La Scala - Milan
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FROM: USD $4,086 pp
Northern Italy Encompassed - 13 days map

SMALL GROUP TOUR: Discover the best of Northern Italy on this 13-day group tour beginning and ending in Rome. Follow the canals around Venice to see the world famous art and architecture and enjoy scenic views of the picturesque Lake Garda and its surrounding mountains. Explore the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre, a string of coastal villages along the Italian Riviera before heading to Florence and Tuscany to experience the perfect blend of flavors, history, culture and architecture.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Ravenna - Explore this UNESCO-listed city of early Christian and Byzantine architecture
Padua - Discover what is believed to be the oldest city in Italy and scientific heart of the Renaissance
Verona - Visit the the setting of 'Romeo and Juliet' and see the famous balcony whilst exploring the city
Cinque Terre - Spend an afternoon exploring these famous, picturesque seaside towns
Florence - Discover the "Birthplace of the Renaissance" during a free day in the city
Val d'Orcia - Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this UNESCO listed site
Bologna - Spend two nights in this picturesque city, with free time to explore independently and tuck into delicious Ragu alla Bolognese
Venice - Enjoy a guided walking tour of this famous and historic canal city, plus free time to sightsee independently
Lake Garda - Make a stop at one of the most well-known Italian Lakes, admiring the views of the shimmering waters and surrounding mountains
Pisa - Explore this historic city and marvel at the globally renowned Leaning Tower of Pisa
San Gimignano - Marvel at the 14 historic soaring towers
Pienza - Tour this UNESCO world heritage site and 'jewel of urban design'

Included

12 breakfasts
Escorted by an English-speaking guide
Two-hour guided walking tour of Venice
Train to Cinque Terre as part of the Cinque Terre Card
20kg luggage - see Trip Notes for details
Note: This tour is operated in conjunction with our trusted partner and you will join travellers from different operators, not solely On The Go.
12 nights in 3-4 star hotels
Transportation in an air-conditioned luxury mini-coach with a local driver
Entrance to Villa Pisani
Wine tasting and tour of the Solaria Winery
Tourist taxes

Not Included

International flights & visas
Meals not specified in itinerary
Entry fees unless specified
Airport transfers
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture!

Itinerary

Day 1

Rome to Bologna

Rome - Orvieto - Bologna. We leave Rome's hustle and bustle for the serene charm of Orvieto, known for its traffic-free streets and exquisite wines. Visit the vibrant cathedral and explore at your own pace. Next, venture through Parco Naturale Le Balze, a landscape that inspired Leonardo da Vinci, with striking balze rock formations, sulfur streams, and stunning vistas.

We make a lunch stop in the quaint hamlet of Piantravigne, offering authentic Italian cuisine. Satisfied and reinvigorated, we continue our journey to the enchanting city of Bologna, where we spend the night.

Please note: Pick up point for this tour is at 8:15 on day 1 (tour departs at 8:30) - Rome Pick Up, Hotel American Palace, Rome.
Overnight: Bologna

Day 2

Exploring Ravenna & Bologna

Bologna - Ravenna - Bologna. In the morning, we embark on a half-day trip to Ravenna, renowned for its mosaic masterpieces and unique blend of early Christian and Byzantine architecture. With eight UNESCO-listed sites, it's an unforgettable destination and the final resting place of Dante Alighieri.

After lunch, we return to Bologna, and the afternoon is at leisure. This Renaissance city, a hub of art and intellectual innovation, boasts the western world's oldest university. Stroll along the extensive UNESCO-listed porticos, uncover the university's secrets, or savour the flavors of Ragu alla Bolognese.
Overnight: Bologna  |  Breakfast

Day 3

The Po Delta, Este & Padua

Bologna - Po Delta - Padua. It's time for a sun-soaked adventure as we begin in Porto Tolle. There is an optional boat trip along the Po Delta. The Po is Italy's longest river, which offers a chance to spot rare migratory birds - lunch is provided on this optional trip. Returning to solid ground, we journey to Este, a picturesque town with a 3,000-year history. Here we enjoy free time to stroll along city walls or visit the moated Medieval castle.

