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Northern Italy &...

Northern Italy & Cinque Terre Walking Tour

11 days |  13 days with Florence extension
11 days |  13 days with Florence extension
Group size1222 travelers

4.8 star rating

Physical activity
people walking on the street between pink and orange buildings cinque terre
green hills and mountains outside of bolzano
hand holding a cone filled with seafood by the water in cinque terre
woman walking down stairs overlooking the town of vernazza
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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This is the different Italy—a region bursting with the pleasantly unexpected.

Go north and step into a land where rock spires rise above lush landscapes, Austrian influences characterize the village streets, and tranquil lakes and perfumed vineyards are always on the horizon. An epic coastline runs alongside towering cliffs and terraced vineyards. From Lake Maggiore and the staggering Dolomites to the “Five Worlds” tucked within the Riviera’s Cinque Terre, tread through Italian landscapes at their most surreal and surprising on this small group Adventure Tour.

Your tour package includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 wine tasting
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Included highlights

  • Sacro Monte
  • San Giulio Island
  • Valpolicella wine tasting
  • The Dolomites
  • Bolzano
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Start planning today

An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

Talk to a Tour Consultant

Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Milan today.

Lake Maggiore Region3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Italy
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Italy! Arrive in Milan Malpensa and transfer to the Lake Maggiore region. Then, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Lake Orta & Sacro Monte walk
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel into a region famed for its classic Italian landscapes as you make your way to picturesque Lake Orta.

  • Explore the UNESCO-recognized Sacro Monte, a series of small, fresco-lined chapels and ornate statues dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Walk along the lakeside trail to the village of Orta San Giulio where you'll enjoy free time
  • Hop aboard a water taxi and cruise to San Giulio Island, which is home to a massive, ancient monastery now serving as a convent for cloistered nuns
Day 4: Free day in the Lake Maggiore Region
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in the Lake Maggiore region or add an excursion.

Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Borromean Islands

From $135 per person

Dolomite Region3 nights
Day 5: Valpolicella vineyard walk & wine tasting
Included meals: Breakfast, Light lunch, Dinner, Wine tasting

Leave the waters of Lake Maggiore behind for the rolling vineyards of Valpolicella, a countryside region acclaimed for its olive groves and superior wine vintages.

  • Embark on a Tour Director-led walk along a path surrounded by beautiful vineyards and olive trees
  • Head to a local wine estate to have lunch and taste some of the region’s most famous labels: Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto
  • Continue to Bolzano, the region’s capital, set against the UNESCO-listed Dolomite mountain range
Day 6: Dolomites walk
Included meal: Breakfast

Experience the Dolomites from Seiser Alm, a sprawling meadow set amidst the surreal limestone peaks. (Please note: Depending on local weather conditions, the activities and sequence of your included walk may change)

  • Board a cable car and ride to the village of Compatsch to begin your walk on the scenic Bullaccia Ring Trail (Please note: Depending on the season, Compatsch may be reached by bus.)
  • Take in panoramic views of the surrounding stone spires and mountain valleys
Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Bolzano
Included meal: Breakfast

Discover Bolzano, or Bozen in German, a city comprised of two distinct cultures.

  • Starting in the main city square, Piazza Walther, make your way through the famous open markets to the Gothic-style cathedral
  • Step into Piazza del Grano, the heart of Bolzano’s medieval village
  • Tour the main streets, including Via dei Portici-Laubengasse
  • Enter the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to see Ötzi the Iceman

Enjoy a free afternoon in the Dolomite region or add an excursion.

Bolzano Castles & Santa Maddalena Wine Tasting

From $145 per person

Italian Riviera2 nights
Day 8: Transfer to the Italian Riviera
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Wave goodbye to the Dolomites as you travel south to the Italian Riviera.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Cinque Terre
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

Get a taste for the unique villages of Cinque Terre on a Tour Director-led walk along the upper trails and a coastal boat ride.

