Northern Italy & Cinque Terre Walking Tour

11 days / Walking Tours
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About This Experience

This is the different Italy—a region bursting with the happily unexpected. Go north and step into a land where rock spires rise above lush, green landscapes. Austrian influences overfill the local bars, filtering into the village streets. Tranquil lakes and perfumed vineyards spill across the horizon, stretching on for miles and miles. An epic coastline runs alongside towering cliffs and terraced vineyards. From Lake Maggiore and the staggering Dolomites to the "Five Worlds" tucked within the Riviera’s Cinque Terre, tread through Italian landscapes at their most surreal and surprising.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch with wine tasting, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • 4 escorted walks

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Stresa, Italy
  • Bolzano, Italy
  • Genoa, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Relax, recline and get some riposo as you fly through the night

Rest your legs on a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Malpensa Airport aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Lake Maggiore Region3 nights - hotel info

Day2

Rise and shine—now that you’re here, it’s time for la dolce vita

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

After you touch down in Malpensa airport and clear customs, a Go Ahead representative will collect you from the airport and escort you to your hotel in Stresa. Take some time to wander around nearby Lake Maggiore, soaking in views of alpine hills and snowcapped peaks in the background. Later, savor your first authentic Italian meal at your welcome dinner.

Day3

The classic, rustic Italian scenes we all envision—that’s San Giulio

Breakfast

Travel into a region famed for its classic Italian landscapes as you make your way to picturesque Lake Orta. Here, explore the nearby town of San Giulio’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Sacro Monte. Once a popular destination for religious pilgrims, Sacro Monte is comprised of dozens of small, fresco-lined chapels and ornate statues dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. After strolling along the lakeside trail, relax and enjoy lunch in the village. Then, hop aboard a water taxi and cruise to San Giulio Island. This tiny island is home to a massive, ancient monastery now serving as a convent for cloistered nuns. Look inside one of the sacred structures before heading back to the mainland and returning to your hotel.

Day4

Do as the Lake Maggiore locals do: eat gelato, unwind, repeat

Optional Excursion - Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Barromean Islands

Breakfast

Kick back on the glamorous Lago Maggiore, a destination renowned for its breathtaking surroundings and celebrity-laden shores. With a full day to yourself, you’re free to walk, bike, seek out la dolce vita at a nearby spa or just sunbathe between trips to the gelateri. If you feel like exploring with fellow travelers, join an optional group excursion to the lake’s Borromean Islands. This small archipelago still belongs to the wealthy Borromeo family, and each small island is full of incredible architecture and vibrant gardens.

Optional Excursions

Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Barromean Islands $99* pp

The Borromean Islands, a three-island archipelago on the western arm of Lake Maggiore, prove that great things come in small packages. Cruise to Isola Bella, a tiny isle that boasts a 16th-century palace and stunning, terraced gardens. After exploring the estate, hop back on your boat and sail around Isola Madre, the largest island in the chain. End your excursion on Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island), the only continuously inhab¬ited member of the group, with 50 year-round residents. The traditional fishing village contin¬ues to pride itself on its heritage—look out for fishermen untangling their nets on shore. You’ll have the chance to sample the island’s special¬ties during an included lunch at one of the local restaurants.

Dolomites3 nights - hotel info

Day5

Wander the vineyards, then taste the vintages of Valpolicella

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Leave the waters of Lake Maggiore behind for rolling vineyards during an included stop on your way to the Dolomites. Arrive in Valpolicella, a countryside setting acclaimed for its olive groves and superior wine vintages. Embark on your Tour Director-led walk, beginning in the town of San Giorgio. Explore the Romanesque ancient pieve (rural church) before heading to a local wine estate. After taking in the region by foot, sit down for a taste of its best fare and famous labels: Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto. After lunch, head to Bolzano, the region’s capital set against the Dolomite mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend the rest of the evening winding down with your group over dinner.

