Top Italy Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Italy Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

784 Italy trips. Compare tour itineraries from 39 tour companies. 8,327 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.

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Top Italy Attractions

Experience Italy to the fullest with our curated selection of the best guided and private tours to Italy, offering unique opportunities to discover the country's culture, history, and natural beauty. 
  • Taking a gondola ride through the famous Venice canals
  • Experiencing Italy's world-famous cuisine
  • Exploring the enchanting canals and colorful streets of Burano
  • Discovering the remarkable cave dwellings of the ancient city of Matera
  • Taking a walking tour through the modern city of Naples
  • Visiting the historic city of Florence and gazing upon renowned art pieces
  • Wandering the ruins of the Roman Forum, where an empire was overseen two millennia ago
  • Sampling the exquisite wines of Piedmont during a guided vineyard tour
  • Touring Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, as well as St. Peter's Basilica - the world's largest cathedral (in the world's smallest state) 
  • Learning about the history of Sicily and marveling at the architectural wonders of the Valley of the Temples
  • Visiting the charming towns of Alberobello and Ostuni and the UNESCO-listed Castel del Monte in the region of Puglia
  • Visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii near Naples
  • Taking a boat trip on the Po River
  • Drinking in the views from atop the cliffside city of Taormina in Sicily, including the Straits of Messina and volcanic Mt. Etna in the distance 
  • Embarking on a truffle hunting adventure in Umbria, the green heart of Italy
  • Enjoying a picnic and wine tasting in Tuscany, one of the most beautiful regions in all of Italy
  • Snorkeling in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea in Sicily

Italy Tours & Travel Guide

Italy Attractions & Landmarks Guide

A captivating epicenter for art, architecture, food, scenery, and history, Italy consistently ranks among the top five countries in the world for attracting visitors. From the shimmering lakes of the Alpine north to the sun-kissed island of Sicily in the south, the best tours of Italy include an abundance of historical sights, sensory delights, rustic villages, and countryside.

Drawn by the allure of some of the world's most timeless art, architecture, and scenic beauty — the Roman Colosseum, the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, the canals of Venice, the ruins of Pompeii, and the Tuscan countryside among them — countless generations of travelers have made Italy one of the world's most visited destinations. 

It's the land of Puccini, parmesan, and pasta, and so much more:
  • World-class art museums
  • Ancient history and ruins
  • Some of the world's most beautiful cities
  • Food and scenery to die for
  • Passionate people
  • A wide variety of landscapes and activities
All this in a country that's slightly smaller than Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana combined. Italy packs in enough culture, scenery, and other attractions to fill a continent. 
The "Big Three" — Italy's Great Cities
Rome, Florence, and Venice form a rough triangle spanning the upper middle of the country and provide an introduction to the "essential Italy." Many Italy vacation packages include these cities since they're home to many of the famous places to visit in Italy.  
Florence, the Art Capital of Italy
Florence, perhaps the most remarkable art city of them all, straddles the Arno River in the province of Tuscany northwest of Rome. At the heart of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th to 16th centuries, Florence nurtured geniuses such as Dante, Giotto, Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Raphael.
The Uffizi Gallery contains the world's top collection of Renaissance paintings, while the Accademia houses Michelangelo's David, the most famous sculpture on earth. The Duomo, a cathedral whose immense dome is covered with white, green, and pink marble, is the city's most striking landmark.
The Eternal City of Rome
Rome, whose legend dates to 753 BC, is a repository of classical ruins now wedged against a backdrop of modernity. Rome is especially magical at night, when its monuments and fountains are illuminated and the glories of ancient Rome -- the Colosseum and nearby Roman Forum being the headliners -- seem not so distant past.
Venice, the City of Canals
Venice itself lies on the Adriatic Sea northeast of Florence. Built on some 100 islands dotting a lagoon, the city clings precariously to existence despite the longtime ravages of flooding and pollution. Yet Venice's grand palazzos and intricate mazes of canals and walkways remain afloat amid almost surreal beauty.
Piazza San Marco, Italy's most regal square, leads to the Byzantine splendor of the Basilica di San Marco and a passing parade of visitors worldwide. The famous Rialto Bridge crosses the Grand Canal, which snakes through the old city and connects the palazzos and museums by water. You may find fewer gondoliers along the Grand Canal as they stick to the smaller, less commercially busy, and more romantic canals that branch off it.
As magnificent as San Marco is, there's much to see off the beaten track in Venice: churches with artistic masterpieces inside, the old Jewish ghetto, and streets frequented by locals rather than tourists. And if your feet get tired, hop on the nearest Vaporetto for a water ride back to wherever you'd like to be. 
Trip From Rome to Venice
The journey from Rome to Venice is one of the quintessential trips in Italy, just as a trip to Switzerland wouldn't be complete without a hike through the Swiss Alps. It runs directly through Florence — the most significant art city of them all — and Tuscany, famous for its countryside of rolling hills, vineyards, hilltop villages, and sun-kissed cuisine. 

