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

Starting at: $5,095 * 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 $5,095 | 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, traditional 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.

Mama Mia! Highlights of Italy was everything we could have expected and more! We are so glad we chose this tour to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Great food, art, architecture, history, religion, and fun with a great group of new friends.

- William and Maribeth, G.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Experts

Apr 13 - 28, 2019 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-wining 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.

Apr 22 - May 7, 2019 Departure; Oct 21 - Nov 5, 2019 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.

May 2 - 17, 2019 Departure
Marta Staudinger

Marta Staudinger

Marta Staudinger is an artist, art historian and curator. She is the Director and Founder of the Latela Art Gallery in Washington DC, voted DC's Best Commercial Art Gallery in 2016. Marta travels three to four times a year lecturing for Smithsonian Journeys in Italy, Portugal and Spain - countries where she also organizes exhibitions and manages artists. She received her B.A. from George Mason University in Art History specializing in Italian Renaissance, Italian Baroque and European Modernism. Prior to founding the Latela Art Gallery, Marta worked on archival and curatorial projects in many museums in Florence, Italy including the National Bargello Museum, Medici Chapels, and Casa Martelli; in Barcelona at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation; and in Washington DC at the National Gallery of Art as the Samuel H. Kress Archivist. Additionally, Marta lectured on Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art to international scholars and visitors in Florence for many years and led private tours around the city. A former resident of Florence, Marta left Italy to pursue her M.A. in Barcelona at the Universitat de Ramon Llull in Curatorial Studies. Fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish, she led private tours in Barcelona focusing on art and architecture from Spanish Modernism and Contemporary Culture. 

May 20 - Jun 4, 2019 Departure; Sep 9 - 24, 2019 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.

Sep 16 - Oct 1, 2019 Departure
Nancy and Gary Radke

Nancy and Gary Radke

Nancy and Gary Radke began exploring Italy together on their honeymoon in 1974.  They fell in love with everything Italian: the people, the history, the language, the art, the food, and the landscape. Gary went on to become Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University, where he taught Renaissance art history for 35 years and directed a prestigious master’s degree program in Florence.  Nancy is a nationally recognized expert on Italian cooking.  For 25 years she directed the U.S. Information Office of Parmigiano-Reggiano, the original parmesan cheese.  She also published CIAO, The Definitive Italian Food Newsletter and appeared as a guest on Mary Ann Esposito’s Ciao Italia television program. Gary has published widely on Italian Renaissance art and co-authored the college textbook Art in Renaissance Italy.  He has curated exhibitions on Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Lorenzo Ghiberti, among others. Gary is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome; Nancy is Garde et Juré of the Guilde Internationale des Fromageres.

Oct 14 - 29, 2019 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.