SEE ITALY LIKE NO ONE ELSE. The Real Italy Unseen by the throngs of tourists from cruise ships & big buses.
Renowned Travel Expert Arthur Frommer says of Story Land & Sea by QueensLander small group tours, "It's the perfect way to see Italy." Dear friend and fellow traveler: I would like to extend my personal invitation for you to see the Real Italy, unlike most tourists who only visit for a day. Join me on the trip of a lifetime, and one you won’t soon forget. Italy is a place that, once you’ve been, it never quite leaves you. It becomes a part of your very being, always there, whispering to you like a long-lost friend, wanting you to stop in for a visit, if just for a short while.
And if you’ve never been, then you only have to imagine what it’s like to see places such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Duomo of
Florence, or to walk the steps of Saint Frances in Assisi, or experience the water-filled canals of Venice. These will
awaken inside of you the part that longs to see and experience a place where history is so alive it speaks to you from every piazza, every church, and even the very stones beneath your feet.
Frances Mayes in Under the Tuscan Sun once said, “…most trips have an underlying quest. We’re looking for something. What? Fun, escape, adventure-but then what?” Everyone travels for different reasons, but my question for you would be what are you looking for? And, no matter what the answer to that may be, I can guarantee one thing-this trip can be life changing. To experience another culture, to open your eyes to another part of the world, to step in another’s shoes, if even for a few days, it changes you, even if only a little. Remember Robert Browning’s quote? “Open my heart and you will see, ‘graved inside of it, Italy.” Come, if you dare, and you may just leave with a little bit of Italy etched on your soul as well. I do look forward to traveling with you to Italy. Please drop me a line with any question you might have!
Sincerely, Mark Story Program Director, Story Land & Sea® Tours Host of Mark Story World Adventures
Itinerary of the Great Cities A Hand-Crafted Immersion into Italy True Small-Group® Touring, Off-the-Beaten-Path 10 Days, 9 Days Land, 8 Nights
Discovering the essence of Italy can be challenging ~ we've taken the work out of it and kept all the pleasure ~ Italy’s Great Cities Tour features regional cuisine and wine in the setting of order-asyou-like dining experiences at unique venues (not the hotel buffets for dinner!).
Enjoy Venice, Florence, & Rome with Tuscany. Includes San Gimignano, Cortona & Assisi
Italy Bound TransAtlantic Flight Today, you will depart your home airport on your Trans-Atlantic flight bound for Venice, Italy. Your flight is not included. Please Note: "Day 1" is the published tour date and is the date you will arrange your air travel. Your small group tour commences on itinerary Day 2 upon arrival into Venice.
WE CAN DO YOUR AIR:
We can arrange your air travel from our air service team. Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination (Venice) on time regardless of whether Story Land & Sea® has arranged your air. You will fly into Venice VCE airport. At the end of the Great Cities Tour you should set your flight to return from Rome. Or if you are extending to the Amalfi Coast, then you should set your flight to return from Naples .
Welcome to Venice! City: Venezia | Region: Veneto Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go. — Truman Capote Included Dining: Welcome Dinner
Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Unique Perspective Experience
The Magic of
WELCOME TO ITALY'S GREAT CITIES TOUR One of Story Land & Sea®'s most popular True Small-Group Italy tour vacations commences at 3:00PM at our Deluxe hotel in Venice. Located seconds away from Piazza San Marco, known to us as San Marco Square, is our deluxe hotel where your Tour Captain meets you for the included Venice Orientation Tour. INCLUDED ORIENTATION WALKING TOUR At 3:00 pm, join your Tour Captain for an Orientation Walk on your arrival day in Venice, near the high-end shops and boutiques where our hotels are located, into Piazza San Marco (known as St. Mark's Square). Your Tour Captain will describe the setting for an included visit to Basilica San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica). You will learn about some of the history and notoriety of St. Mark's. Your Orientation Walk will also point out the major landmarks and the lay of the land in relation to our hotel. We'll introduce you to the best ATM machines for Euro and currency exchange rates, and other helpful information for your stay in romantic Venice. Hey, where's Harry's Bar? I'm ready for my Bellini! INCLUDED ADMISSION on your Orientation Walk with the Tour Captain includes:
Basilica San Marco ~ Enjoy the beautiful mosaics and how they reflect and dance in the light. Your Tour Captain "paints the picture" of the history and opulence that is the Basilica San Marco prior to entering. Once inside, enjoy 'silence' as you observe its beauty encased in Byzantine architecture. Orientation Walk ~ Learn about the surroundings on San Marco as your Tour Captain walks you into San Marco Square and highlights key features.
Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Light
A Story Exclusive: Tonight, join in a Story Land & Sea速 original experience with our reception & welcome from the Tour Captain from one of our classic perspectives: a unique vantage point to survey Venice in the company of your fellow travelers. Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Italy is underway! After our reception, we'll walk to our Welcome Dinner in Venice. INCLUDED VENICE WELCOME DINNER TONIGHT: The Story Land & Sea速 Way of Dining debuts as you join your Tour Captain for the Welcome Dinner in Venice. Experience what can only be described as a night of the best cuisine and vino from the region of Veneto. About The Story Land & Sea速 Way of Dining Our approach to dining is truly unique: Our favorites dishes represent the region we're traveling through. We call this, parla come mangia or 'speak the language of your food.' From our unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants we visit for each included dinner to the variety of hand-crafted dishes, it's truly an immersion into authentic Italian food and wine. No buffets here. Your Tour Captain is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly, and will help you interpret any menu item. For the 5 total included dinners, your Tour Captain will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your vino for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region you're traveling ~ and yes, "the wine flows." It's an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience. LODGING IN THE HEART OF THE CITY: There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story Land & Sea速's Heart of City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages. ACCOMMODATION Deluxe: Our 4- and 5-Star Deluxe hotels include Saturnia & International, 2 Nights Classic Budget: Our Superior Tourist hotels include Hotel do Pozzi, Hotel Kette, 2 Nights. Story Guarantee: Should our hotels not be available we will lodge you in comparable properties in both quality and location.
Ah, Venice! (Venezia) Welcome to Venice, Italy ~ Grand Canal, Giudecca Canal, St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace, the Prison, and the Bridge of Sighs Optional Dinner: You may opt to join your Tour Captain tonight for dinner (departs from lobby usually about 7:45pm) or opt to explore on your own throughout Venice. Included: Gondola with our own Musicians AH! VENICE! Yes, it's the magical city on the water, and you're invited to explore. Start your morning sightseeing in style as your Tour Captain and our local Guide escort you throughout Venice. We tour by walking with our professional local guide through Piazza San Marco (known as St. Mark's Square), the Doge's Palace, the Old Prison, the famous Bridge of Sighs, and explore the Grand Canal over to Murano. WE WALK ON OUR TOURS: THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE ITALY We do walk on our small group tours of Italy. We walk a lot, so get ready for exploring the cities of Italy. Our pace is unhurried. You must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs, hills, and cobblestones that make up Italy. ROMANTIC VENICE The romance of Venice is apparent every step of the way, from the fine Venetian glass in the traditional style to the classic gondola ride. Enjoy our boat ride on our authentic Venetian-style motorboat through the canals and the Grand Canal of Venice.
The Magic of Wandering Through Venice ~ discover your "lost adventure" in this romantic city! The afternoon on San Marco is at leisure: discover the magic of the canals and myriad sidewalks as you explore, and delightfully get "lost" in the city of Venice. VENETIAN GONDOLA RIDE WITH PRIVATE MUSICIAN SERENADE Before the optional dinner tonight, you will enjoy our included Gondola ride through the canals of Venice with professional musicians. On occasion, inclement weather will prevent the gondola ride. In this scenario, an alternate activity will be substituted later in the tour. Your Story Land & Sea®'s Gondola experience includes our private musicians to serenade you. INCLUDED EXCURSIONS Sightseeing Immersion Tour With Our Local Expert Guide ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING TO:
Special Access: Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Doge's Palace ~ Duke or Governor's Palace - seat of the Republic of Venice's historic power. The Bridge of Sighs ~ The bridge made famous for its window and last view of blue sky and freedom as prisoners are marched to their sentence ~ watch your head! The Prisons of Venice ~ Found inside the Doge's Palace, are the older and new prisons. The most famous guest being one Giacomo Casanova, who ended up in prison after a long series of crimes and was the protagonist of the most famous and fantastical of escapes: Casanova climbed onto the prison roof and managed to slide down a drain pipe, and then slip inside the Palace and persuade someone to open the door so he could then escape calmly on a gondola. Not, according to legend, without first allowing himself the joy of a coffee in the Piazza San Marco. The New Prisons were found beyond the Palazzo river, and these were accessed across the famous Bridge of Sighs.
