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Highlights of Italy: Venice to Rome

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To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on


A Cultural Odyssey

From the romantic canals of Venice to Rome's celebrated Colosseum, this is an odyssey of cultural enlightenment packed with ancient sights and artistic masterpieces. 

Begin in the ‘Floating City’ of Venice as you pursue the network of canals threading through its historic heart, observing the Byzantine-style landmarks and elaborate bridges. Continue to Padova, adorned with Giotto’s mosaics and frescoes, before arriving in Bologna, where the magnificent Basilica of San Petronio awaits. Optionally, take a culinary turn at the Italian food theme park, FICO Italy or journey to Ravenna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and survey the tomb of the famed poet, Dante Alighieri.  

A stop at San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries allows you to view the cobblestone streets and castle-like citadels in its medieval old town. Time spent in Perugia, built across a hilltop and encircled by ancient walls, encompasses a visit to a local chocolate factory and museum, as well as a tasting. Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis is next, and you’ll have a chance to see its intricately frescoed Basilica di San Francesco. Finally, in Rome, you’ll marvel at the eternal city’s ancient landmarks, from the grandeur of the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine to the architectural wonders of the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. Further discovery can be experienced on an optional excursion to the famed Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world and the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s masterpiece.  

What does this price include?

  • 10 breakfasts and five dinners
  • Half-day tour of Venice
  • Half-day tour of Padua/Padova
  • Half-day tour of Bologna
  • Half-day tour of San Marino
  • Half-day tour of Perugia and a visit to the Chocolate Factory and Museum
  • Half-day tour of Assisi
  • Full-day tour of Rome
  • Return flights to Venice and from Rome
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel throughout
  • Fully escorted by friendly, experienced tour managers

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • You’ll arrive in Venice and be welcomed by your friendly tour manager to the charming ‘Floating City’. A private coach will then transfer you to your hotel in Mestre, a mainland town located just across the Venetian Lagoon.   

    After checking in and getting settled, dinner will be served at the hotel’s restaurant with your fellow travellers.  

  • Once you’ve had breakfast, you’ll depart by train for a short journey to the railway station in central Venice. Your local guide will meet you here and you’ll set off on a three-hour walking tour around this unique city’s intricate network of streets and canals. During this excursion, you’ll take in notable landmarks like the Basilica di San Marco (St Mark’s Basilica), a Byzantine-style architectural masterpiece, with intricate mosaic, stonework arches and gilded domes.  

    Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) is overlooked by the cathedral church and has served as a gathering place for generations of Venetians. Surrounded by significant buildings, including Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), and the clock tower, Torre dell'Orologio, this public piazza was described as ‘the world’s most beautiful drawing room’ by Napoleon.  

    Your guide will then lead you across Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), an enclosed white limestone structure that connects a historic prison to the interrogation rooms in Palazzo Ducale. Now a symbol of the city’s past, this bridge allegedly got its nickname from the sighs of prisoners who would catch a final glimpse of Venice through the small, barred windows.  

    The final stop of the tour will be the ornate bridge of Ponte di Rialto, which dates back to the 11th century and is the oldest of the four bridges that crosses the Grand Canal in the city. Boasting an elegant stone arched design, this crossing has served as a marketplace for centuries and offers beautiful views over the canal and the nearby Venetian buildings.  

    You’ll have the rest of the day free to explore at your own pace, perhaps seeking out one of the local osterias to have a lunch of Venetian cicchetti (small plates). You may then want to take to the waters on a traditional gondola, the most romantic way to see the city and its canals from a different perspective.  

    In the evening, you’ll return with the group by train back to the hotel to unwind and have dinner at your leisure.  

  • Enjoy breakfast, check out of the hotel and then travel to the city of Padova, also known as Padua. To make the most of your visit, you’ll embark on a guided tour covering the city’s highlights. You’ll start with the famed Basilica di Sant'Antonio di Padova (Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua), a magnificent church and pilgrimage site with elaborate Byzantine-style domes and home to the tomb of Saint Anthony. As Anthony is the patron saint of lost objects and curing illness, you’ll notice people leaving notes with requests and thanks on his tomb.  

    A stroll will then be taken through Prato della Valle, one of Europe's largest squares. Elliptical in shape, this pleasant square is known for encompassing 78 statues of historical figures, as well as a central green island ringed by a canal. Nearby, you’ll find Scrovegni Chapel, a marvel of Italian Gothic design and a UNESCO World Heritage Site adorned with extraordinary frescos by the artist Giotto. These murals depict detailed biblical scenes of the Virgin Mary and Christ, and are regarded as one of the most important works of Western art.  

    Later in the day, you’ll continue towards Bologna, where you’ll check into your next hotel and have dinner with your fellow travellers at the restaurant.  

