Apr 2018 - Oct 2018
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18 Day The Italian Grande

Albatross Small Group Tour starting in Milan and finishing in Rome

Read 23 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on Albatross's 18 Day The Italian Grande. Explore Italy's evocative regions as you travel from Milan to Rome discovering regional delights and stunning scenery along the way. Cruise on Lake Como, stay in a dreamy Italian castle,...read more


Operator: Albatross
Type: Small Group Tour (Premium)
Style: Summer Trips
Max Group Size: 28
Duration: 18 Days
From: Milan to Rome
Tour Code: TIGT
Visits: Italy
Our Price From:
$ 7,007
Per Person ($AU)
Save This Month:
$ 508
Per Person ($AU)

Day By Day


Stresa Welcome

Commencing in central Milan at 2pm we will transfer you to Stresa on wonderful Lake Maggiore, where you will stay the next four nights. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers. (D) Stay: La Palma Hotel

Villa Carlotta and Lake Como cruise

This morning we drive to the town of Como and follow the shore of the lake to Tremezzo, where we visit the world famous Villa Carlotta. This wonderful Villa is set in 70,000 square metres of romantic Italianate Gardens and faces across Lake Como to the Bellagio peninsula. The classic gardens boast fountains and pergolas and in spring time is famous for its rhododendrons and azaleas. Later we board our private boat and enjoy a cruise on Lake Como, past a number of striking lakeside villas, to delightful Bellagio. This beautiful town is situated at the tip of the peninsula separating the lake's two southern arms, with the Alps visible across the lake to the north. It's time to relax in this delightful town which boasts peaceful villas and gardens nestled by the lakeside, elegant shops and walkways plus stylish al fresco dining at its very best. Later we return to Stresa. Dinner tonight is included in a local restaurant. (B/D)

Macugnaga and lakeside Orta San Giulio

There is nothing like a day in the mountains – especially amongst some of the highest and most dramatic in the Alps! Following a deep valley we soon reach the mountain village of Macugnaga, close to the Swiss border. Used as a location in many films, the village is famous for its beautifully preserved wooden huts and chalets, and the stunning backdrop of the Monte Rosa (Pink) Massif and the 4638 metres high Dufourspitze – Europe's second highest mountain. Your time is at leisure to explore the village and surroundings, and perhaps take a mountain cable car ride (subject to operating) to enjoy lunch and the extraordinary views. Later today we also visit the delightful town of Orta San Giulio beside the beautiful, and some say most romantic of all the lakes – Lake Orta. Your evening is at leisure in Stresa. (B)

Islands of Lake Maggiore

Boarding our private boat we visit the famous islands of Lake Maggiore. First stop will be Isola Bella where we have included entrance and a guided tour of the palatial Borromeo villa and gardens, which dominate the island. The villa boasts Murano glass chandeliers, gobelin-covered chairs, intricate tapestries and paintings. The spectacular formal gardens rise behind the ornate villa, with patterned flower beds falling in terraces, with statues and ornamental stonework completing the Italianate style. Next we visit Isola Pescatori (the Fisherman's island). Lunchtime is at leisure on this small, picturesque island with its quaint cafés and restaurants set amongst the old houses with wooden balconies, tiny boats and fishing nets. The afternoon and evening are at leisure in delightful, lakeside Stresa. (B)

Lake Garda and CastelBrando or Mira (nearby Venice)

Bidding farewell to Lake Maggiore we drive east and arrive at Lake Garda late morning. This is the largest of the Italian lakes and the meeting point of three Italian regions. With a circumference of about 100 kilometres, the lake is surrounded by lemon and citrus groves. There will be time at leisure for lunch in one of the colourful and diverse lakeside towns. Depending on your selected departure date, you stay in either the foothills of the Dolomites in the superb CastelBrando, or in a noble residence in Mira, nearby Venice, for the next two evocative nights.  * 14 May, 31 May, 19 June, 17 September & 2 October departures stay at Villa Margherita. All other departures stay at CastelBrando. (B/D) Stay: CastelBrando or Villa Margherita in Mira

Venice sightseeing and 'My Time'

After a leisurely start we visit nearby 'Venezia' (Venice) – arguably one of the most romantic cities in the world. At Tronchetto we board a private boat to take us to St Mark's Square, where we join our expert local guide for a walking tour. The rest of the day is free to meander through the myriad of narrow, water lined streets and alleys spanned by humped back bridges. (B/D)

