Exploration of the Italian Lakes, the Italian Alps, Emilia-Romagna & Tuscany

14
Nights
2019
Sep 27
From
$5300
Including accommodation, guided sightseeing,
tours, meals

Led by Australian-born Italian resident Heather Burden, visiting Umbria, Tuscany, Portofino Coast & the Italian Lakes.

"I am looking forward to showing you hill towns, villages and other places that get to the heart of the real Italy, beyond the normal tourist route. I want you to live like an Italian, tasting the wines, meeting the people, visiting craft workshops and experiencing other local activities so you can see what Italian life is really like." Heather Burden

Highlights Include

  • Take a ferry across lake Como to Villa Carlotta
  • Bolzano in the Italian Alps
  • Take the Ritten train to explore the most beautiful and evocative panoramic points of the Dolomites
  • Castello del Buonconsiglio (for several centuries residence of the prince bishops of Trento)
  • A full day tour to experience the delights of Bologna
  • Take the cable car up the highest peak in the Dolomites
  • A sightseeing tour of beautiful Ravenna, on the Adriatic coast
  • An exciting day tasting the produce of the region - Ferrara
  • Walking tour of Florence
  • Stay at a small family-owned, 15th-century hotel built by Bernardo Rossellino as a summerhouse for Pope Pius II
  • Enjoy delicious Tuscan dinners each night during our stay at Bagno Vignoni
  • A guided tour of Bagno Vignoni with a local
  • An afternoon’s drive through the beautiful Orcia Valley
Exploration of the Italian Lakes, the Italian Alps, Emilia-Romagna & Tuscany

Includes

  • Accommodation in carefully selected, centrally located, three and four-star hotels with private facilities
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Travel in a first-class chartered coach
  • Continental breakfast daily
  • Dinners on tour, as listed in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing and general entry fees as detailed in the tour itinerary
  • Tour leadership by Australian-born Italy expert Heather Burden
  • A Travelrite International travel bag

The advantages of a relaxed group tour

On these tours we are able to make the most efficient use of time in the most relaxed way possible. Forget about navigating your way through an unfamiliar road system or dealing with parking. No stress and no hassles. Everything is taken care of. Everything is planned. We have found the most interesting places to see, so come and let us look after you.

  • Travel at an enjoyable and leisurely pace
  • Stay at carefully selected, comfortable hotels with character
  • Rather than just visiting the sights, meet the locals at work and at play
  • Enjoy free time for independent sightseeing, shopping and relaxation
  • Savour regional wines and cuisine
  • Experience informative and caring tour leadership by Italy expert Heather Burden
Heather Burden

Heather Burden

Heather Burden was born and educated in Sydney. In 1979, through her love of skiing, she travelled to the Italian Alps to do a ski season, promptly fell in love with a ski instructor and has been in Italy for the past 33 years. Since selling her business a few years ago, she now divides her time between the north and the south of Italy. She enjoys living surrounded by olive trees and beautiful turquoise seas. Heather has an intimate knowledge and love of the history, culture and day-to-day life of Italy and is happy to share the magic of this beautiful country. “I am looking forward to showing you hill towns, villages and other places that get to the heart of the real Italy, beyond the normal tourist route. I want you to live like an Italian, tasting the wines, meeting the people, visiting craft workshops and experiencing other local activities so you can see what Italian life is really like.” Heather Burden

DAY 1 Friday September 27, 2019 Como, the Italian Lakes
Upon arrival into Milan Airport we will meet Heather Burden and transfer to Como, where we spend the three nights. Como was prosperous under the Ancient Romans and reached its zenith in the 11th century. Now, it is a modern town situated in a beautiful setting on the shores of Lake Como.

DAY 2 Saturday September 28, 2019 the Italian Lakes
Today we take a ferry across the lake to Villa Carlotta, known for its beautiful setting and spectacular gardens. Built in 1745 and later given as a wedding present to Carlotta, Duchess of Saxe Meiningen. We will then take the ferry across the lake to the lovely town of Bellagio. Occupying a magnificent site on the promontory dividing Lake Lecco from Lake Como, it is known for its pretty streets, villas and gardens. The group will have the option of visiting the semi-classical Villa Melzi, known for its splendid gardens, on the shore of the lake. We return to Como by ferry in the afternoon.

DAY 3 Sunday September 29, 2019 the Italian Lakes
A free day to explore the town of Como, relax on the lake, or visit surrounding villages.

DAY 4 Monday September 30, 2019 Bolzano, the Italian Alps
Today we travel to Bolzano in the Italian Alps. Its surrounding slopes are covered with orchards and vineyards. Bolzano’s architecture shows a marked Tyrolean or Austrian influence. Its main square, Piazza Walther, and the delightful Via dei Portici are overlooked by some lovely houses. Bolzano will be our base for the next four nights.

