Grand Tour of Italy

15 days
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About This Experience

The true question in Italy is “Where not to go?” The country is teeming with history, personality and mind-blowing beauty, making the travel possibilities virtually endless. On this sweeping tour of Italy, you’ll explore legendary cities like Venice and Florence and smaller-yet-iconic towns like Assisi and Bologna.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 13 nights in hand-picked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 6 three-course dinners with wine or beer

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Como, Italy
  • Venice, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
  • Assisi, Italy
  • Sorrento, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Start dreaming of Milan on your overnight flight

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Milan aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Lake Como Region2 nights - hotel info

Day2

La dolce vita awaits on the shores of Lake Como

Dinner, Breakfast (in flight)

Benvenuto! Welcome to Italy. A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel in the Lake Como. The rest of the day is free to relax or acquaint yourself with your lake district retreat. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.

Day3

Relaxation comes in waves by the waterfront

Optional Excursion - Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio

Breakfast

Villa Carlotta (seasonal)

Admire spectacular lake views from the elaborate gardens of an 18th-century Italian villa on our morning visit to Villa Carlotta, which houses a copy of Antonio Canova’s Neoclassical masterpiece sculpture, “Cupid and Psyche.” (seasonal; in the off-season, a funicular ride to Brunate may be offered instead). Then, your Tour Director introduces you to the sights of Como before a free afternoon for shopping and discovering this scenic area. This evening, opt for our Lake Como and Bellagio excursion.

Optional Excursions

Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio $75* pp

Hop aboard a scenic cruise of Lake Como to soak in some of Italy’s most beautiful estates and gardens. Float past charming lakeside towns to Bellagio, a village whose scenery has inspired poets and young lovers for centuries. You’ll have time to take in Bellagio’s classic beauty before heading to a local restaurant, where you'll sample cuisine from a carefully chosen menu. Please note: Your included meal may be lunch or dinner. In addition, this excursion is only offered March through October, and its departure time varies by season.

Venice2 nights - hotel info

Day4

Romeo & Juliet fell in love here, soon you will, too

Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Verona this morning. On a guided walking tour of Verona, discover one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval town centers. Take a look at the Roman amphitheatre and Casa di Giulietta, where you’ll find the storied balcony of Shakespeare’s Juliet. Continue on to Venice where dinner is included.

Day5

Real life can be a fairytale, take Venice as proof

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two

Breakfast

Doge's Palace

Experience the romance of “La Serenissima” during this morning’s panoramic guided tour, with stops at the Bridge of Sighs and legendary St. Mark’s Square. You’ll view the Gothic Doge’s Palace as well as several important churches. This afternoon, you might consider joining an optional gondola tour of the canals, complete with music.

Optional Excursions

Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music $65* pp

Glide down Venice's famous canals in one of the city's iconic black gondolas. Formerly the main mode of transportation around the Venetian Lagoon, all gondolas were once brightly colored. Following the Doge's decree that only nobility could travel in colored gondolas, ordinary Venetians developed the elegant black silhouettes we know today. A musician serenades you as your gondola cruises through the city. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. Each gondola holds between four and six passengers.

Optional Excursions

Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two $165* pp

More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, you'll enjoy a private, serenaded gondola cruise through the canals of Venice. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits.

Florence3 nights - hotel info

Day6

It would be wrong not to indulge in a bowl of pasta (or two)

Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Florence, pass through Bologna, a hidden gem known for its 11th-century university, the oldest in Europe, as well as its namesake meat sauce and mortadella sausage. Arrive in Florence in time for an included dinner.

Day7

From the Duomo to Santa Croce, the Renaissance lives on in Florence

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Fiesole

Breakfast

Basilica of Santa Croce

A guided sightseeing tour of Florence introduces you to the city’s Renaissance splendor and artistic tradition, including Brunelleschi’s masterpiece, the massive pink, white and green Duomo, complemented by Giotto’s Campanile. Then, discover the church of Santa Croce, where the tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo are displayed as well as the Dante Memorial. Visit the Palazzo Signoria, an open-air gallery of ancient and Renaissance statues. This evening, you may choose to attend an optional dinner in the nearby Etruscan hill town of Fiesole.

