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Italian Elegance

12 Days from $3,825 per person

Style: Premium | Pace: Comfortable

Experience the epitome of Italy's historic cities, exquisite resorts, rustic towns and idyllic fishing villages.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Experience the epitome of Italy's historic cities, exquisite resorts, rustic towns and idyllic fishing villages.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, your airport transfers leave for your hotel at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. In this unique city, ancient monuments happily co-exist with some 900 churches, fine palaces, bustling piazzas, green parks and a vast urban sprawl. At 5:30 pm, join your fellow guests and Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner, a fun evening of Italian cuisine and wine.

    meal(s):Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Hotel dei Borgia
  2. In the morning enjoy the very best of the city's highlights including visiting the magnificent St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican with your Local Expert. With some free time, why not head to the Colosseum to learn about the city's ancient past? In the afternoon, enjoy special fast-tracked VIP entry into the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and observe the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age. Enter the Sistine Chapel to marvel at Michelangelo's masterpiece on its ceiling. After, dine in the Vatican's elegant Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, should weather permit, where you will enjoy incredible views of the cupola of St. Peter's during your private VIP Highlight Dinner.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Hotel dei Borgia
  3. Take the autostrada north to Renaissance Florence. Accompanied by an art expert, venture inside the famous Accademia Gallery to admire Michelangelo's original statue, David. From there, see the cathedral, campanile and the baptistery, adorned with the Gates of Paradise. Walk on to Piazza della Signoria with its open-air gallery of Renaissance sculpture. There is time to shop for Florentine leather or gold before continuing to your elegant Tuscan villa near the walled town of Monteriggioni. After spending two days in the metropolis of Rome, your villa resort will be a welcome retreat. Rest in the shade of the lush, verdant gardens, swim in the pool, or participate in a variety of leisure activities.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Borgo San Luigi/Hotel Palazzo San Lorenzo, Monteriggioni
  4. In the morning, visit medieval Siena where narrow cobbled streets lined with palaces and patrician mansions, lead to Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horse race. Explore with your Local Expert and visit the beautiful, striped cathedral. Continue to hilltop San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers that scrape the azure Tuscan sky. Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan gelato parlor of world champion gelato maestro, Sergio Dondoli, for a taste of his finest frozen treats. On return to your hotel, stop at a local winery to sample some of the robust red wines of Tuscany and learn about their origins.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Borgo San Luigi/Hotel Palazzo San Lorenzo
  5. Drive through the patchwork of vines, olives and cypresses that typify the Chianti hills. Head for Pisa and see the incredible Leaning Tower, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. See the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble, before continuing to the delightful town of Lucca. At a traditional steam bakery, taste the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread. Continue along the coast to the pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Best Western Regina Elena
  6. Head for the port of La Spezia for a highlight of your travels, the Cinque Terre—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat. There is time to explore the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps make the most of the hotel's private beach before enjoying a delicious farm-to-table dining experience for dinner.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Best Western Regina Elena
  7. In the morning, should weather permit, cruise along the rugged Ligurian coast to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, the epitome of la dolce vita. Enjoy leisure time to admire the colored houses, browse the boutiques or simply stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbor. Next, return to the mainland and head north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favorite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with lush subtropical vegetation.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Hotel Simplon
  8. Journey to the town of fair Verona, legendary home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Enjoy free time to admire the well-preserved Roman Arena still used for opera performances, or perhaps recite Shakespeare's immortal words and get cozy with Juliet's well-worn statue beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived. Continue through the magnificent Dolomites, to the mountain resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Hotel Ancora
  9. The whole day is free for you to explore the colorful peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites, one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the Alps. During summer, once the snow and ice have melted away, a breathtaking landscape is revealed. There are a number of walking tracks through pristine Alpine wilderness for the adventurous to explore, or for a more relaxed pace, perhaps take a thrilling cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking 360-degree views.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Hotel Ancora
  10. Descend through the mountains to the romantic city of Venice. A private launch ferries you past canals lined with ornate palaces to St Mark's Square. See the basilica, the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs, before checking into your intimate and luxurious hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, why not cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialties and wine?

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Splendid Venice - Starhotels Collezione
  11. Visit an arts center to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. Then there is free time to enjoy the magical atmosphere of this incredible city at your own pace. Mingle with the locals at the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge and explore the back lanes and squares where Venetians go about their day. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. In the evening, toast the finale of your journey with great food, wine and company at your Celebration Dinner in a magical setting.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Splendid Venice - Starhotels Collezione
  12. Bid farewell to Bella Italia and your newfound friends. Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 8 am or 9:30 am.

    meal(s):Breakfast
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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.

