Cities, lakes and coastlines converge. All points of the compass are covered on this extensive journey into the cuisine, history and landscapes of Italy. It's Insider moments like… the ripple of waves and reflection of the sky, as you speed by private boat towards Isola Madre, a secluded island where young princes used to play. As Signor Telli welcomes you he brings the history of the island to life, and the story behind its nickname 'La Piratera'. Then he introduces you to the family over traditional lakeside cuisine, and crisp chilled Gavi wine, as they explain how the childhood fantasies of a prince inspired their family restaurant, the setting for your delicious dinner.

Best of Italy

Fully Inclusive Group Tour

Duration : 18 DAYSCountry : ITALY
Book now
Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Florence, ItalyWine, ItalyPisa, ItalyVerona, ItalyMilan, ItalyVenice, Italy

Cities, lakes and coastlines converge. All points of the compass are covered on this extensive journey into the cuisine, history and landscapes of Italy. It's Insider moments like… the ripple of waves and reflection of the sky, as you speed by private boat towards Isola Madre, a secluded island where young princes used to play. As Signor Telli welcomes you he brings the history of the island to life, and the story behind its nickname 'La Piratera'. Then he introduces you to the family over traditional lakeside cuisine, and crisp chilled Gavi wine, as they explain how the childhood fantasies of a prince inspired their family restaurant, the setting for your delicious dinner.

Included in the price

  • International Flights from Australia
  • Airlines taxes and fuel surcharges
  • 14 hot buffet breakfasts.
  • 7 dinners (including Welcome Reception, Be My Guest, 4 three course dinners with wine and Farewell Dinner).
  • 15 night's accommodation (9 hotels) 
  • All transport shown ( including return cruise)
  • All transfers shown
  • All activities/ sightseeing mentionned

Day 1: Australia - Bangkok

Fly from Australia to Bangkok. You will be met and transferred to our hotel in Bangkok for overnight. Accommodation: Amari Watergate, Bangkok (4.5-star)

Day 2: Bangkok - Rome

Fly from Bangkok to Rome. Meal: Breakfast. Night on Plane.

Day 3: Rome

Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! Spend the rest of your day relaxing or take a leisurely stroll around the city. Join your companions and your Travel Director later for a Welcome Reception. Then enjoy an orientation drive to see St. Peter's Basilica and other sights - a great introduction to this beautiful city. Meal: Welcome Reception. Accommodation: Il Cantico Help, Rome (4-star)

Day 4: Rome

Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Expert begins at the Vatican Museums. Experience a Unique Insight in the Vatican when you ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoes ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and then visit St. Peter's Basilica to see his famous Pietà. Your tour continues in ancient Rome. View the Forum and see the Circus Maximus, where chariot races were held. Visit the impressive Colosseum. There's time afterwards to explore the city on your own, or simply relax and watch the world go by! Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Il Cantico Help, Rome (4-star)

Day 5: Rome - Pompeii - Sorrento

Visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery near Monte Cassino. Your Local Expert tells you all about the devastation caused by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 during your walking tour of Pompeii. Arrive later at your hotel in Sorrento where you dine tonight. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Johanna Park/Corallo, Sorrento (4-star)

Day 6: Isle of Capri

Witness the art of inlaid wood-working, a Local Speciality for which Sorrento is famous. Later, embark on an included excursion by ferry to the Isle of Capri. See the local gardens and other sights during an orientation walk of Capri town. Spend time exploring this lovely island on your own. Perhaps consider visiting the villa of the Swedish doctor, Axel Munthe. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Johanna Park/Corallo, Sorrento (4-star)

Day 7: Sorrento - Assisi

Assisi is a mystical town perched on the slopes of Mount Subasio overlooking the peaceful Umbrian landscape. Under the protection of St. Francis this city is still enclosed by medieval ramparts. Your Local Expert takes you on a walking tour, which includes a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis, famous for its frescoes depicting the life of this much-loved saint. Spend time afterwards exploring on your own and shopping for souvenirs. Dine at your hotel this evening. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Cenacolo, Assisi (4-star)

