Ultimate Italy - Insight Vacations

Ultimate Italy (Luxury Gold - Summer 2017)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Italy

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A secret ingredient. An entrance open only to the privileged few. The perfect time and place to take in each authentically Italian scene from the Vatican City to the Island of Capri. Thanks to local expertise that few can match, Insight brings the secrets of Italy together to create a truly remarkable experience with our Ultimate Italy itinerary. Make the most of your out-of-hours access and be among the first to gaze upon the intricacies of the Sistine Chapel. Unlock the mysteries of exceptional Italian cuisine. Uncover the delights of Cinque Terre. See Italy as few have ever seen it before with the exceptional value, convenience and attention to detail of a Luxury Gold vacation from Insight.

• Enjoy exclusive Vatican City access before it opens to the public

• Enjoy a luxurious lunch at the Michelin-starred restaurant Mammà, in Capri

• Stay on the Isle of Capri at the renowned Capri Palace Hotel

• Learn the secrets of Italian cuisine from a master chef in our exclusive Tuscan cooking demonstration

• Explore the magnificence of Venice on a once in a lifetime private evening tour of the Doge's Palace.


  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Rome

    You will be met on arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport and transferred to your elegant 5-star hotel, facing the famous Piazza Barberini. At 18:00, meet your Travelling Concierge for a short stroll to the Trevi Fountain, enjoying the romance of the Eternal City as night falls, before an evening of authentic food and wine.

  2. Day 2

    Rome and the Vatican in style

    In the ultimate VIP experience, enter the Sistine Chapel for a private tour with a Local Expert before it is open to the public and view its majestic treasures without the crowds. Our fast-tracked entry into the Vatican Museums ensures maximum enjoyment of the priceless Papal art collection. After contemplating Michelangelo's frescoed ceiling, continue into St. Peter's Basilica, before visiting the Colosseum where the gladiators prepared for battle.

  3. Day 3

    Pompeii and The Isle of Capri

    Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. Explore ancient shops and patrician villas with a Local Expert. Next, board your hydrofoil bound for the sun-drenched Isle of Capri. Transfer to open-top taxis and ride up to your exclusive hotel in style. Once the day-trippers have returned to the mainland, you will be offered a selection of discerning restaurants to choose from on your Dine-Around evening.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Explore the Isle of Dreams

    (Relaxed Start) Relax on-board a cruise around the island. See the white grotto and spectacular cliffs, before ascending to Capri town by funicular. Cool off with a refreshing lemon granita, then walk with your Local Expert to the gardens of Caesar Augustus to view the Faraglioni Rocks. Lunch will be served at Mammà - a Michelin-starred restaurant.

  5. Day 5

    Into the Green Hills of Umbria to Assisi and Perugia

    After returning to the mainland, follow the Highway-of-the-Sun north to the winding, cobbled streets of Assisi for a guided visit inside the imposing Basilica of St. Francis. Move on to the Umbrian capital of Perugia. Ascend from the lower town, through the maze of medieval streets, to your 5-star deluxe hotel. This afternoon meet your Local Expert and walk along Perugia's Corso Vannucci to the main square, before spending the evening at your leisure.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    San Gimignano and Tuscany

    (Relaxed Start) This morning you are visiting a workshop to see how the art of hand-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations. Continue to hilltop San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers. Ascend serpentine alleyways to taste the award-winning gelato of Sergio Dondoli. Journey on through the vines, olive groves and cypresses of the Chianti hills for a delicious exploration of the regional wines.

  7. Day 7

    Renaissance Florence

    Meet an art historian for an insider's guide to Florence. Admire Michelangelo's original ‘Statue of David' in the Academy Museum before strolling to the cathedral, ‘Gates of Paradise' and open-air gallery in Signoria Square. The afternoon is free to enjoy Florence at your own pace before a delicious dinner with wine in delightful Barberino Di Mugello.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Tuscan Cooking Class and Pisa

    (Relaxed Start) Join a qualified chef to experience authentic Italian cooking at a hands-on culinary master class with lunch. In the afternoon, head to Pisa and view the splendid Duomo, baptistery and of course, the gravity-defying bell tower!

  9. Day 9

    Exploring The Cinque Terre and The Italian Riviera

    Journey northwest, towards the Mediterranean, and continue along the coast to the Cinque Terre. Join a Local Expert in the picturesque fishing village of Manarola. Then cruise along the rugged coast to explore Monterosso's medieval quarter and popular sandy beach. After free time for lunch, board the train bound for the resort of Rapallo. Your prestigious hotel overlooks the Portofino Promontory.

