The 9 Best Italy Tours of 2020

Choose the perfect itinerary for your Mediterranean escape

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The Rundown

01 of 09

Best Comprehensive Tour: 10-Night Italy Tour

10-Night Italy Tour

This extensive tour begins and ends in the bustling city of Rome, and visits many of Italy’s most exciting and vibrant cities over the course of ten days. Combining guided excursions with ample free time, it allows travelers plenty of freedom while taking the guesswork out of planning an itinerary. Excursions include visits to the charming hilltop town of Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis, a food-focused visit to the beautiful city of Bologna (home of spaghetti bolognese) and the small winemaking town of Montepulciano. It also stops at Vatican City, Pompeii, the island of Capri, and so much more. Overnight stays in three- and four-star hotels in Rome, Florence, Venice, and Sorrento are included in the tour’s price, as is a comfortable transport coach, many meals, and entrance fees to several museums and archaeological sights.

02 of 09

Best Northern Italy Tour: 4-Day Italian Lakes Tour from Milan

Lake Como
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If a low-key, relaxing tour with plenty to see but minimal hustle-bustle is your goal, consider this four-day tour of Northern Italy’s Lake District. The tour begins in handsome Milan and, via air-conditioned coach, visits five of the region’s most beautiful lakes — Como, Maggiore, Garda, Iseo, and Orta — and the charming towns that nestle into their shores. You’ll visit the Borromean islands by private boat, visit the medieval town of Bergamo, visit an ancient Roman spa in Sirmione, and stroll the streets of Verona, the fabled home of Shakespeare’s most famous fictional (or were they?) couple. A tour guide will navigate you through several major attractions in each place, but there’s also plenty of free time for strolling. Accommodations and breakfast in centrally-located hotels for three nights are included in the price.

03 of 09

Best Southern Italy Tour: 10-Night Sorrento Coast and Sicily Tour from Rome

Sorrento Coast
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Italy’s sunny South and the beautiful island of Sicily beckon to travelers seeking archaeological sights, beautiful coastal villages, and food, food, food. This 10-day excursion offers guided tours of many of the region’s most beautiful places. It also leaves ample time for personal exploration in some of its most fascinating towns and cities — and their ristorantes. Departing from Rome, where guests have a full day to explore the city, the tour first heads to Naples for an old town tour, and then to the famous volcanic ruins of Pompeii. In the following days, visitors take a boat to the island of Capri, the city of Sorrento, and then to Sicily on a comfortable overnight ferry. The next five days are spent exploring every facet of this intriguing, ancient place: the charming city of Palermo, the labyrinthine medieval town of Erice, the ancient Greek monuments near Agrigento, the foothills of Mount Etna, filming locations from The Godfather, and much more. The tour includes transport on an air-conditioned coach, 10 nights of hotel accommodation in three- or four-star hotels, and many meals.

04 of 09

Best Famous Cities Tour: 4-Day Italy from Rome

Florence Duomo
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If you want to hit the hot spots of Italy’s most famous Renaissance-era cities, but don’t have a ton of time in which to do it, this four-day tour is just the thing. You’ll begin in Rome, from where you’ll head to Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa (optional), Padua, and Venice, stopping to visit Renaissance masterpieces like the Giotto Frescoes in the Basilica of St. Francis, Cimabue’s famous crucifix, Donatello’s equestrian statue at the Cathedral of Saint Anthony, and the famous bridges of Venice. The final day of the trip includes a boat tour to Murano island, where visitors can participate in a glass-blowing demonstration and enjoy free time for shopping and strolling. The tour includes coach transport with live commentary, many meals, and three nights in a three- or four-star hotel.