Day 8: Assisi - Venice

Today, enjoy the glorious countryside and historic architecture of the Emilia Romagna region. The area is also renowned for its cuisine such as Tortellini, Mortadella and Parmesan cheese, which you could sample during your lunch stop. Arrive later in Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria, Venice (4-star)

Day 9: Venice

Your cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square is magical! View the Bridge of Sighs, the beautiful Doge's Palace and the Basilica. Watch a Local Speciality demonstration of the ancient art of glass-blowing at a traditional workshop on Giudecca island. Spend free time seeing the sights of your choice. You might like to cruise across the lagoon to the Island of Burano and enjoy a delicious seafood meal. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria, Venice (4-star)

Day 10: Venice - Verona - Milan - Lake Maggiore

This morning travel to Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, to admire the Roman arena and Juliet's balcony. Cross the plains of Lombardy to Milan for a walking tour of this fashionable city with your Local Expert. See the Gothic Duomo, La Scala Opera house and the famous Galleria. Dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Simplon, Baveno Verbano-Cusio-Ossola (4-star)

Day 11: Lake Maggiore

Travel to the beautiful Lake Como with free time to explore or simply soak up the scenery. This evening, take a private boat to an island on Lake Maggiore for a special Be My Guest dinner experience. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining. Accommodation: Simplon, Baveno Verbano-Cusio-Ossola (4-star)

Day 12: Lake Maggiore - Pisa - Florence

Cross the Plains of Lombardy, the forested Apennine Mountains, and pass by Genoa to Pisa. View the extraordinary Leaning Tower before arriving in Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Tonight, you might like to sample some local Tuscan cuisine. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Grand Hotel Mediterraneo/Adler Cavalieri, Florence (4-star)

Day 13: Florence

Your Local Expert brings the city's rich history to life during your walking tour. See the Cathedral and Piazza della Signoria and view Ponte Vecchio. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo. Spend free time exploring or shop for high quality leather and gold. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Grand Hotel Mediterraneo/Adler Cavalieri, Florence (4-star)

Day 14: Florence - Siena - Rome

Set in scenic Tuscan countryside, visit the medieval town of Siena, famous for its exciting Palio horse race. This evening in Rome, join your Travel Director and new found friends for a Farewell Dinner. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner. Accommodation: Sheraton Golf Parco de Medici, Rome (4-star)

Day 15: Rome

Day at leisure. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Sheraton Golf Parco de Medici, Rome (4-star)

Day 16: Rome - Bangkok

Say 'arrivederci Roma' at the end of your memorable holiday in Italy. Transfer to Rome Fiumicino for your flight to Bangkok. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Overnight on the plane.

Day 17: Bangkok - Australia

Arrival in Bangkok at 5.35am. Today we will stay at the Novotel Airport hotel for transfer. Then you will take your flight from Bangkok to Sydney at 7.20pm. Accommodation: Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel (5-star)

Day 18: Arrival in Australia

Morning arrival home in Australia.

Florence

Florence

Florence's museums, palaces, and churches house some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. The most popular and important sites in Florence include the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Uffizi, the Bargello, and the Accademia. The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are veritable art galleries, and the library of San Lorenzo is a magnificent exhibition of Michelangelo's architectural genius. Wander some of the oldest streets in the city until you reach the Arno River, cross the Ponte Vecchio, and experience the "newest" area of Florence, the Oltrarno. Florence and its magnificent treasures await your visit!
Vatican: Sistine Chapel

Vatican: Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina) is best known for two of the most awe-inspiring acts of individual creativity in the history of the visual arts: Michelangelo's Genesis (Creation) frescoes on the barrel-vaulted ceiling and his Giudizio Universale (Last Judgement) on the end wall. One of the world's greatest public spaces, Bernini's massive piazza is a breathtaking work of urban architecture. Laid out between 1656 and 1667 as a place for Christians to gather, the piazza was designed to open up before visitors as they escaped the jumble of narrow strreets that originally surrounded the area. Mussolini, however, spoiled Bernini's effect when he built the long straight approach road, Via della Conciliazione.
Vatican: St Peter's Basilica

