9 Day Four Star Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail (New York)

From

$1199*

Air & Land

9 Day Four Star Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail (New York)

From

$1199*

Air & Land



Book Now!
Friends & family

Featured Hotels

(Hotels may vary based on departure day of the week)
Monday Departure
Amadeus Hotel Venice
Grand Hotel Principe Venice
Grand Hotel Adriatico Florence
Grand Hotel Palatino Rome
Saturday Departure
Amadeus Hotel Venice
Grand Hotel Principe Venice
Grand Hotel Adriatico Florence
Grand Hotel Palatino Rome

Click a Date to Book Online

Click a Date to Book Online

2022 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $300
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
Sat, Dec 10  (Sold Out) $2099*
Mon, Dec 12  (Sold Out) $1439*
 
2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $300
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
$1559*
$1609*
$1419*
$1199*
$1239*
$1199*
$1319*
$1199*
$1419*
Mon, Mar 06  (Sold Out) $1369*
$1499*
Sat, Mar 18  (Sold Out) $1429*
Mon, Mar 20  (Sold Out) $1409*
$1519*

Not Included:
Italian City Taxes (payable locally), transfers, optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
Your First Class rail tickets will be based on a set schedule and may not be altered. Exact times will be provided closer to your departure date.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. Affordable optional sightseeing excursions are available to enhance your trip. Please note that this tour is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offering to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. This is an Independent program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details





Room 1


  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details




Independent Package Includes

  • Flights New York-Venice, Rome-New York or vice versa
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 7 nights accommodations
    • 2 nights Venice
    • 2 nights Florence
    • 3 nights Rome
  • Transportation between cities via First Class rail with reserved seats
  • Breakfast daily

Included sightseeing in each city

  • Walking Tour of Venice & trip to Murano
  • Walking Tour of Florence
  • Tour of Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Is This Trip Right for You?

This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. Affordable optional sightseeing excursions are available to enhance your trip. Please note that this tour is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offering to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. This is an Independent program. For more information, click here.

Book Now!
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DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Italy
Depart to Italy

DAY 2, Tuesday - Arrive in Venice
Arrive in glorious Venice with its astonishing treasures and transfer independently to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, in this city built on over a hundred small islands and connected by 400 bridges
Overnight: Venice

DAY 3, Wednesday - Morning Walking Tour of Venice
Today, travel independently to Venice Santa Lucia Train Station, meet just outside on top of the staircase to begin a morning tour* of Venice. Start with a boat ride to the Island of Murano, known for its artistic and colorful Murano Glassware, and witness a glass blowing demonstration. Return to Venice for a walking tour, beginning with an orientation of St. Mark's Square where you will learn about the Square's most prominent monuments including the Golden Basilica of San Marco, the Doge's Palace, the Bell and Clock Towers. Proceed to Santa Maria Formosa Square and Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the second largest square in Venice. Continue to the corner of Marco Polo's House and Malibran Theater. Then, return to St. Mark's Square through the Mercerie, a series of interconnecting streets that link Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square, and are the main streets in the city for shopping. The remainder of the day is at leisure or you may choose to enjoy an optional Gondola ride *This is a walking and orientation tour of Venice that does not include entry into any landmarks.
Optional: Gondola Ride (PM)
Overnight: Venice
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Thursday - Travel to Florence by Rail and Florence Walking Tour
Travel to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, by high speed rail. After check-in, travel independently to the Perseo Statue inside the Loggia dei Lanzi in Signoria Square to begin your walking tour* of Florence in the open-air art museum. Admire the statues of the Loggia dei Lanzi, the Palazzo Vecchio before continuing to the splendid Ponte Vecchio. Walk to the magnificent Duomo, celebrated for its dome designed by Brunelleschi, and view the Baptistery's renowned "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti. Florence is indeed the center of the world's finest art and architecture
*This is a walking and orientation tour of Florence that does not include entry into any landmarks.
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Friday - Full Day in Florence
Spend the entire day exploring Florence on your own, or choose to join the optional tour of the Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo's David is housed; stand in awe of this glorious work of art. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the lively Renaissance city of Florence on your own
Optional: Accademia Gallery (AM)
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Saturday - Travel to Rome by Rail
Today, travel via high speed rail to Rome, the astonishing city built on seven hills. After check-in, the rest of the day is at leisure. Enjoy the ancient Roman architecture or dive into the sumptuous culinary delights which abound citywide
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Sunday - Full Day in Rome
Spend the entire day exploring "The Eternal City" at leisure. Perhaps, visit the Pantheon, a magnificent ancient temple, the world's best-preserved ancient monument, that was later converted into a church and view Raphael's tomb. From here, take a stroll to the nearby beautiful Piazza Navona, to get a glimpse of the famous fountains by Bernini. Perhaps, join the optional tour to Pompeii. Depart Rome this morning and drive along the Sun Route to Pompeii, passing by the bay of Naples and majestic Mt. Vesuvius. After lunch, visit Pompeii, the city that was frozen in time under a thick carpet of volcanic ash almost 2,000 years ago. Return to Rome later in the afternoon
Optional: Pompeii and its ruins with Lunch from Rome
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8, Monday - Vatican Museum Tour
Today, travel independently to Caffe Vaticano, opposite the Vatican Museum Entrance, to begin the guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's incomparable Sistine Chapel. Upon arrival, your guide will lead you into the museums where you will visit one of the most important art collections in the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries and the Geographical Maps before arriving to the famous Sistine Chapel with its great frescoes by Michelangelo. Stroll through St. Peter's Square, passing Bernini's famous colonnade to view St. Peter's Basilica. Afternoon is at leisure or choose to join the optional Ancient Rome tour to visit the fabled Colosseum and the legendary Roman Forum
Optional: Ancient Rome (PM)
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Tuesday - Depart Italy
Transfer independently to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for Italy
Depart to Italy

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Venice
Arrive in glorious Venice with its astonishing treasures and transfer independently to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, in this city built on over a hundred small islands and connected by 400 bridges
Overnight: Venice

