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Northern Italy &...

Northern Italy & Cinque Terre Walking Tour

11 days |  13 days with Florence extension
Group size1022 travelers
people walking on the street between pink and orange buildings cinque terre
green hills and mountains outside of bolzano
hand holding a cone filled with seafood by the water in cinque terre
woman walking down stairs overlooking the town of vernazza
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
This tour itinerary varies by year
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    This is the different Italy—a region bursting with the pleasantly unexpected.

    Go north and step into a land where rock spires rise above lush landscapes, Austrian influences characterize the village streets, and tranquil lakes and perfumed vineyards are always on the horizon. 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 on this small group Adventure Tour.

    Your tour package includes

    • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
    • 9 breakfasts
    • 1 lunch
    • 4 dinners with beer or wine
    • 1 wine tasting
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    Included highlights

    • Sacro Monte
    • San Giulio Island
    • Valpolicella wine tasting
    • The Dolomites
    • Bolzano
    Read more
    Start planning today

    An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

    Talk to a Tour Consultant

    Day-by-day itinerary

    Print itinerary
    Overnight Flight1 night
    Day 1: Travel day

    Board your overnight flight to Milan today.

    Lake Maggiore Region3 nights
    Day 2: Arrival in Italy
    Included meal: Welcome dinner

    Welcome to Italy! Arrive in Milan Malpensa and transfer to the Lake Maggiore region. Then, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

    Day 3: Lake Orta & Sacro Monte walk
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Travel into a region famed for its classic Italian landscapes as you make your way to picturesque Lake Orta.

    • Explore the UNESCO-recognized Sacro Monte, a series of small, fresco-lined chapels and ornate statues dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi
    • Walk along the lakeside trail to the village of Orta San Giulio where you'll enjoy free time
    • Hop aboard a water taxi and cruise to San Giulio Island, which is home to a massive, ancient monastery now serving as a convent for cloistered nuns
    Day 4: Free day in the Lake Maggiore Region
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Enjoy a free day in the Lake Maggiore region or add an excursion.

    Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Borromean Islands

    From $99 per person

    Dolomite Region3 nights
    Day 5: Valpolicella vineyard walk & wine tasting
    Included meals: Breakfast, Light lunch, Dinner, Wine tasting

    Leave the waters of Lake Maggiore behind for the rolling vineyards of Valpolicella, a countryside region acclaimed for its olive groves and superior wine vintages.

    • Embark on a Tour Director-led walk along a path surrounded by beautiful vineyards and olive trees
    • Head to a local wine estate to have lunch and taste some of the region’s most famous labels: Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto
    • Continue to Bolzano, the region’s capital, set against the UNESCO-listed Dolomite mountain range
    Day 6: Dolomites walk
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Experience the Dolomites from Seiser Alm, a sprawling meadow set amidst the surreal limestone peaks. (Please note: Depending on local weather conditions, the activities and sequence of your included walk may change)

    • 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.)
    • Take in panoramic views of the surrounding stone spires and mountain valleys
    Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Bolzano
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Discover Bolzano, or Bozen in German, a city comprised of two distinct cultures.

    • Starting in the main city square, Piazza Walther, make your way through the famous open markets to the Gothic-style cathedral
    • Step into Piazza del Grano, the heart of Bolzano’s medieval village
    • Tour the main streets, including Via dei Portici-Laubengasse
    • Enter the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to see Ötzi the Iceman

    Enjoy a free afternoon in the Dolomite region or add an excursion.

    Bolzano Castles & Santa Maddalena Wine Tasting

    From $105 per person

    Italian Riviera2 nights
    Day 8: Transfer to the Italian Riviera
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Wave goodbye to the Dolomites as you travel south to the Italian Riviera.

    Day 9: Cinque Terre walk
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Get a taste for the unique villages of Cinque Terre.

