Essence of Italy - A Connections Boutique Group Journey

​On this 11-day Italian adventure, discover the Eternal City of Rome, the Renaissance glories of Florence and Tuscany, and the dazzling Cinque Terre, indulging in unforgettable food and wine and experiencing Italian culture up close.

Journey Overview

On this 11-day Italian adventure, discover the Eternal City of Rome, the Renaissance glories of Florence and Tuscany, and the dazzling Cinque Terre, indulging in unforgettable food and wine and experiencing Italian culture up close.

Journey Highlights

  • Traverse soul-stirring Italy on a journey to its most remarkable regions, including the fabled Cinque Terre
  • In Rome’s historic Trastevere district, enjoy wine tasting and dinner at the home of a local resident
  • Learn the secrets of Florentine cuisine in an Italian cooking class guided by a chef
  • Get a taste of local life with a visit to the buzzy market district around Venice’s Rialto Bridge
  • Tour a family-owned balsamic vinegar factory, sampling this regional favourite before lunch
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Rome, Italy

Arrive in Rome, Italy’s Eternal City, where you are greeted by an A&K representative and transferred to your hotel. In the evening, join fellow guests for a special welcome dinner.
Palazzo Navona Hotel | Meals: D

Days 2-­3 Rome | Ancient City & Holy See

Journey through history with a morning visit to the Imperial Roman Forum and the Colosseum. In the afternoon, explore the charming Campo de Fiori; the Piazza Navona and its remarkable Fountain of the Four Rivers; and the Pantheon, one of the most widely copied buildings in the Western world. Later, stop at the iconic Trevi Fountain before taking in the Spanish Steps, which are said to comprise the widest stairway in Europe. The next day, explore Vatican City, where you view the magnificent Sistine Chapel with its legendary frescoes by Michelangelo, as well as St. Peter’s Basilica. Tonight, venture out to Rome’s Trastevere, where cobblestone streets meet with labyrinthian alleys, to connect with a welcoming local in her home for wine and a home-cooked feast.
Palazzo Navona Hotel | Meals: BL (Day 2); BD (Day 3)

Days 4­-6 Florence | The Renaissance & Tuscany

Travel north to the famed region of Tuscany and stop en route in medieval Siena. Here, your local expert introduces you to the Piazza del Campo, home of the famous Palio di Siena horse race. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the twice-yearly event honouring the Virgin Mary features a bareback horse race around the piazza. Continue to Florence, a vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance and its art. The next day, in the company of a specialist art guide, visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David and the Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the world’s most important art treasures. On your last day, participate in a three-hour culinary class, where your chef shares the secrets of Florentine cooking.
Hotel Brunelleschi | Meals: BD (Day 4); B (Day 5); BL (Day 6)

Day 7 Lucca | Roman Remnants

Drive to Lucca, a city whose history predates the Roman Empire. Explore its historic centre, its streets still mirroring the plan imposed by the Romans when they colonized the city. Visit the Puccini Museum, dedicated to the life and music of Giacomo Puccini, beloved composer of La Bohème, who was born in Lucca in 1858. Continue on to your next destination, the stunning Italian Riviera.
Grand Hotel Portovenere | Meals: BD

Day 8 Cinque Terre | Beauty Along the Coast

Discover the extraordinary beauty of the Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”), five scenic villages built along the steep coastal cliffs of Liguria on the Italian Riviera. See Manarola, a fishing village set amid terraced vineyards, where you can walk to view the magical coast, and visit other villages nearby.
Grand Hotel Portovenere | Meals: BL

Days 9­10 Venice | Palaces & Canals

Travelling by coach to Venice, stop en route to enjoy a private tasting of balsamic vinegar at a family-owned factory, with lunch to follow. Tonight, enjoy the incredible atmosphere at your boutique Venetian hotel set along the romantic Grand Canal. The next day, stroll through the famous Rialto Market before visiting St. Mark’s Basilica, with its lavish decoration of marbles and golden mosaics, and the Doge’s Palace. This evening, take in the atmosphere of a local bàcaro (wine bar) before gathering for a festive farewell dinner.
Hotel L'Orologio Venice | Meals: BL (Day 9); BD (Day 10)

Day 11 Depart Venice

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your flight home.

Show Full Itinerary

Journey Dates & Prices

Final dates and pricing for this journey are now being confirmed.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry if you would like to know more about this journey, or to register your interest.