Italy’s Treasures: Art, Food & Wine of Italy – Small Group Tour

Medieval masterpieces and Romanesque fortresses. A city that floats on water, and another that stands on centuries-old foundations. Wine vineyards and olive groves and ancient mountain villages, ruins and marbled landmarks. These are the roots of Italy’s treasures. Surrender to the calm of the Alpine Lakes region, explore rose hued Siena’s Duomo and be seduced by the Riviera. Snake along the edge of the sea on a rail journey through the medieval villages of Cinque Terre, and luxuriate in a 4-night stay at a Tuscan villa. At a family-run winery, immerse yourself in the art of Tuscan cuisine during a cooking class and wine pairing. Find yourself in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and see the remarkable city of Venice from the canals. This is l’Italia at its most iconic, where history mingles seamlessly with the present and romance comes alive under painted horizons.

AAA Member Choice Vacations Logo

AAA Vacations Amenity

$50 Member Benefit

AAA Member Benefits

$75 Optional Tour Excursion Credit

Inclusions

  • Services of a professional tour manager
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Sightseeing
  • Hotel-to-hotel luggage handling
  • Special Offer! Roundtrip home-to-airport private sedan service with purchase of air through AAA Member Choice Vacations

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Italian Lakes Region
  • Stresa
  • Italian Riviera
  • Cinque Terre
  • Lucca
  • Choice on Tour
  • Florence
  • Siena
  • Tuscan Countryside
  • Wine Tasting
  • Italian Cooking Class
  • Bologna
  • Venice

Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight Flight

Travel along breathtaking landscapes and venture into metropolitan meccas ripe with culture and history. Discover Italy on an unforgettable journey that delves into its most cherished treasures.

Day 2: Stresa, Italy – Tour Begins

Begin on the arresting shores of Lake Maggiore, surrounded by the peaceful beauty of the Alpine lakes region. Visit a wine shop and enjoy a cocktail party with some antipasto snacks. Cruise to Isola dei Pescatori,* the most picturesque of the Borromean Islands, where you’ll engage with new friends at a dinner welcoming you to Italy. Today dinner will be included.

Day 3: Stresa

In an ancient village nestled in the mountains, a local family welcomes you to sample their very own artisanal cheeses, paired with the region’s best wines. The remainder of the day in Stresa is at your leisure. Explore the piazzas, flower-lined cobblestone streets, and lakeside promenades. Or, perhaps relax and enjoy the breathtaking surroundings during an optional cruise of this scenic lake region. Today breakfast will be included.

Day 4: Stresa – Orta – Italian Riviera

Witness picture-perfect views from Lake Orta, the ancient glacial lake in the Alpine foothills. A boat delivers you to Isola di San Giulio, dominated by its working convent. Journey to the Italian Riviera and discover its immeasurable grandeur along the Liguria coast. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.

Day 5: Italian Riviera – Cinque Terre – Italian Riviera

Travel by rail to spend your day discovering colorful Cinque Terre (UNESCO), a string of medieval villages perched on the edge of the sea. Feel like you have stepped back in time as you traverse the rugged coastal area dotted with terraced vineyards. Spend an afternoon independently exploring this awe-inspiring landscape. Today breakfast will be included.

Day 6: Italian Riviera – Lucca – Tuscany

Encircled by 16th-century Renaissance walls, Lucca exudes an old-world ambience. Old storefronts and busy piazzas offer a glimpse into the city’s medieval past, which have served as local gathering spots for more than 2,000 years. This afternoon, it’s your choice! Discover Lucca on foot -OR- pedal the city via bicycle. Whatever you choose, you’ll see historic marvels including the Cathedral of San Martino and the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. After you’ve worked up an appetite, tour Lucca’s specialty food shops and sample the region’s seasonal delicacies. Stop at a family-owned leather shop and learn the traditional Italian techniques of leather making. End the day in a historic Tuscan villa for a rejuvenating 4-night stay.** Today breakfast and dinner will be included.

Day 7: Tuscany – Florence – Tuscany

Welcome to Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance and the beloved home of the Medici family, Galileo, Botticelli and da Vinci. Set out on a walking tour and see medieval Florence’s treasures and monuments, including the Piazza del Duomo – the center of religious life in medieval Florence – and the Piazza della Signoria. Visit the world-famous Academy Gallery to see Michelangelo’s unparalleled statue of David. Enjoy time to explore Florence independently before returning to your villa. Today breakfast will be included.

