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Northern Italy & Cinque Terre Walking Tour

with Florence extension
  • Duration: 11 or 13 days
  • Group size: 14-28
  • Reviews: 63
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.

Your tour package includes
  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 4 guided walks
Included highlights
  • Sacro Monte
  • San Giulio Island
  • Valpolicella wine tasting
  • the Dolomites
  • Bolzano
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Day-by-day itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Italy today.

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

Welcome to Italy! Arrive in Milan and transfer to the Lake Maggiore region. 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 full free day in the Lake Maggiore region or add an excursion.

Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Borromean Islands
Excursion (additional cost)
Dolomite Region3 nights
Day 5: Valpolicella vineyard walk & wine tasting
Included meals: Breakfast, Light lunch, Dinner

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.

Earth Pyramids & Panoramic Landscapes of Ritten
Excursion (additional cost)
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: Cinque Terre walk
Included meal: Breakfast

Get a taste for the unique villages of Cinque Terre. (Please note: Depending on the season and weather, activities in Cinque Terre may vary)

• Meander from Monterosso to Vernazza, absorbing the local scenery as you traverse cliff-top bridges, vineyards, olive groves and lemon orchards

• Board a boat for a cruise to the artsy outpost of Riomaggiore before taking the train back to your hotel

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

On your way to Florence, tour the town of Lucca with a local guide

• Walk along a section of the almost three-mile Renaissance-era walls

• Take in impressive views of the classic red-tiled rooftops and cypress trees below

• Descend into the center of town to view the Palazzo Pfanner, Lucca Cathedral, Guinigi Tower, Basilica of San Frediano and the Church of San Michele in Foro

• Enjoy free time to peruse the local shops

Continue to Florence and gather with your fellow travelers for 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 continue your tour in Florence.

Extension to Florence

Make your stay in Tuscany last a little longer with two more nights in Florence, the capital of the Renaissance. Once home to the world’s artistic, literary, and architectural greats, Florence is bursting with beautiful things to explore, from the Church of Santa Croce to the iconic Duomo.

Florence2 nights
Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Florence
Included meal: Breakfast

Set off to see Florence, the city at the center of the Renaissance, with a local guide.

• View the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Walk past Piazza della Repubblica 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

Enjoy a free evening in Florence or add an excursion.

Fiesole Villa Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 12: Free day in Florence
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Florence or add an excursion.

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

San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors
Excursion (additional cost)
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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Reviews
5
63
4.8 average
The Ideal Tour
by 3rd time traveler 

This was the perfect trip for my husband and me. We wanted a hiking tour, and this one gave us many good hours of trekking through absolutely gorgeous scenery: the Dolomites, the Cinque Terre, and others. Our accommodations were excellent--in beautiful small Italian towns on the Mediterranean Sea an...

Read more +
Northern Italy Walking Tour May 2019
by 2nd time traveler 

My husband and I highly recommend this tour. It is a nice compromise between a hiking tour and one that is sedentary, although we thought we might do a bit more walking. We are both in our early 70s and in fairly good shape. It did not help that we had a surprise snow fall in Bolzano so had to abo...

A Wonderful Experience!
by 2nd time traveler 

This was my first tour with GoAhead, and it was an exceptional trip. I'm not much for big cities, and this trip suited me well in that regard. The tour ramps up the difficulty of the walks/hikes, to help get you in shape for the most strenuous hikes toward the end of the tour -- the Bullaccia Ring...

Bittersweet
by 3rd time traveler 

Most of the trip was great, but there was times when i realized this was more than i can handle. My legs and feet held out.but my body gave in during the walk in the Alps. I bit off more than I can chew and realized that I was too old for this trip. Everyone was around 50,60 70 of age and I was way ...

by 5th time traveler 

Great tour. Cinque Terre hike very challenging. You need good hiking shoes. bullaccia hike was also difficult. Both were worth the effort for the incredible views. Sabra was an amazing tour director!

Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
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.

Hotels

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

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...

Four Points by Sheraton Bolzano

This elegant hotel overlooks the Dolomites. Guests enjoy a restaurant, pool, and mountain views. Nearby, you’ll find Walther Square, Messner Mountain ...

Flights

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
FAQ
Passport & visa 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.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 3.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including unpaved trails, cobblestone streets and slippery wallkways, 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.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Milan 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.
Baggage allowance
  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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).
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.
  • 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 [cdc.gov](https://www/cdc.gov).
  • 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.
Cuisine
  • Venice and Northern Italy are known for flavorful meats and pastries.
  • 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 breeds 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.
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.
Connectivity
  • 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.
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.
Currency
  • You will use the euro in Italy.
  • 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.
Tipping
  • 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 $7USD 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.
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.
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 [uffizi.org](http://uffizi.org/) for the Uffizi Gallery or [accademia.org](http://www.accademia.org/) for the Accademia Gallery. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
Choose your dates to start a quote
6 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
Sep 4–Sep 14, 2019
Extension available
Join waitlist
$4,049
May 20–May 30, 2020
Extension available
$4,049$3,949
Jun 3–Jun 13, 2020
$4,049$3,949
Jul 1–Jul 11, 2020
Extension available
$4,049
Aug 12–Aug 22, 2020
$4,049$3,949
Sep 2–Sep 12, 2020
Extension available
$4,049
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