Experience the best of Italy's countryside and its famed cities—Rome, Florence, and Venice—on this popular tour. From dramatic landscapes of the Amalfi Coast to the captivating St. Mark's Square in Venice, our comprehensive journey showcases ancient sites, priceless art, and smaller towns off the beaten path. 

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 popular tour. From dramatic landscapes of the Amalfi Coast to the captivating St. Mark's Square in Venice, our comprehensive journey showcases ancient sites, priceless art, and smaller towns off the beaten path. 

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.

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

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Experts

Sep 9 - 24, 2019 Departure; 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 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 7 - 22, 2019 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 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. 

Oct 21 - Nov 5, 2019 Departure; 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.

Apr 13 - 28, 2020 Departure
Stephen Clancy

Stephen Clancy

Stephen Clancy is an art historian with special expertise in ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art and architecture. A popular Smithsonian Journeys Expert, he has led more than 15 tours and cruises through the Mediterranean region and northern Europe.

Stephen Clancy recently retired as Professor of Art History at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where he taught for twenty-seven years.  After receiving his Ph.D from Cornell University, Stephen taught the history of Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance art and architecture, as well as courses on visual persuasion and the rhetoric of art.  His research career began with a focus on fifteenth-century French and Flemish illuminated manuscripts, specifically with works connected to the artists Jean Fouquet (about whom he has written a book, a book chapter, and several articles) and Simon Marmion (for which he received a 1995-96 Fulbright Scholarship in Brussels, Belgium).  Stephen is a recipient of grants from the Hewlett and Keck foundations. 

Stephen worked with a team of students and faculty from the University of Melbourne in Australia to investigate how technology can open up new avenues for understanding the art and architecture of the distant past, in a project entitled “Virtual Chartres Cathedral.” More recently he was a Visiting Fellow at the Australia National University in Canberra, investigating the roles that images play in shaping cultural identity, in a project entitled “Visualizing the Self and Others: Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia.”

Stephen’s latest research project has seen him develop a course entitled “Jewish Imagery and Images of Jews,” and has taken him to a number of medieval Jewish cultural sites in Spain, Germany, and France, where the past is being revived and reinvented in interesting and sometimes controversial ways. The academic pursuit he has enjoyed above all others is teaching and sharing his knowledge of art and architecture. He has served as a lecturer on numerous tours over the past twenty-two years in the Mediterranean and in northern Europe, from Scandinavia to Russia.

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. 

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 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.