    • Travel to Levanto and board a train to Monterosso
    • Meander from Monterosso to Vernazza, absorbing the local scenery as you traverse cliff-top bridges
    • Pass by orchards and terraces overlooking the sea where locals grow grapes, lemons, and veggies
    • Stroll though a valley of olive groves and vineyards to the main square in Vernazza, where you’ll have free time to explore
    • Enjoy sweeping views of the coastline and villages during a boat ride from Riomaggiore to Levanto
    • Admire the Liguria region’s varied landscape as you transfer back to your hotel

    Please note: Depending on the season and weather, today’s activities may vary.

    Florence1 night
    Day 10: Florence via Lucca
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

    On your way to Florence, tour the town of Lucca with a local guide

    • Walk along a section of the almost three-mile Renaissance-era walls
    • Take in impressive views of the classic red-tiled rooftops and cypress trees below
    • Descend into the center of town to view the Palazzo Pfanner, Lucca Cathedral, Guinigi Tower, Basilica of San Frediano and the Church of San Michele in Foro
    • Enjoy free time to peruse the local shops

    Continue to Florence and celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

    Flight Home
    Day 11: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport to board your flight home or extend your stay in Florence.

    Extension to Florence
    Not ready to say arrivederci? Continue your trip in the Tuscan capital of Florence, where Renaissance beauty and really (really) good food are practically everywhere. See the highlights alongside a local guide, then lean on your Tour Director’s expert recommendations to seek out even more.
    Florence2 nights
    Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Florence
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Set off to see Florence, the city at the center of the Renaissance, with a local guide.

    • View the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo
    • Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture
    • Walk past Piazza della Repubblica to the medieval Ponte Vecchio
    • Stroll along the Arno River and through the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery to Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life
    • Step inside the Basilica of Santa Croce, the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo

    Enjoy a free evening in Florence or add an excursion.

    Fiesole Villa Dinner

    From $95 per person

    Day 12: Free day in Florence
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Enjoy a free day in Florence or add an excursion.

    This evening, sip a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

    Tuscan Vineyards Walk & Chianti Wine Tasting

    From $85 per person

    Flight Home
    Day 13: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport to board your flight home.

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    Overall rating 4.8 out of 5
    Based on 67 authentic and unedited traveler reviews
    Sort by
      Fantastic tour for the seasoned & active traveler
      09/05/19 by 1st-time traveler Joan

      My husband and I are active Coloradans who enjoy walking and hiking. This tour combined the two. A couple of the days, I would categorize as hikes (Dolomites and Cinque Terre) as they were a bit more aggressive in altitude gain and distance and footing in Cinque Terre. That being said, both days h...

      Read more +
      09/05/19 by 6th-time traveler Camilla

      The cinque terre and dolomites tour was so fine! It is listed as a "walking tour", but I would say that there were some bonafide hikes on this tour for sure! Both the walk in the Dolomites as well as the walk on the cinque terre were quite a work out, but I did it and I felt good! The weather was...

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      Challenging Hike
      09/05/19 by 5th-time traveler Leonard "Red"

      Loved the itinerary, our guide was super the meals could have been better and the Cinque Terre hotel was disappointing The first hotel was lovely but it would have been nice to have an additional electric outlet Best meal was at the wine tasting. Cinque Terre Walk was challenging but I wouldn’t want...

      Read more +
      Show more reviews

      Traveler photos

      Hotels, flights & FAQ

      Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


      We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
      Hotel Simplon
      Hotel Simplon

      This upscale hotel is located in the town of Baveno on Lake Maggiore’s western shore. Guests enjoy a large outdoor pool, access to a lakeside beach, a...

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      Mondschein Hotel Luna
      Mondschein Hotel Luna

      This traditionally styled, family-run hotel is located in the historic center of Bolzano. Guests enjoy the private park and gardens, free wellness are...

      Read more +
      Hotel Canali Rapallo
      Hotel Canali Rapallo

      This charming hotel is located in the Rapallo neighborhood. Guests enjoy sea views, a terrace, and bike rentals. Nearby you’ll find Rapallo Castle, Mu...

