2019 Preview Event—Guaranteed Best Price Ends Sept 21, 20182019 Preview Event Ends Sept 21, 2018
Save up to 10% - Pay in Full by January 31, 2019
Save up to 10% - Pay in Full by January 31, 2019
AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person
AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person
This tour immerses you in Italy's historic cities, idyllic fishing villages, islands, lakes, and canals, heritage buildings, inspiring art, fabulous food and breathtaking scenery.
Rome is the former religious, political and commercial heart of a vast empire. You will be met on arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport with transfers departing for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director at 17:30, before getting to know your fellow travelers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
In the morning, you will be joined by a Local Expert who will lead you through the priceless art collection of the Vatican Museums culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry to the museums and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. More of Michelangelo's genius is on display next door in St. Peter's Basilica. Enjoy some free time, or perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum? Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.
Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Walk with a Local Expert through cobbled streets to learn about Roman life in the first century before enjoying a refreshing lemon granita. Then continue to the Bay of Naples and board your hydrofoil to the Isle of Capri. In brilliant sunshine, enjoy a scenic drive by open-top taxi past orange and lemon groves to your hotel, then appreciate the glorious vistas over the rugged coastline and sparkling sea.
Wake up refreshed on this delightful island. Visit Capri town, with its whitewashed houses, winding alleyways and small cafes. A Local Expert escorts you to the luxuriant Caesar Augustus Gardens for views of the Faraglioni rocks. The afternoon is yours to devote to Capri's fashionable boutiques, craft shops and artisans studios. Alternatively, perhaps join an Optional Excursion to the Almalfi Coast and Positano? A boat delivers you to mainland Italy where you are driven along the coastline with its clear blue waters, to reach the artist's paradise of Positano, clinging to the cliff face. After time to explore, you are then returned to the Isle of Capri by another boat transfer. As the glow of twilight descends and the day trippers have returned to their mainland hotels, the island is yours to saunter along scenic paths, gather with the locals in the piazzetta or relax with a glass of wine at an al-fresco restaurant.
Descend to the port by open-top taxi and take the hydrofoil across the Bay to Naples. Follow the Autostrada del Sole, or Motorway of the Sun, north passing Rome and continuing through the Province of Umbria. Journey through idyllic Tuscan landscapes to Florence, center of art and culture, and the heart of the Italian Renaissance.
Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert for a walk through Florence's historic centre. Visit the Accademia Gallery, full of priceless art
treasures, to see Michelangelo's masterpiece statue, David. See the multi-colored marble cathedral, Giotto's bell tower and the baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the Piazza della Signoria - an open-air museum and still the political heart of Florence. Stroll on to Piazza Santa Croce famous for its basilica and the quality of its luxury goods. The joys of Florence are varied so the afternoon will be free for your own personal exploration.
The famous Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre are a highlight of your journey as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat. Spend some time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach before continuing along to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, epitome of la dolce vita. Admire the colorful houses, browse the boutiques or stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbor. Should weather permit, return along the rugged Ligurian coast by boat to the resort of Santa Margherita.
In the morning, journey north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favorite retreat of the rich and famous where alpine scenery combines with lush subtropical vegetation. Relax and enjoy an afternoon at leisure at this popular resort and beautiful lake or perhaps take a cruise out to the lovely Borromean Islands? For your dining pleasure, you are invited to choose from a hand-picked selection of local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.
Follow the southern fringes of the European Alps to the vineyards, close to the shores of Lake Iseo. Winemaking traditions run deep here and you will get to taste the delicious vintages produced with a master vintner at a family-owned estate. Continue to Verona, the setting for one of history's most romantic love stories. Walk with your Travel Director to Juliet's balcony in the inner courtyard of the reputed Capulet home and see the well preserved Roman Arena, still used for open-air opera performances. Continue to the unique city of Venice - a complete step back in time to the 16th century.
