Wayne Griffin Travel & Cruise Services, Inc

Classic Italy

Classic Italy (14 Days) with Tauk



Tauck's top selling Italy tour - highlighted by an after-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel - explores Venice, Florence, Rome, Pompeii, Tuscan hill towns, and the Amalfi Coast - total Italian immersion, with world-renowned art, architecture, preserved medieval towns, and dramatic scenery.


Day by Day Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrive in Naples and head to Sorrento

Tauck's comprehensive Italy tour begins at 6:00 PM at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria.  A transfer is included from Naples International Airport to Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. Tauck's Classic Italy tour begins in the southern resort town of Sorrento, where your hotel overlooks the beautiful Bay of Naples and powerful Mt. Vesuvius. Get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome cocktail reception and dinner. Meals: Dinner  Lodging: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento, Italy


Day 2 - Amalfi Coast drive - a southern Italy tour highlight

Drive along the Amalfi Coast, one of Europe's most dramatic shorelines. Stop for visits in Amalfi with some houses dating to the 10th century, and Ravello, perched on towering cliffs above the sea. Explore Sorrento's piazzas as you please upon your afternoon return. Meals: Breakfast, lunch  Lodging: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento, Italy


Day 3 - Explore Pompeii, then on to the Eternal City of Rome

Your Tauck Italy tour next explores the excavated ruins of Pompeii, buried in volcanic ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Walk through city streets with a local expert, where you'll discover remarkably preserved ancient architecture. The next three nights are spent at The Westin Excelsior, Rome, one of the most prestigious addresses on the famed Via Veneto. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner  Lodging: The Westin Excelsior, Rome, Italy


Day 4 - Tauck Exclusive - Private after-hours Vatican Museums visit

Sightseeing in Rome is highlighted by a special Tauck Exclusive - an after-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (day of the tour may vary). This after-hours visit means you'll avoid the long lines and the usual crowds found earlier in the day. The experience is rich when you explore the treasures in the Vatican Museums at your own pace; see the Candelabra Gallery, Map Gallery, and the Tapestries. In the Sistine Chapel, gaze in amazement at Michelangelo's masterpiece ceiling - and be able to contemplate all that you see in quieter surroundings. This is certain to one of the most memorable days on your Italy tour, one that you'll remember forever. Meals: Breakfast  Lodging: The Westin Excelsior, Rome, Italy


Day 5 - A day in Rome of the Caesars

A sightseeing excursion begins the day. In Rome, first capital of ancient Italy tour the Colosseum; see Circus Maximus, the 4th-century BC stadium where chariot races were held, and the ruins of the Imperial Palace. View the Roman Forum from above, then return to the microstate of Vatican City for a tour of St. Peter's Basilica to view the art and architecture, and explore St. Peter's Square. Pursue your own passions in Rome during the afternoon. You'll get a real taste of Italian cuisine this evening when you dine at a traditional restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner  Lodging: The Westin Excelsior, Roma, Italy


Day 6 - Your Italy tour continues with a Duomo and a wine tasting

Journey to Orvieto, set on a 984-foot plateau overlooking vineyards below. Visit the Duomo of Orvieto, a notable Romanesque-Gothic cathedral built over a span of 300 years. After a trattoria lunch near the Piazza del Duomo, continue through the wine-producing regions of Umbria. Arrive in Torgiano, a small village in the Tiber Valley. Hotel Le Tre Vaselle, your home for the next two nights, is a 17th-century country house hotel with its own private vineyard - an opportunity to experience Italy's privileged country life. Tonight you'll attend a wine tasting and sample the vineyard's grapes in the wine museum / osteria. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner  Lodging: Hotel Le Tre Vaselle, Torgiano, Italy


Day 7 - Step back in time in medieval Assisi - and a chef "shares"