Tour of Piazza San Marco & our "Secret Treasures of Venice" ~ Learn about the Clock Tower, Campanile Tower, Caffe Florian, Napoleon, and the Winged Lion. Private Boat Ride to visit the Island of Murano: View the palaces, churches and edifices that create the backdrop that is Venice, including Rialto Bridge, Ca d'Oro (Palazzo Santa Sofia), and hear and see where the legends of Casanova, Marco Polo, and other infamous Venetians dwelled ~ all from the comfort of our boat as we venture across the lagoon to Murano. This is the home of New Murano Gallery and a family who has been in the business of glass-blowing for many years. Enjoy a demonstration and time to enjoy the stunning fruit of their labor in the gallery. Yes, you may purchase glass, but this is not required or the intent of our visit. Enjoy included admission/entrance to Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, at your leisure.
Florence On To Firenze We embark on the Eurostar Fast Train from Venice to Florence, city of the Renaissance. City: Firenze | Province: Provincia di Firenze | Region: Toscana Included Dining: Today, enjoy our included Hot Breakfast. Tonight, enjoy our included Welcome Dinner in Florence. WAKE TO VENICE: Ciao Venezia! This morning, enjoy a leisurely start with breakfast and then meet your Tour Captain for our included boat transfer, as we make our way to the Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station for our included, First-Class Tickets on the Eurostar Fast Train to Florence. We zip through the Italian countryside and arrive Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station. WELCOME TO FLORENCE We de-board the train for our short walk to our hotels in the very heart of Florence. INCLUDED WELCOME ORIENTATION WALKABOUT: Join your Tour Captain for a Welcome Orientation Walk on your arrival day in Florence, along cobblestone streets in the very heart of Florence, as you become familiar with the location around our hotel. Enjoy entrance to Orsanmichele church and the church of Via Santa Margherita, which was the parish of many Florentine families, such as Cerchi, Donati, Adimari, and Portinari.
Hey! Is that the Arno River? Did you know in 1966 a massive flood devastated Florence? Americans and other international workers came to the rescue and provided much-needed assistance in rescuing and salvaging much of the treasured art and sculptures in Florence. They became known as the angeli del fango or, "mud angels." Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace: Volume: Light INCLUDED REGIONAL WINES WITH DINNER TONIGHT ~ Tonight included dining at a delightful restaurant we're trying to keep a secret! It's fully authentic Tuscan cuisine. Florence welcomes us with a variety of regional culinary tastes, beverages, and ample portions of fine local wines from Toscana and Chianti. Free-choice dining means you select what you'd like from the menu ~ the Tour Captain is available to help you interpret the menu. Your Tour Captain Host will provide the appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your vino for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region. ACCOMMODATION IN THE HEART OF THE CITY Deluxe: Hotel L'Orologio, Santa Maria Novella or Similar, 2 Nights Classic Budget: Our Superior Tourist hotels include Hotel Rosso 23 or Similar, 2 Nights ABOUT OUR DELUXE HOTELS IN FLORENCE We have selected hotels that are truly authentic Italiano and perfectly located in the heart of Old Florence. We have selected some of the most prestigious hotels of the city, reflecting a history rich with importance and service. The hotels have been refined and feature elegant rooms. Many celebrities and heads of state from all over the world have chosen these properties as their Florentine residences (not just for their wonderful locations, but also for their superb service). The decor and furniture of our properties have been beautifully chosen, and the ambiance really does reflect Florentine aristocracy in its most elegant period. "This was an amazing hotel - top of the line. Breathtaking and modern, but still gave you the feeling of being in Italy. Breakfast amazing and loved the bathroom."
