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Story Land & Sea®

Return to the Great Cities of Italy

All new experiences in the beloved cities.



Exclusive: Return to the Great Cities of Italy Tour:

Great for First Time to Italy or Returning travelers to Italy: Unique Experiences Throughout.

Everything about this trip idea was perfect: Waves of confirmation swept over the tour-planners as they gleefully anticipated each step of the way: a familiar path with exciting and fresh experiences.

All of the inclusions you must have when traveling to Italy. None of the rush. Discover Slow Travel through Italy and be immersed in the Italian culture. With Story Land & Sea® enjoy Skip-the-Line Special Access entrances in a true small group tour of up to 16 travelers. Leave the Herd Behind. Again.

Renown Travel Expert Arthur Frommer says our small group tour of Italy is "the perfect way to see Italy."



Return To Great Cities of Italy Daily Itinerary

Read the complete itinerary below and re-discover the Great Cities of Italy in a small group tour. Venice, Florence & Rome with Tuscany
Includes San Gimignano, Cortona or Siena

Read on and let Italy's culture spring to life as you journey again through three of its greatest cities along with a beautiful diversion through the Tuscan countryside.

"We so enjoyed 'returning' to the Great Cities of Italy with Story. It was as if we were visiting again for the very first time. Bellissimo!


BOUND FOR VENICE MARCO POLO
Italy's Great Cities TourRomeItaly TourItalyItaly Travel
Italy's Small Group Tour
Day 1: International Flight

Depart Your Home Airport on your Trans-Atlantic flight to Europe ~ Flight not included, but inquire for special fare with our Air Service.

Get an airfare quote: Click Here.

Please Note: "Day 1" is the published tour date and is the date you will arrange your air travel to depart your home airport. Your Small Group Tour will commence on Itinerary Day 2 upon arrival into Venice, Italy.

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination (Venice) on time regardless of whether QueensLander has arranged your air.

  We very much encourage trip cancellation and interruption insurance.



HELLO VENICE
Italy TravelVeniceEscorted Italy ToursVenice ToursTravel to Italy
Piazza San Marco on the Small Group Tour

Day 2: Welcome Back to Venice! Ah! Venezia!

City: Venice
Region: Veneto

Your Arrival Transfer on Day 2 at 12:30pm is included. Inquire with reservations if arriving at another time.

   Included Dining: Welcome Dinner
   Exclusive: Unique Perspective Experience


Arrive Venice Marco Polo Airport (Airport Code: VCE)
Optional Arrivel Transfer: $134 Per Person: Our Stunning Arrival Transfer Experience into Venice San Marco on Itinerary Day 2 is a great way to arrive! On Itinerary Day 2, enjoy our Meet & Greet by QueensLander® Representative, included shuttle from the airport to the airport boat dock where you will board our private water taxi across the bay of Venice. This hosted experience is the perfect way to arrive Venice. Imagine yourself on the Lagoon of Venice with service right to our Deluxe Hotel's back-door entrance from the canal. Portage begins at the boat. Time: 45 minutes to 1 Hour.

Welcome Back to the Great Cities of Italy! One of QueensLander®'s most popular True Small-Group® Italy tour itineraries comes to life in a brand new way with exciting and fresh experiences.

The trip commences at 3:00PM at our Deluxe hotel in Venice. Located seconds away from Piazza San Marco, known to us as San Marco Square, is our deluxe 5-star hotel where your Tour Captain meets you for the included Venice Orientation Walkabout.

3:00PM ~ INCLUDED ORIENTATION WITH YOUR TOUR CAPTAIN: Join your Tour Captain for a literal walk down 'memory lane as you greet San Marco again. You will be reminded of where the major landmarks are located in relation to our hotel, the best ATM machines for Euro and exchange rates, and other helpful information for your stay in romantic Venice, Italy, capping your walk with a visit to the "shadow of the Lion" for a welcome beverage.

INCLUDED RECEPTION FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS: This evening, join your fellow travelers and Tour Captain for our very special welcome reception.

INCLUDED VENICE WELCOME BACK DINNER: Join your Tour Captain for a Welcome Dinner in Venice, Italy. Experience once again what can only be described as a tour of the best cuisine and vino from the region of Veneto.

You'll recall, our approach to dining is truly unique: We've collected our favorites dishes from the incredible restaurants we visit for each included dinner. No buffets here! Your Tour Captain is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly and will help you interpret any menu item. For the 5 total included dinners, your Tour Captain will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your vino for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region you're traveling ~ and yes, "the wine will continue to flow."

Lodging in the Heart of the City
There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story's Heart of City hotels!

