Experience the best of Italy's countryside and its famed cities—Rome, Florence, and Venice—on this grand journey from the Amalfi Coast to the Adriatic. Acquire a comprehensive insight into Italy's ancient sites, priceless art, traditional cuisine, and unique lodgings. 

Starting at: $6,174 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Roman Forum  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 Colosseum of Rome  Florence with its iconic Duomo  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  Panoramic view of Florence  Michelangelo's <i>David</i>, at the Accademia. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  Visitors outside the renowned Uffizi Gallery. 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  Venice  View of the Doge's Palace and Campanile from the canal in Venice

Highlights of Italy

16 days from $6,174 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Experience the best of Italy's countryside and its famed cities—Rome, Florence, and Venice—on this grand journey from the Amalfi Coast to the Adriatic. Acquire a comprehensive insight into Italy's ancient sites, priceless art, traditional cuisine, and unique lodgings. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

So much more was offered than described in the brochures, many surprise extras, top quality hotels, transport, tour leaders!

- Regina G.

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

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Marmorata Hotel (Select Dates)

Amalfi, Italy

A former paper mill owned by the Camera d'Afflitto family, the Marmorata has been converted into a 37-room hotel overlooking the romantic Amalfi Coast. It boasts a tranquil, secluded atmosphere just 1½ miles from the town of Amalfi. Still owned and personally run by the d'Afflitto family, the hotel features a restaurant, bar, Internet access, laundry services, fitness center with Jacuzzi, outdoor swimming pool, and access to the sea. Each air-conditioned room comes decorated with a navy theme and fully equipped with a private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone. Please note that you will need to negotiate a steep driveway down to the hotel.

Number of nights: 3

Hotel San Francesco (Apr 12, Sep 7, and Sep 14 Departures)

Amalfi, Italy

The contemporary Hotel San Francesco overlooks the longest stretch of the Amalfi coast while standing amongst orchards of citrus trees and floral gardens. The 44-room hotel features restaurant and bar, safe deposit box, Internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, and private beach. Each air-conditioned room has a private bath with hair dryer, private terrace, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Empire Palace

Rome, Italy

A well-located hotel just a two-minute walk from the Via Veneto, the 110-room Empire Palace is an actual palace, built in 1870 and completely refurbished and converted to a hotel that offers a restaurant and bar, fitness center, Internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned rooms feature private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone. Please note that because of the unique nature of this hotel, room sizes vary.

Number of nights: 3

Grand Hotel Italia

Orvieto (Umbria), Italy

Located in Orvieto's medieval town center, this refurbished 19th-century building with hanging gardens is close to some of Orvieto's key points of interest, including the Palazzo del Popolo, Moro Tower, and the Duomo. The intimate 46-room hotel also features a bar, rooftop terrace, library, Internet access, and laundry service. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Hotel Borgo di Cortefreda

Florence (Tuscany), Italy

The Hotel Borgo di Cortefreda enjoys a spectacular location in the heart of Tuscany, with sweeping vineyard views from the hotel’s garden-filled grounds. Amenities of this classic Italian villa include a restaurant and bar, spa, sauna, outdoor swimming pool with poolside bar, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and laundry service. Air-conditioned guest rooms include private bath with hairdryer, minibar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 4

Carnival Palace Hotel

Venice, Italy

Opened in August 2012, the contemporary Carnival Palace overlooks the Cannaregio Canal in the heart of historic downtown Venice. Along with a garden and waterfront terrace bar, the 67-room hotel offers Internet access and laundry service. Guest rooms have Venetian furnishings, private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features visits to many cities, iconic sites, hidden gems, and various regions. Although comprehensive, it's not rushed, but well paced and finely tuned. Expectations include longer touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions and five different hotels. Mostly full-day excursions from four to six hours, with ten afternoons at leisure. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and outdoor activities. Daily walks of up to three miles; walking over sometimes difficult terrain that includes cobblestones and city hills (especially in Tuscan hilltowns), uneven pavement (especially archaeological sites), stairs without handrails, and absence of elevators; longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. There are two longer coach rides of approximately three and four hours duration. This tour also features one boat trip along the Amalfi Coast, as well as a drive along the winding Amalfi Coast roads from above.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Tour Extension

Venice Post-Program Option – 3 Days, 2 Nights
Enjoy time on your own in this most timeless of cities. Your tour price includes:

  • 2 nights accommodations at Carnival Palace Hotel (Superior First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Carnival Palace Hotel
Opened in 2012, the contemporary Carnival Palace overlooks the Cannaregio Canal in the heart of historic downtown Venice. Along with a garden and waterfront terrace bar, the 67-room hotel offers Internet access and laundry service. Guest rooms have Venetian furnishings, private bath with hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

So much more was offered than described in the brochures, many surprise extras, top quality hotels, transport, tour leaders!

