Venice, Florence & Rome (9 days)

9 days
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About This Experience

We’ve picked three iconic cities at the pulse of Italy’s vibrant culture, both past and present. Venice brings romance to the forefront, with sprawling Baroque palaces and meandering, gondola-dotted canals. The Renaissance is tangible in Florence, where the presence of the world’s greatest artists can still be felt. And in Rome, history is ever-present, from the crumbling Colosseum to the Forum. The people, the food, the way of life—experience what Italy is all about as you make your way from one city to the next.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels

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

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

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

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Andiamo—it’s time to board your overnight flight to Venice

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

Venice2 nights - hotel info

Day2

Settle in, get acquainted with Venezia and your fellow travelers

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to Venice! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and then escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to begin exploring Venice. At tonight’s included dinner, meet your fellow travelers.

Day3

Romance, intrigue, gondolas—this city truly has it all

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two

Breakfast

Doge's Palace

Experience the romance of Venice during this morning’s panoramic guided tour, with stops at the Bridge of Sighs and legendary St. Mark’s Square. View the Gothic Doge’s Palace as well as several important churches, including the Basilica di San Marco and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. 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.

Florence2 nights - hotel info

Day4

All the greats are in Florence: Galileo, Michelangelo, Dante and you

Breakfast, Dinner

Basilica of Santa Croce

This morning, travel to the timeless city of Florence, birthplace of the Italian language, the Renaissance and opera. A guided sightseeing tour introduces you to the city’s splendor, 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. You’ll also see the Palazzo Signoria, which serves as an open-air gallery of ancient and Renaissance statues. Dinner is included this evening.

Day5

Art takes on new meaning in the birthplace of the Renaissance

Optional Excursion - San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors

Breakfast

You may choose to use your free time in Florence to admire the world’s finest collection of Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery, stroll along the romantic Arno River or visit the Accademia Galleria to view Michelangelo’s David, sculpted when the artist was 26 years old. Or, join an optional excursion to San Gimignano, a medieval walled city famously depicted by artist M.C. Escher and used as the setting of a novel by John Grisham. While you’re in town, view the iconic frescoes at the Communal Palace, or visit Museo San Gimignano 1300, a reproduction of the city as it was 700 years ago. On your way back to Florence, enjoy a tasting of some of the region’s finest wines.

Optional Excursions

San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors $79* pp

Travel the beautiful Tuscan countryside to discover the medieval village of San Gimignano. During the Renaissance, the rival Guelph and Ghibelline political factions flexed their muscles by constructing tall towers throughout San Gimignano; fourteen of those towers survive today. Later, visit a local winery for a taste of the area's wines and a samples of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you simply won't find anywhere else. Then, enjoy lasagna during a light lunch.

Rome3 nights - hotel info

Day6

Eat, stay, love—this is the beginning of your Roman love affair

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors

Breakfast

The Colosseum

Arrive in Rome today, and follow in the footsteps of Caesar during a guided tour of the city. Highlights include entering the Colosseum, where 50,000 spectators cheered their favorite gladiators to victory, and a photo stop at the ruins of the Roman Forum, from which the caesars ruled their vast empire. Tonight, you can opt to end the day with the Dinner with Tenors, an evening of Roman cuisine and live music.

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!

Day7

Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain, spend a day exploring iconic Rome

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

Breakfast

Spend a free day in Rome however you choose. Take in all the art and architecture that greet the eye at every turn, from relics of the ancient empire to treasures of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Stroll across the Spanish Steps. See Bernini’s captivating Fountain of the Four Rivers and stop at the legendary Trevi Fountain, into which centuries of visitors have tossed coins to ensure their eventual return to Rome. Alternatively, you may wish to join an optional excursion to St. Paul’s Basilica and the Catacombs.

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.

Day8

Inside this bustling city, stands the world’s smallest state

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City

Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy another free day to further your explorations of ancient Rome. Visit the Pantheon, or tour one of Rome’s many important churches. You might also wish to join an optional excursion to Vatican City, featuring visits to the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. You’ll also see Michelangelo’s Pietà, one of his great masterworks. Tonight, rejoin your group for a sumptuous farewell dinner.

