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Great Italian Cities

Forum, Rome
11 Days from $2,295 per person

Tread up the stone steps and down the grand boulevards of Italy's capitals – the sidewalk café culture, enchanting Renaissance frescoes and incredible feats of classic architecture all must-see highlights of this leisurely jaunt through the cities of Rome, Florence and Venice. 

Explore the centuries-old Rialto food market, admire the embrace of Bologna's Kissing Towers and say ‘ciao' to Marco Polo.

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Tour Pace: Leisurely
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City. Relax after your journey or explore this fascinating city on your own. Later, meet your companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. It's the perfect opportunity to get to know everyone. An orientation drive will take you to view St. Peter's Basilica - a great start to your Italian vacation.
    hotel:Grand Palatino
  3. Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist begins at the Vatican Museums. Experience a Cultural Insight in the Vatican when you ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and then visit St. Peter's Basilica to see his famous Pietà. Later visit the impressive Colosseum, the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. See the Circus Maximus where Ben Hur-style chariot racing took place. Spend free time discovering more of the city or relax at a sidewalk café and watch the world go by.
  4. Spend today as you please. Your Travel Director will be able to help you get the most from your day at leisure. Alternatively consider joining an Optional Experience to the renowned excavations at Pompeii, in the Bay of Naples.
  5. Drive north to the mystical town of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio. Visit St. Francis’ Basilica and see Giotto’s enchanting frescoes, with your Local Specialist. Arrive later in Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.
  6. Learn about Florence's rich cultural history during your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Visit Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and imposing palazzi. View the multi-colored marble Duomo and Baptistery, famous for its bronze gilded doors. Enjoy scenic views of the Ponte Vecchio, one of the city's most famous landmarks. Afterwards, explore on your own or shop for souvenirs in Florence, renowned for high-quality leather and 18-carat gold jewelry.
  7. Cross the Arno Valley to Pisa, a former maritime city on the Ligurian Sea. In the Square of Miracles, home to some of the city's most famous sights, see the incredible Leaning Tower and the beautifully sculpted marble cathedral with a Local Specialist. See the Baptistery and the cemetery, built on soil brought from Calvary in the Holy Land. This evening travel to a Tuscan villa for a special Be My Guest dinner.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  8. Travel through the Apennines to Bologna, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and famous for sausages and salami. Your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist includes views of the Kissing Towers which lean towards each other, seemingly poised to embrace. Later cross the Veneto plains to Venice. This sublime island city, constructed in a lagoon, has an incredibly rich cultural and artistic heritage. This evening you might like to take a gondola ride along enchanting canals - it's the perfect introduction to this magical city. Dine tonight at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Boscolo Bellini
  9. Savor the unique sights of Venice as you cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square. See the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian Churches, Customs House, St. Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. Enjoy a Cultural Insight into the Venetian tradition of glass making on Giudecca Island. This afternoon you have free time to visit the Fine Arts Academy, relax at a café on St. Mark's Square or consider a boat trip to the Island of Burano for a delicious meal.
  10. Enjoy a leisurely stroll from your hotel along the canals to the famous Rialto Bridge to join your guided Small Group Sightseeing walking tour, which will reveal a centuries-old food market and narrow 'calle' or streets. Admire the beautiful architecture including Marco Polo's house. The rest of the day is free to visit the sights of your choice. Celebrate this evening with your fellow travelers at a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  11. Say ‘arrivederci' to Italy and your newfound friends at the end of your memorable Italian vacation. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.

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.

Add air to your reservation

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
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Eight generations and plenty of stories to tell. Enjoy a traditional dinner with the Landi family at their home near Siena, set within a garden of oak trees against the backdrop of Tuscan vineyards and olive groves

Cultural Insight

  • Be inspired by the magnificence of Michelangelo and da Vinci at the Vatican Museums and enjoy an exclusive visit up the spiral staircase designed by the famous architect Donato Bramante in a part of the Vatican not open to the public. Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries

Small Group Sightseeing

  • A guided walking tour of 'Secret Venice' to the Rialto food market with a group size of no more than 25 guests

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rome, Assisi, Pisa, Florence, Bologna and Venice

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Bologna, Venice
  • Orientation of Pisa
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the amazing Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum in Rome, St. Francis' Basilica in Assisi
  • Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice
  • View Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo in Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica in Venice
  • See the ancient sites of Rome
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
13 Apr 17 23 Apr 17 checkmark $2,825$2,543pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,825 $2,543 pp
20 Apr 17 30 Apr 17 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,895 $2,606 pp
27 Apr 17 7 May 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
4 May 17 14 May 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
11 May 17 21 May 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
18 May 17 28 May 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
25 May 17 4 Jun 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
1 Jun 17 11 Jun 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
8 Jun 17 18 Jun 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
15 Jun 17 25 Jun 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
22 Jun 17 2 Jul 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
29 Jun 17 9 Jul 17 checkmark $2,850$2,565pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,850 $2,565 pp
6 Jul 17 16 Jul 17 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,795 $2,516 pp
13 Jul 17 23 Jul 17 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,795 $2,516 pp
20 Jul 17 30 Jul 17 $2,725$2,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,725 $2,453 pp
27 Jul 17 6 Aug 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp
3 Aug 17 13 Aug 17 checkmark $2,550$2,295pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,550 $2,295 pp
10 Aug 17 20 Aug 17 $2,650$2,385pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,650 $2,385 pp
17 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 $2,650$2,385pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,650 $2,385 pp
24 Aug 17 3 Sep 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp
31 Aug 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
7 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
7 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
14 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
14 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
21 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
21 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
28 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
28 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $2,950$2,655pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,950 $2,655 pp
5 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 checkmark $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,895 $2,606 pp
5 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 checkmark $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,895 $2,606 pp
12 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,895 $2,606 pp
19 Oct 17 29 Oct 17 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,895 $2,606 pp

Autumn, Winter, Spring: These departures are subject to change price, discount and hotel.

undefinedFestival Celebrations: Christmas and New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.

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.

Triple Discount: $70 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $63 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 Venice Marco Polo Airport at 8:00 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 more in-depth guided vacation in Europe.

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.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Yes, 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.


    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.


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