Experience the best of Italy's countryside and its famed cities—Rome, Florence, and Venice—on this tour showcasing ancient sites, priceless art, outstanding cuisine, and unique lodgings.

Starting at: $5,684 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Florence with its iconic Duomo  Michelangelo's early <i>Pieta</i> in St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican  Village of Positano, along the Amalfi Coast  Remarkable Pompeii, with Mount Vesuvius in the background  Painted wall found in Pompeii  The legendary Roman Colosseum  The Roman Forum  View of Rome from St. Peter's Basilica, with Bernini's colonnade  St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City  Interior of St. Peter's Basilica with Bernini's Baldacchino   Michelangelo's ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel  The Etruscan town of Orvieto, sitting high above the Umbrian plain  The dramatic facade of Orvieto's cathedral   The Campo, or main square, in Siena  The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi  Michelangelo's <i>David</i>, the centerpiece of the Accademia. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  The quintessential Tuscan countryside, replete with rolling hills, cypress trees, and farmhouses  Enjoy private food and wine tastings. Credit: Steve Bly/Alamy  The hill town of San Gimignano, featuring its many medieval towers  The legendary Grand Canal in Venice  View of the Doge's Palace and Campanile from the canal in Venice  Venice

Highlights of Italy

17 days from $5,684 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Experience the best of Italy's countryside and its famed cities—Rome, Florence, and Venice—on this tour showcasing ancient sites, priceless art, outstanding cuisine, and unique lodgings.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was truly the trip of a lifetime. We did and saw things we never would have had we made the trip on our own. Every detail was planned for and I would have been very happy to continue longer.

- Diane C.

I had always traveled independently so this was my first experience with a group tour. I picked well! This was a great experience with a wonderful group of people. I loved the combination of being "guided" and opportunities to go on my own at times. 

- Sharon W.

Our Smithsonian tour was a true delight. These days, it is rare to receive such an outstanding value. We look forward to many more tours, and they all will be with Smithsonian. 

- Phil W.

The Highlights of Italy tour met all of my expectations. We thoroughly explored the abundant art and architecture of the regions we visited. The study leader and tour director were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and friendly, and the other members of the tour were as inquisitive as I am.

- Michael Z.

It is because of exceptional customer service consistently provided by your company and your guides that we choose Smithsonian Journeys as our #1 tour operator. We’ve had the pleasure of traveling with you multiple times and haven’t been disappointed yet. So thank you for the fantastic tour and thank you for the excellent service you provide!! We always speak of Smithsonian Journeys with pride!

- Gary M. & Nina B.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Apr 1 - 17, 2017 Departure
Sara James

Sara James

Sara N. James is Professor Emerita of Art History at Mary Baldwin College. For 25 years she also served as director of the Renaissance Studies in Italy Program. Although a specialist in Italian Renaissance art with a particular passion for fresco programs, she has taught a broad range of courses in Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and medieval English art and architecture.  Sara’s publications include a spring 2016 article in the medieval journal  Gesta on the role of St. Joseph in fourteenth century paintings of the life of the Virgin Mary at Orvieto, a chapter, "Vasari on Signorelli: The Origins of the Grand Manner of Painting" in Reading Vasari (Philip Wilson, 2005), and two books, Signorelli and Fra Angelico at Orvieto: Liturgy, Poetry and a Vision of the End-time (Ashgate, 2003), and Art in England from the Saxons to the Tudors: 600-1600 (Oxbow, 2016). Her speaking engagements include the College Art Association, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Chief Executives Organization (Florence, 2008). Sara holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Virginia, an M.A. (Medieval Studies) from Old Dominion University, a B.A. in Art from Mary Baldwin College, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society.

Apr 17 - May 3, 2017 Departure
Gail Cornell

Gail Cornell

Gail Cornell is an architectural historian and graduate of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. She has been a frequent speaker on international study tours for 17 years. Her research and lectures on the history of architecture have taken her to Italy, Turkey, Greece, France, Spain, Portugal and North Africa numerous times. She is an Adjunct Faculty member of New York University and Hunter College. A resident of New York City, Gail volunteers her time as an architectural historian at Ellis Island and New York City'’s historic City Hall.

