Save $250 per person on Airfare to Europe - Ends Nov 17, 2017 LEARN MORESave $250 per person on Airfare to Europe
Save up to 10% - Pay in Full by Jan 11, 2018
Save up to 10% - Pay in Full by Jan 11, 2018
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AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person
Past Guests Save an additional 5%
Past Guests Save an additional 5%
This magical tour devotes quality time to the medieval hill towns and evocative landscapes of Italy's two famous regions. Drink the wine, meet the local people around plate-laden tables and hear their fascinating life stories.
Transfers to your centrally located hotel, a short stroll from the Via Veneto depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Relax and settle in before the evening's Welcome Reception. Meet your Tour Director and fellow guests over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a local restaurant.
Explore the Vatican Museums in the morning, where the hidden gems of the vast Papal art collection are unveiled by a local historian. Your special VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. View the imposing St. Peter's Basilica, the largest in the world. Next, head north to the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto; its Cathedral is one of Italy's most celebrated buildings. You're welcomed into the kitchens of zesty ‘Etruscan chef' Lorenzo Polegri, who shares with you his virtuoso cooking skills and love of Italian food. Delicious pasta fresca, combined with the local staples of olive oil, cheese, prosciutto and focaccia, make for a memorable lunch, all washed down with a chilled glass of Orvieto Classico wine. Continue to Perugia, one of the most beautiful centres of art in the whole of Italy. The evening is at leisure to dine or explore as you please.
In the morning, join a Local Expert to navigate the underground labyrinth of little streets, alleys and arches. Walk Corso Vannucci, resplendent in pale-pink stone, passing the princely Priors' Palace, cathedral and finely sculptured Great Fountain in the main square. Visit an artisan workshop to meet Marta, beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant, and her weavers. See how the fascinating art of loom-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations and learn how this ancient craft is being preserved. Afterwards, you will be free to enjoy the many delights of Umbria's capital city. For dinner, choose your ideal ambiance and palate-pleasing menu from a hand-picked selection of Perugian restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. Buon appetito!
Journey to Assisi, one of Italy's most beautiful medieval hilltop towns, set high up in the mountains and enclosed by fortress walls. In the valley, see the famous 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. Step inside the massive, 13th century Basilica of St. Francis with your Local Expert to learn how Giotto masterfully painted frescoes that inspired a variety of Renaissance artists. Continue through the twisted groves that carpet the side of Mount Subasio. At a family-run mill, meet a third generation specialist to follow the evolution of the olive from tree to table. Relish the intense flavors drizzled over crusty bread with a sprinkle of salt – delizioso!
The morning is devoted to the Renaissance city of Florence. A fascinating walking tour with a Local Expert takes you to the marble-clad cathedral crowned by Brunelleschi's dome. See the baptistery with its beautiful 'Gates of Paradise' and Giotto's splendid bell tower. Walk on to Signoria Square with its open-air gallery of Renaissance sculptures, followed by free time to shop for top-quality Florentine leather or seek bargains in the gold workshops. Journey through the rolling Tuscan hills to Podere La Marronaia and meet the family that owns, lives and works on this organic farm. Toast to your travels and new friends over your Celebration Dinner. Savor a delicious Farm-to-Table abbinamento experience, where each course is perfectly paired with organic wine produced on the property.
Descend from the Apennines before crossing the fertile valley of the River Po and continue to magical Venice, where the city seems to float on the lagoon. Wonder at the marbled expanse of St. Marks Square – the Byzantine Basilica, Doge's Palace and lofty bell tower. Later, embark on a romantic gondola ride through the charismatic canals while musicians serenade you with some of Italy's best loved songs. With the afternoon at leisure, why not cruise the Venetian lagoon to the idyllic fisherman's island of Burano, famous for its candy-colored houses, for a meal of local specialties and wine?
Delight in your final views of this sea-lapped city in the morning. Transfers arrive at Venice Airport at 08:00 and 09:30.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|7 Apr 18||16 Apr 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|21 Apr 18||30 Apr 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Apr 18||7 May 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 May 18||14 May 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|12 May 18||21 May 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|19 May 18||28 May 18||$2,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|26 May 18||4 Jun 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|2 Jun 18||11 Jun 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Jun 18||18 Jun 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|16 Jun 18||25 Jun 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|23 Jun 18||2 Jul 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|30 Jun 18||9 Jul 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|7 Jul 18||16 Jul 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Jul 18||23 Jul 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|21 Jul 18||30 Jul 18||$2,925$2,633pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Jul 18||6 Aug 18||$2,925$2,633pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|11 Aug 18||20 Aug 18||$2,925$2,633pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|25 Aug 18||3 Sep 18||$2,925$2,633pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|1 Sep 18||10 Sep 18||$2,975$2,678pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|8 Sep 18||17 Sep 18||$2,975$2,678pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|15 Sep 18||24 Sep 18||$2,975$2,678pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|22 Sep 18||1 Oct 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Sep 18||8 Oct 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|6 Oct 18||15 Oct 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 Oct 18||22 Oct 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|20 Oct 18||29 Oct 18||$2,950$2,655pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Call 1-877-622-9109|
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 $440 p.p.
Triple Room Discount $130 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $100 p.p.
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.
8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adult Price: € 19.00
Join your Tour 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: € 62.00
Umbria is not only a region which is culturally rich and full of beautiful vistas, it is also a region rich in its gastronomic offerings as well! A journey to explore the edible treasures of the traditional Umbrian kitchen and the superb wines of this region too, all served to you in a beautiful rustic restaurant!
Adult Price: € 25.00
Enjoy an afternoon excursion to the breathtaking Umbrian hillside town of Spello, its centro storico still enveloped by Roman walls. With a local expert ascend through ancient arches and tight cobbled streets, where houses cascade with hanging flower pots and churches seemingly sanctify almost every street corner.
Adult Price: € 65.00
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: € 69.00
Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we travel into the hills near Florence to the northernmost part of the Chianti, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. A great cooking class, superb food and wine, with genuine and warm Tuscan hospitality.
Adult Price: € 56.00
Enjoy the day visiting two of Italy's most beautiful cities, Pisa and Lucca, with local experts. First, we’re off to Pisa, where you'll have time to explore the famous Square of Miracles, dominated by the leaning tower. We'll continue to the quaint and picturesque town of Lucca where you’ll take a leisurely tour of the medieval centre to admire the beauty of this Tuscan gem. Then, enjoy free time to do your own exploring.
Adult Price: € 54.00
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.
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