Optional Excursions

Dinner in Fiesole $65* pp

Take a scenic ride to the town of Fiesole, where you'll be treated to some of the region's best cuisine over a relaxing three-course dinner. Unmatched views of nearby Florence serve as the perfect complement to your indulgent meal. Fiesole sits on a hill overlooking Florence, and its views of the city have been prized since pre-Roman times.

Day8

Masterpieces in art and wine—Florence overflows with both

Optional Excursion - Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns

Breakfast

During free time in Florence, choose to admire the world’s finest collection of Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery. Stroll through parks along the romantic Arno River. Take time to view Michelangelo’s early masterpiece, the sublime statue of David, sculpted when the artist was 26 years old. You could also join an optional excursion into the Tuscan countryside villages of Siena and San Gimignano. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the region’s finest wines. Admire Siena’s cathedral and famed Campo before continuing on to San Gimignano, where you might choose to visit the Palazzo del Popolo or the Citadel.

Optional Excursions

Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns $105* pp

Discover the essence of Tuscany on a full-day excursion. In Siena, a local guide introduces you to the town and its black-and-white marble duomo, where you'll find brilliantly colored 16th-century frescoes in the Piccolomini Library. You'll have some free time to explore the Campo, the square that serves as the center of civic life in Siena. Then, journey through the countryside to the town of San Gimignano, where you'll have some free time to explore the city's medieval towers or simply admire the Tuscan hills. As the sun begins to set, you'll head to a nearby vineyard, where an included wine tasting awaits. Please note: This excursion involves moderate walking.

Assisi2 nights - hotel info

Day9

Millions make pilgrimages this beautiful, hillside town

Breakfast, Dinner

Upper and Lower Basilicas

Drive through spectacular Umbria to hillside Assisi, birthplace of both St. Francis and St. Clare. Visit Assisi’s Lower and Upper Basilicas, which feature a wide range art demonstrating the development of late medieval painters, including Giotto’s magnificent frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. Dinner is included tonight in Assisi.

Day10

Delve deeper into the “green heart of Italy”

Optional Excursion - Perugia: City Highlights & Wine Tasting

Breakfast

Spend the day at your leisure in the town of Assisi or join an optional excursion to the city of Perugia, located in the heart of the Umbrian region and known for its fine chocolate.

Optional Excursions

Perugia: City Highlights & Wine Tasting $85* pp

Discover Perugia on a guided tour. You'll visit the Rocca Paolina, Perugia Cathedral, the Palazzo dei Priori, the Fontana Maggiore and the shops of Corso Vannucci. This excursion includes a wine tasting and lunch.

Sorrento2 nights - hotel info

Day11

Theaters, villas, temples, all stand frozen in time in Pompeii

Breakfast, Dinner

Pompeii ruins

Travel to one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Discover how Roman citizens lived 2,000 years ago on a guided tour of the town frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, preserving it in a flood of volcanic ash. View the excavated ruins of theaters, villas, temples and baths. Pompeii is located near the idyllic Bay of Naples, known for its expansive views of the area’s islands, capes and nearby Mount Vesuvius. Later, continue on to Sorrento, an enchanting resort town, for an included dinner.

Day12

Seek the seaside luxury enjoyed by starlets and emperors alike

Optional Excursion - Capri: A Day on the Iconic Island

Optional Excursion - Tarantella Show: Traditional Music & Dance

Breakfast

Exult in the sea breezes of sun-kissed Sorrento with a free day today. Meander the charming streets and find a cafe to sip cappucino or limoncello as you watch the world go by. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to Capri, the “Island of Dreams,” where both Roman emperors and Hollywood starlets once vacationed. Explore the island, ride to its peak by funicular or indulge in a boat ride around the island (weather permitting). Tonight, opt for an evening of traditional dancing at the Tarantella show.

Optional Excursions

Capri: A Day on the Iconic Island $105* pp

Travel by ferry to the fabled Isle of Capri, a beloved resort since the days of the Roman Republic. Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy a mini-cruise around the island. Later, you'll enjoy free time to discover why everyone from Roman emperors to Sophia Loren wants to spend their vacation in Capri. If weather prohibits a mini-cruise, you’ll travel to the village of Anacapri, which offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent.

Optional Excursions

Tarantella Show: Traditional Music & Dance $59* pp

Tarantella dancing is a centuries-old folk tradition in Southern Italy. Tarantella is the Italian word for tarantula, and the frenzied steps of the dance are said to be designed for sweating out the poison of a tarantula bite. At tonight’s live performance, watch the intricate footwork of a troupe of authentic folk dancers. Please note: This excursion is seasonal from March 1 through November 1.

