3 DAYS FROM $699
Travel from the pristine Lakes District to Italy’s most magnificent cities, then along the dramatic Amalfi Coast, on a journey that recaptures the way travel was meant to be. In a small group of just 18-26 travelers, you’ll stay in smaller luxury hotels on the Lake Maggiore and in the centers of Venice, Florence, and Rome. You’ll also whisk through scenic landscapes — and centuries of history — in quiet luxury aboard Italy’s vaunted high-speed trains. Firsthand encounters with welcoming locals, enlightening lectures, artisan demonstrations, and food and wine tastings will offer unique cultural insights, while active experiences buoy your sense of adventure.
Begin on idyllic Lake Maggiore, where you’ll stroll among the Borromean Islands’ elegant palazzi and gardens. Ride a gondola through Venice — the floating oasis of architectural splendor that has inspired poets and storytellers, painters and dreamers. Discover the riches of the Italian Renaissance in Florence’s most renowned art galleries. Experience Rome’s haunting blend of elegance and decay, take in the treasures of the Vatican Museums during an unforgettable visit, and attend a gala dinner in a deluxe restaurant with the best views of Rome. Your final destination is beautiful Sorrento, gateway to the spectacular Amalfi Coast — a UNESCO World Heritage Site of plummeting seacliffs dotted with lemon groves and ancient villages. A superb small group value, this comprehensive adventure offers a panoramic glimpse of Italy’s incomparable culture, beauty, and history!
Fly overnight to Milan, Italy
Your journey begins with an overnight flight to Milan, Italy.
Arrive Milan, then transfer overland to Stresa for this evening’s Welcome Dinner
Upon arrival, transfer by motorcoach to Stresa, an idyllic resort town situated on picturesque Lake Maggiore. Settle into your hotel room, which features a guaranteed lake view. This evening, gather for a Welcome Cocktail in Stresa's only rooftop bar, with an informative trip briefing by your Adventure Leader, followed by a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Cruise Lake Maggiore to the Borromean Islands; optional Lake Orta cruise
Active Feature and Unforgettable Moment: This morning, set out on a private Lake Maggiore cruise to the enchanting Borromean Islands, a trio of tiny islands settled by an aristocratic Italian family in the 16th and 17th centuries. Beginning on Isola Madre, enjoy a guided walking tour of its English-style botanical gardens, followed by free time. Continue on to Isola Bella for a tour of its stunning Baroque palace, and time to stroll its lovely grounds and Italian gardens. Conclude your island tour on picturesque Isola Dei Pescatori, where you’ll have lunch on your own in the quaint fishing village. Upon return to the lakeside hotel, you may explore Stresa at your own pace. Or, travel off the beaten path for an optional Lake Orta cruise. Cultural Discovery: Later, an enlightening lecture will give you an inside look at daily life in Italy’s lakes region. You’re free to do — and dine — as you choose, this evening.
High-speed rail journey to Venice and evening gondola ride
Today, it’s off to Venice — the celebrated “City of Canals” founded in the fifth century — via Italy’s high-speed rail. Cultural Discovery: As you transfer to Milan to catch the train, learn to communicate like a local during a special “Italian With Words and Without” language lesson. With speeds of up to 190 mph and premium first class seating, the luxurious high-speed rail line will transport you to Venice just in time for an afternoon at leisure. Unforgettable Moment: This evening, experience the city in true Venetian style as a romantic gondola ride — accompanied by serenades from your gondolier — takes you to dinner at a local restaurant.
Highlights of Venice plus mask-making demonstration
Today, you’ll discover this magical floating city — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — during a sightseeing tour by private boat, which takes you along the Grand Canal from the hotel to St. Mark's Place.
Curving gracefully through Venice for two miles, the main water traffic route is lined by dramatic centuries-old palaces, churches, hotels, and other buildings in an eclectic array of architectural styles. Cultural Discovery: Learn about the traditional Venetian art of mask-making during a live demonstration by a local craftsman. Following the tour, a public boat trip (optional) back to the hotel will give you a glimpse of daily life in Venice. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore and dine on your own.
Venetian Lagoon excursion to Murano and Burano islands
Active feature: After breakfast, join your Adventure Leader for a walk through scenic backstreets to the Venice Lagoon and a boat excursion to two of its many islands. Your first stop, Murano, is a cluster of seven bridge-linked islands with an ancient glass-making tradition. Cultural Discovery: Visit one of Murano’s famous glass factories for a live glassblowing demonstration by one of its skilled artisans. Conclude your boat tour on the neighboring island of Burano — known for its colorfully painted houses and handcrafted lace — where you’ll have lunch on your own. Upon returning to “mainland” Venice, spend the afternoon and evening as you please.
High-speed rail journey to Florence plus viewing of Michelangelo’s David
Say “arrivederci” to Venice this morning when you depart for Florence — considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Enjoy scenic views from aboard your high-speed train as it passes through Italy’s scenic Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Tuscany regions en route to the Tuscan capital. Upon arrival at your centrally located hotel, head to a local restaurant for lunch. This afternoon, take a guided sightseeing tour of Florence, whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cultural Discovery: A tour of the Accademia Gallery — whose world-renowned art collection includes Michelangelo’s David, among other notable works — will introduce you to the city’s rich artistic history. Dinner is included in the hotel this evening.
