italy travel packages; coastal location above

From Trafalgar to Globus: The Best Italy Travel Packages

15 min read

Whether wandering through the ancient streets of Rome, marveling at Renaissance masterpieces in Florence, or cruising along the enchanting canals of Venice, Italy captivates with its timeless beauty and unparalleled charm. For those seeking to experience the best that Italy has to offer, vacation packages provide a convenient and comprehensive way to explore this iconic destination. From guided tours that showcase the highlights of Italy’s most famous cities to specialized itineraries that delve into specific themes or regions, these packages offer travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the magic of Italy while leaving the details to experienced tour operators.

The Pros and Cons of Selecting a Vacation Package vs Planning Your Own Italy Trip

Opting for a vacation package, such as a guided tour or all-inclusive package, offers several advantages, but there are also some drawbacks. Ultimately, the decision between selecting a vacation package and planning your own trip depends on individual preferences, priorities, and travel styles. Some travelers may prefer the convenience and peace of mind of a vacation package, while others may value the flexibility and autonomy of planning their own itinerary. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

Pros of Purchasing Vacation Packages


Vacation packages streamline the travel planning process by handling all the logistics. This includes arranging accommodations, transportation (such as flights, transfers, and local transportation), meals (often including breakfast or some dinners), and activities. Travelers can simply choose a package that suits their preferences and budget, eliminating the need to research and book each component separately. This convenience saves travelers valuable time and effort, allowing them to focus on enjoying their trip rather than dealing with logistics.


Tour operators have specialized knowledge of the destination and can provide invaluable insights and recommendations to enhance the travel experience. They often employ local guides who are knowledgeable about the area’s history, culture, and attractions, offering informative guided tours that provide deeper insights than what travelers might discover on their own. Tour operators can also offer insider tips on hidden gems, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and the best times to visit popular attractions, allowing travelers to make the most of their time in the destination.


Vacation packages can offer cost savings compared to booking each component of the trip individually. Tour operators often negotiate group discounts with hotels, attractions, and transportation providers, allowing them to offer competitive prices to travelers. Additionally, bundled pricing for multiple components of the trip, such as accommodations, meals, and activities, can result in overall savings. Group tours also benefit from economies of scale, spreading fixed costs over a larger number of travelers, which can translate to lower per-person costs.

Social Opportunities

Group tours provide opportunities for travelers to meet and connect with like-minded individuals from around the world. Sharing experiences with fellow travelers fosters camaraderie and creates memorable shared experiences. Whether bonding over shared interests, exploring new cultures together, or simply enjoying each other’s company during meals and activities, group tours offer a social aspect that can enhance the overall travel experience and create lasting friendships.

Peace of Mind

With a vacation package, travelers have access to 24/7 customer support and assistance from the tour operator. This provides reassurance and peace of mind, knowing that help is available in case of any issues, concerns, or emergencies during the trip. Whether it’s a flight delay, a medical emergency, or a lost passport, travelers can rely on the tour operator’s support team to provide assistance and guidance, allowing them to travel with confidence and enjoy a worry-free experience.

Cons of Purchasing Vacation Packages

Lack of Flexibility

leaning tower of pisa

Vacation packages often come with fixed itineraries and schedules, which can limit travelers’ ability to explore destinations at their own pace and pursue individual interests. Travelers may feel rushed or constrained by the predetermined schedule, with limited opportunities for spontaneity or leisurely exploration. Additionally, strict departure times and pre-planned activities may not allow for adjustments or changes based on personal preferences or unforeseen circumstances.

Limited Customization

While vacation packages may offer a range of options, they may not fully align with travelers’ specific preferences or priorities. As a result, travelers may need to compromise on activities, accommodations, or dining choices that do not fully meet their expectations. This lack of customization can lead to a less personalized experience and may not cater to travelers with specific interests or dietary restrictions.