Rome2 nights - hotel info

Day13

Ancient, modern, Rome is everything all at once

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors

Breakfast

The Colosseum

Travel to Rome this morning and check in to your hotel. Then, follow in the footsteps of the Caesars during your guided tour of Imperial Rome. Marvel at the Colosseum, where 50,000 spectators cheered gladiators to victory, and the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their vast empire. Tonight, join one of our most popular optional excursions, Dinner with Tenors.

Optional Excursions

Dinner with Tenors $79* pp

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera's best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun!

Day14

Step inside the world’s smallest state: Vatican City

Optional Excursion - Ancient Rome: St. Paul's Basilica & the Catacombs

Breakfast, Dinner

Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

Today’s guided tour takes you into the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums and the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the same cathedral in which the pope celebrates Mass. Treasures await at every turn from Bernini’s magnificent staircase (ceremonial entrance to the Vatican Palace) to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Next you’ll visit the Sistine Chapel, painted with Michelangelo’s captivating frescoes depicting the history of humankind. This afternoon, you might join an optional excursion into the ancient catacombs, where persecuted Christians once buried their popes and saints, and a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul. Dinner is included tonight in Rome.

Optional Excursions

Ancient Rome: St. Paul's Basilica & the Catacombs $65* pp

Descend into Rome’s ancient catacombs, where early Christians buried saints and popes alongside commoners. A local guide will lead you through burial chambers before your visit to the Basilica of St. Paul, one of the four most important basilicas of Rome, originally founded by Constantine the Great. The Basilica also houses the tomb of St. Paul. Please note: Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted within the basilica. Also, this excursion involves extensive walking and may be inadvisable for claustrophobic travelers.

Day15

Arrivederci and buon viaggio!

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Prolong your stay in Rome on our tour extension. Otherwise, a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add a Rome City Stay $299*

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome2 nights - hotel info

Day15

Escape the city life in wine country or soak in more of Rome

Optional Excursion - Castel Gandolfo & Wine Tasting

Breakfast

You’ll have a free day in Rome to spend however you choose. Take in all the art and architecture that greet the eye at every turn—from relics of Caesar’s reign to treasures of the Renaissance. Stroll across the Spanish Steps, or stop at the legendary Trevi Fountain, into which centuries of visitors have tossed coins to ensure their eventual return to Rome. Or you might join an optional excursion, Castel Gandolfo and Wine Tasting.

Optional Excursions

Castel Gandolfo & Wine Tasting $75* pp

Leave the city behind and enjoy an afternoon in Lazio’s wine country. Begin your excursion with a stop at Castel Gandolfo, a gorgeous village draped on the shores of Lake Albano. You’ll have the opportunity to see the Pope's summer home from across the lake. Later, you'll travel to a vineyard in nearby Ariccia for a wine tasting, where you'll sample a variety of wines as well as homemade olive oils and other specialties.

Day16

The Eternal City is eternally yours

Optional Excursion - Borghese Gallery & Museum

Breakfast

Spend the day furthering your explorations of Rome at your leisure. Or join an optional tour of the Borghese Museum.

Must be booked 30 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Borghese Gallery & Museum $69* pp

Today, take a guided tour of the Borghese Gallery, home to one of Italy's finest art collections. Situated in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana, the gallery consists of 20 rooms spanning two floors and features major works by Bernini, Raphael, Canova, Titian and Caravaggio.

Day17

Now that Italy feels like home, it’s time to return home

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for departure.

Print This Page

About This Experience

The true question in Italy is “Where not to go?” The country is teeming with history, personality and mind-blowing beauty, making the travel possibilities virtually endless. On this sweeping tour of Italy, you’ll explore legendary cities like Venice and Florence and smaller-yet-iconic towns like Assisi and Bologna.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 13 nights in hand-picked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 6 three-course dinners with wine or beer

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Como, Italy
  • Venice, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
  • Assisi, Italy
  • Sorrento, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Start dreaming of Milan on your overnight flight

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Milan aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Lake Como Region2 nights - hotel info

Day2

La dolce vita awaits on the shores of Lake Como

Dinner, Breakfast (in flight)

Benvenuto! Welcome to Italy. A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel in the Lake Como. The rest of the day is free to relax or acquaint yourself with your lake district retreat. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.

