14 Day Discover Sicily & Malta

From

$4659

Land Only

$6079*

Air & Land

14 Day Discover Sicily & Malta

From

$4659

Land Only

$6079*

Air & Land



Book Now!
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Book By Dec 15, 2022 & Save!

2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $1000
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Dec 15
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Dec 15
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Dec 15
Only 1 seat left! $5149 $5749 $6389* $6989*
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Only 1 seat left! $5249 $5849 $6519* $7119*
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$4659 $5259 $6559* $7159*
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Tue, Oct 03  (Sold Out) $5249 $5849 $6269* $6869*
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Only 1 seat left! $5249 $5849 $6349* $6949*

Not Included:
Gratuities.


Additional Information:
Land Only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flight from Catania to Luqa.

Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6 PM. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 4 PM.


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 program is active. Walking is done over cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs, steps, and/or significant slopes. Expect most of the sightseeing to require three to four hours of walking, as well as a considerable amount of time standing. Many historical cities have specific driving regulations, with set drop off and pick up points, that result in extra walking to and from the sights. The pacing is active as many sites are included. 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 a Small Group 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




Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights New York-Palermo, Luqa-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-flight Catania-Luqa
  • 12 nights First Class accommodations
    • 2 nights Palermo
    • 2 nights Marsala Area
    • 1 night Agrigento
    • 2 nights Ragusa
    • 2 nights Catania
    • 3 nights Sliema
  • Italian city hotel taxes & Maltese eco-contribution tax
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 24 meals: 12 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Wine is included with lunch and dinner
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Visit the Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace with its interior of glittering 12th century Byzantine mosaics
  • Tour the old city of Palermo, featuring an incredible mix of architectural styles
  • Take a boat ride to the Phoenician island of Motya with its famous Charioteer
  • Travel to Mazara del Vallo, with its Arabian style quarters and famous dancing Satyr
  • In Agrigento, see the Valley of the Temples, the best preserved remains outside of Greece
  • Make your own tasty creation from fresh ingredients!
  • View the Roman Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • See the baroque jewels of Noto and Ragusa
  • Journey to the island of Ortigia, the historical center of the city of Siracusa
  • Visit the Greek Theater and the Ear of Dionysus in the Siracusa Archaeological Park
  • Ascend the lava-crusted slopes of Mt. Etna - one of the most active volcanoes in Europe!
  • Stop in the trendy resort town of Taormina
  • Discover the rich history of Valletta
  • Explore the "Three Cities" Vittoriosa, Cospicua, and Senglea areas of Malta
  • Marvel at the awe-inspiring megalithic Temples of Ggantija in Gozo

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This program is active. Walking is done over cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs, steps, and/or significant slopes. Expect most of the sightseeing to require three to four hours of walking, as well as a considerable amount of time standing. Many historical cities have specific driving regulations, with set drop off and pick up points, that result in extra walking to and from the sights. The pacing is active as many sites are included. 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 a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Book Now!
{{fromName}} wanted to share this vacation with you! Message: {{message}} Package Url : https://www.gate1travel.com/small-groups/small-group/2023/small-groups-italy-14dsicmt23.aspx This message was sent by {{fromEmail}} at Dec 09, 2022 at 11:36 AM
Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart. Click a day above to see what is included.

DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for Italy
Depart for Italy

DAY 2, Wednesday - Arrive in Palermo
Welcome to Sicily! Arrive in Palermo, the energetic capital of Sicily, and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest and relax. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6 PM (exact time will be advised on tour arrival day). We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 4 PM. Following the meeting there will be a light dinner served
Overnight: Palermo
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Thursday - Palatine Chapel and Palermo City Tour
Start your tour of Palermo with a visit to the Palatine Chapel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located inside the complex of Palazzo dei Normanni. Its glittering gold mosaics, complemented by inlaid marble floors and wooden ceilings, reflect Norman Sicily's cultural complexity. Continue with a walking tour of the Cathedral, Piazza dei Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria, and the church of Casa Professa, an expression of the Baroque style in its most amazing form. Visit a Puppet Theater, which is a traditional form of Sicilian entertainment that dates back to the 15th century and is still alive today. Discover Palermo on your own with its winding alleyways and colorful back streets during free time
Overnight: Palermo
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Friday - Segesta, Farm Lunch, Erice
Embark on a morning drive through western Sicily and view the famous Doric Temple of Segesta rising high on a hill, which was constructed in the 5th century B.C. and is one of the greatest examples of this Doric style of architecture. Afterward, savor lunch with an olive oil tasting at a local farm. Continue to the mountaintop Erice, a wonderfully preserved medieval town with breathtaking views and a great historical presence. Walk along the cobbled streets lined with superb examples of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Continue to your hotel for dinner
Overnight: Marsala Area
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Saturday - Saltpans, Motya Charioteer, and Mazara Kasbah Maze & Dancing Satyr
A short drive to the salt pans area before boarding your boat to cruise on the Stagnone Lagoon to the island of Motya, an ancient trading outpost for Phoenician merchants. Here, you will see the beautiful and unique marble statue of the Motya Charioteer, a Greek influenced masterpiece dated back to the 5th century BC. It was found inside Phoenician fortifications, which were quickly erected before Dionysios I of Syracuse invaded and sacked Motya in 397 BC. Time for lunch on your own, before continuing to Mazara to walk the Kasbah maze of streets and view the statue of the Dancing Satyr, a rare example of Greek bronze sculpture, which was accidentally discovered by a fishing boat in 1998. End your day with dinner at a restaurant facing the sea before returning to your hotel
Overnight: Marsala Area
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Sunday - Valley of Temples
This morning, view the stone quarries of Cusa before enjoying lunch featuring local specialties. In the afternoon, continue to discover Agrigento's celebrated Valley of the Temples, the largest and best preserved temple ruins outside of mainland Greece. Tour this magnificent archaeological park, built between 430 and 510 B.C. and majestically positioned on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento
Overnight: Agrigento
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Monday - Make your own Dish and Piazza Armerina
Today, enjoy making your own dish using local, fresh ingredients. After tasting your own creation, travel to Piazza Armerina to view the intricate examples of Roman mosaics at the famous Roman Villa del Casale, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These extraordinarily vivid mosaics deal with numerous subjects, ranging from Homeric escapades and mythological scenes to portrayals of daily life. The villa itself was rediscovered in the 19th century after being almost completely covered by a landslide. Continue on to check into your hotel in Ragusa
Overnight: Ragusa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Tuesday - Ragusa-Ibla, Modica, Aromatic Herb & Plant Gardens
