Italy’s Iconic Coasts & Cities 2022

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13 Days / 12 Nights
Availability : May to October
Start: Rome, Italy
End: Milan, Italy

Italy’s Iconic Coast & Cities: 1 nt Ariano Irpino, 2 nts Lecce, 2 nts Salerno, 2 nts Rome, 2 nts Bologna, 3 nts Padua

On this trip, you make a journey from Rome to Milan that takes you down to the heel of Italy and up north to the home of the renaissance.

You contrast the pizzas and tomato-loving cuisine of the south with the parmesan rich pastas of the North. You compare a warm Mediterranean breeze on the Amalfi coast with the views out to the Adriatic Sea in Venice. And you ponder over the rise of art and civilisation at Roman sites, literary landmarks, and poetic frescos.

Take this tour and discover Italy’s Iconic Coasts and Cities.

13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS / MAX 16 GUESTS

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected] to book this small group tour Italy’s Iconic Coast & Cities.

Tour Details
Places you explore

Pompeii – Ponder over the everyday life of the Ancient Romans as you stroll through the city that froze in time

Amalfi Coast – Pastel-coloured houses, steep cliffs, azure seas, lemon groves and a lot of glamour: Feel La Dolce Vita at its finest

Salento Peninsula – The heel of Italy will steal your heart with the turquoise bays of Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca

Alberobello – Marvel at Apulia’s unique beehive-shaped houses that look like they were built by fairies

Bologna – A beautiful city boasting the western world’s oldest university whose alumni have changed the world

Venice – One of the great centres of the Italian Renaissance, the ‘City of Water’ will steal your heart

Lake Garda – Surrounded by mountains, this crystal blue lake sits in the scenic heart of Northern Italy

Verona – There’s a lot to love about Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Pick Up Location & TIme

Rome  (Google Map)
Check-in closes at 8:15am (tour departs at 8:30am) – Hotel American Palace, Via Laurentina, 554, 00143 Roma RM, Italy

Drop off Location & Time

Milan  (Google Map)
7:00pm – Starhotels Business Palace, Via Privata Pietro Gaggia, 3, 20139 Milano MI, Italy

Price Includes

  • 12 nights 3/4 star hotel accommodation
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • Daily breakfasts
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • Entrance to Montecassino Abbey
  • Entrance to Vesuvio Volcano Crater
  • Entrance to Pompeii Archaeological Site
  • Two-hour guided walking tour of Venice
  • Entrance to Villa Pisani

Meals

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 0 lunches
  • 0 dinners
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Entry fees to visitor attractions/Optional Activities
  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Driver / Tour Leader gratuity is at your discretion
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

Explore in 16 seat mini-coaches, always taking the scenic route, you have great views through large windows, and you’re free to sample the local tipple without worrying about driving. Our driver-guides are famous for their knowledge, facts, quirky stories, history, and fairy-tales. They truly take you beyond the guidebooks and into your adventure. You make your trip your own. We provide the timetable; and you can choose where you want to eat and which attractions you pay to see. So, if you want to skip a castle and read your book by a mountain view, you can.

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel. So we’ve hand-picked three-star to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys. Your accommodation is included in the tour price.

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it’s worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

We’ve arranged experiences for you on your tour. The ‘included activities’ are already booked and paid for as part of your trip, whereas you can purchase ‘optional activities’ while on your tour. You also have free time in many destinations to pick and choose which attractions you visit.

Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views. Carry swimwear and a towel for swimming spots. Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun.

Itinerary
Italy's Iconic Coasts & Cities

Day 1Rome - Montecassino Abbey - San Pietro Infine - Benevento - Ariano Irpino

  • See the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino tower over its surroundings
  • Discover the ancient history and legends of Benevento

You leave the hustle and bustle of Rome and head south towards peaceful Cassino.

Sitting atop of the mountain, the Montecassino Abbey is a sight to behold. A working monastery and a pilgrimage site, this place was a centre of art, culture, and learning. It was also the scene for a decisive battle near the end of World War II. You have your entrance ticket included and get time to stroll through the cloisters of the monastery and contemplate the turbulent history of war.

Then, you visit the overgrown ruins of San Pietro Infine, before you travel past hilltop villages and mountains to Benevento.

Built on a hill with a stunning background of mountains, this timeworn city has a special aura. It’s filled with memories of the ancient Samnites, Romans, and Longobards. Legends also say witches gather from all over the world by an ancient walnut tree by the local river.

After a day of soaking up the history, legends, and stunning views; you travel south-east to Ariano Irpino your home for the night.

