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Italy Bellissimo

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Canals of Venice
Tour Style: First Class
12 Days from $2,408 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. Welcome to Rome, capital of Italy. Relax after check-in, or take a leisurely stroll through the city's ancient streets. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a Welcome Reception. Enjoy an evening orientation drive to see St. Peter's Basilica - the perfect introduction to your vacation.
    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Grand Tiberio
  3. Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist begins at the Vatican Museums. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Later visit St. Peter's Basilica to see the famous Pietà. Your tour continues in ancient Rome. Visit inside the impressive Colosseum and see the Circus Maximus, where chariot races were once held. There's time afterwards to explore the city on your own, or simply relax and watch the world go by. Please note: On certain departures the Vatican Museums will be visited upon return to Rome. 

    meal(s):BB
  4. Visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Cassino in the valley below the Abbey. Visit the excavations at Pompeii - buried for centuries beneath volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD - with commentary from your Local Specialist. In Sorrento enjoy a Cultural Insight into fine local craftsmanship at an inlaid wood demonstration. Cruise across the Bay of Naples to the beautiful Isle of Capri, your home for the next two nights. 

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Regina Cristina
  5. Your walking orientation of Capri town includes views of the Marina Piccola with a Local Specialist. Admire the legendary Piazzetta, the center of local life. Spend free time shopping at elegant boutiques or perhaps explore the coast of this pretty island by private motor launch. Dine tonight at your hotel.

    meal(s):BB, DW
  6. Sail back across the Mediterranean to ‘Bella Napoli'. Drive through Naples and north via Latium to Perugia, the capital of the Umbria region. Here experience a Cultural Insight involving Italian weaving history at TreadRight and Join Trafalgar Heritage Initiative project Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti. This is one of the few remaining traditional wooden frame hand-weaving workshops in Italy. Later arrive in Assisi and dine tonight at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Cenacolo Authentic Accommodations
  7. This morning after breakfast your Local Specialist takes you on a walking tour which includes a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis, famous for its frescoes depicting the life of this much-loved saint. Travel through scenic countryside towards Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Tonight you might want to join an Optional Experience to start discovering this unique place.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grande Albergo Ausonia and Hungaria Authentic Accommodations
  8. Savor the unique sights and sounds of Venice as you cruise by private launch to visit some of the attractions of this unique city. Enjoy a Cultural Insight into the Venetian tradition of glass making before seeing the sights including the Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. This afternoon explore on your own, shop for souvenirs or perhaps take a cruise across the lagoon for a delicious meal.
    meal(s):BB
  9. This morning travel to Pisa to view the famous Leaning Tower. Later arrive in the spa-resort of Montecatini in Tuscany, your home for the next two nights.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Minerva Palace
  10. Your day excursion to the Renaissance city of Florence is incredible. Your Local Specialist shows you all the sights including views of the marble Duomo and magnificent Baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria, with its statues and stunning palazzi. Free time afterwards is an opportunity to explore museums and art galleries. Shop for high-quality leather goods and 18-carat gold jewelry in Florentine boutiques. Join your companions later for an authentic Tuscan Be My Guest dining experience at a farmhouse set amid beautiful olive groves in the countryside.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  11. Discover Siena, a picturesque medieval town in the heart of Tuscany, famous for the biannual Palio horse race. Admire the architecture on Piazza del Campo as you sip a cool drink at a sidewalk café. Shop for unique local pottery before returning to Rome. Join your companions this evening and celebrate the end of your vacation with a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Sheraton Parco De Medici
  12. After breakfast say farewell to Italy and your newfound friends as you prepare to return home after a memorable Italian journey of discovery. Airport transfers are available to 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.

  • 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. Enjoy a stay at the romantic Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria which opened in 1907 on the exclusive Lido di Venezia

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 and the Roman Colosseum in Rome, the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino, the excavations at Pompeii, 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, Benedictine Abbey in Monte Cassino, the Faraglioni Rocks on the Isle of Capri, the Byzantine St Mark's Basilica, Santa Croce Basilica, Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Duomo
Definite Departure
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28 Jul 17 8 Aug 17 checkmark $2,825pp Call 1-877-622-9109
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11 Aug 17 22 Aug 17 checkmark $2,825pp Call 1-877-622-9109
18 Aug 17 29 Aug 17 checkmark $2,825pp Call 1-877-622-9109
25 Aug 17 5 Sep 17 checkmark $2,850pp Call 1-877-622-9109
30 Aug 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $2,895pp Call 1-877-622-9109
1 Sep 17 12 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950pp Call 1-877-622-9109
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8 Sep 17 19 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950pp Call 1-877-622-9109
13 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950pp Call 1-877-622-9109
15 Sep 17 26 Sep 17 checkmark $2,950pp Call 1-877-622-9109
20 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $2,950pp Call 1-877-622-9109
22 Sep 17 3 Oct 17 checkmark $2,950pp Call 1-877-622-9109
27 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $2,895pp Call 1-877-622-9109
29 Sep 17 10 Oct 17 checkmark $2,895pp Call 1-877-622-9109
4 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 checkmark $2,875pp Call 1-877-622-9109
6 Oct 17 17 Oct 17 checkmark $2,875pp Call 1-877-622-9109
11 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 checkmark $2,875pp Call 1-877-622-9109
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Special Rate Solo Rooming: These departures include 25-100% discount on the standard single supplement.

 

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 $470 p.p.

Triple Discount: $90 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $79 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.

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.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the 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.

    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

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.
Vacation : Great people, great sights and great tour guide.
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

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.

Michelangelo's 'David' & Accademia

Adult Price: € 40

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

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.

Roman Evening with Dinner

Adult Price: € 61

Spend a light-hearted 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

Adult Price: € 44

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

Adult Price: € 58

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 amongst 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

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.

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.

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