TREASURES OF ITALY
Unique experience to Insight Vacations’ clients: Vatican City: Gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums and be among the select few to admire the famous Bramante Staircase.
• Vatican City: Gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums
• Rome: Explore the backstreets of Rome and experience local life
• Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum
• Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town.
• Isle of Capri: Cruise between the island and mainland by hydrofoil
• Florence: During your guided walk see the cathedral, bell tower and Gates of Paradise on the baptistery.
• Italian Lakes: you are offered a selection of hand-picked local restaurants to choose from
• 10 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW), all with tea or coffee.
• Hotel and restaurant tips are included
• Complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
• Much more!
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DAY 1 | Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome
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 travellers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
DAY 2 | VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local
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 with a local, and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.
DAY 3 | Ancient Pompeii and the Isle of Capri.
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. Enjoy 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.
DAY 4 | The Isle of Dreams.
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 Positano? A hydrofoil delivers you to mainland Italy to reach the artist's paradise of Positano. Witness the dramatic beauty of the Amalfi Coast's gravity-defying, vertical towns, and spectacular coastline before disembarking. After time to explore the pearl of the Amalfi Coast with all its colours, wonderful aromas and small beach, 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.
DAY 5 | The Autostrada del Sole to Florence.
Descend to the port by private open top taxis and take the hydrofoil across the bay to Naples. Follow the Autostrada del Sole north passing Rome and continuing through the Province of Umbria. Journey through idyllic Tuscan landscapes to Florence, centre of art and culture, and the heart of the Italian Renaissance.
DAY 6 | Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance.
Explore Florence with Insight Choice. Choose between a visit to the Accademia Museum with an art historian to see Michelangelo's monumental statue, David. Alternatively, wander through the market stalls on a guided shopping tour and enjoy all the treats and trinkets on show. See the multi-coloured 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.
DAY 7 | Cinque Terre and Portofino to Santa Margherita.
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. Our journey continues to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, epitome of la dolce vita. Admire the colourful houses, browse the boutiques or stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbour.
DAY 8 | Lake Maggiore.
In the morning, journey north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite 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.
DAY 9 | To Venice with Wine along the way.
Follow the southern fringes of the European Alps to the vineyards by the shores of Lake Iseo. Here, winemaking traditions run deep. Taste the delicious vintages produced with a master vintner at a family-owned estate. Continue to the unique city of Venice — a complete step back in time to the 16th century.
DAY 10 | Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
Cruise to a traditional arts centre on Giudecca Island to delight in 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 coloured houses. Sit down to a sumptuous Celebration Dinner with wine, sampling the local specialities.
DAY 11 | Arrivederci Venice.
Alas, you must bid farewell to this enchanting city. Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 and 09:30.
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