Montecatini Terme in Tuscany

A leisurely start today as we travel south to Tuscany. We arrive in the charming spa town of Montecatini Terme mid afternoon. This was once a favourite 'cure resort' of the crowned heads of state from all over Europe. We stay here for the next five nights, in a traditional family run, 4-star hotel, close to the major sights. As a highlight, this evening we drive into the picturesque Tuscan countryside, where we have arranged dinner at a local olive oil farmhouse estate.  * 4 May, 24 May, 16 July, 7 September, 17 September & 2 October departures stay at the Francia & Quirinale Hotel. All other departures stay at Ercolini & Savi Hotel. (B/D) Stay: Hotel Ercolini & Savi or Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale

Florence sightseeing and 'My Time'

Today is dedicated to nearby 'Firenze' (Florence). We are joined by a local guide who will bring to life this truly beautiful city, which is otherwise known as the 'Cradle of the Renaissance'. Your tour starts with a visitto the famous Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo's 'David' and numerous other extraordinary Italian, Florentine and Renaissance works of art. We see the Duomo and take in the magnificent statues in the Piazza della Signoria. Your afternoon is entirely free to enjoy Florence at your own pace. Espresso coffee on Piazza Santa Croce where Michelangelo is buried? A gelato whilst strolling across he Ponte Vecchio? Don't forget the excellent shopping. (B/D)

'My Time' in Tuscany

The whole of today has been purposely left entirely at leisure. This is a perfect opportunity for you to do as little, or as much as you want! Maybe take the local train back to the museums and shops of Florence. Alternatively explore Montecatini's old centre and parklands, or pamper yourself in one of the Spas. Perhaps just relax in your hotel or sip wine in a café and watch the world go by!  (B)

Cinque Terre sightseeing

A delightful day is planned as we explore the famous Cinque Terre. The name means 'five lands' and comes from the five unspoilt fishing villages that cling to the cliffs, overlooking the sea. We have arranged a coastal boat ride for you to admire the spectacular scenery and almost inaccessible fishing villages, and to visit Portovenere and Monterosso. Our return journey is by train through the tunnels and cliffs above. (B/D)

Medieval Lucca, Pisa and Olive Oil tasting in a local farmhouse

Our first stop today is in one of the most typically 'Tuscan' towns in the area, Lucca – a medieval walled city, filled with palaces, churches, ancient houses and the former home of Puccini, where he wrote Turandot. Walk on top of the city walls for the very best city views, or visit Piazza San Michele and stroll along the shops of Borgo Giannotti. Later we visit Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower, Cathedral and Baptistery in the magnificent Piazza dei Miracoli. This afternoon we visit a local farmhouse to enjoy an olive oil tasting accompanied by Tuscan wines and a selection of antipasto including local meats, cheese and bread – all specialities of this region. (B)

San Gimignano, Siena and Spoleto

We make the short drive across Tuscany to the fairytale 'town of towers' San Gimignano, famous for its 13th and 14th century Tuscan towers. Exploring the pedestrian walkways of this hilltop town is an absolute delight. Lunchtime will be at leisure in the beautifully preserved streets of medieval Siena amongst the great sights such as the gothic town hall and the Piazza del Campo, scene of the famous Palio horse race. Next we wind up to the hills of Umbria and the wonderful walled town of Spoleto where we stay the next two nights. Medieval Spoleto is easily explored on foot. There are numerous romanesque churches and cobbled stone alleyways lined with shops, bars and trattorias. (B/D) Stay: Hotel Dei Duchi

Assisi sightseeing and 'My Time' in Spoleto

We spend this morning in the nearby beautiful Umbrian city of Assisi. Badly damaged by earthquakes in 1997 the city, dominated by two medieval castles, undertook a remarkable programme of restoration which soon brought it back to all its glory. On arrival in Assisi we are joined by a local guide for a tour of the Basilica of St Francis with its magnificent frescoes. Afterwards there is time for you to explore Assisi at your own pace. Returning to Spoleto, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps take a leisurely walk along the path around the castle and across the medieval viaduct in to the Umbrian countryside. This is the real Italy!  (B/D)

