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Story Land & Sea®


Discover the Secrets of Venice, Florence and Rome with Story.

Leave the Herd Behind in November, December, January and February and discover great savings, less tourists and Italy all to yourself! Story's Italy's Great Season's Tour - Discovering the secrets of Italy.

Story Land & Sea®'s Italy in Seasons features:

  • Skip-the-Line Access
  • No Annoying Up-Sell
  • Unique Dining
  • Premium Beverages
  • Heart of City Hotels
  • Customary Gratuities
  • Expert Italian Guides

We enjoyed walking through Piazza San Marco and feeling like we had it all to ourselves. Couple that with our outstanding Tour Captain and it was an unbeatable value. Grazie Story!
~ Jim & Melanie

QueensLander is now Story Land & Sea®.
Read what our guests are saying about our small group tours to Italy on TripAdvisor®

Save time on your vacation and have our Italy experts plan your First Trip to Italy.

FIRST TIME TO ITALY?

Compare our Small Group tour approach with others and discover all the secrets Italy's Great Season's has in store.

Andiamo! Italy Awaits.


Discovering the Seasons in Italy is a great way to explore her Great Cities of Venice, Florence and Rome

With Story Land & Sea®'s Italy, enjoy Skip-the-Line admissions and unique experiences hand-crafted for your immersion in to all things Italy.


ITALY BOUND
Italy's Great Cities TourRomeItaly TourItalyItaly Travel
Italy's Small Group Tour
Day 1: Your Overnight Transatlantic Flight

Depart your home airport on your Trans-Atlantic flight (not included but we can arrange for you).

Note: Day 1 is the published tour date and is the date you will arrange your air travel. Your tour itinerary commences on Day 2 upon arrival Venice.

Italy. Slowly.
We discovered how your approach to 'slowly digesting Italy' really made a difference. Grazie!
 



GREAT CITY: VENICE
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Piazza San Marco on the Small Group Tour

Day 2: Welcome to Venice.

The port city of Venice (Venezia in Italian) is located in the region of Veneto.

"Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liquers in one go." —  Truman Capote

START IN SAN MARCO
One of Story Land & Sea®'s most popular Small Group Italian packages begins at 3:00PM in our hotel in Venice. Located seconds away from Piazza San Marco, known to us as San Marco Square, is our collection of hotels where your Host meets you for the included Venice Orientation Tour.

INCLUDED ORIENTATION WALKING TOUR
At 3:00 pm, join your Host for an Orientation Walkabout on your arrival day in Venice along the high-end shops and boutiques where our hotels are located into Piazza San Marco (known as St. Mark's Square). Your Host will describe the setting for an included visit to Basilica San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica). Your Host will be either our Story Local Host® or Story Tour Captain® based on number of travelers on your departure.

You will learn about some of the history and notoriety of St. Mark's. Your Orientation Walk will also point out the major landmarks and the lay of the land in relation to our hotel. We'll introduce you to the best ATM machines for Euro and currency exchange rates, and other helpful information for your stay in romantic Venice.
Hey, where's Harry's Bar? I'm ready for my Bellini!

INCLUDED ADMISSION on your Orientation Walk with the Host includes:

    • Orientation Walkabout ~ Learn about the surroundings on San Marco as your Host walks you into San Marco Square and highlights key features.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Light

star icon   Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Tonight, join in a Story Land & Sea® original experience with our reception & welcome from the Host from one of our classic perspectives: a unique vantage point to survey Venice in the company of your fellow travelers.

Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Italy is underway! After our reception, we'll walk to our Welcome Dinner in Venice.

food icon   Included Story Way® Dining: The Story Land & Sea® Way of Dining debuts as you join your host for the Welcome Dinner in Venice. Experience what can only be described as a night of the best cuisine and vino from the region of Veneto.

About The Story Land & Sea® Way of Dining
Our approach to dining is truly unique: Our favorites dishes represent the region we're traveling through. We call this, parla come mangia or 'speak the language of your food.' From our unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants we visit for each included dinner to the variety of hand-crafted dishes, it's truly an immersion into authentic Italian food and wine. No buffets here. Your Host 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 Host 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 flows. It's an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience.

