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Costsaver trips are great if you are looking for a budget friendly, semi-independent vacation that is designed with just the basics in mind. Unlike classic tours, Costsaver includes just the essentials including 3-star accommodation (not always centrally located, but close to public transportation for easy access to the center of town), airconditioned motorcoach transportation, an expert Travel Director and Driver. With a basic orientation included in major cities, enjoy the freedom and flexibility to explore the destination at your own pace, or tailor your days on trip with Choice Optional Experiences unique to each itinerary and arranged by your Travel Director.View all CostSaver Tours
Embrace excess as you travel the length and breadth of 'la bella Italia'. From the former capital of the world to the sun-kissed south, the shimmering Italian Lakes to quiet contemplation in Assisi, the birthplace of the Renaissance to the Bay of Naples – this grand 13 day exploration of Italy will reveal why Verdi proclaimed he would gladly exchange the entire universe for Italy. One day you may feel the same.
Take time to embrace the Italian passion for life on this grand adventure that starts and ends in the 'Eternal City' of Rome. You'll see reminders of an ancient world, a holy empire and the Renaissance around every turn should you wish to spend the day exploring on your own, after checking in to your hotel. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a glimpse of what's in store. You could continue your independent exploration of Rome later this evening or join your travel group for an Optional Experience featuring typical Italian cuisine with music.
Take a moment. Standing in St. Peter's Square, you are in the midst of the world's holiest Catholic shrine – where people have worshipped since the fourth century. This expansive place of pilgrimage and prayer gives way to the lofty vaults of one of the greatest churches in the world, St. Peter's Basilica. Your Local Specialist will reveal the treasures and talents of Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini, who all had a hand in its construction. Continue your guided sightseeing tour across the Tiber River to Ancient Rome and imagine a time when soldiers and senators built a city that became the center of the world. The foundations of that city still stand today as a tribute to its former might and you'll have the opportunity to view its iconic ancient ruins before spending time on your own exploring or joining your fellow travelers on an Optional Experience to discover Rome's beautiful piazzas.
This morning, consider joining an Optional Experience to the Vatican Museums, home to an impressive collection of art and antiquities. Then the Bay of Naples beckons and you'll head south past the Abbey of Monte Cassino, the site of fierce battles during World War II. Perhaps spend the afternoon taking an Optional Experience drive along the picture-perfect Amalfi Coast, with a visit to the artistic hub of Positano and its pastel-hued houses that seem to tumble into the Tyrrhenian Sea, or else spend the rest of your day in search of the best Margherita pizza. Its ingredients reflect the red, white and green of Italy's flag – could there be anything more patriotic?
Today you'll take a scenic journey along the craggy Mediterranean coast, tracing the footsteps of artists, writers and high society who have long revered the sweet shores of Sorrento. Centuries on, there are no signs of the hypnotic sirens that once tempted soldiers to run their ships into the deadly rocks. Instead, fresh scents of citrus are likely to accompany your every step as you explore this beautiful resort town with plenty of time to explore on your own. Don't leave the town's historic harbor without sampling some local specialties. Then say salute to a swift and zesty limoncello – it's the perfect after-dinner digestivo.
Enjoy a relaxing morning, unless you choose to join an Optional Experience to see the excavations of Pompeii in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Buried under ash when Vesuvius blew her top, Pompeii remains frozen in time and your Local Specialist will reveal what life was like as a local resident of the time. Later, we journey to the heart of Italy, through the rolling hills of Umbria, to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. Your orientation tour around this medieval hill-top town will include views of the Basilica of St. Francis, the final resting place of a saint who preached obedience, chastity and poverty.
Today we cross the dramatic Apennine Mountains bound for the charismatic calle of Venice, once a maritime powerhouse whose influences can be found all across the Eastern Mediterranean. The winged lion remains an enduring symbol of Venice, and is an image you'll see often as you explore the city over the next few days. You will arrive just in time for an optional gondola ride and Grand Canal cruise – grand palazzi, churches and ornate bridges lining your journey. Then later, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
We take to the waters of the lagoon and cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square, the gateway to the city. Admire the ornate Doge's Palace, the Basilica of St. Mark and the Bridge of Sighs, whose bittersweet views once elicited sighs from prisoners who were unlikely to see their beloved city ever again. There's time on your own to explore before we visit a glassblowing workshop to see the talents of master craftsmen at work at a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. This afternoon, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the vibrant rainbow-colored façades of Burano Island, beacons for resident fishermen seeking a safe journey home across the lagoon.
From Roman ruins to Romeo and Juliet, Verona certainly is the stuff of legends. Our first stop today is the city that served as the backdrop for Shakespeare's famous love story and you'll have an opportunity to view the very balcony where the fictional Juliet once called for her Romeo. Admire the Roman Arena where thrilling performances are held to this day, then continue across the Swiss border to visit the pretty lakeside resort of Lugano. Your brief brush with Switzerland provides a beautiful introduction to the shimmering allure of the Italian Lakes, which you'll explore over the coming days. Return to Italy this evening where tonight you'll dine at your hotel.
