Best of Italy (2014)

Best of Italy (2014)


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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Roman antiquities, pious Assisi, Venetian canals, Renaissance Florence and Capri sunshine are fused with a touch of ‘la dolce vita’ for the perfect tour of Italy. Tour Pace - Comfortable: This tour has a well balanced pace with two-night stays in four of the five centres – Rome, Venice, Florence and Sorrento. The driving days are comfortable, interspersed with rest stops and sightseeing.

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

Day 2 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome
Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with Classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, for the tour hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Later, enjoy a Welcome Reception with your Tour director and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(Welcome Dinner)
NH Vittorio Veneto/Romanico Palace, Rome

Day 3 Papal & Imperial Rome
Today is devoted to the ‘Eternal City’. This morning, enjoy an orientation drive before joining a local expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged special VIP entrance to avoid the crowds, together with behind the scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the general public. Now into the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected. Enjoy clear commentary via your audio headset as you admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Next door in St. Peter’s Basilica, wonder at another of his works, the motive ‘Pieta’, and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. Then cross the Tiber to visit the Colosseum, scene of many gladiatorial contests. After seeing the Roman Forum, the rest of the day is yours to shop in the boutiques or relax at a sidewalk café.(Buffet Breakfast)
NH Vittorio Veneto/Romanico Palace, Rome

Day 4 In Search of St. Francis
Leave Rome and follow the valley of the River Tiber to the hills of Umbria, which form part of the Apennines. Your destination is peaceful Assisi, one of Italy’s most beautiful mountain towns. First, in the valley, see the famous Church of St. Mary of the Angels, much venerated as the place of St. Francis’ death, then continue up Mount Subasio to the upper town. Step inside the huge Basilica of St. Francis, built in the 13th century, where the frescoes by Giotto heralded a new era in Italian art.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Giotto, Assisi

Day 5 Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic
A delightful mountain drive takes you through the heart of the Apennines. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian lagoon and across the causeway to the unique city of Venice. Your hotel is housed in a former monastery in the Cannaregio neighbourhood. This area remains largely undiscovered by the city's day-trippers - its bars, restaurants and shops are great places to taste local life. Later, board a traditional gondola for a serenade through the ‘watery streets’. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere, music and songs as you drift along the romantic canals.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Residenza Canaregio, Venice

Day 6 Venice & the Magic of La Serenissima
Your private launch awaits this morning, ready to cruise past Palladian churches and 13th century palaces to St. Mark’s Square. First sight is the pink marble of the Doges’ Palace, connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape. Now turn the corner and the gilded regalia of St. Mark’s Basilica comes into view. A visit to an arts centre on Giudecca island has also been arranged, for you to admire the age-old skill of glassblowers and gondola builders.(Buffet Breakfast)
Residenza Canaregio, Venice

Day 7 Pisa, the Wines of Tuscany & Florence
Back on the mainland, cross the plain of the Po River and traverse the Apennines to reach the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Follow the river to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower. Time also to admire the marble cathedral and baptistery. En route to Florence, enjoy a delicious explora tion of Tusca ny’s red wines, their robust flavours and absorbing history.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Londra, Florence

Day 8 Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance
Join a local expert for a walking tour of the historic city centre. A highlight is the visit to the Academy Gallery to see Michelangelo’s monumental Statue of David. Continue to the multi-coloured marble Cathedral to admire Giotto’s bell tower and ‘Gates of Paradise’. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and the area around Santa Croce Basilica - famous for the quality of its luxury goods. After a demonstration of leather work there’s free time to shop or continue sightseeing. This evening don’t miss the chance to sample the fine Florentine cuisine - tasty starters, rich pastas, accompanied by Chianti wine.(Buffet Breakfast)
Londra, Florence

Day 9 Pompeii, Roman Ruins & Sorrento
An early start today as you travel southwards, passing Cassino, scene of a fierce battle in World War II. Skirting Naples, you soon reach Pompeii, the opulent Roman town which was preserved by layers of ash from the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. A walking tour with a local expert through the cobbled streets and extensive excavations reveals the daily life of ancient Roman civilisation. Visit the Forum and peer into ancient shops and patrician villas, decorated with colourful wall paintings. Now follow the scenic cliff top road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento.(Buffet Breakfast)
Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto/Michelangelo, Sorrento

Day 10 Sorrento & Capri, the Isle of Dreams
Investigate the art of ‘intarsio’ or marquetry wood inlaying before cruising to Capri - the isle of dreams. Under the Mediterranean sun, take an open top taxi up to Capri Town, where you can explore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and enjoy the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Perhaps join an optional tour to visit Axel Munthe’s Villa San Michele? Descend to the port by funicular railway and return to Sorrento for some relaxation time. Maybe stroll to the Piazza Tasso, where the lively cafés and bars are a constant buzz of activity and conversation. Sorrento harbour has the atmosphere of a forgotten world. Tonight, join your fellow guests at one of the restaurants that rise along the curve of the bay for an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine, wine and music.(Buffet Breakfast / Celebration Dinner)
Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto/Michelangelo, Sorrento

Day 11 Return to USA
Departure transfers arrive at Naples Airport at 06:00 & 08:00. A transfer arrives Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 10:30 and continues to the Rome hotel for those extending their stay.(Buffet Breakfast)

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Inclusions

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: Enjoy a private guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Assisi: See the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
  • 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.
  • Pisa: See the Cathedral, Baptistery and ‘Leaning Tower’.
  • 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.
  • Sorrento: Demonstration of ‘Intarsio’ inlay woodworking.