Experience the Genuine Difference of Story Land & Sea®'s included dinner experiences: No hotel buffets, only real restaurants in and about the cities and towns we are visiting. Eat like a local with our free-style menus with Premium Wine, Colas, and Beer included. 5 of the 8 dinners on this itinerary are included on your Deluxe and Classic Budget "Return to the Great Cities Tour."

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HELLO AGAIN VENEZIA
Venice TourVeniceVenice, VeneziaVenice, ItalyWalking Tour Venice
Venice Italy in a Small Group Tour

Day 3:

Welcome to Venice, Italy ~ It's all waiting for you again if you desire: Grand Canal, Giudecca Canal, St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace, the Prison, and Venice's Bridge of Sighs

   Optional Dinner: You may opt to join your Tour Captain tonight for dinner (departs from lobby usually about 7:45pm) or opt to explore on your own throughout Venice.
   Exclusives: Gondola with Musicians


A new guided experience is included today and free-time to explore the original venues is provided.

Start your morning sightseeing in style as your Tour Captain escorts you to sections of Venice you didn't see before. We tour by walking and by private boat today, with visits to the isles of Burano and Torcello. We return to the San Marco for the balance of the day free.

About the Walking on our Tours
We do walk on our small group tours of Italy! We walk a lot, but it's unhurried and there are ample opportunities to sit and relax. You must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs of Italy.

ROMANTIC VENICE: Have family or friends who want to see Classic Venice? Just inquire with us on how we can make that happen for them!
The romance of Venice is apparent every step of the way, from the fine Venetian glass in the traditional style to the classic gondola ride. Enjoy our boat ride on our authentic Venetian-style motorboat through the canals and the Grand Canal of Venice.

The Magic of Wandering Through Venice ~ discover your "lost adventure" in this romantic city!

The afternoon on San Marco is at leisure: discover the magic of the canals and myriad sidewalks as you explore, and delightfully get "lost" in the city of Venice.

OF COURSE IT'S INCLUDED: GONDOLA WITH PRIVATE MUSICIAN SERENADE
Before the optional dinner, you will enjoy our included Gondola ride through the canals of Venice with professional musicians. On occasion inclement weather will prevent the gondola ride. In this scenario an alternate activity will be substituted later in the tour.


Your Story Land & Sea® Tours' Gondola experience includes our private musicians to serenade you.

Dinner in Venice, anyone?
You may opt to join your Tour Captain tonight for dinner (departs from lobby usually about 7:45pm) or opt to explore on your own throughout Venice.

DAILY HOT BREAKFAST INCLUDED

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION TOUR ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING to:

    • Tour of Piazza San Marco, learn about the Clock Tower, Caffé Florian, Napoleon and the Winged Lion
    • Private Boat Ride to visit the Islands of Burano and Torcello: View the palaces, churches and edifices that create the backdrop that is Venice's islands, all from the comfort of our boat as we venture across around the lagoon.

Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace: Volume: Moderate

 

VENICE: Peggy Guggenheim Museum   $69 pp

Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket with Reservations. Hassle-Free Entry: Reservation with Ticket for admission to the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery. Based on availability at time of reservation. Duration: 2 Hours.

VENICE: Venetian Mask Making Class   $439 pp

Enjoy this "Mini-Course" and make your own Venetian Mask in the style of the masters. A minimum of two guests: $437 per person. Duration: 3 Hours.


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RETURN ME TO FLORENCE!
Tuscany TourFlorence, ItalyTuscan WinesFlorence ToursTuscany Cuisine
Florence Italy on the Small Group Tour

Day 4: Venice to Florence

This morning we again embark on the Fast Train from Venice to Florence, to arrive once again the city of the Renaissance.

City: Florence
Province: Florence
Region: Toscana

   Included Dining: Today, enjoy our included Hot Breakfast.
Tonight, enjoy our included Welcome Dinner in Florence.


This morning we embark on our boat to the Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station for included tickets on the Italotrain Fast Train to Florence. We zip along the Italian countryside and arrive Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station. A short walk and we're at our new hotel properties in the very heart of Florence.

INCLUDED TOUR CAPTAIN RECEPTION & WALK: We'll freshen up on arrival, and then join the Tour Captain for a special Florence Orientation Reception & Walk through the cobblestones streets. Another special "Welcome Back" experience and then the balance of the day at leisure.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace: Volume: Light

INCLUDED WELCOME BACK TO FLORENCE DINNER ~ Tonight we dine again in Florence and experience an entirely new palate of cuisine paired with wine.

Free-choice dining means you select what you'd like from the menu ~ the Tour Captain is available to help you interpret the menu. Your Tour Captain Host will provide the appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your vino for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region.