Bologna, also known for its food, particularly the Bolognese sauce, is the next big city encountered after Florence. 

Before reaching Venice, you'll visit the smaller city of Padua, known for its immense Basilica of St. Anthony, the Scrovegni Chapel with frescoes by Giotto, and the beautiful Prato Della Valle, the largest public square in Europe.

 Venice Tour Tips
Navigating Venice can be an adventure in itself. Here are some essential tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:
  • Walking or using a boat is the norm. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the Vaporettos, Venice's public water buses, which offer an affordable way to explore the city's canals.
  • Consider purchasing a multi-day pass for Vaporettos to save on transportation costs and enjoy convenient sightseeing from the water.
  • Ensure your hotel is easily reachable, especially if you have luggage. Opt for accommodations conveniently located near water taxi stops or Vaporetto stations.
  • Venice's maze-like streets are part of its charm. Use Google Maps to navigate, but don't be afraid to wander off the beaten path and enjoy the serendipitous discoveries along the way.
  • Remember key landmarks like "Ferrovia" (train station), "Rialto" (Bridge), and "San Marco" (St. Mark's Basilica and Square) to orient yourself while exploring the city.
  • Gondola rides are iconic but pricey, so reserve them for special occasions. Negotiate prices with gondoliers, especially if they offer serenades, which often cost extra. 
Trip From Rome to the Vatican
The Vatican is just across the river from the city of Rome — walk across the Tiber River to reach the tiny Vatican City, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, where mammoth St. Peter's Basilica and the abundant collections of the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, await.

The wealth of paintings and other artworks displayed in room after room are no less than astonishing. It can be a trip of a lifetime for art lovers, especially if they join a private tour group with an expert destination guide. The most famous area, of course, is Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, with its ceiling filled with vibrant frescoes that the artist produced while lying atop scaffolding high in the air. 

The chapel gets extremely crowded, and you may find yourself being pushed along and out by the mobs of people, so try to find a quiet corner to have time to gaze up at and appreciate the masterwork.

St. Peter's Basilica, one of the most important churches in Christendom and one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture — Michelangelo was one of the designers, the sculptor Bernini another — requires a couple of hours on its own. The sheer size and masses of marble, gilt, and decorative extravagance can be overwhelming. 

You probably won't have the time or energy to enter every chapel or inspect every altar, but do not overlook Michelangelo's Pieta sculpture, which occupies one out-of-the-way niche (there should be crowds milling around it). 

Vatican City Tour Tips
Before you see St. Peter's, before you see the Sistine Chapel, before you view the Vatican Museums' incredible art collections, keep some things in mind: 
  • Don't go on Sunday because the museums are often closed.
  • During the rest of the week, the Vatican gets crowded with visitors.
  • In summer, the queues for both St. Peter's and the museums are often brutal.
So, how do you tour the Vatican? You come up with a strategy or join a guided tour for a smooth experience.
  • If you love art and want to spend several hours in the Vatican Museums (you'll need it), try to arrive at least an hour before the 10 a.m. opening time to get in line. 
  • Don't visit St. Peter's first because the queue will stretch clear back to Italy by the time you make it to the museum. The lines for St. Peter's are also long, but they move faster.
  • You can pay extra for "Fast Track Tickets," which will get you through a separate museum entrance from the main one, well worth the extra money.
  • Dress modestly, or you will be denied entry no matter how long you've been waiting. That means no shorts, bare shoulders, or midriffs for men or women. And by all means, wear comfortable shoes.
  • It's best to dedicate an entire day to a visit to the Vatican. 
It's best to join a guided tour of Vatican City, where knowledgeable tour guides will not only handle logistics but also provide helpful insights into the artwork and history. With expert guidance on an escorted tour, you can navigate the crowds, skip the lines, and fully immerse yourself in the Vatican's rich history and artistry.

