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Best of Italy

Duration 11 days

Destinations visited :
  • Italy
    ,

Explore the best of Italy on this 11-day guided tour. In Rome, skip the lines for 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.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Rome the Eternal City.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for the your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director at 17:30 for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.
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 lines 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.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

Renaissance 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.
Hotel: Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
Meal: Breakfast,Afternoon Tea,Dinner with Wine

DAY 4

Florence Sightseeing.
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 leatherwork, there’s free time to shop or venture on your own.
Hotel: Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 5

Pisa to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
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.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 6

Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
In the morning, visit an arts centre on Giudecca Island will allow you to admire the age-old skill of glassblowing by skilled artisans. After, board a traditional gondola for a serenade along the romantic canals. In the afternoon, your private boat 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.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 7

Into the Hills of Umbria to 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.
Hotel: Hotel Giotto Assisi.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 8

Sorrento on the coast.
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.
Hotel: Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 9

Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
In the morning, cruise to the Isle of Capri. Under the Mediterranean sun, take one of the island’s iconic open-top taxis 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 on a funicular ride 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.
Hotel: Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 10

Pompeii, frozen in time and onto 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.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 11

Arrivederci Rome.
Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 07:00 and 09:30. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Tuscany: Taste locally-made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli’s home. Visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the office where he wrote ‘The Prince.’
  • Sorrento: Enjoy a glorious Celebration Dinner of fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine.
  • Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Rome: Sightsee the local way with a leisurely passeggiata through the backstreets, where a friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
  • Vatican City: Gain VIP fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and enjoy a special private viewing of the Bramante Staircase before admiring the genius of Michelangelo’s painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. You’ll also visit St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Florence: Gain a fascinating insight into the work of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.
  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing while watching artisans create delicate works of art.

Stay in Style

  • Assisi: Hotel Giotto Assisi is located in the centre of the medieval village of Assisi with beautiful views over the Umbrian countryside. Guest rooms are decorated in local Umbrian style.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
  • Florence: Enjoy panoramic views over of the city and see the Florence Cathedral. During your guided walking orientation, see the bell tower, Gates of Paradise on the baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria.
  • Florence: Witness a leather-work demonstration and visit the area around Piazza Santa Croce, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
  • Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated baptistery.
  • 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: Enjoy a traditional gondola serenade along the romantic canals.
  • Assisi: With your Local Expert, visit this hill-town with its stone-built structures. See Mount Subasio and the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
  • Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe with a Local Expert.
  • Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
  • Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
  • Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, 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.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • 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.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • 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.
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Sat 14 May 2022 Tue 24 May 2022 £3,275
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Sat 28 May 2022 Tue 07 Jun 2022 £3,250
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Thu 21 Jul 2022 Sun 31 Jul 2022 £3,075
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Sat 13 Aug 2022 Tue 23 Aug 2022 £3,075
Thu 18 Aug 2022 Sun 28 Aug 2022 £3,075
Sat 27 Aug 2022 Tue 06 Sep 2022 £3,150
Thu 01 Sep 2022 Sun 11 Sep 2022 £3,275
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Thu 04 May 2023 Sun 14 May 2023 £3,175
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Thu 11 May 2023 Sun 21 May 2023 £3,695
Sat 13 May 2023 Tue 23 May 2023 £3,275
Thu 18 May 2023 Sun 28 May 2023 £3,275
Sat 20 May 2023 Tue 30 May 2023 £3,275
Thu 25 May 2023 Sun 04 Jun 2023 £3,695
Sat 27 May 2023 Tue 06 Jun 2023 £3,250
Thu 01 Jun 2023 Sun 11 Jun 2023 £3,250
Sat 03 Jun 2023 Tue 13 Jun 2023 £3,250
Thu 08 Jun 2023 Sun 18 Jun 2023 £3,675
Sat 10 Jun 2023 Tue 20 Jun 2023 £3,250
Thu 15 Jun 2023 Sun 25 Jun 2023 £3,250
Sat 17 Jun 2023 Tue 27 Jun 2023 £3,250
Thu 22 Jun 2023 Sun 02 Jul 2023 £3,250
Sat 24 Jun 2023 Tue 04 Jul 2023 £3,250
Thu 29 Jun 2023 Sun 09 Jul 2023 £3,650
Sat 01 Jul 2023 Tue 11 Jul 2023 £3,250
Thu 06 Jul 2023 Sun 16 Jul 2023 £3,250
Thu 13 Jul 2023 Sun 23 Jul 2023 £3,575
Sat 15 Jul 2023 Tue 25 Jul 2023 £3,175
Thu 20 Jul 2023 Sun 30 Jul 2023 £3,075
Thu 27 Jul 2023 Sun 06 Aug 2023 £3,075
Sat 29 Jul 2023 Tue 08 Aug 2023 £3,075
Thu 03 Aug 2023 Sun 13 Aug 2023 £3,425
Thu 10 Aug 2023 Sun 20 Aug 2023 £3,075
Sat 12 Aug 2023 Tue 22 Aug 2023 £3,075
Thu 17 Aug 2023 Sun 27 Aug 2023 £3,075
Thu 24 Aug 2023 Sun 03 Sep 2023 £3,495
Sat 26 Aug 2023 Tue 05 Sep 2023 £3,150
Thu 31 Aug 2023 Sun 10 Sep 2023 £3,275
Sat 02 Sep 2023 Tue 12 Sep 2023 £3,275
Thu 07 Sep 2023 Sun 17 Sep 2023 £3,275
Sat 09 Sep 2023 Tue 19 Sep 2023 £3,275
Thu 14 Sep 2023 Sun 24 Sep 2023 £3,675
Sat 16 Sep 2023 Tue 26 Sep 2023 £3,275
Thu 21 Sep 2023 Sun 01 Oct 2023 £3,275
Sat 23 Sep 2023 Tue 03 Oct 2023 £3,275
Sat 30 Sep 2023 Tue 10 Oct 2023 £3,250

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Best of Italy

Explore the best of Italy on this 11-day guided tour. In Rome, skip the lines for 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.