This morning, indulge in the Baroque atmosphere of Ragusa-Ibla, with its breathtaking sights of houses, churches, and palaces that seem layered on top of one another. After lunch, travel to Modica, known all over the world for its chocolate production. Then, visit a garden of aromatic herbs & plants. Test your senses as you learn how to identify, grow, and use the herbs. Return to your hotel in Ragusa in the evening
Overnight: Ragusa
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Wednesday - Noto, Siracusa with its Neapolis & Ortigia
Today, travel to Noto, a wonderful Baroque town, where you will have time to wander and discover one of the most spectacular urban settlements. Arrive in Siracusa to admire the "Old City," Città Vecchia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the island of Ortigia. After free time for lunch, continue with a visit to the archaeological area of the Neapolis and get a glimpse of Siracusa as it was in ancient times with its Greek theater, the remains of Roman Amphitheater, and the "Ear of Dionysius," an awe-inspiring artificial limestone cave renowned for its outstanding acoustics. Travel to Catania, a wonderful combination of ancient and modern, under the shadow of Mt. Etna
Overnight: Catania
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Thursday - Mt. Etna Summit & Taormina
Begin the day with a visit to the lava-crusted slopes of Mt. Etna, which dominates the scenery and is the most active volcano in Europe! Ascend via cable car and bus to reach the altitude of 9,000 feet; step carefully on the varied layers of lava which have solidified over the centuries. Learn about Etna's impact on the surrounding area and its unique geology. Stop to sample some typical street food for lunch before heading toward Taormina, where you will take a walk on the main Corso, followed by free time to enjoy the city. Perhaps visit the massive Greek theater, from where you can admire the remarkable panoramas of the city and countryside. Return to Catania in the late afternoon
Overnight: Catania
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Friday - Arrival in Malta, Valletta Sightseeing
This morning, depart for your early flight to Malta. Begin your discovery in Valletta, the beautiful walled capital of Malta. The town was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century, and maintains the same historical feel with its majestic gardens and Baroque art & architecture. Afterwards, head across the Grand Harbor to explore the historical area known as the Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Cospicua & Senglea. Tonight, experience your first taste of Maltese cuisine during dinner at your hotel
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Saturday - Explore Gozo
Begin your day early and travel to Malta's sister island of Gozo, an island where time stands still and traditions and customs form the daily life of the islanders. Gozo is greener, more rural, and offers beautiful scenic views, having most of the population still following their forefathers' trades of farming and fishing. During this excursion, visit the Temple of Ggantija, which is the only major prehistoric site on the Island of Gozo. The temple is among the oldest and best preserved in the world. Afterwards, enjoy a Mediterranean tasting of local delicacies for lunch. This afternoon, return to Sliema and spend the rest of your day at leisure
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13, Sunday - Mdina & Rabat
Your tour today will first take you to Rabat, located in the central part of the island, to explore St Paul's Catacombs, which feature an extensive underground system of tombs that date back to the third century B.C. Continue to Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta. located in the central part of the island. This walled city dates back to medieval prehistoric times and has witnessed Malta's major historical events, having a strategic position on one of the land´s highest plateaus. During your walk in the silent city, view the Mdina Cathedral and the imposing bastions that allow you to admire panoramic views of most of the island. Proceed to Naxxar, one of the oldest villages on the island, to visit Palazzo Parisio, a unique 19th century palace with splendid gardens. Afterward, return to your hotel in Sliema. Tonight, enjoy dinner together and bid farewell to your Tour Manager and newfound friends
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Monday - Depart Malta
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Italy
Depart for Italy

DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Palermo
Welcome to Sicily! Arrive in Palermo, the energetic capital of Sicily, and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest and relax. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6 PM. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 4 PM. Following the meeting there will be a light dinner served
Overnight: Palermo
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Saturday - Palatine Chapel and Palermo City Tour
Start your tour of Palermo with a visit to the Palatine Chapel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located inside the complex of Palazzo dei Normanni. Its glittering gold mosaics, complemented by inlaid marble floors and wooden ceilings, reflect Norman Sicily's cultural complexity. Continue with a walking tour of the Cathedral, Piazza dei Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria, and the church of Casa Professa, an expression of the Baroque style in its most amazing form. Visit a Puppet Theater, which is a traditional form of Sicilian entertainment that dates back to the 15th century and is still alive today. Discover Palermo on your own with its winding alleyways and colorful back streets during free time
Overnight: Palermo
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Sunday - Segesta, Farm Lunch, Erice
Embark on a morning drive through western Sicily and view the famous Doric Temple of Segesta rising high on a hill, which was constructed in the 5th century B.C. and is one of the greatest examples of this Doric style of architecture. Afterward, savor lunch with an olive oil tasting at a local farm. Continue to the mountaintop Erice, a wonderfully preserved medieval town with breathtaking views and a great historical presence. Walk along the cobbled streets lined with superb examples of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Continue to your hotel for dinner
Overnight: Marsala Area
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Monday - Saltpans, Motya Charioteer, and Mazara Kasbah Maze & Dancing Satyr
A short drive to the salt pans area before boarding your boat to cruise on the Stagnone Lagoon to the island of Motya, an ancient trading outpost for Phoenician merchants. Here, you will see the beautiful and unique marble statue of the Motya Charioteer, a Greek influenced masterpiece dated back to the 5th century BC. It was found inside Phoenician fortifications, which were quickly erected before Dionysios I of Syracuse invaded and sacked Motya in 397 BC. Time for lunch on your own, before continuing to Mazara to walk the Kasbah maze of streets and view the statue of the Dancing Satyr, a rare example of Greek bronze sculpture, which was accidentally discovered by a fishing boat in 1998. End your day with dinner at a restaurant facing the sea before returning to your hotel
Overnight: Marsala Area
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Tuesday - Valley of Temples
This morning, view the stone quarries of Cusa before enjoying lunch featuring local specialties. In the afternoon, continue to discover Agrigento's celebrated Valley of the Temples, the largest and best preserved temple ruins outside of mainland Greece. Tour this magnificent archaeological park, built between 430 and 510 B.C. and majestically positioned on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento
Overnight: Agrigento
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Wednesday - Make your own Dish and Piazza Armerina
Today, enjoy making your own dish using local, fresh ingredients. After tasting your own creation, travel to Piazza Armerina to view the intricate examples of Roman mosaics at the famous Roman Villa del Casale, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These extraordinarily vivid mosaics deal with numerous subjects, ranging from Homeric escapades and mythological scenes to portrayals of daily life. The villa itself was rediscovered in the 19th century after being almost completely covered by a landslide. Continue on to check into your hotel in Ragusa
Overnight: Ragusa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Thursday - Ragusa-Ibla, Modica, Aromatic Herb & Plant Gardens
This morning, indulge in the Baroque atmosphere of Ragusa-Ibla, with its breathtaking sights of houses, churches, and palaces that seem layered on top of one another. After lunch, travel to Modica, known all over the world for its chocolate production. Then, visit a garden of aromatic herbs & plants. Test your senses as you learn how to identify, grow, and use the herbs. Return to your hotel in Ragusa in the evening
Overnight: Ragusa
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Friday - Noto, Siracusa with its Neapolis & Ortigia
Today, travel to Noto, a wonderful Baroque town, where you will have time to wander and discover one of the most spectacular urban settlements. Arrive in Siracusa to admire the "Old City," Città Vecchia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the island of Ortigia. After free time for lunch, continue with a visit to the archaeological area of the Neapolis and get a glimpse of Siracusa as it was in ancient times with its Greek theater, the remains of Roman Amphitheater, and the "Ear of Dionysius," an awe-inspiring artificial limestone cave renowned for its outstanding acoustics. Travel to Catania, a wonderful combination of ancient and modern, under the shadow of Mt. Etna
Overnight: Catania
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Saturday - Mt. Etna Summit & Taormina
Begin the day with a visit to the lava-crusted slopes of Mt. Etna, which dominates the scenery and is the most active volcano in Europe! Ascend via cable car and bus to reach the altitude of 9,000 feet; step carefully on the varied layers of lava which have solidified over the centuries. Learn about Etna's impact on the surrounding area and its unique geology. Stop to sample some typical street food for lunch before heading toward Taormina, where you will take a walk on the main Corso, followed by free time to enjoy the city. Perhaps visit the massive Greek theater, from where you can admire the remarkable panoramas of the city and countryside. Return to Catania in the late afternoon
Overnight: Catania
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Sunday - Arrival in Malta, Mdina & Rabat
This morning, depart for your early flight to Malta. Begin your discovery in Rabat located in the central part of the island, to explore St. Paul's Catacombs, which feature an extensive underground system of tombs that date back to the third century AD. Continue to Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta. This walled city dates back to medieval times and has witnessed Malta's major historical events, having a strategic position on one of the land´s highest plateaus. During your walk in the silent city, view the Mdina Cathedral and the imposing bastions that allow you to admire panoramic views of most of the island. Proceed to Naxxar, one of the oldest villages on the island, to visit Palazzo Parisio, a unique 19th century palace with splendid gardens. Tonight, experience your first taste of Maltese cuisine during dinner at your hotel
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Monday - Explore Gozo
Begin your day early and travel to Malta's sister island of Gozo, an island where time stands still and traditions and customs form the daily life of the islanders. Gozo is greener, more rural, and offers beautiful scenic views, having most of the population still following their forefathers' trades of farming and fishing. During this excursion, visit the Temple of Ggantija, which is the only major prehistoric site on the Island of Gozo. The temple is among the oldest and best preserved in the world. Afterwards, enjoy a Mediterranean tasting of local delicacies for lunch. This afternoon, return to Sliema and spend the rest of your day at leisure
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13, Tuesday - Valletta Sightseeing
Today, discover Valletta, the beautiful walled capital of Malta. The town was built by the Knights of St John in the 16th century, and maintains the same historical feel with its majestic gardens and Baroque art & architecture. Afterwards, head across the Grand Harbor to explore the historical area known as the Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Cospicua & Senglea. Bid goodbye to your Tour Manager and newfound friends at dinner
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Wednesday - Depart Malta
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for Italy
Depart for Italy

