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Italian Scene

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Italian Gelato, Florence
Tour Style: Value
11 Days from $1,475 per person

Trace the idyllic lakes, Renaissance cities, lush countryside and ancient heritage of Italy's historic centers of Venice, Florence and Rome, with stops in feisty Naples, Assisi and the elegant cliff-side village of Sorrento to catch up on Italy's café culture.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome. After check-in, relax and unwind. Later meet with your Travel Director and fellow travelers. This evening consider a stroll around this fascinating city and take in the vibrant atmosphere.
    hotel:Ergife Palace
  3. Don't miss the opportunity to join an Optional Experience to the famous Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums. Later your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour starting with a visit to the Vatican City and the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica to view Michelangelo's statue, the Pietà. Cross the Tiber to view the mighty Colosseum and see the ancient sites of Rome.
    meal(s):BB
  4. Today head south to the Bay of Naples. Drive to the nearby resort of Sorrento to visit an inlaid wood workshop. Then consider an Optional Experience to Positano and the Amalfi Coast. Later enjoy dinner at the hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Stabia
  5. Perhaps join an Optional Experience guided walking tour of Pompeii, which lay undiscovered beneath a layer of volcanic ash for centuries after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Afterwards leave the Bay of Naples and view the monastery at Cassino, the scene of fierce battles during the Second World War. Continue north to the mystical town of Assisi, built on the fertile slopes of Mount Subasio in Umbria.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Frate Sole
  6. Your morning orientation tour of Assisi reveals a town that has changed little since the time of St. Francis, who was born here in 1182. See the sights of St. Francis' birthplace, including the medieval ramparts. Your journey continues north across the dramatic Apennine Mountains to near the magical, romantic city of Venice.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Il Burchiello
  7. Your day starts with a cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square in the heart of Venice. Admire the Bridge of Sighs, the ornate Doge's Palace and the Byzantine Basilica of St. Mark. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating local specialties at a glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island. Spend free time afterwards exploring this fascinating city or perhaps take a trip out across the lagoon to the island of Burano for a relaxing meal.
    meal(s):BB
  8. Head west across the plains of the Veneto to Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. View the vast Roman Arena, where concerts are still held regularly each year and walk to view Juliet's Balcony. Continue north to the Italian Lake District to visit Lake Como, a favored summer retreat of the rich and famous before arriving at your hotel where you dine tonight.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Starhotels Grand Milan
  9. This morning travel south to the famous town of Pisa. Explore the Square of Miracles, featuring the Leaning Tower, Cathedral and Baptistery. There is time to shop for souvenirs and take pictures. Arrive later at your hotel near Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Wall Art
  10. There are few cities in the world with an artistic legacy to equal that of Florence. Your Local Specialist gives a superb commentary of the city's history during your walking tour, which includes views of the Baptistery, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the impressive Giotto's Bell Tower, and a visit to Piazza della Signoria. Shop for high-quality leather and 18-carat gold jewelry, for which Florence is renowned and don't forget to try the gelato. Later travel back to the Eternal City. This evening in Rome you might like to celebrate the end of your vacation in style.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Ergife Palace
  11. This morning say ‘arrivederci' to Italy, your Travel Director and newfound friends at the end of an unforgettable vacation. 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.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip itinerary.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
24 Aug 17 3 Sep 17 checkmark $1,495pp Call 1-877-622-9109
7 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $1,495pp Call 1-877-622-9109
14 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
21 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $1,495pp Call 1-877-622-9109
28 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
5 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 checkmark $1,495pp Call 1-877-622-9109
22 Mar 18 1 Apr 18 $1,475pp Request Quote Book Now
29 Mar 18 8 Apr 18 $1,475pp Request Quote Book Now
5 Apr 18 15 Apr 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
12 Apr 18 22 Apr 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
19 Apr 18 29 Apr 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Apr 18 6 May 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
3 May 18 13 May 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
10 May 18 20 May 18 checkmark $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
17 May 18 27 May 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
24 May 18 3 Jun 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
31 May 18 10 Jun 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
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14 Jun 18 24 Jun 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
21 Jun 18 1 Jul 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
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23 Aug 18 2 Sep 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
30 Aug 18 9 Sep 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 18 16 Sep 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 18 23 Sep 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 18 30 Sep 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 18 7 Oct 18 $1,495pp Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 18 14 Oct 18 $1,495pp 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 $340.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 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

9 buffet breakfasts, 4 three course dinners.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Sightseeing tour with your Local Specialist includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica and views of the mighty Colosseum
  • Visit this popular resort
  • Views of the monastery high on the hill
  • Orientation of this beautiful town dedicated to St. Francis
  • Cruise by private boat to St. Mark's Square. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island
  • View Juliet's Balcony and the impressive Roman Arena
  • Visit Lake Como
  • Visit the Square of Miracles to view the Leaning Tower
  • Sightseeing with a Local Specialist includes views of the cathedral and Piazza della Signoria
  • 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

Monday, August 14, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Using the site to manager the booking was very easy and convenient. I liked being able to speak with a representative if I did have questions.
Vacation : Great trip. I would have preferred that some of the optional excursions be included in the overall trip since the trip itself didn't seem to offer anything above and beyond.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We were completely satisfied with the trip, the tour director, the bus driver and the bus. We saw so much in such a short time in Italy. Would definitely recommend this trip for any active traveler. The hotels were great (except their air conditioning is not what American a/c is). We found only 3 nights of cool sleeping in a very hot June. Food was filling and good. We participated in all but one of the optional experiences. We would have been sad to have missed them, as they were some of our favorite times and meals, especially Buran, Toscana and Arrividerci Roma.
Vacation : We did all of the optional experiences except Pompeii. By then we needed a break to rest our feet and ankles.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Both the booking and the tour itself were hitch free. The tour director was very professional and knowledgeable. She made our vacation pleasant and memorable. Hotel accommodations were very good.
Vacation : Had no idea of what to expect.

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

Dinner, Wine And Music In The Tuscan Hills

Adult Price: € 64

Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant where a selection of regional favourites is served, accompanied by a selection of local wines and live music. A truly unforgettable experience, with an atmosphere that is the essence of all things Tuscan.

Italian Lakes

Discover Lake Como

Adult Price: € 38

Enjoy views of elegant villas and gardens as you cruise with your Local Specialist along Lake Como, one of the most beautiful spots in the Italian Lake District.

Naples

Discover Pompeii

Adult Price: € 40

Join our expert on a tour of the excavations of Pompeii, the perfectly preserved Roman town which was engulfed by Mount Vesuvius' eruption in AD 79. You'll witness the devastating destruction it had at the time, as well as the opportunity to go back in time and get a glimpse of everyday Roman life, frozen for more than 2,000 years.

Rome

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.

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.

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.

Sorrento

Amalfi Coast and Positano

Adult Price: € 43

Come with us for a drive along the famous Amalfi Coast. You’ll have a chance to visit the exclusive artists’ paradise of Positano, which is magnificently positioned on the Mediterranean coast.

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

Venice

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.

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.

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