open to the public. Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Assisi and Florence

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Assisi, Florence
  • Orientation of Venice, Milan
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum, the Colosseum in Rome, the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino, the excavations at Pompeii, St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, picturesque Lake Como, the medieval city of San Gimignano
  • Cruise to the beautiful Isle of Capri, private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice
  • View the Benedictine Abbey in Monte Cassino, Juliet's Balcony in Verona, the Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, the Gothic Cathedral and La Scala Opera House in Milan, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Duomo in Florence
  • See the ancient sites of Rome including Circus Maximus

Reviews

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I feel like it's a complicated procedure to plan for 12 days in Italy, and wanted to go with a tour company that would handle ALL the arrangements and take the guesswork out of it for me! Your company did just that...and did it very well! And....out Travel Director, Gianmarco was absolutely amazing. Fun, patient, knowledgeable, organized. He made this experience exceptional!!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review. Italy is a fantastic destination and we are thrilled you enjoyed our "Best of Italy" guided vacation. We are very proud of our Travel Directors and are pleased you had a great trip with Gianmarco - he is one of the best!
Friday, October 20, 2017
Vacation : I felt for what we got, where we went and the experiences we had, it was a great value!
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Every aspect of my trip was amazing from initial scheduling until I arrived home after my trip. I have received Grand European Tour catalogs for 30 years and from my first catalog, I put the "Best of Italy" tour on my "bucket list." In reality, I never thought I would be able to go because, by the time I could afford it, I assumed the rising cost of travel through the years would make it cost prohibitive. But, that is not the case with this fabulous company. Even though prices have risen some over 30 years, Grand European Tours and their affiliated companies (Trafalgar) have kept prices reasonable, so the average person can afford to fulfill their dreams of travel. From the minute I stepped off the plane in Rome for my 14 day adventure of discovering Italy, everything ran like a well oiled machine. Giuseppe Spada was our Travel Director for the entire trip and made the trip seamless for all 48 of us. Our driver was Antonio Falso and he drove our bus through all of Italy as a seasoned professional. This trip was well worth the 30 year wait, and I encourage anyone wanting to tour the world, to make Grand European Tours your first and only tour company.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Kathleen, thank you very much for your lovely review. We are absolutely delighted we could make your travel dreams come true, and that you had a wonderful time on our Best of Italy vacation. Enjoy those memories and we hope to see you on another trip soon!
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Vacation : Prices were surprisingly very reasonable.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Very good early on in the planning and booking phase and serve dropped off with follow up contacts. The trip itself was outstanding it exceeded our expectations
Vacation : The value to cost was excellent value
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The service and tour guide (Giuseppi) makes you feel like a 5star traveler. Everything is taken care of and Giuseppi always added a little something extra. I love this company.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your review and your continued business with GET. We're thrilled to know that our "Best of Italy" tour exceeded your expectations and we hope to see you on another tour with us soon!
Friday, October 20, 2017
Vacation : We saw so many amazing sites through Italy and our hotels were beautiful. The price for this trip was spot on, could not have asked for more.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Wish I had had more info on what each day entailed. Like Trafalgar = luggage wrestlers, pre paid events (more info on those too like tower of Pisa costs extra and requires so much time. ) Too much food! but sure was good. I am 77 and needed more downtime than is prescribed.
Vacation : Great trip for the value the drivers are underpaid and under appreciated!
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This is the second tour using GRT. Everything is well planned and we seem to get the required information at a very appropriate time. We know what we want to do next year and will start planning in a couple months. GRT is definitely at the top of our list.
Vacation : We thought the price was fair and included many local guides.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This trip was truly the "Best of Italy" -- phenomenal itinerary, superb accommodations, Travel Director, Rachel White's knowledge of every place in Italy we travelled to was impressive.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your kind words. We look forward to helping you plan your next Guided Vacation.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Vacation : Great experience -- will be booking again with Trafalgar/Grand European Travel.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our decision to use GE proved to be one of the best decisions we ever made. From the initial contact with GE it proved to be professional and service oriented company. Every company representative from the original travel agent to our trip director Rachel White did things with the customer in mind.