Next, we head to Padua, believed to be Italy's oldest city, where we stay for three nights. This city at the intersection of science and religion is home to the revered St. Anthony's tomb and was a hub of Renaissance-era scientific breakthroughs.
Overnight: Padua  |  Breakfast

Day 4

The Floating City

Padua - Venice - Padua. Today, we explore Venice, known as 'the Floating City,' with its 177 canals, 350 gondoliers, and unparalleled cityscape.

Venice's history is rich with wealth, trade, and power. Built on 118 islands, it hosts world-famous festivals and boasts a unique painting style and architecture, making it a Renaissance masterpiece on par with Rome and Florence. Upon arrival, we enjoy a two-hour guided walking tour, taking in highlights such as St Mark's Square. There is then free time for you to further explore at your own pace. From an excursion on one of the city's famous gondolas, to exploring renowned galleries, use this time as you wish. In the early evening, we return to Padua.
Overnight: Padua  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Wines, Spirits & Castles

Padua - Valdobbiadene - Padua. Our first stop of the day is Villa Pisani, where we explore fantastic art exhibitions within this prime example of late baroque architecture. This grand estate was once owned by Napoleon, who gifted it to his stepson. Entrance to Villa Pisani is included. Next, we head to Valdobbiadene, where we can savour the region's finest prosecco. An exclusive optional tasting awaits, promising the freshest prosecco you've ever experienced.

Our indulgent journey continues in Bassano del Grappa, offering a chance to sample sweet and potent Grappa. If you've had your fill of spirits, admire the castle and the town's famous old bridge instead. Our day concludes as we return to Padua for your final evening in this historic town.
Overnight: Padua  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Verona, Lake Garda & Milan

Padua - Verona - Garda - Milan. We begin our day with a visit to Verona, the backdrop of famous William Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. Spend time reminiscing at the famous balcony, marvel at a grand Roman Colosseum, and stroll through ancient piazzas at your leisure. Next, we head to Lake Garda, cherished by artists, poets, and travelers for its crystal-clear waters and Dolomite vistas since Roman times. Take in the incredible views of this Italian lake before we continue to Milan.
Overnight: Milan  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Exploring Milan

Today is free to embrace Milan's art, fashion, and cuisine. When it comes to art, da Vinci's Last Supper is a must. This enigmatic piece of work attracts many visitors, so book your tickets in advance. There's also the magnificent Duomo, a Gothic masterpiece and one of the biggest churches in Italy. Experience the city's fashion culture with a stroll through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II or Quadrilatero della Moda, the home of the most luxurious brands. The we can join the locals in the aperitivo tradition, savouring the moment before our next adventure.

Please note: In Milan, some members of your group may be ending their tour, and others may join. You may also meet a new guide for the next part of your trip, and change vehicle.
Overnight: Milan  |  Breakfast

Day 8

La Spezia & Cinque Terre

Milan - Cinque Terre - La Spezia. We depart Milan early this morning, making our way to La Spezia, a charming port town serving as the gateway to the stunning Cinque Terre area. After checking in at the hotel, our guide will accompany us on a brief train journey to the first of the picturesque seaside towns. From there, we are free to explore for the afternoon and evening.

Each of these towns has its own unique charm. If you crave beaches and a scenic seafront promenade, head to Monterosso. Wine enthusiasts will find Manarola perfect, with the opportunity to savour its local wines. And for those seeking breathtaking views, consider visiting one of this fantastic trio: Riomaggiore, Vernazza, or Corniglia.

After exploring Cinque Terre, we board the train back to La Spezia, where we spend the night.
Overnight: La Spezia  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Pietrasanta, Pisa & Lucca

La Spezia - Pisa - Lucca - Florence. Departing La Spezia in the morning, our first stop is Pietrasanta, where Michelangelo once selected the finest marble for his sculptures. Next, we head to Pisa, where you'll have a couple of hours to explore the city which is globally renowned for the intriguing Leaning Tower of Pisa. Despite its tilt, the tower showcases exquisite Romanesque architecture and a captivating history. Enjoy lunch and take in the views of other architectural marvels at Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles).

