Best of Italy
A showcase of Italy’s grandest attractions, including saintly Assisi, dramatic Venice, Renaissance Florence and the coastal splendors of Capri.
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Rome - San Gimignano - Venice - Assissi - Sorrento
• Services of Travel Director
• Air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
• Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
• Luggage taken for you and promptly delivered to hotels door.
• Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
• Stay connected with friends and family with complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
• Transfers are available at scheduled times
• 10 nights at 4-star accommodations
• Buffet breakfast daily
• 5 including wine.
• All guided sightseeing listed in Itinerary
• Meals that are not shown and items of a personal nature
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DAY 1 | Arrive in Rome
Join your Travel Director at 5:30 PM for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner and the chance to get to know your fellow travellers.
Overnight in Rome (2 nights)
DAY 2 | Rome
The day is devoted to the Eternal City. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged special VIP entry to avoid the crowds and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel where the Popes are elected to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, to wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pietà,’ and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. There’s free time to do as the Romans do, 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.
DAY 3 | Rome - Florence
Travel north through glorious, peaceful Tuscan landscapes. Meet your Local Expert for a guided visit through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, with a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Visit the Italian garden for views of Florence's iconic domed cathedral and see the historic cellar which connects to one of the oldest restaurants in Italy by a secret underground tunnel. Taste wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Continue on to Renaissance Florence.
Overnight in Florence (2 nights)
DAY 4 | Florence
Join an art historian for a walking orientation of the historic city centre. A highlight is the visit to the Accademia Gallery to study Michelangelo's monumental statue, David. Continue to the multi-coloured marble cathedral to admire Giotto's bell tower and Gates of Paradise, recreated in all their glory. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence, and explore the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. After a demonstration of leather-work, there's free time to shop or venture on your own. In the evening, don't miss the chance to sample the fine Florentine cuisine of tasty starters and rich pastas accompanied by Chianti wine.
DAY 5 | Florence - Pisa - Venice
In the morning, journey to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles as well as the baptistery, with its intricately detailed marble facade, and the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral. Then relax and enjoy the scenery as you cross the spectacular Apennine Mountains, through the Emilia-Romagna region - one of Europe's most intensely farmed fertile plains. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon before crossing the causeway into the floating city of Venice.
Overnight in Venice (2 nights)
DAY 6 | Venice
In the morning your private launch takes you past Palladian churches and 13th century palaces to St. Mark's Square. The first sight is the pink marble of the Doge's Palace, connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape. Turn the corner, and the gilded regalia of St. Mark's Basilica comes into view. A visit to an arts centre on Giudecca Island will allow you to admire the age-old skill of glassblowing. Later, board a traditional gondola for a serenade along the romantic canals.
DAY 7 | Venice - Assisi
Leave Venice and journey to peaceful Assisi, one of Italy's most beautiful mountain towns. In the valley, see the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, much venerated as the place of St. Francis' death, then continue up Mount Subasio to the upper town. With your Local Expert, step inside the huge Basilica of St. Francis, built in the 13th century, where the frescoes by Giotto heralded a new era in Italian art.
Overnight in Assisi (1 night)
DAY 8 | Assisi - Sorrento
Travel south passing Cassino, the scene of a fierce battle during World War II. Follow the spectacular clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvious. After checking in to your hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Sorrento (2 nights)
DAY 9 | Sorrento - Capri
In the morning, cruise to the Isle of Capri. Under the Mediterranean sun, take a funicular ride up to Capri town where your Local Expert will take you around the narrow alleyways to browse exclusive boutiques and enjoy views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Perhaps join an optional cruise around Capri? Descend to the port in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis and return to Sorrento for some time to relax. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a memorable Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine.
DAY 10 | Sorrento - Rome
Continue to Pompeii, the opulent Roman town which was preserved by layers of ash from the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. A walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets and extensive excavations reveals the daily life of ancient Roman civilisation. Visit the Forum and peer into shops and patrician villas, decorated with colourful wall paintings. Then continue north as you travel to your hotel in Rome.
Overnight in Rome (1 night)
DAY 11 | Depart Rome
Departure transfers to airport arrive after early breakfast.
Operated by Insight Vacations. Save 10%* Applies only to trips featured in the 2019 Europe Preview Booklet, and as of September 24th, trips featured in the Europe & Britain 2019 Brochure. Not applicable trips that include cruise components, Last Minute Deals, Special Interest or Expert Hosted Itineraries. Valid on new bookings only and must be booked by 31 January 2019. A $200 deposit is required within three days of booking and full payment is due by 31 January 2019 or 45 days before departure, whichever is sooner. This offer is based on availability, does not apply to all journeys/departures, and may be withdrawn at any time and without notice.
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