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Airfare NOT Included
Tour begins in Venice and ends in Naples.  
Tour is for 14days/13nights.
The total cost per person is $4199.00 with double occupancy.  
(Includes Euro exchange rate adjustment.  Does not include local city hotel tax)
Traveling solo?  Sadly, most hotels only have a few single rooms, so many times they provide what they term "double for single use".  They do however, charge a premium for the luxury of staying alone.  I am faced with this all the time.   If you cannot find a partner, I will be glad to match up single travelers if at all possible.  Otherwise, the single supplement for this tour is $800.00 extra per person.

September 22 - October 5, 2019

  • Glide along the canals of Venice.
  • Marvel at the 11th century mosaics of  St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Visit Renaissance Florence with famous works of art, including Michelangelo's David.
  • Learn to Cook Italian at Chefactory.
  • Stroll through delightful hill top villages like San Gimignano, Siena and Orvieto.
  • Learn the Art of wine tasting at  Castello da Verrazzano.
  • Visit the Eternal City of Roma.
  • Spend the day in Vatican City.
  • Stroll the cobblestone streets of Sorrento.
  • Drive the famous Amalfi Coast.
  • See the ruins of Pompeii.

The Roman Colosseum.
St. Peter's Basilica and the Tiber River.
Pizza Il Campo in Siena.
The Grand Canal in Venice.
Florence's magnificient Duomo.


  • 13 nights accommodation in 3-4 star, centrally located hotels with private bath or shower.
  • An extensive meal plan:  13 breakfasts (B), 4 lunches (L), 8 dinners (D)  Bottled water, tea or coffee are included with all meals. Wine is included with all dinners (2 glass limit per person, either red or white. LOL)
  • All ground transportation for tour while in Italy.  
  • Morning transfer from Sorrento Hotel Il Nido to Naples airport on Saturday, October 5, 2019 during specified departure times only.  If you leave at any other times, decide to stay on in Sorrento or go to other places in Italy, the cost of any travel will then be at your own expense.
  • Guided sightseeing and entrance fees to select sights and museums as described in itinerary.
  • Wine tasting of Chianti Classico, Nobile de Montepulciano and Orvieto Classico.
  • Pre-tour visit with helpful travel information.
  • Plenty of memories to last a lifetime.
  • Surprises along the way.


  • Airfare is not included.  Transportation from airport or train station in Venice to tour hotel are not included on arrival day.
  • New local city taxes imposed on hotels are not included and must be paid by guest in Euro directly to hotel at checkout.  (These range anywhere from 2 - 6 Euro per person, per night, depending on city)
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Note on Physical Activity

You must be in very good physical condition to sign-up for this trip.  This is not a "walking or hiking" tour, but there will be plenty of walking, some uphill and most on uneven cobblestones.  You will need to be on your feet for extended periods of time.  (Especially in museums and in Rome.)  I am NOT exaggerating about this! There are many steps throughout the trip that you will have to climb.  A hilltown really means a hilltown!  You will also have to handle your own luggage most of the time.  Many hotels do not have elevators.  If for some reason you are unable to take part in all scheduled activities, you can usually stay at the hotel and relax. I will be glad to work with you on possible alternative activities if they are possible, but cannot guarantee it and you will not be compensated for this time on your own.   Also, if you decide to take public transportation to or from a sight or restaurant that I usually walk to, it will be at your own expense.  Please make sure that you do understand these requirements fully before you consider signing up for one of my tours.  I will plan time for you to relax, but have found that most people want to see as much as possible while in Italy.   Most towns are made for walking and this is how we get around.  Don't worry, I bring plenty of ibuprofen along.  

  • LIGHT = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking (some cobblestones) throughout the day.
  • MODERATE = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • STRENUOUS = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, or uneven terrain.
Click for printable copy of Itinerary
Reservations, Deposits and Payments:

A $500.00 non-refundable deposit will hold your place on the tour.  Remember the tours are limited in size.  Payment is accepted by check or credit card through PayPal. (5% fee if using PayPal) If you are a Bank Of America customer, then you could also do a direct bank transfer to me.  I can get you that information if you are interested.  Your deposit is credited against the total tour cost.  Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure.  

Contact me for information on paying with PayPal or Bank Transfer.
**( Itinerary is subject to change and variations with and/or without notice.  Definite itinerary will be given prior to trip )**

Day 0 -  Depart USA - Saturday, September 21, 2019

Remember you will arrive in Europe the day after you depart the USA.    You will need to book your air travel so that you arrive in Venice early enough to check into your hotel and be ready to meet with the group for sightseeing at 3 PM.                        

