Small group of travellers chatting over wine

Planning a holiday to Italy? Full of vivid history, rich culture, and romantic charm, taking a small group tour of Italy is the perfect way to really get to know this charismatic country. Take the back roads and discover hidden gems, stay in boutique and unique properties, and have doors open wide for a taste of true Italian hospitality (and food!).

Back-Roads – 12 Day Italian Indulgence

This small group tour welcomes just 18 passengers and explores the back roads of Italy in a comfortable mini-coach with an itinerary full of memorable experiences. Check out the architectural marvels of Siena’s old centre and conjure up an Italian feast in a Tuscan Villa with your welcoming host. See the art and history of Florence leap to life with a local guide and visit the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Head north to where the Italian Riviera glitters with charming coastal gems like Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, and colourful buildings throw their pastel hues across the cobblestone streets. On route to Lake Maggiore join a truffle hunt with a local farmer, then set sail for the Borromean Islands where you will meander the pretty garden terraces and quaint harbours. Enjoy a wine tasting in Tirano and finish your tour amidst the winding canals of Venice.

Wine Tasting with Back-Roads

Bunnik – 24 Day Italian Discovery

There is something to be said for slowing down and stopping to smell the roses (or in this case, the delicious produce!). This tour includes multi-night stays throughout the itinerary, so you have more time to uncover the hidden gems of Italy, as well as to see the iconic sights. Try some local cheese and smallgoods during a wine tasting in Franciacorta and enjoy a scenic cruise during an excursion to the Italian Lake District. Search for truffles in the Langhe Region and sample the famous balsamic vinegar and prosciutto in Modena.

Palate satisfied? This tour also showcases the famous sights of Italy. See the Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace in Venice and enjoy a visit to a traditional glass-blowing factory. Explore the five colourful villages of Cinque Terre, admire Michelangelo’s Statue of David in Florence, and visit Vatican City and the Colosseum during your stay in Rome. Stunning coastal views await from the island of Capri to the charming terraced towns of the Amalfi Coast, and Sorrento’s street side cafes call with the smell of fresh coffee and the promise of delicious treats.

Isle of Capri, Italy

Tauck – 8 Day Tuscany & Cinque Terre

Start off your exploration of Italy with canapes and cocktails on your hotel’s rooftop terrace where 360-degree views of Florence introduce you to this artistic city. Learn about the famous Michelangelo during an exclusive insider lecture from a Florentine art history scholar and discover works of art at the Uffuzi Gallery on a guided visit. You’ll be amazed by the work of the restoration studios immortalising the aging masterpieces. In the evening be serenaded by a concert pianist during a private even at the Palazzo Bargellini.

Hike through the terraced vineyards of Cinque Terre or wind through the villages by train, before relaxing in your boutique hotel on its hillside perch. Amidst the Tuscan Hills, Lucca’s narrow lanes are waiting to be discovered by bicycle, and the art of pasta making will be uncovered during a lesson at a local winery. Sample some local wines and enjoy an olive oil tasting, and perhaps take an optional hot air balloon ride over the Tuscan landscape before bidding farewell to this stunning region. Bellissimo!

Florence, Italy

APT – 8 Day Sicilian Treasures

See, taste and feel the treasures of Sicily on this APT Small Group Discovery tour. You’ll share your experience with no more than 19 other travellers in an intimate setting, where immersive experiences open their doors to you. Dine in the home of a local Sicilian family and sample the wines of the region during a winery visit and a cellar door experience.

You’ll stay in unique accommodation throughout your journey, including a property within the World Heritage-listed Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples and a former 12th-century estate in Ragusa. A Volcanologist will join you on the slopes of Mount Etna, a local expert will show you around the open-air street markets of Palermo, and an 'Opera Dei Pupi' (opera puppet show) will have you entertained and intrigued in Syracuse. Memories to last a lifetime!

Sicily, Italy

Peregrine – 8 Day Spirit of Amalfi

Start off your discovery of Italy’s Amalfi Coast in Naples, where you can visit the historic centre and maybe try a slice (or three) of authentic Neapolitan pizza. Travel onward to Pompeii where the stories frozen in time come to life, before you strap on your walking shoes to explore the villages of the Amalfi Coast. You’ll spend your time meandering the Mediterranean landscape past tiered vineyards, old ruins, intriguing grottoes and dramatic cliffsides.

Stop to visit a small liqueur factory in Bomerano where a local artisan will reveal the secrets to making limoncello and perhaps sample a drop of the liqueur while you’re here. Your walk along the Path of the Gods will only be interrupted by stunning vantage points and a shepherd who will share his knowledge of cheese making and some fresh produce. Enjoy a boat trip out to Capri and take in the coastline from another perspective, as colourful villages and stunning shorelines glide in and out of view. A good level of fitness is important for this tour, as there is plenty of exploring on foot. For other active discoveries of Italy, perhaps consider Peregrine’s Walking in Tuscany or the Cinque Terre Explored itinerary.

Amalfi Coast

Intrepid – 8 Day Real Food Adventure

Italy is known for many things, and food is one of them. On this tour you will find out why. Watch the farmers unload their produce from the canal boats atop the Venetian waterways and visit the fish market to see the day’s fresh catch. Reward your early start at an Italian café alongside the market where you’ll enjoy a specialty dessert, tiramisu. Another classic fare of the region is ‘cicchetti’, a version of tapas that you will enjoy on a crawl through the cities wine bars. Travel to Bologna where you’ll prepare dinner during a cooking class and on to the Emilia Romagna region to visit a cheese factory producing the famous Parmigiano Reggiano.

In Tuscany you’ll stay in a traditional farmhouse outside of San Gimignano surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, where you can explore the grounds and taste the Tuscan wines, cheeses, olive oil, and bruschetta. Finish your journey in Rome, slurping a delicious semifreddo as you gaze in awe at the stories of times-gone-by around you. You’ll get a taste of the produce, but also the culture and history of Italy on this tour. Food is intertwined in the fabric of everyday life, and an appreciation of cuisine goes hand in hand with an appreciation of culture. Still hungry for more? There is also a 15 day Italian Odyssey Real Food Adventure that continues south with plenty more reasons to salivate!

Dining on Pasta

G Adventures – 7 Day Local Living Italy – Sorrento

There is no better way to learn the local life, than to live it. On this trip you’ll stay at a locally owned agriturismo where tourism and agriculture come together. This working lemon farm is surrounded by open terraces and lemon groves and run by an ever-welcoming local family who will be your hosts during your stay. You’ll enjoy home cooked Italian meals and dine in an open-air area overlooking the Mediterranean. Get hands-on with a pizza making demonstration and learn how limoncello is made, and then taste the spoils of your labour.

Staying just outside Sorrento you’ll get the chance to explore Pompeii en route from Naples, walk the Path of the Gods to Positano, check out the local handicrafts, and enjoy the relaxed seaside vibes. Take a boat ride to Capri where you can drink in the views of the coastline, do some shopping, and swim in the turquoise waters. There is nothing like coming back to your home away from home after a day of exploring! G Adventures also offer the chance to live locally in Tuscany and in Furore on the Amalfi Coast.

Living Local in Sorrento with G Adventuresento cooking class

     
Natasha Goncalves
Natasha Goncalves Marketing and Content Specialist Natasha is the Marketing and Content Specialist at Global Journeys. With over five years’ experience in the travel industry, she is enjoying bringing her experience to our content and communications. A writer and traveller at heart, Natasha enjoys influencing others to get out and explore the world. View all posts by Natasha Goncalves