Rome to Vienna
from $7950
Duration: 23 Days
See northern Italy’s iconic sights, quintessential landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine on this 24-day adventure. Beginning in Rome, enjoy a Renaissance revival in Florence, marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and see Cinque Terre’s stunning coastline and pastel villages. Compare the world-class wine of the Piedmont region with that found along the famous South Tyrolean Wine Road. Admire the splendour of Lake Como and explore Venice’s maze of canals on a gondola ride. Then cross into Austria to discover the old-world charm of Salzburg and Vienna. With the perfect mix of scheduled activities and free time to explore on your own, this trip is a great way to experience all that Italy and Austria have to offer.
  • Wander around Rome's famous landmarks including the Colosseum, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica and much more. This is a city that bucket lists were made for
  • Meet Michelangelo's David in Florence and discover the city beneath the centuries of Renaissance art. Then get pleasantly lost exploring the tangle of canals and alleyways that make Venice.
  • Contrast the pastel buildings and rocky coastal pathways of the Cinque Terre with the villages, estates and gardens dotted around Lake Como.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa may be Pisa's most iconic image, but the city offers so much more. The Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Baptistry are masterpieces in Medieval-Italian architecture
  • Compare the world-class wines of Italy’s Piedmont region with those found along the south Tyrolean Wine Road, ones of the oldest wine routes in the country.
  • More than just Mozart and the Sound of Music, Salzburg also boasts a blossoming arts scene, fantastic cuisine and some of the country’s prettiest landscapes and architecture. Enjoy a gorgeous view of the skyline from Hohensalzburg Castle at sunset.
  • This trip includes plenty of time in Vienna, the undisputed arts hub of Central Europe. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse.
  • Lucca - Bicycle Tour
  • Pisa - Half Day Trip to Pisa
  • Cinque Terre - Day Trip, including Cinque Terre Pass
  • Portofino Peninsula - Walk and Boat Ride
  • Asti - Village Winery Visit & Wine Tasting
  • Milan - Duomo Rooftop Visit
  • Milan - Half Day Trip
  • Lake Como - Ferry Pass
  • Venice - Traghetto Boat Ride
  • South Tyrol - Wine & Bike Tour South Tyrolean Wineroad
  • South Tyrol - Alpe di Siusi Cable Car
  • South Tyrol - Rauchhütte Lunch
  • South Tyrol - Scenic Walk with Local Storyteller
  • South Tyrol - Prösels Castle Visit
  • Salzburg - Hohensalzburg Fortress Visit
  • Day 1 Location: Rome
    Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Crowded with ancient ruins and religious monuments, Rome still pulses to the beat of modern life and is packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife. If you arrive early, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Maybe save the unmissable sights for later and today do as the Romans do – sip an espresso at one of the tiny streetside cafes and sample the many flavours of gelato that colour the city. For those captivated by the 'Eternal City', throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return visit to Rome. Keep in mind that there will be an important welcome meeting, usually at around 6pm, where you’ll meet your group leader and fellow travellers.
    Day 2 Location: Rome / Florence
    Enjoy some free time in Rome or, if you wish, your group leader will be available for an orientation walk, taking in some of the best-known sights of Rome like the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum. No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free and there's a small charge to climb the dome for a breath-taking panorama over parts of the city. If there's time, visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon you'll travel by train from Rome to Florence – Italy's outdoor museum (approximately 2 hours). Florence, the cultural heart of Tuscany, bursts with religious treasures and Renaissance masterpieces. It's been said that during the second millennium, a third of Europe's most important artists lived in Florence. The minds and talents of the Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all flourished here. After checking in to your hotel, the rest of your evening is free to explore the city of the Renaissance. Food is also a major part of the city's identity, so why explore some of the Tuscan delicacies on offer with your travel pals.
    Day 3 Location: Florence
    Today is a free day for you to explore all that Florence has to offer. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so take your time to work out a plan. The principal sights are easily discovered on foot – the Pitti Palace, Ponte Vecchio, Arno riverside, the many statues and monuments of the Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, 13th-century, the Baptistry and the Belltower, and the Santa Croce Church. Otherwise, take a visit to the Uffizi – one of the world's oldest art galleries and a work of art in itself. If you’re wanting to see Michelangelo's iconic statue of David, head to the Galleria dell'Accademia. In the evening, perhaps climb the steep stairs uphill to Piazzale Michelangelo a renowned sunset view across the rooftops of Florence. Afterwards, join the locals in taking a passeggiata – a leisurely socialising stroll – perhaps between Piazza Beccaria and Piazza della Repubblica. That is, if you aren’t enjoying a Tuscan meal instead.
    Day 4 Location: Florence / Lucca
