Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2014 Last Updated: October 1, 2014
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Introduction

From the villages of the Cinque Terre to Tuscany's medieval splendour, this is an adventure for those looking to indulge in all of Italy’s delights. Walk through grand piazzas and winding lanes, stroll the canals of Venice and float past villas on Lake Como. Marvel at the ancient grandeur of Rome and the Renaissance masterpieces of Florence. Your CEO will take care of the details so you can travel at a leisurely pace and appreciate the scenery, whether it’s sipping vino in Tuscany or sampling local delicacies within the walls of charming Lucca. Experience the best of Italy in this all-encompassing tour.

  • Experience medieval and Renaissance delights
  • Discover a passion for regional wines and Italian cuisine
  • Savour the sea views and Tuscan hills
  • Explore the elegant countryside of Lake Como by boat
  • Enjoy an authentic Roman meal with new friends
Duration: 14 days
Start/Finish City: Rome to Venice
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Ultimate Italy (EIRV)

Day 1 Rome

Unquestionably Rome exudes history: from its Catacombs that entombed early Christians, to the Colosseum where gladiators battled to the death and on up to the Palatine Hill, the traditional site of Rome’s founding. It is also home to the Vatican City, the home of the Pope, and St Peter's Basilica

The city is enthralling, with perhaps more to see than any other place in the world. Eating in Italy is deeply embedded in the country’s culture, and dining in Rome can seem to last forever and consist of many courses. The city offers a vibrant cafe culture and nightlife, as well as the many iconic sights.

Please note that if you wish to visit popular museums such as the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) and Villa Borghese in Rome, and the Uffizi or Accademia Galleries in Florence, to avoid waiting in line for a long time (especially in high season May-September when it could be a question of hours!), it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. Tickets can be reserved online at various websites including www.florenceart.it or www.virtualuffizi.com for Florence and www.tickitaly.com for all. Please make your reservations for Day 6 of your tour, when you will have a free day to enjoy Florence. Most museums are closed on Mondays (Day 2). There may be the possibility of arranging tickets on arrival on Day 1, with the help of your CEO, but availability cannot be guaranteed at such short notice. We recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully explore this magnificent city.

As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities until your group meeting this evening, so check-in to the hotel (check-in time is approx 3pm) and enjoy the city. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting. After the meeting, you might like to take the option of heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your CEO and travelling companions.

Please make every effort to arrive on time for this important welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us - contact numbers are provided in these notes. Your Chief Experience Officer will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.

Day 2 Rome (1B,1D)

Enjoy a free day to explore the myriad options. Opt to tour Vatican City, cross the river to charming Trastevere, eat some gelato in Piazza Navona and swing by the Colosseum and Forum. In the evening, enjoy a true taste of Italy with a traditional Roman meal.

Days 3-4 Siena (2B)

We have a morning free in Rome, to give you chance to experience a brief taste of the Eternal City. You will have time for a visit to the Colosseum or the Forum, or a walk around Rome's sights, before our afternoon departure to Siena.

We then travel by comfortable long-distance coach to Siena and our twelfth-century hotel inside the medieval city walls.

Built on three hills and surrounded by well-preserved medieval walls, Siena is filled to the brim with fine examples of Gothic architecture. It has one of the world's most unique central plazas – the Piazza del Campo. This shell-shaped "square" houses the Palazzo Pubblico, the Torre del Mangia, and many other architectural treasures. It is also world-renowned for hosting the Palio, the famous horse race, which is an important part of Sienese identity, history and culture.

Siena's cathedral, the duomo, begun in the twelfth century, is one of the great examples of Italian Romanesque architecture. Its main façade, completed in 1380, campanile and baptistery make a fine group. Inside is the famous Gothic octagonal pulpit by Nicola Pisano supported on lions, and the labyrinth inlaid in the flooring, traditionally traversed by penitents on their knees. Within the Sacristy are some perfectly preserved renaissance frescos by Ghirlandaio. Beneath the duomo, in the baptistery is the marvelous baptismal font with bas reliefs by Donatello, Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia and other 15th Century sculptors.

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo contains Duccio's famous Maestà and various other works by Sienese masters. More Sienese paintings are to be found in the Pinacoteca. The Palazzo Pubblico, itself a great work of architecture, houses yet another important art museum.

In between all this culture, take a rest at a local café and enjoy some real Tuscan gastronomic delights.

Estimated Travel Time: 3.5 hours

Days 5-6 Florence (2B)

Travelling by local bus, we head northwest to the capital of the region, the inimitable Firenze (or Florence as we know it).