Day6

You won’t know whether to say “ciao” or “guten tag” in quirky Bolzano

Optional Excursion - Earth Pyramids & Panoramic Landscapes of Ritten

Breakfast

Discover Bolzano (or Bozen in German), a city comprised of two very distinct cultures. Part Italian, part Austrian, the citywide divide is tangible from its architecture right down to its beer. A local guide introduces you to the charming contrasts, starting in the main city square, Piazza Walther. From there make your way through the famous open markets on to the Gothic-style Duomo, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Next, step into Piazza del Grano. Once home to the city’s grain market, the square remains the heart of Bolzano’s medieval village. After touring the main streets, including Via Laubengasse with its famed arched windows, you’re free to continue exploring on your own. This afternoon, opt to join the group for a cable car ride above Ritten’s green landscapes and a walk to view its geologic Earth Pyramids.

Optional Excursions

Earth Pyramids & Panoramic Landscapes of Ritten $95* pp

Experience the stunning landscapes of Northern Italy up close (and from nearly every angle). Begin by boarding one of the world’s longest-running cable cars and riding through the Dolomite-dotted skies to Soprabolzano, a provincial village set on a plateau. From here, jump aboard the panoramic railway to Collalbo, soaking in views of rolling pastures and soaring limestone peaks along the way. Once in Collalbo, journey on foot to one of Italy’s most surreal sights: the towering Earth Pyramids. After exploring these pinnacle formations, make your way back toward town, stopping to eat dinner at a local restaurant on the Ritten Plateau. Please note: The exact itinerary of this excursion may vary depending on weather conditions and seasonal closures.

Day7

The Alpe di Siusi translate to three things: peaks, pastures and peace

Breakfast

Take in the Dolomites from Alpe di Siusi, a sprawling meadow set amidst surreal limestone peaks. Trails of all levels wind through the flower-lined, sheep-dotted pastures, allowing walkers to absorb the serenity that fills the area. Board a cable car and ride to the village of Compatsch to begin your walk on the scenic Bullaccia Ring Trail. (Please note: depending on the season, Compatsch may be reached by bus.) Along the walk, take in panoramic views of the surrounding stone spires and mountain valleys below. Take some time to eat lunch and grab a beer or glass of wine at a nearby rifugio, or explore at your own pace. Following your return to Bolzano, spend the evening as you like. (Please note: Depending on local weather conditions, the activities and sequence of your included walk may change.)

Italian Riviera2 nights - hotel info

Day8

Pull out your shades and prop up your feet on your way to the Riviera

Breakfast, Dinner

Wave goodbye to the Dolomites as you travel south from Bolzano to the sunny shores of the Italian Riviera, stopping en route to enjoy some free time for lunch. After settling in to your Riviera hotel, raise a toast to your new locale at tonight’s group dinner.

Day9

Smell the salt water and citrusy lemon groves in Cinque Terre

Breakfast

Clinging to the cliffs of the Riviera coastline sits Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Translating to “Five Lands” in Italian, Cinque Terre encompasses five very distinct villages, all bound by a relaxed vibe and bright clusters of color-washed homes. Get a taste for the unique flavors of each village as you walk the peaceful promenades that connect them. Begin by meandering from Monterosso to Vernazza, absorbing the locral scenery as you traverse cliff-top bridges, terraced vineyards and low-lying valleys teeming with olive groves and lemon orchards. Continue to Manarola by train and walk the Via dell’Amore (“Walkway of Love”). As you make your way to the artsy outpost of Riomaggiore, you’ll find sweeping views of the sea and mountains at every turn. Later this evening, kick back and recuperate from the day’s adventures upon returning to your hotel. (Please note: Depending on the season and local trail closures, the activities and sequence of your walks in Cinque Terre may change.)

Florence1 night - hotel info

Day10

Look down on red rooftops and cypress trees as you walk the city walls

Breakfast, Dinner

Trade the jetset glamour of the Riviera for the tranquility of the Tuscan countryside as you head toward Florence. On the way, make a stop in the town of Lucca, where a local guide gives you the lay of the land. Walk along a section of the almost three-mile Renaissance-era walls that enclose the city for impressive views of the classic red-tiled rooftops, medieval churches and swathe of cypress trees below. Descend into the center of town to view the Palazzo Pfanner, San Martino Cathedral, Guinigi Tower, San Frediano’s Church and San Michele in Foro. Cap off your tour with free time to peruse the local shops and enjoy your first Tuscan meal. After lunch, continue to Florence, where you’ll gather with your fellow travelers for one last dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day11

Say farewell to Florence and then andiamo

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Bid farewell to Florence as a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add Florence $339*

Make your stay in Tuscany last a little longer with two more nights in Florence, the capital of the Renaissance. Once home to the world’s artistic, literary and architectural greats, Florence is bursting with beautiful things to explore, from the Church of Santa Croce to the iconic Duomo.

