The Italian 'Grande' Tour

18 days from $7,499 pp twin share

  • Leisurely 2, 3 and 5 night stays
  • Small groups from just 10 to 28
  • Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
  • Character hotels in superb locations
  • Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
  • 'My Time' guaranteed

Tour Overview

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, explore the idyllic villages on the Cinque Terre, drink wine in Tuscany and of course stay on the stunning Amalfi Coast.
 
This tour requires a moderate level of fitness due to the unique places we visit and stay. This tour is not suited to anyone who has mobility issues.
 

Highlights

  • 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


The Italian 'Grande' Tour is just one of many you can enjoy in Italy. Visit each destination page for more information for our other amazing tours! 

 

Message from the Mo

Italy is very big. Very big!

Did you know, with motorway service station stops for morning tea and lunch, taking into consideration tolls, traffic and entering and exiting major citiesit takes over eight and a half hours to travel on a coach from Florence to Sorrento or Venice to Rome! Yet so many tours have these drives as a standard day in their itinerary. Even worse they often have just one or two night stops at either end. That is why Albatross Tours breaks these journeys with five nights in Tuscany and two nights in Spoleto, en route to the Neapolitan Riviera.
 
That is also why when we travel between destinations our days are not endurance tests. We allow leisurely stops en route! For instance, between Tuscany and Umbria we enjoy visits to both Siena and delightful San Gimignano and between Stresa and CastelBrando we have lunchtime beside Lake Garda. Aren’t these sorts of visits exactly why you want to travel to glorious Italy?
 
By providing four nights in the glorious Lakes District, two in either an ancient castle or grand villa, five in Tuscany, two in Spoleto and three in Maiori to explore the Amalfi Coast and the nearby island of Capri, and a night in Rome as the finalé, we perfectly complete your Italian experience! It’s all about a sensible touring style, a civilised pace, genuine inclusions and actually enjoying what you have come so far to see.
 
 

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: 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.

Meals:
D
Hotel:
La Palma Hotel
Bellagio, Lake Como

Hand Selected Experience

Time to explore the majestic lakes

World famous Bellagio epitomises the gorgeous towns lining the shores of the majestic Italian Lakes. That is why we charter a private cruise boat to admire the sumptuous villas and mansions adorning Lake Como before enjoying a relaxing lunchtime in beautiful Bellagio. Our leisurely 4-night stay in lakeside Stresa allows you the necessary time to do this, plus another cruise on Lake Maggiore, take in the Lakes of Garda and scenic Orta, and visit the mighty Alps. Absolutely Albatross! See Days 1 to 4.
 

Day 2: 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. 
 
Meals:
B
D

Day 3: 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. 
Meals:
B

Day 4: 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. 
 
Meals:
B

Day 5: 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.

 

Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
CastelBrando or Villa Margherita in Mira

Day 6: 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. 
Meals:
B
D

Day 7: 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.
 
 
 
Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Hotel Ercolini & Savi or Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale

Day 8: 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. 

Meals:
B
D

Day 9: ‘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! 
 
 
Meals:
B
Montecatini Alto, Tuscany

Hand Selected Experience

Ahhh…5 nights in Tuscany

We used to spend 4 nights here in Montecatini Terme, but then many past clients commented on how lovely and typically Tuscan this elegant spa town is and suggested that adding an extra day here –­ completely free – would make the stay perfect. So we did. Yes, we fully explore this amazing region, but now, by staying 5 nights in this delightful town, we add a fabulous, authentic activity – a completely free day to ‘go native’ simply for the pleasure of it! 
 
 

Day 10: 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. 
Meals:
B
D

Day 11: 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.
Meals:
B

Day 12: 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. 
Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Hotel Dei Duchi

Day 13: 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! 
Meals:
B
D

Day 14: 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! 

 

Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Hotel Pietra di Luna

Day 15: 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. 
 
 
Meals:
B
D

Day 16: 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. 
 
Meals:
B

Day 17: 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. 
 
 

 

Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Hotel Mediterraneo

Day 18: Rome

Your tour ends today after breakfast. 
 
Meals:
B

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
  • Albatross Memories Photobook

No additional 'on tour' costs!