DAY 3, Monday - Morning Walking Tour of Venice
Today, travel independently to Venice Santa Lucia Train Station, meet just outside on top of the staircase to begin a morning tour* of Venice. Start with a boat ride to the Island of Murano, known for its artistic and colorful Murano Glassware, and witness a glass blowing demonstration. Return to Venice for a walking tour, beginning with an orientation of St. Mark's Square where you will learn about the Square's most prominent monuments including the Golden Basilica of San Marco, the Doge's Palace, the Bell and Clock Towers. Proceed to Santa Maria Formosa Square and Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the second largest square in Venice. Continue to the corner of Marco Polo's House and Malibran Theater. Then, return to St. Mark's Square through the Mercerie, a series of interconnecting streets that link Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square, and are the main streets in the city for shopping. The remainder of the day is at leisure or you may choose to enjoy an optional Gondola ride *This is a walking and orientation tour of Venice that does not include entry into any landmarks.
Optional: Gondola Ride (PM)
Overnight: Venice
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Tuesday - Travel to Florence by Rail and Florence Walking Tour
Travel to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, by high speed rail. After check-in, travel independently to the Perseo Statue inside the Loggia dei Lanzi in Signoria Square to begin your walking tour* of Florence in the open-air art museum. Admire the statues of the Loggia dei Lanzi, the Palazzo Vecchio before continuing to the splendid Ponte Vecchio. Walk to the magnificent Duomo, celebrated for its dome designed by Brunelleschi, and view the Baptistery's renowned "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti. Florence is indeed the center of the world's finest art and architecture
*This is a walking and orientation tour of Florence that does not include entry into any landmarks.
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Wednesday - Full Day in Florence
Spend the entire day exploring Florence on your own, or choose to join the optional tour of the Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo's David is housed; stand in awe of this glorious work of art. In the afternoon perhaps, participated in the optional half day Chianti tour. Journey to Chianti region that is famous for is quaint villages, rolling hills, and vineyards. Tour two wineries and enjoy wine tastings, expertly paired with light Tuscan delicacies. Afterward, travel to Greve in Chianti, one of the most renowned Chianti Villages
Optional: Accademia Gallery (AM)
Optional: Half Day Chianti Tour (PM)
Overnight: Florence
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Thursday - Travel to Rome by Rail
Today, travel via high speed rail to Rome, the astonishing city built on seven hills. After check-in, the rest of the day is at leisure. Enjoy the ancient Roman architecture or dive into the sumptuous culinary delights which abound citywide
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Friday - Vatican Museum Tour
Today, travel independently to Caffe Vaticano, opposite the Vatican Museum Entrance, to begin the guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's incomparable Sistine Chapel. Upon arrival, your guide will lead you into the museums where you will visit one of the most important art collections in the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries and the Geographical Maps before arriving to the famous Sistine Chapel with its great frescoes by Michelangelo. Stroll through St. Peter's Square, passing Bernini's famous colonnade to view St. Peter's Basilica. Afternoon is at leisure or choose to join the optional Ancient Rome tour to visit the fabled Colosseum and the legendary Roman Forum
Optional: Ancient Rome (PM)
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8, Saturday - Full Day in Rome
Spend the entire day exploring "The Eternal City" at leisure. Perhaps, visit the Pantheon, a magnificent ancient temple, the world's best-preserved ancient monument, that was later converted into a church and view Raphael's tomb. From here, take a stroll to the nearby beautiful Piazza Navona, to get a glimpse of the famous fountains by Bernini. Perhaps, join the optional tour to Pompeii. Depart Rome this morning and drive along the Sun Route to Pompeii, passing by the bay of Naples and majestic Mt. Vesuvius. After lunch, visit Pompeii, the city that was frozen in time under a thick carpet of volcanic ash almost 2,000 years ago. Return to Rome later in the afternoon
Optional: Pompeii and its ruins with Lunch from Rome
Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Sunday - Depart Italy
Transfer independently to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Gondola Ride 3:00 PM

One of the experiences of any Italian holiday is a Venetian gondola ride. For centuries, the traditional flat bottom boat has been a major means of transportation in Venice though its primary role today is to take tourists on rides. Gondoliers may seem like "rough-and-ready" characters, however they are actually highly skilled operators constantly working on the perfect balance of this watercraft. The profession, handed down from generation to generation, is regulated by a guild which issues a limited number of licenses to highly trained gondoliers to navigate the narrow spaces of the Venetian Canals. Explore part of the Grand Canal as well as some other hidden minor waterways. The gondola holds a maximum of five passengers. Please note that this is not a private gondola ride.

Departs at 3:00 pm. Pick-up 20 minutes prior to departure time from Biglietteria Alilaguna in front of Giardinetti Reali (S.Marco). Drop-off at city center. Approximate tour duration is 30 minutes.

Day #3 05 Apr 2021 - 31 Dec 2022 $48.00
01 Jan 2023 - 30 Apr 2023 $49.00
Gondola Ride 3:00 PM Thumbnail
Accademia Gallery 11:15 AM

During your vacation in Florence don't miss out on meeting one of the most famous and eclectic artists in the world: Michelangelo. Your personal guide will reveal the secrets of the Accademia Gallery and the creation of Michelangelo's world renowned masterpieces, such as the original version of David, I Prigioni and San Matteo. This is a must and will be a discovery for anyone interested in Michelangelo. It really is a once-in-the-life experience to stand in front of David. At the end of the guided tour you will have the possibility to stay in the museum for as long as you like.

Departs at 11:15 am from meeting point: Ciao Florence Office, Via Cavour 12, Black. Please arrive 20 minutes prior to departure time. Approximate tour duration is 1 hour.

Day #5 05 Apr 2021 - 31 Dec 2022 $51.00
01 Jan 2023 - 05 Apr 2023 $51.00
Accademia Gallery 11:15 AM Thumbnail
Pompeii & its Ruins with lunch from Rome 7:30 AM

Visit the world-famous city of Pompeii and explore the ruins of this city trapped in time after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Depart Rome in the early morning for a drive along the Highway of the Sun, past the Roman countryside and the scenic regions of Lazio and Campania. Enjoy views of the Mediterranean and the still active volcano Vesuvius, as you learn how people lived in ancient times, before reaching the UNESCO Archaeological Site of Pompeii. Explore this once thriving city, frozen in time by layers of volcanic ash. The city's sudden burial served to protect it for the next 17 centuries, when it was finally dug by experts and brought back to its ancient splendor. After lunch, enjoy the scenery on the drive back to Rome, returning in time to enjoy an evening in Rome.

