Italy: The Great Cities Tour


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Time in Italy: Enjoy Pre-Tour Hotel Room
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  • Our Signature 11 Day True Small-Group Adventure
  • Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Cortona and Rome
    with 2 Amazing Days in the Tuscan Countryside

The Original Small Group Tour
All-Inclusive
Dining at Locally Owned Venues
Included Laundry Service mid-tour to help you pack lighter

OPTIONS TO CONSIDER: Expand the Journey with Lake Como or Amalfi Coast extensions!


Perfectly-Paced. No Sun-up to Sun-down Sightseeing.

Deluxe from $7,175
Classic from $6,175

True Small Groups. Handpicked Hotels. No Big Buses. No Long Lines. Authentic Journey Style Dining. Unique experiences, special access to venues. We're different from the mainstream.

 
 
 
Meet Italy: The Great Cities Tour

START SLOWLY.
Imagine no crowds as the red-orange sun sets over Venice while you leisurely stroll through the hauntingly beautiful Piazza San Marco... Walk the shadow-strewn streets of Florence and marvel at the same sites as did Leonardo da Vinci... Escape to the country-side of Tuscany and discover its special allure... Maybe you'll say hello to Francis Mayes in Cortona... Maybe you just enjoy enjoy your glass of Vino and watch people go by... Finally, the Empire that was Rome awaits to delight you just like when It thrived...

On Journey's Italy: The Great Cities we know how and where to tour to avoid the crowds and the rush. We're different from the mainstream.

Jump to Itinerary: Day-by-Day Itinerary

Why You'll Love this Journey through Italy:
  • Compare With Others: Journey's authentic Small Group around 10 to 16 Guests
  • Venice: Venice's Grand Canal, Gondola Ride & Serenade, Piazza San Marco and Doge's Palace, Private Boat Tour
  • Florence: Duomo, Michelangelo's David, Accademia Gallery
  • Tuscany: great city of Florence, hilltop villages in Tuscan countryside, San Gimignano, Cortona, Winery Experience
  • Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peters, Ancient Rome, Colosseum, Roman Forum
  • Journey's Exclusive All-included Dinners with unlimited Premium Beverages; 15 Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 5 Journey Style Dinners/Apericena, 1 Tasting/Lunch in Deluxe
  • On Tour Transportation: Fast Train Venice to Florence, Comfy micro-coach Tuscany to Rome
  • Skip-the-Long-Line Admissions, Special Access Sightseeing
  • Journey's Complimentary Mid-Tour Laundry Service
  • No Up-Selling on tour, No Big Buses, No Big Groups
  • American Tour Directors relate to you, Friendly Italian Expert Guides delight you!
  • Fees, taxes and gratuities excluding the Tour Director

See the complete Day-by-Day Itinerary

Journey's Prime Location Hotels


OPTIONAL BEGINNING: LAKE COMO, 2 Days/2 Nights
BELLAGIO ON BEAUTIFUL LAKE COMO
Expand your Great Cities with Lake Como!
Deluxe: Hotel Belvedere Bellagio
Classic: Hotel Centrale or Similar

TOUR COMMENCES: VENICE, 2 Days/2 Nights
CASANOVA, WINGED LIONS, VENETIAN PASSION
The Republic of Venice soars again.
Deluxe: Hotel Saturnia & International
Classic: Hotel Bonvecchiati or Similar

FLORENCE, 2 Days/2 Nights
BIRTHPLACE OF THE RENAISSANCE
Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and other Masters come to life.
Deluxe: Hotel Bernini Palace or Similar
Classic: Hotel Rosso 23 or Similar

THE TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE, 2 Days/2 Nights
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN
Frances Mayes had this place right: it's amazing.
Deluxe: Villa Marsili, Monastero di Cortona Hotel & Spa, or Similar
Classic: Hotel Italia or Similar

