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Contrasts of Italy

Operated by: Trafalgar

10 Days from $2,680 per person
MAY - OCT 2021
Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, at night

Countries Visited

Italy, Vatican City ...more Italy, Vatican City

Locations Visited

Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Pisa, Venice ...more Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Pisa, Venice
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Rome

    Benvenuti a Roma where we begin our exciting journey through some of Italy's most beautiful cities. Spend time relaxing after your travels or take a walk down memory lane, tracing centuries of art, antiquities and culture before joining your travel companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive through Rome's intoxicating cityscape.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Grand Palatino
  2. Day 2 Explore Ancient Rome and the Vatican City

    We visit the centre of Christianity this morning, joining a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour which includes a visit to the imposing St. Peter's Basilica to see the Pietà, Michelangelo's masterpiece carved from the most 'perfect' block of marble. Our next stop is in Ancient Rome where we'll visit the Colosseum. Here gladiators and slaves met their end in a blaze of glory. See the Circus Maximus before returning to the Holy See this afternoon. Dive Into Culture and gain priority admission to the Vatican Museums where a Local Specialist will take us on a guided tour. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel when it is less crowded and observe the array of incredible artefacts at the Museo Gregoriano Profano, founded in the Lateran Apostolic Palace at the behest of Gregory XVI Cappellari in 1844. We will also enjoy an al fresco dinner against the spectacular backdrop of St. Peter's. Should there be adverse weather, a contingency is provided in a newly-created dining space within the Ethnological Museum.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
  3. Day 3 Rome Your Way

    Enjoy a full free day in Rome or consider spending the day in beautiful Tivoli. Join an Optional Experience to see the exquisite house and gardens of the 16th-century Villa d'Este - a marvellous example of Renaissance landscape architecture. As the sun sets over the seven hills of Rome, people-watch in one of Rome’s beautiful squares, or admire the Trevi Fountain, tossing a coin to secure your return to Rome.

    meals Breakfast
  4. Day 4 Journey By High-Speed Train to Florence

    Sit back on the high-speed train, bound for Florence, and watch the Tuscan landscape go by. Join a Local Specialist on a walking tour to gain insights into the city's Renaissance treasures. View the Ponte Vecchio, almost 700 years old and lined with goldsmiths, then visit the Fine Arts Academy to see one of Michelangelo's masterpieces, the statue of David. Our love affair with Florence continues as we stroll to the Piazza della Signoria, featuring Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Ambasciatori
  5. Day 5 Admire Pisa

    Cross the Arno River and see the enchanting skyline of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo before driving to Pisa through the Arno Valley. Meet your Local Specialist to explore the Square of Miracles and see the famous Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, Baptistery and Camposanto, built on soil brought back from the Holy Land during the Crusades. Over lunch, Connect With Locals at the Agriturismo Borgo Vigna Vecchia where you'll enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest experience surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. This evening, stroll along the Arno River in search of the perfect gelato, see the beautifully lit Duomo or visit a cosy enoteca for some wine tasting.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
  6. Day 6 Discover Renaissance Florence

    Today is yours to discover the beauty and elegance of Florence - a city filled with exquisite galleries, lush gardens and opulent palaces. Consider a visit to the hilltop town of San Gimignano, the 'medieval Manhattan' of Tuscany. Venture outside the city to see Tuscan villages and taste rich panforte and tortas, or shop for the latest fashions in Florence's sophisticated boutiques. This evening, consider joining an Optional Experience in the Chianti region for a delicious Tuscan dinner.

    meals Breakfast
  7. Day 7 Travel By High-Speed Train to Venice

    All aboard the express train for Venice. We cross the spectacular Apennines and fertile Veneto plain before arriving in this island city. Get lost this afternoon, wandering its narrow lanes in search of a cosy bacaro, people-watch in St. Mark's Square, the gateway to Venice, or take an unforgettable gondola ride along the city's enchanting canals.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Principe
  8. Day 8 Cruise the Canals of Venice

    This morning, breathe in the salty sea air as you board a private launch and cruise to St. Mark's Square to see the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian Churches, the Customs House, St. Mark's Basilica and Campanile, as well as the Doge's Palace. Later, we Dive Into Culture, witnessing first-hand the centuries-old craft of glassmaking. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the city on your own terms. Find a quiet campo and pavement café or take a cruise to colourful Burano for a delicious meal.

    meals Breakfast
  9. Day 9 Experience Venice’s Food Market

    The sights and sounds of modern Venice come to life today as we join our Local Specialist for a walking tour and explore the vibrant Rialto Food Market, which has been feeding Venetians since the 11th century. We wander through the narrow calli - seeing the ornate façades of merchant houses that line the canals, before enjoying an afternoon at leisure for one last taste of Venice. Our adventure through Italy's charming cities is about to come to an end. We celebrate newfound friendships and an unforgettable experience at a Farewell Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  10. Day 10 Farewell Venice

    Say arrivederci to Italy and your fellow travellers as your fascinating holiday comes to an end. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.

    meals Breakfast
Contrasts of Italy
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch (Be My Guest)
  • 3 dinners

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • High-speed train from Rome to Florence in standard class
  • High-speed train from Florence to Venice in standard class
  • Handcrafted Highlights

Sightseeing Highlights

  • VIP Admission to the Vatican Museums
  • Explore Rome, Florence, Pisa and Venice with a Local Specialist
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum in Rome, the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and a glassblowing factory in Venice
  • View the ancient sites in Rome, the Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo in Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice
  • Scenic Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice
  • Enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest lunch at the Agriturismo Borgo Vigna Vecchia in the Tuscan hills. (Day 5)
  • Dive into Culture Dine amidst centuries of art and history in the Vatican Museums, enjoying after-hours access to the remarkable collections and the Sistine Chapel. (Day 2) Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries. (Day 8)

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

September 2021
AARP Members Save $100
Sep 13 Mon
Sep 22 Wed
AARP Members Save $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
October 2021
AARP Members Save $100
Oct 4 Mon
Oct 13 Wed
AARP Members Save $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$3,350 $2,680 Save $670
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.