Day #7 11 Apr 2022 - 05 Apr 2023 $155.00
Pompeii & its Ruins with lunch from Rome 7:30 AM Thumbnail
#2B Ancient Rome 1:30 PM

Take a tour of Ancient Rome's major sights and skip the long lines for the Archaeological Area with a professional guide. Gain special access to the Colosseum, the giant amphitheater used for gladiator fights and public spectacles, and the largest building ever built in the Roman Empire. Walk along the pavement of the original Roman grid, which crosses the ruins of the Roman Forum.

Departs 1:30 pm from Arch of Constantine, look for the "I Love Rome" pink flags. Please arrive 15 minutes prior. Tour ends in the Archaeological area. Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Important: Due to security restrictions no backpacks, large bags, electronic devices, or knives are allowed inside of the sights.

Day #8 01 Nov 2022 - 06 Apr 2023 $68.00
#2B Ancient Rome 1:30 PM Thumbnail
Gondola Ride 3:00 PM

One of the experiences of any Italian holiday is a Venetian gondola ride. For centuries, the traditional flat bottom boat has been a major means of transportation in Venice though its primary role today is to take tourists on rides. Gondoliers may seem like "rough-and-ready" characters, however they are actually highly skilled operators constantly working on the perfect balance of this watercraft. The profession, handed down from generation to generation, is regulated by a guild which issues a limited number of licenses to highly trained gondoliers to navigate the narrow spaces of the Venetian Canals. Explore part of the Grand Canal as well as some other hidden minor waterways. The gondola holds a maximum of five passengers. Please note that this is not a private gondola ride.

Departs at 3:00 pm. Pick-up 20 minutes prior to departure time from Biglietteria Alilaguna in front of Giardinetti Reali (S.Marco). Drop-off at city center. Approximate tour duration is 30 minutes.

Day #3 05 Apr 2021 - 31 Dec 2022 $48.00
01 Jan 2023 - 30 Apr 2023 $49.00
Gondola Ride 3:00 PM Thumbnail
Accademia Gallery 11:15 AM

During your vacation in Florence don't miss out on meeting one of the most famous and eclectic artists in the world: Michelangelo. Your personal guide will reveal the secrets of the Accademia Gallery and the creation of Michelangelo's world renowned masterpieces, such as the original version of David, I Prigioni and San Matteo. This is a must and will be a discovery for anyone interested in Michelangelo. It really is a once-in-the-life experience to stand in front of David. At the end of the guided tour you will have the possibility to stay in the museum for as long as you like.

Departs at 11:15 am from meeting point: Ciao Florence Office, Via Cavour 12, Black. Please arrive 20 minutes prior to departure time. Approximate tour duration is 1 hour.

Day #5 05 Apr 2021 - 31 Dec 2022 $51.00
01 Jan 2023 - 05 Apr 2023 $51.00
Accademia Gallery 11:15 AM Thumbnail
Half Day Chianti Tour 2:30 PM

Enjoy a half day excursion into Tuscany's Chianti region famous for is quaint villages, rolling hills, and vineyards. Take part in two wine tastings at two rustic wineries expertly paired with light Tuscan delicacies and afterward travel to Greve in Chianti, one of the most renowned Chianti Villages.

Departs from Piazzale Montelungo Bus Terminal, next to Santa Maria Novella Train Station. Please arrive 20 minutes prior to departure. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours. Drop-off at city center.

Day #5 05 Apr 2021 - 31 Dec 2022 $56.00
02 Jan 2023 - 06 Apr 2023 $57.00
Half Day Chianti Tour 2:30 PM Thumbnail
#2B Ancient Rome 1:30 PM

Take a tour of Ancient Rome's major sights and skip the long lines for the Archaeological Area with a professional guide. Gain special access to the Colosseum, the giant amphitheater used for gladiator fights and public spectacles, and the largest building ever built in the Roman Empire. Walk along the pavement of the original Roman grid, which crosses the ruins of the Roman Forum.

Departs 1:30 pm from Arch of Constantine, look for the "I Love Rome" pink flags. Please arrive 15 minutes prior. Tour ends in the Archaeological area. Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Important: Due to security restrictions no backpacks, large bags, electronic devices, or knives are allowed inside of the sights.

Day #7 01 Nov 2022 - 06 Apr 2023 $68.00
#2B Ancient Rome 1:30 PM Thumbnail
Pompeii & its Ruins with lunch from Rome 7:30 AM

Visit the world-famous city of Pompeii and explore the ruins of this city trapped in time after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Depart Rome in the early morning for a drive along the Highway of the Sun, past the Roman countryside and the scenic regions of Lazio and Campania. Enjoy views of the Mediterranean and the still active volcano Vesuvius, as you learn how people lived in ancient times, before reaching the UNESCO Archaeological Site of Pompeii. Explore this once thriving city, frozen in time by layers of volcanic ash. The city's sudden burial served to protect it for the next 17 centuries, when it was finally dug by experts and brought back to its ancient splendor. After lunch, enjoy the scenery on the drive back to Rome, returning in time to enjoy an evening in Rome.

Day #8 11 Apr 2022 - 05 Apr 2023 $155.00
Pompeii & its Ruins with lunch from Rome 7:30 AM Thumbnail

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Traveling with Friends or Family?
If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display.

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards
You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
Italy - Spring and Fall: 55-75°F; Summer: 70-85°F; Winter: 40-55°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. The months of October through March are considered rainy season in Venice, leading to high tides and occasionally waters reaching pedestrian areas. We suggest including a rain jacket and boots on your packing list. On cruises, informal dress is the general rule though on formal nights, a cocktail dress for women and a suit or coat and tie for men is required. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Italy Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#italy-weather

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

About Independent Travel
Independent tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your vacation days at your own pace, to explore on your own, to be spontaneous and to focus on personal interests. Accordingly, independent tours are very different from Gate 1's escorted tours, which are conducted by a Tour Manager who accompanies you throughout, manages your needs and provides expert guiding services from the beginning to the end of your tour.

When traveling independently, please bear in mind that you will be responsible for your needs throughout. Depending upon the package or services you have selected, you may encounter representatives along the way, such as a transfer driver, or a local sightseeing guide. Those may be included in your tour or options you have pre-selected. However, you will be on your own to handle your luggage, locate service providers, check into and out of your hotels, and to get to and from train stations or car rental counters.

Independent touring, as the name implies is for the independent traveler who is comfortable traveling on one's own with less guidance. Of course, as with all Gate 1 touring packages, you will find your services exactly as reserved when you arrive to your destination.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations.

