Incredible Italy

Venice, Florence, Rome & Cinque Terre plus Amalfi Coast optional extension

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Overview

Style Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departs Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), Logan (BOS), New York: JFK or EWR (NYC); other gateways on request (flight schedule)
Highlights Venice, Florence, Rome. Accademia, St Mark's Basilica, the Colosseum, & St. Peter's Square. Optional Sorrento extension
Included in the Price
  • Round trip flights from Newark or JFK, including fuel surcharges, and taxes and fees.
  • 8 nights first class accommodations
  • 13 bountiful meals, including 8 buffet breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Wine, mineral water and coffee/cappuccino at all lunches and dinners
  • Balsamic vinegar tasting and wine tasting
  • All transfers and ground transportation
  • Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
  • HEAR CLEAR headphones for enhanced sightseeing throughout
  • Professional English-speaking tour manager throughout, with local guides in major cities
What to Expect This moderately-paced, escorted tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.

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Testimonials

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The hotel was lovely and I cannot say enough good things about our tour. The guide, Massimo was outstanding—possibly the best we’ve ever had. He was the perfect combination of organization skills/humor/local info/and other colorful tidbits. He was half sick the whole two weeks with a cold, but you would have never known it by his commitment and energy level. Another fantastic Friendly Planet trip!

Betty Wacker

Dates, Prices & Options

Sorry, there are no currently available tour dates.

Itinerary

Incredible Italy tour itinerary Indulge in la dolce vita on a fabulous 10-day tour package to Italy. Our tour takes you to the Italian classics—Venice, Florence & Rome. Learn about how Italy's history, culture, religion and art have helped shape the world as we know it today. Everything you need to explore these classical treasures is in our Italy tour package, including convenient flights, great hotels in the heart of each city, comprehensive sightseeing programs, and many meals. If you are interested in tracing the roots of our Western civilization, including the religious and artistic heritage that defines our modern culture, you won't find a better and more attractive opportunity anywhere.

Want even more? Extend your stay to Sorrento on the Amalfi coast. But don't wait too long. At these prices, our Incredible Italy tour is sure to sell out quickly.


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA. Your fascinating journey begins as you depart New York this evening on your overnight flight bound for Venice, Italy.

Santa Maria della Salute Basilica Day 2: Venice. Welcome to Venice, the "Queen of the Adriatic." After customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel for check-in. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore independently one of the most popular and unique cities in the world. You do not need to wander far in any direction to discover the beauty of Venice. At virtually every turn, you'll encounter winding streets and canals, ancient palaces and piazzas, or a gondola sailing by on the torch-lit waterfront. The city is also home to an abundance of world-famous museums and impressive art collections. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner in a popular restaurant. Accommodations: Carlton & Grand Canal Hotel or similar. Dinner provided.

Day 3: Venice. This morning's half-day guided walking tour will take you to one of Venice's most stunning treasures, St. Mark's Basilica. Combining Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic styles, this cathedral is not only an impressive architectural accomplishment; it is also a testament to Venice's historical role as a bridge between East and West. See the Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs and Piombi Prison.

Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to explore independently, shop or relax. Breakfast provided.

Day 4: Venice, Padua, Modena, & Florence. After breakfast, depart Venice and travel via motor coach to Padua to visit the Basilica of St. Anthony, and see the large bronze works of Donatello. From here, enjoy a scenic drive to Modena, where you’ll be treated to a special tasting session of the famous balsamic vinegar followed by lunch featuring local specialties and Lambrusco wine. The area is also famous for the Ferrari sports cars which are manufactured in the nearby town of Maranello. After lunch, continue to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. After checking in at your hotel, the balance of the day is at leisure to explore what is often regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and check in at your centrally located hotel. Accommodations: Hotel Rivoli, Hotel Adriatico or similar. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Florence Day 5: Florence. After breakfast this morning, begin your sightseeing walking tour of Florence. A local expert will guide you on a leisurely walking tour of the city's highlights: Start in Michelangelo Square for a panoramic view of the city. Continue to the Accademia of Fine Arts to see the original statue of David by Michelangelo. In the Piazza del Duomo, see Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery and the “Gates of Paradise by Ghiberti. Stroll Signoria Square and visit Santa Croce Church. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Florence. This evening, enjoy a festive dinner with wine and music at a charming villa located on a beautiful Tuscan hillside outside Florence. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Manarola, Cinque Terre Day 6: Florence & Cinque Terre. Today enjoy a full day excursion to Cinque Terre, "The Five Lands", a group of five charming villages perched along the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. A national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cinque Terre is one of the best preserved regions of the Mediterranean coast, where for over a thousand years people have cultivated olive groves and vineyards along the steep hillsides and fished the crystal blue waters, in much the same way they do now. You'll feel transported to a different era as you walk the narrow cobblestone streets. Explore the must-see sights of this fascinating area from both land and sea, with a combination of easy walks, train rides and short boat trips. Return to Florence for overnight. Breakfast provided.

