Venice, Florence, Rome & Sorrento with the Hanford Sons of Italy Lodge

11 days
We’ve picked four iconic cities at the pulse of Italy’s vibrant culture, both past and present. Venice brings romance to the forefront, with sprawling Baroque palaces and meandering, gondola-dotted canals. The Renaissance is tangible in Florence, where the presence of the world’s greatest artists can still be felt. In Rome, history is ever-present, from the crumbling Colosseum to the Forum. Seaside views and sunsets pair perfectly in Sorrento. Experience what Italy is all about as you make your way from one city to the next.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

You will walk for about 2 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved paths, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Venice today.

Venice 2 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Venice

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Italy! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in. Later, gather with your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Venice

  Included meals: Breakfast

Experience historic churches, winding canals, and picture-perfect piazzas on a guided tour of the city known as the “Queen of the Adriatic.”

• Step into the iconic St. Mark’s Square and enter St. Mark’s Basilica

• View the stately Doge’s Palace, built in the Venetian Gothic style in 1340

• Marvel at the Bridge of Sighs, the link between Doge’s Palace and the New Prison

• See a glassblowing demonstration to learn about the city’s most celebrated art 

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Venice Canal Cruise $65pp* Details

More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, join your fellow travelers for a tour through the canals of Venice. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. A private two-person gondola ride is available for an additional cost.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two $159pp* Details

More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, you’ll enjoy a private gondola cruise through the canals of Venice. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $169)

Florence 2 nights

Day 4: Transfer to Florence & sightseeing tour

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross through the Apennine Mountains on your way to Florence, where you’ll meet a local guide for a tour of the city.

• Visit the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Walk past Piazza della Repubblica to the medieval Ponte Vecchio

• Stroll along the Arno River and through the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery to Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life

Day 5: Free day in Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Florence to explore the city at your leisure or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors $99pp* Details

Travel the beautiful Tuscan countryside to discover the medieval village of San Gimignano. During the Renaissance, the rival Guelph and Ghibelline political factions flexed their muscles by constructing tall towers throughout San Gimignano; fourteen of those towers survive today. Later, visit a local winery for a taste of the area’s wines and a sample of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you simply won’t find anywhere else. Then, enjoy lasagna during a light lunch.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Rome 3 nights

Day 6: Transfer to Rome & sightseeing tour

  Included meals: Breakfast

Depart Florence for Rome, where you’ll explore the ancient city on a guided tour.

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the Eternal City’s central hub

• Stop at the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their vast empire

• Soak up over 2,000 years of history in Imperial Rome, viewing the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus, and the Temple of Venus and Roma

• Enter the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, and take time to explore on your own

Day 7: Free day in Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Rome or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $105pp* Details

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you’ll first visit the Vatican Museums, which are over 500 years old and hold many of the world’s most important Classical- and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, step inside the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll gaze up at what is perhaps Michelangelo’s greatest masterpiece. Finally, pay a visit to the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists who have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced. This excursion requires advance reservation and must be booked at least 70 days prior to departure.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79pp* Details

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at a local restaurant. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera’s best-loved arias, sung by professional tenors, and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun! Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from March through November.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 8: Free day in Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend another free day exploring Rome or add an excursion

Optional Excursion - Ancient Rome: St. Paul’s Basilica & the Catacombs $65pp* Details

Descend into Rome’s ancient catacombs, where early Christians buried saints and popes alongside commoners. A local guide will lead you through burial chambers before your visit to St. Paul’s Basilica, one of the four most important basilicas of Rome, originally founded by Constantine the Great. The Basilica also houses the tomb of St. Paul. Please note: Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted within the basilica. Also, this excursion involves extensive walking and may be inadvisable for claustrophobic travelers.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Sorrento 2 nights

Day 9: Sorrento via Pompeii

  Included meals: Breakfast

En route to Sorrento, stop at Pompeii for a guided walking tour of the city’s ruins.

• Witness how wealthy Romans lived as you walk past the ancient structures

• View the excavated Roman ruins of theaters, villas, temples, and baths 

After, continue on to Sorrento.

Day 10: Free day in Sorrento

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy free time to explore Sorrento on your own or add an excursion.

Celebrate your trip with your group members at a farewell dinner this evening.