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.

Day9

Linger in leisurely Sorrento or fly away home

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

If you are not joining the extension to Sorrento, a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add Sorrento City Stay $349*

Extend your trip with two nights on Gulf of Naples’ southern shores. Join an optional excursion to the Isle of Capri, savor fresh flavors from the sea, seek the perfect limoncello or just work on your tan. Sorrento’s charms can’t be rushed, so slow down and enjoy your time here.

Sorrento2 nights - hotel info

Day9

Explore the shores where the Greek Sirens were said to dwell

Optional Excursion - The Lost City of Pompeii

Optional Excursion - Tarantella Show: Traditional Music & Dance

Breakfast

This morning, transfer to Sorrento a small town in Southern Italy’s Campania region famous for its production of limoncello. The balance of the day is free to spend at leisure. You could explore Sorrento’s lovely gardens and churches, browse the quaint shops along its cobblestoned alleyways or sit at a cafe and people-watch. Alternatively, opt to visit Pompeii for a guided tour of the ruins. Tonight, consider joining our optional Tarantella Show at the Teatro Tasso. Traditionally accompanied by tambourines, the intricate steps of the tarantella have been danced in Southern Italy for centuries.

Optional Excursions

The Lost City of Pompeii $105* pp

Travel to Pompeii for a guided tour of the famous ruins. Discover how Roman citizens lived 2,000 years ago, before Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79 and smothered the town of Pompeii 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. Please note: Travel time to Pompeii is approximately 1.5 hours each way.

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.

Day10

Have a moment in the sun in Sorrento or the Isle of Capri

Optional Excursion - Capri: A Day on the Iconic Island

Breakfast

Enjoy another free day in Sorrento. Or, join our optional excursion to the ancient resort of Capri (weather dependant), where you’ll enjoy a mini-cruise around the island or travel to the village of Anacapri for spectacular views of the surrounding scenery. Later, discover the allure of Capri’s stunning beaches.

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.

Day11

A presto (that means see you again soon)

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the Naples airport for your flight home.

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; 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 doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and travel requirements.

Cuisine

Most of the staples of the Italian diet have already become favorites in America, but on your tour, be sure to try those less familiar pasta sauces and the vast range of cured hams, cheeses, rustic breads and desserts. 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 are currently gaining in popularity, especially in northern Italy and in Rome.

Arrival & Transportation Information

Round-trip flights arrive in Venice and depart from Rome (or Naples on extension). When you first arrive in Venice, 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. This tour does involve a moderate amount of walking.

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.

Outstanding tour director

This is my second tour with Go Ahead and this one was even better then last years! Our tour director Joel is hands down the best there is. He is extremely knowledgeable, helpful and funny. The people I met were amazing, the hotels were great as were our local guides and bus drivers. I've been to Italy before but going with Go Ahead was a much better experience. I learned so much, was able to see and do everything I wanted without all the stress. I am already planning next years trip and may even try and sneak one in this summer!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best trip ever!!!!

I have an excellent time. Everything a vacation should be. Learned a few things, while being able to relax and enjoy. AWESOME experience. Ready for the next.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/6/2011

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome trip with older kids!

We did this tour with our three boys (11-15) and had a GREAT time. They were the only kids on the tour, but that wasn't a problem. The group was great and our tour guide was awesome (thanks for everything Stuart!). Hotels were well located and comfortable, and the itinerary was perfect. We got a fabulous introduction to all the cities and learned a ton...so much more than if we had gone on our own with guide books! The added excursion to San Gimignano and wine tasting was the absolute highlight for all of us...don't miss that! And going in February was surprisingly good! We had seasonable weather (got lucky?) and the crowds were manageable.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome!