You have the whole day free to relax at the hotel pool, perhaps lace up your walking shoes for a stroll or simply people-watch with an Aperol Spritz in hand. Alternatively, consider an Optional Experience to stunning Lake Como with a leisurely cruise on its glacial waters before continuing to Italy's fashion capital Milan, to see the glass-roofed Galleria, La Scala and the spectacular Duomo.
You’ve always wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and now you’re here! We’ll take you to snap a few strategic photos featuring you and the famous leaning tower, then there's time to admire Pisa's Romanesque Square of Miracles in all its marble glory. The structures here are said to symbolise the three main stages of human life – the Baptistery (birth), the Cathedral (life) and the Camposanto (death). Then continue towards Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. For a taste of Tuscany, consider joining an Optional Experience in the Tuscan Hills with regional favorites, live music and a glass or two of delicious Chianti.
No expense was spared enriching the city of Florence through art and architecture and you'll see first-hand how this city paved its way to the modern age. Join a Local Specialist this morning for a fascinating account of Florentine history during a walking tour of its historic center, including views of the Ponte Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery. Visit Piazza della Signoria, the city's main square where many political and artistic treasures can be seen, then witness a leatherwork demonstration and browse the centuries-old trades of gold and leathercraft. This afternoon, perhaps head up to Piazzale Michelangelo and admire the views over Florence's iconic skyline.
Siena's fortified walls, towers and palaces emerge from the rolling countryside on your journey through the beautiful Chianti region. This former economic and military power today hosts the Palio horse race, injecting a shot of color amidst the burnt sienna façades of the city's Il Campo. Your visit will reveal the city's rich heritage, architecture and cuisine, most notably why Siena is renowned for its signature panforte fruit cake, which you have to sample during a visit to a pasticceria. Leaving Tuscany behind, we return to Rome for one final encounter with the Eternal City, or join your fellow travelers for an Optional Experience Farewell Dinner to end your holiday on a high note.
The Italian dream of eating well, laughing often and loving much will linger long after your Splendors of Italy tour comes to an end this morning. Say a fond arrivederci to your travel companions and Travel Director, reminiscing over epic shared memories along this unforgettable journey through Italy.
Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.
Make the most of your Roman holiday, living la dolce vita as the locals do with a relaxed dinner in a characteristic trattoria. Soak up the atmosphere of the charming city as you dine, sampling typical Italian cuisine and drinks as you enjoy live music. This is the Italian experience you've been dreaming of!
Discover the most charming areas of the city as you explore quintessential Italian piazzas and fountains with a Local Specialist. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares in Rome’s historic centre, stopping to marvel at highlights such as the Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon and hidden corners of the Eternal City.
Join us for an unforgettable drive along the picturesque Amalfi Coast, the jewel of Italy's southern coastline. Visit the world-famous paradise of Positano, with eye-catching colourful homes scattered along the cliffside village and rows of striking beach umbrellas set up alongside vivid blue waters. This is the Mediterranean encounter you've been dreaming of.
Join us for an extension to your included sightseeing tour, which gives you a chance to see the artistic masterpieces collected and commissioned by the Popes. With our Local Specialist, we'll visit the Tapestry Gallery, Gallery of Maps and the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo spent four years preparing the vault and altar wall, and we'll give you plenty of time to admire just how much painstaking work went into his creations.
Enjoy a beautiful drive into the Sorrentino countryside, where you'll explore the gardens of a traditional local farm. 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.
Join our Local Specialist on a tour of the excavations of Pompeii - the perfectly preserved Roman town that was engulfed by Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 A.D. This is an opportunity to travel back in time and catch a glimpse of ancient Roman life and architecture, frozen for almost 2,000 years.
Join us for a breath-taking cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal, catching glimpses of impressive sights such as the Palazzi Barbaro, Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square. Later on, you’ll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways, discovering the irresistible charm of the world-famous canals.
Join us for a breath-taking cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal, catching glimpses of impressive sights such as the Palazzi Barbaro, Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square.
Explore the hidden maze of streets that 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.
Discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat, travelling to the heritage-listed fisherman’s island of Burano. Known for its picturesque, technicolour houses and restaurants serving up fresh seafood, this tour is a must for food lovers and photography buffs alike. Enjoy a delicious meal before cruising back to Venice, taking in magic views of the famous city as we return.
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 places 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.
Make your Florentine travel dreams a reality as we dine at a delightful regional restaurant, set among pine and cypress trees. After a scenic drive through the stunning Tuscan countryside, we’ll enjoy a meal of delicious specialties from the area, accompanied by local wines and music.
Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We'll visit 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.
Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David.
Marvel at the legacy of the Medici as you visit Palazzo Vecchio, the symbol of Florence's political power for over seven centuries. With our Local Specialist we’ll visit the wonderful "Hall of the Five Hundred", dedicated to the Medici popes. We’ll also visit rooms decorated with masterpieces by famous artists of the Renaissance like Michelangelo and Donatello.
