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Discover what’s exceptional about Italy on this classic tour of the country’s three main cities plus historic Assisi.

Leading a smaller group? Travel on our Bell'Italia for Small Groups itinerary and you can have a private tour with as few as 13 participants!


DAY 1: Overnight Flight

Depart from the USA.

DAY 2: Rome

Benvenuti in Italia! After meeting your ACIS Tour Manager and settling in to your hotel at the heart of bustling, historic Rome, practice your language skills by ordering una coppa gelato and enjoy people-watching in one of the city’s stunning piazzas.

DAY 3: Rome

Rome is called “The Eternal City” because the ancient Romans believed that no matter what empires rose and fell, Rome would endure forever. Today's panoramic drive of the city is a great introduction to the many phases of Roman history. Our local expert accompanies you through the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica, giving commentary via personal headsets. The best part is that these are timed entrances, meaning you’ll breeze right by the long lines facing other tourists. Then go inside the iconic and historic Colosseum with a local guide (another line-avoiding timed reservation) and learn the many stories of this nearly 2,000-year-old Roman landmark that’s considered one of the architectural wonders of the ancient world. In the evening, try your hand in the Italian culinary arts with a pizza making lesson and dinner. Pay close attention to the chef's presentation on how to lay out the dough of a perfect pie, top it with ingredients in the Roman style and finish it off in the oven. You’ll work in teams to assemble and cook your own authentic, brick oven pizza.

DAY 4: Rome

Today you may take an optional journey to the ancient city of Pompeii. In 79 AD, nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered Pompeii in 23 feet of ash, preserving the city just as it was nearly 2,000 years ago. If you choose not to take the optional excursion, enjoy time to explore more of Rome at your own pace. Later, you can mingle with café-goers around the Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda. Tonight we’ll provide restaurant vouchers and suggestions for our favorite trattorias so you can dine like (and with) the locals. After, we’ll head out for a passeggiata romana around the Piazza Navona.

DAY 5: Florence

This morning depart for Assisi to see the stone cell where St. Francis of Assisi lived and founded the Franciscan order of Friars. In the Basilica of St. Francis, located above his tomb, you will enjoy beautiful frescoes by Giotto and Cimabue. Continue to Tuscany and its magnificent capital, Florence. Tonight perhaps stroll out to see the iconic Ponte Vecchio, with its bustling gold shops all lit up at night.

DAY 6: Florence

During today's sightseeing tour a local guide provides commentary via personal headsets while showing you Brunelleschi’s splendid Duomo, Ghiberti's famous Baptistry Doors, Santa Croce (where many illustrious Italians, including Michelangelo and Galileo, have been buried) and the Piazza della Signoria—the political center of the Renaissance city. Also, breeze by the crowds with your own timed entrance to the Accademia, which houses Michelangelo's David. There is no shortage of wonderful places to eat in Florence, and you'll get to dine like (and with) the locals using our insider tips and restaurant vouchers.

DAY 7: Venice

This morning, drive across the plains of Veneto and stop in Padua, famous for its university where Galileo once taught. Here you will see the Basilica of St. Anthony, crowned with seven cupolas. Continue to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic. On arriving in Venice, start exploring this magnificent city of canals and palaces with your 48-hour vaporetto pass, which allows you to come and go throughout the city as you please.

DAY 8: Venice

Consisting of an archipelago carved by nearly 150 canals into 118 different islands, the incomparable city of Venice contains a wealth of sights. Our guided “Hidden Venice” tour uncovers the secrets of Venice’s back streets and waterways. You’ll even get the chance to cross the Grand Canal like a local via gondola traghetto before returning to the majestic St. Mark’s Square, home to the Basilica of St. Mark. Enjoy entrance to the Gothic Doge’s Palace, including the Bridge of Sighs, which connected the old prisons of Venice to the palace’s interrogation rooms. Then learn about the art of Venetian glassblowing with a demonstration by a master practitioner. Be on the lookout for souvenirs as you explore more of Venice’s highlights with unlimited access to the entire canal network and smaller islands using your vaporetto pass. You’ll be feeling like a local in no time as you celebrate your final evening in Italy.

DAY 9: Departure

Bid farewell to Venice with a fun last boat ride past the outer islands via a private launch to the airport. Depart for the USA.



Optional Extensions and Extra Nights:

Further immerse yourself in the culture and wonders of la dolce vita with an extra night in Rome, including the services of your ACIS Tour Manager, at the beginning of your tour.

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EXCEPTIONAL DIFFERENCES

Central Hotels
    Central Hotels
  • 7 evenings for more exploring in town
 
  • 15 hours saved without a daily commute from a suburban budget hotel
Local Restaurants
    Local Restaurants
  • 7 delicious, multi-course dinners at local favorites
 
  • Meal times tailored to maximize your experience in the city
Smart Trip Design
    Smart Trip Design
  • A Lido-based hotel and included vaporetto pass means hours more to explore Venice
 
  • Meal vouchers let you choose your menu from many local restaurants

highlights

CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

Highlights Waiting to Happen

Vatican

Vatican

View on Florence and Duomo cathedral

View on Florence and Duomo cathedral

Piazza San Marco at Dawn

Piazza San Marco at Dawn

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

  • Students will compare and contrast three of the most influential capital cities in the patchwork of Italian states existing from the fall of Rome to the late 19th century.
  • Students will explore the Italian architectural evolution from Byzantine Venice to the Renaissance Duomo in Florence to the Baroque colonnades of St. Peter's Square in Rome.
  • Students will learn about the political, artistic, social and religious underpinnings of the Renaissance in its birthplace and its lasting influence.
 

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$3807

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