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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
5 Apr 19 16 Apr 19 checkmark $4,325$3,893pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
12 Apr 19 23 Apr 19 $4,325$3,893pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
19 Apr 19 30 Apr 19 $4,325$3,893pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
26 Apr 19 7 May 19 $4,325$3,893pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
10 May 19 21 May 19 checkmark $4,375$3,938pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
17 May 19 28 May 19 $4,375$3,938pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
24 May 19 4 Jun 19 $4,350$3,915pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
31 May 19 11 Jun 19 checkmark $4,350$3,915pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jun 19 18 Jun 19 checkmark $4,350$3,915pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jun 19 25 Jun 19 $4,350$3,915pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jun 19 2 Jul 19 $4,350$3,915pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jun 19 9 Jul 19 $4,495$4,046pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 19 16 Jul 19 $4,495$4,046pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
12 Jul 19 23 Jul 19 $4,495$4,046pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
19 Jul 19 30 Jul 19 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
26 Jul 19 6 Aug 19 checkmark $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
2 Aug 19 13 Aug 19 $4,450$4,005pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
9 Aug 19 20 Aug 19 $4,525$4,073pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
16 Aug 19 27 Aug 19 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
23 Aug 19 3 Sep 19 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
30 Aug 19 10 Sep 19 $4,250$3,825pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 19 17 Sep 19 checkmark $4,375$3,938pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 19 24 Sep 19 $4,375$3,938pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 19 1 Oct 19 checkmark $4,375$3,938pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 19 8 Oct 19 $4,350$3,915pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 19 15 Oct 19 $4,350$3,915pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 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 $1,100 per person

Triple Room Discount $220 per person

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $130 per person.

Airport Transfers: On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport transfers operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Return transfers on the last travel day arrive at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 8 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.

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  • 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

11 Breakfasts, 7 Dinners with Wine, all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City • Accademia Museum • a glassblowing workshop and gondola crafting in Venice.
  • Vatican City: Venture inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
  • Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo's monumental statue, David, in the Accademia Gallery, while an art expert explains the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing as you watch artisans create delicate works of art.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Cruise from Santa Margherita to Portofino • ride a gondola ride through the canals of Venice while being serenaded
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City • Accademia Museum
  • City tours of Florence, Siena and the Cinque Terre all with Local Experts
  • See the Colosseum • Florence cathedral, bell tower, Gates of Paradise and artisans working on leather • Siena's Piazza del Campo, Town Hall, Mangia Tower and cathedral • San Gimignano • Pisa's cathedral and Leaning Tower • churches, squares and palaces of Lucca • the Italian Lake District • Verona's Roman Arena and Juliet's balcony • the alpine town of Cortina • St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace and artisans blowing glass Venice
  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
  • Florence: During your guided walk see the cathedral, bell tower and Gates of Paradise on the baptistery. Visit the political heart of the city, Piazza della Signoria, and the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
  • Siena: With your Local Expert explore the cobbled streets of Siena. Learn about the Palio horse race while standing in Piazza del Campo. See the 14th century Town Hall and its Mangia Tower.
  • Siena: Led by your Local Expert, wander your way through the medieval streets to visit the black-and-white striped marble cathedral.
  • San Gimignano: Visit the medieval Manhattan of Italy!
  • Pisa: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the 11th-century cathedral and of course, the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.
  • Lucca: Your orientation with your Travel Director will show you the churches, squares and palaces within the medieval ramparts.
  • Cinque Terre: With your Local Expert, cruise to and explore two of the villages of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Portofino: Cruise from Santa Margherita and get a taste of the sweet life in this elegant fishing village.
  • Italian Lake District: Experience the social ritual of la passeggiata.
  • Verona: During your orientation, walk past the well preserved Roman Arena to Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
  • Cortina: Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Cortina, a small town framed by magnificent alps as your Travel Director conducts an orientation.
  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces where once the likes of Casanova would have come calling.
  • Scenic Drives: Fall in love with the iconic scenery of the rolling Tuscan Hills, the Apennines and Dolomites mountain ranges and the Italian Lake District.
Request a Quote
  • 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.

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Reviews

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Gretta Sencevicky
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : In-sight Vacations was absolutely "incredible"...Anne Kennedy and Carlos, bus driver, handled the itinerary, the group, and the over-touristed venues with incredible ease! Anne made the arrangements "mesh" in situations which defied control...Rome, Venice! Her persona is exquisite and made each member of our group feel important and appreciated! Anne was also enabling for those of us who wished to do the Uffizy in Florence rather than the Academia. Above all, we had several members of the group who had difficulty walking, keeping up, or climbing stairs...Anne saw too it they were accompanied and kept track of their progress as we walked long distances, stairs (elevators were identified), dark allies, and boarding/disembarking from buses, boats, trains, and gondolas. Anne Kennedy is the best tour director in my experience! Carlos handled the bus beautifully...our tour took us through the busiest streets in Rome, Florence, and Venice... The Dolomites were beautiful, but the roads were built for one vehicle, not a bus and heavy traffic! We were never frightened or nervous! So many thank you's to both Anne and Carlos for a great vacation with In-Sight Vacations! Gretta Sencevicky, 10-17-18
Response from Grand European Travel:
How wonderful to hear that you had an incredible time on your Italian vacation. We'll pass on your wonderful compliments to the Insight team, I'm sure they'll be happy to know how delighted you were with both Anne and Carlos. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Vacation : The tour was perfectly orchestrated...all the hotels were appropriate, the new bus with a highly skilled driver...the tour director was "the best I've ever encountered... Our itinerary was perfect... Will certainly use In-sight Vacations on my next bus trip!
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Barbara Vosganian
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everything, from the iternary to the time planning. The tour director, Jackie was excellent and taught us so much. The local guides really knew their areas. If you’ve never been to Italy, this is the trip to take. I especially liked seeing the Dolomites.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for sharing about your experience. We're so glad you had a wonderful time on your Italy vacation.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Vacation : Well worth the price of the trip!
Request a Quote
  • 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.

Print Itinerary
  • 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 24 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.

Request a Quote
  • 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.

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