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Essence of Italy (2018)

Connections Boutique Group Journeys: Boutique-style travel in inspiring destinations

Limited to 24 guests
Days: 11  |  From: $6,995


Essence of Italy


Arrive in Rome, Italy's Eternal City, where you are greeted by an A&K representative and transferred to your hotel. In the evening, join fellow guests for a special welcome dinner.

Boscolo Exedra Roma   |   Meals: D

Days 2-3: ROME / Ancient City & Holy See

Journey through history with a morning visit to the Imperial Roman Forum and the Colosseum. In the afternoon, explore the charming Campo de Fiori; the Piazza Navona and its remarkable Fountain of the Four Rivers; and the Pantheon, one of the most widely copied buildings in the Western world. Later, stop at the iconic Trevi Fountain before taking in the Spanish Steps, which are said to comprise the widest stairway in Europe. The next day, explore Vatican City, where you view the magnificent Sistine Chapel with its legendary frescoes by Michelangelo, as well as St. Peter’s Basilica. Tonight, venture out to Rome’s Trastevere, where cobble-stone streets meet with labyrinth alleys, and where you join a welcoming local in her home for wine and a home-cooked feast.

Boscolo Exedra Roma   |   Meals: B L (Day 2); B D (Day 3)

Days 4-6: FLORENCE / The Renaissance & Tuscany

Travel north to the famed region of Tuscany and stop en route in medieval Siena. Here, your local expert introduces you to the Piazza del Campo, home of the famous Palio di Siena horse race. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the twice-yearly event honoring the Virgin Mary features a bareback horse race around the piazza. Continue to Florence, a vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance and its art. The next day, in the company of a specialist art guide, visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David, and the Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the world’s most important art treasures. On your last day, explore the Mercato Centrale market before participating in a three-hour culinary class, where your chef shares the secrets of Florentine cooking.

Hotel Brunelleschi   |   Meals: B D (Day 4); B (Day 5); B L (Day 6)

Day 7: LUCCA / Roman Remnants

Drive to Lucca, a city whose history predates the Roman Empire. Explore its historic center, its streets still mirroring the plan imposed by the Romans when they colonized the city. Continue on to your next destination, the stunning Italian Riviera.

Grand Hotel Portovenere   |   Meals: B D

Day 8: CINQUE TERRE / Beauty Along the Coast

Discover the extraordinary beauty of the Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”), five scenic villages built along the steep coastal cliffs of Liguria on the Italian Riviera. See Manarola, a fishing village set amid terraced vineyards where you can walk to view the magical coast, and visit other villages nearby.

Grand Hotel Portovenere   |   Meals: B L

Days 9-10: VENICE / Palaces & Canals

Travelling by coach to Venice, stop en route to enjoy a private tasting of balsamic vinegar at a family-owned factory, with lunch to follow. Tonight, enjoy the incredible atmosphere at your boutique Venetian hotel set along the romantic Grand Canal. The next day, stroll through the famous Rialto Market before visiting St. Mark’s Basilica, with its lavish decoration of marbles and golden mosaics, and the Doge’s Palace. This evening, take in the atmosphere of a local bàcaro (wine bar) before gathering for a festive farewell dinner.

Hotel L'Orologio Venice   |   Meals: B L (Day 9); B D (Day 10)


After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your flight home.

Meals: B

Extend Your Journey | Enhance your journey with a pre-tour extension to the Amalfi Coast (4 days, from $2,495)

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All small-group journeys are guaranteed to operate with just two guests, and if the price goes down after you book, we'll refund the difference.      

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