Crowded Tourist Attractions

Group tours can sometimes lead to crowded tourist attractions, particularly during peak travel seasons. Large tour groups may overwhelm popular destinations, resulting in long lines, crowded spaces, and limited opportunities for quiet contemplation or authentic experiences. Travelers may find it challenging to experience Italy and immerse themselves in the local culture when surrounded by throngs of other tourists.

Hidden Costs

While vacation packages may appear cost-effective upfront, travelers should be aware of potential hidden costs that can add up during the trip. Optional excursions, gratuities for tour guides and drivers, and additional fees for upgrades or special requests are common expenses that may not be included in the initial package price. Travelers should carefully review the terms and conditions of the package and budget accordingly to avoid unexpected expenses.

Less Spontaneity

Vacation packages often require bookings and reservations in advance, which can leave less room for spontaneous decisions or changes to the itinerary based on changing preferences or circumstances during the trip. Travelers may feel constrained by the pre-planned schedule and may miss out on opportunities for serendipitous discoveries or last-minute adventures. Additionally, rigid departure times and fixed activities may limit travelers’ ability to fully embrace the spontaneity and freedom of travel.

Top Notch Travel Packages for Your Trip to Italy

Trafalgar Tours

Trafalgar Tours provides an array of Italy tours catering to diverse interests and preferences. Whether one seeks to immerse themselves in the timeless allure of Rome, Florence, and Venice or desires a more specialized exploration, Trafalgar offers a curated experience. Their itineraries span various themes, from indulging in Italy’s culinary delights through food and wine tours to delving into its rich artistic and cultural heritage. Moreover, Trafalgar facilitates regional explorations, allowing travelers to venture beyond the well-trodden paths and discover the hidden gems of Italy’s diverse landscapes and communities.

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While the cost of Trafalgar’s Italy tours may vary depending on factors such as the duration of the trip, the specific itinerary, and the level of accommodation chosen, they generally offer good value for the experiences provided. For example, their Best of Italy vacation packages start at $3,465 USD. The price typically encompasses accommodation, transportation within Italy, guided tours, and some meals, offering travelers a hassle-free and comprehensive way to explore the country. Additionally, Trafalgar’s expertise in tour organization and local knowledge ensures that travelers can make the most of their time in Italy, maximizing their cultural immersion and enjoyment without worrying about logistical details.

Trafalgar Best of Italy Tour

The “Best of Italy” tour offered by Trafalgar is a comprehensive journey through Italy’s most iconic destinations and experiences. This tour typically covers highlights such as Rome, Florence, and Venice, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the cultural treasures of these historic cities. In Rome, participants can explore ancient Roman empire landmarks like the Colosseum and Vatican City, while in Florence, they can walk cobblestone streets and marvel at Renaissance art like Michelangelo’s David and Brunelleschi’s Duomo. Venice offers its enchanting canals and palaces, providing a romantic backdrop for exploration.

This vacation package incorporates other notable destinations and experiences as you tour Italy, such as visits to charming Tuscan towns like Siena and San Gimignano, where travelers can savor the region’s renowned cuisine and wines. The itinerary may also include leisurely drives through the picturesque countryside, offering scenic views of vineyards, olive groves, and medieval villages. With expertly guided tours and carefully selected accommodations, Trafalgar ensures that participants enjoy a seamless and enriching travel experience throughout their journey across Italy’s diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. As for cost, specific details would be available on the Trafalgar website or through direct inquiry with the company.

Trafalgar Best of Italy and Sicily Tour

Trafalgar’s “Best of Italy and Sicily” tour is one of the best options for your Italy trip. It promises a captivating journey that combines the highlights of both the major cities on mainland Italy and the enchanting island of Sicily. This comprehensive itinerary spans 15 days, offering travelers an immersive exploration of Italy’s rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant cultures.

The tour begins in Rome, where participants delve into the ancient wonders of the Eternal City, including iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City. From there, the journey continues to Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, where travelers can admire masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery and marvel at the architectural splendor of the Duomo.

