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Italian Dream

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Realto Bridge, Venice
Tour Style: Value
9 Days from $1,325 per person

This dream tour displays the best of Rome, Venice and Florence and offers free time to explore each breathtaking city on your own too. Get a close look at the Romans' legacy through the impressive Colosseum, Venice's effortless beauty and the influence of the Renaissance through Florence's art.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome. Relax and unwind after check-in and meet with your Travel Director this afternoon. Tonight perhaps take a stroll through the city and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
    hotel:Pinewood/Ergife Palace
  3. Your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour with a visit to the Vatican City. Visit the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica to view Michelangelo's statue, the Pietà. Don't miss the opportunity to join an Optional Experience to visit inside the famous Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums. View the mighty Colosseum and see the ancient sites of Rome. Afterwards you have free time to take in the sights or join an Optional Experience to explore the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
    meal(s):BB
  4. Follow the Upper Tiber Valley past the medieval hilltop towns of Orte and Orvieto in Umbria to Tuscany, a unique and fertile landscape with olive groves and vineyards stretching into the distance. Cross the dramatic Apennine Mountains and arrive later close to the magical city of Venice.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Mercure Marghera
  5. Savor the unique sights of Venice as you cruise by private launch to its heart, St. Mark's Square. Marvel at the Bridge of Sighs, the magnificent Doge's Palace and the Byzantine basilica adorned with glass mosaics. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating local specialties at a glassblowing workshop on Giudecca island. Explore this fascinating city in your free time or perhaps take a cruise across the lagoon to Burano island for a delicious lunch.
    meal(s):BB
  6. Drive west to Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. View the vast Roman Arena during your walking orientation, where concerts are still held, and then see Juliet's Balcony. Your journey continues through the gastronomic region of Emilia Romagna to Tuscany and your hotel near the Renaissance city of Florence.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Novotel Firenze Nord
  7. Florence enjoys a unique artistic heritage. Experience the delights during your sightseeing tour on foot with a knowledgeable Local Specialist. View the Baptistery renowned for its carved bronze doors, the marble Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto's impressive Bell Tower and visit Piazza della Signoria. Enjoy a demonstration of leatherwork, with time afterwards to explore or to shop for high-quality Italian goods and 18-carat gold jewelry.
    meal(s):BB, D
  8. Through the rolling countryside of Tuscany into Umbria. You arrive at the mystical town of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio. See the sights of St. Francis’ birthplace, including the medieval ramparts. Later on your final night in Rome, you might like to celebrate the end of your vacation with a special dinner.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Pinewood
  9. Say ‘arrivederci' to Rome, your Travel Director and newfound friends as you prepare for your journey home. Transfers are available to Rome Fiumicino airport. Conditions apply.
    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.

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.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
8 Jul 17 16 Jul 17 checkmark $1,325pp Call 1-877-622-9109
5 Aug 17 13 Aug 17 checkmark $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
19 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 checkmark $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
2 Sep 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $1,350pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $1,350pp Request Quote Book Now
16 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $1,350pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $1,350pp Request Quote Book Now
30 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 $1,350pp Request Quote Book Now
7 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 $1,350pp Request Quote Book Now

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 $290.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $57 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 Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7 am and 9:30 am.

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.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Breakfast Daily Breakfast Daily
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

7 buffet breakfasts, 2 three course dinners.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Sightseeing with a Local Specialist includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and views of the mighty Colosseum
  • Cruise by private boat to St. Marks Square. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island
  • View the Roman Arena and Juliet's Balcony on an orientation walk
  • Sightseeing with a Local Specialist includes views of the Baptistery, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Giotto's Bell Tower
  • Orientation of this beautiful town dedicated to St. Francis
  • 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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The tour director was amazing, the sites and excursions were just what I wanted to see and do, and I would gladly do this trip again with other family members.
Vacation : More detailed explanation of what is included in the regular package and the additional experiences would be helpful. We did all the optional tours and loved it, however some of the other participants were unaware of the extra cost and true value of the optional experiences.

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.

Florence

Visit to Pisa with Tuscan Dinner and Music

Adult Price: € 90

Join us on a visit to Pisa where you will see the remarkable Leaning Tower and will marvel at the monuments on the Square of Miracles. At a Tuscan farmhouse, we will enjoy a selection of local specialties and wines produced in the property. Live music will create an unforgettable atmosphere.

Visit To San Gimignano

Adult Price: € 35

Join us for a drive to the nearby hilltop town of San Gimignano, known as the ‘medieval Manhattan’ of Tuscany. Surrounded by fields of sunflowers, vineyards and olive groves, this is Italy’s best preserved medieval city and will give you a taste of day-to-day life in Italy during the Middle Ages.

Michelangelo's 'David' & Accademia

Adult Price: € 40

Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We have fast track entry to the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Rome

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

Adult Price: € 33

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 centre, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.

Delights of Rome with Dinner

Adult Price: € 49

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.

Arrivederci Roma

Adult Price: € 50

Rome comes alive this last evening of our trip as you savour her unforgettable sights! We then celebrate together with a Farewell Dinner including entertainment in one of our favourite places.

Inside The Vatican & Colosseum

Adult Price: € 79

We skip the lines at the Vatican Museums for this tour that shows not just remarkable works of art collected and commissioned over the history of the Papacy, but also Michelangelo’s amazing ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Later we hear fascinating tales of gladitorial combat and more on our visit to the Colosseum, again with time-saving VIP entrance.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Venice

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks

Adult Price: € 70

Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-coloured houses - a real photographer's paradise.

Gondolas and the Grand Canal

Adult Price: € 70

Join us for a scenic 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.

Venice's Secrets and St. Mark's Basilica

Adult Price: € 36

Explore the hidden maze of streets which make up this unique city as your Local Specialist gives you a fascinating insight into Venice's past and present. You’ll visit the majestic Basilica of St Mark, where you’ll have a chance to view some of the prized trophies looted by the Venetians in their rise to power. Alternatively, we’ll visit the outside terrace for exceptional vistas.

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