Optional Excursion - Capri: A Day on the Iconic Island $109pp* Details

Travel by ferry to the fabled Isle of Capri, a beloved resort since the days of the Roman Republic. Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy a boat ride around the island. Later, you'll enjoy free time to discover why everyone from Roman emperors to Sophia Loren have spent their vacations in Capri. If weather prohibits a boat ride, you’ll travel to the village of Anacapri, which offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Please note: This excursion is weather-dependent.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your trip to explore Sicily.

Add 5 nts Sicily Post-Extension Starting from $1,599 pp

Calabria 1 night

Day 11: Transfer to Calabria

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head to Calabria, a region in southern Italy where you’ll spend the night.

Taormina 2 nights

Day 12: Taormina via Messina & cooking class

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Messina and board a ferry to Taormina, Sicily, where a local guide will introduce you to this scenic town perched high above the sea.

• Enjoy views of Mount Etna, Taormina Cathedral, and the Palazzo Corvaia, seat of the first Sicilian parliament

• Visit the town’s 2nd-century Greek theater

Tonight, take part in a cooking class followed by an included dinner.

Day 13: Mount Etna

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Head out to discover Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and highest active volcano.

• Board your bus and ascend up to 5,000 feet with a local guide, stopping to snap photos and learn about the mountain’s long history of eruptions

• Continue up to 6,600 feet and take free time to walk among the volcanic craters

• Peruse the shops before sampling local delicacies at an included lunch

Palermo 2 nights

Day 14: Palermo via Agrigento

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the Sicilian countryside to Agrigento for a guided walking tour of the city’s Greek ruins. Enjoy free time for lunch before continuing on to Palermo.

Day 15: Sightseeing tour of Palermo & Monreale

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, embark on a guided tour of bayside Palermo, situated at the foot of Mount Pellegrino.

• Visit the architecturally diverse Palermo Cathedral and see the stunning artwork of the Cappella Palatina

• Continue on to nearby Monreale, where you’ll pay a visit one of the town’s magnificent cathedrals

Tonight, celebrate your trip with your group members during an included dinner.

Day 16: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Venice, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Sorrento, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

• In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.

• We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.

• There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.

• If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Tour pace

• You will walk for about 2 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved paths, with some hills and stairs.

• Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.

• You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as stepping between boats and uneven docks.

• If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

• Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Venice and depart from Naples (or Palermo on the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.

• Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.

• Water taxi rides in Venice are included in the price of your tour.

• A ferry from Messina to Taormina is included in the price of the tour extension.

• All other included transportation is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

• Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.

• Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.

• One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.

• Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

• We recommend packing lightweight, loosefitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.

• A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing. 

• You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.

• It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

• There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Italy.

• At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.

• If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.

• If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

• Venice and Northern Italy are known for flavorful meats and pastries.

• Tuscany is world-famous for its wine, oil, sauces, and pasta. Menus favor subtle, lighter pastas and desserts made with nuts, fruit, and honey. Try a dish featuring the region’s Chianina beef, perhaps the most prized breed of cattle in all of Italy. For wine, popular Tuscan reds include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which are primarily made from the Sangiovese grape. Well-known white wines are also made around the San Gimignano region.

• Roman food is typically freshly prepared and varies depending on the season. Must-try bites include cacio e pepe (a simple dish of pasta, cheese and pepper) and supplí (a fried rice ball similar to Sicily's arancini).

• The cuisine of Southern Italy is often what diners think of when imagining Italian flavors—pasta with tomato sauces, olives and olive oil, zucchini, veal, and fish are all featured prominently on menus throughout the region.

• For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like grappa or limoncello.

• On the tour extension, Sicilian cuisine in particular is heavily influenced by Spanish, Greek, and Arab traditions. The Spanish brought New World influences to the region in the form of tomatoes, chocolate, and maize, while the Arab influence can be tasted in recipes that include rice, spinach, saffron, and citrus fruits. Regional specialties include arancini, cannoli, and granita.

Electricity & air conditioning

• Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, F, or L plugs with two or three small, round pins.

• We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.

• The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.

• Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Connectivity

• Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.

• There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.

• Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

• Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

• When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.

Currency

• You will use the euro on tour.

• Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.

• We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 

• You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.

• Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

• International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

• At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.

• We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.

• If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.

• Tips can only be paid in cash.

Purchasing excursions on tour

• Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.

• Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.

• Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.

• Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

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