Florence & Renaissance Immerse yourself in all things Florence
Included Story Land & Sea® Way Dining: Eating from the Land in Florence. Tonight for dinner you may explore on your own, however, the Tour Captain will invite you to join them at a special restaurant that is close to their heart. Have you had your Florentine Steak yet? Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Unique Perspective Experience Today join your Tour Captain and our local guide on a specially guided tour of the city of Florence, complete with our Special Access sightseeing immersion. Florence boasts a variety of fine sights to see, including Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistry's Bronze "Gates of Paradise," Giotto's Bell Tower, Signoria Square, and the Galleria dell'Accademia, where Michelangelo's David is housed. GUIDED SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION THROUGH FLORENCE We take our time walking through the Piazza della Reppublica, the famous Piazza Signoria with her old palace, Palazzo Vecchio, and make our way through the portico of the Uffizi complex before arriving at the Arno River and a visit to the "old bridge," Ponte Vecchio. This was the only bridge in Florence to survive the World War II bombing raids. A great morning sightseeing immersion allows you to enjoy the afternoon for sightseeing on your own. Perhaps leather is on your shopping list? Or are you ready to try an optional culinary experience and see if Chef is a title in your future? We highly recommend the Uffizi Gallery if you want to dig deeper into the vast riches of Florence's art heritage. We can arrange admission tickets, transportation, and private guides for you in advance.
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INCLUDED EXCURSIONS SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION TOUR WITH OUR LOCAL GUIDE ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING to: Special Access: Skip-the-Line and see Michelangelo's David in the Academy Gallery. Galleria dell'Accademia ~ The first art school of Europe. Entry to Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore ~ The "Duomo" and Giotto's Bell Tower See the magnificent Gates of Paradise on the Baptistery ~ So called by Michelangelo, our guide will comment on the impressive doors to the Baptistery created by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Until the 19th century, most Catholic Florentines were baptized here. Giotto's Campanile ~ we also enjoy the perspective from ground level of the towering Campanile. Entrance and tour of Orsanmichele ~ This church was originally built as a grain market in 1337 by Francesco Talenti, Neri di Fioravante, and Benci di Cione. Then converted into a church between 1380 and 1404. Sightseeing walking tour of Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza della Signoria, and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), the only bridge to survive World War II Bombing. This afternoon explore Florence on your own. Consider a visit to the Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) or just explore at your leisure. This Basilica is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie). If visiting on Sunday, entrance to the Duomo and Santa Croce will be after 1:30pm. Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace: Volume: Light Story Land & Sea速 Way Dining: Eating from the Land in Florence. Tonight for dinner explore on your own, or join the Tour Captain who will invite you to a special restaurant that is close to their heart. Have you had your Florentine Steak yet? Or your Chocolate Boar? Florence is the place to do it! Join the Tour Captain in the lobby for another wonderful dining experience (optional).).
Tuscany Under the Tuscan Sun ~ "What's Your Name? Marcello. Of course it is!"
Included Dining: Welcome dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Cortona. Exclusive: Winery Estate Experience Delightful San Gimignano and Castello della Paneretta in the heart of beautiful Tuscany continue the Magical Discovery. Then to Cortona. Cities: San Gimignano, Cortona (lodging) Region: Toscana UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN This morning we leave the cities and delve deep into the heart of Tuscany. Our first stop is the hilltop village of San Gimignano. One of San Gimignano's most impressive sights is the medieval skyline made up of 13 remaining towers dating back from the 11th century. San Gimignano rises on a hill dominating the Elsa Valley. The town increased in wealth and developed greatly during the Middle Ages thanks to the "Via Francigena", the trading and pilgrim's route that crossed it. Once in San Gimignano, we enjoy free time to explore the city of towers. San Gimignano also has several distractions for shopping - so dig in and enjoy! HERE'S A TOAST TO YOU! We'll toast our arrival into the countryside of Tuscany with our first taste of Vernaccia ~ a white wine that hails from San Gimignano ~ and continue to dazzle our palates as we journey. CHIANTI CLASSICO REGION Story Land & Sea速 Exclusive: In depth Visit to our Winery estate ~ Wine estate in the heart of Tuscany welcomes and delights.
