Intrepid | Italy Uncovered

From the romance of Venice to the laidback charm of the Amalfi Coast, take time to experience the true delights of Italy. Travel through the rolling hills of Umbria, visit medieval towns, soak up culture on a trip to Rome, explore the ruins of Pompeii and fall in love with the beauty of Sorrento. La bella Italia is diverse and fascinating - experience seaside scenery, rustic city streets and delectable cuisine, all infused with that passionate Italian spirit.

  • Highlights

    • Be charmed by the romantic aura of Venice city
    • Experience Umbria's religious heart on a visit to Assisi
    • Explore the haunting site of Pompeii
    • Find ancient artefacts in Naples’s Archaeological Museum
    • Hike Mt Vesuvius
    • Ride a cable car to a hilltop basilica in Gubbio
    • Take in sun and sea on the Amalfi Coast
    • Travel to Rome and discover ancient sites and modern delights
  • Pricing

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      • Start Date:7 May 17
      • End Date:21 May 17
      • Price:$4,525
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:21 May 17
      • End Date:4 Jun 17
      • Price:$4,695
      • Availability:6 spaces
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      • Start Date:4 Jun 17
      • End Date:18 Jun 17
      • Price:$4,695
      • Availability:5 spaces
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      • Start Date:25 Jun 17
      • End Date:9 Jul 17
      • Price:$4,525
      • Availability:6 spaces
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      • Start Date:9 Jul 17
      • End Date:23 Jul 17
      • Price:$4,395
      • Availability:5 spaces
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      • Start Date:23 Jul 17
      • End Date:6 Aug 17
      • Price:$4,350
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      • Start Date:20 Aug 17
      • End Date:3 Sep 17
      • Price:$4,525
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      • End Date:10 Sep 17
      • Price:$4,525
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      • End Date:17 Sep 17
      • Price:$4,790
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      • Start Date:10 Sep 17
      • End Date:24 Sep 17
      • Price:$4,695
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      • Start Date:17 Sep 17
      • End Date:1 Oct 17
      • Price:$4,615
      • Availability:5 spaces
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      • Start Date:1 Oct 17
      • End Date:15 Oct 17
      • Price:$4,350
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      • End Date:22 Oct 17
      • Price:$4,350
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      • Start Date:6 May 18
      • End Date:20 May 18
      • Price:$4,750
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      • Start Date:20 May 18
      • End Date:3 Jun 18
      • Price:$4,930
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      • Start Date:3 Jun 18
      • End Date:17 Jun 18
      • Price:$4,930
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      • Start Date:24 Jun 18
      • End Date:8 Jul 18
      • Price:$4,750
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      • End Date:22 Jul 18
      • Price:$4,565
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      • End Date:5 Aug 18
      • Price:$4,565
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      • End Date:2 Sep 18
      • Price:$4,750
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      • End Date:16 Sep 18
      • Price:$4,930
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      • Start Date:9 Sep 18
      • End Date:23 Sep 18
      • Price:$4,930
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      • End Date:30 Sep 18
      • Price:$4,750
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      • Start Date:30 Sep 18
      • End Date:14 Oct 18
      • Price:$4,565
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      • Start Date:7 Oct 18
      • End Date:21 Oct 18
      • Price:$4,565
      • Availability:7+ Available
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    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Venice - Welcome to Venice, Italy. This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Your Italian adventure will begin with a welcome meeting at 6pm tonight – check with reception to confirm the time and place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). There are no activities planned before the meeting, so if you arrive early there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Take a walk around the maze of streets behind San Marco Square and begin to understand the complex canal system of Venice. The Grand Canal is a great place to start, as you can stroll over the Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. After the meeting, enjoy dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant. Notes: Your leader will be available to help on your arrival day until after the welcome meeting, however they may be finishing a trip tonight with another group and will be spending the evening having a farewell dinner with them. Your leader will suggest a location for dinner for you and your group tonight, and will be able to participate in other evening meals for the duration of your trip.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Venice - After an orientation walk to familiarise you with the city, you are free to venture out and explore Venice. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Some of the more popular sights include Doge's Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco, and the Bridge of Sighs. Take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for the best view of Venice. No trip here would be complete without a journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. It's a common way for visitors to see the major canal routes from an immersive perspective. While away your day in the busy San Marco square and be sure to try the local tiramisu and Italian coffee that's on offer. There’s creativity everywhere, overflowing into the canals; see it in the venetian glass in Dorsoduro or down the streets spreading out from Campo Santo Stefano, lined with unique galleries and small boutiques. Visit the Palazzo Ducale, overflowing with paintings by Italian masters, and contrast it with the modern Guggenheim. Simply enjoy getting lost crossing the hundreds of bridges and uncovering your own slice of Venice. In the evening, perhaps join your fellow travellers for a group dinner at a local restaurant. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, so make sure you give one a try.