Our Italian adventure continues in Lucca, celebrated for its remarkably preserved city walls. You'll have a couple of hours to stroll along the city walls and explore its charming squares before we continue our journey.

These architectural wonders are a prelude to what awaits in Florence where we're based for the next two nights.
Overnight: Florence  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Exploring Florence

Enjoy a free day in the "Birthplace of the Renaissance," where you have the freedom to choose your activities. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Duomo, the city's iconic Cathedral dominating the skyline. Explore the Uffizi Gallery to see masterpieces like "The Birth of Venus," (we recommend you book in advance!) and visit the Galleria dell'Accademia to admire Michelangelo's masterpiece, David. Of course, Florence offers more than just art. Sample local delicacies like handmade pasta, pizza, pastries, wine, and gelato to refuel.

In the afternoon, you could uncover the power and secrets of the Medici family as you explore Palazzo Pitti, their grand palace housing some of the Renaissance's greatest treasures. To cap off your day, visit the enchanting Boboli Gardens, adorned with statues, fountains, ponds, and hidden mazes. It's your second night in Florence, so savour the evening by immersing yourself in the lively squares, excellent restaurants, and bars.
Overnight: Florence  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Florence to Siena & Montepulciano

Florence - San Gimignano - Siena - Montepulciano. Bid farewell to Florence as we embark on a journey to explore Tuscany's enchanting medieval hill-towns. Travelling through the lush hills of the renowned Chianti wine region, we will be captivated by the 14 soaring towers of San Gimignano. Learn about the noble families which raced to build the tallest tower houses and savour local delicacies during a leisurely lunch.

Continuing south, we arrive at the day's highlight: Siena, a breathtaking red-brick city renowned for its Gothic architecture. The heart of Siena lies within the unique shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, this iconic square featured in James Bond's 'Quantum of Solace' chase scene. Our journey then winds along scenic country roads, until we reach Montepulciano in the early evening. This charming hilltop town in rural Tuscany will be our home for the next two nights.
Overnight: Montepulciano  |  Breakfast

Day 12

Discovering Val d'Orcia

Montepulciano - Pienza - Montepulciano. Today, immerse yourself in the serene beauty of UNESCO-listed Val d'Orcia, where time seems to stand still. We begin our day with a self-guided exploration of Montepulciano, then journey to Pienza, a jewel of urban design and UNESCO World Heritage Site, often referred to as the 'Ideal City.' Next, we indulge in an included wine tasting at Montalcino's Solaria Winery, renowned for producing Brunello, a coveted red wine with protected status.

Concluding our Val d'Orcia exploration, we visit Bagno Vignoni, renowned for its therapeutic hot springs. Today, you can admire this ancient spa and trace the flow of spring waters through the archaeological park. After savouring the best of rural Tuscany, we return to Montepulciano in the early evening for our second night.
Overnight: Montepulciano  |  Breakfast

Day 13

The Road to Rome

Montepulciano - The Maremma - Rome. In the morning, we depart from Tuscany and head south to the captivating Maremma region. Here, you'll have the opportunity to delve into Etruscan history at the Sovana Necropolis and the Vie Cave, a remarkable network of roads carved from tuff during the Bronze Age. Afterward, explore the medieval town of Sovana, grab a bite to eat, and soak in its unique atmosphere.

In the afternoon, our journey continues towards Capodimonte, a charming town nestled on the shores of Bolsena Lake. This marks our final stop for relaxation, so take in the charms of this picturesque hamlet before our last leg of the journey to Rome.