TOUR FINALE: ROME, 3 Days/3 Nights
A THOUSAND ROADS LEAD ALWAYS TO ROME
Heart of the Empire of Rome, Roman Holiday
Deluxe: Iconic Pantheon Hotel
Classic: Hotel Navona, Antico Albergo al Sole dal Pantheon, or Similar

OPTIONAL FINALE: AMALFI COAST, 2 Days/2 Nights
SUNSHINE LEMONY AMAZEMENT
You will want to add our amazing 2 Day Finale on the Amalfi Coast!
Deluxe: Hotel Minerva Sorrento
Classic: Hotel Minerva Sorrento

What's the Difference between Deluxe and Classic Package?
Journey's Deluxe package includes a full, hot daily breakfast (table service or buffet), 5 of the 9 dinners and 4+ to 5 Star hotel properties featuring large, air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Journey's Classic package includes a daily continental breakfast, Venice Welcome Dinner (guests may upgrade to the total 5 dinners included for $390 per person), and 3 to 4 Star hotel properties featuring air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms.

 

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about this Journey
Answers to questions we've been asked about this trip and our approach to travel.


Dates & Pricing

Choose from Deluxe or Classic Packages. Optional pre- and post-tour extensions available on these departures.

Deluxe from $7,175/person
4+ to 5 Star Properties with Dinner Package
Extensions: Lake Como Pre-Tour: $1,945
Amalfi Coast Post-Tour: $1,388

Classic from $6,175/person
3 to 4 Star Properties
Extensions: Lake Como Pre-Tour: $1,575
Amalfi Coast Post-Tour: $1,388

2022 Tour Dates
Request a Reservation

Trip commencement date and end date. Our tour commences in Venice (Airport VCE), and ends in Rome (Airport FCO). Price per person in USD and based on 2 guests in a Room.

Trip Dates Deluxe Classic  

Mar 12–21

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Mar 15–24

$7,575 $6,375 WAIT LIST
Mar 19-28

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Mar 26–Apr 4

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Apr 12–21
Add Amalfi Coast!
12 Spots Left
$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Apr 23–May 2

$7,675 $6,475 REQUEST

Apr 30–May 9

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST
May 10–19
Extensions Available
10 Spots Left
$7,575 $6,575 REQUEST

May 14–23

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

May 21–30

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

May 28–Jun 6

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Jun 4–13

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Jun 14–25
Tuesday Departure

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Jun 18–27

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Jun 25–Jul 4

$7,775 $6,775 WAIT LIST
Jul 1–-Jun 10
Friday Departure
Holiday Escape
$7,175 $6,175 REQUEST

Jul 9–18

$7,175 $6,175 REQUEST

Jul 16–25

$7,175 $6,175 REQUEST

Jul 23–Aug 1

$7,175 $6,175 WAIT LIST

Jul 30–Aug 8

$7,175 $6,175 REQUEST

Aug 6–15

$7,175 $6,175 REQUEST

Aug 13–22

$7,375 $6,175 REQUEST

Sep 3–12

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Sep 10–19

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST
Sep 13–22
Tuesday Departure
10 Spots Left
$7,675 $6,675 REQUEST

Sep 17–26

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Sep 20–29

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Sep 24–Oct 3

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Sep 27–Oct 6
Tuesday Departure

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Oct 1–10

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Oct 8–17

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Oct 15–24

$7,775 $6,775 REQUEST

Oct 18–27
Tuesday Departure

$7,675 $6,475 REQUEST

Oct 25–Nov 3
Tuesday Departure

$7,675 $6,475 REQUEST

Nov 1–10

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Nov 8–17

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Nov 19–28

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Nov 29–Dec 8

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Dec 17–26
Christmas in Italy

Holiday Time
$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Dec 23–Jan 2
Christmas in Italy
Holiday Time
$7,675 $6,475 REQUEST
2023 Tour Dates
Request a Reservation

Trip commencement date and end date. Our tour commences in Venice (Airport VCE), and ends in Rome (Airport FCO). Price per person in USD and based on 2 guests in a Room.