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Gubbio - This is a long travel day as you take several trains followed by a short bus ride south, inland into Umbria and the medieval hill-top town of Gubbio (approximately 8 hours). The streets of Gubbio, the province’s oldest town, are filled with stone houses and orange-tiled roofs, set against a mountain backdrop. This is a perfect medieval town, where there are centuries of history around every corner and the right amount of requisite cobblestone streets, gothic palaces and churches. The surrounding countryside is also lush and cool, the reason why many Italians retreat here in the summer months. When you arrive, a good way to get to know the town is to simply wander the 14th and 15th century streets. A trip to Gubbio wouldn’t be complete without a lengthy lunch or dinner along one of its narrow streets, so grab an outdoor table at a taverna for truffle-infused dishes.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Gubbio - This morning take a short orientation walk up to Gubbio's unique cable car – a 15 minute and 1,000 metre high ride to the Basilica of Sant'Ubaldo, which contains the mummified body of the town's patron saint. From up here you can marvel at the amazing vistas of the Umbrian valleys and mountains, plus get a great rooftop view of the town itself. The alternative is a 30-40 minute walk uphill on a gravel road to reach the basilica. Then take a peaceful countryside hike from the top of Mt Ingino to admire the Umbrian landscape and stunning view down to Gubbio (approximately 2-3 hours). You'll then have some free time to explore the delights of Gubbio as you wish. You can take in the Civic Museum (home to 3rd-5th century BC bronze Eugubine Tablets), the Duomo, or the Palazzo Ducale, whose original wooden study was deemed so exceptional it was shipped off to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Explore the many churches around town, including one on the spot where legend has it that St Francis tamed a wolf that was terrorising the town. Otherwise, simply just relax into the Umbrian pace of life. Enjoy a variety of local cuisine and try one of the dishes that Umbria is famous for – pecorino cheese, game meat and mushrooms all feature on restaurant menus. Notes: Note that the cable car may not be suitable to individuals suffering from vertigo or with mobility issues.

     

    Day - 5

    Location: Assisi - Take a bus south to Assisi, Italy's second-holiest city (approximately 2.5 hours). Assisi was the home of one of the world's most famous saints and the founder of the Franciscan order – St Francis. Whatever your feelings about religion, it's a place which inspires reverence. Join your group leader on an orientation walk to uncover a plethora of impressive monuments in Assisi, including Piazza Matteotti, the Basilica of St Clare and the Roman temple remains. Take a short guided tour of the magnificent Basilica di San Francesco (St Francis Cathedral). You’ll be led by a member of the Franciscan community, who will explain the life and times of St Francis and the beautiful art inside the church. Construction of the basilica started the day after St Francis's canonisation in 1228, and this imposing building houses the bones of St Francis and four of his followers. In your free time, you could walk four kilometres up a small trail to the top of Monte Subasio, home to the Eremodelle Carceri, a hermitage where Francis came to pray. That activity will work up an appetite for all the pasta you can eat tonight.

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Spello / Assisi - Today you’ll take the train to the charming nearby medieval town of Spello (approximately 20 minutes), a Roman town that straddles a thin ridge at the base of Mount Subasio – the mountain where St Francis was said to have talked to the animals. It’s a place scattered with weathered Roman monuments and known for its wine and rural charm. Two of the local churches feature frescoes by famed Renaissance painter Pinturicchio, who later lent his hand to works in the Vatican and Siena’s cathedral. Sample exclusive local wine and regional food specialties here when you lunch at a local enoteca. Mushrooms like tartufo and porcini make up the base of many pasta and risotto dishes, while whole stuffed pig with rosemary is a signature dish of the region. Return to Assisi in the late afternoon with some free time to further explore this unique town. Walk the via Guila that circles town, and stop by Piazza Santa Chiara – which has a stunning panorama of the Umbrian countryside – and Piazza del Comune, which gives an insight into life here in Roman times. It’ll be very hard not to spend the whole evening simply continuing the day’s foodie theme and indulge on the region’s fabulous food.

