Explore the history and natural beauty of Italy’s western shores on this 17-day tour, beginning in Lazio, near Rome, and moving up along the Tyrrhenian coast, through to Turin. Visits to leading archaeological sites, galleries and museums are combined with boat and land excursions through the fine scenery. Food and wine play a central role in Italian culture, and we have included several memorable meals, accompanied by regional wines.
The ancient civilisation of the Etruscans, rulers of central Italy in the centuries before Roman dominance
The island of Elba, controlled by the Medici princes and the short-lived home of the exiled Napoleon
The medieval maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa, with their distinctly oriental art and architecture derived from trade and cultural exchange
The colourful coastal scenery of the Riviera di Levante and the Cinque Terre
The Savoy rulers of Turin, patrons of art, architecture and music
Visit some of the most important and best-preserved Etruscan sites in Italy
A day trip by private boat to the Cinque Terre and time in the Ligurian fishing village of Camogli
Stay on the island of Elba, enjoying its fine coastline and Napoleonic sites
Visit the elegant medieval Tuscan town of Lucca
Explore one of Carrara’s internationally renowned marble quarries
Pisa beyond the Leaning Tower, including superb medieval art galleries and Renaissance sites
The remarkable private art collection at the Pinacoteca Agnelli, located within the Fiat automotive complex
Days 1–3: Arrive in Lazio and visit Ostia Antica and the Etruscan sites of Tarquinia and Cerveteri. Tour the towns around Lake Bracciano.
Days 4–5: On Elba, tour the island, dotted with villages, ports and Napoleonic villas.
Days 6–9: Examine Pisa’s glorious maritime past. Day trips to Lucca and Carrara.
Days 10–12: The seaside town of Camogli is the ideal location to explore the Italian Riviera. Day trips to Genoa and the Cinque Terre.
Days 13–17: Travel to Turin to sample the best of European art at the astounding Pinacoteca Agnelli.
A limited number of places remain on this tour and as such, internet bookings are not taken. Please contact our travel consultant listed above if you wish to make a booking.
Emirates fly into Rome and out of Milan daily. Contact us for competitive quotes and bookings.
Included meals are shown with the letters B, L and D.
Monday October 2: Arrive
Meet your tour leader, Dr Kathleen Olive, at Rome Fiumicino airport to commence the tour and travel by coach to the hotel in Terme di Stigliano. There are welcome drinks and dinner at the hotel. Overnight Grand Hotel Terme di Stigliano (D)
Tuesday October 3: Ostia Antica and Porto di Claudio
Today we visit Ostia Antica, which was Rome’s port for several centuries, and one of Italy’s best-preserved archaeological sites. After our welcome lunch at a local restaurant, we continue exploring the Roman world at the archaeological park at Porto di Claudio. Overnight Terme di Stigliano (B, L)
Wednesday October 4: Cerverteri and Lake Bracciano
Our first stop this morning is the 6th-century BCE Necropoli di Bandidaccia outside Cerverteri, home to one of Italy’s greatest Etruscan treasures. We continue on to Castel Giuliano to visit Palazzo Patrizi. The grounds here show Marchesa Patrizi’s passion for roses with hundreds of ancient species surrounding the Etruscan tombs. Our day ends in the town of Bracciano, perched above the volcanic lake, which has a well-preserved Renaissance castle built by the Orsini and the Borgia families. This evening we have dinner at a lakeside restaurant. Overnight Terme di Stigliano (B, D)
Thursday October 5: Tarquinia and the tarot garden
Today we travel to the Island of Elba. One the way, we stop in Tarquinia to visit the remarkably well preserved 4th-century BCE tombs, and the National Etruscan Museum. We continue on to Capalbio to tour Giardino dei Tarocchi. This “Tarot Garden” was designed by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle with riotous colours and sculptures that echo the work of Gaudí in Barcelona. We arrive on to the Island of Elba in the early evening and have dinner in our hotel. Overnight Hotel Plaza, Porto Azzurro, Elba (B, D)
Friday October 6: Napoléon on Elba
Elba is perhaps most famous for being Napoléon’s place of exile, although it was also a major trading post for Greek, Roman and Italian traders. This morning we visit Palazzina dei Mulini – a Napoleonic palace which contains original furniture and Napoléon’s impressive private library. Our walking tour also includes the Archaeological Museum. In the early afternoon we take a panoramic coach tour of the island. Overnight Porto Azzurro, Elba (B)
Saturday October 7: Villa di San Martino
Today before we depart for Pisa, we visit Villa di San Martino, Napoléon’s summer residence. The villa has a collection of antiques and works of art that date back to his exile. We then take the ferry to the mainland, meeting our coach and travelling to San Piero a Grado, an 11th-century Romanesque basilica, before arriving in Pisa. We have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Bologna, Pisa (B, D)
Sunday October 8: Pisan Romanesque
This morning we explore the cosmopolitan style of medieval Pisa, influenced by its eastern trade. At San Paolo a Ripa we admire the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style, while at Santa Maria della Spina we admire the delicate Gothic architecture of its reliquary chapel. In the afternoon we take a guided tour of the spectacular Piazza dei Miracoli, from the magnificent cathedral to the careful restorations of war-damaged frescoes in the Camposanto. There is time to climb the Leaning Tower if you wish. Overnight Pisa (B)
