La Serenissima by Land and River

22 Days includes Uniworld River Cruise

This magnificent itinerary is a showcase of Italy’s grand past, romantic cities and exquisite natural wonders. Discover the gems of Venice and Northern Italy on your all-inclusive, luxury river cruise, before continuing in elegance by rail and road across the Italian peninsula. Personalize your trip with a selection of included experiences. Whether you prefer to admire the art scene in Ferrara, or try your hand at making pasta in Bologna, this journey brings la dolce vita to life for the ultimate Italian vacation.

Itinerary

Day 1: International Flight to Italy

Board your overnight flight to Europe (airfare not included)

Day 2: Welcome to Milan

On arrival at Milan Malpensa Airport, you are met and transferred to your centrally-located hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Hotel: Rosa Grand Milano (or similar), Milan

Day 3: Highlights of Milan

Milan, known for its high-end fashion and artistic landmarks, provides the perfect starting point for your Italian adventure. Join your Local Expert for a walking tour of the city’s many highlights. Admire the grand Gothic Duomo in the urban heart and then come face-to-face with Leonardo da Vinci’s magnificent fresco, ‘The Last Supper,’ at the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent.
Hotel: Rosa Grand Milano (or similar), Milan. Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 4: VERONA, THE CITY OF ROMEO AND JULIET, AND ON TO VENICE.

En route to Venice, stop in Verona, home to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Continue to the revered Serego Alighieri estate, which belongs to descendants of Dante Alighieri, one of Italy’s most famous poets, for an exclusive wine tasting and multi-course lunch. On arrival in Venice, step aboard Uniworld’s River Countess where you’ll begin your exploration of the Queen of the Adriatic.
Hotel: Uniworld’s River Countess. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine

Day 5: Venice

With your Local Expert, wind through Venice’s labyrinthine back lanes, as you appreciate the city’s residential heart and legendary locations, including the Doge’s Palace and the Rialto Bridge. Cap the day with an after-hours VIP lighting ceremony, hosted inside St. Mark’s Basilica when available. In the evening prepare for the dazzling Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Hotel: Uniworld’s River Countess. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine

Day 6: Relaxed start in Chioggia

Admire the magnificent views of The Floating City’s greatest sights, as your ship sets sail for Chioggia. Explore the delights of this picturesque fishing village. Choose between wandering the canals on a discovery tour with your Local Expert or take an invigorating guided bicycle tour along the beaches of Chioggia.
Hotel: Uniworld’s River Countess. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine

Day 7: POLESELLA: BOLOGNA OR FERRARA

Art lovers will delight in a half-day visit to Ferrara. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautifully preserved Renaissance treasure, an ancient center for the arts that once rivaled Medici Florence. Its long history of art was founded on the sponsorship of the noble Renaissance family of d’Este.
Hotel: Uniworld’s River Countess. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine

Day 8: TAGLIO DI PO AND CHIOGGIA

There’s no better place to indulge in Italy’s famed frutti di mare than Chioggia, a colorful fishing village on the Venice Lagoon. Stroll through the town’s bustling fish market alongside your Local Expert and appreciate the enterprising atmosphere. Should weather permit, hop aboard a small boat to go mussel harvesting with local fishermen out in the lagoon.
Hotel: Uniworld’s River Countess. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine

Day 9: VENICE ISLANDS: TORCELLO, BURANO AND MAZZORBO

Enjoy a full day on the The Magical Islands of Venice, showcasing Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. Wonder at Burano’s colourful homes and visit a lace-making atelier, then be treated to a very special wine tasting in Mazzorbo. Visit Torcello, home to Byzantine mosaics depicting the Last Judgment in the seventh-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta.
Hotel: Uniworld’s River Countess. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10: THEATRICAL VENICE

Get a feel for daily life in Venice with a guided stroll through the bustling Rialto Market, or tour the renowned Accademia Gallery with a local art historian. Celebrate your last evening onboard at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Hotel: Uniworld’s River Countess. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine

Day 11: TO ROME BY RAIL

Transfer to the station to board your high-speed train to Rome. Enjoy the ever-changing scenery and business class comfort as you head South across the back-bone of Italy. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel. At 18:00, meet your Travelling Concierge for a short stroll to the Trevi Fountain, enjoying the romance of the Eternal City as night falls, before an evening of culinary delights and wine.
Hotel: Bernini Bristol, Rome. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 12: ROME AND THE VATICAN IN VIP STYLE

Our fast-tracked entry into the Vatican Museums is the best way to enjoy the timeless Papal art collection. In the ultimate VIP experience, enter Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel for a private tour with a Local Expert before it opens to the public. Continue into St. Peter’s Basilica, before seeing the Roman Forum and visiting the grand Colosseum. Enjoy time at leisure in the afternoon, perhaps relishing an espresso at a piazza cafe or walking along the romantic Tiber River. In the evening meet Debora, your local VizEat host, for a home-cooked Italian meal served at her wonderful city-centre home.
Hotel: Bernini Bristol, Rome. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 13: POMPEII AND THE ISLE OF CAPRI

Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time since A.D. 79 when it was violently engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius. Join your Local Expert to learn about the lifestyles of the people who once lived here and explore the remnants of ancient shops, baths and patrician villas. Journey on to the Bay of Naples where you’ll board your hydrofoil bound for the sun-drenched Isle of Capri. On arrival, enjoy an escorted ride in an open-top taxi to your exclusive hotel. Settle in and appreciate the splendors of Capri at your leisure, long after the day-trippers have returned to the mainland.
Hotel: Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, Isle of Capri. Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 14: EXPLORE THE ISLE OF DREAMS

