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Italian Escapade

Operated by: Insight Vacations

13 Days from $4,586 per person
APR - OCT 2022
Fountains of the Four Rivers in Rome, Italy

Countries Visited

Italy, Vatican City ...more Italy, Vatican City

Locations Visited

Rome, Vatican, Siena, Montecatini Terme, Tuscany, Florence, Pisa, Lake Maggiore, Lake Iseo, Venice, Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, Cassino ...more Rome, Vatican, Siena, Montecatini Terme, Tuscany, Florence, Pisa, Lake Maggiore, Lake Iseo, Venice, Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, Cassino
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FAQ’s on traveling now

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  1. Day 1 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome

    Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, renaissance palaces and baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director at 17:30, and get to know your fellow travellers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome., Kolbe Hotel Rome.
  2. Day 2 Vatican City and Rome with a Local

    A Local Expert leads you through the priceless art collection of the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your priority visit includes fast-tracked entry to the museums and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase. Later, continue to St. Peter’s Basilica. Cross the Tiber river to enjoy ancient Rome. See the incredible Circus Maximus. Come up close and personal with the beautifully preserved Arch of Constantine, walking on the ancient pavement. Discover the history, the construction and the legends of the iconic Colosseum as you stroll around the exterior of this amazing structure.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome., Kolbe Hotel Rome.
  3. Day 3 Siena and Medieval Florence

    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 marble. Continue through the cypress-clad hills and vineyards of Tuscany to Florence. Enjoy a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak dinner paired with delicious local wine, a speciality not to be missed.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Michelangelo Florence.
  4. Day 4 Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance

    Explore Florence with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the Accademia Museum and see Michelangelo's David. Alternatively, wander through the market stalls on a shopping tour, enjoying all the Italian treats and finery on offer. Walk on to the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, where Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise have been recreated in all their glory. Visit Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune as well as Hercules and Cacus, along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio.  Famous for the quality of its luxury goods like gold and leather, Piazza Santa Croce is also the perfect spot to see the basilica. Later, use your free time to shop or continue exploring at your leisure.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Michelangelo Florence.
  5. Day 5 Pisa and the Italian Lakes

    Stop 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. Your journey continues, 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 stroll, or passeggiata as they say in Italy?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Simplon, Baveno
  6. Day 6 The Italian Lake District Relaxed Start

    Today is set aside for you to relax and enjoy all the fantastic sights of this beautiful lakeland area.For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a selection of hand-picked restaurants for your dining pleasure.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Simplon, Baveno
  7. Day 7 To Venice With Wine Along the Way Relaxed Start

    Follow the southern fringes of the European Alps to the vineyards by the shores of Lake Iseo. Here, winemaking traditions run deep.  Taste the delicious vintages produced with a master vintner at a family-owned estate.  Continue to the unique city of Venice and step back in time to the 16th century.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice.
  8. Day 8 The Magic of La Serenissima

    A private boat ferries you to St. Mark’s Square. See the basilica, Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience during a visit to a traditional arts centre, where you can see how beautiful handcrafted glass is made by expert glassblowers, safeguarding traditional skills. Enjoy being serenaded with traditional songs on a gondola ride, gliding through the city canals in romantic awe. 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?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice.
  9. Day 9 Hilltop Assisi

    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, hilltop town of Assisi, home of St. Francis. See the Church of St. Mary of the Angels before continuing up Mount Subasio. Then with our Local Expert we visit the beautiful Basilica of St. Francis.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Giotto Assisi.
  10. Day 10 Sorrento on the coast

    Journey along the clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, perched upon the southern cliffs of the Bay of Naples and looking out to Mount Vesuvius. With the evening at leisure, why not try some of the local specialities during a regional dining experience?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.
  11. Day 11 Capri, the Isle of Dreams

    In the morning, cruise to Capri, known as the Isle of Dreams. In one of the island's iconic open-top taxis, head up the steep, winding roads while a symphony of cicadas sing away in the pines. With your Local Expert, 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?

