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Insight Vacations Italian Elegance (Summer 2017) (E923)

13 Days from Rome to Venice Print
Tour Style: Country Roads Tour
Europe & Britain 2017/18
Visits: Italy

Experience the epitome of picture-postcard Italy's historic cities, exquisite resorts, rustic towns and idyllic fishing villages. Insight Inclusive tours now include all evening meals and sightseeing experiences.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: Enjoy a private guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Florence: During your guided walking tour, see the Cathedral, belltower, ‘Gates of Paradise' on the Baptistery and visit Signoria Square. Witness a leather-work demonstration.
  • Italian Lakes: Join us in the social ritual of ‘La Passeggiata'.
  • Verona: See the well preserved Roman Arena and stand beneath Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
  • Venice: Cruise to St. Mark's Square by private launch. See St. Mark's Basilica, bell tower, clock tower, Doges' Palace and Bridge of Sighs.
  • Scenic Drives: Tuscan Hills, Apennines, Dolomites, Italian Lake District.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • San Gimignano: Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan ice-cream parlour of World Champion gelato Maestro, Sergio Dondoli for a taste of his finest frozen treats.
  • Tuscany: In the Tuscan countryside, where deep-green cypress trees pierce blue skies and olive groves hug the rolling hillsides, taste the wines of an eminent estate.
  • Rome: Enjoy an exclusive Signature Evening inside the Vatican after it closes to the public. What better way to toast your tour than in true VIP style?
  • Lucca: Sample 'Buccellato', the sweet raisin bread typical of the region.
  • Lake Maggiore: Choose from a selection of restaurants during your Dine-Around evening.
  • Venice: Enjoy a Venetian Celebration Dinner with wine in a restaurant in the heart of this historic city.
  • 11 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE), 2 three-course table d’hôte Dinner (DW), 3 Restaurant Dinner (RD, 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 Freestyle Evening (FSD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Rome: Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Lake Maggiore: Visit the palace and gardens on the beautiful island of Isola Bella.
  • Rome: Visit the Colosseum, still echoing with the thronging crowds and ghostly cries of gladiatorial combat.
  • Siena: Explore medieval Siena with a Local Expert and visit the cathedral.
  • Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo's monumental statue, David, in the Accademia Gallery, while an art expert explains the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
  • Cinque Terre: Explore two of the idyllic villages of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Portofino: Cruise from Santa Margherita and get a taste of the sweet life in this elegant fishing village.
  • The Dolomites: Experience a thrilling cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks.
  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces where the likes of Casanova would have come calling.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Tuscany: The Signature Borgo San Luigi is a restored 17th century country palazzo, once owned by the Duchy of Tuscany, offering high-quality service in a peaceful, relaxed setting in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.
  • Cortina d'Ampezzo: Encircled by the beautiful Dolomite Alps, Cortina's delightful Hotel Ancora is built in the characteristic Ampezzano style with wooden balconies and intricately carved and painted interior details.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

