• 12 Days
  • 12 Days



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Mar 13, 2020
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Grand Tour of Italy

If you only visit Italy once in your life, you must experience its stunning coastlines, ancient ruins, priceless art, and fascinating history.

Using picturesque Montecatini as our base, we’ll begin exploring Tuscany in Florence. The cradle of the Renaissance, this small city is one of overwhelming beauty – packed with enchanting basilicas, cathedrals, sculptures, and extraordinary masterpieces. Then, Venice! A magical floating landscape of teal canals, gondolas, and Gothic Venetian architecture, Venice floods your senses with la bea vita (the beautiful life). Next, travel through Chianti wine country and the narrow streets of Siena to the medieval walled hilltop town of San Gimignano. Known as “the most famous small town in Italy,” its soaring towers offer breathtaking views of Tuscany’s olive groves, truffle fields, and vineyards.

On to “The Eternal City” for a guided tour of ancient Rome’s 3,000 years of history, massive stone monuments, museums, and famous works of art. In your free time, explore Rome’s modern piazzas and al fresco trattorias. Tour Vatican City before heading south to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, arriving in Sorrento, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast.

A beautiful drive along the turquoise Amalfi Coast is a must-see Mediterranean dreamscape! An excursion to the idyllic, whitewashed Isle of Capri ends our grand romantic Italia escape.

Discover the Romance of Rome

Italy’s capital is a sprawling, romantic city with crumbling ruins, architectural masterpieces, and lovely piazzas (squares). They say that history starts in Rome and, after two days to explore, you’ll agree! The power of the Roman Empire lives on in the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Built in 80AD, the Colosseum’s columns were once covered by a canvas awning that shaded 50,000 spectators who cheered as gladiators fought wild animals (a scene made famous by the movie Gladiator).

Marvel at the revolutionary design of the Pantheon, a 2,000-year-old temple that’s one of Rome’s most impressive and best-preserved buildings. An architectural blueprint for millennia, it is the world’s largest non-reinforced dome. We’ll tour Palatine Hill, the Emperors’ Palace, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and much more before heading to nearby Vatican City, the smallest sovereign state in the world. The Vatican Museums house Italy’s most revered masterpieces, such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes. St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in Christendom and the Vatican’s towering showpiece.

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Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”

Montecatini Terme is a town in Tuscany, Italy, known for the art nouveau Parco delle Terme spa complex. Works by Joan Miró and Claes Oldenburg hang in the MO.C.A. (Montecatini Contemporary Art), located on the first floor of the Town Hall. A funicular, climbs to Montecatini Alto village, home to the Torre dell’Orologio, a medieval clock tower, plus the Romanesque church of Santa Maria a Ripa and sweeping views.


Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.

Visit the famous St. Mark’s Square and feel the charm of this unique city. St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Campanile, the Clock Tower and the Procuratie are just steps away from the square. Visit St. Maria Formosa, with its lively “Campo”, one of the most popular squares in Venice and reach the Church and Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo – the “Pantheon” of Venice. In the same square, you will see the great charitable Scuola and the heroic deeds of the famous Captains of fortune. Visit Marco Polo’s house and Malibran Theatre, where ancient and recent history meet in this wonderful corner of Venice. Mercerie, once the commercial lifeline between Rialto and St. Mark’s, today is Venice’s main shopping district.


Chianti is a rural region of Tuscany in Italy in the provinces of Florence, Siena and Arezzo, composed mainly of hills and mountains. It is known worldwide for the wine produced in and named for the region, Chianti and wonderful olive groves producing olive oil.


Siena, located in central Italy’s Tuscany region and distinguished by its medieval brick buildings. The fan-shaped central square, Piazza del Campo, is the site of the Palazzo Pubblico, the Gothic town hall, and Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th-century tower with sweeping views from its distinctive white crown. The city’s 17 historic “contrade” (districts) extend outward from the piazza.Siena is the cradle of the Italian Gothic style.


San Gimignano is a hill town in Tuscany, southwest of Florence. Encircled by 13th-century walls, its old town centers on Piazza della Cisterna, a triangular square lined with medieval houses. It has a skyline of medieval towers, including the stone Torre Grossa. The Duomo di San Gimignano is a 12th-century church with frescoes by Ghirlandaio in its Santa Fina Chapel.


Tuscany, a region in central Italy. Its capital, Florence, is home to some of the world’s most recognizable Renaissance art and architecture, including Michelangelo’s “David” statue, Botticelli’s works in the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo basilica. Its diverse natural landscape encompasses the rugged Apennine Mountains, the island of Elba’s beaches on the Tyrrhenian Sea and Chianti’s olive groves and vineyards.


Assisi, a hill town in central Italy’s Umbria region. It was the birthplace of St. Francis (1181–1226), one of Italy’s patron saints. The Basilica of St. Francis is a massive, 2-level church, consecrated in 1253. Its 13th-century frescoes portraying the life of St. Francis have been attributed to Giotto and Cimabue, among others. The crypt houses the saint’s stone sarcophagus.

Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.

Visit the Trevi Fountain, monumental masterpiece, the Palazzo di Montecitorio, designed by Bernini, the Pantheon, ancient roman temple which was converted in a Church in 7th century. It supports an immense dome that remains the biggest of the antiquity; Palazzo Madama – seat of the senate and Piazza Navona.

Discovery of one of the most famous monuments in the city, the Flavian amphitheatre, which is best known as the Colosseum. This magnificent amphitheatre is where in the first century the famous gladiatorial combats took place but, surprizing so did naval battles. The Roman forum was the center of the political and religious life during the antiquity.

Vatican City, is a city-state surrounded by Rome, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. Its Vatican Museums house ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed “Laocoön and His Sons” as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling

You can visit the Vatican museums, a group of impressive buildings with hundreds of rooms, halls, galleries, libraries and chapels overflowing with art treasures. The “Sistine Chapel” world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and “The last judgment.” Then the St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world built over the tomb of St. Peter. Upon entering the Basilica, one gets the feeling of majesty and grandeur associated with such and historical place in Christianity. Here you find Michelangelo’s “Pieta” and many works of art from Giotto and Bernini.


Pompeii was an ancient Roman city near modern Naples in the Campania region of Italy. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Stroll the streets of Pompeii, an unforgettable complex of ruins. Admire the perfect preservation of the Pompeii’s ruins, the Amphitheatre, the Basilica and the Forum. See the fantastic mosaic in the fabulous Patrician Villas, giving you an in-sight into the daily lifes of the ancients. Walk down the old Roman high streets, where you can peek into the shops, read the graffiti on the walls then wander of down the back streets to explore the homes of the inhabitants.

Naples, a city in southern Italy, sits on the Bay of Naples. Nearby is Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that destroyed nearby town Pompeii. Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C., Naples has centuries of important art and architecture. The city’s cathedral, the Duomo di San Gennaro, is filled with frescoes. Other major landmarks include the lavish Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo, a 13th-century castle.

Sorrento is a coastal town, facing the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula and one of the most beautiful corners of all Italy. Perched atop cliffs that separate the town from its busy marinas, it’s known for sweeping water views and Piazza Tasso, a cafe-lined square. The historic center is a warren of narrow alleys that’s home to the Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church with a tranquil cloister. The symbol of Sorrento is the lemon: wall paintings and mosaics uncovered in Pompeii and Herculaneum suggest that citrus fruit trees were cultivated here a long time ago. Nowadays, along the narrow streets you can enter many shops to buy a bottle or just taste the famous Limoncello, the traditional beverage of the Sorrento.


The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region. It’s a popular holiday destination, with sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages. The coastal road between the port city of Salerno and clifftop Sorrento winds past grand villas, terraced vineyards and cliffside lemon groves. It’s not hard to see why it’s one of Italy’s most iconic shorelines. Along the way, stop to capture the beautiful landscapes on camera and admire sweeping views over the pretty coastline.


Isle of Capri is an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is famed for its rugged landscape, upscale hotels and shopping, from designer fashions to Limoncello and handmade leather sandals. One of its best-known natural sites is the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave. In summer, Capri’s dramatic, cove-studded coastline draws many yachts.Cross by boatto the island in the morning and enjoy a Panoramic tour by minibus up to Anacapri. In the afternoon discover the centre of Capri with a walking tour up to Tragara’s Belvedere to see the famous Faraglioni.



Return flight from Toronto, airport transfers in Italy, motorcoach transportation, 10 nights accommodation, 10 breakfasts, 10 dinners, all highlights listed, English speaking tour manager, Connections Program and all taxes.

Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST.

Included Highlights

• Florence: Guided sightseeing and walking tour, Academia Museum
• Venice: Walking tour of Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs
• San Gimignano
• Rome: Ancient Rome, Forum, Palatine Hill, Emperors’ Palace, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Montecitorio, Pantheon, Piazza Navona
• Vatican City: Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica
• Pompeii
• Naples
• Amalfi Coast
• Isle of Capri: Ferry, transportation and guided tour of Capri

September 2019 departure

• Montecatini Terme: Hotel Nizza & Suisse* (4 nights)
• Rome: Marriott Central Park* (3 nights)
• Sorrento: Hotel Michelangelo* (3 nights)

October 2019 departure

• Montecatini Terme: Hotel Settentrionale* (4 nights)
• Rome: Crowne Plaza, St Peters* (3 nights)
• Sorrento: Majestic Palace* (3 nights)

September & October 2020 departures

• Montecatini Terme: Hotel Francia* (4 nights)
• Rome: Marriott Central Park* (3 nights)
• Sorrento: Hotel Michelangelo* (3 nights)

*or similar

Day1 - 2

Fly to Florence

Fly from Toronto to Florence, where you’ll be taken on a scenic drive to the small city of Montecatini. The afternoon is yours to discover Montecatini’s enchanting basilicas, cathedrals, sculptures, and extraordinary masterpieces. We’ll meet for a welcome dinner back at the hotel.

