Small Group Tours & Private Adventures by Now Journey

16 Guest Small Group & Private Adventures

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10-14 Days —  ROOF-TOP EXPEriENCES —  mornings with guides, afternoons at leisure

Italy's Great Cities

ITALY'S BEST FIRST TIME TOUR  
• AVERAGING 10 GUESTS, UP TO MAX 16 GUESTS •

10 Days/9 Nights: 2 Nights in Venice,
2 Nights in Florence,
2 Nights in Cortona in the Tuscan Countryside
and 3 Nights in Rome

AUTHENTIC ITALY IN OUR
TRUE SMALL GROUP TOUR
Handpicked Hotels. No Big Buses.
No Long Lines. 

The Original 10 Day Italian Adventure featuring Venice, Florence, 2 Days in the Tuscan Countryside and a special finalé in Rome —  see our reviews on TripAdvisor.  

Meet Italy's Great Cities with 2 Beautiful Days in the Tuscan Countryside: Roof-top Experiences. Mornings with Guides.
See Full ItinerarySEE ITINERARY | DATES & PRICES | FAQs | MAKE A RESERVATION

The Now Journey itinerary is unique: Small Group of Like-Minded Travelers. Where-You-Want-To-Be Hotels. No Big Buses. Surprises like Rooftop events along the way. No Upselling. No other major tour company offers this experience. Compare and find out! With Now Journey, we handle everything for you. You just enjoy!

★ Now Journey Exclusives Included. Never more than 16 Guests:

Meet & Greet Transfer on our Water Taxi direct to our hotel on San Marco, whenever you arrive
Sightseeing Tours and Admissions, On-Tour Transfers, Gondola in Venice
• PRIVILEGED ACCESS: Skip-the-Long-Line Admissions with special access

• Luggage Portage included for Deluxe, Classic and Lotus

• No annoying Up-Selling while on tour: this is important!
• No Big Buses or Groups, No Long Lines
• Local English-Speaking Italian Expert Guides and Now Journey Tour Captain
• LAUNDRY SERVICE: Journey's Complimentary Mid-Tour Laundry Service
• Fast Train in style Venice to Florence. Comfy micro-coach/Mercedes Vans to Rome
• SMALL GROUP BENEFITS: Small group up to 16 guests of like-minded travelers
• No Hidden Costs: Fees, taxes and gratuities excluding the Tour Captain
• Hand-Picked hotels: Deluxe 4+ to 5 Star Hotels featuring a full, hot breakfast with coffee, espresso coffees, juice as well as table service. Classic 3 to 4 Star Hotels feature a light, continental breakfast. Lotus featuring upper category, luxury suites.
•  UNIQUE IN THE INDUSTRY DINING: Unlimited Premium Beverages:


The Daily Itinerary

Our Complete Day-by-Day Deluxe Itinerary through Italy's Great Cities

Perfectly-balanced with most sightseeing in the mornings.

Chapter 1: Welcome to Venice

La Serenissima: Venice: The Most Serene —  2 Days, 2 Nights


Why Now Journey for Italy's Great Cities? Venice: Experience the rooftops of Venice at sunset, the leaning tower of Venice, and amazing cuisine. Oh! And don't forget the 'cellos!


DAY 1: We begin in Glorious Venice!

One of Now Journey's most popular small group adventures begins upon arrival to Marco Polo Airport in Venice with your included airport Meet & Greet and Arrival Transfer. Now Journey's approach to touring Italy is unique: we combine local expert Italian Guides with our Now Journey Tour Captains serving as your host for the perfect balance of activity and leisure time so you can truly soak up all that is Italy.

Included Today: Discovery Walk, Reception and Dinner on beautiful San Marco Island.

Amazing Venice

Discovery WalkThe Now Journey Style of Travel: Enjoy the Discovery Walk on Arrival Day
Our Discovery Walk is a hallmark of the Now Journey style of traveling when exploring new destinations —  a brief orientation walk with your Now Journey Tour Captain (not to be confused with our immersive Sightseeing Tour that occurs the next day with our licensed expert Italian Guide). In Venice we will take in the beautiful sights of Piazza San Marco, the "Campanile" or clock tower, the Grand Canal and more.

Afterward, enjoy some time at leisure to soak up Venice before meeting tonight for a special 'Welcome to Venice' evening from one of our exclusive perspectives.

Venice, Italy, is a city that captivates with its unparalleled beauty and mystique. Floating gracefully on a network of canals, the cityscape unfolds like a mesmerizing tapestry, adorned with elegant bridges, ornate palaces, and centuries-old buildings that seem to rise from the water. As the sun sets, Venice's enchanting labyrinth of narrow alleys and historic squares takes on an ethereal quality, casting shadows that whisper tales of a bygone era, leaving visitors spellbound by the timeless allure and enigmatic charm of this unique aquatic city.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Venice Reception and Dinner
Tonight we make our way to our favorite restaurant in Venice where we toast the beginning of our journey together. The Deluxe travel package features the indicated included dinners. The Classic travel package includes the Welcome Dinner in Venice. Classic package guests may upgrade to all the included dinners - see your proposal for details.

