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Grand Tour of Italy

From £2,649
Duration 15 Days
Departures from: Jun 2024 - Oct 2025
Book now
From £2,649
Duration 15 Days
Departures from: Jun 2024 - Oct 2025

Tour Overview

Our signature Italian holiday takes you on an incredible journey from Venice in the north to Sicily in the south. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to discover the best of Italy in one all-encompassing adventure.

The perfectly paced itinerary takes in everything from iconic cities - think Pisa, Florence, and Rome - to Pompeii and the spectacular scenery of the Sorrento Peninsula and brooding Mount Etna. You’ll stay in four-star hotels, all carefully chosen so that you have a comfortable and well-located place to relax at the end of every day.

The trip includes a mix of guided tours, so you can tick off all the famous sights, and free time that you can spend in a way that’s right for you. You might choose to watch the world go by from a café, explore a museum or visit a cathedral, it really is up to you. If you prefer the convenience of having everything planned, simply ask your Holiday Director for recommendations, or join one of our exciting optional excursions.

  • Classic Touring
  • All Breakfasts
  • Flight Choices

Your Holiday Includes

  • Return flights from London
  • 14 nights in 4-star hotels
  • 23 meals: 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 8 dinners and welcome drink
  • Travelsphere Holiday Director and Specialist Local Guide
  • Overseas transfers, other transportation and porterage

Included Holiday Highlights

  • Welcome dinner featuring a buffet of local specialities
  • Take a walking tour in the floating city of Venice
  • Spend an evening in the charming town of Treviso
  • Visit the historical city of Bologna
  • Enjoy an ice-cream from a famous parlour
  • Admire the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Discover Italy's 'art city' Florence
  • Visit the fortress town of Orvieto
  • Explore Rome and its historical sites
  • Step inside Montecassino Abbey
  • Explore the ruins of Pompeii
  • Visit Taormina for views of Mount Etna

Itinerary

Day 1 UK - Venice

Your all-out Italian adventure is about to begin! After flying to Venice, we’ll drive you to your first hotel in Preganziol. A converted 19th-century villa surrounded by gardens, it’s a lovely place to relax and unwind after your journey. Once you’ve settled in, we'll get together for a buffet-style welcome dinner, which features food typical of the Veneto region.

Meals included: D

Day 2 Venice

Today's the day you'll get to explore the floating city of Venice. We will begin our journey by coach and then board a boat to take us across the lagoon into the city. Our guided walking tour starts in St Mark’s Square, where the famous Doge’s Palace and magnificent St Mark’s Basilica are located. We’ll wander the maze of narrow streets and alleyways, see the picture-perfect Rialto Bridge, and climb the spiral stairs of Scala Contarini del Bovolo to admire spectacular views over the rooftops of Venice. Now that you’ve got your bearings, you’re free to discover more of the city at your leisure. Go for a stroll and find an inviting café, step inside one, or more, of the historic buildings or browse a local food market – the options are endless.

This evening, after you’ve had time to freshen up, we’re going to head to the beautiful town of Treviso. With its cobbled streets and medieval walls, it has a lovely, relaxed vibe and you’ll have some free time to enjoy dinner and a glass or two of Prosecco here if you would like.

Meals included: B

Day 3 Bologna - Montecatini

This morning we'll head off into northern Italy and Tuscany's glorious countryside. Our journey takes us through Bologna, where we'll stop and join a Local Guide for a sightseeing tour. The city is known for its two leaning towers and the central square, Piazza Maggiore, is lined by impressive buildings including the Basilica of San Petronio, a vast Gothic cathedral. Our tour ends with a tasting of delicious ice cream at the famous Sorbetteria Castiglione and then you will have some free time. Why not head to the Quadrilatero and browse Italy’s oldest market. Wander the narrow streets and discover aroma-filled shops and stalls selling a tempting array of local meats and cheeses, homemade pasta, and freshly baked bread. This evening we’ll reach Montecatini Terme, our base for the next three nights.

Meals included: B

Day 4 Pisa

We’re going to spend the morning in Pisa, where you can take the obligatory photos of yourselves holding up the famous Leaning Tower! Standing 58 metres tall, the tower started to lean soon after construction started in the 12th century. It forms part of the city’s Field of Miracles, a lovely green space that is also home to the Cathedral, Baptistery and Monumental Cemetery. After your visit to Pisa, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please, or you may want to join an optional excursion to Lucca this afternoon. With its intact Renaissance city walls, narrow alleyways and pretty piazzas, this attractive city is a lovely place to wander around.