- Regina G.

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.
Reading List

Highly Recommended

Italy in Mind: An Anthology
By: Alice Leccese Powers
Comprised of short stories, novel excerpts, essays, poetry journals and letters, this work will delight anyone who loves Italy or great travel writing. Pieces include Barbara Grizzuti Harrison marveling at baroque Sicilian confections, Mary McCarthy celebrating Venice's threadbare dignity, and Henry James's Isabel Archer succumbing to the treacherous antiquities of Florence.
La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
By: Beppe Severgnini
Join the bestselling author of Ciao, America! on a lively tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors—la bella figura—and highlights its maddening, paradoxical true self You won’t need luggage for this hypothetical and hilarious trip into the hearts and minds of Beppe Severgnini’s fellow Italians. In fact, Beppe would prefer if you left behind the baggage his crafty and elegant countrymen have smuggled into your subconscious. To get to his Italia, you’ll need to forget about your idealized notions of Italy. Although La Bella Figura will take you to legendary cities and scenic regions, your real destinations are the places where Italians are at their best, worst, and most authentic: The highway: in America, a red light has only one possible interpretation—Stop! An Italian red light doesn’t warn or order you as much as provide an invitation for reflection. The airport: where Italians prove that one of their virtues (an appreciation for beauty) is really a vice. Who cares if the beautiful girls hawking cell phones in airport kiosks stick you with an outdated model? That’s the price of gazing upon perfection.The small town: which demonstrates the Italian genius for pleasant living: “a congenial barber . . . a well-stocked newsstand . . . professionally made coffee and a proper pizza; bell towers we can recognize in the distance, and people with a kind word and a smile for everyone.”The chaos of the roads, the anarchy of the office, the theatrical spirit of the hypermarkets, and garrulous train journeys; the sensory reassurance of a church and the importance of the beach; the solitude of the soccer stadium and the crowded Italian bedroom; the vertical fixations of the apartment building and the horizontal democracy of the eat-in kitchen. As you venture to these and many other locations rooted in the Italian psyche, you realize that Beppe has become your Dante and shown you a country that “has too much style to be hell” but is “too disorderly to be heaven.” Ten days, thirty places. From north to south. From food to politics. From saintliness to sexuality. This ironic, methodical, and sentimental examination will help you understand why Italy—as Beppe says—“can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters or ten minutes.”
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Italy: 2019
By: DK Eyewitness
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
By: Ross King
On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore--already under construction for more than a century--was announced: "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome....shall do so before the end of the month of September." The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.Of the many plans submitted, one stood out--a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, then forty-one, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture.Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes (among some of the most renowned machines of the Renaissance) to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers' platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction--all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and his own personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him. This drama was played out amid plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence-- events Ross King weaves into the story to great effect, from Brunelleschi's bitter, ongoing rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti to the near catpure of Florence by the Duke of Milan. King also offers a wealth of fascinating detail that opens windows onto fifteenth-century life: the celebrated traditions of the brickmaker's art, the daily routine of the artisans laboring hundreds of feet above the ground as the dome grew ever higher, the problems of transportation, the power of the guilds.Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.