 
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THE MEDICI OF FLORENCE

Day 5: Discovering Florence's Past

Florence, ItalyFlorence Renaissance TourFlorence ItalyFlorence ToursFlorence, Italy, Piazza Reppublica
The Duomo in Florence, Italy
   Included Story® Way of Dining: Eating from the Land in Florence.
Tonight for dinner you may explore on your own, however, the Tour Captain will invite you to join them to a special restaurant that is close to their heart. Have you had your Florentine Steak yet?
   Exclusives: Unique Perspectives Experience


Today join your Tour Captain and our local guide on a specially guided tour in the footsteps of the Medici Family of Florence Past, complete with a special access experience.

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION TOUR WITH OUR LOCAL GUIDE ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING to:

    • Admission and tour of the Vasari Corridor ~ The Vasari Corridor is an elevated and enclosed passageway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. Beginning on the south side of the Palazzo Vecchio, it then joins the Uffizi Gallery and leaves on its south side, crossing the Lungarno dei Archibusieri and then following the north bank of the River Arno until it crosses the Ponte Vecchio.

      The Vasari Corridor was built in 5 months by order of Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici in 1564, to the design of Giorgio Vasari. It was commissioned in connection with the marriage of Cosimo's son, Francesco, with Johanna of Austria. The idea of an enclosed passageway was motivated by the Grand Duke's desire to move freely between his residence and the government palace, when, like most monarchs of the period, he felt insecure in public, in his case especially because he had replaced the Republic of Florence.

    • Sightseeing walking tour of select sights in Florence.

Have friends or family that want to see Classic Florence? No worries. Florence boasts a variety of fine sights to see, including Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistry's Bronze "Gate of Paradise," Giotto's Bell Tower, Signoria Square, and the Galleria dell'Accademia, where Michelangelo's David is housed.

Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace; Volume: Moderate to Ample


Italian CuisineFLORENCE CULINARY CLASS:
Option while in Florence   $129.00 pp

In the company of an expert chef, in a fully equipped kitchen, the participants learn how to make a 4-course dinner: appetizer, first course, second course, and dessert. It is a different experience where the participants learn to prepare a 4-course meal and then partake in the sampling of the prepared dishes. This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea® to ensure availability.

Italy CuisineTUSCAN CULINARY EXPERIENCE IN THE COUNTRY:
Option while in Florence
(Available mid-April through October)   $339 pp

In the company of an expert chef, in a fully equipped kitchen, the participants learn how to make a 4-course dinner: appetizer, first course, second course, and dessert. It is a different experience where the participants learn to prepare a 4-course meal and then partake in the sampling of the prepared dishes. Includes round-trip transfers. This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea® to ensure availability.

uffizi galleryUFFIZI GALLERY ADMISSION:
Option in Florence: Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket with Reservations   $59 pp

Hassle-Free Entry: Reservation with Ticket for admission to Uffizi Gallery per person. Based on availability at time of reservation. This package includes admission ticket as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea® to ensure availability (very important).

uffiziPRIVATELY GUIDED TOUR OF UFFIZI WITH ADMISSION TICKET:
Option while in Florence   $194 pp

Private Guided Experience $194/Person (2 Guest Minimum) including admission. Based on availability at time of reservation. This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea® to ensure availability.

Florence Uffizi GalleryUFFIZI SMALL GROUP GUIDED TOUR WITH ADMISSION TICKET:
Option while in Florence   $139 pp

90 Minute Group Guided Tour including Admission. Based on availability at time of reservation. This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by QStory Land & Sea® to ensure availability.

Tomb of MediciMEDICI CHAPEL & TOMBS ADMISSION:
Option in Florence: Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket with Reservations   $59 pp

Hassle-Free Entry: Reservation with Ticket for admission to the Medici Chapel per person. Based on availability at time of reservation. This package includes admission ticket as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea® to ensure availability (very important).



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FREE DAY IN FLORENCE AND TUSCANY
Tuscany, ItalyTuscan Sun TourTuscany TourTuscan Wine TourTuscan Landscape
Villa Marsili in Tuscany

Day 6: Florence

What's Your Name?
Marcello.
Of course it is!


   Optional Dining with your Tour Captain Tonight

Perhaps it's your time to explore the Uffizi Gallery. Or you yearn to return to San Gimignano and taste again its fruits! Or you're ready to try on that culinary hat in the Tuscan country side and learn to cook! Whatever your heart desires awaits you in Tuscany. Or simply explore Florence. It's all at your fingertips today.

YOUR DAY AT LEISURE
A completely free day in Florence (or to explore in to Tuscany!)

 
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TUSCAN HEART

Day 7: Let your heart flutter as you realize you are returning to the country-side of Tuscany.