Day3

Relaxation comes in waves by the waterfront

Optional Excursion - Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio

Breakfast

Villa Carlotta (seasonal)

Admire spectacular lake views from the elaborate gardens of an 18th-century Italian villa on our morning visit to Villa Carlotta, which houses a copy of Antonio Canova’s Neoclassical masterpiece sculpture, “Cupid and Psyche.” (seasonal; in the off-season, a funicular ride to Brunate may be offered instead). Then, your Tour Director introduces you to the sights of Como before a free afternoon for shopping and discovering this scenic area. This evening, opt for our Lake Como and Bellagio excursion.

Optional Excursions

Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio $75* pp

Hop aboard a scenic cruise of Lake Como to soak in some of Italy’s most beautiful estates and gardens. Float past charming lakeside towns to Bellagio, a village whose scenery has inspired poets and young lovers for centuries. You’ll have time to take in Bellagio’s classic beauty before heading to a local restaurant, where you'll sample cuisine from a carefully chosen menu. Please note: Your included meal may be lunch or dinner. In addition, this excursion is only offered March through October, and its departure time varies by season.

Venice2 nights - hotel info

Day4

Romeo & Juliet fell in love here, soon you will, too

Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Verona this morning. On a guided walking tour of Verona, discover one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval town centers. Take a look at the Roman amphitheatre and Casa di Giulietta, where you’ll find the storied balcony of Shakespeare’s Juliet. Continue on to Venice where dinner is included.

Day5

Real life can be a fairytale, take Venice as proof

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two

Breakfast

Experience the romance of “La Serenissima” during this morning’s panoramic guided tour, with stops at the Bridge of Sighs and legendary St. Mark’s Square. You’ll view the Gothic Doge’s Palace as well as several important churches. This afternoon, you might consider joining an optional gondola tour of the canals, complete with music.

Optional Excursions

Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music $65* pp

Glide down Venice's famous canals in one of the city's iconic black gondolas. Formerly the main mode of transportation around the Venetian Lagoon, all gondolas were once brightly colored. Following the Doge's decree that only nobility could travel in colored gondolas, ordinary Venetians developed the elegant black silhouettes we know today. A musician serenades you as your gondola cruises through the city. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. Each gondola holds between four and six passengers.

Optional Excursions

Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two $165* pp

More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, you'll enjoy a private, serenaded gondola cruise through the canals of Venice. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits.

Florence3 nights - hotel info

Day6

It would be wrong not to indulge in a bowl of pasta (or two)

Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Florence, pass through Bologna, a hidden gem known for its 11th-century university, the oldest in Europe, as well as its namesake meat sauce and mortadella sausage. Arrive in Florence in time for an included dinner.

Day7

From the Duomo to Santa Croce, the Renaissance lives on in Florence

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Fiesole

Breakfast

Basilica of Santa Croce

A guided sightseeing tour of Florence introduces you to the city’s Renaissance splendor and artistic tradition, including Brunelleschi’s masterpiece, the massive pink, white and green Duomo, complemented by Giotto’s Campanile. Then, discover the church of Santa Croce, where the tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo are displayed as well as the Dante Memorial. Visit the Palazzo Signoria, an open-air gallery of ancient and Renaissance statues. This evening, you may choose to attend an optional dinner in the nearby Etruscan hill town of Fiesole.

Optional Excursions

Dinner in Fiesole $65* pp

Take a scenic ride to the town of Fiesole, where you'll be treated to some of the region's best cuisine over a relaxing three-course dinner. Unmatched views of nearby Florence serve as the perfect complement to your indulgent meal. Fiesole sits on a hill overlooking Florence, and its views of the city have been prized since pre-Roman times.

Day8

Masterpieces in art and wine—Florence overflows with both

Optional Excursion - Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns

Breakfast

During free time in Florence, choose to admire the world’s finest collection of Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery. Stroll through parks along the romantic Arno River. Take time to view Michelangelo’s early masterpiece, the sublime statue of David, sculpted when the artist was 26 years old. You could also join an optional excursion into the Tuscan countryside villages of Siena and San Gimignano. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the region’s finest wines. Admire Siena’s cathedral and famed Campo before continuing on to San Gimignano, where you might choose to visit the Piazza del Popolo or the Citadel.

