20 Best Italy Tours

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When you think Italy, the place that pops into mind for most people is Rome, the national capital. Italy’s population is approaching 60 million, with around 4.3 million living in Rome and most tours of Italy start there. However, Rome is just one of several cities that attract significant tourist numbers each year. Places like Venice, Florence and Naples are well-known worldwide.

Italy’s position on the Mediterranean means that summers are hot, and, spring and autumn are very pleasant. If you want to walk around its wonderful cities, you may want to choose these “shoulder seasons” to avoid the hotter days. Even in winter, the host of wonderful museums, and the great shopping in places like Milan, one of the world’s fashion capitals, appeal to visitors wanting a short break away from a cold winter.

Italy’s cuisine is now widely available worldwide. Its pasta and pizza have reached restaurant menus throughout the USA and Europe, partly due to the significant number of Italians who left their homeland for the USA. Italian wine is also highly regarded and visitors to Italy are certain to enjoy sitting down in a restaurant at night to sample the wine and cuisine. By day, there is plenty to see and do. This range of tours in Italy will give you ideas of how to spend your time. 

Italy Tours

Milan: Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket
Santa Maria delle Grazie church is a spot you’ll visit on many guided tours of Italy.
  • Vatican – Museums and Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket
  • Milan – Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket

Luxury Tours In Italy

1- Visit Romantic Capri

Boats For Tourists In The Marina Grande Harbor, Capri, Italy
Capri is a beautiful spot to explore on an Italy tour for small groups.

There have been songs and films centred on Capri off Italy’s West Coast, and they have inevitably had the theme of love and romance.

This tour involves cruising along the lovely Italian coastline with its pleasant breezes and clear warm waters during the main holiday season.

The boat holds a maximum of 12 people, a comfortable number and a chance to make new friends.

You will see the lovely Marciano Waterfall, before you head off towards the Island of Capri.

The Blue Grotto opens as the morning cruise arrives and, in any event, you will avoid queues as a rowing boat takes you inside.

Capri’s coastline has numerous highlights and of course there is time to swim and snorkel before a few hours on the Island.

Recommended tour: Sorrento: Exclusive Capri Boat Tour and Optional Blue Grotto

2- Take A Luxury Trip To Lake Como

From Milan: Lake Como and Bellagio with Private Boat Cruise
Lake Como is a fantastic place to tour in Italy.

Lake Como in Lombardy, North Italy is the deepest European lake outside Norway.

A luxury bus from Milan will transport you to the lake, famous for its shoreline villas and gardens.

Como is a place of contrasts and the day will reveal them all.

There is a walking tour in the town of Como itself with the neoclassical Villa Olmo and gardens on the route.

The next part of the tour is a cruise on the lake in a private boat to gaze on the lovely views on offer.

You will visit the village of Bellagio and the choice of another such as Varenna or in Menaggio, Cernobbio, Tremezzo or Argegno.

Each has narrow cobblestoned streets and old-world charm.

Recommended tour: From Milan: Lake Como and Bellagio with Private Boat Cruise

3- Jump Into A Ferrari

Maranello: Test Drive Ferrari 458
Driving a Ferrari 488 GTB is one of the exhilarating tours of Italy in 2023.

If you have dreamt of owning a luxury sports car, this is the next best thing; the chance to drive one.

Ferrari is an iconic Italian name, and car.

If you visit Maranello in the Province of Modena, you will be in the place where this car is manufactured.

You must have your licence with you but after that, you can decide how long you want to drive the car.

An expert will explain everything about the car and its controls before you touch the pedal and rev up the machine.

The car is capable of over 325 kilometres (200 miles/hour.

You will begin to understand what being a Formula One driver must be like, although take care.

Recommended tours:

4- Be Charmed By Coastal Villages

La Spezia: Cinque Terre Tour by Boat
Manarola in Cinque Terre is a picturesque spot to visit on one of these Italy tours.

