Rome | Italy
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FROM: NZD $7,156 pp
Best of Italy's North & South - 13 days map

SMALL GROUP TOUR: Embark on a 13-day small group tour from Rome that takes you around the heel of Italy to the north and the home of the renaissance. Discover the ancient city of Pompeii, frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Traverse rural Puglia and experience the allure of Trani, Lecce and Alberobello. Then head north to the beauty of Venice's canals and architecture, explore the picturesque scenery of Lake Garda before ending the tour in Milan.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Montecassino Abbey - Marvel at this working monastery and pilgrimage site, a centre of art, culture and learning
Gallipoli - Take a trip to this vibrant coastal town, known for its pretty harbour and historic outer walls
Amalfi Coast - Enjoy a ferry cruise along the Amalfi Coast as you marvel at the vibrant colours and stunning views of the seaside towns
Ravenna - Explore this UNESCO-listed city of early Christian and Byzantine architecture
Venice - Enjoy a guided walking tour of this famous and historic canal city, plus free time to sightsee independently
Alberobello - Wander around the narrow streets and discover the more than 1500 small, rounded, white, UNESCO listed houses known as trulli
Matera - Explore the historic centre of the city, Sassi di Matera, which is known for its cave dwellings carved into a river canyon
Pompeii - Discover the history and tragedy of the most famous eruption in history and learn about the lives of those who lived in Pompeii
Padua - Discover what is believed to be the oldest city in Italy and scientific heart of the Renaissance
Lake Garda - Make a stop at one of the most well-known Italian Lakes, admiring the views of the shimmering waters and surrounding mountains

Included

12 breakfasts
Escorted by an English-speaking guide
Entrance to Montecassino Abbey
Entrance to Pompeii Archaeological Site
Two-hour guided walking tour of Venice
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 Vesuvius Volcano Crater
Amalfi Coast ferry tickets
Entrance to Villa Pisani
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 Benevento & Ariano Irpino

Rome - Montecassino - Benevento - Ariano Irpino. Departing Rome this morning, we head south to serene Cassino. Perched atop a mountain, Montecassino Abbey, a working monastery and pilgrimage site, boasts a rich history of art, culture, and learning. It was also a pivotal World War II battle site. The entrance ticket is included, allowing us to explore the monastery and contemplate its war-torn past.

Next, we visit the overgrown ruins of San Pietro Infine before journeying through hilltop villages and mountains to Benevento. This ancient city is steeped in memories of Samnites, Romans, and Longobards. Legends even tell of witches gathering by an ancient walnut tree along the local river. After a day filled with history, legends, and stunning views, we continue southeast to Ariano Irpino where we stay overnight.

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: Ariano Irpino

Day 2

The Pearl of Apulia, Alberobello & Lecce

Ariano Irpino - Trani - Alberobello - Lecce. Today we head south to Puglia, the 'heel' in Italy's boot. We begin our day with a journey south to Trani, known as the 'Pearl of Puglia.' This historic stone-built port and fishing town features a marina promenade, medieval churches, cathedral, and a historic Jewish quarter to explore. Next, we head to Polignano a Mare, an idyllic seaside town perched on cliffs. Enjoy lunch independently amidst sun-bleached stone buildings and watch brave cliff divers disappear into the Adriatic waters.

Our adventure continues in Alberobello, home to over 1,500 unique trulli houses, which are round and made of stone. They have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Stroll through the charming streets and marvel at these photogenic dwellings. Finally, we head south to Lecce, which serves as our base for the next two nights.
Overnight: Lecce  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Exploring Lecce, Otranto & Gallipoli

Lecce - Otranto - Gallipoli - Lecce. This morning, there is free time after breakfast to explore Lecce's old town, admiring its unique Baroque architecture, often referred to as 'Lecce Baroque.' In the afternoon, we depart for the relaxed seaside towns of the Salento Peninsula. We travel through ochre-coloured fields and olive groves to Otranto, where we can stroll along the fortifications, harbour promenade, and sample local cuisine.

Continuing our journey, we head to the aptly named "beautiful city" of Gallipoli, a charming beachside town with crystal blue waters surrounding its old town. Here we take a leisurely walk before concluding our coastal exploration. Finally, we journey back to Lecce for the evening.
Overnight: Lecce  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Matera & The Lucanian Dolomites

Lecce - Matera - Castelmezzano - Salerno. We leave Lecce for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Matera, a city seamlessly integrated into rocky cliffs with a maze of ancient cave dwellings, houses, and churches. Here we explore its rich history by visiting churches adorned with stone cave wall paintings and discovering locations featured in Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ."