Embark on a dazzling cruise to see the white grotto and spectacular cliffs of the island, before arriving in Capri town to cool off with a refreshing lemon granita. Walk with your Local Expert to the gardens of Caesar Augustus to view the legendary Faraglioni Rocks, jutting out of the water. Prepare for a highlight lunch at Ristorante L’Olivo, the only eatery on the island boasting two Michelin stars. Savour Chef Andrea Migliaccio’s culinary masterpieces of traditional dishes inspired by modern interpretations, as you drink wine from carefully-crafted handmade glassware. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps treating yourself to a pampering massage at your hotel’s day spa?
Hotel: Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, Isle of Capri. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

Day 15: LUSH UMBRIA AND ON TO ASSISI AND PERUGIA

Return to the mainland and travel north along the Highway of the Sun to the winding, cobbled streets of Assisi for a guided visit to the imposing Basilica of St. Francis with your Local Expert. Continue on to the Umbrian capital of Perugia. Ascend from the lower town, through the maze of medieval streets, to your five-star deluxe hotel. In the afternoon, meet your Local Expert for a walk along Perugia’s Corso Vannucci to the main square where you’ll see the Great Fountain, Collegio del Cambio and the splendid Prior’s Palace. Spend the evening at your leisure; perhaps soaking up the vibrancy of this historic university town from a local cafe?
Hotel: Brufani, Perugia. Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 16: SAN GIMIGNANO AND TUSCANY

Discover the preserved heritage of textile loom-weaving at the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti, a weaver’s workshop situated inside a 13th century Franciscan church. Meet Marta, the workshop director and recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant, and learn how this medieval craft has been kept alive over the generations. Continue your journey north through glorious Tuscan landscapes. On arrival, meet your Local Expert for a guided tour through the former house and Mediterranean gardens of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Nicolo Machiavelli. You’re invited to join a special opening of his private office where he famously wrote ‘The Prince’ and then to enjoy an exclusive wine tasting in his original cellar. Taste a variety of wines from his cellar including a rare Super Tuscan, one of the world’s most renowned wines. Conclude your visit with a light lunch of Farm-to-Table Tuscan snacks. Continue to hilltop San Gimignano and stroll through its serpentine alleyways to taste the award-winning gelato of Sergio Dondoli.

**Chairman’s Collection

If you are travelling on a Chiarman’s Collection departure, you are invited to an exclusive lunch and wine tasting with Count Francesco Mazzei at his centuries-old Tuscan estate. This experience will replace the lunch and wine tasting at the home of Nicolo Machiavelli.
Hotel: Villa Le Maschere, Barberino Di Mugello, Tuscany. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

Day 17: RENAISSANCE FLORENCE

For a relatively small city, Florence boasts an abundance of art and architectural masterpieces, chic boutiques and fabulous restaurants. Join an art historian for an insider’s guide to cultural Florence. Admire Michelangelo’s original statue of David in the Accademia Museum, before strolling to the cathedral, the baptistery with its Gates of Paradise and the open-air gallery in Piazza della Signoria. Enjoy Florence in the afternoon at your own pace or return to your renaissance hotel for a relaxing afternoon spent in its tranquil Tuscan gardens. In the evening, gather for a delicious dinner with wine, served at a local restaurant in delightful Barberino Di Mugello
Hotel: Villa Le Maschere, Barberino Di Mugello, Tuscany. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 18: TUSCAN COOKING CLASS AND PISA

Join a professional chef and uncover the secrets of Tuscan cooking during an authentic culinary masterclass. Complete your cooking experience by savouring the fruits of your labour with a lovely lunch. In the afternoon, travel to Pisa and with your Local Expert view the splendid Duomo, baptistery and, of course, the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Hotel: Villa Le Maschere, Barberino Di Mugello, Tuscany. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine

Day 19: EXPLORING THE CINQUE TERRE AND THE ITALIAN RIVIERA

Journey northwest towards the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join your Local Expert in the picturesque fishing village of Manarola, then cruise along the rugged coast to explore Monterosso’s medieval quarter and popular sandy beach. Enjoy lunch at leisure, then journey by train to the resort of Rapallo. Your prestigious hotel offers striking vistas of the Portofino promontory.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa, Rapallo. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 20: THEATRICAL VENICE AND THE DOGE'S PALACE

Cross the fertile Po Valley to Verona, home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Stroll past the well-preserved Roman Arena and through a maze of elegant squares to stand beneath the balcony said to have belonged to the Capulet family. Continue on to your five-star luxury hotel in Venice. In the evening, you are invited to an after-hours private visit of the magnificent Doge’s Palace. As all crowds disappear, discover the history, art and culture of the Venetian Republic with your Local Expert.
Hotel: Bauer Palazzo, Venice. Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 21: VENICE AND THE MAGIC OF LA SERENISSIMA

Discover the majestic wonders of Venice on a guided walk with your Local Expert. Admire St. Mark’s Basilica and see the Bridge of Sighs, witness the age-old skill of glassblowing at an arts centre and finally take your seat in a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals. In the afternoon, cruise to the idyllic fisherman’s island of Burano and arrive just in time for a spectacular Celebration Dinner. Raise a glass of local Italian wine, as you toast to new friendships and memories.
Hotel: Bauer Palazzo, Venice. Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 22: ARRIVEDERCI VENICE

After breakfast, bid farewell to your travel companions and transfer by private boat to Venice Marco Polo Airport for your onward journey.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Departures

March – September, 2018

Includes

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom, onboard restroom and complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy while travelling.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • At every hotel, you’ll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Included complimentary, private transfers are available on start and end dates, and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.
  • Meals as per itinerary

Take the time to speak with us

Early booking savings if you book and pay prior to January 11, 2018

Call 905-695-4000 or email travel@sarracini.com