Day 1 - Depart USA
Board your overnight flight (not included).
Day 2 to Day 3 - Papal and Imperial Rome
Welcome to Rome - not only the modern capital of Italy but also a spectacular encyclopedia of living history! You are met on arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30 transfers depart for your hotel. Early evening, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, drinks and a light informal meal. In the morning you are joined by a resident expert who guides you through the art collection of the Vatican Museums culminating beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. More of Michelangelo’s genius is on display next door in St Peter’s Basilica. Now cross the Tiber to over look the Roman Forum and visit the Colosseum, scene of bloody contests, wild beasts and Gladiators. Rome is now yours to discover at your own pace. (Welcome Reception / Buffet Breakfast)
Day 4 - Pisa and Santa Margherita Ligure
Drive northwards today through the Tuscan hills. En route, there is a wine tasting and informative talk about the Chianti wines that make this region so famous. Then cross the Arno river to Pisa. Celebrated for its incredible leaning tower, Pisa also boasts a beautiful cathedral and baptistry. Continue along the coast, through tunnels and mountains that plunge dramatically into the sparkling sea. Your destination is the charming seaside resort of Santa Margherita. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 5 - Portofino and the Elegant Italian Lakes
Enjoy a short cruise (weather permitting) along the Ligurian coast to the exclusive and elegant village of Portofino, epitome of La Dolce Vita. Admire the gaily-coloured houses, browse the boutiques, stay a while in the café bars on the piazzetta and watch the yachts moored in the harbour. Later, head north to beautiful Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lake District. Why not join in the traditional ritual of la passeggiata tonight. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 6 to Day 7 - Fair Verona, Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima
Follow the southern fringes of the Alps to romantic Verona, setting for one of history’s saddest love stories. See Juliet’s balcony and the Roman Arena, then it’s off to romantic Venice, ‘Queen of the Adriatic’. Even for the experienced traveller, there can be no better joy than waking-up in Venice. Admire the skill of glassblowers, mask makers and gondola builders on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then cruise by private launch along canals lined with ornate palaces. Alight at St Mark’s Square where St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs await. Now step aboard your glossy black gondola for a serenade through the watery streets. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere, music and songs as you drift along the canals. The afternoon is entirely at leisure. (Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast)
Day 8 to Day 9 - Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance
Head for the Apennines and the Tuscan capital of Florence. Join your local expert to visit the Statue of David in the Academy Gallery. Walk to the Cathedral to see Giotto’s bell tower and ‘Gates of Paradise’ before continuing to Signoria Square. Your walking tour finishes at the Basilica of Santa Croce, where Michelangelo lies buried. Finally, watch a leather work demonstration before some time at leisure. All of the next day is also set aside to explore this glorious city, treasure house of the Italian Renaissance. Check out the art galleries or take an optional drive into the beautiful Tuscan countryside? (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner / Buffet Breakfast)
Day 10 to Day 11 - Sorrento and the Isle of Dreams
Take the smooth motorway southwards through the province of Umbria . Continue through the rich volcanic hills of Frascati to Cassino where you visit the Commonwealth Cemetery, overlooked by the austere monastery of Montecassino. Now follow the cliff top road to the resort of Sorrento. In the morning, see the local art of ‘intarsio’, before cruising to the beautiful Isle of Capri. An open top taxi takes you up to Capri town to spend time among the shops and admiring the sea views. Descend to the port by funicular and return to Sorrento. For your dining pleasure tonight, choose from a selection of local restaurants. (Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast / Dine Around)
Day 12 to Day 13 - Taormina, overlooking Mt Etna and the Ionian Sea
