This tour has everything you've always wanted in a trip to Italy. Enjoy multiple-night stays in Rome, the Sorrento Coast, Florence, Venice, and Stresa in the Lakes District. Discover the treasures of Classical Rome, including the Colosseum. Walk in the footsteps of the ancient Romans in Pompeii. Take a boat to the enchanting Isle of Capri. See the gems of the Renaissance in Florence's Academy Gallery, including Michelangelo's David. Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and stroll the streets of Verona that were the backdrop for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Stop at a Tuscan winery and farm for a lunch of regional specialties and wines. You choose your tour in the “Jewel of the Adriatic,” Venice: a walking tour of St. Mark’s Square -OR- go ‘off the beaten path’ and explore the Castello Sestiere district. Visit Lugano, Switzerland, and cap off your journey through Italy with a cruise to Isola dei Pescatori, one of the scenic Borromean Islands.
- Itinerary Type : Standard
- Activity Level : 3
- Number of Days:13
- Number of Meals:17
- Hotels:Grand Hotel Baglioni (Florence), Hotel Bellini Venezia (Venice), Regina Palace Hotel (Stresa), Grand Hotel Palatino (Rome), Towers Hotel (Sorrento)
- Experiences:Get an in-depth tour of the famous Colosseum.
Relax on a scenic boat ride to the enchanting Isle of Capri.
Enjoy a boat trip to Murano Island for a glass-blowing demonstration.
- Must Sees:Visit the Academy Museum in Florence to see Michelangelo's famous statue of David.
Stroll the streets of Verona – the backdrop for Romeo and Juliet.
Enjoy the magic of the Italian lakes in the captivating resort town of Stresa.
- Culinaries:Visit a Tuscan winery and farm to enjoy lunch and sample the local wines.
Itinerary (12 days)
Rome, Italy - Tour Begins
Welcome to Rome. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a special welcome dinner featuring regional delicacies and Italian wines.
Rome - Classical Rome City Tour
A locally guided tour of Classical Rome will allow you to discover famous sights such as the Baths of Caracalla, the legendary Aventine and Palatine Hills, the ancient Circus Maximus, and the Arch of Constantine. During an in-depth visit to the Colosseum, your guide recounts its rich history. The catacombs, burial place of early Christians, the mythic Pantheon, and Piazza Navona are also featured.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Rome’s cultural treasures. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer suggestions. Perhaps a trip to Vatican City, with an optional tour to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, will be on your personal sightseeing list.
Rome - Pompeii - Sorrento Coast
Journey south toward the brilliant Bay of Naples where charming villages are built into hillsides above a sparkling blue sea. Soak in 2,000 years of history during your discovery of the excavated ruins of Pompeii. A local guide provides an in-depth view of this remarkably preserved archaeological site. Continue to the scenic resort town of Sorrento and take some time to explore the city independently. You may wish to visit the Duomo, a Romanesque cathedral with inlaid woodwork, a famous local Sorrento craft. End your day on the breathtaking Sorrento Coast.
Sorrento Coast - Isle of Capri - Sorrento Coast
A scenic boat ride* brings you to the enchanting Isle of Capri. Upon arrival, take a panoramic ride to the island’s highest town, Anacapri. Spend time in Capri town with its world-famous piazzetta and explore this island paradise of chic boutiques, lush vegetation and outdoor cafés before returning to the Sorrento Coast.
Sorrento Coast - Florence
Tuscany unfolds with its panorama of vineyards and olive groves. Florence, the “Cradle of the Italian Renaissance,” awaits and offers Italy's best art and architecture. Visit the Academy Gallery to see Michelangelo’s magnificent sculpture of David. Tonight, enjoy regional Italian cuisine at a local restaurant.
A locally guided tour highlights the Piazza del Duomo, with its Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and the famous Gates of Paradise on the Baptistery of St. John. You also view the magnificent Piazza della Signoria with its imposing Palazzo Vecchio.
Florence - Pisa - Venice
Visit the ancient maritime Republic of Pisa to discover the Piazza Dei Miracoli, the Duomo (Cathedral), and the famous Leaning Tower. A special stop is made at a Tuscan winery and farm to enjoy lunch and sample local wines and specialties. Next, cross the Apennine Mountains en route to Venice where 117 islands are connected by a latticework of 150 canals and 400 bridges.
Venice - Murano Island - Venice
Embark on a boat trip** to Murano Island for a glass-blowing demonstration. Then we make our way to St. Mark’s Square where it’s your choice! Join a local expert who will take you on a walking tour of this famous square to view the Basilica and visit the impressive Doge’s Palace along with the legendary Bridge of Sighs -OR- step off the beaten path and explore the Castello Sestiere district with a local expert; see for yourself how the locals live as you walk canal by canal through the narrow streets lined with churches and historic buildings. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Venice - Verona - Stresa
Depart Venice for Verona to stroll the streets that were the backdrop for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Arrive in the resort town of Stresa in the breathtaking Italian Lakes District, your home for the next two nights, and admire the beautiful views of Lago Maggiore.
Stresa - Lugano, Switzerland- Isola Dei Pescatori, Italy-Stresa
Today, cross into Switzerland and the picturesque lakeside resort of Lugano for magnificent views, excellent shopping and charming cafés. Tonight, we travel by boat to Isola dei Pescatori*** for a farewell dinner while surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Stresa - Tour Ends
Your Italian adventure comes to a close today.
Rome is the capital of modern Italy and the historical home of one of the great civilizations in history, the Roman Empire. The historical city was founded in 753 BC and has grown to a size of over 3 million inhabitants today. The city is home to major monuments like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and many more. The city was built on the seven ancient hills along the Tiber River. Today it is a collection of neighborhoods with vibrant shops, restaurants and museums just waiting to be explored.