ITALY: Books
Venice Is a Fish: A Sensual Guide by Tiziano Scarpa
Secrets of Rome: Love and Death in the Eternal City or Secrets of the Vatican by Corrado Augias
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy or In Tuscany by Frances Mayes
Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler by Fred Plotkin
Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance by Paul Strathern
A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela
The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome by Steven Saylor

ITALY: Films
The Great Beauty (2013)
I Am Love (2010)
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
A Room with a View (1985)
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

Venice Transfers - Most transfers in Venice are provided by water taxi (occasionally transfers may be provided by car). Only those hotels with a canal mooring can be reached directly. For all others, the water taxi will drop off and pick up at the nearest mooring. It will then be necessary to walk to your hotel. In some cases the hotel may be several blocks away. Some mooring areas cannot be reached during high or low tide, heavy rain, or storms. In this event, the nearest available mooring will be used. Since few of the mooring areas have porters to assist with transporting luggage, it is strongly recommended that you travel with one piece of wheeled luggage that you are comfortable handling on your own.

Venice Airport Link Shared Water Taxi Transfers (Airport to Hotel) - After claiming your luggage, take the left door to exit Customs, and keep left as you enter the Arrivals Hall. Should you miss the representative with the Gate 1 sign, go to the left passing the public waterbus ticket counters and on your left side you will see the BUCINTORO desk (Desk # 71) where you will exchange your voucher. If needed, luggage carts are available in the airport terminal. From the Arrivals Hall you will be directed to the dock, where you will board a water taxi, which will take you to the mooring nearest your hotel. Please note that since this is a shared transfer, you may have to wait a few minutes for other passengers to board. Also, please keep in mind that porters are often not available to assist with transporting luggage.

Printable Venice Airport map and directions: https://www.gate1travel.com/shared/italy/documents/venice-airport-arrivals.pdf

About Your Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

Rome City Tax - The authorities of Rome apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 4 per person per night for 2 and 3 star hotels, Euro 6 per person per night for 4 star hotels and Euro 7 per person per night for 5 star hotels. It will be charged and collected by your hotel and is payable in cash only. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance or include it in your price for customers who are traveling independently or who arrange independent pre- or post-tour stays on an escorted tour. This tax is included in the tour price for customers who are traveling on an escorted tour accompanied by a Tour Manager who is able to pay directly to the hotel on your behalf. Please note that our hotel ratings may differ from official star ratings which determine the tax level.

Florence City Tax - The authorities of Florence apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 4.50 per person per night for a 3 star hotel, Euro 4.90 per person per night for 4 star hotels and 5.00 Euros per person per night for 5 star hotels. It will be charged and collected by your hotel and is payable in cash only. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance or include it in your price for customers who are traveling independently or who arrange independent pre- or post-tour stays on an escorted tour. This tax is included in the tour price for customers who are traveling on an escorted tour accompanied by a Tour Manager who is able to pay directly to the hotel on your behalf. Please note that our hotel ratings may differ from official star ratings which determine the tax level.

Venice City Tax - The authorities of Venice apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 3.50 per person per night for a 3 star hotel, Euro 4.50 per person per night for 4 star hotels and Euro 5 per person per night for a 5 star hotel. It will be charged and collected by your hotel and is payable in cash only. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance or include it in your price for customers who are traveling independently or who arrange independent pre- or post-tour stays on an escorted tour. This tax is included in the tour price for customers who are traveling on an escorted tour accompanied by a Tour Manager who is able to pay directly to the hotel on your behalf. Please note that our hotel ratings may differ from official star ratings which determine the tax level.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: Independent Tours

Hotel Porter: US $3 per bag
Hotel Wait staff: 5-10% of the bill (lunch or dinner)

Local Sightseeing Tours: Guide: US $3 per person per half day, US $6 per person per full day Driver: US $2 per person per half day, US $4 per person per full day

Italy - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge. 5-10% is customary for good service.

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses

About Your Italy Rail Tickets

Your travel documents will include your rail tickets voucher. Your voucher will include your PNR, station information, itinerary, coach, and seat assignments. Please ensure you print out the documents and have the voucher and your passport available when boarding the train. You must present both to the conductor prior to finding your seats. If you are traveling on multiple train journeys, you must have a separate voucher for each itinerary. Do not alter any of the printed areas. You will not need any other documents for the train.

Always double check train times locally in case of any changes to the schedules. We are not responsible for the cancellation of trains, diversions or maintenance work which might create delays. However, we provide emergency contact numbers and will always endeavor to assist if there are any delays or associated problems.

Ticket Changes are not permitted once tickets are issued. If you lose or damage your voucher prior to travel you can reprint from your travel documents.

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

Italy - The Euro is the currency of Italy. Italian bank opening hours are typically Monday through Friday, 9am to 1pm depending on the bank. Most Italian banks do not offer exchange service. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to acquire a small amount of Euros prior to arriving. ATM machines are a better option.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Shopping
Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

Italy - Shops are generally open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., with some variations in Northern Italy, where the lunch break is shorter and shops close earlier. In the major cities, large stores and souvenir shops remain open throughout the day.

Italy is renowned for its fashion industry, with fine clothes for men and women, lacework, jewelry, and leather accessories. Other quality goods include ceramics, gold and silver items, alabaster, woodwork, embroidery, glass and crystal ware. Major credit cards are usually accepted, though cash is preferred for small purchases.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Caution: Tours of the Forum & Colosseum, Rome - Please note that there have been reports of street vendors wearing Gate 1 Travel identification tags who offer tours of the Colosseum in Rome. These vendors are not employed by Gate 1 and are in no way affiliated with the company. Gate 1 tours are offered only for purchase in advance of your trip to Italy, or locally by your Tour Manager. Passengers traveling independently are recommended to purchase their tours through official vendors and to avoid street sales.

Security at Major Sites - Please expect longer wait times at major sightseeing locations due to heightened security restrictions. These locations include, but are not limited to, the San Marco Basilica in Venice, the Accademia in Florence, and the Colosseum & Vatican in Rome.