After exploring the treasures of Tuscany, the tour ventures south to the sun-kissed region of Campania, home to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Travelers soak in the stunning coastal scenery, visiting the picturesque towns of Positano and Ravello in Southern Italy, before heading to Naples to indulge in authentic Neapolitan cuisine. The tour then takes a ferry across the Tyrrhenian Sea to Sicily, where ancient ruins, Baroque architecture, and culinary delights await. Highlights of the Sicilian leg of the journey include visits to the archaeological site of Agrigento, the charming town of Taormina, and the majestic Mount Etna.

Globus Tours

Globus is renowned for its meticulously planned and comprehensive Italy tours, designed to immerse travelers in the rich tapestry of Italian culture, history, and natural beauty. Their itineraries cover a wide spectrum, from bustling city centers to serene countryside retreats, ensuring a well-rounded experience of the country’s diverse landscapes and attractions. Whether travelers are drawn to the iconic landmarks of Rome, the art-filled streets of Florence, or the romantic canals of Venice, Globus offers carefully crafted tours that showcase the best of Italy’s most famous cities. Starting at $2,069 per person, we suggest Globus’ That’s Amore!: Italy By Design vacation package.

One of the hallmarks of Globus tours is their commitment to providing travelers with flexibility and choice. With options ranging from escorted group tours to independent vacations, travelers can tailor their Italy experience to suit their preferred travel style and pace. For those who enjoy the camaraderie of group travel, escorted tours offer the opportunity to connect with like-minded travelers and benefit from the expertise of knowledgeable tour guides. Alternatively, independent vacations provide greater freedom and autonomy, allowing travelers to explore Italy at their own leisure while still benefiting from Globus’s extensive network of resources and support.

In addition to exploring Italy’s major cities, Globus tours often venture off the beaten path to uncover hidden gems and lesser-known destinations. From charming hilltop villages in Tuscany to tranquil lakeside retreats in the Italian Lakes region, these excursions offer travelers a deeper insight into the authentic heart and soul of Italy. With Globus, travelers can expect a seamless and unforgettable journey through one of the world’s most captivating destinations, where every detail is expertly curated to ensure an enriching and immersive travel experience.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel emphasizes small-group adventures and authentic cultural experiences for those who visit Italy. Their itineraries are carefully curated to provide travelers with immersive encounters that go beyond the typical tourist attractions, allowing them to connect with local communities and delve into the heart of Italian culture. Intrepid’s small-group format fosters intimate experiences, enabling travelers to forge meaningful connections with their fellow adventurers and with the places they visit.

“Italy Real Found Adventure” Tour

One of Intrepid Travel’s popular Italy tours is the “Italy Real Food Adventure,” which takes travelers on a culinary journey through the gastronomic delights of Italy. From savoring fresh pasta in Rome to sampling seafood delicacies in Sicily, this tour offers a delectable exploration of Italy’s diverse culinary traditions. Travelers have the opportunity to visit local markets, learn traditional cooking techniques from skilled chefs, and enjoy authentic meals in family-run trattorias, immersing themselves in the rich flavors and culinary heritage of Italy.

“Walking in Tuscany” Tour

Another notable offering from Intrepid is the “Walking in Tuscany” tour, which invites travelers to explore the stunning landscapes and picturesque villages of the Tuscan countryside on foot. Participants hike through rolling vineyards, olive groves, and cypress-lined lanes, taking in panoramic views of the iconic Tuscan landscape.

Along the way, they have the chance to meet local artisans, visit historic hilltop towns, and indulge in farm-to-table meals made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. This tour offers a unique perspective on Tuscany, allowing travelers to experience its beauty and tranquility at a leisurely pace.

Rick Steves’ Europe

Rick Steves’ Europe offers a range of Italy tours that reflect Rick Steves’ signature approach to travel: a blend of famous landmarks and hidden gems, seasoned with practical advice and a commitment to budget-friendly exploration. One of their notable offerings is the “Best of Italy” tour, a 17-day journey that takes travelers on a comprehensive exploration of Italy’s most iconic destinations.

From Rome’s ancient ruins to Venice’s romantic canals, this tour covers the highlights while also delving into lesser-known regions and off-the-beaten-path sights. Travelers can expect insightful commentary from experienced guides, as well as plenty of free time to explore independently and discover local treasures.