Cruise to a traditional arts center on Giudecca Island to admire the skillful art of glassblowing. Visit St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica and admire the Doge's Palace with its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. The waterways of Venice are renowned for gondolas that drift by. Take your seat on a gondola and be serenaded through the myriad of beautiful canals, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces. In the evening, cruise the islands of the Venetian lagoon to arrive at Burano, famous for its candy colored houses. Sit down to a sumptuous Celebration Dinner with wine, sampling the local specialties.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|1 Apr 19||11 Apr 19||$4,250$3,825pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|15 Apr 19||25 Apr 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|22 Apr 19||2 May 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Apr 19||9 May 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|6 May 19||16 May 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 May 19||23 May 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|20 May 19||30 May 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|27 May 19||6 Jun 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|3 Jun 19||13 Jun 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|10 Jun 19||20 Jun 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|17 Jun 19||27 Jun 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|24 Jun 19||4 Jul 19||$4,325$3,893pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|1 Jul 19||11 Jul 19||$4,325$3,893pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|8 Jul 19||18 Jul 19||$4,325$3,893pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|15 Jul 19||25 Jul 19||$4,225$3,803pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|22 Jul 19||1 Aug 19||$4,195$3,776pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Jul 19||8 Aug 19||$4,150$3,735pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 Aug 19||15 Aug 19||$4,150$3,735pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|12 Aug 19||22 Aug 19||$4,150$3,735pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|19 Aug 19||29 Aug 19||$4,150$3,735pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|26 Aug 19||5 Sep 19||$4,195$3,776pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|2 Sep 19||12 Sep 19||$4,295$3,866pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Sep 19||19 Sep 19||$4,295$3,866pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|16 Sep 19||26 Sep 19||$4,295$3,866pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|23 Sep 19||3 Oct 19||$4,295$3,866pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|30 Sep 19||10 Oct 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|7 Oct 19||17 Oct 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Oct 19||24 Oct 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|21 Oct 19||31 Oct 19||$4,275$3,848pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 31||Request Quote Book Now|
Friday departures will visit the Vatican and St. Peters Basilica on Day 3 and Pompeii on Day 5.
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 $790 p.p.
Triple Room Discount: $180.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $119 per person.
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.
10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adult Price: € 19.00
Join your Tour Director for a classic journey through one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Rome by night is a vision with its ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches beautifully illuminated against the evening sky. A wonderful introduction to the Eternal City!
Adult Price: € 61.00
Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and a great Italian ambiance.
Adult Price: € 54.00
With our local expert, We'll explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Enjoying priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds, we'll hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat inside the mighty Colosseum. Then, we'll walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and gaze over the incredible ruins of the forum, once the centre of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty Roman Empire. Truly an incredible vision as history comes alive! n.b. On the first Sunday of the month, the price of this optional experience will be reduced.
Adult Price: € 59.00
After a hydrofoil ride from Capri, we'll take private busses along the spectacular Blue Ribbon highway for some of the best views of this dramatic coastline. We'll stop to explore Positano, the pearl of the Amalfi Coast, with all of its colours, wonderful aromas, local shops and a small beach on the Mediterranean sea. Later we'll return to the Island of Capri by boat. Note: this optional is weather dependent.
Adult Price: € 40.00
Experience the spectacular cliffs and famous turquoise waters of Capri during a relaxing cruise around the island. View the beautiful grottos and unique coastline before ascending to Capri town for a tour with your local expert. Then, we'll take in picture-postcard views of the famous Faraglioni rocks. This optional experience is weather dependent and may be replaced by a minibus tour of the Island with a visit to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele.
Adult Price: € 65.00
A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!
Adult Price: € 36.00
A wonderful excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town! Visit San Gimignano, considered a medieval Manhattan, due to its towers which dominate the skyline. Soak up the unique atmosphere of this ancient gem which has remained intact since the 14th century and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
eatwith is the world’s leading community for authentic food experiences with locals in over 130 countries. Choose between our hand-selected hosts and dine like a local with a local. Fully immerse yourself in food and culture while meeting other travelers at your table and experience the magic of social dining. Transport is not included in this optional experience. €45 - €65
Adult Price: € 69.00
Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we'll travel into the hills near Florence to the northernmost part of the Chianti, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. This wonderful cooking demonstration, with superb food and wine, will provide warm and genuine Tuscan hospitality.
Adult Price: € 41.00
The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. A guided tour of this privately owned palace with free time to admire the gardens is a must.
Adult Price: € 61.00
The secret to enjoying Venice is knowing where to go. This evening join us as we take you into the heart of the San Marco District in the historic centre of Venice to enjoy dinner in a typical local restaurant hidden in the lesser know calle of the city. Enjoy typical Venetian cuisine washed down with wine from the Veneto region.
Adult Price: € 54.00
Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.
Adult Price: € 34.00
To only experience Venice's big set pieces -- St Mark's Square; the Rialto; the Grand Canal -- is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.
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