Tour notes

Grand Tours of Italy

Tour notes

The Grand Tour of Italy combines our Wonders of Northern Italy tour and the Treasure of The Amalfi Coast and Puglia. From Venice to Puglia, passing from some of the most exciting part of Italy like Cinque Terre, Florence, Rome, Pompeii, The Amalfi Coast, Matera and the stunning Puglia.
With an intimate group of just 10 people, an expert local leader who will become your local friend, and a country of unmatched beauty, the Grand Tour of Italy will be the trip of a lifetime!

Start: Venice
End: Bari
Age: Min 12
All our tours are guaranteed to depart

What makes this trip a unique experience?

  • Explore Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, Rome, The Amalfi Coast, Matera, Alberobello, Lecce and Bari like a local. Your local leader will take you on “Like a Local” walks where you’ll see the unmatched beauty and mystery of these cities from an authentic (local) point of view.
  • You’ll enjoy a magical boat trip in the Gulf of Poets, dive into the clear water where Lord Byron once swam and admire a terrific sunset while enjoying traditional Italian refreshments
  • You’ll explore the picturesque villages of Cinque Terre, walk through an olive grove and see the most breath-taking views
  • You’ll admire the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the marble wonders of Piazza dei Miracoli
  • You’ll spend a day in the Tuscan countryside of Chianti, meet a local wine producer and taste his wine and other delicious products from local farmers
  • Enjoy a private guided tour of the ancient Pompeii ruins with a licensed local leader
  • Spend 3 magical nights in The Amalfi Coast
  • Take a full-day boat trip to Capri island and swim in the crystalline sea!
  • Walk the breathtaking “Sentiero degli dei” (The Path of Gods) in The Amalfi Coast mountains
  • Take a private guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Matera village with a licensed local leader
  • Sleep in the Sassi of Matera, ancient dwellings dug into the rocks, now converted into unique and comfortable accommodations
  • Visit to the Trulli village of Alberobello
  • Our accommodations are centrally located, high-quality and comfortable

All of our LocalWonders Travel tours include a passionate expert local leader who will become your “local friend”, opening up for you the most authentic side of Italy. Our local leaders are professional and knowledgeable and take pride in providing hassle-free experiences for our guests.

Is this the tour I want?

Though no specific training or fitness level is required for this tour, there are a few things we suggest considering when choosing your LocalWonders Travel experience.
Train is one of the best and fastest means of transport in Italy (up to 300 km per hour!). Travelling by train gets you to where you’re going quickly, but allows you to relax, have fun, and socialize while you take in the beauty of the Italian landscape. On this tour we’ll do lots of our travelling by train. Upon arrival in a new destination on this tour, a taxi will take you to the next hotel (except in Venice, Cinque Terre and Pompeii, where it is faster to walk).

At LocalWonders Travel we pride ourselves on providing tours that allow our guests to explore cities by foot. Why? Because we believe that exploring by foot is the best way to get an authentic Italian experience. Sometimes we explore for up to three or four hours at a time. We do this at a relaxed and comfortable pace, stopping to rest once-in-a-while to enjoy an espresso or gelato, and promise that you’ll have a wonderful time, but guests should note that walking is a big part of our trips!

On our tours we stay in carefully-selected high-quality and comfortable accommodations. Accommodation arrangements for single travellers during our trips include an en-suite twin room, shared with a fellow single traveller of the same sex. However, if you’d prefer a single room to enjoy during your trip, you can purchase a “single supplement” (your own room).

If you are in pursuit of an authentic trip, planned and managed by local professionals with an informal and friendly style without foregoing professionalism and supreme quality, then you are in the right place.

Joining point

Ca’ Pozzo Inn or similar
Cannareggio 1279
30121 Venice
+39 041 524 0504

How to get to your hotel

There are 3 means of transport to get to the city from the Marco Polo airport in Venice: public means, taxi or private transfer with a driver. Bear in mind that Venice is entirely built on water and vehicles do not go beyond Piazzale Roma (around the Venice train station), hence you cannot be dropped at the doorstep of your hotel. Given that many hotels don’t have access from the canal, water taxis can also drop you off close to the hotel but not always at the doorstep of the hotel.

Below is a brief illustration of the various ways to reach Venice from the Marco Polo airport. However, we particularly recommend taking a shuttle bus or the Alilaguna boat (a small boat connecting the airport to the city)

Ca’ Pozzo Inn is a 7-minute walk from the shuttle bus station and a 3-minutes walk from the Alilaguna boat station. It is pretty easy to reach the hotel by foot without chances of getting lost. Within 3 weeks of your departure, we will send you detailed instructions on how to reach the hotel.

Public means – By road

Outside the airport there is a shuttle service connecting the airport with the city. The shuttle will drop you off in Piazzale Roma. The shuttle is bus n° 35 of the ATVO Company. It takes 20 minutes to get to Venice city and charges €8 . For further details, please check the he ATVO webpage.

Public means – By water
From the Venice airport you can take a small boat called Alilaguna arancione. The boat charges €15 (including 1 bulky luggage and one hand luggage). It takes about 45 minutes to get to the city. You may buy a ticket at the airport or on-line. For further information or to buy a ticket on-line, please check the Alilaguna  webpage. If you buy a ticket on-line, please remember to print the voucher and replace it with a ticket at the special ticket desks at the airport of Venice.