 

 

Your Hotels

La Palma Hotel, Stresa

La Palma Hotel, Stresa – 4 Nights

Set in its own private gardens and within an easy walking distance of Stresa’s old town, this first class hotel is superbly located on the lakeside promenade with magnificent views across Lake Maggiore. The elegant dining room leads out into the hotels manicured gardens, and the swimming pool is located opposite the hotel, on the lakeshore. 
Castelbrando in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites

CastelBrando, Cison Di Valmarino – 2 Nights

 Located above the village of Cison di Valmarino, this 2000 year old Roman fortress was turned into a sumptuous noble’s palace in the13th century. Access to the castle is by funicular. On arrival we have included a guided tour of the castle. Skilful restoration and sensitive modernisation have brought the original magnificence back to life. Guelph style decorative battlements, stone cellars, tapestries, swords and suits of armour set the scene for the elegant halls, dining rooms, manicured gardens and terraces overlooking the valley. Glorious for those après dinner drinks on those long summer evenings! Dinner is included both nights in ‘our’magnificent Castle. 
 
Villa Margherita, Mira

Villa Margherita in Mira – 2 Nights

Once a grand noble residence, this elegant 17th century villa has now been sensitively restored into an excellent, meticulously maintained 4-star hotel. The traditionally styled, elegant guest rooms offer all the modern conveniences expected from a hotel situated near the world famous city of Venice, and provide the experience of residing in an authentic Palladian style villa. Villa Margherita is surrounded by large private gardens and overlooks the Brenta River. Situated just 25 minutes from the centre of Venice, this villa is perfectly located with only a 10 minute walk from the town centre. Dinner is included both nights at your Villa hotel. 

* 14 May, 31 May, 19 June, 17 September & 2 October departures stay at Villa Margherita. All other departures stay at CastelBrando.

 Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme – 5 Nights

Offering classic décor and modern features, including air conditioned rooms and an outdoor pool, the family run Francia & Quirinale Hotel is also conveniently located in the centre of Montecatini Terme. The hotel’s restaurant features Murano glass chandeliers and serves Italian and Tuscan specialities. 
 
* 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.
 

 

Ercolini & Savi Hotel, Montecatini Terme

Hotel Ercolini & Savi, Montecatini Terme – 5 Nights

Located in a Liberty style building dating back to the 19th century, the Hotel Ercolini & Savi offers a fantastic location as well as being a relaxing and welcoming place to stay. The hotel is in an extremely central location in the elegant Via San Martino, close by Piazza del Popolo. 
 
 
Hotel Dei Duchi, Spoleto

Hotel Dei Duchi , Spoleto – 2 Nights

 This unpretentious, family run hotel is located just outside the old city walls and is known locally for its cuisine. The dining area offers wide panoramic views of the stunning Umbrian countryside. The hotel has the dual benefit of being a ‘town’ hotel but at the same time giving the feeling as if you are in the middle of the countryside. 

Hotel Pietra di Luna, Maiori

Hotel Pietra di Luna, Maiori - 3 Nights

Located in the centre of Maiori overlooking the bay, the Pietra di Luna hotel offers modern comforts, renowned local hospitality and excellent gastronomy. 

Tour Reviews

This tour met all my expectations largely due to our exceptional Tour Manager. Her local knowlege, including historical knowledge of specific sites made each visit memorable. She would have a map ready for us each day we had a visit to a new town, a notice board in a prominent place in each hotel hightlighting times and activities for the days we were staying and helped with booking everything from trains to tours not included with Albatross.

I particularly liked the free time we had in most places to see and experience what interested us - shopping for some, museums or historical sites for others.

Each hotel was different, as were rooms, but I found all to be a good or excellent standard - exactly what was stated in the pre tour information.

Meals were also very good and there were also plenty of opportunities to sample local fare on your own or within the group if you wanted to.

 

Maree

Grand Canal, Venice
Tour Rating
5

This tour surpassed my expectations. I was able to relax with no worries about time and venues. Other travellers were friendly. I enjoyed spending several nights in the same hotel and gaining a more in depth appreciation of the beauty and wonder of scenery. 

Our Tour Manager was enthusiastic, resourceful, showed tremendous attention to detail and went well beyong the call of duty. 

Marion

Cinque Terre, courtesy of Deb Greenhalgh
Tour Rating
5

The first organised tour we have experienced, and what a wonderful one it was. Small group of like minded Aussies who all took care of each other and most importantly  the most fantastic and dedicated Tour Manager. Our welfare and comfort was her main concern. Every detail was taken care of and all the dinners both included and extras and hotels were excellent, as was our driver.