Vacation : Above and beyond expectations.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : It was a well planned and well executed tour. Our director did an excellent job of keeping us on schedule. Her sense of timing was excellent. When one of our hotels fell thru and we had to move to another one, she was honest and clear about what happened and how the problem would be rectified, including what we considered a generous offering of 2excursions at no additional charge. The driver was skilled and a really good sport.
Vacation : The tour was jam packed with interesting and significant excursions. Based on what we’ve paid for other trips, I’d rate this on excellent value for the money. It was a large group with one 4 yr old and on handicapped person, but the large group was well managed by out director.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : A very organized and fun filled trip. Great folks on tour. Absolutely wonderful guide and local guides. Extra excursions were fun and worth the cost. One of our best trips ever!
Vacation : Organized. Great tour director and local guides.
Friday, October 6, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our agent Barb was very helpful and answered all of our questions.
Vacation : Purchase price was good, but the incentives helped make up our mind.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Spent too much time on the bus. Wouldn't mind spending more time at each place seeing less
Vacation : Good for the cost. Did not realize how many optional a there would be
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our tour director Franco Falanga and our driver Alfredo made this experience very enjoyable. Franco was organized, efficient, experienced and had a relaxed, fun personality. Our hotels were not all 4 Star rated because many were older and had need of updating. But the rooms were large and all had showers. The dinners in the hotels, although convenient were not up to the high level of the special dinner outings. We signed up for all of the extra excursions and the tour guides were excellent. We enjoyed having the opportunity on some occasions to dine in local restaurants on our own and in smaller groups. We would have preferred more than one tour guide for our large (50) member walking tours for the sake of safety and efficiency. I don't think Franco expected most all of us to sign up for everything. You will spend long hours on the coach and will eat lunch at Italian style truck stops (which are amazing). Weather conditions kept us from the Isle of Capri, but they gave us an extra guided tour in Venice to make up for it. This tour far exceeded our expectations because the of the sparkling new coach, the number of incredible places we saw along with the education we received from Franco and our tour guides. This was a trip of a lifetime for us and we highly recommend it! Dress comfortably because you will be spending most of your days walking 3-5 miles and saying "Ahhh".
Vacation : Optional Experience: Piazzas and Fountains of Rome with Carlotta
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This is the first time using Trafalgar and I must say I was very impressed! the tour director (Pamela Russo) was the best, she is a very organized and she has the right personality for this job and knows how to communicate with the group. she was very knowledgeable with Italy. I was also impressed with Vieto the bus driver.I have booked this tour again and it leaves on May 19, 2018. I know that it is 8 months out but it would be great to have Pamela the director of this tour, so if you could forward this request to the right people that schedule the tours maybe they can arrange this. I have been telling everybody about how impressed I was and that I am going again, this time with my partner who could not go the last time. looking forward to another great time!!!
Vacation : The cost of this tour is well worth the price. even the extras are worth it. they treat you like kings & queens. Well Done.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Great trip, Our travel director , Rosella was fantastic, none better!!!!!. The tour guides she hired were great. Most of the hotels were fine, a couple not so. Food at the hotels was so so. The people in our group were great. For my wife and I, the trip was too long and we were given to much information by the guides. I forgot most of what the said already. If we had realized that 2 weeks was too long, we would not have booked the trip. GET did your job. I have no complaints about you.
Vacation : I did already any more questions and i will take 2 stars away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, September 25, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Yes, we would recommend Grand European Travel to anyone thinking about taking a tour of Italy as we did on September 4,2017. We were to travel until the 17th of September, but my husband got sick on the 13th and was taken to a hospital about an hour from the hotel we were staying at in Lake Como. He spent 5 days in that hospital with Congestive Heart Failure. We missed then end of the tour. I was in touch with Grand European Travel and they helped me to make reservations for the flight home from the airport in Milan and also book a hotel there for the night before our departure on the 19th. Our travel director, Pino Campi was excellent. He called me and checked up daily on how we were both doing after leaving the tour, and even sent emails after we got home to see how everything was going. Everyone went above and beyond in helping me during this stressful time. It was a challenge being in a foreign country and not speaking Italian. Everyone I spoke to were very professional and concerned and helpful with everything I needed. I can't thank them enough for all they did for us.