Marvel at the legacy of the Medici as you visit Palazzo Vecchio, the symbol of Florence's political power for over seven centuries.
Join us for a panoramic drive to the nearby hilltop town of San Gimignano. Known as 'Medieval Manhattan’ this magnificently preserved town from the Middle Ages is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Italy – a true gem to add to explore on your holiday. You'll also enjoy a delicious local gelato.
Rome comes alive this last evening of our trip as you savour her unforgettable sights and celebrate together with a Farewell Dinner including entertainment in one of our favourite places.
As a US citizen, here are the passport, visa, and entry requirements for Italy:
Italy experiences a diverse range of climates due to its geographical location. Generally, the country has a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Coastal regions enjoy mild temperatures throughout the year, while inland areas can experience more significant temperature variations. Northern Italy tends to be cooler than the south, and the mountainous regions, such as the Alps and the Dolomites, have colder winters and offer opportunities for winter sports. It's always a good idea to check the specific weather conditions for the region you plan to visit, as they can vary.
On-Tour Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits
Luggage: Each guest traveling may bring one suitcase no larger than 30” x 18” x 10" and weighing no more than 50 lb
Carry-On Bag: *Restricted to one piece per person, not to exceed 12” x 11” x 6”
So your driver and any hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances.
Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.
Packing Tips for Your Tour
Packing for a guided tour will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Here is a general packing list to help you get started:
Medications and First Aid:
Remember to pack light and versatile items that can be mixed and matched for different outfits. Laundry facilities are often available, or you can have your clothes laundered at hotels during your trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small bag or backpack to bring on the coach for day trips and excursions, leaving your larger luggage at the hotel.
American appliances run on 110-120 volts at 60 Hz, while European appliances run on 220-230 volts at 50 Hz.
As a result, American appliances designed for use in the United States (typically 120 volts at 60 Hz) may not be directly compatible with the higher voltage used in European countries. Plugging a 120-volt appliance into a 220-240-volt outlet without the appropriate voltage converter or transformer can cause damage to the appliance or pose safety risks.
If you plan to bring American appliances to Europe, you will need a voltage converter or transformer to change the voltage to 220-240 volts from 110 volts. Additionally, you will likely need a plug adapter to fit the American-style plug into the European power outlets. All of Europe operates on the same two round-pronged outlets (Type C).
It's important to note that not all appliances are compatible with voltage converters, so it's essential to check the labels or user manuals of your devices before using them with a voltage converter. Some electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and camera chargers, are dual voltage and can support 120V and 220-240V, so they may not require a voltage converter, but a plug adapter will still be necessary.
To avoid any issues with electrical compatibility during your travels, consider purchasing appliances specifically designed for the voltage used in the region you'll be visiting or use appropriate voltage converters and plug adapters to ensure the safe operation of your American appliances in Europe.
We recommend purchasing an adapter with a voltage converter so you can pack less. And to pick up any necessary adapters or converters for your electronic devices before departing on your guided tour and bringing them with you.
Hair Dryers in Your Hotel
Hair dryers are common accessories in hotels. Should you want to bring your own, though, you will need to bring an adapter and voltage converter or make sure it is dual voltage by checking the label for INPUT AC 120V - 240V or a switch that can be set to 125V or 250V. Many devices have this feature, so it's worth checking before you travel. If you need a hair dryer during your trip but can't find one in your hotel room, you can inquire with the hotel staff. Many hotels will be able to provide a hair dryer upon request, either at the front desk or through housekeeping.
Air conditioning is commonly available in European hotels, restaurants, and public spaces, especially in major cities and tourist areas, but it is worth noting that the settings will differ from what you are used to in the USA.
However, it's important to note that not all accommodations or historic buildings may have air conditioning, particularly in more traditional or rural settings. Most hotels in Europe can provide a portable fan for additional room cooling if requested. Your Travel Director will be on hand to assist you throughout your trip.
Guests may bring one full-sized suitcase and one carry-on bag per person. Due to limited luggage space, we ask that your full-sized bag not exceed dimensions of 30” x 18” x 10” and cannot be over 50lbs. Space for “carry-on bags” on motorcoaches is much smaller than on aircraft, and bags with wheels, rigid frames, and telescoping handles cannot be accepted as carry-on luggage. Medium-sized backpacks, tote bags, small duffels, and messenger bags are all excellent options to use as your daily coach carry-on. Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.
To enable you to personalize your tour experience, you will find several Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These experiences aim to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide wonderful highlights for your travels.
The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Most Optional Experiences will be priced in euros. Your Travel Director will provide further information. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week.
It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses while abroad.
In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation.
Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these.
When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.
Tipping hotel staff for room service delivery is customary if the charge still needs to be added to the bill.
It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity of €1-2 (Euro) per person per half day.
Your Coach Driver and Travel Director
Gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver are not included in the trip cost. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest and a suggested amount per person/per day is listed in your travel documents. For your convenience and ease, there is an option to pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver at the time of booking.
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