From San Gimignano we're off to our winery estate for a tour of the production facilities and cellars, followed by a delightful wine-tasting paired with perfect morsels for lunch. SUPER TUSCAN Our lunch features palate-pleasing appetizers, including pecorino cheese, bruschetta, and other delights. Where else to experience lunch but in the beautiful banquet hall. You'll get your fill of classic Chianti and Super Tuscan vino along with delicate cuisine. The estate is situated in the Chianti Classico area on the western slopes of the dominating hills of the Elsa valley, looking towards San Gimignano. It was built around an ancient sighting tower. This place was an important suburb and fortress of this area. So the sighting tower becomes bigger and reaches its importance. The first owners of the castle were the family Vettori, the last heir, Maddalena, brought it as dowry to her wedding with Ludovico Capponi in 1577. The couple restored the estate completely and commissioned Bernardino Poccetti, important master painter, to fresco the loggia of the court. In this era, the estate became a place of passing by for painters and poets. One of those, Gerolamo Muzio, dedicated a poem to the castle and remained there until his death. Also the production of wine is documented from 1596 on. In 1696, Cassandra Capponi brought to the castle an important collection of codex's, parchments and books, the product of her marriage to the Marchese Carlo Riccardi Strozzi. This collection formed the nucleus of the Riccardian library in Florence. The Strozzi family remained owner of the castle until 1984. In this year, the family Albisetti took over. With its 763+ acres (majority wood), the estate is one of the biggest farms of the area, producing over 23,000 gallons of wine from just over 54 acres of vineyards. Occasionally, we will use one of our many other incredible wineries that are equally impressive both in ambiance and wine variety and quality.
Under Tuscany’s Sun INCLUDED EXCURSIONS SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION AND EXCLUSIVE WINERY VISIT ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING to:
Sightseeing and free time in the Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano
Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Admission, Tour and Wine Tasting at our Estate ~ located in the heart of Tuscany ~ Beautiful Property with stunning views, delicious varietals paired with sumptuous delicacies. You won't want to leave.
Tuscany's Wine Road: Winding through the Tuscan hills, the wine road offer views with remarkable beauty, characterized by vineyards, wine cellars, distant rolling landscapes, and villages up in the hills.
Walking Level: Light to Moderate, Leisurely Pace, Volume: Moderate ON TO CORTONA & OUR VILLA HOTEL Mid to late-afternoon we enjoy a leisurely drive to the delightful hill town of Cortona for our third night in the heart of Tuscany. An absolutely beautiful town awaits us, and an equally authentic welcome dinner is included. We arrive our villa hotel, and the Tour Captain checks you in to your room. Time to freshen up before meeting in the lobby tonight for a short walk to dinner at Paola & Franco's, or another of our favorite restaurants in Cortona. "A 'wow' moment was waking up in Cortona, opening the window to the morning sun just starting to burn the clouds off the valley floor below. The light was exquisite, the landscape revealing itself slowly, a picture perfect postcard vision of Tuscany." INCLUDED DINING: Story Land & Sea® Way Dinner Tonight: Join your Tour Captain for a special welcome dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Cortona. It is truly a treasured find, where the cuisine and wine delight in the magical ambiance of this delightful hill town.
OH THE CHAOS & THE ECSTASY OF SLOW DINING IN TUSCANY Tonight, we soak up an authentic Italian dinner, hand-crafted by the owners in the setting of a small Tuscan ristorante. There's nothing prepared in advance here, and that's just how we like it! The ensuing chaos and ritual merge together here to create none other than the magic of Italy! Remember, dinners in Italy usually don't begin until around 9pm. Our dinner experience will begin slightly earlier, but we'll try to blend in as much as possible. Long, drawn-out dinners, where you visit and share the stories of the day, is the culture throughout Italy. Remember, slowing down and enjoying the journey is the goal. Cortona is a place we never want to leave. Sit back, breathe deeply, relax, and soak in all that is Tuscany. ACCOMMODATION IN THE HEART OF THE CITY Deluxe: Hotel San Michele, Villa Marsili or Similar Classic Budget: Hotel Italia or Similar Hotel San Michele, Villa Marsili, and Hotel Italia are situated inside the town walls of Cortona, which dates back as far as the 14th century.
