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10-Nights Best of Italy - Small Group, 2023
Insight Vacations
Vacation Offer ID 1470275
Reference this number when contacting our travel specialist so we may better serve you.
Overview

Insight Vacations

Best Of Italy - Small Group
Explore the best of Italy on this 11-day guided tour. In Rome, enjoy a VIP Vatican tour that includes access to the Bramante Staircase - a spiraling Renaissance masterpiece normally off-limits to visitors. As your travels continue along the Bay of Naples, stop on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius for lunch at a local farm still growing traditional produce unique to the region. In Florence, learn the secrets of leather making from a local leatherworker. Fall in love with Venice as you see churches and palaces from a private boat, and cruise its canals on a romantic gondola ride. Sail to Capri, where craggy mountains cascade into the Tyrrhenian Sea; a Local Expert will help you navigate its narrow alleys. But before you say arrivederci to Italy, enjoy one last experience: a private opera during a four-course meal that features local wine.


Dining Summary
  • 5 Dinner with Wine (DW)
  • 10 Breakfast (B)
  • 1 Lunch with Wine (LW)
Choice Highlights
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo's monumental statue, 'David', in the Accademia Gallery, and admire the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
  • Florence: Take a stroll with your Travel Director to Piazza Santa Croce to enjoy a typical Italian treat in a local café.
Additional Included Highlights
  • : Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • : Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • : We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • : From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • : Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • : If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
Authentic Dining
  • Rome: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers at a uniquely Roman local restaurant.
  • Rome: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine, accompanied by the rich tremolo of some of Italy's best loved songs.
Insight Experiences
  • Vatican: Gain Fast Track access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
Make Travel Matter
  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing, now practised by precious few masters. Watch artisans create delicate works of art using rare traditional practices. The workshop's master craftsmen teach visitors about the traditional craft of glassblowing and its history which dates back to the 15th century. Every visit helps to support the workshop and the survival of this traditional craft.  The workshop advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
  • Vesuvius National Park: Visit Casa Barone, a small family-run farm on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius and one of the world’s only producers of Piennolo tomatoes. Learn about their commitment to sustainability and taste the flavors of this special tomato during your Farm-to-Table lunch. Casa Barone cultivates the endangered endemic food species of Piennolo tomato as well as other traditional elements of the classic Vesuvian Countryside, using cultivation methods with low environmental impact. Through their production the farm prevents the local biodiversity from disappearing. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land.
Top Rated Highlights
  • Rome: Discover ancient treasures of Rome with a passionate local. See Circus Maximus and the Ancient Forum, and stand beside the Colosseum, which bears witness to the limitless courage of the gladiators.
  • Florence: See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a gold and leatherwork demonstration.
  • Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo's monumental statue, 'David', in the Accademia Gallery, and admire the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
  • Florence: Take a stroll with your Travel Director to Piazza Santa Croce to enjoy a typical Italian treat in a local café.
  • Florence: Enjoy a stroll through Renaissance Florence and admire the medieval buildings that gave birth to this new style of architecture.
  • Pisa: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, and the colonnaded bell tower lurches behind the 11th century cathedral - the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Venice: Delight in the magic of this charming city as you are serenaded, traveling through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
  • Assisi: See St. Mary of the Angels Church and join your Local Expert to walk through the cobbled streets and beautifully preserved medieval laneways of this quaint town.
  • Assisi: With a Local Expert, find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of Europe.
  • Capri: Cruise by jetfoil to this famous isle through beautiful ...

