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Jewels of Italy

Venice's Grand Canal
8 Days from $1,050 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.

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
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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.
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  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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Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
2 Apr 17 9 Apr 17 checkmark $1,250pp
14 Apr 17 21 Apr 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
21 Apr 17 28 Apr 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
30 Apr 17 7 May 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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7 May 17 14 May 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
12 May 17 19 May 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
19 May 17 26 May 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
26 May 17 2 Jun 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
2 Jun 17 9 Jun 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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9 Jun 17 16 Jun 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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16 Jun 17 23 Jun 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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18 Jun 17 25 Jun 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
23 Jun 17 30 Jun 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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25 Jun 17 2 Jul 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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30 Jun 17 7 Jul 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
2 Jul 17 9 Jul 17 $1,250pp
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7 Jul 17 14 Jul 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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14 Jul 17 21 Jul 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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16 Jul 17 23 Jul 17 $1,250pp
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21 Jul 17 28 Jul 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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28 Jul 17 4 Aug 17 $1,250pp
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30 Jul 17 6 Aug 17 $1,250pp
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18 Aug 17 25 Aug 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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20 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 $1,250pp
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25 Aug 17 1 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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1 Sep 17 8 Sep 17 $1,250pp
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8 Sep 17 15 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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10 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 $1,250pp
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15 Sep 17 22 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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22 Sep 17 29 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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24 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 $1,250pp
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1 Oct 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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8 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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13 Oct 17 20 Oct 17 $1,250pp
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15 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
20 Oct 17 27 Oct 17 checkmark $1,250pp
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22 Oct 17 29 Oct 17 $1,250pp
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27 Oct 17 3 Nov 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
29 Oct 17 5 Nov 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
asterisk 4 Nov 17 11 Nov 17 $1,075pp
$1,075 pp
asterisk 11 Nov 17 18 Nov 17 $1,075pp
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asterisk 18 Nov 17 25 Nov 17 $1,075pp
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asterisk 25 Nov 17 2 Dec 17 $1,075pp
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asterisk 23 Dec 17 30 Dec 17 $1,125pp
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asterisk 26 Dec 17 2 Jan 18 $1,125pp
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asterisk 1 Jan 18 8 Jan 18 $1,050pp
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asterisk 27 Jan 18 3 Feb 18 $1,050pp
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asterisk 17 Feb 18 24 Feb 18 $1,050pp
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asterisk 24 Feb 18 3 Mar 18 $1,050pp
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asterisk 3 Mar 18 10 Mar 18 $1,050pp
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asterisk 10 Mar 18 17 Mar 18 $1,050pp
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asterisk 17 Mar 18 24 Mar 18 $1,050pp
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asterisk 24 Mar 18 31 Mar 18 $1,050pp
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These departures are subject to change in price and hotels and will be confirmed in May 2017.

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

Optional Add-Ons

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.

  • 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.

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