Cortona, Assisi in Umbria CORTONA in Arrezo, ASSISI IN UMBRIA City: Assisi | Province: Perugia | Region: Umbria
Included Dining: Breakfast, Welcome Dinner After breakfast, enjoy a free morning in delightful Cortona. Cortona is a small but fascinating hill town in the province of Arrezo, Tuscany. It is situated on a commanding hill that overlooks Lake Trasimeno, known for the infamous rout of the Romans by Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Its cyclopean walls, still preserved in great part, are said to be 3000 years old. It was one of the twelve cities of Etruria, and is our host this morning as we observe Italian life in Tuscany. Soak in the morning: enjoy a walk through the vineyards, or a hike up to the castle, or a leisurely stroll through the piazza and streets. ASSISI & SAINT FRANCIS We will board our vehicle and depart mid-day for the town of Assisi in the province of Perugia. We begin our walking tour of Assisi at the "top" of the town, making our way down to the Basilica. Your Tour Captain provides insight into both the life of St. Francis and the town that he is associated with. This "mystical" city, where Francis lived and worked in ministry, is surrounded by ancient walls that lay on top of the green slopes of Mount Subasio. Assisi's rose-stone buildings, complemented by winding narrow streets, palaces, and balconies with blooming flowers, will hold the traveler spellbound. You will have the opportunity to visit the Basilica of St. Francis, with the masterpieces of Giotto and Cimabue (occasional closings do occur).
INCLUDED EXCURSIONS SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION AND WALKING TOUR OF ASSISI ~ Today ENJOY SIGHTSEEING to: Sightseeing and free time in the Tuscan town of Cortona this morning. Walking Tour of Assisi ~ The birthplace of Saint Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Clares. Your Tour Captain will conduct a leisurely-paced walking orientation of Assisi. Then, we'll have a short break to freshen up and maybe grab a bite before boarding our vehicle bound for Rome: Where all roads lead!
City: Rome | Province: Roma | Region: Lazio
WELCOME TO THE HEART OF ROME Upon arrival Rome, we make our way to the very center of Old Rome and check in to our hotel. The locations of our hotels in Rome are within seconds of the Pantheon. You will have time to freshen up before meeting the Tour Captain in the lobby for a short walk to our Roman Welcome Dinner. INCLUDED DINING: Story Land & Sea速 Way Dining: Join your Tour Captain for a welcome dinner in Roma. Your palate enjoys a different region as we arrive Lazio. Wine and cuisine all influenced from a long history of the Empire. ACCOMMODATION IN THE HEART OF THE CITY Deluxe: Grand Hotel de la Minerve, Rose Garden Palace Hotel, or Similar, 3 Nights Classic Budget: Hotel Romanico Palace, Hotel Abruzzi, or Similar, 3 Nights ABOUT OUR DELUXE HOTELS IN ROME The Grand Hotel de la Minerve is just minutes from Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. The deluxe Rose Garden Palace Hotel is located in the heart of Rome near the Via Veneto, Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, the elegant shops on Via Condotti, the fashionable bars on Via Veneto, the Trevi Fountain, and Tritone Fountain, baroque churches, and the masterpieces of the Borghese Gallery are at the hotel's doorstep. Both of these properties have been inspected by Mark Story, and he considers them our home in Rome.
Town of Assisi
The Empire of Rome Emperial Rome Comes to Life
â€œThere was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.â€? Included Dining: Breakfast WALKING IN THE STEPS OF THE EMPEROR After breakfast, we begin our walking tour of Rome with stops along the way to admire the unique intertwining of history and modernity in Rome. See ancient elements intertwined perfectly with present-day apartment buildings, and discover how the modern Romans have intertwined their vast history into present-day experience. We're making our way to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the town center of the Roman Empire, for our special access, in-depth touring experience, complete with admissions. We venture back in time with our walk through the archaeological dig that is the Roman Forum. We enjoy admission to the Colosseum with our Local Expert Guide. This landmark is one of the most impressive sights in all of Europe and the world. And did you know, all of Rome is a live archaeological dig? Literally, new discoveries are happening all of the time! After our world-class touring experience of Imperial Rome, the balance of the day is free.
