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2023 Tour Details »2022 Tour Details
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 breathtaking 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. From here, take an excursion to Lugano, a lakeside town in Switzerland with a Mediterranean flair. In southern Italy, witness breathtaking views of the crystal-clear, blue sea in the bubbly town of Sorrento, and enjoy a day trip to Capri where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves. History comes alive on this Italy tour. Visit Pompeii, completely 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 center, view the remains of the city’s 17th-century fortifications. Visit St Francis’ Basilica in Assisi, a medieval town set in the Umbrian hills. City sightseeing tours with local experts 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 through Italy!
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*Book a select 2023 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive $750 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between August 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022 for travel in 2023. Promotional discount will apply to Groups of 8 or more who provide their Group Block Deposit within the promotion's booking dates and will apply to all individual members of the Group until the due date of the passenger names/non-refundable individual deposits. Not applicable on TBA space. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Offer combinable only with Welcome Back Credit. Applies to new 2023 bookings only and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0992
ROME Guided sightseeing, see St. Peter’s SquarePISA See the leaning towerFLORENCE Guided walking tourVERONA See Juliet’s balconyVENICE Boat ride to St. Mark’s Square, visit glassblowing workshopGuides:
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Genoa, Assisi, Pompeii archaeological site; professional Tour Director while touringScenic Highlights:
Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Italian Lake District, Bay of Naples, CapriNotes:
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: 249 mi/ 400 km
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: 62 mi/ 100 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: 114 mi/ 183 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: 224 mi/ 360 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 create 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. Visit the Basilica of St. Francis with its famous frescoes by Giotto with a local guide, who brings history to life as you walk along the isles. Overnight in the beautiful area of Assisi, in the heart of Umbria. Today’s Distance: 230 mi/ 370 km
ASSISI AREA–POMPEII–SORRENTO COAST Travel to Pompeii, where time stopped for the rich, aristocratic town with the terrible eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. On the included guided visit of the archaeological site, see the remains of luxurious villas, temples, theater, and the 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 perhaps stop for a limoncello, absorbing the easy-going lifestyle of this charming resort town. Today’s Distance: 255 mi/ 410 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!"