Embrace excess as you travel the length and breadth of 'la bella Italia'.
From the former capital of the world to the sun-kissed south, the shimmering Italian Lakes to quiet contemplation in Assisi, the birthplace of the Renaissance to the Bay of Naples – this grand 13 day exploration of Italy will reveal why Verdi proclaimed he would gladly exchange the entire universe for Italy. One day you may feel the same.
Tour Operator: Costsaver
- An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
- Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
- Many meals and daily breakfasts included
- City orientation tours
- Audio headsets are provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries
- Extensive variety of Choice Optional Experiences
- On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilised.
Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply.Please check price at time of booking
12 Oct 25
24 Oct 25
Day 1 - Arrive Rome
Take time to embrace the Italian passion for life on this grand adventure that starts and ends in the 'Eternal City' of Rome. You'll see reminders of an ancient world, a holy empire and the Renaissance around every turn should you wish to spend the day exploring on your own, after checking in to your hotel. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a glimpse of what's in store. You could continue your independent exploration of Rome later this evening or join your travel group for an Optional Experience featuring typical Italian cuisine with music.
Day 2 - Rome sightseeing and free time
Take a moment. Standing in St. Peter's Square, you are in the midst of the world's holiest Catholic shrine – where people have worshipped since the fourth century. This expansive place of pilgrimage and prayer gives way to the lofty vaults of one of the greatest churches in the world, St. Peter's Basilica. Your Local Specialist will reveal the treasures and talents of Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini, who all had a hand in its construction. Continue your guided sightseeing tour across the Tiber River to Ancient Rome and imagine a time when soldiers and senators built a city that became the centre of the world. The foundations of that city still stand today as a tribute to its former might and you'll have the opportunity to view its iconic ancient ruins before spending time on your own exploring or joining your fellow travellers on an Optional Experience to discover Rome's beautiful piazzas.
Day 3 - Rome – Bay of Naples
This morning, consider joining an Optional Experience to the Vatican Museums, home to an impressive collection of art and antiquities. Then the Bay of Naples beckons and you'll head south past the Abbey of Monte Cassino, the site of fierce battles during World War II. Perhaps spend the afternoon taking an Optional Experience drive along the picture-perfect Amalfi Coast, with a visit to the artistic hub of Positano and its pastel-hued houses that seem to tumble into the Tyrrhenian Sea, or else spend the rest of your day in search of the best Margherita pizza. Its ingredients reflect the red, white and green of Italy's flag – could there be anything more patriotic?
Day 4 - Sorrento excursion
Today you'll take a scenic journey along the craggy Mediterranean coast, tracing the footsteps of artists, writers and high society who have long revered the sweet shores of Sorrento. Centuries on, there are no signs of the hypnotic sirens that once tempted soldiers to run their ships into the deadly rocks. Instead, fresh scents of citrus are likely to accompany your every step as you explore this beautiful resort town with plenty of time to explore on your own. Don't leave the town's historic harbour without sampling some local specialties. Then say salute to a swift and zesty limoncello – it's the perfect after-dinner digestivo.
Day 5 - Bay of Naples – Assisi
Enjoy a relaxing morning, unless you choose to join an Optional Experience to see the excavations of Pompeii in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Buried under ash when Vesuvius blew her top, Pompeii remains frozen in time and your Local Specialist will reveal what life was like as a local resident of the time. Later, we journey to the heart of Italy, through the rolling hills of Umbria, to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. Your orientation tour around this medieval hill-top town will include views of the Basilica of St. Francis, the final resting place of a saint who preached obedience, chastity and poverty.
Day 6 - Assisi – Venice (Oriago)
Today we cross the dramatic Apennine Mountains bound for the charismatic calle of Venice, once a maritime powerhouse whose influences can be found all across the Eastern Mediterranean. The winged lion remains an enduring symbol of Venice, and is an image you'll see often as you explore the city over the next few days. You will arrive just in time for an optional gondola ride and Grand Canal cruise – grand palazzi, churches and ornate bridges lining your journey. Then later, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Day 7 - Venice orientation and free time
We take to the waters of the lagoon and cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square, the gateway to the city. Admire the ornate Doge's Palace, the Basilica of St. Mark and the Bridge of Sighs, whose bittersweet views once elicited sighs from prisoners who were unlikely to see their beloved city ever again. There's time on your own to explore before we visit a glassblowing workshop to see the talents of master craftsmen at work at a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. This afternoon, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the vibrant rainbow-coloured façades of Burano Island, beacons for resident fishermen seeking a safe journey home across the lagoon.
Day 8 - Venice – Verona – Lugano – Italian Lakes (Saronno)
From Roman ruins to Romeo and Juliet, Verona certainly is the stuff of legends. Our first stop today is the city that served as the backdrop for Shakespeare's famous love story and you'll have an opportunity to view the very balcony where the fictional Juliet once called for her Romeo. Admire the Roman Arena where thrilling performances are held to this day, then continue across the Swiss border to visit the pretty lakeside resort of Lugano. Your brief brush with Switzerland provides a beautiful introduction to the shimmering allure of the Italian Lakes, which you'll explore over the coming days. Return to Italy this evening where tonight you'll dine at your hotel.
Day 9 - Free day or Milan and Lake Como excursion
You have the whole day free to relax at the hotel pool, perhaps lace up your walking shoes for a stroll or simply people-watch with an Aperol Spritz in hand. Alternatively, consider an Optional Experience to stunning Lake Como with a leisurely cruise on its glacial waters before continuing to Italy's fashion capital Milan, to see the glass-roofed Galleria, La Scala and the spectacular Duomo.
Day 10 - Italian Lakes region – Pisa – Florence (Prato)
You’ve always wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and now you’re here! We’ll take you to snap a few strategic photos featuring you and the famous leaning tower, then there's time to admire Pisa's Romanesque Square of Miracles in all its marble glory. The structures here are said to symbolise the three main stages of human life – the Baptistery (birth), the Cathedral (life) and the Camposanto (death). Then continue towards Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. For a taste of Tuscany, consider joining an Optional Experience in the Tuscan Hills with regional favourites, live music and a glass or two of delicious Chianti.
Day 11 - Florence sightseeing and free time
No expense was spared enriching the city of Florence through art and architecture and you'll see first-hand how this city paved its way to the modern age. Join a Local Specialist this morning for a fascinating account of Florentine history during a walking tour of its historic centre, including views of the Ponte Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery. Visit Piazza della Signoria, the city's main square where many political and artistic treasures can be seen, then witness a leatherwork demonstration and browse the centuries-old trades of gold and leathercraft. This afternoon, perhaps head up to Piazzale Michelangelo and admire the views over Florence's iconic skyline.
Day 12 - Florence – Siena – Rome
Siena's fortified walls, towers and palaces emerge from the rolling countryside on your journey through the beautiful Chianti region. This former economic and military power today hosts the Palio horse race, injecting a shot of colour amidst the burnt sienna façades of the city's Il Campo. Your visit will reveal the city's rich heritage, architecture and cuisine, most notably why Siena is renowned for its signature panforte fruit cake, which you have to sample during a visit to a pasticceria. Leaving Tuscany behind, we return to Rome for one final encounter with the Eternal City, or join your fellow travellers for an Optional Experience Farewell Dinner to end your holiday on a high note.
Day 13 - Depart Rome
The Italian dream of eating well, laughing often and loving much will linger long after your Splendours of Italy tour comes to an end this morning. Say a fond arrivederci to your travel companions and Travel Director, reminiscing over epic shared memories along this unforgettable journey through Italy.