Style : Group tour
Ultimate Italy tour

Ultimate Italy

Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
17 days
From: $ 2,939 $ 173 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Float through the Venetian canals aboard a traditional gondola
  • Step into the Renaissance in Florence
  • Indulge in Italian food and wine while taking in the Tuscan countryside
  • See the best of ancient Rome, the Vatican and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
  • Take in the turquoise waters and coastal views of luxurious Capri
  • Go on a breath-taking tour of Pompeii, the city buried in ash in 79 AD
  • Soak up the sun on the beach in Catania

Short Description

From the sapphire water of Capri, luxe Milanese fashion and unrivaled culinary creations, Italy is the place to be. Take in the scenic vistas in Cinque Terre, travel back in time to ancient Rome and relax on the beach amidst volcanic Mt. Etna in Sicily. Wash it all down with a glass of Tuscan wine. Who said you can’t have it all? On Ultimate Italy, you can.

Style Group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions Roundtrip air to/from trip start & all internal transport
Start City Venice
End City Mt. Etna Italy

Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight flight

Board your overnight flight, bound for Europe.

Day 2: Arrive in Venice + Welcome Mixer

Welcome to Venice! Situated on 118 islands, intersected by 175 canals and spanned by more than 400 bridges, this city has had more praise showered upon it from travelers, writers and artists than any other city in the world. Threatened by rising tides, you’ve arrived at the perfect moment.

Today's Highlights:

Arrive at the airport. Your Tour Director will be waiting to show you how to get around the city

Explore on your own. Venture into Venice proper or see the area surrounding your accommodation

Once everyone is situated, you’ll meet your new friends over drinks and light appetizers at the Welcome Mixer.

Day 3: Tour Venice

Head to St. Mark’s Square to begin your sightseeing with a local guide.

Today's Highlights:

Enter St. Mark’s Basilica and bask in the mosaics inlaid in the golden ceiling

See several historic churches and amble through picture-perfect piazzas

Follow the winding Grand Canal through the heart of Venice

See the historic Rialto bridge, the oldest in the city

After your sightseeing, you have the afternoon free!

Day 4: Travel to Milan

Say goodbye to Venice; you’re on to Milan, the design, fashion and commerce center of Italy.

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Milan via Verona

Pay a visit to Juliet’s famous balcony and get in touch with your inner romantic

Arrive in Milan and take an introductory walk of the area with your Tour Director

Day 5: Excursion to Lake Como + Free Day in Milan

Cruise Lake Como on a full-day excursion or enjoy a full free day in Milan to explore on your own.

Excursion: A Day in Lake Como Extra Cost

Cruise the serene Lake Como, where views of the Alps, villas and small medieval towns line the shore. Then, explore the towns of Como and Bellagio, celebrity hotspots brimming with charm. This is your day to sit back, relax and enjoy two of the swankiest, most beautiful cities Italy has to offer.

If you choose a free day, try these suggestions:

Trek up the stairs of the Milan Duomo for sweeping views of the city skyline

Wander Zona Tortona for unique boutiques, art galleries and cafes

GOL!!! Soccer fans, tour the San Siro Stadium and museum, home to AC Milan

Taste traditional aperitivos as the Milanese do

Day 6: Travel to Florence via Cinque Terre

Board your private coach for Florence via Cinque Terre, the five colorful fishing villages that will make for the best photo op of the entire trip.

Today's Highlights:

Explore Cinque Terre and travel by train through the villages

Stop in Riomaggiore, the tranquil and unspoiled village that is too beautiful for its own good

Visit Vernazza for vibrant views and picturesque perspectives

Hit the beach in Monterosso and relax after a long day of exploration

After your day in Cinque Terre, arrive in Florence in the evening. Get settled, then take an introductory walk with your Tour Director to get acquainted with the area. The rest of the evening is yours.

Day 7: Tour Florence

Join a local guide for a walking tour of Florence, the compact capital of Tuscany known for its famous Renaissance artwork.

Today's Highlights:

Cross the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, home to many of Florence’s jewelers and art merchants.

Stroll the Piazza della Signoria, home to the Uffizi Gallery and Michelangelo’s David

Visit the Duomo Cathedral. Return during your free time and challenge yourself to climb the 463 steps to the top for stunning views of the city

Day 8: Travel to Tuscany

Leave Florence behind as you board your private coach en route to the Tuscan countryside.

Today's Highlights:

Take in views of the Italian rolling hills, olive groves, cypress trees and incredible vineyards

Spend an evening in the quaint countryside before diving back into the city life

DAY 9: Travel to Rome via Orvieto

Board your private coach, bound for Rome via Orvieto.

