Journey from the Amalfi Coast to the Adriatic, experiencing some of Italy’s most beloved cities and sites on a tour that includes Rome, Florence, Venice, and a stay in a lovely Tuscan villa. 

Starting at: $6,374 * Price includes special offer * 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>, at 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
 View of the Doge's Palace and Campanile from the canal in Venice

Highlights of Italy

16 days from $6,374 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Journey from the Amalfi Coast to the Adriatic, experiencing some of Italy’s most beloved cities and sites on a tour that includes Rome, Florence, Venice, and a stay in a lovely Tuscan villa. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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.

The Highlights of Italy tour met all of my expectations. We thoroughly explored the abundant art and architecture of the regions we visited. The Smithsonian Journeys Expert 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.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


Apr 11 - 26, 2023 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.

Apr 18 - May 3, 2023 Departure; May 2 - 17, 2023 Departure; May 14 - 29, 2024 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.

May 16 - 31, 2023 Departure; Oct 8 - 23, 2024 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.

Sep 5 - 20, 2023 Departure
Joanne Ferraro

Joanne Ferraro

Joanne Ferraro (PhD UCLA) is the Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at San Diego State University.  Her courses have covered the ancient Greek and Roman world as well as medieval, Renaissance, and early modern northern and southern Europe. She is especially interested in Europe’s cross-cultural and global connections with greater Asia and the Americas.  Joanne has published books with Cambridge, Oxford, and Johns Hopkins University presses with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. She is the General Editor for Bloomsbury Academic’s six- volume Cultural History of Marriage from Antiquity to the Present.  Her current book, The Renaissance and the Wider World, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury.  Joanne has lectured on Smithsonian Journeys to Northern and Southern Europe for the past decade. She has lived in Europe for extensive periods and has taught European history for 38 years. 

Sep 12 - 27, 2023 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 at Syracuse University. 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.

Oct 3 - 18, 2023 Departure
Sanjaya Thakur

Sanjaya Thakur

Sanjaya Thakur is professor of Classics at Colorado College, where he also holds the Judson Bemis Professorship in the Humanities.  Professor Thakur earned a B.S. from UCLA, double-majoring in Biology and Latin, two Master's degrees (Classical Studies and Classical Art/Archaeology) and a PhD from the University of Michigan.  He has led many study tours through Greece, Italy, and Spain and is an avid traveler.  He has held a number of national leadership positions in the field of Classical Studies, including chairmanship of the Committee on Diversity in the Profession for the Society for Classical Studies.

Professor Thakur has served as the Director of the Classical Summer School at the American Academy in Rome (2021-23) and Elizabeth A. Whitehead Scholar at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (2022-23).  He has published numerous articles, primarily on the literature and history of the age of Augustus, Rome’s first emperor. He teaches a wide range of courses on Greek and Roman history, Latin language and literature, ancient athletics, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, and Greek and Roman art and archaeology. He has also co-directed and organized an Associated Colleges of the Midwest seminar in advanced interdisciplinary learning (SAIL), entitled Mediterranean Trivium, based in Italy.

Oct 10 - 25, 2023 Departure
Ashley Elston

Ashley Elston

Ashley Elston is an art historian who specializes in late medieval and Renaissance art in Italy. She is Associate Professor of Art History and Director of Visual Arts at Berea College, where she teaches a variety of courses on European art from the ancient world to the 19th century. 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, the theological meanings and optical effects of different artistic materials, and the history of American collections of Renaissance art. She’s currently at work on a book that examines how paintings and sculptures were used together on Italian Renaissance altars and recently co-edited a book titled Hybridity in Early Modern Art. Her earlier research has been published in Gesta (the journal of the International Center of Medieval Art) and a volume from Cambridge University Press on fifteenth-century Italian sculpture.

Oct 19 - Nov 3, 2023 Departure
John Dobbins

John Dobbins

John Dobbins, who holds a PhD in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan is Professor Emeritus of Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Virginia, is a long-time Smithsonian Journeys speaker who enjoys interacting with travelers and sharing their adventures.  John is a field archaeologist who has excavated across the Mediterranean world and beyond: Spain, Greece, Syria, and three locations in Italy – Tuscany, Sicily, and Pompeii where he is director of the Pompeii Forum Project that is rewriting the history of the Pompeii Forum, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, UVA grants, private donors, and considerable (unfunded) professorial research and writing). 

John has been an active member of the Archaeological Institute of America, a professional archaeological organization that welcomes non-professionals as members, and that fosters 100 local “Societies” in the United States and Canada.  It conducts a lecture program that sends professional archaeologists as lecturers to all Societies, 2 or 3 per year.  At its Annual Meeting in 2023, the AIA recognized John’s contributions by awarding him the Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award.  He enjoyed every decade of supporting the mission of the AIA.

John may be a retired professor, but he is not a retired archaeologist or adventurer.

Oct 26 - Nov 10, 2023 Departure
Andrew Becker

Andrew Becker

Dr. Andrew Becker (Andy) was born in Burma (now Myanmar), spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, and has continued to travel ever since (mostly Europe and Asia).  He has been lecturing in Italy since 1997, first as a professor teaching students abroad, then since 2015 with Smithsonian Journeys.  His degrees are from the University Michigan (BA), Cambridge University (BA/MA), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D.). Andy teaches at Virginia Tech (with stints teaching in Switzerland and London), and has won numerous local and national awards for teaching.

Andy’s scholarly specialties are ancient: specifically the cultures, literatures, and languages of Ancient Rome (and Greece), as well as the constant, recurring re-engagement of many later civilizations with Ancient Rome (and Greece).

Apr 16 - May 1, 2024 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 and Graduate Studies for the History of Art and Architecture department and Director of Vanderbilt’s Master’s program in Liberal Arts and Science. A triple-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. Professor 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 and in her book Renaissance Painting in Perugia: Perugino, Raphael, and their Circles (Cambridge, 2023). A seasoned Smithsonian Journeys expert, she has extensive experience in and loves leading groups and lecturing on site, and emphasizes the role of art and architecture in context. 

Apr 30 - May 15, 2024 Departure
Adam Tanner

Adam Tanner

A writer and lecturer, who spent much of his career as a foreign correspondent, Adam Tanner has long studied the impact of colonialism, economic engagement and globalization, and is especially interested in the enduring impact of Europe on Asia, Latin America and Africa. He has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg TV, NPR, the BBC and written for publications such as Scientific America, Forbes, Fortune, Time and MIT Technology. He is an associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard University where he has been since 2011, first as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation, then at IQSS. He is also an expert on privacy and commerce and has written two books, What Stays in Vegas and Our Bodies, Our Data

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