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Palermo
Welcome to Sicily! Arrive in Palermo, the energetic capital of Sicily, and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest and relax. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6 PM (exact time will be advised on tour arrival day). We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 4 PM. Following the meeting there will be a light dinner served
Overnight: Palermo
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Monday - Palatine Chapel and Palermo City Tour
Start your tour of Palermo with a visit to the Palatine Chapel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located inside the complex of Palazzo dei Normanni. Its glittering gold mosaics, complemented by inlaid marble floors and wooden ceilings, reflect Norman Sicily's cultural complexity. Continue with a walking tour of the Cathedral, Piazza dei Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria, and the church of Casa Professa, an expression of the Baroque style in its most amazing form. Visit a Puppet Theater, which is a traditional form of Sicilian entertainment that dates back to the 15th century and is still alive today. Discover Palermo on your own with its winding alleyways and colorful back streets during free time
Overnight: Palermo
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Tuesday - Segesta, Farm Lunch, Erice
Embark on a morning drive through western Sicily and view the famous Doric Temple of Segesta rising high on a hill, which was constructed in the 5th century B.C. and is one of the greatest examples of this Doric style of architecture. Afterward, savor lunch with an olive oil tasting at a local farm. Continue to the mountaintop Erice, a wonderfully preserved medieval town with breathtaking views and a great historical presence. Walk along the cobbled streets lined with superb examples of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Continue to your hotel for dinner
Overnight: Marsala Area
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Wednesday - Saltpans, Motya Charioteer, and Mazara Kasbah Maze & Dancing Satyr
A short drive to the salt pans area before boarding your boat to cruise on the Stagnone Lagoon to the island of Motya, an ancient trading outpost for Phoenician merchants. Here, you will see the beautiful and unique marble statue of the Motya Charioteer, a Greek influenced masterpiece dated back to the 5th century BC. It was found inside Phoenician fortifications, which were quickly erected before Dionysios I of Syracuse invaded and sacked Motya in 397 BC. Time for lunch on your own, before continuing to Mazara to walk the Kasbah maze of streets and view the statue of the Dancing Satyr, a rare example of Greek bronze sculpture, which was accidentally discovered by a fishing boat in 1998. End your day with dinner at a restaurant facing the sea before returning to your hotel
Overnight: Marsala Area
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Thursday - Valley of Temples
This morning, view the stone quarries of Cusa before enjoying lunch featuring local specialties. In the afternoon, continue to discover Agrigento's celebrated Valley of the Temples, the largest and best preserved temple ruins outside of mainland Greece. Tour this magnificent archaeological park, built between 430 and 510 B.C. and majestically positioned on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento
Overnight: Agrigento
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Friday - Make your own Dish and Piazza Armerina
Today, enjoy making your own dish using local, fresh ingredients. After tasting your own creation, travel to Piazza Armerina to view the intricate examples of Roman mosaics at the famous Roman Villa del Casale, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These extraordinarily vivid mosaics deal with numerous subjects, ranging from Homeric escapades and mythological scenes to portrayals of daily life. The villa itself was rediscovered in the 19th century after being almost completely covered by a landslide. Continue on to check into your hotel in Ragusa
Overnight: Ragusa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Saturday - Ragusa-Ibla, Modica, Aromatic Herb & Plant Gardens
This morning, indulge in the Baroque atmosphere of Ragusa-Ibla, with its breathtaking sights of houses, churches, and palaces that seem layered on top of one another. After lunch, travel to Modica, known all over the world for its chocolate production. Then, visit a garden of aromatic herbs & plants. Test your senses as you learn how to identify, grow, and use the herbs. Return to your hotel in Ragusa in the evening
Overnight: Ragusa
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Sunday - Noto, Siracusa with its Neapolis & Ortigia
Today, travel to Noto, a wonderful Baroque town, where you will have time to wander and discover one of the most spectacular urban settlements. Arrive in Siracusa to admire the "Old City," Città Vecchia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the island of Ortigia. After free time for lunch, continue with a visit to the archaeological area of the Neapolis and get a glimpse of Siracusa as it was in ancient times with its Greek theater, the remains of Roman Amphitheater, and the "Ear of Dionysius," an awe-inspiring artificial limestone cave renowned for its outstanding acoustics. Travel to Catania, a wonderful combination of ancient and modern, under the shadow of Mt. Etna
Overnight: Catania
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Monday - Mt. Etna Summit & Taormina
Begin the day with a visit to the lava-crusted slopes of Mt. Etna, which dominates the scenery and is the most active volcano in Europe! Ascend via cable car and bus to reach the altitude of 9,000 feet; step carefully on the varied layers of lava which have solidified over the centuries. Learn about Etna's impact on the surrounding area and its unique geology. Stop to sample some typical street food for lunch before heading toward Taormina, where you will take a walk on the main Corso, followed by free time to enjoy the city. Perhaps visit the massive Greek theater, from where you can admire the remarkable panoramas of the city and countryside. Return to Catania in the late afternoon
Overnight: Catania
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Tuesday - Arrival in Malta, Valletta Sightseeing
This morning, depart for your early flight to Malta. Begin your discovery in Valletta, the beautiful walled capital of Malta. The town was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century, and maintains the same historical feel with its majestic gardens and Baroque art & architecture. Afterwards, head across the Grand Harbor to explore the historical area known as the Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Cospicua & Senglea. Tonight, experience your first taste of Maltese cuisine during dinner at your hotel
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Wednesday - Explore Gozo
Begin your day early and travel to Malta's sister island of Gozo, an island where time stands still and traditions and customs form the daily life of the islanders. Gozo is greener, more rural, and offers beautiful scenic views, having most of the population still following their forefathers' trades of farming and fishing. During this excursion, visit the Temple of Ggantija, which is the only major prehistoric site on the Island of Gozo. The temple is among the oldest and best preserved in the world. Afterwards, enjoy a Mediterranean tasting of local delicacies for lunch. This afternoon, return to Sliema and spend the rest of your day at leisure
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13, Thursday - Mdina & Rabat
Your tour today will first take you to Rabat, located in the central part of the island, to explore St Paul's Catacombs, which feature an extensive underground system of tombs that date back to the third century B.C. Continue to Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta. located in the central part of the island. This walled city dates back to medieval prehistoric times and has witnessed Malta's major historical events, having a strategic position on one of the land´s highest plateaus. During your walk in the silent city, view the Mdina Cathedral and the imposing bastions that allow you to admire panoramic views of most of the island. Proceed to Naxxar, one of the oldest villages on the island, to visit Palazzo Parisio, a unique 19th century palace with splendid gardens. Afterward, return to your hotel in Sliema. Tonight, enjoy dinner together and bid farewell to your Tour Manager and newfound friends
Overnight: Sliema
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Friday - Depart Malta
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Discovery Tours 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

