Explore all the must-see destinations in Italy on the ultimate Italian tour! Combining the Taste of Italy and Highlights of Southern Italy & Sicily tours into one unforgettable Italy tour, you'll enjoy an incredible 17 days experiencing the fantastic food, rich culture, beautiful landscapes and historic ancient sites of one of the world's most popular travel destinations.
Highlights of this Italian tour include the capital Rome, the ancient city of Pompeii, the 'trulli' houses of Alberobello, Verona, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence and Siena. You'll enjoy free days in Sicily, Sorrento, Rome and Venice so you can explore to your heart's content and take part in optional activities to enhance your tour experience; including gondola rides, a day-trip to the Isle of Capri and a guided tour of the Vatican City!
Like all Expat Explore coach holidays to Italy, this itinerary is a guaranteed departure, and you will be accompanied for the duration of your trip by an experienced and passionate tour leader. Our coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned, and at each hotel we include free wi-fi in your tour package so you can stay connected and share all your incredible photos and memories with your friends and family while on your Italy vacation package!
Photos of the Tour
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
DAY 1: Arrive in Rome
Welcome to Rome! Meet up with your tour leader at our hotel in the afternoon and prepare for a great evening. Your tour leader will show you ‘Rome by night’ - explore some of the iconic sights of the Eternal City including the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. Later this evening we'll enjoy dinner at Alfredo Alla Scrofa, a 'ristorante' with an international reputation - the perfect place to get to know your fellow travellers.
DAY 2: Rome - Sorrento
Leaving Rome, we’ll head to the Sorrento peninsula, stopping off along the way to see Mount Vesuvius and to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii, destroyed in 79AD in a catastrophic volcanic eruption. Upon arrival on the Sorrento peninsula we have a two night stay. This area is famous for limoncello (a sweet lemon liqueur), the perfect way to finish off your included dinner this evening!
DAY 3: Sorrento - Free day
Your Italy tour continues with a free day in Sorrento. A gorgeous old town hugging the coastline, the Sorrento peninsula is our base for the day. Explore the towns in your own time, or alternatively choose our optional excursion to the famous Isle of Capri, where you can spend some free time exploring the rugged coastline, ancient Roman ruins and stylish piazzas.
DAY 4: Sorrento - Matera - Alberobello
Today we’ll head east and explore the southern Italian region of Apulia, taking a comfort stop along the way in the ancient cave city of Matera. Known as "la Città Sotterranea" (the Subterranean City), it is famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts, the ‘sassi’. Later we'll arrive in Alberobello, and enjoy an orientation tour of the region's famous ‘trullo’ houses. These beautiful 14th century whitewashed stone huts have iconic conical roofs, and are specific to the Itria Valley. This afternoon you’ll have free time to further explore Alberobello; check out the trullo church of St Antony and the trulli museum.
DAY 5: Alberobello - Taormina
Today we take a coastal drive beside the Ionian Sea, before we leave the mainland behind and take a short ferry ride over to the island of Sicily, home of Mount Etna. Prepare for stunning views as we make our way to Taormina. Upon arrival your tour leader will take you on an orientation walk of this hilltop town, showing you some of the highlights you can explore further on your free day tomorrow, including the historic Porta Catania and the Villa Comunale. This evening we’ll top off our Sicilian experience with an included dinner at our beachside hotel.
DAY 6: Taormina - Free day
Enjoy a free day to relax on Sicily's beautiful beaches, or explore the island's quaint towns. The town of Taormina itself is one of Italy’s most popular summer destinations, perched on the side of a mountain and offering medieval churches, a castle and Greek amphitheatre. For those looking to explore further afield on their Italian tour, speak to your tour leader for their recommendations, including boat tours of the beautiful coast line, paragliding and 'Godfather' tours.
DAY 7: Taormina - Catania - Agrigento
Today we’ll drive to through the heart of Sicily, along the way taking a comfort stop in Catania. With a Unesco-listed historic centre boasting many beautiful baroque buildings. This afternoon, get your cameras ready as stopping at the ‘Valle dei Templi’ (Valley of the Temples), one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture. We’ll then arrive at our accommodation in Agrigento.