Trip Dates Deluxe Classic  

Mar 11-20

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Mar 18–Apr 27

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Mar 25–Apr 3

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST

Apr 8–17

$7,675 $6,475 REQUEST

Apr 15–24

$7,675 $6,475 REQUEST

Apr 22–May 1

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST

Apr 29–May 8

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST

May 6–15

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
May 13–22

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
May 20–29

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
May 27–5

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Jun 3–12

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Jun 10–19

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Jun 17–26

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Jun 24–Jul 3

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Jul 1–10

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Jul 8–17

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Jul 15–24

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Jul 22–31

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Jul 29–Aug 7

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Aug 5–14

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Aug 12–21

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Sep 2–11

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Sep 9–18

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Sep 16–25

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Sep 23–Oct 2

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Sep 30–Oct 9

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Oct 7–16

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Oct 14–23

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Oct 21–30

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Oct 28–Nov 6

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Nov 4–13

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Nov 11–20

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Nov 18–27

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Nov 25–Dec 4

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Dec 9–18

$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Dec 12–21
Christmas Season
Holiday Time
$7,575 $6,375 REQUEST
Dec 19–28
Christmas in Italy
Holiday Time
$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST
Dec 23–Jan 1
Christmas & New Year's
Holiday Time

$7,775 $6,575 REQUEST

Solo Supplement in Deluxe: $1979. Classic Solo: $1379.

 

 

Request a No Obligation Trip Proposal: Click Here

Not quite ready to book the trip?
Chat Here to discuss your trip with a Journey Trip Planner:


Click to discuss the Journey

The Great Cities Route: Venice to Rome

ENJOY OUR UNIQUE APPROACH TO TRAVELING THROUGH ITALY
We don't do buses. We don't do large groups.

ARRIVING VENICE
Our small group tour begins in Venice with an included transfer over the lagoon of Venice to San Marco island.

TO FLORENCE AND THE TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE
Then we're off on the Fast Train to Florence, birthplace of the Renaisseance. We enjoy our comfy micro-coach thru the Tuscan countryside and base in Cortona for 2 days and nights.

TO ROME: WHERE A THOUSAND ROADS ALWAYS LEAD
We make our way to Rome for our trip Finalé. The entire trip we're only about 4 hours on a vehicle –  that's the Journey Difference.

Great Cities of Italy Tour

 
 

Itinerary at a Glance

OPTION: LAKE COMO | DAYS 1-2: VENICE | DAYS 3-4: FLORENCE | DAYS 5-6: CORTONA IN TUSCANY| DAYS 7-9: ROME | DAY 10: DEPARTURE | OPTION: AMALFI COAST

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Consider our Flight and Early Arrival Options
Your flight to Venice should land on Day 1 of the itinerary — this means you should depart your home airport the day prior — your round-trip travel time on this Journey is 11 Days (10 Day, 9 Nights Land). Many of our travelers arrive a "full day early" to recover from their overnight flight — Inquire with us about a pre-tour overnight hotel room in Venice. Airfare is not included. Inquire about our Business Class and Premium Economy Airfare.

CONSIDER EXPANDING YOUR JOURNEY
Expand the Journey: Join us to an amazing finale on the enchanted Amalfi Coast —  includes 2 days and nights with Ancient Pompeii Tour, Welcome Dinner and Sea View rooms on the cliffs of Sorrento. Inquier with your Journey Trip Planner about this magical ending!

 

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Venice —  La Serenissima

DAY 1: WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL VENICE –  The Most Serene

One of Journey's most popular small group adventures begins upon arrival to Marco Polo Airport in Venice. Journey's approach to touring Italy is unique: we combine Italian Guides, American Tour Directors and the perfect balance of activity and leisure time so you can truly soak up all that is Italy: No sun-up to sun-down touring with us, but we do enjoy walking the cities and villages of Italy.

