15 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1: Venice
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Notes: Your leader will be available to help on your arrival day however they may be in Venice with another group for Day 1 of your tour and if so will be spending the evening having a farewell dinner with this group after your group meeting. Your leader will make every effort to suggest a location for dinner for you and your group on the evening of Day 1 and will be able to participate in other evening meals for the duration of your trip.
Day 2: Venice
After an orientation walk to familiarise you with the city you are free to explore Venice on your own. A grand city of canals, 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 only two ways to explore Venice - by boat or on foot. Some of the more popular sights include the Grand Canal, the shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Take the time to wander the narrow, cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas and cross the hundreds of tiny bridges, where shops, markets, galleries, churches and stunning buildings lie around every corner. You can't leave Venice without going on a classic Venetian gondola. It's a common way for visitors to see the major canal routes from a fascinating perspective.
Day 3: Assisi
This is a long travel day as we take several trains followed by a short bus ride inland into Umbria and the medieval hill town of Gubbio (approx 8 hrs). The streets of Gubbio are filled with stone houses and orange-tiled roofs, set against a mountain backdrop.
Day 4: Spello / Assisi
This morning take a short orientation walk up to Gubbio's unique cable car - a 15 minute and 1,000 metre high ride to the Basilica of Sant'Ubaldo, which contains the mummified body of the town's patron saint. From up here you can marvel at the amazing vistas of the Umbrian valleys and mountains plus get a great rooftop view of the town itself. Note that the cable car may not be suitable to individuals suffering from vertigo or with mobility issues. The alternative is a 30-40 minute walk uphill on a gravel road to reach the basilica. Take a short hike from the top of Mt Ingino to admire the Umbrian countryside and stunning view down to Gubbio (approx. 2-3hrs).
You'll have some free time to explore the delights of Gubbio at leisure. You can take in the Civic Museum, the Duomo or the Palazzo Ducale, or just relax into the Umbrian pace of life. Enjoy a variety of local cuisine and try one of the dishes that Umbria is famous for - pecorino cheese, game meat and mushrooms all feature on restaurant menus.
Day 5: Gubbio
Take a bus south to Assisi (approx 2.5 hrs). Assisi was the home of one of the world's most famous saints and founder of the Franciscan order - St Francis. Whatever your feelings about religion, it's a place which inspires reverence. Join your group leader on an orientation walk past all the wonderful sights of Assisi, including Piazza Matteotti, the Basilica of St Clare and the Roman temple remains. Take a short guided tour of the magnificent Basilica di San Francesco (St Francis Cathedral). We'll be led by a member of the Franciscan community, who will explain the life and times of St Francis and the beautiful art inside the church.
Day 6: Gubbio
Take the train to charming Spello (approx 20 mins) to sample exclusive local wine and regional food specialties at an enoteca in this medieval town. Return to Assisi in the late afternoon with some free time to further explore this unique town.
Day 7: Rome
Travel by train to Rome (approx 4 hrs). 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. See some of the world-famous sights such as the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine and the Forum (the centre of ancient Rome). 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 the ultimate breathtaking panorama over bella Roma. Also make the time to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds). Check the Vatican website for these dates: www.vatican.va
Day 8: Rome
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
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. There are so many things to do in Rome, we recommend you arrive a few days early to see the all sights, such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, Via Condotti and Piazza Venezia.
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 the ultimate breathtaking panorama over bella Roma. Also make the time to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds).
Day 9: Naples / Pompeii
Travel by train to Naples (approx 3 hrs). Naples was carved out by many empires of the past and by merchants and pirates from across the world: Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Venetians, Spaniards, Normans and Africans. Its historical old centre is a World Heritage-listed area and the famous Spanish Quarter is still one of the most densely populated residential areas in Europe. Naples is the birthplace of the pizza, so it's only appropriate to head to one of the many pizzerias and taste what's truly some of the best that Italy has to offer. Head off to the Archaeological Museum, one of the best in Europe, which houses all the original artefacts rescued from the Pompeii site. Later in the afternoon board a train for Pompeii (approx 1 hr).
Day 10: Pompeii
The small picturesque town of 'modern' Pompeii has a wonderful old town square - the perfect place to while away some time with the locals, drinking true Italian coffee and watching the world go by. Explore the ruins of ancient Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius 2,000 years ago. Pompeii is a time capsule quite unlike any other ruined city in the world.
Day 11: Mt Vesuvius / Sorrento
This morning take a bus up the mighty Mt Vesuvius, where we will meet our local guide. The final ascent of the volcano can only be done on foot, up a steep but well-made trail of volcanic ash and gravel. The ascent takes around 45 minutes.
In the afternoon travel by train to Sorrento. People have been coming to the peninsula and islands of the Sorrento region for at least 2,000 years, and it's easy to see why. There are many options in this small seaside town with its fine piazzas, maze of old streets, sidewalk cafes and glamorous shops. The area is also famous for its lemon and orange groves - try some limoncello, a popular lemon liqueur, while watching the sun go down over the Adriatic Sea.
Day 12: Sorrento
You have a free day to explore this delightful area. A trip to Capri is always popular - you can take a hydrofoil across for the day. Your leader will be of assistance and will have plenty of suggestions of what to do and see.
Day 13: Amalfi
Arrive on the Amalfi Coast after a short bus journey (approx 2 hrs). The Amalfi peninsula is a land of rocky coasts, cliff-top vistas, azure seas and bright blue skies. You'll have time to explore the picturesque towns of Amalfi and Positano, or just relax on the beach.
Day 14: Amalfi
Your leader will take you for a half-day walk along the narrow trail of the famous Sentiero Degli Dei (the Walk of the Gods), which, until quite recently, was followed by mules and donkeys as they traversed the dramatic landscape. The trail is steep and has many stairs, but the views are breathtaking and amply repay you for the effort! You'll see forests, ancient buildings, olive groves, vineyards, villages and the dramatic coastline. Please note that this walk can be challenging for sufferers of vertigo. A certain level of fitness is required to complete this walk, especially in summer when there may not be much shade along the path. Your leader will be able to suggest alternative activities should you wish to opt out.
Day 15: Amalfi
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to do along the Amalfi Coast you may want to consider to extend your stay here. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking.
All This Included
From the romance of Venice to the laidback charm of the Amalfi Coast, take time to experience the true delights of Italy. Travel through the rolling hills of Umbria, visit medieval towns, soak up culture on a trip to Rome, explore the ruins of Pompeii and fall in love with the beauty of Sorrento. La bella Italia is diverse and fascinating - experience seaside scenery, rustic city streets and delectable cuisine, all infused with that passionate Italian spirit.
Hotel (14 nights)
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.