General & Sales enquiries: info@expatexplore.com
Travel & e-tickets: etickets@expatexplore.com
Call us on: 1-855-980-6726

Italian Delights - 12 Days

Start point: Rome
End point: Rome

DAY 1: 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.



Experiences

After joining the tour, you will enjoy a dinner in the evening - the perfect opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers!

Other Foods to try

After joining the tour, you will enjoy a dinner in the evening - the perfect opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers! Typical dishes include penne carbonara, spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, as well as a range of meat dishes, including roasted chicken and beef.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 2: Rome

Today, we’ll take a guided walking tour of the city, stopping off at the landmarks that have made Rome a perennial favourite with travellers all over the world. See Ancient Roman architecture, medieval buildings, Renaissance artworks and more remnants of Rome’s illustrious past as capital of this incredible country. 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. In your free time this afternoon, why not visit the Coliseum, probably Rome's most recognisable landmark, and the centre of Roman social life. See where countless gladiators, martyrs, wild animals and other unfortunate souls did battle in the name of entertainment.



Experiences

Rome walking tour: included in our tour we take a locally-guided walking tour of the city, stopping off at some of the sightseeing highlights that make Rome famous. Highlights include the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, the Roman Forum and much more.


Optional Excursions

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Cristoforo Colombo
American Palace Eur
Rome Midas Hotel Conference
(View photos )

Other Foods to try

Seek out a pizzeria and grab a slice of pizza! True to Roman tradition, you won't get many toppings, but the pizza is cooked in wood fired ovens to thin, fresh and chewy perfection. Bellissimo!

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

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.



Experiences

On our way to the legendary ruins of Pompeii, you will see Mt Vesuvius, an ancient volcano.

You will then have the opportunity to explore the ruins of Pompeii itself on a guided tour.


Optional Excursions

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Giosue a Mare
(View photos )

Other Foods to try

After arriving in Sorrento you will be treated to a Neapolitan dinner. As Sorrento is on the Mediterranean coast, seafood features heavily in the local cuisine. You can expect to enjoy dishes such as fresh fish, margherita pizza - which was created in this region - and meatballs. After the meal, why not opt for a glass of limoncello; this sweet lemon liqueur is a speciality of this area and is commonly taken as a digestif at the end of the meal.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
DAY 4: Sorrento region - Free day

A gorgeous old town hugging the coastline, the Sorrento peninsula is our base for the day. Explore the towns in your own time, and seek out little shops producing lace-work, ceramics and specialising in marquetry (the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to create incredible artwork). Alternatively, choose our optional excursion to the famous Isle of Capri. Capri has charmed everyone from Roman emperors to modern showbiz elites. Try it for yourself and enjoy the smooth mix of cafés, rugged coastline, ancient Roman ruins and stylish piazzas.

Attractions to discover in your free time
Optional Excursions

DAY 5: 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 Monte Cassino, 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 the region of Umbria and the medieval town of Assisi, whose most famous son, St Francis, was born here in 1181. A charming town and the most popular pilgrimage site in Italy, you will enjoy the ancient churches and basilicas – many of them are just as St Francis would have seen them almost one thousand years ago!



Experiences

We take a comfort stop at the town of Cassino, the city was the scene of fierce fighting in World War II, which left the town almost completely destroyed. You will visit the abbey of Monte Cassino, which has been totally restored to it's original glory, and is still in use today.

Arriving in Assisi in the late afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the city, which is famous for its historic churches and basilicas.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Casa Leonori

Other Foods to try

The Umbrian region is considered the green heart of Italy, and is well known for its contribution to Italian cuisine. Porchetta, a deliciously moist roast pork, and minestrone, a vegetable soup, are highlights of this region. The Italians like to take their time with their meals - it is a very social affair, which can last for two or more hours. Bon appotito!

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

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.



Experiences

Comfort stop at San Marino, one of the oldest surviving sovereign states in the world.


Optional Excursions

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Elite Hotel Residence
Hotel Complex Ambasciatori & Delfino
Hotel Venezia
Russott Hotel
(View photos )

Other Foods to try

You are free to indulge in the local cuisine. Venice is of course located on a lagoon, and is therefore heavily influenced by seafood, including cuttlefish and sardines. Be sure to ask your tour leader for their recommended restaurants, and don't miss out on trying tiramisu - translating as "pick me up" it is a delicious combination of coffee liqueur soaked-sponge with mascarpone cheese. 

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
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!

Attractions to discover in your free time
Optional Excursions

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 Italian tours. Look out for the 2,000 year old arena and the ancient city gates. Later, we head to the Italian Lakes – and you’ll find out just why famous writers like DH Lawrence and Hemingway were so inspired by this region of Italy. Peek at palatial lakeside villas, and revel in the pleasant mix of luxury and rural charm.



