The Best of Italy

From
  • $3199
    Air+Tax Included
  • 9
    Days
  • Average Tour Review

VENICE, MURANO, FLORENCE, PISA, TUSCANY, ASSISI, VATICAN, ROME, AND SORRENTO & AMALFI COAST EXTENSION WITH POMPEII

Iconic landmarks. Glorious museums. Archaeological, historically significant and religious sites. Not to mention divine cuisine. This escorted Best of Italy tour package from the U.S. with airfare included encompasses exactly that: this incredible country’s most desired destinations. You’ll truly be living “la dolce vita” as you roam the postcard-perfect streets of its enchanting cities and towns. Plus, consider lingering a little longer with our spectacular Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension. As you surrender to Italy’s spell, allow your wise smarTours® guide to handle the details, including recommendations for your dining and free time sightseeing.

Itinerary at
a Glance

  • Overnight international flight to Venice
  • 2 nights in Venice/Venice Lido
  • 2 nights in Florence
  • 3 nights in Rome
  • Return flight to the U.S.

Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension:

  • 3 nights in Sorrento

Tour
Highlights

  • Murano boat tour
  • Venice walking tour – St. Mark’s Square, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs
  • Pisa – Square of Miracles, Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Tuscany with food and wine
  • Florence city tour – Michelangelo Square, Galleria dell’Accademia, Michelangelo’s David, Signoria Square, Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, “Old Bridge”
  • Assisi – Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Vatican tour – St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum
  • Imperial Rome tour – Colosseum, Arch, Roman Forum

Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension:

  • Pompeii – Temple of Apollo, Temple of Jupiter
  • Sorrento resort town on Bay of Naples
  • Amalfi Coast drive – Positano, Amalfi
  • Option Full-Day Capri Excursion

Activity Level: Discoverer* 

Your Tour
Includes

  • Round-trip flight from the U.S. via Alitalia
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Accommodations at first-class hotels
  • 11 meals: 7 buffet breakfasts (B), 4 dinners (D)
  • A glass of wine with included dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours including admission fees
  • Professional English-speaking Tour Director throughout
  • All intra-Italy transportation via air-conditioned motor coach

Your Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension Includes:

  • 3 nights at the beautiful Grand Hotel Vesuvio overlooking the Bay of Naples and opposite Mount Vesuvius
  • 5 additional meals: 3 buffet breakfasts (B), 2 dinners (D)
  • A glass of wine with included dinners
  • Sightseeing as indicated in itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.

Depart from the U.S.

Your exciting Best of Italy tour begins as you board an overnight flight to Venice, Italy.

Arrive in Venice/Venice Lido, Italy

Welcome to beautiful Italy! After landing at Venice Airport, we’ll be met and escorted to our hotel, located along the water on the Venice Lido. This evening, our Tour Director hosts an orientation, followed by a welcome dinner with wine. D Albergo Quattro Fontane (or similar)

Murano Boat Tour, Venice Walking Tour and Venice at Leisure

First, embark on a boat tour to the island of Murano, world-renowned for its long tradition of glass craftmanship. Back in Venice, a local guide will bring this remarkable city to life as you explore on foot Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square); the golden, Byzantine Basilica di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica); the lavish Doge’s Palace; and the famous Bridge of Sighs. This afternoon, lose yourself in Venice as you explore cobblestone streets, marveling at attractions and shopping for unique crafts and souvenirs. Don’t miss the chance to take an optional gondola ride. See…

Venice/Pisa/Florence

Today, travel south to Pisa, and view the famous Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) and the amazing Leaning Tower of Pisa, that legendary Pisa Cathedral bell tower with its around 4-degree slant. Then, we’ll visit a Tuscan countryside farm for a wine tasting and sampling of local specialties. Later, arrive in Florence, the splendid capital of Tuscany. B Hotel Diplomat (or similar)

