ITALY: Ciao Bella! – Escorted Women’s Tour to Italy
4th - 17th May 2019 - Places are limited
Destinations: Rome, Positano, Florence, Chianti, Florence
Tour Grading MODERATE: Suitable for travellers with an above average level of fitness and mobility
Tour Commences In: Rome
Number of Days: 14 days / 13 nights
Accommodation: Luxury / Deluxe
Leaders: Australian Tour Manager and professional expert guides
Tour Concludes In: Florence
Tour Style: Luxury / Deluxe Escorted Small Group Tour
Meals: Breakfasts; 13: Lunches; 4: Dinners; 4:
Transportation: Luxury / Deluxe private chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles; Fast Trains
Ciao Bella! - Join us for a holiday of a lifetime on our wonderfull Small Group Women’s Tour to Italy. We visit some the WOW places in Italy Rome, Pompei, Amalfi Coast, Positano, Isle of Capri, Tuscany, Florence, enjoy the countryside of Chianti and we visit San Gimignano.
Sometimes finding travelling partners can be difficult, but with a small group tour to Italy just for women you have the added benefit of being in a group of women just like you and if your travelling solo you will never be alone. New friends really are just around the corner.
Our itineraries are carefully planned and well thought out and touring Italy can sometimes offer some wonderful surprises. The magic of travelling in such a small group allows us to cater for spontaneity and it is sometimes these unplanned occurrences that can be the most memorable. The rich tapestry of your experiences and the characters you meet along the way, the laughter and fun shared on this journey will make this tour of Italy something special.
- Special Early morning entry to see the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, before the crowds
- Private guided tour of Ancient Rome and the Colosseum
- Fabulous day visiting Isle of Capri on our own private boat, time for swimming and your own exploration
- A walk through the town of Positano to find all the best shops and products
- Historical guide for a discovery of Pompeii
- Regional markets and time for self exploration
- ’Special’ dining experiences with spectacular views!
- Lunch in an ancient villa
- Wine tasting in historic wineries – with meals wine is included
- Fun cooking class in Positano with a local well know chef in one of the best restaurants, learn to make the Amalfi’s specialities
- Time for shopping and your own ‘discovery’
- Wonderful local and registered guides in villages and towns
- 4 and 3 star superior hotels, situated in the centre of the places we visit and hand picked
- Entrance into galleries and attractions when accompanied by a guide
- Group ground transportation throughout the tour including chauffeur driven vans, train, ferries, (a local bus may be used in Amalfi) taxis at times
- Limited to only 14 guests
- All tips and gratuities to guides and drivers
- Italian Indulgence Tour Director for the entire period of the tour.
- Meals as indicated in Itinerary; B = Breakfast: L=Lunch: D=Dinner:
- Day 1: Saturday 4th May 2019: Arrive Rome
- Day 2: Sunday 5th May 2019: Rome
- Day 3: Monday 6th May 2019; Rome
- Day 4: Tuesday 7th May 2019: Rome to Pompeii and Positano
- Day 5: Wednesday 8th May 2019: Positano
- Day 6: Thursday 9th May 2019: Amalfi coast
- Day 7: Friday 10th May 2019: North to Tuscany
- Day 8: Saturday 11th May 2019: Florence
- Day 9: Sunday 12th May 2019: Florence
- Day 10: Monday 13th May 2019: Chianti
- Day 11: Tuesday 14th 2019: Chianti
- Day 12: Wednesday 15th May 2019: Chianti - San Gimignano, the perfect Tuscan town
- Day 13: Thursday 16th May 2019: Chianti - Siena
- Day 14: Friday 17th May 2019: Depart Tuscany
Join our tour to Venice
Day 1: Saturday 4th May 2019: Rome:
Bella Roma!! Welcome. Freshen up before we start on our exciting discovery of Rome. In the early evening we meet for a stroll to some of the best piazzas before welcome drinks and dinner in the historical heart of Rome. Our hotel is centrally located, just two minutes from the Pantheon and eight to the Trevi Fountain. Then enjoy a delicious authentic Roman meal and get to know our Ciao Bella travelling companions.
Drinks, dinner and wine included.
