Small group escorted tours Italy for seniors.

Odyssey presents a seamless, accessible, and leisurely escorted small group tour experience throughout Western Europe and other enticing destinations. Delve into Italy’s breathtaking natural landscapes, delve into its rich Roman history, discover its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and immerse yourself in its renowned cities, all while enjoying the stunning scenery that accompanies your journey. Embark on an unforgettable exploration of Italy with Odyssey’s small group tours crafted for senior travellers, guided by seasoned and passionate individuals who share a mutual zeal for discovery.

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Crafted for the mature World traveller

Small group tours of Italy

Renaissance Italy Tour: Story of Five Families

Explore Renaissance Italy on this small group tour though an examination of five significant city states. Florence, Urbino, Ferrara, Mantua and Milan were all dominated by families determined to increase the status of their city through art and architecture. Spend time coming to know the men and women who helped create the cities, as well as the magnificent legacy they left behind.

21 days
Departing Apr, Aug, May

Grand tour of Europe

For the senior couple or mature solo traveler seeking a small group educational tour focussed on exploring and learning with like minded people in Europe.

Departing May, Aug, Apr

Villages of Italy - short small group tours

Roam the villages of the northern Dolomites, in Italy,  home to more than 40 glaciers. A small group tour is a great way to get to know Italy, or reacquaint yourself with its beauty and hidden gems. Travel with like minded mature couples or solo travellers.

13 days
Departing Aug

Art and History of Italy | Small Group Tour for seniors

Taken as a whole, Italian Civilization (which includes, of course, the splendid inheritance of Ancient Rome) is absolutely foundational to Western culture. Music, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Literature, Philosophy, Law and Politics all derive from Italy or were adapted and transformed through the medium of Italy.

18 days
Departing Aug, Sep

Italy and France, history of gardens small group escorted tour

Odyssey’s small group tour explores some of the classic gardens of Italy and France that reflect changing fashions and garden designs throughout the ages. This fully escorted tour features an Odyssey Program Leader and a handful of local guides who will examine, discuss, compare and contrast the cultural and temporal similarities and diversities between the gardens of Italy and France and the historical influences on their design.

25 days
Departing Aug, May, Sep

Lakes and Landscapes of Northern Italy | Short Small Group Tour for Seniors

Our small group tour begins in the cosmopolitan city of Milan and ventures to 2 of the region’s lakes – Garda and Maggiore. Our tour uncovers a wealth of natural beauty, castles, serene waters, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking scenery.

14 days
Departing Sep, May

Small group tour to Venice and Genoa

City pairs and rivalries exist. When spice, gold, steel swords and cloth where major commodities in the Mediterranean then Venice and Genoa fought for market share. Venice offered mercenaries, Genoa, banks. Italian history tour for those interested in joining a small group educational tour for senior couple and mature solo travellers.

18 days
Departing Sep, Apr

Via di Francesco Walking Tour | Small Group Walking Tours Italy

Experience with like minded people a small group journey walking  Via di Francesco (or the Way of St. Francis) in Italy. One of a few European tour companies who offer a tour leader and local guides for senior couples and single travellers on this journey between the key destinations on this walk.

17 days
Departing Sep, Aug

Heritage, culture, history of Italy, seniors small group - Short Tour

Odyssey’s small group tour features the best of the Italian countryside as well as the great cities and icons of Italy. We will see the Renaissance cities of Florence, Pisa, and Lucca as well as the Umbrian medieval cities of Perugia.

11 days
Departing Sep, May

Heritage, Culture and History of Italy | Small Group Tours for Seniors

Rome, the world’s first superpower, lasted for almost a thousand years. In this small group tour for senior couples and solo travellers we thread our way through the Rome of the Emperors, then through the Italy of the Renaissance, Michelangelo, the Medici, and the Borgia. In the south, we visit the cosmopolitan city of Naples as well as Pompeii and the island retreat of Capri.

22 days
Departing Sep, Apr, Mar

Villages of Italy | small group tours Italy

Explore Italy in a small group tour. Italy is the most Mediterranean of nations and as mature and aged as many of its red wines. In terms of being a nation, it is even younger than New Zealand. This is often hard to believe, bearing in mind that Italy gave rise to Europe’s first global empire, which endured for approximately 2,000 years, the Romans. The new constantly brushes with the old and in doing so generates sparks that makes any sojourn in Italy a deeply textured experience.

