Country Roads of Italy    *alt*

16 days, from £3397
Insight Vacations
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Description

Between the major cities, you'll find little-known gems like Orvieto, Assisi and Perugia, Tuscan hill towns, gastronomic icons, a formidable abbey and Italy's finest stretch of coastline.

Tourtype: Country Roads

Additional Included Highlights
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.

Sorrento: See the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Join in the Italian social ritual of la passeggiata and witness an intarsio demonstration.

Isle of Capri: There is time to browse the exclusive boutiques and admire the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Orvieto: Visit Piazza del Duomo to admire the cathedral.

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.

Perugia: Explore the Old Town and see the Priors' Palace, Collegio del Cambio, the cathedral the Great Fountain and main square.

Siena: Visit Piazza del Campo and see the Town Hall and its Mangia Tower.

San Gimignano: Visit the medieval Manhattan of Italy!

Radda in Chianti: Stay within the walled wine village.

Florence: Visit Piazza Santa Crocoe, famous for it quality, luxury goods.

Lucca: See the churches, squares and palaces within the medieval ramparts.

Maranello: Visit the Ferrari Museum.

Verona: See the ancient Roman Arena and visit the reputed courtyard of the Capulet home to see Juliet's balcony.

Venice: Cruise to St Mark's Square by private launch. See St Mark's Basilica, the bell tower, clock tower, Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs.

Top Rated Highlights
Florence: Your Local Expert will show you the cathedral, the incredible Gates of Paradise adorning the baptistery, the impressive bell tower and the open-air gallery of Piazza della Signoria.

Cinque Terre: Led by your Local Expert, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, travelling by train and boat and dedicated time to explore one of the five charming fishing villages.

Maranello: This is a mecca for car enthusiasts! Visit the Museo Ferrari, dedicated to the famed Italian marque.

Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.

Vatican City: Be among the select few to admire the Bramante Staircase, a dizzying spiral of carved stone.

Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle to meet your Local Expert for an exploration of Capri town.

Isle of Capri: Ride in style back to the port by open-top taxi.

Positano: Drive along the Amalfi Coast to visit this colourful town that looks as if it is almost tumbling into the sea.

Assisi: Discover why the Basilica of Saint Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.

Sienna: With your Local Expert explore the cobbles streets of Siena, making your way to the black and white striped marble cathedral.

What's included:
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.

Tour style: Country Roads

Itinerary


 Day 1 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.

Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Rome is not only the modern capital of Italy, but also a spectacular encyclopedia of living history. You will be met on arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30, transfers depart for your hotel. At 17:30, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner with the opportunity to get to know each other over a pleasant evening.(Dinner with Wine)
Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.


 Day 2 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.

In the morning, you will be joined by a Local 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-tracked entry and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase, part of the Vatican closed to the general public. There's free time to do as the Romans do. Perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum? Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration has it in abundance. 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.(Buffet Breakfast)
Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.


 Day 3 Pompeii and on to Sorrento.

Journey to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, eerily preserved by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. Walk with a Local Expert through cobbled streets to explore some of the shops, villas and temples. 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.(Buffet Breakfast)
Majestic Palace Hotel, 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 funicular railway and e0xplore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and wonder at the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis. Back in Sorrento, investigate the art of intarsio, marquetry wood inlaying.(Buffet Breakfast)
Majestic Palace Hotel, Sorrento.


 Day 5 The Picturesque Amalfi Coast.

(Relaxed Start) Travel along Italy's finest coastline, the Amalfi Coast. Stop to admire a view of the terraced houses of the artist's paradise of Positano, clinging to the cliff face, before boarding minibuses to the heart of the town. Take time to be tempted by the local boutiques.(Buffet Breakfast)
Majestic Palace Hotel, Sorrento.


 Day 6 The Umbrian Town of Orvieto.

