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12-Day Venice, Florence, Rome | Small Group Italy Tour

The Italy small group tour includes a maximum of 22 travelers. This first-class Italy small group tour visits Italy’s famous art cities Venice, Florence, and Rome. Also, the tour itinerary includes visits to the classic Tuscan towns Lucca and Siena and the quintessential Umbrian town Torgiano. Furthermore, you’ll visit the beautiful Cinque Terre on the Tuscan Coast. At each destination the tour travels to the heart of each destination.

The Italy small group tour size allows you to visit places that larger tours miss. Consequently, it allows for an intimate and authentic Italy tour experience where you will get to know the locals. Full days of touring ensure that you’ll see all that you’ve come so far to see. And with the majority of meals included in your price, you’ll enjoy the varied flavors of your destination, and easy convenience. We’ll see hidden gems that only locals know about. Linger longer at sites that catch our interest. Enjoy greater access to smaller and more enriching venues that reveal the true essence of local culture. Meet the locals up close, where they live. And with so few in our group, you’ll have greater access to your Tour Manager, a wellspring of local knowledge and insider tips. What’s more, you won’t find a long list of optional tours to hike up your cost. This truly is an all-inclusive Italy small group tour.

Click here for the Venice, Florence, Rome small group Italy tour daily itinerary.

Highlights

12-Day Italy Small Group Tour Itinerary Map

small group italy tour 2019

Italy Small Group Tour Highlights:

  • Small group size 22 travelers
  • Venice walking tour of St. Mark’s Square in Venice. Walking tour includes “off-the-beaten” path Venice sights.
  • Venice tour the island of Murano, where the famous Venetian glass-blowing artists practice their craft.
  • Excursion to the Medieval walled city Lucca located on the Tuscan coast.
  • Excursion to the beautiful Cinque Terre on the Ligurian Coast.
  • In Florence tour the Accademia Museum, where Michelangelo’s David is located.
  • Shop “like a native” in a local Tuscan market. After you’ll learn to prepare an authentic Tuscan meal with lessons from the chef of a restaurant in the countryside.
  • Excursion to Siena to tour this magnificent Renaissance city where the annual Palio horse race is held.
  • Tour a vineyard in Umbria and sample local specialties.
  • Excursion to Assisi and the Basilica of St Francis.
  • Explore Rome’s piazzas and learn about their Baroque and Renaissance styles.
  • Visit the Vatican Museum including the Hall of Maps, Raphael’s Room, and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
  • Experience the monumental grandeur of this ancient city built on seven hills: the legendary Roman Forum & the mighty Colosseum.
  • Visit the Palazzo Colonna, one of the oldest and largest private palaces of Rome, and the preserved Apartment of Princess Isabelle.

Italy Small Group Tour Package Includes:

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Italy tour with air includes flights: New York-Venice, Rome-New York
    • Other departure cities available. Click on a date of departure and submit the form for Italy tour with air itinerary and price from your preferred departure city.
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 10-nights in first class accommodations
    • 2 nights Venice
    • 2 nights San Giuliano Terme
    • 2 nights Florence
    • 1 night Torgiano
    • 3 nights Rome
  • Italian city hotel taxes
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers and sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • 18 meals: 10 buffet breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Bottled water during sightseeing excursions. Bottled water, coffee, and tea with all meals
  • Wine is included with lunch and dinners
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Accommodations

Italy Small Group Tour Accommodations

Hotel Bonvecchiati, Venice 2 Nights – ★★★★

This first class hotel is located in the heart of Venice, just a short walk from Saint Mark’s Square.

LaGare Hotel Venezia Murano, Venice 2 Nights – ★★★★

This first class hotel is situated on the island of Murano.

Bagni di Pisa Hotel San Giuliano Terme 2 Nights – ★★★★

This superior first class hotel is located in San Giuliano Terme.

Villa Olmi Firenze, Florence 2 Nights – ★★★★

This first class hotel is located about a twenty minute drive from the historic center of Florence.

Hotel Le Tre Vaselle, Torgiano 1 Night – ★★★★+

This superior first class hotel is situated in the village of Torgiano.

Hotel La Griffe, Rome 3 Nights – ★★★★+

This superior first class hotel is located nearby the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.

Note: Venice hotel is one of the two listed above based on departure date. Submit form for exact hotel.

Optional Tours

Gondola Ride

One of the highlights of any Italian holiday! Enjoy a relaxing gondola ride with music along the famous Grand Canal, and experience a piece of Venetian history. Glide along the centuries old canals, past lavish palaces and under famous arched bridges (the Gondola holds a maximum of six passengers. Please note that this is not a private gondola ride. There will be one musician on board of one of the gondolas in your fleet).

Submit form or call 800-227-1577 to book your Italy small group tour.