Cortona, ItalyCortona, ItalyTuscany countrysideCortona & TuscancyTuscan Wine Country
Cortona in Tuscany
   Included Dining: Breakfast, Welcome Dinner

UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN, AGAIN.
This morning we leave Florence and delve deep back into the heart of Tuscany. Our first stop is a hilltop village in Tuscany.

The hill towns of Tuscany conform almost perfectly to the archetypal mental image most of us have of a walled Tuscan village. Many of the villages are in good shape and still intact. The visual effect of the beautiful hill top crowns is quite breathtaking when viewed from a distance.
HERE'S A TOAST TO YOU!
We'll taste and toast our arrival into the countryside of Tuscany with our wine experience inside the walls of the village.

INCLUDED WINE & CUISINE EXPERIENCE
SUPER TUSCAN, AGAIN: We continue to one of our favorite estates for a wine tour and tasting. Our lunch features palate-pleasing appetizers, including pecorino cheese, bruschetta, and other delights. You'll get your fill of classic Chianti and Super Tuscan vino along with delicate cuisine.


INCLUDED EXCURSIONS SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION AND EXCLUSIVE WINERY VISIT ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING to:

• Sightseeing and free time in Tuscan town

•  Story Land & Sea® EXCLUSIVE: Discover again the magic as we experience the village.

• Tuscany's Wine Road: Winding through the Tuscan hills, the wine road offer views with remarkable beauty, characterized by vineyards, wine cellars, distant rolling landscapes, and villages up in the hills.

Walking Level: Light to Moderate, Leisurely Pace, Volume: Moderate

ON TO CORTONA OR SIENA
Mid to late-afternoon we enjoy a leisurely drive to our inn for our third night in the heart of Tuscany.

We arrive in time to freshen up before meeting in the lobby tonight for a reception before dinner.

"A 'wow' moment was waking up in Tuscany, opening the window to the morning sun just starting to burn the clouds off the valley floor below. The light was exquisite, the landscape revealing itself slowly, a picture perfect postcard vision."

INCLUDED DINING TONIGHT: Join your Tour Captain for a Welcome Dinner.

REMEMBER THE CHAOS & THE ECSTASY OF DINING IN TUSCANY
Tonight, we soak up an authentic Italian dinner, hand-crafted by the owners in the setting of a small Tuscan ristorante. There's nothing prepared in advance here, and that's just how we like it! The ensuing chaos and ritual merge together here to create none other than the magic of Italy! Remember, dinners in Italy usually don't begin until around 9pm. Our dinner experience will begin slightly earlier, but we'll try to blend in as much as possible. Long, drawn-out dinners, where you visit and share the stories of the day is the culture throughout Italy.

Tuscany is a place we never want to leave.
Sit back, breathe deeply, relax, and soak in all that is Tuscany.

On select departures the itinerary will stay in Siena.

 

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CORTONA OR SIENA AT LEISURE

Day 8: Experience the day at leisure in beautiful Toscana


   Included Dining: Breakfast

Enjoy a day at leisure.  



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ROME

Day 9: Upon our return to Rome we make our way back to the very heart of Old Rome.

Rome, Vittorio EmanueleRoman EmpireRoman EmpireRome, ItalyRome Tour
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
   Included Dining Tonight: We freshen up at our hotel properties before meeting for a Welcome Back to Rome reception.

Every time I return to Rome I fondly remember that night at Trevi Fountain...

On the way to dinner, enjoy our included walking tour of the Fountains of Rome with your Tour Captain.

The 'eternal city' opens its arms and provides a unique experience tonight for our included dinner.

BORGHESE GALLERY ADMISSION TICKET:
Option while in Rome: Skip-the-Line Reservations & Admissions   $59.00 pp

Borghese Gallery Entrance Reservations & Admission Tickets: Guest(s) arrive Borghese Galleria 30 minutes in advance. ((No photos. No handbags or carry-ons permitted inside the Galleria)). This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea®® Tours to ensure availability (very important). NOTE: The timed admissions are provided by the Borghese Gallery and Story Land & Sea®® Tours cannot guarantee your requested time can be arranged.

ROME CULINARY EXPERIENCE:
Option while in Rome    $219 pp

Experience true Italian cooking experience as your expert chefs inspire you with new or traditional culinary creations. Learn from the chef, and then enjoy tasting your creation with wines from Toscana and Lazio regions. $219 Per Person. Duration: 3 to 5 Hours.