Day 8: Tuscany – Siena – Tuscany

Travel south to Siena, where Romanesque and Gothic architecture surround you within this UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk the narrow medieval streets on a guided tour. Visit the Gothic cathedral, an architectural marvel featuring frescoes by Pinturicchio and masterpieces by Pisano, Donatello, and Michelangelo. Retreat to your Tuscan villa for a relaxing afternoon. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.

Day 9: Tuscan Countryside

Take in Tuscany’s landscape, a spectrum of verdant vineyards and endless groves. In the heart of the countryside, a family-owned wine estate welcomes you. After a tour of the wine cellar, the estate, the vineyards and the olive groves, engage in a lunchtime cooking lesson with the estate’s own chef. Break bread during an authentic Tuscan lunch and toast with wines produced on-site. Return to your villa for some leisure time in the afternoon. Continue your culinary journey tonight at a traditional Tuscan restaurant. Today breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included.

Day 10: Tuscany – Bologna – Venice

On a walking tour, discover the culture of Bologna, a city barely changed since the time of the Renaissance. Browse the city’s specialty food shops and sample local delicacies along the way. Arrive later in Venice, the “Queen of the Adriatic,” and settle in for a 2-night stay in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Today breakfast will be included.

Day 11: Venice

Spend the day in Venezia, the floating city home to lavish art collections, wonders of architecture, and where marbled palaces tower over gondola-laden canals. Travel by boat to Murano*** for an expert glass-blowing demonstration, a renowned tradition on the island. Journey back to St. Mark’s Square, Venice’s iconic main square. A local guide takes you on a tour of its incredible sites, including the Bridge of Sighs, the Clock Tower, and St. Mark’s Basilica. Say arrivederci to Italy at a savory farewell dinner. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.

Day 12: Venice – Tour Ends

Wake up in Venice and depart for home. Today breakfast will be included.

Experience It! The Tuscan Countryside

See another side of Italy in the Tuscan countryside. This breathtaking rural area feels like a country unto itself — never-ending green rolling hills, medieval villages, and picture-perfect farm houses dot the landscape, much of which appears as if it has been frozen in time. Experience cultural moments that perfectly encompass the countryside’s idyllic beauty. You will visit a family-owned winery to tour its gorgeous vineyards; delight your senses during an expert-led cooking class; and enjoy a sumptuous lunch — which is, of course, paired with wines produced only feet away from you. Lose yourself in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside — these will truly be moments you will remember forever.

 

Experience it! The Tuscan Countryside

See another side of Italy in the Tuscan countryside. This breathtaking rural area feels like a country unto itself — never-ending green rolling hills, medieval villages, and picture-perfect farm houses dot the landscape, much of which appears as if it has been frozen in time. Experience cultural moments that perfectly encompass the countryside’s idyllic beauty. You will visit a family-owned winery to tour its gorgeous vineyards; delight your senses during an expert-led cooking class; and enjoy a sumptuous lunch — which is, of course, paired with wines produced only feet away from you. Lose yourself in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside — these will truly be moments you will remember forever.

 

Worldwide - More Info? Ready to Book? Call 800.529.3222

*Pricing is per person, land only, double occupancy, and varies by departure date. Offer is valid on new retail bookings made only between 1/1/20 – 3/31/20 for travel between 1/1/20 – 4/30/21. Offers can expire earlier due to space or inventory availability.  Space is limited and savings are only available on select departures. Space is on a first come, first served basis.  Offers are not valid on group or existing bookings. Offer is combinable with AAA Member Benefit, but is not combinable with any other offer. Member Benefit savings is reflected in the rate.  Promotional fares may remain in effect after the expiration date.  Offer amounts vary by tour and departure date.  Other restrictions may apply.  **Not valid on group travel. Purchase of roundtrip international or domestic U.S. airfare from MCV through AAA Travel required to obtain sedan service. Purchase of required internal airfare (as applicable) does not qualify for sedan service. Included in many U.S. cities within a 50-mile radius of more than 90 airport gateways. Service is available between 51 and 75 miles for a small fee. One transfer per room booking. Additional stops are not permitted on route. Other restrictions may apply; call for details. CST No. 2006766-20, UBI No. 601-220-855, Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST35613