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Best of Italy (Premium)

Operated by: Insight Vacations

11 Days from $3,895 per person
Signoria Square, Florence

Countries Visited

Italy ...more Italy

Locations Visited

Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Assisi, Sorrento, Naples ...more Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Assisi, Sorrento, Naples
  1. Day 1 Rome the Eternal City.

    Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for the your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director at 17:30 for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
  2. Day 2 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.

    The day is devoted to the Eternal City. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged special VIP entry to avoid the lines and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected, to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, to wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pietà,’ and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. There’s free time to do as the Romans do, or perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum? Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
  3. Day 3 Renaissance Florence.

    Travel north through glorious, peaceful Tuscan landscapes. Meet your Local Expert for a guided visit through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, with a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Visit the Italian garden for views of Florence's iconic domed cathedral and see the historic cellar which connects to one of the oldest restaurants in Italy by a secret underground tunnel. Taste wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Continue on to Renaissance Florence.(Breakfast / Afternoon Tea / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
  4. Day 4 Florence Sightseeing.

    Join an art historian for a walking orientation of the historic city centre. A highlight is the visit to the Accademia Gallery to study Michelangelo's monumental statue, David. Continue to the multi-coloured marble cathedral to admire Giotto's bell tower and Gates of Paradise, recreated in all their glory. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence, and explore the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. After a demonstration of leatherwork, there's free time to shop or venture on your own. In the evening, why not sample the fine Florentine cuisine of tasty starters and rich pastas accompanied by Chianti wine?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
  5. Day 5 Pisa to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.

    In the morning, journey to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles as well as the baptistery, with its intricately detailed marble facade, and the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral. Then relax and enjoy the scenery as you cross the spectacular Apennine Mountains, through the Emilia-Romagna region - one of Europe's most intensely farmed fertile plains. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon before crossing the causeway into the floating city of Venice.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Bellini Venezia, Venice.
  6. Day 6 Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.

    In the morning, visit an arts centre on Giudecca Island will allow you to admire the age-old skill of glassblowing by skilled artisans. After, board a traditional gondola for a serenade along the romantic canals. In the afternoon, your private boat takes you past Palladian churches and 13th century palaces to St. Mark's Square. The first sight is the pink marble of the Doge's Palace, connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape. Turn the corner, and the gilded regalia of St. Mark's Basilica comes into view.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Bellini Venezia, Venice.
  7. Day 7 Into the Hills of Umbria to Assisi.

    Leave Venice and journey to peaceful Assisi, one of Italy's most beautiful mountain towns. In the valley, see the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, much venerated as the place of St. Francis' death, then continue up Mount Subasio to the upper town. With your Local Expert, step inside the huge Basilica of St. Francis, built in the 13th century, where the frescoes by Giotto heralded a new era in Italian art.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Giotto Assisi.
  8. Day 8 Sorrento on the coast.

    Travel south passing Cassino, the scene of a fierce battle during World War II. Follow the spectacular clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvious. After checking in to your hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
  9. Day 9 Capri, the Isle of Dreams.

    In the morning, cruise to the Isle of Capri. Under the Mediterranean sun, take one of the island's iconic open-top taxis up to Capri town where your Local Expert will take you around the narrow alleyways to browse exclusive boutiques and enjoy views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Perhaps join an optional cruise around Capri? Descend to the port on a funicular ride and return to Sorrento for some time to relax. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a memorable Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
  10. Day 10 Pompeii, frozen in time and onto Rome.

    Continue to Pompeii, the opulent Roman town which was preserved by layers of ash from the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. A walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets and extensive excavations reveals the daily life of ancient Roman civilisation. Visit the Forum and peer into shops and patrician villas, decorated with colourful wall paintings. Then continue north as you travel to your hotel in Rome.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel dei Borgia, Rome.
  11. Day 11 Arrivederci Rome.

    Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 07:00 and 09:30.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
E922-best-of-italy-map-new-iv-19.jpg
Price Includes

Included Insight Services

  • 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.

Authentic Dining

  • Tuscany: Taste locally-made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli's home. Visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the office where he wrote 'The Prince.'
  • Sorrento: Enjoy a glorious Celebration Dinner of fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine.
  • Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Rome: Sightsee the local way with a leisurely passeggiata through the backstreets, where a friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
  • Vatican City: Gain VIP fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and enjoy a special private viewing of the Bramante Staircase before admiring the genius of Michelangelo's painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. You'll also visit St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Florence: Gain a fascinating insight into the work of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.
  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing while watching artisans create delicate works of art.