Optional Excursions

Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns $105* pp

Discover the essence of Tuscany on a full-day excursion. In Siena, a local guide introduces you to the town and its black-and-white marble duomo, where you'll find brilliantly colored 16th-century frescoes in the Piccolomini Library. You'll have some free time to explore the Campo, the square that serves as the center of civic life in Siena. Then, journey through the countryside to the town of San Gimignano, where you'll have some free time to explore the city's medieval towers or simply admire the Tuscan hills. As the sun begins to set, you'll head to a nearby vineyard, where an included wine tasting awaits. Please note: This excursion involves moderate walking.

Assisi2 nights - hotel info

Day9

Millions make pilgrimages this beautiful, hillside town

Breakfast, Dinner

Upper and Lower Basilicas

Drive through spectacular Umbria to hillside Assisi, birthplace of both St. Francis and St. Clare. Visit Assisi’s Lower and Upper Basilicas, which feature a wide range art demonstrating the development of late medieval painters, including Giotto’s magnificent frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. Dinner is included tonight in Assisi.

Day10

Delve deeper into the “green heart of Italy”

Optional Excursion - Perugia: City Highlights & Wine Tasting

Breakfast

Spend the day at your leisure in the town of Assisi or join an optional excursion to the city of Perugia, located in the heart of the Umbrian region and known for its fine chocolate.

Optional Excursions

Perugia: City Highlights & Wine Tasting $85* pp

Discover Perugia on a guided tour. You'll visit the Rocca Paolina, Perugia Cathedral, the Palazzo dei Priori, the Fontana Maggiore and the shops of Corso Vannucci. This excursion includes a wine tasting and lunch.

Sorrento2 nights - hotel info

Day11

Theaters, villas, temples, all stand frozen in time in Pompeii

Breakfast, Dinner

Pompeii ruins

Travel to one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Discover how Roman citizens lived 2,000 years ago on a guided tour of the town frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, preserving it in a flood of volcanic ash. View the excavated ruins of theaters, villas, temples and baths. Pompeii is located near the idyllic Bay of Naples, known for its expansive views of the area’s islands, capes and nearby Mount Vesuvius. Later, continue on to Sorrento, an enchanting resort town, for an included dinner.

Day12

Seek the seaside luxury enjoyed by starlets and emperors alike

Optional Excursion - Capri: A Day on the Iconic Island

Optional Excursion - Tarantella Show: Traditional Music & Dance

Breakfast

Exult in the sea breezes of sun-kissed Sorrento with a free day today. Meander the charming streets and find a cafe to sip cappuccino or limoncello as you watch the world go by. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to Capri, the “Island of Dreams,” where both Roman emperors and Hollywood starlets once vacationed. Explore the island, ride to its peak by funicular or indulge in a boat ride around the island (weather permitting). Tonight, opt for an evening of traditional dancing at the Tarantella show.

Optional Excursions

Capri: A Day on the Iconic Island $105* pp

Travel by ferry to the fabled Isle of Capri, a beloved resort since the days of the Roman Republic. Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy a mini-cruise around the island. Later, you'll enjoy free time to discover why everyone from Roman emperors to Sophia Loren wants to spend their vacation in Capri. If weather prohibits a mini-cruise, you’ll travel to the village of Anacapri, which offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent.

Optional Excursions

Tarantella Show: Traditional Music & Dance $59* pp

Tarantella dancing is a centuries-old folk tradition in Southern Italy. Tarantella is the Italian word for tarantula, and the frenzied steps of the dance are said to be designed for sweating out the poison of a tarantula bite. At tonight’s live performance, watch the intricate footwork of a troupe of authentic folk dancers. Please note: This excursion is seasonal from March 1 through November 1.

Rome2 nights - hotel info

Day13

Ancient, modern, Rome is everything all at once

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors

Breakfast

The Colosseum

Travel to Rome this morning and check in to your hotel. Then, follow in the footsteps of the caesars during your guided tour of Imperial Rome. Marvel at the Colosseum, where 50,000 spectators cheered gladiators to victory, and the ruins of the Forum, from which the caesars ruled their vast empire. Tonight, join one of our most popular optional excursions, Dinner with Tenors.