ROME GLADIATORIAL SCHOOL:
Option while in RomePricing Below

Experience training as a Gladiator in full era-garb in Rome. Absolutely exciting and exhausting! Two (2) hour (approximately) classes are organized and led by members of the Historic Group of Rome (in English) - who specialize in the re-enactment of Roman life & Gladiatorial combat. This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea®® Tours to ensure availability. Pricing based on number of participants: One (1) Participant: $225.00 per guest. Two (2) Participants: $175.00 per guest. Three (3) to Five (5) Participants: $150 per guest. $125 per guest for groups of 6 to 10. Inquire for larger groups.

POMPEII FROM ROME:
Option while in Rome: ((Rome to Pompeii and Return by Train))    $479 pp

World-Class Pompeii Excursion includes Round-trip Train Tickets from Rome, Round-trip Transfers in Naples, Admission, Gratuities and Privately Guided Experience. This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea®® Tours to ensure availability. You will transfer to and from the Rome train station by taxi at your own expense. NOTE: We highly recommend that you opt to extend to the Enchanted Amalfi Coast Extension (see below) where Pompeii is more easily accessed!

 

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UNDER ROME

Day 10

   Included Dining: Breakfast

The History of Rome springs back to life as we peel layer upon layer with Underground Rome.

"There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."

After breakfast, we begin our tour of Underground Rome: We descend into the underground layers of Rome beginning with the Catacombs. These are the Eternal City's burial chambers with long, winding passages provide history of Rome like you've never seen it before.

Basilica San Clemente
We arrive Basilica San Clemente where it is said the sound of running water drove one clergyman to "dig his way through the floor tiles." What he discovered was the "strata" or layers of history piled on top of each other so that visitors today climb down to a 4th century church, the 2nd century remains of a Mithraic temple and finally, an incredibly preserved first-century Roman street. In Latin the word used for 'layer,' pavement and road is the same: strata. From this word we have in Italian strada — road — and autostrada — motorway. Enough of a word-origins lesson, on with the Underground Tour!

The ruins reach about 57ft deep: it makes one ponder what may lay beneath the rest of Rome!

Much of what Rome has to offer is buried underground and through our immersion experience through the crypts and catacombs you will come to appreciate even more the 'dream that was Rome!"

Have Friends or Family who want to experience Classic Rome? No Worries. Inquire with reservations on how this can easily happen.

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION OF IMPERIAL ROME WITH LOCAL GUIDE ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING to:

    • Admission and Guided Tour of Basilica San Clemente
    • SPECIAL ACCESS: Enjoy our special access with no waiting in line: Admission and Guided Tour of Catacombs & Crypts ~ There once was a dream that was Rome

Throughout our stay in Rome, we will visit Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain), Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), Campo di Fiore, and Piazza Navona, where mock nautical battles took place in the venue.

Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace; Volume: Ample

OPTIONAL DINING TONIGHT: Join your Tour Captain for dining out tonight in Roma at another unique restaurant.

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DAY AT LEISURE IN ROME

Day 11

 

Enjoy a day at leisure in Rome before our farewell dinner tonight.

   Included Dining: Farewell Dinner Tonight

Enjoy Rome today however you like. Then tonight enjoy reflecting on your journey with your new friends. It's a special time as you join the Tour Captain for our included Farewell to Rome Dinner Event.

INCLUDED FAREWELL TO ROME DINNER ~ We again toast to a wonderful experience together. The venue and the music make for the perfect ending to your Italian vacation. It is a night of fun, great cuisine and vino, and memories!

Our days, once again, have been filled with new sights, tastes, and discoveries - tonight enjoy reflecting on the incredible journey we've had together.

Here's to You! Here's to Italy! May she forever inspire us.



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ARRIVEDERCI ROMA

Day 12

 

   Included Dining: Breakfast

Check Out or Extend Your Adventure through Italy

Catch flights for the USA from Rome. Until we meet again, may your days be full of discovery and your nights full of good friends. Or are you extending to the Enchanted Amalfi Coast? Or some other exotic destination...inquire with reservations for details.

Breakfast included this morning, time permitting.


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DISCOVER AGAIN THE ENCHANTED AMALFI COAST

amalfi coast, ItalyENCHANTED AMALFI COAST   $1,479 pp

Enjoy 3 days, 3 nights on the enchanted Amalfi Coast including Pompeii and option to the Isle of Capri.

 

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Discover again our new, true Heart of City Hotels that set Story Land & Sea® apart from the mainstream.

Wondering 'What hotels are really being used?
Story Land & Sea® Commitment on Hotels:
The hotels identified below are used for our Deluxe and Classic Budget hotels throughout the Great Cities Tour. The only times an alternate property may be used would be in the event of no availability at the time you place your reservation. We will alert you of this should it ever become necessary. Make note, it is extremely rare for this scenario to take place.

