Lakes, Sea, Culture & Culinary
Join us on this 11 day adventure
Offering some of the best of Italy!
Offering some of the best of Italy!
We are adding departures for Fall 2021 and Spring of 2021
Email us here
Email us here
Welcome to Lake Como. Join us in the garden of the hotel as we welcome you with a glass of local wine and toast each other. Afterwards we will have an orientation walk of the beautiful town of Varenna and have a stop at Villa Monastero and its botanic gardens- home to thousands of rare species of plants. Join us for a short walk to our first dinner together near the shores of Lake Como.
Welcome drink/ Tour of the Botanical Gardens at Villa Monastero and the town of Varenna/ Dinner/Overnight Lake Como-Varenna.
We will spend the day on the lake as we travel across to the town of Lenno and visit Villa Balbianello built in 1787, and take a tour of its breathtaking gardens before and partaking in the lake views. We continue our tour of the lake as we boat to the famous town of Bellagio, where you can have lunch in any one of the cafes the town has on offer. Then you can take your time to wander the streets of Bellagio. We will return to Varenna in the afternoon where dinner will be on your own with plenty of recommendations from us.
Breakfast/ Ferry to Lenno and Villa Balbianello/ Ferry to the town of Bellagio/ Overnight Lake Como-Varenna.
We are off in the morning to Cinque Terre by train. Cinque Terre, or five lands is made up of five villages that line the rugged coast located in a national park preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our destination is the lovely town of Monterosso. After checking in, we will have a walk down to the shore where you can put your feet in and soak up the exquisite scenery. In the afternoon we will ride the train together to Vernazza for our tour of this small beautiful town. If you want to, you can walk the 2+ hours back to Monterosso, along the Cinque Terre National Park trail, or take the train back. Either way, join us for dinner back in Monterosso. Afterwards we will join the evening passeggiatta as we stroll just like the Italians do!
Monterosso/Breakfast/Train to Cinque Terre/ Walk/ dinner together/ UNESCO World Heritage Site/ Overnight Monterosso.
We are off to Riomaggiore and the national park of Cinque Terre. Be sure to pack some walking shoes as we will use the train and our own feet to navigate to this town. We will take our time to sit and feel the beauty of this area. The afternoon is yours to do whatever you want, take the train back up and stop at other towns along the line or grab an umbrella down at the beach and chill the rest of the afternoon.
Dinner on your own with plenty of recommendations from us.
Monterosso/Breakfast/Train to Cinque Terre/ Walk/ UNESCO World Heritage Site/ Overnight Monterosso.
We are off to Pisa this morning and the Piazza dei Miracoli (UNESCO World Heritage Site) Here we will visit the cathedral and if you want you can climb the iconic leaning tower now open to visitors after restoration. Join us as we have an al fresco lunch on the green in Pisa.
In the afternoon, we will head to Lucca where you will have time to see this historic and beautiful city.
We end our day in Florence at the Fiore di Firenze a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner on your own with plenty of recommendations from us.
Breakfast/ Tour of Pisa/ Lunch together/visit to Lucca/UNESCO World Heritage Site/Overnight Florence.
We will do our tour of Florence including climbing the tower and visiting the Duomo (Cathedral) if you like. We will continue our walking tour of Florence through the heart of the historic district and down to the Ponte del Vecchio.
The afternoon is yours for visiting one of the world famous museums -the Accademia or the Uffizi or one of the many churches that Florence has on offer. Of course there is shopping at the world famous markets where leather goods abound.
Breakfast/ Campiello Tower and Duomo Visit /Dinner on Own/ UNESCO World Heritage Site/ Overnight Florence.
This morning we leave for Tuscany. We will have a stop at a small quaint Tuscan town where you can shop for Chianti and afterwards leave for our hotel in the heart of Tuscany. We will be staying at a beautiful working farm where we will tour their wine making facilities.
In the afternoon, we will offer a ride into San Gimignano where you can see the town and climb one of the towers. Join us later in the evening as we enjoy an outstanding Tuscan meal together.
Breakfast/ Visit to local Tuscan town/Visit to San Gimignano/ Homemade Tuscan dinner at a working farm/UNESCO World Heritage Site (San Gimignano)/ Overnight San Donato (San Gimignano region)
Sometimes, the best part of any vacation is a little 'down time'. This morning is yours to wander the countryside or sit by the pool. After you have rested, please join us in the cellar of the farm where we will tour their facilities and taste test their wine.
Later, we will have our lesson in traditional Tuscan cooking. After our lesson we will dine on what we have made along with wine pairings from their own wine.
