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: $5,674 * 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>, the centerpiece of 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 $5,674 | 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

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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

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Experts

Oct 8 - 23, 2020 Departure; May 4 - 19, 2021 Departure; May 18 - Jun 2, 2021 Departure
Allan Langdale

Allan Langdale

Allan Langdale grew up on Vancouver Island wondering what the rest of the world was like and has spent much of his adult life finding out. Allan is an art and architectural historian, photographer, filmmaker, and travel writer who received his Ph.D. in art history from UC Santa Barbara. He has taught courses in Italian Renaissance art, Greek, Roman, Byzantine (including Georgian and Armenian architecture), and Indian and Islamic art and architecture. He currently teaches art history at UC Santa Cruz as a lecturer.

Along with several articles, Allan wrote the definitive architectural field guide to the little-known region of Turkish Cyprus, In a Contested Realm (2012) and also made the award-winning documentary film The Stones of Famagusta: the Story of a Forgotten City (2008). His travel books include Palermo: Travels in the City of Happiness (2015) and The Hippodrome of Istanbul / Constantinople: An Illustrated Handbook of its History (2019).

A popular Smithsonian Expert, Allan has traveled extensively in the eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea region, the Middle East—including Jordan and Egypt—and India.

Oct 19 - Nov 3, 2020 Departure; Oct 19 - Nov 3, 2021 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 nearly 30 years. Her research focuses on the arts of the 17th and 18th centuries and includes articles on the religious paintings of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Of special interest is the influence of Italian cultural attitudes on the visual output of these Dutch artists and others. Her book on the changing reception and meaning of Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy was published in summer 2019.

Oct 27 - Nov 11, 2020 Departure; Apr 20 - May 5, 2021 Departure
Gary  Radke

Gary Radke

Gary Radke served as Dean's Professor of the Humanities and professor of art history in the College of Arts and Sciences. Upon joining the faculty in 1980, he promptly took over the Florence Graduate Program in Italian Renaissance Art and has since helped elevate it- and the department of Art & Music Histories in general- to international prominence. Radke is one of the world's leading experts on Italian Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture, with a special interest in 15th-century Florentine sculpture. Since 2001, Radke has served as a guest curator at Atlanta's High Museum of Art, where he organized a series of high-profile shows-and their respective exhibition catalogs- featuring works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Ghiberti, Verrocchio, and other Italian Renaissance masters. Radke is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

Apr 12 - 27, 2021 Departure
Ashley  Elston

Ashley Elston

Ashley Elston is an art historian who specializes in late medieval and Renaissance art in Italy. She is an Associate Professor of Art History and Chair of the Art and Art History Department at Berea College, where she teaches a variety of courses on European art. She discovered her love of Italian art and culture as an undergraduate working on a degree in history and medieval studies at St. Olaf College when she participated in a study abroad course in Rome. She went on to complete an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history at the University of Kansas. A Fulbright grant allowed her to live in Italy while conducting her doctoral research in churches, archives, and museums, and her work has also been supported by competitive grants from the Renaissance Society of America and the Southeastern College Art Conference. Ashley’s research interests focus on the history of Italian religious art, particularly the cult of relics, as well as the theological meanings and optical effects of different artistic materials. She’s currently at work on a book that examines how paintings and sculptures were used together on Italian Renaissance altars and is co-editing a book titled Hybridity in Early Modern Art (forthcoming from Routledge Press). Her earlier research has been published in Gesta (the journal of the International Center of Medieval Art) and an edited volume from Cambridge University Press on fifteenth-century Italian sculpture.

Sep 7 - 22, 2021 Departure
Ross King

Ross King

Dr. Ross King is the best-selling author of books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. Among his books are Brunelleschi’s Dome (2000), Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling (2002), and Leonardo and The Last Supper (2012). His study of the origins of French Impressionism, The Judgement of Paris, was published in 2006. 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.

His latest book, Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies published in September 2016, marks his return to French Impressionism ten years after his award-winning The Judgement of Paris.

Ross serves 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 of Art. When not traveling for work or pleasure, he lives near Oxford, in England, with his wife Melanie.

Sep 14 - 29, 2021 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 12 - 27, 2021 Departure
Pedar Foss

Pedar Foss

Pedar W. Foss is Professor of Classical Studies at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he has worked since 1999. As Dean of Academic Life from 2009-13, his duties included oversight of student advising, academic support, off-campus and service learning, and career services. As a teacher, he conducts courses in Latin, ancient history and literature, and art and archaeology. He received his B.A. in Chemistry and Classics from Gustavus Adolphus College, and his Ph.D. in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; he subsequently taught at the University of Cincinnati and at Stanford. Dr. Foss has edited for the Journal of Roman Archaeology, was co-editor of the book reviews for the American Journal of Archaeology, and co-edited the volume The World of Pompeii (Routledge 2007). His research centers on the relationships between ancient peoples and their landscapes. He has lived, led tours, and studied throughout the Mediterranean, working at such sites as Kavousi and Corinth (Greece), Carthage (Tunisia), Troy, Hacımusalar, and Çaltılar (Turkey), Pompeii, Rieti, and Castiglione del Lago (Italy). He maintains a professional blog at: http://quemdixerechaos.com.