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Best of Italy & Amazing Amalfi Coast

Tour begins: Milan (contact for dates)

Tour ends: Rome

Cost: AUD$9150

2 nights Lake Garda
2 nights Venice
2 nights Italian Alps
7 nights Tuscany
4 nights Positano

Day 1

Our tour starts with pick-up at Malpensa Airport, Milan. We travel to beautiful Lake Garda, the largest of the Italian Lakes, where we will stay in the town of Sirmione for 2 nights in a delightful lakeside hotel.

After settling into our hotel, relax on your terrace overlooking the lake, swim in the pool or go for a stroll into the old town.

Dinner: Join us for a welcome to Italy dinner. (D)

Day 2

After breakfast we take a tour to several lakeside towns where there will be time to walk the lakeside promenades, explore the shops, sample the gelato etc. Return to the hotel mid afternoon for more relaxation.

Dinner: Own arrangements. (B)

Day 3

Depart early for a 2 hour drive east to Venice for arrival at our accommodation, early in the afternoon (a short walk from St Marks Square).  Spend the afternoon exploring this unique city, with a relaxed walk through St Marks Square to Rialto Bridge, with time for shopping in the Rialto market and many shops to buy all that wonderful Murano glass and jewellery (great gifts for family and friends here).

Join us for an aperitif at a favourite wine bar.

Dinner: Join us for dinner at a trattoria frequented by locals and away from the hordes of tourists. (B, D)

Day 4

Take a vaporetto ride to visit the outlying islands of Murano & Burano where we will see a Venetian glass blowing demonstration and you will have time to explore the wonderful array of glass in the many shops. We will then proceed to Burano, famous for its lace and enjoy lunch in a local trattoria.

Dinner: Free night in Venice to have that romantic dinner wherever you choose. (B, L)

Day 5

Depart Venice for a scenic 2 hour drive north into the Italian Alps (Dolomites) where we will stay for 2 nights at a gorgeous alpine chalet.

After settling into your room, we will wander through the picturesque village of Castelrotto and take the chairlift to Marinzen where we can enjoy the panoramic views and fine apple strudel.

Dinner: Join us for dinner at a delightful local restaurant serving typical cuisine. (B, D)

Day 6

After a relaxed breakfast, we take the scenic gondola ride up to Alpe di Siusi, chairlift to Panorama and then a leisurely hike (easy walk) through the Alps.

Enjoy lunch at a mountain hut restaurant before returning to the chalet.

  Dinner: Own arrangements. (B, L)

Day 7

Depart Dolomites after breakfast and head south to our villa in Tuscany which will be our base for the next seven nights.

Here we will stay in self contained apartments in a fully restored 14th Century villa with views across the vine covered hills of the Tuscan countryside. Following our mid afternoon arrival, relax and settle in to your beautiful apartment or by the pool.

Dinner: Join us for a "Welcome to Tuscany" 4 course traditional dinner at the Villa prepared by the signora. (B, D) 

Day 8

After a sleep in, we will enjoy a relaxing day with a trip to the local hilltop medieval town of San Gimignano. Here you will have time to meander through the narrow streets, climb the tower with magnificent views of the countryside, admire the beautiful shops and maybe purchase some leather goods or other souvenirs.  Alternatively, simply relax with a beer or gelato in one of the many piazzas.

Dinner: Tonight we recommend dinner at a local trattoria well known for its traditional Tuscan cuisine. Tempt your taste buds with wild boar, stuffed rabbit or wonderful home-made pasta.

Day 9

We depart early today to head to the beautiful walled Tuscan town of Lucca where we will do a leisurely 4 kilometre bike ride around the top of the wall overlooking the towns’ lovely towers and broad, calm piazzas on one side and parks on the other. We will then meander through the medieval streets and piazzas and enjoy lunch at a trattoria famous for its local specialties, including the traditional tortelli lucchese pasta.

We will return to our Villa via Pisa with a short stop to allow time to take the mandatory photos of the Leaning Tower and wonder at the beautiful marble Cathedral and see the ornate Baptistery in the Square of Miracles.

Dinner: Own arrangements with transport to and from San Gimignano if required. (L)

Day 10

We depart our Villa at 9am for a leisurely drive through the magnificent wine region of Chianti arriving at an ancient monastery, now a winery, for a tour and wine tasting. We will then enjoy lunch with further tastings of the local wine, before returning to the villa.

Dinner: Own arrangements with transport to and from San Gimignano if required. (L)

Day 11

We depart after breakfast for the weekly market in Siena, which sells everything from kitchen utensils to leather shoes and local produce.  It is a vibrant and atmospheric market attended by all the locals.

After buying a bargain or two, we will take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Siena to the famous Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horse race, and enjoy the ambience of this exciting Tuscan city.

On our return trip to the Villa, we will visit another small hilltop village, where you can enjoy a stroll and a drink in one of the piazzas.

Dinner: We venture into San Gimignano in the early evening and enjoy dinner sitting on the balcony of a local restaurant watching the sun set over the nearby hills and towns. (D)

Day 12

Depart early for Renaissance Florence. Here we will wander through the famous Florence markets renowned for its leather goods before visiting the famous museum, Accademia, where you will see the Michelangelo Statue of David and other famous sculptures as well as Piazza Signoria and the multi-coloured marble Duomo.

Lunch nearby at a typical restaurant followed by a stroll through several of Florence's beautiful piazzas on the way to Ponte Vecchio. Admire or buy jewellery on this famous bridge.

The rest of the afternoon is free to relax or to perhaps visit some of the other fine museums Florence has to offer.

We return to our Villa before dinner.

Dinner: Own arrangements with transport to and from San Gimignano if required. (L)

Day 13

Spend a day of relaxation at the villa, by the pool or catch up with some last minute shopping in San Gimignano.

Dinner: Join us in sharing a "Farewell Tuscany" 4 course traditional dinner at the Villa prepared by the Signora. This evening we celebrate the last night of your Tuscan experience - memories will last forever!! (D)

Day 14

We depart San Gimignano and drive to beautiful Positano on the Amalfi Coast.  You have the opportunity to admire the stunning scenery on one of the world’s best coastal drives before arriving at our accommodation in the afternoon.

Spend the afternoon relaxing on your own balcony with incredible views over the Mediterranean or explore this magical place.

Dinner: We enjoy dinner at a renowned restaurant sitting on the balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. (D)

Day 15

Today we will take a scenic drive to the beautiful hilltop town of Ravello. At Ravello, we will visit the magnificent Villa Rufolo with postcard views of the coast below and there will be time for you to buy some ceramics at the array of ceramic shops here and to explore this delightful town.

We enjoy lunch at a local trattoria and then return to Positano. 

Dinner: Own arrangements. (B, L)

Day 16

We have left today as a free day for you to do as you please – there are many options for you to consider including day trips to the Island of Capri, relaxing on the beach or you may take a small boat to a nearby private cove where you can swim and have lunch at the beachside restaurant.

Dinner: Own arrangements this evening so you can enjoy a private dinner in the most romantic place on earth. (B)

Day 17

Today we will take a scenic ferry trip to the coastal town of Amalfi – it’s a great opportunity to take amazing photos of the coast line.  You will have free time to enjoy exploring its narrow alleyways that wind through the town and up the slopes between the sea and mountains. It contains excellent examples of medieval architecture with Moorish influence including a ninth century cathedral, Duomo di Sant' Andrea and the Cloister of Paradise.  Besides history and beauty, the town is renowned for its beaches, lemons, and handmade paper.

Dinner: Join us tonight for a 3 course “Farewell Tour Dinner” at a renowned restaurant in a small village in the surrounding mountains. This will be a truly memorable dinner experience. (B, D)

Day 18

We depart this morning after breakfast for a transfer back to Rome Airport. (B)

Arrivederci Bella Italia!!

(B)=breakfast, (L)=lunch, (D)=dinner included in tour price. 

Note: Breakfast in Tuscany is self catering in your own fully equipped apartment.