Included Activities: Entrance to Montecassino Abbey

Accommodation: Hotel Incontro or similar, Ariano Irpino

Day 2Ariano Irpino - Trani - Polignano a Mare - Alberobello - Lecce

  • Explore the sun-soaked coast of Apulia
  • Stare in awe at Alberobello’s unique cylindrical, whitewashed buildings called trulli

You wake up in the stunning region of Campania and head south to Trani.

Known as the ‘Pearl of Apulia’, this historic stone-built port and fishing village exudes sophistication. Walk along the promenade in the marina or stroll through the historic centre and admire the medieval churches, cathedral, and historic Jewish quarter.

You travel to Polignano a Mare, a small, idyllic seaside town perched on the edge of cliffs. Enjoy your lunch surrounded by sun-bleached stone buildings and enjoy the Adriatic breeze. You should also try to catch sight of the brave cliff divers disappearing into a small inlet of water.

Just when you thought your day couldn’t get any better, your adventure takes you to Alberobello. With over 1,500 small and rounded white houses, this town looks like it was inhabited by gnomes. These beehive-shaped buildings are called trulli and are so unique to Apulia that they were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Take your time to meander around the narrow streets and marvel at the impossibly photogenic nooks.

Feeling that La Vita è Bella, you leave Alberobello and ramble south towards the heel of Italy to Lecce, your base for two nights. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Aloisi or similar, Lecce

Day 3Lecce - Otranto - Santa Maria di Leuca - Lecce

  • Marvel at the Baroque architecture of Lecce, ‘the Florence of the South’
  • Enjoy the stunning vistas of the southernmost part of Italy’s heel

Buongiorno! Wake up and start the day with some pasticciotto, the gorgeous breakfast pastry. Enjoy your free time in the morning by strolling through Lecce’s old town and admiring its unique architecture. The city’s Baroque style is so unique it got the name of its own, ‘Lecce Baroque’.

Next, contrast the splendour of Lecce with the laid-back seaside towns of the Salento Peninsula. You leave at noon and travel through the ochre-coloured fields and olive groves to Otranto. Enjoy your time here strolling around the fortifications or harbourside promenade and try some local dishes.

You continue your adventure to Santa Maria di Leuca. Located on the southernmost tip of Italy’s heel, the little town sits between two seas. It’s steeped in history and the legends of its origin are influenced by various cultures. Here, you can climb up the stairs alongside a beautiful man-made waterfall and get rewarded with magnificent views from the lighthouse, located at what was once known as Finibus Terrae (“at the End of the Land” from Latin).

Cast your eyes for the last time at the magnificent vistas of the coast and journey inland to Lecce, where you arrive in the early evening. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Aloisi or similar, Lecce

Day 4Lecce - Matera - Castelmezzano - Salerno

  • Step back in time as you explore the ancient cave dwellings in Matera
  • Travel off the beaten track to the remote village of Castelmezzano

You leave Lecce and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Matera. This city is so perfectly adapted to the terrain that it blends in with its rocky surroundings on a cliff edge. It’s a higgledy-piggledy jumble of sassi, the ancient cave dwellings, houses and churches.

Spend your time uncovering the rich history of this place and visit ancient churches with paintings on stone cave walls. You can also check out what the 18th-century dwellings were like and stumble upon locations used in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

Your adventure takes you off the beaten track again as you journey into the heart of the Lucanian Dolomites and the village of Castelmezzano. One of the highest villages in the Basilicata region, it’s located on a narrow ledge that drops away into a dramatic gorge. But Castelmezzano wasn’t built here just for the stunning vistas. Find out about its rich history as you explore the village or go for a hike to see the ruins of the castle which gave the village its name.

After a busy day, you travel through the hills and mountains of Basilicata towards the west coast of Italy, where you spend two nights in Salerno. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Plaza or similar, Salerno

Day 5Salerno - Sorrento - Positano - Salerno

Fall madly in love with the colours and scents of the glamorous Amalfi Coast
Savour the local cuisine and a glass of cold limoncello
Today is all about the glamourous Amalfi Coast.

Pastel-coloured houses and villas, chic boutiques, gourmet restaurants; this is La Dolce Vita at its finest.

You start the day by exploring the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento. This town of lemons and plunging cliffs allured literary geniuses from Byron and Goethe to Dickens and Tolstoy. Wander through the sun-drenched piazzas and savour a glass of cold limoncello before you continue your day.

The next stop is Positano which looks like a colourful multi-tiered cake clinging to a sea-cliff. Find a restaurant to enjoy your lunch and drink in the magnificent views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Then, peruse the local boutiques and take photos as you meander through the streets. Alternatively, walk down the steps to the beach for a swim and some sun.