    No doubt there'll be more to see in Florence this morning, then this afternoon, take a train to Lucca (approximately 2 hours). Lucca is one of Tuscany's real hidden gems, with centuries-old buildings, beautiful churches, charming piazzas and narrow streets within its ancient city ramparts. You’ll be captivated by this charming and medieval town. You’ll be staying in the city centre which allows easy access to all the sights, restaurants and bars – all an easy stroll from the hotel's front door. Make sure you join the traditional evening pastime of many locals and take a stroll along the top of the famous city walls that surround the perimeter of the old city.
    Day 5 Location: Pisa / Lucca
    Set off on a cycling tour following the scenic Serchio River through the Tuscan countryside (4 kilometres round the walls that are now a tree-lined avenue, and 14 kilometres by the river, approximately 3-4 hours). Your base in Lucca provides you with the perfect opportunity for a later outing to the nearby city of Pisa (approximately 30 minutes by local train). Here there'll be ample time for you to visit the world-famous Leaning Tower, as well as the nearby Duomo in Piazza dei Miracoli and the Pisa Baptistry. The Leaning Tower was built in the 12th century, but its foundation was on shifting sand and clay, meaning that it now leans at an angle of four degrees, after restoration and stabilising work. Continue to wander the streets past high-end boutiques and speciality book and antiques stores, perhaps stopping to enjoy an aperitif. Afterwards, head back to Lucca. An ideal way to end the day is to head to a local bar for a refreshing Prosecco and a delicious focaccia with finocchiona salami and pecorino cheese, best enjoyed in the shadow of the Palazzo Pretorio.
    Day 6 Location: La Spezia
    Travel by train to La Spezia (approximately 3 hours) – the gateway to the gorgeous Italian Riviera. A medieval port town whose name is derived from its historic importance in the spice trade, La Spezia is your base for exploring the nearby stunning stretch of coast known as the Cinque Terre. The name comes from the five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – whose position, wedged into a series of coves between cliffs makes it one of the highlights in the whole of Italy. After lunch, explore the city or perhaps head out by ferry or bus to the pretty seaside town of Portovenere, known for its colourful houses straddling the waterfront. Return to La Spezia and walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione to the gardens along the harbour. Otherwise, opt to take another ferry to Lerici – another small village across the Bay of Poets dominated by its castle – for a waterside dinner.
    Day 7 Location: Cinque Terre / La Spezia
    This morning, venture out to visit the enchanted Cinque Terre. The footpaths that run between the villages were once the only way to travel in the region, and take you through olive groves, vineyards and on to idyllic, breath-taking vistas. If you're feeling energetic, walking parts of the path (up to 12 kilometres, approximately 5 hours) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside, though will require a good level of fitness. Some sections of path can be difficult, as there are challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. It's also possible to take the train between any of the villages or back to your base in La Spezia whenever you want. Stop off for lunch at one of the towns and relax in the vibrant atmosphere.
    Day 8 Location: Portofino Peninsula / Asti
    Travel by train to Santa Margherita on the Peninsula of Portofino (approximately 1 hour). Store your luggage and set off on an energetic 5-7 kilometre walk, finishing in Portofino. Start by wandering down to the Santa Margherita waterfront, past small fishing boats in the marina, enjoying the views back to town. Continue along the road, passing beach clubs, private villas and hotels that command the skyline, where the hills of the Italian Riviera meet the Bay of Tigullio. Spot locals sunbaking in the coves, then cross through some undulating forested terrain. Descend down to the picturesque port of Portofino – the place where the rich and famous come to play. Continue up to the viewpoints surrounding the town, join the glamorous for coffee and people-watching along the harbour, or perhaps stop at a focacceria to try this typical Ligurian bread. Afterwards, enjoy the fabulous coastal scenery with a boat ride back to Santa Margherita (weather permitting). Continue by train to Asti (approximately 2.5 hours) in the Piedmont region, where mouth-watering culinary delights await. Be sure to try a dish flavoured with truffle and indulge in a tipple of Italian wine.
    Day 9 Location: Asti
    This morning, take a bus to the green hills of the nearby rural village of Castagnole Monferrato, where you’ll visit the home of a local winemaking family to sample their vintages. The Ruche grape variety is unique to this region of Italy – it's grown in just seven small villages in the province of Asti and produces a ruby-red, intense and aromatic wine. You may even like the option to enjoy a home-cooked lunch in the village, before returning by bus back to Asti. The town of Asti, located in the Piedmont region, was one of the most important towns in medieval times, sitting on trade routes between Turin, Milan, and Genoa. Today, it’s best known as the home of some of the finest and most sought after wines in Europe – excellent reds and the sparkling white ‘spumante’. It's also the best place to find ‘tartufo’, or truffles – a distinctive regional delicacy. You may be lucky enough to be here on a market day, when the Piazza del Palio hosts the region’s largest open-air market.
    Day 10 Location: Milan / Lake Como