26 days
Departing Aug, Sep

Ancient History of Southern Italy & Sicily group tours

Our program for senior travellers, as well as featuring the rugged countryside of Southern Italy, also encompasses learning about the many civilisations that have shaped this land. We learn about the influence of the early Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, and Aragonese.

22 days
Departing Jan, Apr, Sep

Florence: Living in a Renaissance City

A small group tour with like minded people, couples or solo travellers, that is based in Florence. An authentic experience of living in this Renaissance city The daily itineraries draw on local guides to share their knowledge on this unique European tour. Trips to Vinci, Sienna and San Gimignano are included.

22 days
Departing Mar, Sep, May

Via Francigena Walking Tour: Great St. Bernard Pass to Rome

An escorted tour that walks sections of the ancient pilgrimage route Via Francigena. Our small group is joined by Local guides to share knowledge and authentic experiences as our group of like minded people make their way to Rome.

18 days
Departing Apr, Sep, Mar
Island of Sicily

Mediterranean Islands Small Group Tour | Malta, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica

For centuries Malta, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica held the key to the Mediterranean. Unlike other European tour companies, Odyssey provides a tour leader and local guides to share detailed itineraries about the destinations on these small group journeys. This escorted tour of western Mediterranean explores the geography, history, culture and peoples of these 4 islands. Small group tour for mature couples and solo travellers. A reasonable single supplement is charged.

25 days
Departing Apr, Sep, Oct
Island of Sicily

Malta & Sicily - Mediterranean Islands small group tour

For centuries MaltaSicily, held the key to the Mediterranean. Unlike other European tour companies, Odyssey provides a tour leader and local guides to share detailed itineraries about the destinations on these small group journeys. For mature couples and solo travellers. A reasonable single supplement is charged.

12 days
Departing Apr, Oct, Sep

Four Italians: Genoa, Mantua, Orvieto and Bologna

A small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers to Genoa, Mantua, Orvieto and Bologna. Places where the Renaissance shone beyond Florence, Venice and Rome. Italy is one of the great countries of Europe this program with like minded people takes you beyond the regular path of travellers to see and learn more.

21 days
Departing Sep, Apr, Oct

Tour of Northern Italy's Lakes and Alps

A European tour to the stunning Lakes Region of Italy. Your travel experience begins in Milan, daily itineraries include two of the region’s lakes – Garda and Maggiore, plus the Roman villa Desenzona and a day in Cinque Terre. Local guides share experience and knowledge with you on this escorted small group tour for couples and solo travelers.

22 days
Departing Oct, Apr

Caravaggio’s Journey | Small Group Tour in Italy

On this small group tour of Italy and Malta  for mature and senior couples and solo travellers we trace the life of Caravaggio, exploring the artistic works he left behind and the tumultuous life he led. We follow him from his birthplace in Milan to Rome, Malta, Sicily and Naples. In each place he lived Caravaggio left behind a rich legacy of art for us to admire.

20 days
Departing May, Oct

European Cities Small Group History and Cultural Winter Tour

An escorted tour A Journey that commences in Rome and takes in 12 destinations along its journey to Athens. This is an off season small group journey with like minded people. A small group tour across Southern Europe with local guides sharing authentic in-country authentic experiences for mature couples and solo travellers.

27 days
Departing Dec
View from Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy

Discover Rome | Cultural and History Small Group Tour for Seniors

Rome is arguably the most fascinating city in Italy, the capital city, once the centre of a vast, ancient empire and still today a cultural focus within Europe. Explore the city in-depth as part of a small group program spending 15 days exploring, just Rome and Roman History.

15 days
Departing Dec

Italy Puccini Festival small group Tour

The Puccini festival is an escorted tour complete with local guides as part of our small group travel program, we will also visit Rome, Siena, Florence, Lucca, Viareggio, Genoa, Milan, Verona, and Venice. Join like minded people on this European tour in Italy. For solo travellers there is a nominal single supplement charged.

20 days
Departing Jul

Italian culture is often perceived through the lens of its picturesque olive groves, the enchanting Tuscan hills, or the charm of small group tours in Italy. Travelers embark on journeys through the Italian Lake Region, central Italy, Tuscany, Rome, and Southern Italy, revelling in the flexibility and carefully curated itineraries of these escorted tours. Whether one seeks art-centric explorations, cultural immersions, scenic vistas, or culinary delights, the array of tailored Italian tours caters to diverse interests. The hallmark of Odyssey’s Italian small group tours lies in their adaptability and the camaraderie shared among like-minded individuals, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all participants.

