Rome to Vienna

Rome to Vienna

From $ 7,395 AUD

Description

See northern Italy’s iconic sights, quintessential landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine on this 24-day adventure. Beginning in Rome, enjoy a Renaissance revival in Florence, marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and see Cinque Terre’s stunning coastline and pastel villages. Compare the world-class wine of the Piedmont region with that found along the famous South Tyrolean Wine Road. Admire the splendour of Lake Como and explore Venice’s maze of canals on a gondola ride. Then cross into Austria to discover the old-world charm of Salzburg and Vienna. With the perfect mix of scheduled activities and free time to explore on your own, this trip is a great way to experience all that Italy and Austria have to offer.

Trip Name
Rome to Vienna
Last Updated
2020-01-16
Days
23
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Wander around Rome's famous landmarks including the Colosseum, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica and much more. This is a city that bucket lists were made for
  • Meet Michelangelo's David in Florence and discover the city beneath the centuries of Renaissance art. Then get pleasantly lost exploring the tangle of canals and alleyways that make Venice.
  • Contrast the pastel buildings and rocky coastal pathways of the Cinque Terre with the villages, estates and gardens dotted around Lake Como.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa may be Pisa's most iconic image, but the city offers so much more. The Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Baptistry are masterpieces in Medieval-Italian architecture
  • Compare the world-class wines of Italy’s Piedmont region with those found along the south Tyrolean Wine Road, ones of the oldest wine routes in the country.
  • More than just Mozart and the Sound of Music, Salzburg also boasts a blossoming arts scene, fantastic cuisine and some of the country’s prettiest landscapes and architecture. Enjoy a gorgeous view of the skyline from Hohensalzburg Castle at sunset.
  • This trip includes plenty of time in Vienna, the undisputed arts hub of Central Europe. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse.

Itinerary

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 print and review a final copy 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 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 may be 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 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 OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays.

