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Taste of Italy Tour 

Italy.  Few parts of the world can claim so rich a store of art, history, architecture, culture, and food—or so intense a range of natural beauty. Our comprehensive “Taste of Italy” tour is the ideal way to experience all that this country has to offer!  You’ll see the best of Italy in a cultural experience that includes major historical sites as well as off-the-beaten path destinations, and of course, savoring delicious regional cuisine.

With numerous destinations and an itinerary that allows for personal time to explore, we’ll discover the legendary cities of Rome, Venice and Florence, as well as iconic Tuscan towns like Siena and the small hilltop village of Montepulciano.

You’ll begin your Italian adventure in Venice - La Serenissima (the most serene) where we invite you to get lost wandering along the canals of this intriguing city on the water. As we travel on, you’ll be captivated by the renaissance splendor of the art and architecture in Florence. Sit back and savor the good life in Tuscany as we meet with local farmers and indulge in several winery tours and tastings amongst the vines.   At our final destination, watch as history comes to life in eternal Rome with its ancient ruins, amazing sites and magnificent churches.  This tour promises to have a little bit of something for everyone.  

​Itinerary:*

Discover the Foods, Wines, and Treasures of V​​enice - Tuscany (with Florence) - Rome

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Details

May 9 - 19, 2018

Deposit: $2000.00 at time of booking to reserve your spot

Balance due: March 1, 2018



Dates: May 9 - 19, 2018

11 Days/10 Nights


Where: Venice, Tuscany, & Rome


Group Size: 8 Guests Maximum


Tour Cost: $5,495 per person/double occupancy

Single Supplement: $850


​All tours are quoted in U.S. Dollars​​

Not Included:


  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance**
  • Travel documents & fees: i.e. passport and visas (if required)
  • Optional tours as outlined in the Itinerary
  • 3 Optional dinners as outlined in the Itinerary
  • 1 Optional lunch as outlined in the Itinerary
  • Any telephone, cell, data & internet usage*
  • Items of a personal nature​
  • Travel-related expenses outside of the tour itinerary
  • Any food or beverage ordered by traveler that is not included or presented during meals including: wine and other alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks & gelato
  • Any taxes on personal items purchased
  • Optional tips to guides, staff or drivers. These are not required and are given at your discretion.




* There is free wifi at our accommodations

**  We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to protect your investment.  This is to ensure that you are covered in the event of loss of deposit and cancellation fees, medical emergency or health expenses, personal accident, flight cancellation or delays and to protect your luggage against any loss or damage.​ ​​​​​​ ​

This Tour Includes:


  • Small group size: Maximum of only 8 travelers
  • 3 Nights in Venice in a charming hotel
  • 2 Nights in an elegant hotel in Florence's center
  • 2 Nights in an agriturismo villa set in the Tuscan countryside
  • 3 Nights in a boutique hotel in the heart of Rome
  • All breakfasts, buffet style
  • 3 Lunches
  • 6 Dinners
  • Regional wines with most meals
  • Water transportation in Venice
  • Land transportation for the duration of the tour
  • Private full-time escort, interpreter and driver
  • Private bus/van for our daily excursions
  • Guided walking tours in Venice
  • Guided walking tours in Florence
  • Guided walking tour in Siena
  • Guided walking tours in Rome
  • All excursions and entrance fees as outlined by the itinerary
  • Florence Artisan tour
  • Cicchetti tour and tasting (Venice)
  • Winery tours and tastings
  • Cheese & olive oil tasting events
  • Airport Transfers (From VCE/To FCO)
  • Pre-trip information packet
  • Local VAT taxes and government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, and parking fees​​​​ ​

Tour Highlights:

  • 11 Days/10 Nights
    • 3 nights in Venice
    • 2 nights in Florence
    • 2 nights in the Tuscan Countryside
    • 3 nights in Rome
  • ​Enjoy a Cicchetti Tour - A Typical Venetian "Pub Crawl"
  • Excursion to Murano & Burano
    • ​Watch Glassblowers and Lace Makers
  • See the highlights of Venice: St. Mark's Square, Basilica, & Doge's Palace
  • Private guided walking tour of Florence
  • Watch local artisan demonstrations
  • Visit the Chianti region and taste some local wines
  • Wander the Tuscan villages of Pienza & Montepulciano
  • Tour a Pecorino cheese farm with tasting
  • See Siena and the place of the famous Palio horse race
  • Step back in time while visiting Rome's Coliseum, Palatine Hill, & Forum
  • Gaze at Michelangelo's masterpiece: the Sistine Chapel 
  • Enjoy a private tour of the Vatican Museums & St. Peter's Basilica
  • Savor incredible wines with a wine-pairing dinner
  • Optional cooking lesson in Rome

Day 1 - Arrival Day/​Benvenuto! 