Florence City Tour and Florence at Leisure

This morning’s tour of Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, starts with an incredible, panoramic vista from Michelangelo Square. Proceed to the Galleria dell’Accademia (Accademia Gallery of Fine Arts), which houses Michelangelo’s iconic marble statue, David. We’ll also enjoy sculpture-filled Piazza della Signoria (Signoria Square), the magnificent Duomo (cathedral) and Ponte Vecchio, the “Old Bridge,” lined with craft shops. Your afternoon is at leisure to check out local museums or stroll along the scenic Arno River. Tonight, a special treat awaits. We’ll head…

Florence/Assisi/Rome

Travel through the stunning landscapes of Tuscany and Umbria to the wonderfully preserved medieval hill town of Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan religious order. We’ll see fabled pilgrimage site the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, where he is interred, and elaborate frescoes from artist Giotto. Late afternoon, arrive in Rome, “The “Eternal City,” and settle into your centrally located hotel. B/D The Building Hotel Rome (or similar)

Vatican Tour and Rome at Leisure

Experience one of Christendom’s most sacred places this morning: the Vatican. Visits include awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica (erected over the apostle’s tomb), the gloriously painted Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum (abundant with priceless collections of art and treasures). Your afternoon is at leisure for shopping or to indulge in Rome’s favorite pastime: people watching from the bustling Via Veneto outdoor cafes. You might opt to explore the piazzas of Rome on a walking tour. See Optional Tours for details. B The Building Hotel Rome (or…

Imperial Rome Tour and Rome at Leisure

In the morning, dig up and in to Imperial Rome. Listen to the echoes of centuries of gladiatorial combat and public spectacles in the Colosseum. Walk under the Arch of Constantine, and marvel at the ruins of the Roman Forum, the day-to-day heart of ancient Rome. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the city’s elaborate piazzas and fountains on your own. Tonight, you are our guest at a lavish gala dinner at a typical Roman restaurant, complete with wine and entertainment. Cap your evening with an included tour of illuminated Rome by night. B/D The Building Hotel Rome

Depart Rome/Arrive in the U.S. or Begin Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension

After breakfast, say “ciao” to Italy and transfer to the airport for your return flight, which arrives back in the U.S. the same day. Or instead, continue on for our magnificent Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension. Please see the “Extension” tab for more details. B

Guided Tour Pricing

Price includes round-trip airfare from the U.S. (Land-only pricing available upon request.)

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Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
2019 Departures: Single room supplement is $649.

3-DAY SORRENTO & AMALFI COAST EXTENSION:
2019 Departures: Add $999 per person double occupancy / $1199 single

For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:00-5:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.

Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable, non-transferable deposit which must be received within 48 hours of reservation. Full payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.

Extended Tours

Why not lengthen your trip with a spectacular, three-night Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension? We’ll stay in cliffside Sorrento, the perfect base for delving into the surrounding area. Be wowed by the Amalfi Coast, simply one of the world’s most beautiful places. Unearth Pompeii’s poignant archaeological sites.

Your extension includes three nights at the Grand Hotel Vesuvio, breakfast daily, two dinners with wine, tours of Pompeii and Sorrento, a magnificent drive along the world-famous Amalfi Coast and time for independent sightseeing and an Optional Full-Day Capri Excursion.

3-Night Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension

  • From approx. $799 Per Person

Why not lengthen your trip with a spectacular, three-night Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Extension? We’ll stay in cliffside Sorrento, the perfect base for delving into the surrounding area. Be wowed by the Amalfi Coast, simply one of the world’s most beautiful places. Unearth Pompeii’s poignant archaeological sites.

