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What People Are Saying About Us

I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL

We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

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

Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.

Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX

Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.

Jean Hall
Prairie Village, KS

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

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.

Patricia Joyce
Peoria, AZ

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.

Jane & Ronald Decker
Chicago, IL

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

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.

Barry & Bobbi Rosner
Somerset, NJ

I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.

Donna Stevenson
Dublin, OH

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

I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.

Lynn Bafaloukos
Glendale, AZ

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

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH
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Six-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

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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 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. 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). Here we enjoy a brief tour of the region’s largest town then have lunch on our own. Next we ascend to mountaintop Ravello, with its spectacular gardens and coastal views. 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. 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. 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 This morning we tour the heart of ancient Rome: 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. 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. 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 simple cooking demonstration followed by dinner at Zeppelin Restaurant. 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. The remainder of the day is at leisure. B

Day 10: Orvieto/Assisi Today’s excursion is to Assisi, considered a gem of an Umbrian town with inviting plazas, abundant flowers, buildings of white marble, and a pervasive medieval air. We visit St. Clare Church and the renowned Basilica di San Francesco, the burial place of St. Francis and a sacred pilgrimage site. Inside are Giotto’s priceless frescoes, The Life of St. Francis. There’s time on our own to stroll the fountain-splashed piazzas and to enjoy lo­cal specialties for lunch. We also visit Deruta, known for its 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

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 before returning mid-afternoon 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, which, along with its lagoon, is a UNESCO site. We arrive early this afternoon; the remainder of the day is free to explore this wondrous city on our own. B

Day 15: Venice This morning we take a guided walk through vast St. Mark’s Square and surround­ings. Our afternoon is free to explore Venice independently; tonight we bid “arrivederci” to Italy and our fellow travelers at a farewell dinner. 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)
Tour Dates & Prices

2020 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Mar 17
Mar 24
Oct 29
Oct 31
Nov 3
Apr 7
Apr 11
Apr 14*
Apr 18*
Apr 21*
Oct 20*
Oct 22*
Apr 28
Apr 30
May 4, 5*
May 11
Sep 1, 8
Sep 10, 12
Sep 15, 19*
Sep 21, 26*
Sep 28*
Oct 1*, 6*
Oct 12*
May 19*
May 23*
May 30
Jun 6
New York$4,274$4,574$4,874$5,074
Boston, Phil, Wash, DC$4,474$4,774$5,074$5,274
Atl, Char, Chi,
Cinc, Cleve,
Detroit, Mia,
Orl, Tampa
$4,574$4,874$5,174$5,374
Dal, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoe, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$4,674$4,974$5,274$5,474

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 $479, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,095. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2020 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Accommodations: *Marmorata Hotel (Amalfi Coast)

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

A visa is not required for this tour

Accommodations
    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.

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

    A well-located hotel just a two-minute walk from the Via Veneto, the 110-room Empire Palace is an actual palace, built in 1870 and completely refurbished and converted to a hotel that offers a restaurant and bar, fitness center, Internet access, and laundry service and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned rooms feature private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone. Please note that because of the unique nature of this hotel, room sizes vary.

    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.

Extension not available on May 4 & 5 departures.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Enrica Angeli

“Enrica was not only organized, she was caring and had a great sense of humor. She could not have been better. Excellent!”
James & Paula Fletcher
Prairieville, LA

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

 

Mariangela Carozzi

“We loved Mariangela! She was funny, very knowledgeable, easy to talk to, very concerned about each of us. She’s a gem.”
Mary Kay Alfaro
Aptos, CA

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

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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