Day 1 -  Arrival Day - Benvenuto a Venice, La Serenissima- Sunday, September 22,2019

Welcome to Venice, known as "La Serenissima", the most serene.  Many first-time visitors are often stirred deeply by this almost fantasy world unlike anything they have ever seen before.  We will enjoy a walking tour through the back streets of Venice visiting the Rialto Bridge area to St. Mark's Square.  Napoleon referred to this square as " the most beautiful drawing room in Europe".   St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace are both located on this beautiful square.   We will take some time to enjoy a light dinner on the square so that you can end your night early and rest up for a big day of sightseeing tomorrow.   (B) (D) Light

Day 2 - The Pleasure of Getting Lost in Venice - Monday, September 23, 2019

We will dive right into the historic center of what was for centuries Europe's top superpower, with a visit inside St. Mark's Basilica and its museum located on St. Mark's Square.  We will then walk to the Dorsoduro district crossing the old Accademia Bridge to see one of the last Gondola shops in Venice. 

The rest of the day is free for you to visit Venice's other famous sights or to get delightfully lost in the back lanes of this magical island.  I am sure you will want to take that gondola ride sometime during your visit.  Also, do not forget that Venice has some of the best and most unusual shopping in Italy.   You may also wish to take a boat ride to one of the islands like Murano to see the glass blowing exhibits.  Tonight, we will enjoy a our official "welcome dinner" at a restaurant along a quiet canal. (B) (D) Moderate

Day 3 - Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance - Tuesday, September 24, 2019

This morning we are off to Florence or Firenze, the capital of Tuscany.   We will jump right into the frenzy of Firenze with a guided tour of the main sights including the Duomo, Baptistery, with its famous bronze doors, followed by a walk through the medieval streets of Florence.   You will pass Piazza Republica (Ancient Roman forum) , leather markets, the sculpture studded Piazza Signoria and end at the oldest bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vecchio.  Florence is known as an outdoor museum and you will have time to enjoy all the sculpture, art, and architecture that surrounds you.  

Seeing Michelangelo's sculpture of his 17 Ft. marble "David" is truly a highlight of any visit to Florence.  We will visit the Accademia Gallery to gaze upon one of the most famous sculptures in the world.  We will then enjoy our first Tuscan dinner together.  (B) (D) Moderate

Day 4 - Fun in Florence - Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tuscany's cuisine is world famous.  Today you will have the opportunity to learn how to prepare a Tuscan meal yourself, in the kitchen of Chefactory.  You will begin your day strolling through one of the open-air markets in Florence focusing on the culture of Tuscan food.  This includes the tasting of local and seasonal products with targeted spending on organic products which will be useful for the performance and processing of the seasonal menu of your class.  Then, with the guidance of your professional chef Francesco, you will prepare several courses from starters like bruschetta, homemade pasta and sauce, a main course and finally dessert.  You will then sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labor with a little vino.   This experience is always a highlight for many of my travelers.    

After your cooking lesson, you will have some free time. Shopping abounds in this town of designers and it is a great place to find those special souvenirs.   The San Lorenzo market and it is a great place to find bargains and souvenirs.   There are several leather markets and the Ponte Vecchio is known for its many gold and silver shops.  You might want to stop into my favorite chocolate shop, Rivoire, located right on Piazza Signoria.  You can find delicious treats and some unusual gifts.  (B) (L) Light

Day 5 -  Chianti Traditions and "la citta delle belle torri" - Thursday, September 26, 2019

We will say farewell to Florence and then make a stop at the American Military Cemetery located just outside of Florence.  The compelling sight of endless rows of white marble crosses recalls the heroism of the young Americans who fought so valiantly to free Italy from the grips of fascism during World War II.  The 1940's may seem very long ago, but during WWII this area was terribly ravaged by the fighting.  I feel it is an honor and our duty to take time to pay our respects to these brave soldiers.

No trip to Tuscany would be complete without a visit to a local castle and winery.  We will visit one of the oldest in the Chianti area of Tuscany, the 11th century Castello Verrazzano.  You may recognize the name Verrazzano as the captain who discovered New York harbor in 1542.  The Verrazzano Narrows bridge is named after him.  His family's hilltop estate and winery are just spectacular.  You will enjoy a guided tour of the castle grounds and ancient ageing cellars followed by a feast of homemade Tuscan favorites accompanied by a range of delicious wines made by the Verrazzano winery.  You will have the opportunity to learn the art of wine tasting in this relaxed and amusing setting.  

