Italy Explorer

The ultimate Italian adventure! Explore Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Pompeii, Sorrento & Sicily.

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$3,500 Starting from $1,750.00
17 Days, 1 Countries visited
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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 adventure, 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 tourist destinations. 

Highlights 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 bus tours, this itinerary is a guaranteed departure, and you will be accompanied for the duration by an experienced and passionate tour leader. Our tour buses 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 tour!

Italy Explorer Tour Map

Photos of the Tour

Why this Trip

  • All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
  • No minimum numbers required.
  • FREE Wi-Fi in hotels.
  • Massive early bird savings
  • Only 10% deposit or minimum $80.00 required and no booking fees.

Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here

Start in: Rome

Rome - American Palace, 14:00 -17:00
End in: Rome

Rome - American Palace, 10:00
Duration: 17 Days
Ages: 10 - 75+
Places: 1 Countries
18 Experiences

DAY 1: Arrive in Rome

Welcome to Rome! Meet up with your tour guide at our hotel in the afternoon and prepare for the tour of a lifetime! This evening, we’ll enjoy a ‘Rome by night’ driving tour, where you’ll see the many historical sights of Ancient Rome, including the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum and Pantheon. During the tour we will stop off at a local restaurant for dinner so you can really get to know the other passengers on your tour.

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

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 - Alberobello

Today we’ll head east and explore the southern Italian region of Apulia. Arriving in Alberobello, we’ll 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 - Matera - Taormina

This morning we’ll make our way to the ‘football’ of Italy, 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’. We’ll then take a drive through the beautiful Reggio Calabria region before enjoying a ferry crossing to the island of Sicily. Prepare for a stunning view of Mount Etna as we make our way to Taormina, where we’ll enjoy an evening walking tour before dinner.

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 amphitheater. For those looking to explore further afield, you can choose our optional excursion to Syracuse. The Sicilian town of Syracuse is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is notable for its rich Greek history, culture and amphitheatres. Here, you will have time explore the town as well as ancient Greek and Roman ruins including the Theatre of Syracuse and the Ear of Dionysius.

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 - Palermo

Enjoy a beautiful drive this morning as we make our way round the western tip of Sicily to the island's capital, Palermo. Founded more than 2,700 years ago by the Phoenicians, Palermo is noted for its history, culture, architecture and food. Arriving early afternoon, you’ll enjoy a walking tour to introduce you to the city’s highlights, including 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 - Verona - Venice

Today, we’ll be driving to Venice, and on the way we'll make a stop in Verona for a look at Juliet’s balcony – where Juliet is said to have been wooed by Romeo. Arriving in Venice this afternoon, we'll get a classic Venetian view from the famous Rialto Bridge on our orientation walking tour. While in Venice you also have the opportunity to board a gondola and see Venice the traditional way, try classic Venetian cuisine, visit the famous museums and art galleries and simply get the full Venetian experience! Alternatively you can relax and soak up the sun on the sandy beaches at Jesolo or Lido. Not to mention, there’s also St Marks Square, The Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace to see.

DAY 13: Venice - Free day

Take the time to explore today on your free day in Venice. Marvel at this incredible city, which features more artistic masterpieces per square kilometre than any other place on earth! Speak with your Expat Explore tour leader for suggestions for your free day in Venice.

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: Tuscany - Free day

Enjoy the option of a free day today in beautiful Tuscany, where options include further time in the city of Florence or exploring the spa town of Montecatini. You also have the option of joining a free optional excursion to Pisa and Cinque Terre! A highlight of any tour to Italy, you’ll be able to snap photos of this legendary structure and explore the grounds. We will then continue on to the stunning coastal town of La Spezia, the gateway to the Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre literally means ‘Five Lands’ and consists of five coastal cliff-side towns linked by rail and by footpaths. Overlooking the Mediterranean and amply supplied with fresh produce from the surrounding farms and homesteads, this is a region with all the ingredients to make for an unforgettable day.

DAY 16: San Gimignano - Siena - Rome

Today will give you more chance to enjoy Tuscany! 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. We will make a stop in San Gimignano to sample local wines and antipasto, before visiting the medieval Tuscan town of Siena. The town is famous for the 'Palio' horse race and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We round off the day with dinner when we arrive back in Rome.

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!

Whats Included

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 18 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 Excursions

Optional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
  • Gondola Ride
  • Vatican City guided Tour
  • Tuscan Feast
  • Isle of Capri
  • Free Cinque Terre & Pisa day-trip
  • Rome Pizza Making Experience

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.

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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 early bird 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


Certain nationalities may require a visa(s) for this tour. Please see our visas page for more information. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassies to confirm your visa requirements. We provide support documentation upon request. Simply contact us

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).

Room Sharing

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.

Meeting Point

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.

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Have a question?

Are children allowed?

