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Italy Grand Tour from Puglia to Venice – Small Group (16 people max)

Vacation Code: RACP10D2019
16 Days and 15 Nights
20 Meals: (15 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners)

Tour Description > View Itinerary

Our Italy Grand Tour tour has been designed to suit small group travelers looking for a truly uplifting and exciting Italian tour experience. Starting out in Puglia you will explore the most famous places in the southern region located at the “Heel of Italy’s Boot”. You will then head to the Amalfi Coast to experience Italy’s most picturesque coastal region. From the fascination of the ruins in Pompeii, to the Isle of Capri and the breathtaking scenery of the Amalfi Coast you will find your emotions stirred by the Coast’s breathtaking scenes. Then you will travel to the three of the most visited cities in Italy Rome, Florence and Venice. From the Vatican City to the breathtaking artworks of Florence and on to the culture and romance of Venice. This tour will touch on every facet of this amazing country.

Our Commitment is to guarantee any departures even with 2 participants. For groups traveling with a minimum of 7 people, a tour leader will escort the group from arrival until departure. In case the number of people traveling will be less than 6, the tour will be operated by a tour host. The tour host will visit the guests daily and assist them at check-in at the hotels. The tour host will escort the guest to the restaurants when dinner is included. The tour host is available 24 hours a day by phone. The passengers are provided a travel packet with information, maps, itinerary with details, tips, and emergency toll free number.

 

Itinerary


ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Bari – Alberobello
Day 2: Bari – Alberobello – Locorotondo – Cisternino
Day 3: Ostuni – Polignano – Monopoli
Day 4: Matera – Sorrento
Day 5: Sorrento – Amalfi Coast
Day 6: Sorrento – Pompeii
Day 7: Sorrento
Day 8: Sorrento – Rome
Day 9: Rome
Day 10: Rome
Day 11 Rome – Siena – Florence
Day 12: Florence
Day13: Florence
Day 14: Florence – Venice
Day 15: Venice
Day 16: Venice


Day 1 (Friday): Bari to Alberobello



Welcome to Italy! When you arrive at the airport in Bari, you’ll collect your luggage and meet the driver for your transfer to Alberobello hotel.

Spend the rest of the day at a leisurely pace, with free time to explore. Meet with your Tour Host at the hotel in the evening (around 6:30pm) to go over your tour program and collect information and literature about the exciting destinations you will visit over the next 16 days.Overnight in Alberobello


Day 2 (Saturday): Aberobello, Locorotonto & Cisternino (Breakfast, Lunch)



After breakfast, meet your driver guide and start your exploration of Val d’Itria.

You will visit Locorotondo and Cisternino and pass along beautiful small villages, vineyards and olive trees. Locorotondo is very close to Alberobello and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Here, the town itself is the main sight. It’s a pleasant place to spend an hour or two wandering, taking photographs and sitting at cafe tables. The historic part of town – the centro storico – is circular and perched on top of a hill. It’s a whitewashed maze of little lanes lined with historic buildings, some humble and faded, others retaining rather grand baroque archways and architectural details.

The territory of Cisternino was already inhabited during the Middle Palaeolithic period by humans who reached the area from the north and the south of Puglia. These populations left numerous traces of their presence here, such as tools that they used like spears spikes, blades, scrapers and chisels to engrave bones.

Cisternino is today a small charming old town centre that has remained virtually intact for centuries with its white houses, narrow streets, little churches and elegant central piazza with a series of panoramic viewpoints from which you can appreciate the around countryside, dotted with its rolling hills, dry stone walls and Trulli roofs piercing the green fields. Cisternino is nice to visit at any time of day, though the magical moments are the summer’s evening when the sun sets and the locals come out for their evening stroll.

We will have a wine and cheese tasting followed by a farmer lunch in a beautiful Masseria, from where you will see the green of olives and the blue of the Adriatic sea. Return to Alberobello where you will have time to explore the city on your own.

Alberobello is a fascinating place to visit, above all because of the trulli, the traditional dome shaped buildings made from the local stone. The town is surrounded by the olive groves and vineyards typical of the Puglia region.Trulli is a word that derives from the Greek “tholos” (“dome”), the typical shape of the buildings. Overnight in Alberobello


Day 3 (Sunday): Ostuni, Polignano & Monopoli (Breakfast)



Today, visit Ostuni, Polignano & Monopoli.