Day: 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day: 2 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome
On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, your airport transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. In this unique city, ancient monuments happily co-exist with some 900 churches, fine palaces, bustling piazzas, green parks and a vast urban sprawl. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, a fun evening of pizza and wine.(WD)
Day: 3 Rome with Private Vatican Dinner
In the morning enjoy the very best of the city's highlights including a tour of the magnificent St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican with our Local Expert. Head to the Colosseum where we embark on an included sightseeing tour to learn about the city's ancient past. Then, you are fast-tracked through our special VIP entrance of the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and enter the Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo's masterpiece on its ceiling. After the museums close their doors to the public, our tour culminates with a special invitation from a curator of the Ethnological Museum to share their immense knowledge of the collection. Dine in the Vatican in refined elegance among its priceless treasures at a private VIP Signature Evening.(BB / SE)
Day: 4 Renaissance Florence and on to Monteriggioni
Take the autostrada north to Renaissance Florence. Accompanied by an art expert, venture inside the famous Accademia Gallery to admire Michelangelo's original statue, David. Back outside, see the cathedral, campanile and the baptistery, adorned with the ‘Gates of Paradise'. Walk on to Signoria Square with its open-air gallery of Renaissance sculpture. There is time to shop for Florentine leather or gold before continuing to your elegant Tuscan villa near the walled town of Monteriggioni. After spending two days in the metropolis of Rome, your villa resort will be a welcome retreat. Rest in the shade of the lush, verdant gardens, take a swim in the pool, or participate in a variety of leisure activities.(BB / DW)
Day: 5 Gelato in San Gimignano and Siena
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, visit hilltop San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers that scrape the azure Tuscan sky. Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan ice-cream parlour of world champion gelato maestro, Sergio Dondoli, for a taste of his finest frozen treats. On route back to your hotel, stop at a local winery to sample some of the robust red wines of Tuscany and learn about their origins. Continue on to medieval Siena, where narrow cobbled streets lined with palaces and patrician mansions, lead to Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horse race. With your Local Expert, visit the beautiful-striped cathedral before enjoying dinner.(BB / RD)
Day: 6 The Chianti Hills to Pisa, Lucca and Santa Margherita
Drive through the patchwork of vines, olives and cypresses that typify the Chianti hills. Head for Pisa and see the incredible Leaning Tower, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. See also the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble, before continuing to the delightful town of Lucca. At a traditional steam bakery, taste the history in the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread. Continue along the coast to the pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.(BB / DW)
Day: 7 The Cinque Terre
Head for the port of La Spezia and a highlight of your tour, the Cinque Terre. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat. Spend some time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, you may wish to make the most of the hotel’s private beach before for dining at a local restaurant for dinner.(BB / RD)
Day: 8 Portofino and onto Lake Maggiore
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, should weather permit, cruise along the rugged Ligurian coast to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, epitome of La Dolce Vita. Admire the coloured houses, browse the boutiques, stay a while in the café bars on the piazzetta and watch the yachts moored in the harbour. Next, return to the mainland and head north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with luxuriant subtropical vegetation. Take a private boat over to Isola Bella, one of the largest and most famous of the Borromean Islands. Enjoy a guided tour, with a Local Expert of the incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens (weather dependent). In the evening, choose from a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.(BB / DA)
Day: 9 Fair Verona and into the Dolomites to Cortina d’Ampezzo
Drive to the town of Verona, legendary home of Romeo and Juliet. Enjoy free time to admire the well-preserved Roman Arena and Juliet's Balcony. Continue through the rose-coloured peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites, some of the most spectacular and dramatic scenery that Europe has to offer, to the mountain resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo. Your hotel is located right across from the church tower.(BB / DW)
Day: 10 Experience the Dolomites
(Relaxed Start) Explore the colourful peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites – one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the Alps. Your full-day of discovery includes a thrilling cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking 360 degree views. Later, your Freestyle Evening offers you the ultimate in dining choices.(BB / FSD)
Day: 11 Venice, Queen of the Adriatic
(Relaxed Start) Descend through the mountains to the romantic city of Venice. A private launch ferries you past canals lined with ornate palaces to St. Mark's Square. See the basilica, the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs. Visit a Venetian Arts centre to learn about hand-crafted glass, gondolas and lace, before checking into your intimate luxurious hotel, which is only steps away from St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge.(BB / RD)
Day: 12 Venice at Leisure
(Relaxed Start) Your final day is free to enjoy the magical atmosphere of this incredible city at your own pace. Mingle with the locals at the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge and explore the back lanes and squares. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. In the evening, celebrate your tour finalé with good food, good wine and good company in a magical setting.(BB / CD)
Day: 13 Arrivederci Venice
Bid farewell to Bella Italia and your new-found friends. Your departure transfer arrives Venice Airport at 08:00 & 09:30.(BB)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare, Triple

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Insight Tour Dates


Guaranteed Departure  indicates Guaranteed Departure
*Air(USA) DepartsInsight RetailRequest Quote
Guaranteed Departure 07/06/2017 $4,375.00
Guaranteed Departure 07/20/2017 $4,225.00
Guaranteed Departure 07/27/2017 $4,225.00
Guaranteed Departure 08/24/2017 $4,325.00
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