Escorted Tours Through Italy

Esteemed around the world for its rich culture, romantic scenery and exquisite cuisine, Italy is a must-see destination for many Europe tours. Albatross Tours’ itineraries have been specially designed to show you why Italy carries the nickname ‘Bel Paese’, or the ‘beautiful country’. It’s evident in the diverse landscapes, from the glacial lakes and Alps in the north to the stunning beaches and volcanic craters in the south.

The local people you’ll meet on our Italy tours are full of passion and are devoted to living life well. They love the finer things – majestic art, the best espresso, the most stylish cars, and impeccable architecture – which isn’t surprising, considering Italy’s past as the centre of the Roman Empire and the birthplace of the Renaissance.


Italy Tours

Whether you’re looking for a northern Italy tour or a southern Italy tour, we have several itineraries that can take you through the many beautiful parts of the country. At Albatross Tours, we believe in providing well-paced, genuinely inclusive tours that offer authentic hotel accommodation and tour experiences specific to distinct areas. When you travel with Albatross, you will actually live, breathe and eat all of these wonderful destinations! 
 

The Italian Grande
Tour

18 days from $7,769 pp twin share

Explore the Lakes District, Tuscany, Umbria and the Amalfi Coast. Visit Lake Maggiore, Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Pompeii, the Cinque Terre plus more!

  • Leisurely 2, 3 and 5 night stays
  • Small group tours, maximum 28
  • $1,800 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

Italian Lakes & Tuscany
Tour

16 days from $6,989 pp twin share

Visit the delightful villages on Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, historic Genoa, medival Lucca, the Cinque Terre, Portofino, Verona and Lake Garda, plus more!
  • Leisurely 2, 3, and 4 night stays
  • Small group tour, maximum 28
  • $1,600 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

Italy, the Deep South & Sicily
Tour

17 days only $7,889 pp twin share

Stay in the Trulli cottages of Alberobello, the beautifully restored 'Sassi' caves of ancient Matera and explore the best of Sicily including Mount Etna, plus more!
  • Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
  • Small group tours, maximum 28
  • $1,700 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

La Grande France, Lake Garda
& Tuscany Tour

27 days only $12,889 pp twin share

A grand journey from Paris to Venice exploring the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Provence, the Cote d'Azur, the Cinque Terre, Tuscany and delightful Lake Garda!
  • Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
  • Small group tours, maximum 28
  • $2,700 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

Christmas in an Italian Castle
Tour

11 days only $3,989 pp twin share

Celebrate Christmas in an Italian Castle, visiting Christmas markets in Salzburg and Innsbruck, Neuschwanstein Castle, Bolzano, Venice, Lake Garda  plus more!
  • Leisurely 2 and 4 night stays
  • Visit festive Christmas Markets
  • $1,100 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

New Year in an Italian Castle
Tour

7 days only $3,289 pp twin share

Celebrate New Year's Eve in a stunning Italian Castle set in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites. Visit Luzern, Innsbruck, Bolzano, Sirmione, Venice plus more!
  • 3 nights in an Italian Castle
  • New Year's Eve Gala dinner
  • $700 included extras, no optionals
  • Enjoy a day in Venice 

New Year in a Grand Venetian Villa
Tour

9 days only $3,889 pp twin share

Enjoy staying in an 18th century Venetian Villa over the New Year plus visit Verona and the Tuscan towns of Lucca and renaissance Florence. 
  • Leisurely 3 night stays
  • Breakfast daily & 6 dinners
  • $900 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

New Year in Tuscany
Tour

7 days only $3,189 pp twin share

Celebrate New Year's 'al fresco' amongst the cobbled stone streets and romantic piazzas of medieval Lucca in Tuscany. Visit Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano and Rome.
  • Leisurely 2 and 3 night stays
  • Celebrate New Years in Tuscany
  • Over $700 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

Christmas in the Slovenian Alps
Tour

11 days only $4,189 pp twin share

Celebrate Christmas over 4 nights at Lake Bled. Enjoy Christmas markets, Neuschwanstein Castle, stay 2 nights in an Italian Castle, visit Bolzano, Venice, Salzburg, plus more!
  • Leisurely 2 and 4 night stays
  • Breakfast daily and 9 dinners
  • $1,100 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

An Alpine Adventure
Tour

17 days from $7,539 pp twin share

Discover the breathtaking scenery of the French and Swiss Alps, ride on the amazing Glacier Express, explore delighful Lake Garda, stay in chic Zermatt, plus more!
  • Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
  • Small group tours, maximum 28
  • $1,700 included extras, no optionals
  • Character hotels in superb locations

Italy Tour Destinations

See and experience so much more of the real Italy with Albatross Tours. With our longer stays and more leisurely touring pace, you can truly experience and immerse yourself in this beautiful country during one of our Italy tours. We not only visit the stunning cities of Venice, Milan and Florence; we also explore the hidden gems – the lesser-known but equally amazing locations and towns. The combination of acclaimed attractions and off-the-track delights on our Italian tours allows you to really savour this fascinating holiday destination.