Our welcome dinner features cuisine from several regions throughout Italy including the Veneto, Lazio and Campania paired with delicious regional wines. Journey's approach to dining is unique in the travel world. We visit local and family-owned restaurants where you choose your dinner from the restaurant menu. We include premium beverages (wine, beer, cocktails, soft drinks).

ABOUT ITALIAN CUISINE
Journey Cuisine is authentically Italian: Family-owned restaurants farm to table. Journey’s approach to dining is unique in the travel world (just like the regions of Italy). We include Premium Beverages (wine, soda and cocktails) and you choose your dinner from the menu. The Italian chefs and families are proud of their delicious dishes which hail from each of the regions in which Journey travels. From Lombardia and beautiful Lake Como to the Veneto region with Venice all the way through to the Amalfi Coast and Campania, you will enjoy a variety of dishes featuring pasta, seafood combined plates, vegetable inspired contorni and of course Tuscan inspired dishes. While in Italy we will enjoy locally grown produce where the concept of nostrale, or home-grown, is so evident.


Journey Hotels IconPreferred Lodging on Venice's San Marco Island, 2 Nights with daily breakfast

Our Deluxe Hotels Collection:
Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, and Hotel Saturnia & International

Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.
Our Classic Hotel Collection:
Hotel Do Pozzi
Our Lotus Hotel Collection:
The St. Regis: Grand Room with Canal View or Similar

Lotus class features exceptional room categories in our world-class hotels.

Final hotel assignments are made at around 60 days prior to the adventure. A comparable hotel will be utilized should our space be sold out by the time you book —  we will advise you of your final hotels.


DAY 2: EXPLORING VENICEVenice Canal

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Venice Secrets & Treasures

After the delicious included breakfast at your hotel, join the Tour Captain and our expert City Guide for a morning unwrapping Venice's Secrets & Treasures. You will enjoy a unique touring experience through this dramatic and historic port city. We learn of the city's fascinating and colorful past from Casanova to Napoleon. Venice's unique character springs to life as we make our way through winding streets and over bridges.

Included Today: Privately guided tour of Venice, Inside Doges Palace, Inside Basilica San Marco

Venice: The Story Begins

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Venice Secets & Treasures

Step into the captivating embrace of our local maestro (our expert private guide), whose storytelling breathes life into the rich tapestry of this extraordinary city. Wander through time as you cross the threshold of the majestic Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica, where each stone holds a tale and every arch whispers history.

Embark on a riveting journey into the past with our visit to the Doge's Palace, an opulent testament to the city's grandeur. Traverse the corridors of power, adorned with tales of intrigue and political drama. Explore the haunting echoes of the Old Prison, where stories of the charismatic Casanova unfold, weaving a narrative of passion and escapades.

As you traverse the renowned Bridge of Sighs, feel the weight of centuries-old secrets lingering in the air. Let the ambiance of this architectural marvel transport you to a bygone era, where each step echoes the footsteps of those who once walked these hallowed halls.

Join us on on this Journey through Venice, where the city's pulse beats with the rhythm of history, and every landmark is a chapter waiting to be unveiled.

Our Secrets & Treasures Walking Tour of the heart of historic Venice includes:

  • • The Doge's Palace: Skip-the-Long-Line Entrance to the Doge's Palace (meaning Duke or Governor's Palace), the seat of the Republic of Venice's historic power.

  • • Venice's Old Prison: The Prisons of Venice: Found inside the Doge's Palace, is "The Leads," the prison portion of the Doges Palace, and you will learn about one occupant by the name of Casanova who, in 1756 at the age of 30, became one of the most famous occupants.

  • • Bridge of Sighs: The bridge made famous for its window and last view of blue sky and freedom as prisoners are marched to their sentence.

  • • Basilica San Marco: Enjoy the beautiful mosaics and how they reflect and dance in the light. Your Tour Captain "paints the picture" of the history and opulence that is the Basilica San Marco prior to entering. Once inside, enjoy 'silence' as you observe its beauty encased in Byzantine architecture.

  • • Piazza San Marco: and our "Secret Treasures of Venice:"

  • •  Walking Delights: Learn about the Clock Tower (Campanile), Caffé Florian, Napoleon and the Winged Lion

  • •  Enjoy included admission/entrance to Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana at your leisure.

