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    Additional Savings for Past Travelers

Real Italy (Winter Season)

11 Days from $2,125 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Active

Wander through the ruins and beautifully maintained monuments of yesteryear, exploring the captivating art, history and culture that has shaped Italy's centuries-old story—across vineyards and olive groves, quaint clifftop seaside villages and grand cities, like Sorrento, Venice and Rome.

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Overview

Wander through the ruins and beautifully maintained monuments of yesteryear, exploring the captivating art, history and culture that has shaped Italy's centuries-old story—across vineyards and olive groves, quaint clifftop seaside villages and grand cities, like Sorrento, Venice and Rome.

  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).

  2. On arrival at 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. Our launch pad to an epic journey through Italy begins in the Eternal City of Rome. Tread in the footsteps of gods and goddesses, emperors and gladiators as you explore its ancient streets before joining your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive past some of the city's most iconic sights.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Grand Tiberio
  3. We join a Local Specialist this morning for a fascinating tour of the Vatican Museums and a Cultural Insight. Ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by Donato Bramanto and admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel before visiting St. Peter's Basilica to see his sorrowful Pietà. We continue to the Palatine Hill, once the capital of the world, imagining the thunderous applause of spectators as they cheered brave warriors in the Colosseum and Circus Maximus centuries ago. There's time afterwards to explore the city on your own, or relax in one of the city's 'piazze' watching the world go by.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  4. Journey past the hilltop towns of Orte and Orvieto into Tuscany and cross the steep Apennine Mountains before arriving in Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic, where tonight we enjoy a Regional Meal.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
    hotel:Le Boulevard
  5. Witness the delicate craft of Venetian glassblowing during a Cultural Insight at a glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island. Then cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square, sharing the city's bustling waterways with ferries, gondolas and yachts. We'll see the Byzantine Basilica, Bridge of Sighs and ornate Doges' Palace before spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the labyrinthine calle or enjoying a relaxing spritz in a quiet 'piazza.'

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  6. Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers take center stage today as we take a leisurely drive to Verona, the setting for Romeo and Juliet. We'll see the impressive Roman Arena, the third largest in Italy, and Juliet's balcony. Departing Verona, we travel south, through the rolling vineyard-clad landscapes of Tuscany to Renaissance Florence where we'll spend the evening indulging in a memorable Be My Guest dinner with the Landi family set within a beautiful garden of oak trees.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining
    hotel:Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
  7. Join your Local Specialist for a guided walking tour through the charming cobblestone streets of Florence, past the multi-colored Duomo with its impressive dome engineered by Brunelleschi and the Baptistery with its inspiring gilded bronze doors. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore a city that inspired artists, poets and painters to create masterpieces. Consider a visit to the Academy of Fine Arts to see Michelangelo's statue of David, enjoy spectacular views from Piazza Michelangelo or take an Optional Experience to medieval San Gimignano, famous for its hilltop flowers.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  8. Travel through the fertile Campanian plains to the Bay of Naples that lies in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Our home for the next two nights is Sorrento and our introduction to the Amalfi Coast, a delicious dinner at our hotel.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Johanna Park
  9. Accompanied by a Local Specialist, cross the Bay of Naples by ferry to the Isle of Capri, where Emperor Tiberius built a series of villas and governed the Roman Empire for the last ten years of his life. Spend some time sightseeing or consider an Optional Experience to Anacapri which features magnificent views. Later in Sorrento, visit an inlaid woodwork factory for a Cultural Insight into the production of this local craft. Tonight enjoy a Regional Meal in a local restaurant.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
  10. The tragic immortalization of an ancient civilization is ours to explore at Pompeii today, preserved by volcanic ash when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. We join a Local Specialist for a walking tour to gain insights into the day-to-day life of the city's former residents. Visit the Commonwealth Cemetery in Cassino, which lies below the famous Montecassino Abbey, the site of a fierce battle during World War II. Our Italian odyssey ends in Rome where we join our Travel Director and travel companions for a Farewell Dinner, celebrating excess in true Italian style.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel:Sheraton Parco De Medici
  11. It's time to bid Rome a sad 'arrivederci' as we prepare to depart Italy. Return transfers to Rome Fiumicino Airport will operate at 7am and 9:30am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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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.

  • Add air to your reservation

    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.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Festive Celebrations
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
Festive Celebrations
21 Dec 18 31 Dec 18 checkmark $2,395pp Request Quote Book Now
Special Rate Solo Rooming
14 Mar 19 24 Mar 19 $2,125pp Request Quote Book Now
21 Mar 19 31 Mar 19 checkmark $2,195pp Request Quote Book Now
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming: These departures include a discount on 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.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $97 per person.

Airport Transfers: Transfers on arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport will operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the first hotel. Return transfers to Rome Fiumicino Airport will operate at 7:00 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.

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  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

15 meals: 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 6 dinners (including Be My Guest) all with tea and coffee. 

Included Highlights

Cultural Insight

  • Be inspired by the magnificence of Michelangelo and da Vinci at the Vatican Museums and enjoy an exclusive visit up the spiral staircase designed by the famous architect Donato Bramante in a part of the Vatican not open to the public. Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries. Admire the exquisite craft of inlaid wood at a workshop in Sorrento

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rome, Florence and the Isle of Capri

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Rome, Florence, Capri and Pompeii
  • Orientation of Venice and Verona
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum and Vatican Museums in Rome and the Commonwealth Cemetery in Cassino
    Cruise to the beautiful Isle of Capri
  • View St. Mark's Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Juliet's Balcony in Verona, the Duomo in Florence and the Abbey of Monte Cassino
  • See the canals of Venice and Mount Vesuvius
Request a Quote
  • 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.

  • Add air to your reservation

    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.

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Reviews

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Request a Quote
  • 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.

  • Add air to your reservation

    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.

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  • 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. 

    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.

Request a Quote
  • 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.

  • Add air to your reservation

    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.

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