We will then head to one of Tuscany's most popular towns, San Gimignano, the "Beautiful City of Towers".  We will check into the Hotel Leon Bianco, which is located right in the middle of town on the Piazza Cisterna.  There will be time for a short walking tour of this magical village.  We will visit the ruins of the 14th century fortress which is now a peaceful hilltop park and olive grove.  There is a small tower that has great views of the San Gimignano skyline and a 360-degree view of the Tuscan countryside.  You will have the evening to immerse yourself in this Medieval Manhattan.    (B) (L) Strenuous

Day 6 - Magical San Gimignano - Friday, September 27, 2019

You will have the whole day to enjoy San Gimignano.  You will find many things to do in San Gimignano.  The hotel can even arrange some day trips for you.  You may want to climb the Torre Grande, the highest tower in San Gimignano that affords expansive views over the surrounding countryside.  There are several Torture Museums in town, yes, I did say torture museums, and they are supposedly very good.

Beware, there are some of the best artisan shops in Italy down every street.  This has always been an important trading center.  It was on the famous Via Francigena:  the most traveled of the medieval roads that pilgrims traveled to Rome.  From the 8th Century, it was the route through France that linked Canterbury Cathedral in England and Rome, the heart of Christianity.  Today you will find locally owned shops selling ceramics, soaps, alabaster, olive wood items, jewelry, leather goods, etc.  You will find a great selection of paintings and prints of the Tuscan area.   Also, do not miss the award-winning gelato shop located right across from our hotel for a little taste of gelato heaven. Throngs of tourists come in and out of San Gimignano each day and it is especially nice to be able to enjoy it after the crowds have gone.    (B) Light to Strenuous?

Day 7 - Tuscan Treasures - Saturday, September 28, 2019

Today we start early with a visit to Siena.  This beloved Tuscan city has a medieval character that has survived to an amazing extent.  Siena's heart is the shell shaped Piazza del Campo or Il Campo.  This is one of Italy's most famous and most beautiful squares.  The Palio, a renowned horse race takes place twice a year right here.  It is hard to imagine horses racing bareback frantically around for about 90 seconds in this area.  

There will be time to enjoy a tour of some of Siena's most important sights.  First stop will be the massive Duomo, one of the most ornate in Italy.  The inside of the Duomo is as ornate as the outside with its famous marble floors and sculpture by Michelangelo, Pisano and Bernini.  The Piccolomini Library has some stunning frescos that depict the life of Pope Pius II.  The frescos are just as vibrant as the day they were finished over 550 years ago.  You will also have some free time for lunch or shopping.

Next, we head deeper into the lovely region of Tuscany to our overnight destination near the hill town of Cortona.   Borgo Il Melone is a lovely country estate located outside of Cortona. You may want to spend some time relaxing by its magnificent pool. We will enjoy dinner together in the hotel’s excellent restaurant. (B) (D) Strenuous

Day 8 - Majestic Umbria and the Eternal City of Rome - Sunday, September 29, 2019

This morning we will make our way into the nearby region of Umbria.  Umbria’s grand hill town, Orvieto, sits majestically atop an outcrop of volcanic tufa stone with thousands of caves underneath the city, dug out during Etruscan, Medieval and Renaissance times. Orvieto was once an important Etruscan city. Today it is famous for one of Italy’s most beautiful Gothic cathedrals, and a delicious white wine, Orvieto Classico.  

We will take time to enjoy this grand hill town. We will visit the Orvieto Duomo, 300 years in construction, with its San Brizio Chapel covered in frescos by Luca Signorelli. Then we will tour the fascinating Orvieto Underground to see thousands of years of archaeological history.  You will have some free time for lunch or shopping.
Then we will hit the Autostrada and make the drive into Rome, the Eternal City.  After time to settle into our hotel, we will begin our sightseeing with a walking tour of Rome's historical district.   We will visit the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain along the way.    We will enjoy dinner together this evening in one of my favorite trattorias.  You must try the "Cacio e Pepe", a homemade pasta dish with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper.  Delizioso!!   (B) (D)  Moderate

Day 9 - The Wonders of Ancient Rome -  Monday, September 30, 2019

Today will be a full day of sightseeing starting with a walking tour of Ancient Rome's most important sights.  The Pantheon is the only building in Rome to have been continually in use since its construction in 120AD.  ThColosseum is one of the most impressive sights in the entire city of Rome.  We will visit inside and learn about 'Bread and Circuses' and the Gladiatorial games.  We will enjoy lunch together in a restaurant overlooking the Colosseum.  We will then walk among the ruins of the Roman Forum, the political and religious center of ancient Rome.  There will be time to learn of the origins of Rome as we visit the Campidoglio which sits on the Capitoline Hill.  

Afterwards you will have some free time to continue your ancient history lesson with a visit to Palatine Hill or other spots in Rome.  You will have the evening free to enjoy as you like.  (B) (L) Very Strenuous

Day 10  - The Treasures of Vatican City - Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Our first stop on our walking tour this morning will be at Campo de Fiore with its lively market.   We then continue crossing the Tiber river on the Ponte Sant' Angelo with its beautiful statues of angels by Bernini.  This bridge leads to the Castel Sant'Angelo, built as a tomb for the Emperor Hadrian.

