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This regional tour reveals the the secrets of a Christmas and New Year's feast, the Italian way. Along the way you'll see the familiar favourites: Rome, Venice, Florence and Pisa. Experience the pristine shores of the Sorrento region on the Amalfi coast. Spend time in the shimmering Italian lakes region before celebrating New Years in Florence! Glide through the postcard-perfect Tuscan countryside. Sip an espresso & see how the Italians go about their business. Of course, any Italian trip is food-fuelled with amazing gelato, pasta and pizza! You can’t help but fall in love.
Why this Trip
- All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
- No minimum numbers required.
- FREE Wi-Fi in hotels.
- Services of your Expat Explore tour leader.
- Only 10% deposit or minimum $110.00 required and no booking fees.
Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here
Rome Hotel, 15:00-17:00 hrs
Rome Hotel, 10:00 hrs
DAY 1: Arrive in Rome
Welcome to Rome! If you arrive early enough, head into the city to see what Rome has to offer. An ancient city that has seen the rise and fall of entire empires, there is no shortage of historical real estate to feast your eyes on. Not to mention designer shopping and brilliant food… Meet up with your tour leader at our hotel in the afternoon and prepare for the tour of a lifetime! Tonight you’ll meet the rest of the tour group at our included welcome dinner.
DAY 2: Rome
Today we’ll take a guided walking tour of Rome, stopping off at the landmarks that have made it a perennial favourite with travellers all over the world. Highlights today include the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Roman Forum. And let’s not forget Trevi Fountain – legend has it that if you drop a coin into the fountain, you’ll return again one day. This afternoon is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of an optional excursion to visit the Vatican City - the smallest country in the world! Inside the walls, you can visit the Sistine Chapel and see for yourself the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo, as well as numerous other famous art pieces dotted around the buildings.
DAY 3: Pompeii - Sorrento region
Leaving Rome, we’ll head to Sorrento peninsula via Pompeii. As it’s our first day on the coach, take the time to get to know your fellow travel companions, and listen out for tips on Italy from your tour leader. On our way to the coastal region of Sorrento, you will see Mount Vesuvius and we will stop at Pompeii to explore the ruins of this ancient Roman town, destroyed in 79AD in a catastrophic volcanic eruption. Preserved since ancient times under meters of ash and pumice, it offers superb insights into life (and death) in the ancient Roman Empire.
As we leave Pompeii behind, you will have the option to visit the beautiful Amalfi coast, with some free time to explore the town of Amalfi. Upon arrival on the Sorrento peninsula we have a two night stay. Amongst other things, this area is famous for limoncello (a sweet lemon liqueur), and this is the perfect way to finish off your meal.
DAY 4: Sorrento region - Free day
A gorgeous old town hugging the coastline, Sorrento is the perfect place to celebrate Christmas – explore the town in your own time, and seek out little shops producing lacework, ceramics and specialising in marquetry. In the evening, enjoy a festive dinner!
DAY 5: Monte Cassino - Assisi
Today we depart the coast and head north to Assisi, stopping en route in Cassino. Famed for the site of the Abbey of Montecassino, along with its rolling green hills, vineyards and rivers, the city was also the scene of fierce fighting in World War II, which left the town almost completely destroyed. After a comfort stop here we continue on to Assisi, whose most famous son, St. Francis, was born here in 1181. Enjoy the ancient churches and basilicas – many of them are just as St Francis would have seen them.
DAY 6: San Marino - Venice
Leaving the churches and basilicas behind, we head to Venice, stopping off for a comfort stop in Europe’s third-smallest state – San Marino. Claiming to be the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world, San Marino was founded by Saint Marinus on the 3rd of September 301, and is now one of the most popular day-trip destinations for visitors to the area. Situated on a hilltop, you will witness stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the Adriatic sea. Later, we arrive in Venice in the early evening. You have the evening free to relax at the hotel, or explore Venice with the option to join your tour leader on a twilight water taxi cruise of the Venetian canals.
DAY 7: Venice - Free day
This morning we’ll take an orientation walking tour with your Expat Explore tour leader, who will introduce you to sights including the Rialto Bridge and St Marks Square. The rest of the day is then free for you to explore as you wish. Every visit to Venice should include a gondola ride, which your tour leader can organise for you, as well as a trip further out into the lagoon to visit Murano and Burano. These islands are famous for their glass-blowing and lace-making crafts respectively, and rows of beautiful multi-coloured houses. Alternatively you can simply relax and soak up the sun on the sandy beaches at Jesolo or Lido. There’s also The Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace to see, and any number of culinary delights to sample too!