Reinvigorated after your visit to Positano, you ramble along the dazzling Amalfi Coast, visit another quaint town, and stop for photos on the way back.

You arrive in Salerno late in the afternoon where you can watch the sunset with a drink in your hand. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Plaza or similar, Salerno

Day 6Salerno - Mount Vesuvius - Pompeii - Rome

  • Feel the thrill of walking along the crater of the infamous Mount Vesuvius
  • Explore the ruins of Pompeii, the ancient city frozen in time

Today it’s time for something more dramatic.

In the morning, you travel north to face Mount Vesuvius. In ancient times, this mountain was considered to be divine and had connections to Jupiter – god of sky and lightning. Legends say that the giants used to inhabit the volcano, which explained the loud noises and rumbling.

Scary as this sounds, the titan is dormant now. So, put on your sturdy boots and get ready for an unforgettable experience because you can hike up to its crater.

After the exciting start of the day, you go to Pompeii, which fell victim to the eruption of Vesuvius. There was no time to flee, so people and buildings were buried and preserved in volcanic ash. Get a glimpse of the world of the Ancient Romans as you take your time to explore this archaeological site.

Then you leave the past behind and take a road that leads to Rome. Enjoy your leisurely ramble north through Campania and Lazio before you arrive in the Eternal City early in the evening. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Vesuvio Volcano Crater and Entrance to Pompeii Archaeological Site

Accommodation: Hotel American Palace or similar, Rome

Day 7Rome

  • Ponder over the past glory of Ancient Rome in the Colosseum
  • Enjoy a gelato by the lavish Trevi Fountain

Haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art, and vibrant street life. This is Rome, the Eternal City.

You have a free day to discover the delights of the city. Why not make the most of your time here and jump on the hop-on hop-off bus?

You can also get a map and follow the trail of the icons of Rome’s heyday. There’s the huge Colosseum; the architecture of the Pantheon; and the Roman Forum, the centre of the religious, political, and social activities.

Once you’ve had a glimpse into the past, focus on the current culinary scene and grab an alfresco table on one of many elegant piazzas. Sit down, relax, and get your taste buds ready for the local delicacies.

Then, you can soak up the atmosphere of this fascinating city. Stroll along the Tiber River and snap photos of the beautiful Castle Saint Angelo, count the legendary Spanish Steps, and unwind with a tasty gelato by the dazzling Trevi Fountain. Toss a coin into the water to make sure you’ll return here and start getting excited for the next part of your tour. (B)

Optional Activities: Ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus

Accommodation: Hotel American Palace or similar, Rome

Day 8Rome - Orvieto - Piantravigne - Bologna

  • Admire the sculptures, tunnels, and culture of Orvieto
  • Inspire your creativity at the landscape da Vinci loved, Le Balze Natural Park

You leave the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City and travel to Orvieto. Virtually traffic-free, perfectly preserved, and awash with delicious wine: it’s the idyllic Italian village. You can choose to visit the colourful cathedral here and explore at your own pace.

Your journey leads you through the Parco Naturale Le Balze, a landscape studded with balze rock peaks, sulphite streams, and gorgeous vistas that inspired Leonardo da Vinci.

Your lunch stop is in the tiny hamlet of Piantravigne, the perfect spot to sample some truly authentic Italian cuisine.

With your belly full and your senses satisfied, you travel to beautiful Bologna, your overnight destination. (B)

Accommodation: NH Bologna de la Garde or similar, Bologna

Day 9Bologna - Ravenna - Bologna

  • Stroll through the endless porticos of Bologna
  • Gaze into the detailed mosaics of Ravenna

Today, you can join a half day trip to Ravenna in the morning. Ravenna is a maze of mosaic masterpieces, a unique blend of early Christian and Byzantine architecture with eight sites on the UNESCO list. This unforgettable North Italian destination is also the town where Dante Alighieri is buried.

After lunch, you return from your half-day trip and have the rest of the day to explore Bologna your way. During the Renaissance, this fascinating city was blooming with art and was a centre for intellectual innovation. Its famous university is the oldest in the western world and saw great minds like Petrarch, Dante Alighieri, and Copernicus.

There’s plenty to do here. You can stroll through the beautiful, kilometres-long UNESCO porticos, unravel the mysteries of the university, or tantalise your taste buds with Ragu alla Bolognese. (B)

Accommodation: NH Bologna de la Garde or similar, Bologna

Day 10Bologna - Gorino - Este - Padua

  • Discover the wonderful wildlife of the Po Delta
  • Take in the Gothic and Baroque architecture of Este

It’s time to slap on some sunscreen, charge up your camera, and head deep into nature. Your first stop is Gorino, where you can join an optional boat trip along the River Po. This is the longest river in Italy, and its wetlands give you a chance to spot rare migratory birds. There’s also a lunch box for you to enjoy.