Today's Highlights:

On the way to Rome, stop in Orvieto, a quaint Italian hill town perched atop a rock cliff

Marvel at the artistry of the facade of Orvieto’s stunning cathedral

Look out at the cypress-dotted plains of Umbria

Benvenuti a Roma!

DAY 10

Colosseum + Roman Forum

Skip the line and go back in time with tours of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Then, do as the Romans do and learn how to make authentic pasta by hand.

Today's Highlights:

Experience the heart of ancient Rome with visits to the Colosseum and Forum

Walk the Via Sacra, the ceremonial and public main street of Ancient Roman life

Stand where gladiators battled to the death in mortal combat

See the ruins of several Roman temples, including the Temple of the Vestal Virgins

Excursion: Taste of Italy: Pasta-Making Class  Extra Cost

When in Rome, do as the Romans do best: cook awesome food. It starts with crafting the dough for homemade pasta, and finishes with a delicious meal prepared by your own hands. Along the way, you’ll get to taste some of the finest olive oil and vinegar with a local food guide while learning about Italian food traditions throughout the ages. This is truly an authentic cuisine experience you can’t find anywhere but Italy itself.

Day 11: Vatican City + Free Evening

Peace be with you as you stroll the home of the Pope and capital of Catholicism: Vatican City.

Today's Highlights:

Get an in-depth look into Papal history and politics with an expert guide

Cross another country of your list (Vatican City is an independent nation)

View the frescos of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s greatest work

Visit the Vatican Museum, one of the largest, most renowned art collections in the world

Day 12: Travel to Naples via Capri

Board your private coach en route to Naples via Capri, the upscale, coastal city known for limoncello, crystal-clear water and posh resorts.

Today's Highlights:

Spend a full day on the Isle of Capri for an afternoon cruise and tour with a local guide

Cruise the turquoise waters around the island and see the limestone arch of Arco Naturale

Go up to the center of Capri via funicular train from Marina Grande

Take in panoramic views of the water from the Gardens of Augustus

Day 13: Explore Pompeii

Join a local guide for a walking tour of the ancient city of Pompeii, which stands frozen in time post-eruption from Mt. Vesuvius.

Today's Highlights:

Travel back to imperial Roman times and learn about Pompeii, the city preserved in volcanic ash

See Mt. Vesuvius, the deadly volcano that annihilated this city, up close and personal

Experience the buildings, artifacts and even people that are still preserved in volcanic ash

After Pompeii, you'll head back to the ferry port in Naples to board your overnight ferry to Palermo, Sicily. Enjoy dinner aboard the ferry, then retire to your cabins for the night as you sail the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Day 14: Travel to Catania

After arriving in Palermo, it's on to the lively city of Catania. Upon arrival, your Tour Director will take you on an introductory walk of the area.

Today's Highlights:

Visit the energetic fish market of La Pescheria (behind the Piazza del Duomo) where fishermen serve up every sea creature imaginable

Relax at an outdoor cafe, espresso in hand, in the Piazza del Duomo

Enjoy a day at La Playa, the most popular beach in Catania, known for its fine golden sand and nightlife

Day 15: Explore Taormina + Beach Day

Explore the posh, mountainside town of Taormina before hitting the Isola Bella beach in Mazzaró.

Today's Highlights:

Bask in the spectacular views of Mt. Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe

Explore the 7th-century Taormina Greek Theater, which is still in use today

Ride the cable car from the top of Taormina down to Mazzaró to enjoy a day on the beach

Enjoy a free afternoon to tan at the beach or amble through town, taking in the baroque architecture and quaint, pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets. Then, have lunch at a traditional Sicilian trattoria before returning to Catania in the evening.

Day 16: Free Day + Mt. Etna Excursion

The day is yours to explore. Enjoy your free time or take an excursion to the apex of Mt. Etna, a massive active volcano on the eastern coast of Sicily.

Excursion:

Mt. Etna: Volcanos and Vineyards  Extra Cost

Mount Etna, standing at almost 11,000 feet high, is the tallest active volcano in Europe. Catch breathtaking views of the landscape and Sicilian coast from 5,000 feet up Etna itself. Then head another 1,500 feet up to explore the craters and learn Etna’s historic and scientific significance with a local guide. After your tour, sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of authentic Sicilian wine, whose vines are nourished from the rich, volcanic soil.

Farewell Dinner

In the evening, freshen up at the hotel and head to your farewell dinner with the group.

