Walking the Italian Lakes Trip Notes

Walking the Italian Lakes

Last Modified: 02 Sep 2016
Walking the Italian Lakes
Trip code: ZGXI
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 02 Oct 2016
Pamper the appetite and treat the senses on this exquisite journey through Italy’s Lake District and the staggering peaks of Switzerland’s St. Moritz. Stroll the forested paths around Lakes Como and Garda, unwind through the Dolomite highlands and just keep whetting and sating that appetite with classic Italian delicacies. Shop til you drop among Milan’s famous fashionistas, ferry to and fro between lake villages and villas that keep getting prettier, and clamber about the crumbling ruins of medieval castles. Idyllic in setting, laid-back in lifestyle, and a gastronomist’s delight, this jaunt through one of Europe’s most charming nooks shouldn’t disappoint. And if it does, take the issue up with one of the local residents – like Sting or George Clooney.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
ThemesAccommodationVisas
Is this trip right for you?Accommodation NotesWhat to take
Why we love itMeals introductionClimate and seasonal information
MapMealsHealth
ItineraryTransportTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerMoney mattersA couple of rules
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesSafetyThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesJoining pointFeedback
Group sizeFinish point
Style
Comfort
Themes
Explorer, Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- Summer temperatures around the Amalfi Coast can be very high (up to 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.
- This trip requires a decent level of fitness, as you will be doing a fair amount of walking. Some of the treks involve steep hills and steps that you'll need to be able to climb, although sometimes there are easier, alternative routes you can take. Daily walking times vary between three and six hours, but the rewards are worth every step.
Why we love it
- Potter among the rooftop sculptures of Milan’s 14th-century Gothic Duomo, the largest church in Italy
- Ride the rails through St Moritz’s staggering mountain scenery on the Bernina Express. The region is home to alpine forests, fast-flowing rivers and Eastern Switzerland’s highest summit, the Piz Bernina
- Spend a day exploring the beautiful villages, estates and gardens dotted around Lake Como, criss-crossing the lake by ferry. Taking a turn about the grounds of Bellagio's grand Villa Melzi can make you feel just a bit fancy
- It may be eaten all over the world, but Italy really knows how to do pasta. Indulge in ambrosial Italian fare in Tirano, famous for pizzoccheri, a type of tagliatelle cooked with potatoes, cabbage and cheese
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Milan
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Milan is Italy's second largest city and the capital of Lombardy, Italy's wealthiest province. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting today at 6pm, where you'll meet your fellow travellers and group leader. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. 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). 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. After the meeting, the evening is free, so why not take a wander around this historic city and enjoy dinner at one of the nearby traditional restaurants.

Note: Many visitors to Milan will want to take a visit to Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper. Tickets are limited and generally sell out extremely quickly and up to six months in advance. If you expressly want to see the Last Supper you need to make arrangements in advance. The viewing is 15 minutes and in order not to lose the reservation, visitors must arrive 15 minutes before the time allocated for the visit. For information and reservations call +39 02 92 800 360. Online bookings may be available at these sites: www.cenacolovinciano.org or www.vivaticket.it/index.php. Some websites will only sell a ticket in conjunction with an additional product such as a guide book or another museum entry.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Milan - Lake Como - Breglia
Spend the morning on a guided group walking tour of Milan. Milano is one of the fashion centres of the world and is also incredibly rich in history, as you'll discover. Visit the city's most famous building, the Gothic Duomo, and walk between its rooftop sculptures, admiring the views. Pass through the beautiful Galleria on the way to the Teatro alla Scala. The stage of Italy’s most famous opera house has been graced by many great performers throughout the centuries. Your guide will lead you to Milan's fashion district to explore the shops, before continuing on to the city's medieval castle and surrounding park. For lunch, the group can either eat at a local restaurant or pick up a ‘panino’ if preferred. In the early afternoon drive north to Lake Como (Lago di Como) (approximately 1 hour), an area of stunning beauty full of unique and evocative landscapes. Take a stroll in the medieval town centre of Como, before enjoying a drink in the main square or along the lake shore. Continue on around the western side of the lake to the quaint mountain village of Breglia (approximately 20 minutes), high above Menaggio, where you'll spend a relaxed night away from hectic city life. In the evening get together with the group and savour some fine local fare at your hotel.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3 hours.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Meals
1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 3 Menaggio - Varenna
Today hike up to the mountain hut above Menaggio, situated on the southern slope of Mount Grona. The walk is challenging in sections but the visual rewards are spectacular, with peerless views of Lake Como and the surrounding mountains. The pace set by the leader will be achievable for the whole group. Pass through forest and pastoral land before trekking up to the mountain hut ('rifugio'). This is a great scenic setting to enjoy your picnic lunch. Ten minutes walk from the hut is the Pizzo Coppa viewpoint, which offers spectacular vistas of not only of Lake Como but also of the entire region, including Lake Piano and Lake Lugano, between Italy and Switzerland. After lunch there is time for a rest before beginning the descent down to the lake at Menaggio. Depending on your energy levels, there are a number of different routes back to Menaggio; there is also the possibility to catch a bus at various points along the way. Those who wish to have a more relaxed day can walk along an easier, circular trail leading directly from the hotel. Alternatively, you can travel down to Menaggio and unwind by the lake for the morning. In the late afternoon, you will take the local ferry from Menaggio to Varenna, which is located on the east side of the lake. Strewn with elegant villas and crowned by an old castle, this romantic town is your base for the next two nights.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 5-6 hours.
Included Activities
  • Mt Grona Mountain Hike
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 4 Lake Como - Varenna
    This morning take a boat ride to discover some beautiful villages, villas and gardens in and around Lake Como, including the pretty village of Bellagio. Enjoy a walk through the countryside and discover the estate of the Villa Melzi. This grand white villa sits just back from the water and its surrounding estate is filled with a plethora of rare and exotic plant life. Boarding another boat, you will travel to the lakeside village of Tremezzo and explore the splendid Villa Carlotta and its beautiful gardens overlooking the lake. Another ferry ride takes you back to charming Varenna, deemed by some as the most romantic town in all of Italy. You will see the Fiumelatte – the curious ‘River of Milk’ and Italy’s shortest river (250 m), which flows only six months a year. Not even Leonardo da Vinci, who explored the cave from which the river emerges, was able to discover its source or the reason why it flows for only half the year.

    Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3-4 hours.
    Included Activities
    • Lake Como Day Trip
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 5 St Moritz (Switzerland) - Tirano
      After an early breakfast, head out for a day in the majestic mountains – partly in Italy and partly in Switzerland. Drive to the northern edge of Lake Como for some shopping and kick back with a chinotto in Chiavenna (approximately 50 minutes). Upon entering Switzerland, travel along a scenic road to the St Moritz area, making a stop at Passo Malojae along the way (approximately 1 hour). Take an easy but spectacular excursion to the Morteratsch Glacier, where you can choose to enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the incredible view. You will return to Italy on the Bernina Express, a small local train operating directly from Morteratsch. The train will take you past mountain peaks and glacier lakes before descending steeply into the valley. This journey is one of the most spectacular in the world and definitely a highlight of the trip (approximately 2 hours). Arrive back into the Italian town of Tirano (Tiran), where you'll spend the night.

      Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3 hours.
      Included Activities
      • Morteratsch Glacier Excursion
      • Bernina Express Scenic Train Ride
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
        Day 6 Lake Garda - Riva del Garda
        After breakfast, drive to Lake Garda (approximately 4.5 hours). This route takes you along some of Italy’s famous mountain chains, including the Dolomites. Your base is at the most northern point of the lake, in the charming small town of Riva del Garda. You will stay in the medieval town centre among the colourful painted houses. When you arrive you’ll discover the great and varied landscapes around Lake Garda. Take a boat from the northern and more alpine side of the lake to the southern side (which has a more Mediterranean feel), passing many photogenic villages en route. Go ashore in the town of Garda itself, nicknamed the ‘Pearl of Lake Garda’. It is dominated by its ‘rocca’ (rock), complete with an abbey and the remains of a medieval castle. You will take a short and leisurely walking tour through the village before climbing up towards the abbey, where, after a steep but short and pleasant climb, you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the lake. You may wish to spend some time here on the lake, have a drink or relax in the park.

        Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3-4 hours.
        Included Activities
        • Lake Garda Boat Tour
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 7 Lake Garda - Riva del Garda
          Today take a boat tour across the northern side of Lake Garda to Limone, a village named after the lemon groves surrounding it. Walk up through the old cobbled streets to the edge of town, where the landscape changes from Mediterranean to alpine. After a coffee break, you'll begin walking steeply uphill into the Singol Valley, along a comfortable path that offers intermittent views of Lake Garda. After a short rest at a mountain stream, descend back to Limone and walk through olive groves and citrus trees to the lakeshore. It's worth spending some time strolling along the steep and narrow lanes of the old centre of Limone. There's the option of a direct bus back to Riva, or to spend more free time in Limone and return to Riva by boat along the coast. Tonight the group can choose to dine together under the medieval arches of Riva del Garda, raising glasses in a toast to the charms of the Italian Lakes region.

          Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3-4 hours.
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 8 Riva del Garda - Verona

          After breakfast this morning, travel by private minibus from Riva to Verona, where your Italian Lakes adventure comes to an end. From Verona it's easy to travel by rail to other major destinations in Italy. Please do not book any onwards train or bus out of the city before midday today. For train schedules check the national rail site: trenitalia.com. Of course you may wish to stay on in fair Verona and spend time exploring this romantic city. The setting of one of the greatest love stories of all time (Romeo and Juliet), Verona is dominated by its spectacular Roman Amphitheatre. If you'd like to return to or stay in the Italian Lakes region, additional accommodation can also be booked in Riva del Garda. Please enquire when booking your trip.
          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.

          MUSEUM OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays.
          Physical rating

          This trip requires a decent level of fitness, as you will be doing a fair amount of walking. Some of the treks involve steep hills and steps that you'll need to be able to climb, although sometimes there are easier, alternative routes you can take. Daily walking times vary between three and six hours, but the rewards are worth every step.
          Included activities
          Mt Grona Mountain Hike
          Lake Como Day Trip
          Morteratsch Glacier Excursion
          Bernina Express Scenic Train Ride
          Lake Garda Boat Tour
          Important notes
          A single room supplement is available to book on this trip, please see Trip Notes for more details.

          Group size
          Maximum of 16 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.

          SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
          A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
          Accommodation
          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
          7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
          Transport
          Boat, Private Bus, Train

          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 525.00 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:
          We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
          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.
          Joining point
          Hotel Andreola Central
          Via Domenico Scarlatti, 24
          Milan
          ITALY
          Phone: +39 026709141
          Finish point
          Verona Train Station
          Piazzale XXV Aprile
          Verona
          ITALY
          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 please call our Italian operator on the below number:

          Genius Loci: +39 089 79 1896, +39 393 9375299 or +39 328 64 81 735
          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 for Italy are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.
          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.

          WALKING EQUIPMENT
          In addition to your 'normal' daily clothes, you will need the following essential items:
          - Walking boots with good ankle support and tread
          - Good quality waterproof/windproof jacket and trousers
          - Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses
          - A warm sweater or fleece
          - Day pack

          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.
          Climate and seasonal information
          HOT WEATHER
          Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Please 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