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Tour Description

  • 15 days
  • selfguided
  • tour

Italy’s northern half packs in a lot – the country’s most spectacular lakes, the art and culture capital of Europe, and one of the most unique cities in the world. If you can’t decide which of these remarkable destinations to tick off your list first, why not combine them with this 14-night suggested itinerary. 

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Looking for something totally unique?
Our Italy Experts can create completely bespoke itineraries. Give them a call with your requirements and they can tailor-make a trip to suit you.

Call our experts today and turn your ideas into a dream holiday


01293 762410 *

At a glance
  • Discover northern Italy’s most exciting and iconic destinations
  • Easy and convenient train travel between destinations
  • Combine Italy lakes, coast and cities all in one trip
  • Step inside Florence’s Duomo and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: UK - Florence

Please call one of our Italy experts to discuss your accommodation choices

 

Map of Day 1: UK - Florence

After touching down in Italy and transferring to your hotel in Florence, drop off your bags and head out into the city. When the sun’s out, Florence’s piazzas are lined with al fresco diners and standing bars are full to the brim with locals sipping Tuscan wine. Order a regional speciality for your first dinner - Florentine steak, perhaps, or a bowl of pappardelle pasta. 

Day 2: Florence

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Map of Day 2: Florence

Your first full day of explorations. Make a beeline for the Accademia Gallery, which showcases the world-famous statue of David by Michelangelo. The gallery is also home to many Gothic sculptures and Renaissance paintings – a whole morning can be spent exploring here.

 

After lunch, head to the Ponte Vecchio. The bridge, dating back 600 years, houses an array of craft shops and jewellers. If you aren’t art-galleried out, head to the Uffizi with its display of more than 1,800 pieces of art. There’s more to see outside the gallery, too – Piazza della Signoria is dotted with grand statues carved from marble.

 

This evening, explore the city after dark with our Florence by Night excursion. After a sunset tour of the city’s highlights (and a few lesser-known gems), you’ll sit down for a delicious three-course dinner. 

Day 3: Florence

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 3: Florence

After a good breakfast, a climb to the top of the Duomo is a must. The 463 steps to the top are worth it for the panoramic views over the city. Back at ground level, wander to the popular Mercato Centrale, an indoor market housing artisan food shops and stalls – the perfect place to grab lunch. This afternoon you could opt for our small-group Coffee and Bar excursion. This three-hour walking tour hits some of Florence’s best coffee bars, sampling the city’s finest espresso along the way. 

Day 4: Florence - Liguria

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Map of Day 4: Florence - Liguria

Say goodbye to Florence as you hop on board the train to Rapallo, via Pisa. A private transfer will take you from Rapallo station to your chosen hotel. 

Day 5: Liguria

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 5: Liguria

Today is yours to explore the photogenic Cinque Terre – five brightly coloured villages that cling to the cliff edge. A whole day can be spent hopping from village to village, either by hiking, train or ferry. For a bit of beach time, head for the biggest village, Monterosso, which has a couple of sandy bays. 

Day 6: Liguria

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 6: Liguria

You could visit Portofino, Liguria’s most glamourous town, today. A hotspot for the rich and famous, Portofino offers up high-end shopping, al fresco dining, a vibrant harbour and two gorgeous beaches, Paraggi and Chiavari. 

Day 7: Liguria - Lake Como

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Map of Day 7: Liguria - Lake Como

Jump in your private transfer to Rapallo station, where you’ll board the train to Milan Centrale. On arrival, another private transfer will take you to your chosen hotel in Menaggio, on the shores of Lake Como. Once you’ve checked in, make a beeline for this pretty town’s lively square, Piazza Garibaldi. Grab a coffee or a bite to eat in a square-side restaurant and people watch. 

Day 8: Lake Como

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 8: Lake Como

Why not venture north today with our St. Moritz and Bernina Express excursion. This experience takes you along the northern part of Lake Como to the town of Tirano. Once you have enjoyed the town, coffee in hand, you will head to Switzerland. Board the Bernina Express train and view the White Lake and the Black Lake, as well as jaw-dropping glaciers as you travel through the Alps. This full-day excursion takes in some of this area’s most spectacular scenery. Please note this excursion only operates on a Monday.

Day 9: Milan

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Map of Day 9: Milan

Tick off another of Italy’s major cities by hopping on the train to Milan. The cosmopolitan fashion capital is a great place for exploring. Don’t miss the impressive Gothic Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping centres. Alternatively, spend the day wandering the lake’s promenades, and simply enjoying its beauty.

While you are in the city of Milan don't forget to fit in a short excursion. The "In the footsteps of Leonardo" excursion is perfect for lovers of art. You will walk in the footsteps and discover the masterpieces of famous artist, Leonardo da Vinci on this 3 hour tour.

Day 10: Lake Como - Lake Garda

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Map of Day 10: Lake Como - Lake Garda

Today you move on to Lake Garda, the largest of the Italian lakes. Enjoy a private transfer to your chosen hotel in Sirmione, located on the southern shore of the lake. On arrival, make your way to ‘Ice-Cream Alley’ for a scoop of some of Italy’s best gelato, and catch a first glimpse of the heart of Sirmione, its 13th-century castle. 

Day 11: Lake Garda

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 11: Lake Garda

Head for the mountains with a Dolomites excursion. Stopping at various picturesque towns that nestle in the mountains, this full-day excursion offers up more spectacular scenery and another destination to tick off your wish list. 

Day 12: Verona

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 12: Verona

As one of Italy’s most romantic cities, a visit to Verona is a must. Whether you choose to make your own way (it’s around 20 minutes on the train) or opt for a sightseeing tour, this city has so much to see and do. Take in famous sights like the Roman amphitheatre and Juliet’s balcony, and stop for coffee at the cafes lining lively Piazza dell’ Erbe and Piazza Bra.

Day 13: Lake Garda - Venice

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Map of Day 13: Lake Garda - Venice

A private transfer will take you to Verona station, where you’ll board your train for Venice. A private speedboat to your chosen hotel will be your first introduction to this unique city.

Day 14: Venice

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Map of Day 14: Venice

Today we recommend getting your bearings with our guided walking tour. Hosted by a knowledgeable local, the tour takes you around some of Venice’s most important buildings, including St. Mark’s Basilica, Clock Tower and the Doge’s Palace.

 

A visit to Venice wouldn’t be complete without a ride on one of the world-famous gondolas. Viewing parts of the city you wouldn’t see by foot, a private gondola tour will allow you to explore the maze of canals and view beautiful waterfront palazzos close up. 

Day 15: Venice - UK

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Map of Day 15: Venice - UK

Today, wave goodbye to Venice as you head to airport for your flight home. 

Extend Your Stay

Take in more of the destination or relax in a spa at the end of your trip by adding few extra nights stay in one of these hand picked hotels.

Recommended hotels in Florence

View all hotels in Florence
Call to discuss and book your tour 01293 762410 *

Flight Information

Flying is the quickest and easiest way to get to Italy from the UK and there are plenty of direct flights available to most airports within Italy. The biggest choice of flights are available from London and Manchester but you'll also be able to fly to certain destinations from regional airports. Flights take from 2 to 4 hours depending on where you fly from/to.

Visa Information

At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.

Tipping

Tipping isn’t expected in Italy and most Italians do not leave a tip for a service they receive from any of the following places: restaurants, salons, pubs or bars and taxis. However, by leaving a tip, you may receive quicker and more pleasant service.