Florence personifies all that is beautiful in Italian civilization. It is the capital of the Tuscany region with a population of approximately half a million people. The fathers of Italian painting, Cimabue and Giotto lived here, along with many other prominent artists. It is the birthplace of the Italian language (Dante Alighieri) and Europe’s richest cultural period, The Italian Renaissance. Florence’s cultural and historical impact attracts thousands of international travellers each year.

In the summer, life in Florence can be found in the streets and squares. Outdoor cinemas, music, dance and theatre enliven most squares every evening. Fill your free day with a visit to the marvellous multi-coloured Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, the medieval Ponte Vecchio or the Medici Chapels. Take a break at Piazza della Signoria with a gelato or an espresso before hitting the vivacious Piazza San Lorenzo to bargain for discounted woollen and leather goods. Florence has much to offer.

One of the evenings in Florence we will walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo for the famous view over the River Arno and the city.

Please note that it is very advisable to book tickets in advance for both the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries. The queues at these museums are always long and the time to visit them is limited. You can book online from home before you leave at www.weekendafirenze.com or by phone (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-12.30pm. If you are interested in purchasing tickets we recommend that you do so once your G Adventure trip is confirmed (up to 2 months before if possible), especially for the ever-popular Uffizi, and for any time in the afternoon on Day 5 or at any time on Day 6 of your trip. For additional museum resources you might want to refer to this website, www.firenzemusei.it, for more information to plan your day in Florence.

Estimated Travel Time: 1.5 hours

Day 7 Lucca (1B)

We take a local train to wind our way westwards to the beautiful little Tuscan town of Lucca. Here the day is free to get out and discover the city and its history. The best way to do this is to hire one of the hundreds of bikes for rent around the town and take to two wheels. Spin your way along the top of the stunning medieval city walls, zoom down into one of the many cobbled piazzas for an espresso and a revitalizing slice of pizza before setting off to take in some real culture at some of this little city's many palazzos, churches and towers. In the evening, you might choose to take in a classical music concert in one of the historic churches - don't forget that this is the birthplace of the maestro Puccini.

Lucca is a magical place surrounded by Renaissance walls and set in beautiful countryside. This classic medieval city has been well preserved over the centuries, and contained within the 16th Century walls you will find piazzas, towers, and copious marble-decorated churches. Today, Lucca is one of the wealthiest cities in Tuscany, a prosperity gained mostly through wine and olive oil production. This tranquil town is a fantastic place to take a gentle stroll, promenade atop the tree-lined walls or enjoy the gastronomic delights distinguished by the use of local aromatic herbs.

Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours

Days 8-9 Cinque Terre Region (2B)

Today we head west again by local train, towards the famous Cinque Terre National Park, one of the most beautiful and famous areas of the Mediterranean. Human activity, in particular viticulture, has contributed to create a unique landscape, characterized by five charming villages perched on the rocky coast, the crystal clear Ligurian Sea lapping at their doorways, vineyards, olive groves and woodland towering up steeply from their backyards, and best of all, an extensive network of age-old footpaths and mule tracks awaiting your exploration.

On our way to the Cinque Terre region, our base for the next two nights, we'll stop off in Pisa. Leaving our bags at the train station we'll head into town to see that famous Leaning Tower. Don't miss the spectacular ornamental cemetery, baptistry and duomo (cathedral), which make up the religious complex of which the Tower is an integral part. We'll have a couple of hours to explore and take photos, have a panini or a slice of pizza for lunch, before we head back to the train station and on to La Spezia.

Please note, entrance to the monuments in Pisa is not included. Your leader will be happy to help you to buy entrance tickets if you wish.

Day 7 is our day for exploring Cinque Terre. Walking the entire coastal path (approximately 6 hours) gives you the best taste of the villages and countryside, terraced hills and vineyards sloping steeply down to the sea. Set out early with your CEO to Riomaggiore and walk the whole coastal trail to Monterosso, or jump on the local train that links the villages for a less strenuous way of enjoying the area. There will be plenty of time for swimming, tasting the local wine and grappa, sampling some fresh seafood and watching amazing Mediterranean sunsets along the way.

Estimated Travel Time: Lucca to Pisa 30 minutes. Pisa to Monterosso, 2 hours

Days 10-11 Lake Como (2B)

We set out from the Cinque Terre on a train journey with a few changes en route, passing through Milan and on to elegant Varenna, on the shores of Lake Como and on the border with Switzerland with its spectacular backdrop of the snowy-peaked Alps.

