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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
(8 reviews)
Min 15 , Max 39
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 into the city centre. European trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning and toilets. But 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. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.


Ciao! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure begins in Venice 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. Please check with the hotel reception or the hotel noticeboard for the exact time and place of the meeting. If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these ready for your trip leader. While you're in Venice, be sure to check out some of these cool things: 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. There are only two ways to get around here – on foot or by boat. 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.’

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, 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).
Optional Activities
  • Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR18
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR8
  • 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
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 will be your base for exploring the truly epic stretch of coast known as the Cinque Terre (approximately 30 minutes' train ride away). The colourful houses built into cliff faces are an amazing feat of engineering. Those Italians aren't afraid of nothin'. You'll walk along the famous paths of the villages. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea, so brace yourself for some crazy, crazy views. If you're feeling energetic, walking the entire path (12 km, approximately 5 hours) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside. You can jump on a train between any of the villages or get back to base whenever you want. After working up an appetite, you'll 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, or dolloped into a classic minestrone soup. 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.

Notes: Some sections of the Cinque Terre path can be quite difficult, with challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. You will need to wear sturdy footwear (trainers or light hiking shoes). Due to recent landslides in the area it is currently not possible to walk the 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.

Cinque Terre path sections:
- Riomaggiore to Manarola (the original Via dell'Amore) is currently closed until further notice. The alternative is an inland path, taking around 1 hour involving a rocky path with lots of steps.
- Manarola to Corniglia is also closed to landslides. The alternative is via the hill side village of Volastra. It takes 1 hour to reach Volastra via a series of steep staircases, and then another hour to reach Corniglia. There is an hourly bus from Manarola to Volastra in order to bypass the steps.
- Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about one and a half hours on a rocky path.
- Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging but arguably the most scenic and takes about two hours on a rocky path.

Please also note that due to safety reasons some sections of any path can be closed at short notice.
Optional Activities
  • Day Cruise - EUR25
  • Pesto Class in Levanto - EUR13
  • Cinque Terre Day Trip - EUR16
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (1)
Board a train bound for Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). You'll arrive around mid-afternoon. Get a feel for the heart of Tuscany – 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! 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.

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.
Optional Activities
  • Uffizi Gallery - EUR16
  • Accademia - EUR16
  • Baptistry - EUR10
  • Duomo & Campanile climb - EUR6
  • Medici Chapels - EUR6
  • Museo dell'Opera di S.Maria del Fiore - EUR15
  • Museum Bargello - EUR4
  • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
  • Pitti Palace - Boboli Gardens, Museo Argenti, Costume Gallery, Porcellain Museum - EUR10
  • 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 (2)
Head to Rome by train (approximately 3.5 hours). Time for some Roman around. Arrive in Italy's capital and dive head-first into all it has to offer – ancient ruins, religious monuments, designer shops, top-notch restaurants, cafes and bars. 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. The following 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 day 8.
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 (2 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)


Our Italy at a Glance trips score an average of 4.75 out of 5 based on 8 reviews in the last year.

Italy at a Glance, May 2016

Patricia Hanson

Italy at a Glance, June 2016

Sophia Farchione

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Essential Trip Information

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