LODGING IN THE HEART OF THE CITY: 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.

ACCOMMODATION
Deluxe: Our 4- and 5-Star Deluxe hotels include Saturnia & International, 2 Nights
Classic Budget: Our Superior Tourist hotels include Hotel do Pozzi, Hotel Kette, Hotel Bel Sito, 2 Nights.  

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AH, VENICE!
Venice TourVeniceVenice, VeneziaVenice, ItalyWalking Tour Venice
Venice Italy in a Small Group Tour

Day 3: Exploring Venezia

food icon   Optional Dining Tonight: You may opt to join your Host tonight for dinner or opt to explore on your own throughout Venice.
star icon   Magic Included: Gondola through the canals of Venice with our own Italian Musicians


You're invited to learn of Venice's fascinating and colorful history that includes everything from Napoleon to an exploration of her many calles (streets), nooks and mysteries.

Start your morning sightseeing in style as your our local Guide escorts you throughout Venice. We tour by walking with our professional local guide through Piazza San Marco (known as St. Mark's Square), the Doge's Palace, the Old Prison, the famous Bridge of Sighs, and explore the Grand Canal over to Murano.

WE WALK ON OUR TOURS: THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE ITALY
We do walk on our small group tours of Italy. We walk a lot, so get ready for exploring the cities of Italy. Our pace is unhurried. You must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs, hills and cobblestones that is Italy.

ROMANTIC VENICE
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.

GONDOLA RIDE WITH PRIVATE MUSICIANS SERENADE
Before the optional dinner tonight, 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.

Watch our director, Mark Story. discover the challenges of being a Gondolier in Venice.

Story Land & Sea®'s Gondola Experience is unlike the 'armada of gondolas' you would experience on other mainstream operator's tours.

And your Story Land & Sea® Gondola experience includes our authentic Italian musicians to serenade you along the magical canals.

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS Sightseeing Immersion Tour With Our Local Expert Guide ~ Today ENJOY ADMISSION & SIGHTSEEING TO:

    • Basilica San Marco ~ Enjoy the beautiful mosaics and how they reflect and dance in the light. Our Guide explains the history and opulence that is the Basilica San Marco prior to entering. Once inside, enjoy 'silence' as you observe its beauty encased in Byzantine architecture.
    • Special Access: Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Doge's Palace ~ Duke or Governor's Palace - seat of the Republic of Venice's historic power.
    • The Bridge of Sighs ~ The bridge made famous for its window and last view of blue sky and freedom as prisoners are marched to their sentence ~ watch your head!
    • The Prisons of Venice ~ Found inside the Doge's Palace, are the older and new prisons. The most famous guest being one Giacomo Casanova, who ended up in prison after a long series of crimes and was the protagonist of the most famous and fantastical of escapes: Casanova climbed onto the prison roof and managed to slide down a drain pipe and then slip inside the Palace and persuade someone to open the door so he could then escape calmly on a gondola. Not, according to legend, without first allowing himself the joy of a coffee in the Piazza San Marco. The New Prisons, rather, were found beyond the Palazzo river, and these were accessed across the famous Bridge of Sighs.
    • Tour of Piazza San Marco & our "Secret Treasures of Venice" ~ Learn about the Clock Tower, Campanile Tower, Caffe Florian, Napoleon and the Winged Lion.
    • Private Boat Ride to visit the Island of Murano: View the palaces, churches and edifices that create the backdrop that is Venice, including Rialto Bridge, Ca d'Oro (Palazzo Santa Sofia), and hear and see where the legends of Casanova, Marco Polo, and other infamous Venetians dwelled ~ all from the comfort of our boat as we venture across the lagoon to Murano. This is the home of New Murano Gallery and a family who has been in the business of glass-blowing for many years. Enjoy a demonstration and time to enjoy the stunning fruit of their labor in the gallery. Yes, you may purchase glass but this is not required or the intent of our visit.
    • Enjoy included admission/entrance to Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana at your leisure.

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

Day 4: On To Firenze

We embark on the Eurostar Fast Train from Venice to Florence, city of the Renaissance.

