Highlights of Italy

Highlights of Italy


Overview

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Italy

Tour Itinerary

How long does it take to fall in love? In a country where history spills from the world-class museums and on to the streets, where tiny osterias serve up life-changing pasta and sumptuous architecture sits on canals and perched on cliffs, we think eight days can easily do the trick. Discover the best of Italy on this highlights tour. Begin amid the canals of Venice, hike through the charming towns of the Cinque Terre, soak up beauty and history in Florence and wind up in the piazzas of Rome. With plenty of free time for independent exploration and the freedom to discover Italy's history and culture at your own pace, there's no better way to see this wonderful pocket of Europe.

Day 1: Venice
Welcome to Venice! This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early and with time to spare the Grand Canal is a great place to start, as you can stroll over the Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. After tonight's group meeting perhaps enjoy an optional dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Venice
Today you are free to explore Venice at your own pace. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Some of the more popular sights include Doge's Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Maybe take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for views over the city. Or perhaps fulfil a bucket list favourite and take journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. It really is the perfect way for visitors to see the major canal routes from an immersive perspective. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, so perhaps give one of them a try this evening.

Day 3: La Spezia
Board a morning train to the once important naval base of La Spezia (approximately 6-7 hours) through the scenic north of Italy. La Spezia is known mainly as the gateway to the gorgeous Cinque Terre (Five Lands). The name comes from the five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – positioned on a series of coves between sheer cliffs. On arrival in La Spezia there won't be too much time to explore (that’s what tomorrow is for), but after checking into your hotel perhaps get your bearings with a short walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione or head out for dinner with the group.

Day 4: Cinque Terre / La Spezia
Spend today exploring winding footpaths and pastel coloured villages with your included Cinque Terre Pass. The pass gives you access to the paths and trains of the area for 24 hours. Please consult your leader on which section is right for you as some have challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. It's also possible to take the train between any of the villages, or back to the group's base in La Spezia whenever you want. After working up an appetite, maybe take advantage of an optional pesto class. Focaccia is also a speciality in this area and makes a great start to lunch, if you’d prefer.

Day 5: Florence
Depart La Spezia today and catch a train to Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, check into the hostel and go for a brief walk around the immediate area to get your bearings. Florence is one of the most culturally rich and beautiful cities in Italy, known to many as the beating heart of Tuscany. The Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all lived in Florence at the height of their creative reign. Food is a major part of the city's identity and the optional activities on offer reflect this. Maybe explore the city’s culinary history (and taste some local treats) on a Florence Foodies Walk with Urban Adventures. Carnivores might be drawn to try the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the Florentine Beef Steak, essentially a huge T-bone steak that comes with classic sides.

Day 6: Florence
Enjoy another day in beautiful Florence. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so the best idea is to relax and pick a few things you really want to do. Maybe start with a visit to the Galleria dell'Accademia where you can see Michelangelo's famous statue of David, or perhaps stop by the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries. Active types might want to walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, to take in beautiful views of the city – a lovely way to while away the day. There are plenty of optional activities on offer during your time here, so be sure to grill your leader for the details on each so you can get a sense of what interests you.

Day 7: Rome
Take the morning train to Rome (approximately 2 hours). Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city to see icons such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. Phew. After all that history it’s probably time for lunch. Maybe grab a slice of the good stuff and a strong espresso at the Piazza Navona. You can spend your afternoon how you wish and there are plenty of heavy hitters to choose from. Maybe enter the Vatican and check out St Peter's Basilica. Art-lovers could visit the Sistine Chapel to admire the timeless work of Michelangelo, while history buffs may enjoy a jaunt through the ancient halls of the Pantheon. Rome is packed full of trattorias that cater to every taste and budget, so this evening maybe link up with the group for dinner.

Day 8: Rome
Your adventures comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time after check-out. As there is so much to see in Rome, we recommend you stay a little longer to soak it up. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your agent at the time of booking.

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Inclusions

  • Cinque Terre Day Trip, including Cinque Terre Pass

Meals
4 Breakfast(s) Included

Style: Basix

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Accommodations

Hotel (3 nights), Hostel (4 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

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Ratings based off 107 reviews about Intrepid Tours. Currently showing 6 reviews with comments only.
By Sabera W on Aug 19, 2019

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

By Laurie T on Jan 19, 2019

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

By Justine F on Aug 18, 2018

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

By Patricia P on Mar 15, 2018

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

By Ian A on Feb 20, 2018

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

By Michelle W on Jan 26, 2018

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.


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