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ITALY'S BEST

 
14 DAYS FROM $1,949 US  
Details below or click here for more information INQUIRY FORM


Italy With its magnificent architecture, beautiful landscapes, sumptuous cuisine, ancient ruins, and brilliant art, Italy is a country like no other. On this Italy’s Best tour, experience all of this and more.

One of the tour’s highlights is the excursion to the Cinque Terre, a name given to five medieval villages on the sea. The area is noted for its natural beauty with terraces built into the mountainside on cliffs that drop down into the sea. Delight in the unique charm of the area and take in the breathtaking views. On your journey through Tuscany, watch the undulating hills, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages. More breathtaking scenery awaits at Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s largest lakes. Located on the edge of the Swiss Alps, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak in the beauty. From here, you’ll even take an excursion to Lugano, a lake-side town in Switzerland. Witness breathtaking views of the crystal-clear, blue sea in the laid-back town of Sorrento and take a day trip to Capri, where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves.

History comes alive on this Italy tour. Visit Pompeii, which was completely buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. This preserved town gives you an amazingly detailed look into ordinary life at the peak of the Roman Empire. See where gladiators fought during the Roman Empire in Rome’s Colosseum and where the center of political and social life took place at the Roman Forum. In Genoa, boasting Europe’s largest medieval historical center, see the remains of the city’s 17th-century fortifications. Visit St Francis’ Basilica in Assisi, a medieval town set in the Umbrian hills. Guided city sightseeing tours are foreseen in Rome, Florence and Genoa, and the orientation in Venice includes a boat trip to St Mark’s square to see the maze of canals forming this unique romantic city.

These are just some of the many highlights of this affordable tour through Italy!

Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Italy
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this ancient capital. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.


Italy Day 2 Rome
Rome, the “Eternal City,” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and the mighty COLOSSEUM for full immersion into life during the Roman Empire.(B)


Day 3 Rome–Pisa–Montecatini
Vistas of rolling hills, rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Stop in Pisa to visit the Square of Miracles and see the amazing Leaning Tower. Arrive in Montecatini. (B)


Day 4 Montecatini. Excursion to Florence
Today, enjoy an included excursion to Florence. Your Local Guide will show you most of the city highlights on the walking tour. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” (B,D)


Day 5 Montecatini–La Spezia–Cinque Terre–Genoa
Travel towards La Spezia, a province in Italy’s Liguria region. Then, hop aboard the TRAIN to discover some of the five spectacular Cinque Terre villages. Here, the beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired poet Lord Byron. From Levanto, head towards Genoa, birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus. (B)


Day 6 Genoa–Milan–Lake Maggiore
Today’s included guided tour is an excellent introduction to Genoa. A maze of squares and alleys, the city grew around the port, a natural inlet, and boasts the largest medieval historical center in Europe. Some of the highlights include the remains of the city’s 17th-century fortifications. Next, head north into the plains of Lombardy, and stop in Milan to marvel at its magnificent gothic DUOMO. Then, continue to Baveno on Lake Maggiore. (B)


Day 7 Lake Maggiore. Excursion to Lugano
Time to relax and get to know Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s largest lakes. Located on the very edge of Alpine Switzerland, on clear days you can see the peaks of the Swiss Alps. Take advantage of the included excursion to visit Lugano in Italian-speaking Canton Ticino. (B)


Day 8 Lake Maggiore–Verona–Venice Area
Travel across the Po River plain and stop in the romantic city of Verona to see Romeo and Juliet´s balcony, and enjoy some time at leisure marveling at the Roman amphitheater before reaching the Venice area. (B)


Day 9 Venice
Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and piazzas. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square, and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)


Day 10 Venice Area–Ravenna–Assisi–Perugia
An interesting drive southwards right across the Po Delta to Ravenna, renowned for its treasure of byzantine mosaics, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to Assisi, enclosed by ramparts and little changed since the Middle Ages. This is the town of the deeply mystical and poetic St. Francis—see the BASILICA OF ST. FRANCIS with its famous frescoes by Giotto, brought back to life by a Local Guide. Overnight in beautiful nearby Perugia, capital of Umbria. (B,D)


Day 11 Perugia–Pompeii–Sorrento
Drive to POMPEII, where time stopped for the rich, aristocratic town with the terrible eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. On the included guided visit, see the remains of luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Carry on to Sorrento, set on a plateau above the waters of the Bay of Naples. Wander the winding streets lined with shops and stalls, and sit with a glass of wine, absorbing the easygoing life of this charming resort. (B)


Day 12 Sorrento. Boat Trip to Capri
Enjoy a day trip to the legendary island, surrounded by rocky coastline and where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves. The town with its pretty piazza, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and cozy restaurants is a mecca for the jet set. Explore on your own or take an optional island tour. (B,D)


Day 13 Sorrento–Rome
This morning, time at leisure or enjoy an optional excursion to Positano before returning to Rome. (B)


Day 14 Rome
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)


Vacation Highlights
Individual headsets


Sightseeing:
See Pisa's Leaning Tower, visit Milan Duomo, Lake Maggiore, Lugano (Switzerland), Verona Juliet's balcony, Venice canal boat ride, Ravenna, Sorrento, Capri. Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable


The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Italy's Best:
Archaeological Site of Pompeii
Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco
City of Verona
Historic Centre of Florence
Cinque Terre
Venice and its Lagoon
Enjoying extraterritorial rights and San Paolo fuori le Mura
Piazza del Duomo Pisa
Early Christian monuments of Ravenna
Genoa old city and Palazzi dei Rolli


Scenic Highlights:
Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Italian Lake District, Bay of Naples, Capri


Guides:
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Genoa, Assisi, Pompeii archaeological site; professional Tour Director while touring


NOTE:
December 24 Departure – Overnight in Milan instead of Lake Maggiore
December 24 Departure - Christmas in Rome and New Year's Eve in Venice including reveillon dinner


ACCOMMODATIONS: (ST) Superior Tourist (F) First Class
ROME - Green Park Hotel Pamphili (ST)
MONTECATINI - Grand Hotel du Park et Regina (ST) or Settenrionale Esplanade (F)
GENOA - Starhotels President (F)
LAKE MAGGIORE - Simplon (F) at Baveno
VENICE AREA - Poppi (ST) at Mira or Holiday Inn (ST) at Marghera
PERUGIA - La Meridiana (F)
SORRENTO - Central Park (ST) at Massalubrense or Ascot (F)
ROME - Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (ST) or Holiday Inn Parco dei Medici (F)


Meals
Buffet breakfast Daily; 4 dinners


Transportation
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal transfer boat in Venice; boat transfer to Capri; train La Spezia-Levanto



Departures:
March - December

Prices:
From approx $1,949 US per person double occupancy


Many other tours of Italy available on request
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