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Italy and Greece are countries steeped in history with a treasure trove of ancient sites and scenic beauty. On this affordable Italy and Greece tour, you’ll see the exceptional features these countries have to offer, starting in Rome and ending in Athens. In Italy, you’ll stay in Rome, Florence, and the Venice area. In Greece, you’ll stay in Olympia, Nauplia, and Athens. You’ll also spend one night on a ferry to cross the Adriatic Sea from Ancona, Italy to Patras, Greece and then on a cruise ship for a 3-night Aegean Islands sea cruise. Visit Rome with a local guide who brings ancient Imperial Rome back to life as you pass the Colosseum. Enjoy sightseeing of the must-see sights, including Piazza Signoria in the center of Florence: the old town center in Verona; and Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. In Venice, take a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square and watch glassblowers create works of art as they have done for centuries—or discover the lagoon at your own pace. Step back in time on your visit to Athens’ Acropolis and the Parthenon, dating back to the 5th century BC. You’ll also visit Mycenae, where you’ll marvel at the arches, fountains, ramparts, and amazing masonry still standing. Spend the last few days of your affordable tour of Italy and Greece in sheer relaxation aboard your cruise ship for a 3-night cruise to some of the world’s most beautiful islands. You’ll see Mykonos, with its seafront village, sandy beaches, and whitewashed houses; Heraklion, Crete, nestled picturesquely between two mountain ranges; Santorini (weather permitting), with one of the world's most breathtaking panoramas; Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation; and Kusadasi, Turkey, where you’ll enjoy an included visit of the Ephesus archaeological site. All these elements come together perfectly to create a value-minded Italy and Greece tour and cruise like no other!
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See Pisa's Leaning Tower, Verona Juliet's balcony, Venice canal boat ride, Ravenna Byzantine mosaics, visit Olympia, Corinth Canal.Guides:
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Mycenae, Athens; professional Tour Director while touringNotes:
Security cruise regulations require clients’ passport information at time of booking.Please ask your Travel Consultant for cruise ship details. The ship scheduled to depart for the cruise portion of your vacation is the Celestyal Olympia, operated by Celestyal Cruises.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; mini-train to Pisa; canal transfer boat in Venice; ferry Ancona-Patras in 2-berth cabins with private shower and toilet; Cruise in fully air-conditioned inside cabins with private shower and toilet. Cruise ship fare, basic drink package, select excursions and entertainment are included. Upgrades available at a supplement.
Buffet breakfasts daily; 3 dinners, including dinner at a local restaurant in Nauplia; full board on cruise
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Italy’s ancient capital using your CosmosGO app. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
ROME The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Start the included introduction to Rome’s landmarks with a Local Guide, starting from St. Peter’s Square. Enjoy a drive along the iconic landmarks of the city: the Tiber River, the Caius Cestius Pyramid, the Aurelian Walls, and the Caracalla Baths. Complete the experience with a walk back in time from the Circus Maximus to the Arch of Constantine and to the fascinating Colosseum, symbol of the Roman Empire. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the treasures of the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel on our optional excursion.
ROME–PISA–FLORENCE Vistas of rolling hills, cypress trees, vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Stop in Pisa and enjoy a mini-train ride to see the Square of Miracles and the amazing Leaning Tower, then on to Florence. End the day by joining the optional Gastronomy Experience in a typical restaurant. Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km
FLORENCE This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled the entire day. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio; Loggia dei Lanzi, and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile.
FLORENCE–VERONA–VENICE AREA Journey north to enchanting Verona to spend some time at leisure strolling around the historical city center with its many highlights. Continue to the Venice area. Today’s Distance: 217 mi/ 350 km
VENICE Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its crisscrossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and quiet little piazzas. Take a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square and enjoy time at leisure for a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers at work. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you.
VENICE AREA–ANCONA (EMBARKATION)–OVERNIGHT FERRY CROSSING TO PATRAS, GREECE Travel across the flatlands of the Po Delta to reach Ancona on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, to embark on the ferry for the crossing to Patras. Today’s Distance by coach: 186 mi/ 300 km
PATRAS (DISEMBARKATION)–OLYMPIA During the crossing, enjoy all the ship’s amenities. Disembark in Patras and drive south into the Peloponnese to Olympia. Today’s Distance: 63 mi/ 100 km (excluding overnight ferry)
OLYMPIA–NAUPLIA Enjoy time at leisure, or make the most of this morning by taking the optional tour of the sites of ancient Olympia, including the ruins of the Temple of Zeus. In the afternoon, absorb the rugged scenery of the Peloponnese on the way to Nauplia. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.Today’s Distance: 124 mi/ 201 km
NAUPLIA–MYCENAE–ATHENS Morning visit with a Local Guide to the impressive ruins of Mycenae, an ancient city of Homer’s epics. Later, stop to view the Corinth Canal, built between 1881 and 1893. Today’s Distance: 87 mi/ 140 km
ATHENS Join the included sightseeing tour of Athens, featuring the highlights of the ancient capital and a visit to the Acropolis. Explore the shops and museums or take the tram to the coast. In the evening, enjoy the lively atmosphere of the tavernas in the old Plaka district with its narrow streets and sound of bouzouki music, or join an optional traditional Greek dinner.
ATHENS–EMBARKATION PORT–MYKONOS Board your Celestyal cruise ship. Cruise the Aegean Sea to Mykonos, with its white houses, chapels, and windmills. Late-evening departure for Kusadasi, Turkey.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
KUSADASI, TURKEY–PATMOS, GREECE Two ports of call today. First, Kusadasi on the Turkish coast. An included excursion is available to the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. Next, discover the tiny Greek island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation. The 11th-century monastery with its valuable manuscript collection is well worth a visit.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
HERAKLION–SANTORINI First port of call today is Heraklion on Crete. Join the included excursion to Knossos, the center of the 3000-BC Minoan civilization. Afternoon call (weather permitting) at Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” An optional shore excursion takes you up to the cliff-top village of Oia for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
DISEMBARKATION PORT–ATHENS Early morning arrival. Drive to Athens and relax, visit a museum, or go shopping.
ATHENS Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 15 years
"There's sage travel advice that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" That's my goal...to help every traveler experience Italy (and the Mediterranean) through an Italian perspective. We'll get to the heart and soul of each town-the sights, sounds, and flavors that make each place so unique. You'll definitely come away with a better understanding of why we say, "Italians do it better!""