DAY 5 Tuesday October 1, 2019 the Italian Alps
We travel to the village of Soprabolzano, located on the plateau of Ritten. We will take the Ritten train to explore the most beautiful and evocative panoramic points of the Dolomites. Upon reaching the highest point we will have spectacular views of the alpine scenery. We will continue the tour to Callalbo, a typical mountain village, where we can admire the ‘pyramids of rock’, imposing stone columns that emerge from the soil. Here, we will have some free time to stroll around and have lunch. We return to Balzano late afternoon.

DAY 6 Wednesday October 2, 2019 the Italian Alps
Today we travel to the delightful town of Trento a meeting point of Austrian and Italian influences standing at an important crossroads with converging routes from Venice, the Brenner Pass and Brescia. We will see the Castello del Buonconsiglio (for several centuries residence of the prince bishops of Trento), the Duomo, its splendid piazza and fountain dedicated to Neptune, the frescoed houses and Council churches, as well as the museums and exhibitions which make Trento a true landmark of alpine arts, culture and traditions.

DAY 7 Thursday October 3, 2019 the Italian Alps
We venture further into the Dolomiti today. The main touring route is the great Dolomite Road, a world-famous example of road engineering. The road was already used during the Renaissance by merchants travelling between Venice and Germany and was also used during the First World War. We will travel through the picturesque Ega Valley, with pink sandstone walls, and see the attractive village of Nova Levante, the Passo di Costalunga and the resort of Vigo di Fassa. From Malga Ciapela we will take the cable car up the highest peak in the Dolomites, Marmolada. There will be spectacular views of the Cortina peaks and, in the background, the Austrian Alps.

DAY 8 Friday October 4, 2019 Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna
We depart our hotel this morning and travel to Ferrara in the popular Emilia-Romagna region. Emilia-Romagna is generating a lot of interest with its towns and villages reminiscent of Tuscan villages of 20 years ago. Ferrara is a tranquil town with squares, palaces and streets lined with red-brick houses. A splendid cultural centre during the Renaissance, these days Ferrara is a young and vibrant town and one of the major artistic and cultural centres in Italy.

DAY 9 Saturday October 5, 2019 Ferrara
Today, we have a full day tour to experience the delights of Bologna. Bologna has always been an important crossroads between northern and southern Italy and between northern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Bologna’s university, along with that of Paris, is the oldest university in Europe. Known as Bologna the Fat, due to its gastronomic opulence, Bologna is enshrined as the food capital of Italy. Bologna is also a significant cultural and architectural hub with imposing buildings, squares and towers, as well as 53-km of porticos. We will have a guided tour of the city, as well as free time to explore and shop.

DAY 10 Sunday October 6, 2019 Ferrara
This morning we travel to beautiful Ravenna, on the Adriatic coast and will have a sightseeing tour of the town, which was briefly the capital of the Roman Empire and, later, the Italian capital of the Byzantine Empire. During this time, incredible mosaics were constructed throughout the city. Described as a symphony of colour in Dante’s Divine Comedy, Ravenna’s well-preserved mosaics are some of the finest remaining in the Western world. We will return to Ferrara late afternoon.

DAY 11 Monday October 7, 2019 Ferrara
Today, we will have an exciting day tasting the produce of the region. We travel to Modena for a balsamic vinegar tasting, then continue to Parma for a tour and tasting at a parmigiano cheese factory. We will also try some of the local Parma ham. We return to Ferrara late afternoon.

DAY 12 Tuesday October 8, 2019 Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany
Today we travel south by coach to the Tuscan village of Bagno Vignoni. We will stop in Florence for a walking tour, where we will see the cathedral with its enormous dome, the Baptistry, Piazza Signoria, the famous Ponte Vecchio and more. We will also have time for lunch. We continue on to Bagno Vignoni, a small Orcia River valley village, which has long been a favourite among painters and travellers seeking solitude in a beautiful location. We will stay at a small family-owned, 15th-century hotel built by Bernardo Rossellino as a summerhouse for Pope Pius II, who enjoyed the advantage of the nearby hot mineral springs. Tour members will enjoy delicious Tuscan dinners each night during our stay at Bagno Vignoni.

DAY 13 Wednesday October 9, 2019 Bagno Vignoni
Today we visit the great medieval city of Siena. Best known for the famous Palio horse race held in the magnificent Piazza del Campo, Siena is also home to the oldest bank in the world, a spectacular town hall and majestic cathedral. This morning a local guide will introduce us to the sights of the city, including the Piazza del Campo, with its splendid civic tower and the enormous, partially completed Duomo. The afternoon will be free for tour members to explore Siena independently. We return to Bagno Vignoni for our included dinner.