Meals included: B

Day 5 Florence

Today, you'll visit the 'art city' of Florence for a tour with a Local Guide. You’ll see highlights including the vast Gothic cathedral with its white façade and red-roofed dome, and the striking Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s most famous bridge. We’ve left this afternoon free for you to make your own discoveries in Florence. Those who would like to see the remarkable collection of sculptures and paintings in the city’s renowned Uffizi Gallery can join an optional tour with 'skip-the-line' admission and guide.

This evening, there will be an opportunity to attend the Montecatini Opera Festival and enjoy a performance in one of the town’s atmospheric venues.

Meals included: B

Day 6 Orvieto - Rome

We're heading south today, to the region of Lazio and Rome. We’ll make a stop at the impressive fortress town of Orvieto where you will have free time to look around. Admire the spectacular cathedral with its ornately decorated façade and stroll through the winding streets of the town’s historic centre before finding the perfect spot for a coffee. You could also take a tour of the Orvieto Underground, a series of caves used as refrigerators, wine cellars and even bomb shelters during the Second World War.

Later we’ll continue our journey to the awe-inspiring city of Rome and after settling in at the hotel, we’ll head to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Meals included: B,D

Day 7 Rome

Let's set off and explore the magnificent sights of Rome on a guided walking tour. You’ll see the stunning Trevi Fountain with its ornate Baroque statues, and another unmissable highlight, the beautiful Spanish Steps. If you decide to climb this sweeping 18th-century stairway, you’ll be rewarded with fabulous views over the city.

This afternoon is yours to do as you please. You could step inside some of the city’s museums, art galleries or churches, or just while away the time people watching in the magnificent Piazza Navona, an elegant square with attractive fountains.

The evening has also been left free for you to check out Rome’s tempting array of cafés, bars, restaurants, and ice cream parlours. Your Holiday Director will be on hand if you need some advice and recommendations.

Meals included: B

Day 8 Rome - at Leisure

Today you can head out and explore Rome independently. Perhaps you’ll choose to step inside the mighty Colosseum, where Roman gladiators battled in front of jeering crowds. Another option is to visit the Roman Forum, a fascinating complex of ruins that once formed the centre of Ancient Rome.

If you would like to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, you have the option of pre-booking an exclusive skip-the-line, two-hour guided visit with timed admission. During the tour, you will see the Vatican’s extensive collection of centuries-old artwork and learn about the history and symbolism of some of its masterpieces. Inside the Sistine Chapel, there is time to admire spectacular frescoes and marvel at the exquisite beauty of Michelangelo’s ceiling.

You have another chance to soak up Rome’s unique atmosphere tonight with another evening at leisure.

Meals included: B

Day 9 Pompeii - Sorrento Peninsula

A full day of exploration begins with a visit to the Montecassino Abbey. Sitting on a hilltop overlooking the town of Cassino, it’s an imposing sight, and you’ll have time to admire the views and wander around independently. Next, we arrive at the ruins of Pompeii and after free time for lunch, we’ll meet up with a Local Guide for our walking tour. Sharing their knowledge, they will help us explore this remarkable city that was buried under a blanket of ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. We’ll step back in time and imagine what life was like for the people who lived here and see some of Pompeii’s best sites. These include villas decorated with frescoes, the Temple of Apollo, the Forum and even a bakery.

Later, we'll arrive at the scenic Sorrento Peninsula, where our hotel for the next three nights is centrally located in the town of Vico Equense.

Meals included: B,D

Day 10 Sorrento Peninsula - at Leisure

After a few busy days of sightseeing, today you can relax at your hotel. It has a private beach with chairs and umbrellas, the perfect place to relax with a good book.

If you want to continue exploring, an optional excursion takes you on a boat trip across the Bay of Naples to the glamorous island of Capri. We’ll begin by exploring Capri Town and the hillside village of Anacapri on a guided tour, and then you will have free time to do your own thing. Perhaps take the chair lift to the highest point on the island for spectacular sweeping views or while away the time in the exclusive boutiques of Capri village.

