• Showcasing ancient sites, priceless art, outstanding cuisine, and unique lodgings.
  • Discover the city’s most famous sites, including the Roman Forum and Colosseum and the Vatican.
  • Enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery.

Experience the best of Italy’s countryside and its famed cities on this special small group tour, which showcases ancient sites, priceless art, regional cuisine, and unique lodgings, including a restored Tuscan villa. Starting in Italy’s Campania region, visit haunting Pompeii and sunny Sorrento from your base in the stunning seaside resort of Amalfi.

During three days in Rome discover the city’s most famous sites, including the Roman Forum and Colosseum and the Vatican, and enjoy ample free time.

Then it’s on to Umbria and Tuscany to explore their medieval hill towns—Orvieto, Assisi, Deruta, Siena, San Gimignano—and enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery. In Florence the Renaissance comes alive on a walking tour that features some of Michelangelo’s sublime masterpieces and Brunelleschi’s stupendous cupola on the Duomo. Conclude in magical Venice, with a tour of St. Mark’s Square and time on your own to explore the city.

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Travel Theme
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

Smithsonian Journeys Travel Reviews & Ratings
50% Recommend

3.0 out of 5
Excellent 1 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 1
3.0 Guide
3.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
3.0 Meals
Highlights of Italy

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Does Not Recommend

The trip was awful due to flight cancellations and failure of the contractor to adequately compensate for missed activities and days. May 2018

  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 4.0
My wife and I were on the Smithsonian Journeys Splendors of Australia and New Zealand between April 13 and May 2, 2018. Smithsonian is rated by this site as Luxury travel. However, Smithsonian "farms out" the logistics for their trip to Odysseys Unlimited. Odysseys booked within country air travel with the lowest cost air carriers. Flights were cancelled from Ayers Rock to Sydney and from Queenstown New Zealand to Rotorua. Another flight was significantly delayed so that we did not arrive at our Christchurch destination until 2:00 am, making for a really tired next day. Odysseys Unlimited compensated us $400 per person for missing a day in Sydney and paid for an excursion in Auckland for missing Rotorua. This was wholly inadequate, given that these were highlights of the trip. In addition, our tour guide was rude to several people on the trip. If Smithsonian Journeys is truly a luxury travel outfit, as we had believed, then they would not be farming out travel logistics to such a chinch company as Odysseys Unlimited. We will think twice about traveling with Smithsonian again, and so should others.
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Operator Smithsonian Journeys



Get to Cuba before it changes because it has to. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Cuba has been open to limited group travel for four years and is being opened to individual travel (still with restrictions) now. With thousands of Americans descending on our nearest island neighbor, Cuba has to increase its tourist infrastructure - and lose some of its charm.

Smithsonian Journeys is a great way to see Cuba before it changes. Yes, Smithsonian tours are more expensive than some other tour companies but the phrase, "you get what you pay for", certainly holds true. Everything about the tour was top notch - the American tour coordinator, the local Cuban guide, the itinerary - the best. And everything is included - everything - tipping, all activities, tours. Cuba is a fascinating destination and deserves a quality tour company.
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Operator Smithsonian Journeys


Days 1-2: U.S. and Naples, Italy

Fly from the U.S. to Naples. Upon arrival, travel to seaside Amalfi, a popular resort and your base for exploring Italy’s Campania region. Dine at your hotel tonight, as you will throughout your stay here. (D)

Day 3: Amalfi and Ravello

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

This morning experience this breathtaking coast by sea on a cruise from your hotel to Amalfi Center (weather permitting). Here enjoy a brief tour of the region’s largest town, then have lunch on your own. In the afternoon, ascend to mountaintop Ravello, with its spectacular gardens and coastal views.

Day 4: Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, and Sorrento

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

A full-day excursion begins with a tour of Pompeii, the city devastated by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79 but not excavated until 1748. You'll then embark on a breathtaking drive along the winding Amalfi Coast high above the azure Mediterranean: with stops for photos along the way and in Sorrento. Return to the hotel late this afternoon.

Day 5: Montecassino and Rome

Meals: Breakfast

En route to Rome today visit the town of Montecassino, whose abbey is the mother church of the Benedictine order and a center of medieval art. A German stronghold during World War II, the hilltop abbey was destroyed by Allied bombing then rebuilt as a replica of the 17th-century original. Tour the abbey, then continue to Rome, "the Eternal City." Arrive at your well-located hotel mid-afternoon and enjoy an informal neighborhood walk led by your tour director.