Your extension includes three nights at the Grand Hotel Vesuvio, breakfast daily, two dinners with wine, tours of Pompeii and Sorrento, a magnificent drive along the world-famous Amalfi Coast and time for independent sightseeing and an Optional Full-Day Capri…

Rome/Pompeii/Sorrento

Leaving Rome, we’ll pass Mount Vesuvius, en route to the Bay of Naples. Visit Pompeii, the town frozen in time by the ashes of this volcano’s explosive eruption in AD 79. See the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Jupiter, important Pompeii monuments dedicated to those ancient gods. Your final destination today: the pretty resort town of Sorrento, perched high on the cliffs overlooking the sparkling Bay of Naples. B/D Grand Hotel Vesuvio (or similar)

Sorrento at Leisure or Optional Full-Day Capri Excursion

Sorrento is world-renowned for its scenic splendor, woodworking and lace making, horse-drawn carriages and relaxing atmosphere. Your whole day is at leisure to enjoy this delightful town independently. Perhaps, take our Full-Day Capri Excursion. Please refer to “Optional Tours” for more details. This evening, celebrate with your fellow travelers at dinner in a famous local restaurant. B/D Grand Hotel Vesuvio (or similar)

Amalfi Coast Drive and Sorrento at Leisure

Cruising along the rugged Amalfi Coast will surely take your breath away, with its dramatic landscapes and awe-inspiring panoramas. You’ll cherish the scenic mountains plunging into the sea, as well as the idyllic villages and lush forests clinging to them. Drive through Positano, the coast’s most exclusive town, and spend some free time in Amalfi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, head back to Sorrento for an evening at leisure. B Grand Hotel Vesuvio (or similar)

Depart Naples/Arrive in the U.S.

Following breakfast, transfer to Naples Airport and board your return flight to the U.S., arriving back the same day. B

Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.

Pricing is subject to change. Payment (non-refundable) should be made by cash (US Dollars or Euros). Subject to minimum number of participants and availability.

Gondola Ride with Music

  • Venice
  • From approx. 60 Euro Per Person

One of the highlights of all Italy vacations! Experience a piece of Venetian history during a relaxing gondola ride with music on the illustrious Grand Canal. Glide along the centuries-old canals, past lavish palaces and under famous arched bridges. The gondola holds a maximum of six passengers. Please note that this is not a private gondola ride. Pickup details to be advised locally.

Piazzas of Rome

  • Rome
  • From approx. 40 Euro Per Person

On this half-day walking tour, our local guide leads us around Rome’s most impressive and characteristic piazzas and vias, the squares and roads at the heart of daily life. Stand in awe before the majestic Spanish Steps, one of Europe’s longest and widest decorative staircases. Admire the show-stopping grandeur of the Trevi Fountain, taking your opportunity to toss in one, two or three coins—legend claims each will bring a unique kind of good fortune. View the Pantheon, an Ancient Roman building that’s amazingly preserved, thanks to its continuous use throughout the many centuries….

Full-Day Capri Excursion

  • Capri
  • From approx. 100 Euro Per Person

Journey to the colorful Italian Isle of Capri by boat. Visit lovely Anacapri, and browse the charming shops and chic boutiques as you stroll the narrow streets. Continue to see “La Piazzetta,” the social heart of the island, on your way to the open-air Gardens of Augustus, from where you will appreciate breathtaking views of the iconic Faraglioni rocks. Tour includes: local guide, round-trip transportation to port, round-trip transportation by fast boat, minibus or cable car transportation on the island. Pickup details to be advised locally.

Reviews

Dave

Great time in Italy with Massimo as the tour guide. This was the trip of a lifetime as we saw countless historic and amazing things in Italy. Venice was wonderful with the water traffic and Murano glass factory. Florence had so many artistic scenes and a beautiful background. Rome was spectacular with the Collesseo, Vatican, Forum, and National Monument. The food was incredible, we are not fans of wine but it was excellent. We took advice from Massimo and went to several walking areas on our own - Florence Palace Pitta, and the famous Bascillica; Rome downtown National Monument.

Paul E

For the 1st, 2nd or 3rd timer to Italy, this is a superb trip packed in 12 days. It includes the major cities of Venice, Florence, Rome & Sorrento and adds Pisa, Assisi & Pompei. Ending the trip on the Amalfi Coast is heavenly. The local tour guides were extremely knowledgeable with good English. The accommodations were generally very good with the included meals very satisfactory. My first time visit to Italy with smarTours was a real success. Kudos and Ciao!!