The allure of Florence beckons with its rich history as the birthplace of the Renaissance, fostering legendary figures like Dante Alighieri, Niccolò Machiavelli, and the influential Medici family. Similarly, Venice‘s unique charm emerges from its origins as a thriving city-state built upon the remnants of past empires, while Rome captivates visitors with its timeless beauty as the Eternal City. These iconic destinations consistently stand out as highlights of escorted small group tours across Italy, promising enriching experiences for couples, solo travellers, and Odyssey’s tour groups.

Embarking on small group arts tours in Italy immerses travellers in the magnificence of Italian art, a cornerstone of Western culture. From music to literature, philosophy to architecture, Italy’s profound influence resonates through the ages, offering an unparalleled journey for enthusiasts of the arts, history, and opera. Delving deeper, Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage sites narrate an ancient saga, guiding visitors through Pompeii’s haunting ruins, the grandeur of the Roman Forum, and the artistic wonders of the Vatican City, a sovereign enclave within Rome.

Exploring the scenic marvels of Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and the captivating landscapes of Northern Italy, travellers are treated to a visual feast against the backdrop of the Italian Alps. Venturing south, the Amalfi coast dazzles with its pastel villages cascading into the azure waters, while Sicily and the Aeolian Islands offer a tapestry of natural beauty and historical wonders, including the majestic Mount Etna and Agrigento’s ancient temples. Moreover, the culinary journey woven into these small group escorted tours celebrates Italy’s diverse gastronomic heritage, elevating the exploration of Italian landscapes with tantalizing local delicacies waiting to be savoured.

Articles about Italy

Getting around

Odyssey Travels offers a unique blend of coach and local transport, such as trains and ferries, on its small group escorted tours in Italy. Clear details about the modes of transportation are always highlighted in the comprehensive tour itineraries. Italy boasts a centralized and remarkably comprehensive rail network, which stands out as more cost-effective compared to many other European rail systems, making it the preferred choice for intercity travel. With close to 20,000km of rail tracks, travellers can seamlessly journey between almost all major cities in Italy using the efficient Italian Railway System.


In urban hubs, Odyssey’s escorted small group tour ensures stays in conveniently situated 3-4 star hotels, providing seamless access to public transportation. In quaint villages and countryside settings, our accommodations typically consist of coy family-run hotels or charming guesthouses. During extended stays like those in Florence or Rome, where the entire tour takes place in a single locale, we opt for serviced apartments. Solo travellers are subject to a single supplement fee, ensuring exclusive use of a double bedded room or studio apartment for their comfort and convenience.

Tour Guides

Odyssey provides a unique experience with a dedicated tour director leading your small group escorted tour in Italy. This tour director is complemented by a knowledgeable local tour guide, carefully selected for their expertise in the region. Together, they guarantee an authentic and immersive experience during your guided or walking tour, enriching your understanding of the rich history and culture of the destinations you explore.

Geography, environment, & weather

Italy’s distinct boot shape is iconic, with the country extending a playful kick towards the Mediterranean, notably jutting out to include Sicily. Bordered by Switzerland, France, Austria, and Slovenia, Italy boasts a rugged terrain, with the majestic Alps forming its imposing northern perimeter. Comprising twenty unique regions and hosting a population of approximately 61 million, Italy is a land rich in geographical and cultural diversity.

The allure of Italy goes beyond its well-known cities and towns steeped in ancient Roman history. Regions like Tuscany, Umbria, and Southern Italy beckon with their picturesque landscapes adorned with sprawling olive groves, offering a serene escape for mature travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the countryside.

When it comes to climate, Italy’s weather exhibits remarkable variability across its regions. Cities like Rome, Florence, Umbria, and Assisi typically experience mild conditions, ideal for leisurely exploration. On the other hand, Southern Italy, encompassing the enchanting Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Sicily, and Naples, enjoys mild winters and scorching summers. In contrast, Northern Italy, home to Venice, Verona, Milan, and the tranquil Lake Maggiore, witnesses colder temperatures during winter, both in the daytime and at night. Certain locales can become parched and sweltering in the summer months. Moreover, for those venturing to the mountains pre, post, or during winter, packing warm attire suitable for snowy conditions is essential for a comfortable experience.