    Featured Destinations

    Rome

    Rome

    <p>Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one &#x0D; of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded &#x0D; in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always &#x0D; been and remains the Eternal City.</p>&#x0D; <p>Rome enjoyed its greatest splendor during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art &#x0D; flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman &#x0D; legions swept outward, conquering all of Italy. These victorious armies then &#x0D; swept across the Mediterranean and beyond to conquer most of the known world. &#x0D; With Rome's establishment as capital of the western world, a new ascent to glory &#x0D; began.</p>&#x0D; <p>Today's Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious &#x0D; parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafes and elegant shops, is &#x0D; one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous &#x0D; monuments is the Colosseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine &#x0D; the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combats between &#x0D; muscled gladiators and ferocious animals.</p>&#x0D; <p>Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city's political and commercial &#x0D; center. In later times, Rome's squares were enhanced with such imposing structures &#x0D; as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di &#x0D; Trevi. Join the millions who stand in awe of Christendom’s most magnificent &#x0D; church and admire the timeless masterpieces of Michelangelo's frescoes in the &#x0D; Sistine Chapel.</p>&#x0D; <p>Rome jars the senses and captures the soul. Grasp all you can during the short, &#x0D; precious time you have available in the Eternal City. With so much to see and &#x0D; do, a day or two will only allow you a sampling of the city's marvelous treasures.</p>&#x0D; <p><i>Caution: As in many big cities and tourist destinations purse snatching &#x0D; and pickpocketing is common. Valuable jewelry and excess cash are best left &#x0D; in a safety deposit box in your hotel.</i></p>&#x0D; <p> <b>Shopping </b>For most visitors shopping for beautiful Italian leather articles, &#x0D; designer shoes, fashions for men and women, linens, knitwear, silk scarves and &#x0D; ties is a favorite pastime. Except for tourist-oriented shops, the majority &#x0D; of stores are closed on Sundays. Some of the department stores, such as Rinascente, &#x0D; open in the late afternoon on Sundays.</p>&#x0D; <p><b>Cuisine</b> Rome's choice of restaurants is mindboggling as is the variety &#x0D; of cuisine. Whether your meal is at a top-rated restaurant or a rustic trattoria, &#x0D; you can be sure that you will enjoy your food, especially when accompanied by &#x0D; wines from the hill towns surrounding Rome.</p>&#x0D; <p><b>Other Sights</b> Rome's attractions are endless, and depending on how much &#x0D; time you have at your disposal a careful selection has to be made about what &#x0D; to see. Be aware of horrendous traffic conditions and major construction work &#x0D; all around the city in preparation of Jubilee 2000, the Holy Year. Some of the &#x0D; sights not to be missed:</p>&#x0D; <p>Piazza Venezia - This busy square is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio &#x0D; Emanuele II Monument. The white marble structure was inaugurated in 1911 as &#x0D; a symbol of Italy’s unification.</p>&#x0D; <p>The Forum - Once the civic heart of ancient Rome, today the remains include &#x0D; a series of ruins, marble fragments, isolated columns and some worn arches.</p>&#x0D; <p>Colosseum - No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this awe-inspiring &#x0D; theater, which is among the world’s most celebrated buildings. Here ancient &#x0D; Rome flocked to see gladiatorial contests and numerous other spectacles.</p>&#x0D; <p>Trevi Fountain - Take a stroll to Rome's famous fountain. A spectacular fantasy &#x0D; of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water, the fountain is one &#x0D; of the city's foremost attractions. Legend has it that visitors must toss a &#x0D; coin into the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.</p>&#x0D; <p>St. Peter's Square - Part of Vatican City, this square created by Bernini &#x0D; is considered one of the loveliest squares in the world. Twin Doric colonnades &#x0D; topped with statues of various saints and martyrs flank either side of the square. &#x0D; In the center stands an 84-foot obelisk, brought from Egypt in 37 A.D.</p>&#x0D; <p>St. Peter's Basilica - At the head of the square stands Christendom's most &#x0D; magnificent church, which was begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was &#x0D; buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such Renaissance masters as Bramante, &#x0D; Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled &#x0D; masterpiece. Of special note are Michelangelo's Pieta and the bronze canopy &#x0D; over the high altar by Bernini. The immense dome was designed by Michelangelo.</p>&#x0D; <p>Vatican Museum - To see this museum's immense collection would take days. &#x0D; As you enter, there are special posters that plot a choice of four color-coded &#x0D; itineraries. They are repeated throughout the museum and are easy to follow. &#x0D; It is a good idea to pickup a leaflet at the main entrance and concentrate on &#x0D; exhibits of major interest. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is a must. Most likely &#x0D; you may have to wait in line to enter. </p>&#x0D;
    Destination Guide
    Florence

    Florence

    The creative explosion of the Italian Renaissance happened right here, leaving petite Florence more art treasures than most national capitals. View the masterworks of local heroes like Michelangelo and Botticelli, visit countless unforgettable basilicas, then climb up into Brunelleschi&#39;s soaring dome to watch the sun set among cypress-clad Tuscan hillsides.
    Destination Guide
    Pisa