Debbie

What an amazing and enjoyable experience! Our tour director Anna Maria was Marvelous! She was so informative with handling purchases with tax documents, knew exactly where to direct us for shopping. Her local tour guides for each area were very good. The hotels were all good, each a step up (better)as we moved on. Tours were amazing. This was my first trip with SmarTours and thanks to Anna Maria, I would definitely recommend SmarTours and take another trip.

Loretta F

My tour to Venice, Florence and Rome was ABSOLUTELY fantastic!!! Andrea and the Museum Tour Guides were excellent. They were not only knowledgeable about the subject matter of each tour, but also friendly and attentive to answering any and all questions. Andrea has a wonderful personality and went beyond the call of duty to make everyone happy and to even offer assistance to a disabled person throughout the tour. I was very happy with the stops between the major cities where we were able to visit Assissi, as well as have a wonderful lunch at a Olive Oil and Winery and a fantastic dinner in Tuscany. Additionally, the driver was friendly and very careful to get us to each and every destination safely. There are two things I would suggest...a much nicer hotel in Rome and a much longer tour and stay in Italy. I would have loved a twelve or fourteen day Italy stay. Thank you Smartours for these wonderful tours--this was my second one, first visiting China and just recently Italy. I am seriously contemplating Dubai/Abu Dhabi or Cuba. Keep it up Smartours! You are the best at world wide travel!!! Loretta Flanagan

Deborah

The Best of Italy Tour showed us what a travel company is made of. We had unforeseen weather delays just getting to the initial U.S. departure city which caused us to miss our flight to Venice, Italy. smarTours was aware of the delay and kept in constant contact with our flight, arranging (at no cost to us) a later connecting flight. The Airline lost our luggage and for 24 hours our smarTours tour guide communicated with the airline so that they could track the tour and bring us our long-delayed luggage. smarTours showed excellent care and concern. We are looking forward to booking our next trip (2017) with Smartours.

Betty L

This trip was just the right length to see all the major spots in Italy. The local guide, Mercedes Medici was absolutely wonderful. All tours were arranged for earliest part of the morning before crowds gathered. This left all afternoon free for whatever you wanted to do. The bus driver was very accommodating and the group of 26 people could spread out on the bus. We been on 6 or 7 tours with smarTours in years past and found those to be very good although I prefer the smaller groups - 26 was just enough so you get to know people. I would do it again and highly recommend to my friends.

Judy S

This was my first SmarTour and first time to visit Italy. It was 100% fantastic from our truly amazing host, Mercedes, great driver - Cataline and great tour guides-especially Roberto and Sofia. I loved exploring Italy with my husband on this well planned, not hectic or too demanding experience. We were able to experience the truly important historic and cultural aspects of Venice, Florence, Assisi, Pisa, and Rome. The knowledge and kindness and human connection with Mercedes made every moment memorable. She is a true asset to your company! I would absolutely recommend this tour. The friendships we developed with other guests were such an amazing bonus as well. Every person on this tour added to making the trip more interesting. We did not do all optional tours but felt what we chose were excellent and worthwhile. We are planning our next SmarTour right now! I must thank my sister for recommending SmarTours!~ Ciao and arrivederci...

Ronald S

What a great time we had. Saw the highlights of Italy, Venice, Florence and Rome; and had ample time to wander on our own. Transportation on the bus was smooth and comfortable. The tour guides are what really made the trip. Without these intelligent and passionate tour guides, we would not have seen the history and contribution that Italy made to the world. We're thinking of going on another Smartour and we just got back. Ciao

Carol S

The Best of Italy really was the very best. We had twenty two people in our group and a wonderful tour guide named Andrea. Andrea was always saying things like, "Is this another Mama Mia day?" Hence, we called ourselves the Mama Mia group. It was an action packed 12 days including the extension to Amalfi Coast. We had group lunches in old farmhouses and a lovely dinner in a very nice restaurant called La Tavola Di Lucullo in Sorrento. It was so delicious. The hotels were excellent. Our guide Andrea was on top of everything. The local guides were wonderful as well. I would strongly recommend this tour.