Also Recommended

One Hundred & One Beautiful Small Towns in Italy (Rizzoli Classics)
By: Paolo Lazzarin
The perfect guide for those who can't resist succumbing to Italy's charms again and again, now in a popular pocket-sized format. Who hasn't dreamt of being whisked away to a sweet little Italian town buried deep in the countryside? The small towns sprinkled throughout this expansive book are not only rich with beauty but also saturated with as much historical and cultural importance as their sister cities. The fact that they are "off the beaten path"-though sometimes extraordinarily famous for their art, food, and wine, or simply their setting-makes them rare gems even more desirable to see. The 101 towns featured represent the twenty diverse regions of Italy and their varied landscapes, architecture, and local specialties. Practical sidebars introduce the reader to traditional artisans as well as to the best place to buy Parmigiano Reggiano or the greatest terrace to take in a Tuscan sunset. Art and architecture are also amply covered, from the history of L'Aquila's ninety-nine fountains to the most elaborate of baroque churches. You will be amazed to see how much Italy has to offer beyond the well-trod paths of Venice, Florence, and Rome: from Asolo to Vicenza, flea markets to fish markets, horse races to open-air concerts, this book promises 101 great reasons to go back to Italy over and over.
Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary 8
By: Lonely Planet, Iagnocco, Pietro, Beltrami, Anna, Cicioni, Mirna, Coates, Karina, Walker, Susie
City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
By: Roger Crowley
“The rise and fall of Venice’s empire is an irresistible story and [Roger] Crowley, with his rousing descriptive gifts and scholarly attention to detail, is its perfect chronicler.”—The Financial Times   The New York Times bestselling author of Empires of the Sea charts Venice’s astounding five-hundred-year voyage to the pinnacle of power in an epic story that stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. City of Fortune traces the full arc of the Venetian imperial saga, from the ill-fated Fourth Crusade, which culminates in the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, to the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499–1503, which sees the Ottoman Turks supplant the Venetians as the preeminent naval power in the Mediterranean. In between are three centuries of Venetian maritime dominance, during which a tiny city of “lagoon dwellers” grow into the richest place on earth. Drawing on firsthand accounts of pitched sea battles, skillful negotiations, and diplomatic maneuvers, Crowley paints a vivid picture of this avaricious, enterprising people and the bountiful lands that came under their dominion. From the opening of the spice routes to the clash between Christianity and Islam, Venice played a leading role in the defining conflicts of its time—the reverberations of which are still being felt today.   “[Crowley] writes with a racy briskness that lifts sea battles and sieges off the page.”—The New York Times   “Crowley chronicles the peak of Venice’s past glory with Wordsworthian sympathy, supplemented by impressive learning and infectious enthusiasm.”—The Wall Street Journal
The Renaissance: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
By: Paul Johnson
The Renaissance holds an undying place in our imagination, its great heroes still our own, from Michelangelo and Leonardo to Dante and Chaucer. This period of profound evolution in European thought is credited with transforming the West from medieval to modern and producing the most astonishing outpouring of artistic creation the world has ever known. But what was it? In this masterly work, the incomparable Paul Johnson tells us. He explains the economic, technological, and social developments that provide a backdrop to the age’s achievements and focuses closely on the lives and works of its most important figures. A commanding short narrative of this vital period, The Renaissance is also a universally profound meditation on the wellsprings of innovation.
The City of Florence: Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
By: R.W.B. Lewis
A New York Times Notable BookIn this deeply personal and learned labor of love, R.W.B. Lewis provides a new look at the glories of Florence, the smallish Tuscan city which has been a prime source for modern Western culture and which has also been his second home for fifty years. With a scholar's eye and a lover's passion, he invites us to share his vision of a city and the way of life it has engendered and inspired.
April Blood: Florence and the Plot against the Medici
By: Lauro Martines
One of the world's leading historians of Renaissance Italy brings to life here the vibrant--and violent--society of fifteenth-century Florence. His disturbing narrative opens up an entire culture, revealing the dark side of Renaissance man and politician Lorenzo de' Medici.On a Sunday in April 1478, assassins attacked Lorenzo and his brother as they attended Mass in the cathedral of Florence. Lorenzo scrambled to safety as Giuliano bled to death on the cathedral floor. April Blood moves outward in time and space from that murderous event, unfolding a story of tangled passions, ambition, treachery, and revenge. The conspiracy was led by one of the city's most noble clans, the Pazzi, financiers who feared and resented the Medici's swaggering new role as political bosses--but the web of intrigue spread through all of Italy. Bankers, mercenaries, the Duke of Urbino, the King of Naples, and Pope Sixtus IV entered secretly into the plot. Florence was plunged into a peninsular war, and Lorenzo was soon fighting for his own and his family's survival. The failed assassination doomed the Pazzi. Medici revenge was swift and brutal--plotters were hanged or beheaded, innocents were hacked to pieces, and bodies were put out to dangle from the windows of the government palace. All remaining members of the larger Pazzi clan were forced to change their surname, and every public sign or symbol of the family was expunged or destroyed. April Blood offers us a fresh portrait of Renaissance Florence, where dazzling artistic achievements went side by side with violence, craft, and bare-knuckle politics. At the center of the canvas is the figure of Lorenzo the Magnificent--poet, statesman, connoisseur, patron of the arts, and ruthless "boss of bosses." This extraordinarily vivid account of a turning point in the Italian Renaissance is bound to become a lasting work of history.
Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence (Enterprise)
By: Tim Parks