Cinque Terre (Five Towns) is a beautiful destination in Liguria on the west coast.

The villages historically have been associated with fishing but have recently also become popular with tourists.

It is only in fairly recent times that the links between the five have been more than paths and tracks.

Aside from fishing, the region is known for its olive groves and vineyards.

You can travel from one to another by boat, starting in Riomaggiore, the most southerly of the five.

Manarola with its narrow streets and pretty square is the oldest of them while Vernazza is regarded as the most beautiful.

There is plenty of free time during the day.

Recommended tours:

5- Soar Over Florence & Tuscany

Florence: Balloon Flight Over Tuscany
Tuscany is the most popular place to go when planning Italy wine tours.

A hot air balloon flight from Florence over the hills, forests and vineyards of Tuscany is a real delight.

It depends upon the weather but the climate in general is good.

You arrive as the balloon is being inflated.

After final checks and a safety talk, it is time to get on board and soar into the skies.

You will reach an altitude of up to 2,000 feet (600 metres, gliding over valleys and castles and getting panoramic views all across the region.

The breeze dictates the route the balloon will take.

There is champagne and breakfast on landing.

Recommended tour: Florence: Balloon Flight Over Tuscany

Sailing Tours

6- Enjoy The Best Of Sicily

Sicily on the southern tip of the Italian mainland has its very own feel.

You can take a cruise around its Aeolian Islands to see Capo Milazzese, Cala Degli Zimmari and Saint Vincent’s Square before seeing the lovely sunset at the end of the day.

Milazzo is the starting point as you head to the smallest of the islands, Panarea, where you will enjoy its historic heart, a place which has always attracted Italy’s rich and famous.

The village of Capo Milazzese followed by Cala Junco Bay with its lovely beach.

From Panarea it is on to the island of Stromboli with its active volcano.

Saint Vincent’s Square and the house in which Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman lived while making the film “Stromboli terra di Dio” (Stromboli land of God).

Your return is as the sun sets in this beautiful region.

Recommended tour: From Milazzo: Panarea and Stromboli Boat Trip by Night

7- Cruise Off The Sorrento Coast

The Sorrento Coast and the island of Capri on Italy’s west coast offers plenty for the tourist to enjoy.

That includes the Gulf of Naples, and the iconic Mount Vesuvius.

You will get a commentary as you sail, while exploring the grottos on the journey and gazing at the Natural Arch and Curzio Malaparte Villa.

Faraglioni Lighthouse is a well-known landmark and there is the opportunity to swim if that has been your choice.

Limoncello, the Italian lemon liqueur, is something that the region has always produced so give it a try.

The trip lasts for up to five hours and you are certain to return refreshed.

Recommended tour: From Sorrento: Coast and Capri Boat Trip with Limoncello

8- Relax Off Syracusa

Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto
Exploring Siracusa Province is one of the lovely tours in Italy.

Syracusa is a city on Sicily famous for its historic ruins which can be seen from a different perspective; as you sail out to Ortigia.

Leaving Siracusa, passing under the Umbertino bridge, the whole port, numerous luxury yachts, the cathedral dome and Arethusa Fountain are all part of the setting.

Along the way northwards, you will also see Maniace Castle and a series of caves before getting the chance to swim.

Fruit and juices are on board to enjoy as you enter a number of memorable caves including the Cave of Love in the shape of a heart.

You will certainly be able to take many memorable photos on this trip out to sea.

Recommended tour: Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

9- Explore The Pelagos Sanctuary

The extensive Pelagos Sanctuary is a wonderful region that borders France, mainland Italy and two places in the Italian Island of Sardinia.

You may not have heard the word, “cetacean” before but it is the family that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises which live in the sanctuary.

You can take to the seas and look for these beautiful mammals.

You will be far out at sea with no guarantees but plenty of expectation.

The trip is around 4 hours and you will have an experienced naturalist with you are you seek out life.