Experiences

Included in the tour is a stop in Verona to admire Juliet’s balcony – where Romeo is said to have wooed Juliet.

We stop off in The Italian Lakes for the night – one of Europe’s most beautiful settings. Make sure the camera batteries are fully charged!

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Stazione
Hotel Lovere Resort & Spa
(View photos )

Other Foods to try

Tonight you will enjoy an included dinner. Pasta dishes typical in this region of Italy include casoncelli alla bergamasca - similar to ravioli and stuffed with meat and herbs, and pasta al pesto rosso - pasta served with pesto and tomato sauces.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 9: Cinque Terre - La Spezia

Leaving the beautiful Italian Lakes, we head to the 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 towns by train or by foot. Each town has it's own unique charm - we are certain you will fall in love with each and every one! As you explore, why not taste local wines along with local produce such as pesto, freshly-caught fish and sweet lemons? Unforgettable!



Experiences

You will have the full day to explore the famous Cinque Terre region, with a day pass included in your Expat Explore tour. Hike or catch trains in between each one and sample fresh local produce, all the while surrounded by incredible scenery. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the five villages of the region are linked by rail or by hiking trails, giving you the option of how best to explore this incredible scenic region. Sample traditional cuisine sourced from the surroundings and soak up the atmosphere of this stunning region.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Firenze e Continentale
(View photos )

Other Foods to try

In your free time you are sure to discover some of the many amazing restaurants in the Cinque Terre region. The village of Riomaggiore has some of the best seafood dishes in Italy, including Cappun Magro (seafood lasagna), anchovies, Muscoli alla marinara (mussels served in a white wine, garlic, parsley and lemon sauce) and Spaghetti allo scoglio (seafood spaghetti).

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 10: Pisa - Florence - Tuscany

On our way to Florence, stop off at the famous town of Pisa to get a few shots of its distinctive Leaning Tower. This is a classic sight in Italy and well worth a visit. Bragging rights are all yours! Upon arrival in Florence, take an orientation tour of the city with your tour leader, exploring many of the most famous sights. Expect to see the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and the replica of the statue of David. Then it’s time for another quintessential Tuscan experience: a visit to a local Italian leather shop to learn more about local leather crafting and why Italian leather brands have been dominating the fashion world for centuries. After exploring, it’s off to the Tuscan hills, where your accommodation for the night awaits. Later, you are free to search for that perfect Italian restaurant for dinner.



Experiences

Explore the site of the famous leaning tower of Pisa – a true classic and a must-see on any tour visiting Italy.

The capital of the Tuscany region of Italy, Florence is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance. Your Expat Explore tour leader will take you on an orientation tour to introduce you to the main sights, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and the replica statue of David.

Step inside the world of Italian leather crafting as you visit a leather demo in a local leather shop and factory, Leonardo Leather and Gold. Italy has been famous for leather productions for centuries. One of the manufacturing areas in Italy where the most locally-produced quality handmade leatherware is made is Tuscany. The workshop and showrooms we visit offer a variety of leather products made in the true Florentine tradition of Italian design and workmanship.


Optional Excursions

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio
Hotel Settentrionale Esplanade
Hotel Le Fonti
Hotel Arnolfo
Hotel Biondi
Hotel Montebello
Hotel Nuovo Savi
(View photos )

Other Foods to try

Why not discover the taste of Tuscany with an optional dinner this evening? Featuring bruschetta and antipasto, Cannelloni a la Fiorentina (pasta), pork roast (vegetarian option available) with potatoes and homemade dessert. Alternatively, ask your tour leader for their restaurant recommendations - a Florentine steak is worth seeking out, and is similar to a t-bone or porterhouse style steak.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

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.



Experiences

Comfort stop at the town of San Gimignano. Famous for its medieval towers, it is a real gem of the region. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, 13 of the original 70 towers remain, providing an iconic and unforgettable skyline that sets it apart from the many other hill towns in Tuscany.

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage town of Siena, famous for the Palio horse race, held each year on 2nd July and 16th August. This bareback horse race has taken place since the 14th Century in the main town square of Siena, and the 17 participants represent local families, or contrade.

Enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by antipasto.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Cristoforo Colombo
American Palace Eur
Rome Midas Hotel Conference

Other Foods to try

An Italian buffet dinner is included this evening upon arrival back in Rome, the perfect way to round off the tour on our last night together and say goodbye to all your new travelling friends!

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 12: End of tour

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!



Experiences

If you would like to extend your stay in Rome after the tour, please contact us to confirm the hotel. By this point you will have enjoyed 12 incredible days exploring the very best of Italy. A true delight!

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner