Grand Tour of Italy & Sicily (2013)

Grand Tour of Italy & Sicily (2013)


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Save 5% on Milestone Celebrations!

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Book a party of 5 or more guests and take 5% off the cost of everybody's trip and receive a cake, card and bottle of sparkling wine to help celebrate! Plus as always receive our AffordableTours.com 10% extra savings!
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Cannot be combined with Small Group, Young Traveler or Triple Room Discounts. To qualify, all names and the event celebrated must be advised to Insight at the time of booking. Exceptions: Does not apply to additional accommodation, Stopovers, airfares or flight supplements. Does not apply to 'City Breaks', Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Eastern Mediterranean trips with included cruises, and cruise extensions.

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Small Group 5% Discount

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Small Group 5% Discount

Small Group 5% Discount

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Save money by travelling as a small group, receive a 5% discount if 5-8 guests book together. For 9 or more guests, further savings are available. Plus with your past Guest Discount you can save an extra 5% and as always receive our AffordableTours.com 10% extra savings.
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If you are travelling alone, you can be matched with someone of the same gender, so you don’t have to pay the single room supplement. If you are failed to be matched you will be provided a single room at no extra cost, plus with your past Guest Discount you can save an extra 5% and as always receive our AffordableTours.com 10% extra savings
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Offer does not apply to all vacations, contact your travel consultant for applicable vacations. There is a no-smoking policy in all shared rooms. Does not apply to additional accommodation, stopovers, airfare or flight supplements, Independent City Breaks, Israel, Jordan, Eastern Mediterranean trips with included cruises, cruise extensions or Glories of Greece. Exceptions apply.

Triple Room Share Reduction

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Triple Room Share Reduction

Triple Room Share Reduction

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Travel with three people sharing one room and each of you will receive a reduction on the land-only portion of your trip’s price. As always receive our AffordableTours.com 10% extra savings.
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Offer may not be available on all vacations. Note the third bed may be a foldaway. Cannot be combined with our Small Group Discount. Discount varies by package. Additional restrictions may apply.

Young Travelers Save up to 10%

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Young Travelers Save up to 10%

Young Travelers Save up to 10%

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Young travelers between the ages of 5 through 17 yrs of age save up to 10%, plus receive our AffordableTours.com 10% extra savings!
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Young Travelers must be under the age of 18 years old on the tour departure date and accompanied by an adult (limit of one Young Traveler Discount per room). Children under 5 years old are not accepted on any escorted tour. This discount cannot be combined with our Milestone Celebrations offers.

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Italy

Tour Itinerary

A comprehensive exploration from the well-heeled north to the bucolic south. Contrast Sicily’s Greek heritage with the beauty of Capri and Venice’s very own captivating character. Tour Pace - Comfortable/Lively: One of the more lively paced tours with some longer touring days. These are moderated with frequent stops, often with great photo opportunities, like in Pisa. The itinerary is also balanced by the free day in Florence, clever use of the overnight ferry and free time in several idyllic resorts.

Day 1 Depart USA
Board your overnight flight (not included).

Days 2-3 Papal and Imperial Rome
Welcome to Rome - not only the modern capital of Italy but also a spectacular encyclopedia of living history! You are met on arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30 transfers depart for your hotel. Early evening, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, drinks and a light informal meal. In the morning you are joined by a resident expert who guides you through the art collection of the Vatican Museums culminating beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. More of Michelangelo’s genius is on display next door in St Peter’s Basilica. Now cross the Tiber to over look the Roman Forum and visit the Colosseum, scene of bloody contests, wild beasts and Gladiators. Rome is now yours to discover at your own pace.(Welcome Reception / Buffet Breakfast)
Veneto Palace

Day 4 Pisa and Santa Margherita Ligure
Drive northwards today through the Tuscan hills. En route, there is a wine tasting and informative talk about the Chianti wines that make this region so famous. Then cross the Arno river to Pisa. Celebrated for its incredible leaning tower, Pisa also boasts a beautiful cathedral and baptistry. Continue along the coast, through tunnels and mountains that plunge dramatically into the sparkling sea. Your destination is the charming seaside resort of Santa Margherita.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Regina Elena

Day 5 Portofino and the Elegant Italian Lakes
Enjoy a short cruise (weather permitting) along the Ligurian coast to the exclusive and elegant village of Portofino, epitome of La Dolce Vita. Admire the gaily-coloured houses, browse the boutiques, stay a while in the café bars on the piazzetta and watch the yachts moored in the harbour. Later, head north to beautiful Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lake District. Why not join in the traditional ritual of la passeggiata tonight.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Grand Hotel Dino

Days 6-7 Fair Verona, Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima
Follow the southern fringes of the Alps to romantic Verona, setting for one of history’s saddest love stories. See Juliet’s balcony and the Roman Arena, then it’s off to romantic Venice, ‘Queen of the Adriatic’. Even for the experienced traveller, there can be no better joy than waking-up in Venice. Admire the skill of glassblowers, mask makers and gondola builders on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then cruise by private launch along canals lined with ornate palaces. Alight at St Mark’s Square where St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs await. Now step aboard your glossy black gondola for a serenade through the watery streets. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere, music and songs as you drift along the canals. The afternoon is entirely at leisure.(Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast)
Molino Stucky Hilton

Days 8-9 Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance
Head for the Apennines and the Tuscan capital of Florence. Join your local expert to visit the Statue of David in the Academy Gallery. Walk to the Cathedral to see Giotto’s bell tower and ‘Gates of Paradise’ before continuing to Signoria Square. Your walking tour finishes at the Basilica of Santa Croce, where Michelangelo lies buried. Finally, watch a leather work demonstration before some time at leisure. All of the next day is also set aside to explore this glorious city, treasure house of the Italian Renaissance. Check out the art galleries or take an optional drive into the beautiful Tuscan countryside?(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner / Buffet Breakfast)
NH Firenze

Days 10-11 Sorrento and the Isle of Dreams
Take the smooth motorway southwards through the province of Umbria . Continue through the rich volcanic hills of Frascati to Cassino where you visit the Commonwealth Cemetery, overlooked by the austere monastery of Montecassino. Now follow the cliff top road to the resort of Sorrento. In the morning, see the local art of ‘intarsio’, before cruising to the beautiful Isle of Capri. An open top taxi takes you up to Capri town to spend time among the shops and admiring the sea views. Descend to the port by funicular and return to Sorrento. For your dining pleasure tonight, choose from a selection of local restaurants.(Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast / Dine Around)
Grand Hotel La Pace

Days 12-13 Taormina, overlooking Mt Etna and the Ionian Sea
Head south this morning, following the smooth Autostrada along the very edge of the mountainous Calabria region, so often compared to Switzerland. Continue down to the very toe of Italy for the short ferry crossing to Sicily and on to Taormina. Next morning, meet a local expert for a guided walk through the old town, clinging to the side of Mt Tauro. From the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja walk along paved streets to visit the Greek Theatre, graced with the most spectacular of backdrops. Now stroll along elegant Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile for more panoramic views. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy at your own pace.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner / Buffet Breakfast)
Villa Diodoro/Hotel Caparena

Day 14 Valley of the Temples and Palermo
Drive to Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily where the Valley of the Temples once formed part of the Greek colony of Akragas. Walk with your guide along the fortified ridge to witness the main temples. Cross the island now to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Grand Hotel Garibaldi

Day 15 Palermo's Golden Age and the Night Boat to Naples
Your local expert shows you the highlights of the capital. Pass the Teatro Massimo, the baroque Quattro Canti Square and glimpse the ‘fountain of shame’. Palermo Cathedral has been altered over the years - go inside to appreciate the composite of architectural styles. Now to the amazing Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans. Outside there are few clues to its interior - completely covered in glittering 12th-century mosaics. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore, or perhaps take an optional excursion to Cefalu, until it’s time to board your overnight ferry.(Buffet Breakfast)

