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Best of Italy

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Take the reins for this memorable independent vacation through the very best of Italy, which includes time in three amazing cities: Rome, Florence and Venice.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
10 days From $1,879 per person

2021 Tour code: SE-BITN-21

About the tour

Choose your adventures, savor authentic cuisine and experience some of the most amazing cities in the world on this 10-day expedition through Italy. The tour includes overnight accommodations in elegant hotels and unique guided touring along the way. On this independent vacation, much of your time in each city is spent exploring at your leisure - perfect for the traveler who enjoys meandering through cities at their own pace. Begin in Rome, with four days to immerse yourself in the rich history of the city. In addition to the remnants of ancient Rome, there are numerous museums and landmarks to explore. Moving on to Florence, follow in the footsteps of famous artists from years past as you explore. The final stop on this tour is Venice, the City of Water. This legendary "floating" city is a hub of culture, food and fantastic history. This incredible program allows you to customize your experience and to create the Italian getaway that meets your travel desires.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Rome

As you arrive in Rome today, you are treated to an included shared transfer to your centrally-located hotel. Once you are settled in, feel free to begin your explorations or to dine in one of the local eateries. Overnight Rome.

Day 2 - Tour of Ancient Rome

Take the morning at leisure in Rome. Perhaps visit the Pantheon, one of the most famous attractions in the world, or make a wish in the Trevi Fountain. You could also trek up the 135 Spanish steps or marvel at the street performers and vendors in Piazza Navona. There are cafés, pizzerias and sandwich shops all throughout the city once you have worked up an appetite.

This afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the sites of ancient Rome, including the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. An expert guide leads you through the city and provides fascinating tidbits about the immense history of Rome and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. The excursion also takes you to the Colosseum, where you enjoy skip the line entrance and step back to the time of Gladiators. During our time in the 2,000-year-old structure, your guide takes you on to the arena floor, underground and even up to the third level. Overnight Rome.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - A Taste of Rome

Enjoy a mid-morning walking tour to markets, groceries and gelaterias with tastings in the different locations as you learn about Italian food traditions. Stroll through Rome's enchanting squares and neighborhoods while tasting your way through some of the city's best offerings such as mortadella, suppli, fried artichokes, and gelato. The remainder of the day is yours to continue your explorations of Rome. Overnight Rome.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Rome at Leisure

Continue exploring the modern and historic sides of Rome today during your time at leisure. Perhaps visit one of the local museums, such as Capitoline Museums, a famed art museum; Galleria Borghese, which includes Neoclassical sculptures and stunning gardens; and Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, a museum that houses both 19th- and 20th-century works of art.

For a more structured day embark on an optional tour, perhaps to Positano and the Amalfi Coast by high-speed train, to explore the colorful seaside cities along with their beautiful architecture, quaint shops and famous beaches. You may also choose to visit the Vatican on a guided tour offering an in-depth look at the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, as well as no-wait entrance to the Vatican. Centuries of religious history, architectural treasures and some of the world's greatest works of art by visionary artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael lie within the Vatican walls. Your guide will give you an insider's view of their significance, heritage and meaning. Looking for a sweet treat? Taste your way through Rome with an Espresso and Gelato Walking Tour that presents the city's most famous coffee shops and gelaterias as well as the most famous tiramisu shop. Overnight Rome.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Florence

Soak in the beauty and history of Rome for a few more hours this morning ahead of your private transfer to Rome's train station. Your train today is bound for the artistic city of Florence - a journey that takes just under 2 hours to complete. Upon arrival in Florence, a private transfer escorts you to your centrally-located hotel. Spend the afternoon acquainting yourself with this unique city and enjoying the varied architecture and vibrant art scene. Overnight Florence.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Florence City Tour

Today's guided walking tour starts at the Central market zone, characterized by its workshops and decorative stalls. Visit the Medici Chapels and Basilica of San Lorenzo, the church of the Medici family. At the Piazza del Duomo, you can admire the Cathedral and its dome by Brunelleschi, the bell-tower by Giotto and Saint John Baptistery with its Paradise Door. Walking along the Arno River you will reach the Ponte Vecchio, the famous jewels bridge. Then we proceed to the picturesque Mercato della Paglia or Straw Market, where you will see the famous Fontana del Porcellino, Little Wild Boar Fountain. Not too far away, there is the elegant Piazza della Signoria, a great "open-air sculpture museum" dominated by the imposing Palazzo Vecchio. We stroll past the Ufizi Gallery before crossing the bridge to Pitti Palace where our tour ends.