Ostuni, perched on three hills 218 meters above sea level, is better known as the “White Town”, thanks to the characteristic whitewashed houses of its historic center, a tradition the inhabitants still keep on. The Fifteenth century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral dominates the town, with a façade sporting a 24-rays rose window of rare beauty. A series of churches and elegant houses embellish the old town, surrounded by Aragonese walls, where there are the two ancient town gates, Porta Nova and Porta San Demetrio.

The small town of Polignano enjoys a spectacular position. Placed approximately 50 miles south of Bari is erected on the edge of a rocky gorge. The town is considered one of the most ancient establishments in Puglia and was populated by serial invaders ranging from the Huns to the Normans. People come here to view the crashing waves, visit the caves and crowd out the panifici (bakery) in the atmospheric historical center.

In Monopoli you will experience the “Paese vecchio” as the locals usually call the heart of the town, where you will find an unusual concentration of cultural heritage and churches, positioned literally one next to another. You will find small and charming homes, once inhabited by heroic fishermen and expert farmers, whose children are still dedicated to producing great wines and unpassed wines.

Walking among the narrow streets ,between arches and alleys, you will feel the sea air and fragrances of freshly hanging laundry or tomato sauce cooked for hours. Overnight in Alberobello.


Day 4 (Monday): Matera-Sorrento (Breakfast)



Meet your driver and transfer to Sorrento with en route stop in Matera where you will have free time to explore the city.

Matera is an ancient city that seems to have existed forever. It is the third oldest city in the world, after Aleppo and Jericho, with over 10,000 years of history. From natural cavities carved by wind and rain of the past to the first man-made caves we can discover how easy it was to shape the limestone material of the Sassi rock. Hence real underground dwellings, in the belly of Mother Earth, which will leave you speechless. A woven structure that has intrigued experts has also discovered how it had been possible to live with the absence of running water. There is still a lot to tell about the water systems created to collect water, one of the elements that has helped to give in Matera the title of a World Heritage Site.

You can visit the most beautiful churches, starting from the Duomo on the Civita; walk through the beautiful streets and traffic-free squares, populated with people; you can enjoy the most picturesque alleys, and you will continue your visit in the heart of the two Sassi’s.

You will have free time for lunch before continuing to Sorrento, where you will arrive late afternoon. Overnight in Sorrento Coast


Day 5 (Tuesday): Sorrento – Amalfi (Breakfast)



The splendor of the Amalfi Coast is legendary, with its spectacular panoramas inspiring writers, artists, and musicians over the centuries. Considered one of Italy’s most scenic locales and lauded by the UNESCO as “an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values”, this is one part of Italy you won’t want to miss. You will see delicate fishing villages hugging the hillsides of this 50-kilometer long southern coastline, seemingly defying the forces of gravity.

The first stop in this picturesque stretch of shoreline is the town of Amalfi, where you will be given the chance to explore the medieval part of the city. Here is where you will find the magnificent Dome of St. Andrew and other prehistoric buildings that date back to when Amalfi was one of the maritime powers in the Mediterranean Sea.

You will also stop in Minori for a sweet tasting at Sal de Riso, one of the most celebrated pastry shop in Italy.

Later in the day, you will go down to Ravello, which is said to be one of the most romantic and most gorgeous small towns in southern Italy. Suspended on demanding, terraced slopes, Ravello was described by French novelist André Gide regarded the town as one that “was closer to the sky than the sea.” Covered with lush gardens as well as quiet and sleepy roads, walking around this unforgettable town will give you haunting views of the azure coast below. After your exploration, return to the hotel and spend the night in Sorrento.


Day 6 (Wednesday): Sorrento – Pompeii (Breakfast, Dinner)



Today we will visit the ancient Pompeii. Pompeii is not a time machine but the closest thing you can find to learn about everyday life in an ancient Roman city. Once a vibrant town, Pompeii’s fate was sealed with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 7.9 A.D. Today, Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the most visited archaeological sites in all the world. Pompeii was a major port town for the Roman empire, which dominated the whole Mediterranean Sea.

As a classic port, the town was filled with sailor’s hotels, bars, public baths, taverns, and brothels. The archeological site and continuous excavations give visitors the best look there is on ancient Roman days. Visit the Roman Forum; the theatre, whose acoustics are so good you don’t need microphones to be heard from the stage; the public baths with towering columns. Built-in 70 A.D., the Anfiteatro is the oldest-known Roman amphitheater in existence. Now covered in grass, it originally held up to 20,000 spectators.

Return to Sorrento in time for lunch ( not included) and enjoy an afternoon of relaxation or continue your exploration of the city. Tonight enjoy a candle light dinner in Sorrento with sea view Overnight in Sorrento.