Day 1 - Rome
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Crowded with ancient ruins and religious monuments, Rome still pulses to the beat of modern life and is packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife. If you arrive early there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Maybe save the unmissable sights for tomorrow morning and today do as the Romans do – sip an espresso at one of the tiny streetside cafes and sample the many flavours of gelato that colour the city. For those captivated by the 'Eternal City', throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return visit to Rome.
Day 2 - Rome / Florence
Enjoy some free time in Rome or, if you wish, your group leader will be available for an orientation walk, taking in some of the best-known sights of Rome like the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum. 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 breath-taking panorama over Bella Roma. If there's time, visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon you'll travel by train from Rome to Florence, Italy's ‘outdoor museum’ (approximately 2 hours). Florence, the cultural heart of Tuscany, bursts with religious treasures and Renaissance masterpieces. It's been said that during the second millennium, a third of Europe's most important artists lived in Florence. The minds and talents of the Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all flourished here. After checking in to your hotel, the rest of your evening is free to explore the city of the Renaissance. Food is also a major part of the city's identity, so perhaps explore some of the culinary delicacies on offer from across Tuscany.
Day 3 - Florence
Today is a free day for you to explore all that Florence has to offer. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, however, so take your time and enjoy it. The principal sights are easily discovered on foot – the Pitti Palace, the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno River front, the many statues and monuments of the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio, the 13th-century Duomo (with its fiery depiction of the Last Judgement), the Baptistry and the Belltower, and the Santa Croce Church. Visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries and a work of art itself. See Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. In the evening, perhaps climb the steep stairs uphill to Piazzale Michelangelo for that most photographed of all sunset views across the rooftops of Florence. Then join the locals in taking a passeggiata, a leisurely socialising stroll, perhaps between Piazza Beccaria and Piazza della Repubblica.
Day 4 - Florence / Lucca
No doubt there'll be more to see in Florence this morning, then this afternoon you’ll take a train to Lucca (approximately 2 hours). Lucca is one of Tuscany's real hidden gems, with centuries-old buildings, beautiful churches, charming piazzas and narrow streets within the ancient city ramparts. You’ll be captivated by this medieval town, which simply radiates charm. We are staying in the city centre which allows easy access to all the sights, restaurants and bars, all an easy stroll from the hotel's front door.
Day 5 - Pisa / Lucca
Set off on a cycling tour following the scenic Serchio River through the Tuscan countryside (4 kilometres round the walls that are now a tree-lined avenue, and 14 kilometres by the river, approximately 3-4 hours). Your base in Lucca provides you with the perfect opportunity for a later outing to the nearby city of Pisa (approximately 30 minutes by local train). Here there'll be ample time for you to visit the quirky world-famous Leaning Tower, as well as the Duomo (Piazza dei Miracoli, once the largest in Europe) and Pisa Baptistry (please note that it's not always possible to climb the tower). The tower was built in the 12th century, but its foundation was on shifting sand and clay, meaning that it now leans at an angle of 4 degrees (after restoration and stabilising work). Wander the shopping streets, from high-end boutiques to speciality book and antiques stores, and perhaps enjoy an aperitif. Back in Lucca, a way to end the day is to head to a local bar for a refreshing Prosecco and a delicious focaccia with finocchiona salami and pecorino cheese, in the shadow of the Palazzo Pretorio.
Day 6 - La Spezia
Travel by train to La Spezia (approximately 3 hours), an important naval base that’s now the gateway to the gorgeous Cinque Terre, or ‘Five lands’ in English. A medieval port town whose name is derived from its historic importance in the spice trade, La Spezia is your base for exploring the nearby stunning stretch of coast known as the Cinque Terre (approximately 30 minutes by train). 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. After lunch, explore the city or perhaps head out by ferry or bus to the pretty seaside town of Portovenere, known for its colourful houses straddling the waterfront. Return to La Spezia and walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione to the gardens along the harbour. Or opt to take another ferry to Lerici, another small village across the Bay of Poets dominated by its castle, for dinner.
Day 7 - Cinque Terre / La Spezia
This morning venture out on the footpaths of Cinque Terre (Five Lands), a region of Italy famed for its coastline and pastel villages on mountains that plunge into the sea. 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, breath-taking vistas. If you're feeling energetic, walking the entire path (12 kilometres, approximately 5 hours) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside, though will require a good level of fitness. You can also 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.
Day 8 - Portofino Peninsula / Asti
Travel by train to Santa Margherita on the Peninsula of Portofino (approximately 1 hour). Store your luggage and set off on an energetic 5-7 kilometre walk, finishing at the glamorous resort of Portofino. Wander down the waterfront, past the small fishing and pleasure boats in the busy marina, and enjoy great views back over to the town. Continue along the road, passing the beach clubs, private villas and hotels that command stunning vistas over where the hills of the Italian Riviera meet the bays and inlets of the Bay of Tigullio. Spot the locals sunbathing in the coves and cross through a pretty forest with some gentle ups and downs. Descend down to the pretty port of Portofino, famed as the place where the rich and famous come to live La Dolce Vita. Continue up to the marvellous lookouts surrounding the town for unparalleled views, or join the glamorous for coffee and people-watching at the harbour. Then enjoy the fabulous coastal scenery with a boat ride back to Santa Margherita (weather permitting). Continue by train to Asti (approximately 2.5 hours) in the Piedmont region, where mouth-watering culinary delights await. Be sure to try a dish flavoured with truffle, and quaff divine Italian wines celebrated the world over.