Florence2 nights - hotel info

Day11

Meet the city that hosted the masters, from Dante to Michelangelo

Optional Excursion - Florentine Dinner

Breakfast

Church of Santa Croce

The birthplace of opera, the Italian language and the Renaissance—Florence is just bursting with historical sites and artistic masterpieces. Uncover them with a local guide who will lead you through the city’s architectural landmarks, from Brunelleschi’s Duomo to the church of Santa Croce. Later this evening, opt to sample traditional Tuscan fare at our Florentine dinner.

Optional Excursions

Florentine Dinner $89* pp

Enjoy a traditional meal at a bustling trattoria in the heart of Florence, the capital of Tuscany. Sit back as you sip a glass of wine, charmed by the rustic restaurant's atmosphere and warm Italian hospitality. Enjoy a delectable and satisfying meal beginning with antipasto or soup. Then, enjoy a main course featuring pork, beef, veal or lamb, as well as seasonal vegetables. Finish with a dish of creamy gelato or biscuits and a glass of sweet dessert wine. This evening promises to be not only an exceptional dinner, but an authentic Tuscan experience.

Day12

Get your art fix at the Uffizi Gallery or sit back and sip Chianti

Optional Excursion - San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors

Breakfast, Dinner

There are endless possibilities for your free day in Florence. Check out the finest collection of Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery. Wander the romantic Arno River. View Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Galleria. Or, venture into the countryside on our group excursion to San Gimignano. After discovering the hilltown’s collection of medieval towers, sit back and sample regional wines, olive oils and balsamic vinegars from local producers at a wine tasting and lunch.

Optional Excursions

San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors $79* pp

Travel the beautiful Tuscan countryside to discover the medieval village of San Gimignano. During the Renaissance, the rival Guelph and Ghibelline political factions flexed their muscles by constructing tall towers throughout San Gimignano; fourteen of those towers survive today. Later, visit a local winery for a taste of the area's wines and a samples of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you simply won't find anywhere else. Then, enjoy lasagna during a light lunch.

Day13

The people, the food, the fun—say your final goodbyes to Tuscany

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

This morning your trip comes to a close as a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Print This Page

About This Experience

This is the different Italy—a region bursting with the happily unexpected. Go north and step into a land where rock spires rise above lush, green landscapes. Austrian influences overfill the local bars, filtering into the village streets. Tranquil lakes and perfumed vineyards spill across the horizon, stretching on for miles and miles. An epic coastline runs alongside towering cliffs and terraced vineyards. From Lake Maggiore and the staggering Dolomites to the "Five Worlds" tucked within the Riviera’s Cinque Terre, tread through Italian landscapes at their most surreal and surprising.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch with wine tasting, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • 4 escorted walks

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Stresa, Italy
  • Bolzano, Italy
  • Genoa, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Relax, recline and get some riposo as you fly through the night

Rest your legs on a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Malpensa Airport aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Lake Maggiore Region3 nights - hotel info

Day2

Rise and shine—now that you’re here, it’s time for la dolce vita

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

After you touch down in Malpensa airport and clear customs, a Go Ahead representative will collect you from the airport and escort you to your hotel in Stresa. Take some time to wander around nearby Lake Maggiore, soaking in views of alpine hills and snowcapped peaks in the background. Later, savor your first authentic Italian meal at your welcome dinner.

