Ultimate Italy | EF Ultimate Break

Ultimate Italy

17 Days  •  6 Cities //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore 54

Why Go?

When you think of Italy, you probably think of pizza or pasta. But there’s so much more to this boot-shaped country. Like gelato. Seriously though, Italy is more than things you can consume. Ramble through the 118 islands that make up the city of Venice, see world-famous art by Michelangelo in Florence and Rome, then take in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Saying there’s a lot to do is an understatement; we’ve barely scratched the surface of this 16-day Italian immersion. And who says you can’t have it all? No one. No one says that.

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What are the top highlights?

  • Wind through the organized, yet surprisingly confusing streets of Venice (word of advice: grab a map).
  • Step into the Renaissance in Florence.
  • Eat gelato until you can't eat any more. Than eat more.
  • Visit the ruins of the Colosseum in Rome, where you can picture yourself as a gladiator (or one of the 80,000 spectators).
  • Live lavishly as you cruise around the island of Capri, taking in the unparalleled coastal views and taking your Instagram to the next level.
  • Go on a fascinating tour of Pompeii, the city devastated by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.
  • Soak up the sun, and gawk at the crystal-clear water on the beaches in Sicily.

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
  • Private deluxe motorcoach
  • Ferry from Naples to Palermo
  • 15 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
  • Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
  • Metro passes in each major city
  • Entrance to select attractions

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.

Click here for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:

  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight Flight

Board your overnight flight, bound for Italy! Fresh gelato and homemade pasta will soon be yours. So, so soon.

Day 2: Arrive in Venice + Welcome Mixer

Welcome to the Venice Region! While you'll be staying on the mainland, the heart of Venice is a quick bus ride away. Situated on 118 islands, intersected by 175 canals and connected by more than 400 bridges, this city has had more praise showered upon it from travelers, writers and artists than any other city in the world.

Today's Highlights:

  • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
  • Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
  • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
  • Meet the other travelers as they arrive.
  • Meet your Tour Director for a guided tour of some top sights around Venice.

In the evening, it's time for our Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, take the party elsewhere.

Day 3: Tour Venice

Get ready to see Venice through the eyes of a local Italian. Your guide will show you canals, an extraordinary basilica, and a staircase shaped like a snail. You definitely haven’t had enough pasta yet. Eat more pasta.

Today's Highlights:

  • Travel from mainland Venice to the island, catching sight of St. Mark's Basilica, plenty of gondolas, and the spectacular Venetian skyline.
  • See several historic churches and lose yourself in the narrow streets of Venice.
  • Follow the winding Grand Canal through the heart of Venice
  • Play Marco polo from across the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge in the city that connects San Marco and San Polo.

Free Time Suggestions
Book Worm: Check out Acqua Alta Library, a hidden bookstore where the books are piled from floor to ceiling, and kittens run around just waiting for some company.
300 Years Young: Opened in 1720, Caffè Florian is the oldest café in the world. And while the venue may be old, their beliefs have always been ahead of their time. They were the only café to serve women during the 18th century. Nicely done, Florian.
Go for Gondola: Make your dreams come true by floating down the Venetian canals aboard traditional gondolas.

Day 4: Travel to Milan via Verona

Say goodbye to Venice; you’re on to Milan, the design, fashion, and commerce center of Italy. On your way, stop in Verona, the setting for three of William Shakespeare’s plays. Visit Juliet’s balcony where you can harness you inner Romeo by saying, “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?”

Today's Highlights:

  • Travel by bus to Milan with a pit stop in Verona.
  • Pay a visit to Juliet’s famous balcony and get in touch with your inner romantic.
  • Arrive in Milan and take an introductory walk of the area with your Tour Director.
  • Take the evening by storm; Milan is a vibrant, fast-paced city that certainly won't slow down at night. Will you?

Free Time Suggestions
Mall Rats: One of the world’s oldest malls, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (who knew malls existed in 1877?), is the place to go if you want to window shop for Gucci or Louis Vuitton. Beware: the prices are as high as the vaulted ceilings. But the vaulted ceilings are beautiful.
Bar None: Head out on the town to any one of the dozens of bars throughout the city. And if you’re feeling even more adventurous, there are plenty of dance clubs calling your name.

Day 5: Excursion to Lake Como + Free Day in Milan

Cruise Lake Como on a full-day excursion or enjoy a full free day in Milan to explore on your own. Either way, you're about to have a great day.

Today's Highlights:

  • Wake up and seize the day; you've got Milan at your fingertips.
  • Explore the impressive gothic cathedral that offers stunning views of the city.
  • Spend the day at Lake Como (if you choose), daydreaming about villa life and spotting celebrity homes.