Day 2: Sunday 5th May 2019: Rome Ancient Rome Tour:
Discover ancient Rome with our small group Emperor and Gladiators tour today. We walk in the path of the Gladiators and discover the Colosseum and the amazing structure that has stood the test of time for 2,000 years and hear of its bloody history. We also discover the Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and Venice Square. Tonight we'll enjoy an aperitivo on the rooftop of a local bar looking out onto gorgeous Rome before dinner. ('Aperitivo' is the best part of the day, its where we enjoy the local wine with a compulsory delicious morsel that always accompanies a glass of wine in Italy)
Day 3: Monday 6th May 2019: Rome:
Today is special. We have exclusive early entry tickets to the Vatican and will be in the Sistine Chapel before the crowds. Who would come to Rome and miss the Vatican and what better way to discover it than to have a special entry? We discover the most amazing collection of art assembled over the centuries by the most well loved artists that have ever lived. We discover Michelangelo’s Pieta and learn of the history and intrigue of the Roman Emperors and Popes. In the afternoon we walk back through the most historic parts of Rome - Campo di Fiori, Piazza Navona etc., to sit in a quaint piazza for lunch. You will have ample time to discover the many other fascinating museums and galleries that make Rome so exciting. Or a little window shopping might be more to your liking?
Day 4: Tuesday 7th May 2019: Rome to Pompeii and Positano:
We say goodbye to the eternal city and travel to Pompeii. WOW, what an amazing city. We have our expert guide to make this ancient city come alive revealing the secrets behind the time capsule left behind after the eruption of Mt Vesuvius. We can peek into homes and shops and also read graffiti telling us so much of the daily life. We continue our journey onto beautiful Positano where, perched high above the water, the houses seem to cling to the cliffs and have been the subject of a thousand postcards. Dinner tonight in gorgeous Positano, over looking the town - the prettiest town on the Amalfi coast. This really is a magical place.
(We only use expert guides for our 'special' visits as Italian law restricts guides unless they have the correct license.)
Breakfast and dinner with wine.
Day 5: Wednesday 8th May 2019: Positano:
In the morning, you will have time to explore the gorgeous town of Positano. This delightful town is one of the pearls of the Amalfi coast with houses which seem to cling to the side of the mountain. You could spend hours here discovering wonderful small shops selling the best produce from the coast. Ceramics, linen and hand-made shoes....this place is a shopper's paradise. For lunch, you could venture out to the very next bay and enjoy a delightful lunch sitting in the sand with the best local seafood.
Or as an exciting option, you could take part in a fun cooking class at one of Positano's best known restaurants (optional).
Day 6: Thursday 9th May 2019: A day on the water experiencing the Amalfi coast:
A fabulous day on the Amalfi coast! Our exclusive boat will take us along the stunning Amalfi coast where we will discover the most attractive bays for swimming along with the inlets and grottoes. We pass in front of Praiano, the fiord of Furore and Conca dei Marini to discover the emerald grotto. We might even have time to discover the towns of Amalfi and Atrani and enjoy a lunch in the main piazza.
Day 7: Friday 10th May 2019: North to Tuscany:
We take the red, fast Ferrari train to Tuscany, sometimes travelling at 300 km per hour north to Tuscany. We pass through the wonderful landscapes of Lazio and Umbria until we reach the centre of Tuscany, Florence, where the great renaissance artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo called home. Our hotel is right in the centre of Florence, just a skip from all of the important monuments, museums and galleries. Discover the stunning town of Florence with its Ponte Vecchio amazing architecture and quiet piazzas. We meet tonight and visit a very fun and authentic restaurant where we can taste the best Tuscan products: delicious pecorino cheese, sliced meats, pasta and of course, Tuscan wine.
Breakfast and dinner with wine.
Day 8: Saturday 11th May 2019: Florence - Walk the streets of Leonardo and Michelangelo's home:
This morning we will have 'skip the line' tickets for the most amazing array of renaissance art in Italy when we visit The Uffizi. If you've ever wondered what Botticelli's magnificent 'Birth of Venus' or the 'Primavera' look like, close up - here is your chance. Florence is the centre of Renaissance art. (This is an unguided tour). Later we'll discover the amazing architecture, history, grand palazzos and more.
