You’ve heard about Italy—its magnificent architecture, majestic cathedrals, ancient ruins, world-class art, sumptuous cuisine and wine, and relaxing cafés—and now it is your turn to experience it. On this Italy tour, explore its most famous cities and discover its unique sights as you overnight in Rome, Siena, Montecatini, and the Venice area.
This Italy tour offers you the opportunity to step back in time. Imagine what life was like 2,000 years ago when you visit Rome’s Colosseum, the amphitheater used for deadly gladiatorial contests, and Roman Forum, the political, social, and commercial center during the Roman Empire. Imagine life during the Middle Ages as you explore San Gimignano’s medieval squares, town walls, streets, alleyways, and 14 towers still standing from the Middle Ages. Visit Florence, the Renaissance gem, where your walking tour features most of the city’s highlights, including the beautiful Piazza Signoria, the center of Florence’s social and political life since the 14th century.
On this Italy tour, you’ll discover some of its magnificent cathedrals. In Orvieto, the Cathedral is a masterpiece and a great example of gothic architecture in Italy. In Assisi, where St. Francis was born, visit the world-famous Romanesque and gothic Basilica, where the saint is buried. See Pisa’s Square of Miracles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose three precious structures—the Leaning Tower, Cathedral, and Baptistry—have been considered central to religious life.
You’ll also enjoy a wine tasting in Greve, the capital of Chianti, and an orientation in Venice including a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square, Venice’s most popular square. Witness Venetian glassblowers create works of art just as they did centuries ago and spend some free time admiring the crisscrossing canals, the pretty gondolas passing under the arched bridges, the palaces and the quaint piazzas.
All of this and more—including scenic drives—are included on this fabulous Italy vacation designed for the value-minded traveler!
Destinations & Sightseeing
Visits to Orvieto Cathedral, Siena, San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti with wine tasting, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice, Assisi's St. Francis Basilica. Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence; professional Tour Director while touring
December 21 Departure – Christmas lunch in Florence
December 30 Departure - New Year's Eve in Rome
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal transfer boat in Venice
Arrive in Rome, Italy. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this ancient capital. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Rome. Rome, the “Eternal City,” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and the mighty COLOSSEUM to understand more about life in ancient Roman times. In the evening, you have a chance to join an optional Rome by Night excursion. (B)
Rome–Orvieto–Siena. Journey to charming Orvieto in the Umbria region to visit its black basalt and yellow limestone CATHEDRAL, an excellent example of Italian Gothic architecture. Reach Siena, with time to visit this jewel of Tuscany. Sit in one of the cafés surrounding the Piazza del Campo and admire one of Italy’s most unique squares, famed all over the world for its medieval-style Palio horse race. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Siena–San Gimignano–Greve–Montecatini. Arrive in San Gimignano and discover one of Tuscany’s greatest attractions. Its medieval squares, town walls, streets, alleyways, and 14 towers make it unique. Next, head into the very heart of the Chianti vineyards; watch out for names such as Castellina in Chianti, Badia, Gaiole, and Brolio, where Chianti Classico wines are produced. Stop in Greve for some WINE TASTING at the Vicchiomaggio wine estate. Arrive in Montecatini in time to join the optional Tuscan dinner outing. (B)
Montecatini–Excursion to Florence. This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled the entire day. Wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” (B,D)
Montecatini–Pisa–Venice Area. This morning, drive to Pisa to see its SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and no less than 16 feet out of the perpendicular. Head across the wooded Apennine hills into the farmlands of the Po Valley to the Venice area. (B)
Venice Area. Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and quiet piazzas. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)
Venice Area–Assisi–Rome. Travel across the Po Delta, then into the green Apennines to Umbria. Stop in medieval Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome. (B)
Rome. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
ROME Fleming (ST)
SIENA Degli Ulivi (F)
MONTECATINI Settentrionale Esplanade (F)
VENICE AREA Poppi (ST) at Mira or Holiday Inn (ST) at Marghera
ROME Holiday Inn Parco dei Medici (F) or Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (ST)
Dates & Price
01 Oct to 09 Oct - US$ 1599