Welcome to Italy!  After arriving to the Venice Airport (VCE), the group will be met for our private transfer to the Island of Venice.  Your accommodations for the next three (3) nights is in quaint boutique hotel set in the heart of Venice and close to restaurants and local transportation. We'll begin with a fun and interesting but easy walking tour with a local Venetian.  Here we take you on a different journey, away from the crowds, and uncover the most secret parts of the city. Learn about the history and all the mysteries that Venice has hidden in its narrow alleys and waterways. Once everybody has worked up an appetite, experience Venice like a local as we spend the evening exploring the lively atmosphere of the Bacari (Wine bars), hidden gastronomic gems of Venice where you can enjoy the most delicious Venetian cicchetti (like Tapas) and wines.  (D)


Day 2 - Venice Highlights

After breakfast at your hotel we'll meet up with our local guide for a private 3-hour tour of St. Mark’s square, the Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs and the Campanile (Bell Tower).  Next we'll head over to the Rialto Market.  Located near the landmark and famous arched Rialto Bridge (which you’ve probably seen pictured in countless photos of Venice), the Rialto Market, has been the historical place where Venetians have bought and sold goods from all over the world for over 900 years. This busy and colorful daily market stands in the commercial center of the city alongside the city’s famed Grand Canal. Venetian locals and international tourists alike frequent this centuries-old market for fish, fruit, and vegetables. Your private guide will fill you in on the history of the market, market traditions, and local foods & customs. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon for some free time to explore, visit a museum or gallery, or shop.  In the evening there is an option for a special dinner* event set right on water.(B, D*)


Day 3 - Venice: Visiting the islands of Murano & Burano

Today we will make our way over to a few of Venice’s Islands: Murano & Burano.  Murano is known its glassware shops and factories from a long-thriving tradition dating back to 1291.  We will explore the island on foot and stop at a glass factory and watch a skilled glass blower create brilliant works of art. Time to shop or visit some other glass workshops before heading over to the island of Burano.  The island of Burano is one of the most colorful and picturesque with fishermen's houses painted in bright pastel colors. Here, you’ll find the famous lace – abundant since the 16th century and once considered the most refined in Europe. Browse local shops and find lace on display at a museum dedicated to the craft of lace making.  If your lucky, you might even catch one of the local women fast at work.  Optional Lunch* at an incredible restaurant where the fish doesn't get any fresher! (B, L* & D*)


Day 4 - Florence: The Birth of Florence, the Medici’s and the Renaissance
This morning we will transfer to Florence - the birthplace of the Renaissance.  Upon our arrival you'll enjoy a private “Introduction to Florence” walking tour: On this 4-hour tour, we’ll be hitting all of the highlights while learning about the mystery, seduction, and history of Florence, which includes the Renaissance, its important noble families, and its famous artists.  We’ll uncover the many secrets and treasures found within the historical walls as this tour lays out the foundation of what made Florence the fascinating city it is today.  Then, check-in to your boutique-style hotel for the next 2 nights, set right in the heart of the historical center.  Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing or exploring this magnificent city until the evening when the group meets up for a wine-pairing dinner.  

(B, D)

Day 5 -  Florence: Ancient Trades and Crafts  - Artisan Traditions of Tuscany
Today you will explore Florence’s vibrant artisan scene. Florence's artisan culture is a rich one, based on centuries of traditions and skills. We’ll head off on a 4-hour private Artisan Walking Tour with our expert local guide – You’ll meet the people behind Florence's century-old handicraft and artisan production. We’ll visit shops “off the beaten path” and get an intimate look into their workshops while actually watching the artisans work.  Goldsmiths, shoemakers, crystal, leather workers, hat makers, bookbinders, and stone mosaic creators…and much more. Of course you will have the opportunity to shop! After, we have lunch reservations at a lovely enoteca. The rest of the afternoon is yours: Experience Florence as the Florentine do, enjoying the cafés, restaurants, markets and shops.  In the early evening we'll meet and enjoy the city from a different perspective on a 2-hour private tour as you are whisked into the hills above Florence to view beautiful vistas with an opportunity to watch the sun set over the Ponte Vecchio. (B, L) 

​*Optional afternoon guided tours to museums or galleries.