After clearing customs you will be met by our Airport Arrivals Team and transported via private water taxi to our hotel on San Marco island. Check-in, drop luggage and then relax until our Discovery Walk later this afternoon.

Discovery WalkDiscovery Walk: Venice

You will enjoy a get-to-know-Venice Discovery Walk — a hallmark of the Journey style of traveling and exploring new destinations hosted by your Journey Tour Director. We will take in the beautiful sights of Piazza San Marco, the "Campanile" or clock tower, the Grand Canal and more.

Enjoy some time at leisure before meeting tonight for a special 'Welcome to Venice' evening from one of our exclusive perspectives to see Venice.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Venice Dinner: A Special Dining Event Tonight

Tonight we make our way to our favorite restaurant in all of Venice where we will be delighted with cuisine from several regions throughout Italy including the Veneto, Lazio and Campania (all paired with delicious wines and premium beverages - and all included with Journey).

Journey Hotels IconAccommodation in Venice, 2 Nights with breakfast

Deluxe: Hotel Saturnia & International
Classic: Hotel Bonvecchiati or Similar


What's the difference between Deluxe and Classic?
Deluxe 
package includes a full, hot daily breakfast (table service or buffet), 5 of the 9 dinners and 4+ to 5 Star hotel properties featuring large, air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Classic package includes a daily breakfast, Venice Welcome Dinner (guests may upgrade to the total 5 dinners included for $390 per person), and 3 to 4 Star hotel properties featuring air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms.

DAY 2: EXPLORING VENICEVenice Canal

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Venice Secrets & Treasures

Venice's Secrets & Treasures is Journey's unique touring experience through this dramatic and historic port city. Today, learn of Venice's fascinating and colorful past, including everything from Napoleon to an exploration of her many back alleys and streets (called calles). Venice's character springs to life as we make our way through her nooks and crannies and mysterious alley ways.

Journey's professional local guide provides expert commentary as we enter the fascinating and colorful Basilica San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica). Then we go back in time with our visit to the Doge's Palace, the Old Prison (and yes, you will learn about the gentleman Casanova), and the famous Bridge of Sighs.

Special sightseeing today includes:

  • Doge's Palace: Skip-the-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, are the older and new prisons.
  • 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

Later today, 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.

Journey is Different: Your Journey Tour Director 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. 

Florence –  City of the Renaissance

DAY 3: WELCOME TO FLORENCEFlorence Panorama

This morning enjoy a leisurely start with breakfast and then join your Journey Tour Director 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.

We zip along the Italian countryside and arrive in Florence at the Santa Maria Novella Train Station where we deboard the train for our short walk to our hotels in the very heart of Florence.

After some time to freshen up, we begin our chapter in Florence.

Orientation Walk IconDiscovery Walk: 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.


Enjoy the balance of the afternoon at leisure until our welcome dinner tonight.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Florence Dinner: Tuscany's Dining Delights You Tonight!

Your Journey Tour Director 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 Florence, 2 Nights with breakfast

Deluxe: Hotel Bernini Palace or Similar
Classic: Rosso 23 or Similar

DAY 4: EXPLORING 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 Fiore, 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.

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 before arriving at the Arno River and a visit to the "old bridge," or Ponte Vecchio. This was the only bridge in Florence to survive the World War II bombing raids.

Special Sightseeing Includes:

  • Galleria dell'Accademia: Skip-the-Line admission to experience Michelangelo's David in the Academy Gallery, the first art school of Europe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Entrance and tour of Orsanmichele: This church was originally built as a grain market in 1337 by Francesco Talenti, Neri di Fioravante, and Benci di Cione. Then converted into a church between 1380 and 1404.
  • Walking Delights: We explore Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza della Signoria and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), the only bridge to survive World War II bombing.

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

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) or just explore at your leisure. This Basilica is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie).