The Italian Lakes

  • Bellagio – Gorgeously quaint, the town of Bellagio sits on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the glimmering Lake Como. With beautiful buildings and gardens, delicious al fresco dining, and wonderful views of the Alps across the water, this destination is truly a dream come true.
  • Lake Garda – It’s difficult to say which is more beautiful: Italy’s largest lake or its stunning surroundings. Old villages filled with charm sit side by side with modern towns, while striking mountains provide a dramatic background.
  • Lake Como – This picturesque lake and area are immensely popular amongst people on holiday in Italy – and it’s not difficult to see why. Incomparable natural beauty contrasts brilliantly with the pretty villas that are icons of this region.
  • Islands of Lake Maggiore – Explore an exquisite Borromeo villa and lose yourself amongst extravagant gardens on Isola Bella. Enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the adorable restaurants or cafés on Isola dei Pescatori. Wherever you are on Lake Maggiore, glamorous natural beauty greets your eyes whichever way you gaze.
  • Macugnaga – Despite this cute village’s lofty altitude, the nearby snow-topped mountains climb higher still. Dufourspitze – the second highest mountain in Europe – is particularly intimidating for those who would climb it; though for an ordinary traveller, it is simply a wonder to behold.
     

Bellagio, Lake Como - courtesy of John Vernon

Tuscany

  • Montecatini Terme – This picturesque old town has been celebrated since the 18th century, when the first of the luxury thermals spas was built to capitalise on the mineral-water springs. In years gone by, the thermal spas were frequented by royalty and the rich, and many still provide relaxing, rejuvenating treatments for locals and guests to the area.
  • Lucca – If you can’t take a turn without bumping into a church, palace, medieval-looking house, or city wall, it might be because you’re in Lucca. For the best views of this city frozen in time, head to the top of the city walls and take a leisurely stroll.
  • Pisa – Prepare to see one of Italy’s most-loved and well-known attractions for yourself. After getting some snapshots with the photogenic Leaning Tower (don’t forget to pose!), take time to visit the enchanting local Cathedral and Baptistery.
  • San Gimignano – The town’s oldest residents – Tuscan towers still standing after 700-or-so years – make a visit to San Gimignano worthwhile. The quaint town is also home to a multitude of pathways that are simply lovely to walk along.
  • Siena – The trademark brick buildings of this town date back to medieval times and will have you feeling like you’ve taken a trip to the past. Piazza del Campo and the gothic-style town hall are particularly fascinating places to spend time.
  • Florence – The capital of Tuscany and a culture capital of the world, Florence is widely considered an essential stop on any Italy tour. A key highlight is meeting Michelangelo’s ‘David’, among other fabulous statues and artworks.
     

San Gimignano, courtesy of Elizabeth Engaddi


Italian Riviera

  • Cinque Terre – Experience the calm Italy of old in Cinque Terre (or ‘Five Lands’). This collection of five small villages sits in northern Italy, on the coast of the glorious Mediterranean Sea. Brightly painted houses perch right over the ocean on rugged cliffs. The area outside of town is just as magnificent – the national park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Portofino – Ideal for a quick stop, this old seaside village is tucked away in a quaint bay. Look up to discover a castle and church standing guard over the port.
  • Genoa – Home to Europe’s biggest still-intact medieval city centre, as well as plenty of pedestrian malls and delightful squares, Genoa is the perfect place for a guided walking tour in Italy.


Vernazza, Cinque Terre


Northern Italy

  • Verona – Serenade your special someone from below or step onto Juliet’s balcony yourself in famous Verona. Don’t skip by the fascinating Arena either – it’s an ancient amphitheatre that is still used today.
  • Venice – Whether travelling by foot or boat, Venice is an absolute pleasure to explore. The iconic Grand Canal, gondolas, and thriving St. Mark’s Square are only the beginning. A guided walking tour of Venice is an especially unforgettable experience.
     

