To describe the beauty of Italy’s basilicas, the magnificence of her frescos and the power of her charm would be to fail. But every year, dozens of tourists collapse at the sight of their glory.
Many of Italy’s icons are imprinted on the mind of popular culture. There’s the enormous Colosseum, where Romans once leered at their brutal entertainment. There’s the town of Cinque Terre, with its colourful houses soaring above a Mediterranean coast. And then there’s the Vatican City, with its paintings by Michelangelo and Botticelli. But the Italians know that no replica of these things even comes close the originals.
What people say
I did the Secrets of Italy with my Mom and here’s something not-so-secret … We had the best time ever! This trip hits the major highlights at a fast but reasonable pace. Traveling on public transportation, walking the Cinque Terre and a pesto making class and lunch at an enoteca were just some of the highlights.
Italy travel highlights
Explore the stunning Amalfi Coast
Discover Atrani, the best-preserved town on the Amalfi Coast, with narrow streets and a serene town square.
Stroll around Lake Como
Explore the Italian Lakes on foot, including the famous Lake Como with its spectacular mountain views.
Visit the five villages of Cinque Terra
Experience the diverse landscapes of the dramatic Cinque Terra region, including the iconic multi-coloured houses.
Enjoy the tastes of Bologna
Savour regionally prized ham and the world’s best balsamic vinegar in one of Italy’s most prized food and wine areas.
Marvel at the towering pillars of the Pantheon
The city of Rome is over 3000 years old. The Pantheon is just one monument remaining from its earliest glory days.
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Italy tour reviews
Our Italy trips score an average of 4.76 out of 5 based on 165 reviews in the last year.
Italian Lakes Discovery, September 2018
John & Suzanne Carney
We had a fabulous time in this very lovely part of the world. The itinerary was varied and catered for all interests in our group. Our guide was fantastic in every way and made the whole trip very pleasurable.
Review submitted 25 Sep 2018
Italian Lakes Discovery, August 2018
The best day was the free day when our very lovely and accommodating tour leader took the three of us on a tailor made walking trip which was truely rural and interesting, peaceful, good exercise with stunning views and suited the three of us down to the ground. I'm sure the very small group made this possible and therefore highly enjoyable. Because we had recently tried a particular Italian wine back in NZ and loved it, Lisa took the trouble to seek out a wine bar and then our final night dinner to experience this "treat" while in Italy.
Review submitted 19 Sep 2018
Articles on Italy
Italy holiday information
Local culture of Italy
Geography & environment
Shopping guide to Italy
Italy festival calendar
Food & drink in Italy
Transport in Italy
We adapt our transportation based on the destination – without compromising on comfort. In Italy, you might find yourself in a gondola in Venice’s canals, on a local bus between villages of the Cinque Terra or on foot as you stroll around the Italian Lakes. We don’t use big coaches and any private vehicles we use are small, air-conditioned and comfortable.
Accommodation in Italy
Travelling in small groups means we aren’t restricted to staying in big chain hotels or resorts. We stay in centrally-located, boutique accommodation that gives you an insight into the local culture. We want to ensure that you spend less time checking in and more time enjoying the local area – perhaps with a glass of Italian wine in hand.
Most of our Italy tours include at least one night in a Feature Stay – a stand out property that offers a deeper level of cultural immersion or unique perspective on Italy. For example, a restored 15th century villa in the heart of the Old Town of Sycaruse, or a wellness hotel in Levanto where you’ll be treated to a luxurious spa nestled within the hillside.
Italy travel FAQs
- Australia: No - Not required
- Belgium: No - Not required
- Canada: No - Not required
- Germany: No - Not required
- Ireland: No - Not required
- Netherlands: No - Not required
- New Zealand: No - Not required
- South Africa: Yes - in advance
- Switzerland: No - Not required
- UK: No - Not required
- USA: No - Not required
Tipping is uncommon in Italy. Some restaurants include a surcharge but there’s no need to tip in cases when there isn’t.
You’ll have good internet access in Italian cities and towns however service may be unreliable in remote places.
Mobile coverage is good in cities and towns but unreliable in remote places. Remember to activate global roaming with your provider if you wish to use your mobile while traveling.
Italy has western-style toilets. Many public toilets require a small fee to use.
- Cup of coffee = 2 Euro (less if you forego the table and stand up)
- A glass of beer = 5 Euro
- Bottle of wine in a restaurant = 16 Euro
- Small gelato cone = 3 Euro
Drinking tap water is safe in Italy unless otherwise stated. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a refillable bottle or canteen with you.
Credit cards are accepted in hotels, and major shops and restaurants, however you’ll require cash to make purchases from some small businesses.
Italy has plenty of ATMs in its cities and towns.
Yes. All Peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For a current list of public holidays in Italy go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/italy/public-holidays
Homosexuality is legal in Italy, however, Italians tend to have reasonably conservative views compared to other European countries. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Italy, and couples should be conservative in regard to open displays of public affection.
For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or Smartraveller before you travel.