  • Travel to Levanto and board a train to Riomaggiore
  • Set off on a scenic uphill trail walk from Riomaggiore to the pathways above the town of Manarola
  • Learn about the eroding seaside paths and why walking on the upper trails is a more sustainable way to see the beauty of the area
  • Enjoy sweeping views of the villages and coastline from above
  • Meander through vineyards and farmland built on steep terrain, known as heroic agriculture
  • Stop at a vineyard or olive oil press to sample local products grown on the hillside
  • Walk down into Manarola and board a boat to the town of Vernazza, enjoying stunning views of the coastline and villages from the water
  • Enjoy free time to eat lunch and shop in the seaside town before taking the train back to Levanto
  • Admire the Liguria region’s varied landscape as you transfer back to your hotel by bus

Please note: Depending on the season and weather, today’s activities may vary.

Florence1 night
Day 10: Florence via Lucca
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

On your way to Florence, join a local guide in the town of Lucca for a bike tour.

  • Bike along a section of the almost three-mile Renaissance-era walls
  • Take in impressive views of Guinigi Tower, as well as the classic red-tiled rooftops and cypress trees below
  • Descend into the center of town for a walking tour to view Lucca Cathedral, the Church of San Michele in Foro, Piazza dell' Anfiteatro, and Via Fillungo
  • Enjoy free time to peruse the local shops

Please note: You’ll bike along flat, paved paths without cars during the tour of the Lucca city walls. Travelers can opt to take a self-guided tour of the walls by foot instead of biking.

Continue to Florence and celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Flight Home
Day 11: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport to board your flight home or extend your stay in Florence.

Extension to Florence
Not ready to say arrivederci? Continue your trip in the Tuscan capital of Florence, where Renaissance beauty and really (really) good food are practically everywhere. See the highlights alongside a local guide, then lean on your Tour Director’s expert recommendations to seek out even more.
Florence2 nights
Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Florence
Included meal: Breakfast

Set off on a walking tour of Florence, the city at the center of the Renaissance, with a local guide.

  • Admire sweeping views of the city’s skyline from Piazzale Michelangelo, a local-favorite hilltop outlook located on the south bank of the Arno River
  • Walk downhill to the medieval Ponte Vecchio
  • Stroll along the Arno River and through the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery to Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life
  • Step inside the Basilica of Santa Croce, the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo
  • Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture
  • View the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

Enjoy a free evening in Florence or add an excursion.

Fiesole Villa Dinner

From $129 per person

Day 12: Free day in Florence
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Florence or add an excursion.

This evening, sip a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

Tuscan Vineyards Walk & Chianti Wine Tasting

From $129 per person

Flight Home
Day 13: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport to board your flight home.

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4.8 star rating

Overall rating 4.8 out of 5

Based on 83 authentic traveler reviews
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    5.0 star rating

    Fabulous tour of hidden gems of Italy!
    6/7/23 by 1st-time traveler Lisa

    This tour was spectacular! I have been to Italy several times and have seen the major sights but this tour offered a deeper dive into less traveled areas of this beautiful country. The itinerary was spot-on for active travelers who enjoyed lots of walking and hiking. The beauty of the Dolomites defy...

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    5.0 star rating

    Northern Italy
    6/7/23 by 3rd-time traveler Mark

    Fantastic trip to some places off the typical tourist areas. Highlights were the hikes (Dolomites and Cinque Terre) and the wine tastings. The city of Lucca was a pleasant surprise. Elena was a great tour director! Our small group of 15 were good to travel with and our smaller but comfortable bus wa...

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    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 8/7/23

    Hi Mark! Thank you so much for your kind review an...

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    5.0 star rating

    Loved northern Italy!
    6/7/23 by 2nd-time traveler Debbie

    My husband and I enjoyed this tour very much. The smaller group size was nice and we were comfortable throughout the trip. I can't give our tour director, Elena, enough praise. She was absolutely wonderful and was crucial to the success of the tour. As a local, her insight and knowledge was perfect....

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    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Hotel Simplon
    Hotel Simplon

    This upscale hotel is located in the town of Baveno on Lake Maggiore’s western shore. Guests enjoy a large outdoor pool, access to a lakeside beach, a...

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    Mondschein Hotel Luna
    Mondschein Hotel Luna

    This traditionally styled, family-run hotel is located in the historic center of Bolzano. Guests enjoy the private park and gardens, free wellness are...