Vacation : excellent and would recommend
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The itinerary was amazing. The tour director "Tony" was very knowledgeable. He had a wealth of information. Very personable and took care of us, his family of 48 people.
Vacation : Very rich magical experience.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Grand European Travel provides excellent information in a timely manner.
Vacation : This was a wonderful tour including stays in multiple cities throughout Italy. The optional experiences offered were exceptional. I particularly enjoyed the boat trip at the Isle of Capri and the gondola ride/serenade in Venice.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The entire trip was planned very well and the whole experience. Tour director and driver were very good. We would use Grand European again and recommend it to others
Vacation : We hit all the great cities and attractions and learned much about each.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : They did very well
Vacation : Great value.......................
Friday, September 15, 2017
Service:
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Service rating : Well organized. Terrific tour director.
Vacation : A good value for the purchase price.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The trip covered all the major cities in Italy. Our tour director was wonderful and changed our schedule to make sure we had the best experience possible. The optional trips were also fantastic.
Vacation : The optional trips were great. Our director informed us of some of the best shopping places.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Wonderful tour guide( Romeo) and many wonderful sights, some were a surprise as not listed on the itinerary.. I liked the included dinners. The hotels could have been more centrally located, especially the one in Rome.
Vacation : great value for your money.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I loved the tour. Everything we wanted.
Vacation : could do better on air fare
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This my 2nd trip arranged through Grand European and went well
Vacation : Ease of communication with various agents
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everyone we had contact with, either by phone or email, was responsive and answered all of our questions.
Vacation : This was a great trip - well planned and first rate. Our travel director, Marisa Lukovic, was so knowledgeable, organized, helpful, caring and most of all fun.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : WOnderful tour guide (Amedeo), excellents bus and hotels.
Vacation : We are an older couple (81 and 84) and the tour was too fast for us. We wished for more time in the museums and a slower pace in general.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are sorry to hear that. We hope you were able to enjoy the trip despite feeling a bit rushed at times. 
Friday, July 28, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Wonderful tour of Italy. I would highly recommend Grand European. They are the best. Everything was taken care of. We never had to be concerned about anything. Early entry into the Sistine Chapel was an added plus. Our tour director was amazing.
Vacation : The best value ever. We could never have accomplished all that we did if we traveled independently
Monday, July 17, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Overall, it did not meet my expectations...
Vacation : The price of the land tour was reasonable; however, we had to add the plane fare, and also the cost of the optional tours --whose price were not made available beforehand. The entire trip could be pricey when taking all the optional tours! As a side comment, the time spent on the motorcoach was too long during the day...
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : All the arrangements were handled very efficiently and we were notified of the arrangements promptly. Our questions were answered and help offered when we needed extra assistance.
Vacation : All the extra tours were just fantastic. We got to experience a little more of Italy which was just wonderful. We especially enjoyed the dinners in unexpected venues. So much fun.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Trafalgar lived up to their name! The hotels were top-notch 4-5 stars. We saw so much and moved so fast that it was almost a blur. I can't say enough about our tour director, Alissa, who was tireless, friendly to all, very professional, and knowledgeable. Her most valuable and appreciated service to all of us was her kindness and genuine caring about each one. That kind of personality that makes you want to travel again with her as director. Her finding me the right plug-in, so I could charge my phone as well as use my oxygen was a godsend, since the plug that Trafalgar sent didn't work! All of the specialists at the main exhibits were good, except for the Vatican guide who was rude, showed visible and verbal irritation at some of us that were trying to keep up, which was difficult with over 40 people. The Pompeii guide did not give us nearly the information and/or stories that I'd heard before on previous trips. My favorite hotels were the hotel at Sorrento, Johanna Park,and Grand Albergo Austria in Venice. I have found "comfortable, homey with friendly staff" to always be my favorites. My husband and I loved the Sorrento Farmhouse dinner and learned what good mozzarella cheese really was! We enjoyed the cruise and dinner at Burano. The cruises and dinner in the Italian lakes was wonderful. One of our last dinners at the Tuscan vineyard was past amazing and memorable. This was my husband's and my first tour, and I'm glad we went with the best! You get what you pay for....
