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  • The small group
    travel experience

    Just 12-24 Guests, Guaranteed
  • Information & Reservations


    Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST

What People Are Saying About Us

I would definitely do another Odysseys tour – great company, great value.

Nancy Huntley
Springfield, IL

We continue to be amazed at the value and quality of these trips.

Peg & Ray Dutcher
Wellesley, MA

Love your company and feel like we get excellent value.

Eugene & Carol Simpson
Raleigh, NC

The small group (20) was perfect.

Jacqueline Meyer
Foster City, CA

Love small group tours.  Odysseys does it right!

Kathy Root
Grafton, OH

I loved the small group...I felt safe and well cared for.

Deborah Miles
Denver, CO

Odysseys is our #1 choice for group travel.

Karin Knutsen
Chagrin Falls, OH

It was a truly first-rate experience in every way.

Enid & Jerry Liess
Annandale, VA

Each of our four tours with you has been outstanding!

Howard Sosne
Raleigh, NC

Our first experience made us loyal customers.

Doug Bates
The Villages, FL

First-rate tour. Odysseys Unlimited came highly recommended.

Carol & Michael Ferraris
Massapequa Park, NY

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH

Explore the Region

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Stunning Amalfi Coast
  • Ruins at Pompeii
  • Amalfi Coast cruise
  • Rome sightseeing, including St. Peter’s Square, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Forum
  • Pastoral Umbria, the “green heart” of Italy
  • Italian cooking demonstration
  • Visit to the walled city of Assisi
  • Comprehensive Tuscany sightseeing: San Gimignano, Siena, Florence
  • Local wine tasting
  • Timeless Venice
  • Three-night stays in intimate small hotels in Amalfi, Tuscany, and Umbria
Day-by-Day Trip Itinerary

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

Day 2: Arrive Naples/Amalfi Coast After arriving in Naples this morning, we travel to the storied Amalfi Coast, a popular resort and our base for exploring Italy’s Campania region. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in Italy. We dine at our hotel tonight, as we will throughout our stay here. D

Day 3: Ravello This morning we experience this breathtaking coast by sea as we cruise from our hotel to Amalfi Center (weather permitting). We pass by the Duomo (cathedral), which dominates the main piazza, and then are free to wander as we please through Amalfi’s atmospheric waterfront or browse in the small shops that surround the square.  We have lunch on our own, then ascend to mountaintop Ravello, with its spectacular gardens and coastal views. It’s widely agreed that, at 1,100 feet above sea level, the view from Ravello is stunning; we can see a splendid panorama of the entire Amalfi Coast. B,D

Day 4: Pompeii/Amalfi Coast/Sorrento Our full-­day excursion begins in Pompeii, the city frozen in time by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE but not excavated until 1748. The ash from this eruption literally “froze” the town in time, leaving exquisite ruins that show us how these ancient Romans lived:  vivid frescoes, a forum, and one of the largest surviving Roman amphitheaters in existence. After a tour and lunch on our own here we embark on a breathtaking drive along the winding Amalfi Coast road high above the azure Mediterranean – with stops for photos and in Sorrento along the way. This 31-mile stretch of coastline from Sorrento to Salerno has inspired movies, music, and books; indeed, it is one of the most glorious drives in Europe – or anywhere, for that matter.  We return to our hotel late afternoon. B,D

Day 5: Amalfi Coast/Montecassino/Rome En route to Rome today we visit the town of Montecassino, whose abbey is the mother church of the ­Benedictine order and a center of medieval art. A German stronghold during World War II, the hilltop abbey was destroyed by Allied bombing then rebuilt as a replica of the 17th-century original. We tour the abbey, then continue on to the Eternal City. We arrive at our well-located hotel mid-afternoon; our tour director will lead an informal walk of the nearby area. B

Day 6: Rome From St. Peter’s Square to the Spanish Steps, the Forum to the Trevi Fountain, Rome is filled with some of the greatest monuments, museums, and ruins in Western civilization.  This morning we tour the heart of this ancient city: the 55,000-seat Colosseum, built in 72 CE to stage gladiator spectacles; and the temples of the Forum, ancient Rome’s political and legal center. The afternoon is free to explore on our own; the possibilities endless: shopping along the fashionable Via Ven­eto; sipping espresso in beautiful Piazza Navona; seeing the Pantheon, the city’s best preserved ancient building; tossing a coin into Trevi Fountain; or visiting any number of renowned museums and churches. B