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    Hotel Canali Rapallo
    Hotel Canali Rapallo

    This charming hotel is located in the Rapallo neighborhood. Guests enjoy sea views, a terrace, and bike rentals. Nearby you’ll find Rapallo Castle, Mu...

    Read more +
    Hotel Diplomat
    Hotel Diplomat

    This charming hotel is located near the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find t...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights


    Print FAQ
    Passport, visa & entry requirements
    • In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
    • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
    • Beginning in 2024, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must register for an ETIAS travel authorization in order to enter many European countries.
    • Passport holders from over 60 visa-exempt countries (including the U.S. and Canada) will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization in order to visit 30 European countries. That means that even if you’ve previously traveled to any of these European countries without a visa, starting in 2024, you’ll need to get ETIAS authorization to visit them again. If you’re traveling to multiple countries with this requirement, you only need to complete the form once. All Go Ahead travelers are responsible for obtaining their own ETIAS travel authorization before departure. For more details, please visit our Help Center.
    • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code WNI.
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    Tour pacing & mobility
    • You will walk for at least 3.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including unpaved trails, cobblestone streets and slippery walkways, with some steep hills.
    • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
    • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats.
    • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
    • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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    Walks on this tour
    • Depending on local weather conditions, seasons and trail closures, the activities and sequence of your included walks may change.
    • Orta Peninsula – 2 miles / 2 hours. A flat path along the shore of Lake Orta with mountain views. A brief uphill climb to the UNESCO-listed Sacro Monte Nature Reserve.
    • Valpolicella Vineyard – 1.5–2 miles / 45 minutes. A moderate path from San Giorgio to a local wine estate with a few declines.
    • Bullaccia Ring Trail – 4.5 miles / 3–4 hours. A challenging walk up paved and unpaved paths for panoramic views of the surrounding valley and Dolomite Mountains.
    • Via dell’Amore – .5 miles / 40 minutes. An easy stroll along a flat path with stunning views of Cinque Terre. (Please note: this path is often closed due to construction.)
    • Vernazza and Monterosso – 1.8 miles / 2.5 hours. A difficult trek between the two beautiful villages, featuring intermittent stairs, inclines, and sweeping views of the coast.
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    Transportation & arrival information
    • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Milan Malpensa and depart from Florence. When you first arrive, a representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
    • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost. Please note that the transfer between Milan Malpensa airport and your hotel in the Lake Maggiore Region is typically more than an hour drive. Please contact us with any questions regarding this transfer.
    • A water taxi ride in Lake Orta is included in the price of your tour.
    • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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    Baggage allowance
    • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
    • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
    • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
    • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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    Clothing & packing tips
    • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
    • Light hiking boots or sturdy sneakers are recommended for the cobbled stones and uneven terrain.
    • You may want to consider packing a collapsible walking stick for more challenging walks.
    • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
    • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
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    • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
    • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
    • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code WNI.
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    • Venice and Northern Italy are known for flavorful meats and pastries.
    • On the Italian Riviera, a taste of the region’s famous basil pesto is a must. Delicious seafood dishes are popular along the shore, but true Ligurians favor simple, traditional recipes like minestrone soup and farinata, an unleavened chickpea pancake.
    • Tuscany is world-famous for its wine, oil, sauces, and pasta. Menus favor subtle, lighter pastas and desserts made with nuts, fruit, and honey. Try a dish featuring the region’s Chianina beef, perhaps the most prized breed of cattle in all of Italy. For wine, popular Tuscan reds include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which are primarily made from the Sangiovese grape. Well-known white wines are also made around the San Gimignano region.
    • For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like grappa or limoncello.
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    Electricity & air conditioning
    • Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, F or L plugs with two or three small, round pins.
    • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
    • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
    • Your hotel may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
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    • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
    • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
    • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
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    Time zones
    • Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
    • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
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    • You will use the euro on this tour.
    • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
    • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
    • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
    • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
    • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
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    • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
    • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $8USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
    • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
    • Tips can only be paid in cash.
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    Purchasing excursions on tour
    • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
    • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
    • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
    • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
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    Museums in Florence
    • If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. See for the Uffizi Gallery or for the Accademia Gallery. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.
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