Vacation : The glass making in Venice was fascinating. I bought lovely necklaces, earring and my favorite, cobalt blue glasses with gold inlays.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The tour guide, Dina, was wonderful; the coach was very comfortable; the seat rotation policy allowed us to get to know everyone on the tour; but the optional experiences were a little pricey, and not often worth what we paid.
Vacation : We experienced a great overview of Italy and its differences in culture and food. We saw all the "high-lights" that every tourist expects to see and had time to explore lesser known attractions if we so chose. The meals were fine, but not exceptional.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This is the second trip I took of the best of Italy. I had problems with the first trip in September or 2015. This trip however was handled by Trafalga was far superior and the travel director Franco Falanga was excellant in every respect and made it a wonderful experience for my wife and myself. I would only use trafalga in the future and would look for the same travel director.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thanks for your comments on our Best of Italy trip.  We're glad to hear Franco made such a positive impact on your vacation.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Vacation : Travel director Franco Falanga made our trip.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our director,Gianmarco,was very knowable no matter where we were.He was so much fun to be with and very helpful in making our trip so enjoyable. Our driver,Fortunato, was unbleaveable. What a great driver. I was so impressed with his skills.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thanks for the feedback! We're glad to hear you enjoyed your trip so much. And yes, our drivers are extremely impressive!
Friday, June 9, 2017
Vacation : Better then we could have beleaved.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : From day one GET answered all of my questions and delivered what was promised.
Vacation : I had one of the best vacations of a lifetime. The group we traveled with could not have been nicer. I believe we saw much more than we ever imagined.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Terrific feedback, thank you for sharing.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Friday, June 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I would definitely book through Grand European again. I liked the BOGO option for the flights, the trip offerings are great and teaming up with Trafalgar became a perfect travel experience.
Vacation : This tour by Trafalgar is perfect to see and experience the BEST OF ITALY! Our Tour Director (Franco) was an expert director with years of experience and knowledge. His tour was so well organized; no lines to wait in, even when touring the optional excursions; treated us like family (Franco Family) and he provided professional advice and service for all of us. Our beautiful brand new motor coach and expert driver made the ride comfortable and enjoyable!
Friday, June 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our trip was amazing. Our tour director Franco was informative and enjoyable. He made us a family that bonded in a short period of time. Also, the places we saw had guides that knew a wealth of information which added to the experience. The trip is well worth it.
Vacation : Couldn't have asked for a better tour. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it
Friday, June 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : There were 47 people on this trip. Group was too large. Have been on many trips and average was 38. I was shocked to see so many and will use other travel companies with tour limits in the future. Travel director did a great job but it was not easy moving around so many people.
Vacation : Too many people on tour. Also the included meals in our hotel were the same every time. Got really tired of 2 slices of pork with gravy and roasted potatoes for entrees.
Friday, June 2, 2017
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Vacation:
Service rating : From day one to the end of the tour it was amazing. Roberto the tour guide was so friendly and accommodating throughout the trip. He explained where we were going, gave us history and we all had fun.
Vacation : My son surprised me with this trip and it was all that he thought it could be for me.
Response from Grand European Travel:
What a terrific surprise! We're glad to hear the Best of Italy exceeded your expectations, and especially happy to hear your nice comments about Roberto.  We hope to have you on tour again soon!
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Monday, May 29, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Even though we had previously been to England and Scotland we had never taken a "tour" of a European country. From beginning to end of planning for this trip, Grand European was considerate, kept us updated regarding all aspects of the trip, helpful, and extremely affordable! They had our tour booked with Trafalgar who provided an excellent tour Driver and Travel Director. We truly enjoyed our entire 14 day Best of Italy tour. We will definitely book through Grand European again.
Vacation : We purchased a 6 bottle case of wine from the optional restaurant in Florence which was shipped to us. We received this the day after we arrived home. Amazing.
  • 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.

