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Best Italy tours and tour companies for 2020

Find out which tour company will lead you on your dream holiday across Italy with all of the stops on your bucket list.

Updated

Women on bikes at the Colloseum in Rome, Italy

Italy is food, culture, history and more. It’s a place many fantasise about for good reason and add to the top of their bucket list.

Luckily, Italy is the perfect destination for all ages and all types of travellers, with ancient cities for culture buffs to explore, mountains in the north for nature lovers, medieval towns with surrounding vineyards for foodies and relaxed water destinations for holiday makers in Cinque Terre or the Italian Lakes District.

There are tours that cover just the highlights as well as tours that dive deep into culture, food and leisure activities.

We’ve done the research and found the best tours for each type of traveller, so you can tick off your must-see destinations as you travel across this land of food, wine and scenic sites without having to lift a finger to plan.

Our favourite Italy tour companies

Couple in Italy

Trafalgar

Trafalgar is all about living the good life, which goes hand in hand with Italian culture. This esteemed tour company is dedicated to showing its travellers the soul of a destination through VIP experiences and by connecting you with locals – which is just what you’ll want on your Italian holiday.

  • Best for: Middle-age, seniors, luxury, family
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: The Best of Italy tour is the perfect introduction to Italy. In just under two weeks, you can explore many of the highlights of this beautiful country.

See Trafalgar's Italy tours


Making pasta in Italy

Insight Vacations

Travelling Italy in style is a dream come true for many, and Insight can make that happen with tours that cover the highlights of Italy but also go deeper by exploring with locals and allowing you to enjoy authentic travel experiences in luxury.

  • Best for: Luxury, middle-age, seniors
  • Cost: High-end
  • Our favourite itinerary: Discover the real tastes of Italy on the Country Roads of Umbria and Tuscany tour which travels to two of Italy’s most famous regions for medieval towns and decadent foods.

See Insight Vacations' Italy tours


Women eating gelato in Florence, Italy

Cosmos

Cosmos wants to make travel tours available for everyone with price points that don’t break the budget and don’t sacrifice on the things you want, such as nice hotels, good food and excellent guides.

Add that to the fact it builds free time into every itinerary, and you’ll be able to customise your Italy experience to do what you want and join excursions as you please.

  • Best for: Groups, budget travellers, all ages (8+)
  • Cost: Budget
  • Our favourite itinerary: Explore the picturesque towns surrounding Italy’s most beautiful lakes on The Magic of the Italian Lakes tour and nab an insider’s look into the life and beauty of this region.

See Cosmos' Italy tours


Group drinking wine in Italy

Globus

What started as a small, family company is now leading travellers to incredible destinations across the world offering multiple tour styles for independent, group and private travellers. With so much included, you’ll have the ultimate holiday in Italy.

  • Best for: Boomers and groups
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: The Italian Vista tour shows you the highlights from Rome to Milan in eight days, which covers the most famous and scenic sites between these two must-see cities.

See Globus' Italy tours


Woman on Amalfi Coast, Italy

Intrepid

Enjoy adventure, food and stepping off the beaten path with Intrepid. Intrepid has tours that cover it all, including the must-see destinations across Italy. Combine these with tours designed for leisure travellers of all ages and you’ll easily find your favourite Italy tour.

  • Best for: Adventure, families and groups
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: The Cinque Terre: Hike, Bike, Kayak tour shows you Italy in a new and active way across one of the country’s most colourful and visited destinations.

See Intrepid's Italy tours


Woman in Matera, Italy

Topdeck

Topdeck wants you to makes friends with the people on your tour as much as they want you to enjoy exploring Italy. It makes travel dreams a reality for young travellers by offering tours that are affordable, give free time to explore and bring you on and off the beaten path.

  • Best for: Millennials, backpackers, budget and solo travellers
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: We love the Bravo Italia itinerary that takes you across Italy to all the highlights between Rome and Venice at a moderate pace so you don’t get burned out.

See Topdeck's Italy tours


Man in Cinque Terre, Italy

G Adventures

Enjoy small-group adventure travel in a style that’s ideal for your holiday while giving back to the community. From active trips to local living, a trip to Italy is pretty much hand-picked for you.

  • Best for: Eco-travellers, adventurists, all ages
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: The Local Living Italy Amalfi Coast tour combines active and immersive travel, basing you in Naples for eight days to allow you to explore the surrounding mountain towns and crystal blue waters to your heart’s content.

See G Adventures' Italy tours


Other tour companies that offer tours in Italy

Popular Italy tour routes

Classic Italy: Rome to Venice

The classic Italy route is best for those visiting the country for the first time and are looking for a quick taste of Italy’s delights in one go.

A classic Italy itinerary includes the must-visit sites such as Rome, Venice and Florence as the main cities, often with excursions to sites such as Pompeii, Pisa or Cinque Terre.

Italian Lakes

The Italian Lakes District is a picture-perfect destination famous for Lake Como in Northern Italy. The region brings in visitors for its history, food, outdoor pursuits and for being so distinctly Italian. The picturesque towns surrounding the lakes along with the mountains cast shimmering reflections on the lakes. We can’t blame travellers for wanting to explore this region.

Around Sicily

Exploring Sicily can be as in-depth as you desire and can focus on whatever style of travel calls to you. Take a trip around the island for adventure hiking, cycling and regional cuisine found nowhere else in the country.

Amalfi Coast

Perhaps known as Italy’s most colourful spot, the Amalfi Coast brings travellers on a scenic journey from the coastal shores to the stunningly blue waters that brush up against the vibrant towns of this region. Active travellers and holiday-makers can hike, swim and cycle around the area as well as visit extra destinations such as Pompeii and Naples.

Around Tuscany

Tuscany is home of some of Italy’s best wine, medieval hilltop towns, rolling hills, rustic castles and gorgeous views that disappear into the distance. This region typically caters to an older crowd wishing to indulge in the cuisine, hike through the scenery and take travel at a slower pace through the towns.

How long do I need in Italy?

Italy is a country that can easily be travelled in one trip or broken down into multiple parts. What really determines the amount of time you wish to spend in this splendid country is how in-depth you wish to see everything.

From north to south, you can hit the main highlights of Venice, Florence and Rome with stops in between in 7 to 10 days. Two weeks will allow you to have extra excursions, perhaps to Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast.

With three weeks in Italy, you’ll be able to explore at a leisurely pace, including some towns in Northern Italy in the Lakes District or a few days in Sicily. With one month in Italy, you can discover most of the country fairly in-depth with a tour of Northern Italy that finishes in Rome and then jump on another tour to explore the south and/or Sicily.

If you’re starved for time and have only four or five days at a stretch, we recommend dedicating your efforts to a few select cities or a region to truly explore its highlights. For first-timers, Rome alone can eat up your days with visits to the Colosseum, Forum, Vatican and Sistine Chapel.

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