Optional Excursions

Dinner with Tenors $79* pp

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera's best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun!

Day14

Step inside the world’s smallest state: Vatican City

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City

Optional Excursion - Ancient Rome: St. Paul's Basilica & the Catacombs

Breakfast, Dinner

This morning opt for a tour that takes you into the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums and the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the same cathedral in which the pope celebrates Mass. Treasures await at every turn from Bernini’s magnificent staircase (ceremonial entrance to the Vatican Palace) to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Next you’ll visit the Sistine Chapel, painted with Michelangelo’s captivating frescoes depicting the history of humankind. This afternoon, you might join an optional excursion into the ancient catacombs, where persecuted Christians once buried their popes and saints, and a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul. Dinner is included tonight in Rome.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89* pp

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you'll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world's most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you'll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you'll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo's greatest masterpiece. Finally, you'll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sunday.

Optional Excursions

Ancient Rome: St. Paul's Basilica & the Catacombs $65* pp

Descend into Rome’s ancient catacombs, where early Christians buried saints and popes alongside commoners. A local guide will lead you through burial chambers before your visit to the Basilica of St. Paul, one of the four most important basilicas of Rome, originally founded by Constantine the Great. The Basilica also houses the tomb of St. Paul. Please note: Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted within the basilica. Also, this excursion involves extensive walking and may be inadvisable for claustrophobic travelers.

Day15

Arrivederci and buon viaggio!

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Prolong your stay in Rome on our tour extension. Otherwise, a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add a Rome City Stay $299*

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome2 nights - hotel info

Day15

Escape the city life in wine country or soak in more of Rome

Optional Excursion - Castel Gandolfo & Wine Tasting

Breakfast

You’ll have a free day in Rome to spend however you choose. Take in all the art and architecture that greet the eye at every turn—from relics of Caesar’s reign to treasures of the Renaissance. Stroll across the Spanish Steps, or stop at the legendary Trevi Fountain, into which centuries of visitors have tossed coins to ensure their eventual return to Rome. Or you might join an optional excursion, Castel Gandolfo and Wine Tasting.

Optional Excursions

Castel Gandolfo & Wine Tasting $75* pp

Leave the city behind and enjoy an afternoon in Lazio’s wine country. Begin your excursion with a stop at Castel Gandolfo, a gorgeous village draped on the shores of Lake Albano. You’ll have the opportunity to see the Pope's summer home from across the lake. Later, you'll travel to a vineyard in nearby Ariccia for a wine tasting, where you'll sample a variety of wines as well as homemade olive oils and other specialties.

Day16

The Eternal City is eternally yours

Optional Excursion - Borghese Gallery & Museum

Breakfast

Spend the day furthering your explorations of Rome at your leisure. Or join an optional tour of the Borghese Museum.

Must be booked 30 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Borghese Gallery & Museum $69* pp

Today, take a guided tour of the Borghese Gallery, home to one of Italy's finest art collections. Situated in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana, the gallery consists of 20 rooms spanning two floors and features major works by Bernini, Raphael, Canova, Titian and Caravaggio.

Day17

Now that Italy feels like home, it’s time to return home

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for departure.

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Italian consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, remember that bare legs and shoulders are officially not allowed in churches or other religious sites. Entrance may be denied on this basis.

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Italy. It is always advisable to check with your healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

While most of the staples of the Italian diet have already become favorites in America, be sure to try those less familiar pasta sauces and the vast range of cured hams, cheeses, rustic breads and desserts while on tour. In Italy, the cuisine varies by region. Venice and Northern Italy are known for their meats and pastries, Tuscany for its wine, oil and sauces, Rome and Southern Italy for their pizzas. For more authentic meals, try local trattorias—small restaurants set away from the main piazzas and squares. Italians tend to indulge in long, boisterous meals featuring wines and the occasional beer, followed by the requisite after-dinner drinks grappa or limoncello. American- or English-style bars and pubs are not as common, although they can be found in major cities and currently gaining in popularity, especially in Northern Italy and in Rome.

