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Top Trip Memories

  • Strolling through the photogenic Tuscan countryside by day and staying in an atmospheric inn at night while on a walking tour of the region.
  • Gliding through the canals of Venice by gondola.
  • Enjoying delicious regional Italian specialities on a food tour.
  • Wandering the ruins of the Roman Forum, where an empire was overseen two millennia ago.
  • Gazing at the Roman Colosseum, lit up at night, from the terrace of a nearby outdoor restaurant.
  • Admiring the works of the Old Masters in the Uffizi Gallery or any of Michelangelo’s sculptures in Florence, perhaps the greatest art city of all.
  • Visiting the ruins of Pompeii, buried in ash and preserved for thousands of years by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.
  • Sipping a morning cappuccino in a piazza anywhere in Italy.
  • Drinking in the views from atop the cliffside city of Taormina in Sicily, including the Straits of Messina and volcanic Mt. Etna in the distance.
  • Enjoying the chaotic vibrancy of Naples while welcoming a respite on the nearby Isle of Capri.
  • Driving the winding Amalfi Coast near Salerno, a World Heritage Site and scenic wonder.
  • Touring Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest cathedral (in the world’s smallest state), and the incredibly rich Vatican Museums, highlighted by the Sistine Chapel.
  • Taking a small-ship cruise along the Po River and through the Venice Lagoon.
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Tour Tips

  • Don’t expect to see all of Italy in one trip, unless you can find a six-month-long tour. Concentrate on a few cities or regions -- or even just one city or region -- per trip.
  • Taking a tour of Italy, which charges admission even to enter many churches, can save you money from a comparable independent trip.
  • A tour can also save you time -- bypassing impossibly long lines for main attractions.
  • Summertime can get very crowded with tourists in many parts of Italy, so consider offseason tours -- when you might also have cooler weather and less expense.
  • Once you’ve seen the most famous sights and regions, there are still many world-class cities and areas to explore in Italy, so consider tours that get off the beaten path a bit.
  • Similarly, look for tours that patronize authentic local inns and trattorias so you get the real Italian experience rather than the strictly tourist version.
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Italy Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5

99%

recommend

1,393 Reviews

  • Excellent 969
  • Great 348
  • Average 57
  • Disappointing 8
  • Terrible 3

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.6
  • Guide
    4.6
  • Activities
    4.6
  • Lodging
    4.6
  • Transportation
    4.6
  • Meals
    4.6

Tour Reviews

Exodus Travels are amazing!! Had a wonderful time, 5 stars

Cross-country Skiing Dobbiaco

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
An amazing cross country skiing trip with great people and lovely food! Loved every minute of it, the only criticism is that it went too quickly- still wish I was there now.
Would love to come again, would definitely recommend exodus travels to anyone!!

Amazing Europe Trip

Mega European

5.0
February 2017
Topdeck
Recommend: Yes
There are so many great things to say about my European trip of a lifetime. The people that made it was my fellow topdeckers and of course the Fab Tour guide Matt Stewart. This is a trip that I will never forget, so many lovely memories I will cherish forever. We was very lucky with Matt because he really took time to talk to us and make us all feel relaxed with each other and asked us what we wanted to do. He was so knowledgable about all the places we went to, I remember thinking to myself this guy is pretty cool the fact he knows so well about the history and culture of each place especially the amount of cities we travelled to. Matt made the trip fun, interesting, exciting and I hope that if I was to ever do a top deck again one day he would be the tour guide or I think I would be disappointed. Have recommended top deck to so many people, memories I will have for a lifetime.

Georgina staines
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Walking, history, food and wine.

Walking in Puglia & Matera

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Having never visited the heel of Italy, we had little idea of what to expect. What a delight! The combination of pleasant walking in interesting countryside, historic sites, good food and wine, and a superb guide
made a perfect holiday.
Al fresco picnics on walks, magically produced from a rucksack, and delightfully presented right down to the oil and vinegar for the salads!

Marinella is a group leader par excellence. She believes in going the extra mile, and it shows. She loves to share knowledge of her local area, and to make sure all her group has the best possible experience. Nothing phases her. Her hard work, personality, sense of humour and professionalism make her the perfect guide.

Remember to pack insect repellent amd antihistamine cream for the walks.

