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Travel from Venice to Rome via Florence and Italy's coast.
Discover the sights and delights of Italy on this week-long highlights tour. Begin amid the canals of Venice, visit the charming towns of the Cinque Terre, soak up beauty and history in Florence and wind up in the piazzas of Rome. With plenty of free time for independent exploration, and the freedom to discover Italy's history and culture at your own pace, there's no better way to see this wonderful pocket of Europe.
|Start||Venice, Italy||Physical rating||2 out of 5|
|Finish||Rome, Italy||Ages||Min 15 years|
|Destination||Italy||Group size||12 people|
|Departing||This departure is closed||Style||Original|
Why we love this trip
The floating city of Venice is one place you’ll be happy to get lost in. The city's maze of alleyways, canals and lagoon islands leads to over 130 churches, all with their own distinct character
Feast on mouth-watering seafood along Italy's coast, drink fine wine in Tuscany and indulge in the endless pasta dishes on offer in Rome
Walk along Cinque Terre's rocky coastal pathways, calling into the sleepy pastel villages of Manarola, Riomaggiore and Vernazza
Wander around Rome's famous landmarks including the Colosseum, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica and much more. This is a city where you'll be able to tick a lot off your bucket list
Is this trip right for you?
The primary means of transportation on this trip is train. Trains are a fast way to cross long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. They are comfortable and all have toilets, however can sometimes be quite busy. Please note that you'll 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.
As there are cobblestones in many Italian cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags or cases at home and bring a backpack instead. Often there are no elevators or escalators in train stations or in the hotel, so you will have to carry your bags up and down the stairs yourself.
Summer temperatures can be very high in many of the regions visited (over 105°F), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. Also, many hotel rooms are not equipped with air-conditioning.
As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travelers will share a room with other travelers of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Rooms can be rather small, especially by American standards, and in most cases bathroom facilities will be shared rather than en-suite.
Welcome to Venice. This 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 St. 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 boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. After the meeting, enjoy dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant.
Note: Please note that the accommodation we use in Venice is not located in the city center and lagoon, but in the mainland suburb of Mestre, which is a short train ride away.
- Gondola Ride - EUR80
- Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR19
- Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
- St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
- St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
- Accademia Gallery - EUR15
- Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR10
- Concerto - EUR32
- Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art - EUR10
- Glass Museum Murano - EUR10
- Museum of St Mark's Basilica - EUR5
- Scuola Grande di San Rocco - EUR11
- Urban Adventures - Chicchetti of Venice - EUR80
- Urban Adventures - Canal & Aperitivo Experience - EUR113
After breakfast, venture out and explore Venice on an orientation walk. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Wander around popular locations such as the Doge’s Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs, taking in the views of the lively waterways and stony streets as you go. Once the walk comes to an end, take a quick gondola ride over to Rialto, the heart of the city.
Take some free time to explore the city. Consider taking the vaporetto (water bus) to San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for a panoramic view of Venice. Traveling down the Grand Canal via Venetian gondola is a great way to immerse yourself in the canal culture of the town, while relaxing in the busy San Marco square grants an excellent view of the Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore and the bustling harbour. The Palazzo Ducale overflows with paintings from Italian masters making it well worth a visit, or if you’d rather get lost in between the countless restaurants and cafes in the narrow streets, a good day can be spent doing that too.
Meet up again in the afternoon at the private workshop of a professional mask maker on a visit to a local Venetian Atelier. Here, you’ll learn to make your own mask using traditional working methods treasured by the people of the city.
- Venice - Traghetto Boat Ride
- Venice - Venetian Mask Activity
This morning spend the day traveling 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, 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.
Today venture out on the footpaths of Cinque Terre, 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.
You can 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 in La Spezia 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. Upon return to La Spezia in the evening, there's no better way to recover from your day of walking than with more indulgence in delicious Mediterranean food.
- Cinque Terre - Day Trip
- Levanto - Pesto Making Class EUR13
- Cinque Terre - Cruise - EUR30
- Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre Hike & Bite - EUR119
- Urban Adventures - Tasting Cinque Terre - EUR78
- Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre This is Aperitivo - EUR70
Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Florence stopping in Pisa on the way. Take a bit of time to explore the Field of Miracles while taking in the intricately structured architecture of Duomo Cathedral, Piazza Del Duomo and of course, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Upon arrival in Florence, check into your hotel before heading out to explore. Florence is 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. Food is 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.
- Pisa visit – non-guided
- Uffizi Gallery - EUR16
- Accademia - EUR14
- Baptistry - EUR10
- Medici Chapels - EUR8
- Museum Bargello - EUR8
- Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
- Pitti Palace - Boboli Gardens, Museo Argenti, Costume Gallery, Porcellain Museum - EUR12
- Siena bus ticket - EUR24
- Urban Adventures - Florence Foodies Walk - EUR64
- Urban Adventures - Florence Markets & Delis - EUR53
- Urban Adventures - Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour - EUR73
- Florence Baptistry, Museo Opera del Duomo, Giotto Bell Tower and Brunelleschi Dome - EUR15
- Pitti Palace - Gallery of Modern Art and Palatine Gallery - EUR8
Head out into the centre of Florence. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so take your time and enjoy it. Be captivated by the culture-rich atmosphere of Florence, from family-run vineyards on the outskirts of the city to the Duomo’s magnificent marble facade. Maybe start with a visit to the Galleria dell'Accademia where you can see Michelangelo's famous statue of David. Stop by 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.
Note: Florentine State Museums can all be booked in advance. You can book 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.
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 local guide for a tour around the city, where you can 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, Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. Recharge with a slice of pizza and a strong espresso at the Piazza Navona or throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and make a wish to return to the 'Eternal City'. No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free and there's a small charge to climb the dome for a panorama over the city. Art-lovers should visit the Sistine Chapel to admire the timeless work of Michelangelo, while history buffs will enjoy the Pantheon. 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.
- Guided walk
- Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR10
- Christian Catacombs - EUR8
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR16
- Imperial Fora - EUR9
- Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR5
- Vatican museums - EUR16
- Pantheon - Free
- St Peter's dome climb - EUR6
- St Peter's Dome Climb & Elevator - EUR8
- Venezia Palace - EUR5
- Galleria Borghese - EUR15
- Urban Adventures - Ancient Rome: Archaeological Discovery Tour - EUR89
- Urban Adventures - Roman Dolce Vita - EUR63
- Urban Adventures - Trastevere: Trends and Tradition - EUR55
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
7 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner
Train, Boat, Walking
Hotel (7 nights)
This trip starts on Day 1 in Venice at 6pm.
A single supplement is available on this trip.
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