    Travel by train to Milan (approximately 3 hours) – Italy's second largest city and the capital of Lombardy – for a few hours to explore. In this most fashionable of cities, this is the place for stylish shopping and cafes! Explore the city's historic centre, visit the Gothic Duomo and walk between its rooftop sculptures, admiring the views and the stunning Gothic terrace. You may like to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece – The Last Supper – if there's time, so be sure to book tickets well in advance. Alternatively, head to the park of Castello Sforzesco; the perfect destination on a hot day. Later in the afternoon, continue by train and bus to Lake Como (approximately 2 hours) – an area of stunning beauty full of unique and evocative landscapes. Arrive in Como and head up to your base in the small town of Cadenabbia. This small town has a feeling of tranquility, and your accommodation sits right on the lake with incredible views.
    Day 11 Location: Lake Como
    This morning, board a ferry to travel across the blue waters of Lake Como to the pretty village of Bellagio. Here you can enjoy a walk through the countryside and discover the estate of the Villa Melzi. This grand white villa sits just back from the water and its surrounding estate is filled with rare and exotic plant life. The rest of the day is free to take the ferry between the various parts of this area of Lake Como, like Varenna, Cadenabbia, or the beautiful Villa Balbianello, which film fans may recognise from films franchises like James Bond and Star Wars. Villa Carlotta is another waterfront villa open to the public. It holds a range of artwork and is surrounded by acres of manicured Italian gardens. Just past Cadenabbia is Tremezzo, where you can find delicious food or an aperitif – sitting dockside, lakeside, or out on a veranda. Simply strolling and admiring the beautiful views whichever way you turn is an ideal way to spend the day. With some fine Italian food tonight, of course.
    Day 12 Location: Venice
    Leave the lakes district behind and head for another watery wonderland, taking the train to Venice (approximately 4-6 hours - depending on the train connections available). This grand city of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years. Venice is built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. There are plenty of things to keep you busy when you arrive. Join your leader and take a walk around the maze of streets behind Piazza San Marco and begin to understand the complex canal system of Venice. Your leader will introduce you to the local way of crossing the canal, by traghetto. It only takes a minute or so, but it is a quintessential experience to have in Venice. The rest of the day is free for you to explore. The Grand Canal is a great place to start, as you can stroll over the Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. For dinner, perhaps seek out Venice's distinctive culinary heritage, which goes back to ancient times and features rich risottos, saline baccala (salted cod) and creamy polenta.
    Day 13 Location: Venice
    Venture out and explore Venice today. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Take in the famous sights – the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, Doge's Palace (the ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco with its golden Basilica, and of course, the evocative Bridge of Sighs. No trip here would be complete without a journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. There’s creativity everywhere, overflowing into the canals; see it in the Venetian glass in Dorsoduro or down the streets spreading out from the Campo Santo Stefano. Visit the Palazzo Ducale, overflowing with paintings by Italian masters, and contrast it with the modern Guggenheim. Simply enjoy getting lost and uncovering your own slice of Venice.
    Day 14 Location: Venice
    Today is a free day for you to explore Venice. There are no activities planned until tonight's group meeting for the next part of your trip, so head out as there are plenty of things to keep you busy. After the meeting, maybe gather your fellow travellers for a dinner of Venetian specialities like fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes.
    Day 15 Location: Venice
    Today is another free day for you to take in the multitude of sights in this extraordinary city. Take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for the best view of Venice. Or head over to the islands of Murano and Burano. The former is known for its glass, the latter for its lace work. Both islands are quieter than the main islands of Venice, and provide an insight into local life. Alternatively you can simply while away your day in the busy San Marco square. Be sure to try the local tiramisu and Italian coffee that's on offer. Simply enjoy getting lost and uncovering your own slice of Venice.
    Day 16 Location: Bolzano
    Bolzano is as curious as it is beautiful, and it is very, very beautiful. A mixture of German and Italian heritage makes for an interesting cultural mix in this valley town, from European-style epoque buildings to the Mediterranean-flavoured porticoes of the main square. The 3.5-hour train journey to Bolzano is made enjoyable by glimpses of gorgeous countryside from the window. Arrive and enjoy an orientation walk through this picturesque town then enjoy a free evening to it up at your leisure. The Piazza Walther (central square) is beautifully lit up in the evening and makes a great place to begin.
    Day 17 Location: South Tyrol / Bolzano