Drive to Assisi, a well-preserved medieval town designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its art and architecture. Visit the Basilica di San Francesco, the burial place of St. Francis, the beloved patron saint of animals. Gaze at the impressive 13th- and 14th-century frescoes, some of Italy's finest, and enjoy some free time in the center of town. This evening, you'll discover the secrets of great Italian cuisine from an Umbrian chef who shares insights into the nuances of Italian cooking at a demonstration. This special Tauck Italy tour highlight is truly memorable!  Meals: Breakfast, dinner  Lodging: Hotel Le Tre Vaselle, Torgiano, Italy


Day 8 - Traces of Italy's medieval days

In the hilltop town of San Gimignano, see 13 medieval towers that were built in the 12th century by the nobility as both private fortresses and symbols of wealth. Stroll along the narrow streets and visit Piazza della Cisterna, one of Italy's most picturesque town squares. Continue your travels through lush Tuscan landscapes to the seaside resort town of Viareggio, where you'll dine à la carte this evening. Meals: Breakfast, dinner Lodging: Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte, Viareggio, Italy


Day 9 - Cinque Terre storybook villages

Visit Cinque Terre, accessible only by sea for hundreds of years. Journey by train through the mountains to one of the villages for a look at daily life in this remote part of Italy. You'll have time to yourself to wander through the town's cobblestone streets, where you'll experience daily life - from colorful fishing boats home from the sea to the wine, olives and citrus fruit produced locally. Cruise along the Mediterranean shores of the Italian Riviera aboard a private boat - views of these centuries-old villages, set on rocky bluffs hemmed in by steep cliffs, are a knockout! Journey on to the Renaissance city of Florence for a three-night stay at one of Italy's finest hotels, a Luxury Collection Hotel by Starwood. Meals: Breakfast, dinner Lodging: Grand Hotel, Florence, Italy


Day 10 - Become an art aficionado in Florence

Experience Florence, where the arts flourished between the 13th and 16th centuries. Learn about art history from a local art history lecturer, then take a walking tour of Florence. A guided tour of the Galleria dell'Accademia introduces you to some of the world's great art treasures, including Michelangelo's marble statue of David. You'll have time on your own in Florence this afternoon; your hotel is right in the heart of the city, which makes it easy to explore!  Meals: Breakfast  Lodging: Grand Hotel, Florence, Italy


Day 11 - Masterpieces of the Uffizi

Join a local expert for a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery, Italy's extraordinary art museum. Admire some of the world's greatest art masterpieces, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and more. The remainder of the day is as you please; you may want to visit the Pitti Palace, the Medici Chapels or stroll across the Ponte Vecchio to the lovely Boboli Gardens. Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Grand Hotel, Florence, Italy


Day 12 - Rail trip to Venice and a serenade aboard a gondola

Tauck's Classic Italy tour continues with a journey by the sleek, fast Eurostar train to Venice. Built on 118 small islands traversed by a canal network, Venice is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, head to St. Mark's Square, the heart of Venice, with a local guide for a walking tour. Visit St. Mark's Basilica, one of the greatest buildings in Europe, featuring exquisite mosaics and detailed carvings; and the Doges' Palace, a pink marble Gothic masterpiece. Take a canal cruise by gondola, complete with a serenade by local musicians, to round out a busy day. Dinner is on your own tonight - from fine dining to intimate trattorias, dining in Venice on your Italy tour is a pure pleasure!  Meals: Breakfast, lunch Lodging: The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice, Italy


Day 13 - The romance of Venice

The day is open so you can take in the sites you choose. Perhaps tour the Galleria dell'Accademia or the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, or take a boat ride to islands in the lagoon. Share favorite Italy tour highlights with travel companions at the farewell reception and dinner. Meals: Breakfast, dinner  Lodging: The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice, Italy


Day 14 - Ciao - Tauck's Italy tour concludes

Tauck's two-week Italy tour ends in Venice. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included from The Westin Europa & Regina to Venice's Marco Polo Airport. You should allow a minimum of 2 1/2 hours for flight check-in. Meals: Breakfast

Spectular Spain

*Spectular Spain (9 Days wit Globus)



