Italy. The main cities, the fabulous Alps and the island of Sicily

Price
$1976
+ flight to Milan and from Catania back home
Duration
14 days

What you get

Italy
Lombardy, The Dolomites, Sicily
Transportation
During the entire trip
Guiding
Professional tour leader-traveler
Tickets
To all domestic flights
Accommodation
13 nights
Physical grade
Level 2 (easy) out of 5

Italy. The main cities, the fabulous Alps and the island of Sicily

Summer should be spent in Italy! Join our guided tour to Italy to see all the iconic places of the north and south - from the bustling Milan, Lake Como and Venice - to the volcanoes of picturesque Sicily. 

  • Climb to the top of Mount Etna and watch Stromboli volcano erupt 
  • Ride boats along the canals of Venice and the cleanest mountain lakes Maggiore and Como 
  • Walk in medieval Bergamo, the old districts of Milan and the cradle of Italy - the famous Florence
  • Explore the island of Elba, where Napoleon Bonaparte spent 10 months in exile
  • Find out why the leaning tower of Pisa falls and see this unusual sight with your own eyes.

Trip code
ITAL
Italy. The main cities, the fabulous Alps and the island of Sicily

The price of the trip includes:

  1. Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses throughout the journey.
  2. All domestic flights.
  3. All transportation, including buses, rented and public transport and ferries.
  4. Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included:

  1. Flight to Milan and back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals)
  2. Tourist Insurance (mandatory)
  3. Entrance fees to parks, museums, cathedrals and other attractions along the route
  4. Meals (25-45 euros per person per day)

Departures

2020
Price
Book
13 June, Sat 26 June, Fri
$ 1976

Day 1

Milan Milan Cathedral Sforza Castle La Scala opera house

We arrive in Milan and check in a hotel near the center. We begin our group trip to Italy by walking along the historical part of the city and, of course, begin with the symbol of the city - the snow-white marble Milan Cathedral. They started to build this wonder back in the 14th century, but finished almost five centuries later. The grand cathedral boasts 3400 statues! The main treasure of the city is inside - it is the golden statue of the patroness of Milan. Christians believe that the cathedral also boasts the very nail, which was used to crucify Jesus Christ.

We will also walk in the Sforza Castle, built in the 15th century. Previously, it was one of the main fortresses of Europe, and now this area boasts some unique museums. We will also go to the world-famous La Scala opera house. In the 18th century there was no heating here, and the interior was lit by candles. The opera house was also used for gambling, balls and even bullfights!

In the evening we enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant next to the Milan Cathedral.

Day 2

Varese town Three islands on the Maggiore lake

In the morning we leave to the old traditional Lombardian town of Varese (approximately 1 hour on the way). It is also called the garden city. We will understand why, visiting the former residence of the distinguished Este family and walking to the sacred mountain with the medieval monastery of Sacro Monte. After a walk in the center and lunch in an authentic restaurant, we will go to the shores of the mountain lake Maggiore. This is the second largest lake in Italy. The views here are incredible! Clear blue water merges with the colors of the summer sky, and the banks are framed by alpine peaks covered with snow. 

We head to Laveno, where we will board the ship to see three islands on the lake. We will walk through the beautiful gardens and parks of the islands and explore the castles where the Italian nobility rested from the heat in the summer. We get to the opposite shore of the lake in the Piedmont region and check into a cozy guesthouse. In the evening we walk around the town of Verbania.

Day 3 - 4

Hike in the Val Grande National Park Lugano Lake Como

In the morning we go to the alpine village of Chigonya in the heart of the Val Grande National Park (approximately 1 hour on the way). In translation, the name of this area means "Great Valley". We continue our small group trip to Italy with a simple trekking along the ridges to enjoy the view of Lake Maggiore below and visit the impressive canyon and waterfall. This trek will take us approximately 5 hours. In the evening we relax in a comfortable hotel near the lake.

The next morning we will visit Switzerland for a while - stop for coffee in the picturesque city of Lugano. Those who wish can swim in the lake of the same name. Heading towards another pearl of Lombardy - Lake Como. We check into a hotel, and then go for a walk or ride bikes along the beautiful promenade, where the ancient villas of the rich and famous are located. Noble Italians spent summers here since the time of the Roman Empire! Now on the shores of the lake are houses of modern nobility - stars, celebrities and other rich people. We will also take a ride on the funicular to see the beauty of the lake from the height of the mountain village of Brunate.

Day 5 - 6

Upper City in Bergamo Scaliger castle Grottoes of Catullus Gardaland amusement park

Today we are heading to the largest Italian lake Garda (approximately 3 hours on the way). On the way, we will visit the ancient Upper City in Bergamo, a medieval town on a hill 380 meters above sea level. Walk along the streets between grand medieval towers, churches and residential buildings. Fans of antiquity will be delighted! 