World Heritage sites

Italy boasts an impressive array of 48 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Each site holds immense historical and cultural value, showcasing Italy’s rich heritage. Among these treasures are the historic centers of iconic towns such as Florence, Rome, Naples, Urbino, and Siena, each offering a glimpse into Italy’s storied past.

One standout site is the Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, famed for housing Da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper”. This cultural gem not only holds artistic significance but also serves as a testament to Italy’s artistic legacy.

Another must-see is the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, home to the renowned leaning tower and three other cultural monuments. This vibrant square encapsulates Italy’s architectural prowess and rich history in a unique and captivating manner.

For nature enthusiasts and admirers of sublime landscapes, the Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany offer a serene escape into the lush beauty of the region. These villas stand as a testament to the harmonious relationship between architecture and nature, embodying the essence of Italian Renaissance elegance.

Exploring these UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy is a journey through time and culture, where each site unravels a unique aspect of Italy’s illustrious past and vibrant present.

Festivals & events

Italy, being a cultural hub of artistic and industrial excellence, offers a plethora of events year-round that cater to various interests. Here are some standout events to mark on your calendar for an unforgettable Italian experience:

The Venice Biennale stands out as one of the globe’s most dazzling art exhibitions, tracing its origins back to 1895, with the event taking place biennially.

Milan Fashion Week, occurring in September/October and February/March annually, ranks among the foremost and trendsetting fashion showcases worldwide.

Carnevale, a festive period preceding Lent, is celebrated fervently across Italy, with Venice Carnevale being particularly renowned for its extravagant masked revelry.

For sports enthusiasts, catching an Italian football match is a must-do experience. The electric atmosphere and unforgettable spectacle make it a moment not to be missed.

Reading list

The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit by Helena Attlee

The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert

SPQR by Mary Beard

The Popes: A History by John Julius Norwich

The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples by David Gilmour

Eating & Drinking

The tour director and tour guide on your guided tour in Italy are valuable resources for assisting with ordering meals or a coffee. In Italy, the culinary traditions are distinct, with Italians typically indulging in a modest breakfast, a single-dish lunch, and a single-dish dinner. A typical Italian breakfast consists of a pastry paired with a cappuccino; opting for a cappuccino later in the day instead of an espresso is considered unconventional. It’s customary in smaller towns for shops to close for approximately an hour during lunchtime, underscoring the significance of this meal in Italian culture. Dinner is generally enjoyed after 8pm.

When patronizing Italian bars in city centres, customers may notice a price variance if seated outside versus standing at the bar or opting for takeaway. Outdoor seating typically incurs higher charges due to substantial taxes on establishments with outdoor seating. When ordering drinks or coffee, it is common to pay at the cash register and then present the receipt to the bar staff or barista for service. Tipping a euro or two is generally well received in such establishments.

To streamline service and avoid kitchen delays, it is advisable for large groups ordering pasta dishes to select the same type of pasta, such as spaghetti or penne. This is particularly important as fresh pasta is often prepared promptly, and a variety of pasta orders can hinder efficiency and cause frustration in the kitchen. This simple tip can enhance the dining experience for everyone involved.

Health & safety

While Italy is generally a safe destination for travelers, it is essential to remain vigilant, especially in tourist hotspots where pickpocketing can occur. offers up-to-date guidance on traveling to Italy, emphasizing the importance of closely monitoring your belongings to prevent theft.

Electrical supply

When traveling abroad, it is essential to be prepared with the necessary items for a smooth journey. In Italy specifically, electrical outlets feature two round pins, requiring visitors to have the correct adaptor to charge their devices effectively. Prior to embarking on your trip, ensure you acquire the appropriate adaptor to avoid any inconvenience during your travels.

