DAY 1: Rome
Welcome to Rome, and one of our most popular Italy tours! The first day of the tour is an arrivals day: meet up with your tour guide 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.
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 – 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 3: 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 4: Venice - Free day
You’ll start your day 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 5: 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 6: Pisa - Cinque Terre - Tuscany
This morning we head to La Spezia, the gateway to the Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre literally means ‘Five Lands’ and consists of five picturesque coastal cliff-side towns linked by rail and footpath - 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. Later in the afternoon we'll head back to the Tuscan region, stopping off in Pisa to see the legendary Leaning Tower of Pisa. Now over 800 years old, it’s a classic sight in Italy and gives you the opportunity to take a picture 'holding up' the tower!
DAY 7: 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 8: End of tour
After breakfast, your 8 day Italian tour concludes. It is time to say your goodbyes to your fellow travellers, and of course, the incredible land of Italy. Arrivederci, Italia!