22 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 2 - Introductory to Moderate
Activity

Heritage, culture, history of Italy, group tours for mature travellers

Heritage, culture, history of Italy, group tours for mature travellers. A popular 22-day small group tour of Italy for mature travellers that explores the rich history of Italian life and culture. Beginning and ending in Rome.

A History of Italy

This small group t0ur of Italy examines the heritage, culture, history of this country. This tour relies on knowledgable  local guides to share their learnings on the culture and heritage of Italy. The program leader and the local guides are all passionate about the places they are leading the group. They are delighted to share their enthusiasm with you.

Heritage, culture, history of Italy, small group tour, takes you from the eternal city of Rome into the rolling terracotta countryside of Tuscany with its hilltop towns and on to the olive-clad slopes of the Paduan Hills. We stay in the green and craggy landscape of Umbria and spend 5 days at Castelammare di Stabbio on the Bay of Naples where we have the chance to view the breathtaking scenery of the Amalfi Coast with its whitewashed villages tumble into azure blue seas.

Highlights

Our fully escorted small group tour of Italy features guided walks through the best of the Italian countryside. We also take in many of Italy’s major cities. These include the Renaissance excesses of Florence, Pisa, and Lucca. We also visit the Umbrian medieval cities of Perugia, Gubbio, and St Francis' Assisi. In the north of Italy, we visit the ancient university seats of Verona and Padua. Later on, we take in the stunningly beautiful Venice. Meanwhile, in the south, we visit the spectacularly cosmopolitan city of Naples, the Roman remains of Pompeii and the island retreat of Capri.

As a small group tour of Italy it is perfect for the mature single traveller or couple seeking to learn about this collection of principalities  while enjoying its many splendours.

Odyssey Traveller Australia offers both a long and short tour version of this tour. Heritage, culture, history of Italy, group tours for mature travellers is just one of some 8 programs Odyssey offers to the traveller looking to see, feel and learn about this country.

To prepare for the trip, check out our blog post listing 10 great books to read before travelling Italy!

For more details about this tour from Odyssey Traveller Australia  or other small group tours of Italy offered, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Absorb the wonders of the Veneto region, from the canals of Venice to the 800 year old University of Padua where Galileo lectured.
2
Trace the hub of Europe’s greatest empire through the fascinating Roman Forum, Colisseum, and Vatican Basilica.
3
See the treasures of Tuscany, including the Florence of Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Donatello.
4
Learn about the Franciscan religious order while visiting the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, Umbria.
5
Explore Campania, see the earliest Greek settlement of Cuma, and marvel at the Roman ruins of Pompeii.

Overview: Upon arrival in Rome we will come individually to the hotel. In the evening we will walk to a local restaurant for a briefing on the tour and dinner.

Founded by the Etruscans, Rome became the centre of Europe’s greatest empire and one of the world’s great religions. It still offers an astonishing array of outstanding sights, from the Roman Forum and Colosseum, to the great Vatican Basilica of St. Peter. The city is full of rich churches, monuments, and museums. Rome is a city in which a phenomenal concentration of history, legend, and icons co-exist with the hustle and bustle of its 4 million inhabitants.

Accommodation: 2 nights at Porta Maggiore Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will enjoy a morning city tour and learn more about the culture and history of the people of Italy. The afternoon is free to explore the city on our own.

Accommodation: Porta Maggiore Hotel or similar.

Overview: This morning we travel to Castellamare di Stabia near Naples, which is associated with the Etruscans and the Greeks. On the way we will pause in Cassino for a visit to the Abby. After we have lunch individually, we will continue on a guided tour of the preserved Roman city of Herculaneum, before arriving at our hotel in Castellamaare di Stabia in time for dinner.

Accommodation: 5 nights at Vesuvian Institute or similar.

Overview: Today we will learn about Italy’s earliest Greek settlement, Cuma, where we will visit the Cave of Cumean Sybil. We will have time to explore the archaeological site before getting lunch individually and enjoying the afternoon at leisure.

Accommodation: Vesuvian Institute or similar.

Overview: This morning we will visit Pompeii with our local specialist guide and have a tour of the archaeological site. This region experienced a period of great prosperity under Roman leadership, as can be seen in the superb remains at Pompeii and Herculaneum. We discover the rich Roman heritage as we visit the excavated site of Pompeii, then we will transfer to Naples where we have lunch individually before having a guided tour of the main sights of the city. We visit the National Archaeological Museum and then enjoy some free time to explore the city on our own. We also visit the city of Naples and experience the awesomely stunning coastal scenery of the Amalfi Riviera where beautiful villages such as Positano and Amalfi cling to the dramatic rocks above the Gulf of Salerno. We return to the hotel in the evening in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Vesuvian Institute or similar.

Overview: This morning we will travel to Paestrum and visit its archaeological site with our specialist guide. We will see the remains of superb Greek Temples. We will return to Castellamare di Stabia and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Accommodation: Vesuvian Institute or similar.

Overview: This morning we drive the Amalfi Coast, pausing at some of the beautiful villages clinging to the rocks. We will meet our local guide and board the fast ferry from Sorrento across to Capri. We will learn about the Roman era as we visit Capri, from where Tiberius ruled the Empire.

We will visit the Blue Grotto before taking the funicular to the town of Capri, where we have a walking tour. We will transfer to Anacapri for another walking tour prior to taking the fast ferry back to the mainland. Lunch today is at our own arrangements on Capri and dinner is back at our accommodation.

Accommodation: Vesuvian Institute or similar.

Overview: Today we will leave the Bay of Naples for Assisi. En route we will visit the magnificently opulent Palazzo Reale at Caserta, a Versailles style palace built for Bourbon King Charles III, and pause at the Etruscan city of Orvieto, with its impressive cathedral. Lunch will be at our own arrangements and dinner will be at our hotel in Assisi.

