18206
Italy

The Best of Italy: Rome, Florence and Venice

Learn about three great Italian cities as you visit Rome’s preserved ruins, explore Renaissance architecture in Florence and discover renowned cathedrals and cuisine of Venice.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 18206RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,699
Flights start at
775

At a Glance

Experience the beauty of three historic capitals of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance acclaim as local experts lead you on a journey through some of Italy’s greatest cities. Follow the path of legendary artists, scientists and philosophers from the classical remnants of Rome to the preserved treasures of Florence and Venice.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Extensive walking in traffic-free urban centers which prevent tourist coaches from parking or loading passengers at sites. The distances traversed on foot can reach 5-6 miles per day—always interspersed with rest time, typically at a meal. Standing for extended periods of time during site visits. Special attention needs to be paid to the uneven aspect of cobblestone streets. Elevator use in some historic buildings is restricted. Not all staircases have banisters. Venice is unique as a city with no vehicles besides public or private boats that run along the Grand Canal. Extensive walking in Venice includes crossing bridges that span minor canals. As with many things, the effort expended has its aesthetic reward.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Trace Roman history through the ages as you visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Borghese Museum and the Vatican Museum.
  • Journey to Florence and Venice via a high speed EuroStar train, reaching speeds of over 120 mph.
  • View the "David" — a Renaissance period masterpiece in Florence — and ride in a gondola through the canals of Venice.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Umberto Cattani
Umberto Cattani is a licensed group leader in Florence, Carrara and the Cinque Terre, and has been working with the Trinity College for 15 years. After completing his studies in accounting, Umberto worked in Parma as a sales manager for a clothing manufacturer. At the start of the new millennium, he discovered his real passion for guiding, and completed the required courses in art history, archaeology and history to achieve his new goal. Umberto lives in Carrara with his wife and daughter.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Julieta Seme
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J Michael Broderick
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Fabio Sottili
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Jane Zaloga
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Elisabetta Interdonato
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Rachel Potts
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Rosanna Giannotti
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Linda O'Brien
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Richard Bowen
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Daniela Sarghini
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Umberto Cattani
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Cristina Davanzo
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Livio Pestilli
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
by Ross King
King's colorful chronicle of the world's most famous ceiling paints a maniacal pope, a budding artist and a "who's who" of other 16th-century Italians (Raphael, Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci). Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research.
Eyewitness Guide Italy
by Eyewitness Guides
Another gem in the Eyewitness series, this superb guide is handsome, convenient and up-to-date. Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.
Italy Map
by Borch Maps
A convenient laminated map of Italy at a scale of 1:800,000 with excellent topographic detail, an index and large maps of Sicily and Sardinia.
Rome from the Ground Up
by James H. S. McGregor
A wonderfully erudite, in-depth guide to the architecture and history of Rome. With 88 color and 34 black-and-white photographs and 20 maps.
Italy in Mind
by Alice Powers
A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.
Not Built in a Day, Exploring Rome and its Architecture
by George H. Sullivan
These 12 detailed walking tours celebrate Rome's buildings, fountains, piazzas, streets and archaeology with insight and enthusiasm.
An Artist in Venice
by Adam Van Doren
In this informative and charming memoir, Adam Van Doren, grandson of the Pulitzer-prize-winning poet Mark Van Doren, provides a personal and detailed account of his love affair with Venice. With 21 full-color drawings by the author, this is a must-have for anyone interested in Venice's rich aesthetic heritage.
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
by R.W.B. Lewis
A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls "a partial biography of Florence," beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.
The World of Venice
by Jan Morris
Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.
Frommer's EasyGuide to Rome, Florence and Venice
by Frommer's
EasyGuides are full of practical, easy-to-absorb information and emphasize authentic experiences. This lightweight guide highlights important attractions with expert advice on accommodations and meals.
Venice: An Illustrated Miscellany
by Philippe Sollers
An illustrated literary stroll through the cultural heritage of Italy’s most romantic city that leads from Shakespeare through Henry James, Simone de Beauvoir and Antonio Vivaldi.
Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History
by Ada Gabucci (Editor)
This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
by Beppe Severgnini
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. The book opens with a snapshot of Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
Brunelleschi's Dome
by Ross King
The story of the design and construction of the dome in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a tale rife with politics, cut-throat competition and mighty inspiration.
Italian Venice, A History
by R. J. B. Bosworth
An elegant history of Venice after the loss of its statehood in 1789 at the hands of Napoleon. Bosworth introduces Venice's political unrests since that time, how Venice has modernized and the mal-effects of Global Climate Change and "Disneylandification."
Venice from the Ground Up
by James H. S. McGregor
A walking tour, history and celebration, this masterly, personal guide to Venice includes a short account of McGregor's favorite sites, 10 maps and suggested walks (and boat rides).
The Art of the Renaissance
by Peter Murray
A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.
Cabal
by Michael Dibdin
Zen is called to the Vatican to investigate the death of Prince Ludovico Ruspanti, who plunged from the roof of St. Peter's Basilica.
The Colosseum
by Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard
This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.
The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall
by Christopher Hibbert
A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.
La Bella Lingua
by Dianne Hales
Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir.
Four Seasons in Rome
by Anthony Doerr
Doerr captures the romance and challenge of living abroad in this lyrical memoir, invitingly subtitled "On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World."