Day 1 - Depart USA
Board your overnight flight (not included).
Day 2 to Day 3 - Imperial Rome and the Vatican City
Welcome to Italy! You are met on arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30 your transfer departs for your 5-star luxury hotel set in the heart of Rome not far from the Spanish Steps. Tonight, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, drinks and a light meal. With the Vatican City bathed in morning light you are fast-tracked through a VIP entrance into the Vatican Museums. An expert guide leads you through the art collection gathered by Popes over the ages and takes you behind the scenes to the famous Bramante Staircase - a part of the Vatican not generally open to the public. Then enter the sublime Sistine Chapel to stand beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. More of Michelangelo’s genius is on display next door in St Peter’s Basilica. Now cross the Tiber to visit the Colosseum, scene of great excitement in Imperial times. Ascend the broad flight of steps to Michelangelo’s spectacular Piazza del Campidoglio from where you overlook the Roman Forum. The afternoon is set aside for you to enjoy Rome as you please. (WR,BB)
Day 4 to Day 5 - Ill-fated Pompeii and the Isle of Dreams
Journey past the brooding hilltop monastery of Cassino to the Bay of Naples. Here lies the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Walk with a local expert through the cobbled streets to learn about Roman life in the first century. Continue to Naples and board your hydrofoil for the sun-drenched island of Capri. Arrive at Marina Grande and transfer to your exquisite hotel situated in Anacapri, the most exclusive part of the island, offering spectacular views across the sparkling waters. Next morning, visit Capri town where one of the locals shows you around the cosmopolitan Piazzetta, filled with small cafés. Descend by funicular to the harbour and transfer into small boats to enter the amazing Blue Grotto, its walls made blue by sunlight filtering through the azure water . The remainder of the day is yours to devote to Capri’s white washed houses, orange and lemon trees, trendy shops and restaurants. Why not indulge at the hotel’s Beauty Farm, a favourite of Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebrities. As the orange-rose glow of twilight descends and the day trippers have returned back to the mainland, the island is all yours to saunter along scenic paths, gather with the locals in the piazzetta or dine in the superb restaurants. (2BB,D)
Day 6 to Day 7 - Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance
Take the hydrofoil across the bay to Naples and transfer to your high-speed train bound for Renaissance Florence. Relax in first class comfort while the countryside slips by. On arrival meet an expert art historian for a visit to the Academy Gallery housing Michelangelo’s Statue of David. Walk on to see the marble Cathedral, Giotto’s belltower and ‘Gates of Paradise’ before visiting the Piazza della Signoria, an open air gallery of sculpture. The joys of Florence are varied so the next day is entirely free for your own personal exploration. Head down to the Ponte Vecchio, haggle for leather goods at the market around San Lorenzo or relax amid the terraces of the Boboli Gardens. Make the most of warm summer evenings by following the locals to the buzzing covered markets for rustic Florentine dishes. Alternatively, dine alfresco with crisp table-top linen and crystal glassware. (2BB,D)
Day 8 to Day 9 - Chianti, Pisa, the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre
Sleep in, relax over breakfast and read the paper. Mid-morning board your coach for a drive through the patchwork of vines, olives and cypresses that typify the Chianti hills. In one of the small bucolic towns, typical of the area, stop for a taste of local Chianti wine followed by a two-course highlight lunch in a historic Tuscan cellar. Now head for the coast, pausing on the way at the amazing Leaning Tower of Pisa. Take time to explore the Square of Miracles before moving on to Viareggio. After a restful night’s sleep, head for the UNESCO World Heritage listed Cinque Terre. To fully appreciate this rugged coastline, you take a train and sail by boat to one of the picturesque fishing villages, sheltered by hills covered with vines and olive groves. Spend time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach. Return along the famous Italian Riviera to your prestigious hotel on Viareggio’s seafront. (2BB,HL,D)
Day 10 to Day 11 - Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima
Cross the fertile Po Valley to romantic Venice, where you are immediately plunged back to the 16C. Your exclusive 5-star luxury hotel, is set on its own private Island in the heart of the Lagoon. Savour the light summer breeze or admire the panorama over St. Mark’s Basin and the Lido. Even for the most experienced traveller, daybreak in Venice brings excitement and anticipation. Once one of the greatest trading centres of the world, the city’s wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St Mark’s Basilica. Admire also the Doge’s Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola serenade through the romantic canals. The afternoon is entirely yours to lose yourself in the hidden parts of the city. As evening falls, you are invited to join us for a celebratory meal favoured with, good food, wine and a happy, relaxed atmosphere. (2BB,CD)
Day 12 - Return to USA
Your tour draws to a close today. Savour the enchanting view of Venice one more time as you cross the lagoon by private transfer boat to arrive directly at Venice Airport at 08:00. (BB)
Experience the Isle of Capri - drenched in sun, draped with luxury villas, the rugged scenery of the Cinque Terre, plus the cultural gems of Rome, Florence and Venice.
Tour Pace - Comfortable: As with all Insight Vacation's Gold itineraries, your tour has been planned with later starts and two-night stays where possible. In order to experience some of Italy's more secluded wonders, you'll embark on a variety of ferries, hydrofoil, trains, gondolas and boats in addition to the usual armchair coach comfort.
Get to know your Tour Director and fellow guests over a Welcome Reception including a light meal (WR)
10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Highlight Lunch (HL), 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) and 3 three course dinners with choice (D)
Escorted by your ‘Personal Concierge' an Insight professional Tour Director and accompanied by expert local guides where appropriate.
Complimentary in-room Internet access (where available).
First class seats aboard the high-speed Eurostar Italia train from Naples to Florence.
Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom
Airport arrival transfers at scheduled times on Day 2. Airport departure transfers by private boat on Day 12.
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.