Bags of any kind are no longer allowed inside the San Marco Basilica and large bags/backpacks are restricted from the Colosseum. We suggest you to carry only necessary items (i.e. wallet, cell phone, camera) safely on your body and leave all other valuables in the hotel room safe when visiting these sites.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Italy
  • Ambulance/Medical: 118
  • Fire: 115
  • Police: 112

Languages
Italy - Italian is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

Italy - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Code of Conduct
Italy - Family and social ties are, broadly speaking, stronger in Italy than in other Western European countries, and the Roman Catholic church retains a strong cultural influence. Common courtesies should be practiced. Casual dress is appropriate, but beachwear should be confined to the beach and poolside. Conservative clothing should be worn when visiting religious buildings, meaning legs and shoulders should be covered. While the cities are very safe, pickpocketing can occur. Avoid conspicuous expensive jewelry and be mindful of your wallet or handbag. Even though many Italians smoke, smoking is prohibited in all public buildings, public transport, cinemas and restaurants.

Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Italy

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Apr 17: Easter Sunday
Apr 18: Easter Monday
Apr 25: Liberation Day
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 2: Republic Day
Aug 15: Assumption of the Virgin
Nov 1: All Saints Day
Dec 8: Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Apr 9: Easter Sunday
Apr 10: Easter Monday
Apr 25: Liberation Day
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 2: Republic Day
Aug 15: Assumption of the Virgin
Nov 1: All Saints Day
Dec 8: Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day

Please note that in addition, local feast days are held in honor of town patron saints, generally without closure of shops and offices. These include:

Parma: Jan 13-14 (St. Hilary of Poitiers), Aug 16-17 (St. Roch) & May 5 (St. Honoratus)
Catania: Feb 3-5; Aug 17 (St. Agatha)
Sorrento: Feb 14 (St. Antoninus)
Agrigento: Feb 25 (St. Gerland) & Jun 18 (St. Calogerus)
Como: Apr 2; Aug 31 (St. Abbondio)
Ragusa: Apr 23 (St. George)
Venice: Apr 25 (St. Mark) & Nov 11 (St. Martin's Day)
Treviso: Apr 27 (St. Liberalis) & Mar 27; Aug 1; Aug 22 (St. Augusta)
Baveno: Jun 19 (Sts. Gervasius & Protasius)
Matera: Jun 20 (St. John) & Jul 2 (St. Madonna della Bruna)
Florence, Genoa & Turin: Jun 24 (St John the Baptist)
Amalfi: Jun 27; Nov 30 (St. Andrew)
Rome: Jun 29 (St. Peter & Paul)
Siena: Jul 2 & Aug 16, Palio horserace
Taormina: Jul 8-9 (St. Pancras)
Palermo: Jul 15 (St. Rosalia)
Santa Margherita Ligure: July 20 (St. Margaret of Antiochia)
Lecce: Aug 26 (St. Orontius)
Naples: Sep 19 (St. Gennaro)
Bologna: Oct 4 (St. Petronius)
Trieste: Nov 3 (St. Giusto)
Montecatini: Dec 4 (St. Barbara)
Bari: Dec 6 (St. Nicholas)
Milan & Stresa: Dec 7 (St. Ambrose)
Siracusa: Dec 13 (St. Lucy)

Rome Bus Regulations - The Rome Bus Regulation introduced in 2019 restricts tourist bus access to the historical city center, including the areas near the Colosseum, Forum and Vatican City. In order to comply with these new rules we will determine the best way to reach the included sites according to your itinerary and hotel location.

Papal Audiences, Vatican City - Italy
General audiences with His Holiness the Pope are usually held once a week (Wednesdays at 11 a.m.) in Vatican City. They may be held inside the Basilica itself or in the hall of the Papal Audiences (Aula Paolo VI, Seating 7000), and in summer in Saint Peter's Square or in the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. Please note that Castel Gandolfo is located approximately 20 miles south-east of Rome, not in Vatican City.

Catholics are requested to have a letter of introduction from their parish priest. For this audience women should dress modestly, with arms and head covered. Dress should be dark or subdued in color. Men are requested to wear a tie and jacket.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
On rare occasions, St. Peter's Basilica reserves the right to close or restrict admission without prior notice. In this case, an inside visit of the Basilica may not be offered. While not guaranteed, we will try to accommodate the visit to St. Peter's Basilica based upon availability and schedule.

New Venice Visitor Tax Regulation - It was recently announced that the city of Venice will be implementing an entrance tax of 10 Euros per person for tourists visiting the city for the day. In most cases, the tax will be included in the cost of the transportation to access the city center, including cruise, taxi, or public transportation. However, there may be instances where visitors will need to pay the tax upon arrival. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance. Due to the uncertainty of this new regulation the information above is subject to change.

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Traveling with Friends or Family?
If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display.

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards
You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
Italy - Spring and Fall: 55-75°F; Summer: 70-85°F; Winter: 40-55°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. The months of October through March are considered rainy season in Venice, leading to high tides and occasionally waters reaching pedestrian areas. We suggest including a rain jacket and boots on your packing list. On cruises, informal dress is the general rule though on formal nights, a cocktail dress for women and a suit or coat and tie for men is required. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Italy Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#italy-weather

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

About Independent Travel
Independent tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your vacation days at your own pace, to explore on your own, to be spontaneous and to focus on personal interests. Accordingly, independent tours are very different from Gate 1's escorted tours, which are conducted by a Tour Manager who accompanies you throughout, manages your needs and provides expert guiding services from the beginning to the end of your tour.

When traveling independently, please bear in mind that you will be responsible for your needs throughout. Depending upon the package or services you have selected, you may encounter representatives along the way, such as a transfer driver, or a local sightseeing guide. Those may be included in your tour or options you have pre-selected. However, you will be on your own to handle your luggage, locate service providers, check into and out of your hotels, and to get to and from train stations or car rental counters.

Independent touring, as the name implies is for the independent traveler who is comfortable traveling on one's own with less guidance. Of course, as with all Gate 1 touring packages, you will find your services exactly as reserved when you arrive to your destination.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations.

ITALY: Books
Venice Is a Fish: A Sensual Guide by Tiziano Scarpa
Secrets of Rome: Love and Death in the Eternal City or Secrets of the Vatican by Corrado Augias
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy or In Tuscany by Frances Mayes
Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler by Fred Plotkin
Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance by Paul Strathern
A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela
The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome by Steven Saylor

ITALY: Films
The Great Beauty (2013)
I Am Love (2010)
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
A Room with a View (1985)
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

Venice Transfers - Most transfers in Venice are provided by water taxi (occasionally transfers may be provided by car). Only those hotels with a canal mooring can be reached directly. For all others, the water taxi will drop off and pick up at the nearest mooring. It will then be necessary to walk to your hotel. In some cases the hotel may be several blocks away. Some mooring areas cannot be reached during high or low tide, heavy rain, or storms. In this event, the nearest available mooring will be used. Since few of the mooring areas have porters to assist with transporting luggage, it is strongly recommended that you travel with one piece of wheeled luggage that you are comfortable handling on your own.