Vatican: St Peter's Basilica

The Vatican City is the world's smallest sovereign state. What was once part of Rome was declared independent in 1929. The Vatican is the headquarters of the Holy Roman Church and it has fewer than 1,000 citizens. Inside its walls you will find vast collections of art, religious artifacts and rich traditions. In this city of outstanding churches, none can hold a candle to St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro), Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular church. A monument to centuries of artistic genius, it contains some spectacular works of art, including three of Italy’s most celebrated masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pietà , his breathtaking dome, and Bernini’s baldachin (canopy) over the papal altar.
Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome has two focal points: the Colosseum to the east, and the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) to the west. In between lie the forums: the more famous Roman Forum on the left of Via dei Fori Imperiali as you walk up from the Colosseum, and the Imperial Forums on the right. Rising above the Roman Forum, is the Palatino, and behind that the Circo Massimo. Continuing northwest from the Circo Massimo brings you to the Forum Boarium, ancient Rome’s cattle market and river port, where you’ll find the Bocca della Verità, Rome’s mythical lie detector. However, the ancient city’s most complete landmark, the Pantheon, is to be found in the Centro Storico, and the Vatican is home to Hadrian’s ancient mausoleum, adapted to become the Papal fortress of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Pompeii

Pompeii

A stark reminder of the malign forces that lie deep inside Vesuvius, Pompeii (Pompei in Italian) is Europe’s most compelling archaeological site and one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions. Each year about 2.5 million people pour in to wander the ghostly shell of what was once a thriving commercial centre. Its appeal goes beyond tourism, though. From an archaeological point of view, it’s priceless. Much of the value lies in the fact that it wasn’t simply blown away by Vesuvius: rather it was buried under a layer of lapilli (burning pumice stone), as Pliny the Younger describes in his celebrated account of the eruption.
Capri

Capri

Luxuriant, extraordinary, and such a mild climate. Capri is a Mediterranean island of calcareous origin that has been visited over the centuries by intellectuals, artists and writers, all enthralled by its magical beauty. A mix of history, nature, worldliness, culture and events that daily blend together and bring the Legend of Capri to life; a legend that sees no comparison anywhere in the world.
Venice

Venice

Gliding gracefully on a gondola along a dreamy canal, it’s easy to see why a visit to Venice is on plenty of bucket lists. Known as the ‘City of Canals’ and the ‘City of Bridges’, the unique attractions in Venice are many. This magical island city gushes with beautiful bridges, arresting architecture and pulsating piazzas that will stir your soul and leave you longing for more.
Assisi

Assisi

The small town of Assisi is one of the Christian world’s most important pilgrimage sites as it is home of the Basilica di San Francesco. This small town has been an important place of pilgrimage for over 700 years and today now attracts an estimated 5 million visitors each year. Perched high above the flat valley floor next to Monte Subasio, the cobbled streets of Assisi wind across the hill with spectacular views of the valley below.
Verona: Romeo & Juliet

Verona: Romeo & Juliet

Shakespeare placed star-crossed Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet in Verona for good reason: romance, drama and fatal family feuds have been the city's hallmark for centuries. From the third century BC, Verona was a Roman trade centre, with ancient gates and a grand amphitheatre to prove it – but Shakespearean tragedy came with the territory. Lombard king Alboin, who conquered Verona in AD 569, was murdered by his wife three years later. After Mastino della Scala (aka Scaligeri) lost re-election to Verona's commune in 1262, he claimed absolute control, until murdered by his rivals. Mastino's son Cangrande I (1308–28) went on to conquer Padua and Vicenza, with Dante, Petrarch and Giotto benefitting from the city's patronage. But the fratricidal rage of Cangrande II (1351–59) complicated matters, and the Scaligeri were run out of town in 1387. Venice took definitive control in 1404, ruling until Napoleon's arrival in 1797.
Milan

Milan

Fashionably chic, colourfully cosmopolitan, and home to celebrated works by renowned artists, it’s hard to believe that Milan is an Italian city often off the tourist’s track. Make sure to take the road less travelled and enjoy Milan’s attractions, from impressive Gothic architecture to Italian Renaissance art.
Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore is one of the most popular lakes in the Italian Lake District and just like the other great Italian lakes is mild in temperature thus producing wonderful lush green gardens and scenery. The lake stretches from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland right into the wonderful Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. The views of the flower-filled Borromean Islands studding the dazzling blue lake are unforgettable.
Pisa