Lake Como is a jewel-like oasis of tranquility, a magical combination of lush Mediterranean foliage and snowy alpine peaks.

On Day 10, we'll set out by boat to explore the lake and its many elegant villas and towns, such as Bellagio with its shops, restaurants and fine residences. Bellagio is located right in the heart of Lake Como. The town's location is often said to be one of the most beautiful of all Europe. Villa Serbelloni, owned by the New York's Rockefeller Foundation, sits above Bellagio, and is well worth a visit for its formal gardens. You could also visit Villa Carlotta, on the banks of the lake near Tremezzo, or Villa Balbianello near Lenno. There are also enjoyable walks to be had in and around the charming towns.

In the afternoon, there is plenty of free time for soaking up the elegant atmosphere in one of the lakeside cafés or restaurants. Take some time for shopping - even if your wallet only allows for window shopping! - some of the finest Italian designers are to be found in Como's chic boutique stores.

Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours

Days 12-13 Venice (2B)

A final train ride east brings us to captivating Venice, one of the few cities in the world that can be truly described as unique. Over an extraordinarily long period, this "floating" city of water has been embellished with monuments of rare splendour that today make it a tourist attraction like none other in the world.

Wonderful museums such as the Accademia or the Scuola di San Rocco give us the opportunity to enjoy great painters of the renaissance like Jacoppo Tintoretto, Vittore Carpacio or Tiziano. For a more contemporary take, why not visit the fabulous Peggy Guggenheim gallery, located inside her former home, right on the Grand Canal itself.

While in the "city of canals", you can't miss out on a vaporetto (water-bus) ride along the Grand Canal. This is the best (and cheapest!) way to enjoy unparalleled views of the majestic palaces lining the water, the old-world shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza and Basilica of San Marco and the romantic Bridge of Sighs. There will be plenty of time for you to wander the narrow, cobblestone streets and wide piazzas, crossing the hundreds of tiny bridges and of course, getting lost in Venice's labyrinth - by far the best way to discover this city's captivating magic!

Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours

Day 14 Venice (1B)

Depart Venice at any time. We recommend staying an extra day or two to fully experience all this beautiful city has to offer.

What's Included

Rome orientation walk. Traditional Roman meal. Siena orientation walk and wine tasting. Piazzale Michelangelo evening visit (Florence). Pisa visit (half-day). Cinque Terre park fee, unlimited train ticket and CEO-led hike. Lake Como boat day pass. Venice orientation walk. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Experience medieval and Renaissance delights, discover a passion for regional wines and Italian cuisine, savour the sea views and Tuscan hills, explore the elegant countryside of Lake Como by boat, enjoy an authentic Roman meal with new friends

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.

2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times. We highly recommend travelling with a backpack or duffel bag over any wheeled luggage options.

3. Please note that if you wish to visit popular museums such as the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) and Villa Borghese in Rome, and the Uffizi or Accademia Galleries in Florence, to avoid waiting in line for a long time (especially in high season May-September when it could be a question of hours!), it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. Tickets can be reserved online at www.weekendafirenze.com or by phone (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-12.30pm. If you are interested in purchasing tickets we recommend that you do so once your G Adventure trip is confirmed (up to 2 months if possible) especially for the ever-popular Uffizi, and on Day 5. For additional museum resources you might want to refer to this website, www.firenzemusei.it. Please make your reservations for any Florence museums for Day 5 of your tour, when you will have a free day to enjoy Florence. There may be the possibility of arranging tickets on arrival on Day 1, with the help of your CEO, but availability cannot be guaranteed at such short notice.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

13 breakfasts, 1 dinner.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow EUR430-565 for meals not included.

Transport

Public bus, train, boat, walking

About our Transportation

Intercity transport on this trip will mostly be by train and occasionally by local bus. The bus and train systems in Italy are generally good, with seat reservations and toilet/snack facilities on longer journeys. Keeping to schedules is notoriously not one of the Italian transport system's specialties, so pack in your MP3 player, a good book and some Italian phrases, and kick-back and enjoy the views with the locals.

Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage as there will be a lot of up and down stairs on this trip due to the nature of station layouts in Italy (very few are equipped with escalators or elevators). Between public transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 15mins walk), in larger cities you may travel by metro or city bus, and occasionally the group will take taxis to and from hotels.

Local Flights

If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (13 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not built to be hotels but rich owners houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather "thin" walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.

On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.

Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities

Joining Hotel

Hotel Stella
Via Castelfidardo, 51
00185 Rome, Italy
Phone +39 06 4441078

Joining Instructions

Hotel Stella is a simple, clean hotel in a fantastic location less than 15 minutes walk from Termini station.

