Small group cultural vacation to Italy

“Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples, this two week overland tour of Italy is all about the cultural sightseeing with Lake Como and the Amalfi coast adding to the natural attraction.”


Venice | Verona | Varenna | Lake Como | Bellagio | Levanto | Florence | Pisa | Lucca | Umbria | Assisi | Rome | Naples | Optional activities include: walks to Mount Vesuvius and visits to Sorrento, Capri or Amalfi |

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04 Jun 2017
US $ 2675
excluding flights
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27 Aug 2017
US $ 2675
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Aug 2017 departure
24 Sep 2017
US $ 2675
excluding flights
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15 Oct 2017
US $ 2675
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Oct 2017 departure
03 Jun 2018
US $ 2755
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Jun 2018 departure
26 Aug 2018
US $ 2755
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Aug 2018 departure
23 Sep 2018
US $ 2755
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Sep 2018 departure
14 Oct 2018
US $ 2755
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Oct 2018 departure
Our top tip:
Pack light as you will be transporting your luggage from train stations to accommodation. Also, plan your free days in advance and reserve tickets to attractions to ensure you don't spend all day in a queue.
Trip type:
Small group. Avg 12. Min age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Gentle walks, boat trips, train rides and sightseeing.
14 nights guesthouses and 2/3-star hotels with en-suite facilities.
Accommodation, transport, listed activities and entrance fees, and tour leader throughout.
All breakfasts.
Single travelers welcome. Solo room supplements apply.
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Small group cultural vacation to Italy

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Leaders & local suppliers
On this trip we stay in locally-run hotels and eat in small restaurants offering delicious homemade food. We also spend 2 nights in a family-run agriturismo, where picnic lunches on the trip are bought fresh at local stores and markets, helping to support the local economy and ensuring that our clients sample the local delicacies, a highlight of any trip to Italy.

We use local leaders, trained in responsible tourism so they can educate visitors on the best ways to recycle and help reduce their carbon footprint. Using local trains throughout benefits the local economy and ensures a very real experience of traveling from top to bottom of this incredible country.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

Reviews of Small group cultural vacation to Italy

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 15 Oct 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Pompeii and the statues in the Museo Cappella Sansevero - amazing

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

TRAVEL LIGHT - we were told INCORRECTLY that we would have help with luggage. You
transport all luggage and lift it on and off trains and luggage racks.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not really.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Good memories

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