Roman Delights With Dinner

Tonight, relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine, soaking up Rome's unique atmosphere in a characteristic trattoria with drinks and music.
Adult Price: € 51

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

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 center, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.
Adult Price: € 33

Tivoli And Gardens Of The Villa D’Este

Visit the ancient Sabine town of Tivoli with our Local Specialist to enjoy the gardens and fountains of the Villa D’Este. We'll see its grottos and pavilions, the Avenue of a Hundred Fountains, and the Dragon Fountain of the Organ.
Adult Price: € 46


Discover Palazzo Vecchio

Marvel at the legacy of the Medici as you visit Palazzo Vecchio, the symbol of Florence's political power for over seven centuries. With our Local Specialist, we'll visit the wonderful "Hall of the Five Hundred," dedicated to the Medici dynasty. We'll also visit rooms decorated with masterpieces by famous artists of the Renaissance like Michelangelo and Donatello.
Adult Price: € 39

Visit To San Gimignano

Join us for a panoramic drive to the nearby hilltop town of San Gimignano with our Local Specialist. Magnificently preserved from the Middle Ages, this little town, known as the 'Medieval Manhattan,' is one of the most beautiful in Italy - a true gem.
Adult Price: € 36

Dinner, Wine And Music In The Tuscan Hills

This evening we'll take a scenic drive to experience a fun and relaxed evening at a friendly, family restaurant in the Tuscan countryside. After a welcome drink in the historic courtyard, the renowned local chef will delight your senses with regional dishes, made with traditional ingredients from the nearby produce markets. The excellent wines come from the Saraceni family vineyards and there's live music and song to complete the atmosphere. In short, a Tuscan dream come true in an authentic setting.
Adult Price: € 65

Tuscan Dinner at Villa Machiavelli

Through the Chianti hills, we'll drive past vineyards to a delightful hamlet. Our destination is the ancient stone house of Machiavelli, where the great political theorist wrote his immortal work, ‘The Prince.' After a welcome drink and a visit to the villa and its wine-cellars, we'll enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine accompanied by great music and drinks, including of course, Chianti from the Villa's own vines.
Adult Price: € 65


Gondolas and the Grand Canal

Join us for a breathtaking 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.
Adult Price: € 70

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks

This afternoon, discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You'll enjoy a delicious meal, with a selection of drinks, on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-colored houses - a photographer's paradise.
Adult Price: € 72

Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica

Accompanied by a Local Specialist, you'll visit the magnificent Doge's Palace with its elegant courtyards, home to the rulers of the Venetian republic. You’ll also enjoy a booked entrance into the Byzantine Basilica of St. Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of Venice.
Adult Price: € 50

Independent Reviews
Margaret Baldwin
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Contrasts of Italy was a wonderful trip, much of it due to the expertise and personality of our guide Tony! There was a variety of excursions as well as time to explore on one's own. I highly recommend it if you want to spend time in Rome, Florence and Venice.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're so glad to hear you had such a wonderful time on your trip through Italy! Thank you for sharing and for being a part of our travel family.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Great value for cost - I would travel again with GET.
Wallace Baldwin
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Tony Cacace, our travel director was excellent and extremely adapt at making everyone in the group feel comfortable. Our hotel in Rome was very well located making sightseeing very easy during our free time. The boat ride and lunch on the island in Venice was a huge hit with everyone.
I think the trip was a good value. I also liked being able to prepay tips and making some side trips an optional choice rather than inclusive. We took most but not all optional trips so we could rest or do something else if we wanted. Traveling by train was a real plus also as it cut out some long bus rides and maximized our time sightseeing.
Trusted Customer
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Our tour guide Paolo was outstanding. He was personable and well organized, making sure we were on time, while personalizing our experiences. The optional tours were excellent as well.
the only improvement would be a upgraded hotels. I would be willing to pay more for that improvement.
Julia Boylan
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Contrasts of Italy was our second tour with Trafalgar. They exceeded our expectations in Italy. All of our needs were taken care of by our wonderful director Gordon Spicer. Trafalgar handles the hassles of luggage, check in and check out of hotels, admission into touring sites, transportation and so much more. They give VIP access at touring sites. No long lines waiting. Our hotels had great locations, were comfortable, clean, and offered surprisingly great breakfasts every morning. Staying three nights in each city made the tour comfortable and more relaxing than changing hotels frequently. Taking the train to travel in between cities saved so much time. We highly recommend this tour. You will not be disappointed! If you go and are offered the optional dinner at the Machiavelli villa and vineyard, don't miss it!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thanks for taking the time to write.  We're glad you enjoyed this unique train trip through Italy! Your review will help other customers in their search for a great experience.
Friday, June 9, 2017
This tour offered many optional experiences, some we purchased, some we did not. We liked having free time in each city to explore on our own.
Elaine Goldberg
Thursday, May 25, 2017
This was the most amazing vacation I've taken. The tour director, hotels, sights, local specialists, bus, train....everything was planned perfectly and I will never forget this trip. Thank you, Grand European Travel and Trafalgar Tours!
Perfect trip; number of days, travel by high-speed train, hotels. Very good value for the price of the trip.
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