  10. Day 10

    Magnificent Venice and the Doge's Palace

    Cross the fertile Po Valley to Verona, home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. Stroll past the well-preserved Roman Arena and through a maze of elegant squares to stand beneath the balcony said to have belonged to the Capulet family. Head on to Venice and to your exclusive 5-star luxury hotel. In the evening, you are invited to an out of hours private visit of the magnificent Doge's Palace. As all crowds disappear, discover the history, art and culture of the Venetian Republic.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’

    (Relaxed Start) A Local Expert will introduce you to the joys of Venice. Admire St. Mark's Basilica and see the Bridge of Sighs. Witness the age-old skill of glassblowing at an arts centre. Later, take your seat in a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals. In the evening, cruise to the idyllic fisherman's island of Burano for a celebratory dinner.

  12. Day 12

    Arrivederci Venice

    Your Luxury Gold journey will come to an end after breakfast with a private boat transfer to Venice Airport for your onward flight.

Highlights

 

EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS

  • Rome: In the ultimate VIP experience, enter the Sistine Chapel for a private tour, with a Local Expert, before it is open to the public. Our fast-tracked entry into the Vatican Museums ensures maximum enjoyment of the priceless Papal art collection.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
  • Isle of Capri: Relax aboard a cruise around this magical island.
  • Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe with a Local Expert.
  • Perugia: Visit a workshop to see how the art of hand-weaving textiles has been passed down through the generations.
  • San Gimignano: Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan ice-cream parlour of World Champion gelato Maestro, Sergio Dondoli for a taste of his finest frozen treats.
  • Florence: An insider's guide with an art historian, admire Michelangelo's masterpiece, the 17ft marble statue of David in the Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Cinque Terre: Cruise along the rugged coast of the Cinque Terre to explore Monterosso's medieval quarter and popular sandy beach.
  • Venice: Discover the secrets of the Venetian Republic on a private evening tour of the Doge's Palace.
  • Venice: Take your seats in a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic Venetian canals.

Additional Included Highlights

  • Rome: Visit St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's ‘Pietà'.
  • Isle of Capri: Walk to Augustus' Gardens for views of the Faraglioni Rocks. Descend from Capri town by funicular.
  • Perugia: A Local Expert will show you the Great Fountain, Collegio del Cambio and splendid Prior's Palace.
  • Florence: See the cathedral, Giotto's bell tower, ‘Gates of Paradise', and open-air gallery of Signoria Square.
  • Venice: See St. Mark's Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs.

EPICUREAN DINING

  • Isle of Capri: For your dining pleasure, you will be offered a selection of discerning restaurants to choose from on your Dine-Around evening.
  • Isle of Capri: Savour a delicious lunch at Mammà, a Michelin-starred restaurant, in a beautiful Mediterranean setting.
  • Florence: Dine out in delightful Barberino di Mugello, at a family-run restaurant where ‘nonna' makes delicious desserts! Enjoy a four-course menu with wine that pays homage to Tuscany's most famous flavours.
  • Tuscany: Join a qualified chef to experience authentic Italian cooking at a hands-on culinary masterclass with lunch.
  • Burano: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine on this picturesque island.
  • 11 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Dine-Around Evening (DA), 1 Michelin Highlight Lunch (HL), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD), 1 Highlight Lunch (HL), 2 three-course table d’hôte Dinners (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

OUTSTANDING HOTELS

  • Isle of Capri: The 5-star luxury boutique hotel Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, is furnished with elegance inspired by the Mediterranean.
  • Tuscany: A short drive from Florence, the luxury Villa Le Maschere is a grand, late Renaissance country house, built in the 16th century.
  • Venice: The Bauer Palazzo is divinely located on the Grand Canal just off St Mark's Square and offers spacious and elegant guest rooms.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • Be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40-seat coach, with extended leg room and an on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery to inside your door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Airport transfers to and from your hotel are included.

Accommodation

 

Hotel Bernini Bristol Rome

Rome (Central) - Italy

Complimentary Wifi

Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome

Bellevue Cortina D Ampezzo

Cortina D'Ampezzo (Central) - Italy

Complimentary Wifi

Capri Palace Hotel and Spa

Capri (Scenic) - Italy

Complimentary Wifi

Capri Palace Hotel and Spa

Hotel Brufani Palace Perugia

Perugia (Central) - Italy

Complimentary Wifi

Brufani Palace, Perugia

Villa le Maschere Barberino Di Mugello

Barberino Di Mugello (Scenic) - Italy

Complimentary Wifi

Villa le Maschere, Barberino Di Mugello

Grand Hotel Bristol Rapallo

Rapallo (Scenic) - Italy

Signature HotelComplimentary Wifi

Grand Hotel Bristol, Rapallo

Bauer Palazzo Venice

Venice (Scenic) - Italy

Complimentary WifiSignature Hotel

Bauer Palazzo, Venice

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  • 5 out of 5

    ULTIMATE ITALY

    5/28/2017 Lily Hara, Fountain Valley, United States

    Our trip was wonderful, amazing, educational, informative, comfortable and pampered. Our Tour Director, Vincenzo, was so kind and patient. He always made sure we knew who, what, when, and where. Our driver, Alessandro, was an excellent driver. We had the most smooth and safe drive, all through Italy. The bus was kept very clean, inside and outside. We can not thank them enough for this memorable adventure.