You may also call Story Land & Sea® and ask them about the confirmed hotels for your departure date of interest: 1 (877) 865-6711.

VENICE: AH! VENICE – 2 Nights

There is a difference between "centrally-located hotels" and Story Land & Sea®'s Heart-of-City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages. Our Deluxe tour hotels feature a full, hot breakfast included daily with cappuccino, tea, juice and an assortment of meats, fresh, local vegetables, fresh-baked pastries and fruit. Classic Budget guests will enjoy a continental breakfast.



FLORENCE: BIRTHPLACE OF THE RENAISSANCE – 3 Nights



CORTONA: UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN – 2 Nights



ROME: WHERE ALL ROADS LEAD – 3 Nights


Return to the Great Cities of Italy

Discover again our true small tour approach to Italy with our Deluxe or Classic Budget hotel packages.

Deluxe Tours

Our Deluxe True Small Group Italy Tour Hotels Feature:

4- and 5-Star Deluxe Hotels & our Villa hotel in Tuscany: located in the very Heart of the Cities and Towns.

The Deluxe Tour Features:
~ Hotels feature world-class amenities, larger rooms and lobbies
~ Private bathrooms with showers and some baths
~ Air-Conditioned Guest Rooms
~ Full, Hot Daily Breakfast
~ True Heart of City Location
~ Professional Local Guides
~ Magic Portage of Your Luggage
~ Walking the Hearts of Cities & Towns
~ Special Access
~ Story Land & Sea® Exclusives
~ Your professional, fully trained Tour Captain is with you throughout the tour.

Published Rate: Payable by Credit Card or Check. See Dates & Rates tab at top.
Single Supplement: $1,749

Our Heart of City Hotels
There is a difference between centrally located hotels and Story Land & Sea®'s Heart of City Hotels - compare with mainstream companies and you'll see we mean what we say. Our deluxe hotels feature large rooms, private bathrooms, air conditioning, and all the amenities of modern luxury properties.

Lunches - One (1) lunch is included at our estate in Tuscany. All other lunches are optional though our Tour Captains offer great, affordable options for you everyday.

Our Deluxe Dining Plan:
5 Dinners Included. Our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night even when dinner is optional.

Travel Protection is not included. Story Land and Sea recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travelex plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. Click here to get a quote and purchase on their website.

Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of tour origination. If you are delayed your vacation may be at risk. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.

Gratuities Included:Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff. Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.

Airfare is not included. Airfare arrangements made by Story Land & Sea® is a completely separate booking from your land vacation.

That's it ~ everything else excluding personal item purchases is included.

Classic Tours

Our Classic Budget True Small Group Italy Tour Hotels Feature:

Superior Tourist or Classic Budget Hotels & Villa hotel located in the Heart of the Cities and Towns.

The Classic Budget Tour Features:
~ Hotels feature private bathrooms with showers, typical European-sized rooms, small lobbies
~ Air-Conditioned Guest Rooms
~ Daily Continental Breakfast
~ Within seconds of Deluxe Hotels
~ Professional Local Guides
~ Magic Portage of Your Luggage
~ Walking the Hearts of Cities & Towns
~ Special Access
~ Story Land & Sea® Exclusives
~ Your professional, fully trained Tour Captain is with you throughout the tour.

Published Rate: Payable by Credit Card or Check. See Dates & Rates tab at top.
Single Supplement: $949

Consider our upgrade to 5 Dinners Included Plan for $390 per person.

Opt not to include the Total 5 Dinner Included Plan? You will still be invited each night to dinner. On Welcome and Farewell Dinners the rate to opt-in while on tour is $130 per person collected by credit card and includes the entire dinner experience.

Exploration & Immersion: Same great sightseeing with our professional guides and, yes, you go inside.

Lunches - One (1) lunch is included at our estate in Tuscany. All other lunches are optional though our Tour Captains offer great, affordable options for you everyday.

Classic Budget Dinner Plan:
Welcome Dinner in Venice Included. Consider upgrading to a total of Five (5) Dinners Included Plan for an optional supplement of $390/person. This adds four (4) more dinners to your experience for a total of 5 included dinners.

Classic Budget Hotel Rooms: Superior Tourist Hotel rooms are small, but safe and located in the hearts of the towns and villages. Private bathrooms (typically small, European style lodging with some bathrooms featuring only a shower) with included breakfast.

About the Classic Breakfast: Classic Superior Tourist Hotel breakfasts include a standard Italian experience with most offering coffee, juice, pastries.

Gratuities Included: Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff. Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.

Airfare is not included. Airfare arrangements made by Story Land & Sea® is a completely separate booking from your land vacation.


