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Country Roads of Italy

Verona, Italy
17 Days from $4,136 per person

Between the major cities, you'll find little-known gems like Orvieto, Assisi and Perugia, Tuscan hill towns, gastronomic icons, a formidable abbey and Italy's finest stretch of coastline.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Rome is not only the modern capital of Italy, but also a spectacular encyclopedia of living history. You will be met on arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30, transfers depart for your hotel. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
    meal(s):WD
    hotel:Veneto Palace, Rome (2 nights).
  3. In the morning, you will be joined by a Local Expert who guides you through the art collection of the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. 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 tour this afternoon 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 for dinner in Piazza Navona.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Veneto Palace, Rome.
  4. In the morning, head to Pompeii and with your Local Expert, walk through the cobbled streets. A scenic clifftop drive leads you to the pretty resort of Sorrento.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Majestic Palace Hotel, Sorrento (3 nights).
  5. Cross the Bay of Naples to reach the beautiful Isle of Capri, a rock rising sheer from the Mediterranean! For 2,000 years, Capri has beckoned visitors from Tiberius Caesar to Gracie Fields. Arriving at the Marina Grande by boat, ascend to Capri town by funicular railway. Explore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and wonder at the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis. Back in Sorrento, investigate the art of ‘intarsio' or marquetry wood inlaying.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Majestic Palace Hotel, Sorrento.
  6. Travel along Italy's finest coastline, the Amalfi Coast. Stop for a bird's-eye view of the terraced houses of Positano before boarding minibuses to the heart of the town. There will be time to be tempted by the boutiques.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Majestic Palace Hotel, Sorrento.
  7. Travel into the heart of Italy to enjoy free time in Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard covered plain. Savour the distinctly medieval ambiance during your orientation and admire the richly decorated façade of the Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo. In the evening, take in the flavours of the region, learn about the ingredients and Italian food culture. Join Chef Lorenzo for a fascinating live cooking demonstration, followed by dinner and a  glass of the Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience!
    meal(s):BB, SE
    hotel:Aquila Bianca, Orvieto.
  8. Cross the River Tiber to arrive at St. Mary of the Angels Church. Under the dome is a small medieval chapel and the spot where St. Francis died. Continue to visit the huge basilica. With a Local Expert, walk down the Via San Francesco to St. Clare's Church and see the cathedral. Move on to stay in beautiful Perugia - the jewel of Umbria.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia (2 nights).
  9. Your morning guided sightseeing begins on foot in the main street of Perugia's Old Town. See the Collegio del Cambio, the splendid Priors' Palace, the cathedral and the finely sculptured Great Fountain in the magnificent main square. Later, visit a workshop to see how the art of hand-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations. After, spend time at leisure in this beautiful, historic town.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia.
  10. Drive past Lake Trasimeno to Siena. On arrival, walk with a Local Expert through narrow cobbled streets to the Piazza del Campo, where the bi-annual Palio horse race takes place. See the superb 14th century Town Hall with its slim Mangia Tower, then climb up to the hill-top cathedral decorated with stripes of black and white marble. Later, travel through the cypress clad hills and vineyards of Tuscany to your elegant hotel. On arrival, enjoy a delicious exploration of Tuscany's red wines, their robust flavours and absorbing history.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Compagnie Des Hotels - Radda in Chianti (2 nights).
  11. Visit the hilltop town of San Gimignano. Enjoy a tasting with award-winning, master ice-cream maker, Sergio Dondoli, whose great inventions include very innovative and mouth-watering flavour combinations. After time to explore, return to the tranquil surroundings of your hotel where you are at leisure.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Compagnie Des Hotels - Radda in Chianti.
  12. In the morning, journey to Renaissance Florence, on arrival walk with a Local Expert to see the marble clad cathedral, bell tower and Gates of Paradise on the baptistery. See Signoria Square, an open-air gallery of sculpture and fountains. After free time, continue on to Lucca, where you join a Local Expert to view its churches, squares and palaces perfectly preserved within encircling medieval ramparts. Pause a while and taste the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread, said to be a favourite of the ancient Roman army.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Villa La Principessa, Lucca (2 nights).
  13. Get ready to explore the ‘Cinque Terre', or ‘five villages', that for years, were only accessible by donkey. At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, join a Local Expert in one of the picturesque fishing villages, before cruising along the rugged coast. Enjoy plenty of time to explore the old medieval quarter and popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel in Lucca.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Villa La Principessa, Lucca.
  14. Descend to the town of Modena – the home of balsamic vinegar. Visit a top producer of authentic traditional artisan balsamic vinegar and take a master class to understand what makes this vinegar as expensive as top-rate wines. Move on to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, for an insight into the iconic car brand that embodies the nation itself - fashionable, feisty and a touch flashy! Head on to Parma, famous for its local cheese. On arrival, learn the whole process of making Parmigiano-Reggiano at one of the local producers - the smell in the cheese cave is unforgettable!
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Starhotels Du Parc, Parma.
  15. In the morning, journey via Lake Garda to reach the elegant city of Verona, legendary home of Romeo and Juliet. See the ancient Roman Arena and stand beneath Juliet's balcony in a Renaissance courtyard - can you recite Shakespeare's immortal words? Continue on through the Soave vineyards, past Padua to Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Later, to the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and rococo palaces. As evening descends, enjoy a perfect tour finalé - dinner ‘alla Veneziana', with good food, wine and company in the most magical settings.
    meal(s):BB, CD
    hotel:Molino Stucky Hilton, Venice (2 nights).
  16. Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the art of glassblowing on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. Admire also the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. The rest of the day is at leisure.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Molino Stucky Hilton, Venice.
  17. Your departure transfer arrives Venice Airport at 08:00 or 09:30.
    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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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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

Included Quality Dining

14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE), 2 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

Rome:

  • Gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Be among the select few to admire the Bramante Staircase, a dizzying spiral of carved stone.
  • 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.