City: Firenze
Province: Provincia di Firenze
Region: Toscana

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


WAKE TO VENICE: Ciao Venezia!
This morning enjoy a leisurely start with breakfast and then meet your Host for our included boat transfer as we make our way to the Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station for our included, First-Class Tickets on the Eurostar Fast Train to Florence. We zip along the Italian countryside and arrive Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station.

WELCOME TO FLORENCE
We deboard the train for our short walk to our hotels in the very heart of Florence.

INCLUDED WELCOME ORIENTATION WALKABOUT: Join your Host for a Welcome Orientation Walk on your arrival day in Florence along cobblestone streets in the very heart of Florence as you become familiar with the location around our hotel. Enjoy entrance to Orsanmichele church and the church of Via Santa Margherita which was the parish of many Florentine families, such as Cerchi, Donati, Adimari and Portinari.

Join the Host for the included Florence Orientation Walkabout through the cobblestones streets to become familiar with the location around our hotel, in the very heart of Florence.

Hey! Is that the Arno River? Did you know in 1966 a massive flood devastated Florence? Americans and other international workers came to the rescue and provided much-needed assistance in rescuing and salvaging much of the treasured art and sculptures in Florence. Known as the angeli del fango or, "mud angels."

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace: Volume: Light

food icon   Included Story Way® Dining: Tonight included dining at a delightful restaurant we're trying to keep a secret! It's fully authentic Tuscan cuisine. Florence welcomes us with a variety of regional culinary tastes, beverages, and ample portions of fine local wines from Toscana and Chianti.

Free-choice dining means you select what you'd like from the menu ~ the Host is available to help you interpret the menu. Your 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.


ACCOMMODATION IN THE HEART OF THE CITY
Deluxe: Hotel L'Orologio, Santa Maria Novella, Hotel Brunelleschi, 2 Nights
Classic Budget: Our Superior Tourist hotels include Hotel Rosso 23, 2 Nights

ABOUT OUR DELUXE HOTELS IN FLORENCE
We have selected hotels that are truly authentic Italiano and perfectly located in the heart of Old Florence. We have selected some of the most prestigious hotels of the city reflecting a history rich with importance and service. The hotels have been refined and feature elegant rooms. Many celebrities and heads of state from all over the world have chosen these properties as their Florentine residences (not just for their wonderful locations, but also for their superb service). The decor and furniture of our properties have been beautifully chosen, and the ambiance really does reflect Florentine aristocracy in its most elegant period.

"This was an amazing hotel - top of the line. Breathtaking and modern, but still gave you the feeling of being in Italy. Breakfast amazing and loved the bathroom."

 
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Florence Renaissance
Florence, ItalyFlorence Renaissance TourFlorence ItalyFlorence ToursFlorence, Italy, Piazza Reppublica
The Duomo in Florence, Italy

Day 5: Immerse yourself in all things Florence

food icon   Optional Dining Tonight: The Host will invite you to join them to a special restaurant that is close to their heart or explore on your own: Have you had your Florentine Steak yet?


Today join our local expert guide on a specially guided tour of the city of Florence complete with our Special Access sightseeing immersion.

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.

GUIDED SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION THROUGH FLORENCE
We take our time walking through the Piazza della Reppublica, the famous Piazza Signoria with her old palace, Palazzo Vecchio, and make our way through the portico of the Uffizi complex before arriving at the Arno River and a visit to the "old bridge," Ponte Vecchio. This was the only bridge in Florence to survive the World War II bombing raids.

A great morning sightseeing immersion allows you to enjoy the afternoon for sightseeing on your own. Perhaps leather is on your shopping list? Or are you ready to try an optional culinary experience and see if Chef is a title in your future? We highly recommend the Uffizi Gallery if you want to dig deeper into the vast riches of Florence's art heritage. We can arrange admission tickets, transportation and private guides for you in advance.

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

    • Special Access: Skip-the-Line and see Michelangelo's David in the Academy Gallery.
    • Galleria dell'Accademia ~ The first art school of Europe.
    • Entry to Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore ~ The "Duomo" and Giotto's Bell Tower
    • See the magnificent Gates of Paradise on the Baptistery ~ So called by Michelangelo, our guide will comment on the impressive doors to the Baptistery created by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Until the 19th century, most Catholic Florentines were baptized here. Giotto's Campanile ~ we also enjoy the perspective from ground level of the towering Campanile.
    • Entrance and tour of Orsanmichele ~ This church was originally built as a grain market in 1337 by Francesco Talenti, Neri di Fioravante, and Benci di Cione. Then converted into a church between 1380 and 1404.
    • Sightseeing walking tour of Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza della Signoria and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), the only bridge to survive World War II Bombing.