Slow & Small Italy Tour: What's Included in Your Small Group Tour?

Helpful information to better your preparation for your world-class journey through Italy. From weather and clothing recommendations to currency and excursion details, it's all right here.


We've tried to include everything on our Guaranteed Departures ~
However, make note of the following:
  • ARRIVING VENICE —  Consider Our Boat!
    Our Stunning AnyTime Private Boat Arrival Experience into Venice San Marco:
    We feature Story Land & Sea®'s Venice Meet & Greet, Shuttle from Airport (VCE) to Airport Boat Dock with Portage included from the Boat to hotel. Enjoy the amazing ride across the Lagoon of Venice and then enter the magical canals of San Marco. We arrive our canal entrance at the hotel shortly. $146/person, 2 Guest Minimum. Includes all gratuities.
  • LEAVE THE WORRY TO US —  We can arrange your transfer.
    Departure Transfers in Rome: $69 per person, Rome Hotel to Airport, minimum two (2) guests.
  • ANOTHER UNIQUE WINERY ESTATE EXPERIENCE!
    Our delightful included experience is at our wine estate in Tuscany complete with tour, plated tastings paired with varietals all in the setting of Tuscan beauty.
  • ABOUT THE FOOD IN ITALY
    Of course our Tuscan winery includes lunch while other lunches are at your leisure. Great, affordable suggestions for delicious lunches are available or explore on your own - it's Italy and it's all good.
  • Story Way® Dining—  5 Great Dinners
    5 incredibly unique dinners at authentic Italian restaurants (not tourist traps) are included with our Deluxe Tour, 3 are not: Our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to dinner at authentic restaurants each and every night, though you may choose to explore on your own. Deluxe: 5 of 8 dinners included
    Classic Budget: 1 included, upgrade to 5 total for $390 per person.
  • EXPERT LOCAL GUIDES INCLUDED
    Expert, local Italian guides in Venice, Florence and Rome: They speak English well, and possess a passion for sharing Italy with our guests.
  • AS EXPECTED, Story Land & Sea® IMMERSION SIGHTSEEING
    World-class sightseeing 'Immersion' ~ Story Land & Sea®'s approach to exploring the local scene while integrating lasting experiences that reflect culture and leave the traveler changed for good.
  • YES, AGAIN! OUR PRIVATE GONDOLA EXPERIENCE INCLUDED
    Gondola with musical serenade - no large flotillas just our small group of Story guests.
  • SKIP-THE-LINE ENTRANCES INCLUDED IN VENICE
    • Walking Tour of San Marco and learn about:
    • The Clock Tower
    • Caffé Florian
    • Napoleon & the Winged Lion
    • Private Boat Ride to Burano & Torcello and sights through the canals
    • Story Land & Sea®'s Unique Perspective's Experience
    • Welcome Dinner
  • SKIP-THE-LINE ADMISSIONS INCLUDED IN FLORENCE
    • Admission and Tour of the Vasari Cooridor
    • Walking Tour with Select Sites in Florence
    • Walking Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Della Repubblica, Piazza Signoria, Piazza Santa Croce
    • San Lorenzo Market
    • Welcome Dinner in Florence
  • SPECIAL EXPERIENCES INCLUDED IN TUSCANY
    • Morning in San Gimignano
    • Winery Tour: Tour & Special Tasting paired with cuisine from Tuscany
    • Welcome Dinner in Cortona or Siena (select departures)
  • SKIP-THE-LINE ADMISSIONS INCLUDED IN ROME
    • Admission and Tour of Basilica San Clemente
    • Admission and Tour of Catacombs & Crypts
    • Fontana di Trevi
    • Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiore and Spanish Steps
    • Exclusive Culinary & Chef-Prepared Dining Experience in Marlon Brando's former apartment (Included in Deluxe package and Class-Budget if dinner package selected)
  • Airfare is not included but it can be quoted by emailing here.
  • Travel Protection is not included. Story Land and Sea recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travelex plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. Click here to get a quote and purchase on their website.
  • Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group Italy tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even if Story Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your Italian land tour vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.

That's it ~ everything else excluding personal item purchases is included.

Included sightseeing and excursions

Story Land & Sea®'s Unique Walking Tour Experience
We do walk on our small group tours of Italy. We walk a lot, but it's unhurried and there are ample opportunities to sit and relax. But you must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs of Italy. Please inquire with Story Land & Sea® Reservations for more details.

