Tour of Northern Italy

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03 Oct 2016
£ 2770
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24 Apr 2017
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08 May 2017
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26 Jun 2017
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10 Jul 2017
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24 Jul 2017
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04 Sep 2017
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18 Sep 2017
£ 2950
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25 Sep 2017
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23 Apr 2018
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07 May 2018
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21 May 2018
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11 Jun 2018
£ 2730
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25 Jun 2018
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09 Jul 2018
£ 2840
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23 Jul 2018
£ 2840
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06 Aug 2018
£ 2840
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20 Aug 2018
£ 2840
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27 Aug 2018
£ 2950
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03 Sep 2018
£ 2950
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17 Sep 2018
£ 2730
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24 Sep 2018
£ 2730
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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Tour of Northern Italy

We are committed to a style of travel that is environmentally, culturally and socially responsible. With your participation we aim to travel in a way that conserves the areas we visit and bring positive benefits to local communities. Basically we ask all our travellers to respect local rules and values. This means different things in different countries so be as informed as possible about the country you visit before you arrive - try to learn some of the local language and read about the religion and culture. This will improve your travelling experience. With a little effort on your part you will find yourself coming away with a greater sense of understanding of other cultures and feeling pleased to have left a positive mark on the country you visited.

With three whole weeks to explore the magic and culture of Italy, you will have countless opportunities to interact with the friendly local people, to absorb the mellow yet passionate culture, discover the rich history, and to gain great insight into the Italian way of life.

Our travel style involves:

- Grass roots travel using local public transport where possible - minimises demand for special tourist vehicles and fuel.
- We choose small-scale locally owned accommodation and homestays where available and local restaurants and markets for dining, retaining revenue in local communities.
- Our leaders facilitate communication of our values to travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices.
- We employ local guides to aid travellers' understanding of local culture and etiquette.
- Small groups allow travellers to experience cultures at first hand, offering greater opportunity for cross- cultural understanding.

Reviews of Tour of Northern Italy

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 06 Jul 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We loved the Lake Como region as well as the Cinque Terre. We also liked exploring the little island of Burano!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open mind. Be ready to try something different, whether it be food, wine, or just walk to discover a neighbourhood off of the main streets. Also pack lightly as some of the train or bus stations do not have escalators so you will have to carry your luggage up and down many steps.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I do feel that by not adding yet another bus or car to the area had a positive effect on the environment. We also were sure that everything we purchased, i.e. gifts for ourselves and others, were made in Italy, including t-shirts!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was fantastic and we would do it again in a heartbeat. We are already talking about where we will be going next.

Reviewed on 29 May 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Every destination was exciting to experience but my favorites were the Cinque Terra, Lake Como, and the bike ride in Lucca. It was very nice to stay in the apartments in Lucca. Gave a homey feeling to being there and the apartments were bigger and offered more conveniences than hotels.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


1. You really do want to minimize your luggage to 1 or 2 bags you can easily carry onto and off trains, up and down stair cases, and over city streets.
2. Take at least 2 digital cards for a camera because you will shoot a lot of pictures!
3. Make sure your ATM card is cleared to use overseas. Change to 4 digits. Have your banks phone number handy in case you need to call.
4. Consider bringing a walking pole(s) to use on the Cinque Terra hike. Light hike boots are best for the more difficult part of the hikes.
5. Bring a travel rain umbrella and lightweight raincoat. We used them a lot but hopefully summer travelers won't need as much.
6. Do bring some first aide supplies. Found I needed Ibuprofen, an ace bandage, cold tablets, sleep tablets, Band-Aids. You can buy them there but it is more expensive than what it would cost you at home.
7. Don't bring any toiletry in its original container but put smaller amounts in plastic travel containers. Again buying things in Italy will just cost you more. And keep your containers in plastic bags in case one breaks open in your luggage.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Most definitely. We used all public transportation. Ate at local restaurants that the leaders chose for group dinners. There exists a strict recycling program in Lucca. Spent the day at a small town in Piedmont that isn't often visited by tourists. Toured their winery and had one of the best dinners of the whole trip. Very glad to not tour around on a big bus and be identified as a "tour group" led by a leader with an umbrella, flower, or sign.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This holiday was simply splendid. Barbara was the best first tour leader I could have asked for. She is a true professional at her work and very thoughtful in her guidance of the group. I truly loved my trip experience.

She did encourage us to write in any changes we would make in the itinerary so I will do that: I would have liked to spend another day in the Cinque Terra. One day is simply not enough. Another day would have allowed me to hike to all 5 towns and to have more time in appreciated each of their beauty. This was a place I very much wanted to see and I think it has a lot to offer. To allow that, I wouldn't have minded skipping Milan and going straight from Piedmont to Lake Como. Instead of staying in Asti, I would have loved to stay in or near the small town we experienced the wine tour. That would have made it a very intimate visit and the locals seemed to enjoy our presence there. I also would have liked another day in Lake Como. It was the nicest and most friendly hotel. The 5 towns really couldn't have been appreciated in one day along with 1 or 2 Villas. It is an hour bus drive there so 2 full days would be splendid. The trip to Pisa really wasn't that enjoyable. It was an option to go and everyone did but it became apparent that staying in Lucca was much nicer. I really enjoyed the bike rides even though the last one was changed somewhat due to the rain. I would, though, have liked the option to go off a little on my own since we are offered that option on a daily basis anyway. It was an important desire of mine to personally find a beautiful poppy field and take pictures. We found one in Lucca and I really wanted to stay longer there and make my way back on my own. As nice as the co-leader was about offering me some time, it didn't feel as if I had the option to choose to stay while the others went ahead. I think I should have had that freedom. On the 2nd bike ride there was another beautiful field not far from the road I wanted to walk there too. But again it didn't feel as if I could have the option to do that. I know the leaders are concerned about our safety and well-being but we do take a certain amount of risk and liability on our own each day. I would have liked to have the freedom of coming back on my own and spending some personal time with something important to me. I think what might be nice for the leader to know is any personal "goal" or desire in mind from each participant for their holiday. The leader can then be personally aware and help support those individual desires to occur. One of mine would have been to spend some quality time taking pictures at a poppy field. I would suggest a little more quality on some of the hotels. I know it would cost more but it does add to the enjoyment of a trip to have a nice room. Only a few rooms were actually challenging. I'm not sure how much more a 3 star hotel would raise the costs.

There were many positive things about the tour. I offer my suggestions because I know you are always striving to offer the best. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the operator to anyone I know. In fact, I have!

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