"At the Colosseum with our guests, I love watching their awe upon stepping back 2000 years into the world of the ancient Romans and imagining the sights and sounds of the arena." - Sara Brocki, Travel Director
12 nights from £2970pp
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Italian Escapade Itinerary
Day 1 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to Rome, once the hub of a vast empire that spread from Britain to the Persian Gulf and from Africa to Germany. On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, you're welcomed and taken to your hotel with transfers departing at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Get to know your fellow travellers as you mingle over a pleasant evening.(Dinner with Wine) Meals: Dinner with Wine Locations: Rome
Day 2 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.
A Local Expert leads you through the priceless art collection of the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-tracked entry to the museums and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase. Later, continue to St. Peter’s Basilica. Embark on a leisurely walking exploration to see the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Then there is time to relax and absorb the atmosphere of Piazza Navona.(Breakfast) Meals: Breakfast Locations: Rome
Day 3 Medieval Florence.
Travel north to medieval Siena and stroll through the winding stone-paved streets to the vast Piazza del Campo, where the Palio horse race takes place amid great festivities. See the Fountain of Joy and then walk up to the hilltop cathedral, striped with marble. For your Dine-at-Home experience, a local invites you to dine at their Medici-era villa. Visit the vineyard, taste the olive oil and hear tales of the local life while savouring a traditionally prepared Italian meal. Continue through the cypress-clad hills and vineyards of Tuscany to Florence.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine Locations: Rome, Siena, Florence
Day 4 Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance.
Explore Florence with Insight Choice. Choose between wandering through the market stalls on a guided shopping tour and enjoy all the treats and trinkets on show. Alternatively, visit the Accademia Museum with an art historian to see Michelangelo's monumental statue, David. Gaze up and truly appreciate the significance of Michelangelo’s work. Continue to the cathedral to see Giotto’s bell tower and the Gates of Paradise adorning the baptistery. Visit Piazza della Signoria filled with works of art and finally pause in Piazza Santa Croce, overlooked by its basilica, the final resting place of Galileo and Michelangelo. By night, don’t miss the chance to try the delicious local cuisine and sample rich Chianti wine.(Breakfast) Meals: Breakfast Locations: Florence
Day 5 Pisa and the Italian Lakes.
Stop at Pisa, to see the incredible Leaning Tower from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity, as well as the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. Your journey continues, past the marble quarries at Carrara, used since the time of Ancient Rome, through the dramatic Apennine Mountains to the fertile valley of the River Po. Continue to your lakeside resort on beautiful Lake Maggiore. As night time draws in, why not work up an appetite before dinner with a traditional evening stroll, or passeggiata as they say in Italy?(Breakfast) Meals: Breakfast Locations: Florence, Pisa
Day 6 The Italian Lake District.
The day is set aside for you to relax and enjoy all the fantastic sights of this beautiful lake-land area. Perhaps take a cruise over to Isola Bella, one of the picturesque Borromean Islands. For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a selection of hand-picked restaurants for your dining pleasure.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine Locations:
Day 7 Wine Tasting and Venice.
Follow the southern fringes of the European Alps to the vineyards, close to the shores of Lake Iseo. You will see that winemaking traditions run deep here when you visit a family-owned estate that goes back generations. Listen to passionate stories as you taste the delicious vintages together with a master vintner. Carry on to Venice. Arrive at your hotel by boat, in true Venetian style, a city of 118 islands and no motorcar traffic to mar its beauty.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine Locations: Verona, Venice
Day 8 The Magic of La Serenissima.
Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. While here, visit a traditional arts centre on Giudecca Island where you can see how their beautiful handcrafted glass is made by expert glassblowers. What better way to see Venice than from a private boat, cruising past palazzos and churches to St. Mark’s Square. See the gilded basilica, the Doge's Palace and Lord Byron’s Bridge of Sighs. No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola serenade through the myriad of beautiful canals. Relax and enjoy the local traditional songs, as you drift along in romantic awe. Spend the afternoon as you wish. As night falls, why not savour the magic of St. Mark’s square with its orchestras and al-fresco cafes?(Breakfast) Meals: Breakfast Locations: Venice
Day 9 Hilltop Assisi.
Skirt the Venetian Lagoon and cross two of Italy’s most important rivers, the Adige and Po. The scenery will then change dramatically as you drive through the wild Apennines. Your destination is the stone-built, hill-top town of Assisi, home of St. Francis. See the Church of St. Mary of the Angels before continuing up Mount Subasio, with a Local Expert to visit the Basilica of St. Francis.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine Locations: Venice, Assisi
Day 10 Along the Autostrada del Sole.
Journey along the clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, perched upon the southern cliffs of the Bay of Naples and looking over to Mount Vesuvius. With the evening at leisure, why not try some of the local specialties during a local dining experience?(Breakfast) Meals: Breakfast Locations: Assisi, Sorrento
Day 11 Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
In the morning, cruise to Capri, known as the Isle of Dreams. In one of the island's iconic open-top taxis, head up the steep, winding roads while a symphony of cicadas sing away in the pines. With your Local Expert, explore the narrow alleyways of Capri town, browse in exclusive boutiques and wonder at the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by funicular railway and return to Sorrento for some relaxation time. Perhaps join an optional visit to Positano and the Amalfi Coast?(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine Locations: Sorrento
Day 12 The ancient cities of Pompeii and Rome.
Journey to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, eerily preserved by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Walk with a Local Expert through cobbled streets to explore some of the shops, villas and temples. In the heart of the Eternal City, you are treated to the quintessential Italian experience – fine food, wine, music and a private performance of enchanting operetta.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine Locations: Sorrento, Rome
Day 13 Arrivederci Roma!
Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.(Breakfast) Meals: Breakfast Locations: Rome
- Florence: Enjoy a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak dinner paired with delicious local wine, a specialty not to be missed.
- Lake Maggiore: For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a selection of hand-picked restaurants for your dining pleasure.
- Lake Iseo: Learn about this historic winery, passed down through the generations, and taste its latest vintages.
- Rome: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine, accompanied by the rich tremolo of some of Italy's best loved songs.
- Dining Summary: 12 Breakfasts (B) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
- Vatican City: Gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Be among the select few to admire the Bramante Staircase, a dizzying spiral of carved stone. Venture inside St. Peter's Basilica to see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
- Rome: Explore the backstreets of Rome and experience local life, alongside a passionate Roman who will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, the living room of Rome.
- Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing while watching artisans create delicate works of art.
Top Rated Highlights
- Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
- Siena: See the Fountain of Joy, striped cathedral and vast Piazza del Campo.
- Florence: See the cathedral, Giotto's bell tower, the Gates of Paradise on the baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Santa Croce during your guided exploration.
- Pisa: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the 11th century cathedral and of course, the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.
- Italian Lake District: Experience the social ritual of la passeggiata.
- 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.
- Venice: Delight your senses as you are serenaded through the canals by gondola, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
- Assisi: With you Local Expert, visit this hill-town with its stone-built structures. See Mount Subasio and the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
- Assisi: With a Local Expert, find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of Europe.
- Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
- Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
- Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
- Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
- Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
- Scenic Drives: Admire the beautiful passing scenery as you travel through the regions of Umbria, Chianti, Tuscany, past the Apennine Mountains, through the Italian Lake District and to Bay of Naples.
Included Insight Services
- Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
- Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
- We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
- 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.
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
- From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
- 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.