Gondola IconSpecial Adventure: Venetian Gondola Experience

This evening just before sunset, enjoy our included Gondola ride through the canals of Venice with our professional musicians to make the ambiance perfect. On occasion inclement weather will prevent the gondola ride. In this scenario an alternate activity will be substituted later in the tour.

Enjoy the balance of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

May We Suggest?
• We think simply soaking up Venice this afternoon is a great plan, but if you'd like to fill it up a bit more, consider:

—  Peggy Guggenheim Museum
—  3 Island Explorer: Burano, Murano and Torcello

Journey Dinners IconJourney is Different: Your Journey Tour Captain will invite you to an optional dinner after the Gondola ride, and they can also help you with dining reservations if you choose to explore lovely Venice on your own. 

 

Chapter 2: Florence

Birthplace of the Renaissance – 2 Days, 2 Nights


Why Now Journey for Italy's Great Cities? Florence: Our Florence experience takes in the known and the unknown as we explore this amazing city. And our sunset over the river and the city is exceptional.

DAY 3: WELCOME TO FLORENCE

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Florence
This morning enjoy a leisurely start with breakfast and then join your Journey Tour Captain as we transfer by boat to the Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station for the included Fast-train passage to Florence. Your bags are portaged separately so you can enjoy the ride.

Included Today: Discovery Walk, Reception and Dinner in the heart of Florence

Florence: Birthplace of the Renaissance

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: To Florence
We zip along the Italian countryside and arrive in Florence at the Santa Maria Novella Train Station where we deboard the train and begin our Discovery Walk.

Orientation Walk IconDiscovery Walk of Renaissance and Contemporary Florence
On the Discovery Walk we will orient you to the very heart of historic Florence. In addition to seeing many of the major sites including Giotto's Campanile (Bell Tower) and the Baptistery, the Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, we will enjoy entrance to Orsanmichele church and the church of Via Santa Margherita which was the parish of many Florentine families, such as Cerchi, Donati, Adimari and Portinari. We will also get introduce to the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), the only bridge to survive World War II bombing.

After our Discovery Walk, we arrive at our hotel, check in and freshen up. Rooms are generally ready by 3pm. Enjoy the balance of the afternoon at leisure until our welcome dinner tonight.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Florence Dinner: Tuscany's Regional Specialties

Your Journey Tour Captain hosts an amazing welcome dinner in Florence with authentic Tuscan cuisine served by Fiorentini who love what they do. Florence welcomes us with a variety of regional culinary tastes, premium beverages, and ample portions of fine local wines from Toscana and Chianti.

Journey Hotels IconAccommodation in the Heart of Florence, 2 Nights with breakfast

Our Deluxe Hotels Collection:
Grand Hotel Cavour or Hotel Bernini Palace

Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.
Our Classic Hotel Collection:
Hotel Rosso 23 or Hotel Renaissance
Our Lotus Hotel Collection:
Grand Hotel Cavour: Beatrice Suite or Similar

Lotus class features exceptional room categories in our world-class hotels.


 

 


DAY 4: EXPERIENCING FLORENCE

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Florence Secrets & Treasures

Journey's Florence Secrets & Treasures tour boasts a variety of fine sights to see including Santa Maria del Fiori, the Baptistery's Bronze "Gate of Florence Journeyers enjoying the afternoon sun. Paradise," Giotto's Bell Tower, Signoria Square, and the Galleria dell'Accademia, where Michelangelo's David is housed.

Included Today: Privately guided Tour, Inside Academy Gallery, Inside Duomo, Afternoon at Leisure, Sunset Experience

 

Florence: Exploring the Heart

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Florence Secrets & Treasures
Our Secrets & Treasures Walking Tour of historic Florence features: We will take our time walking through the Piazza della Repubblica, the famous Piazza Signoria with her old palace, Palazzo Vecchio, and make our way through the portico of the Uffizi complex.

Your experience through Florence includes:

  • •  Galleria dell'Accademia: Skip-the-Long-Line admission to experience Michelangelo's David in the Academy Gallery, the first art school of Europe.

  • •  Basilica Santa Maria del Fiore: Our tour includes Florence's historic city center which is a World Heritage site that comprises the Baptistery, Campanile, and the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore – also known as the Duomo. The 14th-century dome was created by Brunelleschi.

  • • The Gates of Paradise: See the magnificent Gates of Paradise on the Baptistery, so called by Michelangelo. Our Local Guide will comment on these impressive doors to the Baptistery created by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Until the 19th century, most Catholic Florentines were baptized here. The Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile whose perspective we enjoy from ground level are all part of the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiori complex.

  • •  Walking Delights: We explore Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza della Signoria

Following our Secrets & Treasures adventure the balance of the day is at your leisure.