Day 6: Rome

Meals: Breakfast

This morning tour the heart of ancient Rome: the 55,000-seat Colosseum, built in A.D. 72 to stage gladiator spectacles, and the temples of the Forum, ancient Rome’s political and legal center. The afternoon, explore the Borghese Gallery on a guided tour. This afternoon is free to explore on your own, with endless possibilities such as visiting the Pantheon, the city’s best preserved ancient building; tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain; exploring any number of renowned museums and churches; or simply sipping espresso in beautiful Piazza Navona.

Day 7: Rome

Meals: Breakfast

Visit the Vatican for a tour of St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums. Highlights include Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s, considered one of the greatest sculptures of all time; his frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, now restored to its original glory; and art-filled St. Peter’s itself, the most important church in all Christendom.

Day 8: Orvieto and Umbria

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Leaving Rome, travel north through a pastoral landscape of gentle agricultural land bounded by mountain wilderness and dotted with traditional villages and medieval hill towns. Mid-afternoon reach Orvieto, perched high on a plateau above a vineyard-clad plain. After checking in at the hotel in the heart of the city’s medieval quarter, enjoy an informal walking tour then attend a simple cooking demonstration followed by dinner at Zeppelin Restaurant.

Day 9: Orvieto

Meals: Breakfast

This morning embark on a guided walking tour of this dramatically set city. Visit the medieval Duomo, featuring a frescoed chapel by Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli’s masterpiece, The Last Judgment. Next explore the formerly secret passages of Parco delle Grotte, a labyrinth of underground caves used since Etruscan times. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 10: Orvieto and Assisi

Meals: Breakfast

Set off for Assisi, considered a gem of an Umbrian town with inviting plazas, flowers everywhere, buildings of white marble, and a pervasive medieval air. Visit St. Clare Church and the renowned Basilica di San Francesco, the burial place of St. Francis and a sacred pilgrimage site that dominates the town. Inside are Giotto’s priceless frescoes The Life of St. Francis. There’s time on your own to stroll the fountain-splashed piazzas and to enjoy local specialties for lunch. Return to the hotel late this afternoon.

Day 11: Deruta, Perugia, and Siena

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Leave Umbria today for the equally alluring region of Tuscany. Stop along the way in Deruta, known for its prized hand-painted Majolica ceramics, and in charming Perugia. Late afternoon reach Villa Lecchi, a restored 18th-century country villa hotel outside Siena. Tonight’s dinner at this small family-run villa is the first of several here featuring savory Tuscan fare.

Day 12: Siena

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Siena's ochre-colored buildings and ancient ramparts evoke the city’s medieval past. Spend the day exploring this fascinating medieval city, with its fan-shaped Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s greatest public squares, and its Duomo, one of Italy’s finest. Enjoy a guided walking tour that includes an inside visit to the Duomo, housing masterpieces by Michelangelo and Donatello, then have free time to explore and have lunch on your own. Return to the hotel for dinner together.

Day 13: Florence

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

A living monument to the Renaissance, Florence is the crown jewel of Tuscany. Experience this splendid city on a full-day excursion that includes a morning walking tour. Together visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to view Michelangelo’s sublime David, as well as his sculptures for the papal tombs; and visit the revered Duomo, with its stupendous dome by Brunelleschi. This afternoon is free to enjoy Florence as you wish before returning to your hotel, where you dine tonight.

Day 14: San Gimignano

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Encounter classic Tuscany today as you visit the hill town of San Gimignano, known for the 13 watchtowers that have left its skyline virtually unchanged since medieval times, and visit the 1300 Museum there. Later visit a local winery and enjoy a tasting before returning to your lodgings mid-afternoon.

Day 15: Venice

Meals: Breakfast

Leaving Tuscany today, travel through the Veneto region to Venice, arriving early this afternoon. Begin enjoying this wondrous city on your own.

Day 16: Venice

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

This morning take a guided walk through vast St. Mark’s Square and surroundings. The afternoon is free to explore Venice independently. This evening, bid “arrivederci” to Italy and your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Day 17: Depart for U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

Depart early this morning for connecting flights to the U.S.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 5,684

Price Per Day:

$ 334 per day
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • Airfare from your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).
  • Airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees, and port charges and cruise line fees (where applicable), which are subject to change until final payment has been made.
  • Meals as indicated on the tour itinerary, including special welcome and farewell dinners.
  • Baggage handling for one bag per person.
  • Service charges and gratuities, except some cruise and rail programs.
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel for travelers on, or meeting, group flights (for most international tours).
Trip Excludes
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, a-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Room service and valet/laundry service.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers when purchasing “land only” package.
  • Additional baggage fees levied directly by the airline(s) may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should conform directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).
Optional Activities


  •  ‘Venice On Your Own’ for 3 days/ 2 nights
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 24
Start City
End City

Trip ID#: higofismi

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