Day3

The classic, rustic Italian scenes we all envision—that’s San Giulio

Breakfast

Travel into a region famed for its classic Italian landscapes as you make your way to picturesque Lake Orta. Here, explore the nearby town of San Giulio’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Sacro Monte. Once a popular destination for religious pilgrims, Sacro Monte is comprised of dozens of small, fresco-lined chapels and ornate statues dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. After strolling along the lakeside trail, relax and enjoy lunch in the village. Then, hop aboard a water taxi and cruise to San Giulio Island. This tiny island is home to a massive, ancient monastery now serving as a convent for cloistered nuns. Look inside one of the sacred structures before heading back to the mainland and returning to your hotel.

Day4

Do as the Lake Maggiore locals do: eat gelato, unwind, repeat

Optional Excursion - Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Barromean Islands

Breakfast

Kick back on the glamorous Lago Maggiore, a destination renowned for its breathtaking surroundings and celebrity-laden shores. With a full day to yourself, you’re free to walk, bike, seek out la dolce vita at a nearby spa or just sunbathe between trips to the gelateri. If you feel like exploring with fellow travelers, join an optional group excursion to the lake’s Borromean Islands. This small archipelago still belongs to the wealthy Borromeo family, and each small island is full of incredible architecture and vibrant gardens.

Optional Excursions

Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Barromean Islands $99* pp

The Borromean Islands, a three-island archipelago on the western arm of Lake Maggiore, prove that great things come in small packages. Cruise to Isola Bella, a tiny isle that boasts a 16th-century palace and stunning, terraced gardens. After exploring the estate, hop back on your boat and sail around Isola Madre, the largest island in the chain. End your excursion on Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island), the only continuously inhab¬ited member of the group, with 50 year-round residents. The traditional fishing village contin¬ues to pride itself on its heritage—look out for fishermen untangling their nets on shore. You’ll have the chance to sample the island’s special¬ties during an included lunch at one of the local restaurants.

Dolomites3 nights - hotel info

Day5

Wander the vineyards, then taste the vintages of Valpolicella

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Leave the waters of Lake Maggiore behind for rolling vineyards during an included stop on your way to the Dolomites. Arrive in Valpolicella, a countryside setting acclaimed for its olive groves and superior wine vintages. Embark on your Tour Director-led walk, beginning in the town of San Giorgio. Explore the Romanesque ancient pieve (rural church) before heading to a local wine estate. After taking in the region by foot, sit down for a taste of its best fare and famous labels: Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto. After lunch, head to Bolzano, the region’s capital set against the Dolomite mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend the rest of the evening winding down with your group over dinner.

Day6

You won’t know whether to say “ciao” or “guten tag” in quirky Bolzano

Optional Excursion - Earth Pyramids & Panoramic Landscapes of Ritten

Breakfast

Discover Bolzano (or Bozen in German), a city comprised of two very distinct cultures. Part Italian, part Austrian, the citywide divide is tangible from its architecture right down to its beer. A local guide introduces you to the charming contrasts, starting in the main city square, Piazza Walther. From there make your way through the famous open markets on to the Gothic-style Duomo, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Next, step into Piazza del Grano. Once home to the city’s grain market, the square remains the heart of Bolzano’s medieval village. After touring the main streets, including Via Laubengasse with its famed arched windows, you’re free to continue exploring on your own. This afternoon, opt to join the group for a cable car ride above Ritten’s green landscapes and a walk to view its geologic Earth Pyramids.

Optional Excursions

Earth Pyramids & Panoramic Landscapes of Ritten $95* pp

Experience the stunning landscapes of Northern Italy up close (and from nearly every angle). Begin by boarding one of the world’s longest-running cable cars and riding through the Dolomite-dotted skies to Soprabolzano, a provincial village set on a plateau. From here, jump aboard the panoramic railway to Collalbo, soaking in views of rolling pastures and soaring limestone peaks along the way. Once in Collalbo, journey on foot to one of Italy’s most surreal sights: the towering Earth Pyramids. After exploring these pinnacle formations, make your way back toward town, stopping to eat dinner at a local restaurant on the Ritten Plateau. Please note: The exact itinerary of this excursion may vary depending on weather conditions and seasonal closures.

