Pompeii ruins
Pompeii ruins

Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s "David" and Brunelleschi's Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.

Despite Italy’s archaeological record stretching back tens of thousands of years, Italian history starts with the Etruscans, an ancient civilisation that grew between the Arno and Tiber rivers. The Etruscans were replaced by the Romans in the 3rd century BCE, which dominated the Mediterranean world with an empire stretching from India to Scotland by the 2nd century CE.

The Roman Empire was unstable, often due to the unwillingness of conquered peoples to stay conquered coupled with power struggles between competing Roman political factions, military leaders, families, ethnic groups, and religions. The Roman Empire fell in the 5th century CE after a succession of barbarian invasions through which Huns, Lombards, Ostrogoths, and Franks—mostly previous subjects of Rome—seized portions of Italy.

Although the Normans were successful in establishing a modest empire in southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th century, rule devolved to the level of the city-state. Some of these city states flourished during the Renaissance era. This time period saw the rise of intellectual, artistic, and technological advances. Yet it was also plagued by savage warfare between states loyal to the pope and those loyal to the Roman Empire.

Italy has so much to offer – spectacular cities, ancient ruins, wonderful museums, soaring mountains, great beaches, and beautiful natural scenery. It is not to be missed.

Upcoming Departures

Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Oliver Gilkes
Guide Lecturer Lindsey Davis
Duration
6 days
Price from
$3,775
Next date
September 14 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Prof. Tony King
Tour Manager Michela O'Brien
Duration
8 days
Price from
$3,005
Next date
October 25 2020 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Eireann Marshall
Tour Manager Simone Aquilina
Duration
7 days
Price from
$3,215
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Mark Corney
Tour Manager Sirah Bogani
Duration
7 days
Price from
$3,735
Next date
December 28 2020
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Jamie Sewell
Duration
9 days
Price from
$3,835
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Oliver Gilkes
Tour Manager Leonie Loudon
Duration
8 days
Price from
$3,180
Next date
November 2 2020 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Andy Souter
Duration
6 days
Price from
$2,625
Next date
December 4 2020
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Tertia Barnett
Duration
9 days
Price from
$3,910
Next date
May 22 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves
Tour Manager Lois Ferguson
Duration
6 days
Price from
$2,515
Next date
October 20 2020 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Eireann Marshall
Tour Manager Leonie Loudon
Duration
6 days
Price from
$4,205
Next date
December 28 2020 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Local Guide Dr Eireann Marshall
Duration
5 days
Price from
$1,060
Next date
November 26 2020
Activity Level
Local Guide Dr Agata Chrzanowska
Duration
5 days
Price from
$1,225
Next date
November 19 2020
Activity Level
Local Guide Kate Parkinson
Duration
5 days
Price from
$1,250
Next date
November 7 2020 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Local Guide Daniela Mantice
Duration
5 days
Price from
$870
Next date
November 16 2020
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Andy Souter
Duration
4 days
Price from
$2,390
Next date
November 4 2020 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Eireann Marshall
Duration
6 days
Price from
$2,835
Next date
December 29 2020
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Prof. Tony King
Duration
7 days
Price from
$3,235
Next date
March 8 2021 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Eireann Marshall
Duration
10 days
Price from
$3,920
Next date
May 24 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Eireann Marshall
Duration
5 days
Price from
$1,940
Next date
January 20 2021 (Postponed)
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Oliver Gilkes
Duration
7 days
Price from
$2,720
Next date
May 24 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Jamie Sewell
Duration
8 days
Price from
$3,140
Next date
September 17 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Agata Chrzanowska
Duration
6 days
Price from
$2,530
Next date
September 21 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Oliver Gilkes
Duration
9 days
Price from
$4,110
Next date
May 4 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Agata Chrzanowska
Duration
8 days
Price from
$3,020
Next date
March 14 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer John Shepherd
Duration
7 days
Price from
$2,485
Next date
September 28 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Dr Agata Chrzanowska
Duration
7 days
Price from
$2,925
Next date
April 12 2021
Activity Level
Guide Lecturer Kate Parkinson
Duration
8 days
Price from
$3,500
Next date
March 14 2021

Visa:  

UK: Not required for a stay of up to 3 months in duration.

USA: Not required for a stay of up to 90 days in duration.

Currency:

Euro.

Packing advice:

In the summer, wear light cotton clothes such as t-shirts, shorts and sandals. Although, if you are planning to visit the cities and towns, you may want to bring comfortable walking shoes. Pack sunglasses, a sun visor or hat, and sunscreen for the hotter days. In winter, whilst the climate is milder in the south, you may need to wrap up warm in the chillier north.

Cultural differences:

The family is the centre of the social structure and provides a stabilising influence for its members. In the north, generally only the nuclear family lives together, while in the south the extended family often reside together in one house. The family provides both emotional and financial support to its members. Appearances matter in Italy and first impressions make lasting impressions there, too. The concept of 'bella figura' or good image is important to Italians. The primary religion in Italy is Roman Catholic and there are more Catholic churches per capita in Italy than in any other country.

Language:

Italian.

Tipping:

As with most European countries, tipping is not mandatory in Italy but it is considered generous. Italians don’t over tip. In most restaurants, service is included in the final bill. You may see a “pane e coperto” listed in the bill, which is a bread and cover charge, which means that it pays for the tablecloth and bread. No further tip is needed. If you want, you may leave a few euros but no more than 10% of the total bill. Andante Travels will take care of gratuities to restaurant staff, local guides and drivers.

Newsletter