Pisa

Once a maritime power to rival Genoa and Venice, Pisa now draws its fame from an architectural project gone terribly wrong. But the world-famous Leaning Tower is just one of many noteworthy sights in this compact and compelling city. Education has fuelled the local economy since the 1400s, and students from across Italy still compete for places in its elite university and research schools. This endows the centre of town with a vibrant and affordable cafe and bar scene, and balances what is an enviable portfolio of well-maintained Romanesque buildings, Gothic churches and Renaissance piazzas with a lively street life dominated by locals rather than tourists – a charm you will definitely not discover if you restrict your visit to Piazza dei Miracoli.
LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for Italy   

VISAS: Italy tourist visa is not required for citizens of Australia for a stay up to 90 days, although you will need to have a return ticket. All passports must be valid for 6 months from the date of the arrival. Some other nationalities may require a visa. For further information please contact the Italian consulate website or your travel consultant  

MONEY: You always get a better exchange rate in-country, though it’s a good idea to arrive with enough local currency to take a taxi to a hotel if you have to. Carry as little cash as possible while travelling around. Major credit cards are widely accepted by stores in Italy. Smaller cafes and shops may not accept credit cards, so ensure you carry enough cash to cover small purchases. ATMs are common in Italy, so finding one won't be a problem in most towns and cities. You can change money in banks, at the post office or in a cambio (exchange office). Post offices and most banks are reliable and tend to offer the best rates. Commission fluctuates and depends on whether you are changing cash or cheques. Generally post office commissions are lowest and the exchange rate reasonable. The main advantage of exchange offices is the longer hours they keep, but watch for high commissions and inferior rates.  

ELECTRICITY: Type C (European 2-pin), Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth), Type L (Italian 3-pin)  

CLIMATE / WEATHER: The climate varies considerably from the north to the south of Italy.  In the north of the country - the area between the Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines - the climate is harsh, with very cold winters and very hot, particularly humid summers. In central Italy the climate is milder, with a smaller difference in temperature between summer and winter and a shorter and less intense cold season than in the north; summers are longer, but the sultriness of the northern cities is mitigated by the sea. In southern Italy and the islands winters are never particularly harsh, and spring and autumn temperatures are similar to those reached in the summer in other areas of Italy.  

TIME DIFFERENCE: (GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna  

BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY: Italy enjoys a temperate climate most of the year, with June, July and August being the warmest months. Popular tourist spots can get very busy and crowded during the European summer, but the sun is shining and the weather is hot so it's still a great time to go. April - May and September - October (while not as hot) still offer great conditions for travel, with milder temperatures and fewer crowds at the sights and beaches. It can get quite cold in the winter months, especially in the north, with cities like Milan, Turin and Venice often seeing snow, fog and rain in December and January. Major coastal tourist spots like the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre all but close (except to locals) during winter and are truly best seen in the warmer months.  

LANGUAGE: It'll come as no surprise that Italians all speak Italian. Many also speak English and one or more other languages. When in doubt, you can find out whether someone speaks English by asking "Parla inglese?". One interesting feature of Italy's linguistic development is that almost every town and small region has it's own distinct language or dialect. As little as 50 years ago many Italians didn't speak Italian, but rather their own regional dialect. Now all speak standard Italian with many people speaking dialect as well. Several dialects closely resemble standard Italian (which is based on the Tuscan dialect), while others are in a league of their own. The Sardinian dialect, for example, is an ancient patchwork of a language, influenced by the Turkish, Latin, Basque and Corsican languages. Sicilian is a mix of Latin, Greek, Italian, French, Arabic and Norse languages, owing its history to the long line of conquerors of the most strategically important island in the Mediterranean.  

POSTAL SERVICES: Post Offices are usually open from 8:30am - 5:00pm. On Saturdays they close at noon. Post Offices at airports and the main Post Office in large cities are usually open 24 hours a day for registered mail and telegram services. If you have something you plan on sending back to Australia and you are going to be in Rome, you would be better served by taking your mail to the Vatican post office which can be found near St. Peter's Basilica, as the Italian postal service is notorious for delays in sending and delivering mail.  