Day 7: Rome Another morning of touring follow­ed by a free afternoon. Today we visit the Vatican for a tour of St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums. Highlights include Michelangelo’s Pieta in St. Peter’s, considered one of the greatest sculptures of all time; his frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, now restored to its original glory; and art-filled St. Peter’s itself, the most important church in all Chris­tendom. The afternoon is free to experience Rome’s myriad of delights as we wish.  For solitude, the grounds of the Villa Borghese offer a brief respite from the bustle of the city.  For shopping, fabulous designer stores (and great people watching!) can be found the famed Via Veneto or the Via del Corso.  And lovely Piazza Navona is the perfect spot to sit at a sidewalk café and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this incredible city. B

Day 8: Rome/Orvieto Leaving Rome, we travel north through a pastoral landscape of gentle agricultural land bounded by mountain wilderness and dotted with traditional villages and medieval hill towns. This is Umbria, known as the “green heart of Italy.”  Mid-afternoon we reach Orvieto, perched high on a plateau above a vineyard-clad plain. After we check in at our hotel in the heart of the city’s medieval quarter, our tour director leads us on an informal walking tour. Tonight we attend a cooking demonstration followed by dinner at a local farmhouse. B,D

Day 9: Orvieto This morning we embark on a guided walking tour of this dramatically set city. We visit the medieval Duomo featuring a frescoed chapel by Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli’s masterpiece, The Last Judgment. Next we explore the formerly secret passages of Parco delle Grotte, a labyrinth of underground caves used since Etruscan times. Then the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration in this city known for its classic Orvieto white wine and its ceramics tradition dating back to the early medieval era.  Today we can sample Orvieto’s Umbrian cuisine with lunch and dinner on our own. B

Day 10: Orvieto/Assisi Today’s excursion is to Assisi, considered a gem of an Umbrian town, where Saint Francis was born in 1182. Though the town itself is stunning, with inviting plazas, abundant flowers, buildings of white marble, and a pervasive medieval air, the highlight of our day is a tour of the famed Basilica of St. Francis, which has been fully restored after an earthquake caused serious damage to the upper church in 1997. The church is the burial place of St. Francis, and features the priceless Life of St. Francis frescoes by Giotto, depicting stories of the saint’s life and deeds. We also visit the Basilica of St. Clare, displaying perhaps the world’s most famous crucifix:  the San Damiano Cross. There’s time on our own to stroll the fountain-splashed piazzas and to enjoy lo­cal specialties for lunch. We also visit Deruta, where we observe a demonstration showcasing the town’s prized hand-painted Majolica ceramics. B

Day 11: Orvieto/Siena/Tuscany Continuing our journey, today we visit walled Siena, whose ochre-colored buildings and ancient ramparts evoke the city’s medieval past. Fan-shaped Piazza del Campo is one of Europe’s greatest public squares; its Duomo, one of Italy’s finest. We set out on a guided walking tour that includes an inside visit to the Duomo, housing masterpieces by Michelangelo and Donatello, then have free time for lunch on our own and to explore as we wish. B,D

Day 12: Florence A living monument to the Renaiss­ance, Florence is the crown jewel of Tuscany. We discover this splendid city on a full-day excursion that includes a morning walking tour. Then we visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to view Michel­an­ge­lo’s sublime David, as well as his pieces for the papal tombs; and the revered Duomo, with its stupendous dome by Brunelleschi. This afternoon is free to enjoy Florence as we wish. Tonight we enjoy dinner together at our hotel. B,D

Please note:  if you plan to visit the Uffizi Gallery during your free time, we highly recommend that you reserve your tickets as far in advance as possible, for 1:30 p.m. on the date we visit Florence.  This very popular museum often is sold out and it may not be possible to obtain tickets on site that afternoon.  You can reserve tickets online; see the museum’s website for details:  https://www.uffizi.it/en/the-uffizi.

