Travel from Venice to Rome via Florence and Italy's coast

Discover the sights and delights of Italy on this week long highlights tour. Begin amid the canals of Venice, visit the charming towns of the Cinque Terre, soak up beauty and history in Florence and wind up in the piazzas of Rome. With plenty of free time for independent exploration, and the freedom to discover Italy's history and culture at your own pace, there's no better way to see this wonderful pocket of Europe.

Venice, Italy
Rome, Italy
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
129kg pp per trip


  • Lose yourself in enchanting Venice city
  • Feast on scrumptious seafood on Italy's coast
  • Travel down the Cinque Terre's rugged coastal path
  • Witness a golden sunset in Florence
  • Sample every kind of gelato in Rome
  • Perhaps take a day trip to see the Torre de Pisa or Lucca


Welcome to Venice, Italy. Your Italian adventure will begin with a welcome meeting around 6 pm, so please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where and when it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. After the meeting, enjoy dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant. There are no activities planned before the meeting, so if you arrive early there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Take a walk around the maze of streets behind San Marco square and begin to understand the complex canal system of Venice. The Grand Canal is a great place to start, as you can stroll over the Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
After breakfast, venture out and explore Venice. There are only two ways to get around this city - on foot or by boat. Some of the more popular sights include Doge's Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for the best view of Venice. No trip here would be complete without a journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. It's a common way for visitors to see the major canal routes from an immersive perspective. While away your day in the busy San Marco square and be sure to try the local tiramisu and Italian coffee that's on offer. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a group dinner at a local restaurant of your leader's choice. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, so make sure you give one a try.
This morning after breakfast, spend the day travelling to Cinque Terre by train. The journey usually takes around six to seven hours via Milan, and is a very scenic trip through the north of Italy. On arrival in Cinque Terre, there won't be too much time to explore from your base in La Spezia. After checking in to your hotel perhaps get your bearings of the area with a short walk or head out for dinner with the group.
Venture out on the footpaths of Cinque Terre (Five Lands), a region of Italy famed for its coastline and pastel villages. The footpaths that run between the villages were once the only way to travel in the region, and take you through olive groves, vineyards and to idyllic vistas. Walking the entire network of paths can take around five hours (12 km in total) and will need a good level of fitness. Some sections of path can be difficult, as there are challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Please remember to bring comfortable footwear such as trainers or light hiking shoes. Cinque Terre path sections: - Riomaggiore to Manarola is easy and takes 25 minutes on a paved path. - Manarola to Corniglia is easy and takes about 50 minutes on a partly paved and partly rocky path. - Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about one and a half hours on a rocky path. - Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about two hours on a rocky path. It's also possible to take the train between any of the villages or back to the group's base whenever you want. After working up an appetite, take advantage of the foods of the Liguria region with a pesto class. Focaccia is also a speciality in this area and makes a great start to lunch. In the late afternoon, the rest of your day is free.
Board a train today and head to Florence, which should take around three and half hours. As you'll arrive in the late afternoon, there may not be too much time to explore the city. On arrival, check in to the hotel and go for a brief walk around the immediate to area to get your bearings. Food is a major part of the city's identity, so use your evening wisely and maybe head out for dinner with the group. Regional specialities are noted for their simplicity and fine flavour, and the use of high-quality olive oil, cannellini beans and fresh herbs. Meat lovers should try the bistecca alla fiorentina, a huge T-bone steak that's usually shared between two people, or ribollita - a thick delicious vegetable soup with bread, beans and greens.
After breakfast, head out into Florence and visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries, and see Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. We recommend that you book at least two months in advance, especially for the Uffizi as this museum experiences queues of up to five hours all year round (please see notes below). Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River. There are plenty of sights to see during your free time in Florence. Notes: Florentine State Museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace, Medici Chapels, Bargello, Archaeological Museum, Davanzati) can all be booked in advance. Reserve tickets by phone on (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30 am - 12.30 pm. You can also book online at: The individual museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them, but the website ( has everything you need to know. Make your reservations for these museums for any time on Day 6 of this itinerary.
In the morning take the train to Rome, which should take around one and a half hours. Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city, where you see some of the iconic sights such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free and there's a small charge to climb the dome for a panorama over the city. Use your free time to also visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds). For meals, Rome is packed full of restaurants and trattorias that cater to every taste and budget. Local specialities tend to be quite heavy, and include pastas such as carbonara (egg, cheese and bacon) and amatriciana (tomato, bacon and chilli). Eating in trattorias will give you a chance to sample some Italian wines, with house choices usually very good and affordable. Head out in the evening with the group for a final farewell dinner. Notes: It's worth booking an extra few days of accommodation in Rome, so you're able to see as much as possible while you're here. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team can help (subject to availability). Check the Vatican website ( for updated information on when you can visit. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at: Alternatively, the Galleria Borghese can be booked online at:
Your 'Highlights of Italy' adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no more activities planned and you're free to leave the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


4 breakfasts
Public bus, Train
Guesthouse (2 nights), Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (3 nights)


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Trip notes

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Highlights of Italy , October 2015

Highlights of Italy , September 2015