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

Journey is Different: Your Journey Tour Director will invite you to an optional dinner tonight or you can explore Florence at leisure.

Under the Tuscan Sun

DAY 5: GOOD MORNING TUSCANYTuscan Hills

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Tuscan Glory

It's a great day to explore further into the Tuscan 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. San Gimignano 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 San Gimignano, we enjoy free time to explore the city of towers. San Gimignano also has several distractions for shopping - so dig in and enjoy!

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 our winery estate in the heart of Tuscany - simply stunning. We will enjoy a tour of the production facilities and cellars, followed by a delightful wine-tasting paired with perfect morsels for lunch. Buon Appetito! Vineyards in Tuscany

Our lunch palate-pleasing appetizers, including pecorino cheese, bruschetta, and other local farm-to-table delights. You'll get your fill of classic Chianti and Super Tuscan varieties along with delicate cuisine hand-made by the chef.

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
Mid to late-afternoon we enjoy a leisurely drive to the delightful hill town of Cortona for our next chapter in the very heart of Tuscany. An absolutely beautiful town awaits us and an equally authentic welcome dinner is included.

In the mid to late Tuscan afternoon we will arrive at our villa hotel in Cortona. Your Journey Tour Director 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: Cortona

On the Discovery Walk of Cortona we make our way to its very heart to learn about its fascinating past with Etruscans and Romans, as well as Hollywood. Your Journey Tour Director welcomes you to the Tuscan countryside and tonight's special Italian experience.

We continue our walk as we explore Via Nazionale up to Piazza Garibaldi and finally into Piazza della Repubblica where you will Learn about the plains of Trasimeno and of the amazing battle of the same name: The Roman-Cathaginian Battle. Soak up the afternoon sunshine as we slow down and enjoy a typical Tuscan evening.

Journey Dinners IconJourney Exclusive: Special Apericena in Cortona

Tonight you will join your Journey Tour Director for a Journey exclusive welcome "aperitivo" called Apericena by the modern Italians. It's the perfect complement for your palate after a day of great cuisine and wine. Our dinner aperitivo provides a just-right, light meal finale 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

Deluxe: Villa Marsili, Monastero di Cortona Hotel & Spa, or Similar
Classic: Hotel Italia or Similar

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 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 part, 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.

Journey is Different: Your Journey Tour Director will invite you to an optional dinner tonight or choose to enjoy your last night in Cortona at your leisure.


Rome: Heart of the Empire

DAY 7: 1000 ROADS LEAD ALWAYS TO ROMEPantheon in Rome, Italy

As we make our way to Rome, we find ourselves going back in time as our surroundings begin to slowly turn into the very center of ancient Rome.

We arrive at our hotels and check in. The locations of our hotels in Rome are within a minute or so walk of the incredible Pantheon.

We check-in, freshen up and then meet for our Discovery Walk.

Orientation Walk IconDiscovery Walk: Rome

You will meet the Journey Tour Director for a walk through the very heart of Old 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. We enter 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 Fiore (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 Kicks Off the Dining Experience

Tonight you will join your Journey Tour Director for a special welcome to Rome dinner complete with premium beverages and wine from the region of Lazio, Campania and Toscana.

Journey Hotels IconAccommodation in Rome, 3 Nights with breakfast

DeluxePantheon Iconic Rome Hotel
Classic: Hotel Navona, Antico Albergo al Sole dal Pantheon, or Similar

BACK TO TOP


DAY 8 EXPLORING THE VATICANVatican City, Rome, Italy

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Vatican City

This morning we will enter Vatican City with our Priority Early Morning Entry (ahead of regular Vatican visitors). Enjoy a visit of the Vatican museums to see the amazing tapestries, the Sistine Chapel and its iconic ceiling, and St. Peter's Basilica and Square as the majestic Vatican City comes to life.

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.