Our tours are not suitable for young children, so we set a minimum age limit of 10 years old. However, at the discretion of Expat Explore we may consider younger children on certain tours if they meet certain criteria and a request is received in writing via email for consideration. Expat Explore reserves the absolute right to accept or decline a booking at our discretion.

Are international flights included in the tour price?

No, you will need to make your own arrangements to get to the meeting destination for the first day of your tour. Make sure you keep departure times and possible delays in mind when booking flights. Please click here to visit Skyscanner - a useful tool for comparing prices from the vast majority of airlines.

Are transfers included in the tour price?

No, you will need to make your own arrangements to get to the meeting point for the first day of your tour. Please see the meeting point information for details on how to reach the meeting point, and for booking a transfer through Expat Explore.

Can I access wi-fi on the tour?

All of the hotels on this tour offer Wi-Fi, which is available free of charge as part of your Expat Explore tour. In certain hotels this will be available in the hotel lobby only, while in others you will be able to get access in your room. The coaches do not have Wi-Fi on board. If you wish to keep in touch with your friends and family throughout the tour, you can order your free Europe SIM card to save money on calls, texts and using data while on tour. Please click here for more information.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Before the tour starts, you will receive an email from us requesting your dietary requirements. There is always a vegetarian option, which is a meal without meat. We try as much as we can to offer you the traditional local cuisine.

Can you provide a triple room?

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 room may consist of a double bed and a single bed, or a double bed and 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.

Can you send me a quote?

The price shown on the website for your departure date on the day you book is the price you will pay. If you would like to make a group booking for 10 or more people please contact us.

Can you tell me the name of the hotels I will be staying in?

A full list of accommodation names and addresses will be given to you on the first day of your tour. We have listed the hotels that we mainly use for our tours on our website. Please contact us to confirm the details of the hotel where you should meet the tour.

Do I get allocated a seat on the coach?

Your tour leader will implement a seat rotation policy, so that everyone on board the coach gets the chance to have a different view from their seats each day.

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.

Do I need a visa to travel on this tour?

Certain nationalities may require a visa(s) for this tour. Please see our visas page and your pre-departure information for more information. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassies to confirm your visa requirements.

Do I need to change money before the tour?

Please make sure you bring with you for the start of the tour the local currency(ies) you will need for at least the first three days, as there may not be an opportunity to change currency at the very beginning of the tour. You should budget for any optional excursions you wish to do in this period (see 'Optional Excursions' tab above) and non-included meals. We don’t recommend carrying large amounts of cash with you on tour; you are better off withdrawing enough cash to last you for the next 5-7 days, rather than carrying enough cash to last you for the entirety of the tour. Please refer to your pre-departure information for more information on the currencies you will require for your particular itinerary.

Do you have storage/left luggage facilities?

No, we do not have these facilities. For security reasons, you will be required to keep your belongings with you at all times. Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to bring.

How can I get the documents I need to apply for my visa?

Expat Explore can provide travellers requiring visas with visa support documents on a request basis. Please note that you are required to pay for your tour in full in order to receive the documents. This is an embassy/consulate requirement by law. Once you have received confirmation that your booking has been paid in full, you can request your visa support documents by emailing - please allow up to 10 working days to receive these documents.

How do I book/pay?

You can book online through our website or call our customer service team to make a booking over the phone. You must pay a deposit of 10% or 50 GBP (whichever is greater) via our online payment platform to secure your place. You can pay the remaining amount up to 35 days before departure, with a debit/credit card or with a bank transfer.

How many other people will be on my tour?

It depends on how many other people book! There could be up to 51 other passengers, so you will have the opportunity to make lots of friends!

How much luggage can I bring?

Due to weight and space limitations, you are allowed to bring one main piece of luggage weighing no more than 20kg, and one small soft bag for hand luggage. On all tours, you will have to carry your own luggage (e.g. into hotels and up to your room if hotels don’t have elevators). Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to pack.

How much spending money do I need for my holiday?

This is up to you, of course, and will vary depending on how much wish to spend on snacks, drinks, souvenirs etc. We do not include entrance fees to attractions and museums. We do, however, provide you with free time to see everything you want, and our tour leaders will have all the information on pricing and locations so you can manage your own budget. Please refer to your tours specific pre-departure information and optional excursions guide for further details.

How much time will be spent on the coach?

Many of the countries are vast and varied, and there will be some long driving days on your tour. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy watching the changing countryside as it rolls past your window, to share music with your fellow travellers, watch a few movies or get involved in some of the games and quizzes hosted by your tour leader. Where possible, we have also included stops at points of interest.

How much walking is involved in your tours?

We believe the best way to get to the heart and soul of a city is on foot, surrounded by the people and the culture. For this reason, we do walking tours through most of the cities we visit. Many of the cities you visit are vast and old, often with steps and cobblestones. Our walking tours can last up to 3 hours with plenty of opportunities to take photographs and soak up the history of these fascinating places, but you do require a certain level of fitness to enjoy your tour to its fullest.

Is Europe a safe place to travel to?

