The Essential of Italy

Duration

11 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Rome

Available

April 2020 / March 2021

Cities to visit: Rome; Orvieto; Castiglione Del Lago; Siena, Tuscany; ; San Gimignano, Siena; Florence; Pisa, Tuscany; Cinque Terre; Genoa; Portofino; Milan; Lakes Region; Verona; Venice, Véneto

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:   Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.
Welcome to Europe!!!.   On arrival at the airport we shall be waiting to transfer you to the hotel.  You can enjoy free time until your tour starts, information about the meeting place and start time can be found on the information boards in the hotel reception area. 

IMPORTANT - IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.  

NB:   The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules.    

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour of Rome and  Vatican City. Transfer to Trastevere neigborhood.

In the morning, we have a 2 hrs   scenic tour of the city , which will be a great introduction to “The Eternal city”. In the panoramic you will know the ancient Rome called Imperial Rome: Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, Piazza di Venezia with its monument to Italian unification, Quirinal Hill with the Palace of the President of the Republic, Marcelo Theater, Capitol Hill, Roman Forums , Circus Maximus, Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin with the mouth of truth, Republican Temple, Termas de Caracalla, Aureliana Wall, Basilica di Santa María Maggiore and  Archbasilica of St. Johm Lateran, Church of Santa María in Dominica (Navicella), Cestia Pyramid , San Paolo Gate, Lungo Tevere avenue with the Jewish synagogue of Babylonian style, Tiberina Island in front of the Castel St. Angelo. This tour ends at St. Peter´s Square in the Vatican. The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays, so, if you are interested,  we recommend you to do it at this time.  Free afternoon. 

18.30 hrs.- In the evening we provide  transport to the Trastevere  area, where you will find restaurants serving Italian, Indian, Chinese and interna­tional food. Return to hotel.

Free day in the city of Rome, the "Eternal City". You can take the opportunity to visit one of the oldest cities in Europe.

Total distance covered: 295 km.
 
Countryside: Pretty countryside in Lazio, Umbría and Tuscany: hills, very picturesque villages.    

07:30 hrs - Rome –Departure-. We leave Rome northbound for Umbria. 
09:15 hrs - Orvieto -Arrival in this mediaeval city that dominates the hill. On arrival, we first of all go to the marvellous viewpoint that allows us to admire the whole city behind its walls with the churches standing out. After this, with a local guide, we include a visit to the mediaeval city .  We climb up to the citadel using the open system of moving ramps and escalators and go inside the rocky outcrop. Our local guide will explain the history of the city and its fantastic cathedral. After this, you can stroll in its streets that take us to other times.   

11:30 hrs - Orvieto –Departure-. We go into the region of Umbria.   
13:15 hrs - Castiglione del lago –Arrival-. Next to Lake Trasimeno, Time to have a stroll and for lunch in this historic and picturesque village with spectacular views over the lake.  

15.00 hrs - Castiglione –Departure for Tuscany.  
16:30 hrs - Siena. – Arrival in this magnificent artistic city that bears witness to mediaeval times. Free time in the centre to enjoy its narrow streets, its towers and palaces, its famous Piazza del Campo and its Cathedral before going to the hotel at 19.00hrs.

Total distance covered:  110 km.
 
 Countryside:    Pleasant scenery the whole way. Hills of olive groves and vineyards where the famous Chianti wine is produced.   

08:30 hrs - Siena -departure. We travel through inland Tuscany. 
09.00 hrs - Monteriggione –Arrival-. A small mediaeval walled village full of magic.   

10.00 hrs - Monteriggione –Departure- lands of vineyards of the Chianti region.  
10:45 hrs- San Gimignano . -Arrival -. A charming small town with its high mediaeval towers and its magnificent perfectly preserved mediaeval centre. Time to have a stroll and for lunch.   

13:30 hrs - San Gimignano -Departure. 
14:45 hrs - Florence – Arrival-. We stop to take a photo from the  Michelangelo viewpoint , where we get one of the most beautiful views of the city. We suggest that people more interested in art should today visit the Uffizi Gallery (one of the most important museums in Italy) or the Galería de la Academia  (with the original David masterpiece of Michelangelo), magnificent museums that closes on Mondays. 

09.00 hrs - We include a  visit with a local guide to Florence,  one of the most famous cities of art and history in the world, and make a walking tour of the historic centre. Approximate duration two hours.    

You will have a lot of free time today, in which we suggest you stroll through the artistic centre of the city visiting the Ponte Veccio with its commercial galleries, its elegant squares, etc.

Total distance covered by road: 317 km.
   
Countryside:  Today is a day by the sea. The Ligurian coastline presents one of the prettiest sceneries and maritime corners of Europe.    

07:30 hrs - Florence -departure.   
09:15 hrs - Pisa  –Arrival-. We are obliged to leave you in the car park for tourist coaches. From here, we include the  tourist train  to take you to the monumental complex. Time to visit the impressive monumental complex of Pisa with its leaning tower, Baptistery and Cathedral.  

