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: $5,774 * 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

16-17 days from $5,774 | 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

brochure iconbrochure

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

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

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; Oct 8 - 23, 2018 Departure
Ross King

Ross King

Dr. Ross King is the best-selling 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 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 18 - Oct 4, 2017 Departure; Oct 22 - Nov 6, 2018 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 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.

Oct 23 - Nov 8, 2017 Departure; May 3 - 18, 2018 Departure; Sep 10 - 25, 2018 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.

Apr 16 - May 1, 2018 Departure
Allen James Fromherz

Allen James Fromherz

Dr. Allen Fromherz is a Professor of Mediterranean and Middle East History at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College in 2002 and received his PhD from St. Andrews University in Scotland in Medieval Islamic History in 2006. His first two books, The Almohads: the Rise of an Islamic Empire (IB Tauris) and Ibn Khaldun, Life and Times (Edinburgh University Press) examine the rise of empire in medieval North Africa and Iberia. Dr. Fromherz's most recently completed work The Near West: North Africa and Europe (Edinburgh – Expected end of 2016), examines the history of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish interactions across the Western Mediterranean, especially in Iberia, Morocco, Tunisia, and Italy.  Dr. Fromherz has held several international fellowships from Fulbright, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, and a senior fellowship from NYU Abu Dhabi. Dr. Fromherz has led and organized four study abroads, including the popular Marvels of Medieval Spain: the Culture and History of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. His regular classes on Medieval Spain and the Mediterranean focus on convivencia, how Muslims, Jews, and Christians, living together, created a common culture that still lives on in Iberia to this day.

Apr 23 - May 8, 2018 Departure
Sheri Shaneyfelt

Sheri Shaneyfelt

Sheri Shaneyfelt is an art historian of the Italian Renaissance and Principal Senior Lecturer in Renaissance art at Vanderbilt University, where she is also Director of Undergraduate Studies for the History of Art department. An award-winning lecturer, she also teaches courses in Northern European Renaissance and Baroque art at Vanderbilt. She earned her Ph.D. at Indiana University-Bloomington, with an M.A. from Vanderbilt, both in the History of Art, and an undergraduate B.S. in Biology from Centre College. Dr. Shaneyfelt specializes in Central Italian art, particularly that of Umbria and Tuscany. She lived and worked in Italy for long periods of time teaching for study-abroad programs in Perugia and Florence. Her research has been published in top art-historical journals, including The Art Bulletin, The Burlington Magazine, and Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte. Dr. Shaneyfelt's research and publication emphasis will continue her focus on Renaissance Umbria and painting and workshop practices in the later fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, primarily centering on Pietro Perugino and the early Raphael. She has extensive experience leading groups and teaching on site, and emphasizes the role of art and architecture in context.

May 21 - Jun 5, 2018 Departure
Janetta Rebold Benton

Janetta Rebold Benton

Janetta Rebold Benton is Distinguished Professor of Art History at Pace University, New York. She has lectured for many years at the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has served as the lecturer on trips worldwide for both institutions. A former resident of Paris, she recently returned from St. Petersburg, Russia, where she was Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Art History at European University as a Fulbright Senior Scholar. Dr. Benton is the author of eight art history books (with translations into French, Chinese, and Farsi), as well as numerous scholarly articles published in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and elsewhere. She holds degrees/diplomas from Harvard University, Brown University, George Washington University, and Cornell University.