Common, Bottlenose, Risso’s and Striped Dolphin swim in these waters, as do Fin, Sperm Pilot and Beaked Whales.

Recommended tour: Savona: Pelagos Sanctuary Wildlife Cruise with Guide

Walking Tours

10- Learn More About Pompeii

World-famous Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius attract huge numbers of tourists each year and this guided tour from either Naples or Sorrento takes in both.

Just one of the huge advantages of taking such a trip is that you will not have to join any queues.

There are several highlights and they include the panoramic view of the Bay of Naples from the summit of Vesuvius which erupted in 79 AD.

Pompeii of course is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will soon see why; well-preserved ruins, art, mosaics and frescoes.

The Roman Forum and Temple of Apollo are wonderful examples of ancient ruins and after lunch it is time for Vesuvius.

You do not need to climb all of it; a vehicle takes you to half an hour from the summit then it is up to you.

Recommended tour: Naples or Sorrento: Full-Day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour

11- Walk Around Ancient Rome

Rome: Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum Guided Tour
Palatine Hill in Rome is one of the most popular Italy tour tickets.

Ancient cities a fairly small area.

That certainly applies to Rome whose empire dominated a huge part of the western world centuries ago.

There is plenty to see even today in what was that iconic city and a guided tour is a great way to do it because an experienced guide will provide a huge amount of information as you walk.

What better place to start than the Colosseum where gladiators fought to the amusement of the emperor and the citizens of Rome.

From there it is on to the Arch of Constantine along the Via Sacra to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.

The Basilica of Maxentius, the Temple of Romulus and the House of the Vestal Virgins are all on the route you will take.

Recommended tour: Rome: Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum Guided Tour

12- Hike Mount Etna

Mount Etna: Guided Volcano Summit Hiking Tour with Cable Car
One of the fun adventure tours in Italy is exploring Mount Etna volcano.

The favourite trail for hikers in Sicily is to climb up Mount Etna to see the volcanic craters close up.

You should take a guide, no matter how experienced you are because this is Europe’s highest volcano at around 3,000 metres (just short of 10,000 feet).

You can take the cable car for much of the altitude before you reach the point where the panoramic views are stunning.

There are several craters including the one that erupted early this century.

The walk uphill takes around 1.5 hours with the Barbagallo Craters the highest point you will reach.

Your descent is along the same route before you take the cable car back down.

Recommended tour: Mount Etna: Guided Volcano Summit Hiking Tour with Cable Car

13- See The Best of Venice

Venice: Highlights Tour, St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace
Venice is a charming destination when choosing tours of Italy.

Venice was a hugely powerful city state centuries ago and its sailors travelled throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.

They conquered as well as traded and within today’s city there are significant landmarks where you can see how its wealth shaped the city.

The Basilica of St. Mark and the Doge’s Palace are the most famous landmarks to visit and taking a tour guarantees you will not have to queue even on the busiest days.

In St. Mark’s Square you will see the Clock Tower and Marble Lions before you go into the Basilica with its stunning interior.

The Gothic Doge’s Palace was the seat of the Venetian Government and it dates back to the 14th century.

Aside from the landmarks, you can explore the Correr and National Archaeological Museums as well as the Biblioteca Marciana.

Recommended tours:

Food Tours

Parma: Parmigiano Production and Parma Ham Tour & Tasting
Visiting a Parmigiano cheese factory is one of the experiences you’ll love when choosing one of these Italy food tours.

14- Sample Italy’s Finest Chianti

If you visit the lovely Renaissance city of Florence, you might like to enjoy something else in the region, its Chianti, one of Italy’s most popular wines.

Wineries are happy to entertain visitors and this tour involves hearing more about the process of creating the wine from grape to bottling, and of course sampling the product.

“Chianti Classico” has a worldwide reputation and your first sampling sees you taste 4 different wines.

Snacks accompany the tastings; local cheeses, meats, olive oil and bread.

There are some lovely settings on the way to the first winery and then before the second.