Europe has a low rate of crime and corruption, and travelling here is generally considered safe and hassle free. Your tour leader will be on hand to offer local advice on each area you visit. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides travel advice for each destination we visit – each country has a summary and general information as well as advice on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements and health.

Is my deposit refundable?

Your deposit payment secures your place(s) on the tour and the price you pay. Your deposit paid at the time of booking is non-refundable. Our full Terms and Conditions can be viewed online.

Is travel insurance compulsory?

Yes, and you are responsible for arranging your own insurance. Passengers and their personal property travel with Expat Explore solely at their own risk. A suitable insurance policy should provide adequate cover for medical expenses arising through illness or accident prior to or during the holiday, and loss of holiday monies through cancellation or curtailment of the holiday or other insurable reasons. Clients should ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for the type of activities in their tour. When on tour, ensure you keep personal belongings on you at all times and that your suitcase/backpack has a lock on it, especially in tourist areas. It may be advisable to wear a money belt to store money, credit cards and passport.
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).

Should I tip the tour leader and driver, and if so, how much?

Whilst we fully understand that some nationalities are not accustomed to tipping, this is a normal part of culture in the places you will visit. Tipping has become an increasingly accepted practice in all areas of the service industry, but particularly in restaurants, bars and taxis worldwide. If you take a walking tour with a local guide, tipping these guides at the end of walking tours and excursions is always appreciated, but not expected. Your Expat Explore crew will be travelling with you between anywhere from just a few days, up to a few weeks, and you’ll soon become great friends. Expat Explore crew members will transform your trip experience from good to exceptional, and where this is the case a tip (even a modest one!) is always hugely appreciated. It is sometimes easy to forget that they work hard to ensure that you have your once in a lifetime experience. If you feel that your Expat Explore crew have done a good job, and you would like to tip them, this would be highly appreciated. We suggest approximately €2-€4 per day per person travelling for your crew. Tipping is entirely voluntary and the above rate is offered as a suggested guide only.

What about room sharing & single supplements?

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.

What happens if I forget or lose my passport?

Unfortunately, you will be unable to continue the tour and you should make contact with your closest embassy immediately to replace the passport. Your passport is an essential travel document, and should be kept safe at all times.

What happens if I miss the coach during the tour?

You will have to make your own way to the next destination at your own expense. Please ensure you are on time for all departures to avoid being left behind.

What happens if my visa gets rejected?

Please allow sufficient time to complete the visa process (at least 4 weeks). Should your visa application be unsuccessful, you will be able to change or cancel your tour, but standard terms and conditions (and therefore fees) will apply. Please refer to our terms and conditions for more information.

What is included in the tour price?

The tour price includes accommodation for the duration of the tour, transport by private coach, breakfasts and dinner as per your itinerary, ferry crossings (where applicable), and guided walking tours and excursions as per your itinerary. On top of this, you will have a tour leader to assist you along the way with great tips and handy advice! Please refer to the ‘Included’ section of the itinerary where a full breakdown is given.

What is the average age of your groups?

The average age of our travellers is approximately 30-35; however we most definitely welcome "older travellers" who are still young at heart! A positive attitude and an open mind are more important than a number.

What kind of accommodation do you use on your tours?

We have searched and invested in excellent accommodation options, either located in cities or well placed with public transport connections. Clean linen is always included, so you do not need to bring a sleeping bag. Towels are always included; however you may want to bring your own for use at the beach, swimming pool etc, if applicable to your tour. Toiletries (shampoo, shower gel etc) and hair dryers are not always included, so you may wish to bring these with you. Accommodation is provided in twin share en-suite rooms. We use a mix of mostly 2, 3 & 4-star hotels, and some hostels.

What level of fitness do I need to participate in these tours?

All travellers are required to carry their own bags, get on and off the coach and use public transport. Our city walking tours can last up to 3 hours and certain places involve walking up and down lots of steps. We want you to enjoy your tour, so read through the itinerary thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough.

What time do the tours depart and when will I be back?

Our regional tours are usually scheduled to start in the afternoon on Day 1 and end on the final day after breakfast - please refer to your meeting information for confirmation.

What time does each day start on tour?

Generally, we like to make an early start, so that you can spend more time at each destination. On your free days, you can have a lie in if you wish!

Who will be my tour leader?

Our tour leaders come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and interests. They are all confident and well-travelled with an in-depth knowledge of the destinations they are working in, and a passion for helping you make the most out of your Expat Explore tour. You will be emailed the name and contact details of your tour leader approximately one week before your tour start date. It is important that you keep a record this number so that you can contact your tour leader if you have any issues when joining the tour or during the tour.

Will I get confirmation of my payment?

As soon as your payment has been processed by our accounts team, we will send you a confirmation email. Please note this may take up to 5 working days, depending on your method of payment.
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  • Summary
  • Why this Trip
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Departure Dates
  • Pre-Trip Info
  • Q & A
  • Customer Reviews