Day 16 Ancient Pompeii and the Eternal City
Arrive in Naples in time for breakfast and an orientation tour of the city. Afterwards, continue to Pompeii, buried in 79 AD by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk through the cobbled streets with your guide and inspect some of the villas before returning to Rome. Tonight, your tour reaches its zenith with an elegant four-course dinner with unlimited local wine at a favourite Roman restaurant. As you dine, you are serenaded with popular songs and arias from best-loved operas.(Buffet Breakfast / Celebration Dinner)
Sheraton

Day 17 Return to USA
Arrivederci Roma! Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 & 09:30.(Buffet Breakfast)

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: Enjoy a private guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Pisa: See the Cathedral, Baptistery and ‘Leaning Tower.
  • Italian Lakes: Join us in the social ritual of ‘La Passeggiata’.
  • Verona: See the Roman Arena and Juliet’s balcony.
  • Venice: Cruise to St. Mark’s Square by private launch. See St. Mark’s Basilica, bell tower, clock tower, Doges’ Palace and Bridge of Sighs. Witness hand made Venetian glass-blowing.
  • Florence: During your guided walking tour, see the Cathedral, belltower, ‘Gates of Paradise’ on the Baptistery and visit Signoria Square. Witness a leather-work demonstration.
  • Cassino: Visit the peaceful Commonwealth War Cemetery.
  • Sorrento: See an‘Intarsio’ demonstration
  • Taormina: Visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
  • Palermo: See Quattro Canti Square. Visit Palermo Cathedral.

PREMIUM EXPERIENCES AND DINING

  • Be among the select few to gain VIP entrance into the Vatican Museums, see the Bramante Staircase and Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Hear tales of gladiators and the glory of ancient Rome as you visit the mighty Colosseum and overlook the Forum.
  • Stop at a cellar in the rolling Tuscan countryside, to taste the robust wines of the region.
  • Get a taste of the ‘sweet life’ in the elegant fishing village of Portofino and cruise to Santa Margherita.
  • Delight in the unique magic of Venice as you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
  • Stand in awe beside Michelangelo’s monumental Statue of David in the Academy Gallery, Florence.
  • Cruise to the famous Isle of Capri and in the style of the jet-set, ride up to town by open top taxi.
  • Set on a cliff, open to the sky, the crumbling arches of Taormina’s Greek Theatre frame snowy Mount Etna.
  • A guide leads you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples.
  • Standing in the jewel-like Palatine chapel you can get up close to some of the finest examples of Norman art.
  • Walk with a guide through the cobbled streets of ill-fated Pompeii, frozen in time since the 1st century.
  • Choose from a selection of restaurants in Sorrento.
  • Enjoy a Roman feast served with local wine, and soloists at your table singing popular Italian folk songs.

PREMIUM HOTELS AND LOCATIONS

  • In Venice your luxurious hotel gazes out over the Guidecca canal and an unforgettable city skyline.
  • Set on Baveno’s lakeshore, Grand Hotel Dino offers spectacular views across Lake Maggiore, while the Sheraton on your final night is well positioned for access to the airport.

INCLUDED FIRST CLASS SERVICES

  • Escorted by a professional Tour Director
  • Headsets for all guided visits and walking tours
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s Luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom
  • Insight Hotels include all service charges, taxes and porterage
  • Airport transfers at scheduled times on Day 2 and Day 17 (Should your flights not coincide with these transfers, please make your own way to/from the airport or purchase a transfer)

INCLUDED QUALITY DINING

  • A Welcome Reception with light informal meal (WR)
  • 15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) and 5 three-course table d’hôte Dinners, plus tea or coffee (D)

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Customer Reviews

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