Special Sightseeing Includes:

  • St. Peter's Basilica and Square: Admission and Guided Tour to St. Peter's Basilica: By design, we enjoy early admission around 8:15 am to avoid the large cruise and tour groups that arrive later in the morning. Enjoy Skip-the-Line special access with 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.

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

Journey is Different: Your Journey Tour Director will invite you to an optional dinner tonight or you can explore Rome at your leisure.


DAY 9 EXPLORING MODERN & IMPERIAL ROMERoman Forum, Italy

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Imperial Rome

This morning we will enjoy our walking tour of Rome. You will see ancient elements intertwined perfectly with present-day apartment buildings, and discover how the modern Romans have intertwined their vast history into present-day experience.

We're making our way to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the town center of the Roman Empire, for our special access, in-depth touring experience, complete with admissions. 

Special Sightseeing Includes:

  • Colosseo: Flavian's amphitheater known popularly as the Colosseum. Admission and Guided Tour of the Colosseum: Heart of The Empire. Enjoy Skip-the-Line entrance.
  • Foro Romano: Admission and Guided Tour of the Roman Forum ~ 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.
  • 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 IconFarewell to Rome Dinner: A Very Special Evening

Tonight join your Journey Tour Director for our included 'Farewell to Rome' event.

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!

Tomorrow we will say, 'Arrivederci Roma!' but tonight we sing and make melody in the very heart of Rome. 

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!

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Does your Journey end in Rome?
We highly recommend the enchanted Amalfi Coast 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 goodbye 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 find out the city was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Enjoy the commentary of our Local Guide as you learn of its colorful history and tragic end.

After our experience we make our way to Sorrento, our home to explore the amazing Amalfi Coast.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Sorrento Dinner

Your Journey Tour Director hosts an amazing welcome dinner in Sorrento. The owner, Mario, and Chef Lena and their family welcome us to dinner tonight. Get ready for a wonderful evening of Sorrentina cuisine and hospitality.

Journey Hotels IconAccommodation in Sorrento, 2 Nights

Deluxe/Classic: Hotel Minerva Sorrento - Amazing Sea Views

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.

OPTION TO THE ISLE OF CAPRI & AMALFI COAST - $258
Highly Recommended: Enjoy our optional experience departing this morning and enjoy a boat trip to the Isle of Capri to enjoy free time on the Island. We make our way to Positano for late afternoon before the amazing Amalfi Coast highway drive back to Sorrento.

Your Journey Tour Director will give you great ideas on what to do while you're on island. Occasionally, and weather permitting, 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 "stop" at the Blue Grotto, we do not go inside the Blue Grotto as this usually takes the majority of the day.

Then later, again weather and seas permitting, we continue to Positano and the Amalfi Coast. We will spend some time in Positano at leisure and then continue along the Amalfi Coast drive back to Sorrento.

Prosecco IconOur Special Journey Finalé

After returning to our hotel, enjoy some leisure time and then meet on the terrace for our special Apericena to celebrate our time together. It has been a Journey of Adventure and Discovery, along with making new friends! Until our next Journey — Arrivederci!


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

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


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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Passport, Visa and Electronic Authorities

A valid Passport is required for citizens from the USA and Canada (other countries: please speak with your consulates). The Passport must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond your return date. We may suggest keeping a photo of your Passport in your email as an unsent draft.

Airfare Purchased through Eddie at Bella Vista

Airfare is not included in the tour price. However, you can book through our recommended air provider: Bella Vista. Any changes to flights booked through Bella Vista must be administered by Bella Vista. Eddie is the name of our colleague at Bella Vista who provides outstanding service and pricing. Bella Vista is not organically affiliated or connected to Now Journey LLC.

Airport and Included Arrival Transfer Details

Upon clearing customs, you will be met by our Journey driver who will whisk you along to the water taxi or hotel, all included.

Luggage On Tour

One (1) 50 pound suitcase is included in your portage throughout the tour. You are also entitled to a carry-on bag, and a purse or satchel. Remember, your airline or the airline on tour if applicable may have more restrictive limits —  be advised you are responsible for any fees incurred on all flights.