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Tour Reviews

It was a marvellous tour. I was privileged, as we all were, to see so many things of beauty, and so much history, in your very capable hands. Thank you for passing on some of your knowledge, and for your ready assistance. Thank you also for the photos and the list of guides; I'd been trying to remember the name of that rather good, but unusual fellow we met in Siena. No doubt because of his enthusiasm - and eccentricity - I remember Siena so well. (BH - Heritage Italy)
Participant Sep -15
Thank you so much for being a wonderful leader for the Heritage Italy tour. It was so interesting and has left me with lots of things to think about and follow up in my reading. I found I had an old book giving the history of Greek science, i.e. the thinking of the Greeks in the early BC time. An interesting addition to our visit to Paestum and Cumae. The whole experience was marvellous and I have to thank you again for your kindness and consideration and the generous amount of time you gave to us all. I really appreciated that. (MB - Heritage Italy)
Participant Sep -15
Apart from just touching base and saying hi, I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful trip. Fourth time in Italy for me but the chance to get a little off the beaten track was really special... not to mention I got so much more insight into Italy than I had before. (KG Heritage Italy)
Participant Sep -15
• Thank you so much for being a wonderful leader for the Heritage Italy tour. It was so interesting and has left me with lots of things to think about and follow up in my reading. I found I had an old book giving the history of Greek science, i.e. the thinking of the Greeks in the early BC time. An interesting addition to our visit to Paestum and Cumae. The whole experience was marvellous and I have to thank you again for your kindness and consideration and the generous amount of time you gave to us all. I really appreciated that. (MB - Heritage Italy)
Participant May -15
One of my most pleasurable holidays, and one I must repeat, as it was not long enough. We were most fortunate in having our marvellous tour leader.
Apart from just touching base and saying hi, I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful trip. Fourth time in Italy for me but the chance to get a little off the beaten track was really special... not to mention I got so much more insight into Italy than I had before. (KG Heritage Italy)
Participant Sep -15
• It was a marvellous tour. I was privileged, as we all were, to see so many things of beauty, and so much history, in your very capable hands. Thank you for passing on some of your knowledge, and for your ready assistance. Thank you also for the photos and the list of guides; I'd been trying to remember the name of that rather good, but unusual fellow we met in Siena. No doubt because of his enthusiasm - and eccentricity - I remember Siena so well. (BH - Heritage Italy)
Participant May -15


Italy operates on Central European Time (CET) throughout the year, but it also abides by daylight saving time, typically starting from the final Sunday in March and concluding on the last Sunday in October.

When traveling on an Odyssey tour, tipping is already included, ensuring you can fully immerse yourself in the experience without worrying about gratuities. However, during your personal time or when exploring independently, it remains crucial to recognize and appropriately reward good service, mirroring the cultural norm across Europe. In restaurants, customary gratuity ranges around 10% of the total bill, whereas in more relaxed settings, offering 1 to 3 euros is customary. When purchasing beverages, it’s considered polite to round up the amount to the nearest whole figure or simply leave the change as a token of appreciation.

Internet access is readily available at most hotels and many cafes throughout Italy. However, it may be unreliable in rural areas.

Ensure you contact your cell phone provider to confirm if you can make calls and use data while in Italy. Often, providers offer daily fees to enable calls and internet usage at your regular rates. However, inform your provider of your travel plans to avoid any service interruptions due to unusual activity, similar to how a bank may flag suspicious transactions.

Odyssey provides seamless, hassle-free, and leisurely guided small group tours throughout Western Europe and other regions. Delve into Italy’s breathtaking natural landscapes, its rich Roman history, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and renowned cities, all amidst truly mesmerizing scenery. Embark on an Odyssey small group tour of Italy, meticulously crafted for senior travellers, led by knowledgeable and passionate individuals who share your enthusiasm. Unlock a journey filled with unparalleled exploration and memorable experiences.

Travelers often inquire about the essential preparations needed for their upcoming Odyssey Traveller programs. They seek advice on various aspects such as clothing, medication, and insurance to ensure a smooth journey abroad. Drawing from our extensive experience in guiding small group tours, this article aims to provide valuable insights to help you pack efficiently for your travels overseas.

Whether you are seeking small group art tours in Italy, historical and cultural exploration, scenic beauty, or culinary delights, our range of flexible Italian tours is designed to cater to your preferences. Participants on Odyssey’s Italian small group tours appreciate the company’s adaptable thinking and approach, resulting in an unforgettable experience exploring Italy alongside like-minded individuals.

Odyssey offers diverse tours to Italy that span from 12 to 26 days, catering to various preferences and durations.

Embarking on an escorted small group tour in Italy unveils a meticulously crafted itinerary that promises a rich and immersive experience. On these intimate group art tours in Italy, one can delve deep into the magnificence of Italian art. The profound influence of Italy on music, painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, philosophy, law, and politics in Western culture cannot be overstated. It serves as the bedrock upon which much of Western civilization is built. This journey through Italy offers a curated exploration of its iconic landmarks for art aficionados, opera enthusiasts, history buffs, and literary devotees alike, ensuring an unforgettable cultural odyssey.

