Italian Treasures

The masterpieces of Italy: the canal city of Venice, the opulent art of Florence, the wine and cuisine of Tuscany, and the history—both modern and ancient—of Rome, with first-class hotels throughout


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Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 16 travelers max
Themes History & CultureGrand Tours
Activity Level Moderate
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
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Welcome to Italy, a destination so iconic that centuries of travelers have fallen in love with its red-roofed villages, rolling vineyards, vibrant cities, opulent cathedrals, warm Mediterranean sun and (of course) the wine and cuisine - some of the world's most beloved! These treasures and more make Italy one of the world's most popular countries, and our new and comprehensive small group tour ensures you get to experience the best that this sun-splashed country has to offer.

Start in the canal city of Venice and explore its splendid architecture and vibe, then indulge in the arts at a Murano glass blowing demonstration and hands-on traditional screen printing workshop. Travel through the rolling countryside to Bologna then Florence, the capital of Italy's Tuscany region and home to a wealth of masterpieces including Michelangelo's David. Take a step off the beaten path to Oltrarno, a working class neighborhood of ancient artisans to wander its maze-like alleys and galleries, workshops, and more. Sample the complex flavors of fine Italian wines in Chianti, before ending your postcard-perfect trip in Rome, the Eternal City. Spend a day at the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica and the famed Sistine Chapel - a work so expansive it will take your breath away. Then, let your expert-guide lead you through the vestiges of Ancient Rome: the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the original path of ancient Rome along the Via Sacra to see temples that honored gods of long ago.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip flights from New York including taxes & fees
  • All ground transportation and transfers
  • 8 nights' accommodations in first-class hotels
  • 13 meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 4 dinners including welcome and farewell dinners with wine
  • Professional English-speaking tour director and local guides
  • Comprehensive touring program and entrance fees
  • Advanced audio headset guided tour system

Optional add-ons

  • Full day excursion to Cinque Terre
  • Afternoon tour of the Piazza Venezia & Gelato Tasting

Why you'll love it

  • Explore the wonders of Italy with a small group of no more than 16 like-minded travelers.
  • Relax after a day of touring in hand-picked, first-class, well-located hotels in every city.
  • Indulge in the arts with a Murano glass blowing demonstration and silk screen workshop.
  • Taste the flavors that have made Italian cuisine world famous at FICO Eataly World Bologna.
  • Appreciate Michelangelo's timeless masterpieces including David and the Sistine Chapel.
  • Visit an artisan's workshop in Oltrarno, Florence where they are still using the traditional practices of their craft.
  • Sip world-famous wine at a vineyard in Chianti.
  • Watch history come alive at the Doge's Palace, Vatican Museum, Colosseum and Roman Forum.

Itinerary at a Glance

Italian Treasures map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA

  • Depart New York on your overnight flight for Venice, Italy

Day 2 Venice

  • Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel
  • Get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner with wine

Hotel Giorgione Venice or similar Dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Rialto Bridge, Venice

Arrive at Venice airport, where after completing immigration and customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and escorted to the pier for the transfer to Venice via private boat. After a short walk, arrive at your hotel for check-in. Join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Day 3 Venice

  • Tour through St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace
  • See a glass blowing demonstration
  • Enjoy a walking tour of the San Pietro di Castello district
  • Visit a well-known atelier for a hands-on lesson in silk screen printing

Hotel Giorgione Venice or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
St. Mark's Square, Venice

This morning, depart with your guide for a walking tour of the historic center of Venice. The tour starts from St. Mark's Square, with its surrounding monuments, such as St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, the Campanile, the Clock Tower, and the Procuratie. Explore the splendid Doge's Palace, the true heart of medieval Venetian political power, and discover the places where the Doge and his council discussed the city's fate. See the Golden Staircase and many other works of art. Cross the famous Bridge of Sighs and enter the Venetian prison to learn how the prisoners of the Most Serene Republic lived.

In the afternoon, visit a glass blowing factory. Murano glass is famous worldwide, and you will see artisans continue the tradition, developed over centuries, with roots in ancient Rome and Byzantium.