    Today you’ll get to sample some of the wines this region is famous for while enjoying the fresh air and stunning surrounds with a bike tour of the South Tyrolean Wine Road. Peddle along the river and through orchards, taking in the delightful sight of villas and vineyards nestled in the hills. Stop and sip along the way, perhaps trying a glass of fragrant gewurztraminer or lightly spiced cabernet – both varieties are particularly popular here. The ride will take less than 3 hours, leaving the rest of the day free for you to enjoy this beautiful area.
    Day 18 Location: South Tyrol / Bolzano
    Enjoy a full day in the Alpe di Siusi, the largest high-altitude alpine meadow in Europe. See the incredible vistas from above in a cable car ride over the area. Explore Prosels Castle, a building with a fascinating history. Constructed in the 13th century, the castle was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 15th century and was briefly occupied by farmers as a form of protest in the 16th century. Then, take a scenic walk with a local storyteller to learn more about the area’s history, which (spoiler alert) involves witch trials. Enjoy an included lunch and contemplate the often dark history behind the beauty of Alpe di Siusi at the Rauchhutte, a well-situated alpine chalet restaurant at 1850 metres above sea level.
    Day 19 Location: Innsbruck / Salzburg
    Journey into Austria, taking a train ride to Innsbruck (approx. 2 hours), the provincial capital of North Tyrol. You'll store your luggage at the train station and head into town for some exploration. Make sure you spend some time in the beautiful old town and visit the famous Golden Roof. Perhaps check out the lavish interior of the 16th century Imperial Palace (Hofburg). Next up is another train ride to Salzburg (approx. 2 hours), the birthplace of Mozart and a World Heritage-listed city. Enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival and get acquainted with the streets around your hotel. The skyline of Salzburg is filled with the domes and spires that typify baroque architecture. Later, enjoy a fantastic view of the city while watching the late European sunset from lofty Hohensalzburg Castle. After that, your evening is free. Maybe grab an Almdudler spritz (white wine mixed with the popular herbal soft drink).
    Day 20 Location: Salzburg
    Today you are free to see Salzburg at your own pace or choose one or more optional activities to partake in. Maybe head to the birthplace of Mozart or relax in the gardens of Mirabell Palace. In the evening, maybe ask your leader where you can grab some Tafelspitz. This classic Austrian dish features meat boiled in a broth, served with minced apples and horseradish. The description may not sound particularly special, but this hearty meal combines salty, sweet and sharp flavours in a way that is incredibly satisfying.
    Day 21 Location: Vienna
    The capital of Austria and the undisputed legacy arts hub of central Europe, Vienna awaits after a 2.5-hour train journey. Get started with an orientation walk, then you’re free to do whatever you want. The public transport in the city is fantastic, which makes getting around easy. The geometric tiling on the roof of St Stephan’s Cathedral is worth a look, and you can climb 136 metres to the top of the south tower for amazing views of the city. In the evening why not head out for a meal? Of course, the classic schnitzel is abundant (and delicious) but if you’d like to try something a little different ask your leader where to find a traditional beuschel (a ragout made with calf lung and heart).
    Day 22 Location: Vienna
    Enjoy a free day in Vienna, with a choice of optional activities. One choice is Schonbrunn Palace, an expansive estate with lawns perfect for lounging and multiple rooms preserved from different eras. Or perhaps check out the central Hofburg Imperial Palace, where bibliophiles can see one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Prefer to learn about a city through its culinary tradition? Consider a Food, Coffee and Market Urban Adventure. In the evening, you have the option of joining your fellow travellers and leader for dinner.
    Day 23 Location: Vienna
    There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following check-out. As there is so much to do and see in Vienna you may want to consider extending your stay here. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. Speak to an Intrepid representative for more information.
    Dates
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    Departure Date:
    29JUN2020
    Return Date:
    21JUL2020
    7950NZD
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    Departure Date:
    27JUL2020
    Return Date:
    18AUG2020
    7950NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    24AUG2020
    Return Date:
    15SEP2020
    7950NZD
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    07SEP2020
    Return Date:
    29SEP2020
    7950NZD
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    Departure Date:
    03MAY2021
    Return Date:
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    8135NZD
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    17MAY2021
    Return Date:
    08JUN2021
    8135NZD
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    Departure Date:
    31MAY2021
    Return Date:
    22JUN2021
    8135NZD
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    Departure Date:
    28JUN2021
    Return Date:
    20JUL2021
    8135NZD
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    Departure Date:
    26JUL2021
    Return Date:
    17AUG2021
    8135NZD
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    Departure Date:
    23AUG2021
    Return Date:
    14SEP2021
    8135NZD
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    Last modified (date)