Water taxis
You will find a help desk of some water taxi companies at the arrivals hall. Water taxis have a fixed charge ranging between €100 and €130 for 1 to 4 passengers (depending on the hotel location). Every person has the right to board with a bulky luggage. Every additional passenger or luggage are charged €10 extra. Make sure you have clearly agreed on luggage and final charges at the help desk before buying the ticket. Considering how Venice is built, bear in mind that water taxis often cannot drop you off at the hotel doorstep, but they can drop you nearby (about a hundred metres away).

Private transfer with driver
If you want us to arrange for a private transfer from the airport to your hotel you can choose the Airport Transfer Option while you’re booking and we’ll get back to you, to let you know our best rates and to arrange your airport transfer.

Considering how Venice is built, bear in mind that vehicles and water taxis often cannot drop you off at the doorstep of your hotel. Vehicles will drop you off at the shuttle bus station while water taxis can drop you off closer to the hotel.
Below are approximate private transfer charges (to be confirmed when booking).

  • Car: 1 to 3 people approx. €55, 4 to 7 people approx. €75.

Finishing point

Imago Hotel or similar
Via Altamura 26
70122 Bari
Tel +39 080 521 6403

Public means to Bari Airport

Shuttle buses to the airport (30-minute ride) depart from Bari Railway Station. Charges approx. €4-5

Taxi to Bari Airport
Approx. 30-minute trip. Price approximately €25.

Private transfer with driver
If you want us to arrange for a private transfer from your hotel to the airport you can choose the Airport Transfer Option while you’re booking and we’ll get back to you, to let you know our best rates and to arrange your airport transfer.
Below are approximate private transfer charges (to be confirmed when booking).
Car: 1 to 3 people approx. €60, 4 to 7 people approx. €80.

Note on Taxi

Taxis in Italy are generally white cars with the word TAXI written on the top. At airports and train stations, they are parked at Taxi Stations right outside the building. For your own safety, do not take unauthorized “taxis”.

Cancellation Policy

Carefully read the cancellation policy in section 11 of the Terms&Conditions before booking.

Accommodation and Single Supplement

Accommodations on our tours include a double or twin room with en-suite bathroom for our guests. Single travellers are matched with a fellow traveller of the same sex to share a room. If you’d prefer a single room to enjoy during your tour, you can purchase a “single supplement” (your own room) for €1,195.
We are proud to offer our guests accommodation at some of Italy’s charming hotels. We have painstakingly chosen distinguished locally-run boutique hotels that are quality, comfortable and clean – full of character for an authentic Italy experience – but without the rigid formality that comes with “luxury”.
Note: We do our best to book your single room in the same hotel as the rest of our group; however, on the rare occasion that space is not available at that hotel, you will be booked into a different hotel of the same or higher class located within walking distance from where we’re staying.
Occasional alternative accommodation: on rare occasions, it might happen that we have to make a change to the hotel reservation or split the group between two different hotels. Please be assured that in all cases we book in replacement rooms at hotels of the same or higher calibre. Those new hotels will adhere to the same strict quality criteria we always use.

Daily City Tax: depending on the hotel and the city, sometimes there’s a city tax added to a room charge (between €1 and €10 per person per night). Our tour costs include this City Tax – no additional charge.
Extra Nights: should you wish to add extra nights to your stay here in Italy, either before your LocalWonders tour begins or after your tour has ended, we can help to make those arrangements. Simply select “additional accommodation” when filling in your Booking Form and we’ll be in touch to finalize the details.

Travel Insurance

We want our guests to have a truly care-free experience on our tours, and safety and comfort are our main focus. In that sentiment, travel insurance is compulsory for all our tours and we require our guests to have travel insurance medical and repatriation coverage with a liability limit greater than €200,000 (or corresponding currency in your country of origin).
Further, while not compulsory, we also highly recommend that our guests’ insurance also covers damages against third parties, property and people, as well as damages stemming from any trip-related events (loss of luggage and personal effects, theft, physical harm or delay).
Need help? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the LocalWonders team at any time. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about our insurance policy and, while we don’t sell insurance, we can suggest a variety of good travel insurance providers should you need.

Passport and Visa

Non European Union citizens are required to bring along a passport with an at least 6-month validity from the date of entry in Italy and – depending on nationality – travel visas. For  more information on visas, please check on the following link of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you’re not sure about the documentation that you’ll need for your trip, we highly recommend contacting the Italian Embassy or Consular Offices nearest to you for further information. LocalWonders Travel tour participants are responsible for having required travel documentation (see Section 17 of our  Terms&Conditions). LocalWonders Travel cannot assist you in getting the passport or visa required to travel to Italy.

Though in other countries might be different, in Italy for safety reason, at your arrival at the hotel, your passport will be required by the receptionist for the check-in and the registration procedure.

Professional liability insurance

LocalWonders Travel carries Professional Liability Insurance as well as Tour Operator’s Insolvency Insurance (required by European law). For more information see our Terms & Conditions.
None of these cover passenger’s medical and repatriation insurance.

Transport Means

On this tour we travel aboard comfortable high-speed trains and sometimes regional trains. Besides being fun, trains are an ecological means of transport and they are often the fastest and most comfortable means to get to destination. Other means of transport used during this trip also include buses, subways, boats and taxis.

Health Conditions

Please read the itinerary and tour notes carefully to see whether or not this tour is right for you. Though no specific training is required for this tour, all of our guests need to be in good physical health. In order to ensure the safety of all of our guests, those with certain medical conditions or limitations might not be able to join parts of our tour.
As concerns vaccinations, please contact your personal doctor.