May We Suggest?
• We think simply soaking up Florence this afternoon is a great plan, but if you'd like to fill it up a bit more, consider:

—  Interested in checking out the leather market?
—  What about a climb of the Duomo? We can arrange visits, admissions and more for you in advance.
—  Consider a visit to the Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church in Florence and a minor Basilica of the Catholic Church. Many illustrious Italians are buried there including Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Marconi, Machiavelli. Thus it is known as the Temple of the Italian Glories.

Optional Guided Experiences for your afternoon:
We usually schedule most of these at around 3PM if possible.

• Uffizi Gallery: Private Tour with Guide: $279 per person (3 Hours).
Guided our licensed guide with a PHD in Art History, as well as a published art books author, you will discover the unique artistic and cultural richness as the cradle of the Renaissance. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most incredible art collections in the world of Italian and European Paintings. During the tour the guide will tell you the incredible stories of such masterpieces including those made by Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio.

•  Uffizi Gallery: Small Group Guided Tour: $199 per person.
Enjoy the Gallery in a small group: The art history expert will guide you through the Uffizi Gallery and to the masterpieces contained within. During your tour, the guide will accompany you from hall to hall, taking you on a journey into art and its history as he or she illustrates the most beautiful works of art in the museum. Not only will you learn about the importance of each painting, but also the context in the times when they were made.

•  Uffizi Gallery: Admission Ticket Only: $55 per person.
Enjoy an admission ticket to the Gallery.

•  Climb the Duomo Ticket: $45 per person.
Enjoy a climb to the top of the cupola by climbing its 463 steps to get an extraordinary view of Florence.

 Private Tour of Pitti Palace Ticket: $240 per person / 2 guest minimum.
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Italian royalty during a private tour of Pitti Palace, complete with convenient pick-up from your accommodations in Florence. Your guide not only navigates the expansive grounds for you but also shares intriguing facts and lesser-known anecdotes rarely heard by typical visitors. In contrast to impersonal large-group tours, this private experience guarantees your guide's undivided attention and ample opportunities to pose questions.

 A private tour of the Pitti Palace in Florence Ticket: $260 per person, 2 guest minimum for this privately guided tour.
Italy, provides a personalized journey through this Renaissance marvel, led by an expert guide. Beginning with an introduction to the palace's rich history and Medici legacy, visitors delve into its opulent interior, admiring frescoes, stuccowork, and masterpieces by artists like Raphael and Caravaggio. The tour navigates grand halls, sumptuous apartments, and private chambers, culminating in exploration of the world-class art collections housed within. Following this, a leisurely stroll through the Boboli Gardens offers panoramic vistas and insights into Renaissance landscape architecture. With flexibility for customization, the experience caters to individual interests, ensuring an enriching encounter with Florence's cultural heritage amidst the palace's splendor.

Journey Dinners IconJoin the Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore at your leisure.

Chapter 3: Under the Tuscan Sun

Tuscany's Countryside —  2 Days, 2 Nights


Why Now Journey for Italy's Great Cities? Tuscany: Mainstream tour operators generally don't add time in the Tuscany countryside like we do! Along with laundry service, Winery tour and tastings paired with morsels in our own private setting, and the Manhattan of Tuscany.

DAY 5: GOOD MORNING TUSCANYTuscan Hills

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Tuscan Glory

It's a great day to explore further into the Tuscan countryside. After breakfast this morning, we bid Arrivederci to Florence and travel in our comfortable micro-coach into the Tuscan countryside.

Included Today: Privately guided touring, Winery Experience with tour, tastings paired with morsels, Welcome to Cortona, Apericena tonight.

Tuscany: Italy's Countryside

Our first stop is the hilltop village of San Gimignano. One of San Gimignano's most impressive sights is the medieval skyline made up of 13 remaining towers. Dating back from the 11th century, the village rises on a hill dominating the Elsa Valley. The town increased in wealth and developed greatly during the Middle Ages thanks to the "Via Francigena", the trading and pilgrim's route that crossed it. Once in the village, we enjoy free time to explore the city of towers. San Gimignano also has many shops with local specialties and crafts and we will have free time to enjoy purchasing souvenirs.

Before departing San Gimignano, we'll toast our arrival into the countryside of Tuscany with a unique perspective and our first taste of Vernaccia, a white wine that hails from San Gimignano.

Exclusive IconJourney Exclusive: Winery Experience

Enjoy our in-depth experience at a winery estate in the heart of Tuscany - in stunning surroundings. We will enjoy a tour of the production facilities and cellars, followed by a delightful wine-tasting paired with perfect morsels for lunch. Vineyards in Tuscany

Our palate-pleasing appetizers and lunch include Pecorino cheese, bruschetta, and other local farm-to-table delights. You'll enjoy classic Chianti and Super Tuscan wines to complement the lunch. Buon Appetito!

Special Sightseeing today Includes:

  • • San Gimignano: Sightseeing and free time in the Tuscan hill town known for its towers.

