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What People Are Saying About Us

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
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6-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

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Mar 19
Mar 26
Oct 31*
Nov 2
Apr 6
Apr 9
Apr 16*
Apr 20
Oct 22
Oct 24*
Apr 27*
Apr 30*
May 4*, 9
Aug 29
Sep 3, 7
Sep 12
Sep 19
Sep 24*
Oct 1*, 8
Oct 10
May 28
Jun 1
Jun 4
Bos, New York$4,174$4,474$4,774$4,974
Phil, Wash, DC$4,374$4,674$4,974$5,174
Atl, Char, Chi,
Cinc, Cleve,
Detroit, Mia,
Orl, Tampa
$4,474$4,774$5,074$5,274
Dal, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoe, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$4,574$4,874$5,174$5,374

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 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Accommodations on the Amalfi Coast: Marmorata Hotel

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,995 per person; Premium Economy – $995 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

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

    Standing amongst orchards of citrus trees and floral gardens, the contemporary Hotel San Francesco overlooks the longest beachfront stretch of the Amalfi coast.  The 44-room hotel features restaurant and bar, safe deposit box, internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, and private beach.  Each air-conditioned guest room offers a private terrace and has a private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, 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 is 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, internet access, and laundry service.  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 August 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 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

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

 

Mariangela Carozzi

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

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

Catherine Cauwelier

“Cathy was outstanding! She was very personable and in tune with individual needs and wants. At each city she had excellent ideas and arrangements for our free time.”
Susan Harker
Lawrence, KS

Elizabeth Cirio

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

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

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

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

Mara Tiburzi

“Mara was above excellent! Her personality, sincerity and knowledge were wonderful.”
Suzy Riggins & Tim 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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