    42 out of 42 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Ciao baby

    5/27/2017 Karen Claypool, Carleton, United States

    The tour was amazing as was our guide and driver. Can't say enough about the accommodations and places we visited, felt very pampered. Recommending to our friends!!

    26 out of 26 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Trip of a lifetime

    5/25/2017 Lynn Piorkowski, Chandler, United States

    I had planned a trip to Italy several times over the last few years, but we had never gone. Didn't want to do the driving, tours didn't see all the things we wanted to see, the hotels the tour company was using had only fair ratings,not enough time spent in each town etc, etc. Then I found the luxury gold tour with Insight. It is hard to meet expectations when someone has dreamed of a trip for years, but the luxury gold trip to Italy met and exceeded my expectations. We loved each town, hotel, and most restaurants. Although at ages 68 and 78, my husband and I found the trip physically challenging at times, we went on every tour offered as we didn't want to miss anything. The little extras that our guide provided were always a pleasant surprise. Karen was informative, helpful, and always extremely pleasant. The only changes I would make to the 13 days would be a different restaurant on the first day in Rome, and to add a day in Venice. I didn't want to miss Burano or Murano, but that left very little time to explore Venice itself. Lastly, the coaches were roomy and comfortable. Hope to travel again with Insight!

    18 out of 18 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    GREAT TRIP

    5/16/2017 Richard Hara, Fountain Valley, United States

    The trip was amazing. I greatly enjoyed the tour. Vince and Alessandro were excellant. Vince made the trip with his knowledge and his friendliness. He was a wonderful person that went beyond what normal tour guides do. The different tours were very nice and it was great that we had preferential access to some venues that made it so much nicer. Thanks for everythng!

    25 out of 25 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Excellent

    5/13/2017 Cynthia Trexler, Salisbury (NC), United States

    By far the best trip I've ever taken. our tour concierge was wonderful. He was very knowledgeable and resourceful. Best trip ever due to the professionalism and care given by our tour concierge. Italy was amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Great

    4/26/2017 Myra Angelica Jiao, Quezon City, Philippines

    We have taken several European tours from Trafalgar, Insight and a competitor. They were all good but the Ultimate Italy by Insight Gold was the best, ever. I loved the 5-star accommodations, the choice of places we visited, the food and the activities included. I have been to Italy several times in the past but this trip gave me a better appreciation of the country. The history, the landscape, the food, the people, the art, the shopping... all these presented to us by Insight Gold. The visit to the Doge's palace after museum hours was such a privilege. I also appreciated the perspective from which our local expert, Anna, presented Venice. We also had a beautiful hotel in the island of Venice which gave us the opportunity to explore and appreciate the city after the tourists have left. Our tour director, Lorena Schiavon, treated us to drinks at a cafe in St. Mark's Square where a quartet played. It was magical. I loved Tuscany and the hotel but how I wish we had spent a night in Florence so we could explore the city more. We arrived the day before the start of the tour but I arranged our accommodations at the same hotel where the tour would start. However, we were not provided with free airport transfers even if there were 5 of us. We also took a train to Milan from Venice and we also had to pay for our water taxi while those going to the airport had free transfers. I think they are all transfers and should be included. Our tour director was very efficient and knowledgeable. She took extra effort to give all of us a wonderful experience. The Gold tours might be more expensive than the other Insight tours. But we availed of the early-bird option which made it comparable to the price of the regular tours. However, it is worth the price difference because of the better accommodations, food and all the activities included. I will definitely recommend this tour to family and friends. And if I see an Insight Gold tour to a place we have not been to, I will not hesitate.

    9 out of 9 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Best of the Best

    9/28/2016 Raymond Wilkinson, Naples (FL), United States

    The tour professional the hotels the itinerary the food was above my expectations. Insight tours went well above to make this s wonderful and memorable time, thank you.

    6 out of 6 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Perfect Italy

    9/14/2016 Kim Dastugue, Fort Lauderdale, United States

    Had a fantastic time on my first trip with insight!! My tour guide mariangeli carroza exceeded my expectations. I proposed to my future wife on this trip and she was very helpful in making that moment one that I will never forget.

    3 out of 3 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Wonderful experience

    6/25/2016 Richard Repp, Springfield, United States

    This tour was first class. Yes we had to keep moving but insight and our tour guide Chris Beck went out of their way to make it enjoyable. We saw Italy. Insight spares no expense to make this tour the best there can be. Also graditude to our Master Driver Alberto. Not many could have traveled some of the roads we were on. At first i almost booked a cheaper tour but a Physician friend said go with Insight. I booked Insight and have not regreted it. I have been telling everyone Insight is the way to tour. Thanks Insight, Chris Beck and Alberto for a truely wonderful tour of Italy.

    30 out of 31 people found this comment useful

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