Meals included: B,D

Day 11 Sorrento Peninsula - at Leisure

Enjoy some time to yourself today. The elegant town of Sorrento, with its enticing cafés and restaurants, is a short train ride away, or if you prefer, you can simply relax at the hotel.

There is also the chance to discover the beauty of the Amalfi Coast on today’s optional excursion. It begins with a stunning drive along twisting clifftop roads and the opportunity to admire breathtaking views of the dramatic landscape. You’ll want to have your camera at the ready to capture pictures of steep cliffs plunging into the sea, and picture-perfect villages clinging to the hillside. Next, we’ll visit the beautiful town of Amalfi, where you’ll have free time to explore. Look out for the impressive cathedral, set at the top of a grand stairway, and make time for a spot of lunch if you wish. We’ll then drive high up the cliffs to Ravello, a town perched above Amalfi with sensational views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With time to make your own discoveries, you might choose to visit the gardens of Villa Rufolo, where colourful displays of flowers are set against a backdrop of Moorish architecture. Another option is to explore Ravello’s town centre, the main square is home to an interesting cathedral and an array of cafés serving delicious coffee and ice cream.

Meals included: B,D

Day 12 Pizzo Calabro - Sicily

We're leaving mainland Italy now, and heading to Sicily, the island off the tip of Italy’s boot. On the way, we'll stop for lunch in Calabria and then a short ferry ride takes us to Messina, with an onward drive to our final hotel in Giardini Naxos.

Meals included: B,L,D

Day 13 Taormina

Taormina sits on a sheer cliff, perched above beautiful beaches and close to Mount Etna. Imagine the views you'll see today when we head there to explore. The city’s highlights include an ancient Greek amphitheatre overlooking Mount Etna and a delightful public garden with sensational views of the shimmering sea. With plenty of free time to make your own discoveries in Taormina, why not a stroll along the pretty main street Corso Umberto or head to Piazza IX Aprile, a lovely café-lined square.

Dinner will be served in the hotel’s restaurant this evening.

Meals included: B,D

Day 14 Giardini Naxos - at Leisure

It’s the last full day of your holiday, so why not relax and enjoy the inviting pool at your hotel. Alternatively, having gazed at Mount Etna from afar, maybe now's the time to see Europe's highest volcano close up on our optional excursion. You’ll travel by cable car to a height of around 2,500 metres and then head off on a 16-seater jeep adventure with an Alpine Guide for amazing views of the crater area.

At your hotel tonight, we'll get together to enjoy a farewell drink in the bar.

Meals included: B,D

Day 15 Catania - UK

After a fabulous two weeks, your epic Italian journey comes to an end. We’ll take you to Sicily's Catania airport, where you’ll check in for your return flight to the UK.

Meals included: B
  1. Favourite Moment

    Lose yourself in Venice and it's just a matter of time before you'll find a pretty courtyard away from all the crowds.

Accommodation (as specified or similar)

Villa Pace Park Hotel Bolognese

Villa Pace Park Bolognese is set in a historic 19th-century building in the middle of rich parkland. The hotel features a new renovated wing, which is connected to the main building, next to panoramic corridors overlooking the park. The spacious rooms feature parquet floors, classical or modern furnishings and a satellite TV.

Villa Pace Park Bolognese is set in a historic 19th-century building in the middle of rich parkland. The hotel features a new renovated wing, which is connected to the main building, next to panoramic corridors overlooking the park. The spacious rooms feature parquet floors, classical or modern furnishings and a satellite TV.

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale was built in 1908 in Liberty style and the four-generation owners still live here and welcome guests with warmth and exceptional hospitality. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and poolside bar, Wi-Fi throughout. Hotel rooms feature flat-screen TV, air-conditioning and safety deposit box.

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale was built in 1908 in Liberty style and the four-generation owners still live here and welcome guests with warmth and exceptional hospitality. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and poolside bar, Wi-Fi throughout. Hotel rooms feature flat-screen TV, air-conditioning and safety deposit box.

The Palladium

The Palladium Hotel features a panoramic rooftop bar, free Wi-Fi throughout and rooms with classic-style décor. This centrally located hotel is a short walk away from many famous attractions, such as Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, The Colosseum, Rome's Opera House and many more. Hotel rooms feature classic wood furniture, satellite TV, air conditioning and grès porcelain or parquet floors. The bathroom includes hairdryer and toiletries.