Gondolas in Venice

Fiasco from Chianti

The Empire of Rome

Caprese Salad with Roma Tomatoes

VENICE
• Venice: Private guided commentary through St. Mark's Square, the Byzantine Basilica, Admission to Doges' Palace and the Bridge of Sighs (prison). Welcome Dinner.
• Gondola Ride with Professional Musicians
• Bag Portage Service throughout tour

FLORENCE

• Renaissance Florence: Walking Tour, The Baptistry, Signoria Square, Admission to the Galleria dell' Accademia to see Michelangelo's David and the other magnificent works of art
• Welcome Dinner first night in each city or town

TUSCANY
• San Gimignano: Orientation Walk and Free Time, Taste of the San Gimignano White Wine: Vernaccia di San Gimignano
• Cortona: Welcome Dinner, Orientation Walk and Free Time

ROME

• Heart of The Empire, Rome: Roman Forum, Admission and guided commentary with Story Land & Sea®'s local guide to the Colosseum and Circus Maximus, Admission to St. Peter's Basilica (if available by Pope) and the Sistine Chapel (if available by Pope). Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona.

THROUGHOUT TOUR
• Sightseeing per itinerary with professionally driven, air-conditioned motorcoach (half-motorcoach - 20 passenger vehicle or less based on tour group size)
• Services of English-speaking, service-driven Tour Captain throughout tour.
• Services of Story Land & Sea®'s English-speaking local guides - professional, certified Italian guides.
• Admission and Entrance Fees per itinerary - you go inside with Story Land & Sea® and No Long Lines.
• Welcome Dinner and Farewell Celebration & Feast - total of 5 dinners with wine and gratuities included for Deluxe package.

Hotels in Italy

Our small group Italy tour hotels feature historical architecture with all the amenities you'd come to expect from 4-star and 5-star luxury Italian hotles. The properties are located in the heart of the Italian cities, towns and villages. We proudly feature the following Italy tour hotels which have been personally inspected for quality and standard. On very rare occasion, we may substitute any Italian hotel for an Italy tour property of equal or greater quality and standard. Even our classic budget hotels are in the very hearts of the cities and villages, seconds away from our deluxe hotels.

Remember, availability in tour hotels may be affected based on seasonal demand. Alternate hotel properties of equal quality will be used when the following hotels are not available.

OUR DELUXE HOTELS

  • Venice: 2 Nights Hotel Saturnia & International or similar
  • Florence: 2 Nights Hotel L'Orologio, Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Hotel Bernini Palace, or similar
  • Rome: 3 Nights Rose Garden Palace Hotel, Grand Hotel de la Minerve, Hotel d'Inghilterra, or similar
  • Tuscany Region: 1 Night Hotel San Michele, Villa Marsili, or similar in Cortona or Grand Continental in Siena.
  • Twin-bedded rooms with private bathroom facilities.
  • Portage of one (1) piece of luggage. Extra portaged bag is $USD130.00 per bag.
  • All hotel service charges, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Meals Included: All Breakfasts, 5 Dinners with regional Wines at real restaurants in the cities and towns of your true small group tour to Italy. No set menus, freedom of choice.
  • Gratuities:
    • Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff. Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.
    • Room Steward and Wait Staff (while dining on your own): At your discretion. (not included in tour package).

OUR CLASSIC BUDGET HOTELS

  • Venice: 2 Nights Hotel Kette or smilar
  • Florence: 2 Nights Hotel Rosso 23, Hotel Benivieni or similar
  • Rome: 3 Nights Albergo Cesari, Hotel Adriano, Hotel Romanico Palace, Hotel Abruzzi or Similar
  • Tuscany Region: 1 Night Hotel Italia, Villa Marsili (classic rooms) or similar in Cortona or Siena
  • Twin-bedded rooms with private bathroom facilities.
  • Portage of one (1) piece of luggage. Extra portaged bag is $USD130.00 per bag.
  • All hotel service charges, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Meals Included: All Breakfasts, 1 Welcome Dinner in Venice with Regional Wine. Upgrade to 5 Dinners Included Plan for $390 per person.
  • Gratuities:
    • Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff. Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.
    • Room Steward and Wait Staff (while dining on your own): At your discretion. (not included in tour package).



Dates & Rates

 

2016 Small Group Tour Prices

Prices in US Dollars

Published Date Tour
Size
Deluxe
4-5 Star
Classic
Budget
Departures in September 2016
Sep 10
Max 16 Guests $6,479 $5,979
 


2017 Small Group Tour Prices

Prices in US Dollars

Published Date Tour
Size
Deluxe
4-5 Star
Classic
Budget
Departures in June 2017
June 5 Max 16 Guests $6,379 $5,579
Departures in July 2017
July 1
Max 16 Guests $6,279 $5,479
Departures in September 2017
Sep 10
Max 16 Guests $6,379 $5,579
Departures in October 2017
Oct 7
Max 16 Guests $6,379 $5,579

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