Breakfast/ UNESCO World Heritage Site/ lunch on own / Pool time/Wine tasting/ Wine tour/ Cooking lesson with dinner together /Overnight San Donato (San Gimignano region)
We are off to the beautiful city of Siena. Home to the twice year Palio (horse racing), we will visit the Church of St. Catherine, before walking across town to the Siena Duomo.
We will leave in the afternoon for our trip to Rome where, after checking in, we will walk from the Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon and end at the Piazza Navonne before breaking for dinner on your own.
Breakfast/ Visit to Siena / walk of Rome/UNESCO World Heritage Site (Historic Center of Siena)/ overnight Rome.
Day Ten -
We are up early for our tour of the Coliseum, and the Forum, some of the most iconic sites in all of Italy. In the afternoon, you can tour the Vatican and St. Peter's on your own if you like.
We will be on hand to help you with getting the most out of your time in Rome. Join us in the evening as we have our farewell dinner together!
Breakfast/ Colosseum and Forum/UNESCO World Heritage Site/ Help with additional time in Rome/ Farewell Dinner.
What you get with this tour:
- Lake Como
- Villa Balbianello Garden Tour
- The town of Bellagio
- Boat ride on Lake Como
- The villages of Cinque Terre
- Hiking & train ride in the National Park of Cinque Terre
- Highlight walk of Florence
- Florence & the Duomo and Bell Tower
- Cooking lesson- Tuscany
- Pisa and the Leaning Tower
- San Gimignano
- Medieval Tuscan Village & Winery of San Donato
- Stay at a working Tuscan farm and winery
- Hill-top town of Siena
- Rome & highlight walk of Rome
- The Coliseum and the Forum
- Six UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Hotels right where the action is but still in a quiet area
- A choice of white wine or red wine with each meal
- Local specialties carefully chosen for the dinners/ lunches we eat together
- All transportation from the starting town of the tour all the way to Rome
- Comfortable air-conditioned transportation with driver
- Guides with 19 years' experience planning and guiding trips all over Europe
- Eight full breakfasts
- Five multi-course dinners with wine
- One picnic lunch with wine
- Choose our Add On + (described below) and get Pompeii & Capri & Sorrento & The Amalfi coast also!
Join our small group tours with The Olive Odysseys? Why? Besides the great itinerary we have-here are 5 more reasons!
- This tour includes some very popular spots. We always get skip-the-line-tickets, so you don't wait!
- We use the great combination of fast trains and private drivers to get us from A to B and then to C. Comfortable, clean, and again no waiting.
- We pick only the most authentic restaurants so that you can try regional specialties. And your dinners and lunches with us always include regional wines-your choice of red or white.
- We work very hard getting the right hotels in the best locations. Our hotels are always centrally located (many times right in the heart of the Historical District) but still quiet. We never waste time commuting into the city centers.
- You have two tour leaders that have perfected the art of tour design and tour leading. You get to see a lot but you never feel rushed. PLUS we have perfected the art of time on your own-so you can explore as you like.
Trip Cost Per Person Double Occupancy
8 people $5980
10 people $5780
12 people $5680
This trip is limited to 16 people. The price(s) above are per person and for two people sharing a room (double occupancy). Having a room by yourself can be arranged for an additional price, please email us for a quote. Prices include all that is listed in the itinerary, but does not include airfare, transportation to the start of the tour and transportation to the airport at the end of the tour.
Deposits to hold a place on this tour is $1000.
No place is assured on this tour until your deposits are paid. Until final trip payment deposits can be refunded in full for any reason.
Recommended arrival city is Milan. Recommended departure city is Rome. We are here to help on where to stay in Milan for a few days before our tour starts and how to get to Lake Como.
Never been to Venice? Why not fly in there a few days before the trip? We have hotel recommendations and tips on what to do while you are there. We make it easy to put together the perfect Italy trip!
Who are your leaders?
A native of Greece, Manolis has been leading tours in Europe for 21 years. Besides traveling, his passion is playing his guitar and creating his own music. He also likes to keep up with the stone house he shares with his wife, Patricia, especially trimming their olive trees. He looks forward to showing you his favorite places and making sure you feel right at home.
A native of the U.S.A., Patricia has been leading tours in Europe for 21 years. She lives on the island of Evia, Greece, with her husband Manolis. When she is not on tour, she lives off the grid in a rock house, powered by the wind and sun. There she likes to spend her time digging in the garden. She looks forward to showing you the places she likes the best.