Day 17: Fly Home

It's time to say your goodbyes. Head to the airport for your flight back home.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,939
Price Per Day: $ 173 per day
Checking price
  • Deposit Price: $ 150

73 EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break) Travel Reviews & Ratings

56%
3.2 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 38
Great 1
Average 1
Disappointing 2
Terrible 31
Value
3.2
Guide
3.2
Activities
3.2
Lodging
3.1
Transportation
3.1
Meals
3.1

Ultimate Italy

Do not use this travel agency

1.0
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Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
My trip to Italy has been a nightmare. I've been stuck in a tiny town outside of Florence since December 15th and still can't get home. Ive been stuck in covid testing hell!! I've been tested at least 5 times and all of my tests are negative and still can't get a flight out of Italy. The travel agency has washed their hands and will not help us get out of Italy. My mom has contacted s Congressman from Texas and they are also working on getting me out of here.

HELP!!! Do not use EF Ultimate Break. Everyone is incompetent and don't have a clue what the hell is going on.
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Company Reviews

Do not book with EF

1.0
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Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Do not book with EF. You’ll get the absolute worst flight itinerary - seriously 4 layovers for no reason, they’re just cheap and cutting corners. I found better flights in a 30 second search that were reasonably priced.

Do not book with EF if you enjoy travel for the sake of learning and connecting with new cultures. These trips are full of 19 year olds who just want to get drunk where it’s legal. I ended up going to all the cool attractions by myself anyway and I could have done a solo trip for much less money. And had a better time. AVOID.
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This platform won’t allow me to put 0…

1.0
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Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This platform won’t allow me to put 0 stars! DO NOT BOOK WITH EF ULTIMATE. They are liars and scam you and all they want is your money. They do not care about you and will not help you. I leave in 30 days and I was just notified that they didn’t even book my flight. I have to pay for visas and doctor appointments and they can’t even bother to book my flight. They have one job and can’t do that right. Go anywhere else! Do not use them!
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The worst waste of money in my life

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This trip was the most poorly organized and executed trip I have ever been on. I have attended other trips by other companies in the past and always had a wonderful experience.

Prior to leaving on our trip we had researched rbe hotels listed and had some concerns about the one we would be using in London: the Copthorne Tara. Reviews mentioned blood in beds, floors, general uncleanliness and even MAGGOTS IN THE BEDS. We called EF with our concerns and were essentially dismissed. This was our first sign to run.

The flights on the way to the trip were just fine, but our accommodations in London were extremely subpar. We checked in at 1pm and our hotel room was not ready until almost 6pm. Other people from our trip arrived and checked in after us and had their rooms ready before us. Once we entered the room we were greeted with the smallest single beds I have ever seen. The room was a room with a adjoining door, this door was broken and did not lock, which is a major security concern for two young women alone. We found blood on our wall and in one bed as well as a curtain. When this information was shared with the front desk we were met with complete apathy. There was no urgency and no concern. A girl on our trip ended up with bedbugs from this hotel, and the rest of the trip we spent in fear that we too would become contaminated. The air conditioning in the room was broken and when we shared this with the front desk we were told someone would be up to address it which never happened. At once point the temperature in our room exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit when the weather outside did not go above 70. We shared this as a concern about the heat being activated and were told there was none in our room.

The girl that ended up with the bedbugs was told that they would contact a doctor for her l- they called a doctor once and he never arrived. She finally had to resort to calling back to the USA with a tele health appointment in order to be sure that the rash she had was bedbugs. She was confirmed with rjem and covered all over with bites. She had to miss most of her trip cleaning her belongings and the trip did nothing to assist.

Then we went to Paris. The hotel there was no better. Cleanliness and concern and consideration lacking. Each night from midnight to two am there was a intense clanking outside our bedroom that came from the GRAVEYARD we were next to. When we complained about the noise again we were met with zero concern. The beds were just as small, and I had an allergic reaction to something in their linens.

Amsterdam was the only hotel that was nearly worth our money, but on the way there my friends luggage was stolen. When this was reported to the THALYS employees they did absolutely nothing and did not even check the train to see if the luggage had been moved. We made a police report and reported it with EF but there was again no urgency.

The trip home was also a mess. We arrived at the Amsterdam airport 4 hours before our flight (as requested by the airport) and were told we were unable to check in or check our luggage for two more hours. We waited two hours in line and then checked in. We then waited over two and a half hours for security and almost missed our flight, which when we expressed this concern to the airline, and to the airport employees we were regarded with disinterest. We had to run to make it to our flight only to find out our plane had not arrived on time.

Our flight was then delayed over two hours on the tarmac and when we finally took off, we realized we would miss our next flight because we only had a two hour layover. The only reason we managed to make our flight was because the wonderful employees of Dublin airport and their assistance. We ran to our flight again and made it with less than a minute to spare, the doors closing behind us and the plane taking off minutes after we sat down. The travel time that was estimate to take a total of 17 hours for the two flights and all the in between times turned into close to 24 by the end of the time when we arrived home.

