One Week in Italy, 8 Days
What you get...
- 8 day tour departing Venice.
- 1 night accommodation in a hotel.
- 2 nights accommodation in a basic hotel.
- 4 nights accommodation in a hostel.
- 4 Breakfast.
- Transport by train.
Venice - La Spezia - Cinque Terre - Florence - Rome
Day 1 Venice.
Welcome to the watery wonderland of Venice, Italy, which is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Packed full of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals and churches, this city is a traveller's dream that's been practically unchanged for 600 years (except for the thousands of people who come to visit each year). If you arrive early, why not take a stroll through the maze of streets behind Piazza San Marco and head to the Grand Canal. Here, you can see the famous Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amount of markets and shops selling Venetian masks, handmade Murano glassware and many other trinkets. After meeting your group tonight, perhaps enjoy dinner with your new travel companions at a local restaurant, your leader knows where to go.
Day 2 Venice.
Today is free to go out and explore Venice, either by yourself or after grabbing a new friend, and there are only two ways to get around: on foot or by boat. Popular sights include Doge's Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. If you're going to really do Venice properly, however, you have to tee up a journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola, or why not take the vaporetto (water bus) to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for the best view of Venice. It's no problem if your legs get tired - pull up a seat at one of the piazzas and tuck into an Italian coffee or a local tiramisu, and enjoy watching visitors and locals soak in the magic of the city. For something a bit more artsy, visit the Palazzao Ducale to see paintings by the Italian masters then head to the modern Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Venice is famous for its seafood spaghetti specialities, so grab your group in the evening and find a fresh lobster or squid ink dish, perhaps complementing it with an aperol spritz, you've earnt it.
Day 3 La Spezia.
Spend the day travelling by train to the town of La Spezia, the gateway to the stunning Cinque Terre region. Translating as Five Lands, the name Cinque Terre comes from the five tiny villages - Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore - whose position, wedged into a series of coves between sheer cliffs, makes this one of the highlights of the whole of Italy. The journey will take between five and seven hours, depending on the bst connection, but is an extremely pretty trip through Italy's north. There won't be too much time to explore on arrival, but once you've checked into the hotel you may like to take a walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione and to the gardens along the harbour, or maybe head out for dinner with the group.
Day 4 Cinque Terre.
Today it's time to get out and explore the walking tracks of Cinque Terre, a region of Italy famed for its coastline and pastel villages. The footpaths that run between the villages were once the only way to travel in the region, and take you through olive groves, vineyards and on to drop-dead gorgeous views. How far, and how many sections, you walk is up to you, and it's possible to take the train between any of the villages or back to the group's base in La Spezia whenever you'd like. Some sections of path can be difficult as there are challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges along the way. For this reason, please remember to bring comfortable footwear with you. After working up an appetite, take advantage of the foods of the Liguria region with an optional pesto making class, or maybe load up on focaccia, another local speciality. Return to La Spezia in the evening and feel free to keep the food exploration going, there's no better way to recover from a day of walking than indulging in more delicious Mediterranean food.
Day 5 Florence.
Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, check into the hotel and take a brief walk around the immediate area to get your bearings. Florence is one of the most culturally rich and beautiful cities in Italy, known to many as the heart of Tuscany. The Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all lived in Florence at the height of their creative reign, and food is a major part of the city's identity so get stuck into some of the lip-smacking regional specialities. Meat lovers should try the bistecca alla fiorentina, a huge T-bone steak that's usually shared between two people, then there's ribollita, a thick delicious vegetable soup with bread, beans and greens. Panforte is the signature sweet treat, and trust us, it's oh so sweet.
Day 6 Florence.
Head out into the centre of Florence. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so take your time, enjoy it and discover the city's the culture-rich atmosphere, from family-run vineyards on the outskirts to the Duomo's magnificent marble facade. Maybe start with a visit the Galleria dell'Accademia where you can see Michelangelo's famous statue of David. Stop by the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries, or walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, for views over the city. The evening is free to fill up with Florence's local fare and indulge in a few glasses of wine. After all, this IS Tuscany.
Day 7 Rome.
Take the train to Rome (approx. two hours) and remember, when in Rome - well, you tell us. Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city, then catch some of the iconic Roman sights such as the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, the Forum, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and Piazza Venezia. Grab a slice of pizza and an espresso before throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain, then take a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Check out Michelangelo's handiwork at the Sistine Chapel and sink your teeth into some local specialities like pasta carbonara or amatriciana, washed down with some delicious Italian wines. As it's the last night of the trip, perhaps gather your new friends and head out for a big final dinner to say farewell.
Day 8 Rome.
Your adventures comes to an end on the final morning. There are no activities planned for today and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to see in Rome we recommend you to stay a little longer. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your agent at the time of booking.
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