Here there are three more wines to taste and you are welcome to buy at either winery before you make your way back to Florence.

Recommended tour: Florence: Chianti Wineries Tour with Food and Wine Tasting

15- Eat With A Family In Rome

Food is an extremely important element in Italian family life.

This is your chance to join a family near Rome to learn more about why food is so important.

Jump on a train to go to Frascati, often called “the City of Wine” and join a family whose roots are in wine.

Two of their wines with local meats and cheeses start the experience before you don an apron to make pasta.

There is more wine as you eat your pasta in a traditional sauce.

Recommended tour: Frascati: Homemade Italian Cooking Class & Wine tasting

16- Savour Italian Cheese & Wine

Italian cuisine is wonderful and if you book a private tour of Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto factories you will have the chance to learn more of its great produce.

The tour has an early start because cheese makers start early, pulling their cheese out of the milk vats.

They have been doing that in Parma Province in Northern Italy for many centuries.

Next, it is off to the hills of Langhirano or Felino, home to Prosciutto di Parma Ham, equally as famous.

You will learn how it is made, choosing the best meat and see where it is salted, then stored.

At both places, you will get to taste, and buy if you wish.

Recommended tour: Parma: Parmigiano Production and Parma Ham Tour & Tasting

17- Learn To Make Pizza or Pasta

These days, pizza is found on restaurant menus all over the world.

It was the Italians who first made it and Italian migration was one of the main reasons why it spread.

Well, this is your chance to make it the Italian way at a cookery class.

You will learn the process from the very start, using the best olive oil and mozzarella.

Different toppings are used and of course there is a glass of wine to drink as you eat the pizza made in the traditional Neapolitan style.

Better still; there is tiramisu for dessert.

Recommended tours:

Other Tours In Italy

18- Walk Around Padua

The Northern Italian city of Padua is home to the largest square in the whole of the country.

It is rich in history and its university dates back to the 13th century.

An experienced guide will lead you on foot to such attractions as the beautiful 14th century art in the Scrovegni Chapel, the Cathedral of Padua as well as Palazzo della Ragione.

This is a mediaeval market hall which is a real splash of colour.

Padua’s main squares are also on the itinerary; the Piazzas delle Erbe, della Frutta and della Signoria.

Recommended tour: Padua: Private City Walking Tour & Scrovegni’s Chapel Visit

19- Head To The Heart of Catholicism

Staircase Of Bramante At The Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum is one of the top spots on an Italy tour in 2023.

The Vatican is one of the holiest sites in the whole of Christendom.

This guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St.

Peter’s Basilica is hugely popular.

If you take a tour, you will avoid all the queues of which there are plenty.

You begin by visiting the Pine and Belvedere Courtyards before reaching the Gallery of the Maps and the Candelabra Gallery.

The Pio Clementino’s Rooms follow before the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms and the iconic Sistine Chapel.

An expert guide is invaluable in your seeing some lesser-known attractions.

Michelangelo’s Pietà at St. Peter’s Basilica is the final highlight before you finish.

Recommended tour: Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

20- Admire Real Art

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the prominent masters of the Renaissance and his painting of the Last Supper is a true masterpiece.

You can see it on a guided tour where you will learn much more about the artist and his paintings.

UNESCO has recognised The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Refectory with the Last Supper as World Heritage Sites and did so in 1980.

They formed part of a Dominican monastic complex and the wall paintings there done during the Renaissance are spectacular.

You will remember them long after you leave Milan.

Recommended tour: Milan: Da Vinci’s Last Supper Guided Tour

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Steve Smith is a widely travelled man who has lived on the South West Coast of Turkey since 2008. He hails from North East England where he lived most of his life but has been to every continent of the world, with a particular love for Southern Africa and its wildlife. He lists Argentina, India, and Vietnam as other favourite places that he enjoyed greatly while sport is also a passion, cricket and golf as a participant, rugby union and soccer as a spectator.