Venice Airport Link Shared Water Taxi Transfers (Airport to Hotel) - After claiming your luggage, take the left door to exit Customs, and keep left as you enter the Arrivals Hall. Should you miss the representative with the Gate 1 sign, go to the left passing the public waterbus ticket counters and on your left side you will see the BUCINTORO desk (Desk # 71) where you will exchange your voucher. If needed, luggage carts are available in the airport terminal. From the Arrivals Hall you will be directed to the dock, where you will board a water taxi, which will take you to the mooring nearest your hotel. Please note that since this is a shared transfer, you may have to wait a few minutes for other passengers to board. Also, please keep in mind that porters are often not available to assist with transporting luggage.

Printable Venice Airport map and directions: https://www.gate1travel.com/shared/italy/documents/venice-airport-arrivals.pdf

About Your Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

Rome City Tax - The authorities of Rome apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 4 per person per night for 2 and 3 star hotels, Euro 6 per person per night for 4 star hotels and Euro 7 per person per night for 5 star hotels. It will be charged and collected by your hotel and is payable in cash only. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance or include it in your price for customers who are traveling independently or who arrange independent pre- or post-tour stays on an escorted tour. This tax is included in the tour price for customers who are traveling on an escorted tour accompanied by a Tour Manager who is able to pay directly to the hotel on your behalf. Please note that our hotel ratings may differ from official star ratings which determine the tax level.

Florence City Tax - The authorities of Florence apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 4.50 per person per night for a 3 star hotel, Euro 4.90 per person per night for 4 star hotels and 5.00 Euros per person per night for 5 star hotels. It will be charged and collected by your hotel and is payable in cash only. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance or include it in your price for customers who are traveling independently or who arrange independent pre- or post-tour stays on an escorted tour. This tax is included in the tour price for customers who are traveling on an escorted tour accompanied by a Tour Manager who is able to pay directly to the hotel on your behalf. Please note that our hotel ratings may differ from official star ratings which determine the tax level.

Venice City Tax - The authorities of Venice apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 3.50 per person per night for a 3 star hotel, Euro 4.50 per person per night for 4 star hotels and Euro 5 per person per night for a 5 star hotel. It will be charged and collected by your hotel and is payable in cash only. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance or include it in your price for customers who are traveling independently or who arrange independent pre- or post-tour stays on an escorted tour. This tax is included in the tour price for customers who are traveling on an escorted tour accompanied by a Tour Manager who is able to pay directly to the hotel on your behalf. Please note that our hotel ratings may differ from official star ratings which determine the tax level.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: Independent Tours

Hotel Porter: US $3 per bag
Hotel Wait staff: 5-10% of the bill (lunch or dinner)

Local Sightseeing Tours: Guide: US $3 per person per half day, US $6 per person per full day Driver: US $2 per person per half day, US $4 per person per full day

Italy - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge. 5-10% is customary for good service.

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses

About Your Italy Rail Tickets

Your travel documents will include your rail tickets voucher. Your voucher will include your PNR, station information, itinerary, coach, and seat assignments. Please ensure you print out the documents and have the voucher and your passport available when boarding the train. You must present both to the conductor prior to finding your seats. If you are traveling on multiple train journeys, you must have a separate voucher for each itinerary. Do not alter any of the printed areas. You will not need any other documents for the train.

Always double check train times locally in case of any changes to the schedules. We are not responsible for the cancellation of trains, diversions or maintenance work which might create delays. However, we provide emergency contact numbers and will always endeavor to assist if there are any delays or associated problems.

Ticket Changes are not permitted once tickets are issued. If you lose or damage your voucher prior to travel you can reprint from your travel documents.

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

Italy - The Euro is the currency of Italy. Italian bank opening hours are typically Monday through Friday, 9am to 1pm depending on the bank. Most Italian banks do not offer exchange service. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to acquire a small amount of Euros prior to arriving. ATM machines are a better option.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Shopping
Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

Italy - Shops are generally open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., with some variations in Northern Italy, where the lunch break is shorter and shops close earlier. In the major cities, large stores and souvenir shops remain open throughout the day.

Italy is renowned for its fashion industry, with fine clothes for men and women, lacework, jewelry, and leather accessories. Other quality goods include ceramics, gold and silver items, alabaster, woodwork, embroidery, glass and crystal ware. Major credit cards are usually accepted, though cash is preferred for small purchases.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Caution: Tours of the Forum & Colosseum, Rome - Please note that there have been reports of street vendors wearing Gate 1 Travel identification tags who offer tours of the Colosseum in Rome. These vendors are not employed by Gate 1 and are in no way affiliated with the company. Gate 1 tours are offered only for purchase in advance of your trip to Italy, or locally by your Tour Manager. Passengers traveling independently are recommended to purchase their tours through official vendors and to avoid street sales.

Security at Major Sites - Please expect longer wait times at major sightseeing locations due to heightened security restrictions. These locations include, but are not limited to, the San Marco Basilica in Venice, the Accademia in Florence, and the Colosseum & Vatican in Rome.

Bags of any kind are no longer allowed inside the San Marco Basilica and large bags/backpacks are restricted from the Colosseum. We suggest you to carry only necessary items (i.e. wallet, cell phone, camera) safely on your body and leave all other valuables in the hotel room safe when visiting these sites.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Italy
  • Ambulance/Medical: 118
  • Fire: 115
  • Police: 112

Languages
Italy - Italian is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

Italy - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Code of Conduct
Italy - Family and social ties are, broadly speaking, stronger in Italy than in other Western European countries, and the Roman Catholic church retains a strong cultural influence. Common courtesies should be practiced. Casual dress is appropriate, but beachwear should be confined to the beach and poolside. Conservative clothing should be worn when visiting religious buildings, meaning legs and shoulders should be covered. While the cities are very safe, pickpocketing can occur. Avoid conspicuous expensive jewelry and be mindful of your wallet or handbag. Even though many Italians smoke, smoking is prohibited in all public buildings, public transport, cinemas and restaurants.

Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Italy

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Apr 17: Easter Sunday
Apr 18: Easter Monday
Apr 25: Liberation Day
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 2: Republic Day
Aug 15: Assumption of the Virgin
Nov 1: All Saints Day
Dec 8: Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Apr 9: Easter Sunday
Apr 10: Easter Monday
Apr 25: Liberation Day
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 2: Republic Day
Aug 15: Assumption of the Virgin
Nov 1: All Saints Day
Dec 8: Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day

Please note that in addition, local feast days are held in honor of town patron saints, generally without closure of shops and offices. These include:

Parma: Jan 13-14 (St. Hilary of Poitiers), Aug 16-17 (St. Roch) & May 5 (St. Honoratus)
Catania: Feb 3-5; Aug 17 (St. Agatha)
Sorrento: Feb 14 (St. Antoninus)
Agrigento: Feb 25 (St. Gerland) & Jun 18 (St. Calogerus)
Como: Apr 2; Aug 31 (St. Abbondio)
Ragusa: Apr 23 (St. George)
Venice: Apr 25 (St. Mark) & Nov 11 (St. Martin's Day)
Treviso: Apr 27 (St. Liberalis) & Mar 27; Aug 1; Aug 22 (St. Augusta)
Baveno: Jun 19 (Sts. Gervasius & Protasius)
Matera: Jun 20 (St. John) & Jul 2 (St. Madonna della Bruna)
Florence, Genoa & Turin: Jun 24 (St John the Baptist)
Amalfi: Jun 27; Nov 30 (St. Andrew)
Rome: Jun 29 (St. Peter & Paul)
Siena: Jul 2 & Aug 16, Palio horserace
Taormina: Jul 8-9 (St. Pancras)
Palermo: Jul 15 (St. Rosalia)
Santa Margherita Ligure: July 20 (St. Margaret of Antiochia)
Lecce: Aug 26 (St. Orontius)
Naples: Sep 19 (St. Gennaro)
Bologna: Oct 4 (St. Petronius)
Trieste: Nov 3 (St. Giusto)
Montecatini: Dec 4 (St. Barbara)
Bari: Dec 6 (St. Nicholas)
Milan & Stresa: Dec 7 (St. Ambrose)
Siracusa: Dec 13 (St. Lucy)

Rome Bus Regulations - The Rome Bus Regulation introduced in 2019 restricts tourist bus access to the historical city center, including the areas near the Colosseum, Forum and Vatican City. In order to comply with these new rules we will determine the best way to reach the included sites according to your itinerary and hotel location.

Papal Audiences, Vatican City - Italy
General audiences with His Holiness the Pope are usually held once a week (Wednesdays at 11 a.m.) in Vatican City. They may be held inside the Basilica itself or in the hall of the Papal Audiences (Aula Paolo VI, Seating 7000), and in summer in Saint Peter's Square or in the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. Please note that Castel Gandolfo is located approximately 20 miles south-east of Rome, not in Vatican City.

Catholics are requested to have a letter of introduction from their parish priest. For this audience women should dress modestly, with arms and head covered. Dress should be dark or subdued in color. Men are requested to wear a tie and jacket.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
On rare occasions, St. Peter's Basilica reserves the right to close or restrict admission without prior notice. In this case, an inside visit of the Basilica may not be offered. While not guaranteed, we will try to accommodate the visit to St. Peter's Basilica based upon availability and schedule.

New Venice Visitor Tax Regulation - It was recently announced that the city of Venice will be implementing an entrance tax of 10 Euros per person for tourists visiting the city for the day. In most cases, the tax will be included in the cost of the transportation to access the city center, including cruise, taxi, or public transportation. However, there may be instances where visitors will need to pay the tax upon arrival. We regret that we are currently unable to collect this tax in advance. Due to the uncertainty of this new regulation the information above is subject to change.

9 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, January 2022
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My brother and I like to take brothers trips from time to time. We have used Gate1 several times, and booked a trip to Vietnam for April 2020. As the world closed down, our trip was cancelled. After waiting a couple of years, we decided to change our plans and travel to Italy instead. Gate 1 was very accommodating and helped us with this change. As always, communications were clear and helpful. This was the first time we've taken an independent tour, but everything was perfect. The hotels were clean and located in great spots (especially in Florence and Venice). So what's it like to travel to a foreign country at the tail end of a pandemic? In one word: heavenly! Low crowds, almost no long lines, and very appreciative shop owners and tour operators. I know it won't last forever, but while it does, book your trip! Can't wait to book another one!!!

Jeffrey G.
9 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, January 2022
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Is an Independent Vacation from Gate 1 right for you? It was the perfect choice for my daughter and me for our recent trip to Italy. The option was an ideal blend of booking an escorted tour while allowing us time to explore on our own. * We had the security of Gate 1 behind us when flights and hotels were changed - we didn't have to worry about rescheduling. * We had the opportunity to join Gate 1 (and other) tours in each city we visited - the excursion to Pompeii was our favorite. * We had the freedom to explore each city on our own - we especially loved taking the "boat-bus" in Venice and riding the Metro subway in Rome. So if you're feeling just a bit adventurous and want to "cut the apron strings," an Independent Gate 1 Vacation may be the perfect option for you too!

Charlotte R.
10 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, September 2019
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Our trip was awesome. We had no troubles. The hotels were ideally located and were of excellent quality. The breakfast they provided was great. The airport transfers were timely and easy and the train travel was also great. Our Vatican tour was superb. The Ancient Rome tour and Pisa tour were very enjoyable. We cannot wait to return to Italy. We cannot say enough good things about Gate 1. You guys handled everything perfectly and we will recommend you to others.

Judy I. Ann Arbor, MI
9 Day Rome, Florence & Venice by Rail, March 2018
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Thank you for the email. The trip was outstanding!!! I could not have had asked for a better weather, time, and everything in between.

Adolfo N. Washington, DC
9 Day Four Star Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail , March 2018
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OMG!!!! Trip to Italy was so awesome words cannot describe. Gate 1 delivered everything you said you would. The emails contained all our information from departure to return. The hotels in Venice, Florence and Rome were outstanding. Now the tour guides... what can I say besides OUTSTANDING!!!! I wish i could have videoed each tour. The information they gave us, was beyond anything you can read in a book. Their home country touches, stories and memories made the whole tour even more special. Our group of nine family members were treated so great.! Our Mom who turned 80 in Dec. was treated as if she was their Mom!! Extra concern for her safety, to making her feel as special as she is, too finding elevators where they could!! Our family will use Gate1 again, hopefully soon!!!!