Head south this morning, following the smooth Autostrada along the very edge of the mountainous Calabria region, so often compared to Switzerland. Continue down to the very toe of Italy for the short ferry crossing to Sicily and on to Taormina. Next morning, meet a local expert for a guided walk through the old town, clinging to the side of Mt Tauro. From the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja walk along paved streets to visit the Greek Theatre, graced with the most spectacular of backdrops. Now stroll along elegant Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile for more panoramic views. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy at your own pace. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner / Buffet Breakfast)
Day 14 - Valley of the Temples and Palermo
Drive to Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily where the Valley of the Temples once formed part of the Greek colony of Akragas. Walk with your guide along the fortified ridge to witness the main temples. Cross the island now to the Sicilian capital of Palermo. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 15 - Palermo's Golden Age and the Night Boat to Naples
Your local expert shows you the highlights of the capital. Pass the Teatro Massimo, the baroque Quattro Canti Square and glimpse the ‘fountain of shame’. Palermo Cathedral has been altered over the years - go inside to appreciate the composite of architectural styles. Now to the amazing Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans. Outside there are few clues to its interior - completely covered in glittering 12th-century mosaics. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore, or perhaps take an optional excursion to Cefalu, until it’s time to board your overnight ferry. (Buffet Breakfast)
Day 16 - Ancient Pompeii and the Eternal City
Arrive in Naples in time for breakfast and an orientation tour of the city. Afterwards, continue to Pompeii, buried in 79 AD by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk through the cobbled streets with your guide and inspect some of the villas before returning to Rome. Tonight, your tour reaches its zenith with an elegant four-course dinner with unlimited local wine at a favourite Roman restaurant. As you dine, you are serenaded with popular songs and arias from best-loved operas. (Buffet Breakfast / Celebration Dinner)
Day 17 - Return to USA
Arrivederci Roma! Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 & 09:30. (Buffet Breakfast)
Rome: Enjoy a private guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pisa: See the Cathedral, Baptistery and ‘Leaning Tower.
Italian Lakes: Join us in the social ritual of ‘La Passeggiata’.
Verona: See the Roman Arena and Juliet’s balcony.
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. Witness hand made Venetian glass-blowing.
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.
Cassino: Visit the peaceful Commonwealth War Cemetery.
Sorrento: See an‘Intarsio’ demonstration
Taormina: Visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
Palermo: See Quattro Canti Square. Visit Palermo Cathedral.
All This Included
A comprehensive exploration from the well-heeled north to the bucolic south. Contrast Sicily’s Greek heritage with the beauty of Capri and Venice’s very own captivating character.
A Welcome Reception with light informal meal (WR)
15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) and 5 three-course table d’hôte Dinners, plus tea or coffee (D)
Escorted by a professional Tour Director
Headsets for all guided visits and walking tours
Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s Luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom
Insight Hotels include all service charges, taxes and porterage
Airport transfers at scheduled times on Day 2 and Day 17 (Should your flights not coincide with these transfers, please make your own way to/from the airport or purchase a transfer)
Accommodations on this Tour
Rome: Veneto Palace
Santa Margherita: Regina Elena
Italian Lakes: Grand Hotel Dino
Venice: Molino Stucky Hilton
Florence: NH Firenze
Sorrento: Grand Hotel La Pace
Taormina: Villa Diodoro/Hotel Caparena
Palermo: Grand Hotel Garibaldi
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Rome:
Genova: in twin room $201; in single room $316; in triple room $193
Hotel Anglo Americano: in twin room $193; in single room $297; in triple room $174
Kolbe: in twin room $199; in single room $$278; in triple room $182
La Griffe: in twin room $197; in single room $318; in triple room $184
Mediterraneo: in twin room $191; in single room $287; in triple room $168
NH Giustiniano: in twin room $195; in single room $279; in triple room $187
NH Vittorio Veneto: in twin room $195; in single room $279; in triple room $187
Regina Hotel Baglioni Rome: in twin room $317; in single room $567; in triple room $287
Romanico Palace: in twin room $189; in single room $301; in triple room: $160
Sheraton Roma: in twin room $159; in single room $228; in triple room $$145
Veneto Palace: in twin room $189; in single room $301; in triple room $160
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package, at the price quoted.