DAY 8: Agrigento - Marsala - Palermo
Enjoy a beautiful drive this morning as we make our way round the western tip of Sicily to the island's capital, Palermo. Along the way we'll make a comfort stop in Marsala, a city built on the ruins of the ancient Carthaginian city of Lilybaion, and famous for it's Marsala wine. Arriving early afternoon in Palermo, you’ll enjoy a walking tour to introduce you to the city’s highlights. Founded more than 2,700 years ago by the Phoenicians, Palermo is noted for its history, culture, architecture and food. Sights you'll see on you walking tour include the San Giovanni degli Eremiti church, Piazza Indipendenza, Porta Nuova (The New Gate) and the Cathedral of Palermo.
DAY 9: Palermo - Free day
Enjoy a full day to further explore Sicily’s capital. Over the centuries Palermo has been colonized by many different rulers over the centuries, including the Greeks, Romans and Normans. This melting pot has resulted in a variety of architectural styles for you to explore in the historic old town. This evening, we’ll take an overnight ferry back to the Italian mainland.
DAY 10: Rome
This morning we’ll arrive back on the Italian mainland and make our way back to Rome, ready to explore the capital and northern Italy! Arriving early afternoon you'll have the rest of the day to explore the capital before enjoying an included dinner this evening.
DAY 11: 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 – and of the Roman Empire at large. Be sure to see sightseeing highlights like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon and the countless other attractions that make Rome famous the world over. Later, you’ll have the option of taking a guided walking tour of the Vatican City. Marvel at glittering artworks, vast marble halls and opulent architecture – all part and parcel of the Vatican’s status as the seat of papal power. Eating and drinking well is also an important part of Roman life, and as they say, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ Try excellent Italian cuisine, and be sure to grab a famous Roman gelato while you’re sight-seeing!
DAY 12: Rome - Orvieto - Venice
Leaving the capital behind, we'll drive through the region of Umbria. Known as the 'fruit bowl of Italy', it is famous for its produce, food and beautiful mountainous landscapes. Prepare for one of the most spectacular sights in Europe as we approach Orvieto, a city perched dramatically atop sheer vertical volcanic rock. We'll take the funicular up to the historic centre, where you'll have some free time to explore and see the sights, including the exquisite facade of the Cathedral of Orvieto, the papal residence and the Albornoz fortress, before we travel on to Venice. 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 13: Venice - Free day
You’ll start your stay in Venice with an orientation tour led by your tour leader so you can get your bearings, after which you have free time to explore this unforgettable city at your leisure. 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 14: Lake Garda - Florence - Tuscany
Today, we make our way to the beautiful city of Florence, stopping along the way in Lake Garda for a photo opportunity. Then, we make our way to Florence for a guided walking tour. Learn more about the heritage of this city, which stretches back through the ages to encompass Renaissance artworks and Roman ruins. 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. We’ll then make our way to our accommodation in Tuscany.
DAY 15: Pisa - Cinque Terre - Tuscany
This morning we drive north to La Spezia in the Liguria region. This city is the gateway to Cinque Terre, five picturesque fishing villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. The harbours are filled with fishing boats, vines climb the terraces and the houses are painted in bright colours - you'll undoubtedly take some fantastic photos here! Each village is linked by hiking trails and a railway, giving you the choice of how best to explore. This afternoon we'll head back to Tuscany, stopping off on the way at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. A highlight of any tour to Italy, you’ll be able to snap photos of this legendary structure and explore the grounds, which include a cathedral and baptistery.
DAY 16: 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 17: End of tour
After breakfast, your 17 day Italian adventure concludes. It is time to say your goodbyes to your fellow travellers, and of course, the incredible land of Italy. Arrivederci, Italia!
- 16 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.
- 16 breakfasts, 1 antipasto, 7 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.
- 20 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
- Isle of Capri
- Amalfi Coast
- Vatican City guided tour
- Murano, Burano & Venetian lagoon
- Venice by night
- Taormina boat cruise
- Taormina Sunset Cruise
- Taormina Taste of the Mediterranean
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 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, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.
- 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 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 Information 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.
Have a question?
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Do I get allocated a seat on the coach?
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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Is travel insurance compulsory?
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).