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ItalyItaly

Soft Mediterranean breezes rustle palms along the boardwalk of southern beaches. Fragrant olive and lemon groves dot the agricultural Piedmont. Cool mountain streams cascade in tumults off snow-covered Alps. Art, fashion, music and architecture flourish in the cities. Then, there's the food. You know what they say: "When in Rome...eat!"

Highlights

  1. Venice

    Gondolas on the Grand Canal, VeniceVenice, the capital of the northern Italian region, is built upon over 100 small islands surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. From the beautifully restored red-roofed buildings to romantic gondolas meandering through the well-known canals, Venice has captivated the hearts of travelers from around the world for centuries. This city is so unique that it does not even contain any roadways -- just canals! These canals, including the famous Grand Canal, are lined with numerous palaces. Additionally, Venice is home to world-known landmarks, such as Piazza San Marco, St. Mark's Basilica, the Campanile bell tower and more.

  2. Tuscany

    Vineyards in the Chianti regionLocated in central Italy, Tuscany is full of diverse and scenic landscapes, fine arts, delectable cuisine and world-renowned wines. Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is home to some of the famous works of art of Michelangelo, including his well-known "David" statue. Tuscany also encompasses the sprawling Appennine Mountains, the sandy beaches of Elba, and Chianti's olive groves and vineyards. Chianti is arguably Italy's most famous wine region, and the wines produced here are highly appreciated and savored throughout the globe. No matter where you travel in Tuscany, whether it be cycling along the rolling hills or sipping on a Chianti red, you'll be surrounded by beautiful culture and distinguishable scenery. 

  3. Vatican City

    St. Peter's Square, Vatican CityEstablished in 1929, Vatican City is a city-state encompassed by Rome and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican holds slightly more than 100 acres and is the smallest nation in the world. What Vatican City lacks in size, it makes up for in history, culture, and priceless relics. Many decorated chapels, intricate architecture, religious tombs, and iconic works of art are located in Vatican City, including one of the most well-known and most appreciated works of art by Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel. After undergoing a massive restoration, Pope John Paul inaugurated the magnificently detailed painted ceiling, giving visitors an opportunity to gaze upon the hand of God giving life to Adam as it must have looked when first painted. There is no end to the number of artistic treasures you’ll uncover during your visit to the Vatican, not least of which is another of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, La Pieta, which was carved from a single slab of marble and was the only work he ever signed.

  4. Michelangelo

    Michelangelo's Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel photo by Urek MeniashviliMichelangelo was a world-known Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet born in Florence during the Renaissance, and was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime (and is now considered one of the greatest artists of all time!). His works of art stand among the most famous ever, including the immaculate painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the statue of David, the dome of St. Peter's Basilica and the Pieta in Vatican City. Michelangelo was the first artist who was recognized for his work during his lifetime, and the first western artist who had a published biography while he was still alive. Before putting his art to life, Michelangelo would create sketches in preparation of his sculpture or painting. Today, there are almost 1,000 of these drawings still in existence, showcasing his creative process and development of his masterpieces. 

  5. Amalfi coast

    Beach in PositanoConsisting of 13 individual towns full of rocky cliffs, small beaches, aromatic lemon groves and colorful villages, the Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline sprawling over 30 miles along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. With over 5 million visitors per year, the towns that spread across this strip are declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. Each town showcases a picturesque Italian landscape, covered with rich vegetation and surrounded by the turquoise Mediterranean waters, but are all unique in their own ways. Amalfi, the town that gives its name to the coast, encompasses beautiful white houses and buildings, including the stunning Cathedral of St. Andrew. Aside from their elaborate cascading staircases, Positano is famously known for their handmade leather sandals and cotton and linen clothing. The oldest town on the Amalfi Coast is Scala, which is densely populated with chestnut trees and historical monuments. In addition to the gorgeous destinations along the coast, the drive on SS163 is an experience in itself, as it is popularly considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. 

  6. Rome

    Colosseum, RomeThe capital of Italy, Rome, is a bustling city encompassing thousands of years of world-renowned art, ancient ruins, and Italian culture. Founded in 753 BC by Romulus, Rome is home to the famous ruins of the Colosseum, an amphitheater that could hold over 50,000 spectators used for gladiator battles, plays based on classical mythologies, animal hunting and more. Additionally, you can also find the Roman Forum, a sweeping plaza that is surrounded by numerous ancient government buildings in the center of Rome. Other architecturally stunning masterpieces found in Rome include St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. There are over 900 churches and 250 fountains throughout Rome, one of the most popular being the Trevi Fountain. This fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. People travel from all over to toss coins in its waters to make a wish, and it is estimated that about 3,000 Euros are collected from the fountain daily, and all money is donated to a catholic charity, Caritas, that provides support for families in need in Rome.