When I became ill, our Tour Manager took care of me by organising a Doctor to come to our hotel. This enabled me to continue on our further travels. All her recommendations about places to see and eat we're spot on.

We feel privileged to have done an Albatross tour and would be more than pleased to have our Tour Manager as our guide again.

Wouldn't hesitate doing another Albatross tour again in the future.
 

Robert and Maree

Assisi
Tour Rating
5

From when I was eight years old I dreamed of seeing Italy. It has taken a long time and  I thank my Tour Manager and Albatross for bringing the dream to life.

Barry

Tour Rating
4

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole tour with great inclusions and a  knowledgable and friendly Tour Manager who made the tour fun. I would highly recommend this tour as good value for money, great inclusions and a good balance of activities. Love the complimentary photobook idea - previous memories!

Ann

Venice
Tour Rating
5

Had a great time, saw amazing locations and we could not have done so much on our own. The driver of the coach was very competent on all roads especially the Amalfi Coast. Our Tour Manager was exceptional and helped make the whole trip memorable.

Peter

Cinque Terre
Tour Rating
4

This was our first every organised tour. We cannot speak highly enough of our driver and our tour manager was exceptional. She was so well organised and enabled us to truly have a holiday. She was so sweet to always ask about our wellbeing and ensuring our dietary needs were met everywhere.

Katherine

Assisi
Tour Rating
4

This has been our first Albatross tour and we will certainly be looking to travel with you again. Our tour manager was absolute gold.

Joan

Cinque Terre
Tour Rating
4

The tour was all we had hoped for. All the places we wished to visit, we could not have organised it ourselves to visit in the time we had spare.

Elizabeth

Assisi
Tour Rating
4

This was a fantastic tour. Our tour manager was fabulous. The La Palma hotel almost brought tears to the eyes. We could not fault our tour manager's knowledge of all things Italian. Value for money we weren't sure about until we saw the costs involved e.g. fees into the cities and road tolls etc. The hotels were top quality so would be expensive.  I would recommend this tour to everyone. I do believe having all Australians added to the trip as we all understood each other and became firm friends.

Gail

Venice
Tour Rating
5

Aided by beautiful spring weather and no rain our tour was terrific. As we stayed in some more out of the way towns we were able to relax, especially staying in one hotel for several nights. Our tour manager was excellent - so organised, competent and cheerful. His positive outlook was infectious and he looked after all members of the group, took care of any medical emergencies discreetly and nable all of the group to have a fabulous time. This is my fourth time in Italy and was a wonderful experience bathed in laughter, sunshine, good food and wine!

Susie

Tour Rating
5

We cannot fault the organistion of this tour - no stone unturned and everything went like clockwork. Hotels, meals, tours all terrific! Special commendation to group leader Vanessa Nicol - she is an outstanding employee for you.

Can't wait to do another trip with Albatross!

Keith and Cheryl

Tour Rating
5
My partner Mike and I would like to express our gratitude to Helen Sheehan (our tour manager) and Ermano (our coach driver) for the service provided on our Italian Grande Tour departure to ensure that we had a wonderful memorable tour.
 
We have thoroughly enjoyed the tour and have found the variety in the places we have visited gave us a wonderful overview of Italy as it really is. Helen worked hard to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves, offering suggestions for things to do, places to see and where to eat in our down time. We found Helen to have an intimate knowledge of the places we visited and she was always willing to share further information that she had sourced along the way.
 
Our driver Ermanno endeared himself to the tour group with his hearty buongiorno's each morning, courtesy and care for his passengers and precision driving in some very tight places and precarious roads. We were amazed at what he could do with our coach on tiny Italian roads. Thankyou Ermanno for being part of our touring family.
 
We found the ability to stay at least a couple of nights in one spot (and these not being major cities) to be a wonderful help in obtaining a feel for the real Italy. We loved the family atmosphere of all of the hotels we stayed at during our trip and would be happy to return to each and every hotel if the opportunity presents itself in the future.
 
Overall we would have no hesitation in recommending Albatross Tours to friends or family. In fact we are hoping to be able to travel again with Albatross in the near future when we next visit Europe.
 