    Pisa

    &#x0D; <p>The Leaning Tower is, of course, Pisa's main attraction. Even before three &#x0D; of its eight stories were constructed (building began in 1173 and continued &#x0D; until 1350), it had begun to lean. In 1990, the instability of the tower made &#x0D; it necessary to close it to visitors. Fortunately, an extensive program to rebalance &#x0D; the tower was successful in slowly righting the structure to its original degree &#x0D; of "lean." Now, thanks to modern engineering, the tower and its 294 stairs are &#x0D; once again open for climbing. </p>&#x0D; <p>The tower is on the Campo dei Miracoli, a large, grassy square that's a pleasant &#x0D; place to relax. While you're there, visit the Baptistry, which contains a beautiful &#x0D; baptismal font and pulpit by Nicola Pisano; the Romanesque Cathedral di San &#x0D; Zeno, with its silver altar and figures by Brunelleschi; and the Camposanto &#x0D; Cemetery. All in white, the medieval buildings and the wall of the cemetery &#x0D; form a beautiful thematic whole. Stop at the 16th-century church and Palazzo &#x0D; dei Cavalieri, the piazza and the National Museum of San Matteo (excellent collection &#x0D; of 12th- through 15th-century art). And if you have time, visit Pisa's other &#x0D; leaning tower at the Church of San Michele degli Scalzi: Completed in the 13th &#x0D; century, this seldom-visited tower is worth a look, too. </p>&#x0D; <p>It's also fun just to walk around Pisa. The city is very compact, with many &#x0D; narrow streets and a great ambience. We suggest seeing it on a day trip from &#x0D; Florence, perhaps in combination with Lucca, just 13 mi/20 km northeast. Another &#x0D; possible stop is Pistoia, which has a cathedral and baptistery in the Pisan-Romanesque &#x0D; style and the Ceppo Hospital (L'Ospedale de Ceppo), which has a brightly painted &#x0D; and enameled terra-cotta frieze by Giovanni della Robbia. If you want to see &#x0D; Pisa and another town all in one day, get up very early.</p>&#x0D;
    Destination Guide
    Venice

    Venice

    With a great historic past and incomparable art treasures, Venice is renowned as one of the world’s great cities. Its 118 islands are separated by more than 150 canals and spanned by 400 bridges. During Venice's artistic golden age many magnificent structures were erected to create world-famous masterpieces. One of the best sightseeing routes is along Grand Canal, with many palaces lining the famous waterway. St. Mark’s Square offers access to some of Venice’s most famed attractions - St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. From Piazza San Marco, a maze of narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. A popular pastime is sitting at an outdoor café facing the square while people-watching and letting the whole marvelous scenario unfold. Venice’s Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands comprise an area famous as home of Venice’s glass-blowing industry and known for their charm, skilled lace-making and medieval monuments. Relax on a gondola ride, see art treasures in museums, churches and palaces, and have a sumptuous meal - all in this incomparable city.
    Destination Guide
    Assisi

    Assisi

    &#x0D; <p>Assisi is a well-preserved medieval town that's, after the Vatican, Italy's &#x0D; second most-popular religious-pilgrimage destination. Located high on a hilltop, &#x0D; it has an air of mystical serenity in keeping with its history. Assisi was the &#x0D; home of St. Francis (the founder of the Franciscan order of friars), and the &#x0D; churches and crypt that bear his name draw a steady stream of pilgrims and sightseers &#x0D; every year. Although the town was rocked by an earthquake in 1997, much of the &#x0D; damage has been repaired. One of the most severely damaged buildings, however, &#x0D; was the treasured Basilica of San Francesco, known for its vivid frescoes by &#x0D; Giotto that depict the life of the saint. The upper basilica has recently reopened &#x0D; and, though restoration continues, many of the beloved frescoes can be admired &#x0D; again. The lower basilica and St. Francis' tomb are also open to the public. &#x0D; </p>&#x0D; <p>Other places of interest include the Church of Santa Chiara, a medieval fortress &#x0D; (La Rocca Maggiore), the Piazza del Comune (the old town center) and St. Peter's &#x0D; church. Or just stroll the narrow, picturesque streets and listen to the musicians &#x0D; practicing nearby (though they may be drowned out by construction noises -- &#x0D; many buildings are still under renovation). </p>&#x0D; <p>You may want to visit during one of Assisi's numerous celebrations: the Feast &#x0D; of Calendimaggio, a five-day coming-of-spring festival with medieval costumes, &#x0D; dances and songs (around the first week of May); a month of folklore and musical &#x0D; events in August; or the Feast of St. Francis (4 October), which celebrates &#x0D; the saint's transition from this life into the next. During this two-day festival, &#x0D; the entire town is illuminated by oil lamps. If you are going to Assisi at one &#x0D; of these times, reserve accommodations well ahead of time -- the city will be &#x0D; filled with pilgrims. </p>&#x0D;
    Destination Guide
    Capri

    Capri

    Known as the "Island of Love" since the days of the Roman Empire, Capri offers stunning views, dozens of international cafes, fine Mediterranean restaurants and sophisticated resort shopping. Enjoy a boat trip around the coast to witness the hypnotic beauty of the Blue Grotto.&#x0D;
    Destination Guide
    Pompeii Destination Guide

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    Valid Date Ranges

    August 2023
    08/24/202309/03/2023$4,850 per person
    Prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability and change without notice. Prices reflect land only accommodations, airfare is additional. Blackout dates/seasonal supplements may apply. Itinerary and map subject to change. Tour prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Red Hot Deal (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space.
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