Florence’s renowned Uffizi Gallery and Chianti winery excursion
Today, delve even more deeply into Florence’s artistic heritage at another of its renowned art museums. Cultural Discovery: Visit the celebrated Uffizi Gallery to explore work by some of Italy’s celebrated Renaissance masters — such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, and Raphael. Following your morning tour, the afternoon is yours to dine and discover the city at your own pace. Cultural Discovery: Tonight, savor the classic tastes of Tuscany during an exclusive wine tasting and dinner in the Chianti countryside.
Free day in Florence or optional Vinci, Lucca, & Pisa excursion
Following a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a full day of independent sightseeing. From Florence’s museums and palaces to cathedrals and bridges, a wealth of cultural, historical, and architectural treasures await you! Or, return to the Tuscan countryside with an optional three-city tour featuring Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci; Lucca, a charming walled town; and the ancient city of Pisa — home to the infamous Leaning Tower. Tonight is at leisure and dinner is on your own.
High-speed rail journey to Rome and panoramic city tour
This morning, depart for Rome by high-speed rail. Take in picturesque views as you pass through the Umbria and Lazio regions en route to Italy’s sprawling capital. After checking in at the hotel, join your fellow travelers for lunch at a local restaurant. Active Feature: Then, enjoy a guided panoramic tour (by motorcoach and on foot) of Rome’s historic center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose highlights include the iconic Colosseum, ancient Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus, and other historic sites. This evening, have dinner on your own at one of Rome’s many dining establishments.
Visit to the Vatican, an afternoon at leisure, and a Gala Dinner
Today we’ll explore one of the biggest lures to the “Eternal City” — the Vatican. Unforgettable Moment / Cultural Connection: This morning, set out for the UNESCO-listed Vatican City to visit St. Peter’s Basilica — an Italian Renaissance-style church that’s among Christianity’s holiest sites and, until recently, the world’s largest church — and the collections inside the Vatican Museums. Afterward, enjoy lunch on your own and an afternoon at leisure to explore Rome further or to simply relax — this evening, you’ll attend a Gala Dinner.
Free time, optional Christian Rome tour, and Rome by Night excursion
Enjoy Rome as you please today. You can also opt to travel back to ancient Rome on an optional “Christian Rome” tour featuring visits to the underground Christian catacombs and the Roman Gladiator School — where a live theatrical presentation will introduce you to the history and artistry of Rome’s ancient professional fighters. Cultural Discoveries: Set out for a panoramic “Rome by Night” tour, including a walk through the historic and eclectic Trastevere district, and dinner and live entertainment at a neighborhood restaurant. Now that your probably feeling at least a little bit Italian yourself, you'll also enjoy your Adventure Leaders discussion on what makes an Italian and Italian. To cap off your final evening in Rome, enjoy a delicious cup of gelato — an Italian favorite similar to ice cream — alongside the stunning Trevi Fountain.
High-speed rail journey to Naples, explore Pompeii, and relax in Sorrento
After breakfast, transfer to the Rome train station to begin the final high-speed leg of your Italian adventure. Arriving by train late this morning, you’ll enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of Naples’ historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest city center in Europe. During lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy some excellent Neopolitan cuisine. Active Feature and Cultural Discovery: Your tour continues with a guided visit to the well-preserved ruins of Pompeii, an ancient Roman city buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in back in 79 AD. With a fascinating day of discovery under your belt, transfer to the lovely coastal city of Sorrento for dinner on your own and an evening at leisure.
Amalfi Coast excursion and agriturismo Farewell Dinner
Waking up in Sorrento today, you have a day of sightseeing along the Amalfi Coast to look forward to. Beginning in the picturesque hillside village of Positano, embark a scenic coastal cruise toward stunning Amalfi — admiring the dramatic beauty, craggy Mediterranean landscape, and charming cliffside towns scattered along the way. And upon returning your home base of Sorrento, join your Adventure Leader for a guided walking tour of this historic hill town. After lunch on your own, spend the afternoon exploring Sorrento’s winding streets and centuries-old sites at your own pace. Cultural Discovery: This evening’s menu features a fun, flavorful visit to a local agriturismo — a farm offering fresh, locally grown and produced food, as well as welcoming tourist accommodations. Get a taste of local culture and cuisine as you help prepare an authentic Italian pizza — traditionally served as an appetizer in Italy — from fresh local ingredients. Afterwards, we'll sit down to our fabulous Farewell Dinner, prepared at the agriturismo from the bounty of the region. The perfect way to conclude a delicioso visit to beautiful Italy!
Depart Sorrento and fly home from Naples, or stay on to enjoy your optional Sorrento extension
Today, transfer to the Naples airport for your flight home — or begin the first evening of your post-trip extension here.
Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.
Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary. That hotel ratings are based on the Hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.