ACCOMMODATION: Travelling with LaCity Travel is a little bit different. We endeavor to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.  

FOOD / DRINK: LaCity Travel believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. Italy is famous for its food and rightly so! Carb-addicts will enjoy the bounty of pasta and pizza on offer, foodies will love the parmesan and olives, and those with a sweet tooth won't be able to resist the desserts and sweets. From fine dining to street carts, aperitivo and family-run kitchens, Italy's got cuisine covered.  

HISTORY
Early History: The rise of the Roman Empire has been the subject of much fascination, intrigue and interest from scholars, artists, travellers and students around the world, and through the ages. Dominating the world for many centuries, the modern world can pay great respect to the fruits of this mighty civilisation, with many important scientific inventions, art movements, architectural triumphs and philosophical ideas being born during Roman civilisation - most notably during the Renaissance.  Founded sometime around 750 BC, Rome endures as one of the most important cities in the world. Home to such famous citizens as Julius Caesar, Emperor Augustus, Claudius, Nero, Mark Antony and Marcus Aurelius, Rome has enjoyed the great highs of dominating the Mediterranean region and the artistic triumphs of the Renaissance, but also the lows of the Great Fire of Rome, which ended up destroying a large part of the city. Rome has survived natural disasters, political turmoil, feuding families, the plague, war and more, to be the great city that is it today. Still a cultural and political powerhouse, any visit to Italy needs to include Rome's major sites in order to understand the birth of this nation. The Colosseum, The Pantheon, Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill are all great places to start.  Lasting centuries, the amazing history of Ancient Rome is full of dramatic twists and turns, and we suggest you read up on it before visiting.
Recent History: After the Renaissance, Italy was unified with Sardinia in 1861, becoming the Kingdom of Italy. After World War I, Italy came under the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini, who ruled until 1943. Siding with Nazi Germany in World War II, the Italian Army suffered many losses and ultimately surrendered in 1945. After a referendum in 1946, Italy became a Republic and flourished well during the 1950s and 1960s. The post-war period marks a time of economic progress for Italy, also largely reflected by the rest of the world's increased economic stability during this period of relative peace.From the 1970s, Italians have lived with political upheaval and uncertainty. Corruption, organised crime, terrorism and government debt have created times of turmoil and concern. In 1994, media mogul Silvio Berlusconi was elected into office as Prime Minister but was forced to step down later in the year after losing support from his political partners. Undeterred, Berlusconi regained power in 2008 and has continued to rule Italy amid much controversy and scandal.  

SHOPPING: Italians are known for their style and this is reflected in the designer fashion and furniture of Italy. Be prepared to part with money - shopping in Italy can get quite expensive - but the quality of handmade and tailored items is generally exceptional. It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.  

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 6 Epiphany
April 1 Easter Monday
April 25 Liberation Day
May 1 Labour Day
June 2 Anniversary of the Republic
August 15 Assumption
November 1 All Saints' Day
December 8 Immaculate Conception
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 St. Stephen's Day  

HEALTH: No vaccinations are required to travel to Italy.  

SAFETY / SECURITY: Pickpockets and bag-snatchers operate in most cities, especially Naples and Rome. Reduce the chances of such petty theft by wearing a money belt (with money, passport, credit cards and important documents) under your clothing. Wear bags or cameras slung across the body to make it harder to snatch them. If your hotel has a safe, use it. Watch for groups of disheveled-looking women and children asking you for money. Their favourite haunts are train stations, tourist sights and shopping areas. If you’ve been targeted by a group take evasive action (such as crossing the street) or shout ‘Va via!’ (Go away!). Again, this is an issue mainly in Rome and Naples.  

TIPPING: Tipping isn't customary in Italy; however, if restaurant service is particularly good or if you're feeling generous, a tip would be welcomed by most. Some restaurants charge a 'cover charge' which will be added to your bill.  

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.  

Australian Embassy
Via Antonio Bosio, 5, Rome  
Telephone: 06 852 721
Fax: 06 8527 2300