Walking and Mobility on Tour

Be prepared to be standing and/or walking for up to 3 hours on various terrain including cobblestone streets, stairs and uneven surfaces. We walk a lot on our tours but we are unhurried and you may opt out of most sightseeing tours at just about any time (there are restrictions for example at the Vatican or on boat travel). The Journey Tour Director is unable to assist with mobility assistance. Please carefully read the Trip Agreement to understand your obligations and responsibilities.

What's the difference between Deluxe and Classic?

Deluxe package includes a full, hot daily breakfast (table service or buffet), 5 of the 9 dinners and 4+ to 5 Star hotel properties featuring large, air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Classic package includes a daily breakfast, Venice Welcome Dinner (guests may upgrade to the total 5 dinners included for $390 per person), and 3 to 4 Star hotel properties featuring air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms.

COVID 19 Requirements

Please check with the Center for Disease Control website (https://www.cdc.gov) around 60 days prior to departure for the latest entry requirements. Also, please visit the Italian government's site: https://app.euplf.eu/#/

ADDITIONAL HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO ITALY - INQUIRE FOR OTHER DESTINATIONS
•  All Now Journey guests should visit the official Italian Tourism website that describes the latest COVID-19 updates by clicking here: http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/covid-19-updates-information-for-tourists.html 

Hotel Guest Rooms: Air Conditioning, Electricity, Bathrooms and WiFi

Each of our guest rooms feature ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and select amenities in Deluxe category. Daily breakfast is included in each hotel category. Italy utilizes the 220 Volt system, so you will need a converter for those devices that do not already have one, as well as an adapter for the physical US 2 or 3 prong to the Italian dual prong system. WiFi is included with your Journey vacation wherever available.

Journey Style Dining

Journey’s approach to dining is unique in the travel world (just like the regions of Italy we travel through). 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 Tuscany we will eat from the land with locally grown produce where the concept of nostrale, or home-grown, is so evident.

Medicine and Health on Tour

Please do not pack essential medicines in your luggage, rather take them with you in your carry-on (alert: liquid medicines may need additional approval by airline). Should you have any food restrictions or allergies, please ensure you note this on the Traveler Profile.

Currency

The Euro is used within Italy. We recommend you bring with you around €250 per person. To obtain more cash while on tour, use your Debit Card with your PIN memorized (we may suggest keeping this information in your email as an unsent draft).

Tipping in Italy

At the finalé of your Journey, you are invited to provide a gratuity to your Journey Tour Director. We recommend tipping $USD20 per person per day for your Journey Tour Director. Customary gratuities are included on your Journey for included dinners, drivers and local guides.

No Up-Sell on Tour: Rest Easy

Unlike most tour operators, we do not upsell to you while you're on tour. Your Journey Tour Director will assist you with any request while on tour, but will not proactively sell to you —  this is not our culture or style of travel. We recommend you select your optional activities at least 90 days prior to your trip departure date.

Weather in Italy

Expect early spring showers possible in March and April with highs in the 60s to 70s. May and June, mostly clear patterns with highs in the 70s to 80s, July and August are the hot summer months, but still fun to explore with highs in the 80s to 90s. September is still considered high season with highs in the 70s, with October more of a shoulder season with high temps ranging from 70s to 80s in the first week to 10 days, and 60s to 70s in mid to late October.

Clothing Recommendations

March through April with October: Layer your clothing with warmer sunshine expected by 10am on most days. Have a rain jacket or umbrella just in case. May through June with September: Summer clothing is recommended with jeans, slacks, dresses, shorts, sneakers and caps/hats completely acceptable. July through August: It's hot, so dress accordingly with sunscreen onhand. Remember, entrance into the Vatican and certain other church buildings require shoulders to be covered and shorts down to the knees, generally.


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