12 Day Italy, La Dolce Vita!

From

$3339

Land Only

$4099*

Air & Land



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Featured Hotels

Italy, La Dolce Vita!
Hotel Bonvecchiati Venice
Villa Olmi Firenze Florence
Ambasciatori Palace Rome
Kolbe Hotel Rome Rome

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2017 Dates & Prices
Dates Land Only Air & Land
Oct 22  (Sold Out) $3339 $4099*

*Not Included:
Prices do not include optional tours, and gratuities for guides/tour managers. Land only prices do not include arrival/departure transfers.


Accommodation Details:
May 14 and Sept 17 departures will be accommodated at the Ambasciatori Palace in Rome.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This comprehensive, fast-paced trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day where you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes.

Flight Details


Accommodation Details

  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • International flights: New York-Venice, Rome-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 10 nights First Class accommodations
    • 3 nights Venice
    • 3 nights Florence
    • 4 nights Rome
  • Italian city hotel taxes
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers and sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • 16 meals: 10 buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners (including welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Coffee and tea with all meals
  • Wine is included with lunch and dinners
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Walking tour of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, with its extraordinary treasures and architectural wonders
  • Experience an Insider's Venice Walking Tour that will take you "off the beaten path"
  • Discover the delightful islands of the Venice Lagoon, including Murano, Burano and Torcello, the first settlement in the Lagoon
  • Shop like a native in a local market and then prepare a delectable home-cooked Italian meal with lessons from the chef of a restaurant in the countryside
  • Celebrate the beauty of Florence at the Accademia of Fine Arts, where Michelangelo's David is housed
  • Experience the monumental grandeur of this ancient city built on seven hills: the legendary Roman Forum & the mighty Colosseum
  • Visit the Vatican Museum and Michelangelo's incomparable Sistine Chapel
  • Explore the grand piazzas of the Eternal City of Rome, jewels of Baroque and Renaissance styles and a picturesque mirror of the true Roman lifestyle
  • Visit Ostia Antica, the well-preserved harbor city of ancient Rome
  • Visit the Palazzo Colonna, one of the oldest and largest private palaces of Rome, and the preserved Apartment of Princess Isabelle

Is This Trip Right for You?

This comprehensive, fast-paced trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day where you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes.