 

Jan

Tour Rating
5

The tour guide Antonio was excellent, she made our tour effortless with her management of every aspect. I know so much more thanks to her excellent commentary on difference areas visited.

Gloria, travelled April 2016

Tour Rating
4

The trip was a special birthday splurge for my mother. She hasn't stopped talking about her adventure since our return and has been asked to give a talk to a local group about her experience.

We felt well cared for by our tour guide who was not only knowledgeable but also thoughtful and well organised. The coach drivers took their job seriously so we never felt unsafe on the journey.

It was then a very relaxed tour through wonderfully diverse landscapes and cultural sites. We especially liked the visit to local artisans to sample their produce, olive oil, wine and food. There were many surprising treats too like the visit to the La Montella gardens Ischia and the Roman ruins next to our hotel in Spoleto.

So many enjoyable memories!

Kerrie

St. Marks Square, Venice - courtesy of Kerrie McCaw
Tour Rating
5

Loved the locations and the hotels we stayed at, especially Castelbrando and Spoleto. Also liked staying in the same place for several days.

I thought the tour to be well organised and planned, a little more special than many other tours.

Our tour leader Prisca is very knowledgable and handled any problems in a professional and diplomatic manner. Our driver Carmine was excellent with his ability in driving the coach.

Very happy with Albatross and am now thinking about my next tour.
 

Heather

Castelbrando, Italy
Tour Rating
5

I liked everything about my tour.  The pace was fantastic, with enough time to explore on our own.  Staying several nights in each stop was great as it meant we didn't have to pack every day.  Group size was terrific and Tour Manager and Drivers were exceptional.  Difficult to pick any standout highlight although staying in a castle was special.  The Amalfi Coast, Stresa and Macugnaga were especially wonderful.  Food and wine featured so much local specialities and was varied and fantastic.  Highly recommend this tour :)

Jan

Italian Food
Tour Rating
5

All great. The organisation, the excellent Tour Manager and drivers, comfortable coaches made for a smooth trouble free trip.  The choice of accommodation, the meals, the wine all terrific.  Staying in a castle, the trip to Macugnaga and the Amalfi Coast were highlights.  I would highly recommend this tour.

Peter

Ravello Square, Italy
Tour Rating
5
I wanted to express my our thanks and appreciation for this fantastic tour package that you have put together. Can I say that from the moment I watched your tour presentation on Youtube, I knew that this was the holiday I wanted to give my wife for her birthday. We always said that we would go back to Italy one day for an extended time and we could not have chosen a better tour to do it with.
 
The content, small group size  and relaxed pace was perfect. Your tour guide Antonia was excellent, her knowledge, professionalism and attention to detail was brilliant. She provided personal touches like biscuits and cakes from the regions we travelled through, organising for us to attend an evening at the opera in Montecatini Terme. She maintained good cohesion within the group and this provided the catalyst for a great tour. She is a tremendous asset to your business.
 
The choice of accommodation was great and very centrally located and the towns and cities we visited gave us a wonderful insight into the Italian lifestyle and culture.
 
As my wife is Gluten intolerant, this tour made it easier to cater to her food needs and most of the establishments supplied good choices and variety to choose from.
 
We have been on a number of tours throughout Europe but this one sits right at the top of our list – “Very hard to beat”!
 
Thank you again for putting together a wonderful tour package and we would have no hesitation in recommending your travel group.
We look forward to the time when we can travel with you again.

Peter

Lucca, Italy
Tour Rating
5

Our tour guide and coach driver were amazing, the whole tour was wonderful the places we saw we would never do ourselves.

Siham

Street in Naples
Tour Rating
5

I really enjoyed the different places we went to, the historical notes that our tour guide gave us, the beautiful and convenient locations of the hotels we stayed in and the company of my fellow travellers.

Our tour guide was fantastic and did the most marvellous job.
 

Raewyn

Castelbrando, Italy
Tour Rating
5

The tour was led very competently by an experienced tour director whose cheerful manner and can do attitude made a great feeling of security. The group was good at time keeping which made things run smoothly for everyone, and thanks to two excellent drivers, most destinations were reached more or less on time giving a free hour or so before dinner or the next step of the tour.  I am delighted to have achieved so much and with a wonderful set of photos and memories of a comprehensive and visually astounding tour.

