Duration
11 Days Itinerary
From
USD $3,695 Dates/Prices
Visiting

Italy

Transportation

Coach, Gondola, Train, Water Taxi

A small group tour to Italy is a lesson in living the good life. From Rome to Venice, we explore the best this stylish country has to offer. Discover the imperial history of Rome, the influence of Renaissance art and architecture in Florence, delight in the beauty of Venice all while indulging in the fine produce that makes a tour here so stimulating.

Tour highlights

Italy lays claim to a significant history, one that encompasses the rise and fall of the Roman empire, and the cultural revolutions of the Renaissance and the Reformation that produced some of the western world’s finest examples of art and architecture. 

Savor the finer things in life in a country that prizes ‘La Dolce Vita’. Indulge in tastings of local delicacies; think Parma ham, Reggiano Parmigiano, pizza, gelato. Sip on fine wine in the rustic surrounds of an agriturismo in Chianti and dine on a three-course meal in one of the villages of the Cinque Terre.

Explore the coastline of the Cinque Terre and the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside. Small villages, inaccessible by car afford travelers a unique opportunity to really wander at ease.

Itinerary (11 Days)

Curated destinations, lifetime memories.

Day
Day 1
1

Rome: The heart of an ancient civilization

Rome is rich in the relics of its past, the capital of an empire to which it gave its name and the seat of Christianity. The honey-colored city of fountains and marble was, according to legend, founded by Romulus in 753 BCE. Today, Rome is the center of Italian political, administrative and culture life, and at its heart is the seat of the Papacy.

After we arrive in Rome we enjoy a group welcome dinner to meet our fellow travelers.

[Dinner]

Day 2
2

Imperial and Baroque Rome

Imperial Rome awaits us. The seat of power to a 500-year strong civilization, Rome continues to delight travelers today. Our small group will tour the Roman Forum where we see the ruins of the Temple of Vesta, the Curia and the Temple of Saturn to name a few.

We next visit the Colosseum, home to some of the most epic staged battles in history. It was capable of seating 50,000 spectators and was the largest amphitheater built in the Roman Empire. Standing within its towering walls it is easy to imagine the gladiatorial contests. Archaeological digs continue to unearth new insights, most recently to the hypogeum (the underground) and its complex passageways and chambers.

After some free time for lunch we reconnect and discover Baroque Rome, identifiable by its fluid architecture and copious ornamentation. Discover the grandeur of Rome’s fountains including the Trevi Fountain and the Fontana dei Quattro Fuimi (the Fountain of the 4 Rivers). We spend time in the Piazza Navona before a visit to the Pantheon with its perfectly proportioned dome. Our touring today concludes at the Spanish Steps.    

[Breakfast]

Day 3
3

A visit to the Vatican

Vatican City, seat of the papacy and the smallest state in the world, is packed with a glittering array of art, sculptures and stunning architecture. Michelangelo’s immense influence on the Renaissance is never more evident than in this state. We discover some of his incredible pieces on a sightseeing tour that includes the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. The Sistine Chapel is most famous for its painted ceiling by Michelangelo, taking a backbreaking 4 years to complete.

Just south of Vatican City we visit Trastevere, a medieval neighborhood of Rome. The Piazza di Santa Maria lies at its center and is a popular area for locals and travelers alike. In this charming spot we have time to stop for lunch or indulge in a gelato before we walk back to our hotel.

Special Experience

It’s time to live like a local, connecting with traditional Italian customs. Nothing is more Italian than pizza and this evening we learn all about Italy’s national dish. We prove our dough-making skills and top our pizzas like a master. Our evening meal is spent enjoying the pizzas we have created ourselves.

Note

Religious events can affect the opening times of St Peter’s Basilica.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 4
4

Rome to Florence: Traveling through the Tuscan countryside

Tuscany is a region known for its rolling hills, fine food and wine, and the sepia tones of its incredible art and architecture. We depart Rome today for the Tuscan capital of Florence, journeying through serene countryside and stopping en route to visit the medieval town of Siena.

Our small group tours Siena and its UNESCO World Heritage-listed center. We pass through the Piazza del Campo where the 17 traditional families of the district (the Contrade) still gather twice-yearly donning ancestral colors in support of the ‘Palio’, a horse race. The piazza is a site to behold. Travertine paving divides the piazza into sections symbolic of the town’s ruling families and each section gently curves upwards from the square’s center. We also visit Siena’s Cathedral and Baptistery. We have free time here for independent exploration before we continue to San Gimignano.

Perched high atop a hill, it is breathtaking to see the UNESCO World Heritage-listed San Gimignano on the Tuscan horizon. We embark on a walking tour of the city exploring its well-preserved medieval tower houses.

We continue to Florence arriving in the early evening.

[Breakfast]

Day 5
5

Florence: birthplace of the Renaissance

Florence is a city unlike any other. It is the proud birthplace to the Italian Renaissance, a cultural movement that radically altered art and architecture. Art flourished in this city because the patronage of the 14th century Medici family ensured artists had the financial support to create their masterpieces. Arguably a result of this patronage is the abundance of sights within one square mile--more than any other city in Europe.

