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Italian Escapade

Piazza Navona, Rome
14 Days from $3,446 per person

Revel in the riches of Rome and Florence, observe the beauty of the Italian Lakes and mix with the fashionable crowd on sun-kissed Capri during this adventure.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome, once the hub of a vast empire that spread from Britain to the Persian gulf and from Africa to Germany. On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, airport transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Relax and settle in. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
    hotel:Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome (2 nights).
  3. In the morning, enjoy the very best of the city's highlights including a tour of the magnificent St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican with our Local Expert. 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 in the 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.
    hotel:Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
  4. Travel north to medieval Siena and stroll through the winding stone-paved streets to the vast Piazza del Campo, where the Palio horse race takes place amid great festivities. See the ‘Fountain of Joy' and then walk up to the hilltop cathedral, striped with black and white marble. Continue through the cypress clad hills and vineyards of Tuscany to Florence, jewel of the Renaissance.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Una Hotel Vittoria, Florence (2 nights).
  5. Join a resident expert inside the Accademia Gallery to admire Michelangelo's statue, David. Gaze up and truly appreciate the significance of Michelangelo's work. Then continue to the cathedral to see Giotto's bell tower and the ‘Gates of Paradise' adorning the Baptistery. Visit Signoria Square, filled with works of art and finally pause in Santa Croce Square, overlooked by its basilica, the final resting place of Galileo and Michelangelo. After a demonstration of leather-work, you will have spare time to shop or perhaps visit San Gimignano. By night, don't miss the chance to try the delicious local cuisine and sample rich Chianti wine.
    hotel:Una Hotel Vittoria, Florence.
  6. Your first stop is in Pisa, to see the incredible Leaning Tower, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity, as well as the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. Head onwards, past the marble quarries at Carrara, used since the time of Ancient Rome, through the dramatic Apennine Mountains to the fertile valley of the River Po. Continue to your lakeside resort on beautiful Lake Maggiore. As night time draws in, why not work up an appetite before dinner with a traditional evening passeggiata/stroll.
    hotel:Grand Hotel Dino/Simplon Hotel, Baveno, Lake Maggiore (2 nights).
  7. The day is set aside for you to relax and enjoy all the fantastic sights of this beautiful lakeland area. Perhaps take a cruise over to Isola Bella, one of the picturesque Borromean Islands? As the evening draws in, choose from a selection of restaurants for your dining pleasure.
    meal(s):BB, DA
    hotel:Grand Hotel Dino/Simplon Hotel, Baveno, Lake Maggiore.
  8. Follow the southern fringes of the European Alps to the vineyards, close to the shores of Lake Iseo. You will see that winemaking traditions run deep here when you visit a family-owned estate that goes back generations. In an arcaded building dating back to the 13th century, with 16th century frescoes in the cellars, taste the delicious vintages together with a master vintner. Continue to Verona, the setting for one of literature's saddest love stories. Walk with your Tour Director to Juliet's balcony in the reputed courtyard of the Capulet home and see the well-preserved Roman Arena, still used for open-air opera performances. Next, on to your hotel in Venice, a city of 118 islands, with no motor car traffic to mar its beauty.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice (2 nights).
  9. Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. What better way to see Venice than from a private launch, cruising past palazzos and churches to St. Mark's Square. See the gilded basilica, the Doge's Palace and Lord Byron's Bridge of Sighs. No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola serenade through the myriad of beautiful canals. Relax and enjoy the atmospheric songs, as you drift along in romantic awe. While here, you also visit a traditional arts centre on Giudecca Island where you can see how their beautiful handcrafted glass is made. Spend the afternoon as you wish. As night falls, why not savour the magic of St. Mark's square with its orchestras and al-fresco cafes?
    hotel:Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice.
  10. Skirt the Venetian Lagoon and cross two of Italy's most important rivers, the Adige and Po. The scenery will then change dramatically as you drive through the wild Apennines. Your destination is the stone-built, hill-town of Assisi, home of St. Francis. See the Church of St. Mary of the Angels before continuing up Mount Subasio, with a Local Expert visit the Basilica of St. Francis.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Giotto, Assisi.
  11. Drive to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, eerily preserved by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. Walk with a Local Expert through cobbled streets to explore some of the shops, villas and temples. Continue along the clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, which bustles with life until late each night.
    hotel:Regina, Sorrento (2 nights).
  12. In the morning, investigate the art of ‘intarsio' or marquetry wood inlaying before cruising to Capri - the Isle of Dreams. In one of the island's iconic open-top taxis, head up the steep, windy roads while a symphony of cicadas chirp away in the pines. Explore the narrow alleyways of Capri town, browse in exclusive boutiques and wonder at the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by funicular railway and return to Sorrento for some relaxation time. Perhaps join an optional visit to Positano and the Amalfi Coast?
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Regina, Sorrento.
  13. Stop briefly at the Commonwealth Cemetery in the shadow of the hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino. On arrival in Rome, you are fast-tracked through our special VIP entrance of the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and enter the Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo's masterpiece on its ceiling. After the museums close their doors to the public, our tour culminates with a special invitation from a curator of the Ethnological Museum to share their immense knowledge of the collection. Dine tonight in the Vatican in refined elegance among its priceless treasures at a private VIP Celebration Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, CD
    hotel:Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
  14. Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 & 09:30.