Day 7 (Thursday): Sorrento (Breakfast)



This is another day that you will be given the chance to explore another part of Italy at your leisure. After breakfast at your hotel, you can go around town and check out the historical sites in the area, or you can choose to spend the day at the beach.

OPTIONAL TOUR ($120 per person): Day trip to Capri with regular group


Day 8 (Friday): – Sorrento – Rome (Breakfast, Dinner)



Transfer to the Train Station in Naples to catch the high speed train to Rome.

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and free time to explore the Eternal City. Late afternoon, walk to the restaurant and enjoy a tasty welcome dinner. Overnight in Rome


Day 9 (Saturday): Rome (Breakfast)



After breakfast, meet your driver and your guide and reach the Vatican Museum by private van.
Access the Museum easily with your skip the line tickets. Your visit will be memorable: our guides have drawn up a route to include all the major sights as well as some unexpected surprises.

See the Belvedere Courtyard with Apollo Belvedere & Laocoön & His Sons, Raphael Rooms, the Galleries of the Candelabra, of the Maps and of the Tapestries, the Sistine Chapel Pinecone Courtyard, St. Peter’s Basilica. At the end, exit on the St. Peter’s Square and enjoy the magnificent view of the imposing Cathedral.

You will return to your hotel to relax after a challenging morning. Late afternoon meet your tour leader for a walking tour of the Baroque Town with Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna, the Italian Parliament and the fascinating narrow streets of ancient Rome. Return to hotel with your tour leader. Overnight in Rome.


Day 10 (Sunday): Rome (Breakfast)



Eat Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will have the whole day to explore Rome at your leisure. Overnight in Rome.
OPTIONAL TOUR ($95 per person): Tour of the Coliseum and Imperial Rome


Day 11 (Monday): Rome – Siena – Florence (Breakfast and Lunch)



Meet your driver in the morning, ready for departure to Siena. The drive itself will take you on a magnificent path along the roads of Tuscany. Enjoy stunning views of hills covered by vineyards and olive trees.

Catch a glimpse of original bell towers as you pass through small villages along the way. En route stop in Siena to enjoy a wine tasting with typical cheeses and salami (Typical “Farmer’s Lunch”).

After lunch, free time in Siena.

This is probably Italy’s loveliest medieval city. At the heart of Siena is Il Campo, the Square where the famous horse race Il Palio takes place twice every summer.

After leaving Siena you’ll continue your journey to Florence with a stop in Monteriggioni (time permitting).
Check-in at your hotel and spend an evening relaxing. Overnight in Florence.


Day 12 (Tuesday): Florence (Breakfast and Lunch)



Start your exploration of Florence from the unknown and most picturesque sides of the city. Visit the fresh market of San Lorenzo where is possible to find the food arriving fresh everyday from the Tuscany Countryside.

It’s a great opportunity to taste many varieties of cheeses, fruits and vegetables, breads, etc. Free time for lunch.

In the afternoon, meet your guide in the hotel and get ready to explore the heart of the town. Lorenzo de Medici transformed Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance by attracting the best artists, architects and writers of the time; Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli who he commissioned to produce various works of art and architecture.

We’ll visit Piazza della Signoria, walk by the Palazzo Vecchio, , the Duomo with Giotto’s bell tower ( from outside), Ponte Vecchio. Our walk through Florence will end with a visit to the Accademia to admire, among the many masterpieces, the jewel of Michelangelo: the statue of David.

Day 13 (Wednesday): Florence (Breakfast)



After breakfast the day is at your leisure. You can just relax and take a walk on the beautiful streets of Florence, visit the Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace or opt for an excursion to Pisa, Montepulciano and Montalcino, Assisi and Cortona and many others.


Day 14 (Thursday): Florence – Venice (Breakfast)



Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel before your transfer to the Railway Station in Florence. Your travel day begins with the excitement and emotion of riding the high speed train to Venice.

Travel by train in Italy is fast, comfortable and convenient. Relax and enjoy the experience.

Your tour assistant will meet you upon arrival at Venice Railway Station, and accompany you for transfer to the hotel. Free time to explore Venice on your own.


Day 15 (Friday): Venice (Breakfast, Dinner)



Start your last full day in Venice with a hearty Italian breakfast. In the afternoon, guided visit of Venice followed by a gondola tour.

Afternoon is the best moment to enjoy Venice, when most of the visitors leave the city, the cruise boats depart from the pier and the narrow streets became again fascinating and mysterious , a secret path to the Past.