This vacation includes 2-night stays in Madrid, Costa del Sol, and Seville, giving you plenty of time to immerse yourself in the local culture. Guided sightseeing shows off the important highlights, like Madrid’s Prado Museum, Toledo’s Church of Santo Tomé with one of El Greco’s most famous paintings, Granada’s Alhambra and Water Gardens of the Generalife, and Seville’s cathedral with Columbus’ tomb. With your free day in Torremolinos, enjoy the beaches or browse through the trendy boutiques. Other features are visits to historic Ronda and a sherry bodega in Jerez. On the way back to Madrid, stop in Cordoba to visit the Mosque of the Caliphs, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper.


Day by Day Itinerary


Day 1 –  Board your overnight transatlantic flight.


Day 2 –  Arrive in Madrid, Spain

Time to rest or to start exploring the Spanish capital. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and have a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)


Day 3 – Madrid

The capital since 1561, Madrid today is a strikingly modern city, the showcase of a country resolutely turned towards the future. Your Local Guide takes you to the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de España with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, elegant Calle Alcala, and Paseo de Castellana. Then, the highlight: a visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM with its priceless art treasures. Afternoon at leisure. An optional excursion to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen can be arranged. (Breakfast)


Day 4 – Madrid–Toledo–Granada

This morning, focus on splendid Toledo. Spectacularly situated on a granite hill surrounded by a loop of the Tagus River, the ancient Castilian capital attracts more sightseers from all over the world than any other Spanish town. A Local Guide takes you to the Moorish bridge, an early SYNAGOGUE, the 13th-century gothic CATHEDRAL, and the Church of SANTO TOMÉ with one of El Greco’s most famous paintings. Also time to visit a DAMASCENE STEEL WORKSHOP before arriving in history-steeped Granada. (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 5 – Granada–Costa del Sol

See the sights of Granada with a Local Guide and visit its main attraction, the ALHAMBRA COMPLEX. The mighty yet graceful citadel was planned by 13th-century Moorish ruler Al Ahamar. A fantasy of “lace in stone” surrounded by arabesque gardens and fountains, it affords superb views of the Old Quarter and Sacromonte, a mountain occupied by Gypsy cave dwellers. Also amble through the magnificent WATER GARDENS OF THE GENERALIFE, the royal summer residence. Then, turn towards the sea, away from the mountains, to lively Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol. (Breakfast)


Day 6 – At Leisure on the Costa del Sol

Enjoy a free day at your beachfront hotel. Catch up on your postcards, enjoy the sandy beaches, browse through the trendy boutiques, and sample the many fancy restaurants. You may want to join an optional excursion to the Rock of Gibraltar, in British hands since 1704. (Breakfast)


Day 7 – Costa del Sol–Ronda–Jerez–Seville

Visit picturesque, historic Ronda, perched on a platform of the Sierra de Ronda and cut in two by a deep ravine, before reaching Jerez, famous for its sherry wines and magnificent horses of mixed Spanish, Arab, and English blood. Highlight today is a visit to a SHERRY BODEGA. Then, on to Seville, the vibrant capital of Andalusia. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 8 –  Seville

During your sightseeing tour with a Local Guide hear about the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER, and visit the CATHEDRAL with Columbus’ tomb, the world’s largest gothic edifice. The rest of the day is at leisure. For a truly Andalusian night out, reserve a seat at our optional flamenco show. (Breakfast)


Day 9 – Seville–Cordoba–Madrid

In the morning, enjoy a walking tour with a Local Guide in Cordoba. See the Alcazar, the Roman Bridge, and the medieval old Jewish quarter. Tour the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper. Next, drive north from the fertile valley of the Guadalquivir River through the arid landscapes of Don Quixote’s La Mancha back to Madrid. Tonight, why not join an optional dinner outing to celebrate the success of this exciting vacation? (Breakfast)


Day 10 – Your homebound flight from Madrid arrives the same day. (Breakfast