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Italy Bellissimo

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Canals of Venice
Tour Style: First Class
12 Days from $2,565 per person

The beauty and grace of Italy is a kaleidoscope of colors, fragrances and tastes, explored on a trip that ventures from the interior to the coast, and the sultry, sun-soaked island of Capri. Stay in an old Franciscan convent in the birthplace of St. Francis, Assisi. The convent was originally built for pilgrims to this peaceful hillside town, but its stone walls now hold slick modern décor.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Take time to embrace the Italian passion for life on this grand adventure through Italy that starts and ends in the Eternal City of Rome. On arrival to Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9.30am, 12.30pm and 3.30pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Spend the day exploring its ancient streets before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a Welcome Reception and evening orientation drive to see the iconic St. Peter's Basilica.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Grand Tiberio
  3. Our captivating journey through Rome begins at the Vatican Museums where we join a Local Specialist for an unforgettable sightseeing tour to gaze at Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and his sorrowful Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica. We visit the enduring symbols of Ancient Rome, celebrating the lives of gladiators and soldiers who entertained thousands in the mighty Colosseum and see Circus Maximus before spending an afternoon exploring the city on our own terms. Wander up Via Veneto on a shopping spree, soak up the coffee culture in one of Rome's generous piazze or discover the masterpieces of Rome in one of the city's many museums – the choice is yours.
    meal(s):BB
  4. Venture south towards the ancient city of Pompeii that remains frozen in time following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius centuries ago. Here we join a Local Specialist who will share insights into the city's tragic history. Our next stop is beautiful Sorrento, where we will enjoy a Cultural Insight into fine local craftsmanship at an inlaid wood demonstration. Cruise to the captivating Isle of Capri, where we'll spend the next two nights in picture-perfect surrounds.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Regina Cristina
  5. Explore the glamour and rustic charm of Capri on a walking orientation with a Local Specialist that will include views of the Marina Piccola, where Ulysses was said to have been seduced by sirens. Venture to the heart of the island and the legendary Piazzetta, where the locals come to people-watch. Spend free time shopping at elegant boutiques or perhaps explore the rugged coast and hidden grottos of this pretty island by private motor launch.
    meal(s):BB, DW
  6. We sail back across the Mediterranean to the fiery southern capital of Naples and stop to celebrate the lives of brave soldiers at their final resting place in Cassino's Commonwealth War Cemetery, located in the valley below the town's 6th century Abbey. Venture northwards via Latium to the historic city of Perugia. The fascinating weaving tradition of Italy is explored during a TreadRight Cultural Insight and Join Trafalgar Heritage Initiative project Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti, one of the last remaining traditional wooden frame hand-weaving workshops in the country. Later, we arrive in the ancient hilltop town of Assisi where we will dine in our hotel tonight.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Cenacolo Authentic Accommodation
  7. Rambling through the cobblestone streets of Assisi with our Local Specialist, we visit the Basilica of St. Francis, famous for Giotto's exquisite frescoes and 13th century stained glass windows, before traveling north past hilltop medieval villages and through picturesque farming plains towards Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Enjoy your evening at leisure watching the sun set over the Venetian Lagoon or perhaps join an Optional Experience to encounter the splendor of this romantic city.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Biasutti
  8. The Winged Lion of Venice is your constant companion as your cruise by private launch to visit this enchanting island city. Enjoy a Cultural Insight into the delicate Venetian tradition of glassmaking that harks back to the 13th century before seeing the unforgettable sights of St. Mark's Square and Basilica, the ornate Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs. Get lost in Venice this afternoon, meandering through the narrow alleyways and hidden campi that were the haunt of Casanova and Marco Polo centuries ago.
    meal(s):BB
  9. This morning we travel to Pisa and to its Field of Miracles to view the famous Leaning Tower before arriving in the spa-resort of Montecatini Terme in Tuscany, your home for the next two nights.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Minerva Palace
  10. Explore one of the world's most cultural cities today – home of great masters, the ambitious legacy of the de' Medici family and the cradle of the Renaissance. Your Local Specialist shares all the sights, including views of the magnificent marble Duomo and Baptistery. We visit Piazza della Signoria, the heart of this flourishing city with its statues and stunning palazzi. Enjoy some free time to meander across the Arno over Ponte Vecchio and enjoy magnificent views of the city skyline from Piazzale Michelangelo, or perhaps shop for high-quality leather goods in Florence's boutiques. This evening, we embark on an unforgettable Tuscan Be My Guest dining experience at a farmhouse set amidst beautiful olive groves in the countryside.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  11. Today, we explore the medieval beauty of Siena, with its shell-shaped Piazza del Campo dominated by the rusty red Palazzo Publico and Torre del Mangia, the site of the biannual Palio horse race. Admire the hilltop town's extraordinary architecture, shop for beautifully hand-painted ceramics or relax with a gelato at a sidewalk café. This evening, we celebrate a magnificent Italian adventure with newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Sheraton Parco De Medici
  12. After breakfast, we say a fond farewell to Italy and prepare to return home after a memorable Italian journey of discovery. Return transfers will arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7am and 9.30am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):BB

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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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  • Solo Traveler Discount: This departure includes a 25-100% discount on standard single supplement subject to availability.