The Palladium Hotel features a panoramic rooftop bar, free Wi-Fi throughout and rooms with classic-style décor. This centrally located hotel is a short walk away from many famous attractions, such as Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, The Colosseum, Rome's Opera House and many more. Hotel rooms feature classic wood furniture, satellite TV, air conditioning and grès porcelain or parquet floors. The bathroom includes hairdryer and toiletries.

Hotel Sporting

Hotel Sporting, perched on a cliff in Vico Equense, is overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. It features a panoramic restaurant and a private beach equipped with deckchairs and umbrellas. Each air conditioned room comes with decorated tiled floors, simple light wood furniture, and a private bathroom with toiletries and a hairdryer. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby.

Hotel Sporting, perched on a cliff in Vico Equense, is overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. It features a panoramic restaurant and a private beach equipped with deckchairs and umbrellas. Each air conditioned room comes with decorated tiled floors, simple light wood furniture, and a private bathroom with toiletries and a hairdryer. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby.

Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa

The Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa is located in the heart the Giardini Naxos, just a few steps from the sea on the east coast of the Ionian Sea. The hotel has an on-site restaurant serving regional and international cuisine, a bar, a freshwater outdoor swimming pool and private beach. Hotel rooms are furnished in modern style and have private facilities, TV, air-conditioning, phone and Wi-Fi.

The Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa is located in the heart the Giardini Naxos, just a few steps from the sea on the east coast of the Ionian Sea. The hotel has an on-site restaurant serving regional and international cuisine, a bar, a freshwater outdoor swimming pool and private beach. Hotel rooms are furnished in modern style and have private facilities, TV, air-conditioning, phone and Wi-Fi.

Optional Excursions

Experience even more of your destination by adding one or more optional experiences to your holiday before you set off. Take a look below at the extra trips you can enjoy on this tour

Guided "Skip the line" entrance to Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel in Rome

Guided "Skip the line" entrance to Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel in Rome

To get more out your time in Rome why not choose to skip the line and join a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Starting with the Vatican Museum, your expert guide will show and teach you about the world-famous sculptures and paintings housed in the corridors before having the chance to admire the timeless beauty of the Raphael Rooms, Tapestries Gallery and other marvels of significance. Next we'll venture into the famous Sistine Chapel which is home to Michelangelo's iconic artworks including the elaborate ceiling. The tour ends at the St. Peters's Basilica which is known as the central pilgrimage in all of Christianity. You will need to cover your knees, arms and back in order to enter.

Please note we recommend to pre-book this excursion.
To get more out your time in Rome why not choose to skip the line and join a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Starting with the Vatican Museum, your expert gui...

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Guided "Skip the Line" entry to the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence

Guided "Skip the Line" entry to the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence

You've seen the delights of Florence so why not now immerse yourself further and get skip the line entrance and a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery Museum. Constructed in the 1500's and originally designed as offices for the magistrates, your expert guide will take you round this now museum which contains one of the most famous and oldest art collections in the world. As you venture through the 50 rooms your guide will talk you through the history and significance of the paintings ranging from the 13th to the 18th Century including the famous 'Madonna di Ognissanti' and the works of Leonardo and Michelangelo. After admiring the beautiful artwork in the form of paintings, you will then move through the halls to see the galleries hosting ancient Roman and Greek sculptures and statues. For art lovers or anyone looking to get a deeper understanding of the history of this wonderful city this is something you do not want to miss.

Please note we recommend to pre-book this excursion.
You've seen the delights of Florence so why not now immerse yourself further and get skip the line entrance and a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery Museum. Constructed in the 1500'...

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Italy - Sicily - Discover Mount Etna by cable car

Italy - Sicily - Discover Mount Etna by cable car

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit Sicily’s most famous landmark and Europe’s tallest active volcano. Enjoy stunning views of the lunar-like landscape as you ascend Mount Etna by cable car. Past lava flows have left behind a pockmarked surface and you’ll see impressive craters. From the Piccolo Rifugio area at around 2,500 metres, those feeling adventurous can, at additional cost, continue their journey up the volcano by Jeep for an even more thrilling experience.
Please note: even on a sunny day, it can be cold and windy at the summit. You should wear shoes with a good grip and a warm jacket, although these can be hired at Mount Etna.

