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Italian Intermezzo (Winter Season)

9 Days from $1,948 per person

Style: Premium | Pace: Comfortable

Italy’s most famous and best loved cities reveal a treasure-trove of riches on this concise, yet surprisingly diverse itinerary that is equally enjoyable touring in autumn, winter or spring.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

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Overview

Italy’s most famous and best loved cities reveal a treasure-trove of riches on this concise, yet surprisingly diverse itinerary that is equally enjoyable touring in autumn, winter or spring.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Welcome to Italy. After being greeted by your Tour Director at Milan’s Malpensa Airport, your transfer departs at 09:30 or 12:30. In the evening, you are invited to a warm Welcome Reception with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

    meal(s):DW
    hotel:Starhotels Ritz
  3. Travel to elegant Verona, legendary home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Walk with your Travel Director, passing the well-preserved Roman Arena and stand beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived. There is free time to explore or perhaps browse the local market before continuing to Venice.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:B4 Bellini Venezia
  4. Even for the experienced traveler, there can be no better joy than waking up in Venice. Transfer to Giudecca Island to witness the art of glassblowing, then appreciate the splendor as you cruise by Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark’s Square. Your Tour Director will explain the glorious history of "La Serenissima," once one of the greatest trading centers of the world – its wealth and power is echoed by the riches of St. Mark’s Basilica. See the Doge’s Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Spend the afternoon as you wish. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals while musicians set the mood with traditional songs.

    meal(s):BB
  5. Journey to Pisa and see the Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, the 11th century cathedral and baptistery. Venture to Florence and meet your Local Expert for a walk through of the historic center and a visit to the Accademia Museum. Admire the marble clad cathedral and baptistery and wander Piazza della Signoria, an open-air gallery filled with Renaissance sculptures. An expert sommelier introduces you to a selection of the finest wines of Tuscany. Enjoy a tasting, followed by dinner. 

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Anthenaeum Personal Hotel, Florence
  6. Florence is known for its quality leather goods and you will be privy to the secrets of traditional Florentine leather-work when you visit a local workshop. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

    meal(s):BB
  7. Travel through the vineyards of the Chianti region in the morning, past Lake Trasimeno - the Italian Peninsula’s largest lake and site of a great battle in ancient times against Hannibal and his war elephants. Climb into the foothills of the Apennine Mountains to delightful Assisi, a stone-built town spilling over the steep hillside. With a Local Expert, visit the tomb of St. Francis and see the beautiful frescoes by Giotto in the great basilica, before continuing along the valley of the River Tiber towards the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Veneto Palace, Rome
  8. Enjoy the best of the city's highlights with a visit to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and some free time to explore on your own. In the afternoon, gain exclusive fast-tracked VIP entry into the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert to admire the Papal art collection and enter the Sistine Chapel. In the evening, enjoy an elegant four-course dinner with local wine at a Roman restaurant. As you dine, you'll be serenaded with a private performance of popular songs and arias from some of Italy's best-loved operas.

    meal(s):BB, DW
  9. Bid farewell to the glories of Italy. Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 7:00 am and 9:30 am.

    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.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Christmas Markets
  • Festive Celebrations
Start Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
3 Nov 18 11 Nov 18 checkmark $2,050pp Call 1-877-622-9109
Christmas Markets
Festive Celebrations
20 Dec 18 28 Dec 18 checkmark $2,250$2,138pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now
27 Dec 18 4 Jan 19 checkmark $2,525$2,399pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now
5 Jan 19 13 Jan 19 $2,050$1,948pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now
24 Jan 19 1 Feb 19 $2,050$1,948pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now
16 Mar 19 24 Mar 19 checkmark $2,050$1,948pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now
23 Mar 19 31 Mar 19 checkmark $2,050$1,948pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now
  • Christmas Markets: This departure contains visits to select Christmas Markets
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or 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 $360 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $92 per person.

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
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Included Quality Dining

7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year’s Eve enjoy a festive Highlight Dinner.

Signature Experience

FLORENCE:

  • Develop your understanding of the work of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, ‘David’, with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.

ASSISI:

  • A Local Expert will explain why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.

ROME:

  • Your Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the city’s highlights including St Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and VIP access to the Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museums.

Top Rated Highlights

VENICE:

  • To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola.

PISA:

  • See the famous Leaning Tower.
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

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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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