Later, enjoy a walking tour, starting from the lively Castello quays through the tranquil and solitary island of San Pietro di Castello, where the Cathedral of Venice once stood. 

Then, visit Fiorenzo Fallani's Atelier for a hands-on workshop to learn about traditional screen printing. The workshop will be divided into two phases, first viewing the historical archive of print and the technical steps of the process. You will learn to recognize the working tools, such as the frame, squeegee blade, and the various inks used in this unique graphic technique. Then, you will prepare frames and colors and print a three-color graphic on paper. Return to your hotel for a free evening.

Day 4 Bologna & Florence

  • Walking tour of Bologna’s well-preserved old center
  • Enjoy a sampling of local delicacies
  • Enjoy a Florentine dinner

Grand Hotel Adriatico or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Piazza Maggiore, Bologna

 After breakfast, take a walking tour of Bologna's old center, one of the best preserved in Europe. Start at the Piazza Maggiore, the heart of the city and its civic palaces. Then, walk along the Pavaglione Portico and its elegant shops to reach the 16th-century Archiginnasio Palace, the old University building decorated with about 6,000 coats of arms of students. Walk through the picturesque alleys of the Mercato di Mezzo, the old market with its fabulous food shops, to reach the lovely Square of Santo Stefano, Piazza della Mercanzia, the gothic Palazzo della Mercanzia and some 13th-century buildings with wooden porticoes. End at the foot of the Two Towers, the city's symbol. After the city tour, enjoy a sample of local meats, including mortadella, capocollo, and ham, along with local wine.

Continue to Florence for check-in at your hotel. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 5 Florence

  • Visit the old neighborhood of Oltrarno and see how the traditional crafts are still hand made at an Officina Creativa
  • Enjoy Florence, including the Duomo, squares, churches and works of art
  • Visit the Accademia Gallery Museum and admire Michelangelo’s David

Grand Hotel Adriatico or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
The Duomo, Florence

Start the morning in Oltrarno, the “other Florence,” a working-class neighborhood of ancient craft workshops with many restaurants and bars today. In the maze of workshops occupied by craftspeople and small businesses, restorers, potters, jewelry makers, and crystal millers, Oltrarno is an open-air museum and an extraordinary legacy of unique Tuscan traditions. Visit an Artisan Workshop (Officina Creativa), where everything is still patiently and meticulously carried out by hand, and participate in a creative workshop.

Set off on a walking tour of Florence. Stroll through the picturesque Signoria Square, where you can admire Cellini, Giambologna, and Ammannati statues before proceeding to the famous Ponte Vecchio. Visit Santa Croce Church Square, where the tombs of illustrious Florentine citizens such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli are found, as well as fascinating works by Giotto and Donatello. Visit the Accademia Gallery Museum and view one of the city’s eternal masterpieces – Michelangelo’s David. Return to your hotel for a free evening.

Day 6 Florence

  • Enjoy a free day in Florence to explore at your leisure
  • Or, join an optional excursion to Cinque Terre

Grand Hotel Adriatico or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

Spend today exploring Florence at your own pace. You may visit the Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace, or the Boboli Gardens independently. Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion to Cinque Terre.

Optional Excursion: Cinque Terre, $275
Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Today, visit one of Italy's most beautiful and photographed landscapes, Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Depart this morning for La Spezia, where you will board the train for Manarola. The presence of typical Genoese-style tower-houses characterizes this poetic village overlooking the sea. Proceed by train to Riomaggiore and wander through the narrow alleys of this beautiful village. Continue by boat, weather permitting, to Monterosso al Mare, an ancient fishing village nicknamed "the pearl of the Cinque Terre." After time for lunch, depart for Vernazza, one of the top 100 most beautiful villages in Italy. View the pastel-colored houses and steep staircases that characterize this picturesque town as you wind your way through its intricate maze of alleyways. Return to La Spezia by train and continue by car to your hotel. This tour requires a minimum of 6 passengers to operate.

Day 7 Tuscany, Chianti & Perugia

  • Visit a winery in the heart of Chianti for a tasting
  • Walking tour of Perugia

Sangallo Palace Hotel or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Vineyard, Chianti

Depart Florence, heading towards the winelands of Tuscany and Chianti. Along the way, stop to visit a vineyard and tour wine cellars to discover the secrets of the world of wine. Some local specialties will accompany a tasting of 3 wines.