  • • Exclusive Winery: Admission, Tour and Wine Tasting at our Estate located in the heart of Tuscany. Beautiful Property with stunning views, delicious varieties paired with sumptuous delicacies. You won't want to leave.

  • •  Tuscany's Wine Road: Winding through the Tuscan hills, the wine road offers remarkable beauty, characterized by vineyards, wine cellars, distant rolling landscapes, and villages up in the hills.

To Cortona –  Our home for the next two nights
In mid-afternoon we enjoy a leisurely drive to the delightful hill town of Cortona for our next chapter in the very heart of Tuscany. Your Journey Tour Captain checks you in and there is ample time to freshen up before meeting in the lobby tonight for a short walk to our special Apericena experience.

Discovery Walk IconDiscovery Walk through Bella Cortona
On the Discovery Walk of Cortona we make our way to its heart to learn about its fascinating Etruscan and Roman past and its modern connection to Hollywood. Situated on a commanding hill that overlooks Lake Trasimeno, Cortona is known for the infamous rout of the Romans by Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Its cyclopean walls, still preserved in great detail, are said to be 3000 years old. It was one of the twelve cities of Etruria.

Journey Dinners IconJourney Exclusive: Special Apericena Experience

Tonight join your Tour Captain and fellow travelers for the new Italian meal, Apericena. Is it a snack? Is it dinner? No, it's Apericena! It's the perfect complement for your palate after a day of excellent cuisine and wine. Apericena provides the perfect light meal finalé to our beautiful day in the Tuscan countryside and in the magical ambiance of this delightful hill town.

Afterwards, enjoy the balance of the evening at your leisure.

Journey Hotels IconAccommodation in Cortona, 2 Nights with breakfast

Our Deluxe Hotels Collection:
Villa Marsili or Monastero di Cortona Hotel & Spa

Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.
Our Classic Hotel Collection:
Hotel Italia
Our Lotus Hotel Collection:
Monastero di Cortona - Hotel & Spa: Cortona's Roofs Suite or Similar

Lotus class features exceptional room categories in our world-class hotels.

DAY 6: EXPLORING CORTONA AT LEISURECortona in Tuscany, Italy

Enjoy a full free day at your leisure in beautiful Cortona.

Many options are available from Cooking Classes to a day trip to Siena and more. Today, enjoy Tuscany at your leisure - perhaps it's a thorough exploration of delightful Cortona, a cooking class, horse-back riding, Vespa rental and much more.

Cortona to Explore

Nestled on a hillside in Tuscany, Cortona exudes timeless charm with its cobbled streets, medieval architecture, and sweeping views of the picturesque countryside. This historic town, rich in Etruscan and Renaissance influences, captivates visitors with its art, culture, and a warm, authentic Italian ambiance.

Optional experiences to consider for Today:

Cooking Class from Cortona
—  Just outside of Cortona, in the company of an expert chef, participants learn how to make several courses including a dessert. It is a different experience where the participants learn to prepare a multiple-course meal and then partake in the sampling of the prepared dishes while enjoying the olive oils and wines of the region! -Duration 3-5 hours. $248 per person.

•  Horseback Riding Adventure
—  Commences at 9:30/10:00am or 2:00/3:00pm. $99 per person for first 2 hours, $37 per hour for each additional hour. Front desk of hotel will arrange round-trip taxi for you at guest expense. Options available for beginner or experienced riders.

• Walking Tour of Siena with Round-trip Transportation
—  Departs around 9:30am. $465 per person. The tour includes round-trip transfer from Cortona to Siena with a walking tour of Siena in the morning and some free time in the afternoon. Today's tour will walk you through the old Ghetto, the Tower District (Contrada della Torre), and through little alleys, and on to the Basilica dei Servi, from which point you can enjoy an amazing view of the old town. We will take in Orto dei Pecci; a pleasant and easily accessible garden, located just behind the main square: The serenity and tranquility of this green oasis, together with the view of the incredible Torre del Mangia will mesmerize you.

• Morning Walking Tour of Siena with Cooking Class in Afternoon
— Departs around 9:30am. $599 per person. Enjoy the morning tour (see description above) and then a special cooking class in the afternoon. Our driver then whisks you to a nearby villa where you will enjoy a tour of the vines, immersion in all things Wine, Balsamic, and Olive Oil followed by a cooking lesson. And, yes, you then enjoy the fruits of your labor. Our chef is capable and entertaining as you enjoy learning more about Tuscan cooking. We then return to the hotel in Cortona for a free evening.