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05 of 09

Best Short Getaway: 2-Night Cinque Terre Tour from Florence

Cinque Terre

Whether you want to include a short getaway as part of a longer visit, or just get the most out of a quick trip, consider this delightful two-night tour that departs from Florence and visits the stunning coast of Liguria, home to the colorful villages known as the Cinque Terre. Via air-conditioned coach, local train, and boat, you’ll make stops in the towns of Manarola, Riomaggiore, Monterosso, La Spezia and gorgeous Santa Margherita, where you’ll stay for two nights in a three- or four-star centrally-located hotel. During your trip, you’ll have opportunities to swim in the crystal blue ocean, stroll around the resort of Portofino and take in long, leisurely meals featuring local delicacies like pasta with pesto. It’s a quick trip, but a lovely one.

06 of 09

Best One-Day Tour: Small-Group Tour - Tuscany Wine Tour Siena and San Gimignano

San Gimignano
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Visitors to Rome often want to see the nearby Tuscan countryside and taste some of its famous wines, but the hassle of renting a car and logistics of driving yourself can take some of the fun out of it. Instead, try this one-day tour which zips you out of the city in an air-conditioned minivan to the stunning rolling hills of Tuscany. You’ll take a walking tour through the medieval “city of the hundred towers,” San Gimignano, and enjoy a tour and tasting at a Chianti wine estate there, as well as a lengthy gourmet lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll visit Siena, famous for its wine, its medieval town square Piazza del Campo, and its locally-produced sweet treats. At the end of the day, you’ll ride in comfort back to Rome, heart and belly full.

07 of 09

Best Self-Guided Tour: 7-Day Abruzzo Self-Guided Tour

Abruzzo Tour

Perhaps you’re looking for the convenience of having your tour itinerary planned (or at least suggested) for you, but you’re not particularly interested in sharing a motorcoach with a bunch of other people. This option might just be the perfect one for you. This seven-day tour of rustic, largely-untouristed Abruzzo, on the Eastern coast of Italy, with the Adriatic Sea to one side and the Appenines on the other, gives you a thorough suggested itinerary (with alternatives at the ready) and lets you shift it as you desire. The tour includes accommodations in small inns and villas, as well as a rental car with roadside assistance and insurance. There aren’t really any major sights in Abruzzo, but it’s full of rural vistas and tiny medieval villages, thus your suggested itinerary will be full of places you’ve likely never heard of — Fontecchio, Civitella del Tronto, Penne and Calasco, to name a few — but once you’ve visited, you’ll never forget.

08 of 09

Best Bike Tour: 2-Day Small-Group Tuscany Bike Tour to Siena from Florence

Palazzo Publico Siena
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If you love a pleasant bike ride through the countryside, imagine doing so through one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world: Tuscany’s Chianti. Gently rolling hills covered with vineyards and olive groves, charming medieval hill towns, and romantic remote villas as far as the eye can see — it’s an unparalleled view and the open air is an amazing way to take it all in. The guided tour rides about 20 miles on each of the two days, with an air-conditioned minivan covering a few miles of transport where necessary (and toting your luggage). It includes a stop at a vineyard, an olive oil producer, a traditional charcuterie, and a few charming small villages, including the home of Italy’s famous cycling event, L’Eroica. Use of a bike and helmet are included, as are overnight accommodations at a country villa, and lunch and dinner on day one and breakfast and lunch on day two.

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09 of 09

Best Tour for Young Adults: 4-Day Small-Group Tour - Rome to Amalfi Coast

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This budget tour is designed specifically for adventurous travelers from 18 to 30-something years old. You’ll be headquartered in a camping village in Sorrento, where you’ll share a basic three-bedroom cabin with other travelers from your small group (maximum number: 16). Meals and drinks are at your own expense, giving you the freedom to budget how you’d like, but lots of things are included: transportation via minibus from Rome to Sorrento and back, a day trip to Pompeii, a guided walking tour of Sorrento, a limoncello-making demonstration and tasting, a boat cruise out to the island of Capri, a full-day boat tour with stops along the Amalfi Coast, and a guided tour of Naples. It’s a great, low-cost way to see the region with lots of freedom to explore on your own.

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