Please note: This tour finishes at 18:30 - Rome Drop Off, Hotel American Palace, Rome.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

2024
Twin Share
Single Room
09 Sep - 21 Sep 19% off
USD $5,695
USD $4,613
USD $7,395
USD $5,990
07 Oct - 19 Oct 19% off
USD $5,175
USD $4,192
USD $6,455
USD $5,229
04 Nov - 16 Nov 19% off
USD $5,175
USD $4,192
USD $6,455
USD $5,229

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Zanhotel Tre Vecchi, Bologna

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Zanhotel Tre Vecchi, located in the heart of Bologna, is a timeless gem with a prime location. Situated near the city's iconic landmarks, including Piazza Maggiore and the Two Towers, it offers guests unparalleled access to Bologna's rich culture and history. The hotel's rooms blend classic charm with modern comfort, providing a cosy and inviting atmosphere. Amenities include a refined restaurant serving delectable Italian cuisine and a bar. Zanhotel Tre Vecchi is the ideal choice for travellers eager to immerse themselves in the enchanting ambiance of Bologna while enjoying a comfortable and convenient accommodation.

Hotel Al Prato, Padua

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Nestled in the heart of Padua, Italy, Hotel Al Prato offers a perfect blend of convenience and tranquillity. Its central location places guests within walking distance of the city's historic landmarks, including the iconic Scrovegni Chapel and the vibrant Prato della Valle square. The hotel's rooms are tastefully decorated, providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for a restful stay. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a delightful breakfast to start the day right. Hotel Al Prato is an excellent choice for travellers eager to explore Padua's cultural treasures while enjoying a peaceful and comfortable accommodation in this charming Italian city.

Starhotels Business Palace, Milan

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Starhotels Business Palace enjoys an excellent location for all travellers. It offers easy access to Milan's vibrant business districts, cultural attractions, and transportation hubs. The hotel's rooms are elegantly designed, providing a comfortable retreat for its guests. Amenities include a restaurant offering Italian and international cuisine, a fitness centre, and a bar.

CDH Hotel La Spezia, La Spezia

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Located in the enchanting town of La Spezia, Italy, CDH Hotel La Spezia offers a perfect blend of comfort and accessibility. Situated near the stunning Cinque Terre, guests can easily explore these iconic coastal villages. The hotel's rooms are tastefully designed, providing a cosy and modern retreat, while some offer captivating views of the Ligurian Sea. Amenities include a restaurant serving delectable Italian cuisine and a bar for unwinding with a drink. CDH Hotel La Spezia is an excellent choice for travellers seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Cinque Terre while enjoying a comfortable and convenient stay.

B&B Hotel Firenze Laurus Al Duomo, Florence

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

B&B Hotel Firenze Laurus Al Duomo is a charming gem nestled in the heart of Florence, Italy. Its unbeatable location places guests just steps away from the iconic Florence Cathedral, offering a front-row seat to the city's artistic and historic wonders. The hotel's rooms are tastefully decorated, providing a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for a restful stay. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a buffet breakfast, ensuring a convenient and enjoyable visit. B&B Hotel Firenze Laurus Al Duomo is the perfect choice for travellers eager to explore Florence's rich heritage while enjoying a cosy and central accommodation.

Albergo San Biagio, Montepulciano

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Albergo San Biagio is a charming retreat nestled in the heart of Italy's picturesque countryside. Located in a serene and scenic area, this hotel offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The rooms are cosy and comfortable, providing a peaceful atmosphere for a relaxing stay. Guests can savour delicious Italian cuisine at the on-site restaurant, featuring locally sourced ingredients, and swim in the indoor pool. With beautiful natural surroundings, Albergo San Biagio is an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway and a taste of authentic Italian hospitality in a serene countryside setting.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Rome
Ends
Rome
Departs
Mondays
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 16
Hotel Rating
3-4 star hotels
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 12
Countries
Minimum Age
16 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
No
Dep. Transfer
No
Trevi Fountain - Rome
Europe Tours and Sailing Holidays - Florence - On The Go Tours
Europe Tours and Sailing Holidays - Florence - On The Go Tours
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