INCLUDED EXCURSIONS SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION OF IMPERIAL ROME WITH LOCAL EXPERT GUIDE ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING to:
Admission and Guided Tour of the Colosseum: Heart of The Empire. Enjoy Skip-the-Line entrance with Story Land & Sea® with no waiting in lines.
Admission and Guided Tour of the Roman Forum ~ We walk through the archaeological dig for unique perspectives of the Old Town Center of Rome, Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Caesar's Palace, Curia or the Senate House, Temple of the Vestal Virgins, and the Triumphant Arches.
Our local guide expertly shares her knowledge of Rome through the ages: We take in all Rome has to offer from both a historical and modern perspective. Enjoy this morning trek as we witness the modernity of Rome intertwined with antiquity. We take in the Jewish Ghetto on our way to the Roman Forum.
Throughout our stay in Rome, you will visit the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) and have opportunity to visit other sites like the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), Campo di Fiore, and Piazza Navona, where mock nautical battles took place in the venue. Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Ample OPTIONAL: WHO'S UP FOR DINNER OUT IN ROME TONIGHT: Join your Tour Captain for dining out tonight in Roma at another unique restaurant, or explore Rome on your own.
Vatican City Exploring the Vatican Included Dining: Breakfast, Farewell to Rome Special Dining Experience Exclusive: Imagine the Tiber River, a Private Chef and a Night of Bliss in Rome Today we have in-depth touring of St. Peter's and the Square, with Bernini and Vatican City. City: Città del Vaticano Region: Sovereign City State Starting with a great breakfast, we begin another day exploring the majesty of Rome. TO THE CITY STATE OF VATICAN CITY Meet your Tour Captain and our local professional Private Guide in the lobby of our hotel, and board our quick transfer vehicle to Vatican City. The majestic Vatican City comes to life as we explore up close. We Skip-the-Line with our special access tour. Enjoy a visit of the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica and Square. It's an opportunity to appreciate the vast array of art, while learning of some of the history of the Vatican, all in the context of our intimate, small group of travelers. We finish our tour of the Vatican at St. Peter's Square where you see the multi-color uniformed Swiss Guard on display as they guard the Vatican. Enjoy the perspective that many only dream of from the very heart of Rome. Our driver and vehicle are positioned nearby, and await our call to return to our hotel for the balance of day at leisure. We recommend a visit to the Castel Sant'Angelo (Castle of the Angels) ~ The Mausoleum of Hadrian has served a variety of uses throughout history. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for him and his family. INCLUDED EXCURSIONS SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION OF VATICAN CITY WITH ADMISSION WITH OUR LOCAL EXPERT GUIDE ~ Today ENJOY SPECIAL ACCESS TO:
Admission and Guided Tour to St. Peter's Basilica ~ By design, we enjoy early admission around 8:15 am to avoid the large cruise and large tour groups that arrive later in the morning. SPECIAL ACCESS: Enjoy Skip-the-Line special access with Admission Included.
Admission and Guided Tour of the Sistine Chapel ~ You will find inside the chapel the very impressive, The Last Judgment, painting by Michelangelo, which he painted during the years 1535 to 1541. The work, designed on a grand scale, spans the entire wall behind the Sistine Chapel altar.
Admission and Guided Tour of the Vatican City Museums ~ The Museums boast some of the most impressive tapestries and other works of art and sculpture found in the world.
Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Ample Tonight is a special time as you join the Tour Captain for an included Farewell to Rome Dinner with your new friends! QueensLander® Exclusive: Included Farewell to Rome Dining Experience One of our favorite nights of fun and celebration, as we toast one another on a wonderful journey together. The venue and activity we have designed for you tonight, along with the music, will make for the perfect finale to your Italian vacation. It is a night of great cuisine and, of course, vino along with your new friends. Our days have been filled with new sights, tastes, and discoveries - tonight enjoy reflecting on the incredible journey we've had together!