Day7

The Alpe di Siusi translate to three things: peaks, pastures and peace

Breakfast

Take in the Dolomites from Alpe di Siusi, a sprawling meadow set amidst surreal limestone peaks. Trails of all levels wind through the flower-lined, sheep-dotted pastures, allowing walkers to absorb the serenity that fills the area. Board a cable car and ride to the village of Compatsch to begin your walk on the scenic Bullaccia Ring Trail. (Please note: depending on the season, Compatsch may be reached by bus.) Along the walk, take in panoramic views of the surrounding stone spires and mountain valleys below. Take some time to eat lunch and grab a beer or glass of wine at a nearby rifugio, or explore at your own pace. Following your return to Bolzano, spend the evening as you like. (Please note: Depending on local weather conditions, the activities and sequence of your included walk may change.)

Italian Riviera2 nights - hotel info

Day8

Pull out your shades and prop up your feet on your way to the Riviera

Breakfast, Dinner

Wave goodbye to the Dolomites as you travel south from Bolzano to the sunny shores of the Italian Riviera, stopping en route to enjoy some free time for lunch. After settling in to your Riviera hotel, raise a toast to your new locale at tonight’s group dinner.

Day9

Smell the salt water and citrusy lemon groves in Cinque Terre

Breakfast

Clinging to the cliffs of the Riviera coastline sits Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Translating to “Five Lands” in Italian, Cinque Terre encompasses five very distinct villages, all bound by a relaxed vibe and bright clusters of color-washed homes. Get a taste for the unique flavors of each village as you walk the peaceful promenades that connect them. Begin by meandering from Monterosso to Vernazza, absorbing the local scenery as you traverse cliff-top bridges, terraced vineyards and low-lying valleys teeming with olive groves and lemon orchards. Continue to Manarola by train and walk the Via dell’Amore (“Walkway of Love”). As you make your way to the artsy outpost of Riomaggiore, you’ll find sweeping views of the sea and mountains at every turn. Later this evening, kick back and recuperate from the day’s adventures upon returning to your hotel. (Please note: Depending on the season and local trail closures, the activities and sequence of your walks in Cinque Terre may change.)

Florence1 night - hotel info

Day10

Look down on red rooftops and cypress trees as you walk the city walls

Breakfast, Dinner

Trade the jetset glamour of the Riviera for the tranquility of the Tuscan countryside as you head toward Florence. On the way, make a stop in the town of Lucca, where a local guide gives you the lay of the land. Walk along a section of the almost three-mile Renaissance-era walls that enclose the city for impressive views of the classic red-tiled rooftops, medieval churches and swathe of cypress trees below. Descend into the center of town to view the Palazzo Pfanner, San Martino Cathedral, Guinigi Tower, San Frediano’s Church and San Michele in Foro. Cap off your tour with free time to peruse the local shops and enjoy your first Tuscan meal. After lunch, continue to Florence, where you’ll gather with your fellow travelers for one last dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day11

Say farewell to Florence and then andiamo

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Bid farewell to Florence as a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add Florence $339*

Make your stay in Tuscany last a little longer with two more nights in Florence, the capital of the Renaissance. Once home to the world’s artistic, literary and architectural greats, Florence is bursting with beautiful things to explore, from the Church of Santa Croce to the iconic Duomo.

Florence2 nights - hotel info

Day11

Meet the city that hosted the masters, from Dante to Michelangelo

Optional Excursion - Florentine Dinner

Breakfast

Church of Santa Croce

The birthplace of opera, the Italian language and the Renaissance—Florence is just bursting with historical sites and artistic masterpieces. Uncover them with a local guide who will lead you through the city’s architectural landmarks, from Brunelleschi’s Duomo to the church of Santa Croce. Later this evening, opt to sample traditional Tuscan fare at our Florentine dinner.

Optional Excursions

Florentine Dinner $89* pp

Enjoy a traditional meal at a bustling trattoria in the heart of Florence, the capital of Tuscany. Sit back as you sip a glass of wine, charmed by the rustic restaurant's atmosphere and warm Italian hospitality. Enjoy a delectable and satisfying meal beginning with antipasto or soup. Then, enjoy a main course featuring pork, beef, veal or lamb, as well as seasonal vegetables. Finish with a dish of creamy gelato or biscuits and a glass of sweet dessert wine. This evening promises to be not only an exceptional dinner, but an authentic Tuscan experience.

