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Williamstown, MA

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Renaissance Florence, including visit to Uffizi Gallery
  • Formal Boboli Gardens
  • Siena’s grand Piazza del Campo
  • Classic Etruscan town of Cortona
  • Visit to Frances Mayes’ Casa Bramasole
  • Beautiful UNESCO landscape of Val d’Orcia
  • Renaissance Pienza
  • Winery tour and tasting
  • Hill towns of Assisi, Todi, Orvieto
  • Italian cooking demonstration and lunch
  • Rome stay and sightseeing
  • Three-night stays in charming, intimate hotels in Tuscany and Umbria
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Florence, Italy

Day 2: Arrive Florence We arrive in Florence and transfer to our hotel, a historic country estate just 4½ miles from the city center. Late afternoon we meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel. D

Day 3: Florence Today we discover Florence, “cradle of the Renaissance” and still renowned as a city of art and culture. Our full-day walking tour includes the historic city center, a UNESCO site comprising the Baptistery, Campanile, and Santa Maria del Fiore – also known as the Duomo – whose 14th-century red-brick dome by Brunelleschi remains the largest of its type ever built. At the Galleria dell’Accademia we see Michelangelo’s “David,” as well as the sculptor’s pieces for the papal tombs. After lunch at a local restaurant, our tour ends at another of Florence’s, and indeed Europe’s, treasured museums: the Uffizi Gallery, where we are free to explore on our own. Here hang works by the likes of Michelangelo, da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, Giotto, Caravaggio, and Botticelli, whose “Primavera” (“Allegory of Spring”) ranks as one of the most popular paintings in the Western world. We return to our hotel late afternoon; for dinner on our own tonight we may opt to return to Florence. B,L

Day 4: Florence On a morning tour we visit Pitti Palace, the 15th-century Renaissance stronghold later owned by the Medici to house treasures they amassed as one of Tuscany’s ruling families. Now a museum, the Pitti Palace holds important collections of porcelain, silver, and costumes, as well as paintings and sculpture. It also boasts the 111-acre Boboli Gardens, a formal Italian garden with fountains, grottoes, and sculpture from the 16th to 18th centuries. After our tour of the palace and gardens, the remainder of the day is at leisure; we may wish to remain in Florence for independent exploration. B,D

Day 5: Florence/Siena/Cortona Leaving Florence today, we stop in the Tuscan hill town of Siena, whose ochre-colored buildings and ancient ramparts evoke the city’s medieval past and whose historic city center is a UNESCO site. Fan-shaped Piazza del Campo is one of Europe’s greatest public squares (and where the annual Palio horse race takes place); its Duomo, with works by Bernini, Donatello, and Michelangelo, one of Italy’s finest. We set out on a guided walking tour here then have time for lunch on our own in this city known for its authentic Tuscan dishes. We continue on to Cortona, arriving mid-afternoon. B,D

Day 6: Cortona Sitting atop a hill rising 2,000 feet from the surrounding plain, Cortona dates to pre-Roman times and today remains a classic example of Etruscan city planning and architecture. We explore this medieval gem today, including the 5th-century BCE city walls from where we can see the vast Valdichiana plain stretching 62 miles across central Italy. We tour the historic city center, and walk the steep, narrow streets that characterize Etruscan design. This is the town that Frances Mayes depicted in Under the Tuscan Sun – so we visit Casa Bramasole, the 200-year-old farmhouse the author lovingly restored. B,D

Day 7: Cortona/Pienza Today we travel through perhaps one of Tuscany’s most beautiful – and recognized – regions, the Val d’Orcia, an expanse of gently rolling cultivated hills dotted with cypress trees and picturesque villages. A UNESCO site, Val d’Orcia is home to Pienza, conceived in 1459 as an ideal Renaissance town whose design influence eventually spread throughout Europe. Our tour here begins in Pienza’s historic center, with its lovely square surrounded by two palaces and the Renaissance Duomo. We walk cobblestone streets to a lookout point for breathtaking views of Val d’Orcia below. Then we enjoy lunch together and a special tasting of Montepulciano wines. B,L

Day 8: Cortona/Assisi/Todi Leaving Tuscany for Umbria today, we stop in Assisi, birthplace in 1182 of St. Francis. A beautiful town with inviting plazas, winding medieval streets, and Roman ruins, Assisi claims the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi as the pinnacle of its many treasures. We tour the famed 13th-century church (now fully restored after suffering earthquake damage in 1997), seeing priceless frescoes by Giotto and Cavellini; and also visit the Basilica of Saint Clare, with 13th-century frescoes and possibly the world’s most famous cross. We have time on our own for lunch and to stroll through this hilltop town as we wish before we depart for the heart of Umbria: the medieval walled city of Todi. B,D

Day 9: Todi This morning we explore this hilltop town, which is little changed over the centuries and whose Piazza del Popolo ranks as perhaps the finest public square in all Italy. Flanked by a 16th-century cathedral and three grand palazzos, the square is the center of life here, as we see on our tour. We also visit a local museum featuring Etruscan and Roman artifacts unearthed in the region. Then the remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy this Umbrian gem as we wish. Options abound for lunch and dinner on our own. B