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.
  12. Day 12 On to ill-fated Pompeii and Rome

    Journey north to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, eerily preserved by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Your Local Expert walks you through cobbled streets to explore some of the shops, villas and temples. Witness the colourful frescoes that were hidden for centuries. Continue beneath the striking hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino and back to Rome where your journey reaches its zenith in the evening. In the heart of The Eternal City, you are treated to a quintessential Italian experience. Fine food, wine, music and a private performance of enchanting operetta for your Celebration Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Mediterraneo, Rome.
  13. Day 13 Arrivederci Roma

    Bid farewell to the glories of Italy. Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.

    meals Breakfast
Italian Escapade Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo's monumental statue, 'David', in the Accademia Gallery, and admire the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
  • Florence: Wander through the market stalls and browse for local Italian souvenirs and leather goods on a guided shopping tour.

Authentic Dining

  • Rome: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at a uniquely Roman local restaurant.
  • Florence: Enjoy a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak dinner paired with delicious local wine, a specialty not to be missed.
  • Lake Maggiore: For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a selection of hand-picked restaurants for your dining pleasure.
  • Lake Iseo: Learn about this historic winery, passed down through the generations, and taste its latest vintages.
  • Rome: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine, accompanied by the rich tremolo of some of Italy's best loved songs.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Dinner with Wine (DW), and 12 Breakfast (B)

Insight Experiences

  • Vatican: Gain priority access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Rome: Discover ancient treasures of Rome with a passionate local. See Circus Maximus and the Ancient Forum, and stand beside the Colosseum, which bears witness to the limitless courage of the gladiators.
  • Siena: See the Fountain of Joy, striped cathedral and vast Piazza del Campo.
  • Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo's monumental statue, 'David', in the Accademia Gallery, and admire the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
  • Florence: Wander through the market stalls and browse for local Italian souvenirs and leather goods on a guided shopping tour.
  • Florence: Enjoy panoramic views over of the city and see the Florence Cathedral. During your guided walking orientation, see the bell tower, Gates of Paradise on the baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria.
  • Pisa: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, and the colonnaded bell tower lurches behind the 11th century cathedral - the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • Lake Maggiore: Step out with your Travel Director to experience the charming traditional social ritual of la passeggiata. All across Italy, in cities, towns and villages people leave their houses to gently walk streets, from babies in strollers to the most senior citizens. Savor a gelato or glass of wine along the way and observe, as new romances, new babies and new shoes are all put on display. Note the ever-stylish Italians love to dress up for the occasion so feel free add a touch of flair to your outfit!
  • 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: Delight in the magic of this charming city as you are serenaded, travelling through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
  • Assisi: See St. Mary of the Angels Church and join your Local Expert to walk through the cobbled streets and beautifully preserved medieval laneways of this quaint town.
  • Assisi: With a Local Expert, find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of Europe.
  • Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
  • Capri: Cruise by jetfoil to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
  • Capri: Explore Capri town with your Local Expert and see the whitewashed houses, winding alleyways, small cafes, fashionable boutiques and artisans studios.
  • Capri: Relax and enjoy the views as you are driven in an iconic open-top taxi.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.

Make Travel Matter

  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing, now practised by precious few masters. Watch artisans create delicate works of art using rare traditional practices. The workshop's master craftsmen teach visitors about the traditional craft of glassblowing and its history which dates back to the 15th century. Every visit helps to support the workshop and the survival of this traditional craft.  The workshop advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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September 2022
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Sep 13 Tue
Sep 25 Sun
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$5,095 $4,586 Save $510
PAY IN FULL BY Jul 28
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Sep 20 Tue
Oct 2 Sun
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$5,095 $4,586 Save $510
PAY IN FULL BY Jul 28
October 2022
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Oct 16 Sun
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$5,050
Optional Add-Ons

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.