Arrival & Transportation Information

Round-trip flights arrive in Milan’s Malpensa Airport and depart from Rome. When you first arrive at Malpensa Airport, a Go Ahead representative will meet you after clearing customs. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting another traveler to the bus at the time of your arrival. Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the major cities of Venice, Florence and Rome by public transportation. In Venice, each section of the city is connected by water bus (least expensive), water taxi or gondola. You can purchase discounted bulk passes from vendors, or purchase single tickets at each dock. Venice is also a great city to explore on foot. Florence is split into two separate sections by the Arno River, with most of the attractions spread out around the Duomo. The city is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available. Purchase tickets at tobacconists or at vending machines. Rome has one of Europe’s best metro systems, serving all the major attractions, from the Roman ruins to Vatican City. Tickets can be purchased separately or in bulk and also cover bus and tram travel.

Museums in Florence

If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. Additional information is available on the Polo Museale website. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

Electricity

Italy uses the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it is noon in New York, it’s 6 p.m. in Rome.

Currency

The euro is the currency you will use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Italy, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the Cirrus and Plus networks, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

3 times the fun!

I first took this tour in September of 2006 with 3 friends, not a day goes by that I don't find myself walking down memory lane and smiling! In September 2008, I gathered a group of 9 friends and family and together we created lifelong memories while we traveled on the Grand tour of Italy. In September 2013, I took this tour again for my "third time" with 12 more friends and family. This is absolutely one of the best tours of Italy that Go Ahead Tours has to offer and if you are lucky enough to get Carmen as your tour director, you will not only return with a lifetime of wonderful memories but also a new friend!

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/28/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Unforgettable Experience

We went on tour to Italy to celebrate by 50th birthday and my son's high school graduation. We couldn't have chosen a better company. The fact that the company will make your travel arrangements for you and it is included in the price is a plus. They will even help with extended stays. Our travel guide Monique was excellent. Our group of 30 travelers was perfect, each watching for each other every step of the way. My husband did not join me and our two adult children in our trip but tired of hearing about our experience he has signed up to do the same tour in October 2013. What better public relations. We would like to visit Italy again and visit some of the same cities. By then, we hope Go Ahead Tours will have other Italy options because we would definitely choose Go Ahead Tours for future travels...and maybe with some of the friends me made during our Italy trip. Will totally recommend.

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/15/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Grand Tour of Italy with Go ahead tours was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and I.

Our first time to go to Europe we expected to be overwhelmed with the new culture and art however the nurturing and carefree travel experience was a bonus. Yes that's what we paid for but I never realized what a VACATION it can be to not have to be concerned about where, what and when were were to be doing whatever. All the luggage, transportation, language, shopping, eating, lodging all mapped out for us in great detail. With all the experience of others. Thank you. And special Thank you to Enrico and Louigie for making our trip so wonderful Louigie's bus was clean and comfortable at all times. His driving on switch back and highways was so smooth I could write in my journal. Enrico, well there are not enough words that ALL of us 43 could say about him. A big group to handle of people from all over the country with different agendas of what their vacation ought to be. We were ALL accommodated with whatever our needs were. We were so motivated by Enrico that we ALL would climb the highest trails, and trusted him with all decisions. Thank you. I can't wait to go on our next trip..


5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best time of my life

This was a great tour and I really did have the best time of my life. We got to see so many places and it was everything I imagined. If I have the opportunity to go back I would try to do a slower paced tour of my favorite plaaces. But if a person wants to get a feel for the country this is an excellent tour.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/22/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Amazing!, Wonderful ! Italy!

I cannot begin to express the richness of this experience. The country, the cities, the food, the opera, the shopping, our tour director (Carmen) who was outstanding in guiding us along our journey, and the people of Italy - most inspirational and moving. I want to go back again./ Pat S.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/6/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Customer relations needs work