•  Cortona and the Franciscan Monastery Le Celle
—  $190 per person. A classic private walking tour of Cortona comprises the Garibaldi Square with its magnificent panoramic view over the Valdichiana, the Church of St. Dominic built for the Dominicans with its medieval architecture and paintings by Luca Signorelli e Lorenzo di Niccolò, via Nazionale, the Republic Square with the Town Hall, the Church of St. Francis with its collection of objects owned to St. Francis of Assisi, Piazza Signorelli with Palazzo Casali and the Duomo. Then the tour continues by car outside the city walls of Cortona to the Franciscan Monastery of Le Celle, immersed in a forest and a place of an extraordinary beauty, calm and Franciscan spirituality.

•  Cortona Ancient Walls, Fortresses, Convents and Churches
—  $190 per person. This is a walking tour on steep slopes in the oldest part of Cortona leading up to the very top of the hill. For this reason is suitable for guests who enjoy walking (hiking) on slopes. The prize at the end is a fantastic view of Cortona and the valley below and the beauty of this less frequented and untouched part of the town. Above the center, half-way up to the hill of Cortona, are the Church San Francesco and beyond a cypress-lined courtyard, is the 15th century Chiesa di San Niccolò. The 15th-century church has a small porch with slender columns and the interior houses paintings by Luca Signorelli: the two-sided panel-painting, Descent from the Cross and Madonna Enthroned, and a fresco, Madonna with Saints. Passing by the little church San Cristoforo and Porta Montanina we will stop on the top to visit the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita, the town's patron saint. Finally walking down through the old part of town through the narrow alleyways of the quarter called Poggio San Marco you will admire also the beautiful 12 Via Crucis Stations with mosaics by the Futurist artist Gino Severin, a native of Cortona.

•  Assisi Privately Guided Tour with round-trip transportation
—  $279 per person. Enjoy this special visit to the hometown of Saint Francis, peacefully set on the slopes of the Subasio Mountain. The Basilica of Saint Francis is one of Europe's most important church buildings and undoubtedly the cultural highlight of the entire region. Our guide will show you the most important monuments, the Roman remains, the charming intact medieval town, stunning views of the landscape and the town's hidden treasures. During this guided tour you will see the Basilica of St. Francis*, Piazza del Comune (central square), Minerva temple and other sites.

About Cortona
Cortona is a small but fascinating hill town in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany. It is situated on a commanding hill that overlooks Lake Trasimeno, known for the infamous rout of the Romans by Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Its cyclopean walls, still preserved in great detail, are said to be 3000 years old. It was one of the twelve cities of Etruria.

Soak in the morning: enjoy a walk through the vineyards, or a hike up to the castle or a leisurely stroll through the piazza and streets.


Chapter 4:Rome -Heart of the Empire

Where All Roads Lead — 3 Days, 3 Nights


Why Now Journey for Italy's Great Cities? Rome: Our hotels located perfectly in the heart of Old Rome, seconds from the Pantheon, our Guide is the best in the city, and our finalé night in Rome is an exclusive to Now Journey and you will never forget it!

DAY 7: WELCOME TO THE HEART OF ROME

As we travel in our comfortable micro-coach (and Mercedes vans on some departures) to Rome, we find ourselves going back in time as we reach the center of ancient Rome.

Included Today: Across Tuscany and into Lazio, Discovery Walk, Reception and Dinner in the heart of Rome

There Once was a Dream that Was Rome.

Pantheon in Rome, Italy

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: To Rome

As we transition from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the vibrant energy of Rome, the ancient city gradually reveals itself, adorned with iconic landmarks and bustling streets. Journeying towards the heart of Rome, the air becomes charged with history, leading us through time as we approach the majestic remnants of the Roman Empire and the timeless allure of its historic center.

On arrival into the city, we check in to our hotels which are located a short distance from the magnificent Pantheon.

Orientation Walk IconDiscovery Walk of the Heart of Rome
We begin our exploration of Rome beginning with an elephant and continue to immerse ourselves in over 2000 years of history of the 'Empire' with entrance to the amazing Pantheon and learn of its interesting history and continue our walk to soak up Piazza Navona, once a site where mock naval battles were held. We continue with our Discovery Walk as we pass through Campo de Fiori (field of flowers) - do you know the name of the figure whose likeness is crafted in the statue in this amazing campo? We walk by Largo di Torre Argentina and learn of Julius Caesar's fate. We will also see a "village of modern Roman felines."

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Rome Dinner: The Cuisine of Lazio
Tonight join the Tour Captain to our Welcome Dinner featuring the regional specialties and wines of the Lazio region. Journey's special approach to dining means that you choose what you like from the menu. Premium beverages - wine, beer, cocktails, soft drinks are included.

Journey Hotels IconAccommodation in Rome's Historic Heart, 3 Nights with breakfast

Our Deluxe Hotels Collection:
Palazzo Navona or Antico Albergo del Sole al Pantheon

Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.
Our Classic Hotel Collection:
Hotel Navona, Albergo Abruzzi or Albergo Santa Chiara
Our Lotus Hotel Collection:
The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel, Autograph Collection: Suite with View or Similar

Lotus class features exceptional room categories in our world-class hotels.