In the afternoon you might decide to visit one of the excellent galleries or museums for which Florence is famous.
Day 9: Sunday 12th May 2019: Discover Michelangelo's 'David':
This morning we discover the central food market, the bustling heart of the city. Tasting and sampling as we go, we'll enjoy the best products of not only Tuscany but the whole of Italy. After our morning in the market, you will have 'skip the line' tickets to view Michelangelo's David in the Accademy.
Later, you might decide to spend time visiting the hundreds of museums and galleries like the Pitti Palace, Bargello, Salvatore Ferragamo or the new Gucci museum or just take time to do some last minute shopping before our departure tomorrow.
Day 10: Monday 13th May 2019: Chianti Lunch in an ancient villa:
We travel through wooded hills and lush valleys where we will discover quaint Tuscan towns, everyone a picture waiting to be taken. In the afternoon we learn about Chianti wine in an ancient winery with a private guided tour and then a lunch in the villa dining room, just for us! We continue on to our next destination our gorgeous Tuscan town where we’ll be spending the next 4 nights.
Breakfast and lunch with wine.
Day 11: Tuesday 14th May 2019: Chianti - A day of leisure in the centre of Tuscany:
Kick back and enjoy a leisurely morning and a late breakfast, you are on holidays after all. Today you can be as busy as you'd like exploring your gorgeous Tuscan town or relax by the hotel pool overlooking the vineyards, you might venture out for a delicious lunch or dinner in the very characteristic town. At night meet on the terrace for an aperitivo with delicious wine and products of the area.
Day 12: Wednesday 15th May 2019: Chianti - San Gimignano, the perfect Tuscan town:
We visit the quintessential Tuscan hill top town - San Gimignano. We journey through the verdant landscapes of Tuscany to experience the quaint hill top town of San Gimignano and its magnificent towers. We will venture to the highest point giving us spectacular views of the Val d’Elsa and wander through the quaint shops maybe looking for that perfect ceramic plate or chic Italian bag. Our travels will take us to other Tuscan hill towns and although quite different, they are all delightful.
Day 13: Thursday 16th May 2019: Chianti - Siena:
Siena was the medieval rival of Florence it is a joy to explore the Il Campo, or centre piazza, the star of many films. We will have a walking tour to discover the incredible duomo before stopping for lunch in a lovely quiet piazza. Tonight is our last night in Tuscany so we meet at a local restaurant to indulge in delicious Tuscan cuisine to celebrate our time together.
Breakfast, aperitivo, dinner with wine included.
Day 14: Friday 17th May 2019: Depart Tuscany:
We say goodbye to our Ciao Bella friends and beautiful Tuscany. You will be transferred to the train station in the centre of Florence in the morning where our wonderful discovery of Italy ends. Or you could extend our time together and join us in Venice! This tour starts at the train station in Florence.
Every assistance will be given to find your way to your next destination.
Venice (our Venice extension tour). Goodbye to Tuscany, Hello to Venice
Don't want to leave Italy?
Why not join your group on a further exploration of Venice? This amazing city, built in the most inhospitable of places, a lagoon, is such a wonderful jewel to explore. The magnificent villas lining the Grand Canal and the tiny calles (lanes) are so atmospheric....sometimes eery at night.
This morning we will take the fast train from Florence to the island of Venice and it's not until you pass over the rail bridge that you realise what an amazing engineering feat Venice is. Every building and bridge uses as its base vertical poles rammed into the earth and water to support the most beautiful villas lining the Grand Canal. This is a city unlike any other. So atmospheric, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were walking back in time when venturing out to the tiny streets away from St Mark's Square. (Which happens to be the most beautiful in all of Italy).
After settling in to our hotel, near the Rialto Bridge, we'll take an orientation walk to St Mark's and meet our guide Antonella who, along with our trusty private boat captain (in his gorgeous wooden boat), will take us on the most amazing exploration of the back canals of Venice.
We'll find out how the real Venetians live, how they get around this island without the use of cars, how they live and work in a world quite different from other cities. We'll learn how they bury their dead, school the children and why it's so difficult for young Venetians to live on the island. The stunning villas lining the Grand Canal can only be truly appreciated by travelling in a private boat.