Sharon B. Amery, WI
9 Day Rome, Florence & Venice by Rail, February 2018
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Accomodations in all three cities were very satisfactory. Moreover the tour guides were exceptional, particularly our local guide in Venice. We were happy with the logistics (transportation and proximity of the hotels to the rail stations). We will definitely use Gate 1 again.

Paul M. Whittier, CA
9 Day Four Star Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, January 2018
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We had a wonderful trip! Everything was fantastic. Gate 1 did a great job organizing everything. We loved the hotels, walking tours, and friends we made. I’ve been recommending Gate 1 to friends and family and will look to travel with you again in the future!!

Amber S. Elizabethtown, KY
9 Day Rome, Florence & Venice by Rail, January 2017
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Thank you so much for the wonderful trips. It was amazing, even though I bought the package where you do your own things. I ended up meeting many of the other travelers with Gate 1 and they all are very nice. The trip was the most amazing trip I've ever had. Everything is so organized. All the train and the hotels are so close to each other. So easy to get around the city. Hotel services all very nice too. Thank you, I would go through Gate 1 again in the future.

Hoang V. Thornton, CO
9 Day Four Star Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail , December 2016
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Overall, I want to compliment Gate 1 Travel on the 9 day Venice/Florence/Rome trip. All 3 cities were spectacular! The arrangements Gate 1 made for us with flights, trains, hotels, tours, guides, etc. were all top notch. Everything went off without a hitch and we were pleased every step of the way. You have 6 very happy tourists who would use Gate1 again and again. The affordability was outstanding! Thank you for setting up such a lovely trip for the 6 of us.

Debra C. Oakland, MI
9 Day Four Star Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, November 2016
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We had an amazing trip! I want to thank you and all at Gate 1 Travel for making our trip to Italy the best vacation ever. Everything was well planned and organized. I will highly recommend Gate 1 to all my friends, colleagues and family!

Darlene I. Calgary, Canada
9 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, March 2015
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Our trip was great!  AlItalia was very good, despite all the negative reviews we were reading on airlineequality.com, although coach seats were uncomfortable for an 8-9 hour flight, mainly because the center armrests only raised halfway. I'm sure, being able to upgrade our seats would have given us that space and comfort. This is our only complaint. The flight staff were very courteous and considerate of our needs and very accommodating as well. The  connecting flight was on-time and comfortable, as were the rail connections and hotel rooms. Hotel staff were courteous and accommodating, also.

Italy speaks for itself. History, beauty, food, wine, people and atmosphere, not to mention the shopping-which was made less painful due to almost 1:1 euro:dollar exchange rate. My wife thanks you for that-well, actually, me too (I got the bill).

My wife set up individual tours in each city we visited and that was the way to go. The guides were phenomenal and gave us a deeper understanding of their city, its history and culture, not to mention the great restaurants and additional sites they recommended.

Given the value this travel package represented, setting up our dream trip was a no-brainer.  Without a doubt, we will be looking forward to setting up another trip in the near future.

One other thing, and this was due to the way the trip was scheduled, I did not experience any jet-lag at all, both when arriving in Italy and coming home. Just another detail that made this trip great.

Roberto D. Wall Township, NJ
9 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, March 2015
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The trip was spiritual and your people were incredible. Due to the price and the accommodations we are already watching your site for more great deals so we can go back. We took a walk through history and the tour guides were excellent and dedicated to dispelling myths about Italy. We've made lifestyle changes by eating and walking daily like Italians. We have continued learning the language by Using Rosetta Stone and weekend classes. Keep us in mind for Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Italy. We are already moving around our vacation schedule so we can go back during low season to avoid the crowds. The trip and all the excursions went awesome. We look forward to seeing the world with Gate 1.

Jeannine G. Valley Stream, NY
9 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, February 2015
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OMG!!  I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful the trip was!  We LOVED Italy, every place we went was fantastic and beautiful.

Gate 1 is the BEST travel company I have EVER worked with! Starting with our first call and our first interaction with you on the phone, to the time we left Italy,  ALL of our arrangements were so perfect. 

The hotels were wonderful and very well located for ease of access to the things we wanted to do and see. The train between cities was AMAZING.  At one point we were rolling along at 300kph....we even took pictures of that display. 

The guides for all the tours we signed up for were so good, so pleasant and nice to work with.  My favorite was the orientation the first night in Venice, with Franchesca.  She set us up to whip off the next morning to Venice, but she also got us set to arrive in Florence and know how to get to the hotel, and how to arrive in Rome and how to get to the hotel.

We had nothing but pleasant, easy experiences.  Of course the down side was:  we had to come home!!!  I could easily have stayed another 6 months, and STILL been sad to come home!

One last story:  On the flight home, I got to chatting with the stewardesses on our Delta flight, and told them what a great trip we had and all the wonderful things we got to do.  When I told them the price, both of them wrote down the name of Gate 1.....because THEY are going to book through you!! 

We are already looking at the emails you send getting ready to book our next trip!!  I want to go through the Panama Canal, and I just KNOW we will be doing Gate 1 trips at least twice a year for the next decade. 

WHAT A TREAT!!!   I cannot tell you how glad I am that we found Gate 1 and what a REALLY wonderful job you do!!!

Teri B. Los Altos, CA
8 Day Florence & Rome by Rail, February 2015
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The trip was absolutely lovely! My dad and I enjoyed our adventures to Italy thanks to Gate1Travel!!! :) 150% satisfied! This was our 2nd time using Gate 1 Travel — and you still have yet to disappoint :)

Thank you.

Anna A. Waukesha, WI
10 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail, December 2014
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Your name came up several times over the course of probably the best family vacation I have ever experienced. Every hotel you placed us in was wonderful! Each was extremely nice as a standalone luxury hotel, particularly by European standards, but what really made them special was location. We walked everywhere easily from each. Rialto bridge, Duomo, Colosseum - you name it, it was minutes from our hotel.

Honestly, the most beneficial telephone conversation of 2014 for the family was the fifteen minutes with you when you encouraged the hotel upgrades and then selected these wonderful spots. And the flights both ways were outstanding too. I will continue to consult you for all future vacation plans.

Alexander S. Mclean, VA

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