Monday October 9: Lucca
Today we make the short trip to Lucca. On our walking tour of this beautiful, well-healed town, we explore its fascinating history, from its Roman origins, to its medieval streets and Renaissance walls. We also visit Palazzo Pfanner, whose rooms evoke life in an 18th-century palazzo, and gardens capture the luxuriousness of the baroque. Lucca has excellent shops and there is free time here before we return to Pisa. Overnight Pisa (B)
Tuesday October 10: Mountains of marble
This morning we travel to Carrara, where we explore the historic centre, including the Museo Civico del Marmo. In the early afternoon we appreciate the sheer labour of the industry in a guided tour of the Fantiscritti quarries, the so-called Marble Cathedral. Afterwards we continue on to Camogli, on the Italian Riviera. We have dinner in the hotel. Overnight Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi, Camogli (B, D)
Wednesday October 11: Monks and millionaires
San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte, on the Italian Riviera, enjoys splendid isolation, reached only by boat or by steep trek from Camogli. After our guided visit of the complex, we take a boat around the peninsula to Portofino. This small fishing village became popular with the rich and famous in the 1950s and is now an exclusive resort town. We stroll its immaculate streets, before returning to Camogli by coach. Overnight Camogli (B)
Thursday October 12: Genoa
This morning we travel to Genoa, whose rise to power through medieval shipping we see at the Museo del Mare. We also tour a number of well-preserved Romanesque sites, including the small churches of Santa Maria di Castello and San Donato. Early afternoon we visit Palazzi dei Rolli, constructed by the city’s patricians to accommodate foreign dignitaries, including the sumptuous Doria Tursi and Balbi-Durazzo palaces. At the Palazzo Bianco gallery, we appreciate a wonderful collection of masterpieces before returning to Camogli. Overnight Camogli (B)
Friday October 13: The Cinque Terre
Today we explore the dramatic landscape of the Ligurian coast – the Cinque Terre. Starting in Riomaggiore, we stroll the town before taking a private boat cruise along the coastline to Vernazza, with its brightly coloured harbour. Here we have lunch at a waterfront restaurant. Afterwards we rejoin the boat and return to Camogli. Overnight Camogli (B, L)
Saturday October 14: To Turin
Today we depart for Turin, travelling through the Langhe hills. This region of northern Italy is renowned for its world-class gastronomy, with white truffles and DOC-certified wines, such as Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo, all produced here. We have a relaxed lunch in the countryside, appreciating the varied Langhe landscape. In the late afternoon, we continue on to Turin. Overnight Grand Hotel Sitea, Turin (B, L)
Sunday October 15: Savoy and Royal collections
This morning we explore the historic centre of Turin, focusing on the late Baroque architecture of court favourites Guarino Guarini and Filippo Juvarra. In the Cathedral of John the Baptist, designed by the latter, is one of Turin’s most famous sights, the Holy Shroud. After stopping in at San Lorenzo, a small Baroque church that adjoins the royal palaces on Piazza Castello, we break for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the excellent royal collection of the Galleria Sabauda, which includes works by Flemish painters Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and van Dyck, alongside Renaissance masters Duccio, Botticelli, Lippi and Fra Angelico. Overnight Turin (B)
Monday October 16: Egyptian Museum
We spend the morning at the Egyptian Museum, which has an exhibition of artefacts second only to the collections in Cairo and London. Our coach then takes us to Superga, a hill where Juvarra designed a basilica to commemorate Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. Many royal tombs are located in this late Baroque structure, which enjoys spectacular panoramic views of Turin. Overnight Turin (B)
Tuesday October 17: Cars, Canaletto’s and cuisine
Our final day explores 20th-century Turin, when the city became a slick industrialised metropolis under manufacturing giants such as Fiat’s Gianni Agnelli. The entire district of Lingotto is dominated by the Fiat factory. Architect Renzo Piano revitalised the complex and also designed the Pinacoteca Agnelli, an art gallery perched on the building’s roof. The family’s personal art collection ranges from Canaletto, Renoir and Manet to Picasso, Modigliani and Matisse. After visiting the Pinacoteca, we enjoy a farewell lunch at an excellent local restaurant. Overnight Turin (B, L)
Wednesday October 18: Departure
This morning there is a group transfer to Milan airport for those meeting the Emirates flight. (B)
Dr Kathleen Olive
Has a PhD in Italian Studies, speaks fluent Italian and lectures on the art, history and culture of Europe. Kathleen has an outstanding knowledge of Italy.
Kathleen has a doctorate in Italian literature from the University of Sydney. She has a strong interest in medieval history and contemporary fiction writing, which she has taught at a number of universities in Australia. Kathleen leads travel groups to Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United States. She lived and studied in Italy and speaks fluent Italian.
Located in the centre of Turin, right behind Piazza San Carlo and a short walk to Piazza Castello.
What is included in the tour price? Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price? Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.