Through all of these issues our tour guide was downplaying the seriousness of all these issues. She refused to believe that our friend was actually infested with bedbugs, and did not get a doctor involved, making them call an emergency service in the United States. In addition she told our friend with this affliction to lie to the rest of the trip and not tell us that she had the bedbugs because she did not want to cause a panic. This is a violation of medical codes and could cause serious harm to others. When we had our issue with the stolen luggage she did not want to accompany us to make a police report and only did so after I asked her to come with us.

For a company charging for an “upgraded trip experience” and for the additional money we paid, we did not receive any of the upgraded “4-5 star accommodations”. I want my money back. I look forward to receiving a refund for the “upgraded” part of the experience, and will be sharing the service I received widely throughout my networks.
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Absolute scam. Unable to reschedule my trip FOUR times

1.0
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Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This is the absolute worst company and I'm pretty sure it's all a scam. I booked a trip back in March and found out two months before I was set to leave that they had canceled my tour due to "low enrollment". Due to their policy, I was supposed to be able to be rebooked for a similar date. THEY RESCHEDULED MY TRIP 4 TIMES AND WERE UNABLE TO CONFIRM ME FOR A TRIP ALL 4 TIMES. They had my money for two months and were unable to rebook me each time, despite telling me I would be prioritized to be booked. They also kept trying to charge me an extra "adult fee" every time THEY had to reschedule my trip. I absolutely regret not canceling sooner, as they took 2-3 weeks each time I rescheduled to inform me that I wasn't able to be booked. In the amount of time I spent on hold and calling those incompetent clowns over the course of my rescheduling process, I would have been able to book my own trip a dozen times over.

Fortunately, I ended up being able to book a trip through G Adventures at the last minute. G Adventures was able to book me and get me a flight ticket in just an hour. G Adventures was able to do in ONE HOUR what EF literally could not do in TWO MONTHS. EF is literally a scam. Don't ever give them your money.
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SCAM! Do NOT book with them! You will not go on a trip

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This is the absolute worst company and I'm pretty sure it's all a scam. I booked a trip back in March and found out two months before I was set to leave that they had canceled my tour due to "low enrollment". Due to their policy, I was supposed to be able to be rebooked for a similar date. THEY RESCHEDULED MY TRIP 4 TIMES AND WERE UNABLE TO CONFIRM ME FOR A TRIP ALL 4 TIMES. They had my money for two months and were unable to rebook me each time, despite telling me I would be prioritized to be booked. They also kept trying to charge me an extra "adult fee" every time THEY had to reschedule my trip. I absolutely regret not canceling sooner, as they took 2-3 weeks each time I rescheduled to inform me that I wasn't able to be booked. In the amount of time I spent on hold and calling those incompetent clowns over the course of my rescheduling process, I would have been able to book my own trip a dozen times over.

Fortunately, I ended up being able to book a trip through G Adventures at the last minute. G Adventures was able to book me and get me a flight ticket in just an hour. G Adventures was able to do in ONE HOUR what EF literally could not do in TWO MONTHS. EF is literally a scam. Don't ever give them your money.
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

Roundtrip air to/from trip start & all internal transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Cancellation policy

You have 48 hours to cancel and receive a full refund. You can also switch trips up to 99 days before you leave.

The full amount paid upon enrolment is refundable if you cancel in writing within 48 hours of booking the tour. After 48 hours, the deposit is non-refundable and the following standard cancellation fees apply.

If you are booking 30 days or less prior to the scheduled departure date for your trip, you are required to pay in full at the time of booking and standard cancellation fees then apply; you are not eligible for the 48 hour risk-free period.

Based on the date EF receives written notification of your cancellation, you will be refunded for monies paid minus the cancellation fee and any non-refundable fees. (See refund and non-refundable Fee description above for more details.) In addition to notifying us of your cancellation in writing, we also recommend you call so that we can best review your options.

Days Prior to Departure and Cancellation Fee

30 days or less is all monies paid

30-60 days will be $2000

61-99 will be $1000

100-364 days is  $450

365+ days will be $150

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 18

Max Age: 28

Additional Information

Perfected stress-free travel

  • Full-time Tour Director
  • Round-trip flights
  • Handpicked Lodging
  • Guided Sightseeing
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Transportation Between Cities

Trip ID#:

UltItaEfc

What's excluded

  • Rooming upgrades
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Protection
  • Beverages, lunch, and dinner (except where specified in the itinerary)
  • Transportation to free-time activities
  • Customary gratuities (for your Tour Director, bus drivers and local guides)
  • Porterage
  • Any applicable baggage-handling fees imposed by the airlines
  • Expenses caused by airline rescheduling, cancellations or delays caused by the airlines, bad weather or events beyond EF’s control (see Flight Information section for details)
  • Passport, visa and reciprocity fees
  • Fees associated with Special Travel Arrangements (See Special Travel Arrangements section)
  • III. PRICE VALIDITY
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