My wife and I booked the Grand Tour of Italy for October with a substantial extension in Rome for our 40th wedding anniversary. We were assured that everything was in order and because our previous tour "Paris, Provence and the Riviera" was very good we expected that the same level of service,quality of transportation and accommodations could be expected. This is not the case! When we reached Pearson Airport in Toronto for our 8:00PM departure (or thereabouts) we discovered that our flight would be delayed by 3 hours, due to technical problems with the aircraft. We realize that delays like this are unavoidable and we were not overly concerned by it. We called the "GoAhead" emergency number to let them know about the delay to which the agent advised us that they would contact the tour director in Italy so that alternate connections could be arranged for surface transportation. A short time later we received a return call to tell us that they had contacted the tour director, but, they were not able to make any alternate surface transportation and said "I'm afraid you are on your own". You will need to make your own arrangements to get to" Lecco". This was not what we expected from GoAhead Tours. When we did arrive in Milan we were not greeted by any GoAhead personnel. We truly were on our own! Having never been to Milan or anywhere else in Italy we were totally unfamiliar with the bus or train services. With the assistance of some kind people at the Milan airport we found a ticket office for the bus to take us to the Milan Train station. After managing to get tickets and find the right bus we made our way to the train station. We paid a porter to help us with our baggage and purchase train tickets to "Lecco". We were fortunate to meet a young Italian Army officer who assisted with directions and even with our baggage to get on the train. After arriving in Lecco finally at about 7:30PM we found ourselves on the sidewalk wondering how we were going to find the Hotel. After some time we found a policeman who showed us where to get a taxi. The taxi driver, fortunately spoke enough English to understand where we needed to go. Once again there was no GoAhead personnel there to meet us, but, the desk clerk checked us in and then told us that the rest of the tour were having dinner so we went to the dining room where we found the tour director. We introduced ourselves to which she responded " where have you been, we've been looking for you? After the ordeal of catching up with the tour, we were in no mood for levity nor for the awful blob of over-cooked pasta and dried-out fish they served us. We decided to try to put this behind us for the time being, hoping that things would improve and they did, somewhat. Verona was interesting but the accommodations in Venice left a bit to be desired. We were taken to a remote island, far from the main parts of Venice. The hotel was all but deserted except for our tour and the rooms were obviously designed for Summer vacationers. Ours had a good sized dining room ( of no use to us) and a tiny bedroom into which we couldn't even get our luggage. The door to the bedroom would only open part way and the heating/air conditioning unit didn't work. Dinner that night was the highlight of the day. It was a restaurant about a kilometer away from the hotel and we were taken by bus. The meal was exceptional which helped, a bit, to make up for the previous 2 days. The next day we were taken to St. Mark's square by ferry boat and were given several hours to explore the area, after a short tour of the square and the Doge's palace. We enjoyed this and then back to the hotel. The hotel in Florence was adequate, but, there were 2 other tours staying there and breakfast was a bit of an ordeal. We had to wait for quite a while in order to get a couple of chairs in the dining room, both mornings. It seemed all three tours were departing at the same time. The local tour guide in Florence was excellent and provided a well paced informative overview of the history and architecture as well as the museums. Pompeii was very good and the accommodations in Sorrento were good. The local guide Rome was excellent. The Hotel in Rome was adequate. All in all this tour did not measure up to the previous one we took with GoAhead in France. We would appreciate a response. Thank you

3 / 5

Traveled On: 10/10/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: ON

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

5 star tour and tour director

The Grand Tour of Italy was a "Trip of a Lifetime" for my wife and I. We dreamed of going to Italy, visiting sites, having fun, learning... Well, we got all of that plus a fantastic Tour Director! Monique is not only knowledgeable, but delivers the information in a fun and entertaining way! She was delightful to say the least! We celebrated my wife's birthday during our visit to Venice. Monique went out of her way to make her feel special and appreciated. Her and our bus driver Luciano made an unbeateable team. The tour itself was fantastic. The other travellers in our group were just nice and fun. We started in Lake Como, then Verona, the Venice, Bologna, Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano, Perugia, Assisi, Sorrento, and Rome. We took the Gondola ride in Venice (fun fun fun and a great singer too), the optional tours to Sienna and San Gimignano (loved those cities) and also Perugia. Perugia is an interesting city but was celebrating the Chocolate Festival and the town was packed with people. I didn't really enjoyed Perugia very much. I would have loved to have had an optional tour to Pizza but that will be pending for our next tour. I recommend this Grand Tour of Italy to any first time visitor to Italy; and if you have the good luck of having Monique as your tour director you'll consider yourself blessed beyond expectations. Thank you Go Ahead for a fantastic tour! We'll do it again for sure!

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/10/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Tour Director

This tour fulfilled my life long dream to see Italy, especially Rome. To see it was great but to have it planned and directed by Carmen, our Tour Director, was a fantastic experience.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/28/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Trip of a Lifetime

My head is still spinning. Can't wait to go back.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/28/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

loved Italy

Excellent taste of all the regions of Italy

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/28/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

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