    27 Feb 2020

    Trip title

    Rome to Vienna

    Trip code

    ZLSVC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

    Introduction

    See northern Italy’s iconic sights, quintessential landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine on this 24-day adventure. Beginning in Rome, enjoy a Renaissance revival in Florence, marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and see Cinque Terre’s stunning coastline and pastel villages. Compare the world-class wine of the Piedmont region with that found along the famous South Tyrolean Wine Road. Admire the splendour of Lake Como and explore Venice’s maze of canals on a gondola ride. Then cross into Austria to discover the old-world charm of Salzburg and Vienna. With the perfect mix of scheduled activities and free time to explore on your own, this trip is a great way to experience all that Italy and Austria have to offer.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Train,Public bus,Private vehicle,Metro,Bicycle,Boat

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

    Joining point

    Hotel Stella

    Via Castelfidardo 51

    Rome

    ITALY

    Phone: +39 064441078

    Joining point description

    Hotel Stella, a former 19th century mansion, is centrally located near Termini Station (Rome's main railway station) and the biggest park in Rome, Villa Borghese. All rooms have private facilities, air conditioning, room safe, TV and hairdrier.

    Joining point instructions

    From Rome Fiumicino Airport (airport code FCO) you can follow the signs from the arrivals hall to the train station in order to catch the 'Leonardo Express' directly to Termini Station (Rome's main railway station). For those arriving at Ciampino airport (airport code CIA), Terravision operates a bus link to Termini Station. Once at Termini Station, exit the building on the right hand side exit onto Via Marsala. Turn left and walk along Via Marsala until it crosses Via Solferino. Here you will have to turn right. After one block you reach Piazza dell'Indipendenza square. At the far end of the square on the left you will find Via Castelfidardo. Walk up Via Castelfidardo and Hotel Stella is at number 51 on the left hand side. The entire walk takes no more than 10 minutes. For those not wishing to walk a short taxi ride would be suitable from Termini station. Pre booked arrival transfer from Fiumicino (FCO) or Ciampino (CIA) airports: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall near the exit doors holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +39 335 568 5666.

    Finish point

    Magdas Hotel

    Laufbergergasse 12

    Vienna

    AUSTRIA

    Phone: +43 1 7200 288

    Finish point description

    Magdas hotel is conveniently located near the famous Prater amusement park in Vienna. The modern hotel prides itself on its eclectic up-cycled decor and it is filled with art. The hotel celebrates diversity and provides training and employment for refugees in Austria. Wi-Fi is available.