Cultural Heritage and Stairs

In a country like Italy of such rich heritage, there are many amazing buildings and structures to explore. To do so, there might be some stair-climbing involved.

Conduct Guidelines

When moving as a group and – especially – when traveling by train, timeliness is extremely important. In order to ensure that all of our guests are able to enjoy each of the activities planned for this tour, we ask that everyone makes sure to be on time. Should one of our group members be late on the day of departure from the hotel and therefore expose the group to risk of missing the train, the local leader and the rest of the group will go ahead without them. (Of course, that group member will be encouraged to join us again later, but will have to cover any associated expenses.)

The following activities and behaviours are strictly forbidden during our tours:

  • Use or possession of illegal substances or drugs (including marijuana)
  • Exploitation of prostitution
  • Any form of discrimination or verbal and physical violence towards anyone, including other group members, the local leader, and hotel personnel

Failure to follow these rules shall lead to direct dismissal from the tour with no right to any refund whatsoever.

Local leader

A professional LocalWonders Travel local leader will accompany you on your trip. The local leader will plan trip details and logistics taking all of the hassle and worry out of organizing travel (from trains, tickets, restaurant recommendations, reservations and tips for how to make the most of your free time). Your local leader will be your trusted point of reference throughout the entire trip, making sure that everything goes smoothly.
The local leader will provide authenticity and fun introducing you to the authentic side of Italy, providing interesting (and entertaining) information about the places you are visiting and showing you the best spots, usually only discovered by the locals (including favourite local restaurants).

During “free time”, the local leader is not compelled to join the group; however he will always be available in case of need.

Note:  In Europe there is a difference between LOCAL LEADER and TOUR GUIDE. If you’re looking for an in-depth introduction to Italy history or art (like a guided museum visit, city tour, or similar), your local leader will be happy to help you to find a skilled and certified local leader.

Safety

Italy is a very safe country, so long as common sense is used. In busy places like train, bus and metro stations pick-pocketing may be an issue, but following some simple rules will help to ensure you don’t lose your valuables:

  • Never leave your belongings unattended
  • Keep your documents and money in a neck wallet or money belt
  • Keep your purse or daily pack in front of you when traveling by train and bus
  • Do not accept help with your luggage by anyone not wearing a uniform

Luggage tips

What you bring is up to you however, we recommend that our guests travel light. We don’t have baggage restriction, but on our tours our guests are responsible for carrying their own luggage (including on and off of trains) so we suggest luggage that’s 15-18kg at the most. (That weight is a good compromise between having everything you’ll need and ease of movement.) Our guests comfortably use a variety of luggage types, including backpacks, suitcases, duffle bags and trolleys.

Do not forget:
– Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, tour notes
– Photocopy of main passport pages, visa and travel insurance
– Money belt
– Personal medications/prescriptions and a small travel first aid kit
– Comfortable and good walking shoes (better if with non-slip soles)
– Small day-pack for daily excursions
– Electrical adapter plug (see below for electrical outlets information)
– Sunscreen (summers can be very hot, even more than 30° C)
– Swimsuit
– Sunhat and Sunglasses
– A shawl (in churches exposed shoulders and arms are not permitted)
– Clothes and personal effects as you prefer (evening attire not required on our evenings out)
– Attire in case of rain and wind (i.e. a folded and lightweight poncho with a hood)
– A lightweight sweater in case of chilly evenings
– A warm sweather and a jacket if travelling from late October to April

General Useful Information

Electrical Outlets: in Italy electrical current is 220-230 volts at 50 hertz. Italy uses a round, 2-prong plug, type C or F.
Italy Country Code for international calls: the country code for Italy is 39. When calling Italy from abroad dial +39 followed by the area code and the phone number you desire to call. Alternatively you can replace the + with the National Exit Code of the country from where you are calling.

Weather

Italy’s climate varies based on season and location. Italy has got hot summers and cold winters, with the southern areas of the country experiencing milder winters and hotter summers. Italy has got four seasons, winter (21 December – 20 March), spring (21 March – 20 June), summer (21 June-20 September) and autumn (21 September – 20 December). Winter is generally cold and rainy (average temperature in the northern areas 0-6°C and 10-14 °C in the southern areas), spring and autumn are mild and dry (average temperature in the northern areas 13-20°C and  15-20°C in the southern areas) and summer is hot and generally without rain (average temperature in the northern areas 20-23°C and  22-27°C in the southern areas). For more informaion check The Climate in Italy.

Currency and Budget

The Euro is the official currency in Italy. There will be ATMs in almost all the places we visit.
Your tour with LocalWonders Travel includes transportation and activities as per itinerary, several meals, and accommodation. It does not include tips/gratuities, additional meals, attractions, or personal expenses. For the meals not included on this tour, we suggest budgeting a daily amount, and while that will vary for everyone, €30-40 per day is considered a reasonable amount.

Tipping Guideline

Should you wish to tip for excellent and professional service, you should feel welcome (though not required).Tips are not compulsory in Italy (as they are in other parts of the world) though they are becoming more common and they can be significant for the people who have taken care of you during the tour. Here are a few guidelines:

Local leader: €4-6 per person per day

Local guides: €1-3 per person

Restaurant €1-2 per person (or 10% of the service in case of high class restaurant)

Hotel porters (if present) €1-2 per person

Please feel free to tip higher, lower or not tip at all depending on your judgement on the service and what you deem right.

Free Time and Optional Activities

We’ve incorporated free time throughout all of our tours so that our guests can relax or explore at their own pace, indulging in their own special interests – museums, shopping, dining, concerts, wandering and more. Your local leader will be able to provide lots of suggestions.
We’ve included some of the most popular activities in the list below:

VENICE

  • Gondola ride – €80 per gondola
  • The Doge Palace, Bridge of Sights and Correr Museum – €19
  • Peggy Guggenheim Collection – €15
  • Gallerie dell’Accademia – €12
  • Basilica of S. Mark– free admission
  • Museum of S. Mark – €5
  • Treasure of S. Mark – €3
  • Mark bell tower – €8
  • Murano Glass Museum – €10
  • Concert (Musici Veneziani or Virtuosi Veneziani) – from €28

FIRENZE

  • Uffizi Gallery – €16,5
  • Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo’s David) – €16,5
  • Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace – from €7
  • Bargello Museum – €8
  • Baptistery, Giotto bell tower, Brunelleschi Dome and Museum Opera del Duomo – €10
  • Medici Chapels – €8
  • Palazzo Vecchio – €10
  • Piazzale Michelangelo – free of charge

ROMA

  • Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel – €16 + reservation fee
  • St Peter’s Basilica – free access
  • Peter’s Dome Climb/lift – €8
  • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine hill – €12 + reservation fee
  • Borghese Gallery – €15
  • Capitolini Museums – €15
  • Pantheon – free access
  • The Catacombs of St. Callixtus – €8
  • Villa d’Este – €9
  • Cooking class – €100

Booking Museum Visits

Should you wish to add a museum visit your local leader will be happy to provide guidance in making those arrangements.
In Florence we recommend booking ahead of time during high season (June and September).

Florence Museums

Visits to the museums in Florence should be booked for Day 6 of the tour so as not to coincide with other scheduled tour activities. If you are unsure about when best to book your museum visit, contact LocalWonders Travel.

Uffizi Gallery

Cost/Entry Fee: approx.. €12
Reservation fee: approx.. €4
Recommended time required to visit: 2-3 hours

To reserve see the Polo Museale Fiorentino official website.

Galleria dell’Accademia (Michelangelo’s David)

Cost/Entry Fee: approx.. €12
Reservation fee: approx.. €4
Recommended time required to visit: 1 hour

To reserve see the Polo Museale Fiorentino official website.

Should you wish to visit both museums the same day we recommend you book one museum in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell’Accademia are about 30-minute walk away from each other.

Rome Museums

Note: Visits to the museums in Rome should be booked for Day 9 (or later) of the tour so as not to coincide with other scheduled tour activities. If you are unsure about when best to book your museum visit, contact LocalWonders Travel.

 Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (closed on Sundays)
Entry into the Sistine Chapel (Michelangelo’s masterpiece) is included in the Vatican museums visit ticket.

Cost/Entry Fee: approx. €16
Reservation fee: approx. €4
Recommended time required to visit: 3 hours
To reserve check the Vatican Museums official website.

You can buy different types of tickets for the Vatican Museums visit. Read instructions before buying.
The “Open tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel” is the most commonly used entry option (this is not a guided tour).

Galleria Borghese
Visiting Galleria Borghese requires booking. We recommend early booking online if you would like to visit this museum.
To reserve: www.galleriaborghese.it/en/home_en

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Cost/Entry Fee: approx. €12
Reservation fee: approx. €2
Recommended time required to visit: 1 hour Colosseum + 2-3 hours Roman Forum an Palatine Hill

To reserve: http://www.coopculture.it/en/colosseo-e-shop.cfm
This ticket also includes entry to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

Itinerary

Day 1: Venice
Benvenuto in Italia! Starting from Venice is like jumping into a dream where little alleyways and canals form a fascinating maze in the lagoon and the elegance of centuries-old palaces is mirrored in the water. In Venice the aroma of good food and wine, together with the sound of laughter from the bacari (local inns), create a multisensory experience you’ll never forget.
Your tour starts at 6:00pm with a Welcome Meeting where you’ll meet your local leader and fellow travellers. (Upon arrival at the hotel you’ll find a note telling you where this welcome meeting will take place.) Following the meeting, you’ll discover one of Italy’s most famous wonders – the food! The group will enjoy a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant where you will dine like the Venetians do.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Ca’ Pozzo Inn or similar
– Meal: Welcome Dinner

Day 2: Venice
After a good breakfast and a real Italian coffee, we’ll set out to explore Venice. And you’ll find the city alive! The Rialto market is full of colors and flavours and the canals fill up with gondolas and life. Today your local leader will take you for a “Like a Local” walk where you’ll mingle with locals, hear curious stories and see the authentic side of this fascinating city built on the water. We’ll cross the Canal Grande like the Venetians do, walk along calli (alleys) and campielli (small squares) and after taking a few hidden twists and turns we’ll arrive in San Mark Square.
During the afternoon you’ll enjoy some free-time, where you can choose to relax or keep on exploring Venice, taking a gondola ride for example or visiting the islands of Murano and Burano. Or perhaps you’ll choose to eat and drink! You cannot say you truly know Venice if you haven’t had an ombra (local wine) and tasted some cicchetti (small bites) in a typical bacaro (a small inn where Venetians meet to catch up, laugh, and pass the time).
Your local leader will give you plenty of suggestions for organizing your afternoon.

What’s included?
– Accommodation: Ca’ Pozzo Inn or similar
– Meal: Breakfast
– “Like a Local” walk of Venice
– Venice “traghetto” ride
Important note for Day 2
Both the afternoon and evening are “free time”. In the evening, you might like to join your local leader as he visits some of the best local bacari (inns) in the city. And by “some” we mean more than one! It’s possible to check out several bacari in an evening, enjoying great drinks and delicious small bites in each. This is a very fun way to spend an evening in Venice.

Day 3: La Spezia / Portovenere
On Day 3 we will travel from east to west aboard some of Italy’s modern high-speed trains to reach the Cinque Terre. (This trip is approximately 5.5 hours, including a stop for lunch and a quick change to a local train.)
After checking-in at our hotel, we will explore Portovenere and the Gulf of Poets. There, Captain Mario will welcome us aboard his boat, offer us a welcome drink, and then show us the wonders of this gulf and the secrets of Palmaria Island.
The best part? We’ll visit a bay that’s only accessible by boat to swim in the crystalline waters where Lord Byron used to splash! Back on the boat, we’ll enjoy some refreshments (including delicious local products like anchovies, pesto and focaccia) and an aperitif as we toast the sunset together.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Firenze e Continentale or similar – La Spezia
– Meals:Breakfast, Aperitif
– Boat tour with aperitif in the Poets Gulf – Beverages (wine, beer, and soft drinks) and several snacks included
Important note for Day 3
In the event that bad weather forces the cancellation of our boat tour, this activity will be replaced with an equally-fun indoor activity of the same value. Further, depending on seasonality and on our group size, the boat tour may be shared with another small group (like ours). Finally, depending on conditions, the boat size and style may change. That said comfort and safety are always key so we promise that you’ll have a great time!
How long is the trip today?
Approx. 2 hours train ride from Venice to Florence (high speed train)
Approx. 2.5 hours train ride from Florence to La Spezia (regional train)

Day 4: Cinque Terre
Today you will explore an incredible wonder: five fishing villages suspended between sea and mountain, surrounded by vertical vineyards, olives trees and colorful houses built one on the top of the other.
The Cinque Terre region was named a Unesco World Heritage site for its beauty. It’s also only accessible by foot or by train! So wear comfortable shoes and join your local leader for an amazing walk along the stunning paths that link these historic villages, where nature and man worked together to create a scene of unmatched beauty.
At the end of the walk, we’ll leave our shoes on a rock and don our swimsuits for a refreshing swim in the aquamarine sea of the Cinque Terre.
If you don’t feel comfortable walking, don’t worry: the railway links each of these villages and in less than 5-minutes you can go from one village to the next. There are several trains per hour and with the help of your local leader it will be easy and fun exploring Cinque Terre by the train.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Firenze e Continentale or similar – La Spezia
– Meal: Breakfast
– Cinque Terre Pass – This is a ticket that allows you to hop on and off the train for the entire day, as well as free access to the Cinque Terre paths.
– Cinque Terre Walk led by your local leader
Important note on Day 4
The Cinque Terre paths are narrow mountain trails steep in several parts. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes with non-slip soles. Hiking boots are recommended, but a good pair of runners will be fine too. Due to damage caused to the structures of the trails during the flood of 2011, in case of bad weather the local authority can decide to close the access to the trails
– Riomaggiore – Manarola (Via dell’Amore): an easy 30-minute walk on a flat trail
– Manarola – Corniglia: a 1-hour walk on a flat trail
– Corniglia – Vernazza: a 1.5-hour walk with some steep sections; moderate difficulty
– Vernazza – Monterosso: a 2.5-hour walk with some steep sections; moderate difficulty (this is the most challenging part of the trek, but it is also the one with the most spectacular view).

Day 5: Pisa and Florence
Elegant, iconic and curiously leaning, the Tower of Pisa has attracted travellers and architecture lovers from all around the world. This morning, on our way to Florence, we will stop in Pisa to admire the Leaning Tower and the marble wonders of Piazza dei Miracoli.
We will then continue on to Florence where, after checking-in to our centrally-located hotel, we will take an exciting “Like a Local” walk around this magical city. We will see how the beauty of the Renaissance and the art of great artists like Michelangelo melt together with elegant shops and one of the richest Italian culinary traditions.
You’ll learn about the curious street number system of Florence, discover a secret corridor suspended between the street and the sky, walk in an open-air museum and eat in a lively street market that offers gourmet food until late night.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Il Guelfo Bianco boutique hotel or similar
– Meal: breakfast
– “Like a Local” walk of Florence
Important note for Day 5
While we will visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, entry/climb is not included in the tour (tickets are €18).
How long is the trip today?
Approx. 1 hour train ride from La Spezia to Pisa
Approx. 1 hour train ride from Pisa to Florence

Day 6: Florence
Today, Florence is yours! You will enjoy a free day at your own pace to explore the parts of Florence that intrigue you the most. Your local leader will give you plenty of suggestions to help you organize your free time. You can relax, strolling elegant alleyways, explore the Oltrarno neighborhood, or go shopping among the famous leather markets and boutiques.
If you like art, you won’t want to miss the Uffizi Gallery. It’s one of the most important museums in the world and holds masterpieces by Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo.
If you’ve got a passion for sculpture, we suggest exploring the Galleria dell’Accademia to see the majestic David of Michelangelo and visit the Bargello museum. Be breathless in front of the overwhelming beauty of the Santa Maria del Fiore marble façade, walk the 400 steps of the Giotto bell tower or reach the top of the Brunelleschi dome.
If you are a food lover, Florence is a treasure chest to open: old artisan gelato shops, small venues serving high-quality wine, pecorino cheese, finocchiona salami and the savoury Tuscan ham. Visit in local inns to indulge in real pappa al pomodoro (a typical soup made with basil, tomato, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil) or the fiorentina, the typical 1kg Florentine steak.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Il Guelfo Bianco boutique hotel or similar
– Meal: breakfast
Important notes for Day 6
If you want to visit the Uffizi Gallery or the Galleria dell’Accademia (David of Michelangelo), it is very important to reserve in advance in order to avoid long queues. Ask your local leader on Day 1 to assist you in making these reservations or read the section “Booking Museum Visits” in the Trip Notes of this tour.

Day 7: Florence and the Tuscan Countryside (Chianti Region)
After enjoying a delicious breakfast with treats from local producers, we will hop on a local bus to go to the heart of the Tuscany countryside: the Chianti region. Here, the hills and the vineyards form an impressive landscape where their colors blend with their shapes in beautiful harmony.
Today a local wine producer will welcome us into his home to tell us the story of his family and to show us the winery where he produces his exquisite Chianti. The best part? We’ll taste the wine, some of the best in Tuscany, in one of the most incredible landscapes in the world.
We will go back to Florence in the late afternoon to enjoy the magical atmosphere of this city for another night. The rest of the day is at your leisure (free time).
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Il Guelfo Bianco boutique hotel, Florence city center
– Meal: breakfast
– Day trip to Chianti
– Winery visit and wine tasting

Day 8: Rome
Once more we will travel at 300 km/h aboard a high-speed train connecting Florence to Rome in just an hour and a half. Rome, the heart of the ancient Roman Empire, is the cradle of a rich history and the birthplace of the Italian dolce vita. Admire the wonderful baroque palaces and squares designed by Bernini and Borromini, see the magnificent works of Michelangelo and enjoy the vibrant and lively dolce vita of Rome.
After checking-in at our centrally-located hotel, we will start a “Like a Local” walk where we will stand at the top of the Spanish Steps, see an elegant 250-year-old café, admire the elegance of the Trevi Fountain and the majestic Colosseum.
During your walk you will also discover a lot of other secret wonders of Rome, from small artisanal gelato shops serving fresh and original flavours (like lime and chili!), to fascinating squares that hosted chariots races thousands of years ago.
Following our walk, you’ll enjoy an afternoon and evening at your leisure (free time).
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Alexandra or similar
– Meal: Breakfast
-“Like a Local” walk of Rome
What’s not included
– Museum entrance
How long is the trip today?
Approx. 1.5 hour train ride from Florence to Rome

Day 9: Rome
Today you’ll enjoy a free day for exploring the wonderful city of Rome at your own pace. Your local leader will provide plenty of suggestions for organizing your free time. You might choose to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, or the Borghese Gallery,  the ruins of ancient Rome or visit the Colosseum. Lose yourself in the fascinating Roman neighbourhood of Monti, Trastevere and the Aventino, stop for an aperitif or for taking an artistic picture of a hidden corner.
And then head back to your hotel, relax a little and get ready for our Farewell Dinner. We’ll gather at a special local restaurant to enjoy an exquisite Roman meal – like an authentic carbonara or saltimbocca alla romana.
What’s included:
– Accommodation: Hotel Alexandra or similar
– Meal: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant
Important notes for Day 9
If you would like to visit the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, or the Colosseum, it is very important to reserve in advance in order to avoid long queues. Ask your local leader on Day 1 to assist you in making these reservations or read the section “Booking Museum Visits” in the Trip Notes of this tour.

Day 10: Rome
As the Grand Tour of Italy is a combo tour (and longer than our other trips), we’ve set aside time for a free day in Rome where you can rest and recharge before starting the second exciting part of your Italian experience. Enjoy the bliss of waking up in the eternal city and spend the day exploring the little alleys and cafés that give Rome so much of its charm. (Don’t forget to try a cornetto e cappuccino!) Or enjoy the beautiful park of Villa Borghese, visit the art museum of Galleria Borghese, or take a bus to Tivoli and visit the elegant Villa d’Este. In the late afternoon we’ll reconvene for another Welcome Meeting. (As this is a combo tour, it may be the case that both your local leader and fellow travellers change here in Rome on Day 10.) In the evening, we’ll enjoy another delicious meal in a popular local restaurant.
What’s included?

  • Accommodation: Hotel Alexandra or similar (3 Stars Boutique Hotel)
  • Meal: Welcome dinner

Day 11: Pompeii
Today, you’ll enjoy a slower start and have some free time for lunch before hopping on a high-speed train where we’ll travel at an amazing 300 km/h towards Pompeii (with a quick change in Naples), a fascinating place risen from the ruins of an ancient and glorious Roman town, destroyed 2000 years ago by a volcanic eruption. The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure (free time). You might choose to enjoy a real Neapolitan style pizza for dinner, or visit a local trattoria where the father and the son still produce their own homemade limoncello.
What’s included?

  • Accommodation: Hotel Diana or similar (3 Stars Hotel)
  • Meal: Breakfast

How long is the trip today?
1 hour on a high-speed train from Rome to Naples
30 minutes on a regional train from Naples to Pompeii

NOTE! For all 2020 departures day 11 will be modify as follows:

Day 11: Pompeii Ruins
In the morning we will hop on a high-speed train, travelling up to 300km/h to Naples. A quick train change will then take us to Pompeii, a fascinating place risen from the ruins of an ancient and glorious Roman town, destroyed 2000 years ago by a volcanic eruption.
After the check-in and some time at your leisure for lunch, a private tour lead by a licensed Pompeii guide will take us through the ruins of ancient Pompeii, where so many years ago, the Romans lived. You will walk inside an amphitheater older than the Colosseum and see what ancient houses and shops looked like.

The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure. You might choose to enjoy a real Neapolitan style pizza for dinner, or visit a local trattoria where the father and the son still produce their own homemade limoncello.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Diana or similar (3 stars)
– Meal: Breakfast
– Private tour lead by a licensed Pompeii guide and Pompeii ruins entrance

How long is the trip today?
1 hour on a high-speed train from Rome to Naples
30 minutes on a regional train from Naples to Pompeii.

Day 12: Pompeii Ruins and The Amalfi Coast
This morning a private tour lead by a licensed Pompeii local leader will take us through the ruins of ancient Pompeii, where so many years ago, the Romans lived. You will walk inside an amphitheatre older than the Colosseum and see what ancient houses and shops looked like. After enjoying some free time for lunch, a private car will drive us to The Amalfi Coast. Here, you’ll see some of the world’s most stunning scenery, small colourful villages suspended between the mountain and the sea under the warm Mediterranean sun. The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure. Feel free to ask your local leader for suggestions about how to spend this time – he knows the best spots! Ravello village, an emerald grotto, limoncello tasting – there are so many wonderful things to do here.
What’s included?

  • Accommodation: Hotel Floridiana (Amalfi) or similar
  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Private tour lead by a licensed Pompeii local leader and Pompeii ruins entrance

How long is the trip today?
1.5 hour on a private car with professional driver from Pompeii to The Amalfi Coast.

NOTE! For all 2020 departures day 12 will be modify as follows:

Day 12: Sorrento and The Amalfi Coast
This morning a private car with driver will pick us up and drive us to Sorrento. Here we will stop for a stroll in the lively alleyways of this sunny town. Your tour leader will take you for a short “like a local walk”, then you will have some time at your leisure.

After enjoying some free time for lunch, our driver will take us to The Amalfi Coast. Here, you’ll see some of the world’s most stunning scenery, small colorful villages suspended between the mountain and the sea. The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure. Feel free to ask your tour director for suggestions about how to spend this time – he knows the best spots! Ravello village, an emerald grotto, limoncello tasting – there are so many wonderful things to do here.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Floridiana (Amalfi) or similar
– Meal: Breakfast
– “Like a local walk” in Sorrento
How long is the trip today?
1 hour on a private car with professional driver from Pompeii to Sorrento

1 hour 20 minutes on a private car with professional driver from Sorrento to The Amalfi Coast.

Day 13: Capri Island
This morning we’ll head to the Island of Capri, traveling the section of sea where the mythological hero Ulysses heard the mermaids singing. Circling the island to explore some secret caves, we’ll have the opportunity to swim in the sparkling blue Mediterranean sea.
After the island tour, we will dock at Marina Grande and you will have some free time to explore the exclusive Capri Island on foot. You might walk the colourful alleyways to the heart of the island and the spectacular Natural Arch, or take a cab (a convertible, no less!) to Anacapri, higher up on the island. Our boat we will pick us up in the afternoon and we’ll head back to The Amalfi Coast where we’ll have time to enjoy a final swim in the sea. The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure.
What’s included?

  • Accommodation: Hotel Floridiana (Amalfi) or similar
  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Full day boat trip to Capri island, including the boat tour around the island

Important note to Day 13
The boat tour will be aboard a small, comfortable semi-private motor boat that accommodates up to 15 people. Depending on seasonality and on our group size, the boat may be private (just for us) or shared with another small group like ours. In case of bad weather, this activity will be traded with an indoor one of the equal value and fun.

Day 14: The Amalfi Coast
Wake up ready to “meet the Gods”! Today we’ll walk the famous “Sentiero degli Dei” (The Path of Gods), so called because the myth says that the Gods walked this way to reach the stretch of the sea where the mermaids lived. No words are powerful enough to describe the beauty of this hike. We’ll walk through the local forest, amid lemon trees and along the astonishingly beautiful Amalfi Coast – a path that, in the ancient times, was the only access to this paradise from the villages.
After the hike, which will take us to the little village of Nocelle, we’ll head to Positano – one of the most stunning places on The Amalfi Coast. Here we’ll spend the afternoon swimming in the clear blue water of the Mediterranean sea, sipping freshly-squeezed lemon juice, or losing ourselves in the meandering streets of Positano. The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure (free time).

  • Accommodation: Hotel Floridiana (Amalfi) or similar
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Path of Gods hike
  • Amalfi bus daily ticket (which allows you to reach each villages on The Amalfi Coast)

Important notes for Day 14:
The “Path of Gods” is a hike lasting approximately 3-and-a-half hours on a narrow rocky path with some steep sections, and a good part of it will be in direct sun (comfortable shoes with non-slip soles or hiking boots are required for this walk). If you don’t feel comfortable participating in the hike, you will still have a wonderful time exploring The Amalfi Coast by foot, bus or ferry. Your local leader will provide suggestions, explanations and timetables.
(This activity is “weather permitting” which means that the trail may not always be accessible. Alternative activities will be planned should we be forced to skip the hike.)

Day 15: Matera
Matera is a secret gem that only few travellers to Italy have the chance to see. During the centuries, churches, dwellings, gardens and terraces were built one on the top of the other, digging into the rock of the local canyon walls and seeming to challenge gravity! Due in part to this, and its incredible beauty, this area – the Sassi of Matera – was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. Our local leader Francesco will lead us on a private guided journey to discover this magical place, revealing some of its many secrets and showing us where famous directors filmed their famous movies.
At night we’ll sleep in one of the Sassi’s hotels. These hotels are a real wonder! From the windows, it feels like being inside a nativity scene, and – inside – a high-quality and comfortable hotel room right in the town’s historical center.
What’s included?

  • Accommodation: San Giorgio Hotel or similar
  • Meal:Breakfast
  • Private tour of Matera lead by a licensed Matera local leader

How long is the trip today?
Approx. 3 hours by private car with professional driver from The Amalfi Coast to Matera

Day 16: Alberobello e Lecce
Today you will discover another Italian wonder: the Trulli of Alberobello. We’ll enter an ancient village with narrow alleyways and the most picturesque buildings – white huts with conical roofs: the Trulli. As we explore – visit some Trullo – we’ll discover the curious story that links an ancient tax matter to these unique constructions.
Then we’ll travel by private vehicle to Lecce, the main town of Salento. Here your local leader will take you for a “Like a Local” walk, showing you the Lecce way of life and seeing the stunning historical centre, where Roman ruins meet elegant Baroque churches and buildings. The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure (free time). In the evening, we suggest you enjoy the lively Lecce nightlife!
What’s included

  • Accommodation: Hotel Santa Chiara or similar (4 Stars Boutique Hotel)
  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Visit to Alberobello
  • “Like a Local” walk of Lecce

How long is the trip today?
Approx. 1 hour by private car with professional driver from Matera to Alberobello
Approx. 1.5 hour by private car with professional driver from Alberobello to Lecce

Day 17: Lecce
Today you’ll enjoy a free day for immersing yourself in the beauty of life in Lecce and Salento. You might visit the Santa Croce Basilica, one of the most impressive Baroque churches of Lecce, or get your hands dirty in an optional cooking class where you can make and eat the exquisite food of Puglia. Some of our guests choose to hop on a local bus and head to the beaches of Salento for sunbathing and swimming in the turquoise sea. However, you choose to spend your day, you mustn’t miss the chance to taste a pasticciotto, a delicious little pastry, or eat a puccia, some of the best street food in the world! Your local leader will provide plenty of suggestions for how you might spend your free time today. Just ask!
What’s included?

  • Accommodation: Hotel Santa Chiara or similar (4 Stars Boutique Hotel)
  • Meal: Breakfast

Day 18: Bari
In the morning we’ll hop on a train to travel along the Puglia coast and reach the city of Bari. After checking-in at our centrally-located hotel, you’ll enjoy some free time for lunch before joining your local leader for a “Like a Local” walk of Bari. We’ll stroll the white alleys of the Bari historical centre, spot the old nonna’s preparing orecchiette (the typical local pasta), and discover the old link between Bari and Santa Claus. (Gifts for the good ones only!)
After our walk we’ll get ready for a special farewell dinner at a hand-picked local restaurant where you’ll taste an exquisite culinary tradition not found anywhere else in Italy.
What’s included?

  • Accommodation: Imago Boutique Hotel or similar
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • “Like a local” walk of Bari

How long is the trip today?
1.5-hours on a high-speed train from Lecce to Bari

Day 19: Bari
Our tour has come to an end and, though we’ll be sad to see you go, we trust you’ve had the trip of a lifetime. Arrivederci!
What’s included?

  • Meal: Breakfast

Important notes for Day 19
Our tour ends with breakfast. There are no activities planned for today.
If you need help in organizing your airport transfer or purchasing train tickets, just ask. Your local leader will be happy to help you to in making these arrangements. If possible, plan for and purchase transportation to the airport a few days in advance – organizing same-day travel can be difficult.

What is included?

      • The assistance of a professional local leader for the entire trip
      • Accommodation: comfortable and high-quality “3-Star Superior” boutique hotels
      • “Like a Local” walk of Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome, The Amalfi Coast, Matera, Alberobello, Lecce, Bari
      • Boat ride with aperitif in the Gulf of Poets and Portovenere
      • Cinque Terre walk and day pass
      • Pisa stop-over to see the Leaning Tower
      • A day in the Tuscan countryside with Chianti winery visit and wine tasting
      • A stay at the Matera Sassi
      • “Like a Local” walk of Rome, Alberobello, Lecce and Bari
      • Private guided tour of the Pompeii ruins
      • Full day boat trip to Capri Island
      • A walk at “The Path of Gods” in The Amalfi Coast with your local leader
      • Private guided tour of Matera
      • Stop-over in Alberobello to see the Trulli
      • Several meals, including:

– 18 breakfasts
– 4 dinners
– 1 boat aperitif
– 1 wine and local products tasting in Tuscany

  • All trains and busses between cities
  • Private transfer to The Amalfi Coast, Matera, Alberobello and Lecce
  • Taxi to/from hotel in Florence, Rome, Lecce on arrival and departure day
  • Taxi from train station to hotel in Bari on arrival day
  • All hotel daily city taxes

What’s extra?

The following items are not included in the tour cost:
– Flights
– Single Supplement” (but you can add this!)
– Anything that is not specified to be included