DAY 1, Sunday - Depart for Italy
Depart for Italy

DAY 2, Monday - Arrive in Venice
Benvenuti! Welcome to Italy! Arrive in magical Venice and transfer to your hotel; remainder of the day is at leisure in this city built on over hundred small islands and connected by 400 bridges, Venice is truly an artistic masterpiece. Time to rest and relax before tonight's briefing with your Tour Manager on the exciting journey that awaits you, followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers
Overnight: Venice
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Tuesday - Discover Venice
Your discovery of endlessly fascinating Venice begins with a guided walking tour of St. Mark's Square. View the Basilica of San Marco, built over several centuries in a fusion of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian architecture, considered one of the most breathtaking monuments. Walk via the Bridge of Sighs built at the beginning of the 17th century to serve as a link between the prison and the interrogation rooms of the Doge's Palace; its arched profile makes one of the most famous scenes of the city. Continue to the pink marble Doge's Palace, the official residence of the Venetian ruler, now a museum. In the afternoon, experience an Insider's Venice Walking Tour that will take you "off the beaten path." Start your walk at Santa Maria Formosa, an inspirational white church dating back to 1492, and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the "marble church" is a lasting example of early Venetian Renaissance. Arrive at Marco Polo's house, where the world explorer lived, located close to the Rialto Bridge with its busy market area. Continue via Campo Sant'Angelo, in the San Marco district, to the Fenice Theater, a cradle of many great operas. The evening is at leisure in this fairy-tale city. Discover the city's fine restaurants, shops, and galleries. Don't miss the optional Gondola Ride, with music. It's definitely one of the highlights of any Italian holiday! You will travel along the famous Grand Canal, and experience a piece of Venetian history gliding along the centuries-old canals, past lavish palaces and under famous arched bridges
Optional: Gondola Ride with Music (PM)
Overnight: Venice
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Wednesday - Murano, Burano & Torcello in the Venice Lagoon
The day begins with a boat ride to the island of Murano. Built on a series of small islands, connected by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, Murano has been known for centuries for the famous Murano glass. Visit one of the island's glass blowing factories to view this intricate art. Then on to Burano, the most scenic of the islands with its picturesque canals lined with brightly colored houses. Walk along the main street of Via Galuppi, famous for its artisan lace makers and lined with pastry shops, cafes, and restaurants. Continue to the rural and quiet island of Torcello, the first settlement in the lagoon. Many artists have spent time here to escape from the lights and chaos of the cities, including Ernest Hemingway. Savor the quaint atmosphere before returning to the main island of Venice for the afternoon at leisure. Explore this magical city on your own. Walk the cobblestone streets, hidden alleyways, and endless Venetian bridges to discover this city's unique atmosphere
Overnight: Venice
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Thursday - Lucca & Tuscan Farm Dinner
Magnificent panoramas are waiting for you today. Travel through the rolling Tuscany countryside to Lucca, a perfectly preserved jewel of medieval architecture, with its streets showing layers of history on every turn of the winding streets; the massive 17th-century walls completely surround the city. Walk the narrow streets of the original Roman grid to the Church of San Michele and its beautiful piazza, which occupies the site of the ancient Roman Forum. After the tour, drive to a local Tuscan farm for dinner. Wine tasting and a sampling of delectable local specialties will be a highlight of the meal. Continue to the lively Renaissance city of Florence, with its priceless art and architecture, for overnight
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Friday - Florence City Tour & The Accademia
Today, the lifetime dream of seeing Michelangelo's David is realized. At the Accademia of Fine Arts, stand in awe of this glorious work of art. On to the magnificent Duomo, with its Brunelleschi-designed dome, and view the renowned "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti. You'll be enchanted as you walk through the open-air museum at Signoria Square, ending at the splendid Ponte Vecchio, also known as the "Old Bridge." Florence is indeed the center of the world's finest art and architecture. The optional guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery* provides insight into the history of the structure and its collections. Originally the private collection of the Medici family, the Palazzo was opened to the public in 1765. The tour highlights include exceptional examples of Florentine painting with the intention of helping you to better understand the works of the masters, including Giotto, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. Following the tour admire the breathtaking views of the city from atop the Museum. Tour participation guarantees immediate entry to the Gallery, with no lengthy waits in 2-3 hour lines. The remainder of the day and evening is at leisure in Florence. Time to revisit some of the museums, shop for gold and quality leather or just enjoy the fabulous ambiance
* Optional Uffizi Gallery Tour, US $56 - Available for purchase only in Italy from your Tour Manager
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Saturday - Tuscan Cooking Class
Food! Glorious Italian Food! Begin this fabulous day at the local market. Here, you'll shop like a native following your chef's instructions to buy the fresh produce needed to prepare the most delicious Italian meal. Then take your bags of ingredients out to a farmhouse in the countryside. After a Welcome Drink, the chef begins the morning of cooking lessons. The basics include homemade pasta, rural soups, homemade sauces, and the recipe of the famous Panzanella. All of the Tuscan secrets will be revealed, and using fresh Tuscan olive oil makes a huge difference in taste. Afterward, sit back, relax, sip a glass of great wine and enjoy lunch, your own creation! The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to independently explore this astonishing city, with captivating vistas at every turn
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Sunday - Siena, Rome