Day 10: Todi/Orvieto Today we visit the popular Umbrian town of Orvieto, with its dramatic setting atop the steep walls of a flat volcanic rock (tufa). We discover this once impregnable Etruscan settlement on a walking tour. Highlights include Orvieto Cathedral, the medieval Duomo featuring a chapel with a fresco by Fra Angelico, as well as Luca Signorelli’s masterpiece, “The Last Judgment.” Then we enjoy a small group highlight as guests at the country home of the celebrated chef of Orvieto’s Ristorante Zeppelin (a Culinary Art Institute) for a cooking lesson and lunch overlooking the vineyards. B,L

Day 11: Todi/Rome We leave the Italian countryside today for Rome, the Eternal City on the Tiber River whose history spans some 2,500 years. Mid-afternoon we reach our hotel; dinner is on our own. B

Day 12: Rome This morning we encounter ancient Rome, beginning at the Colosseum, built in 72 CE to stage gladiator spectacles; and the temples of the Forum, ancient Rome’s political and legal center. This afternoon is at leisure to explore independently; tonight we bid “arrivederci” to Italy at a farewell dinner. B,D

Day 13: Depart for U.S. We depart early this morning for our connecting flights to the U.S. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking up hills or stairs, and on uneven cobblestone streets. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 11 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and First Class hotels
  • 20 meals: 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2018 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Oct 18
Oct 25
May 3, 10
Aug 30
Sep 6, 13
Sep 27
Oct 4

May 31
New York$3,687$3,887$4,087
Boston, Phil$3,887$4,087$4,287
Atlanta, Char, Chi
Cinc, Cleveland,
Detroit, Miami,
Orlando, Tampa,
Washington, DC
Dallas, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoe, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $492, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $895. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2018 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,995 per person; Premium Economy – $895 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

    Villa Olmi Firenze, Florence / Days 2-4 / Deluxe 

    Italian artisans have fully restored this country estate in the Tuscan hills, converting its villa, rural house, and farmhouse into a distinguished hotel property that preserves the estate’s original character and heritage.  Centuries-old trees and an Italian garden grace the Villa Olmi Firenze’s grounds, and 18th-century frescoes adorn the walls within. The hotel, located a short drive from the historic heart of Florence and close to public transportation, features a restaurant, wine bar, fitness center, heated outdoor swimming pool, and laundry service. Furnished in Florentine style with period décor, the 62 air-conditioned guest rooms offer private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, TV, and phone. Please note that the hotel has no elevators, and because of the unique nature of these lodgings, room sizes vary. Also, while our guest rooms are typically located in the main building – the rural house, which also houses the lobby and the restaurant – rooms may be assigned in the estate’s farmhouse within close walking distance.

    Hotel San Luca, Cortona / Days 5-7 / First Class 

    The Hotel San Luca is located in the historic center of Cortona at the Piazza della Repubblica and a short walk from the Palazzo Comunale, Museo Diocesano, the Cathedral of Cortona, as well as shops and restaurants. Along with a rooftop terrace overlooking the town and Lake Trasimeno, this 57-room hotel features a restaurant and bar/lounge, rooftop gym, sun terrace, hot tub, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry service. Each air-conditioned guest room offers a private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Fonte Cesia, Todi / Days 8-10 / First Class 

    Hotel Fonte Cesia is set in the heart of the medieval town of Todi, just six hundred feet from the cathedral. The 17th-century building was renovated into a hotel featuring 36 rooms with a restaurant, bar, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  The air-conditioned rooms, feature a private bathroom and hairdryer, minibar, TV, safety deposit box, and phone.

    Ambasciatori Palace, Rome / Days 11-12, Extension / Deluxe 

    The Ambasciatori Palace, like Rome itself, is awash in history. Built in the early 1900s, it was originally home to foreign ambassadors visiting Rome, and its ideal location along the Via Veneto achieved worldwide fame when the street was featured in the film La Dolce Vita.  Amenities of this elegant hotel include a restaurant and bar, full fitness center, massage services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms feature private bath with hairdryer, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Rome – On Your Own

3 days/2 nights for $435 total price
Single Supplement: $295

Enjoy more time in the Eternal City, as you wish and at your own pace.


Your Tour Price Includes
  • 2 nights’ accommodations at Ambasciatori Palace (Deluxe)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Enrica Angeli

“Enrica was excellence-plus! … We say ‘Grazie and brava, Enrica!’ Her love and pride in Italy was inspiring.”
Dr. & Mrs. Dwight R. Pounds
Bowling Green, KY

Lisa Careless

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Catherine Cauwelier

“Cathy was a phenomenal tour director! She was efficient and so patient, and always pleasant. Top notch!”
Nancy Grill
Lawrence, KS

Lella Guarneri

“Top-notch director.”
Don & Kathy Hill
La Crescent, MN

Mauro Tonelli

“Excellent tour director – can’t imagine having anyone better. Perfect blend of knowledge, personality, and competence.”
Sue & Dan Reinhard
Fairfax, VA

Destination Insight


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