Arrividerci Roma! Check Out or Extend Your Adventure through Italy Included Dining: Breakfast (Time Permitting)
Catch flights for the USA from Rome. Until we meet again, may your days be full of discovery and your nights full of good friends. Or are you extending to the Enchanted Amalfi Coast? Or some other exotic destination...inquire with reservations for details. *** This Chapter of Your True Small-Group速 Tour Adventure Concludes ***
May we suggest extending your vacation with 3 days and nights on the
Enchanted Amalfi Coast Extension? Inquire: 1 (877) 865-6711
ENCHANTED AMALFI COAST & SORRENTO PENINSULA Recommended: Extension Option from Rome, 4 Days, 3 Nights Stunning. Breathtaking. Awe-Inspiring.
From the “scenic drive,” (truly, it’s more than scenic!), to the included welcome dinner in the boondocks of Sorrento, (yeah, we said ‘boondocks’), every waking moment on the Coast absolutely moves the traveler and instills the desire to return from the moment you arrive. Story Land & Sea®’ s Enchanted Amalfi Coast features 3 days and nights on the cliffs of the Sorrento Peninsula, with a view of the skyline boasting Mount Vesuvius. The rugged coastline, Stunning sunny brilliance, and high mountain towns of the Amalfi Coast enchant. The Amalfi coast, where delightful white and pastel-colored houses litter the hillside, takes your breath away. View the Awe-Inspiring Vesuvius over the Bay before you step back in time with our immersion experience to Pompeii.
1 (877) 865-6711
ITINERARY OVERVIEW Day 1: Depart Rome at 8:00am bound for the coast. First stop is Pompeii (includes admission and private guide), then we enjoy free time in Naples for lunch (not included), before heading to Sorrento. Special WOW dinner experience included tonight. Day 2: Day at Leisure or opt for Isle of Capri & Amalfi Coast Drive (additional $158 per person) Day 3: Day at leisure (opt for a culinary experience - inquire for price and details). Day 4: Departure Per person, double occupancy. Excursion includes hotel 3 nights, sea view rooms based on availability, daily breakfast, transfer Rome to Sorrento, Pompeii (guide & admissions) one dinner and standard tips for driver and guide.
Italy’s Great Cities Tour Trip Information Year-Round Departures available in both Classic and Deluxe. Call for pricing and reservations. ~ All Full Breakfasts with Italian Coffee, Cappuccino, Juice, Select Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, and Pastries. ~ 5 Italian Dining “events” with regional wine and cuisine in the traditional Italian style. Dinners include bottled “la aqua naturale” (still ) and frizzante (gas-infused) water, coffee, soda, and regional wine. Welcome Dinner in Venice kicks off the tour, and Farewell Dinner in Rome caps with the perfect finale. ~ Baggage handling at hotels only, hotel taxes, hotel service charges (items of a personal nature not included). Begins at boat in Venice. ~ Story Land & Sea® Tours provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant, and Hotel Staff. Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis. As of December 9, 2013, our
recommendation is $USD8-15 per person per day. ~ All Sightseeing and Admissions described in itinerary. ~ Wireless ear buds to hear your guide clearly and distinctly in select public places on select itineraries. ~ Deluxe, air-conditioned 20 Seat micro-coaches with panoramic windows, comfortable seating, air-conditioning, and multimedia. ~ Services of English-speaking, Italian-authorized local QueensLander Certified Guides. ~ 5~ and 4~ Star Deluxe accommodation properties with private baths, non-smoking rooms.
1 (877) 865-6711 www.StoryLandSea.com
10 Days Round-Trip Air Travel Time (Air Not Included), 9 Days Land, 8 Nights Hotel Accommodations.
Extend your tour with 3 days, 3 nights on the Enchanted Amalfi Coast or other exciting destination. Inquire with reservations. Tour Begins: Venice, Italy. Airport Code: VCE. Optional Arrival Transfer is available. We will pick you up at the Venice Airport and transfer you across the Bay of Venice in our private boat.
Walking Tour: We walk a lot on this trip. This tour is designed to immerse yourself in the Italian culture and great city life and history. In order to achieve this, we walk through the cities at a leisurely, enjoyable pace. Our hotels are located in the hearts of each city, and therefore, time on motorized transfers is minimal.
Dates & Rates: Tour price is per person based on double Tour Ends: Rome, Italy. Airport Code: FCO. Optional Departure occupancy. Solo supplement applies for a private room. Triple Transfer is available. From Rome hotel to Rome Airport (FCO). occupancy is available at double occupancy/person rate.