THE GRAND EVENT

The Best That Italy Has To Offer

DEPART AUGUST 19th, 2023,
RETURN AUGUST 31st, 2023

12 Touring days, 11 Hotel nights

It goes without saying that every tour event in one’s life needs a component that’s both iconic and unforgettable. Europe has several destinations that fit the bill, and your Grand Event tour of Italy will start with a true nonpareil, Rome. In addition to the Eternal City, you’ll discover Florence, Milan, Siena and Venice. From the Coliseum to the Grand Canal… and a whole lot in between!

Ken Chase, President,
Conservative Tours Incorporated

 

Make sure your 2023 includes the Grand Event Tour of Italy and see the best that Italy has to offer!

 

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Highlights

You’ve landed in the capital of this great nation, where the sun always shines and the natives always have a warm embrace for their friends from America!

Upon arrival in Rome you will be greeted at the airport by one of your tour leaders from Conservative Tours who’ll help you with your suitcases and lead you to our motor coach for the short ride into the Eternal City and beyond. Our professional Italian tour leader will supervise your transfer to our hotel in the heart of the capital (and one of its most desirable neighborhoods).

You will have the remainder of the day at leisure to begin your discovery of the capital of the Roman Empire and the seat of Christianity. Dinner this evening is at one of our favorite local restaurants, and after dinner we’ll enjoy a narrated tour of Rome By Night.

The following day includes our tour of Imperial Rome featuring:

  • The Coliseum
  • The Roman Forum
  • Palatine Hill
  • The Imperial Forum
  • The Arch of Constantine

Circus Maximus

  • Aventine Hill
  • Via Veneto
  • “La Dolce Vita!”Also we’ll be visiting The Vatican including
  • The Museum and Art Galleries
  • Round Hall
  • The Hall of the Greek Cross
  • The Tomb of St. Helen and St. Constance
  • The Gallery of the Chandeliers
  • The Tapestries and the Geographical Maps
  • The Sistine Chapel
  • The Basilica and the Papal Catacombs.

Next you will join your tour leader for a pleasant visit to some of Rome’s most beautiful squares including

  • Piazza Navona (you may recall it from the Tom Hanks’ movie Angels and Demons),
  • Spanish Steps,
  • The Grand Trevi Fountain.

“]Pantheon

Fabulous Pantheon, site of the Oculus and the burial place of Raphael

Imperial Rome

There are so many sites for your eyes to feast upon all over this stunningly beautiful country, and we’re going to start at an iconic one: The Coliseum. With any luck, the lions won’t be there to greet us but in case they are we recommend to all our guests the purchase of a spray can at the entrance of “Roman Coliseum Instant Lion Repellant.”

The Romans were great builders and everywhere they went and conquered they built monuments to themselves and their culture (and asserted their architectural prowess.) Both inside and out, you’ll marvel at the symmetry and beauty of the construction!

How did they do it, particularly the arches? What holds it all together? You’ll find out from our Roman expert, Paolo. In the comfort of our private motor coach we’ll visit the other ancient ruins of Rome featuring the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, and the Imperial Forum.

We’re not done yet on this our first full day in the eternal capital; we’ll continue on to the Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus and the Aventine Hill. The Fabulous Pantheon, site of the Oculus and the burial place of artist extraordinaire – Raphael Raaello Sanzio da Urbino, a.k.a. Raphael!

We’ve reserved a little free time this afternoon to explore Rome on your own, at your pace. Perhaps you’ll head straight for the famous Trevi Fountain – don’t forget to throw your coins in to ensure your return to Rome!  You may be tempted by a genuine Roman gelato or perhaps an after-dinner drink in one of the many inviting cafes.

Vatican

The next day we’ll rendezvous with our Roman guide to visit the Vatican Museum and Art Galleries, the Round Hall, the Hall of the Greek Cross, the Tomb of St. Helen and St. Constance, the Gallery of the Chandeliers, the Galleries of the Tapestries and Geographical Maps. Once again, we’ll be led by one of Italy’s most knowledgeable Roman guides.

Finally, we’ll visit the Sistine Chapel, famed for Michelangelo’s frescoes, recently restored to their original colors. We will conclude our tour of the Vatican with a visit to the Basilica, where we’ll see the Papal catacombs.

Florence

Need we say more. It’s Florence! (known locally as Firenza). For its size, many visitors will tell you it’s the most beautiful city in the world! Featured are such world-renowned treasures including

  • Michelangelo’s David
  • Giotto’s Bell Tower
  • Ghiberti’s Doors of Paradise, (The Divine Comedy from Dante.)

World class Italian cuisine for all our group dinners, including our first night in Italy at one of Rome’s landmark restaurants.

More on Florence later.

In Modena we’ve scheduled a local factory visit to see authentic Balsamic Vinegar made from scratch. You’ll be amazed how one grade of the product can be added to ice cream for a truly unique dessert topping.

Visit the city of Siena with its basilica dedicated to St Catherine (her relic skull is on display); known for each summer’s running in the contrada (city wards) which vie for the championship of the famous Il Palio horse race. We may not be in town when the Il Palio is running but the city’s wards will no doubt be flying their colors proudly year round.