Apr 24 - May 10, 2017 Departure
Carol Bresnahan

Carol Bresnahan

Dr. Carol Bresnahan is an active scholar in the area of late Renaissance Florence, and has authored presentations and publications on the topic. In summer 2011 she joined Rollins College, serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History until July 2015. Beginning in 2008, Bresnahan served as provost and executive vice president at The College of New Jersey, where she was a tenured professor of history. Previously, Bresnahan was vice provost for academic programs and policies at The University of Toledo (UT). At UT, she was the first woman to receive tenure in the Department of History, be promoted to associate professor and professor of history, serve as history department chair, and receive UT’s annual outstanding faculty research award. Carol has also taught at Brown and Wesleyan universities and led a doctoral/postdoctoral seminar at the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale. She received her bachelor’s degree, Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude, from Smith College and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Brown University. When not teaching and studying history, Carol enjoys tennis, cooking, and fine wines.

May 8 - 24, 2017 Departure
Allan Langdale

Allan Langdale

Allan Langdale is an art and architectural historian, filmmaker, photographer, and travel writer who received his Ph.D. in art history from UC Santa Barbara. Allan has taught courses in Italian Renaissance art, Byzantine art, East Indian art, and Islamic art and currently teaches art history at UC Santa Cruz and film studies at UC Santa Barbara.

He has written the definitive guidebook to the little known region of Turkish Cyprus, In a Contested Realm (2012) and also made a documentary film on the architecture and history of the medieval city of Famagusta, The Stones of Famagusta: the Story of a Forgotten City (2008). Allan’s most recent book is Palermo: Travels in the City of Happiness (2015).

A popular Smithsonian Expert, Allan has traveled extensively in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, including Jordan and Egypt, and India. He lectures often in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and the Middle East.

May 22 - Jun 7, 2017 Departure; Oct 9 - 25, 2017 Departure
David Guinee

David Guinee

David A. Guinee teaches at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he is the Edwin Minar Professor of Classical Studies. He coordinates the Latin program at DePauw University and teaches courses in Latin and Greek at all levels and periods, with courses ranging from Homeric Greek to Late Antique and Medieval Latin, as well as a wide range of courses in Classics in translation, including Greek and Roman Mythology, Greek and Roman Law, Roman Civilization, the Age of Augustus, and the Legacies of Constantine. From 2009 to 2012 Dave served as DePauw's Faculty Development Coordinator. He earned his BA in Classical Languages at Carleton College and his PhD in Classical Philology at the University of Michigan. Dave's research is focused on Latin poetry, particularly epic after Vergil. He has been an active participant with the Center for Hellenic Studies' Sunoikisis project, developing collaborative inter-institution courses in Greek and Latin literature, and has been a CHS Sunoikisis Fellow for Curricular Development. He has led many student study tours through Italy and has lived in Rome and Siena, where he served as a Visiting Faculty member for the AHA International Study Program. In addition to Classics, Dave enjoys flyfishing and playing bluegrass 5-string banjo.

Aug 31 - Sep 16, 2017 Departure
Luca Zavagno

Luca Zavagno

Luca Zavagno was born in Venice, where he received his B.A. degree in History from the University Ca’Foscari; he completed his Ph.D. studies at the University of Birmingham on the society, culture, economics and politics of Byzantine cities. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Bilkent University and Visiting Professor of Byzantine Art History at University Ca’Foscari of Venice. He is currently working on his forthcoming book An Island in Transition: Cyprus between Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages (ca. 600-ca. 850) to be published by Ashgate.
Dr. Zavagno is the author of many articles on the early Medieval Mediterranean, of the edited volume Islands of Eastern Mediterranean. A History of Cross Cultural Encounters (with Özlem Caykent) and of Cities in Transition: Urbanism in Byzantium Between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (British Archaeological Reports-International Series, 2009), a book which explores the impact of important historical events on urban settlements in the Pontus (Amastris), Italy (Naples), Western Anatolia (Ephesus), and Greece (Gortyn and Athens) during this period. He is also the co-organizer of the annual Conference of the Mediterranean Worlds, Associate Scholar of the Mediterranean Seminar, and a Teaching Fellow of the School of Advanced Studies of the Università di Salerno.

