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Rome, Florence & Venice Carnival

10 days Special Event
Just before Lent, the city nicknamed La Serenissima (most serene) opens up into a wild world of luxury, indulgence and merriment—during the city’s annual Carnival celebration. You’ll begin your Italian adventure in Renaissance Florence and Eternal Rome before donning a traditional masquerade mask and taking to the Venetian streets with thousands of revelers from near and far.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Venice today.

Rome 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Rome

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Italy! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in. Later, meet your group at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans on a guided tour of the Eternal City. 

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the city’s central hub 

• Stop at the ruins of the ancient Roman Forum, once the setting of parades, elections and trials

• Soak up over 2,000 years of history in Imperial Rome, viewing the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus and the Temple of Venus and Roma

• Enter the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, and take time to explore on your own

Day 4: Free day in Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Rome or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $99pp* Details

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 Sundays. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced. Due to events surrounding the Holy Year Jubilee in Rome in 2016, we cannot guarantee entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica between December 8, 2015 and November 20, 2016.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79pp* Details

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! Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from February through November.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Florence 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Transfer to Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross through the Apennine Mountains as you make your way to Florence, home of the Renaissance. Then, get to know the city on a guided sightseeing tour. 

• Visit the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo 

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Walk past Piazza della Repubblica to the medieval Ponte Vecchio

• Stroll along the Arno River and through the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery to Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life

Day 6: Free day in Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day to explore Florence or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns $109pp* Details

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. Later, you’ll head to a nearby vineyard, where an included wine tasting awaits. Please note: This excursion involves moderate walking.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Venice 3 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Carnival events in Venice

  Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Venice this morning, then spend the afternoon discovering the excitement and appeal of Venice’s Carnival.

• Attend a mask-making workshop to learn about the history of Carnival and its famous disguises

• Try your hand at creating your own mask before taking to the streets to join in on the revelry

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Venice

  Included meals: Breakfast

Experience historic churches, winding canals and picture-perfect piazzas on a guided tour of the city known as the “Queen of the Adriatic.”

• Step into the iconic St. Mark’s Square and enter St. Mark’s Basilica

• View the stately Doge’s Palace, built in the Venetian Gothic style in 1340

• Marvel at the Bridge of Sighs, the link between Doge’s Palace and the New Prison

• See a glassblowing demonstration to learn about the city’s most celebrated art

Enjoy a free afternoon in Venice or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music $65pp* Details

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, join your fellow travelers for a tour through the canals of Venice. A musician serenades you as your gondola cruises through the city. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. A private two-person gondola ride is available for an additional $100 per person.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two $165pp* Details

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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $175)

Day 9: Free day in Venice

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a free day exploring Venice on your own or add an excursion.

Later, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Burano & Torcello $65pp* Details

Visit the islands of the Venetian lagoon, a favorite day trip for locals and travelers alike. First travel by water taxi to Torcello, where the story of Venice began. It was here that mainlanders sought a safe haven from invading barbarians. Step inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, whose famous mosaics depict The Last Judgement. The next stop is the tiny fishing village of Burano, where brightly colored homes greet visitors. Wander as you please throughout Burano, and be sure to stop in at the island’s bakeries.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Day 10: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Add Rome $299 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Only in Rome could you sip cappuccino at a café in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market and see the Pope at his window—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Free day in Rome

Enjoy a full free day in Rome to explore on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Ancient Rome: St. Paul’s Basilica & the Catacombs $65pp* Details

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 St. Paul’s Basilica, 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Day 3: Free day in Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend another free day in Rome or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Borghese Gallery & Museum $69pp* Details

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.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 4: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Rome, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
  • Venice, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
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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’re 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; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Italy. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider for the latest updates and 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 is often slightly varied by region, and many cities and towns have their own specialties.  Venice and Northern Italy are known for their meats and pastries, Tuscany for its wine, oil and sauces, Rome and Southern Italy for its pizzas. For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small, family-owned restaurants that tend to be set away from the main piazzas and squares. Italians tend to indulge in long 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 the major cities and currently gaining in popularity, especially in Northern Italy and in Rome.

Arrival & Transportation Information

Round-trip flights arrive in Rome and depart from Venice. When you first arrive in Rome, a Go Ahead representative will meet you after clearing customs. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. Included transportation is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the three cities on foot or 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. Florence is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available. Purchase tickets at tobacconists or at vending machines. Rome offers both underground transportation and bus service to the city’s major attractions. Subway and bus tickets may be purchased separately or in bulk.

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 operates on the European standard of 220 volts.

Time Zones

Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards, as needed. 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’s 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.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/6/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Venezia Carnavale

Venezia, Firenze, Roma.... and a few side trips... a great overall trip with lots of the highlights of Italia, plus the ambiance and mystique of Carnavale. A really unique experience. Loved the mask-making event, and a few of us brought costumes (not too elaborate) and had a fun evening out. Cool weather and some occasional rain and foggy mist added to the whole aura of Carnavale. Favorite hotel was in Venezia. Sabra (aka Sarah) had an amazing amount of knowledge and wanted to be sure we all had a wonderful time. She was a great help with advice as we ventured off on our own. Loved Orvieto.

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1 / 6
 

Hi Terry! We’re glad you enjoyed your tour in Italy. Carnival certainly makes for a very special time to visit! We’re pleased to learn that you enjoyed the mask-making event. We're also happy that your Tour Director contributed to the success of your tour and did her best to ensure everyone’s satisfaction. We are very proud to work with such knowledgeable and passionate Tour Directors. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | February 23, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The best tour ever

This was the best tour ever!! The food, shopping, tours and accomodations were wonderful. Thanks Tini, Excellent tour director.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour Director

Tini did a great job making our trip outstanding.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/9/2012

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MD

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Visiting Venice (Venezia) Italy for Carnevale 2012

Words simply cannot describe the experience of being a part of the world famous Carnevale 2012 in Venice, Italy as part of Go Ahead Tours "Rome, Florence and Venice with Carnevale" Tour. From the excellent hotels which were perfectly located in each city (within walking distance of all ot the sights and festivities), free WI-FI in each of the hotels, delicious meals and the rewarding optional excursions...this tour was truly outstanding from beginning to end. GoAhead you are truly to be commended for doing such a great job in putting this tour together!!! I am encouraging all of my friends to consider this tour for or another Go Ahead Tour for 2013. Thanks!!!!

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