Once you’re back on dry land, you travel to Este, a picture-perfect town with a history that spans over 3000 years. Here you have free time to amble along the city walls or visit the town’s moated Medieval castle.

You then venture to Padua, allegedly the oldest city in Italy and your home for the next three nights. This fascinating place sits at the crossroads of science and religion. This is where venerated St Anthony is buried, and where the ground-breaking scientific discoveries were made at the height of the Renaissance. (B)

Optional Activities: Boat trip with a lunch box along the Po Delta

Accommodation: Hotel Al Prato or similar – Padua

Day 11Padua - Venice - Padua

  • Lose yourself in the canal-lined vistas of Venice

177 canals, 350 gondoliers, and the most idiosyncratic cityscapes in the world: Venice, ‘the Floating City’, is your destination today.

With its wealth, trade, and power; Venice has always been bold.

It’s been built on over 118 islands, hosts one of the most famous festivals in the world. And its unique painting style and architecture classifies Venice as one of the great centres of the Renaissance, equal to Rome and Florence.

Once you arrive, you enjoy an included two-hour guided walking tour of the city. From people-watching in Piazza San Marco to frequenting the famous galleries, it’s up to you how you spend the rest of your day in Venice.

In the early evening, you head back to Padua in time for dinner. (B)

Included Activities: Two hour guided walking tour of Venice

Optional Activities: Gondola ride

Accommodation: Hotel Al Prato or similar – Padua

Day 12Padua - Villa Pisani - Valdobbiadene - Bassano del Grappa - Padua

  • Explore Villa Pisani, an exuberant 18th-century palazzo
  • Sip on Prosecco and Grappa at the foothills of the Dolomites

The traditional flavours of Italy are yours to explore today.

First, you go to Villa Pisani. This included attraction boasts awesome art exhibitions and is the epitome of late baroque architecture. Napoleon once owned this huge holiday home and presented it to his stepson as a gift.

You say bye to the excesses of the aristocracy and venture to Valdobbiadene for a chance to indulge in something a little sweeter. This rolling landscape is home to the best prosecco, and you have the option to enjoy an exclusive tasting. We promise it’ll be the freshest prosecco you’ve ever tasted.

The indulgence continues as you travel to Bassano del Grappa, where you have the chance to sample sweet and intoxicating Grappa. If you’ve had enough tipple for the day, you can spend your time admiring the castle and the town’s famous old bridge instead.

You then travel to Padua for your final evening in the historic town. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Villa Pisani

Optional Activities: Prosecco tasting at Valdobbiadene and Grappa tasting in Bassano del Grappa

Accommodation: Hotel Al Prato or similar – Padua

Day 13Padua - Verona - Lake Garda - Erbusco - Milan

  • Weep for the romance of Romeo and Juliet in the play’s setting, Verona
  • Get inspired by the fresh views of Lake Garda
  • Sample excellent Franciacorta wines

Say ‘ciao!’ to the romance of Italy, because your first stop today is the setting of Romeo and Juliet, Verona. You have time here to reminisce about past lovers at the famous balcony, admire a grand Roman Colosseum, and amble through the ancient piazzas at your own pace.

You then travel to Lake Garda. This lake’s crystal-clear waters and views of the Dolomites have made the place a favourite destination for artists, poets, and travellers since the Roman ages.

Your journey west takes you to the vineyards around Erbusco; also known as that place in your imagination you’ve always dreamed of. Here you have the option to indulge in one more authentic wine tasting.

You arrive in Milan in the evening. (B)

Optional Activities: Wine tasting at an Ebrusco winery

Dates and Prices - Hotel accommodation
Departure Dates and Days Double/Twin (pp) Single Rate
2022: May 16 $5,620 $6,670
2022: June 6, 13 $5,390 $6,290
2022: July 4 $5,240 $6,020
2022: July 11 $5,210 $5,990
2022: August 1, 8 $5,220 $5,980
2022: August 29 $5,610 $6,620
2022: September 5, 26 $5,560 $6,560
2022: October 3 $5,620 $6,670

All guaranteed departures.

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on twin/ double occupancy.
Rates are in $ CAD.


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected]  to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline.

 

Notes
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

Luggage: You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.

Want to extend your stay in Rome?  Ask us for a hotel package. 

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