Day 13: San Gimignano We encounter classic Tuscany today as we visit the hill town of San Gimignano, known for the 13 watchtowers that have left its skyline virtually unchanged since medieval times. Later we visit a local winery and enjoy a tasting served with the appropriate hors d’oeuvres.  This region is best known for the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a white wine made from grapes grown around Tuscany, and for the most well-known of all Italian wines, Chianti. Mid-afternoon, we return to our lodgings, where we have time to relax before tonight’s dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 14: Tuscany/Venice Leaving Tuscany today, we travel through the Veneto region to Venice, city of drama and doges, canals and Canaletto. We arrive early this afternoon; the remainder of the day is free to explore this wondrous city on our own. Venice (and its surrounding lagoon) rank as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most atmospheric destinations. B

Day 15: Venice This morning’s guided walking tour reveals a host of Venetian delights:  Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), with its fantastic Basilica; the romantic Bridge of Sighs; and the Rialto district with its bustling market, among many others.  Our afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this timeless city as we wish, and the options are endless.  Venice is an eminently walkable city, filled with cafes and shops to explore, and riddled with its trademark canals.  Take a water taxi or gondola ride, enjoy some gelato after a lunch of Venetian seafood dishes, and revel in simply wandering around this world-class floating city.  This evening we gather at a local restaurant for a farewell dinner to bid “arrivederci” to Italy and to our fellow travelers. B,D

Day 16: 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 or 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
  • 14 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
  • 22 meals: 14 breakfasts, 8 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)
2023 Tour Dates & Prices

2023 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Oct 28
Oct 30*, 31
Nov 2
Oct 21
Oct 23*, 24
May 6+
May 9+
May 20^
May 27
Jun 3
Sep 4*, 9
Sep 11*, 16
Sep 18*
Sep 19
Sep 23+
Sep 30+
Oct 5*, 14
New York$4,574$4,874$5,274
Boston, Phil, Wash, DC$4,774$5,074$5,474
Atl, Char, Chi,
Cinc, Cleve,
Detroit, Mia,
Orl, Tampa
Dal, 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 $579, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,095. Your $475 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2023 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Accommodations: Days 2-4: +Marmorata Hotel (Amalfi), ^Hotel San Francesco (Amalfi); Days 5-7: *UNAWAY Hotel Empire Roma (Rome)

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,795 per person; Premium Economy – $1,595 per person

2024 Tour Dates & Prices

2024 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Mar 16*^
Mar 23
Mar 30
Oct 26
Oct 29
Nov 4*
Apr 8*
Apr 11*^
Apr 15*
Oct 19
Oct 22
Apr 20
Apr 23
Apr 27
Oct 5
Oct 10*
Oct 12
May 2*, 4
May 7, 13
May 21, 27*^
May 28, 30*^
Jun 3*^
Aug 29*
Sep 2*, 5*
Sep 9*, 14
Sep 17, 21
Sep 24, 28
New York$4,574$4,874$5,274$5,474
Boston, Phil, Wash, DC$4,774$5,074$5,474$5,674
Atl, Char, Chi,
Cinc, Cleve,
Detroit, Mia,
Orl, Tampa
Dal, 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 $579, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,095. Your $475 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Accommodations: Days 5-7: *UNAWAY Hotel Empire Roma (Rome); Days 8-10: ^Hotel Fonte Cesia (Umbria)

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,795 per person; Premium Economy – $1,595 per person

    Hotel San Francesco, Maiori (Amalfi Coast) / Days 2-4 / First Class

    Situated amongst orchards of citrus trees and floral gardens, the contemporary Hotel San Francesco stands across the street from the longest beachfront stretch of the Amalfi coast.  The 44-room hotel features a restaurant and bar, safe deposit box, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, laundry service (for a fee), private beach with beachside bar, and a swimming pool overlooking the beach.  Each air-conditioned guest room offers a private terrace and has a private bath with hair dryer, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Monti Palace Hotel, Rome / Days 5-7 / Superior First Class