    Florence

    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.

    Venice

    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.  

    Rome

    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.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Florence

Dinner, Wine And Music In The Tuscan Hills

Adult Price: € 64

Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant where a selection of regional favourites is served, accompanied by a selection of local wines and live music. A truly unforgettable experience, with an atmosphere that is the essence of all things Tuscan.

Michelangelo's 'David' & Accademia

Adult Price: € 40

Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We have fast track entry to the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Italian Lakes

Discover Lake Como

Adult Price: € 38

Enjoy views of elegant villas and gardens as you cruise with your Local Specialist along Lake Como, one of the most beautiful spots in the Italian Lake District.

Discover The Borromean Islands

Adult Price: € 41

We've organised a private launch to take you to the beautiful islands of Lake Maggiore. Here you'll see the Isola Madre, the Isola dei Pescatori, and on the Isola Bella we visit the magnificent palace of the Borromean Princes (this optional is only operated between mid March and the end of October).

Milan

Treasures Of Milan

Adult Price: € 45

Join our Local Specialist at the impressive Castello Sforza museum, where you’ll see the 'Pieta of Rondanini' by Michelangelo, among other great works. Your tour finishes with a visit to the world renowned 'La Scala' opera house and museum.When La Scala or the Castello is unavailable, you’ll visit the Museum of Milan.

Rome

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

Adult Price: € 33

Discover the most charming areas in the city with a Local Specialist. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares of Rome's historic centre, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.

Roman Evening with Dinner

Adult Price: € 61

Spend a light-hearted evening with us in Rome. Relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine with drinks and music. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a drive and provide a glimpse into how Romans enjoy their city.

Sorrento

Experience The Isle Of Capri

Adult Price: € 41

Experience Capri's spectacular cliffs, famous turquoise waters and white grotto the best way: by boat. In Capri town, enjoy a lemon granita, a specialty of the island. Or if the weather doesn't allow, we'll take you on a tour of the island to Anacapri, and a visit to Villa San Michele.

Neapolitan Dinner and Dance

Adult Price: € 61

Join us for an evening of Neapolitan specialities at one of our favourite family-run restaurants. While you’re wined and dined, enjoy a cultural experience performed by local artists who'll take centre stage and demonstrate the famous Tarantella dance.

Sorrento Farmhouse Dinner

Adult Price: € 49

A scenic drive takes you through the Sorrentino countryside to an 18th century Olive Oil mill. You’ll enjoy a guided visit of the gardens, mill and wine cellar, followed by a simple meal of traditional pizza and wine. And there'll also be the chance to see how mozzarella and pizza are made.

Amalfi Coast and Positano

Adult Price: € 43

Come with us for a drive along the famous Amalfi Coast. You’ll have a chance to visit the exclusive artists’ paradise of Positano, which is magnificently positioned on the Mediterranean coast.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Venice

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks

Adult Price: € 70

Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-coloured houses - a real photographer's paradise.

Gondolas and the Grand Canal

Adult Price: € 70

Join us for a scenic cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal. You’ll admire the magnificent palazzi, as well as catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways.

Venice's Secrets and St. Mark's Basilica

Adult Price: € 36

Explore the hidden maze of streets which make up this unique city as your Local Specialist gives you a fascinating insight into Venice's past and present. You’ll visit the majestic Basilica of St Mark, where you’ll have a chance to view some of the prized trophies looted by the Venetians in their rise to power. Alternatively, we’ll visit the outside terrace for exceptional vistas.

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