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Jewels of Italy

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Venice's Grand Canal
Tour Style: Value
8 Days from $1,225 per person

Explore Italy's sophisticated capitals of Venice, Florence and Rome – the beautiful cobblestone squares, centuries' old tradition and historic highlights like the mighty Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa and spectacular Duomo must-visits on your open-air museum tour of this fascinating destination.

Jewels of Italy also has winter departures; click here to see the Winter Season version of this tour!

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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 ancient city and mingle with the locals in beautiful squares with stunning architecture.
    hotel:Ergife Palace
  3. Your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour with a visit to the Vatican City. Visit the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica and view Michelangelo's statue, the Pietà. Don't miss the opportunity to join an Optional Experience to visit inside the famous Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums. View the mighty Colosseum and see the ancient sites of Rome. Afterwards enjoy free time to take in the sights or join an Optional Experience to explore the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
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  4. This morning leave Rome and head north towards Central Italy. Travel through picturesque scenery in Umbria and Tuscany before arriving in the town of Pisa. Visit the Square of Miracles featuring the Leaning Tower, Cathedral and Baptistery. There is time to shop for souvenirs and take pictures. Later arrive at your hotel near Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Novotel Firenze Nord
  5. 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. Experience a demonstration of fine leatherwork with time to explore on your own. Shop for high-quality leather and 18-carat gold jewelry for which Florence is renowned and don't forget to try the gelato. Later enjoy dinner at the hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
  6. Your journey continues north across the dramatic Apennine Mountains to Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. View the vast Roman Arena, where concerts are still held regularly each year and see Juliet's Balcony. Hear the story of the play which begins with a street brawl between Montague and Capulet servants who, like their masters, are sworn enemies. Head east to the magical, romantic city of Venice.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Antony
  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 cruise across the lagoon to the island of Burano for a relaxing meal. Burano is an island in the Venetian lagoon known for its brightly colored houses.
    meal(s):BB
  8. This morning say ‘arrivederci' to Italy, your Travel Director and newfound friends at the end of an unforgettable vacation. Transfers are available to Venice Marco Polo Airport. Conditions apply.
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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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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.

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.
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25 Aug 17 1 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
1 Sep 17 8 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
8 Sep 17 15 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
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22 Sep 17 29 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
24 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
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8 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
15 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
20 Oct 17 27 Oct 17 checkmark $1,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
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31 Mar 18 7 Apr 18 $1,225pp Request Quote Book Now
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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 $180.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $50 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 Venice Marco Polo Airport at 8 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.

  • Breakfast Daily Breakfast Daily
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • 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

Meal Summary

6 buffet breakfasts, 2 three course dinners.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica and views of the mighty Colosseum
  • Visit the Square of Miracles to view the Leaning Tower
  • Sightseeing with a Local Specialist includes views of the Cathedral and Piazza della Signoria
  • View the Roman Arena and Juliet's Balcony
  • Cruise by private boat to St. Mark's Square. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island
  • 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, July 31, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : hotels were very good basic plan is good, but i didn't receive options plan in time of booking and their prices. i 've received options only in italy and had confused about their price in evro
Vacation : land is very expancive and hotels could to be an econome ,more cheaper
Friday, July 28, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Thanks Grand European travel for always making my trips a memorable one. I highly recommend your company to all my friends and family. It's my 2nd time booking with your company and you never disappoint me. Josh Pericas was very helpful, knowledgeable and answered all our questions. Will definitely book with you guys again for my next trip to SpaIn in 2018.
Vacation : Very satisfied and excellent service!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much! It's our pleasure to help you plan your vacations and we're so happy that you enjoyed your latest one. We'll be seeing you soon for your 2018 trip!
Friday, July 28, 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everything was professionally done. The tours were great, our guides were fantastic. I can't think of one thing that was negative. Can't wait to schedule our next trip
Vacation : The tour was fantastic, the guides were knowledgeable. The accommodations were very good. Everything was great
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : It was a good trip except for the one side trip we decided not to join. The travel leader (Victorio) said we would have to make our own way back to our hotel, this occurred during a stop in Florence and we would have a difficult time making our way back to the hotel so we had no choice but to go on the side trip.
Vacation : It would have earned a great rating if not for the above comment.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I felt the Ergife Hotel front desk staff were okay but not great. Also, I did not appreciate the fact that the hotel hosted an evening event around their pool that had music and guest noise until midnight on the second night. I lost sleep being on that side of the hotel. Others on the tour also commented on this. The staff at the Antony Hotel were very helpful. Tour guide Guiseppe Spada did a nice job. He was organized.
Vacation : Okay. I'll fill in 21 characters.

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.

Visit To San Gimignano

Adult Price: € 35

Join us for a drive to the nearby hilltop town of San Gimignano, known as the ‘medieval Manhattan’ of Tuscany. Surrounded by fields of sunflowers, vineyards and olive groves, this is Italy’s best preserved medieval city and will give you a taste of day-to-day life in Italy during the Middle Ages.

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.

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.

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.

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 Farewell Dinner

Adult Price: € 70

Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious farewell dinner 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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