We reach the town of Malcesine, which is famous for its Scaliger castle of the 14th century. It looks more like a fortress and is one of the best preserved such buildings in Italy! We also explore the Grottoes of Catullus - the ruins of a villa from the time of the Roman Empire, which is believed to belong to the most famous Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus. We head to the beach. Those interested can enjoy sulfur-containing springs. In the evening we check into the guesthouse on Lake Garda. 

The next morning we head to the Gardaland amusement park. According to Forbes magazine, it ranks fifth among the most visited amusement parks in the world! The pride of the park is a huge aquarium. Those who wish can relax on the beaches of the lake instead.

Day 7 - 8

Trento town Hike in Adamello Brenta nature park Venice Bologna

On this day, we will visit, without exaggeration, the most picturesque part of the Italian Alps - the Dolomites. After about 3 hours on the way, we will go up to the breathtaking mountain town of Trento, where the Italian Renaissance meets the German Gothic and stop at the Adamello Brenta nature park. Here we will do an easy trek to the alpine lakes, waterfalls and castles. The beauty is incredible! We spend the night in a simple mountain house, enjoying the crystal clear air and peaceful views. 

Next morning we go to Venice (about 3 hours on the way). We walk along the ancient streets of Venice, ride the gondola through the canals and leave for Bologna - an ancient university city, where the first university was founded in the 11th century! We will visit all the most interesting places of the famous city to learn all its secrets. We spend the night near Florence. 

Day 9 - 10

Florence The town of Lucca Elba island

In the morning we walk around the magical Florence. Without exaggeration, this city can be called the cradle of Italy - the local dialect formed the basis of the classical Italian language, local thinkers gave rise to the Renaissance, the Florentine coins became the benchmark for all of Europe, and the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci named two continents. Florence for many centuries was the capital of Italy. And did we mention Florentine titans - Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo and others?

Our guided tour to Italy continues and we move to the fortress city of Lucca (3 hours on the way) where we rent bicycles and explore the narrow old streets framed by marble. After lunch, we move to Piombino (1 hour on the way), from there take a ferry to Elba Island. Napoleon spent 10 months in exile here when he abdicated for the first time in 1814. We check into a hotel near the beaches and spend the next day enjoying the sea and exploring the island.

Day 11 - 12

Pisa Leaning Tower The town of Taormina on Sicily island

On the ferry we return to the continent and move to Pisa (approximately 2 hours on the way). We walk around the city to see the iconic Pisa Tower and the Basilica. The famous Leaning Tower was being built for almost 200 years and finished in 1360. It used to be thought that the lean of the tower was planned by architects, but recent discoveries claim that the design of the tower was wrong from the very beginning. After the construction of the third floor, the tower began to slope due to a too small basement and soft soil. 

After lunch we fly to Sicily and take a bus for the sightseeing tour to the city center. After lunch we move to the town of Taormina at the foot of the Etna volcano - the largest active volcano in Europe. We check into the hotel and enjoy dinner in the city, which many times became a victim of a volcanic eruption, but survived by a miracle.

Day 13 - 14

Conquering Mount Etna City of Milazzo Aeolian Islands Eruption of Stromboli volcano

We take a bus to the foot of the Mount Etna (1 hour on the way). We will walk about one and a half to two hours along the slope of Europe’s highest volcano! Listen to Etna - and you will feel how life is constantly boiling in the heart of the volcano under your feet. Etna is one of the most active volcanoes on our planet. The last time this mountain 3326 meters above sea level erupted just recently - in December 2018... 

In the evening we move to the city of Milazzo (approximately 3 hours on the way). We walk, have dinner and spend the night near the sea pier. In the morning we take a ferry to the Aeolian Islands. These pieces of land got scattered on the sea millions of years ago by two volcanoes - Etna and Stromboli. On the island of Vulcano, we will walk to the crater of the volcano, which last erupted in 1890. It is considered to be fading, and on its gentle slopes, here and there we stumble upon huge cracks - fumaroles, covered with sulfur. From these faults of the earth from time to time steam and smoke come - this is how the 140 thousand years old volcano cools down ... 

After 2 hours we descend to the hot hydrogen sulphide lakes. We go to the beach and explore the island on bikes. But if Vulcano fades out, then its neighbor - Stromboli volcano on the neighboring island of the same name does not even think about retirement. Its three craters regularly spew lava and smoke, and tourists love to watch the spectacle from the sea. 

We return to the airport of Catania and fly home. Our group trip to Italy has come to an end. Thank you for travelling with us!

Tour leader

Is this trip for you?

This trip is of medium difficulty travel. It includes short day trips by convenient buses and ferries. We will take many walks (up to 5 hours) in national parks with change of altitudes up to 500 meters, as well as a few simple cycling trips. We will also make one short domestic flight. We will be staying in double/twin rooms of tourist class hotels and good guesthouses. All will have hot water and wi fi internet.

Visa

Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to Italy. 

Citizens of countries who need a visa must obtain it before the trip.

We provide free visa consulting services to our clients. 

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