With its magnificent architecture, beautiful landscapes, sumptuous cuisine, ancient ruins, and brilliant art, Italy is a country like no other. On this affordable Italy’s Best tour, you’ll experience all of this and more.One of the tour’s highlights is the excursion to the Cinque Terre – five medieval seaside villages. The area is noted for its natural beauty with terraces built into the mountainside on cliffs that drop down into the sea. Delight in the unique charm of the area and take in the breathtaking views. On your journey through Tuscany, watch the undulating hills, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages. More breathtaking scenery awaits at Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s largest lakes. Located on the edge of the Swiss Alps, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak in the beauty. From here, you’ll even take an excursion to Lugano, a lake-side town in Switzerland. In southern Italy, witness breathtaking views of the crystal-clear, blue sea in the relaxing town of Sorrento, and take a day trip to Capri where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves.History comes alive on this Italy tour. Visit Pompeii, which was completely buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. This preserved archaeological site gives you an amazingly detailed insight into ordinary life at the peak of the Roman Empire. In Rome, during the city sightseeing tour with a local guide, you’ll see the main sights, as well as Vatican City with St Peter’s Basilica. In Genoa, boasting Europe’s largest medieval historical center, see the remains of the city’s 17th-century fortifications. Visit St Francis’ Basilica in Assisi, a medieval town set in the Umbrian hills. Guided city sightseeing tours are planned in Rome, Florence, Assisi and Genoa. Your visit to Venice includes a boat trip to St Mark’s square to see the maze of canals forming this unique romantic city.These are just some of the many highlights of this affordable tour through Italy!
Day 1 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
Day 2 ROME.
The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Other highlights are the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built, and Circus Maximus. An optional visit is available to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo’s fresco The Last Judgment Breakfast
Day 3 ROME–PISA–MONTECATINI.
Vistas of rolling hills, rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Stop in Pisa, and take a mini-train ride to see the SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower. Arrive in Montecatini.
Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km Breakfast
Day 4 MONTECATINI. EXCURSION TO FLORENCE.
Today, enjoy an included excursion to Florence. Your Local Guide will show you the city highlights on the walking tour. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard and Loggia dei Lanzi. To top it all, see Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Doors of the Baptistry, known as the “Gates of Paradise".
Today’s Distance: 81 mi/ 130 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 5 MONTECATINI–LA SPEZIA–CINQUE TERRE–GENOA.
Travel towards La Spezia, where you’ll hop aboard the train to discover some of the five spectacular CINQUE TERRE villages. The beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired poet Lord Byron. From Levanto, head towards Genoa, birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus.
Today’s Distance: 186 mi/ 300 km Breakfast
Day 6 GENOA–MILAN–LAKE MAGGIORE.
Today’s included guided tour is an excellent introduction to Genoa. A maze of squares and alleys, the city grew around the port, a natural inlet, and boasts the largest medieval historical center in Europe. Next, head north into the plains of Lombardy, and stop in Milan to marvel at its magnificent gothic DUOMO. Then, continue to Baveno on Lake Maggiore.
Today’s Distance: 155 mi/ 250 km Breakfast
Day 7 LAKE MAGGIORE. EXCURSION TO LUGANO, SWITZERLAND.
Time to relax and get to know Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s largest lakes, located on the very edge of Alpine Switzerland. On clear days, you can see the peaks of the Alps. Take advantage of the included excursion to visit Lugano in Italian-speaking Swiss Canton Ticino.
Today’s Distance: 124 mi/ 200 km Breakfast
Day 8 LAKE MAGGIORE–VERONA–VENICE AREA.
Travel across the Po River plain, and stop in the romantic city of Verona for some time at leisure, marveling at the Roman Arena, shopping, or tasting some of the excellent local wines. Continue to the Venice area.
Today’s Distance: 236 mi/ 380 km Breakfast
Day 9 VENICE.
Venice is more like a romantic film set than a real-life city, with its crisscrossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and 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 Breakfast Dinner
Day 10 VENICE AREA–RAVENNA–ASSISI–ASSISI AREA.
Enjoy an interesting drive southward right across the Po Delta to Ravenna, renowned for its treasure of Byzantine mosaics, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Continue to Assisi, enclosed by ramparts and little changed since the Middle Ages. This is the town of the deeply mystical and poetic St. Francis. See the BASILICA OF ST. FRANCIS with its famous frescoes by Giotto, with history brought to life by a Local Guide. Overnight in the beautiful area of Assisi, in the heart of Umbria.
Today’s Distance: 249 mi/ 400 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 11 ASSISI AREA–POMPEII–SORRENTO COAST.
Travel to POMPEII, where time stopped for the rich, aristocratic town with the terrible eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. On the included guided visit, see the remains of luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Carry on to Sorrento, set on a plateau above the waters of the Bay of Naples. Wander the winding streets lined with shops and stalls, and sit with a glass of wine, absorbing the easy-going lifestyle of this charming resort.
Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km Breakfast
Day 12 SORRENTO AREA. BOAT TRIP TO CAPRI.
Enjoy a day trip to the legendary island, surrounded by a rocky coastline where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves. The town with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and cozy restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set. Explore on your own or take an optional island tour Breakfast Dinner
Day 13 SORRENTO COAST–ROME.
Today, enjoy time at leisure or visit Positano on our exciting optional excursion, before returning to Rome.
Today’s Distance: 168 mi/ 270 km Breakfast
Day 14 ROME.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.