Stay in Style

  • Assisi: Hotel Giotto Assisi is located in the centre of the medieval village of Assisi with beautiful views over the Umbrian countryside. Guest rooms are decorated in local Umbrian style.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
  • Florence: Enjoy panoramic views over of the city and see the Florence Cathedral. During your guided walking orientation, see the bell tower, Gates of Paradise on the baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria.
  • Florence: Witness a leather-work demonstration and visit the area around Piazza Santa Croce, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
  • Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated baptistery.
  • 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.
  • Venice: Enjoy a traditional gondola serenade along the romantic canals.
  • Assisi: With your Local Expert, visit this hill-town with its stone-built structures. See Mount Subasio and the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
  • Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe with a Local Expert.
  • Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
  • Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
  • Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
Price Discount Availability Price
Optional Add-Ons

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.

Rome

Rome By Night - Illuminations Drive

Join your Travel 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: €19

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. Please note: This optional is subject to availability and involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €54

Rome Of The Ancient Christians

"Outside the ancient Roman city walls we visit the early Christian Catacombs, underground cemetries carved out of soft Tufa Stone. Nearby we also visit one of the major basilicas of Rome, St Pauls Outside the Walls. The burial place of St Paul the Apostle, famous for its Byzantine Mosaics. On some departures the Christian Catacombs are offered with a visit to St Peter in Chains to view the magnificent 'Moses' sculpture by Michelangelo, (instead of St Pauls). Please note this optional is only offered on those trips that depart on a Saturday."
Adult Price: €38

Delights of Rome with Dinner

Spend an evening getting to know Rome. We’ll take you via coach where you’ll have the chance to see some of the city’s much-loved sights. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a delicious light dinner of Italian specialities, alongside local music and drinks.
Adult Price: €50

Florence

Dinner In The Tuscan Hills

A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!
Adult Price: €65

Tuscan Dinner & Cooking Demonstration

Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we'll travel into the hills near Florence to the Chiantri countryside, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. This wonderful cooking demonstration, with superb food and wine, will provide warm and genuine Tuscan hospitality.
Adult Price: €69

San Gimignano Excursion

A wonderful excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town! Visit San Gimignano, considered a medieval Manhattan, due to its towers which dominate the skyline. Soak up the unique atmosphere of this ancient gem which has remained intact since the 14th century and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Adult Price: €36

Venice

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: €34

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: €55

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: €34

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: €71

Sorrento

Amalfi Coast Drive & Positano Visit

Drive along the clear blue waters and picturesque resorts of the Amalfi Coast, arguably the most glamorous and scenic stretch of coast in Europe. Minibuses wind their way down serpentine roads to the exclusive artists' paradise of Positano, clinging to the cliff face, as if about to cascade into the turquoise waters below. Spend time exploring the elegant shops, watching the artists at work, or enjoying an 'aperitivo' in a beach side cafe.
Adult Price: €44

Sorrento Evening

A chance to enjoy a delicious dinner of local specialities. We arrive at one of the area's unique local restaurants for an incredible dining experience featuring some of the famous dishes of this region!
Adult Price: €61

Island Tour of Capri

Experience the spectacular cliffs and famous turquoise waters of Capri during a relaxing cruise to the most beautiful part of the island, the southern side. View the beautiful grottoes and unique coastline before ascending to Capri town. This optional experience is weather dependent and may be replaced by a minibus tour of the Island with a visit to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele.
Adult Price: €42

