Italy Experience Trip Notes

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Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012
Italy Experience
Trip code: ZMKF
Validity: 01 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2012
Savour the many flavours of Italy on a journey from the canals of Venice to the cobblestone streets of Rome. Explore natural wonders, historic sites and picturesque villages on this special food-lovers' adventure. There is plenty of time to indulge in everything from fresh seafood and hearty wines to the finest balsamic vinegars and pesto in the world. This gastronomic adventure is sure to tantalise all the senses.
Italy Experience trips departing in 2013 will be 10 days long (rather than 15) The updated price and full itinerary will be available later in 2012.
The revised itinerary is:
Day 1 Venice
Day 2 Venice
Day 3 Cinque Terre
Day 4 Cinque Terre
Day 5 Pisa/Florence
Day 6 Pisa/Florence
Day 7 Perugia/Spello
Day 8 Perugia/Spello
Day 9 Rome
Day 10 Depart Rome
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxFinish point instructions
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency contact
MapYour fellow travellersEmergency funds
ItinerarySingle travellersVisas
Also available to purchaseAccommodationIssues on your trip
We also recommendMeals introductionWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMealsHealth
Culture shock rating TransportSafety
Physical ratingGroup leaderTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyFinish point Carbon offset
TippingFinish point descriptionFeedback
Style
Comfort
  • Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Themes
Explorer
Map
Italy Experience
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Venice
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the evening of Day 1.
You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, 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). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Learn more about the exciting trip to come, and your travelling companions at the included welcome dinner.
A grand city of canals, Venice is built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. Still rich with artistic masterpieces, modern Venice combines history with contemporary life through food, performance, art and architecture.
There are only two ways to explore Venice - by boat or on foot. Some of the more popular sights include the Grand Canal, the shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Take the time to wander the narrow, cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas and cross the hundreds of tiny bridges, where shops, markets, galleries, churches and stunning buildings lie around every corner.
Take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for the best view of Venice.
You can't leave Venice without going on a classic Venetian gondola. It's a common way for visitors to see the major canal routes from a fascinating perspective.
Be sure not to miss trying the popular dessert tiramisu - sponge cakes soaked in coffee and arranged in layers with mascarpone cheese - which is the speciality of this region.
Included Activities
  • San Giorgio Bell Tower
  • Traghetto across the Grand Canal
Optional Activities
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR16
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR11
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR8
  • Concerto - EUR30
  • Gondola ride - EUR80
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR12
  • Museum of St Mark's Basilica - EUR2
  • Glass Museum Murano - EUR8
  • Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art - EUR8
  • Scuola Grande di San Rocco - EUR11
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 3 Modena
Travel by train to Modena (approx 3 hrs), home of the late Luciano Pavarotti and many luxury car manufacturers.
Visit an acetaia, a house where the family produce fine aged Modena balsamic vinegar in the attic. Owing to the time it takes to produce, and the fact that it needs the extremes of temperatures best found under the eaves of a domestic house, 'real' balsamic vinegar has never been produced in factories or commercial units. It's a traditional art practised by a few Modenese families in their own homes and the quality control laws imposed on the producers are extremely strict. The vinegar is aged in barrels made from different woods, and is never less than 12 years old and often well over 25. The end product bears no relation to the mass-produced balsamic vinegar most people are familiar with. Once you have tasted it, you will understand why top chefs rave about it!
See the impressive Cathedral with its thousand-year history.
Stroll the streets of this charming and delightfully untouristy town and admire the Palazzo Ducale.
Possibly the best thing about Modena is the rich selection of cuisine on offer. In addition to balsamic vinegar, specialities of Modena include prosciutto, tortellini and, for the adventurous, zampone (stuffed pig's trotter). Wash down these gourmet selections with Lambrusco, the famed Italian sparkling red wine.
Check out the bustling and friendly local markets with their selection of mouth-watering fresh produce, such as meats, cheese and balsamic vinegar (real and fake!) and fresh flowers. It also has an excellent local speciality panini shop in the market, which is great for lunch.
Included Activities
  • Visit to acetaia
Optional Activities
  • Cathedral Museum - EUR4
  • Estense Gallery - EUR4
  • Ferrari Museum and Gallery - EUR12
  • Museums Civic - EUR4
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Cinque Terre
Travel by train to La Spezia (approx 3 hrs).
Walk along the famous path of the Cinque Terre. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea - the vistas here are breathtaking.
If you're feeling energetic, walking the entire path (12 km, approx 5 hrs) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside. However, you can jump on a train between any of the villages or to get back to our base whenever you want. Please note that some sections of the Cinque Terre path can be quite difficult with challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Appropriate footwear (trainers or light hiking shoes) are required for this day.
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 1.5 hours on a rocky path.
- Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about 2 hours on a rocky path.
Important note for 2014 departures.