Tonight let's enjoy the Venetian pastime of cicchetti - where we will enjoy delicious snacks with the local Venetian wine, before our dinner.
Venice is also filled with music and most nights it's possible to enjoy a concert or opera all set in lovely palazzos.
Day 15: Saturday 18th May 2019: Venice. Learn the secrets of Venice with a local:
Our guide will take us on a walk through the back streets of Venice until we reach the seat of power, the Doge's Palace. This magnificent building is placed in the most prominent of places, St Mark's Square and we will discover the history of the Doges (the rulers of Venice). We'll discover the Bridge of Sighs and find the rare Byzantine art of St Mark's church. When we're with an expert guide of Venice, we can skip almost all the long lines.
This afternoon at leisure. It will be possible to take the local ferry to Murano, the only place where glass can be blown, away from the main island of Venice as they fear any fires on the main island. We'll be able to watch artisans ply their trade and maybe take home a beautiful momento of Venice.
Who's up for an evening gondola ride? Tonight we'll do what all good tourists do and share a gondola ride through the magical back canals of Venice.....couldn't be more perfect than to be on the water in Venice.
Breakfast and gondola ride through the canals.
Day 16: Sunday 19th May 2019: Venice:
Venice is divided into sestiere (suburbs) and this morning we will venture to the other side of the river using a local traghetto (the local's version of the gondola). We will visit the local fish market and do some exploration of this side of Venice. A favourite pastime is sitting in front of the Grand Canal watching the goings on with the transport boats, the many gondolas and the local ferries enjoying a coffee. We'll have time to discover the many artisans of Venice, the hand made shoes, the ancient art of mask making, and of course, the glass.
Tonight we'll dine in a tiny restaurant off the beaten track, producing truly authentic Venetian cuisine.
Breakfast, Dinner with wine
Day 17: Monday 20th May 2019: Depart Venice - or linger longer..
This morning we say goodbye to La Serenissma and our Ciao Bella friends. Italy leaves such sweet memories. Your tour escort will help with planning your journey to either to train station or the airport.
Our itineraries are carefully planned and well thought out but touring Italy can sometimes offer wonderful surprises. The magic of travelling in such a small group allows us to cater for this spontaneity and it is sometimes these unplanned occurrences that can be the most memorable. The rich tapestry of experiences and the characters you meet along the way will make this tour of Italy something special.
Thank you for making my first solo holiday so much fun and carefree! I will hold such fond memories of you and all the wonderful ladies of the Ciao Bella Tour.
Leanne R, Brisbane
A wonderful holiday! Have enjoyed Italy so much more this time around.
Leonie W, Toowoomba
I would not change one thing of this fantastic experience. It has given me memories I will treasure for the rest of my life. Many, many thanks.
Fiona W, Perth
My first solo trip and I was a little nervous but from the arrival in Rome and being picked up by a friendly driver my Italian trip was more than I ever expected. The Ciao Bella Tour has the best guides and drivers and is very professionally organized but not over organized. Everywhere we went was fantastic as well as the company, food wine and even the weather, I thoroughly recommend it.
Ann P, Brisbane
Having just completed the Ciao Bella women's tour of Italy, I can honestly say it was my dream holiday. My husband doesn't like travelling so my sister and I joined a fantastic group of 9 other ladies and led by the gorgeous Annette, we had an amazing time. It's hard to pick a favourite destination as every city/region were equally beautiful. Our hotels, food and wine were excellent. Our guides were all exceptional- knowledgable and passionate about their wonderful country. Being a small group there was flexibility in our itinerary and Annette was a great organiser. I would recommend this tour very highly and am already saving up to join another.
Angela B, Queensland
"To all the single ladies out there - Ciao Bella is the tour for you! I had the most amazing time of my life and did not want it to end. It was such a unique opportunity to be able to travel with other amazing women and to do all of the things that women love to do! Annette is an absolute delight and is a fountain of knowledge on all things Italiano. This tour gives you a very personal experience of Italy and I loved every moment- the food, the culture, our private boat in Positano, shopping with the girls, spritz at sunset and most of all loads of fun and laughter and memories that will last forever. Cried when I had to leave".
Kathy. C, Sydney