Daphne

Gelato in Italy
Tour Rating
4

This was the trip of a life time.

Every aspect of the trip was great even though by the time I got to Rome I did not need to see anymore churches or very small towns. In saying that small towns and churches are what Italy is about in some respects.
 

Stephen

Siena, Cathedral, Italy - courtesy of Elizabeth Anggadi
Tour Rating
5

Amazing places and information, this tour was very well thought out. The guides were great. I will travel with Albatross Tours again!

L.P

View from Castelbrando, Italy
Tour Rating
5

This was our first group tour and it was exceptional from start to finish. We saw so much of beautiful Italy and everything went without a hitch. I cannot praise this tour highly enough and our Tour Manager has been a delight for the entire 18 days.

Amanda & Stephen

Assisi, Italy
Tour Rating
5

We are usually independent travellers; this was our first organised tour. It was a fabulous experience with everyday a well-planned adventure. Our Tour Manager was amazing and we were part of a very congenial group of travellers. Couldn't speak highly enough of Albatross Tours.

Collette & Chris

Pompeii, Italy - courtesy of Megan Thackray
Tour Rating
5

The tour was a very pleasing package and we would recommend it to anybody wanting something in the region. The tour manager was very informative, bright, happy person who presented the tour extremely well. The coach driver was the best we have ever had the privilege to travel with and this is our 7th tour.

 

Don and Lynne

Tour Rating
5

The tour itself was a trip of a lifetime, covering so many highlights of Italy and including many hidden gems such as Montecatini Terme and Spoleto. Our tour manager, Antonio, made every day an outstanding success. Her attention to detail, 24/7 availability, knowledge and passion for the culture and history of Italy enhanced our experience 1000 times! Our coach driver was also outstanding. The coach was always spotless, as were the windows, and we felt safe when he was driving. We missed him on the days he didn't drive!

As a tour, I also think Albatross have it right. No one night stays is great. The hotels were excellent and staying in different regions really gave us a taste of all that Italy has to offer. I will definitely be looking at another Albatross tour. The inclusions were extensive and much appreciated.

Another highlight was the use of local guides. I loved listening to the lady in Macugnaga explaining the way of life and the use of wood for everything and was amazed to hear she was in her eighties. She was so full of life and enthusiasm. 

Our guide in Assisi was also excellent. She was so knowledgeable and made the Bascilica a fascinating tour stop.

This trip has been a highlight of my life. Thank you Albatross, and our tour manager Antonia, our coach driver, and everyone who works so hard to make it successful and easy for us.

Jenny

Tour Rating
5

The Italian Grande tour lived up to our expectations and more. I cannot speak highly enough of our tour manager, Antonia. Her knowledge is exceptional, and she made Italy come alive for us. Many times she went the extra mile and certainly looked after us extremely well. Our coach driver was an extremely safe driver, and was always friendly and helpful. A great team.

We have always enjoyed your tours - that is why we keep on coming back. We love the later starts, pro-longed stays, smaller groups and the interesting places we stay at and visit.

This particular tour was extremely well organised, and ran like clockwork. So many highlights! Thank you Albatross!

Margaret

Tour Rating
5

I really appreciated the small group (21) and the large coach. Also appreciated the 'private' transport, i.e. boats, which somehow Prisca managed to organise every time just for us.

The little extras, e.g. local fare - delicious chocolates etc. were a lovely touch. When you thought you had the best day, the next one had something else that blew us away.

The entire trip was a blast from the first day. Prisca, was a fabulous tour manager with a fountain of information and handy hints. The entire group got on so well, the weather was perfect every day and our coach driver was a very safe driver! What more could we have asked for???

 

Janelle

Tour Rating
5

This tour was exceptional and certainly lived up to its name. Our tour manager, Antonia was brilliant, probably the best I have experienced in all of our travels. Her knowledge, enthusiasm and interaction with the group made this tour extra special.

The sights and attractions on this tour were particularly stunning; the best for me were:

  • The mountain village - Macugnaga and the chairlift to the ski area
  • Tuscan farmhouse dinner
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Isle of Capri and the drive up the mountain
  • Amalfi Coast drive was spectacular

Allan

Tour Rating
5

Antonia, our tour manager was extremely organised and gracious. Her extensive knowledge of Italy came across every day. She went to exhaustible trouble to make sure everyone was well cared for and comfortable. I thoroughly recommend her as a valuable asset to Albatross Tours.