Gand Canal, Venice


Southern Italy

  • Alberobello – Prepare for somewhat odd accommodation when staying in Alberobello – your temporary home here will be one of the town’s many ‘trulli’ (cute whitewashed buildings with cone-shaped roofs).
  • Ostuni – Admire Italy’s beautiful southern coastline from the hilltop city of Ostuni. In the town itself, prepare to be dazzled by the streets upon streets of striking whitewashed buildings.
  • Polignano a Mare – You need only two reasons to stop in this town. It sits directly on cliffs that fall away into the Adriatic Sea, making for some breathtaking views, and it serves some of the country’s most delicious gelato. Ice cream and sightseeing: the perfect pair.
  • Matera – Marvel at the area’s churches made from rock and explore the man-made caves carved into a gigantic rocky plateau. These stone houses (or ‘sassi’) are ancient; while some are in ruins, others have been fantastically restored – including the cave-hotels that will accommodate you during your time in Matera.
     

Matera, Italy


Umbria

  • Assisi – The streets of this quiet town are peaceful and charming, but it is the Basilica of St. Francis and its glorious frescoes that take the cake in Assisi.
  • Spoleto – Take a journey into centuries gone by when you visit the ancient city of Spoleto. Historic sites abound, including a 1st-century amphitheatre.
     

Assisi, Italy


Campania

  • Naples – There are exquisite palaces, squares and castles wherever you go in the sensational city of Naples. There are shopping and delicious dining opportunities aplenty as well.
  • Pompeii – Venture through the spooky yet fascinating ruins of Pompeii, where the aftermath of an almighty volcanic eruption has preserved scenes and items for nearly 2,000 years.
  • Island of Ischia – Discover the gorgeous Giardini la Mortella (an internationally acclaimed garden) before enjoying lunch in a charming fishing village. Visiting the picturesque Castello Aragonese in the afternoon is the perfect finale for a day on this captivating island.
     

Castello Aragonese in Ischia


Amalfi Coast

  • Island of Capri – Luscious landscapes, boutique stores, and mesmerising views of natural beauty… it’s no surprise Capri becomes an instant highlight of Italy for so many people travelling in this diverse and beautiful country.
  • Ravello – When visiting the mountainside town of Ravello, you may find yourself wondering: “Which is closer – the sea or the sky?” The panoramic views you will witness from this location are simply astonishing.
  • Amalfi – The quaint city of Amalfi perfectly encompasses the charm and beauty that the coast of the same name is famous for. Soak up some sun on the modest beach or enjoy some local cuisine and drinks in one of the many pretty piazzas.
     

Isle of Capri, courtesy of Paul Thornton

Touring Italy via Coach

There’s no doubt that an Italy holiday is something you will remember forever. But to get the absolute most enjoyment out of your time in this stunning country, you can’t go past a coach tour with Albatross. Because our groups are smaller and we stay longer than most tour groups, you are able to really lose yourself in the sights, cities, and sensations of Italy.

When you tour Italy via coach, everything is easy and convenient, which means you’ll return home truly refreshed – rather than feeling like you need another holiday! Enjoy the stress-free experience of having expert guides take care of navigating between stops. This luxury is especially wonderful in Italy, where traffic is notoriously hectic. As part of a tour group, you also don’t need to worry about the language barrier leading to any dramas, though you will still have plenty of opportunities to test your Italian vocab and pronunciation with friendly locals!

Your Albatross guides will provide invaluable insight and guidance about the best places to see during free time as well, ensuring every moment of your Italy tour is magical. Even greater than this, perhaps, are the chances you’ll have to bond with other fun people and make friends with your fellow travellers. It’s not unheard of for visitors who met while on tour together to form long-lasting relationships fuelled by their shared love of Italy.

When to Visit Italy

The best time to visit Italy is between April and October (i.e. from late autumn to early spring). Italy’s summer months (June-August) see particularly beautiful weather, making them the country’s most popular time of year for tourists. However, the periods just before and after this peak season enjoy wonderful conditions as well. Consider whether slightly smaller crowds or summer weather is more important to you when deciding when to travel here.

Though the winter months are generally not as popular for visiting Italy, you should certainly think about making an exception during late December. You can expect high chances of snow and a guaranteed atmosphere of joy when embarking on an Italy tour while Christmas celebrations are happening throughout the country.