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

12 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 4 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences


  • Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
  • 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.


  • Visit the Accademia Museum with an art expert to see Michelangelo's masterpiece, David.


  • Delight your senses as you are serenaded through the canals by gondola.


  • With a Local Expert, find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of Europe.

Isle of Capri:

  • Cruise to this famous isle and in the style of the jet-set, ride up to town by open-top taxi.


  • Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
10 Apr 17 23 Apr 17 checkmark $3,995$3,695pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,995 $3,695 pp
17 Apr 17 30 Apr 17 checkmark $3,995$3,695pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,995 $3,695 pp
24 Apr 17 7 May 17 checkmark $3,995$3,695pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,995 $3,695 pp
1 May 17 14 May 17 checkmark $4,095pp
8 May 17 21 May 17 checkmark $4,095pp
$4,095 pp
15 May 17 28 May 17 checkmark $4,095pp
$4,095 pp
22 May 17 4 Jun 17 checkmark $4,095pp
$4,095 pp
29 May 17 11 Jun 17 checkmark $4,095pp
$4,095 pp
5 Jun 17 18 Jun 17 checkmark $3,995pp
$3,995 pp
12 Jun 17 25 Jun 17 checkmark $3,995pp
19 Jun 17 2 Jul 17 checkmark $3,995pp
$3,995 pp
26 Jun 17 9 Jul 17 checkmark $3,895$3,603pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,895 $3,603 pp
3 Jul 17 16 Jul 17 $3,895$3,603pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,895 $3,603 pp
10 Jul 17 23 Jul 17 checkmark $3,895pp
$3,895 pp
17 Jul 17 30 Jul 17 $3,795$3,510pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,795 $3,510 pp
24 Jul 17 6 Aug 17 $3,725pp
$3,725 pp
31 Jul 17 13 Aug 17 $3,725$3,446pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
7 Aug 17 20 Aug 17 $3,725$3,446pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,725 $3,446 pp
14 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 $3,725$3,446pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
21 Aug 17 3 Sep 17 $3,795$3,510pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,795 $3,510 pp
28 Aug 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $3,895pp
4 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $4,125pp
$4,125 pp
11 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $4,125$3,816pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$4,125 $3,816 pp
18 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $4,125pp
$4,125 pp
25 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $4,125$3,816pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$4,125 $3,816 pp
2 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 checkmark $3,995pp
$3,995 pp
9 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 checkmark $3,995$3,695pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,995 $3,695 pp
16 Oct 17 29 Oct 17 $3,995$3,695pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,995 $3,695 pp

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 $750 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $114 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.


    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.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Italian Escapade
Service rating : As a return customer, I have always had a very good experience with Grand European Travel.
Vacation : Great itinerary, some of the "included dinners" were a bit below my expectations.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Italian Escapade
Service rating : Our Tour Director was exceptional! She was extremely knowledgeable in every aspect of our tour. She was able to relate the history of every area in great detail.
Vacation : The overall experience exceeded our expectations in every way.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Italian Escapade
Service rating : I was so glad you include Insight travel- they are the best without a doubt!!!!
Vacation : The trip of a lifetime- absolutely incredible and our guide Gi Gi was the reason why! She ran everything so smoothly and with touching thoughtfulness, each one of us enyoyed the entire two weeks!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your comments. Our sister company Insight Vacations does do a wonderful job and we are very proud to be able to partner with them this year. We're so glad to see that you enjoyed this trip.

Grand European Travel
Friday, July 22, 2016

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