“A swift and brilliant synthesis of finance, politics, and history.”―Ben Sisario, New York Times Book Review Before they achieved renown as patrons of the arts and de facto rulers of Florence, the Medici family earned their fortune in banking. But even at the height of the Renaissance, charging interest of any kind meant running afoul of the Catholic Church’s ban on usury. Tim Parks reveals how the legendary Medicis―Cosimo and Lorenzo “the Magnificent” in particular―used the diplomatic, military, and even metaphysical tools at hand, along with a healthy dose of intrigue and wit, to further their fortunes as well as their family’s standing.
From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town
By: Rowland, Ingrid D.
On the Road with Francis of Assisi: A Timeless Journey Through Umbria and Tuscany, and Beyond
By: Linda Bird Francke
On the Road with Francis of Assisi offers a unique and lively travelogue of parallel journeys: that of Francis of Assisi on his way to sainthood in the thirteenth century, and that of author Linda Bird Francke, who followed his path through the beauty of central and coastal Italy–and even on to Egypt.Francke tells the compelling story of Saint Francis through the many places he visited. She and her husband, Harvey Loomis, used as their guidebooks medieval texts, including the first official biography of the saint, completed in 1229, just three years after he died. Theirs was not a spiritual journey but one based on admiration for a man whose legend continues to inspire and fascinate millions around the world. From Assisi–a small Umbrian town that now draws two million visitors a year, making it second only to Rome as an Italian pilgrimage destination–Saint Francis crisscrossed Italy for twenty years. And so too does the author travel through the “green heart” of Italy to such hill towns and cities as Siena, Bologna, Venice, Gubbio, and Rome, and to the many mountaintop Franciscan sanctuaries from La Verna and Le Celle di Cortona in Tuscany to the Rieti Valley.Along the way, Francke movingly depicts the many miracles Francis performed and draws us into the splendid beauty of the landscape that inspired the saint’s love for nature and regard for all living things. Unlike Francis, however, whose asceticism caused him to add ashes to his food to deaden its earthly pleasure, Francke and her husband indulge in the fabled Umbrian cuisine, from wild boar to the region’s famed black truffles, and the incomparable local wines.On the Road with Francis of Assisi embraces the spirit and person of its legendary subject, and invites the reader to marvel at his spiritual intensity and follow in his footsteps through the timeless beauty of Italy.From the Hardcover edition.
La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language
By: Dianne Hales
“Italians say that someone who acquires a new language ‘possesses’ it. In my case, Italian possesses me. With Italian racing like blood through my veins, I do indeed see with different eyes, hear with different ears, and drink in the world with all my senses…”A celebration of the language and culture of Italy, La Bella Lingua is the story of how a language shaped a nation, told against the backdrop of one woman’s personal quest to speak fluent Italian.For anyone who has been to Italy, the fantasy of living the Italian life is powerfully seductive. But to truly become Italian, one must learn the language. This is how Dianne Hales began her journey. In La Bella Lingua, she brings the story of her decades-long experience with the “the world’s most loved and lovable language” together with explorations of Italy’s history, literature, art, music, movies, lifestyle, and food in a true opera amorosa—a labor of her love of Italy.Throughout her first excursion in Italy—with “non parlo Italiano” as her only Italian phrase—Dianne delighted in the beauty of what she saw but craved comprehension of what she heard. And so she chose to inhabit the language. Over more than twenty-five years she has studied Italian in every way possible: through Berlitz, books, CDs, podcasts, private tutorials and conversation groups, and, most importantly, large blocks of time in Italy. In the process she found that Italian became not just a passion and a pleasure, but a passport into Italy’s storia and its very soul. She offers charming insights into what makes Italian the most emotionally expressive of languages, from how the “pronto” (“Ready!”) Italians say when they answer the telephone conveys a sense of something coming alive, to how even ordinary things such as a towel (asciugamano) or handkerchief (fazzoletto) sound better in Italian. She invites readers to join her as she traces the evolution of Italian in the zesty graffiti on the walls of Pompeii, in Dante’s incandescent cantos, and in Boccaccio’s bawdy Decameron. She portrays how social graces remain woven into the fabric of Italian: even the chipper “ciao,” which does double duty as “hi” and “bye,” reflects centuries of bella figura. And she exalts the glories of Italy’s food and its rich and often uproarious gastronomic language: Italians deftly describe someone uptight as a baccala (dried cod), a busybody who noses into everything as a prezzemolo (parsley), a worthless or banal movie as a polpettone (large meatball). Like Dianne, readers of La Bella Lingua will find themselves innamorata, enchanted, by Italian, fascinated by its saga, tantalized by its adventures, addicted to its sound, and ever eager to spend more time in its company.
D. H. Lawrence and Italy: Sketches from Etruscan Places, Sea and Sardinia, Twilight in Italy (Penguin Classics)
By: D. H. Lawrence
In these impressions of the Italian countryside, Lawrence transforms ordinary incidents into passages of intense beauty. "Twilight in Italy" is a vibrant account of Lawrence's stay among the people of Lake Garda, whose decaying lemon gardens bear witness to the twilight of a way of life centuries old. In "Sea and Sardina", Lawrence brings to life the vigorous spontaneity of a society as yet untouched by the deadening effect of industrialization. And "Etruscan Places" is a beautiful and delicate work of literary art, the record of "a dying man drinking from the founts of a civilization dedicated to life."
Death at La Fenice: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
By: Donna Leon
There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice. But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape—a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one. . . .
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
By: Ross King
In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture David), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project. Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this great work-from the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus to the young Martin Luther-and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.
Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks)
By: Baxandall, Michael
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
By: Beard, Mary
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.