Sep 11 - 27, 2017 Departure
Ross King

Ross King

Dr. Ross King is the bestselling author of five books on Italian art and history, including Brunelleschi’s Dome (2000), Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling (2002), and Leonardo and The Last Supper (2012). He has also published a biography of Niccolò Machiavelli and edited a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s fables, jokes and riddles. He is the co-author with Anja Grebe of Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743 (2015), the most comprehensive (and probably the heaviest) book ever undertaken on the art of Florence.

Ross is on the Council of Academic Advisors for Friends of Florence, the fund-raising charity ensuring the survival of Florence’s art and architectural treasures. He has participated in numerous Friends of Florence study tours throughout Italy, including in Rome, Assisi and Milan. He is a regular participant in the Italian Renaissance seminars at the Aspen Institute, including programmes on Giotto, St. Francis and Dante. He has appeared in a number of television documentaries, such as The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (PBS, 2003), Raphael: A Mortal God (BBC, 2004), The Great Cathedral Mystery (Nova, 2014), and Florence’s Invisible City (BBC, 2016). He has lectured in many American museums, including the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Frick Collection, and the National Gallery. When not traveling for work or pleasure, he lives near Oxford, in England, with his wife Melanie.

Sep 18 - Oct 4, 2017 Departure
Trudy  Harrington Becker and Andrew Becker

Trudy Harrington Becker and Andrew Becker

Dr. Trudy Harrington Becker is Associate Chair of the Department of History, Virginia Tech where she teaches courses on Roman history and Greek history, as well as courses such as Modern Uses and Receptions of the Ancient World.   Trudy has an undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross, earned a MA in Classics at the University of North Carolina, and Ph.D. in Roman Studies at the University of Florida. She also studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Trudy has published on the Classical Tradition in the United States, including many articles on classical education in the 19th century. 

Dr. Andrew Becker, Associate Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, did his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan, earned a MA at Cambridge University (England), and received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Andrew also studied and worked at the Ionic Centre in Chios, Greece and has published numerous articles on Roman and Greek literature and culture as well as a book on Homer’s Iliad.  He teaches courses on Latin and Ancient Greek languages and literatures, English literature, and ancient Roman culture.  He currently serves as President of the Society of the Oral Reading of Greek and Latin Literature.

Dr. Trudy Harrington Becker and Dr. Andrew Becker have been frequent teaching faculty at Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.  For four years they served jointly as Organizers of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Spring Program in Switzerland (2006-2009).  Trudy and Andrew have led more than a dozen academic trips to Rome, including summer study abroad courses.  They teach together on campus as well; and last year taught a highly popular course on The Cities of Rome.   Both are award winning teachers, advisors and mentors. In addition, in 2013 Andrew and Trudy received their college’s Award for Excellence in International Initiatives, and in 2014 they jointly received the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education, the highest award that the university gives in this area. 

Oct 23 - Nov 8, 2017 Departure
Valerie Hedquist

Valerie Hedquist

Valerie Hedquist is a professor of art history at the University of Montana.  She earned her Ph.D. with honors at the University of Kansas and has been teaching and writing for over twenty years. During her academic life, she has also continued to explore and teach the art and architecture of Italy, a country whose language and literature she studied while an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. Valerie has travelled with students to many national and international locations, including several trips to Italy.  She has written reviews and catalogue essays for museum exhibitions, broadcast radio programs, and presented papers to local, regional, and international meetings on an array of topics from the plague in art to the use of assemblage in contemporary artistic processes.  In summer 2011, her book on the art and life of Montana artist, Fra Dana was published.  Since 1975, she has explored Italy from Palermo, Sicily to Asti in the Piedmont region.