Continue to Perugia, and take part in an afternoon walking tour. See the Etruscan Arch, also called "Arch of August," which represents the power of Perugia in antiquity, the Church of St. Domenico, and the Cathedral of St. Lorenzo, which face Piazza IV Novembre. Visit the Priori Palace, a palace of the merchants' guild during the Common period. 

This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 8 Rome

  • Travel to Rome
  • Tour the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica

Hotel Dei Borgia or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
St. Peter's Square, Vatican City Photo by Tony Litvyak on Unsplash

This morning, continue your drive south towards Rome. Arrive at Vatican City for a tour of the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. First, see ancient Roman statues, which were brought to the Vatican when the Popes ruled the entire region. Next, visit the famous and significant sculptures, including the Apollo of the Belvedere, the Laocoon, the Torso, and the busts of Hadrian and his lover Antinous. Then, view the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries, and finally, the Sistine Chapel. See the famous paintings of the Last Judgment, the Stories of Moses and Jesus, and Michelangelo’s famous Creation of Adam. The chapel is also the location of the Conclaves, where papal elections are held. Continue to Saint Peter’s Basilica. Admire another one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, La Pietà. End your Vatican experience in the magnificent Saint Peter’s Square, the great work of the architect Bernini, with many symbols, saints, and more than 200 columns.

Day 9 Rome

  • Tour Ancient Rome, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum
  • Spend the afternoon at leisure or join an optional tour
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant

Hotel Dei Borgia or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Colosseum, Rome

This morning, tour Ancient Rome, visiting the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. See the hill where according to tradition, Rome was founded in the 7th century B.C.E. by Romulus and Remus. Then, visit the impressive Colosseum. The Amphitheater, created to entertain ancient Roman citizens with bloody shows of gladiators and wild animals, is now one of the fascinating landmarks of the city. Then, walk on the original path of ancient Rome along the Via Sacra and see the Temples of Vesta, Antonino and Faustina, and the old Basilica Julia and Aemilia while dreaming about the glorious past of the Roman Empire. 

Enjoy the last afternoon at leisure in the Eternal City, or join an optional tour.

This evening, take part in a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Optional Excursion: Piazza Venezia & Gelato Tasting, $85
Piazza Venezia, Rome

This afternoon, depart on a panoramic drive to Piazza Venezia, the hub of Rome. Here you'll find Il Vittoriano, dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy. The massive white marble monument also serves as the backdrop to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Proceed to the terrace atop the monument by elevator or stairs, and take in the 360-degree, incredible views over Rome. After some free time to take photos, continue to Aventine Hill. Then proceed to Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta where, through a "keyhole," you can see the Dome of St. Peter's. Learn about gelato as you stop at a local gelateria for an authentic gelato tasting en route to your hotel. This tour requires a minimum of 3 passengers to operate.

Day 10 Depart Rome/Arrive USA

  • Transfer to the airport for your return flight
  • Arrive in the USA later today



Hotel Giorgione Venice
Hotel Giorgione Venice
First Class

Housed in a historic building in Venice, the Hotel Giorgione is located in the heart of the old city, just a short distance from the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco. 

More information

Grand Hotel Adriatico
Grand Hotel Adriatico
First Class

Located in the heart of Florence, just a short walk from the Arno River, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, and the trendy San Frediano district, the Grand Hotel Adriatico boasts a prime location for exploring this ancient city. The hotel has joined Lifegate's Stay for the Planet, becoming a green hotel with sustainable objectives.

More information

Sangallo Palace Hotel
Sangallo Palace Hotel
First Class

Located in the historic center of Perugia, just a short walk from the 15th Century Rocca Paolina Fortress, the Sangallo Palace Hotel is a perfect base to visit the historic landmarks of the Umbrian capital.

More information

Hotel Dei Borgia
Hotel Dei Borgia
First Class

Centrally located near some of Rome's main attractions including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Piazza di Spagna, the Hotel dei Borgia is the perfect starting point to explore the Italian capital. 

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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