Rick Steves’ “Heart of Italy” Tour

For those seeking a deeper immersion into Italian culture and cuisine, Rick Steves’ “Heart of Italy” tour offers a more intimate experience, focusing on central Italy’s lesser-known regions. Highlights include visits to hilltop towns like Orvieto and Assisi, wine tastings in Tuscany, and cooking classes in the charming town of Siena. This tour provides travelers with a taste of authentic Italian life, with opportunities to meet local artisans, sample regional specialties, and explore the rich history and cultural heritage of central Italy.

Self-Guided Tours

Not interested in following a tour guide around? Rick Steves’ Europe also offers self-guided tour packages for those who prefer to take an independent tour of Italy. These packages include detailed guidebooks, maps, and audio tours, as well as pre-arranged accommodations and transportation, allowing travelers to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of independent travel while still benefiting from Rick Steves’ expert advice and insider tips.

If seeking an independent tour, we suggest taking a trip to Lake Como. Take a cruise on the lake itself to soak in the breathtaking views and see the region from a different perspective. Alternatively, head to a car rental and drive up to famous destinations like Villa del Balbianello, Villa Carlotta, or Villa Monastero. The opulent villas and lush gardens that dot the lakeshore are a sight to behold.

Whether travelers choose a guided tour or a self-guided package, Rick Steves’ Italy tours offer a unique blend of famous sights, hidden gems, and local experiences, all delivered with Rick Steves’ trademark enthusiasm and passion for European travel.

Contiki Tours

Contiki is renowned for its Italy tours tailored specifically for travelers aged 18-35, offering dynamic and vibrant experiences that cater to the interests and energy of younger generations. One of their popular Italy tour packages is the “Italian Espresso,” a whirlwind adventure spanning 7 days that takes participants on a journey through Italy’s most iconic cities.

From the historic streets of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice, travelers can expect a mix of sightseeing, cultural immersion, and social activities, all designed to create unforgettable memories and foster new friendships.

Contiki’s “Simply Italy” Tour

For those seeking a more immersive experience, Contiki’s “Simply Italy” tour offers a deeper exploration of Italy’s diverse regions and cultural heritage over the course of 12 days. Participants have the opportunity to discover hidden gems such as the picturesque Cinque Terre, the medieval town of San Gimignano, and the stunning Amalfi Coast.

Along the way, travelers can indulge in authentic Italian cuisine, soak up the sun on scenic beaches, and immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture, all while bonding with fellow travelers from around the world.

Themed Tours

In addition to their standard tour packages, Contiki also offers themed tours that cater to specific interests and passions—whether you love delicious cuisine or art and architecture. For example, the “Viva Italia” tour focuses on Italy’s delicious food and incredible wine, with a cooking class, tastings, and visits to local markets, while the “Greek Island Hopping” tour combines Italy with a visit to the scenic beauty of the Greek islands, offering a unique blend of Mediterranean cultures and landscapes. With its focus on socializing, adventure, and immersive experiences, Contiki’s Italy tours provide younger travelers with an exciting and dynamic way to explore the wonders of Italy.

Insight Vacations

Insight Vacations is renowned for its luxury escorted tours to Italy, offering travelers a premium experience with exceptional accommodations, exclusive experiences, and VIP access to some of Italy’s most coveted attractions. In addition to their meticulously curated itineraries, Insight Vacations prides itself on providing personalized service and attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of the journey is seamlessly orchestrated to exceed travelers’ expectations.

From private transfers to your boutique hotel to rental car packages to dedicated Travel Directors who provide expert guidance and insider tips, Insight Vacations goes above and beyond to create unforgettable travel experiences that showcase the best of Italy in unparalleled luxury and comfort.

“Country Roads of Italy” Tour

One of their flagship Italy tours is the “Country Roads of Italy” itinerary, a 15-day journey that takes participants on a scenic adventure through Italy’s picturesque countryside and charming towns. From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the sparkling waters of the Amalfi Coast, travelers can expect deluxe accommodations, gourmet dining experiences, and curated excursions that showcase the best of Italy in style.