TRAINS FROM AIRPORT: The Leonardo Express is the name of the train that will shuttle you from Rome's main international airport, Fiumicino, to central Rome's Termini station. A Leonardo Express train leaves every half hour in each direction.

Trains to Roma Termini Station start at 6:35 in the morning, with trains running at 5 and 35 minutes after the hour. The last train of the day departs at 11.35pm
The train station is open 4am to 1am.
The train covers 35 km in around 30 minutes. Cost: 14 Euros
Tickets for Leonardo Express are available at:
- rail ticket office (railway station atrium)
- newspaper seller-tobacconist's (railway station atrium)
- self-service tellers (railway station atrium)

NOTE:
You must always stamp tickets in the yellow machines on the platform before starting your journey.

Exit Termini train station by the right hand exit (if you have your back to the trains, this is signposted Via Marsala). Cross the street into Via Marghera and then take the third street on your left, Via Varese. Coninue straight across piazza Indipendenza, at the end of it the street will become via Castelfidardo, hotel Stella is at number 51.

TAXI: fixed rate to/from airports
From 1st October 2006 taxi service to/from Rome airports to all destinations within Aurelian Walls costs a fixed rate. For regular Rome taxi drivers at Fiumicino airport, the rate is 40 EUR. The rate for designated Fiumicino taxi drivers is 60EUR, inclusive of luggage, for a maximum of four passengers.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO. If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office, London, UK
After hours emergency number: +44 7817 262559

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Finishing Point Instructions

The hotel is walking distance from Venice Santa Lucia station, from where you can take a train to many destinations within Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

To reach the airport, you can walk to Piazzale Roma and catch the ATVO Airport bus, which takes 20-30 minutes.Alternatively, during the daytime you can catch a vaporetto water-bus service from Ponte delle Guglie

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also "What to Take" and "Local Dress" sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes or boots with good grip
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Money belt
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•EUR cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.

For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.

Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.

A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Italy is in the Eurozone and the unit of the currency is the Euro.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Italy - check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveller’s cheques and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveller's cheques alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.

Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Usually included in international air ticket

Tipping

It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Rome:
Colosseum & Roman Forum (combined ticket) - €12
Vatican Museums including Sistine Chapel - €18
St Peter's dome climb - €8
Capitoline Museum - €8
Time Elevator - €11 (€9.20 child)
Techno Town - €6
Catacombs of San Callisto - €5
Pantheon – free
Borghese Gallery – €13
Roma Pass - €23

Siena:
Palazzo Pubblico & Torre del Mangia - €5.50, €6.50 & €9.50 for both.
Battistero or Baptistry - €3.50
Duomo - €6

Florence:
Uffizi Gallery - €6.50 - €10
Duomo - Free
Cupola climb - €8
Accademia Gallery - €6.50 - €10
Walking Tour - €25
Tourist Bus (hop-on, hop-off - 2 routes) - €20
Palazzo Pitti - € 8.50
Medici Chapels - €6

Lucca:
Puccini Concert - €17
Guinigi Tower and Museum - €4
Palazzo Pffaner - €4
Bike Rental - € 3-5/hr

Pisa:
Leaning Tower climb - €15
Cathedral, Baptistry and Museum - €12

Cinque Terre:
Sea Kayak Hire - €5/hour
Scuba Diving - from €30
Mountain bike hire - Half day €4, Full day €6, 1 hour €1.50
Boat ride - €7- €12
Pesto Making class - €10
Sunset Tour in Traditional Style Sailing Boat - €82
Portofino - €8 (rtn train fare)plus €2 bus fare
Genoa - €10 (rtn train fare)

Venice:
Venezia Concerto - €30
Gondola ride - €80-100 for up to 5 people
Accademia Gallery - €6.50
Campanile San Marco - €8
Museum Pass - €18 ( includes Doge's Palace, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Ca’ Rezzonico - Museum of 18th-Century Art, Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo, Carlo Goldoni's House, Ca’ Pesaro, Internazional Gallery of Modern Art + Oriental Art Museum, Glass Museum - Murano, Lace Museum – Burano)
Guggenheim Museum - €12
Clock tower - €12
Scuola Grande di San Rocco - €7 (ind. audioguide)
Vaporetto Day Pass (12hrs) - €16


All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

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. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Always keep an eye on your belongings especially in major cities, bus and train terminals.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

In Italy, shoulders should be covered while visiting churches and cathedrals. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.