Our driver Ermano, was a very, very competent driver in all circumstances and a really lovely gentleman. Nothing was too much trouble and his cheery personality was well received by all. His coach was his pride and joy and was alway immaculate. He is also a fantastic asset to Albatross!

Anne

Tour Rating
5

I hadn't done any formal touring since childhood. Then did a Sicily tour with Insight, followed by a week in Rome with family, then joined the Albatross tour. Your tour, therefore, manages to be directly compared to the Insight tour, and I can assure you that the Albatross tour has stood head and shoulders above the Insight tour! I have had a fabulous time! Thank you!

Linda

Tour Rating
5

I have been on Scenic, APT and Insight tours over the past 10 years and I can truthfully say this has been the most enjoyable. The itinerary was well planned and thought out.

The tour manager, Antonia, was just amazing, so well organised, knowledgeable and nothing was ever too much trouble for her.

The smaller group size and a full size coach with 2 doors worked well.

Gai

Tour Rating
5

Our tour manager, Antonia, was excellent. Her knowledge boundless, great sense of humour and fun loving. Our coach driver was great.

Great organisation by Albatross, by staying several nights in one place makes it more of a holiday and not so tiring, even though we are going home 'tired' but truly satisfied - we have tasted 'Dolce Vita'.

Thank you we will be 'Albatrossing' again!

Margaret

Tour Rating
5

An outstanding trip with a superb tour guide. Starting in Stresa worked well. Every region had its attractions. Naples was a highlight for me. Throughout the whole trip our driver navigated our way with due care and attention. The members of the group also made the holiday a great success. Thank you.

Maxine

Tour Rating
5

Overall, I was very satisfied with the quality of the tour. Accommodation was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed all the places visited. Our tour manager was excellent. She was a nice balance of organised and relaxed in her style. 

Ros

Tour Rating
4

We booked this tour and were not sure how much we would enjoy being on a coach tour. It was a wonderful way to see so much of Italy and with a small group of only 17 we found it great. 

Our tour guide Helen and coach driver Marco were excellent and looked after us well. 

My favourite highlight of the tour was the Lakes area. It was absolutely beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed our time there, the hotel was wonderful.

I would have no hesitation recommending Albatross to anyone looking to tour Italy!

Karen

Tour Rating
5

We had a fabulous honeymoon and would like to give special thanks to our tour manager, Helen, for the little extras that she did to make us feel special. 

I would also like to mention our lovely coach driver, Marco, who made us feel safe while on the coach.

This was an excellent tour, at the right pace. I would highly recommend to family and friends.

Janet

Tour Rating
5

Dates and Prices

Start Date End Date Price Per Person Guaranteed to Depart Availability
28 Apr 2018 15 May 2018 AUD $7,499 Space Limited - Call Now
4 May 2018 21 May 2018 AUD $7,749 Space Available
14 May 2018 31 May 2018 AUD $7,649 Space Available
24 May 2018 10 Jun 2018 AUD $7,899 Space Available
31 May 2018 17 Jun 2018 AUD $7,649 Space Available
19 Jun 2018 6 Jul 2018 AUD $7,649 Space Available
16 Jul 2018 2 Aug 2018 AUD $7,749 Space Available
17 Aug 2018 3 Sep 2018 AUD $7,499 Space Available
1 Sep 2018 18 Sep 2018 AUD $7,499 Space Limited - Call Now
7 Sep 2018 24 Sep 2018 AUD $7,749 Space Available
17 Sep 2018 4 Oct 2018 AUD $7,899 Space Available
22 Sep 2018 9 Oct 2018 AUD $7,499 Space Limited - Call Now
2 Oct 2018 19 Oct 2018 AUD $7,899 Space Available

Book Early and SAVE!

SAVE $350 per person when you book and deposit by 31 October 2017. That's a saving of $700 per couple! Further discounts may also apply.

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Have you travelled with Albatross Tours previously? Save $200 on our European Summer tours or $100 on our Christmas and ANZAC tours.

No Additional 'On Tour' Costs

Over $100 value of extras per day are already included. There are no additional 'on tour' costs - even your end of tour tips are included!