“Italian Elegance” Tour

For those seeking a deeper immersion into Italy’s rich cultural heritage, Insight Vacations offers specialized tours that focus on specific themes or regions. The “Italian Elegance” tour, for example, invites travelers to explore Italy’s artistic treasures and architectural wonders, with visits to renowned museums, historic palaces, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Enjoy exploring the narrow streets of Imperial Rome on Insight’s Italian Elegance tour.

“Northern Italy Including Cinque Terre” Tour

Meanwhile, the “Northern Italy Including Cinque Terre” tour provides an in-depth exploration of Italy’s northern regions, from the fashion mecca of Milan to the romantic canals of Venice, with highlights including a scenic train journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Cinque Terre.

EF Go Ahead Tours

EF Go Ahead Tours offers a variety of Italy tour packages, providing travelers with the opportunity to explore Italy’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. One of their popular offerings is the “Highlights of Italy” tour, a comprehensive journey that covers iconic cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice, as well as hidden gems such as the picturesque coastal towns of Cinque Terre and the charming hilltop villages of Tuscany. This 10-day itinerary includes guided tours of famous landmarks, leisurely walks through historic neighborhoods, and immersive cultural experiences, allowing travelers to discover the beauty and diversity of Italy.

For those interested in culinary exploration, EF Go Ahead Tours offers specialized food and wine tours that showcase Italy’s renowned gastronomic traditions. The “Taste of Italy” tour, for example, takes participants on a culinary adventure through Italy’s most delicious regions, from the pizza and pasta of Naples to the truffles and wine of Tuscany. Travelers have the opportunity to visit local markets, meet artisanal producers, and enjoy authentic meals prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, immersing themselves in the flavors and traditions of Italian cuisine.

In addition to their guided tours, EF Go Ahead Tours also offers self-guided options for independent travelers who prefer to explore Italy at their own pace. These packages include pre-arranged accommodations, transportation, and sightseeing activities, as well as access to EF Go Ahead Tours’ network of local experts and resources. Whether travelers choose a guided tour or a self-guided package, EF Go Ahead Tours provides a seamless and memorable travel experience, allowing participants to discover the magic of Italy with ease and convenience.

Final Thoughts: Answering Your FAQs

What’s included in the package? Travelers often want to know exactly what is included in the package to ensure they understand what they are paying for. This may include accommodations, transportation, meals, guided tours, entrance fees to attractions, and other activities.

Are flights included in the package? Many travelers want to know if flights to and from Italy are included in the package price or if they need to arrange their own transportation separately.

Can the itinerary be customized? Some travelers may want to customize their itinerary to suit their interests, preferences, or schedule. They may inquire if it’s possible to make changes to the proposed itinerary or add on additional activities.

What is the group size? Travelers may be curious about the size of the tour group to gauge the level of intimacy and personal attention they can expect from the tour guide and fellow travelers.

What are the accommodations like? Questions about the quality and location of accommodations are common. Travelers may want to know if they will be staying in hotels, resorts, or other types of accommodations, as well as the amenities and facilities available.

What is the pace of the tour? Travelers may inquire about the pace of the tour to ensure it aligns with their preferences. They may want to know if there will be leisure time for relaxation or exploration, or if the itinerary is packed with activities and sightseeing.

What is the cancellation policy? Travelers may want to understand the cancellation policy of the tour package in case they need to change or cancel their plans unexpectedly.

Is travel insurance included? Travelers may ask if travel insurance is included in the package or if they need to purchase it separately to ensure coverage for unforeseen events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.

Are there any additional fees or hidden costs? Travelers may want to know if there are any additional fees or hidden costs associated with the package, such as gratuities, taxes, or fees for optional excursions or upgrades.

How experienced are the tour guides? Travelers may inquire about the experience and qualifications of the tour guides to ensure they will receive knowledgeable and engaging commentary throughout the trip.