Day12

Get your art fix at the Uffizi Gallery or sit back and sip Chianti

Optional Excursion - San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors

Breakfast, Dinner

There are endless possibilities for your free day in Florence. Check out the finest collection of Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery. Wander the romantic Arno River. View Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Galleria. Or, venture into the countryside on our group excursion to San Gimignano. After discovering the hilltown’s collection of medieval towers, sit back and sample regional wines, olive oils and balsamic vinegars from local producers at a wine tasting and lunch.

Optional Excursions

San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors $79* pp

Travel the beautiful Tuscan countryside to discover the medieval village of San Gimignano. During the Renaissance, the rival Guelph and Ghibelline political factions flexed their muscles by constructing tall towers throughout San Gimignano; fourteen of those towers survive today. Later, visit a local winery for a taste of the area's wines and a samples of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you simply won't find anywhere else. Then, enjoy lasagna during a light lunch.

Day13

The people, the food, the fun—say your final goodbyes to Tuscany

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

This morning your trip comes to a close as a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Passport & Visa

In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact the Italian consulate for your particular entry requirements.

Health

Travelers should be reasonably fit (see “Walking on Tour” for more information). Take proper care for sun exposure. Consult your doctor at least eight weeks prior to departure about possible preventive measures and personal travel requirements.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive at Malpensa Airport and depart from Florence. After you arrive at Malpensa Airport and clear customs, a Go Ahead representative will escort you to your hotel. Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. Destinations on tour are all easily walkable, although some local buses may be available.

Walking on tour

Will I be able to keep up?
This is a moderately demanding walking tour, but all walks can be carried out at your own pace. Travelers should be able to walk comfortably over hilly or uneven terrain while carrying water, and be prepared for some moderate inclines. Hiking boots or a pair of sturdy, comfortable athletic shoes are highly recommended. We also recommend carrying a walking stick.

What happens if it rains?
The day-by-day itinerary is an outline of daily activities. This kind of program requires maximum flexibility, and events are likely to be rearranged as local conditions demand. If you experience inclement weather, we will arrange more activities in town and fewer in the countryside.

Who is my guide?
Go Ahead Walking Tour Directors have been trained on how to lead a program of this kind. They not only have a comprehensive knowledge of the region, but also a genuine enthusiasm for Italy. All tour directors are bilingual.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Your Italian itinerary focuses on the outdoors, so your clothing should be casual and appropriate for outdoor use. Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will probably be most comfortable. A sun hat, sunglasses, and a bathing suit are recommended. Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots are crucial. Occasional rain showers are common in the areas you will be visiting, so pack light rainwear.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Currency

The euro is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Italy, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Cuisine

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting aspects of traveling to Italy is sampling the local cuisine. Eating isn’t just an activity here—it’s an art form. Be sure to sample the homemade pasta sauces and the vast range of cured hams, cheeses, rustic breads and desserts. Italian fare often varies slightly by region, and many cities and towns have their own specialities. Northern Italy is known for its meats and pastries. For more authentic meals, try the local trattorias—small, family-owned restaurants that tend to be set away from the main piazzas. Italians are known for indulging in long, often boisterous meals featuring wines and the occasional beer, followed by after-dinner drinks, such as grappa or limoncello.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/ CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

Amazing amazing amazing

Giordano was an excellent guide, always upbeat knowledgeable, able to handle personal issues ie. money exchange dilemma. Made sure that everyone has maps, coordinates activities, offered helpful suggestions especially on best eateries. But the one thing that made him excellent was his passion for italy , his contagious enthusiam that showed his pride and love for his country and this i find very endearing. This is our very first go ahead tour . I shall remember it for the rest of my life and every tour that i take from now on shall be measured on this one. The dolomites experience is beyond my wildest expectations. To go there is to believe in the Higher power. Yes you get out of breath , yes your feet may hurt, but dear God the beauty of your creation makes the struggle of hiking this trail oh so worth it!,,, the panorama of alpe di suisi , the bulla cia ring trail that takes you 7000 feet high with its mountain valleys, the villages that makes one envious of people who inhabits them. This to me made the whole trip worth it, this is our highlight. My husband with teary eye as we reach one of the peaks looked at me in the eye and said, " thank you for taking me". My husband, a forever hesitant traveler, a doubter, is no more. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You made us feel very especial, very taken care of. Im already planning for next year

review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/2/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Hiking fun with Oda