    Sitting just a 10-minute walk from Rome’s famed Colosseum, the Monti Palace Hotel occupies a 19th-century building in the heart of the Eternal City.  Amenities of this stylish and contemporary hotel include a rooftop bar with terrace overlooking the city, library bar and lounge, 24-hour fitness center, laundry services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Grand Hotel Italia, Orvieto (Umbria) / Days 8-10 / First Class

    Located in Orvieto’s medieval town center, this refurbished 19th-century building with hanging gardens sits close to some of Orvieto’s key points of interest, including the Palazzo del Popolo, Moro Tower, and the Duomo.  The intimate 46-room hotel also features a bar, rooftop terrace, library, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee).  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Villa San Filippo, Barberino Val d'Elsa (Tuscany) /
    Days 11-13 / First Class

    Located within the Chianti Hills surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, this 18th-century antique villa is a family-run country retreat, part of the Italian tradition of agriturismo, the preservation of rural ways of life. The 21-room Villa San Filippo features a Tuscan-style dining area and bar, walking gardens, safe-deposit boxes, laundry and dry cleaning services, internet access, and outdoor pool. Each air-conditioned room includes private bathroom with hair dryer, TV, and phone. There are no elevators. Please note that because of the unique nature of this family residence, room sizes vary.

    Carnival Palace Hotel, Venice / Days 14-15, Extension / Superior First Class

    Opened in 2012, the contemporary Carnival Palace overlooks the Cannaregio Canal in the heart of historic downtown Venice. Along with a garden and waterfront terrace bar, the 67-room hotel offers Internet access and laundry service. Guest rooms have Venetian furnishings, private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

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

Venice – On Your Own

3 days/2 nights for $395 total price
Single Supplement: $325

Enjoy time on your own in this most timeless of cities.

Your Tour Price Includes
  • 2 nights’ accommodations at Carnival Palace Hotel (Superior First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Tour Directors
Sara Basile

“Sara is the best tour guide we have had, including guides from other tour companies.”
Jeffrey & Janet Messing
Easton, MD

Lisa Careless

“We cannot rave about Lisa enough. Personable, smart, helpful, knowledgeable, gracious, accommodating, and on and on. We’ve traveled a lot and Lisa, by far, is the best tour director we have ever had. She’s an asset to Odysseys.”
Harri Kramer & Russ Hogya
Bethesda, MD


Marina Caruso

We were so lucky to have Marina Caruso, she is one of the best Tour Directors I have ever had. A real gem–helpful, caring and ready to go the extra mile.”
Eileen Sutter
Yonkers, NY

Pier Luigi Castagnetti

“If we ever return to Italy we would want Luigi for our Tour Director again … He was absolutely marvelous!”
John & Judith Schneider
Grand Rapids, MI

Gabriel Castillo

“This was our 7th Odysseys tour and we would rate Gabe at the top of our list.”
Allan Bauer
Hackensack, NJ

Elizabeth Cirio

“Elizabeth was amazing. Her knowledge of Italy and her enthusiastic love of every place we visited was wonderful.”
Marcia Coyle & Thomas Szydlowski
Nantucket, MA

Andrea Fiorillo

“Andrea exceeded expectations in every possible area- we felt he went above and beyond what a tour director generally does. Our experience would not have been as excellent as it was without him.”
Anne & Jeffrey Abend
Rockville, MD

Anna Gandolfi

“We cannot possibly imagine that you could have a better tour director in your entire system in any category! The very highest praise to Anna. Do not lose her!”
Dr. & Mrs. John Graceffa
Hollis, NH

Katia Girotto

“Katia is the best tour guide we have ever had. Her knowledge of Italy is astounding and her ability to get along with the disparate members of the group impressive.”
Jean & David Forman
Carlisle, MA

Ingrid Jerebica

“Ingrid is absolutely wonderful – as a tour guide and as a person. She is very knowledgeable and has a way of sharing things that will be remembered.”
Donna & Keith Kirkendoll
Fort Worth, TX

Italy tour director Leandro Marandola
Leandro Marandola

“Leandro is the ultimate tour director, probably world champion!! Great personality, very humorous, great storyteller, great on details, very thorough and considerate.”
Eric & Joanne Sailer
Lyme Center, NH

Dania Mastacchini

“We enjoyed spending time with Dania. She was thoughtful, knowledgeable, and always positive. She has the perfect temperament for a tour leader.”
Rekha & Craig Arness
McLean, VA

