You’ve heard about Italy—its mouth-watering cuisine, excellent wine, fabulous art, splendid beauty, ancient ruins, extraordinary statues, and remarkable architecture—and now it is your turn to experience it. On this Italy tour, get a taste of what the country has to offer and explore its most famous cities: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Have your camera ready as you discover the historical sights of Rome, including the Colosseum, the amphitheater used for deadly gladiatorial contests, and the Sistine Chapel, world-famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings. You’ll see ancient buildings and ruins, and you’ll be able to imagine what life was like thousands of years ago. Visit Florence, known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and often referred to as the art capital of Italy. Enjoy an escorted walking tour that includes a visit to see Michelangelo’s famous David, and spend time shopping for local Florentine goods. In Venice, you’ll see the must-see sights, such as St. Mark’s Square and Basilica. You’ll also have time to explore the maze of streets and discover hidden treasures in their back alleys. Throughout this Italy tour, Globus has arranged VIP access, so rather than waiting in long lines, you’ll skip the lines at the famous sights. This gives you more time to experience the sights and more time to taste Italy’s sumptuous cuisine, shop for Italian goods, explore the stunning churches and museums, and participate in optional excursions. At the conclusion of your tour, transfer to Stresa, Lake Maggiore for three nights. Enjoy guided sightseeing with a visit and boat ride to the opulent Palace and stunning Gardens of Isola Bella. All services at Lake Maggiore, including Local Host assistance, are provided by Monograms.Just imagine the memories you’ll create on this fabulous Italian vacation!
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DAY 1Arrive in Rome, Italy
Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and leave the hotel for a special welcome dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (Dinner)
Enjoy Globus’ unique guided sightseeing, including inside visits to all highlights of religious and ancient Rome: the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, and monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more. (Breakfast)
"In the early 1500s, Rome was full of neglected ruins from the days of the ancient Empire, which still contained artworks buried amongst the rubble. The Renaissance had seen a sudden growth of interest in all things classical, and the popes – cultivated men who were in touch with the intellectual currents of the day – were the richest art collectors in Italy. They began offering substantial cash rewards for any sculptures, until Rome was scoured by freelance treasure hunters on the hunt for pagan masterpieces. The most dramatic discovery occurred in 1506, when a Roman father-and-son team of excavators reported a promising find near the ruined Baths of Titus. The artist Michelangelo himself excitedly hurried over to help with the work, followed by the pope’s official agent, Guiliano da Sangallo. When the excavators brushed away the dirt of 1,000 years, they found an enormous marble sculpture, perfectly intact, of a muscular Trojan hero being attacked by giant snakes. Guilano cried out in amazement, “This is the very Laocoön described by (the ancient Roman author) Pliny!” The sculpture was carted off to the Vatican Museum."
"Rome is one of the most filmed cities on earth, with its signature set location being the Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, a romantic, 85-foot-high baroque masterpiece depicting the god of the sea, Neptune, and his Tritons. Not surprisingly, the best time to visit Fontana di Trevi is late at night, when the crowds have gone, the din of Rome’s traffic has died and floodlights dance magically on the water. In fact, the whole centro storico takes on a calm, timeless aspect after dark, and it is well worth stretching your legs after dinner on your own Fellini-esque promenade."
A guided visit to the magnificent COLOSSEUM brings the days of the gladiators alive. Also admire the Arch of Constantine, and enter the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. Then, drive through Umbria along the Highway of the Sun north into Tuscany and its hill-clad vineyards, which produce the famous Chianti wine, to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” (Breakfast)
During your walking tour with a Local Guide, visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David, admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE, and take pictures of Ponte Vecchio. Time to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry, sold by the ounce. This afternoon is your chance to join an optional excursion to the picturesque town of San Gimignano. Tonight, a special dinner with Tuscan specialties and wine awaits you at Finisterrae restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
La Piazza Della Signoria
"What’s the best vantage point to ponder the most illustrious town square in Florence, the Signoria? An outdoor table in the venerable Caffè Rivoire – preferably over a delicious, if not painfully expensive cioccolata con pane, a dark and mud-thick hot chocolate. Late at night, when the crowds have gone, you can search the long shadows and imagine that very little has changed here since the 1400s. The Signoria is the most elegant sculpture garden in Europe. Masterpieces include the splendid Neptune Fountain by Ammannati, Hercules and Cacus by Bandinelli and a precise copy of Michelangelo’s David, all strategically poised in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. This grand public space has been the centerpiece of Florence since the 15th Century, the golden age when the city was established as the most beautiful in Europe. Eminent merchants in their ostentatious finery met here to discuss business in the midst of Florence’s raucous daily life."