Traveling Tuscany in Central Italy
Italy travel operators can easily expand a visit to Florence with side trips to other Tuscan cities, such as Siena, a Medieval walled city; Pisa, best known for the Leaning Tower of Pisa; and Lucca, where you can walk the old city walls. Genoa is farther up the coast but well worth seeing.

From Florence to Pisa  
It's just 50 miles from Florence to Pisa, home to The Leaning Tower, one of Italy's most iconic structures. Don't overlook the chance to stop in the city of Lucca on the way — it's just 40 miles from Florence but quieter and pretty in its own right. Lucca has city walls wide enough to walk on or ride bikes.

This part of the Tuscan countryside is also home to several impossibly scenic villages clinging to steep hillsides, invariably topped by a church. 
Walking Italy, tours are a great way to experience the region. Don't miss the walks through Cinque Terre, five towns perched on cliffs overlooking the sea and connected by trails. They're just north of La Spezia, up the coastal road from Pisa.

From Florence to Venice
Between Florence and Venice lie several potential stopovers: Bologna, Padua, and Verona. Verona requires a short detour west from Padua, but you won't regret it. 
Made famous as the setting for Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Verona is an ancient city with well-preserved Roman, medieval, and Renaissance monuments — and, of course, a house with a balcony said to have been Juliet's.

Tuscany to Rome
Tuscany is a large region in north-central Italy that extends from the Ligurian Sea on the west three-quarters of the way to the Adriatic Sea on the east, north to the Apennine Mountains, and south halfway to Rome.

Its capital is Florence, and it also encompasses such alluring cities as Pisa, Lucca, and Siena, as well as dozens of picturesque hill towns. Its scenic countryside fills the same romantic role that Provence does in France — the food, the wine, the sunshine, the landscape, the architecture, and the art make it an irresistible destination.

Siena makes an excellent base for exploring some hilltowns and wineries south of Florence. Its fan-shaped Piazza del Campo is one of Italy's most beautiful central plazas, with steep, narrow medieval streets branching off it. It's also the site of the famous Palio, a biennial horse race in which 17 different city districts compete in a colorful, exciting pageant.

Traveling in Southern Italy
Near Naples, the ruins of Pompeii and the lesser-known Herculaneum were buried under ash and mud when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The result is a vast trove of archaeological treasure, frozen in time, including artifacts of Roman-era life preserved for centuries until re-discovered more than 1,500 years later.
The city of Naples, always colorful, beckons to the south, as do the islands of Ischia and Capri off the coast. Further south yet is the Amalfi coast, a stunning mountainous roadway passing villages overlooking the Mediterranean.

The region of Puglia is famous for its picturesque coastline, traditional whitewashed trulli houses, olive groves, vineyards, and delicious cuisine. It's also known for unique cultural experiences and historical sites, such as the charming towns of Alberobello and Ostuni and the UNESCO-listed Castel del Monte.

And, across the Straits of Messina from the toe of Italy's southern "boot," the island of Sicily has some of Italy's most gorgeous scenery and its own culture, almost separate from that of the northern regions of Italy. For a wonderful tour, venture around the whole island for a wealth of vistas, vibrant cities, and ancient ruins.
Travel in Northern Italy
Northern Italy becomes increasingly mountainous and is dotted with shimmering clear-blue lakes, the best known of which is Lake Como, north of the Italian fashion capital, Milan. While touring the far-northern Alpine areas, you might think you were in Switzerland or Austria. You can ski there or enjoy lakeside walks.
With so much to see and do in Italy, it can be daunting to decide which regions to explore first. So let Stride help you find the right guided tour for your needs and budget.

Things To Do on Italy Tour
Embark on a journey through Italy, where every corner unveils captivating experiences. Whether you're drawn to its rich history, delectable cuisine, or breathtaking landscapes, Italy offers various activities to suit every traveler's interests.

