Italy & Greece in Depth

Italy & Greece in Depth
See glass-blowing in Venice and learn the secrets of this coveted trade, discover Renaissance art in Florence and imperial history in Rome, explore the resort town of Tolo, visit Epidaurus’s 14th century BC amphitheater and tour the ancient site of Mycenae.
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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 Rome--Sorrento
Travel to Sorrento
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 9 Sorrento--Patras
Travel to the port
Pompeii guided visit
Overnight ferry to Patras
Day 10 Patras--Tolo
Travel to Tolo via Olympia
Details: Ancient Olympia guided visit
Once one of the most important sites in Greece, the former locale of the Olympic games now has some of the most picturesque ruins in the country. Surrounded by shady olive trees and flowing rivers, the stones of the original temple and stadium still inspire awe – and the occasional victory lap.
Day 11 Tolo--Athens
Travel to Athens
Corinth Canal
Greek dinner in Plaka
Details: Mycenae & Epidaurus guided excursion
See the sacred precinct of Epidaurus, a former health clinic and spa with a 4th-century BC amphitheater. Continue to Mycenae. Framed by twin mountains and looking out over the plains, Mycenae was a palace, a workshop, and a grave. Gold cups, jewelry, bronze armor, swords, and daggers, as described by Homer, were discovered here. Walk up to the remains of the citadel. Look out over the rolling hills. Imagine the bonfires blazing in all directions, signaling that Troy had fallen to Agamemnon.
Day 12 Athens landmarks
Athens guided sightseeing tour
ParthenonAcropolis visitTemple of Athena NikeOmonoia SquareSyntagma Square2004 Olympic site
Athens city walk
Plaka districtTemple of Olympian ZeusHadrian’s Arch
Details: Athens guided sightseeing tour
Not just another crowded dusty city, Athens has developed from the birthplace of democracy to a bustling modern metropolis. With a local licensed guide, start your time travel at the ancient hot spots of the first Olympic site and the sprawling Acropolis, classical Athens’ religious and civic center. The awe-inspiring Parthenon -- a temple dedicated to Athens’ patron saint Athena -- is the obvious centerpiece, but take time to examine the building next door, where sculpted women hold up the roof with their heads, and the amazing view of modern Athens below. Jump back to the present in Syntagma Square, the center of the modern city, to see the Parliament building and the British-style changing of the guards ceremony. (There’s a rather un-British flair to it, however -- the Greek guards wear white skirts, head scarves, and shoes and knee bands adorned with pom-poms.) Continue to Omonia Square, Athens' other main meeting point, to relax by the splashing central fountain ringed with palm trees.
Details: Athens city walk
You’re never more than a few steps away from the past in Athens. Accompany your Tour Director to the Plaka, the historic district that borders the Acropolis. In its twisting narrow streets you’ll catch glimpses of an older city, from wrought-iron balconies bursting with geraniums to traditional Greek dancing in basement tavernas. Continue on to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, begun in the 6th century B.C. and finished in A.D. 132 by the emperor Hadrian. Its enormous columns provide a sense of the scale of the original temple. Nearby, the elaborate Hadrian’s Arch separated the ancient and imperial sections of the city.
Day 13 Cape Sounion
Details: Cape Sounion guided excursion
Contemplate the sea god Poseidon from his temple perched high atop the hill of Cape Sounion, the southern-most tip of Central Greece. Stand among the tall, marble pillars rising up from the slippery slabs of rock and look out over the calm blue Aegean Sea. The Temple of Poseidon, built around the same time as the Parthenon (between 450-440 BC), is a refreshing point of calm after the chaos of modern Athens.
Day 14 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 13 Start cruise extension (tours must depart North America on Sundays to do the extension)
    Optional shore excursions available (purchased on tour)
    Details: Cruise for three days on the Aegean
    Set out to sea. Take three days to tour four islands of the Aegean and get to know authentic Greek island culture and some of the Aegean's best beaches. First is Mykonos, one of the Mediterranean's busiest resorts, with everything from a great museum filled with 7th-century artifacts to pure white, cubistic buildings, Crayola-colored boats, gourmet restaurants and...more beaches. Next stop is the Turkish village of Kusadasi. Then it is on to the hilly, seahorse-shaped Patmos, you'll see gold-leafed Byzantine frescos at the Monastery of St. John, the capital city of Hora, the busy port of Skala and beautiful beaches. Cruise on to Heraklion, the capital of Crete and a former Minoan seaport, for an unparalleled collection of Minoan archaeological artifacts. Finally, you’ll visit Santorini, where whole villages seem to cling to the side of the volcano, and mysterious black sand beaches stretch into the sea. Cruise excursions are provided by the liner and can be purchased during the voyage. Itinerary is subject to change.
    Day 14 Aegean cruise
    Day 15 Aegean cruise
    Day 16 Delphi landmarks
    Delphi guided sightseeing tour
    Delphi site visitTemple of Apollo
    Details: Delphi guided sightseeing tour
    Prophet from the past. Explore the impressive ruins at Delphi, which the Greeks considered the center of the world. Within the depths of the Temple of Apollo, a priestess would inhale intoxicating vapors that used to rise from the earth and, thus inspired, deliver the prophecies of Apollo. Modern visitors might find more inspiration in the view from Mount Parnassus, over 8000 feet high.
    Day 17 End tour
    Map of Italy & Greece in Depth Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 11 overnight stays in hotels with private bathroom
    • 1 overnight stay in cabins on ferry
    • 3 overnight stays in cabins on cruise ship on extension
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Lunch included on cruise ship
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Guided sightseeing tours with high-tech headset as per itinerary
    • Aegean Cruise on extension
    • Tips to cruise staff on extension
    • Cruise excursions not included
    • 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.
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    3519.00 total fee
    Basic Options

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