- 12 Days
- 12 Days
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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.
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.
• 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
• Amalfi Coast
• Isle of Capri: Ferry, transportation and guided tour of Capri
• Montecatini Terme: Hotel Columbia (4 nights)
• Rome: Grand Hotel Tiberio (3 nights)
• Sorrento: Hotel Michelangelo (3 nights)
Day1 - 2
Fly to Florence
Stay: Hotel Columbia, Montecatini Terme (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Meals: B, D
Siena, San Gimignano
Meals: B, D
Montecatini, Assisi, Rome
Stay: Grand Hotel Tiberio, Rome (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Ancient & Modern Rome
Meals: B, D
Meals: B, D
Rome, Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento
Stay: Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Meals: B, D
Isle of Capri, Sorrento
Meals: B, D
Return Flight Home
- Sunscreen is an essential product to have, regardless of the climate. Since UV exposure is unavoidable, a hat and sunglasses are also suggested for your protection, even in the winter.
- Mosquito repellent can prove useful in wooded areas or in the evenings in some regions.
- Comfort is important when on vacation. Bring comfortable walking shoes. And loose, casual clothing is suggested to keep you cozy.
- Pack extra batteries and memory cards for your camera.
- Always pack an extra jacket or sweater in case of inclement weather or cooler evenings. DeNureTours recommends you dress in layers, so you can add or remove layers if the temperature rises or drops.
- Use every corner, nook and cranny of your suitcase when packing. Rolled sweaters and bulky clothing occupy less space, but clothing that wrinkles easily should be laid flat. Roll socks or underclothing and pack them into shoes, and slip smaller items into side pockets.
- Use sample-sized toiletry items and always transport containers of creams and liquids in a sealed plastic bag.
- Keep an extra set of keys for your luggage.
- Always prepare for the possibility of rain. An umbrella, or rain jacket will easily fit in your luggage, and could prove to be the most useful article you pack. When travelling as a couple, bring two so neither person gets half wet.
- Pack your bathing suit.
- Pack a good book, or a deck of cards to keep you busy during free time.
- Leave items of monetary or sentimental value at home. Costume and faux jewelry always travels well.
- If you require corrective lenses, pack an extra pair of glasses or contacts.
- If you wear dentures, and have a second set, pack them just in case. You’d be surprised how often these important items end up where they shouldn’t.
- Not all hotel rooms are equipped with alarm clocks. While most hotels offer wake-up calls, a small travel alarm clock might prove useful.
- Couples travelling together may find it wise to split their belongings between two suitcases. If one suitcase should go missing, neither person is left without a change of clothes.
- Remember to pack any medications or prescriptions in your carry-on and not in your suitcase in case of emergency or luggage misplacement. Medications should be packed in their original containers for security reasons.
- Keep a listing of your recent medical history with you, including medications you currently take, prescription or otherwise, as well as allergies you suffer from, and any medical conditions you have. Carry the listing in your wallet, and leave a copy with your emergency contact person at home.
- Identify your luggage with an identification tag as well as your DeNureTours luggage tags.
- If you carry travellers’ cheques, record the numbers of the cheques and keep this list in a separate location. When travelling as a couple, put some cheques in your partner’s name so you both have access to funds.
- Always carry your travel insurance policy with you, and read it carefully before you leave.
- Always carry your passport, or other important identification on your person. Make a photocopy to keep in your suitcase.
- Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date. This is a requirement for entering certain countries.
- Always check the spelling of your name on all documentation you receive. Often, your travel documents must match your passport or birth certificate. It is imperative that your legal name be listed correctly on your documents. Failure to comply may result in your being denied entry to a country, or boarding on an airplane or cruise ship. Name changes on documents may be subject to a change fee.
- Use extra copies of your travel itinerary and hotel listing to distribute to friends or relatives, so you can be reached in case of emergency.
- Keep a log of your purchases, including what you paid in foreign currency and the equivalent in Canadian dollars. This will assist you in filling out customs forms. Keep all receipts.
- Secure your home before you leave. Arrange for a friend or neighbour to pick up mail and check in periodically. Have someone cut your lawn (or shovel your driveway) and care for your property. Set automatic timers on the lights and television. Empty the refrigerator of perishables. Lower your thermostat to save on energy.
- When flying, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and limit your intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages.
- To avoid circulatory problems on a plane or coach, walk up the aisle every hour or so. Periodically, stretch your legs, arms, shoulders and neck.
- Arrive early for flights. DeNureTours recommends to check-in 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights, or 2-3 hours prior for international flights.
- An inflatable travel pillow can make you more comfortable on long coach rides or flights. The U-shaped pillow keeps your head from rolling during travel, reducing the risk of neck pain.
- Avoid the use of perfume or scented sprays on the coach or an airplane. These are confined spaces, so be courteous to your fellow travellers who may be allergic or sensitive to scents.
- Get as much rest as possible before you leave.
- Try your best to be flexible. Unexpected things can happen. Your holiday will be more enjoyable if you are open-minded.
Tips to waiters, taxi drivers, step-on guides, tour directors and drivers are a tangible way for you to express your appreciation for jobs well done. This practice, though customary, is voluntary and is not included in tour prices. As a guide to the amounts to tip, the following amounts are suggested:
- Taxi Drivers – Drivers should be tipped 10% of the taxi fare.
- Waiters – For meals that are not included in the tour price, tip waiters between 15% and 20% of your bill, but never less than $1.
- Tour Directors and Drivers – A gratuity of $4 per person per day is suggested.
The pace of a tour varies by itinerary, as each destination, its sightseeing and the activities are unique. Pacing is often subject to personal interpretation, but our trip pace indicator on each tour page may assist you in determining if a tour is suitable for you.
Day-by-day itinerary descriptions can be found on our website or requested from our office. Generally, the more activities included, distance travelled in a day, or number of hotel changes, will increase the pace of a tour.
Some of the most unique sightseeing is found in locations that can be a challenge for motorcoaches, especially in historic areas. For your comfort, we recommend packing walking shoes so you fully enjoy every aspect of your holiday.
Tours with the highest “On-the-go” ratings require a level of activity that is not suitable for those who use either walkers or wheelchairs. If a trip pace is not ideally suited for you, our reservations team will be happy to help you find your perfect vacation.