The essence of ‘la dolce vita’ is explored through the cuisine, art and landscapes of Italy, from its iconic cities and turquoise lakes to its balmy southern shores. Many of the best European tours, like this one hosted by AAA Vacations, combine nature, culture and history to make an interesting tour, but Italy is the most unforgettable. The moments that make it are moments like taking a private boat to secluded Isola Madre on Lake Maggiore, where Signor Telli takes you for a traditional meal at his restaurant – a place inspired by a young prince who used to play there. Here is a sample of what you could expect on a Best of Italy tour.
Best European tours: Italy
Day 1 – Arrive Rome
Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! Spend the rest of your day relaxing or take a leisurely stroll around the city. Join your companions and your travel director later for a welcome reception. Then enjoy an orientation drive to see St. Peter’s Basilica and other sights – a great introduction to the city to start the tour.
Day 2 – Rome
A good Europe tour package must include time for the tourist to do what a tourist does best: sightsee. Your included sightseeing tour with a local guide begins at the Vatican Museums. Experience a unique opportunity in the Vatican when you ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante. Admire Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and then visit St. Peter’s Basilica to see his famous Pietà. Your tour continues in ancient Rome. View the Forum and see the Circus Maximus, where chariot races were held. Visit the impressive Colosseum. There’s time afterwards to explore the city on your own, or simply relax and watch the world go by!
Day 3 – Pompeii
Visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery near Monte Cassino. Your local guide tells you all about the devastation caused by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 during your walking tour of Pompeii. Arrive later at your hotel in Sorrento where you dine tonight.
Day 4 – Isle Of Capri
Continue your tour of Italy’s finest by visiting the Isle of Capri, the island that capri pants are named after. Witness the intricate art of inlaid woodwork, a Cultural Insight for which Sorrento is famous. Later embark on an included excursion by ferry to the Isle of Capri. Visit Capri Town and other sights during your tour with a local guide. Spend time exploring this lovely island on your own.
Day 5 – Assisi
Assisi is a mystical town perched on the slopes of Mount Subasio overlooking the peaceful Umbrian landscape. Under the protection of St. Francis this city is still enclosed by medieval ramparts. Your local guide takes you on a walking tour, which includes a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis, famous for its frescoes depicting the life of this much-loved saint. Spend time afterwards exploring on your own and shopping for souvenirs. Dine at your hotel this evening.
Day 6 – Verona
Today enjoy the glorious countryside and historic architecture of the Emilia Romagna region. This area is also renowned for its cuisine such as tortellini, mortadella and Parmesan cheese. Travel to Verona, the home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, to admire the Roman arena and Juliet’s balcony. How many other Europe tour packages take you to a famous scene from literature? Arrive later in Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
Day 7 – Venice
Your cruise by private launch to St. Mark’s Square is magical. View the Bridge of Sighs, the beautiful Doge’s Palace and the Basilica. Gain insight into the ancient art of glassblowing at a traditional workshop on Giudecca Island. Spend free time seeing the sights of your choice. You might like to cruise across the lagoon to the Island of Burano and enjoy a delicious meal.
Day 8 – Milan
Cross the plains of Lombardy to Milan for a walking tour of this fashionable city with your local guide. View the Duomo, La Scala Opera house and the famous Galleria. Dine tonight at your hotel.
Day 9 – Lake Como Excursion
Travel to the beautiful Lake Como with free time to explore or simply soak up the scenery. This evening, take a private boat to an island on Lake Maggiore for a special dinner experience.
Day 10 – Pisa
Cross the Plains of Lombardy, the forested Apennine Mountains, and pass by Genoa to Pisa. View the extraordinary Leaning Tower before arriving in Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Tonight, you might like to sample some local Tuscan cuisine.
Have you visited Italy? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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