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Rome - Travel by train to Rome (approximately 4 hours), and remember that while here, the best attitude is ‘when in Rome’! Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city, where you see some of the iconic sights such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. Recharge with a slice of pizza and a strong espresso at the Piazza Navona or throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and make a wish to return to the 'Eternal City'. No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free and there's a small charge to climb the dome for a panorama over the city. Art-lovers should visit the Sistine Chapel to admire the timeless work of Michelangelo, while history buffs will enjoy a jaunt through the ancient halls of the Pantheon. Rome is packed full of restaurants and trattorias that cater to every taste and budget. Local specialities tend to be quite heavy, and include pastas such as carbonara (egg, cheese and bacon) and amatriciana (tomato, bacon and chilli). Eating in trattorias will give you a chance to sample some Italian wines, with house choices usually very good and affordable. Notes: Check the Vatican website (vatican.va) for updated information on when you can visit. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at: biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do. Alternatively, the Galleria Borghese can be booked online at: galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds).

     

    Day - 8

    Location: Rome - Today is a free day for you to explore Rome. Crowded with ancient ruins and religious monuments, Rome still pulses to the beat of modern life and is packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife. Walk beneath the Colosseum's arches and marvel at the mighty Pantheon to gain an understanding of the might of Roman civilisation at the height of its power. Saunter through colourful piazzas, share narrow laneways with beeping Vespa’s and be awestruck by the history that is revealed around every corner. Or, to escape the heat of the afternoon sun, get lost amid the cool, marbled hallways of the Galleria Borghese and Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.

     

    Day - 9

    Location: Naples / Pompeii - Travel by train to Naples (approximately 3 hours), a raucous city that overflows with passion, tradition and gastronomy. Naples was carved out by many empires of the past and by merchants and pirates from across the world: Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Venetians, Spaniards, Normans and Africans. Its evocative, historical old centre is a World Heritage-listed area and the famous Spanish Quarter is still one of the most densely populated residential areas in Europe. Naples is the birthplace of the pizza, so it's only appropriate to head to one of the many pizzerias and taste what's truly some of the best that Italy has to offer. Head off to the Archaeological Museum, one of the best in Europe, which houses all the original artefacts rescued from the Pompeii site. Later in the afternoon, board a train to the time capsule of Pompeii, in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius (approximately 1 hour). Your accommodation is perfectly located right near the entrance to the archaeological excavation site.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Pompeii - The small picturesque town of 'modern' Pompeii has a wonderful old town square – the perfect place to while away some time with the locals, drinking true Italian coffee and watching the world go by. Most of today though will be spent exploring the ruins of ancient Pompeii on a guided tour. Until 26 August, 79 AD, Pompeii was a thriving Roman trading centre, where ordinary people went about their everyday business, but it was frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted, killing 2,000 people and their homes under a layer of ash. The city was never rebuilt and largely disappeared from people’s minds until the 16th century, when the ruins were re-discovered. Now you can take an unparalleled look back into the lives of ancient Romans and discover how they lived, worked and interacted 2,000 years ago. The finely preserved ruins include villas, temples, theatres and bustling markets. Walk along the chariot-marked streets, visit the magnificent amphitheatre and the ‘Villa of Mysteries’. You can also visit the Roman Forum and basilica, temples, public baths, and the tiny Odeon created for music recitals. The rest of the day is free, but if the ruins piqued your interest, head to nearby Herculaneum, which also holds a wealth of fossilised archaeological finds.