The Colosseum is one of the most recognizable structures of the Roman Empire. The structure was built in the first century AD as a place of celebration for Gladiator games and public spectacles. Today the structure has been preserved and is an open air museum that highlights the architectural expertise of the ancient Romans. Visitors can see the details of the recently cleaned facade made of Travertine marble and view the internal structure of this “Wonder of the World.”
Ruins of Pompeii
The Roman city of Pompeii is located in the southern region of Campagnia, near Naples. The city was covered by volcanic material in 79AD and forgotten for centuries. When the city was excavated, archeologists found the city to be intact as it had been prior to the eruption. Today visitors walk on the original streets, complete with chariot ruts. The city was made up of a variety of different buildings, including theaters, homes, shops, thermal baths, and temples - all of which can be visited today. In addition everyday objects and precious artifacts have been preserved along with original mosaic and fresco decorations.
The rocky Sorrento Peninsula stretches into the Tyrrhenian Sea separating the Bay of Naples to the north from the Gulf of Salerno to the south. The north side of the peninsula is known as the Sorrento Coast, named after the largest city and tourist center, Sorrento. On the south of the peninsula is the famed Amalfi Coast. The Sorrento Coast is home to panoramic views of rock cliffs, small rocky beaches, and terraced gardens of olive and lemon trees.
Isle of Capri
The Isle of Capri is an island located in front of the Bay of Naples in southern Italy. The island is famous for its mild climate, stunning landscape and luxurious shopping. The small island is made up of four communities, Capri Town, AnaCapri, Marina Grande and Marina Piccolo. Each community has its own distinct character and offers panoramic views of gardens, mountains and the sea. The island is home to the original limoncello factory, botanical perfume makers and countless designer shops.
Florence is the regional capital of Tuscany and home to countless Renaissance masterpieces. The city developed great wealth during the late Middle Ages and was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance that produced great artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, Brunelleschi and many others. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with numerous museums, stunning architecture and charming piazzas. The city offers something for everyone from culture, to great food and excellent shopping (like their famous gold or leather).
Statue of David
The Statue of David by Michelangelo is one the most famous Renaissance sculptures in the world. The statue is housed in Florence’s Accademia Gallery along with other works by Michelangelo. The statue depicts the biblical hero David as a young man. It was commissioned at the turn of the 16th Century as part of a project for the Florence Cathedral, but it was instead placed in the public square. In the late 1800’s it was moved to its current home.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of four monuments built in Pisa’s “Field of Miracles.” The other monuments include Italy’s largest baptistry, a cemetery for Pisan Nobility, and the Cathedral. The famous leaning eight story high tower was built as the Cathedral’s bell tower. From the start the tower began to lean as it was built on unstable land. Visitors can admire the beauty of the Pisan Romanesque architecture and align a photo of themselves holding up the tower.
The Tuscany region is famous for its wines and home to numerous vineyards. The most important wine produced in Tuscany is the Chianti wine. Chianti wine can only be produced in a section the country that stretches from Florence to Siena in the heart of Tuscany. During a tour of a local winery, guests can learn about the wine making process from vine to bottle.
Venice is the regional capital of the Veneto region in the northeast section of Italy. Venice has a unique design like no other city, built on over a hundred different islands in the center of the Venetian Lagoon. Early Venetians built their city on the islands to escape barbarian invaders. The islands of the city are separated by numerous small canals and connected by hundreds of small bridges. The city is famous for its romantic gondola-filled canals and ornate palaces that line the Grand Canal. The famous glass factories of Venice are located on Murano Island. Today the Murano Islands are home to a dwindling number of glass factories, whose artists are producing handmade Murano Glass.
Choice on Tour
It's your choice! You may continue your exploration of Venice on foot with a local expert through St. Mark's Square to view the stunning Basilica and visit the impressive Doge's Palace and the legendary Bridge of Sighs or perhaps you'll choose to go 'off the beaten path' and experience the Castello Sestiere district as you walk by canals through the narrow streets of this very unique city.
Murano is located in northern Italy and houses important attractions such as, the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato, the chapel of the Ballarin family, and artworks by Giovanni Bellini. The island is primarily known for their history in glass production. It became Italy’s glass art capital in 1291. The community of glassblowers was relocated by the government to Murano. Glass making originally began in Venice; however, because the houses were made out of wood, the government deemed it too risky because of the kilns constantly going.
Verona is a charming city in northern Italy, built along the Adige River. The city is the setting of Shakespeare’s famous Romeo and Juliet. A small stone house in the city center is said to be the home of the fictional heroine. In the courtyard of the home, below a small balcony, is a bronze statue of Juliet that tourists pose with for a photo. The city is also home to a mix of beautiful buildings ranging from a Roman amphitheater to medieval palaces.
The famous town is located on Lake Maggiore in the Gulf of Borromeo, which is the main attraction for the town because it overlooks the eponymous islands. Visitors can travel via cable cars to get an aerial view of Stresa. Stresa has also been renowned for its culture and music. The history of Stresa officially appeared in documents in AD 998. In the 15th century it grew into a fishing community and then came under control of the Borromeo family. The town is home to about 5,000 inhabitants. In 1918, Ernest Hemingway visited Stresa, and he later made it the setting for part of his novel A Farewell to Arms.
This Swiss city is home to the largest Italian-speaking population outside of Italy, and a stunning lakeside resort. Here, you can soak in the magnificent views, wander the shops and cafés, or climb the winding road up the Brè-Aldesago Quarter to Monte Brè.