Our tour starts at the impressive Piazza del Duomo and the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. The cathedral was built in the 15th century with its dome designed by the forefather of the Renaissance, Filippo Brunelleschi. The engineering behind the dome was revolutionary at the time, and it still remains the world’s largest brick dome. We then see Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Piazzale Michelangelo. Here the Accademia of Fine Art houses Michelangelo’s beloved David, sculpted by him at the tender age of 26. Our afternoon is at leisure to explore the delights of the Tuscan capital. Enjoy some gelato and peruse the city’s streets with its shops of leather goods and Florentine gold and silver.

[Breakfast]

Day 6
6

Florence: Wine tasting in the Chianti region

Special Experience

We journey to the countryside today for a full day of exploring the region of Chianti. We stop in the townships of Castellina and Radda and walk their cobblestone streets while learning their unique histories. Chianti is synonymous with the medium-bodied red wine it produces which blends Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Merlot. We continue to an agriturismo, a classic Tuscan farmhouse. These rustic stone and brick farmhouses dot the Tuscan landscape, and we are treated to a three-course lunch in these idyllic surrounds.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 7
7

Florence to La Spezia: See the pride of Pisa

Farewell to the delights of Florence as we travel to Pisa, most famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower was built over a 200-year period, with construction commencing in the late 12th century. Poor foundations on one side of the tower produced the iconic 4-degree tilt for which the tower is known. Our local guide will take us on a sightseeing tour of Pisa with free time for lunch.

We continue North along the coast to the harbor town of La Spezia. Located on the Ligurian Sea, La Spezia is the gateway town to the picture-perfect Cinque Terre. Our journey affords us some spectacular scenery with a crystal-clear ocean, tiny coves, small villages, thrillingly steep cliffs and winding rivers lining our journey into town.

Note

In Pisa we have plenty of time to take photographs outside the Leaning Tower however we do not enter the tower. It routinely has a large queue for entry and is a taxing climb.

[Breakfast]

Day 8
8

Cinque Terre, Italy’s most photographed coastline

Special Experience

Welcome to the Italian Riviera and the spectacular Cinque Terre, the ‘Five Lands’. A UNESCO World Heritage-Listed area, the Cinque Terre is comprised of five coastal villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Hiking trails and a local train network connect the villages but no cars are allowed which has helped preserve the unique appeal of this region. Brightly painted houses are perched against the steep faces of the cliffs, terraced vineyards are carved into the hills and are supported by cleverly-engineered stone walls. We spend a full day exploring and enjoy a three-course lunch together in one of the five villages.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 9
9

La Spezia to Venice: The enchanting city of islands

Parma, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, is home to some of the country’s finest produce including delicious prosciutto (Parma ham) and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. We taste test some foods then have an orientation walk before being given free time to explore and eat lunch.  Then, we continue to Venice on the Northeast coast.

Venice enchants our imagination and leaves us with some unforgettable memories. Its 117 islands are connected by a staggering 409 bridges. Wandering the islands through their narrow lanes is a joy unto itself. Once we arrive, we first take to the water and travel by water taxi to our hotel. We enjoy free time for dinner this evening, catching our first glimpse of the city.

[Breakfast]

Day 10
10

Venice: Glass blowing and Gondolas

Awake this morning in what is certainly one of the world’s most romantic cities. Bridges gracefully arch over narrow canals, gondolas silently glide by, and the noise of city traffic is welcomingly absent. An array of water vessels, from gondolas, water taxis to barges laden with produce bob along the city’s main street, the Grand Canal.

We wander through the cobblestoned passageways to St Mark’s Square. Here we embark on a sightseeing tour of Venice’s key sights. We pass through the Bridge of Sighs and gaze through its tiny aperture, which in ancient times provided prisoners with a precious last glimpse of the world beyond. We walk to the Doge’s Palace, otherwise known as the infamous Palazzo Ducale. This masterpiece of Gothic architecture was the seat of government for the Venetian Republic and today houses an impressive museum. Another highlight is our visit to the Basilica of San Marco, a masterpiece of the Byzantine empire. The interior walls are dazzling with artworks and mosaics and the Golden Altar, the ‘Palla d’Oro’ is masterfully crafted.

Venice is known for its breathtaking Murano glassware and we are treated to a glass blowing demonstration before an afternoon spent traveling along the city’s canals in a Venetian gondola. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner together.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 11
11

Depart Venice

Our tour concludes after breakfast this morning. We bid farewell to our new friends and to the delights of Italy.

[Breakfast]

Inclusions

No last minute surprises, these are all part of your trip.