11.00 hrs - Pisa –Departure-. We continue travelling along the Mediterranean coast. The mountains where Carrara marble is produced look snow-covered.   
12:45 hrs- Levanto  –Arrival-. In this town we take a train (expected to leave at 1:05 PM, possible changes) which through long tunnels by the sea takes us into the region of Cinqueterre, which cannot be reached by coaches due to its difficult geography of mountains that fall directly into the sea. The area has remained isolated and has preserved its traditions, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. In just 10 minutes on the train, we reach Vernazza.     

13:30 hrs - Vernazza-  Arrival by train. Arrival in one of the 5 villages of the Cinqueterre region, which maintains its maritime appearance. Its church of St Mary stands out, built in 1318 on the seashore. Time for lunch.      
15:44 hrs  Vernazza -Approximate departure of our  train from Vernazza  (timetables may change). We continue by train to Levanto, where our coach awaits us to continue on our way along the coast towards Genoa.  

NB:  The train to Cinqueterre is a regular local railway service and not a tourist service. Places cannot be booked and sometimes the trains are full and passengers have to travel standing.  
(The councils of Cinqueterre have announced that they will establish measures to limit the maximum number of tourists arriving each day; to date there have been no limitations on our groups but given this new measure, we might be affected at the peak of tourist times. If this should happen, an alternative visit will be offered).     

17:45 hrs -Genoa  –Arrival-. The city where Christopher Columbus was born, time to see its monumental centre.  

Total distance covered: 170 km.
 
NB: By boat, we reach the enclave of Portofino. We recomend you to have some warm clothes to hand to be able to enjoy the trip on deck. 

08:30 hrs - Genoa –Departure-. We travel along the Italian Riviera. 
09.00 hrs - Santa Margarita Ligure –Arrival-. 

10:15 hrs - We board a ship for a 20-minute crossing to Portofino , one of the most exclusive places in Europe. Time in Portofino, a beautiful town. 

12.00 hrs -After this, we return to Santa Margarita Ligure , a very pleasant coastal town. Time to have a stroll and for lunch. 


Important: Operation of the Portofine boat is dependent on good weather conditions. In the event this service is suspended, we will cover this part of the itinerary on urban microbuses (of inferior comfort and potentially requiring long waiting times).


14.00hrs - Santa Margarita Ligure –Departure-. 

16:30 hrs - Milan -Arrival. - Free time until 19:30 hrs. We recommend a stroll around its historic centre full of commercial life, and where its Gothic cathedral is not to be missed.

Total distance covered:  360 km.
 
Countryside:  We will see the beautiful region of the Italian lakes; the mountain scenery with snow peaked summits and large Alpine lakes surrounded by beautiful villages are unforgettable.   
NB:  Have some warm clothes to hand, you may need them to enjoy the boat trips included.  
NB:  On days of bad weather, the stop in Stressa may be shorter.   

07:30 hrs - Milan -departure. We take the motorway to the great lakes. We first of all travel to Lake ORTA; its rather more isolated position and its smaller size give it a special charm. 
09.00 hrs - Orta de San Giulio  -Arrival. A beautiful intact mediaeval town by the lake. In the centre of the lake, we will immediately see the  ISLAND OF SAN GIULIO  with its monastery. On a small tourist train we reach the town where we have hired launches to sail across the lake to the island. Time to see the town and its island.    

11.00 hrs - Orta de San Giulio -departure. We travel to  LAGO MAGGIORE . 
11:45 hrs - Stressa. -  Arrival in this tourist town by Lake Maggiore. Time to have a stroll and for lunch. If you want, there is time to take a boat trip to the Borronean Islands which face the town.    
15:45 hrs . Stressa –Departure-. We will leave the mountains and travel through the industrious areas of the Poo Valley. 
19:30 hrs - Verona  –Arrival-

Distance covered: 130 km.
 
Countryside:  A pretty entrance to Verona over its large bridge.     

Verona - Time to stroll in the city of Romeo and Juliet. 
11:30 hrs - Verona –Departure-.  
NB:  depending on the time of year, the sunlight and the traffic on the way, sometimes we will see Verona on arrival from the lakes. In these cases, there will be an earlier start for Venice.  


13.00 hrs - Venice  –Arrival-. We include a  boat transfer to Saint Mark’s Square,  the place where, after time for lunch, a  local guide will take us around Saint Mark’s Square , the Basilica, the Campanile, etc.; we will also see a popular  Murano glass factory , where we can admire the technique of working with glass. Free time. Do you fancy a ride on a gondola?   Transfer to the hotel at the end of the afternoon (normally in the area of Mestre / well connected to the historic centre by public transport).

After breakfast, end of our services.


Map Tour

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From: AUD 1,678