Free Time Suggestions:
Stairway to Heaven: Visit Milan’s impressive gothic cathedral, as stunning on the outside as it is on the inside. Climb the stairs (or take the elevator) to the top for sweeping views of the city’s skyline.
Gol!!!: If you’re a soccer fan, take some time to visit the San Siro Stadium and museum, home to AC Milan, one of the top soccer clubs in Italy.
Drinks After Work: Like many people, the Milanese like to take the edge off after a day at work. Do as the Italians do, and find a café for a drink (aperetivo) and snack.

A Day in Lake Como(extra cost)

Cruise the serene Lake Como. where views of the Alps, villas and small medieval towns line the shore. Then, explore the towns of Como and Bellagio, celebrity hotspots brimming with charm. This is your day to sit back, relax and enjoy two of the swankiest, most beautiful cities Italy has to offer.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 6: Travel to Florence via Optional Cinque Terre

Board your private coach for Florence via Cinque Terre, the five colorful fishing villages that will make for the best photo op of the entire trip. Scratch that. Best photos ever. Instagrammers, this is your moment.

Today's Highlights:

  • Explore Cinque Terre and travel by train through the dazzling villages.
  • Stop in Manarola, the tranquil and unspoiled village that is too beautiful for its own good.
  • Catch some rays (of the sun variety) at the beach in Montesrosso, and relax after a long day of exploration.
  • Arrive in Florence in the evening, settle in, and take an introductory walk with your Tour Director.

Day 7: Tour Florence

You’ve got a full day in Florence, the compact capital of the Tuscany region known for its famous Renaissance artwork. Throw on some comfortable shoes and join a local guide for a walking tour of the city. By the end of it, you’ll be looking up how to live in Italy forever.

Today's Highlights:

  • Cross the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, home to many of Florence’s jewelers and art merchants. Ready to get some bling?
  • Stroll the Piazza della Signoria, home to the Uffizi Gallery and that famous naked guy (also known as Michelangelo’s David).
  • Visit the Duomo Cathedral. Return during your free time and challenge yourself to climb the 463 steps to the top for stunning views of the city.

Free Time Suggestions
Get Some Fresh Air: Loggia dei Lanzi is an open air sculpture museum, with a number of Renaissance statues. It’s beautiful, it’s in the open, and it’s free.
Leather-Bound Books: Florence is known for its plethora of leather goods, from belts and jewelry to purses and wallets. Maybe you can finally buy that leather jacket you’ve always wanted but have been too embarrassed to buy.

Day 8: Travel to Rome via Orvieto

Travel to Rome via Orvieto:
Travel to Rome via Orvieto. Goodbye, Florence. Hello, Rome, Italy’s capital city that is bursting at the seams with energy. Locals fill the streets, day and night, usually doing something that involves eating or drinking. And how can you blame them when pasta, pizza, gelato, coffee, and wine are everywhere you look? Rome is all big city/ancient ruins, served with a side of spaghetti.

Today's Highlights:

  • Board your private coach, bound for Rome.
  • Stop in Orvieto, a quaint Italian hill town that’s as fun to visit as it is to say in an Italian accent.
  • Marvel at the artistry of the facade of Orvieto’s stunning cathedral, built in 1290 (no, that’s not a typo—it’s really that old.)
  • Arrive in Rome, surrounded by art, ruins, and 2.9 million people
  • Take a tour of the surrounding area with your Tour Director, stopping by some famous attractions, and more than few gelato shops.

Day 9: Tour Rome + Pasta-Making Class

Tour Rome + Pasta-Making Class
Skip the line and go back in time with tours of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Then, if you choose, complete your transformation to becoming a full Italian as you learn how to make authentic pasta by hand.

Today's Highlights:

  • Tour the city with a local guide who will show you why Rome is one of the most legendary cities in Europe.
  • Experience the heart of ancient Rome with a visit to the Forum, once a hub of activity for the city.
  • Stand in the Colosseum, where gladiators battled to the death in mortal combat, and be glad you live in the 21st century.
  • See the ruins of several Roman temples, including the Temple of the Vestal Virgins.
  • Rub your belly in anticipation for the optional pasta-making class

Taste of Italy Pasta-Making Class(extra cost)

When in Rome, do as the Romans do best: cook awesome food. It starts with crafting the dough for homemade pasta, and finishes with a delicious meal prepared by your own hands. Along the way, you’ll get to taste some of Italy's finest local snacks with a local food guide while learning about Italian food traditions throughout the ages. This is truly the authentic cuisine experience you can’t find anywhere but Italy itself.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 10: Tour the Vatican City

Stroll Vatican City, home of the Pope and headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Prepare for crowds, but for good reason. This is an opportunity to visit the smallest country in the world, plus catch a glimpse of the most interesting ceiling you’ve ever seen.

Today's Highlights:

  • Get an in-depth look into Papal history and politics with an expert guide.
  • Cross another country of your list (Vatican City is an independent nation).
  • Look up (like, straight up) at the frescos of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s greatest work.
  • Visit the Vatican Museum, one of the largest, most renowned art exhibits in the world.

Free Time Suggestions:
Trevi Fountain: Rumor has it, if turn your back to the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin over your shoulder, it guarantees you’ll return to the Eternal City. Throw in a second coin, and you’ll not only come back, but also find love. (Significant other not guaranteed by EF Ultimate Break.)
Shopping on Vide del Corso: Walk down the longest pedestrian street in the city for some prime shopping. Populated by both locals and tourists, there’s room for everyone on the narrow store-filled street.

Day 11: Travel to the Naples Region via Pompeii

Travel to the Naples Region via Pompeii
As you make your way to the Naples Region, join a local guide for a walking tour of the ancient city of Pompeii, which stands frozen in time after Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, completely destroying the town.

Today's Highlights:

  • Travel back to imperial Roman times and learn about Pompeii, the city covered in volcanic ash.
  • Look up at Mt. Vesuvius, the deadly volcano that annihilated this city almost 2,000 years ago.
  • Experience the buildings, artifacts and even people that have been extremely well preserved over the years.

Day 12: Enjoy a Free Day in Naples Region + Optional Excursion to Explore Capri

The day is yours to do as you wish. Or join your Tour Director for an excursion to Capri. You haven’t lived lavishly until you’ve cruised around the island of Capri. You'll leave the big city life behind you, and enjoy more of that classic Italian coastal beauty. And if you're wondering, yes, this is what heaven looks like.

Today's Highlights:

  • Get lost in the Naples Region during your free time.
  • Spend a full day on the Isle of Capri for an afternoon cruise and tour with a local guide during an optional excursion. (Life of luxury much?)
  • Enjoy the thing that Naples is known for, that bready, cheesy, tomato sauce topped stuff we call pizza.

Capri Cruisin'(extra cost)

Enjoy amazing views of the Amalfi coastline as you ferry across the Bay of Naples to the mountainous Isle of Capri. Travel by funicular to the ancient island resort of Capri, then board a cruise and take in the awesome views of the island’s coast. You’ll see the Arco Naturale, a huge stone arch on the eastern cliffs, and the famous Faraglioni, three enormous limestone rocks that loom out of the sea. (If weather conditions don’t permit a cruise, you’ll instead explore the scenic towns of Capri and Anacapri with your guide.)

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 13: Free Day in Naples + Board Night Ferry to Palermo

Lucky you—a full day to enjoy more of Naples before heading to Palermo.

Today's Highlights:

  • Use your free time in the Naples Region to do as you wish.
  • Grab lunch, veg out on the beach, and bask in that sweet, sweet Vitamin D.
  • Head back to the ferry port in Naples and board your overnight ferry to Palermo, Sicily.

Day 14: Travel to Catania Region

Hop off the boat in Palermo, stop at a beach in Cefalù, and then it's on to the lively region of Catania.

Today's Highlights:

  • Get off the ferry and kiss the ground (that's what they do in the movies, right?)
  • Grab lunch, peek into tiny shops, and catch some rays at one of Sicily's finest beaches in the town of Cefalù.
  • Continue on to Catania region, and relax at an outdoor café as day turns to night.
  • Make the most of your night; go on the hunt for more fine, Italian cuisine and wine on wine on wine.

Day 15: Explore Taormina + Beach Day

Today you’ll explore Taormina, the posh town literally built on the side of a mountain. Once you stand in the ancient amphitheater, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll understand why more people are flocking here every year.

Today's Highlights:

  • Bask in the spectacular views of Mt. Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.
  • Explore the 7th-century Taormina Greek Theater, which is still in use today. (Bob Dylan once performed here.)
  • Take in the Baroque architecture and quaint, pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets.
  • Return to the Catania region in the evening for another night doing whatever you please.

Day 16: Free Day + Optional Mt. Etna Excursion

The day is yours to explore. Enjoy your free time or take an excursion to the apex of Mt. Etna, a massive active volcano on the eastern coast of Sicily. Don’t forget to eat all the last minute pasta and gelato you can.

Today's Highlights:

  • Continue exploring the noisy, yet always charming region of Catania.
  • Try some pasta alla Norma, yet another delicious pasta dish that originated here in Catania. (It should be noted that this is your last day to enjoy Italian pasta.)
  • Find your way to the beach to catch some lsat minute Italian rays.
  • Get in some mountain time by joining in on the Mt. Etna optional excursion.

Farewell Dinner
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

Mt. Etna: Volcanos and Vineyards(extra cost)

Mount Etna, standing at almost 11,000 feet high, is the tallest active volcano in Europe. Take in breathtaking views of the volcano and Sicilian coast from 5,000 feet up Etna itself. Think you’ve seen enough? Think again and drive an additional 1,500 to explore the craters, learn the history of the volcano and the science behind the eruptions with a local guide. After your tour, sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of authentic Sicilian wine, whose vines are nourished from the rich volcanic soil.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 17: Fly Home

Arrivederci, amici!
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?

–OR–

EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS

1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

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