This afternoon explore Florence on your own. Consider a visit to the Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) or just explore at your leisure.

This Basilica is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie). If visiting on Sunday, entrance to the Duomo and Santa Croce will be after 1:30pm.

Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace: Volume: Light

Tonight for dinner explore on your own, or join the Tour Captain who will invite you to a special restaurant that is close to their heart. Have you had your Florentine Steak yet? Or your Chocolate Boar? Florence is the place to discover cuisine.

 

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.

TUSCAN 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 Italy Cuisine4-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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ROME

Day 6: Bound for Rome | Where All Roads Lead

A fresh morning in Florence, and then transfer to the train station where we're set for our high-speed train to Rome, Where all roads lead!

City: Rome
Province: Roma
Region: Lazio

WELCOME TO THE HEART OF ROME
Upon arrival Rome, we board our transport and make our way to the very center of Old Rome and check in to our hotel. The locations of our hotels in Rome are within seconds of the Pantheon.

INCLUDED WELCOME ORIENTATION WALKABOUT: Join your Host for a Welcome Orientation Walk on arrival to Rome. Enjoy entrance to the Pantheon along with Piazza Navona and other epic sites.

Roman Holiday! Did you know Rome is the capital city of Italy and was also the seat of the Roman Empire? Layers upon layers of history spring to life while new discoveries are made almost daily here.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace: Volume: Light

food icon   Included Story Way® Dining: Join your Host for a welcome dinner in Rome. Your palate enjoys a different region as we arrive Lazio. Wine, cuisine all influenced from a long history of the Empire.

ACCOMMODATION IN THE HEART OF THE CITY
Deluxe: Grand Hotel de la Minerve, 3 Nights
Classic Budget: Hotel Abruzzi, 3 Nights

ABOUT OUR DELUXE HOTELS IN ROME
The Grand Hotel de la Minerve is just minutes from Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. The deluxe Rose Garden Palace Hotel is located in the heart of Rome near the Via Veneto, Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, the elegant shops on Via Condotti, the fashionable bars on Via Veneto, the Trevi Fountain and Tritone Fountain, baroque churches and the masterpieces of the Borghese Gallery are at the hotel's doorstep. Both of these properties are inspected by Mark Story and he considers them our home in Rome.

 

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THE EMPIRE OF ROME
Rome, Vittorio EmanueleRoman EmpireRoman EmpireRome, ItalyRome Tour
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument

Day 7: Imperial Rome

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast

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.

—  Gladiator

WALKING IN THE STEPS OF THE EMPEROR
After breakfast, we begin our walking tour of Rome with stops along the way to admire the unique intertwining of history and modernity in Rome.

See ancient elements intertwined perfectly with present-day apartment buildings, and discover how the modern Romans have intertwined their vast history into present-day experience. We're making our way to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the town center of the Roman Empire, for our special access, in-depth touring experience, complete with admissions.

We venture back in time with our walk through the archaeological dig that is the Roman Forum.

We enjoy admission to the Colosseum with our local Expert Guide. This landmark is one of the most impressive sights in all of Europe and the world. And did you know, all of Rome is a live archaeological dig? Literally, new discoveries are happening all of the time!

After our world-class touring experience of Imperial Rome, the balance of the day is free.

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

    • Admission and Guided Tour of the Colosseum: Heart of The Empire. Enjoy Skip-the-Line entrance with Story Land & Sea® with no waiting in lines.
    • Admission and Guided Tour of the Roman Forum ~ We walk through the archaeological dig for unique perspectives of the Old Town Center of Rome, Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Caesar's Palace, Curia or the Senate House, Temple of the Vestal Virgins, and the Triumphant Arches.
    • Our local guide expertly shares her knowledge of Rome through the ages: We take in all Rome has to offer from both a historical and modern perspective. Enjoy this morning trek as we witness the modernity of Rome intertwined with antiquity. We take in the Jewish Ghetto on our way to the Roman Forum.