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Italy? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Rome
Population:  60.8 million
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Languages: Italian
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: CET (UTC +1)

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least 90 days after your return date, though we strongly recommend at least six months. U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter Italy for stays up to 90 days. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

More information about passport, visa & entry requirements.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

Immunizations are not currently required for travel to Italy.  Please consult your doctor regarding any concerns or recommendations prior to departure. 

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

The best months to visit Italy are between mid April to the end of October with average temps between 70-80° F during the day and 50-60° F at night. Keep in mind that the months of July, August and part of September are hot, humid, and full of tourists. Bring a sweater for evenings all year-round. 

What to wear

Since weather can be unpredictable and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we suggest that you carry a small folding umbrella and take with you a light jacket or sweater.  If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs.  Packing to dress in layers is a great way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions.  Finally, remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel.

Money & Credit Cards

The official currency in Italy is the Euro. The hotels, some stores and some restaurants will be able to accept major credit cards.  However, smaller stores, souvenir places and some art galleries will accept cash only in local currency, Euro or U.S. dollars. ATMs are available in most major cities. We highly recommend that you bring enough cash to cover incidental expenses as well as tips to the guides and drivers. 

Credit cards are the most convenient way to pay for items you purchase as you travel. Be sure to call your credit card providers to let them know you will be traveling abroad, the places you’ll be visiting, and the dates of your trip. This is important for your own protection.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Italy is famous for its designer items such as Prada, Fendi, Gucci, and Armani. Try the designer outlets in the northern provinces outside Florence, Como, and Milan for great buys. Also look for antiques, clothes, wood carvings, lace and embroidery, violins, ceramics, silver and gold jewelry, wine, and shoes!

Como: silks
Spoleto, Rome: truffles
Florence, Rome, Milan: leather goods
Venice, Murano: glass
Vatican City: postage stamps and religious items

You will certainly have time for shopping, and the countries on this tour offer a great variety of goods to satisfy different tastes and price ranges. It is always a good idea to comparison-shop, and exercise the “buyer-beware” rule, just as you do at home. Be sure to inspect the merchandise before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.

Electricity & Power Adapters

230 volts. Plugs C, F & L. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are allowed almost everywhere in the countries visited on this tour, and in fact, you will want to take plenty of pictures of the magnificent panoramas you’ll encounter as you travel. Photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will also be readily available, especially in major cities.

Did you know?
  • Italy is the fifth most-visited country in the world, welcoming around 46 million  tourists per year, and it’s also the fifth most-populous European country.
  • There are over 140 types of pastas in Italy! Some of these pastas are only native to specific regions of the country.
  • The colors of the Italian flag (green, white, and red) have special meaning; Green represents hope, white represents faith, and red signals charity.
  • Europe’s three active volcanoes, Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius are all located in Italy.
  • Italy is home to the world’s oldest university, the University of Bologna founded in 1088.
  • Fashion is a staple in Italy, with some of the world’s most sought after designers, including Armani, Versace, and Prada, all originating from Italy.
  • Italians consume over 45 bottles of wine per year, per capita.

Tours & Packages

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3 matching packages
Value Vacation Discover the Adriatic: Croatia & Slovenia with Venice
The Adriatic region: Slovenia & Lake Bled to Croatia’s Split & Plitvice Lakes & more, plus the canals of Venice & Lake Wörth in the Austrian Alps
from $2999 w/ Flights from $2499 Tour Only 10 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Italian Treasures
The masterpieces of Italy: the canal city of Venice, the opulent art of Florence, the wine and cuisine of Tuscany, and the history—both modern and ancient—of Rome, with first-class hotels throughout
from $4599 w/ Flights from $3999 Tour Only 10 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Italian Treasures & Sorrento
Italian masterpieces come alive: from the canals of Venice and Florence's art & architecture to the wine of Tuscany, the history of Rome, and the stunning Amalfi coast. First-class hotels throughout
from $5799 w/ Flights from $5199 Tour Only 13 days
per person, double occupancy*

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