Italian Highlights

Rolling green hills dotted with olive trees, grand domed church-dominated skylines, museums filled with striking statues and masterful paintings, peaceful meandering canals, and of course amazing food: discover the history, architecture, and cuisine of Italy.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Ciao Milan
Meet your tour director, travel to Venice & check into hotel
Dinner en route to Venice
Day 3 Venice landmarks
Venice guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
St. Mark’s SquareSt. Mark's BasilicaDoge's Palace visitglass-blowing demonstration
Details: Venice guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Bubbling up on more than 100 islands in a lagoon off the Adriatic, Venice is an absolutely unique and unquestionably beautiful city. The weight of its opulent architecture – bulbous domes, gothic spires, and lacy marble – may be sinking the city by 10 inches a century, but your local guide will make sure you don’t sink out of sight as you tour the intricate labyrinth of streets and bridges. Step into Piazza San Marco, an airy expanse of arches, sunlight, and pigeons. The multi-domed Basilica on one end, completed in 1094 but decorated for centuries afterward, is the final resting place of the apostle St. Mark, Venice’s patron saint. The mosaics beneath the basilica’s outside arches depict the arrival of St. Mark’s body, stolen from Egypt in 828 by Venetian traders. The frothy Venetian Gothic Doge’s Palace stands next door. Continue on to a glass-blowing demonstration. Venetian glass has long been considered the best in the world, and its production was such a state secret that during the Middle Ages, any Venetian glassblower who attempted to ply his trade outside the city was immediately arrested.
Day 4 Venice--Florence
Travel to Florence
Verona tour director-led sightseeing
Romeo and Juliet balconyVerona Arena visit
Italian pizza dinner
Details: Verona tour director-led sightseeing
Brush up on your Shakespeare before heading to Casa de Giuletta to gaze up (or down from, for a few euros more) the famed balcony that set the stage for star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Hear about the many versions of this tragic story that existed long before Shakespeare put his pen to it. Go from this battleground of love to a real gladiator’s Roman Arena. Theatre performances still take place in this third largest amphitheater in all of Italy, built in the 1st century B.C.
Day 5 Florence landmarks
Florence guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Palazzo VecchioPiazza della SignoriaChiesa di Santa CrocePonte VecchioDuomo visitleather workshopGates of ParadiseGiotto’s Bell TowerDante's House
Optional  Pisa guided excursion  $70
Baptistery visitLeaning Tower
Details: Florence guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Immerse yourself in the charms of old-world Firenze, a red-brick splendor set in the rolling green hills of Tuscany. The birthplace and focal point of the Italian Renaissance, Florence still has the masterpieces to prove it. Brunelleschi’s elegant Duomo (dome) dominates the skyline, and around every corner is an architectural triumph filled with wall after wall of incomparable art. Your local licensed guide will take you to Giotto's Bell Tower and the aptly named Gates of Paradise, the bronze east doors of the Baptistery that spurred the burgeoning Renaissance. The boy guarding the Palazzo Vecchio with his slingshot is just a copy of Michelangelo’s David; the real statue is over at the Accademia. Don’t overlook the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Chiesa di Santa Croce, and definitely don’t overlook Florence’s amazing leather goods. Check them out when you visit one of the area’s famed workshops.
Day 6 Florence--Rome
Travel to Rome
Rome city walk
Spanish StepsTrevi FountainPantheonPiazza Navona
Details: St. Francis of Assisi Basilica visit
A small town of narrow streets and medieval walls, Assisi might never have been famous had it not been the birthplace of St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order. Today it is a major destination for religious pilgrims and art lovers alike. You’ll explore the Basilica of St. Francis, built in the 13th century to hold the saint’s body. Ironically, the body was hidden so well in the basilica that it took 600 years of digging to find it.
Details: Rome city walk
Baroque-en hearted? Revive your spirits with a walk past Rome's most beautiful and unusual Baroque fountains. At the foot of the Spanish Steps, elegant cafes once favored by visiting Brits and Americans surround the central fountain. The water pressure here was so low that the artist had to sink the fountain into the ground to get any water going through it, so he went ahead and designed the fountain to look like a sinking ship. There's no shortage of water pressure at the nearby Trevi Fountain, a Baroque extravagance designed by master sculptor Bernini. At the Pantheon, you'll see the largest concrete dome ever constructed. An oculus, or hole, in the dome lets sunlight into the beautiful temple, dedicated to all the gods.
Day 7 Rome landmarks
Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel visitSt. Peter’s Basilica visitColosseum visitPiazza VeneziaForum Romanum visit
Authentic trattoria dinner
Details: Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Gods and gladiators, glory and gore. Ancient Rome lives on in its spectacular monuments, flavoring the frenetic present with tastes of the past. Don a space-age Whisper headset to get the inside scoop on the most spectacular, the Colosseum, a grisly battle arena that seated more than 45,000. An enormous retractable roof awning system kept spectators cool on sunny days. The nearby Forum provides a glimpse into everyday ancient life, with markets, meeting places, and temples all combined into one vast space. Move into Christian Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica, the triumphal Renaissance church flanked by rows of columns radiating outward like welcoming arms. Within the church Michelangelo’s masterpieces are on display, the “Pietà” in the main church and the recently restored ceiling frescoes and “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel. Continue your trek through time at Piazza Venezia, site of the enormous monument to Victor Emmanuel II, Italy’s first king, and of the Palazzo Venezia, where Mussolini set up his headquarters and from whose porch his mother was said to eavesdrop on citizens below. (The Sistine Chapel is closed on most religious holidays and Sundays, except for the last Sunday in each month).
Day 8 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 8 Start extension to Sorrento
    Travel to Sorrento
    Cameo workshop
    Details: Pompeii guided excursion
    Stop to see the city where time stood still, literally. Once an important Roman city with 20,000 residents, Pompeii was frozen in time nearly 2000 years ago, when Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city under 30 feet of mud and volcanic ash. Forgotten for centuries after the eruption, Pompeii was discovered in the 1600’s and is now completely excavated. On your tour you will learn how Romans of all classes lived their lives--not only from large public structures, but from details like political graffiti, bars, and street signs.
    Day 9 Sorrento--Rome
    Travel to Rome
    Details: Capri & Blue Grotto excursion
    From the Bay of Naples the island of Capri is less than an hour away by boat. Weather permitting, you will take a boat to the Blue Grotto, where sunlight reflected from beneath the water bathes the cave in a silver-blue light.
    Day 10 End tour
    Map of Italian Highlights Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 6 overnight stays (8 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Guided sightseeing tours with high-tech headset as per itinerary
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
    Please select a postal code
    2590.00 total fee
    Basic Options


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