Throughout our stay in Rome, you will visit the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) and have opportunity to visit other sites like the 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

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)). CLOSED ON MONDAYS! This package includes excursion as described as well as fees for reservations made in advance by Story Land & Sea® to ensure availability (very important). NOTE: The timed admissions are provided by the Borghese Gallery and QueensLander® Tours cannot guarantee your requested time can be arranged.

italian culinary artsROME 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 HelmetROME 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® 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, ItalyPOMPEII 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® 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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VATICAN CITY
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Rome Tour

Day 8: Exploring the Vatican

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast, Farewell to Rome Special Dining Experience
star icon   Exclusive: Imagine the Tiber River, a Private Chef and a Night of Bliss in Rome

Today we have in-depth touring of St. Peter's and the Square, with Bernini and Vatican City.

City: Città del Vaticano
Region: Sovereign City State

Starting with a great breakfast we begin another day exploring the majesty of Rome.

TO THE CITY STATE OF VATICAN CITY
Meet our local Expert Guide in the lobby of our hotel, and board our quick transfer vehicle to Vatican City.

The majestic Vatican City comes to life as we explore up close. We Skip-the-Line with our special access tour. Enjoy a visit of the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica and Square. It's an opportunity to appreciate the vast array of art, while learning of some of the history of the Vatican, all in the context of our intimate, small group of travelers.

We finish our tour of the Vatican at St. Peter's Square where you see the multi-color uniformed Swiss Guard on display as they guard the Vatican. Enjoy the perspective that many only dream of from the very heart of Rome.

Our driver and vehicle are positioned nearby and await our call to return to our hotel for the balance of day at leisure.

We recommend a visit to the Castel Sant'Angelo (Castle of the Angels) ~ The Mausoleum of Hadrian has served a variety of uses throughout history. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for he and his family.

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
SIGHTSEEING IMMERSION OF VATICAN CITY WITH ADMISSION WITH OUR LOCAL EXPERT GUIDE ~ Today ENJOY SPECIAL ACCESS TO:

    • Admission and Guided Tour to St. Peter's Basilica ~ By design, we enjoy early admission around 8:15 am to avoid the large cruise and large tour groups that arrive later in the morning. SPECIAL ACCESS: Enjoy Skip-the-Line special access with Admission Included
    • Admission and Guided Tour of the Sistine Chapel ~ You will find inside the chapel the very impressive, The Last Judgment, painting by Michelangelo, which he painted during the years 1535 to 1541. The work, designed on a grand scale, spans the entire wall behind the Sistine Chapel altar.
    • Admission and Guided Tour of the Vatican City Museums ~ The Museums boast some of the most impressive tapestries and other works of art and sculpture found in the world.

Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Ample

Tonight is a special time as you join the Tour Captain for an included Farewell to Rome Dinner with your new friends!

Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Included Farewell to Rome Dining Experience
One of our favorite nights of fun and celebration, as we toast one another to a wonderful journey together. The venue and activity we have designed for you tonight along with the music, will make for the perfect finale to your Italian vacation. It is a night of great cuisine and, of course, vino along with your new friends.

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

 

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ARRIVEDERCI ROMA
Italy ToursRomeSmall Group Italy TourRome TourItaly's Great Cities Tour
Extend your Italy Tour with Lake Como

Day 9: DEPARTURE DAY

food icon   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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Our Heart of City Hotels mean your experience is like none other in the travel industry.

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 Italy's Great Cities Seasons' 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 – 2 Nights



ROME: WHERE ALL ROADS LEAD – 3 Nights


Seasons: Discover this tour of Italy in a true small group.

Our Deluxe or Classic Budget hotel packages feature unique amenities in the hearts of the cities and towns of Italy.

Deluxe Tours

Our Deluxe True Small Group Italy Tour Features:

4- and 5-Star Deluxe Hotels: 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
~ Walking the Hearts of Cities & Towns
~ Special Access
~ Story Land & Sea® Exclusives

Published Rate: Payable by Credit Card or Check. See pricing tab at top.
Single Supplement: $1,449

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.