"As the Nazis retreated from Florence during the Second World War, they blew up all of the bridges across the River Arno except one – the Ponte Vecchio. It was evidently saved on Hitler’s personal orders. This was where he had met the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1938, cementing the “pact of steel” alliance. The Führer had been so impressed by the elegant “Old Bridge,” which had graced the spot since being built in stone in 1345, that he decided to save it. The German army instead blew up all of the ancient buildings on either side, so that the bridge could not be used by the Allies, but the Ponte Vecchio itself was salvaged for posterity."
DAY 5Florence–Venice Island
A spectacular drive through the wooded Apennine Hills brings you to Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the globe. Enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT to meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are ST. MARK’S SQUARE, a favorite location for many movies, and the byzantine BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner, and receive an exclusive gift, just for you! (Breakfast)
Bridge of Sighs
"The world’s most poetically-named bridge, Il Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs, was built in 1614 so that prisoners of the Venetian state could be transferred in secret from the Doge’s Palace to the so-called Nuovi Prigioni, or New Prisons. The wistful name was actually conceived by the English poet Lord Byron in the early 1800s that imagined the horror of prisoners taking their last glimpse of Venice before going underground to captivity. "
DAY 6Venice Island
Immerse yourself in the wonderful atmosphere of Venice. Wander through the narrow streets, discover Rialto Bridge, and top it all off by enjoying a farewell drink at famous CAFFÉ FLORIAN while musicians entertain you. Later, why not join an optional cruise to the charming island of Burano, followed by a delicious meal of local specialties? (Breakfast)
DAY 7Venice Island–Lake Maggiore
Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (first class) to Milan, then transfer to beautiful Stresa on Lake Maggiore. Your Local Host can help you make the most of your stay. (Breakfast)
DAY 8Lake Maggiore
Morning guided sightseeing includes a boat ride to ISOLA BELLA for a visit to its opulent PALACE and GARDENS. (Breakfast)
"Isola Bella. Beautiful Island. Rising out of the waters of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, a gardener’s paradise awaits. When Count Carlo Borromeo decided to give his wife, Isabella, a gift back in 1632, he was thinking big. The expansive island villa and garden he planned for her are considered the epitome of Baroque-style architecture and garden design. With terraces built straight to the water’s edge, the island appears as if it is a floating flowering ship. Many of the rooms are of notable historical interest, like the Music Room, where Mussolini hosted the Stresa Conference in 1935 that should have ensured peace in Europe, and Napoleon’s Room, where he often stayed in the company of Giuseppina Beauharnais."
DAY 9Lake Maggiore
Your Local Host will have many suggestions for your day at leisure. (Breakfast)
DAY 10Lake Maggiore
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Milan Malpensa). (Breakfast)
Motorcoach; private boat ride in Venice. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Full buffet breakfast daily; 2 three-course dinners with wine: a special welcome dinner in Rome and a special dinner in Florence; farewell drink in Venice
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
ALDO MODEO PATTI
Years of Experience: 38 years
I am a proud Italian with a passion for the arts, the history, and the natural, beautiful scenery of this country. I enjoy showing everyone Italy through my eyes. After many years as a Tour Director, I have gotten the nickname "Renaissance Man" from passengers on my tours.
|Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the A Taste of Italy with Lake Maggiore:
- Vatican City
- Historic Centre of Florence
- Historic Centre of Rome
- Venice and its Lagoon
- Historic Centre of Rome - various properties Vatican City