Italy Experience Trip Notes

Italy Experience

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 05 October 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016
Italy Experience
Trip code: ZMKF
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 05 Oct 2016
Travel to Italy and savour the many flavours of this gastronomic haven on a journey from the canals of Venice to the cobblestone streets of Rome. Explore historic sites and picturesque villages on this special food-lovers' adventure through some of the most incredible places in Italy. 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 10-day trip is sure to tantalise all the senses.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
ThemesMeals introductionVisas
Is this trip right for you?MealsWhat to take
Why we love itTransportClimate and seasonal information
MapMoney mattersHealth
ItineraryGroup leaderTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyA couple of rules
Physical ratingJoining pointResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeJoining point instructionsFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point
AccommodationFinishing point instructions
Style
Comfort
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Italian trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, a snack bar (or vending machine) and power points. Upon arrival into each new destination, your luggage will be transferred to the hotel by car (except in Florence and Rome, where the distance from the train station to the hotel is very short and is best covered on foot carrying your own luggage). Please note that you will have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.
- Summer temperatures can be extreme in many regions of Italy (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, but note that this price is not applicable to your days in Venice. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other travellers, so embrace it while you can.
Why we love it
- See the real Venice on an optional gondola ride down the Grand Canal and through the city's complex network of waterways. Feel the romance as you pass beneath the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto Bridge
- A series of walking paths connect the pastel villages of Monterosso, Corniglia and Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre. Explore this amazing region on foot, or you can jump on a train if you need a break
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa may be Pisa's most iconic image, but the city offers so much more. The Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Baptistry are masterpieces in Medieval-Italian architecture
- There's a lot more to Florence than Renaissance art (although the art is pretty great). The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is brimming with nearly 600 years of history and stories
- If Italian cuisine is known for its simplicity and big flavours, no place does this better than rural Spello. Let Umbrian delicacies such as lamb meat balls with rosemary and porcini risotto whet your appetite
- No Italian adventure would be complete without a visit to Rome. Enjoy plenty of free time to discover the ancient Colosseum, stroll through Vatican City and gaze up towards the gods inside St Peter's Basilica
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Venice
Welcome to Venice, Italy. This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Your Italian adventure will begin with a welcome meeting at 6pm tonight – check with reception to confirm the time and place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. 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). 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. After the meeting, enjoy dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant.
Included Activities
  • Welcome Dinner in Venice
    Optional Activities
    • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR18
    • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
    • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
    • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR8
    • Concerto - EUR32
    • Gondola Ride - EUR80
    • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
    • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
    • Museum of St Mark's Basilica - EUR5
    • Glass Museum Murano - EUR10
    • Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art - EUR10
    • Scuola Grande di San Rocco - EUR11
      Accommodation
      Guesthouse (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 dinner
      Day 2 Venice
      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. There’s creativity everywhere, overflowing into the canals; see it in the venetian glass in Dorsoduro or down the streets spreading out from Campo Santo Stefano, lined with unique galleries and small boutiques. Visit the Palazzo Ducale, overflowing with paintings by Italian masters, and contrast it with the modern Guggenheim. Simply enjoy getting lost crossing the hundreds of bridges and uncovering your own slice of Venice. In the evening, perhaps join your fellow travellers for a group dinner at a local restaurant. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, so make sure you give one a try.
      Included Activities
      • San Giorgio Bell Tower in Venice
      • Venice Traghetto Ride
        Accommodation
        Guesthouse (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 3 La Spezia
        This morning after breakfast, spend the day travelling by train to the once important naval base of La Spezia, now the gateway to the gorgeous Cinque Terre, or ‘Five lands’ in English. The name comes from the five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – whose position, wedged into a series of coves between sheer cliffs, makes it one of the highlights of the whole of Italy. The journey usually takes between five and seven hours either via Milan or via Florence (depending on the best available connection), and is a very scenic trip through the north of Italy. On arrival in La Spezia there won't be too much time to explore yet, but after checking into your hotel perhaps get your bearings of the area with a short walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione to the gardens along the harbour, or head out for dinner with the group.
        Optional Activities
        • Church of St Andrea - Free
        • Day Cruise - EUR25
        • Sea kayak hire - EUR10
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 4 Cinque Terre
          This morning 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 on to idyllic vistas. Walking the entire network of paths can take around five hours (12 kilometres in total) and you will need a good level of fitness. You can also choose to walk just a few sections, which will still unveil a great amount of majestic scenery. 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. 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. The rest of the day is free. In the evening, there's no better way to recover from your day of walking with more indulgence in delicious Mediterranean food.

          Notes: Due to recent landslides in the area it is currently not possible to walk the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. There are alternative inland routes, however these are of a higher physical rating and involve steep ups and downs. It is possible to take the train or a bus for these sections. Due to safety reasons some sections of any path can be closed at short notice.

          Cinque Terre path sections:
          - Riomaggiore to Manarola (the original Via dell'Amore) is currently closed until further notice. The alternative is a 1 hour inland path, involving a rocky path with lots of steps.
          - Manarola to Corniglia is also closed to landslides. The alternative is via the hill side village of Volastra. It takes 1 hour to reach Volastra via a series of steep staircases, and then another hour to reach Corniglia. There is an hourly bus from Manarola to Volastra in order to bypass the steps.
          - Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about 1.5 hours on a rocky path.
          - Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging but arguably the most scenic and takes about 2 hours on a rocky path.
          Included Activities
          • Cinque Terre Day Trip
          • Pesto Class in Levanto
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 5 Pisa / Florence
            Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Pisa (approximately 1-2 hours). Divided in two by the River Arno, the heart of Pisa is the Santa Maria quarter on the north bank. Here there'll be ample time for you to visit the world-famous Leaning Tower, as well as the Duomo (Piazza dei Miracoli, once the largest in Europe) and Pisa Baptistry. Please note that it's not always possible to climb the tower, although you'll have plenty of time to take pictures and explore the city. The tower was built in the 12th century, but its foundation was on shifting sand and clay, meaning that it now leans at an angle of 4 degrees (after restoration and stabilising work). Wander the shopping streets, from high-end boutiques to speciality book and antiques stores, and perhaps enjoy lunch and an aperitif in a backstreet restaurant. If there’s time, head to the riverside Museo Nazionale di San Matteo at Piazza San Matteo before returning to the station in the afternoon and taking the train to Florence (approximately 2 hours). After checking in to your hotel in Florence, the rest of your evening is free to explore the city of the Renaissance.
            Included Activities
            • Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence
              Optional Activities
              • Leaning Tower of Pisa - EUR18
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 6 Florence
                After breakfast head out into Florence, one of the most culturally rich and beautiful cities in Italy, known to many as the beating heart of Tuscany. The Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all lived in Florence at the height of their creative reign. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, however, so take your time and enjoy it. Perhaps visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries, or walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, to take in beautiful views of the city – a lovely way to while away the day. There are plenty of sights to see during your time in Florence. Food is also a major part of the city's identity, so perhaps explore some of the culinary delicacies on offer from across Tuscany. 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. Panforte is the signature sweet treat.

                Note: Florentine State Museums can all be booked in advance. You can online at www.weekendafirenze.com. We suggest that you book in advance (your leader can be of assistance), 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 6 of this itinerary.
                Optional Activities
                • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
                • Museum Bargello - EUR4
                • Florence Baptistry, Museo Opera del Duomo, Giotto Bell Tower and Brunelleschi Dome - EUR15
                • Siena bus ticket - EUR24
                • Pitti Palace - Boboli Gardens, Museo Argenti, Costume Gallery, Porcellain Museum - EUR10
                • Medici Chapels - EUR6
                • Uffizi Gallery - EUR16
                • Accademia - EUR16
                  Accommodation
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 7 Perugia
                  After a free morning in Florence (perhaps visiting the Galleria dell'Accademia where you can see Michelangelo's famous statue of David), travel by train to Perugia (approximately 2-3 hours). The once Roman settlement of Perugia sits atop a rocky hill with views over the rolling green hills of the Umbria region, and is now a university town with one of Italy's largest schools. On arrival, head out on an orientation tour of the city’s rambling maze of medieval streets. In your spare time, and for an insight into local history, perhaps visit the National Gallery of Umbria (Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria), an impressive collection of Umbrian art housed in the Palazzo dei Priori, a grand stone building dating from the 13th century. Your evening is then free, with the city's population of students filling the nights with life. Pause for a glass of prosecco along Corso Vannucci, the city’s main street, as you take a very Italian passeggiata.
                  Optional Activities
                  • National Archaeological Museum of Umbria - EUR7
                  • National Gallery of Umbria - EUR8
                  • Palazzo dei Priori - EUR7
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 8 Spello / Perugia
                    Today visit the nearby medieval town of Spello by train (approximately 20 minutes), a Roman town that straddles a thin ridge at the base of Mount Subasio – the mountain where St Francis was said to have talked to the animals. It’s a place known for its ancient Roman monuments of town walls and city gates, wine and rural charm. Two of the local churches feature frescoes by famed Renaissance painter Pinturicchio, who later lent his hand to works in the Vatican and Siena’s cathedral. Sample the local wine and regional delicacies here when you lunch at a local enoteca. Mushrooms like tartufo and porcini make up the base of many pasta and risotto dishes, while whole stuffed pig with rosemary is a signature dish of the region. On the way back to Perugia in the late afternoon, there's also the opportunity to visit the picturesque town of Assisi (no bookings necessary). This is Italy's second-holiest city, blessed with Saint Francis's tomb and religious highlights galore. The rest of your evening in Perugia is free. It’ll be very hard not to spend the whole time indulging on the region’s fabulous food.
                    Included Activities
                    • Enoteca Lunch & Wine Tasting - Spello
                      Accommodation
                      Hotel (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                      Day 9 Rome
                      In the morning, take the train to Rome (approximately 2 hours), and remember that while here, the best attitude is ‘when in Rome’! 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. 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 gastronomic fling.

                      Notes: Check the Vatican website (vatican.va) for updated information on when you can visit. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at: biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do. Alternatively, the Galleria Borghese can be booked online at: galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm. 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).
                      Included Activities
                      • Rome Orientation Walk
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                        Day 10 Rome
                        Your Italy Experience comes to an end this morning. There are no activities planned for today and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to see in Rome we recommend you to stay a little longer. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your agent at the time of booking.
                        Optional Activities
                        • Vatican museums - EUR16
                        • Venezia Palace - EUR5
                        • Galleria Borghese - EUR15
                        • St Peter's Dome Climb & Elevator - EUR8
                        • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR16
                        • Pantheon - Free
                        • Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR10
                        • Christian catacombs - EUR8
                        • Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR5
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast
                          Itinerary disclaimer
                          ITINERARY CHANGES 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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! 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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                          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 approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

                          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.
                          Physical rating

                          Included activities
                          Welcome Dinner in Venice
                          San Giorgio Bell Tower in Venice
                          Venice Traghetto Ride
                          Cinque Terre Day Trip
                          Pesto Class in Levanto
                          Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence
                          Enoteca Lunch & Wine Tasting - Spello
                          Rome Orientation Walk
                          Group size
                          Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                          Your fellow travellers
                          GROUP TRAVEL
                          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.

                          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 accommodation (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 ask your booking agent for more information.
                          Accommodation
                          Guesthouse (2nt), Hotel (7nt)
                          OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                          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.

                          TWIN SHARE BASIS
                          Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                          CHECK-IN TIME
                          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.

                          PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                          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.

                          FACILITIES
                          Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.
                          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. To give you 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 others company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                          Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

                          There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).
                          Meals
                          9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
                          Transport
                          Train, Public bus, Ferry, Metro, Taxi

                          TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
                          Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
                          Money matters
                          CURRENCY
                          The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.

                          CASH
                          The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe 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 withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, 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. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services.

                          SPENDING MONEY
                          When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                          BUDGET
                          Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 350.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

                          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. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 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. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                          EMERGENCY FUNDS
                          Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                          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.
                          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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. 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 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 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:

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

                          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.

                          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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                          SEAT BELTS:
                          Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
                          Joining point
                          Kosher House Giardino Dei Melograni
                          Campo del Ghetto Nuovo 2873
                          Venice
                          ITALY
                          Phone: +39 0418226131
                          Joining point description
                          Kosher House Giardino Dei Melograni is located in the oldest and best preserved Jewish Ghetto of Europe. It’s also within walking distance to many of Venice’s key tourist and cultural sites including the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica. The property offers 14 air-conditioned guestrooms, equipped with flat screen TVs, WI-FI, opening windows and en-suites with either a bathtub or shower. In addition, amenities available on request include hair dryers, irons/ironing boards, and extra towels/bedding.

                          IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that reception will close at 8pm. Should you anticipate a later arrival than 8pm please make sure you let you travel agent know so the hotel can be informed and arrangements for a late check-in can be made. In case of delays please phone the hotel directly on the above number in advance.
                          Joining point instructions
                          The best way to get to the city from both Marco Polo Airport and Treviso Airport is the ATVO (blue) bus which takes approximately 20 minutes (from Marco Polo) or 75 minutes (from Treviso) to Piazzale Roma. From Piazzale Roma walk across the big bridge over the Canale Grande. Continue straight for about 300 metres and you will have Santa Lucia train station to your left. With the train station on your left, follow the street past a square. Once you reach the first bridge just cross the bridge and immediately after turn left along Canale di Cannaregio. Walk along the canal for about 100 meters until you reach GamGam restaurant. Walk into the little alleyway next to the restaurant and follow it past a little square. You cross a little canal and after another 50 meters you reach the Campo Ghetto Nuovo. The hotel is right in front of you. The entrance to the hotel is through the little garden on the right. This walk should take approximately 15 minutes. If you prefer not to walk you can take the vaporetto (public water bus) line 42 or 52 from the water bus stop in front of the train station and get off at Guglie. From the water bus stop walk straight into Calle del Forno, cross Campo del Ghetto Vecchio and turn left into Calle Campo Vecchio. After having crossed the bridge you will find yourself on Campo Ghetto Nuovo.

                          Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid or Peregrine Logo or your name at the arrivals hall. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +39 3334 112 840 or +39 3382 044 390.

                          IMPORTANT NOTE
                          Please note that reception will close at 8pm. Should you anticipate a later arrival than 8pm please make sure you let your travel agent know so the hotel can be informed and arrangements for a late check-in can be made. In case of delays please phone the hotel directly on their number in advance.
                          Finish point
                          Hotel Galles
                          Viale Castro Pretorio 66
                          Rome
                          ITALY
                          Phone: +39 064454741
                          Finishing point instructions
                          Trains and buses to the airport leave from Rome Termini Station. Alternatively the hotel reception will be able to prganise a transfer for you to the station or any of the airports.

                          Pre booked departure transfer to the airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +39 335 568 5666.
                          Emergency contact
                          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.

                          For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                          In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:

                          PEAK Europe: +49 8677 9186 657
                          Visas
                          Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                          Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit Italy as a tourist. Some EU nationals may travel in Europe using only an identity card, however it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities if this applies to you.
                          What to take
                          PACKING
                          On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly 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 to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. 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.

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                          TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
                          It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

                          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.

                          On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.
                          Climate and seasonal information
                          Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
                          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 Travel 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.
                          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 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.

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                          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.

                          Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                          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.

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                          DRESS CODE
                          In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

                          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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                          http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                          Feedback
                          After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback