Highlights of Italy

Highlights of Italy

From $ 2,000 AUD


How long does it take to fall in love? In a country where history spills from the world-class museums and on to the streets, where tiny osterias serve up life-changing pasta and sumptuous architecture sits on canals and perched on cliffs, we think eight days can easily do the trick. Discover the best of Italy on this Lonely Planet Experience. Begin among the canals of Venice, hike through the charming 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.

Trip Name
Highlights of Italy
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  • Explore rocky coastal pathways and pastel-coloured villages with a Cinque Terre day pass, which allows you to hike at your leisure and use the coast's public transport.
  • Get lost in the floating city of Venice and wander the city's maze of alleyways, canals and lagoon islands, and choose whether to enjoy an optional gondola ride.
  • Spend two days in Florence, a city known for its beauty and rustic Tuscan cuisine, and choose to discover the cities culinary traditions on optional food excursions.
  • Squid ink spaghetti, rich Tuscan soups, a slice of pizza eaten while you gaze on centuries-old architecture – the food culture in Italy is intoxicating.
  • Discover the landmarks of Rome with your leader and wander around the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, the Forum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, 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 maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM VISITS & OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays (and sometimes even Tuesdays). We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where required/possible.

Day 1 - Venice
Welcome to Venice! This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early and with time to spare the Grand Canal is a great place to start, as you can stroll over the Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. After tonight's group meeting perhaps enjoy an optional dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant.
Day 2 - Venice
Today you are free to explore Venice at your own pace. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Some of the more popular sights include Doge's Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Maybe take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for views over the city. Or perhaps fulfil a bucket list favourite and take journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. It really is the perfect way for visitors to see the major canal routes from an immersive perspective. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, so perhaps give one of them a try this evening.
Day 3 - La Spezia
Board a morning train through the scenic north of Italy to the once important naval base of La Spezia (approximately 6–7 hours). La Spezia is known mainly as the gateway to the gorgeous Cinque Terre (Five Lands). The name comes from the five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – positioned on a series of coves between sheer cliffs. On arrival in La Spezia there won't be too much time to explore (that’s what tomorrow is for), but after checking into your hotel perhaps get your bearings with a short walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione or head out for dinner with the group.
Day 4 - Cinque Terre / La Spezia
Spend today exploring winding footpaths and pastel coloured villages with your included Cinque Terre Pass. The pass gives you access to the paths and trains of the area for 24 hours. Please consult your leader on which section is right for you, as some have challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. 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, maybe take advantage of an optional pesto class. Focaccia is also a speciality in this area and makes a great start to lunch, if you’d prefer.
Day 5 - Florence
Depart La Spezia today and catch a train to Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, check into the hostel and go for a brief walk around the immediate area to get your bearings. 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 and the optional activities on offer reflect this. Maybe explore the city’s culinary history (and taste some local treats) on a Florence Foodies Walk with Urban Adventures. Carnivores might be drawn to try the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the Florentine Beef Steak, essentially a huge T-bone steak that comes with classic sides.
Day 6 - Florence
Enjoy another day in beautiful Florence. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so the best idea is to relax and pick a few things you really want to do. Maybe start with a visit to the Galleria dell'Accademia where you can see Michelangelo's famous statue of David, or perhaps stop by the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries. Active types might want to 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 optional activities on offer during your time here, so be sure to grill your leader for the details on each so you can get a sense of what interests you.
Day 7 - Rome
Take the morning train to Rome (approximately 2 hours). Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city to see icons such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. Phew. After all that history it’s probably time for lunch. Maybe grab a slice of the good stuff and a strong espresso at the Piazza Navona. You can spend your afternoon how you wish and there are plenty of heavy hitters to choose from. Maybe enter the Vatican and check out St Peter's Basilica. Art lovers could visit the Sistine Chapel to admire the timeless work of Michelangelo, while history buffs may enjoy a jaunt through the ancient halls of the Pantheon. Rome is packed full of trattorias that cater to every taste and budget, so this evening maybe link up with the group for dinner.
Day 8 - Rome
Your adventures come to an end today. There are no activities planned and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time after check-out. As there is so much to see in Rome, we recommend you stay a little longer to soak it up. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to an agent at the time of booking.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
03-04-202110-04-2021AUD $ 2,010-
24-04-202101-05-2021AUD $ 2,010-
01-05-202108-05-2021AUD $ 2,030-
08-05-202115-05-2021AUD $ 2,090-
15-05-202122-05-2021AUD $ 2,090-
22-05-202129-05-2021AUD $ 2,170-
29-05-202105-06-2021AUD $ 2,170-
05-06-202112-06-2021AUD $ 2,170-
12-06-202119-06-2021AUD $ 2,090-
19-06-202126-06-2021AUD $ 2,090-
26-06-202103-07-2021AUD $ 2,000-
17-07-202124-07-2021AUD $ 2,010-
24-07-202131-07-2021AUD $ 2,010-
14-08-202121-08-2021AUD $ 2,075-
21-08-202128-08-2021AUD $ 2,090-
28-08-202104-09-2021AUD $ 2,090-
01-09-202108-09-2021AUD $ 2,170-
04-09-202111-09-2021AUD $ 2,170-
11-09-202118-09-2021AUD $ 2,170-
18-09-202125-09-2021AUD $ 2,170-
25-09-202102-10-2021AUD $ 2,090-
02-10-202109-10-2021AUD $ 2,110-
09-10-202116-10-2021AUD $ 2,010-
02-04-202209-04-2022AUD $ 2,105-
23-04-202230-04-2022AUD $ 2,105-
30-04-202207-05-2022AUD $ 2,105-
07-05-202214-05-2022AUD $ 2,190-
14-05-202221-05-2022AUD $ 2,190-
21-05-202228-05-2022AUD $ 2,275-
28-05-202204-06-2022AUD $ 2,275-
04-06-202211-06-2022AUD $ 2,275-
11-06-202218-06-2022AUD $ 2,275-
18-06-202225-06-2022AUD $ 2,275-
02-07-202209-07-2022AUD $ 2,275-
16-07-202223-07-2022AUD $ 2,190-
23-07-202230-07-2022AUD $ 2,190-
06-08-202213-08-2022AUD $ 2,105-
20-08-202227-08-2022AUD $ 2,105-
27-08-202203-09-2022AUD $ 2,105-
31-08-202207-09-2022AUD $ 2,105-
03-09-202210-09-2022AUD $ 2,190-
10-09-202217-09-2022AUD $ 2,190-
17-09-202224-09-2022AUD $ 2,275-
24-09-202201-10-2022AUD $ 2,190-
01-10-202208-10-2022AUD $ 2,190-
08-10-202215-10-2022AUD $ 2,105-


Hotel (3 nights),Hostel (4 nights)