BACK TO TOP      Got a question? CHAT HERE.


DAY 8 EXPLORING THE VATICANVatican City, Rome, Italy

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Vatican City Privileged Access

Today we embark on a captivating exploration as we step into the Vatican City. Immerse yourself in the treasures of the Vatican Museums, where mesmerizing tapestries unfold stories, the iconic ceiling of the Sistine Chapel dazzles with artistic brilliance, and the grandeur of St. Peter's Basilica and Square unfolds, bringing the majestic essence of Vatican City to vibrant life.

Included Today: Vatican City Tour with Skip the Line Admission, Sistine Chapel, St. Peters, Optional Dining Tonight

Vatican City: Museums,Sistine Chapel, St. Peters

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Vatican City

Marvel at the intricate tapestries in the Vatican Museums, stand in awe beneath the iconic masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, and explore the grandeur of St. Peter's Basilica, all curated to provide an intimate and immersive experience of Vatican City's artistic and historical treasures. This personalized tour ensures a deep connection with each masterpiece, allowing for a profound understanding of the rich cultural tapestry woven within the heart of the Vatican.

After our experience is complete we will exit at St. Peter's Square where you see the multi-color uniformed Swiss Guard on display as they guard the Vatican and the expanse of the beautiful piazza.

Journey's transports are waiting nearby when we're ready to head back to our hotels.

Our special sightseeing Walking Tour of Vatican City Includes:

  • •  St. Peter's Basilica and Square: Admission and Guided Tour to St. Peter's Basilica. Enjoy Skip-the-Long-Line special access with Priviledged Access Admission Included.

  • • Sistine Chapel: Admission and Guided Tour of the Sistine Chapel: You will find inside the chapel The Last Judgment painting by Michelangelo, which he painted during the years 1535 to 1541. The work, designed on a grand scale, spans the entire wall behind the Sistine Chapel altar.

  • •  Vatican Museums: Admission and Guided Tour of the Vatican City Museums: The Museums boast some of the most impressive tapestries and other works of art and sculpture found in the world.

*Please remember St. Peter's Basilica is an active church with celebrations and papal events that occur with short notice; Now Journey and our Guides cannot be held responsible for any cancellation or denial of entry due to last minute changes by the church leadership.

Enjoy the balance of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

May We Suggest?
• We think simply soaking up Rome this afternoon is a great plan, but if you'd like to fill it up a bit more, consider:

—  Foodie Tour of Trastevere
—  Experience the Baths of Caracalla
—  Visit Ostia Antica

Journey Dinners IconJoin the Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or enjoy exploring at your leisure.



DAY 9 EXPLORING MODERN & IMPERIAL ROMERoman Forum, Italy

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Imperial Rome

After breakfast this morning, meet the Tour Captain and our City Guide for a walking tour of Rome. You will see ancient elements intertwined perfectly with present-day apartment buildings.

Included Today: Privately guided tour of Roman Fourm and Colosseum, Skip the Line Admission, Exclusive Dinner Tonight in a Secret Location

Rome: Eternal city, history's living canvas.

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Imperial Rome

On our experience in Rome today, You'll witness these amaing ancient structures and elements seamlessly blended with contemporary apartment buildings, revealing how modern Romans have integrated their extensive history into the present-day urban landscape. Our special sightseeing Walking Tour of the Heart of Ancient Rome Includes:

  • •  The Colosseum of Rome: Flavian's amphitheater known popularly as the Colosseum or Colosseo. Special skip-the-long-line Entrance, Admission and Guided Tour of the amazing Colosseum of Rome.

  • •  The Roman Forum: Special skip-the-long-line Entrance, Admission and Guided Tour of the Roman Forum or Foro Romano. We walk through the archaeological dig for unique perspectives of the Old Town Center of Rome, Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Caesar's Palace, Curia or the Senate House, Temple of the Vestal Virgins, and the Triumphal Arches.

  • •  Capitoline Hill: We ascend this amazingly sculptured and architecturally inspirational locale with its many statuary and works of art that pay homage to the Empire that was Rome.

  • • Walking Delights: Views of Trajan's Market, Palatine Hill, Caesar's Palace, Curia known as the Senate Building, the Vittorio Emanuele II National Monument, the Jewish Ghetto, and other historic landmarks. 

Journey Dinners IconJourney Exclusive: Farewell Dinner: A Celebration of Italy's Great Cities

Tonight join the Journey Tour Captain and new friends to celebrate our journey together. We will toast one another and our adventures through Italy's Great Cities and continue to our gala finalé dinner.