 

Albatross travellers at Pisa, Italy


The Foods You’ll Eat in Italy

Without a doubt, the cuisine of Italy is one the country’s most attractive features. From savoury to sweet and everything in between, each day of your tour will present you with opportunities to sample the delightful tastes of Italy. Each region has its own specialty dishes and beverages, so be adventurous and take your senses on the culinary journey of a lifetime.

Some of the classic Italian food items to anticipate include:

  • Authentic Pizza – Enjoy this scrumptious creation the way it is supposed to be. From fancy restaurants to side-alley market stalls, you’re never far away from a slice when travelling in Italy. The pizzas in Naples are particularly delicious.
  • Lip-Smacking Limoncello – A specialty of the Amalfi Coast, this uniquely quenching liqueur is best enjoyed after a satisfying supper, preferably while relaxing with a beautiful seaside view.
  • Perfect Pasta – If you wanted to try a different variety of pasta every night of your holiday, not even our long Italy tours would give you enough time. From creamy carbonara to flavoursome fettucine, the pasta options are endless – try as many as you can fit in!
  • Lovely Gelato – Gelato shops are as common as pizza parlours in Italy – and the range of flavours will have you changing your mind many times. Chocolate-hazelnut and lemon are traditional favourites, but definitely let your taste buds take the lead here.
  • Quick Coffees – Italian locals don’t waste any time when it comes to drinking their delicious coffee brews, but this doesn’t make these tempting beverages any less enjoyable. For an extra burst of energy, order yourself an espresso – pronto.


Things You Should Know About Italian Culture

Meals are a big deal in Italian culture, so put your phone away and really enjoy the cuisine of the country (and the company of your fellow travellers). Other customs you should be aware of when on an Italian tour include:

  • Passion – A common trait amongst Italians is an infectious amount of enthusiasm – for football, food, topical issues, and just about every other aspect of life. If locals come across as blunt or rude, particularly when driving, don’t take it personally; that’s simply the way this energetic society works.
  • Family – The family unit is of utmost importance to most Italian people. Extended families living together in a single household are common, particularly in southern Italy. When socialising with locals, be careful not to act or speak in a way that would suggest disrespect towards family members – yours or anyone else’s.
  • Looks – Appearances and first impressions are highly considered in Italian culture. To fit in, you may like to swap the traditional touristy wear for smart casual clothes that are still comfortable for walking. Never insult a local’s attractiveness either (though this is a good general rule to follow regardless of which country you are visiting!).

 

Dining in Italy, courtesy of John Vernon


The Money You’ll Use in Italy

Since 2002 and the cancellation of the Italian lira, the currency of Italy has been the Euro (€). If you’re a frequent traveller in Europe, no doubt you will already be quite familiar with this currency’s notes (€5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500) and coins (1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2).

Italy is quite a cash-focused country, so it’s a good idea to have a decent amount handy – even though most of your expenses will be covered in your tour itinerary. ATMs (or ‘bancomats’) are easy to find in most Italian cities, but do check with your bank beforehand to make sure your card will be accepted. You can expect a small fee from each withdrawal though, so you might prefer to exchange cash on arrival or buy some Euros before departing for your tour.

 

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Sampling Italy's Stunning South

In April 2014, I set out on Albatross Tours’ Italy, the Deep South & Sicily Tour to fulfill a long-standing dream of sightseeing and sampling some of Italy’s most rich food and wine territory. Having visited (and thoroughly enjoyed) the north of Italy, I’d been looking forward to experiencing something new and off the beaten track. I couldn't have asked for more. Read More
 

Trulli Cottages, Alberobello, Italy


An Ample Slice of Italy

With its rich culture and long history, Italy is a land that offers so much to see and do. In order to get the time we needed to take in the full range of sensations and history that Italy offers, we joined Albatross Tours’ Italian ‘Grande’ Tour. A tour with one-night stop after one-night stop just wouldn’t do. Read More
 

Sirmione, Italy

 

Stay in the Ancient Caves in Matera

Matera, a city in Southern Italy is one of the oldest settlements in the world that is still inhabited today. Most of this deeply fascinating city built into the slop of a rocky ravine is below your feet. Its tangle of streets criss-cross the rooftops of houses, many of them caves dug into the hardened clay walls of gullies. Read More
 

Matera Cave Hotel, Italy

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