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With its magnificent architecture, beautiful landscapes, sumptuous cuisine, ancient ruins, and brilliant art, Italy is a country like no other. On this affordable Italy’s Best tour, you’ll experience all of this and more. One of the tour’s highlights is the excursion to the Cinque Terre—five medieval seaside villages. The area is noted for its natural beauty with terraces built into the mountainside on cliffs that drop down into the sea. Delight in the unique charm of the area and take in the breathtaking views. On your journey through Tuscany, watch the undulating hills, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages. More stunning scenery awaits at Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s largest lakes. Located on the edge of the Swiss Alps, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak in the beauty. Briefly cross the border into Switzerland to Lugano, a lakeside town with a Mediterranean flair. In southern Italy, witness magnificent views of the crystal-clear, blue sea in the vibrant town of Sorrento, and enjoy a day trip to Capri where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves. On this comprehensive Italy tour, history comes alive. Visit Pompeii, buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. This amazingly preserved archaeological site gives you a detailed insight into ordinary life at the peak of the Roman Empire. In Rome, during the city sightseeing tour with a local guide, see the main sights, as well as Vatican City with St Peter’s Basilica. In Genoa, boasting Europe’s largest medieval historical district, view the remains of the city’s 17th-century fortifications. Visit St Francis’ Basilica in Assisi, a medieval town set in the Umbrian hills. Guided city sightseeing tours are planned in Rome, Florence, Assisi, and Genoa. Your visit to Venice includes a boat trip to St Mark’s square to see the maze of canals forming this unique romantic city. These are just some of the many highlights of this affordable tour of Italy!
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ROME Guided sightseeing, see St. Peter’s Square PISA See the Leaning Tower FLORENCE Guided walking tour CINQUE TERRE Excursion GENOA Guided sightseeing MILAN See the gothic Duomo LUGANO, SWITZERLAND Visit VERONA see Juliet’s balcony VENICE Boat ride to St. Mark’s Square, visit glassblowing workshop RAVENNA Visit ASSISI Guided visit St. Francis Basilica POMPEII Guided walking tour of the excavations CAPRI Excursion by boatNotes:
December 24 Departure – Christmas in Rome and New Year’s Eve in Venice, including festive dinner
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; mini-train to Pisa; canal transfer boat in Venice; boat transfer to Capri; train La Spezia-Levanto
Buffet breakfast daily; 4 dinners
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 this ancient capital. 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 from St. Peter’s Square with a Local Guide. 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–MONTECATINI Vistas of rolling hills, rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Stop in Pisa, and take a mini-train ride to see the Square of Miracles with the amazing Leaning Tower. Arrive in Montecatini. Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440
MONTECATINI. EXCURSION TO FLORENCE Today, enjoy an included excursion to Florence. Your Local Guide will show you the city highlights on the walking tour. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard and Loggia dei Lanzi. To top it all, marvel at the Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Doors of the Baptistry, known as the “Gates of Paradise.” Today’s Distance: 81 mi/ 130 km
MONTECATINI–LA SPEZIA–CINQUE TERRE–GENOA Travel towards La Spezia, where you’ll hop aboard the train to discover some of the five spectacular Cinque Terre villages. The beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired poet Lord Byron. From Levanto, head towards Genoa, birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus. Today’s Distance by coach: 149 mi/ 240 km
GENOA–MILAN–LAKE MAGGIORE Today’s included guided tour is an excellent introduction to Genoa. A maze of squares and alleys, the city grew around the port, a natural inlet, and boasts the largest medieval historical center in Europe. Next, head north into the plains of Lombardy, and stop in Milan to marvel at its magnificent Gothic Duomo. Then, continue to Baveno on Lake Maggiore. Today’s Distance: 155 mi/ 250 km
LAKE MAGGIORE. EXCURSION TO LUGANO, SWITZERLAND Time to relax and get to know Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s largest lakes, located on the very edge of Alpine Switzerland. On clear days, you can see the peaks of the Alps. Take advantage of the included excursion to visit Lugano in Italian-speaking Swiss Canton Ticino. Today’s Distance: 124 mi/ 200 km
LAKE MAGGIORE–VERONA–VENICE AREA Travel across the fertile Po River plain. Stop in the romantic city of Verona for some time at leisure, marveling at the Roman Arena, shopping, or tasting some of the excellent local wines. Continue to the Venice area. Today’s Distance: 236 mi/ 380 km
VENICE Venice is more like a romantic film set than a real-life city, with its crisscrossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and piazzas. The included orientation starts with a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square, and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you.
VENICE AREA–RAVENNA–ASSISI–ASSISI AREA Enjoy an interesting drive southward right across the Po Delta to Ravenna, renowned for its treasure of Byzantine mosaics, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Continue to Assisi, enclosed by ramparts and little changed since the Middle Ages. This is the town of the deeply mystical and poetic St. Francis. See the Basilica of St. Francis with its famous frescoes by Giotto, with history brought to life by a Local Guide. Overnight in the beautiful area of Assisi, in the heart of Umbria.Today’s Distance: 249 mi/ 400 km
ASSISI AREA–POMPEII–SORRENTO COAST Travel to Pompeii, where time stopped for the rich, aristocratic town with the terrible eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. On the included guided visit of the archaeological site, see the remains of luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Carry on to Sorrento, set on a plateau above the waters of the Bay of Naples. Wander the winding streets lined with shops and stalls, and sit with a glass of wine, absorbing the easy-going lifestyle of this charming resort.Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km
SORRENTO COAST. BOAT TRIP TO CAPRI Enjoy a day trip to the legendary island, surrounded by a rocky coastline where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves. The town with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and cozy restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set. Explore on your own or take an optional island tour.
SORRENTO COAST–ROME Today, enjoy time at leisure or visit Positano on our exciting optional excursion, before returning to Rome. Today’s Distance: 168 mi/ 270 km
ROME 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 10 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!""
Escorting tours for more than 5 years
"Buongiorno everyone! I'm Francesco Nardin and I've been rendering my services as a Cosmos Tour Director in Italy, Greece, South France and Spain. Following in the footsteps of my parents, I've always loved travelling and exploring new countries, meeting new people and cultures. Clients need to know what Italy is, what is the feeling of the Mediterranean breeze and how much we can offer to them... this is why I'm here, to create memories and to turn travel dreams into real experiences. Bellissimo!"