Half-day – Spectacular views/must-see – Choice of strenuous walking at the higher level, around 2,700 metres, or moderate walking at the coach park level, around 1,800 metres.
Don’t miss this opportunity to visit Sicily’s most famous landmark and Europe’s tallest active volcano. Enjoy stunning views of the lunar-like landscape as you ascend Mount Etna by...

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Italy - Sorrento - Drive along the Amalfi Coast

Italy - Sorrento - Drive along the Amalfi Coast

This journey takes you on a spectacular drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast, widely considered to be Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastline. From the comfort of your seat, you’ll see pastel-coloured villages cut into hillsides and enjoy panoramic views of turquoise waters and verdant mountains. Upon reaching your destination, the pretty town of Amalfi, there’s plenty of time to explore. Head to the Piazza del Duomo to see its impressive 9th century cathedral then maybe relax in a café or enjoy a spot of shopping.

Full-day tour – Beautiful scenery – Minimal walking

This journey takes you on a spectacular drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast, widely considered to be Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastline. From the comfort of your seat, you’...

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Italy - Sorrento - The Beautiful Island of Capri

Italy - Sorrento - The Beautiful Island of Capri

Sail to the enchanting island of Capri, which has been a haunt of the international jet set for many decades. It also charmed a Roman emperor or two in its time.
On this tour, you’ll see the Faraglioni rocks and visit the wonderful Gardens of Augustus, where colourful terraces are filled with flowers and the picturesque historic centre of Anacapri. At an additional cost, there may also be time to take the chairlift from Anacapri to the highest point of the island.

Full-day tour – Moderate walking – Not-to-be missed
Sail to the enchanting island of Capri, which has been a haunt of the international jet set for many decades. It also charmed a Roman emperor or two in its time.
On this tour, ...

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Italy - Sicily - Discover Mount Etna by cable car and off road vehicle

Italy - Sicily - Discover Mount Etna by cable car and off road vehicle

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit Sicily’s most famous landmark and Europe’s tallest active volcano. Enjoy stunning views of the lunar-like landscape as you ascend Mount Etna by cable car. Past lava flows have left behind a pockmarked surface and you’ll see impressive craters. From the Piccolo Rifugio area at around 2,500 metres, you’ll head off in an off-road vehicle for even more incredible views of the mountain.

Please note: even on a sunny day, it can be cold and windy at the summit. You should wear shoes with a good grip and a warm jacket, although these can be hired at Mount Etna.

Half-day tour – Spectacular views/Must-see – Strenuous walking at the higher level, around 2,700 metres.

You will travel to a height of 2,500 metres by cable car and up to 2,920 metres by off-road vehicle. The duration of this will be approximately two hours.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit Sicily’s most famous landmark and Europe’s tallest active volcano. Enjoy stunning views of the lunar-like landscape as you ascend Mount Etna by...

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Italy - Montecatini - The walled town of Lucca

Italy - Montecatini - The walled town of Lucca

Lucca is always a popular excursion and this trip will give you ample time to explore the delights of this walled town. You’ll discover perfectly preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture, charming piazzas and even a tree-topped tower as you stroll through its historic centre. Further must-see highlights include the Piazza Anfiteatro, built on the site of an original Roman amphitheatre, and the Duomo di San Martino. This beautiful marble cathedral houses the Volto Santo – a large crucifix of the Holy Face carved into cedar wood. Lucca is also the birthplace of composer Puccini, and his former home is now a museum.

Half-day tour – Moderate walking
Lucca is always a popular excursion and this trip will give you ample time to explore the delights of this walled town. You’ll discover perfectly preserved medieval and Renaissance...

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Italy - A night at the Montecatini Opera

Italy - A night at the Montecatini Opera

Through the passing of time music and culture have remained vital aspects of the town, confirming the strict link between past and present and making Montecatini an ideal place for art and emotions. We offer an optional excursion to the evening music festival which presents the great tradition of opera and the cultural heritage of this region. The Festival is well merged with the town itself and its inhabitants and it is recognised as one of the great musical festivals to take place in Italy. Your ticket price includes a guaranteed seat.

2 to 3 hours - Minimal Walking - Cultural ambience
Through the passing of time music and culture have remained vital aspects of the town, confirming the strict link between past and present and making Montecatini an ideal place for...

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Prices shown are based on twin occupancy of a double or twin bedded room with private facilities unless otherwise stated. Single occupancy supplements will apply. Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Accommodation, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.

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