Travel

  • Travel in a small group of 10 to 18 passengers
  • All touring conducted in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Ride the local train through the villages of the Cinque Terre
  • Travel by water taxi from Tronchetto to our Venetian hotel, includes porterage
  • Relax on an afternoon gondola ride through Venetian canals

Stays

  • 10 nights in superior accommodation
  • Hotel highlight, Venice. Situated in a historic Venetian building restored to its former glory, Hotel Una Venezia features classic Venetian charm with a touch of luxury

Meals

  • 15 meals: including 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Food highlight: Rome. Spend an afternoon learning the art of pizza making. Dinner will be the result of our handiwork
  • Food highlight: Chianti. Wine tasting and three-course meal in an agriturismo in the Chianti region
  • Food highlight: Cinque Terre. Indulge in a three-course meal in a village of the Cinque Terre
  • Food highlight: Parma. Sample the delicious prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano for which Parma is best-known

Guides

  • A small group tour leader accompanies the group on the entire tour
  • Specialist local guides join the small group tour in selected locations

Special Experiences

  • Take a pizza-making class in Rome and enjoy your creation for dinner
  • Discover Chianti with wine tasting and lunch at an agriturismo, a classic Tuscan farmhouse
  • Explore the villages of the Cinque Terre

Sightseeing

  • Guided Rome city tour
  • Colosseum
  • Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona & the Spanish Steps
  • St Peter's Basilica
  • Vatican Museum
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Pizza making class
  • Siena Cathedral and Baptistery
  • Walking tour of San Gimignano
  • Guided Florence city tour
  • Florence Cathedral
  • Giotto Tower
  • Accademia Gallery
  • Chianti wine tasting and lunch
  • Guided sightseeing in Pisa
  • Full day Cinque Terre exploration
  • Parma ham and cheese tasting
  • Walking sightseeing tour of Venice
  • Doges Palace Venice
  • St Mark's Basilica Venice
  • Glass blowing demonstration
  • Gondola Ride

Accommodation

Accommodation, a superior and safe retreat.

Italy flag Rome Italy

Best Western Hotel Globus

3-star

The Best Western Globus Hotel Rome provides a comfortable retreat in the heart of Italy’s capital. Rooms are equipped with free wifi, a safe deposit box and air-conditioning for a relaxing escape after a busy day exploring the city. The hotel features an onsite restaurant and bar, and is close to the attractions of Rome.

Italy flag Florence Italy

Hotel Delle Nazioni

3-star

Located in the heart of downtown Florence, the Hotel Delle Nazioni is conveniently located to explore the city. Rooms are comfortable and equipped with air-conditioning, free wifi, and a safe deposit box, while the hotel’s onsite bar is a great place to relax after a day of touring.

Italy flag La Spezia Italy

Hotel Ghironi

4-star

Located in La Spezia, just outside of the Cinque Terra, Hotel Ghironi is the perfect base for your visit to Italy’s most photographed coastline. Rooms feature free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and satellite TV.

Italy flag Venice Italy

Hotel Pesaro Palace

4-star

Housed in a beautiful 15th century building, this boutique hotel offers a luxurious stay in one of the most famous cities in the world. Elegant guest rooms are inspired by classic Venetian style and feature free wifi, air-conditioning, a safe deposit box and more. The hotel boasts a quaint courtyard and garden, offering a relaxing retreat from the bustle of Venice.

Information

Details for your small group tour.

01

Currency

Italy

The official currency in Italy is the Euro. It is recommended that you take Euro with you on tour, ensuring you have a small amount in small denominations.

Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many destinations.

Currency
Euro (EUR)
02

Fitness Level

Europe

To get the most out of your Small Group Touring Co. tour, you will need a good level of fitness. Our Europe tours require you to be able to walk at least 2-3 hours on uneven ground and climb several flights of stairs. It’s not every day that you come face to face with Europe’s historic architecture, picturesque cobblestone streets and stunning landscapes. We want you to be able to soak up every moment of your tour and create lasting, fond memories of your time in Europe.

Walking Ability
2-3hrs
03

Arrival Time

Italy - Arrival Time

We don’t want you to miss out on any aspect of your Small Group Touring Co. tour. To ensure that you don’t, we recommend you arrive at your starting destination by 14:00 in order to take part in your welcome dinner.

Dates and Prices

Don’t wait, reserve your place today.

*Prices shown are in USD.

Start Date   End Date Tour Price Offer Price Savings Status  
26 Apr 20
06 May 20
$3,795
$3,795
Available
10 May 20
20 May 20
$3,795
$3,795
Available
24 May 20
03 Jun 20
$3,795
$3,795
Available
28 Jun 20
08 Jul 20
$3,695
$3,695
Available
16 Aug 20
26 Aug 20
$3,695
$3,695
Available
07 Sep 20
17 Sep 20
$3,795
$3,795
Available
21 Sep 20
01 Oct 20
$3,795
$3,795
Available
01 Oct 20
11 Oct 20
$3,795
$3,795
Available

Additional Info

Single Supplement

The above pricing is based on twin share per person. If you are interested in single pricing please contact one of our tour consultants and they would be glad to assist in providing a detailed proposal including pricing.

Tipping

Tipping has been included in your tour price for drivers, porters, waiters, any specialist local guides and your small group tour leader.

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