Pat B

I had a wonderful time in Italy! Our tour director, Lynn Maloni, made this trip an exceptional one. She and all of our guides in Venice, Florence, Rome, Assisi, Sorrento, at Pompeii, and on Capri shared a wealth of fascinating historical information with us and offered access to local experiences I might have missed if travelling alone. All four hotels provided excellent services, although the bed at the Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Sorrento wasn't very comfortable. (It does have a beautiful swimming pool, which was a delight since the weather during the tour was unseasonably hot and humid.) I thoroughly enjoyed all of the meals, especially the family-style feast and wine tasting at a Tuscan countryside farm and the farewell dinner in Sorrento. The optional side tours, including a gondola ride in Venice, the piazzas and fountains in Rome, a day on Capri, and the Amalfi Coast ride were outstanding. I also enjoyed sharing the tour with a small group of travelers (22 of us), all of whom were friendly and interesting to meet.  In terms of the flight plans for this trip, I was very disappointed in the fact that we flew from New York to Istanbul and then on to Venice. Going home, we again flew from Naples to Istanbul and then on to New York. The trips to Istanbul and the long hours in the airport there made for a stressful beginning and end to an otherwise fantastic trip. I hope that smarTours plans to use more direct flights to Italy in the future. My only other suggestion is that for those of us who are travelling as singles, it would be nice to have a double bed option. I had a twin bed at all four hotels, and as a large person, they weren't as comfortable as I would have liked. Again, a big thank-you to smarTours for a great first trip to Italy! :^)

Gina H

I initially had doubts about traveling on a bus tour. Visions of waiting around endlessly to move a large party from one place to another haunted me. I was more than pleasantly surprised at how organized and well run every aspect of the tour was. Our bus was always on time and our tour director was exceptional. We had reservations at all of the museums or attractions we visited and NEVER waited in the long lines for tickets. We would have only seen a fraction of the sights had we made this trip on our own and not with Smartours. Can't wait to go on another tour!

Kathy S

My trip to Italy the end of April 2015 was my second Smartours trip. I learned so much of this country's history, culture, food, wine and amazing people. It is wonderful to have someone else handle all the logistical details and just enjoy the experience. I credit our tour guide, Martin, with his expertise, organization, compassion, humor, and knowledge. There are so many memorable moments, from arriving in Venice and after a short walk to a water taxi, being whisked off to our hotel (ha, never took a boat to my hotel before), Gondola ride, Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Sq, wonderful lunch at Tuscan farm, Accademia and Michelangelo's 'David', Assisi, St Peter's Basilica, Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pompeii, Pisa, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi Coast -- all so breathtaking!!! All the lavish dinners and entertainment shared with our wonderful travel companions. There is one itinerary issue that I feel needs addressed. Prior to booking and several contacts after, I called to question the duration of the flights and the length of the layovers and was told there was no additional info available other than flight departure and return to JFK. Flight from JFK to Istanbul was 10 hrs; layover 5 hrs; then backtrack Istanbul to Venice 2 1/2 hrs. Repeat return Naples-Istanbul 2 hrs; 3 1/2 Hrs layover; another 10 hrs Istanbul to JFK. Surely a more direct flight could be made to avoid the extreme flight times and layovers. Overall, I truly enjoyed this amazing trip -- THANK YOU SmarTours for providing this amazing tour

linh n

We had our trip at the end of July 2014. This was our first vacation with a tour group and it was outstanding. It was a wonderful vacation, we saw many places and Italy is so beautiful. Our accommodations were fabulous with good breakfast buffet. Our tour guide Gabriella was fantastic. Highly recommend this tour to everyone.
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