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure; allowing you to continue uncovering the treasures of Florence. If you get hungry, the dining scene in Florence is fantastic and features an eclectic mix of mom-and-pop eateries and fine dining establishments. Overnight Florence.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Florence at Leisure

Continue your sightseeing through Florence today. If you need some inspiration for your adventures, perhaps embark on an optional tour. Venture out to Cinque Terre and spend the day exploring the Italian Riviera; take a guided Vespa tour through Florence and the Chianti countryside, or drive a spunky vintage Fiat 500 through the city and the hills of Chianti. You may elect to immerse yourself in the Tuscan culture by learning some of its celebrated food and wine traditions with a hands-on cooking class. Your options are nearly endless. Overnight Florence.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Venice

After a morning of relaxation at your hotel or in the city, a private transfer takes you to Florence's train station. Traveling by high-speed train, enjoy a 2-hour journey to the shores of the Adriatic Sea with the beautiful city of Venice as your destination. As the train arrives at the station, a private transfer awaits to take you to your hotel. As you begin your discoveries, seek out the Grand Canal, the Bridge of Sighs, the ornate Rialto Bridge or St. Mark's Square. Overnight Venice.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Venice at Leisure

The amazing city of Venice is yours to behold today as you explore independently. No trip to Venice is complete without a visit to St. Mark's Basilica, and Piazza San Marco is also a must-see. The artifacts and ornate surroundings of Doge's Palace are quite impressive, as are the works at the Museum of Glass and the Ca' Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art.

You may also wish to experience the city with an optional excursion such as a comprehensive walking tour through Venice featuring Piazza San Marco, Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo, the Great School of Charity and St. Mark's Cathedral; a Cicchetti and Wine walking tour that introduces you to the gastronomic and wine delights of Venice; or the Murano, Burano and Torcello tour, which combines cruising to these destinations with exciting excursions to places like a glass factory, a fishing village and a cathedral.

This evening, enjoy a look at the city from another perspective as you cruise through Venice on a traditional gondola. During the 30-minute ride, savor the sights and scents of the city while your guide serenades in Italian. The evening ambiance of the Grand Canal is unbelievable. Overnight Venice.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Venice

After one final breakfast, a shared transfer takes you to Venice's international airport where your Italian adventure concludes.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Superior Accommodations
Hotels are centrally-located 3.5 - 4 star properties such as Palladium Palace Hotel, Rome; Hotel Botticelli, Florence; and Hotel Firenze, Venice. Rail tickets are in 2nd Class. Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities.

Deluxe Accommodations
Hotels are centrally-located 4.5 - 5 star properties such as Marcella Royal Hotel, Rome; Hotel De La Ville, Florence; and Palace Bonvecchiati Hotel, Venice. Rail tickets are in 1st Class. Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities.

 

Please note

Most cities in Italy impose a city hotel tax, charged at the end of a hotel stay. This tax is approximately €3 - €7 per person per night (subject to change without notice). This tax cannot be pre-paid and is not part of the invoice.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

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Reviews

4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 3 reviews

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Donald C, Imperial, CA

5 stars

Submitted 08 Sep 2018

I saw and did more on this vacation than I could have ever done on my own. My travel director made my wife and I feel like VIPs. Everything was perfect, from the agent who set up the trip, to the trip itself. I have already recommended Vacations by Rail to friends.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Stanley D, Louisville, KY

5 stars

Submitted 22 Feb 2018

Rail was a great way to travel. Fast and clean!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Veronica CooperGermantown, MD

4 stars

Submitted 15 Feb 2018

Our tour guide was great. He had a good sense of humor and had a hidden treasure for us each day.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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