    Finish point instructions

    If you are making your own way to Vienna Airport (airport code VIE) reception will be able to organise a taxi for you. Alternatively you can catch the local regional train or the S-Bahn to the airport. Departures from Praterstern station (a 10-minute walk from the hotel) are frequent, inexpensive, and the ride takes about 25 minutes. If you have pre-booked a departure transfer to Vienna Airport, your driver will pick you up at the hotel's reception. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you're unable to locate the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +43 699 1386 2065.

    Important information

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night: - Days 6–7 La Spezia/Cinque Terre Please also note that due to the small properties we stay in through Europe there are only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent. COMBINATION TRIP As this is a combination of two trips, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Venice.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips in Europe are accompanied by one of our local European group leaders. ’Local’ in this context means a leader who is European or lives in Europe. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader takes care of logistics, will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we also aim to support local guides in the individual cities or locations we travel to. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend an optional local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/safety-guidelines

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    VENICE GONDOLAS Please note, life jackets are not provided on Gondolas in Venice.

    Visas

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking Visas for Italy and Austria are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

    Why we love it

    Wander around Rome's famous landmarks including the Colosseum, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica and much more. This is a city that bucket lists were made for

    Meet Michelangelo's David in Florence and discover the city beneath the centuries of Renaissance art. Then get pleasantly lost exploring the tangle of canals and alleyways that make Venice.

    Contrast the pastel buildings and rocky coastal pathways of the Cinque Terre with the villages, estates and gardens dotted around Lake Como.

    The Leaning Tower of Pisa may be Pisa's most iconic image, but the city offers so much more. The Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Baptistry are masterpieces in Medieval-Italian architecture

    Compare the world-class wines of Italy’s Piedmont region with those found along the south Tyrolean Wine Road, ones of the oldest wine routes in the country.

    More than just Mozart and the Sound of Music, Salzburg also boasts a blossoming arts scene, fantastic cuisine and some of the country’s prettiest landscapes and architecture. Enjoy a gorgeous view of the skyline from Hohensalzburg Castle at sunset.

    This trip includes plenty of time in Vienna, the undisputed arts hub of Central Europe. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse.

    Is this trip right for you

    The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and all have toilets, however can often be quite busy. Please note that we will store our bags at the railway station in Milan while exploring town. There is a limit of one bag per person for the lockers, so please make sure you pack accordingly. Please also note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the trains, and up and down stairs at train stations and at hotels, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes. You may want to consider taking a backpack rather than a wheelie bag, however this is up to your personal preference and what you feel more comfortable with. Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Many hotel rooms in Europe are not equipped with air-conditioning. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Hotel rooms in Europe can seem rather small by American or Australian standards and often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. Please also note that often hotels offer shared bathrooms rather than ensuite facilities.

    Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. VEGETARIANS Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. BREAKFASTS There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

    Money matters

    CURRENCY The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. CASH The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 800.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

    What to take

    PACKING On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

    WATER BOTTLE Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation or simply refill with tap water (your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination). When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

    Climate and seasonal

    SUMMER Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. SHOULDER SEASON In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above. In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ PECORA NERA Pecora Nera (The Black Sheep) restaurant in Lucca is taking positive action for the inclusion of disabled persons both socially and in the workplace, favouring the diffusion of a different image of disability - one from which the potential of the individual person emerges, and is given value. The project aims to facilitate an experience that can be recreated in other restaurants and commercial activities in the region. Pecora Nera employs disabled or differently-abled people as waiting staff and cooks. Simple strategies are employed to help them in these roles: - Checklist-style copies of the menus are used by the waiting staff so they can tick the appropriate box rather than having to write individual items down - Tables do not have numbers, they each have a different and brightly-coloured carved wooden figure on them to help the staff distinguish between the tables. Intrepid proudly supports this restaurant, and we encourage travellers to dine here. Your group leader can provide more information and help you with a reservation.

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

    Transport notes

    TRANSPORT IN EUROPE Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM VISITS & OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays (and sometimes even Tuesdays). We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where required/possible. COMBINATION TRIP Please note that this trip is a combination of two or more stand-alone trips. Your leader and the composition of the group will most likely change part-way through the trip. You can find details on where and on which day these changes are taking place in the daily itinerary.

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