Experience Italy's magical diversity on this journey rich in architectural delights, evocative scenery and cultural heritage.
All of Italy’s most vibrant and well-loved cities are visited on this fascinating tour, with optional excursions to Tuscany’s most enchanting towns.
Enjoy a gondola ride in the romantic city of Venice, with its narrow canals, or visit the ancient monuments of Rome with its renaissance art and palaces; the choice is yours with the Italian Showcase tour.
15 days from
(based on 01/11/2015 departure date)
Fly to Rome where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for the night.
Drink in the Umbrian countryside as you head for Orvieto, a winemaking town on a high volcanic outcrop. Admire its black and yellow 14th century cathedral, which took 300 years to build and overflows with frescoes and works of art. Afterwards, drive through classic Tuscan landscapes past the hill towns of Chianti before arriving at Poggibonsi for four nights. This pretty town is perfectly located for touring the area. Includes Breakfast
Spend today relaxing or take our optional excursion to two of Tuscany's most enchanting towns. With its pepperpot-shaped towers, cobbled streets and tall townhouses, hilltop San Gimignano looks as if it has bypassed time itself. Another medieval masterpiece, Siena's narrow lanes and russet-painted mansions cluster around its famous Piazza del Campo. Shaped like a scallop, this café-lined square is the setting for its fabled Palio horse race. Includes Breakfast, Dinner
Brimming with artistic and architectural treasures, Renaissance Florence is heaven for culture vultures. Your full day excursion makes the most of this glorious city, ruled over for centuries by the Medici family. Enjoy a guided walk around its architectural treasures. Includes Breakfast, Dinner
This morning, drive to Pisa to see its world-famous Square of Miracles, home to the Leaning Tower. Begun in 1173, this extraordinary tower started to lean soon afterwards due to poor foundations, before being completed in the 14th century. Admire the nearby Duomo, Baptistry and Campo Santo cemetery. Then continue to the Chianti region and visit a famous wine cellar with lunch at the Vicchiomaggio estate. Includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Travel through the Po Valley to Verona on the River Adige. Laid out in a grid by the Romans, this 'Pink City' serves up a wealth of sights, including 'Juliet's Balcony', which Shakespeare had Romeo climb to meet his lover. Later, continue your travels to the Venice area for two nights. Includes Breakfast
After a short drive and a boat trip along the Giudecca Canal, arrive in what is arguably the world's most beautiful city - Venice. An independent state and major maritime power during the Middle Ages, its narrow canals, ornate footbridges and exquisite architecture never fail to impress. Enjoy a demonstration of the historic Venetian delicate art of glassblowing. Get to know this magical city in your own way, exploring its piazzas, palazzos and churches or taking an optional romantic gondola ride. Includes Breakfast, Dinner
Once the western seat of the Byzantine Empire, the peaceful town of Ravenna is known for its domed churches, many adorned with spectacular Byzantine mosaics. Later, head for the tiny republic of San Marino, Europe's third smallest independent state, for one night. Includes Breakfast, Dinner
Today the first stop is Urbino, the birthplace of Raphael. Nestling on a hillside, this walled town is dominated by a twin-towered Ducal Palace, the setting for 15th century Europe's most illustrious court. Next, carry on to medieval Gubbio, whose fairytale Palazzo dei Consoli commands sweeping views over its rooftops and countryside beyond. Finally, drive towards Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis, staying in nearby Foligno. Includes Breakfast, Dinner
Your day begins at the major Catholic pilgrimage site of Assisi. Admire Giotto's frescoes in its breathtaking 13th century Basilica, before crossing the Apennines to the Mediterranean coast for three nights in historic Naples. Includes Breakfast
Today take in the scenery as you sail to the tiny island of Capri. Once favoured by wealthy Romans who built sumptuous clifftop villas here, it is packed with attractions, including fascinating classical ruins. Discover buzzing Capri town, strolling its pretty piazzas and exclusive avenues studded with boutiques and restaurants. Grab the chance for an optional tour that takes you to the island's main highlights. Includes Breakfast, Dinner
Get to know bustling Naples on an orientation drive before heading for Pompeii. Buried under thick ash for 1,700 years, this ancient city sits beneath its destroyer - Mount Vesuvius - and is one of the world's most astonishing archaeological treasures. Walk with your guide around its villas and streets before spending the evening in colourful Sorrento. Includes Breakfast
This morning stop in Montecassino. This hilltop town boasts a massive Benedictine Abbey and is the site of a famous World War II battle. Continue to Rome, where you'll have free time to acquaint yourself with the 'Eternal City'. Alternatively, dig deeper into the city on one of our optional sightseeing tours. Includes Breakfast
With its ancient monuments, Renaissance art and grand fountains and palaces, Rome spans the millennia like no other city on earth. Today's included sightseeing takes in its greatest sights, from St Peter's Square to the Roman Forum and majestic Colosseum - the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. Afterwards, there's time to explore on your own or take one of our optional excursions - visiting the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, discovering Tivoli's Villa d'Este gardens or enjoying dinner and a scenic drive through the Roman hills. Includes Breakfast
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. Includes Breakfast
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