Pompeii

  • Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.

Isle of Capri:

  • Cruise to this famous isle, and in unique style, enjoy a ride in an open-top taxi.

Positano:

  • Drive along the Amalfi Coast to visit this colourful town.

Assisi:

  • Find out why the Basilica of Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.

Perugia:

  • Visit a workshop to learn about the art of hand-weaving textiles.

Cinque Terre:

  • Travel by train and boat to enjoy time in one of the five charming fishing villages.

Maranello:

  • A mecca for car enthusiasts, visit the Museo Ferrari, dedicated to the famed Italian marque.

Venice:

  • To the tune of accompanying musicians, you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price AvailabilityPrice
4 May 17 20 May 17 checkmark $4,725pp
$4,725 pp
11 May 17 27 May 17 checkmark $4,725pp
$4,725 pp
18 May 17 3 Jun 17 checkmark $4,725pp
$4,725 pp
25 May 17 10 Jun 17 checkmark $4,725pp
$4,725 pp
1 Jun 17 17 Jun 17 $4,595$4,136pp
$4,595 $4,136 pp
15 Jun 17 1 Jul 17 checkmark $4,595$4,136pp
$4,595 $4,136 pp
6 Jul 17 22 Jul 17 checkmark $4,595$4,136pp
$4,595 $4,136 pp
24 Aug 17 9 Sep 17 checkmark $4,550pp
$4,550 pp
31 Aug 17 16 Sep 17 checkmark $4,750$4,275pp
$4,750 $4,275 pp
7 Sep 17 23 Sep 17 checkmark $4,750$4,275pp
$4,750 $4,275 pp
14 Sep 17 30 Sep 17 checkmark $4,750pp
$4,750 pp
21 Sep 17 7 Oct 17 $4,750$4,275pp
$4,750 $4,275 pp
28 Sep 17 14 Oct 17 checkmark $4,595$4,136pp
$4,595 $4,136 pp
5 Oct 17 21 Oct 17 checkmark $4,595$4,136pp
$4,595 $4,136 pp
12 Oct 17 28 Oct 17 $4,595$4,136pp
$4,595 $4,136 pp

There is a 50% reduction to the Single Supplement charge for departures June 16th, July 7th, October 13th, subject to availability.

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 $580 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $134 per person.

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 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.

Reviews

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Country Roads of Italy
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : It was fine. The people were very helpful in planning. This has nothing to do with them but I hated my Alitalia experience. If I ever go again I will avoid this airlines.
Product : Some hotels were better than others. Most had hard beds and pillows. I really enjoy learning about the history and culture from our tour guide Caroline Pugsley. She was excellent. Loved our bus driver too, Massimo with Cialone. I felt very safe with him. The optional trips were outstanding. Love the farm overlooking Bay of Naples, Dinner in the town near Sorrento and Afra at the organic Parmesan place.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Country Roads of Italy
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : They were responsive to all our questions.
Product : This trip was amazing! From the tour director, to the hotels, and to the places we visited. All top notch and well organized.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Country Roads of Italy
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Have traveled with Grand European for 15 years. They are great to work with.
Product : Tour was as advertised but hotel locations were very inconvenient. Rome and Sorrento were especially bad. The locations seemed designed to force us to buy the optional meals in order to get away from the hotel in the evenings.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Country Roads of Italy
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The website and catalogues are great and we always received help and answers
by calling the headquarters.Received excellent instructions and advice about travel.
Product : Tour was well-organized and managed, very comprehensive, fascinating.
Special visits and demonstrations were highlights. Our tour guide, Francis, was
outstanding - very knowledgeable, passionate about Italy, and shared that with us.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We couldn't be happier to see that you enjoyed your experience from start to finish. Thank you for taking the time to write. We hope to welcome you on another trip very soon.

Grand European Travel
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Country Roads of Italy
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I'm very satisfied with all my Grand European trips which is why I have traveled with you many times. Our tour guide Debra was one of the very best. She worked hard to meet the needs of each of us. We were happy and everyone got along well. We all were sorry to say good-bye to her.
Product : This was my 5th trip to Italy. This trip visited most of the places that I have enjoyed on earlier trips. I wanted to enjoy them again. My farewell to Italy. The only negative was the hugh increase of travelers over the past 20 years clogging St Peter's and the other sites of Rome. The smaller towns had far fewer travelers and since we spent most of our time in small villages, I could still enjoy them.

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