During October 2011 this region was hit by record flooding and serious mudslides, particularly Monterosso and Vernazza which were evacuated and closed for access. In addition, in the summer of 2012 a number of coastal walking paths were closed due to rockslides. Local authorities have since indicated that the restoration and repair work should be complete by summer 2014 and many walking routes will be re-opened, however, please be aware that there may be delays.
After working up an appetite, you'll appreciate indulging in the foods of the Liguria region, which take advantage of the products of the Mediterranean. Pesto is a speciality, and is often served with pasta, green beans and potato, or dolloped into a classic minestrone soup. Focaccia is also a speciality, and makes a great start to lunch - team it up with some cheese and ham and you have a simple yet delicious picnic.
Included Activities
  • Cinque Terre day pass
Optional Activities
  • Church of St Andrea - Free
  • Day Cruise - EUR20
  • Pesto class - EUR13
  • Sea kayak hire - EUR5
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 6-7 Pisa/Florence
Travel to the city of Pisa (approx 2 hrs).
There's ample time for you to visit the world-famous Leaning Tower, as well as the Duomo and baptistry. Please note that it's not always possible to climb the Tower, though you will have ample opportunity to marvel at and photograph the Tower from the ground.
Return to the station and take the train to Florence (approx 2 hrs).
Florence, the cultural heart of Tuscany, bursts with religious treasures and Renaissance masterpieces. It's been said that during the second millennium, a third of Europe's most important artists lived in Florence. The minds and talents of the Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all flourished here.
Visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries and a work of art itself.
See Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia.
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 8.30am-12.30pm. You can also book online at www.weekendafirenze.com. We suggest that you book at least two months in advance especially for the Uffizi as this museum experiences enormous queues (up to 5 hours) all year round. The individual museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them but the website - www.firenzemusei.it - has everything you need to know about all of them.
Make your reservations for these museums for any time on Day 7 of this itinerary.
Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, just east of Florence, and offers a magnificent view of the city.
There's plenty of opportunity to explore the romance of Florence and then enjoy a variety of excellent restaurants, pavement cafes, bars and other nightlife. While in Florence you'll be able to sample foods from the much-loved Tuscany region. 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 is usually shared between two people, or ribollita, a thick delicious vegetable soup with bread, beans and greens. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy panforte, a rich fruitcake.
Optional Activities
  • Uffizi Gallery - EUR6
  • Accademia - EUR6
  • Duomo & Campanile climb - EUR6
  • Baptistry - EUR5
  • Pitti Palace - EUR8
  • Medici Chapels - EUR6
  • Museo dell'Opera di S.Maria del Fiore - EUR6
  • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR6
  • Siena bus ticket - EUR14
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 8-9 Perugia/Spello
Travel by train to Perugia (approx 2.5 hrs).
Perugia sits atop a rocky hill with views over the Umbria region. It was a Roman settlement in ancient times and a thriving trade centre in the Middle Ages, but now it's a university town with one of Italy's largest schools. The student population ensures a lively nightlife.
During free time perhaps visit the National Gallery of Umbria.
Maybe visit the Palazzo dei Priori, built during the middle ages and a renowned civic structure.
Take a train to Spello for the day (approx 30 mins).
One of the prettiest medieval towns in Italy, Spello is perched on the side of Subasio Mountain and has many ancient Roman monuments such as the town walls and city gates.
In Umbria, fresh mushrooms - especially porcini and tartufo - are the base for many dishes, including pasta and risotto. In keeping with the medieval feel of many of its towns, whole roast pig stuffed with rosemary is found on many menus. Cakes and pastries are worth indulging in here, and the wine is superb.
You may wish to continue from Spello to visit Assisi before you return to Perugia. Your leader may not be able to accompany you to Assisi but they will be able to advise you of transport arrangements and things to see and do.
Included Activities
  • Enoteca wine tasting and lunch
Optional Activities
  • National Archaeological Museum of Umbria - EUR7
  • National Gallery of Umbria - EUR7
  • Palazzo dei Priori - EUR7
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 10-12 Naples/Sorrento
Travel by train to Naples (approx 5 hrs).
Naples was carved out by many empires of the past and by merchants and pirates from across the world: Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Venetians, Spaniards, Normans and Africans. Its historical old centre is a World Heritage-listed area and the famous Spanish Quarter is still one of the most densely populated residential areas in Europe.
During your afternoon stopover here, you may have time to visit the Archaeological Museum - one of the best in Europe; wander the city's historic old quarter or seek out a busy street market.
Enjoy a pizza lunch at what's claimed to be one of the world's original pizzerie! Jjudge for yourself whether it really is the world's best. Toppings are created from a simple buffalo-milk cheese (mozzarella di bufala) and tomato (pomodoro) base, and these fresh ingredients feature in other dishes from the region as well.
Continue on to Sorrento (approx 1.5 hrs).