Ancient Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast

Driving south past Vesuvius we visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii, where a local guide takes us through the city that was buried under volcanic ash in AD 79. Paintings, furniture, mosaics, sculptures, graffiti and even loaves in ovens are wonderfully preserved. From here it's only a short drive to the Amalfi coast and the port town of Maiori, where we stay for the next three nights. A perfect base for visiting all the local sights and soaking up the unique atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast!  (B/D) Stay: Hotel Pietra di Luna

Ferry ride along the Amalfi Coast to the island of Capri

Enjoy your day as we take you on the ferry along the Amalfi coast, and across to Marina Grande on the island of Capri, which the Roman emperor Tiberius made his capital. On arrival we meet our local guide and board a bus which takes us up to the top of the island to explore the charming village of Anacapri. We also spend time at leisure amongst the boutiques and galleries in the main town, Capri. (B/D)

Amalfi Coast cruise to Amalfi and Ravello

The Amalfi Coast is famous for its twisting, winding scenic drive with picturesque villages and towns hugging the cliffs and craggy coves. This morning we cruise from Maiori along the dramatic coastline and spend time exploring Amalfi. Later we continue to visit perhaps one of the most scenic towns along the Amalfi Coast, Ravello. Perched on the mountain, commanding panoramic views across the coast, Ravello is evocatively described as being "nearer to the sky than it is to the sea", and has been a favourite haunt of artists and composers for centuries. Mid afternoon we return to Maiori, where the remainder of the afternoon and evening are at leisure. (B)

Royal Palace of Caserta to Rome

This morning on our way to Rome we have time to stop to visit the enchanting Royal Palace of Caserta. Constructed for the Bourbon kings of Naples this UNESCO World Heritage Site is described as 'a treasure of truly incomparable splendour'. This magnificent Palace, set amidst a beautiful park composed of numerous dancing fountains and waterfalls, has been described as an ideal and harmonious fusion of two other famous European royal residences: Versailles in Paris and El Escorial in Madrid. On arrival in Rome we enjoy a guided panoramic orientation tour to introduce you to the famous landmarks of this grand city. See the magnificent fountains by Bernini, the palaces, monuments and open squares, Piazza Venezia and the massive Colosseum. After checking into our central Rome hotel, our finalé will be a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (B/D) Stay: Hotel Mediterraneo


Your tour ends today after breakfast. (B)

Trip Inclusions


  • Stay 4 nights beside Lake Maggiore in the magnificent Italian Lakes District
  • Explore the magnificent gardens of Villa Carlotta and travel by boat across Lake Como to Bellagio
  • Visit the ancient mountain village of Macugnaga set high in the stunning Alps
  • Cruise on Lake Maggiore to Isola Bella and visit Isola Pescatori and visit the palatial Borromeo Villa and Gardens
  • Stay 2 nights in either a centuries old Italian Castle or a grand Venetian Villa in Mira
  • Enjoy lunchtime beside splendid Lake Garda, the largest Italian Lake
  • Spend a day exploring the romantic canals and squares of Venice
  • Stay 5 nights in the Tuscan spa town of Montecatini Terme
  • Enjoy a day discovering the beautiful city of Florence
  • Relax with an entire day at leisure in Tuscany
  • Explore the scenic villages of the Cinque Terre and the medieval walled city of Lucca
  • See the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and Cathedral
  • Sample the regional wines, olive oil and delightful local produce in a Tuscan farmhouse
  • Stay 2 nights in the Umbrian Hills staying in medieval Spoleto
  • Discover the fairytale 'town of towers'San Gimignano and the beautifully preserved streets of medieval Siena
  • Explore Assisi and visit the wonderfully restored cathedral with a local guide
  • Relax with an afternoon at leisure in Spoleto
  • Stay 3 wonderful nights in Maiori on the Amalfi Coast
  • Marvel at the ancient ruins of Pompeii
  • Cruise across the Bay of Naples and explore the beautiful island of Capri
  • Experience the world famous, cliff hanging 'Amalfi Coast drive'
  • Visit the picturesque towns of Amalfi and Ravello on the stunning Amalfi Coast

Incredible Value Inclusions

Over $1,800 value of extras already included
  • ALL excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
  • Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
  • Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
  • 17 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
  • Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
  • 29 Meals – including breakfast daily (B) and 12 dinners (D)
  • Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
  • Hand Selected Albatross Experiences - private boat Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Venice, cruises Cinque Terre, Capri and olive oil tasting in a Tuscan farmhouse
  • Local guides as described in the itinerary
  • ALL tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
  • Personal audio system whilst on tour
  • Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels
  • Albatross Travel App and 'On Tour' Travel Map

Trip Notes

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. International flights not included.