Delight in the scenery as you drive through the Chianti area of Tuscany, renowned for its magical landscapes, to Siena, a step back to medieval Tuscany. The heart of the city, Il Campo, was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Its celebrated centuries-old Palio horse race, takes place twice every summer, with participants riding bareback around the spectator-packed square, along with non-stop 24 hour celebrations. The city sits over three hills accented by the huge square where the Roman Forum once stood and dominated by the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower. Stroll leisurely on your own before departing for Rome
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9, Monday - Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Piazzas of Rome
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour! Today visit the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Your local guide will lead you into the museums, where you will visit part of one of the most important art collections of the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries and the Geographical Maps before arriving at the Sistine Chapel, with its great frescoes by Michelangelo. Stroll through St. Peter's Square, passing Bernini's famous colonnade to view St. Peter's Basilica, built on the burial site of Saint Peter.* Then, a change of pace as you stroll through the characteristic "piazzas and vias" of Rome, with your tour guide. Admire the baroque Piazza Navona, built on the site of the 1st-century Stadium of Domitian, where great chariot races were once held. Today, the piazza is packed with vendors, street performers and lined with cafes. Leisure time for lunch on your own, before reaching the monumental Pantheon, the best preserved of any Roman building, you'll see the largest brick dome in the history of architecture, the most copied and imitated of all ancient works. Continue to savor the grandeur of the iconic Trevi Fountain, and of course, toss in some coins! Then onto the majestic Spanish Steps on the Piazza di Spagna, the longest and widest decorative steps in Europe. Enjoy the balance of your day at leisure, perhaps grab a cappuccino or gelato and indulge in the national pastime of people-watching
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Tuesday - Ostia Antica
This morning, head out to Ostia Antica, an incredible area of ancient ruins in the meadows between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Visit this once lively town founded in the 4th century BC as a military colony that served to guard the mouth of the river against invasions, that later became the harbor city of ancient Rome and a flourishing commercial center. Stroll along the Decumanus Maximus, the central thoroughfare and take time to explore the side streets, where you will find intact shops, impressive black and white floor mosaics and few frescoes. View the well-preserved Roman Theater, public baths, the square of the Corporations, Fire Department, the House of Diana and the Thermopolium, an ancient Roman fast food place with a marble counter. Return to Rome afterward, and enjoy the balance of your day at leisure
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11, Wednesday - Ancient Rome & Palazzo Colonna
Step back into history this morning to the mighty Colosseum, the largest amphitheater built in the Roman Empire that once seated over 50,000 spectators. Deadly combat of gladiators and wild animals were attended frequently by the rich, the poor and by the Emperor himself. Continue on to the legendary Roman Forum, the central area of the city from which ancient Rome developed. Next, view the triumphal Arch of Constantine, erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate his tenth year of leadership over the Eternal City. This afternoon enjoy a visit to Palazzo Colonna, one of the oldest and largest private palaces of Rome. Its construction began in the fourteenth century by the Colonna family, who, after eight centuries, still reside there. The Galleria Colonna is a true jewel of Roman Baroque, whose original project by Antonio del Grande was integrated by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Paolo Schor, and Carlo Fontana. From the very beginning, the Gallery was conceived as a large boardroom, which was to celebrate the victory of the Christian fleet commanded by Marcantonio Colonna over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. During the visit, you will admire the works of Bronzino, Ghirlandaio, Tintoretto, Salvator Rosa, Guido Reni, along with many others. Visit the Apartment of Princess Isabelle, located on the ground floor of the palace which was built upon the foundations of the ancient Temple of Serapis. Here the Colonna Princess preserves the apartment formally used by Princess Isabelle exactly as it was when she was still alive. One of the few traces of the Roman sanctuary is a crocodile in porphyry, which welcomes visitors at the beginning of the sequence of rooms where famous artists left their marks, such as Pinturicchio, Pomarancio, and Cavalier Tempesta. To conclude the evening, enjoy a dinner in the heart of the city to bid farewell to your Tour Manager and new-found friends
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Thursday - Depart Italy
Arrivederci Roma! Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

*Due to Religious events, the opening times of St. Peter Basilica are subject to change without notice. In these events, clients will visit the Vatican Library instead of the Basilica.

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Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Gondola Ride with Music

One of the highlights of any Italian holiday! Enjoy a relaxing gondola ride with music along the famous Grand Canal, and experience a piece of Venetian history. Glide along the centuries old canals, past lavish palaces and under famous arched bridges (the Gondola holds a maximum of six passengers. Please note that this is not a private gondola ride. There will be one musician on board of one of the gondolas in your fleet).

Pick-up details to be advised locally.

Day #3 01 May 2017 - 31 Dec 2017 $56.00
Gondola Ride with Music Thumbnail

Italy, La Dolce Vita!, September 2016
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Enjoyed our trip, Georgio was an excellent tour director & organized our stay & tours well. He informed us of our schedules in a timely manner. The itinerary was great with diverse activities including tours of churches, palaces, winery & cooking session which we perfect. Liked the small group. All tour guides were passionate, knowledgable about their area & made it interesting. Walking tours gave us a good experience in towns.

Rekha G. Uppr Marlboro, MD