Experience fabulous Milan – the center of the world’s fashion and design. San Gimignano—-The Medieval Manhattan—you’ll see why!

DID WE TELL YOU THAT AT CONSERVATIVE TOURS WE LOVE TO DINE? One of my favorites in Rome: Piccola Cuccagna just off Piazza Navona. The best grilled eggplant on the planet! You’ll be amazed at what Massimo does with vegetables – a meal in themselves! My favorite seafood restaurant in Rome is on Via di Ripetta near Piazza del Popolo. One of my favorite Trattorias in Florence is Trattoria Marione. Talk about cozy! Italy is a food lover’s paradise and we intend to discover it all!

The hillside views overlooking Florence are a sight to behold, but if you find the time try to visit one of the best restaurants in Florence with a view to match: it’s called Omero.

IMPERIAL ROME

There are so many sites for your eyes to feast upon all over this stunningly beautiful country, and we’re going to start at an iconic one: The Coliseum. With any luck, the lions won’t be there to greet us but in case they are we recommend to all our guests the purchase of a spray can at the entrance of “Roman Coliseum Instant Lion Repellant.”

The Romans were great builders and everywhere they went and conquered they built monuments to themselves and their culture (and asserted their architectural prowess.) Both inside and out, you’ll marvel at the symmetry and beauty of the construction!

How did they do it, particularly the arches? What holds it all together? You’ll find out from our Roman expert, Paolo. In the comfort of our private motor coach we’ll visit the other ancient ruins of Rome featuring the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, and the Imperial Forum.

We’re not done yet on this our first full day in the eternal capital; we’ll continue on to the Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus and the Aventine Hill. Fabulous Pantheon, site of the Oculus and the burial place of Raphael Raaello Sanzio da Urbino, a.k.a.
Raphael!

We’ve reserved a little free time this afternoon to explore Rome on your own, at your pace. Perhaps you’ll head straight for the famous Trevi Fountain – don’t forget to throw your coins in to ensure your return to Rome!  You may be tempted by a genuine Roman gelato or perhaps an after-dinner drink in one of the many inviting cafes.

Raphael
The fabulous Pantheon is the site of the Oculus and the burial place of artist extraordinaire Raphael

 

ORVIETO

After breakfast together the next morning, we’ll depart Rome and head north towards Florence. We will stop, en route, in the fascinating town of Orvieto, situated on the top of a large volcanic butte. Make sure your camera is in working order!!! This is Medieval Europe at its best! The precise location of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of LOST WORD that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone.

The façade of the Cathedral is one of the most beautiful works of art you will ever see—mosaics to rival St. Peter’s!!! Orvieto is somehow one of the most impressive Italian towns one can visit. How do we know? It is very common over the years to hear some version of this statement: “I’m thinking about buying a retirement home in Italy…..I’d like a town just like Orvieto.” It’s true….Orvieto is in many ways the most Italian of all Italian towns!

MORE ON FLORENCE

It’s on to what many consider the crown jewel of Italy, Florence. Be sure to visit RIVOIRE at Piazza della Signoria for the world’s best cup of hot chocolate!  After breakfast at our hotel in Florence we’ll meet our local Florentine expert guide, Letitia, and set out on a pleasant walking tour to visit the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. Continue our visit to the Duomo – highlighted by Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the ancient Baptistry with Ghiberti’s Doors of Paradise (The Divine Comedy from Dante). We’ll also stroll to lovely Piazza Santa Croce and take in the iconic Ponte Vecchio.

Dinner this evening together.

Panorama of Florence (Firenze) Italy
This looks like a Medieval painting but amazingly it is a photograph of today’s Florence (Firenze) Italy

UFO Madonna

Looking for the unusual? You can find the Renaissance painting referred to as “UFO Madonna” in the Florence town hall. (The “UFO” is over Madonna’s shoulder, and figures within the painting are acknowledging the airborne craft.)


SAN GIMIGNANO

The next day we begin an early drive through the region of Chianti to San Gimignano, perched on a hilltop and noted for its famous towers, often referred to as the “The Medieval Manhattan.” Step through the gates of San Gimignano and be immediately transported to a time when the size of a family’s tower determined its place in society. You will be immersed in the medieval character that is the essence of this town.

SIENA

We next visit Siena, a city from the six hundreds (as in 600 AD) with charming streets and a summer tradition of horse racing in the town square! We may not be in town when the Il Palio is running but the city’s wards will no doubt be flying their colors proudly year-round.

VENICE

Historic and artistic tour of the stunning and unequaled city of Venice. The costumes. The pageantry. The peppermint sticks. Gondolas at sunset. Rialto Bridge. Saint Mark’s Square and the Basilica. The Murano glassworks industry—-the way it’s been done for hundreds of years. The Bridge of Sighs.