     

    Day - 11

    Location: Mt Vesuvius / Sorrento - This morning take a bus up the mighty Mt Vesuvius, where you’ll meet a local volcanology guide. Ascend to the summit of Mt Vesuvius for staggering views over the Bay of Naples and into the steaming crater. Although Mt Vesuvius is still considered to be an active volcano, the last eruption was in 1944 and there's no sign of lava. See first-hand the awesome power of the volcano that engulfed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The final ascent of the volcano can only be done on foot, up a steep but well-made trail of volcanic ash and gravel. The ascent takes around 45 minutes. In the afternoon, travel by train to the picturesque resort town of Sorrento (approximately 1 hour). People have been coming to the peninsula and islands of the Sorrento region for at least 2,000 years, and set invitingly atop dramatic cliffs over sparkling, blue waters, it's easy to see why. There are many options in this small seaside town with its fine piazzas, maze of old streets, sidewalk cafes and glamorous shops. The area is also famous for its lemon and orange groves. End the day a very Italian way with some limoncello tasting (a popular lemon liqueur), and a demonstration of Gelato making.

     

    Day - 12

    Location: Sorrento - You have a free day to explore this delightful area. Explore the museums, galleries and piazzas of the town, or take to the coastal paths, along the old donkey trails that originally linked the villages of the peninsula, staggered hillside alleyways where homes are built on a steep incline. Perhaps stroll along the marina or cool off in the waters of the local small beaches. They’re not big on sandy beaches here, so swimming Sorrento-style is via wooden or stone bathing platforms beneath the cliffs. Taking a trip to Capri is also a great option, with a hydrofoil taking you across to the island that was once home to the magnificent holiday palaces of the Roman emperors. Capri’s dramatic rocky coastline is pierced by natural grottoes, while in the interior, narrow roads wind through fragrant citrus groves, past villages of flat-roofed white cubist-looking houses with flower-filled gardens, and manicured towns which offer swanky hotels and chic cafes. Here you can take a boat trip to the fairy-tale Blue Grotto (La Grotta Azzurra), where the water shines with an extraordinary blue translucence, a result of refraction of the sunlight outside. Your leader will be of assistance and will have plenty of suggestions of what to do and see today.

     

    Day - 13

    Location: Amalfi - Arrive on the Amalfi Coast after a short bus journey (approximately 2 hours). The Amalfi peninsula is a land of rocky coasts, cliff-top vistas, azure seas, tiered lemon groves, whitewashed villages clinging to steep cliffs, and bright blue skies. If you're after a relaxing walk with a few cultural highlights, stroll from one side of Amalfi town to the other within an hour and pay a visit to the Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea and the Chiostro del Paradiso. If you’re after something more active, perhaps embark on a walk up the Valley of Dragons to reach pretty Ravello. The French novelist André Gide once described this town as being ‘closer to the sky than the seashore’. For centuries, its lofty position and sunny, dry climate has made it an appealing place for writers, artists, musicians and travellers. Ravello also boasts two magnificent villas – the superb 11th Century Villa Rufolo which was once a papal residence and later the home of Wagner, and Villa Cimbrone, a sumptuous 19th Century mansion with fabulous gardens and unequalled views over the Gulf of Salerno. Otherwise just laze around on the beaches and in the piazza, gazing back up at the amazingly picturesque part of the world.

     

    Day - 14

    Location: Amalfi - Your leader will take you for a half-day walk along the narrow trail of the famous Sentiero Degli Dei (the Walk of the Gods) which, until quite recently, was followed by mules and donkeys as they traversed the dramatic landscape. This path winds its way through unique scenery and boasts unrivalled views along the coast. Walk through forests and fields of wildflowers, olive groves and vineyards, past ancient stone huts and beside sheer walls of granite. Glimpse local farmers tending their crops by hoe and elbow grease, herds of goats feeding beside the trail beside their shepherds, and teams of workmen commuting by mule. The trail ends in picturesque Positano where there will be ample time to explore and maybe take a dip in the sea. Please note that the trail is steep and has many stairs, and can be challenging for sufferers of vertigo. But the views are breath-taking and repay you for the effort! A certain level of fitness is required to complete this walk, especially in summer when there may not be much shade along the path. Your leader will be able to suggest alternative activities should you wish to opt out. With tonight your last night as a group, it’s a good idea to gather your fellow travellers together and head out for a feast to celebrate the end of this Italian adventure.

     

    Day - 15

    Location: Amalfi - There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to do along the Amalfi Coast you may want to consider to extend your stay here. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking.

     

    Italy Uncovered
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 5845