This was my first trip to Europe and I had an great experience. All the staff on site during my trip wer amazing. I'm looking forward to planning another trip and Go Ahead will be at the top of my list.

review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/7/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

First European Tour

There's only 3 words to describe my experience, Excellent Tour Guide & Trip.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/2/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Not my favorite trip

Disappointed we missed most of the first day in Venice because our flight was delayed. The group was too for my taste. We didn't want to go everywhere with 40-50 people. Northern Italy was wonderful, the wine tasting and trip to San Gimignano was our favorite part. We were glad we didn't get the gondola ride through Go Ahead tours like our friends. We got a long private ride for 70 Euros which was much more reasonable. The hotel in Florence was not that great. Ceiling of bathroom was completely peeling, shower was broken, bed was so old and lumpy, and when we opened the shutters bees came in. We went on our own in Rome for most of our dinners and lunches because the group size was just too much for us. This was a terrible mistake, we were yelled at or ignored by so many waiters. Once my boyfriend and I were enjoying a quiet lunch at a café, we put our napkins on our plates when we were done then the waitress screamed at us for doing so. this was not the first bad experience, nor the worst. Maybe had we stayed with our tour guide we wouldn't have had so many bad experiences in Rome. But again the group size was just too big for us to want to stay with them ALL the time. The tour guide throughout the tour was lovely. Gabriella is a gem and we were so glad to have had her. I have had tour guides in the past that were not even half as pleasant and easy to get along with.

3 / 5

Traveled On: 11/2/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Great tour director

Great tour director. Really knowledgeable and helpful. Liked by the group. Enjoyed having some free time. Excursion to Isle of Capri was cancelled due to rough seas. That made sense and money was immediately refunded. Tour director was very gracious to accompany small group on bus tour of the Amalfi coast. Beautiful!!

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/2/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

The good, the bad & the ugly

THE GOOD: Had a great tour director. When our optional trip to Pompeii was cancelled she made special arrangements for a private guide and driver to take us. THE BAD: Before our trip we called the office to ask a couple of questions. Nobody could answer our questions and there was no effort to follow up with the answers. AND THE UGLY: When the tour was over, we were driven to the airport and dropped off at the front door. We had no clue where we supposed to go. There were extremely long lines and we had no idea which line to go stand in. It would have taken 5 minutes for someone to walk in to the airport with us and give us some direction.

2 / 5

Traveled On: 11/2/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: UT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

So-So

Didn't understand the necessity of all of the tipping involved (tour director, tour guide, bus driver) and thought this lowered the value of the trip. The tour director was extremely inappropriate in terms of his behavior...telling his tales of failed relationships, trying to pick up all of the tour guides and every single girl in site. In addition, I didn't understand the need to have a tour director who couldn't give tours of the sites...why the need for multiple tour guides...is it so that your tour director can have time to pick up chicks? We also visited a few sites where there was a demonstration and one vineyard. The tour director told some of the members of the tour that he gets "kickbacks" for the places he takes us to. Thought this was especially inappropriate. The winery that we visited charged my card for items I purchased and I have yet to receive them 30 days later....scam?

2 / 5

Traveled On: 10/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Italy Tour

Hello, Overall, I liked the tour to Italy. I felt that I saw the main highlights in Venice, Florence and Rome. The people on the tour were very friendly. I wasn't too crazy about the way the tour director is set up. Everytime we landed somewhere, he didn't even run the tours. I thought that's what a tour director does. I found the local tour guides were knowledgeable. At times I felt that things were a bit rushed, especially when we left from Florence to go to Rome. We should have had an earlier departure time as we didn't have a chance to even eat lunch once we got to Rome before the first site. The hotels in Florence and Rome were fine though the hotel in Rome was too far away from any main site and the hotel in Venice was not comfortable at all. Also, I've been on tours before though never when we're expected to tip not just the tour director though also the bus drivers and the local tour guides. It felt that I was constantly reaching into my pocket. I know other folks on the tour felt the same way. So, there's my feedback both good and not so good. Best, Jon Abelack

3 / 5

Traveled On: 10/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

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