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.

Malta - U.S. Citizens may enter Malta for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned departure date. You need proof of sufficient funds and a return ticket for entry into Malta.

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.

Malta - Travelers do not normally require certificates of vaccination or immunizations for travel to Malta, but all passengers should consult with their doctor prior to departure. Pharmacies are open during normal shopping hours.

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

Malta - Spring & Fall: 55-75°F; Summer: 65-90°F; Winter: 45-65°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Malta Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe#malta-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.

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)

MALTA: Books
The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
Man on Fire by A.J. Quinnell
V by Thomas Pynchon

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.

Malta - Malta-Luqa flights limit carry-on items to no more than 22 lbs. This differs from international flight luggage rules and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

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.

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.

Catania City Tax - The authorities of Catania apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 1.50 per person per night up to a maximum of 3 nights. 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.

Palermo City Tax - The authorities of Palermo apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 2 per person per night up to a maximum of 4 nights. 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.

Malta Eco Tax - Please note that the Maltese Government has introduced an Eco Contribution Tax of € 0.50 per person per night to be paid directly to the hotel on arrival. This tax will be capped at € 5.00 per person per stay and is mandatory on all hotel stays as of June 1, 2016. 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.

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: Escorted Tours

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

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.

Malta - Tipping is customary, and a reasonable amount of gratuity is between 5% and 10%. Some bills include the service charge, in which case a tip is not necessary.

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

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.

Malta - The Euro is the currency of Malta.

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.

Malta - Banks are normally open until early afternoon Monday-Friday, with limited hours on Saturday. International bankcards are accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. ATMs are located throughout the island, and many hotels, shops and restaurants also accept payment in international currencies; conversion charges may apply in these situations.

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.

Malta - Malta is a popular destination, with tourists accounting for more than triple the amount of residents. Local crafts such as knitwear, basket-ware and lace are popular souvenirs from Malta.

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

Malta
  • Ambulance: 112
  • Fire: 112
  • Police: 112

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

Malta - The official languages are Maltese & English. Italian is also spoken by some inhabitants. Malta is one of the most multilingual countries in the European Union.

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.

Malta - The voltage used is 220/240 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.

Malta - When visiting churches or other places of worship, it is important to act and dress respectfully; modest clothing is preferred. Bathing suits are not acceptable to wear in public areas, and beachwear is for beaches only.

Smoking is prohibited in public places, except in designated smoking rooms which are clearly marked as such.

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)

Holidays - Malta

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 10: Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19: Feast of St. Joseph
Mar 31: Freedom Day
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 17: Easter Sunday
Apr 18: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 7: Sette Giugno
Jun 29: Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Sep 8: Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21: Independence Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 13: Republic Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Bank Holiday

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 10: Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19: Feast of St. Joseph
Mar 31: Freedom Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter Sunday
Apr 10: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 7: Sette Giugno
Jun 29: Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Sep 8: Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21: Independence Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 13: Republic Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Bank Holiday

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.

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.

Malta - U.S. Citizens may enter Malta for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned departure date. You need proof of sufficient funds and a return ticket for entry into Malta.

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.

Malta - Travelers do not normally require certificates of vaccination or immunizations for travel to Malta, but all passengers should consult with their doctor prior to departure. Pharmacies are open during normal shopping hours.