Long dismissed as Tuscany’s “gentler sister,” Umbria has recently emerged from the shadow of its better-known western neighbour. Forming an expanse of gentle pastoral countryside and high mountain wilderness of oak woods and ice-clear streams, the picturesque region has been dubbed the “Green Heart of Italy.” It is a strikingly beautiful area with a profusion of fine historic hill-towns, such as Perugia, the region’s capital, Gubbio, Todi, and Spoletto. The region also boasts some fine Roman remains and some of Italy’s oldest churches. Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, contains the Basilica di San Francesco, frescoed in part by Giotto and Orvieto, magnificently situated on a volcanic crag.

Accommodation: 3 nights at Casa Leonori or Domus Pacis.

Overview: Today we will meet our local guide for a morning walking tour of Assisi including a visit to the Basilica. In the afternoon we travel to Spoleto for lunch at our own arrangements and enjoy some time to explore this former Roman colony at leisure.

Accommodation: Casa Leonori or Domus Pacis.

Overview: This morning we will visit Gubbio and have time to explore the town on our own on its vibrant market day. We then transfer through to the university town of Perugia for lunch at our own arrangements, followed by a guided tour of the main sights of the city.

Accommodation: Casa Leonori or Domus Pacis.

Overview: Today we will leave Assisi and head north to Padua. En route to Veneto we will pause in Europe’s oldest and scenically located republic, San Marino. We will also see Ravenna, site of Dante’s tomb. Ravenna is renowned for its Byzantine mosaics. We will arrive in Padua in time for dinner at our hotel.

The Veneto is a region of great diversity, from the foothills of the Dolomites to the flat marshlands of the Venetian lagoon. It is a fertile land where many crops are raised on silt deposits. The Romans built their frontier posts here and many of these, such as Vicenza, Padua, and Verona survive to this day. Strategically placed at the hub of the empire’s road network, these cities prospered under Roman rule but suffered under the subsequent Germanic invasions. It was only with the rise of the Venetian Empire that the region’s fortunes revived. The medieval cities of the Veneto were located on important trade routes and the consequent wealth gained is reflected in Renaissance palaces and fine Palladian villas.

Accommodation: 5 nights at Hotel Casa del Pellegrino or similar.

Overview: This morning we will meet our local guide and visit the highlights of Padua, including its impressive Basilica and Scrovegni Chapel. Lunch is at our own arrangements and the afternoon is free to explore at leisure.

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar.

Overview: Today we will explore Venice. We take the Vaporetto to transfer to Piazza San Marco where we meet our local guide for a walking tour, including visits to St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this fantastic city. We will come individually to Piazzale Romana to board the Vaporetto back to the mainland and transfer to Padua. Dinner will be at our hotel.

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar.

Overview: We will spend this morning exploring Bassano del Grappa before transferring to Marostica to have lunch individually and enjoy some free time to explore.

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar.

Overview: Today we will travel to Vicenza and our local guide will lead us on a walking tour to explore the sights of the city including the Teatro Olimpico. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the city on our own before we return to our hotel in Padua.

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar.

Overview: En route to Florence we will pause in the city of Verona with its fascinating Roman remains and “Romeo & Juliet” balcony, and enjoy a guided walking tour. We arrive in Florence in the evening for dinner at a local restaurant nearby our hotel.

Renowned for its art, history and evocative landscape, Tuscany is a region where the past and present merge in pleasant harmony. Hill-towns gaze across the countryside from on high, many circled by Etruscan walls and slender cypress trees, olive groves, or vineyards. Handsome palaces testify to the region’s wealth, while medieval town halls indicate a long-standing tradition of self-government.

Accommodation: 5 nights at Casa per Ferie Madonna del Rosario or similar.

Overview: This morning we will explore the remarkable city of Florence with our local guide. We will visit the Duomo, including the Baptistery, and also the Accademia. Lunch will be at our own arrangements and in the afternoon we will explore the Uffizi gallery on our own.

Accommodation: Casa per Ferie Madonna del Rosario or similar.

Overview: This morning we will view the ancient Roman colony of Lucca, with its fine medieval streets. This afternoon, after lunch at our own arrangements, we will explore the city of Pisa with its infamous leaning tower. Our guided tour includes entrances to the Duomo, Baptistery, and Campo Santo. We will return to Florence in the evening for dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Casa per Ferie Madonna del Rosario or similar.

Overview: Today we will have a guided walking tour of medieval Siena and view the main sights of the city. The remainder of the day will be at leisure in Florence.

Accommodation: Casa per Ferie Madonna del Rosario or similar.

Overview: We spend today in the Tuscan countryside as we visit the hilltop village of San Gimigniano with its 13 medieval towers. After lunch at our own arrangements, we visit the Etruscan city of Volterra before returning to Florence.

Accommodation: Casa per Ferie Madonna del Rosario or similar.

Overview: En route to Rome we will visit Arezzo, whose 13th century church of San Francesco houses one of Italy’s greatest fresco cycles, and pause in the model Renaissance town of Pienza. Tonight we enjoy farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: 1 night at Porta Maggiore Hotel or similar.

Overview: Our tour will conclude after breakfast.

What’s included in our Tour

  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • 21 nights accommodation.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Service charges and gratuities.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.
  • 21 breakfasts and 10 dinners.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Any international or domestic flights.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Airport transfers.
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Heritage, culture, history of Italy, cobblestone street Rome
Roman ruins, Rome, Italy
View from Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy
Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy - Heritage Italy

Tour Reviews

July 4, 2016

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)

July 8, 2016

• 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)

July 8, 2016

• 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)

April 6, 2017

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.

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