The small group Italy tour you've been searching for is right here.
The Weather in Italy
It's warm all over Italy in spring, summer and fall, generally speaking. Do know it can be very hot in the south, especially inland, in US summer (especially July and August). The high temperatures (measured in Italy in degrees Celsius) begin in Rome in May, often lasting until sometime in October.
Winters in the north of Italy are cold, with rain and snow, but in the south the weather is warm all year, averaging 50°F (10°C) in winter. For the most part, it's drier in Italy than in North America, so high temperatures don't seem as bad because the humidity is lower. In Rome, Naples, and the south, temperatures can stay in the 90s°F (30s°C) for days, but nights are most often comfortably cooler.
Tour prices are per person based on double occupancy and are in US dollars. All accommodations, transportation, high-speed train Venice to Florence, Story Way® dinners, daily breakfast, sightseeing, portage, admissions and entrances, services of our professional Expert Guides, drivers and the Mark Story Tour Captain are included. Arrival and departure transfers are optional and may be arranged for you. Please inquire with reservations for details.
Your Tour Captain
No other tour company provides a dining experience like Story Land & Sea®. Enjoy 5 included dinners at unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants that have been sought out for both their cuisine and ambiance. Each dinner experience is at a local restaurant which has been personally selected and reflects the region's finest in both cuisine and wine.
Most other tour operators offer dinner in the hotel restaurants (that cuisine is rarely authentic, tasty cuisine), or at restaurants which cater to large tour groups from the US and Canada (no locals dine at those restaurants). In contrast, Story guests will dine at some of the finest restaurants, where real locals dine, for each of our included (and optional) dinner experiences.
All breakfasts are included. Deluxe Tours will feature a full, hot breakfast buffet or table service. Classic Budget Tours will feature a continental breakfast.
Children on Tour
Children 10 years of age or older are welcome on this Story Land & Sea® Tour. At least one guest in your party must be 21 years of age or older in order to participate. Have a family with children younger than the minimum age for this tour? Inquire about our awesome Family Tours. You are entirely responsible for the security and protection of your child or children traveling in your party. All members of the tour, called guests, must have a valid Passport. Anyone disrupting the participation of the other tour guests will be removed from the tour without compensation.
Complimentary basic Internet WiFi where available in hotel rooms. Service will, generally, not be as robust as North America.
The Money on Tour
Hands down, the best way to get cash in Europe is via the ATM. Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN) before leaving and plan on withdrawing euros (cash) for your purchases. Credit cards are the next best way to make purchases in Italy but not all locations accept them. Visa and MasterCard for sure are accepted with American Express a distant third and no one has ever heard of Discover.
How much money to take with you? It's truly up to you. You know your habits and preferences and therefore we recommend using the ATM and/or credit card approach.
Should you get Euros before leaving the US? We recommend you visit your local bank and order about $USD250-350 worth of Euros to take with you. This is just in case you get delayed somewhere in Europe while on route. Of course your credit card will work fine in most establishments.
About the VAT - Value Added Tax
Every year, tourists visiting Europe leave behind millions of dollars of refundable sales taxes. While for some, the headache of collecting the refund is not worth the few dollars at stake, if you do any serious shopping, it's hard cash - free and easy. The process isn't difficult; you just have to get the necessary documents from the retailer, carry your purchase with you, and track down the right folks at the airport, port, or border when you leave. These days you've got to check in early at the airport; this will give you something to do while you're hanging around. The standard European Union Value-Added Tax ranges from 15 to 25 percent per country, averaging about 20 percent overall. Rates change, so you'll want to check with merchants when you're there.
The Documents. When you make your purchase, have the merchant fill out the necessary refund document, called a "cheque." You'll need to present your passport. Make sure the paperwork is done before you leave the store so there's nothing important missing. If they leave any blanks for you to fill out, be sure you understand what goes where. Attach your receipt to the form and stash it in a safe place.
Know where to get your refund. If you buy merchandise in a European Union country and you're bringing the goods home with you, process your documents at your last stop in the EU, regardless of where you made your purchases. So if you buy sweaters in Denmark, pants in France, and shoes in Italy, and you're flying home from Greece, get your documents stamped in Athens. Be aware that if the currencies are different in the country where you made your purchase and where you process your refund you may have to pay an extra conversion fee.
Get your documents stamped. The customs export officer will stamp your documents after you present your purchased goods to verify that you are, indeed, exporting your purchase (try to keep the goods in your carry-on).
Collect the Cash. Once you get your form stamped by customs, you'll need to return it to the retailer or its representative at the airport, port, or border crossing. If the retailer handles VAT refunds directly, it's up to you to contact the merchant for your refund. You can mail the documents from home, or quicker, from your point of departure (using a stamped, addressed envelope you've prepared or one that's been provided by the merchant) - and then wait. It could take months so be advised.
European Climate Control (Air Conditioning)
European air conditioning should be considered as a climate-control system. Most have three settings for the fan, plus a "cool" setting. Very few of the European systems actually have a temperature setting. In general, the amount of cool air that is produced from a European air conditioning system is far less than what you may have in your living environment.
Terms & Conditions
Please carefully review and sign the Tour Agreement (found online) to secure your participation in this tour. Story Land & Sea® reserves the right to terminate the tour of any person who does not participate in the tour according to the Terms & Conditions.
This tour has a deposit of $700 per person with balance due at 90 days prior to departure. You are entitled to a 100% refund up until 90 days prior to departure for the land portion of your tour excluding any optional excursions booked on your behalf.
Trip Cancellation & Insurance Coverage
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRAVEL CANCELLATION & INTERRUPTION COVERAGE TO PROTECT YOUR LAND TOUR VACATION. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ARRIVING ON TIME TO POINTS OF TOUR ORIGINATION DESIGNATED BY STORY LAND & SEA ITINERARY OR AGENTS OF STORY LAND & SEA REGARDLESS OF WHO ARRANGED YOUR AIRFARE. PLEASE PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE.
Purchase Travelex Insurance by Clicking Here:
Ready to Book?
Call us on 1 877 865 6711 to effect your reservation and get your journey planned!