People have been coming to the peninsula and islands of the Sorrento region for at least 2,000 years, and it's easy to see why. There are many options in this small seaside town with its fine piazzas, maze of old streets, sidewalk cafes and glamorous shops. The area is also famous for its lemon and orange groves - try some limoncello, a popular lemon liqueur, while watching the sun go down over the ocean.
Explore the ruins of ancient Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius 2,000 years ago. Pompeii is a time capsule quite unlike any other ruined city in the world.
If feeling energetic perhaps walk to the summit Mt Vesuvius - the sleeping giant that dominates the Bay of Naples. When you see this awesome work of nature close up you'll appreciate the true horror that faced the residents of Pompeii all those years ago
There's a free day for you to choose from the many options available to you in and around Sorrento:
A trip to Capri is always popular - you can take a hydrofoil across for the day.
Journey to the fabled Amalfi Coast - a land of rocky coasts, clifftop vistas, azure seas and bright blue skies.
Included Activities
  • Old Pompeii entrance
Optional Activities
  • Chapel of San Severo - EUR6
  • Archaeological Museum - EUR8
  • Capri hydrofoil - EUR30
  • Boat trip along the Amalfi coast - EUR15
  • Mt Vesuvius summit climb - EUR10
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Days 13-15 Rome
Head north by train to Rome (approx 4 hrs).
Crowded with ancient ruins and religious monuments, Rome still pulses to the beat of modern life and is packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife.
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. Visit an espresso bar if you need a hit of energy or try some of the excellent gelati on offer throughout the city.
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 the ultimate breathtaking panorama over bella Roma.
Also make the time to 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). Check the Vatican website for these dates: www.vatican.va
Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do Alternatively, the Galleria Borghese can be booked online at http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm
Rome is a gastronomer's delight, with many restaurants and trattorias catering to any taste and budget. Local specialities tend to be quite heavy, and include pastas carbonara (egg, cheese and bacon) and amatriciana (tomato, bacon and chilli). Antipasto dishes are also very popular in Rome. Eating in trattorias will give you a chance to sample some Italian wines - house wines are usually very good and affordable. After dinner, a grappa, amaretto or sambucca is a great digestif.
A farewell dinner together brings us to the end of our trip.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Optional Activities
  • Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR8
  • Christian catacombs - EUR8
  • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR12
  • Imperial Fora - EUR9
  • Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR4
  • Galleria Borghese - EUR11
  • Vatican museums - EUR15
  • St Peter's dome climb - EUR6
  • St Peter's dome elevator - EUR7
  • Venezia Palace - EUR4
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • ZMKF Single supplement (ZMKF)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Best of Italy (ZMSV)
  • Paris to Rome (AMKR)
Itinerary disclaimer
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Culture shock rating

At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
Europe is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Expense, crowds, differing cultures can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this region but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. In some parts of Europe there are very different attitudes to time keeping and service. Buses and trains will sometimes be late, plumbing can sometimes be temperamental and waiters may not seem as keen to serve you as you may be used to. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by every part of Europe.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Optional activities
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE:
To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.
Money Exchange
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.
You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.
Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.
You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest EUR1-2 per person per day for local guides.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline EUR3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Group size
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
Single travellers
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Accommodation
Hotel (14 nts)
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Meals introduction
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
Meals
14 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
EUR 525.00
There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)
Transport
Ferry, Train, Taxi, Bus, Metro
Group leader
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Joining point description
All rooms at Hotel Helvetia come with private en suites (containing shower or bathtub or both), hair dryer, shaving points, towels, cotton sheets, satellite tv, heating and cooling systems, direct dial telephone, Wi-Fi, smoke detectors, opening windows and 24 hours service. Safe facility is available at reception.
http://www.hotelhelvetia.com/
Joining point instructions
The hotel is located on the island of Lido, which is approximately 15 minutes by vaporetto from St Mark's Square.
Boats run 24 hours a day.
From Piazzale Roma or Santa Lucia Railway Station take boat lines 1, 2, 51, 61 to Lido (journey time 35-45 minutes) From Piazza San Marco take boats 1, 2, 51 (journey time 15-20 minutes). Timetables are available at www.actv.it
From Venice Marco Polo Airport take the Alilaguna shuttle boat (journey time 50-60 minutes) Timetables available at www.alilaguna.it
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Finish point
Hotel Regio
Via Volturno 22, 00185 Rome
Rome
ITALY
Phone: 39 06 4819281
Finish point description
Hotel Regio is a small, family run hotel that has recently been refurbished. Located close to Termini Train Station as well as metro and bus stations, making travelling around the city an easy task. Rooms are air conditioned and have private facilities.
During your stay in Rome you may be asked to complete a City of Rome visitor tax exemption form.
Finish point instructions
If you have pre booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Morocco / Europe Office can be reached on Tel: +212 (0) 66192 2693. For further contact details please use the following page:
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended) from the group. The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Safety
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches that modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 506.00 kgs per pax.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.