Odyssey’s small group escorted tours of Italy present a myriad of unique experiences that go beyond the typical tourist path. From exploring ancient villages to delving into music, painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, philosophy, law, and politics, our tours promise a rich tapestry of cultural immersion. For enthusiasts of art, opera, history, and literature, these tours offer a deep dive into Italy’s most significant sights and sounds.

One of the most captivating aspects of Italian culture is its deeply-rooted food traditions, with each region boasting its own delectable specialties awaiting your discovery as you traverse the stunning Italian terrain.

Optimal times to explore Italy are during the vibrant seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), offering pleasant temperatures and a more serene ambiance with fewer visitors swarming the picturesque landscapes.

Italy is on standard time – Central European Time: UTC/GMT +1:00 hour.

Odyssey’s small group tours for seniors encompass all aspects of a comprehensive travel experience. This includes accommodation arrangements, transportation logistics, most meal provisions, entrance fees where applicable, the invaluable guidance of local experts, tipping and gratuity considerations, as well as the expertise and support of an Odyssey Tour Leader. Additionally, guests receive a detailed tour information booklet to enhance their journey. With a focus on personal attention and curated experiences, these tours cater to seniors seeking a seamless and enriching exploration of Italy.

Odyssey’s small group tours offer a diverse array of destinations that will leave you spoiled for choice. Among the perennial favorites is Florence, a city steeped in the legacies of prominent figures like poet Dante Alighieri, political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, and the influential Medici family, pivotal in sparking the Renaissance that shaped modern Italy with its enduring heritage.

Venturing on small group tours, Venice stands out as a captivating highlight. Emerging on a lagoon from the remnants of ancient Roman and Byzantine empires in the 9th century, it evolved into the paramount seaport of late medieval Europe, connecting the continent to the East. Meanwhile, Genoa to the west flourished in banking, rivalling Venice’s prominence.

Undoubtedly, Rome is a standout feature on small group tours, its allure as the Eternal City irresistible to all. Whether traveling solo or as a couple, these destinations promise to be the highlights of Odyssey’s escorted small group tours in Italy.

Italy caters to a wide range of interests on well-planned escorted small group tours with carefully curated itineraries. Embark on arts tours in small groups to immerse yourself in Italy’s artistic grandeur. The profound influence of Italy on music, painting, sculpture, literature, and more has been foundational to Western culture. Delve into the essence of Italy’s art, opera, history, and literature, experiencing some of the most significant cultural treasures the country has to offer.

Odyssey Traveller invites senior travellers on an intimate small group tour to the enchanting South of Italy, tailored for a maximum of 16 individuals. This educational journey caters to couples and solo adventurers alike, fostering connections among like-minded explorers. Departing from the beaten path, we delve into the hidden gems of the region, venturing through the lesser-known islands and southern territories of Italy.

When inquiring about must-visit destinations for tours of Italy, conventional responses typically gravitate towards illustrious cities such as Rome, the submerged marvels of Venice, or the cultural splendours of Florence, renowned as the cradle of the Renaissance. However, Italy’s allure extends far beyond its northern boundaries. Venturing southward from Rome unveils a sanctuary where crowds dissipate, and the rhythm of life adopts a more leisurely cadence. Here lies Matera with its ancient cave dwellings, the haunting remnants of Pompeii, the majestic Mount Vesuvius—an active volcano that stands as the sole one on mainland Europe, and the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.

Our expedition transcends the ordinary on the Southern Italy itinerary. Throughout this educational sojourn, you will be captivated by the rugged, dramatic landscapes that define the lower reaches of Italy’s geographical “boot.” Our journey unwraps the mysteries of the region, illuminating ancient ruins, undiscovered treasures, and the rich tapestry of Southern Italian heritage. Delving deep into history, we delve into the lasting legacies of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, Angevins, and Aragonese, seeking remnants of their historical footprint on the land. Furthermore, our itinerary features immersive wine-tasting sessions and a delectable exploration of Southern Italian gastronomy, providing a sensory feast for the discerning traveller.

For the quickest route from Italy to Greece by ferry, consider departing from the bustling port of Brindisi. Situated closest to Greece, Brindisi offers convenient connections to Igoumenitsa, boasting up to two daily ferry routes for swift and efficient travel between the two countries.