The next morning we head across the wooded Apennine Hills towards Venice.  There are many beautiful sites to see in Europe, but just a handful command the iconic status of Venice. If you haven’t yet had the good fortune to visit Venice all you need to know is that the picture perfect city of Brugges in Belgium is referred to as “The Venice of the North.” Venice is so captivating on so many levels that it’s often the focal point of an entire vacation. The city itself is comprised of more than 100 islands; but, as always with Conservative Tours, we’ll start our tour in the most beautiful quarter and heart of each destination city and that’s where we remain. The epicenter of this jewel of a city is Saint Mark’s Square where the imposing Basilica of San Marco is located.

Visit the Murano glass works! Our walking tour of Venice is romantic and leisurely paced and our expert local guide will share her secrets of her hometown with you. Catrina is a font of knowledge and you’ll appreciate her expertise! And the mosaic that depicts how the Venetians retrieved the skeletal remains of St. Mark from the Egyptians —-wait until you hear that story!!!

You’ve heard of “Carnevale” in Venice and you’ve seen the costumes. No such dress code tonight as we gather to dine and say fare well and celebrate all that is Venice!

MILAN

The next morning we’ll leave Venice and head west towards pristine Milan. We’ll enjoy a private, guided tour of the fashion and business capital of Italy, Milan. Milan is many things to many people…..and an eternal rival to the Eternal City of Rome. Milan is powerful – the headquarters of many of Italy’s most prominent multinational firms. For most connoisseurs Milan is the uncontested world capital of fashion.

Note the elegant attire of both men and women as we stroll the friendly passageways of the Vittorio Emanuel Gallery in the warm Summer sunshine. We’ll show favor to the beautiful side of this stunning city a stone’s throw from the majestic Alps.

From the comfort of your deluxe motor coach we embark on an orientation tour of some of the most famous landmarks of Milan, including the Sforzesco Castle, the aforementioned Vittorio Emanuel Gallery, Piazza Duomo – famous for the Gothic Cathedral – and of course La Scala Opera House

This evening we’ll be enjoying dinner in one of Europe’s famous resort communities, Stresa, on picture-perfect Lake Maggiore in the Northern Italian Lake District, at the foot of the Alps. Stresa was developed a century ago for European royalty and those of great wealth. You will be staying in one of the Grande Dame hotels of that era. The dining room where you’ll savor a delicious buffet breakfast will give you an idea of the surroundings royalty demanded when traveling!

The next morning we’ll enjoy a private tour of the Borromean Islands resplendent by virtue of its palace and stunning manicured gardens. Yes…..those are real peacocks, parrots, and pheasants. Don’t forget the Mussolini connection when here!

Our final day in the Lake District will be centered on Lake Como and the peninsula of Bellagio. Summer sun, strolling some of the most elegant and yet charming passageways in all of Italy. Life on the Northern Italian Lakes has its own pace and beauty……and it also has its own micro-climate; which helps explain the stunning plants and vegetation this far north! Let’s celebrate one more time with another feast to say good bye to this marvelous nation!

The next morning we’ll head out as a group and celebrate on our flight back to America all we’ve discovered in this beautiful country and all the new friends we’ve met on this Conservative Tour!

Milan Shopping Gallery

Fabulous Milano shopping

 

PRICING

Tour Price:  $5267.00     Deposit:  $ 500.00

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Round trip air from your USA origination to Rome and home from Milan.
  • Airport transfer from FCO in Rome to the Eternal City.
  • Airport transfer from hotel in the resort town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore to Malpensa Airport.
  • Expert commentary throughout the tour event by our friendly and talented tour leader from Italy
  • Five dinners, with wine included—and it’s very good wine!!! I’ll introduce you to the best Italian red I’veever had—-and it’s affordable should you want to bring home a bottle.
  • Breakfast daily in the comfort of your first class hotel.
  • One lunch and wine tasting gastronomical event.
  • Three nights in a centrally located, first class hotel in Rome.
  • Three nights in Pistoia/Florence in a first class property.
  • Two nights in a four-star hotel in Venice/Mestre.
  • Three nights in a four-star hotel in the resort town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore north of Milan.
  • Tour the factory and see authentic Balsamic Vinegar made from scratch.
  • Expert English-speaking professional full-time tour leader for the entire event.
  • Licensed professional local guides across the 12 day touring event.
  • All entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • All deluxe motor coach transportation

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Government air and city taxes.
  • Optional Travel Insurance Policy

Contact Conservative Tours 888-733-9494 to reserve your spot on this this unforgettable tour
Related Video - Water Taxi
Burano, one of Venice's many islands Burano, one of Venice’s many islands

 

 

Italy!

Learn About This Tour

TESTIMONIALS

“We’ve now enjoyed our second tour event with Conservative Tours in less than one year. The Italian Grand Event was everything promised and then some; but the organization was superb. Always had the feeling that good things were going to happen each day, and they did. The leisurely pace was helpful and the fine dining (particularly the Castle and Il Latini) was memorable.”

Mark & Celeste Lalli, New York City
Toured Italy with Conservative Tours

Rome

Florence

Tuscany

Pompeii

San Gimignano

Milan

Siena

Venice

VIDEO FOOTAGE

RIDE A VENETIAN “BUS”