PREMIUM HOTELS AND LOCATIONS

  • Hotel Giotto is a former patrician residence in the heart of Assisi, only 200 metres from the Basilica of St. Francis.
  • Residenza Cannaregio is a former monastery transformed into a modern, luxurious residenza in a quiet corner of the most romantic city in the world
  • Both Rome hotels are well located, near the quiet grounds of Villa Borghese and 'sweet life' of the Via Veneto.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES AND DINING

  • Rome: Gain VIP entrance into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with an art expert and be among the select few to admire the famous Bramante Staircase.
  • Rome: See the former epicentre of ancient Rome and visit the Colosseum, still echoing with the thronging crowds and ghostly cries of gladiatorial combat.
  • Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.
  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and rococo palaces.
  • Venice: Visit an artisan showroom and workshop to see master craftsmen honouring age old Venetian crafts.
  • Florence: Learn what to look for in a local vino rosso during your tasting of the famous wines of Tuscany.
  • Florence: Visit the Accademia Museum with an art expert to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Statue of David.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a guide through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle and in the style of the jet-set, ride up to town by open top taxi.
  • Sorrento: Enjoy a glorious Celebration dinner of fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine amidst the untouched treasure of Sorrento's marina.

INCLUDED FIRST CLASS SERVICES

  • Escorted by one of Insight's expert Tour Directors - your ‘travelling concierge’, expert guide, consummate facilitator and friend in a foreign land who ensures your journey is as enjoyable as possible.
  • Baggage handling everywhere on tour, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for coins or banknotes
  • Free Wi-Fi in most hotel rooms or lobbies
  • Personal radio headsets to give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert’s fascinating insights and commentary
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s Luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. Complimentary on-board wi-fi where possible
  • Airport transfers at scheduled times on the first and last day of your escorted journey

INCLUDED QUALITY DINING

  • A Welcome Reception with drinks and Welcome Dinner (WD)
  • 9 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) and 3 three-course table d’hôte Dinners, or Buffets, plus tea or coffee (D)

General Note
Departures on December 19th and 26th 2013, and December 18th and 27th 2014 have Christmas/New Year’s Eve dinner included. These additional dinners will replace dinners shown in the itinerary. Saturday departures will have the Vatican included on day 4 before departing for Assisi.

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Ratings based off 1052 reviews about Insight Vacations Tours. Currently showing 15 reviews with comments only.
By Ursula K on Sep 02, 2016

excellent guide, driver, and small enjoyable group of internationals.

By Kay W on Aug 27, 2016

This was our 6th tour with Insight...and as usual we loved it!! Over half of the other people on our tour had been with Insight Vacations before. We all love them !!!

By Maria S on Aug 27, 2016

Can't say enough about insight vacations as I have done 7 of them with this last Croatia trip. They do an amazing job.

By Sandra M on Jul 15, 2016

Everything was well planned, and we experienced no problems at all. The itinerary was great, and we especially enjoyed the extra time in Norway.

By Sukhjender G on Jul 10, 2016

Every thing was fine . Could use little more time for lunch but that's not a big deal

By Bobby H on Jul 01, 2016

This is a "Must See" bucket list tour. The amazing sites and views were incredible. The accommodations, fantastic. Food was amazing. I would take this tour again!!

By Mohinder S on Jun 26, 2016

The tour director was very knowgeable and organised. Handled emergencies well. Accomodations were very good. One negative: this trip to Morocco was during Ramadan when the entire country is closed during day time. Thus unable to shop or see the ambience of famous attractions. Recomend to not include Morocco during Ramadan.

By Anne V on Jun 20, 2016

This was our first tour with Insight, previously we toured with Trafalger. Both tours were enjoyable, but other than having more leg room on the Insight Coach, I think the Trafalger tour provided more value for the cost. Our tour director on the Trafalger tour was a native of the country we visited, not so with the Insight tour director and I think that made a difference as well.

By Brenda K on Jun 04, 2016

I have taken several tours with Insight Vacations and have been extremely happy with them. They are prompt, attentive and pay close attention to details. They make every attempt to make sure each person on the tour is having a great time.

By Teresa H on Jun 04, 2016

The accommodations exceeded my expectations. The majority of the accommodations were located center city city were all the action is. It was easy to walk to many attractions and stores.

By Mary P on Jun 03, 2016

My trip was very exciting and enjoyable.

By Ronnette B on May 28, 2016

Overall, my expectations for this trip were met.

By Lee D on May 28, 2016

Some of the hotels were not 5-star.

By Susan R on May 13, 2016

The Painted Ladies in San Francisco are not accessible by the tour coach, it says you see them but only go near the street. The same is true for the crooked street also in San Francisco and the Welcome light dinner when you arrive is light appetizers not a dinner.

By Barbara M on May 13, 2016

Everything about this trip was superbly handled, professional in every aspect and done with a most pleasant and courteous staff!


Note: AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Insight Vacations. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time by the tour operators. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. Please call us toll free at 1-800-935-2620 to confirm availability and current pricing on all our discounted specials. The prices on this website are not guaranteed until a deposit has been made. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Some land prices may include an internal air component and discounts will not be offered on the internal air component. Discounts will not be offered on packages with a land price of less than $500.

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