DAY 14 Thursday October 10, 2019 Bagno Vignoni
Today we will visit the town of Pienza, the birthplace of Pope Pius II and the setting for the film, The English Patient. It was the pope’s dream to turn his old town of Corsignano into a utopian model town. He commissioned architect Rossellino to make it into a jewel of renaissance architecture. The aroma of pecorino cheese and other local specialities will tempt us into the many cheese shops. Near Pienza, we will visit the studio of a local art family, which continues the ancient traditions of Tuscan painting. We enjoy an afternoon’s drive through the beautiful Orcia Valley, with its rolling hills, to the Brunello wine area of Montalcino to savour a wine tasting in a well-preserved 14th-century fortress.

DAY 15 Friday October 11, 2019 Depart
We will be transferred to Rome Airport for return flights to Australia.

Twin Fare (Land Only) Single Fare (Land Only)
$5,300 $6,600

Speak to our consultant about great airfare deals to join the group.

INCLUDED IN TOUR PRICE

  • Accommodation in carefully selected, centrally located, three and four-star hotels with private facilities
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Travel in a first-class chartered coach
  • Continental breakfast daily
  • Dinners on tour, as listed in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing and general entry fees as detailed in the tour itinerary
  • Tour leadership by Australian-born Italy expert Heather Burden
  • A Travelrite International travel bag

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

  • International airfares to join the group
  • Passport and visa fees
  • International airport and travel taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing and general expenses not specified in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Additional travel arrangements not in the tour itinerary will be quoted for separately

Extending

You can stay longer in Italy for minimal additional cost. Please contact 1800 630 343 for more information.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

International touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.

Tour Operator:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) (ATAS A10538) is the tour operator.

Tour Prices:
The tour prices are based on airfare, general transport, accommodation and other costs at foreign exchange rates at 1 June 2018. Travelrite International reserves the right to alter the tour price or modify the tour if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with a full refund of monies paid if the price increase is greater than 10% of the original price. No alteration to the tour price will be made within 60 days of departure from Australia.

Deposits and Payments:
A deposit of $700 per person is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 60 days before departure. An administrative fee of 1.5% will be added to each payment made by Visa and Mastercard and a 3% fee for payment by American Express or Diners Club cards.

Cancellations:
Cancellation more than 60 days from the date of departure from Australia will incur a cancellation fee of $700 per person. Cancellations 60 days or less from the date of departure will result in the loss of all monies paid. Travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover the cost of cancellation fees that could result from a death in the family, illness, etc.

Minimum Tour Numbers:
The tour has been priced on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 60 days prior to the date of departure. Travelrite International reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified price.

Refunds:
The tour is based on arrangements that do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilised after the tour has commenced. Travel Documents: All passengers will need to be in possession of a valid passport. No visa is required for Australian passport holders.

Baggage:
All economy-class passengers qualify for a 20kg free baggage allowance. Coach capacity for the tour is for one piece of luggage per person plus hand luggage. Baggage is as own risk throughout the tour.

Changes to the Tour Itinerary:
Travelrite International reserves the right to make changes to the tour itinerary to fit in with operational requirements. Any change to the itinerary will be replaced with similar arrangements with an equal or greater value.

TOUR PARTICIPATION:
Children under 5 years of age are ineligible on coach & cruise tours. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Passengers with disabilities are welcome on Travelrite & Cruise Offers tours provided they are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all necessary assistance, and do not require special assistance from Travelrite & Cruise Offers personnel. Travelrite and Cruise Offers reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone if it is felt the individual cannot cope with the requirements of coach & cruise tour travel and who may require services and facilities that Travelrite & Cruise Offers cannot guarantee will be available. You agree to not hold the Travelrite & Cruise Offers responsible for any decision made by any of them or any service provider to refuse to carry you, provide any facilities or accommodation to you or to provide any service to you.

Responsibilities:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd ( ATAS No. A10538) is the tour organiser. Travelrite International acts only as an agent in making arrangements with carriers, hoteliers and others for the tour. As a result we cannot accept liability for any act or omission whatsoever, whether negligent or otherwise of those carriers, hoteliers or other persons providing services in connection with the tour over whom we have no direct or exclusive control. We do not accept responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, delay, change of schedule or any other events which are beyond our direct control, such as, but not limited to, war, terrorism, flood, fire, civil disturbance, acts of God, acts of government, or any other authorities, accidents to or failure of machinery or equipment, or industrial action. The passage contract in use by the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies or firms and the purchasers of these tours. The contract shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Victoria and any legal action must be undertaken in the State of Victoria.

How to Book:
Bookings can be made by sending full names and addresses of intending tour members with a deposit of $700 per person to:

Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103

Further information can be obtained by telephoning
Toll Free: 1800 630 343
Telephone: (03) 8803 6868
Fax: (03) 9836 8068
Email: balwyn@travelrite.com.au

About Travelrite International:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established travel company which has been marketing throughout Australia for over 25 years and operating in Victoria for more than 30 years. It is a member of ATAS (No. A10538) and has two fully accredited IATA offices Heathmont and Balwyn. As such they directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators. Travelrite International Pty Ltd is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – AFTA.

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Travelrite International