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. This tour also includes airfare!

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 tour showcasing ancient sites, priceless art, traditional cuisine, and unique lodgings. This tour also includes airfare!

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

Apr 20 - May 5, 2020 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 2 - 17, 2020 Departure; Oct 19 - Nov 3, 2020 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.

May 18 - Jun 2, 2020 Departure; Sep 14 - 29, 2020 Departure; Oct 8 - 23, 2020 Departure
Allan Langdale

Allan Langdale

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

He has written 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 Mediterranean, the Middle East, including Jordan and Egypt, and India. He lectures often in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and the Middle East.

Sep 5 - 20, 2020 Departure
Sara James

Sara James

Sara N. James, Professor Emerita of Art History at Mary Baldwin University, combines her passion for art, architecture, and gardens with her sense of adventure and love of travel. She specializes in Italian Renaissance art with a particular passion for narrative fresco programs. However, over her 30-year teaching career, Sara has taught courses in Renaissance (Italian and Northern), Baroque, Greek, Roman, Medieval, and English art and architecture, as well as interdisciplinary honors courses. She also served as director of the Renaissance Studies Abroad Program, teaching students on site in Italy and Northern Europe. An avid gardener and garden lover, she is a certified Master Gardener and a member of the Garden Club of Virginia and the Garden Club of America. Her publications include 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/Casemate, 2016) and numerous chapters, articles, and reviews. Her frequent speaking engagements include the Renaissance Society of America, the College Art Association, the Chief Executives Organization, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Sara holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Virginia. She has spent three sabbaticals at the American Academy in Rome and one at the Paul Mellon Centre in London. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and currently serves on the faculty of the OLLI life learning program at the University of Virginia.

Oct 5 - 20, 2020 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.

Oct 27 - Nov 11, 2020 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.