Operator Details

Albatross Reviews: (87)
Tours on Sale: 32
Accommodation: 3.5-4 Star
Average Age: 45-60+ years
Types: Coach Tours & Small Group Tours
Max Group Size(s): 40 & 28
Budget: Premium
Destinations: Europe, UK & Ireland

Reviews (23)

Trip reviews from past clients of Global Journeys who have travelled on The Italian Grande with Albatross.
NSW, Australia
Sep 2017
2 Helpful Votes
“Brilliant Tour”
Booking With Global Journeys
This is a bucket list tour. Sensational. The tour guide was amazing, the coach and driver were superb. So much food and drinks provided and very tasty. The places we visited were beautiful and the hotels were fabulous. Thank you Albatross.
New Zealand
May 2017
1 Trip
“A memorable trip for all the right reasons ”
Booking With Global Journeys
A superb trip with compatible companions accompanied by Prisca our fantastic tour guide whose expertise and lively personality ensured that we had a fun hassle-free holiday full of fabulous experiences in a variety of Italian cities, towns and villages.
Reply from Albatross:
Thank you for the lovely feedback Maxine. We are so happy you enjoyed our 'flagship' Italian Grande holiday. We hope to welcome you on board again soon!

SA, Australia
Sep 2016
3 Helpful Votes
1 Trip
“Bellissimo Italia”
Booking With Global Journeys
The Albatross Italian Grande Tour is exactly as stated - "Grande". Great hotels used, beautiful towns stayed in. The tour guide was wonderful, extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The itinerary was very good, some days were busy, but there were days that you could relax and take it easy. There are lots & lots of positives about the tour, our only negative was probably not staying near Amalfi, but staying in Naples, which can be quite a busy city. But overall we had a wonderful time and would not hesitate to book with Albatross or Global Journeys again.
Reply from Albatross:
Thank you for your feedback Duane and Cathy. We're thrilled you enjoyed the Albatross Tours style of touring in Italy with the regional visits and longer stays. In 2018 we have amended the Italian Grande itinerary to stay on the Amalfi Coast based on customer feedback such as yours. We hope to see you on board with Albatross Tours again in the future.

WA, Australia
Jun 2016
1 Trip
“Excellent itinerary ”
Booking With Global Journeys
Staying at only 4 hotels was great. Good tour group. Disappointed with the tour director, very disorganised. The lakes area was magic.
QLD, Australia
Apr 2016
1 Helpful Vote
2 Trips
“Italian Adventure”
Booking With Global Journeys
The Italian Grande was a once in a lifetime experience. Our tour guide Antonia was absolutely wonderful. Her extensive knowledge of all aspects of Italy from customs to food, language, ancient and modern history, politics and everything in between, plus her sense of humour made her commentary on our bus outings a delight to listen to. The tour was well paced with plenty of free time to explore on our own. The included tours of picturesque countryside and historic towns and cities were comprehensive and informative. We certainly improved our fitness with the walking tours and our own exploration of the places we visited. The included meals were excellent. The hospitality of our hosts particularly in the Tuscany region where we were treated to amazing feasts featuring local produce and wines were a gastronomic highlight not easily forgotten.
Apr 2018 - Oct 2018

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Departs Status
28 Apr 2018 $ 7,007 Sold Out
04 May 2018 $ 7,247 Sold Out
14 May 2018 $ 7,151 Request Quote
24 May 2018 $ 7,391 Request Quote
31 May 2018 $ 7,151 Sold Out
09 Jun 2018 $ 7,247 Request Quote
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26 Aug 2018 $ 7,151 Request Quote
01 Sep 2018 $ 7,007 Sold Out
07 Sep 2018 $ 7,247 Request Quote
12 Sep 2018 $ 7,007 Request Quote
17 Sep 2018 $ 7,391 Request Quote
22 Sep 2018 $ 7,007 Sold Out
02 Oct 2018 $ 7,391 Request Quote
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Tour Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Albatross. Full terms & conditions are available here.
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