Our guide will help you to visit the main sights of the city but also to discover the real soul of Venice spending some time outside of the main tourist areas, places that you can reach by yourself only if you get lost.

The tour will end with a Gondola ride. In the evening, enjoy a Venetian Dinner. Overnight in Venice


Day 16 (Saturday): Venice (Breakfast)



Rise early and enjoy a hearty Italian breakfast before leaving the hotel for your transfer to the Airport or Railway Station. End of Services.


Featured Properties (All 4 stars hotels)

• HOTEL IN ALBEROBELLO: Palazzo Scotto, Le Alcove
• HOTEL IN SORRENTO: Astoria, Majestic, Carlton, La Residenza
• HOTEL IN ROME: Londra & Cargil, Conciliazione
• HOTEL IN FLORENCE: Executive, Cellai, Pierre
• HOTEL IN VENICE: Palazzo Selvadego, Gabrielli

Hotel may be substituted with similar according to availability. Hotels will be confirmed up to 21 days prior to the arrival


The tour includes:

  • Transfers to and from Airport
  • Tour Escort/Host
  • 3 nights in Alberobello
  • 4 nights in Sorrento Coast
  • 3 nights in Rome
  • 3 nights in Florence
  • 2 nights in Venice
  • Daily breakfast
  • Welcome briefing and dinner in Alberobello
  • Excursion to Pilignano, Monopoli & Ostuni
  • Excursion to Cisternino, Alberobello & Locorotondo
  • Wine tasting in Locorotondo
  • Olive Oil & Cheese Tasting in Cisternino
  • Farmer’s Lunch near Cisternino
  • Transfer from Alberobello to Sorrento with stop in Matera
  • Free time in Matera
  • Excursion to Amalfi and Ravello
  • Lemon delicacies tasting in Minori
  • Half Day guided visit of Pompeii
  • Candlelight dinner in Sorrento on a sea view terrace
  • Transfer from Sorrento to Rome (transfers to/from hotels & 1st class train tickets)
  • Welcome dinner in Rome
  • Guided visit of Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel with skip the line reservation
  • Heart of Rome Tour
  • Transfer from Rome to Florence with stop in Siena
  • Wine & Food Experience in Siena
  • Walking Tour in Siena
  • Fresh Market’s tour in Florence
  • Walking tour of Florence with Academia Gallery
  • Transfer Florence to Venice (transfers to/from hotels & 1st class train tickets)
  • Guided visit of Venice + Gondola Tour
  • Evening Walking Tour in Venice with a Farewell dinner

The tour does not include:

  • Tips
  • Beverages and meals not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Rome City Tax: 6 euros per person per day to be paid directly to the hotel in cash at check-out
  • Sorrento City Tax: 2 euros per person per day to be paid directly to the hotel in cash at check-out
  • Florence City Tax: 4 euros per person per day to be paid directly to the hotel in cash at check-out
  • Venice City Tax: 4.50 euros per person per day to be paid directly to the hotel in cash at check-out

Pricing and Dates

Departure DateDoubleSingleTripleReservation Deposit
Apr-03-2020$ 3600.00$ 5700.00$ 3200.00$ 300.00
Apr-17-2020$ 3600.00$ 5700.00$ 3200.00$ 300.00
May-01-2020$ 4100.00$ 6600.00$ 3700.00$ 300.00
May-15-2020$ 4100.00$ 6600.00$ 3700.00$ 300.00
May-19-2020$ 4100.00$ 6600.00$ 3700.00$ 300.00
Jun-12-2020$ 4100.00$ 6600.00$ 3700.00$ 300.00
Jun-26-2020$ 4100.00$ 6600.00$ 3700.00$ 300.00
Jul-17-2020$ 3700.00$ 5900.00$ 3400.00$ 300.00
Jul-31-2020$ 3700.00$ 5900.00$ 3400.00$ 300.00
Aug-28-2020$ 3700.00$ 5900.00$ 3400.00$ 300.00
Sep-11-2020$ 4100.00$ 6600.00$ 3700.00$ 300.00
Sep-25-2020$ 4100.00$ 6600.00$ 3700.00$ 300.00
Oct-09-2020$ 4000.00$ 6500.00$ 3600.00$ 300.00
Oct-23-2020$ 4000.00$ 6500.00$ 3600.00$ 300.00
Nov-06-2020$ 3000.00$ 4500.00$ 2760.00$ 300.00

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