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Splendors of Italy

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Bay of Naples, Amalfi Coast
Tour Style: Value
14 Days from $1,580 per person

Weave your way from Rome to the sun-kissed south and the Bay of Naples and Sorrento. Travel past the home of St. Francis of Assisi to romantic Venice, the beautiful Italian Lakes and golden hills of Tuscany before Florence.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome. After check-in at your hotel, relax and unwind before meeting with your Travel Director in the afternoon. This evening why not take a stroll around this fascinating city and soak up the amazing atmosphere.
    hotel:Ergife Palace
  3. Your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour of the city, starting with a visit to St. Peter's Basilica, one of the largest and most inspiring churches ever built. Your trip continues across the Tiber River with views of the iconic Colosseum and the ancient sites of Rome. Spend free time exploring the wonderful sights on your own. Perhaps take an Optional Experience offered by your Travel Director.
    meal(s):BB
  4. Journey south past the Abbey of Monte Cassino to the Bay of Naples, your home for the next two nights. This afternoon why not take an Optional Experience to Positano and the Amalfi Coast?
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Stabia
  5. Your excursion to the nearby resort of Sorrento starts with a visit to an inlaid wood workshop, for which the area is renowned. Later consider an Optional Experience to see the excavations of Pompeii, which lay undiscovered for centuries beneath a layer of volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.
    meal(s):BB, D
  6. Drive through the rolling hills of Umbria to the mystical town of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio, birthplace of St. Francis. Enjoy an orientation tour which includes St. Francis Basilica, renowned for its fresco paintings.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Frate Sole
  7. Enjoy a scenic drive across the dramatic Apennine Mountains to the magical floating city of Venice. Dine at your hotel this evening.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Il Burchiello
  8. You are surrounded by magnificent sights and sounds as you cruise by private launch along the Giudecca canal to St. Mark's Square. Admire the Bridge of Sighs, the ornate Doge's Palace and the Basilica of St. Mark. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating local specialties at a glassblowing workshop on Giudecca island. Explore the city during your free time or maybe take a trip to Burano Island in the lagoon for a delicious meal.
    meal(s):BB
  9. Journey west to Verona, the setting for Shakespeare's most famous play, and stop to admire the Roman Arena and Juliet's Balcony. Continue across the Swiss border and visit the pretty lakeside resort of Lugano. Arrive at your hotel where you dine tonight.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Capolago
  10. Today you have a full day to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Italian Lakes region.
    meal(s):BB, D
  11. Cross the Appenine Mountains, travel along the Italian Riviera arriving in Pisa. Here we see the famous leaning tower in the Square of Miracles. Later arrive at your hotel near the Renaissance city of Florence. Tonight you may wish to enjoy a wonderful dinner in the Tuscan hills.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Wall Art
  12. Florence is one of the liveliest and most creative cities in Europe and home to some of the world's greatest works of art and architecture. Your Local Specialist gives you an excellent account of the city's history during your walking tour, which includes views of the Baptistery, the 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 and in your free time visit one of the many museums or simply relax and enjoy the ambience.
    meal(s):BB
  13. Admire the beautiful scenery as you drive through the Chianti region of Tuscany to Siena, a medieval city famous for its biannual Palio horse race. Marvel at its rich heritage during your orientation tour. This evening in Rome you might like to mark the end of an enjoyable vacation with a meal out.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Raganelli
  14. This morning say ‘arrivederci' to Italy, your Travel Director and fellow travelers as you prepare to return home with wonderful memories. Transfers are available to Rome 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.

  • 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

12 buffet breakfasts, 6 three course dinners.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Sightseeing with a Local Specialist includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica and views of the mighty Colosseum
  • Visit a traditional inlaid wood workshop
  • Orientation tour includes St. Francis' Basilica
  • Cruise by private boat to St. Mark's Square. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island
  • View the Roman Arena and Juliet's Balcony
  • Visit this magnificent lakeside resort
  • Enjoy a free day with spectacular views
  • View the Square of Miracles and the famous Leaning Tower
  • Sightseeing with a Local Specialist includes Piazza della Signoria, Cathedral and Baptistery
  • Visit the Piazza del Campo famous for the Palio horse race
Definite Departure
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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 $430.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $93 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 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.

  • 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, June 27, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The service is the best I have experienced in many years. Five stars is well deserved.
Vacation : Very pleased with all the purchases I made! Smooth transactions and very friendly!!!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for the recommendation and the lovely review.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We were pleased that we saw everything that we should have seen & more. The trip was well thought out & well planned. Our tour guide Victorio Cini was excellent. He was extremely knowledgeable, personable & accommodating. He kept us on schedule, was very organized & thorough. I would take this trip again & would recommend it to my friends!!
Vacation : Although it was a cost saver trip it did not feel like it. Great value!!
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Emails and paperwork handled fast and efficient. Tour and tour guide, bus were wonderful. (Trafalgar) Some hotels were less than perfect and some excursions should have been included in original price and not an extra charge. (Fountains and Piazzas of Rome) Lots of beautiful places and a great trip overall.
Vacation : See above box under customer service
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your feedback. This trip is one of our new Costsaver vacations and we're glad to hear you enjoyed it.  These budget trips do have more free time than would our First Class and Premium trips and thus more optional excursions tend to be offered.  We look forward to seeing you again on a trip with GET!
Wednesday, June 7, 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.

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.

Italian Lakes

Milan and Lake Como

Adult Price: € 52

We'll start with a visit to Lake Como where you'll enjoy views of the elegant villas and gardens as you cruise on the Lake, one of the most beautiful spots in Northern Italy. Later, you’ll visit Milan, the bustling fashion and financial capital of Italy. Highlights will include: views of the spectacular Duomo, the glass-roofed Galleria and the world-famous La Scala opera house.

Rome

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.

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.

Arrivederci Roma

Adult Price: € 50

Rome comes alive this last evening of our trip as you savour her unforgettable sights! We then celebrate together with a Farewell Dinner including entertainment in one of our favourite places.

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.

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.

Discover Pompeii

Adult Price: € 40

Join our expert on a tour of the excavations of Pompeii, the perfectly preserved Roman town which was engulfed by Mount Vesuvius' eruption in AD 79. You'll witness the devastating destruction it had at the time, as well as the opportunity to go back in time and get a glimpse of everyday Roman life, frozen for almost 2,000 years.

Amalfi Coast and Positano

Adult Price: € 43

Come with us for a drive along the famous Amalfi Coast. You’ll have a chance to visit the exclusive artists’ paradise of Positano, which is magnificently positioned on the Mediterranean coast.

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

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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