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

Malta - Spring & Fall: 55-75°F; Summer: 65-90°F; Winter: 45-65°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Malta Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe#malta-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.

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)

MALTA: Books
The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
Man on Fire by A.J. Quinnell
V by Thomas Pynchon

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.

Malta - Malta-Luqa flights limit carry-on items to no more than 22 lbs. This differs from international flight luggage rules and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

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.

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.

Catania City Tax - The authorities of Catania apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 1.50 per person per night up to a maximum of 3 nights. 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.

Palermo City Tax - The authorities of Palermo apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 2 per person per night up to a maximum of 4 nights. 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.

Malta Eco Tax - Please note that the Maltese Government has introduced an Eco Contribution Tax of € 0.50 per person per night to be paid directly to the hotel on arrival. This tax will be capped at € 5.00 per person per stay and is mandatory on all hotel stays as of June 1, 2016. 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.

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: Escorted Tours

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

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.

Malta - Tipping is customary, and a reasonable amount of gratuity is between 5% and 10%. Some bills include the service charge, in which case a tip is not necessary.

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

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.

Malta - The Euro is the currency of Malta.

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.

Malta - Banks are normally open until early afternoon Monday-Friday, with limited hours on Saturday. International bankcards are accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. ATMs are located throughout the island, and many hotels, shops and restaurants also accept payment in international currencies; conversion charges may apply in these situations.

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.

Malta - Malta is a popular destination, with tourists accounting for more than triple the amount of residents. Local crafts such as knitwear, basket-ware and lace are popular souvenirs from Malta.

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

Malta
  • Ambulance: 112
  • Fire: 112
  • Police: 112

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

Malta - The official languages are Maltese & English. Italian is also spoken by some inhabitants. Malta is one of the most multilingual countries in the European Union.

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.

Malta - The voltage used is 220/240 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.

Malta - When visiting churches or other places of worship, it is important to act and dress respectfully; modest clothing is preferred. Bathing suits are not acceptable to wear in public areas, and beachwear is for beaches only.

Smoking is prohibited in public places, except in designated smoking rooms which are clearly marked as such.

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)

Holidays - Malta

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 10: Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19: Feast of St. Joseph
Mar 31: Freedom Day
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 17: Easter Sunday
Apr 18: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 7: Sette Giugno
Jun 29: Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Sep 8: Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21: Independence Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 13: Republic Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Bank Holiday

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 10: Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19: Feast of St. Joseph
Mar 31: Freedom Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter Sunday
Apr 10: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 7: Sette Giugno
Jun 29: Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Sep 8: Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21: Independence Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 13: Republic Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Bank Holiday

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.

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.

Malta - U.S. Citizens may enter Malta for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned departure date. You need proof of sufficient funds and a return ticket for entry into Malta.

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.

Malta - Travelers do not normally require certificates of vaccination or immunizations for travel to Malta, but all passengers should consult with their doctor prior to departure. Pharmacies are open during normal shopping hours.

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

Malta - Spring & Fall: 55-75°F; Summer: 65-90°F; Winter: 45-65°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Malta Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe#malta-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.

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)

MALTA: Books
The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
Man on Fire by A.J. Quinnell
V by Thomas Pynchon

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.

Malta - Malta-Luqa flights limit carry-on items to no more than 22 lbs. This differs from international flight luggage rules and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

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.

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.

Catania City Tax - The authorities of Catania apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 1.50 per person per night up to a maximum of 3 nights. 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.

Palermo City Tax - The authorities of Palermo apply a city tax on all hotels. The tax requires a contribution of Euro 2 per person per night up to a maximum of 4 nights. 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.

Malta Eco Tax - Please note that the Maltese Government has introduced an Eco Contribution Tax of € 0.50 per person per night to be paid directly to the hotel on arrival. This tax will be capped at € 5.00 per person per stay and is mandatory on all hotel stays as of June 1, 2016. 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.

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: Escorted Tours

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

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.

Malta - Tipping is customary, and a reasonable amount of gratuity is between 5% and 10%. Some bills include the service charge, in which case a tip is not necessary.

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

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.

Malta - The Euro is the currency of Malta.

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.

Malta - Banks are normally open until early afternoon Monday-Friday, with limited hours on Saturday. International bankcards are accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. ATMs are located throughout the island, and many hotels, shops and restaurants also accept payment in international currencies; conversion charges may apply in these situations.

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.

