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Explore many must-see destinations in Italy on one tour! Traverse Rome on foot with an expert local guide. Discover Venice, Tuscany, Sorrento & Sicily at your own pace on free days. Encounter the Trulli houses of Alberobello, and see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Drink in the beauty of the five villages of the Cinque Terre. Build out your tour with optional extras like gondola rides & island visits. Enjoy fantastic food, rich culture & beautiful landscapes at every turn. It's everything you want in an Italian tour & more.
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! The first day of the tour is an arrivals day: meet up with your tour leader at our accommodation in the afternoon and prepare for the tour of a lifetime! If you arrive early, head into the city and see some of the sites that make Rome famous the world over. 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. Tonight, you’ll meet the rest of the tour group at our included welcome dinner.
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!
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.
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!
Today, we travel on to Florence and the beautiful region of Tuscany. Along the way we'll make a stop at Lake Garda for a photo opportunity. This is the biggest lake in Italy and an internationally famous holiday destination that has inspired artists of all persuasions for centuries. On arrival in Florence your Expat Explore tour leader will take you an on orientation tour. A cultural and political focal point during the Renaissance, the city is endowed with a huge variety of Renaissance artworks and Roman ruins. Sights to see in Florence during your free time include the Ponte Vecchio bridge and Florence Cathedral. We’ll then make our way to our accommodation in 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.
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 an included dinner, the perfect chance to say goodbye to the travellers on the Taste of Italy tour that are leaving us tomorrow morning.
Welcome back to Rome! Enjoy a free day to explore any of the sights you missed on your first visit to this historic city. Later on, meet back up with your tour leader and fellow travellers, including those joining us from the Highlights of Southern Italy & Sicily tour, and experience 'Rome by night’ - explore some of the iconic sights of the Eternal City including the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. Afterwards we'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Leaving Rome, 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. Then, choose the option to explore the Amalfi Coast for the rest of the day, or simply explore the area at your own pace! Later this afternoon, settle in for a two night stay on the Sorrento peninsula. This area is famous for limoncello (a sweet lemon liqueur), the perfect way to finish off your included dinner this evening!
Today you have a free day in Sorrento! A gorgeous old town hugging the coastline, the Sorrento peninsula is your base for the day. Explore the town in your own time, or 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.
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.
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.
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.
Drive to through the heart of Sicily, along the way taking a lunch stop in enchanting Syracuse. Syracuse is a city that was founded as a Greek colony in 734 BC. Today it’s a UNESCO-listed historic centre and wonderland boasting beautiful baroque buildings and. 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. Stay over tonight in Agrigento.
Leaving Agrigento this morning, take a scenic drive through central Sicily as you set out to the town of Cefalù for lunch. Cefalù is a historic town that boasts some of Italy’s finest beaches. Arriving in Palermo in the early afternoon, enjoy a walking tour that will 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 your walking tour include the Piazza Indipendenza, Porta Nuova (The New Gate) and the Cathedral of Palermo.
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 making it melting pot of cultures and architectural styles. You also have the option to join your tour leader for an excursion to Monreale to see and explore the UNESCO-listed Monreale Cathedral. The excursion includes lunch at a local farmhouse to feast on some traditional Sicilian food. This evening, we’ll take an overnight ferry back to the Italian mainland.
This morning we’ll arrive in Naples where travellers can choose to end their tour (with a drop off at the port), or continue on the coach with the tour leader and make our way back to Rome, where the coach will drop off. If you would like to book post tour accommodation for this evening please contact us.
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