Country Roads of Italy
Journey across the Italian peninsula in this 16-day guided tour that stretches from the sapphire waters of the Amalfi Coast to the calming canals of Venice. Step outside Rome to Vatican City, where you’ll be treated to a behind-the-scenes viewing of the winding Bramante Staircase. Before reaching Sorrento, stop at Castel Gandolfo to ride an electric train past its papal gardens, marveling at the mosaic flower beds. Sail to the rock isle of Capri, where you can climb nearly 2,000 feet by an open-top taxi for unrivaled views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. In Perugia, learn the art of loom-weaving from a Local Expert. And in Venice, cruise along the canals and to Burano, an idyllic, colorful island in the Venetian Lagoon where you’ll toast to a fantastic trip and indulge in local specialties.
Your Fly & Tour Package Includes:
- $2500 flight credit per person
- 15 night Country Roads of Italy guided tour, Rome to Venice
- 15 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners with Wine
- 15 nights accommodation in stylish hand-picked hotels
- City tours in Rome, Isle of Capri, Pompeii, Assisi, Perugia and Florence
- Orientation tours of Venice, Lucca and Rome
- See Mt Vesuvius
- Sorrento Evening Walk
- Visit Positano
- Florence Leather Demonstration
- Explore Cinque Terre
Pricing is per person twin share and based on travel 17 May – 1 June 2024
Solo traveller pricing available. Please speak to one of our travel consultants for more details
Day one / Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome
Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your hotel. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director and getting to know your fellow travelers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Day two / Vatican and Rome with a Local
Today is devoted to The Eternal City. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged fast-track entry to gain behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of renaissance architecture, normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected, to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, to wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pietà,’ and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. Cross the Tiber river to enjoy views of ancient Rome. See the incredible Circus Maximus and the legendary Colosseum. There’s free time to do as the Romans do, or perhaps join a walking tour and toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.
Day three / Castel Gandolfo
Venture to Castel Gandolfo to explore the artistic treasure of the Villa Barberini Gardens. Ride an electric train along the pathways to marvel at the intricately designed mosaic flower beds and fountains. After our visit to the former papal gardens our journey continues on south past Naples to the resort town of Sorrento.
Day four / Capri, the Isle of Dreams
Meet your Local Expert and cross the Bay of Naples to reach the beautiful Isle of Capri, a rock rising sheer from the Mediterranean! For 2,000 years, Capri has beckoned visitors from Tiberius Caesar to Gracie Fields. Arriving at the Marina Grande by boat, ascend to Capri town by one of the island's iconic open-top taxis. Explore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and wonder at the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by funicular railway and return to Sorrento, where you are at leisure for the rest of the day.
Day five / The Picturesque Amalfi Coast
Travel along Italy’s finest coastline, the Amalfi Coast. Stop for a bird’s-eye view of the terraced houses of Positano before venturing in to the heart of the town. There’s time to be tempted by the boutiques before returning to Sorrento to enjoy stunning views down to the clear waters of the Bay of Naples. Maybe relax over coffee and contemplate your options. You could stroll down to the harbor, visit the Church of St. Francis, take a swim from the foot of the cliffs or just relax and enjoy the warm, southern sunshine.
Day six / Pompeii and Todi
Journey to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii and explore this extraordinary site with your Local Expert. Travel into the heart of Italy to enjoy free time in Todi, located on a hilltop pedestal overlooking a vineyard-covered plain. Savor the distinctly medieval ambiance during your orientation and admire the Piazza del Popolo where locals take their evening 'passeggiata'. Take in the flavors of the region and enjoy a Highlight Dinner at a local restaurant with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience!
Day seven / Assisi and on to Perugia Relaxed Start
Cross the River Tiber to see the church of St. Mary of the Angels. Under the dome is a small medieval chapel and the spot where St. Francis died. In Assisi see St. Clare’s Church and the cathedral. Continue to walk down the Via San Francesco and visit the huge Basilica of St. Francis with a Local Expert. Journey to beautiful Perugia - the jewel of Umbria. Your guided walking exploration begins in the main street of Perugia's Old Town. See the Collegio del Cambio, the splendid Priors' Palace, the Cathedral and the finely sculptured Great Fountain in the magnificent main square. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you visit an artisanal workshop and meet Marta, a recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Learn how Marta and her weavers are preserving the ancient craft of loom-weaving.
Day eight / Perugia, the Jewel of Umbria Relaxed Start
The entire day is at leisure for you to explore this gem of a town on your own. Perhaps visit Cortona, one of the oldest hill towns in Tuscany. On this Optional Experience, journey to a recently unearthed Etruscan Temple before a guided exploration through the town's historic center with views of Lake Trasimeno and the Val di Chiana. In the evening there is the option to discover the edible treasures of a traditional Umbrian kitchen, accompanied with wines of the region.
Day nine / Florence and Radda in Chianti Relaxed Start
Journey past Lake Trasimeno to Renaissance Florence. On arrival you will walk with a Local Expert to see the marble-clad cathedral, bell tower and Gates of Paradise on the baptistery. Enjoy time at leisure to explore Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at the fountains and sculptures along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Wander the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods of gold and leather. Later, travel through the cypress-clad hills and vineyards of Tuscany to your elegant hotel.
Day ten / San Gimignano and Siena
This morning visit the hilltop town of San Gimignano. Enjoy a tasting with award-winning, master gelato maker, Sergio Dondoli whose great inventions include innovative and mouth-watering flavor combinations. Continue to Siena and explore with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the medieval Cathedral or alternatively, sample panforte, a traditional Tuscan dessert. This afternoon enjoy a delicious exploration of Tuscany's red wines, discovering their robust flavors and absorbing history.
Day eleven / On to Lucca Relaxed Start
Travel to Lucca to view the churches, squares and palaces, perfectly preserved within encircling medieval ramparts. Pause a while and taste the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread, said to be a favorite of the ancient Roman army. Later, perhaps explore Pisa?
Day twelve / Exploring the Cinque Terre
Get ready to explore the Cinque Terre, or five villages, which for years were only accessible by foot. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. Join a Local Expert in one of the picturesque fishing villages, before cruising along the rugged coastline (weather permitting). There is plenty of time to explore the old medieval quarter and popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel in Lucca.
Day thirteen / On to Parma
Journey to the beautiful university town of Parma, world-famous for its local ham and cheese. Meet one of the locals, Paolo. Learn about the process of making Parmigiano-Reggiano as Signor Paolo shares with you his passions for Italian food, especially excellent quality Parmesan cheese. Taste samples of the famous Parmigiano-Reggiano, accompanied by a glass of wine.
Day fourteen / Modena and on to Venice
Visit one of Modena's top producers of authentic, traditional, artisan balsamic vinegar and take a master class to understand what makes this vinegar as expensive as top-rated wines. Continue on through the Soave vineyards past Padua to Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals as you glide by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and rococo palaces.
Day fifteen / The Magic of La Serenissima
Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience during a visit to a traditional arts center, where you can see how beautiful handcrafted glass is made by expert glassblowers, safeguarding traditional skills. Visit St. Mark’s Square where the city’s former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark’s Basilica and admire the Doge's Palace with its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. The waterways of Venice are renowned for gondolas that drift by. In the evening, cruise the islands of the Venetian Lagoon to arrive at Burano, famous for its candy colored houses. Sit down to a sumptuous Celebration Dinner with wine, sampling the local specialties.
Day sixteen / Arrivederci Venice
Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport.
Terms & Conditions
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 6 October 2023 and can be withdrawn without notice. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Air credit is applicable on airline of choice, subject to availability and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.