Travel into the heart of Italy to enjoy free time in Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard-covered plain. Savour the distinctly medieval ambiance during your orientation and admire the richly decorated facade of the cathedral in Piazza del Duomo. Take in the flavours of the region, learn about the ingredients and Italian food culture when you join Chef Lorenzo for a fascinating cooking demonstration, followed by a Highlight Dinner and a glass of the Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience!(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Hotel Aquila Bianca, Orvieto.


 Day 7 Assisi and on to Perugia.

Cross the River Tiber to arrive at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Assisi. Under the dome is a small medieval chapel and the spot where St. Francis died. Continue to visit the huge Basilica of St. Francis. With a Local Expert, walk down the Via San Francesco to St. Clare's Church and see the cathedral. 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. Visit an artisanal workshop to meet Marta, recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Learn how Marta and her weavers are preserving the ancient craft of loom-weaving.(Buffet Breakfast)
Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia.


 Day 8 Perugia, the Jewel of Umbria.

(Relaxed Start) The entire day is at leisure for you to explore this gem of a town on your own. 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. In the evening there is the option to discover the edible treasures of a traditional Umbrian kitchen, accompanied with wines of the region.(Buffet Breakfast)
Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia.


 Day 9 Siena and Radda in Chianti.

(Relaxed Start) Drive past Lake Trasimeno to Siena. On arrival, walk with a Local Expert through narrow cobbled streets to the Piazza del Campo, where the bi-annual Palio horse race takes place. See the superb 14th century Town Hall with its slim Mangia Tower, then climb up to the hill-top cathedral decorated with stripes of black and white marble. Travel through the cypress-clad hills and vineyards of Tuscany to your elegant hotel. On arrival, enjoy a delicious exploration of Tuscany's red wines, discovering their robust flavours and absorbing history.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
CDH Hotel Radda, Tuscany.


 Day 10 The Towers of San Gimignano.

(Relaxed Start) Visit the hilltop town of San Gimignano. Enjoy a tasting with award-winning, master ice-cream maker, Sergio Dondoli whose great inventions include innovative and mouth-watering flavour combinations. After enjoying time to explore at your leisure, return to the tranquil surroundings of your hotel.(Buffet Breakfast)
CDH Hotel Radda, Tuscany


 Day 11 Florence and on to Lucca.

Journey to Renaissance Florence where 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. Continue to Lucca, to view its churches, squares and palaces that are 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.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Villa La Principessa, Lucca.


 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. There is plenty of time to explore the old medieval quarter and popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel in Lucca.(Buffet Breakfast)
Villa La Principessa, Lucca.


 Day 13 Modena and on to Parma.

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. Move on to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, for an insight into the iconic car brand that embodies the nation itself - fashionable, feisty and a touch flashy! Continue to the beautiful university town of Parma, world-famous for its local ham and cheese. Meet one of the locals, Signora Afra at Ciaolatte Parmesan, the first organic Parmesan cheese farm in Italy. Learn about the process of making Parmigiano-Reggiano as the Signoria shares with you her passions for Italian food, especially excellent quality Parmesan cheese. Taste samples of the organic cheese and other delicious local delicacies, accompanied with a glass of wine.(Buffet Breakfast)
Du Parc, Parma.


 Day 14 Verona and Venice.

Journey to the elegant city of Verona, legendary home of Romeo and Juliet. See the ancient Roman Arena and stand beneath Juliet's balcony in a Renaissance courtyard - can you recite Shakespeare's immortal words? 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 by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.(Buffet Breakfast)
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice Hotel.


 Day 15 The Magic of La Serenissima.

(Relaxed Start) Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the art of glassblowing on a visit to a traditional arts centre on Giudecca Island and see how their beautiful handcrafted glass is made. Then only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square, where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. Admire also the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure. 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.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice Hotel.


 Day 16 Farewell Venezia & Bella Italia.

Alas, you must bid farewell to this enchanting city. Your departure transfer arrives at Venice airport at 08:00 or 09:30. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.(Buffet Breakfast)


Tour Map