Day 9 - Asti
Today you’ll take a bus to the green hills of the nearby rural village of Castagnole Monferrato, where you’ll visit the home of a local winemaking family to sample their vintages and learn about the grapes. The Ruche grape variety is unique to this region of Italy – it's grown in just seven small villages in the province of Asti and produces a ruby-red, intense and aromatic wine. After the wine tasting there is the option to enjoy a home-cooked lunch in the village, before returning by bus back to Asti. The town of Asti, located in the Piedmont region, was one of the most important towns in medieval times, sitting on trade routes between Turin, Milan, and Genoa. Signs of the city's former wealth can be seen in the remaining defensive towers, the impressive churches and fine squares, but today it’s best known as the home of some of the finest and most sought after wines in Europe – excellent reds and the sparkling white ‘spumante’. It's also the best place to find ‘tartufo’ (truffles), a distinctive regional delicacy. You may be lucky enough to be here on a market day, when the Piazza del Palio hosts the region’s largest open-air market.
Day 10 - Milan / Lake Como
Travel by train to Milan (approximately 3 hours), Italy's second largest city and the capital of Lombardy, Italy's wealthiest province. You’ll stop here for a few hours to explore. In this most fashionable of cities, this is the place for stylish shopping and cafes – Milanese specialities! Explore the city's historic centre, visit the city's most famous building, the Gothic Duomo, and walk between its rooftop sculptures, admiring the views and the stunning Gothic terrace. Most will want to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper, if there's time – see below for details. After half a day in Milan, late in the afternoon continue by train and bus to Lake Como (approximately 2 hours), an area of stunning beauty full of unique and evocative landscapes. Arrive in Como and head up to your base in the small town of Cadenabbia. This small town has a feeling of exclusivity and seclusion, and your accommodation sits right on the lake with incredible views.
Day 11 - Lake Como
This morning, board a ferry to travel across the blue waters of Lake Como to the pretty village of Bellagio. Here you can 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. The rest of the day is free to take the ferry between the various parts of this area of Lake Como, like Varenna, Cadenabbia, or the beautiful Villa Balbianello, which film fans may recognise from films such as Casino Royale or Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. Villa Carlotta is another waterfront villa open to the public, a former marquis’s mansion dating from the late 17th century that today functions as a museum. It holds a wealth of artwork and is surrounded by acres of romantic Italian gardens. Just past Cadenabbia is Tremezzo, where you can find a place for food or an aperitif, sitting dockside, lakeside, or out on a veranda. Simply walking lakeside and admiring the beautiful views whichever way you turn is a wonderful way to spend the day. Be sure to fill up on fine Italian fare tonight.
Day 12 - Venice
Leave the lakes behind and head for another watery wonderland, taking the train to Venice (approximately 6 hours). This grand city of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Venice is built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. Still rich with artistic masterpieces, modern Venice combines history with contemporary life through food, performance, art and architecture. There are plenty of things to keep you busy when you arrive. Take a walk around the maze of streets behind San 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 amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. For dinner, perhaps seek out Venice's distinctive culinary heritage, which goes back to ancient times and features rich risottos, saline baccala (salted cod) and creamy polenta.
Day 13 - Venice
Venture out and explore Venice today. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Take in the famous sights – the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, Doge's Palace (the ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco with its golden Basilica, and of course, the evocative Bridge of Sighs. Take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for the best view of Venice. No trip here would be complete without a journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. While away your day in the busy San Marco square and be sure to try the local tiramisu and Italian coffee. There’s creativity everywhere, overflowing into the canals; see it in the Venetian glass in Dorsoduro or down the streets spreading out from the Campo Santo Stefano. Visit the Palazzo Ducale, overflowing with paintings by Italian masters, and contrast it with the modern Guggenheim. Simply enjoy getting lost and uncovering your own slice of Venice. In the evening, maybe gather your fellow travellers for a dinner of Venetian specialities like fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes.
Day 14 - Venice
Today is a free day for you to explore Venice. There are no activities planned until tonight's group meeting, so head out as there are plenty of things to keep you busy. After the meeting, perhaps enjoy dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant.
Day 15 - Venice
Today is another free day for you to take in the multitude of sights in this extraordinary city. Take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for the best view of Venice. Or head over to the islands of Murano and Burano. The former is known for its glass, the latter for its lace work. Both islands are quieter than the main islands of Venice, and provide an insight into local life. Alternatively you can simply while away your day in the busy San Marco square. Be sure to try the local tiramisu and Italian coffee that's on offer. Simply enjoy getting lost and uncovering your own slice of Venice.