Our adventure continues as we journey into the heart of the Lucanian Dolomites, arriving at Castelmezzano, one of the Basilicata region's highest villages perched dramatically on a narrow ledge overlooking a gorge. We can discover its rich history and hike to the castle ruins that inspired its name. After an eventful day, we traverse the hills and mountains of Basilicata, heading towards the west coast of Italy, where we spend two nights in Salerno.
Overnight: Salerno  |  Breakfast

Day 5

The Amalfi Coast

Salerno - Amalfi - Salerno. Today we indulge in the glamour of the Amalfi Coast, where pastel-hued houses, chic boutiques, and gourmet dining embody La Dolce Vita. We begin by exploring Sorrento, a town famous for its lemons and dramatic cliffs, which have inspired literary greats throughout history. We can wander sun-soaked piazzas and savour a glass of cold limoncello. Next we reach Positano, a vibrant and colourful, multi-tiered town clinging to the sea cliffs. Enjoy lunch at a scenic restaurant overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, and then peruse local boutiques, or descend to the beach for a swim and sunbathing.

After our Positano visit, we board a ferry for a leisurely cruise along the dazzling Amalfi Coast, with stops in charming towns and opportunities for photos. As the day winds down, we return to Salerno in the late afternoon. We recommend watching the sunset this evening with a drink in hand.
Overnight: Salerno  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii & Rome

Salerno - Vesuvius - Pompeii - Rome. This morning we head north to find Mount Vesuvius, once considered divine and associated with Jupiter, the god of sky and lightning. Legends even speak of giants inhabiting the volcano, explaining its rumblings. Now dormant, we enjoy an unforgettable hike to its crater - remember to pack suitable walking shoes!

Following this, we visit Pompeii, a city frozen in time by Vesuvius' 79 AD eruption. We explore this archaeological site which offers a glimpse into ancient Roman life. Then we begin our journey back to Rome, leisurely travelling through Campania and Lazio. Arriving back in Rome in the early evening.
Overnight: Rome  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Exploring the Eternal City

Today we explore Rome's timeless wonders with a free day in the Eternal City. We can opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour to maximize our time, or follow a map to iconic sites like the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Roman Forum. After delving into history, we can indulge in the city's culinary delights at a charming piazza and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll along the Tiber River, capturing photos of Castle Saint Angelo and the Spanish Steps, before treating ourselves to gelato by the Trevi Fountain. Toss a coin into the water to make sure you’ll return here and start getting excited for the next leg of our adventure.

Please note: In Rome, 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: Rome  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Rome to Bologna

Rome - Orvieto - Bologna. We leave Rome's hustle and bustle for the serene charm of Orvieto, an idyllic Italian village 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, sulphur 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.
Overnight: Bologna  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Exploring Ravenna & Bologna

Bologna - Ravenna - Bologna. In the morning, you can opt for 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 flavours of Ragu alla Bolognese.
Overnight: Bologna  |  Breakfast

Day 10

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 11

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 12

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 13

Verona, Lake Garda & Milan

Padua - Verona - Garda - Milan. We begin our final 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 travellers 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, where our tour ends.

Please note: This tour finishes at 19:00 - Milan Drop Off, Business Palace Milan, Milan.
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
26 Aug - 07 Sep 19% off
NZD $8,835
NZD $7,156
NZD $10,275
NZD $8,323
30 Sep - 12 Oct 19% off
NZD $9,585
NZD $7,764
NZD $11,235
NZD $9,100
21 Oct - 02 Nov 19% off
NZD $9,115
NZD $7,383
NZD $10,815
NZD $8,760
28 Oct - 09 Nov 19% off
NZD $9,115
NZD $7,383
NZD $10,815
NZD $8,760

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.

Hotel Incontro, Ariano Irpino

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Hotel Incontro is a luxurious haven nestled in the heart of Campania. Its perfect location offers easy access to Ariano Irpino's historic town centre, where guests can explore local culture and attractions. The hotel's rooms are elegantly designed, providing a comfortable and upscale atmosphere for a rejuvenating stay. Amenities include a world-class spa, fitness centre, indoor pool, and a gourmet restaurant serving delectable Italian cuisine. With its serene surroundings and top-notch facilities, Hotel Incontro is the perfect choice for travellers seeking both relaxation and convenience while immersing themselves in the cultural richness of Campania.

Eos Hotel, Lecce

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Eos Hotel Lecce is a charming oasis in the heart of Lecce, Italy. Its location allows guests to explore the enchanting Baroque architecture and rich history of the city, with the historic centre just a short stroll away. The hotel's rooms offer a comfortable and contemporary retreat, perfect for both business and leisure travellers. Amenities include a bar for relaxation and a rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of this picturesque city. Eos Hotel Lecce is an excellent choice for those seeking a delightful stay in Lecce while enjoying modern comforts and easy access to local attractions.

Hotel Plaza, Salerno

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Hotel Plaza enjoys an enviable location along the stunning Amalfi Coast. With its position overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, guests can relish breathtaking sea views and easy access to the vibrant Salerno city centre. The hotel's rooms are comfortable and inviting, perfect for a restful stay. Featuring a bar, Hotel Plaza is a superb choice for travellers seeking a delightful stay on the Amalfi Coast while enjoying modern comforts and the convenience of exploring both Salerno and the surrounding coastal treasures.

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.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Rome
Ends
Milan
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
Trevi Fountain - Rome
Trevi Fountain - Rome
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