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Italy—a country filled with history, amazing art, delicious cuisine, remarkable architecture, and splendid beauty. You’ll see and feel it all on this affordable tour through Italy. Explore the maze of streets in Venice, and discover hidden treasures and restaurants in their back alleys. Stand in awe as you admire the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a must-see icon in Italy. Have your camera ready as you explore the historical sites of Rome, including the Colosseum, the amphitheater used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles during the Roman Empire. Sit in a café as you admire one of Italy’s most unique squares in Siena. Enjoy wine tasting in Italy’s Chianti wine region, and shop for local goods in Italy’s Tuscany region. What do you want from your Italian vacation? Amazing architecture, sumptuous food, delicious wine, breathtaking art, historical treasures, or scenic beauty? Whatever it is, this Italy vacation delivers it!
Destinations & Sightseeing
Individual headsetsInside visits and special features:Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.Sightseeing:Visits to Orvieto, Siena, San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti with wine tasting, Pisa, Venice, AssisiGuides:
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence; professional Tour Director while touring
Scenic Highlights: Chianti Valley
NOTE:December 21 Departure – Christmas lunch in Florence
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Transportation: Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal transfer boat in Venice
Meals & Itinerary
Buffet breakfasts daily; 3 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Siena
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 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.
Day 2 Rome
The ˝Eternal City,“ Rome is a city steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter's Square, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and the mighty COLOSSEUM. In the evening, you have a chance to discover Rome by night on an optional excursion.
Day 3 Rome–Orvieto–Siena
Journey northwest to the charmingly located city of Orvieto in the Umbria region to visit its black basalt and yellow limestone CATHEDRAL, an excellent example of Italian Gothic architecture. By early evening, you’ll be in Siena with time to visit this jewel of Tuscany. Sit in one of the cafés surrounding the Piazza del Campo and admire one of Italy’s most unique squares, famed all over the world for its Palio horse race. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4 Siena–San Gimignano–Greve–Montecatini
Drive this morning to San Gimignano, one of Tuscany’s greatest attractions. Its medieval squares, town walls, streets, alleyways, and 14 towers make it unique. Next, into the very heart of the Chianti vineyards; watch out for names such as Castellina in Chianti, Badia, Gaiole, and Brolio, where classical Chianti wines are produced. Stop in Greve for some WINE TASTING at the Vicchiomaggio wine estate. Arrive in Montecatini in time to join the outing for an optional Tuscan dinner.
Day 5 Montecatini–Excursion to Florence
This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled the entire day. Traffic is banned in part of the historic center, so visitors can wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty in relative peace and quiet. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.”
Day 6 Montecatini–Pisa–Venice Area
This morning, drive to Pisa for a visit to its SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and no less than 16 feet out of the perpendicular. Later, head across the wooded Apennine Hills into the farmlands of the Po Valley for two overnights in the Venice area.
Day 7 Venice Area
Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and little quiet 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.
Day 8 Venice Area–Assisi–Rome
An interesting drive southward, cutting across the Po Delta, then crossing the Apennines. Stop in Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome.
Day 9 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.
Years of Experience: 10
“In my 10 years of experience with Cosmos, I have escorted many multi-country European tours but there's no place like home. I am now proud to share with our passengers the passion that I have for my "bella Italia". Italy is a pleasure for the eyes with its enchanting art and architecture, but also a pleasure for the palate. I love introducing our guests to the flavors of my country through visits to vineyards or rolling olive groves. Come have a taste of Italy!”
ROME Fleming (ST) or Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (ST)SIENA Mercure degli Ulivi (F)MONTECATINI Settentrionale Esplanade (F) or Grand Hotel du Park et Regina (ST)VENICE AREA Poppi (ST) at Mira or Smart Hotel Holiday (F) at MestreROME Residenza Parco Tirreno (ST) or NH Villa Carpegna (F)
The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.
Why not round off your Italian experience in the company of new found friends and soak up "la dolce vita" of this romantic but pulsing capital. Dinner will be taken in one of the traditional local Roman restaurants and you can really taste typical Italian specialties with a menu offering a wide choice of both starters and main course and including wine or soft drinks plus mineral water and coffee or tea. During the evening there will be music to add to the romantic atmosphere. After dinner a stop will be made at the Spanish Steps for a short visit. This monumental stairway of 138 steps was built around 1724 and the steps climb a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. They are said to be the widest staircase in Europe. After the stop return back to the overnight hotel.