 

Venice, Florence, Rome Small Group Italy Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – Depart for Italy

Depart for Italy

DAY 2 – Arrive in Venice

Benvenuti! Welcome to Italy! Arrive in magical Venice and transfer to your hotel. When you book the small group Italy tour with air the Venice airport to hotel transfer is included. After you check-in you have the balance of the day at leisure. Stroll around this beautiful city that was once the richest in the world. Get lost among its hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. This evening there is a welcome reception and dinner where you’ll meet your tour director and like-minded travelers.
Overnight: Venice
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3 – Discover Venice

Your discovery of endlessly fascinating Venice begins with a guided walking tour of St. Mark’s Square. View the Basilica of San Marco, built over several centuries in a fusion of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian architecture, considered one of the most breathtaking monuments. Walk via the Bridge of Sighs built at the beginning of the 17th century to serve as a link between the prison and the interrogation rooms of the Doge’s Palace; its arched profile makes one of the most famous scenes of the city. Continue to the pink marble Doge’s Palace, official residence of the Venetian ruler, now a museum. In the afternoon, experience an Insider’s Venice Walking Tour that will take you “off the beaten path.” Start your walk at Santa Maria Formosa, an inspirational white church dating back to 1492, and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the “marble church” is a lasting example of early Venetian Renaissance. Arrive at Marco Polo’s house, where the world explorer lived, located close to the Rialto Bridge with its busy market area. Continue via Campo Sant’Angelo, in the San Marco district, to the Fenice Theater, cradle of many great operas. Evening is at leisure in this fairy-tale city. Discover the city’s fine restaurants, shops and galleries. Don’t miss the optional Gondola Ride, with music. It’s definitely one of the highlights of any Italian holiday! You will travel along the famous Grand Canal, and experience a piece of Venetian history gliding along the centuries-old canals, past lavish palaces and under famous arched bridges
Optional: Gondola Ride with Music (PM)
Overnight: Venice
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4 – Lucca

Magnificent panoramas are waiting for you today. Travel through the rolling Tuscany countryside to Lucca, a perfectly preserved jewel of medieval architecture, with its winding streets showing layers of history on every turn; the massive 17th-century walls completely surround the city. Start with a tasting of local products in a historical shop before walking the narrow streets of the original Roman grid to the Church of San Michele and its beautiful piazza, which occupies the site of the ancient Roman Forum. After the tour, spend time on your own to discover this charming town. Continue to picturesque San Giuliano Terme for dinner and overnight.
Overnight: San Giuliano Terme
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5 – Cinque Terre

Today explore the spectacular Cinque Terre*, one of the most beautiful areas of the Liguria region. Here, five small villages, nestled in the cliffs overlooking the sea and the surrounding hillsides, are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the scenic coastline while exploring the villages and the beautiful vistas. This active walking tour covers a fair amount of ground facing uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Trains and/or boats will be the means of transportation between the towns. Return to your hotel in the afternoon and spend the balance of your day at leisure.
Overnight: San Giuliano Terme
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6 – Tuscan Cooking Class

Food! Glorious Italian Food! Begin this fabulous day at the local market. Here, you’ll shop like a native, following your chef’s instructions to buy the fresh produce needed to prepare the most delicious Italian meal. Then, take your bags of ingredients out to a farmhouse in the countryside. After a welcome drink, the chef begins the morning of cooking lessons. The basics include homemade pasta, rural soups, homemade sauces, and the recipe for the famous Panzanella. All of the Tuscan secrets will be revealed, and using fresh Tuscan olive oil makes a huge difference in taste. Afterward, sit back, relax, sip a glass of great wine and enjoy lunch, your own creation! Continue to your hotel in the afternoon. The rest of the day is at your leisure, perhaps walk around the lively center of Florence and immerse yourself in its priceless Renaissance art and architecture
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 7 – Florence City Tour & The Accademia

Today, the lifetime dream of seeing Michelangelo’s David is realized. At the Accademia of Fine Arts, stand in awe of this glorious work of art. On to the magnificent Duomo, with its Brunelleschi-designed dome, and view the renowned “Gates of Paradise” by Ghiberti. You’ll be enchanted as you walk through the open-air museum at Signoria Square, ending at the splendid Ponte Vecchio, also known as the “Old Bridge.” Florence is indeed the center of the world’s finest art and architecture. The optional guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery* provides insight into the history of the structure and its collections. Originally the private collection of the Medici family, the Palazzo was opened to the public in 1765. The tour highlights include examples of Florentine painting of the masters, including Giotto, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. Tour participation guarantees immediate entry to the Gallery, with no lengthy waits in 2-3 hour lines. The remainder of the day is at leisure in Florence to visit museums, shop for gold and quality leather or just enjoy the fabulous ambiance.
*Optional Uffizi Gallery Tour, US $62 – Available for purchase only in Italy from your Tour Manager and subject to availability.
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 8 – Siena & Torgiano

