Country Roads of Italy - Classic Group

from 

AU$7,544

per person
 
Duration: 16 Days
Countries: Italy, Vatican
Tour Provider: Insight
Tour Code: E722ZM19

 

 


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.

Dining Summary

5 Dinner with Wine (DW), 15 Breakfast (B)

Choice Highlights

Siena: Visit Siena's medieval black and white striped cathedral with your Local Expert., Siena: Enjoy a tasting of Panforte, a traditional Tuscan dessert containing fruits and nuts.

Additional Included Highlights

: Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary., : Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels., : We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door., : From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination., : Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available)., : If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Authentic Dining

Rome: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at a uniquely Roman local restaurant., Lucca: Visit a traditional steam bakery and sample Buccellato, the sweet raisin bread typical of the region., San Gimignano: Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan gelato parlour of world champion gelato maestro, Sergio Dondoli for a taste of his finest frozen treats., Siena: Enjoy a tasting of Panforte, a traditional Tuscan dessert containing fruits and nuts., Radda in Chianti: Learn what to look for in a quality vino rosso, and what foods to pair it with when ordering Florentine cuisine., Parma: At Ciaolatte Parmesan you will meet, Signor Paolo, a local passionate about Italian food and quality cheese. Witness the cheese-making and ageing process of Parmigiano-Reggiano., Modena: Visit a producer of authentic balsamic vinegar to learn about its production, history and distinctive taste., Burano: Cruise to the charming fisherman's island of Burano to enjoy a delicious Celebration Dinner with wine and new-found friends.

Insight Experiences

Vatican: Gain Fast Track access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Make Travel Matter

Perugia: Meet Marta, a recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Learn how she offers employment opportunities for local women and alongside her weavers, preserves the ancient craft of loom-weaving in an artisan workshop.The workshop is owned by women and actively empowers women and girls through its education and training programs. Marta, and her students help to safeguard the unique patterns while contributing to the protection of Umbria’s cultural heritage.  Laboratorio Guidetta Brozzetti advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality and UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities., Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing, now practised by precious few masters. Watch artisans create delicate works of art using rare traditional practices. The workshop's master craftsmen teach visitors about the traditional craft of glassblowing and its history which dates back to the 15th century. Every visit helps to support the workshop and the survival of this traditional craft.  The workshop advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Top Rated Highlights

Rome: Discover ancient treasures of Rome with a passionate local. See Circus Maximus and the Ancient Forum, and stand beside the Colosseum, which bears witness to the limitless courage of the gladiators., Rome: During your orientation with you Travel Director see the medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city., Castel Gandolfo: Explore the artistic treasure of the Villa Barberini Gardens and marvel at the intricately designed mosaic flower beds and fountains., Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples., Sorrento: Experience the social ritual of la passeggiata., Capri: Cruise by jetfoil to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert., Capri: Explore Capri town with your Local Expert and see the whitewashed houses, winding alleyways, small cafes, fashionable boutiques and artisans studios., Positano: Drive along the Amalfi Coast to visit this seaside town. See the pastel rainbow of colourful houses precariously stacked upon one another as if cascading from the hilltop to the water., Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century., Assisi: See St. Mary of the Angels Church and join your Local Expert to walk through the cobbled streets to St. Clare's Church and see the cathedral., Assisi: Discover why the Basilica of Saint Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe., Perugia: Led by your Local Expert, your orientation will explore the Old Town and show you Priors' Palace, Collegio del Cambio, the cathedral, the Great Fountain and main square., Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods., Florence: See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a gold and leatherwork demonstration., Lucca: Your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist will show you the churches, squares and palaces within the medieval ramparts., San Gimignano: Visit the medieval Manhattan of Italy!, Siena: Visit Siena's medieval black and white striped cathedral with your Local Expert., Cinque Terre: Led by your Local Expert, visit this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site, tucked away on the mountainous Italian Riviera coastline. Explore one of the five charming fishing villages for some memorable pictures., Venice: Delight in the magic of this charming city as you are serenaded, travelling through the atmospheric canals by gondola., Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.

Well-being

: Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches., : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Day 1: 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 travellers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

Day 2: 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. 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 3: 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 south, drinking in the views of the Bay of Naples, to the resort town of Sorrento.

Day 4: 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 5: 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 harbour, 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 6: 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. Savour the distinctly medieval ambiance during your orientation and admire the Piazza del Popolo where locals take their evening 'passeggiata'. Take in the flavours of the region and enjoy a Highlight Dinner at a local restaurant with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience!

Day 7: 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. In the evening there is the option to discover the edible treasures of a traditional Umbrian kitchen, accompanied with wines of the region.

Day 8: Perugia, the Jewel of Umbria Relaxed Start

Time to explore more about this gem of a town. 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. With the rest of your day at leisure, 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 centre with views of Lake Trasimeno and the Val di Chiana.

Day 9: 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. This afternoon, enjoy a delicious exploration of Tuscany's red wines, discovering their robust flavours and absorbing history.

Day 10: 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 flavour combinations. Continue to Siena and explore with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the medieval Cathedral or alternatively, sample panforte, a traditional Tuscan dessert.

Day 11: 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 favourite of the ancient Roman army. Later, perhaps explore Pisa?

Day 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: The Magic of La Serenissima

Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience during a visit to a traditional arts centre, 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. In the evening, cruise the islands of the Venetian Lagoon to arrive at Burano, famous for its candy coloured houses. Sit down to a sumptuous Celebration Dinner with wine, sampling the local specialities.

Day 16: Arrivederci Venice

Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport.

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