During peak seasons, particularly from Easter through the end of October, the Colosseum complex (encompassing the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill) and the Vatican Museums are notorious for their long queues, which can extend into the winter months. It is highly advisable to secure “Skip the line” tickets in advance, easily accessible through online booking on their official websites:

By doing so, visitors can bypass the queues and make the most of their time exploring these iconic sites without unnecessary delays.

Odyssey’s Northern Italy tour is a 22-day immersive experience tailored for the discerning traveller seeking enrichment and exploration.

Embark on this small group journey delving into the allure of Northern Italy, encompassing gems like the picturesque Cinque Terre villages and the majestic lakes and alps of the region. Throughout this excursion, delve into the rich historical tapestry of Northern Italy while indulging in moments of serenity to appreciate the natural wonders that abound.

A meander through the captivating lakes of Northern Italy, a perennial magnet for the elite, offers not only a glimpse into opulence but also promises a fulfilling adventure for mature couples or solo travellers seeking to bask in the region’s timeless charm.

Odyssey offers private tours at a minimum of 6 participants, please enquire here.


Odyssey traveller specialises in educational small group tours, for seniors, typically groups between 6 to 12 people, and no more than 16 travellers. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs, since 1983.

Odyssey typically includes all breakfasts and most lunches and dinners. Please see each tour’s inclusions section for more information.

During Odyssey’s tour of Northern Italy, you will explore Bologna, the vibrant food capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. Situated in the northern part of Italy, this city is renowned for originating some of the world’s most beloved ingredients and being the home of one of Italy’s finest culinary creations.

In urban hubs, Odyssey selects centrally situated 3-4 star hotels, ensuring convenient access to public transportation. In quaint villages and countryside settings, our preference leans towards family-operated hotels or cozy guesthouses. For extended tours, where the itinerary keeps you in one place throughout, we opt for comfortable serviced apartments.

Rome has thousands upon thousands of accommodation options and it can get overwhelming.

  • Campo de’ Fiori – great for first-time visitors with an easy walk to major sights.
  • Piazza di Spagna – home to luxury hotels and high-end shopping. Being close to the gardens at Villa Borghese means this area of Rome is also great for families
  • Trastevere – charming neighborhood close to the historic center known for small cobbled streets and a thriving restaurant scene
  • Colosseum  – an interesting combination of ancient sites and bohemian neighborhoods.

Colorful Trastevere is a funky, bohemian area that clings to its centuries-old, working-class roots. It’s known for traditional and innovative trattorias, craft beer pubs and artisan shops, as well as simple B&Bs and budget hotels.

Italy is part of the Schengen area with many other European countries. This means you can enter Italy without a visa in some cases.

In other situations, get a visa before you travel.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of your destination country for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

Odyssey specialises in educational small group tours tours for solo travellers or those travelling with their partner, exclusively for senior travellers, typically for groups of between 6 to 12 people, and no more than 16 travellers. Odyssey’s package holidays are tailored for the reasonably active senior traveller. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs to since 1983, not just as small group escorted tours of Australia but all around the world.

You can find all Odyssey Itlay tour itineraries, departure dates and tour costs here.

Besides food (pizza, pasta, gelato, risotto) and wine, I would talk about its archaeological sites and buildings, its spectacular natural scenery, its small, cobblestone traditional villages, its stunning architecture, friendly smiling people and fascinating ancient history.

Being Travel fit for mature and senior travellers remains an important element of enjoying a small group tour. This page shares tips about diet, solo travel, packing tips and footwear to help you plan you vacation to EuropeUnited KingdomAustralia or New Zealand for example

Catering to seasoned travelers, our carefully selected small tours in Italy are exceptional choices. With a heritage dating back to 1983, we have been providing meticulously guided small group tours across Italy. Whether you prefer a leisurely guided tour or an immersive walking expedition, each tour itinerary promises captivating narratives for our small groups. Whether you are enjoying the charm of the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy, exploring Rome’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient ruins, or delving into the history of Northern Italy while watching gondolas navigate Venetian canals, Odyssey ensures experiences that encapsulate the best small tours Italy has to offer.

Odyssey Traveller has published many articles about Italy.

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Italy

Responsible Travel Tips For Italy

  1.  Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, The more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  2. Carry a card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  3. Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  4. When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out!
  5. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  6. Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious.
  7. Check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.Before departing, make sure you have a number of euros in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

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