Delight in the scenery as you drive through the Chianti area of Tuscany, renowned for its magical landscapes, to Siena, a step back to medieval Tuscany. The heart of the city, Il Campo, was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Its celebrated centuries-old Palio horse race, takes place twice every summer, with participants riding bareback around the spectator-packed square, along with non-stop 24 hour celebrations. The city sits over three hills accented by the huge square where the Roman Forum once stood and dominated by the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower. Stroll leisurely on your own before departing for Torgiano in the Umbria region.
Overnight: Torgiano
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 9 – Assisi and Vineyard Tour

This morning, travel to the small medieval town of Assisi perched high on a hill in the Umbria region with its winding medieval streets and sacred shrines. Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is best known as the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi – patron saint of Italy. The main attraction is the 13th-century Basilica of San Francesco, which contains the sacred relics of St. Francis and Giotto’s astonishing frescoes; one of the artistic highlights of medieval Europe. Afterward, visit a winery in the verdant region of Umbria. Linger in the vineyards and visit the cellars before sipping the most famous Sagrantino wines while tasting the homemade local dishes. Travel through the green landscapes of Umbria, dotted with small villages before approaching the Eternal city of Rome
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10 – Rome Vatican Museum Tour

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour! Today, visit the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Your local guide will lead you into the museums, where you will explore part of one of the most important art collections in the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries and the Geographical Maps before arriving at the Sistine Chapel, with its great frescoes by Michelangelo. Stroll through St. Peter’s Square, passing Bernini’s famous colonnade to view St. Peter’s Basilica, built on the burial site of Saint Peter. Then, a change of pace as you stroll through the characteristic “piazzas and vias” of Rome with your tour guide. Admire the baroque Piazza Navona, built on the site of the 1st-century Stadium of Domitian, where great chariot races were once held. Leisure time for lunch on your own before reaching the monumental Pantheon, the best preserved of any Roman building. You will see the largest brick dome in the history of architecture, the most copied and imitated of all ancient works. Continue to savor the grandeur of the iconic Trevi Fountain, and of course, toss in some coins! Then, onto the majestic Spanish Steps on the Piazza di Spagna, the longest and widest decorative steps in Europe. Spend the balance of your day at leisure, perhaps grab a cappuccino or gelato and indulge in the national pastime of people-watching.

*Due to Religious events, the opening times of St. Peter Basilica are subject to change without notice. In these events, clients will visit the Vatican Library instead of the Basilica.
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11 – Ancient Rome & Palazzo Colonna

Step back into history this morning to the mighty Colosseum, the largest amphitheater built in the Roman Empire that once seated over 50,000 spectators. Deadly combat of gladiators and wild animals were attended frequently by the rich, the poor and by the Emperor himself. Continue on to the legendary Roman Forum, the central area of the city from which ancient Rome developed. Next, view the triumphal Arch of Constantine, erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate his tenth year of leadership over the Eternal City. This afternoon enjoy a visit to Palazzo Colonna, one of the oldest and largest private palaces of Rome. Its construction began in the fourteenth century by the Colonna family, who, after eight centuries, still reside there. The Galleria Colonna, is a true jewel of Roman Baroque, whose original project by Antonio del Grande was integrated by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Paolo Schor and Carlo Fontana. From the very beginning the Gallery was conceived as a large boardroom, which was to celebrate the victory of the Christian fleet commanded by Marcantonio Colonna over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. During the visit you will admire the works of Bronzino, Ghirlandaio, Tintoretto, Salvator Rosa, Guido Reni, along with many others. Visit the Apartment of Princess Isabelle, located on the ground floor of the palace which was built upon the foundations of the ancient Temple of Serapis. Here the Colonna Princess preserves the apartment formally used by Princess Isabelle exactly as it was when she was still alive. One of the few traces of the Roman sanctuary is a crocodile in porphyry, which welcomes visitors at the beginning of the sequence of rooms where famous artists left their mark, such as Pinturicchio, Pomarancio and Cavalier Tempesta. To conclude the evening, enjoy a dinner in the heart of the city to bid farewell to your Tour Manager and new-found friends
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 12 – Depart Italy

Arrivederci Roma! Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. When you book the small group Italy tour with air the transfer is included.
Meals: Breakfast

* When all-inclusive Italy vacation prices are quoted to include airfare the price includes fuel surcharges, airport taxes, Italy airport transfers and fees. All prices are per person based on twin occupancy. Italy tours with air & land tour prices apply from the gateway airport. Prices will vary from alternative gateway airports or cities and may be higher. The total price will be emailed to you prior to any deposit being required. Airline baggage fees may apply. Please review all terms and conditions before booking.