Approximate value: 55 EUR per person
Treasures of Rome By Night & Dinner
An early evening tour will show you other aspects of Rome, perhaps not seen on the included sightseeing tour. Either before or after dinner you will have an orientation drive to probably include Castel Sant' Angelo, Palace of Justice, Mausoleum of Augustus, Aurelian walls, Villa Borghese, Via Veneto, Piazza Barberini and Via Nazionale. Dinner will be taken at one of the local restaurants and you can sample a delicious 3 course menu with dessert including local wine and mineral water plus coffee or tea. During the evening there will be music to add to the romantic Roman atmosphere.
Approximate value: 55 EUR per person
Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
On this fascinating excursion with a local guide you can stroll through the Vatican Museum and marvel at Michaelangelo's famous creation in the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum houses over 2000 rooms and 9 miles of the most extensive collections of art in the world. The Museums are brilliantly decorated and brim over with treasures and history and the local guide will share with you the stories and secrets contained within the Museum's walls. In the Sistine Chapel you can marvel at Michaelangelo's masterpiece, which is perhaps the greatest example of art anywhere and certainly the largest contiguous body by one painter. There are also some lesser masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel which are also worth seeing. PLEASE NOTE: On December 8th the Jubilee will start in Rome. We have been informed that the passage linking the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica may be closed. This means that during the optional Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel it may not be possible for the passengers to access the Basilica directly from the Sistine Chapel.
Approximate value: 60 EUR per person
Enjoy a lovely evening out in the Tuscan countryside in a restaurant which is situated on the land of an ancient farm. The farm was completely renewed and the production of the wine and olive oil are open to visitors with traditional Tuscan hospitality. During the winter season the old wine cellar becomes a warm and welcoming dining room. In spring and autumn, weather permitting, one can dine outside and enjoy the warmth of the first or last sunbeams whilst in the summer the ancient surrounding trees offer a cool shelter and the outside lamps create a magical setting. You can sample a good selection of local Tuscan dishes together with a tasting of locally produced wines plus mineral water, coffee and Italian liqueur.
Approximate value: 50 EUR per person
Don't miss the chance to visit what is believed to be the earliest museum in Europe. With a local guide you will be taken around the Uffizi Gallery, which is one of the most important art galleries in Italy displaying paintings from every age. The Uffizi Palace was built by Giorgio Vasari at the wishes of Duke Cosimo 1 de Medici as offices of the Medici government. It houses the most significant classical sculptures from the Medici collections and a big selection of Italian and European paintings from 13th to 18th centuries. Admire some classical works of art such as Botticelli's "Birth of Venus", Leonardo's "The Annunciation" and Michelangelo's "Tondo Doni". At the end of the visit with the local guide you will be free to remain in the museum on your own to look around further. Note that the Uffizi Gallery is closed on Mondays.
Approximate value: 35 EUR per person
Discover The Venetian Lagoon
Discover the Venetian lagoon on an afternoon excursion lasting approximately 3 hours. After sailing past the island of St. Giorgio, the public gardens, Sant'Elena, the Lido and Murano the boat takes you to the famous island of Burano. This is the most picturesque of Venetian islands of the lagoon and the pretty fishing village has its streets and canals lined by pastel colored houses. It is also famous for its lace-making industry. There will be time to look around Burano on your own before returning back to St. Mark's Square by boat.
Approximate value: 35 EUR per person
One of the highlights of a trip to Europe and something not to be missed during your visit to Venice is a gondola serenade. The gondola ride either takes place in the morning or the afternoon and lasts approximately 30 minutes when during this time you can relax whilst cruising not only on the Grand Canal but also down many small canals to see Venice from the water. During the gondola ride a local musician will serenade you with the traditional romantic music of Italy. Note: the gondola is to be shared with other Cosmos guests (maximum 6 participants on each gondola). There will be one musician on board of one of the gondola boats in your fleet.
Approximate value: 40 EUR per person
Venetian Night Out & Dinner
As the title suggests, this is a real Venetian night out. Embark on a motorboat for a cruise along the impressive Giudecca Canal with the tour director pointing out the most important palaces, all built by the Venetian gentry between the 12th and 13th centuries. Upon disembarkation an evening stroll though some of the romantic narrow streets of this fascinating city to eventually reach one of the specially chosen local restaurants for your Venetian dinner. After a welcoming aperitif of the house you can sit down and enjoy a typical dinner with a choice of starters and main course followed by a delicious dessert. Included also is red or white wine plus mineral water and tea or coffee. After dinner you will be given some free time in St. Mark's Square, said to have been called the "drawing room of Europe" by Napoleon and which is one of the few great urban spaces in Europe where human voices prevail over the sounds of motorized traffic. A motorboat will then take you part of the way back to your hotel.
Approximate value: 70 EUR per person
Know Before You Go
These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.
* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals
for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).