Eva Matosevic

“Eva was amazing! Knowledgeable, fun, spirited, personable, always available and patient. I think she is terrific. She did everything to make the journey a fun and memorable experience for each one of us.”
Nancy Bruchbacher
Powhatan, VA


Lara Mocellin

“Lara was so kind, considerate, and helpful in every way. She was truly wonderful in every setting.”
Judy McNeer
Richmond, VA

Igor Ribic

“Igor was exceptionally cooperative, intuitive, diplomatic, knowledgeable, entertaining, and he exhibited outstanding communication and people skills. He’s a major asset to Odysseys.”
Diane Sarti
New Hope, PA

Fabrizio Ruffa

“Fabrizio was excellent. He was very knowledgeable, personable, and he attended to all of our needs. He was great.”
Catherine Botta
Springfield, PA

Anna Scrocca

“Anna is a national treasure – knowledgeable, fun, and great at ‘reading’ the group. She went above and beyond every day.”
Paul Luczak & Kathryn E. Challenger
Seattle, WA

Giulia Tamarri

“Giulia was terrific and did make our tour outstanding. The whole group just loved her and she was a big part of the quality of the tour.”
Frank & Pat Payton
Georgetown, TX

Mara Tiburzi

“Mara was above excellent! Her personality, sincerity and knowledge were wonderful.”
Suzy Riggins & Tommy Acken
Cape Coral, FL

Mauro Tonelli

“Mauro was amazing! He was always very professional, but also very personable. Enjoyed his singing on the bus and incredible knowledge about everything Italian.”
Melinda Parker
Crestview, FL

Destination Insight
Suggested Reading for Your Vacation

Beppe Severgnini
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.

Alice Powers
Italy in Mind
A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Italy
Another gem in the Eyewitness series, this superb guide is handsome, convenient and up-to-date. Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country’s attractions.

Borch Maps
Italy Map
A convenient laminated map of Italy at a scale of 1:800,000 with excellent topographic detail, an index and large maps of Sicily and Sardinia.

Berndtson & Berndtson
Venice Map
A colorful, detailed city map of Venice, perfect for finding your way around the famously labyrinthine streets and canals.

Jeffrey Kennedy, Reid Bramblett
Eyewitness Top Ten Rome
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions.

Gillian Price
Eyewitness Top Ten Venice
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions in Venice.

Laura Morelli
Made in Italy, A Shopper’s Guide
The second edition of Morelli’s expert survey of handcrafted Italian shops and products from Murano glass to ceramics, jewelry and leather.

R.W.B. Lewis
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls “a partial biography of Florence,” beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.

Valerio Lintner
A Traveller’s History of Italy
A brief history of Italy through the 1990s – wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.

Harry Hearder
Italy, A Short History
Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present.

John Hooper
The Italians
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy – its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture – in this illuminating portrait.

Roger Crowley
City of Fortune, How Venice Ruled the Seas
Roger Crowley spins tales of three centuries of plunder and plague, imperial conquest and piracy in this riveting new history, chronicling the transformation of a tiny city of lagoon dwellers into the richest place on earth.

Ross King
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling
Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research, King’s captivating chronicle of Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tells the story of its conception and creation.

Robert Etienne
Pompeii, The Day a City Died
This indispensable pocket guide illustrates daily life in the city as revealed by its evocative frescoes, mosaics and treasures.

Peter Murray
The Art of the Renaissance
A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.

Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard
The Colosseum
This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Italian Days
Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.

Linda Bird Francke
On The Road with Francis of Assisi
Assisi wandered for 20 years, affording Newsweek editor Francke and her patient husband plenty to see and do in the piazzas, sanctuaries and chapels of Assisi, Siena, Bologna, Venice, Gubbio, Rome and other choice spots.

Jan Morris
The World of Venice
Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.

Donna Leon
Death at La Fenice
The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author’s beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated La Fenice theater.

Alberto Angela
A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome
Time travel into an ancient past through this fascinating chronicle of an imagined 24 hours in the life of a Roman patrician, when Imperial Rome is at the pinnacle of its power.

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