Our days have been filled with new sights, tastes and discoveries - tonight enjoy reflecting on the incredible journey we've had together. It has been a Journey of Adventure and Discovery, along with making new friends! As our journey of discovery ends, we reminisce about our exploration of magnificent Italy. Tomorrow we will say, 'Arrivederci Roma!' but tonight we sing and make melody in the very heart of Rome.

Arrivederci - until we meet again!  


Day 10: DEPARTURE DAY: Arrivederci Italy!

Breakfast is included this morning should you have time before your departure. Most of our guests seriously consider extending your vacation to the Amalfi Coast for the perfect ending —  it's 2 days and nights and includes Pompeii and treasures of the Amalfi Coast. See our optional extension below for proper temptation!

Are you wrapping up your Journey in Rome? May we recommend our Optional Departure Transfer to the Rome FCO Airport for $78 per person, minimum two guests. Inquire with us to book this departure transfer or you can independently arrange a transfer through the Rome hotel for approximately €75 per car.

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Does your Journey end in Rome?
We highly recommend the enchanted Amalfi Coast & Sorrento Peninsula 2 day/2 night extension. Amalfi Coast, Italy


Extension to the Amalfi Coast & Sorrento Peninsula

 

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: DAY 10: NAPLES, POMPEII, THE SORRENTO PENINSULA & AMALFI COAST

Say Farewell to Rome as you join our extension to the amazing Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Peninsula. We make our way to Naples and the modern city of Pompei, where we find Pompeii (note the two i's) which is the ancient Roman city we will visit with our expert guide this morning.

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Pompeii Ancient Site

On our tour of the World Heritage Site of Pompeii we discover the city that was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Our Local Expert Guide explains the fascinating history, tragic destruction and amazing preservation of artifacts under tons of volcanic ash.

Following our Pompeii experience, we continue to Sorrento,our home to explore the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

Orientation Walk IconDiscovery Walk: Sorrento

After our check in, and time to relax we will enjoy a Discovery Walk on the way into the heart of Sorrento. Nestled along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, Sorrento captivates with its charming narrow streets adorned with vibrant bougainvillea and lemon trees. The town's picturesque cliffside location offers stunning panoramic views of the azure Tyrrhenian Sea, making every step of your discovery walk an enchanting journey through Mediterranean beauty.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Sorrento Dinner

Your Journey Tour Captain hosts an amazing welcome dinner in Sorrento in one of our favorite restaurants in Italy. The owner, Mario, and Chef Lena along with their family and team welcome us to dinner tonight in their enchanting restaurant. You will enjoy an incomparable evening of Sorrentine cuisine and hospitality. As always with Journey, you select what you wish from the menu. The regional specialties are accompanied by included premium beverages - wine, beer, cocktails, soft drinks.

Journey Hotels IconAccommodation in Sorrento, 2 Nights with Breakfast

Deluxe: Hotel Bel Air, Grand Hotel Capodimonte, Bellevue Syrene or Minerva Sorrento
Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: DAY 11: EXPLORING THE AMALFI COAST AT LEISUREAmalfi Coast, Italy

You will have today completely at your leisure to explore Sorrento or consider one of our optional adventures.

Highly Recommended: Option for the Day: Private Boat Tour to the Isle of Capri - $525 per person.
Enjoy our optional experience departing this morning and enjoy a boat trip to the Isle of Capri to enjoy free time on the Island. Then continue with our circumnavigation of the island, enjoy some time for swimming (towel service and refreshments onboard) and then we make our way back to Sorrento.

Your Journey Tour Captain will introduce Capri to you (and the other villa of Ana Capri). Occasionally, and when weather and seas permit, we are able to provide an experience that includes (in addition to round-trip service to and from Capri) time on the boat around the island with stops at various Grottos for viewing and swimming if you desire. We only "pass by" the Blue Grotto, we do not go inside the Blue Grotto as this usually takes the majority of the day.

Prosecco IconOur Special Journey Finalé

Upon our return to the hotel, enjoy some time at leisure before we meet to walk once more into the enchanting embrace of Sorrento. Amidst the ambience, we shall partake in the Passeggiata, savoring each step as we reminisce on our shared odyssey. Our rendezvous culminates in a time-honored Traditional Farewell Apericena, a celebration of camaraderie and cherished memories at one of our favorite locales in Sorrento. Thus concludes our Journey of Adventure and Discovery, enriched by the bonds of newfound friendship. Until we meet again on our next escapade — Arrivederci!

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: Day 12: DEPARTURE DAY: Arrivederci Italy!

Breakfast is included this morning should you have time before your departure.

Are you wrapping up your Journey in Sorrento? May we recommend our Optional Departure Transfer to the Naples NAP Airport for $88 per person, minimum two guests. Inquire with us to book this departure transfer. You can fly from Naples International Airport to your gateway for your international flight.