Day 7: Florence, Magione, Assisi & Rome. After breakfast this morning, drive through the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, passing by the shores of Lake Trasimeno. Stop at the Magione Castle, which dates back to 1150-70 A.D., and is presently the private residence of the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta. The castle is surrounded by a working farm partly devoted to vineyards and an olive grove. Enter the castle cellar, with its 15th century walls and vaults which house thermo-conditioned stainless steel basins as well as barriques (oak barrels) which preserve a superior quality of red wines. Enjoy a lecture by a wine expert on the making of wines in the castle followed by a delicious wine tasting of the varieties produced at the castle. Drive to nearby mystical town Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stopping for lunch in a local restaurant. Tour the Basilica of St. Frances, which houses some of the masterpieces of Cimabue and Giotto. Continue to Rome, arriving in the late afternoon. Accommodations: Visconti Palace Hotel or similar. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Day 8: Rome. Enjoy a free day in the Eternal City, filled with monuments, fountains, antiquities and more. Discover the ancient and modern in the cosmopolitan city of Rome. In the evening, there will be many local trattorias to choose from. After dinner, explore the exciting Roman Dolce Via and nightlife. Breakfast provided.

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City Day 9: Rome & Vatican City. After breakfast this morning, transfer to the Vatican for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, and that most famous of religious and artistic treasures, the Sistine Chapel, with its unique ceiling painted by Michelangelo and wall frescoes created, among others, by Perugino and Botticelli. Visit St. Peter's Square with its colonnade designed by Bernini, and St. Peter's Basilica the largest church in the Christian world, built over the tomb of St. Peter. Proceed to the Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum, where gladiators fought to the death before audiences of thousands. You'll also visit the Forum, political heart of the Roman Empire and site of some of history's greatest events, and Palatine Hill, home to Rome's aristocratic residences and palaces for centuries. See the Arch of Constantine, the Circus Maximus, the Great Synagogue, Isola Tiberina and Castel Sant’Angelo. Tonight, there will be a special farewell dinner with wine in a lovely Roman restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Roman soldiers Day 10: Rome/USA. Your memorable Italian journey ends today as you say arrivederci Italia and transfer to the airport for your return flight. Arrive in the USA later today. Or better yet, continue your exploration of Italy on our optional extension to Sorrento. Breakfast provided.


Amalfi Coast Optional Extension

Why not take advantage of your included international airfare, and extend your stay in Italy with a visit to the Sunbelt of Italy: Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. You will return to the USA 3 days later than the dates listed.

Sorrento coast Day 10: Rome, Pompeii & Sorrento. This morning, drive south along the Highway of the Sun to Naples, for an orientation drive past the Via Caracciolo (the seafront promenade), the San Carlo Opera House, Santa Lucia and the Angevin Castle. Tour Pompeii, the ancient city covered by volcanic lava and ash more than 2000 years ago. See the remarkably preserved ruins of temples, houses, gardens and public buildings. Continue along the spectacular coastal road around the Bay of Naples to Sorrento, your home for the next 3 nights, famous for its orange and lemon groves. Dinner tonight will be at your hotel. Accommodations: Grand Hotel La Pace or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Villa Fufolo Garden, Ravello Day 11: Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi & Ravello. This morning, depart for Positano, stopping at the Belvedere for a unique view of the Moorish architecture blended with pastel colored houses. Descend to the town by minibus, past the elegant boutiques and craft stores to visit the charming town center. Weather permitting, board a motor-launch and cruise along the coast to Amalfi. (During inclement weather, drive by motor-coach). Upon arrival, there will be a walking tour of Amalfi’s old town which highlights its powerful 11th century maritime republic history. Continue to Ravello. Enjoy lunch while taking in the spectacular view of the Amalfi coast and the Bay of Salerno. After lunch, enjoy some free time to stroll, buy souvenirs or enjoy a gelato, or even visit Villa Rufolo whose tropical gardens inspired Wagner’s opera “Parsifal”. Return to Sorrento. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Floral Gardens of Caesar Augustus Day 12: Sorrento & Capri. This morning, a jetfoil will whisk you across the blue Bay of Naples to the fabled Isle of Capri. Ascend to the Piazzetta, the town center, and visit the Floral Gardens of Caesar Augustus. There will be some free time for shopping and lunch, before returning to Sorrento. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in a trendy local restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 13: Sorrento/USA. Transfer to the airport in Naples for your return flight to the USA. Arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.

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