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Service
I think the service is excellent. It was our second trip with you this year. Margaret is a wonderful tour guide with a great sense of humor. Barbara G
Vacation
This was a wonderful tour at a discounted winter price. The weather was fine throughout the trip.
Kathi Schneider
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Service
Our tour guide Margaret was awesome. Very knowledgeable and great personality. Also was impressed with the local experts, really enjoyed all the history they shared with us
Vacation
Enjoyed going to all the locations.
John Foster
Monday, September 24, 2018
Service
The Insight tour guide was not very personable. She was always walking way ahead of the group and I had a hard time keeping with her.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are very sorry to hear this. Every destination and every trip we sell is unique but we do strive to provide a great experience for all. We do apologize that we fell short with you on this trip.
Monday, September 24, 2018
Vacation
Too many extra costs not spelled out in the advertisement.
Trusted Customer
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Service
Tour manager, Lynn Meadows, did an outstanding job in organizing group and setting schedule to allow us ample time to see the many sights with the smallest crowds possible. The bus service was great as were the hotels. I would heartily recommend to others considering going to Europe.
Vacation
Some of the extras were a little pricey for what you got. In fact, some of them I felt should have been included based on other tours. Hotel breakfasts were generally good. The dinner though at the Florence hotel was very bad.
Richard Giusti
Friday, June 22, 2018
Service
Mark was a wonderful travel guide and leader - he knew the places to go and when to be there. Driver Matteo was super.
Vacation
We have learned a new way to travel!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We couldn't be happier to hear that! Thank you so much for your business and hope to see you again soon.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Edward Gronbeck
Friday, November 3, 2017
Service
GREAT TRIP - Tour Director Phillip was awesome. Got us everywhere on time - no stress. Additional experts were wonderful ! Many praises to GET and Insider. PS lived the up grade in Perugia and the Chocolate Festival that was going on.
Vacation
Awesome - We got our money's worth and more - will highly recommend both GET and Insider to friends and family. When we plan our next trip overseas you will hear from us !
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your review. We are delighted to know you enjoyed our Best of Italy guided vacation and the service you received from our staff. We hope to see you and your friends again soon!
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Trusted Customer
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Service
Excellent tour guide!!!
Vacation
The accommodations in Florence and our Room in Asassi were old and run down. Great location in VENICE AND ROME. Our dinner in Sorrento was amazing. Loved Margaret our tour guide.
Daniel Rioux
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Service
Great guide , Margaret was wonderful and patient.
Vacation
Hotels were to be four star, but two were very sub par I would rate maybe two star. The Antheneum Hotel in Florence had the toilet partially under the sink ,so you had to sit sideways to use it. The room was small and tight. Picture is included. In Assisi we stayed at the Giotto hotel,even though some Insight guests had good rooms with a view. My wife and I had a tiny room with a view of the alley. This might have been better if we had a marginal bed . The mattress was about 4 inches thick and felt straw filled. It might have been St Francis` original bed from 700 years ago. Good accomodations make a good touring trip. When 30% of your hotel picks are terrible it wrecks the trip for me. Danny Rioux/Users/dannyrioux/Desktop/IMG_0319.jpg
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are sorry to hear about your disappointment with some of the hotels on this trip.  We will share your comments with Trafalgar's Quality Control team for immediate review.  Thank you for bring this to our attention.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Rhonda Rolli
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Service
Very organized and well planned itinerary. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about each place we visited.
Vacation
Was worth paying a bit extra to have all details taken care of. No waiting in lines, comfortable transportation.
David Foltz
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Service
Your travel service is good. Your Customer Service Department responded well with answering all of my questions. The only problem that I experienced was with the follow-up with the processing of the form required for my medical device (CPAP). Insight Vacations should have notified me when they received the required form. Grand European Travel should have notified me as well when they were in receipt of the form. Other than that, everything else was GREAT with the exception of the dinners provided in your package by the various hotels. They mostly offered chicken. I thought that I was going to turn into one. There should have been offered a selection to the menu to pick from instead (i.e. pork, beef, seafood). Seafood was offered for the optional meals that were purchased. My wife and I had our minds set on the thick T-Bone steak when in Florence. We were willing to pay the difference and perhaps share the meal with another couple. We were disappointed that this was not offered. The itinerary was very well planned. We were able to experience new sights and places that were "Incredible"! With the itinerary being very full when completing the optional tours, more time is needed for each major city. An additonal day in Rome/Florence/Venice would have given us more free time to explore on our own yet be able to go on the optional tours. The choice now is either free time or the optional tour (not both). We would have been willing to pay the difference for the extra days. The tour was very enjoyable! We were celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary a tad early (11/28/2017) because of the weather. The bus was very comfortable. We liked being able to view the Italian countryside while traveling. We had a very hard time with our carry-on luggage because they did not have wheels or a handle. It is understandable that you have the policy of carry-on's not having a handle or wheels for the above storage space on the bus; but, your policy needs to be revised to state that the carry-on luggage with handles and wheels could be stored on the floor next to your seat. Being 71 and 70 years old respectively, it was very tough carrying it from the bus to the hotel rooms. My wife and I also had a hard time lugging it in the long airport terminals. This really took away from our Anniversary Celebration. In our future travel, we will not have carry-on's without wheels or handles! We both had a "GREAT TIME" and felt safe on your tour!
Vacation
Your offer which included "Free Travel Insurance" for both and a "Free Airline Ticket" for one made this an "EXCELLENT" purchase. We are both AARP and AAA members. We elected your program through AARP because the offer was better. You are very competitive with the other Tour Agencies. Your package was very much worth it!
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