Cultural Delights: Experience the allure of Italy's cultural treasures as you wander through the ancient ruins of the Colosseum in Rome, marvel at the intricate mosaics of Ravenna's UNESCO-listed basilicas, and witness the vibrant festivities of the Venice Carnival, where masked revelers bring centuries-old traditions to life.

Culinary Adventures: Embark on a culinary journey through Italy's gastronomic wonders, sampling delectable dishes like creamy risotto alla milanese in Milan, fresh seafood along the Amalfi Coast, and mouthwatering gelato in Florence's bustling piazzas. Don't miss the chance to savor authentic Neapolitan pizza in its birthplace, Naples, and explore Italy's renowned wine regions, such as Chianti in Tuscany and Barolo in Piedmont.

Scenic Wonders: Indulge in Italy's breathtaking landscapes, from the stunning coastline of the Cinque Terre, where colorful villages cling to rugged cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea, to the serene beauty of Lake Como, surrounded by lush forests and majestic mountains. Explore the picturesque vineyards of Tuscany's Chianti region, dotted with charming hilltop towns.

Outdoor Excursions: Discover Italy's natural splendor with outdoor adventures such as hiking the rugged trails of the Dolomites, cycling through the scenic countryside of Umbria, or sailing along the picturesque Amalfi Coast. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Sardinia for snorkeling and scuba diving experiences amidst vibrant marine life.
Art and Architecture: Immerse yourself in Italy's rich artistic heritage with visits to iconic landmarks like the majestic Duomo in Florence, adorned with intricate marble facades and stunning frescoes by Renaissance masters. Explore the architectural marvels of Venice, from the ornate Byzantine design of St. Mark's Basilica to the grandeur of the Doge's Palace.

If the idea of Italy is synonymous with anything, it's food and wine. When you tour Italy, you will almost immediately get a sense of how integral the food and drink experience is ingrained in the culture. A wine-tasting trip through the famous wine regions is an excellent introduction to some of the world's finest old-world wines.

  • Tuscany: The rolling hills of Tuscany are home to some of Italy's most picturesque wineries, which produce some of Italy's best-known wines. Chianti is famous the world over; Sangiovese and Montepulciano are other varietals. Castello Banfi and Biondi Santi in the Siena region are two of Tuscany's largest wineries.
  • Veneto: Except for Tuscany's Chianti, the Veneto region near Venice and Verona produces Italy's most widely exported wines: Valpolicella, Bardolino, and Soave (the first two are reds, the third white). Sparkling Prosecco is another product of this fertile region. Fratelli Bolla near Verona is known for its Soaves.
  • Emilia-Romagna: With roots in the Po River Valley and Po delta, Emilia-Romagna is best known for producing Lambrusco, a light red wine with a kick. Bologna—renowned for its Bolognese sauce and fine food in general—is the largest city and sits in the middle of the region, which extends to the Adriatic Sea south of Venice. One winery to check out is the Cantine Romagnoli near Modena (also known for its balsamic vinegars).
  • Lombardy: Another region with Po River Valley roots produces excellent sparkling whites. Try the Guido Berlucchi winery in Brescia.
  • The Latium: This wine-growing region around Rome is known for its Frascati and other white wines. The Fontana Candida winery is near Rome.
  • The Piedmont: Located in northern Italy near France, the Piedmont is best known for its flavorful red wines. The Renato Ratti Cantina winery occupies a medieval abbey.

Italy Reviews & Ratings

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A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Excellent trip

It was a fantastic trip with some relay amazing walks and views. The mountains the open space and the views are breath taking. The views the open space I would r...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

'Happiness from small things'

' 'Happiness from small things' is what we want to give our guests; peace and tranquillity from our countryside, and company with which to discover the secrets and...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Walking in Tuscany

What a fantastic trip,the weather,the acomadation,the scenery,Trek Leader & her Dog ( Elvis ) only one word to describe it. BEAUTIFUL !! All of it !! Sara wa...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Fantastic!

Exodus holidays are only as good as their leaders and Sara is fantastic, super knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm. The area and accommodation ensure you feel fu...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Great Holiday and Superb Walking

A great holiday with excellent walks which were enjoyable as well as being physically quite demanding. Liz, our guide for the week, made the holiday extra special ...

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