Day 6 - Chianti : Wine & Olive Oil  
After breakfast, our private driver will meet us at our hotel to transfer the group to the Tuscan countryside.  First stop: The Chianti region!  This region of Tuscany made famous by the red wine of the same name, is a beautiful area of terra-cotta-roofed towns and winding roads leading through miles of vineyards, with cypress and olive groves stitching sun-dappled rolling hillsides – this is classic wine country. We'll stop at a local farm that produces olive oil, and wine.  After our tour, we'll enjoy a typical lunch showcasing all their products.  Leaving Chianti, we will make our way to our accommodations in the countryside for the next 2 nights– an agriturismo villa. After checking in and getting settled, the group will meet up in the dining room for our group dinner served with plenty of local wine. (B, L, D)


Day 7 - Tuscany: Pecorino and the Val D’Orcia (Montepulciano, Pienza)

After breakfast at our agriturismo, we will depart for a tour of two of Tuscany’s most famous towns:  Montepulciano & Pienza set in the Val d’Orcia – what many view as the “quintessential” Tuscany. Montepuliciano – home of the famous Nobile di Montepulciano wines.  Pienza – Birthplace of Pope Pius II. Pienza is also known for its many sheep farms producing the famous Pecorino cheese.  Enjoy lunch with a view overlooking the valley.  Dinner at our agriturismo.  (B, L, D)    


Day 8 - Siena: The Heart of Tuscany & Home of the Palio

​After breakfast and checking out of our agriturismo, we're off to Siena.  Once we arrive, we’ll meet our guide for a 3-hour private guided tour.  We’ll uncover the symbolism, secrets, artwork, and diverse medieval, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture, including the Campo transformed twice yearly for the famous Palio horse race and the Gothic and Romanesque Duomo.  Siena's heart is its central piazza known as Il Campo, known worldwide for the famous Palio run here, a horse race run around the piazza two times every summer. Free time in the afternoon to grab lunch and explore on your own before we head off to Rome - our destination for the evening. Check into your hotel for the next 3 nights - set right in the center of Rome, very near the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Tonight enjoy a wine-pairing dinner as a group.  (B, D)


Day 9 - Vatican City: St. Peter’s Basilica & Vatican Museums 
We’ll begin day at the Vatican with a “skip-the-line” private guided tour.  This 4-hour tour gives a fascinating in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with ample time to appreciate the wealth of the sacred and profane history, art and religious works contained within its fortified walls. We will explore the Vatican in its entire splendor with a focus on hidden symbols, secrets, myths and stories along with its poignant great works of art and their history giving you an insider's view that you will never forget.  The afternoon is free for you to rest or take in some more sites.  You can visit galleries, parks, museums, the various catacombs, or just grab a gelato and people watch. The possibilities are endless. (B, D*)

- Optional afternoon private walking tour of the key sights of Rome: Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and more.

- Optional evening cooking class with a local & dinner*


Day 10 - Rome: Ancient History

This morning we will step back in time as we explore the best of Ancient Rome on our 4-hour private tour of the Coliseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.  We will dig through the layers of Rome’s history from its pagan roots through to Christian times.  Our guide will weave fascinating tales of intrigue and power struggles, murder and ambition while at the same time highlighting the civilization and law, beauty and religious piety.  Ancient Rome will be brought back to life with stories of emperors, philosophers and great politicians. Lunch on your own and the rest of the day is yours to explore this "Eternal City".  In the evening, the group will meet up for a fun evening out and final group dinner. (B,  D)


Day 11 - Departure Day

Breakfast is provided depending on your time of departure. We'll say our goodbyes. Private transfer to Rome Airport (FCO). Bid "Arrivederci" to Italy! Or...you could add days on to your tour.


Key: B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner​,  included

*Itineraries are subject to change. Vitalia Tours and its partners will strive to provide you with the best possible tour and experience.  It is our intention to adhere to the outlined itinerary as published.  However, please be advised that it may be occasionally necessary to substitute an activity due to events that cannot be predicted.  Therefore, Vitalia Tours reserves the right to make changes in accommodations, tours or excursions, meals, and itineraries at any time should it become necessary or desirable.

Vitalia Tours and Celebrations, LLC, Tours Operators & Promoters, Gilroy, CA