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Check out the highlights of Italy, from Venice to the Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome

Meet someone who says Italy ain’t all that and you’ve found yourself a liar. A gondola ride through Venice will soften the heart of even the most obstinately unromantic. Cinque Terre and Florence couldn’t be any prettier if they tried. And Rome’s like one massive café inside an art gallery inside a cathedral inside a pizzeria. In ancient Rome, phalluses were thought of as good luck. They were worn as jewellery or hung up as wind chimes. We’ll stick to the four-leafed clover, thanks (walking around with phallic jewellery not recommended).

Venice, Italy
Rome, Italy
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
4 reviews
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Venice is like a dream – your chance to sip prosecco, drift down grand canals and dominate Instagram with scenes of impossible romance

  • The Cinque Terre might just be the most epic stretch of coastline in the world, thanks to its rainbow of cute little cliff-side houses. Look at them, smiling over the water like they were painted there!

  • There's a lot more to Florence than Renaissance art (although the art is pretty great). The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is brimming with nearly 600 years of history and stories

  • No Italian adventure is complete without some time in Rome. There's loads of time to check out the ancient Colosseum, mozy through Vatican City and gaze up towards the gods inside St Peter's Basilica

Is this trip right for you?

  • You'll mostly travel by train, which means you can avoid traffic jams and arrive right in the city centres. European trains are comfortable and always have toilets, however can be quite busy at times. Remember that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so try not to exceed our weight and size recommendations (see the 'Packing' section of the trip notes).

  • This trip is for travellers who appreciate a bit of independence. You'll get plenty of free time in each location to make your own choices and do your own activities. Your leader will always be there to give you tips and suggestions.

  • Cobblestones are great, until you have to wheel a suitcase across them. It's an idea to bring a backpack instead.

  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with (an)other traveller(s) of the same gender, mostly twin, triple and quad share. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can! Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Please also note that most of the accommodations used on this trip offer shared bathrooms, rather than en-suite facilities, and rooms can seem rather small by American or Australian standards.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 25 September 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Ciao! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Check with the hotel reception or the hotel noticeboard for where and when this meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you might want 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, just let the hotel reception know. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so be sure to have these ready for your leader. If you arrive early, hit the tiramisu hard as you touch down in Venice, land of gondolas and romantic sighing. In this little slice of old-world heaven, get lost in a maze of cobblestone streets and dance across the Piazza San Marco. Fancy a tipple? Prosecco is the drink of choice here; match it with a pasta fazool and embrace your inner Dean Martin. Now, ‘that’s amore.’
Optional Activities
  • Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR19
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR10
  • Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art - EUR10
  • Glass Museum Murano - EUR10
  • Museum of St Mark's Basilica - EUR5
  • Scuola Grande di San Rocco - EUR11
  • Urban Adventures - Chicchetti of Venice - EUR80
  • Urban Adventures - Canal & Aperitivo Experience - EUR113
  • Urban Adventures - Sweet Taste of Venice - EUR36
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel on a series of trains (approximately 5 hours) to the Liguria region. La Spezia, a medieval port town whose name is derived from its historic importance in the spice trade, will be your base for exploring the truly epic stretch of coast known as the Cinque Terre (approximately 30 minutes' train ride away). In La Spezia appreciate indulging in the foods of the Liguria region, which take advantage of the products of the Mediterranean. Pesto is a speciality, and is often served with pasta, green beans and potato. Focaccia is also a speciality, and makes a tasty start to lunch – team it up with some cheese and ham and you have a simple yet delicious picnic.
Included Activities
  • Sunset Trip to Portovenere
Optional Activities
  • Cinque Terre - Cruise - EUR30
  • Levanto - Pesto Making Class - EUR13
  • Cinque Terre - Day Trip - EUR16
  • Urban Adventures - Tasting Cinque Terre - EUR78
  • Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre Hike & Bite - EUR119
  • Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre This is Aperitivo - EUR70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Cinque Terre’s colourful houses built into cliff faces are an amazing feat of engineering. Those Italians aren't afraid of nothin'. Hike along the famous paths between the villages. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea, so brace yourself for some crazy, crazy views. You can walk as many sections as you like, or jump on a train between any of the villages or get back to base in La Spezia whenever you want.