We had a wonderful time on our hiking tour, each day got better and better. Our group was fun and our tour director, Oda, was awesome! I really like the way go-ahead can change the times/plans to fit the group..There were times we squeezed in some extras that really meant a lot to our group.We were lucky with the weather which is important on the walking tours. Glad I took my stick, some of the terrain was uneven.Of course the food was great and my eyes were having a party the whole way. Love my pictures now that we are back, thanks for creating this trip, leslie

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Well organized

Everything went well almost but the weather was gloomy most of the time and we missed the Mediterranean sunshine which is so prominent in travel brochures. I wish GoAhead had the godly power of changing it but . . .

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/2/2013

Number of Past Tours: 13

From: OH

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour Director

Oda was our Tour Director and made a good trip into a great trip with her enthusiasm, knowledge, patience, sense of humor and personal attention to each individual. The value of this trip is extraordinary because one gets to see so much of this beautiful country and experience each area's history, beauty and culture. There is a balance between activities and personal time, altho one can never get enough time in Italy! We met interesting people and I loved the hikes! I do think that there were a few people who were not quite physically up to some of the hikes. Perhaps the intensity of the "walks" should be better described. We loved our trip and will be taking another as soon as we can!

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

beautiful extremes

Northern Italy and the Cinque Terre Walking Tour showed that Italy is beautiful from top to bottom. Lake Maggiore and Orta were lovely. the Alps di Siusi walk was breathtaking...really gods country!! Then down to the Cinque Terre and the pretty little villages. Oda our guide was great fun to be with and we all loved her . Oda's knowledge and people skills were excellent. She did little extras like called ahead so we could all go to Portofino by ferry as soon as we got to town and when we got to Florence she made sure we had time before dinner to walk around the city. I think the guide makes all the difference and in 3 trips, 3 great guides!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great tour

Arianna and the bus driver were magnificient. The only problem was the hike in Cinque terra. It was really too strenuous. The rest of the tour was great, as usual in the Go- Ahead fashion

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Buy a walking stick!

Really the best advice we got was to buy a walking stick and we found them for 10 euros (a real bargain) at the top of Alpe di Suisi. Many people had bought them before the trip for $75 or more in the US and the ones we found there were just as good. They also compress down so they fit in your suitcase to bring home. One of the highlights was a lunch / wine tasting / tour at a vineyard that belongs to Dante Alighieri's family. Food, wine, ambiance, staff were all excellent and it broke up a long bus ride.

review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Italy in a New Way

This tour provided an experience of parts of Italy not usually on the major cities tours many tourists take. We saw the lakes, the mountains and the sea with very little hassle getting from place to place. We had enough time to explore places on our own and the optional excursions were excellent. Lots of walking (some of which I would describe more as hiking). We were outdoors a lot - saw "regular" life in smaller towns and villages and several World Heritage sites. We were not constantly running into other tourists or tour groups. Our guide, Matteo, was accommodating, knowledgeable about an amazing number of subjects, fun and entertaining. Grazie (did I spell that right?)

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Wonderful Tour!

This tour to Northern Italy was a wonderful tour! Matteo was our tour director and made sure everything went well. All the areas we visited were beautiful, from the lakes region to the mountains to the Cinque Terre on the coast and finally Florence. Some of the walks were more challenging than I expected. Good sturdy hiking shoes and walking sticks should be recommended. We enjoyed each region we visited. The Dolomites was my favorite; the scenery was spectacular. The cable car ride and walk in the Dolomites made for a perfect day and wonderful memories. It was great to have the Cinque Terre included in this tour too. This is a region I have always wanted to visit. All in all, it was a most enjoyable tour.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

walking tour of northern italy

very nice part of italy

3 / 5

Traveled On: 5/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CO

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Q&A