  • Fuel up for a day of discovery as you head out on a half-day tour and introduction to the city. The starting point will be Piazza Maggiore, a 12th-century central square and cultural and political centre, hosting events and markets. From here, you’ll enter the Basilica of San Petronio, an imposing church set on the square, one of the largest basilicas in the world and dedicated to Bologna's patron saint, Saint Petronius. Inside, you’ll be able to view an astronomical sundial created by the astronomer Cassini, which is the longest in the world.  

    You’ll then be led through Piazza Delle Mercanzie, a pretty square lined with artisanal shops. Next, you’ll see the Two Towers (2 Torri). These medieval turrets, Asinelli and Garisenda, lean at remarkable angles and were built during the Middle Ages, providing a military function and representing the social prestige of the family that had them built. The final destination of this morning’s tour is Basilica di Santo Stefano, a distinctive religious complex of interconnected churches and chapels. Originally featuring seven churches, the site now houses four which have remained intact.  

    When afternoon comes around, you can opt to survey more of the sights on your own or join an optional visit to FICO Italy, an Italian food theme park. Here, you can take advantage of Italy’s culinary heritage, experiencing everything from farm-to-table dining to interactive food exhibits. Learn how to make your own pasta and pizza, discover the secrets of gelato, or sample wines from local vineyards.  

    In the evening, you’ll head back to the hotel to unwind and have dinner.  

  • Have breakfast before embracing a day of self-exploration, perhaps discovering some local markets or sipping an espresso at a sidewalk café. Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion to Ravenna. Renowned for its well-preserved Byzantine and early Christian mosaics, which embellish its churches and monuments, this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

    You’ll start with a visit to the Basilica di San Vitale and the mosaic-covered Church of San Vitale, where you can see the tomb of the greatest Italian poet, Dante Alighieri. Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, the burial place of the Roman emperor Honorius and the oldest building in the city, is next followed by a stroll across the Piazza del Popolo. The final stop is the Archiepiscopal Museum, which houses a collection of artefacts, such as early Christian and Byzantine sculptures, mosaics, paintings, and manuscripts.  

    Later in the day, you’ll return to the hotel and have a free evening.  

  • After breakfast, you’ll leave Bologna and travel to San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries located within the Italian peninsula. With no border controls, you can easily explore its medieval capital of the same name, which is set on the rocky slopes of Monte Titano and ringed by walls. Dating back to 301 AD, this country started off as a small monastic community and is now one of the world’s oldest republics. Some time spent on a guided half-day tour in its historic old town of cobblestone streets will reveal the Three Towers, a trio of castle-like citadels, a basilica, and views over the surrounding countryside.  

    Back on the coach, you’ll continue to another historical hilltop city, Perugia, situated in the Umbria region. After checking into the hotel, you can rest before joining the other travellers for dinner.  

  • Following breakfast, you’ll head out to discover Perugia, one of Italy’s oldest cities, with a rich cultural heritage, well-preserved walls, and impressive medieval and Renaissance architecture. The tour will start with Fortezza Rocca Paolina, the remains of a grand medieval fortress and continue to the central square of Piazza IV Novembre. In the centre of the square, you can observe the Fontana Maggiore, a medieval fountain as well as the art galleries, cathedrals and ancient municipal buildings that border it. You’ll then call at Palazzo Dei Priori, a Gothic 13th-century structure, off the main street of Corso Vannucci. Formally the headquarters of the local magistracy, today it houses the main art gallery of Perugia and a collection of historic rooms.  

    The final highlight of the day, especially for chocolate enthusiasts, will be Casa del Cioccolato Perugina, a chocolate factory and museum. Founded in 1907, this factory and its historic presence resulted in Perugia being known as the ‘City of Chocolate’. Some of the confectionary produced here includes the iconic Baci Perugina, chocolate-covered hazelnuts with romantic messages inside each wrapper. You’ll spend some time learning about the city’s chocolate-centric history in the museum, witnessing the production process, and partaking in a tasting. 

    You’ll return to the hotel in the evening for another included dinner. 

  • Check out after having breakfast and board the coach for a short journey to Assisi, a picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site located on a hill. A guide will show you around the birthplace of Saint Francis, one of the most beloved and influential saints in the history of Christianity.  

    The Basilica di San Francesco, one of the most important religious sites in Italy will prove most memorable. Consisting of two churches, the Upper Basilica and the Lower Basilica, this elaborate complex is embellished with frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Saint Francis and other biblical stories. You’ll also take in the medieval architecture and piazzas of the old town as you wander, as well as the Basilica of Saint Clare and the imposing fortress, Rocca Maggiore.  

    There’ll then be some free time to have lunch on your own account, perhaps sampling traditional Umbrian cuisine like truffle dishes and cured meats, paired with wine from the neighbouring vineyards.  

    As the day progresses, you’ll travel on to Rome, the Eternal City, check into your hotel and enjoy an evening at your leisure.  

  • Following breakfast, your exploration of Rome will unfold as you cover its ancient treasures. In the centre of the city, you’ll first view the Fori Imperiali, also known as the Imperial Forums, several monumental public squares, and forums. Built by successive Roman emperors, they originally served as the centre of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. Construction began during the reign of Julius Caesar and each forum had a different purpose and theme.  

    The Colosseo, commonly known as the Colosseum, is sure to be a wish-list sight, as it’s one of the most recognisable ancient Roman monuments. Dating back to the 1st century AD, this engineering marvel is one of the most well-preserved amphitheatres in the world, which was used for various forms of public spectacles and could hold up to 80,000 spectators. Nearby, the Arch of Constantine, dedicated to the emperor Constantine the Great, can be found. Its large three arches are decorated with statues and descriptions commemorating his achievements.  

    In the afternoon, the tour will take on Baroque Rome, starting with the Pantheon, characterised by its innovative dome, and serving numerous purposes throughout the centuries, like a Christian church and a dedication to the gods of ancient Rome. 

    A stop at the 18th-century Trevi Fountain, one of the most beloved fountains in the world, allows you to partake in a coin-throwing tradition (throw it over your left shoulder with your right hand to ensure a return trip to Rome!). Depicting Oceanus, the God of water and built from Travertine stone, the ‘Fountain of Love’ as it’s designated, symbolises the power of water in Roman culture. Lastly, you’ll meander over to the elegant Piazza di Spagna, home to the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Boat), and Spanish Steps, 135 steps that climb to Trinità dei Monti Church.  

    This day of exploring will conclude back at the hotel, where you’ll have another free evening.  

  • It’s your last day, and you can do as little or as much sightseeing as you like on your own schedule, perhaps ambling around with a gelato and picking up some souvenirs. If you’d like further guidance, an optional tour will take you to the Vatican City and Sistine Chapel.  

    An independent city-state in Rome and the smallest in the world, the Vatican City is a spiritual and administrative centre of the Roman Catholic Church and the residence of the Pope. Inside this city, you’ll find St. Peter's Basilica, one of the world’s largest and most famous churches, a complex of museums and galleries, manicured gardens and the Apostolic Palace. The Sistine Chapel makes up part of the Apostolic Palace, and is a definite must-see, with its frescoed ceiling painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. Depicting world-famous scenes from the Book of Genesis, including the famous ‘Creation of Adam’, the frescos are not allowed to be photographed due to potential damage from camera flashes.  

    A free evening waits for you to take in the sights by night one more time and find a fitting farewell dinner spot.  

  • Savour your last breakfast on Italian soil before transferring to the airport and flying back to the UK.

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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Highlights of Italy: Venice to Rome Touring Hotels

You'll be staying in a series of comfortable, hotels, each conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

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Further Information

  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

  • Guests on half-board arrangements will be served a three-course evening meal, and can expect a first course of traditional pasta or soup, a main meat or fish course accompanied by one or two types of vegetable, and a simple dessert of fruit, cake or Italian ice cream. Breakfasts will usually consist of bread rolls, jam, cereal, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Menus will vary from hotel to hotel, but choice will be more limited than in a normal restaurant. In some instances, individual guests who have booked with the hotel independently may be offered a different menu from those who are staying at the hotel as part of a package tour.

    An authentic dining experience in Italy can often be a bit different to the Italian food that international tourists might be used to, but it’s one of the best ways to truly appreciate the finer cultural differences of this tourist hotspot. From simpler, but more frequent, courses to regional dishes, here are some points to note when dining in Italy.  

    The first major difference you’re likely to notice is that the dining experience as a whole is much longer; you’ll enjoy a much more social experience than the average dinner back home with multiple smaller courses spread across a longer period of time. While each meal will be prepared to order, you may notice that dishes are served cooler than you might be used to – Italian dishes are rarely served piping hot to preserve the more delicate flavours of each ingredient and to provide a more enjoyable dining experience. The final thing to bear in mind is that it may be tricky to find Italian classics in the same form as they are at home. For instance, while Spaghetti Carbonara is a staple in historic Rome – and made traditionally using egg yolks rather than cream – you’ll often find it replaced with a wild boar ragù in Tuscany.

  • Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of 1-3 € per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your Tour Manager in resort if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.

  • Since some attractions visited offer free admission to visitors at certain times of year, we do not include entrance fees. These will be payable locally where applicable. This applies to excursions that are included in the price of your holiday and to excursions booked as optional extras.

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Visit to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.

  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

    Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

    Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at

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