Stay: Hotel Nizza & Suisse, Montecatini Terme (Sept)  Hotel Settentrionale, Montecatini Terme (Oct)
Nights: 4
Meals: D



After breakfast at the hotel, we are off under the Tuscan sunshine for a guided sightseeing tour of Florence. The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is packed with masterpieces – the works of art themselves and the 15th-century buildings that house them. The entire city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site! Walk the historic city centre and see magnificent palazzi (palaces). Visit the Academia Museum, site of Michelangelo’s David. Return for dinner at the hotel this evening.

Meals: B, D



A magical floating landscape of teal canals, gondolas, and Gothic Venetian architecture, Venice floods your senses with la bea vita (the beautiful life). After breakfast, we will spend the day exploring this canal city: a walking tour of Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, and crossing the Bridge of Sighs which connects to the Piombi Prisons. Spend the afternoon shopping and browsing. We will come back together for a light dinner in the evening.

Meals: B, D


Siena, San Gimignano

After breakfast, we’ll travel southwest through the heart of Italian wine country, over the rolling hills of Chianti to Siena. Our guide will take us through Siena’s narrow streets, past medieval towers and walls to Piazza del Campo and San Domenico, which holds the relics of St. Catherine. Italy’s“most famous small town” is our next destination. San Gimignano’s soaring towers offer breathtaking views of Tuscany’s olive groves, truffle fields, and vineyards. Return to the hotel for dinner this evening.

Meals: B, D


Montecatini, Assisi, Rome

We will have breakfast at the hotel and check out. Today we head to Rome! But first, a stop in Assisi to view St. Francis’ Cathedral and have some free time to browse. In Rome, we’ll check into a first-class hotel, freshen up, and relax a bit before dinner.

Stay: Marriott Central Park, Rome (Sept) Crowne Plaza St Peters, Rome (Oct)
Nights: 3
Meals: B, D


Ancient & Modern Rome

We’ll wake in Italy’s Capital for breakfast before a full day of guided exploration. Rome’s 3,000 years of history, massive stone monuments, museums, and famous works of art put cameras to the test! In the morning, we’ll see the glorious remains of Ancient Rome, the birthplace of modern civilization. We’ll visit the grand Colosseum and learn about its bloody past. On to the Forum, Palatine Hill, Emperor’s Palace, Capitol, Senate, and more! Free time for lunch is your opportunity to explore Rome’s modern piazzas and al fresco trattorias. The afternoon introduces modern Rome. A walking tour lets us get up close to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Montecitorio, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. We’ll wrap up the day with dinner back at our hotel.

Meals: B, D


Vatican City

After breakfast, the Vatican is ours to discover! The smallest sovereign state in the world. The Vatican Museums protect Italy’s most revered masterpieces. Hundreds of galleries are filled with treasures: the Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms, and the Sistine Chapel, home to Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgement.” St. Peter’s Basilica is the grandest church in Christendom and the Vatican’s towering showpiece. Marvel at Pieta and Bernini’s amazing bronze canopy. Before dinner, we’ll have free time to shop or sit in one of the outside cafés and watch the world go by.  

Meals: B, D


Rome, Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento

Breakfast and then checkout. Arrivederci to Rome and onward to Pompeii for a guided tour of Mt. Vesuvius’ destruction almost 2000 years later. Pompeii remains the best-preserved ruin of Roman times. A panoramic tour of Naples is a highlight on the way to Sorrento, where we’ll check into our hotel and have dinner. 

Stay: Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento (Sept) Majestic Palace, Sorrento (Oct)
Nights: 3
Meals: B, D


Amalfi Coast

Sorrento is the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, and what a coast it is! After breakfast we’ll take a beautiful drive along the turquoise Mediterranean dreamscape – one of the most scenic roads in the world! Our first stop, Positano, is one of Italy’s most famous and elegant resorts. We’ll continue along the coast and find some free time to visit the beautiful Cathedral of St. Andrew, have lunch, and explore Ravello. Return to Sorrento for dinner. 

Meals: B, D


Isle of Capri, Sorrento

An excursion to the idyllic, whitewashed Isle of Capri ends our grand romantic Italia escape. After breakfast, we’ll catch a ferry ride across the Bay of Naples and enjoy a guided tour of Capri’s hotels, chic shops, and restaurants along winding streets. Piazza Umberto has a pretty white church and open-air cafés. We’ll return to Sorrento in the afternoon by ferry for some free time, then come together for dinner at the hotel. 

Meals: B, D


Return Flight Home

After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and transfer to Naples Airport for our return flight to Toronto.

Meals: B

These destinations offer very limited accessibility and guests can expect to experience uneven surfaces (i.e. cobblestones) or hilly ground on a regular basis. This level applies to many of our overseas tours as many historical landmarks tend to demand greater effort to reach. This also applies to our Newfoundland tours as accessibility options are scarce in some remote areas.


  • Venice
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • St. Peter's cathedral
  • San Gimignano, Tuscany. Italy

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