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 $490 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $100 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 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 7:00 am and 9:30 am.

Cruise Connection: this trip starts or ends in a popular cruise port, so you can combine a cruise with a more in-depth guided vacation in Europe.

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.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

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

Meal Summary

10 nights, 10 hot buffet breakfasts, 5 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Join the Callistri family at their ‘borgo' in the Hamlet of Limonaia for a delicious Italian meal, olive oil tasting and leisurely walk through their olive groves and lemon orchards

Authentic Accommodations

  • Built to welcome pilgrims visiting Assisi, Hotel Cenacolo is a fully renovated old Franciscan convent in nearby Santa Maria degli Angeli

Cultural Insight

  • Witness the exquisite crafts of inlaid wood in Sorrento, glassblowing on Giudecca Island, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Assisi and Florence

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Assisi, Florence
  • Orientation of Venice, Siena
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the amazing Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, the Roman Colosseum in Rome, the excavations at Pompeii, the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino, St. Francis Basilica in Assisi
  • Cruise to the beautiful Isle of Capri and by private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice
  • View the ancient sites of Rome, the Faraglioni Rocks on the Isle of Capri, the Benedictine Abbey in Monte Cassino, the Byzantine St Mark's Basilica, Santa Croce Basilica, Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Duomo in Florence

Reviews

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Great trip and wonderful hotels and tour director.We will book again very soon
Vacation : Great itinerary and customer service
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Trafalagar was priced reasonably and provided a truly lovely travel experience.
Vacation : Experienced travel director and associated personnel. Top of the line bus transportation. Being given travel converters and binder for passport and paperwork was a nice touch. Hotels were clean and centrally located. Breakfast buffets were enjoyable and satisfying while the majority of the dinners were fair at best. Everything was done in a timely manner. I thought "Be my Guest" while staying in Montecatini was a huge waste of time as food was terrible and would have preferred to explore the lovely town and shops. Personnel and waiters at Regina Cristina in Capri were miserable and dinner disappointing. Accomadations were acceptable. Loved the hotel in Venice. Perfect location near the Adriatic Sea. Inlaid wood factory was interesting but extremely expensive for the average consumer. The weaving factory was a pleasure to go to, but not a great selection of wares. Pino was excellent, caring and very organized. The bus driver was very professional. I would consider another tour with Grand European Travel.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our tour was well organized and fast paced. We had a wonderful tour guide who made us feel welcome and part of her "family". I have traveled several times with GET/Trafalgar and have not been disappointed yet. I will continue to book and travel through these sister companies.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much.  We greatly appreciate the repeat business.   Thank you for the terrific photo as well!
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Vacation : Great people, great sights and great tour guide.
  • 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.

Optional Experiences are subject to change and seasonal availability. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip, and pricing. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can only be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Florence

Dinner, Wine And Music In The Tuscan Hills

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 favorites 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.

Michelangelo's 'David' & Accademia

Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We have fast track entry to the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist.

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

Rome

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

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 center, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.

Roman Evening with Dinner

Spend a lighthearted evening with us in Rome. Relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine with drinks and music. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a drive and provide a glimpse into how Romans enjoy their city.

Sorrento

Sorrento Countryside and Farmhouse Meal

Enjoy a beautiful drive into the Sorrentino countryside, where you'll explore the gardens, mill and ancient wine cellar of an 18th-century olive oil mill. During a tour of its lemon, orange and olive groves, your hosts will show you how mozzarella and other cheeses of the region are made. And then you'll get to try cheeses, salamis and marinated vegetables, washed down with local wine and homemade bread.

The Highlights Of Capri

Take in amazing views of the 'jet-set' island of Capri. You'll cruise around the island and visit the villa of Swedish author Axel Munthe, whose gardens are rated among the finest in Europe. The tour will finish at the elevated village of Anacapri. A light lunch will replace the cruise in the event of bad weather.

Venice

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks

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-colored houses - a real photographer's paradise.

Gondolas and the Grand Canal

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

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.

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