Day 16 - Bolzano
Bolzano is as curious as it is beautiful, and it is very, very beautiful. A mixture of German and Italian heritage makes for an interesting cultural mix in this valley town, from European-style epoque buildings to the Mediterranean-flavoured porticoes of the main square. The three-and-a-half-hour train journey to Bolzano is made enjoyable by glimpses of gorgeous countryside from the window. Arrive and enjoy an orientation walk through this picturesque town of green hills and sloping vineyards. Enjoy a free evening to soak up the town. The Piazza Walther (central square) is beautifully lit up in the evening and makes a great place to begin.
Day 17 - South Tyrol / Bolzano
Today you’ll get to sample some of the wines this region is famous for while enjoying the fresh air and stunning surrounds with a bike tour of the South Tyrolean Wine Road. Peddle along the river and through orchards, taking in the delightful sight of villas and vineyards nestled in the hills. Stop and sip along the way, perhaps trying a glass of fragrant gewurztraminer or lightly spiced cabernet – both varieties are particularly popular here. The ride will take less than three hours, leaving the rest of the day free for you to enjoy this beautiful area.
Day 18 - South Tyrol / Bolzano
Enjoy a full day in the Alpe di Siusi, the largest high-altitude alpine meadow in Europe. It's an area that conjures images of Julie Andrews spinning around in Sound of Music – think softly rolling hills with patches of thick pines framed by jagged mountains. See the incredible vistas from above in a cable car ride over the area. Explore Prösels Castle, a building with a fascinating history. Constructed in the 13th century, the castle was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 15th century and was briefly occupied by farmers as a form of protest in the 16th century. Take a scenic walk with a local storyteller. The area was also the setting for witch trials (and subsequent burnings) over 500 years ago. Enjoy an included lunch and contemplate the often dark history behind the beauty of Alpe di Siusi at the Rauchhütte, a well-situated alpine chalet restaurant at 1,850 metres above sea level, with stunning views and tasty local dishes.
Day 19 - Salzburg
Journey into Austria, taking a 4,5 hour train ride to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a World Heritage-listed city. Enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival and get acquainted with the streets around your hotel. The skyline of Salzburg is filled with the domes and spires that typify baroque architecture. You’ll get a fantastic view of the city while watching the late European sunset from lofty Hohensalzburg Castle. Later, the Old Town is the perfect place for an evening stroll or a nightcap, so perhaps take a walk to a cafe and enjoy an Almdudler spritz (white wine mixed with the popular herbal soft drink).
Day 20 - Salzburg
Today you are free to see Salzburg at your own pace. History buffs may wish to explore one or more of the preserved historical buildings scattered throughout the city. The Salzburg Fortress (part of Hohensalzburg Castle) is one option. In addition to the restored towers and fortifications, the building features a museum filled with fascinating artefacts from the middle ages – from armour to chastity belts. Old Market Square is a great place to load up on pastries and perhaps shop for trinkets, though be aware the stalls pack up from about 2 pm. In the evening, maybe ask your leader where you can grab some Tafelspitz. This classic Austrian dish features meat boiled in a broth (stay with us), usually served with minced apples and horseradish. The description may not sound particularly special, but this hearty meal combines salty, sweet and sharp flavours in a way that is incredibly satisfying.
Day 21 - Vienna
The capital of Austria and the undisputed legacy arts hub of central Europe, Vienna awaits after a 2.5-hour train journey. Get started with an orientation walk, then set out on your own to explore this historic city. The public transport in the city is fantastic, which makes getting around easy. The geometric tiling on the roof of St Stephan’s Cathedral is worth a look, and you can climb 136 metres to the top of the south tower for amazing views of the city. In the evening why not head out for a meal? Of course, the classic schnitzel is abundant (and delicious) but if you’d like to try something a little different ask your leader where to find a traditional beuschel (a ragout made with calf lung and heart).
Day 22 - Vienna
Enjoy a free day in Vienna, the perfect opportunity to visit one of the cities famous royal complexes. One option is Schonbrunn Palace, an expansive estate with lawns perfect for lounging and multiple rooms preserved from different eras. Or perhaps check out the central Hofburg Imperial Palace, where bibliophiles can see one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, where towering shelves hold ancient volumes. Either of the palaces will take a whole day to explore in full, so you’ll have to choose one or the other. If you’re looking to unwind and avoid crowds, you could always spend the day in one of Vienna’s many coffee houses, nursing a brew and watching the world flow by. In the evening, you have the option of joining your fellow travellers and leader for a farewell dinner.
Day 23 - Vienna
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following checl-out. As there is so much to do and see in Vienna you may want to consider to extend your stay here. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability.
Day 24 - Vienna
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following checl-out. As there is so much to do and see in Vienna you may want to consider to extend your stay here. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
01-06-202023-06-2020AUD $ 7,395-
29-06-202021-07-2020AUD $ 7,395-
27-07-202018-08-2020AUD $ 7,395-
24-08-202015-09-2020AUD $ 7,395-
07-09-202029-09-2020AUD $ 7,395-
03-05-202125-05-2021AUD $ 7,395-
17-05-202108-06-2021AUD $ 7,395-
31-05-202122-06-2021AUD $ 7,395-
28-06-202120-07-2021AUD $ 7,395-
26-07-202117-08-2021AUD $ 7,395-
23-08-202114-09-2021AUD $ 7,395-
06-09-202128-09-2021AUD $ 7,395-

Accommodation

Hotel (23 nights)

Transport

Train,Public bus,Private vehicle,Metro,Bicycle,Boat

Map