Malta - Malta is a popular destination, with tourists accounting for more than triple the amount of residents. Local crafts such as knitwear, basket-ware and lace are popular souvenirs from Malta.

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

Malta
  • Ambulance: 112
  • Fire: 112
  • Police: 112

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

Malta - The official languages are Maltese & English. Italian is also spoken by some inhabitants. Malta is one of the most multilingual countries in the European Union.

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.

Malta - The voltage used is 220/240 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.

Malta - When visiting churches or other places of worship, it is important to act and dress respectfully; modest clothing is preferred. Bathing suits are not acceptable to wear in public areas, and beachwear is for beaches only.

Smoking is prohibited in public places, except in designated smoking rooms which are clearly marked as such.

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)

Holidays - Malta

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 10: Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19: Feast of St. Joseph
Mar 31: Freedom Day
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 17: Easter Sunday
Apr 18: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 7: Sette Giugno
Jun 29: Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Sep 8: Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21: Independence Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 13: Republic Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Bank Holiday

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 10: Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19: Feast of St. Joseph
Mar 31: Freedom Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter Sunday
Apr 10: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 7: Sette Giugno
Jun 29: Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Sep 8: Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21: Independence Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 13: Republic Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Bank Holiday

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.

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.

11 Day Food & Wines of Piedmont, Liguria & Veneto with Cinque Terre, September 2021
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Our trip to Italy in October 2021 was just what we needed to break out of the COVID doldrums. We were somewhat hesitant to travel and waited until the last week before departure before we made our final decision. GATE1 did everything right in providing safe travel and even made arrangements for our COVID testing (before returning home) to be done at our last hotel. Our tour guide, Fortuna, made our trip so very enjoyable. She seemed as happy as the rest of our small group (there were nine of us) to be traveling again. Fortuna was especially adept at knowing how to pack in the most fun and arranged an awesome variety of experiences each day. We've traveled many times on guided tours but Fortuna was by far our favorite guide. She was skilled at keeping everyone happy and meeting our individual requests. Although we should have guessed there would be wonderful food on this trip, we were overjoyed with the multi-course meals we were treated to at each vineyard. And we sure learned a lot about grapes and wine! Who knew? Balsamic vinegar, rice wine and beer, grappa and awesome vineyards - all such a treat. We are so very glad that we went on this fabulous trip!

Cynthia C.
The Heart of Italy, September 2019
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This trip was fantastic, and far exceeded my expectations! Absolutely loved our tour guide Francesco, and local guides were topnotch. Great accommodations, too. Will definitely recommend this trip to others.

Pamela R. Nashville, TN
The Heart of Italy, September 2019
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Our trip was amazing!!! Giorgio was a fantastic tour guide and took great pains to ensure that everyone was happy ensuring all desires, no matter how big or small, were met. The hotel accommodations we excellent and the meals provided were very appetizing. The tours and tour guides were excellent and very knowledgeable of their area. They answered questions and explained everything clearly. I would not hesitate to recommend Gate 1 tours to anyone. It was a wonderful trip.

Rita V. Ithaca, NY
Cinque Terre, Parma, Bologna & Lakes, September 2019
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Oh my goodness, we truly enjoyed this trip. So nice to see places we've never been to. Our tour Manager Myriam was the best tour manager yet, and we don't say this lightly - we've been on 11 Gate 1 tours! She was engaging, fun, knowledgeable and really kept the trip interactive. We'd love to do another tour with her any time! The hotels and food were fabulous, especially Grand Hotel Miramare. Our bus driver Roberto was excellent. We honestly could offer no criticism. We're looking forward to our next Gate 1 trip!

Michael C. Ellington, CT
Cinque Terre, Parma, Bologna & Lakes, April 2018
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We had a WONDERFUL trip...We were very pleased with the chance to sample local cuisine and wine. We enjoyed the smaller villages and feeling more immersed in the Italian culture. The weather was perfect, seeing the Alps every day was a real treat. Riccardo's choices of where to eat, to sample wines of the region, or try a local food specialty, was very much appreciated. We will continue to explore Gate 1 small group experiences if it continues to follow this model.

Glen B. Eugene, OR
Italy, La Dolce Vita!, September 2016
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Enjoyed our trip, Georgio was an excellent tour director & organized our stay & tours well. He informed us of our schedules in a timely manner. The itinerary was great with diverse activities including tours of churches, palaces, winery & cooking session which we perfect. Liked the small group. All tour guides were passionate, knowledgable about their area & made it interesting. Walking tours gave us a good experience in towns.

Rekha G. Uppr Marlboro, MD