Small group cultural holiday to Italy

“Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples, this two week overland tour of Italy is all about the cultural sightseeing with Lake Como and the Amalfi coast adding to the natural attraction.”


Venice | Verona | Varenna | Lake Como | Bellagio | Levanto | Florence | Pisa | Lucca | Umbria | Assisi | Rome | Naples | Optional activities include: walks to Mount Vesuvius and visits to Sorrento, Capri or Amalfi |

Description of Small group cultural holiday to Italy

This two week cultural holiday to Italy really does take in the greats: Venice, Florence and Rome as well as Lake Como, the Amalfi coast and Umbria. In addition we travel from the north to the south of this effortlessly beautiful country by train, so that you can travel the slow way and take in the natural landscapes en route.

Each of the cities has its own architectural, cultural and natural specialities. Starting in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Venice, it is hard to imagine it can get better than this. But with the history, sacred and straight up beauty of Rome, the artistic arcadia that is Florence and the ancient wonders of Assisi, just as a few examples, this itinerary just keep adding layers and layers of Italian idylls into its marvellous mix.

And of course, there are few icings on a cake to beat the inimitable Amalfi Coast, which is where this trip ends, and where you have free time to dip in and out of the stunning coves, head out to the Island of Capri or explore Vesuvius and Pompeii.

Travelling through the country this way also gives us a great perspective on how food culture changes with each region, with the fine wines of Umbria, classic regional dishes such as the Florentine 'ribollita' or the 'cicchetti' in Venice. And everywhere there is great café culture, a laid back approach to life and an infectious passion for all things Italian.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700


Check dates, prices & availability

13 May 2018
£ 2079
including UK flights
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17 Jun 2018
£ 2129
including UK flights
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02 Sep 2018
£ 2129
including UK flights
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07 Oct 2018
£ 2079
including UK flights
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Our top tip:
Pack light as you will be transporting your luggage from train stations to accommodation. Also, plan your free days in advance and reserve tickets to attractions to ensure you don't spend all day in a queue.
Trip type:
Small group. Avg 12. Min age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Gentle walks, boat trips, train rides and sightseeing.
14 nights guesthouses and 2/3-star hotels with en-suite facilities.
Accommodation, transport, listed activities and entrance fees, and tour leader throughout.
All breakfasts.
Single travellers welcome. Solo room supplements apply.
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Small group cultural holiday to Italy

Accommodation and Meals:
On this tour we will spend 12 nights in small hotels and guesthouses. All accommodation is locally owned and staffed, which provides employment and income alternatives for many locals. All breakfast are provided and there is a focus on using locally sourced produce and traditional ingredients in locally-run establishments. For the other meals, clients are encouraged to eat in authentic, family-run restaurants that showcase the best of Italian cuisine prepared from local produce and to ensure the local communities benefit from our visit. Recommendations are provided by the local leaders.

Local Craft and Culture:
This tour is packed with culture: we visit the cities of Verona, Florence and Rome (just to name a few) and also some of the most fascinating destinations of Italy such as the Lake Como area and the Amalfi coast. In particular we will visit the picturesque towns of Bellaggio and Minori, with additional time to further explore the lake area and the coastal villages of Capri, Sorrento and Positano. We will use public ferries and trains,as well as group transfers to reach the destinations, to minimise our impact on the territory.

This trip is designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; in Assisi we’ve decided to stay in the rural Umbria, in a traditional agriturismo to allow the clients to enjoy the local atmosphere and to support the community. Throughout the trip, when wine tastings are organised we select small local producers to help their businesses and offer a true experience.

This is a really important issue and it’s becoming more and more crucial to provide water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We advise our clients to take a water bottle they can refill at the hotels and where else available along the way.

Travelling with respect:
Clients are briefed on how to minimise their impact on the environment while travelling; particularly on managing litter. If bins are not immediately available waste can be collected by guide and throw away as soon as possible, where appropriate.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

1 Reviews of Small group cultural holiday to Italy

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 15 Oct 2014 by

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

Pompeii and the statues in the Museo Cappella Sansevero - amazing

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

TRAVEL LIGHT - we were told INCORRECTLY that we would have help with luggage. You
transport all luggage and lift it on and off trains and luggage racks.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not really.

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

Good memories

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