Rome

Available on Day 2

Piazzas & Fountains

With our Local Expert, let's take a "passeggiata" (stroll) to enjoy the backstreets and secrets of pedestrian Rome. Be amazed at sights such as the fascinating Pantheon and the beauty of 17th-Century fountains and beautiful Piazzas. Come and enjoy the Rome of the Romans.
Adult Price: € 33

Roman Dinner Party

Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and a great Italian ambiance.
Adult Price: € 62

Florence

Available on Day 4

San Gimignano Excursion

A wonderful excursion with our Local Expert to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town! Visit San Gimignano, considered a medieval Manhattan, due to its towers which dominate the skyline. Soak up the unique atmosphere of this ancient gem which has remained intact since the 14th century and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Adult Price: € 36

Tuscan Dinner & Cooking Demonstration

Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we'll 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. This wonderful cooking demonstration, with superb food and wine, will provide warm and genuine Tuscan hospitality.
Adult Price: € 71

Tuscan Dinner at Villa Machiavelli

Through the Chianti hills, we'll drive past vineyards to a delightful hamlet. Our destination is the ancient stone house of Machiavelli, where the great political theorist wrote his immortal work, ‘The Prince.' After a welcome drink and a visit of the villa and its wine-cellars, we'll enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine accompanied by great music and drinks, including of course, Chianti from the Villa's own vines.
Adult Price: € 68

Italian Lakes

Available on Day 5

Isola Bella

The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We'll take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. Our Local Expert will take us on a guided tour of this privately-owned palace, with free time to admire the gardens. A must!
Adult Price: € 49

Dinner on Isola dei Pescatori

This evening, escape to the charming and tranquil island of Isola dei Pescatori. A short boat ride from the shores of Lake Maggiore, this fisherman’s Island is inhabited year-round by only 50 permanent residents. Stroll through the small piazza, surrounded by tight and winding alleys, to enjoy dinner at one of the Island's restaurants.
Adult Price: € 68

Available on Day 6

Lake Como and Bellagio Visit

Lake Como is the most picturesque of all the great Italian lakes, deeply treasured in the hearts of all the Italians. To enjoy its beauty, a private boat is the best way! You'll cruise past the magnificent villas of the rich and famous, stopping in Bellagio where there will be time to relax and enjoy this charming “pearl of the Lake” that sits spectacularly at the center of the three branches of Lake Como.
Adult Price: € 44

Three Lakes Experience

See why this area has long been a favorite of film stars, writers, diplomats and royalty! Travel along Lake Maggiore towards the peaks of the Alps. The Swiss resort of Lugano nestles between the mountains and celestial blue waters - stroll along its palm and cypress-lined promenade and enjoy its restaurants. Then to Lake Como, one of Italy’s most spectacular lakes where a private cruise puts into perspective the stunning vistas and villas of the rich and famous. Later, time to hunt out some bargains; Como is famous for its vast array of silk shops!
Adult Price: € 51

Venice

Available on Day 7

Magical Venice

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 take you to the center 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, seeing Venice at its most magical.
Adult Price: € 55

Available on Day 8

Burano Excursion & Meal

Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy-colored houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialties with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!
Adult Price: € 72

Hidden Venice

To only experience Venice's big set pieces - St. Mark's Square; the Rialto; the Grand Canal - is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser-known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi,’ small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.
Adult Price: € 34

Sorrento

Available on Day 10

Sorrento Evening

A chance to enjoy a delicious dinner of local specialties. We arrive at one of the area's unique local restaurants for an incredible dining experience featuring some of the famous dishes of this region!
Adult Price: € 63

Available on Day 11

Amalfi Coast Drive & Positano Visit

Drive along the clear blue waters and picturesque resorts of the Amalfi Coast, arguably the most glamorous and scenic stretch of coast in Europe. Minibuses wind their way down serpentine roads to the exclusive artists' paradise of Positano, clinging to the cliff face, as if about to cascade into the turquoise waters below. Spend time exploring the elegant shops, watching the artists at work, or enjoying an 'aperitivo' in a beachside cafe.
Adult Price: € 56

Island Tour of Capri

Experience the spectacular cliffs and famous turquoise waters of Capri during a relaxing cruise to the most beautiful part of the island, the southern side. View the beautiful grottoes and unique coastline before ascending to Capri town. This optional experience is weather dependent and may be replaced by a minibus tour of the Island with a visit to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele.
Adult Price: € 42

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Service
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.
Trusted Customer
Friday, October 7, 2016
Service
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.
Trusted Customer
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Service
I was so glad you include Insight travel- they are the best without a doubt!!!!
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
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!
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