Notes: Due to recent landslides in the area it is currently not possible to walk the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. There are alternative inland routes, however these are of a higher physical rating and involve steep ups and downs. It is possible to take the train or a bus for these sections. Due to safety reasons some sections of any path can be closed at short notice.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Board a train bound for Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). You'll arrive around mid-afternoon. Get a feel for the heart of Tuscany – birthplace of the renaissance, capital of Tuscany and cultural hub of dear Italia. It's brimming with religious monuments and Renaissance masterpieces. No wonder a third of Europe's fat-cat artists lived here back in the day! The minds and talents of the Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all flourished here.
Optional Activities
  • Uffizi Gallery - EUR16
  • Accademia - EUR14
  • Baptistry - EUR10
  • Duomo & Campanile climb - EUR6
  • Medici Chapels - EUR8
  • Museo dell'Opera di S.Maria del Fiore - EUR15
  • Museum Bargello - EUR8
  • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
  • Pitti Palace - Boboli Gardens, Museo Argenti, Costume Gallery, Porcellain Museum - EUR12
  • Siena bus ticket - EUR24
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Foodies Walk - EUR64
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Markets & Delis - EUR53
  • Urban Adventures - Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour - EUR73
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
It's best to see the main sights of the 'outdoor museum' 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, Baptistry and Belltower and the Santa Croce Church. It's a dizzying list, but don't forget to visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries and a work of art in itself. And of course there's Michelangelo's super-famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. What a guy.

Notes: Florentine State Museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace, Medici Chapels, Bargello, Archaeological Museum, Davanzati) can all be booked in advance. Reserve tickets online at We suggest that you book in advance (your leader can be of assistance), especially for the Uffizi as this museum experiences enormous queues (up to 5 hours) all year round. The individual museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them but the website - - has everything you need to know about all of them. The best day for your visit to any of the museums will be your free day in Florence.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Head to Rome by train (approximately 2 hours). Time for some Roman around. Arrive in Italy's capital and dive head-first into all it has to offer. 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. Don't miss the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine and the Forum (the centre of ancient Rome). And 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 so you can catch the awesome views from up there. The Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel are also well worth your time before. On the last day it's time to say ciao to your new travel companions, and you're free to depart whenevs.

Notes: 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: Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at The Galleria Borghese can also be booked online at The best day for your visit to the Vatican Museum will be the morning of departure day.
Optional Activities
  • Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR10
  • Christian Catacombs - EUR8
  • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR16
  • Imperial Fora - EUR9
  • Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR5
  • Vatican museums - EUR16
  • Pantheon - Free
  • St Peter's dome climb - EUR6
  • St Peter's Dome Climb & Elevator - EUR8
  • Venezia Palace - EUR5
  • Galleria Borghese - EUR15
  • Urban Adventures - Ancient Rome: Archaeological Discovery Tour - EUR89
  • Urban Adventures - Roman Dolce Vita - EUR63
  • Urban Adventures - Trastevere: Trends and Tradition - EUR55
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (1)


4 breakfasts




Hotel (3 nights), Hostel (4 nights)

Included Activities

  • Sunset Trip to Portovenere


Our Italy by Rail trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

Italy by Rail, July 2017

Sarah Thompson

Italy by Rail, July 2017

Nerilee Gersch

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Important notes

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

You don't have a lot of time in Venice and Rome at the start and the end of the trip respectively, so if you're keen to explore these spectacular cities in depth, we recommend you tag on a few days before and/or after the trip. Please ask a Geckos Travel Consultant for more information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.