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5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
If you want to see a quiet side of Italy do do this trip! You won't be disappointed with anything. After a hectic week in Rome this trip was perfect. We loved the group itself and our wonderful guide, Marinella. Everything was done professionally and went very smoothly. November is an ideal time to travel to this place because most of the tourists are gone and the weather is mild.
Walking in Matera around the cave houses, seeing the cave where the bones of a 28000 year old skeleton were found, going into a 600 year old trulli that was still being lived in, walking through the olive groves enjoying the countryside vistas, sampling the local produce at fabulous picnics put together by our lovely guide, visiting Ostuni the white city, the list goes on. In short we thoroughly enjoyed our week and would do it again.

We loved Marinella, she loves her job and her country, she is a mine of information and does her best to make sure that everything runs smoothly for everyone. We enjoyed her sense of humour and her company, she is an absolute delight. We were impressed by Marinella when one of our group members had an accident (before the walk even started ) and she had to balance care and organizing her as well as guiding the group, she must have been under a great deal of stress but she handled the situation professionally and we never felt that she could have done better.

If you do this trip in November make sure that you take warm clothes for at night and good walking boots.

This was our first exodus trip and after our experience I don't think it will be our last, hopefully future trips will be as good!

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Cycling in Sicily

Cycling in Sicily

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
It takes a lot to come together to make to make a perfect trip but this one succeeded. The group gelled perfectly although there was big range of cycling abilities. The leader was excellent, the accommodation good and last but not least he hire bikes were very good, which is not always the case.
The best moment was the exciting descent down a series of hairpins on the penultimate day of the trip

Daniela and Guiseppe took very good care of everyone. Daniela's knowledge of the places we visited also enhanced the quality of the trip

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Classic Itineraries

Italy in 7-10 Days

If you only have one week in Italy, you will have time to see the “big three,” that is Venice, Florence, and Rome. Each is distinct and will provide a wonderful glimpse into the country. A word of warning though: once you’re there, you will not want to come back!

Day 1-3, Rome & Vatican City: Colesseum, Circus Maximus, Forum, Sistine Chapel, Spanish Steps, Trevy Fountain

Day 4-5, Florence: Shop along the ponte vechio, see incredible works of art at The Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze, visit beautiful cathedrals.

Day 6-7, Venice: Gondola Rides, Piazza San Marco, walk over picturesque bridges for spectacular photo ops, and explore shops full of intricate Venitian masks.

See All One Week Italy Itineraries

Italy in 2 Weeks

If it's your first visit to Italy, try to plan two weeks in which you can see the countryside as well as the major tourist spots. 

Day 1-2, Rome & Vatican CityColesseum, Circus Maximus, Forum, Sistine Chapel, Spanish Steps, Trevy Fountain

Day 3-5, Florence: Sienna, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tuscany, Wine Tasting 

Day 6, Milan: Pristine Milan is a great shopping city, also offering impressive history and the increcible cathedral at its center. 

Day 7, Verona: Famous for it's star crossed lovers, fair Verona is a lovely stop, with a long artistic history. 

Day 8-9, VeniceGondola Rides, Piazza San Marco, walk over picturesque bridges for spectacular photo ops, and explore shops full of intricate Venitian masks.

Day 10, San Marino: Marvel at stunning medieval architecture and stroll through classic piazza's.

Day 12-14, Naples: Take a day trip to Positano and Pompeii. Enjoy classic Nepolitan pizza and ocean views.

See All Two Week Italy Itineraries

Culinary & Wine Tour of Italy

If there's one thing Italy is known for, it's food! A culinary tour of the country will showcase their signature dishes, and the traditional way to make them. And a food tour would be nothing without a visit to some of the countries premier wineries where you'll get a taste of classic old world wines.

Day 1-2, Rome: Enjoy your introduction to Italy in Rome, enjoying classic Italian fare at hole in the wall restaurants. Eat dessert al fresco as you taste delicious gelato while lounging on the Spanish Steps.

Day 3-6, Bologna: Learn how to make a traditional Bolognese sauce, and visit where true Parmesan Reggiano is made.

Day 7-10, Tuscany: The rustic charm of Tuscany will be revealed as you walk in fresh gardens, drink delicious wines, learn to make homemade pasta, and picnic in vineyards. 

See All Culinary & Wine Tours in Italy

Italy Trips & Tour Advice

A captivating epicenter for art, architecture, food, scenery, and history, Italy consistently ranks among the top five countries in the world for attracting visitors. From the shimmering lakes of the Alpine north, to the sun-kissed island of Sicily in the south, Italy offers an abundant supply of historical sights, sensory delights, rustic villages and countryside.

Drawn by the allure of some of the world’s most timeless art, architecture, and scenic beauty -- the Roman Colosseum, the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, the canals of Venice, the ruins of Pompeii, and the Tuscan countryside among them -- countless generations of travelers have made Italy one of the world’s most visited destinations. It’s the land of Puccini, parmesan, and pasta -- and so much more.

World-class art museums?  Check.

Ancient history and ruins? Check.

Some of the world’s most beautiful cities? Check.

Food and scenery to die for? Check.

Passionate people? Check.

A vast variety of landscapes and activities? Check.

All this in a country that’s a bit smaller in size than Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana combined. Italy packs in enough culture, scenery and other attractions to fill a continent.

Three Great Cities

Rome, Florence, and Venice form a rough triangle spanning the upper middle of the country and provide an introduction to the “essential Italy.”

Rome, which legend dates to 753 BC, is a repository of classical ruins now wedged against a backdrop of modernity. Rome is especially magical at night, when its monuments and fountains are illuminated and the glories of ancient Rome -- the Colosseum and nearby Roman Forum being the headliners -- seem not so distant past.

It’s also imperative to take the walk across the Tiber River to what is actually another country, tiny Vatican City, seat of the Roman Catholic Church, where mammoth St. Peter’s Basilica and the opulent collections of the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, await.

Art Capital

Florence, perhaps the greatest art city of them all, straddles the Arno River in the province of Tuscany northwest of Rome. The heart of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th to 16th centuries, Florence nurtured geniuses such as Dante, Giotto, Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Raphael.

The Uffizi Gallery contains the world’s top collection of Renaissance paintings, while the Accademia houses the most famous sculpture on earth, Michelangelo’s David. The Duomo, a cathedral whose immense dome is covered with white, green, and pink marble, serves as the city’s most striking landmark.

Side Trips from Florence

A tour operator can easily expand a visit to Florence with side trips to other Tuscan cities like Siena, a Medieval walled city; Pisa, best known for the Leaning Tower; and Lucca, where you can walk the old city walls. Genoa is farther up the coast but wewll worth seeing.

The Tuscan countryside is also home to a number of impossibly scenic villages that cling to steep hillsides, invariably topped by a church. Walking tours are a great way to experience the region. Don’t miss the walks through Cinque Terre, five towns perched on cliffs overlooking the sea and connected by trails.

On to Venice

Between Florence and Venice lie a number of potential stopovers: Bologna, Padua, and Verona among them. Venice itself lies on the Adriatic Sea northeast of Florence. Built on some 100 islands dotting a lagoon, the city clings precariously to existence despite the longtime ravages of flooding and pollution. Yet Venice’s grand palazzos and intricate mazes of canals and walkways somehow remain afloat amid almost surreal beauty.

Piazza San Marco, Italy’s most regal square, leads to the Byzantine splendor of the Basilica di San Marco and a passing parade of visitors from around the world.

Southern Italy

Near Naples, the ruins of Pompeii and the lesser known Herculaneum were buried under ash and mud, respectively, when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The result is a vast trove of archaeological treasure, including artifacts of Roman-era life preserved for centuries until re-discovered more than 1,500 years later.

The city of Naples, always colorful, beckons to the south, as do the islands of Ischia and Capri off the coast. Further south yet is the Amalfi coast, a stunning mountainous roadway passing villages overlooking the Mediterranean. And, across the Straits of Messina from the toe of Italy’s southern “boot,” the island of Sicily, has some of Italy’s most gorgeous scenery as well as its own culture, almost separate from that of northern Italy. Venture around the whole island for a wealth of vistas, vibrant cities and ancient ruins.

Northern Italy

Northern Italy gets increasingly mountainous and is dotted with shimmering clear-blue lakes, with Lake Como -- north of the Italian fashion capital, Milan -- being the best known. While touring the far-northern Alpine areas, you might think you were in Switzerland or Austria. You can ski there or enjoy lakeside walks.

With so much to see and do in Italy, it can be daunting as to which regions to explore first. So let Stride help you find the right Italy guided tour for your needs and budget.

Related Guides

Continent:

Europe

Local Attractions: 

Colosseum, Venice Canals, Pompeii, Santa Maria del Fiore, Amalfi Coast, Monarola (Cinque Terre) & Many More

Top Activities:

Historic Sightseeing, Small-Ship CruisesCycling & Biking and Culinary & Wine Tasting

Smilar Destinations:      

FranceGermanySpain & Switzerland

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