From here we will cross into Vatican City, a tiny independent country.  We will take some time for lunch together at a little outdoor cafe.  We will then spend a big part of our day visiting the Vatican Museum with its famous Sistine Chapel followed by a visit inside St. Peter's Basilica, the largest and grandest church in Christendom.   Later we will meet once again for dinner together.  
(B) (L) (D) Strenuous

Day 11 - The Divine Amalfi Coast Escape - Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Today we head to Southern Italy for a visit to one of the most beautiful areas in Italy.  The Divine Coast south of Naples is truly memorable.  Here mountains erupt from the Mediterranean and pastel-hued villages cling to their sides.  This area is filled with dazzling antiquities like Pompeii and breathtaking natural wonders.  We will spend 3 days in this picturesque region.  

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, the lively port city of Pompeii was perfectly preserved by the volcano's ashes.  Pompeii has amazed visitors since its discovery in the 18th century.  Exquisite mosaics and wall paintings among the ruins of theaters, shops, homes and temples offer total immersion into the ancient Roman world.  We will visit the site with a local guide and enjoy a tour throughout the excavations.  

We will then head to Sorrento, known as the city of orange and lemon groves, which you will see everywhere.  The perfume of the citrus trees is a reminder to sample the local liqueur, Lemoncello.  You will find panoramic sea views from many points in town, including from your balcony at Hotel Il Nido.   We will explore Sorrento and its narrow Roman-grid streets, then sit down and enjoy a delicious dinner.  Yes, we will toast our adventures thus far with some chilled Lemoncello.  Salute!  (D)  Strenuous

Day 12 - La Dolce Far Niente (The Sweetness of Doing Nothing) - Thursday, October 3, 2019

You will have time today to enjoy more of this heavenly location just as you like.  You can spend more time in Sorrento.  You could take a train or bus to other areas along the coast.  You could hop a ferry to the magical Isle of Capri.  Hire a private boat for fun in the Mediterranean.  It is your day to spend as you like, even enjoying the "sweetness of doing nothing." (B) 

Day 13 -  Picturesque Villages and Amazing Mediterranean Views -  Friday, October 4, 2019

Today will be a full day of discovery on a drive along the famous Amalfi Coast, the most amazing of all the Mediterranean shores.   It has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.  You will visit the vertical town of Positano, where colorful houses cling to a hillside overlooking the sea.  Continue to Amalfi, once a mighty maritime republic.  Enjoy a walk through the town and a visit to the Duomo di Sant' Andrea which glitters when the sun strikes the gold mosaics on its pediment.  This evening we will dine together one final time at the hotel's fine restaurant after we toast to our beautiful setting with those amazing views.  (B) ( (D) Light

Day 14 -  Arrivederci Italia! - Saturday, October 5, 2019

Sadly, it is time to say "arrivederci".  This morning you will transfer to the Naples Capodichino Airport for your flight home or to other parts of Italy.  Parting will be such sweet sorrow, but I know you will take along wonderful memories of time spent discovering "Bella Italia" with new friends.  (B)

(Included meals are designated each day with (B) for breakfast, (L) for lunch, and (D) for dinner.)


This is it!  Discover some of the most important and beautiful sights in Italy with IWF's tours in 2019.  Join me for 14 days discovering some true treasures, both famous and off the beaten path.  Begin in magical Venice and sip a Bellini in St. Mark's Square.  Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Tuscany with its delicious food and wine.  Visit the Tuscan capital of Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.  Gaze upon Michelangelo's "David".  Learn the secrets of Italian cooking at the Chefactory.  Spend time in San Gimignano, the medieval Manhattan.  Enjoy Castello Verrazzano and learn the art of wine tasting.  Explore the region of Umbria and its grand hill-town Orvieto.   Visit the Eternal City of Rome with its many ancient wonders.  We will spend a day in Vatican City with a visit to the Sistine Chapel.  Finally, we will end our adventure in Southern Italy.  Drive along the spectacular Amalfi Coast, with unforgettable Mediterranean vistas.  Wander the tiny lanes of seaside Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi.  Explore the ancient streets of Pompeii and marvel at still smoldering Mount Vesuvius. Do not miss the chance to discover the Italy that you have been dreaming of. Hope to see you in 2019 for this amazing adventure discovering Bella Italia.

St. Peter's at Vatican City.
The Pantheon in Rome.
The ancient streets of Pompeii.
The coastal town of Positano.
Magical San Gimignano.
Rome's Trevi Fountain.
Piazza Cisterna in San Gimignano.
Delicious Italian goodies.
The Duomo in Orvieto.
Vino and more Vino.
The Florence Market
The Rialto Bridge in Venice.
St. Mark's Square.
Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Amalfi's lovely Duomo.