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

Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-Insurance.com to protect your vacation. 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 Features:

Superior Tourist or Classic Budget Hotels 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
~ Walking the Hearts of Cities & Towns
~ Special Access
~ Story Land & Sea® Exclusives

Published Rate: Payable by Credit Card or Check. See pricing at far right column.
Single Supplement: $849

Opt not to include the Total 4 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.

Classic Budget Dinner Plan:
Welcome Dinner in Venice Included. Consider upgrading to a total of Four (4) Dinners Included Plan for an optional supplement of $340/person. This adds three (3) more dinners to your experience for a total of 4 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.


Inclusions on your Italian small group tour:

We've tried to include everything for your Italy vacation. Make note of the following:

  • ARRIVING VENICE —  Consider Our Water Taxi arrival experience.
    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.
  • DISCOVERING ITALY'S CUISINE
    Our winery experience includes a dramatic luncheon experience. Other lunches are not included: Our Tour Captains and Guides will offer great, affordable suggestions for delicious lunches everyday.
  • Story Land & Sea® WAY DINING INCLUDED —  4 Great Dinners
    4 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: 4 of 7 dinners included
    Classic Budget: 1 included, upgrade to 4 total for $340 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.
  • DISCOVER 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.
  • OUR PRIVATE GONDOLA EXPERIENCE INCLUDED
    Gondola with serenade - no large armadas, just our small group of fellow travelers.
  • SPECIAL ACCESS, SKIP-THE-LINE ADMISSIONS INCLUDED IN VENICE
    • St. Mark's Basilica
    • Doges Palace
    • St. Mark's Square
    • Venice's Old Prison
    • Story Land & Sea®'s Unique Perspective's Experience
    • Welcome Dinner
  • SPECIAL ACCESS, SKIP-THE-LINE ADMISSIONS INCLUDED IN FLORENCE
    • Galleria dell'Acadameia
    • Michelangelo's David
    • The Duomo
    • The Baptistery
    • Orsanmichele church
    • Ponte Vecchio
    • Walking Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Della Repubblica, Piazza Signoria, Piazza Santa Croce
    • San Lorenzo Market
    • Welcome Dinner in Florence
  • SPECIAL ACCESS, SKIP-THE-LINE ADMISSIONS INCLUDED IN ROME
    • Colosseum
    • Roman Forum
    • Vatican City
    • Vatican Museums
    • Sistine Chapel
    • St. Peters' Basilica
    • 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.
  • Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-Insurance.com to protect your vacation.

    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

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 4 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
  • Florence: 2 Nights Hotel L'Orologio, Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Hotel Bernini Palace
  • Rome: 3 Nights Rose Garden Palace Hotel, Grand Hotel de la Minerve, Hotel d'Inghilterra,
  • 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, 4 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
  • Florence: 2 Nights Hotel Rosso 23, Hotel Benivieni
  • Rome: 3 Nights Albergo Cesari, Hotel Adriano, Hotel Romanico Palace, Hotel Abruzzi
  • 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 4 Dinners Included Plan for $340 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).


 

2017 Italy's Great Season's Tour - Dates & Rates

Prices in US Dollars

Published Date Tour
Size
Deluxe
4-5 Star
Classic
Budget
Departures in November 2017
Nov 21
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Nov 28
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Departures in December 2017
Dec 5
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Dec 12
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Dec 19
Max 16 Guests $4,779 $3,879
Dec 26
Max 16 Guests $4,779 $3,879

 

2018 Italy's Great Season's Tour - Dates & Rates

Prices in US Dollars

Published Date Tour
Size
Deluxe
4-5 Star
Classic
Budget
Departures in January - March 2018
Jan 16 Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Feb 6
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Feb 13 - Venice Carnival
Max 16 Guests $4,879 $3,879
Feb 20 - Venice Carnival
Max 16 Guests $4,879 $3,879
Feb 27
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Departures in November 2018
Nov 20
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Nov 27
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Departures in December 2018
Dec 4
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Dec 11
Max 16 Guests $3,779 $2,879
Dec 18
Max 16 Guests $4,779 $3,879
Dec 25
Max 16 Guests $4,779 $3,879

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