DAY 8: Verona - Italian Lakes
First up today we’ll stop off in ‘fair Verona’ to catch a glimpse of Juliet’s balcony, where Romeo supposedly wooed Juliet in Shakespeare’s classic ‘Romeo & Juliet.’ Beset by family feuds, drama and romance since its founding in Roman times, Verona has its share of stories to tell and is an unmissable stop on all Italy tours. Look out for the 2,000 year-old arena and the ancient city gates. Later we head to Italian Lakes – and you’ll find out just what famous writers like DH Lawrence and Hemingway were on about when they heaped praise on the area. Peek at palatial lakeside villas, and revel in the pleasant mix of luxury and rural charm.
DAY 9: Cinque Terre - La Spezia
Leaving the beautiful Italian Lakes, we head to La Spezia, our base for exploring the famous Cinque Terre region. Made up of five picturesque Italian towns, Cinque Terre features hiking routes and trains running regularly along the coastline between the towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. With cars and motorcycles banned from the towns, you’ll have a wonderful time exploring the region. Taste local wines along with local produce such as pesto, freshly-caught fish and sweet lemons. Unforgettable!
DAY 10: Pisa - Florence - Tuscany
On our way to Florence, we stop off at the famous town of Pisa to get a few shots of its distinctive Leaning Tower. Now over 800 years old, it’s a classic sight in Italy and well worth a visit. Bragging rights are all yours! On arrival in Florence, we take a guided walking tour of the city, exploring many of the most famous sites and gaining local insight from our guide. Sights to see in Florence include Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence Cathedral, the Basilica of Santa Croce and of course Michelangelo’s David. A cultural and political focal point during the Renaissance, Florence is endowed with a huge variety of important buildings and famous artworks. After immersing yourself in art and history, it's time to ring in the New Year! The celebrations in Florence make for a mesmerising sight - prepare your camera so you can capture the fireworks exploding vibrant color over the iconic landmarks of Florence.
DAY 11: San Gimignano - Siena - Rome
This morning we make our way through one of the world’s most picturesque countryside landscapes, admiring Tuscan farmhouses, vineyards and olive groves as we drive by. Our first stop of the day will be in San Gimignano, a small walled hill town. Known as the 'Town of Fine Towers', it offers beautiful Romanesque and Gothic architecture and 12 well-preserved tower houses. We'll then make the short drive to Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for the 'Palio' horse race held twice a year in the main piazza, or public square. We'll enjoy a wine tasting accompanied with antipasto, before we head back to Rome and round the off the day with a farewell dinner together on our last night of the tour.
DAY 12: Depart Rome
After breakfast we say goodbye to our travel companions and depart for home. We hope you have enjoyed your 12 day Italian Tour. Arrivederci Italia!
- 11 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- Services of your Expat tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader – please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.
- 11 breakfasts, 1 Antipasto, 6 dinners
- All taxes and fees
- Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 14 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
- Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.
Optional ExcursionsOptional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
- Venice Gondola Ride
- Amalfi Coast
- Vatican City guided tour
- Murano, Burano & Venetian lagoon
- Venice by night
Return customers get 10% off!
If you have traveled with us before you qualify for a 10% rebate. To claim your rebate, simply type your previous Booking Number in the "Special Notes" box at the final Payment step of the checkout.
Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator
How we make awesome trips affordable
- No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
- As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
- We book our hotels well in advance so we get great value rates that we can pass on to you!
- Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.
Detailed Info Pack
- Tour start & end points
- Pre-departure information
- Pre-tour accommodation
For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.
Helpful Pre-Trip Info
On tour costs
Please refer to the tour itinerary above for full details of what activities are included, which meals are included and what is excluded. We would recommend budgeting €25-€40 per day (this excludes optional excursions).
Please note, all rooms are twin bed as standard.
- Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender.
- Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
- Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts and finishes in Rome. Please have a look at our essential tour help page for detailed information.
This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have several blank pages as Visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.
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If you have any medical conditions that may be affected by where you sit, please discuss them with your Tour Leader, but note that the seat rotation policy will most likely mean that your request may not be honoured.
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For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. To receive a quote from one of our preferred travel insurance partners, please visit WorldNomads (for all nationalities) or Hollard (for South Africans).
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- Why this Trip
- What's Included
- Departure Dates
- Pre-Trip Info
- Q & A