      Read more +
      Hotel Diplomat
      Hotel Diplomat

      This charming hotel is located near the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find t...

      Read more +


      Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
      Add our airfare package and you'll get:
      • Round-trip flight for your tour
      • Airport transfers at your destination
      • A great price locked in today
      • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
      • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
      • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
      • Find out more about flights

      Local weather

      Bolzano, Italy
      Weather averages
      High 58 °FLow 40 °F
      Lucca, Italy
      Weather averages
      High 66 °FLow 51 °F
      Vernazza, Italy
      Weather averages
      High 66 °FLow 54 °F
      Stresa, Italy
      Weather averages
      High 60 °FLow 49 °F
      Milan, Italy
      Weather averages
      High 62 °FLow 54 °F
      Florence, Italy
      Weather averages
      High 64 °FLow 50 °F
      Monterosso, Italy
      Weather averages
      High 66 °FLow 54 °F


      Print FAQ
      Passport, visa & entry requirements
      • In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
      • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
      • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
      • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code WNI.
      Tour pacing & mobility
      • You will walk for at least 3.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including unpaved trails, cobblestone streets and slippery walkways, with some steep hills.
      • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
      • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats.
      • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
      • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
      Walks on this tour
      • Depending on local weather conditions, seasons and trail closures, the activities and sequence of your included walks may change.
      • Orta Peninsula – 2 miles / 2 hours. A flat path along the shore of Lake Orta with mountain views. A brief uphill climb to the UNESCO-listed Sacro Monte Nature Reserve.
      • Valpolicella Vineyard – 1.5–2 miles / 45 minutes. A moderate path from San Giorgio to a local wine estate with a few declines.
      • Bullaccia Ring Trail – 4.5 miles / 3–4 hours. A challenging walk up paved and unpaved paths for panoramic views of the surrounding valley and Dolomite Mountains.
      • Via dell’Amore – .5 miles / 40 minutes. An easy stroll along a flat path with stunning views of Cinque Terre. (Please note: this path is often closed due to construction.)
      • Vernazza and Monterosso – 1.8 miles / 2.5 hours. A difficult trek between the two beautiful villages, featuring intermittent stairs, inclines, and sweeping views of the coast.
      Transportation & arrival information
      • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Milan Malpensa and depart from Florence. When you first arrive, a representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
      • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost. Please note that the transfer between Milan Malpensa airport and your hotel in the Lake Maggiore Region is typically more than an hour drive. Please contact us with any questions regarding this transfer.
      • A water taxi ride in Lake Orta is included in the price of your tour.
      • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
      Baggage allowance
      • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
      • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
      • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
      • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
      Clothing & packing tips
      • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
      • Light hiking boots or sturdy sneakers are recommended for the cobbled stones and uneven terrain.
      • You may want to consider packing a collapsible walking stick for more challenging walks.
      • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
      • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
      • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
      • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
      • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code WNI.
      • Venice and Northern Italy are known for flavorful meats and pastries.
      • On the Italian Riviera, a taste of the region’s famous basil pesto is a must. Delicious seafood dishes are popular along the shore, but true Ligurians favor simple, traditional recipes like minestrone soup and farinata, an unleavened chickpea pancake.
      • Tuscany is world-famous for its wine, oil, sauces, and pasta. Menus favor subtle, lighter pastas and desserts made with nuts, fruit, and honey. Try a dish featuring the region’s Chianina beef, perhaps the most prized breed of cattle in all of Italy. For wine, popular Tuscan reds include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which are primarily made from the Sangiovese grape. Well-known white wines are also made around the San Gimignano region.
      • For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like grappa or limoncello.
      Electricity & air conditioning
      • Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, F or L plugs with two or three small, round pins.
      • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
      • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
      • Your hotel may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
      • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
      • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
      • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
      Time zones
      • Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
      • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
      • You will use the euro on this tour.
      • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s 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 used to withdraw 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.
      • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
      • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
      • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
      • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
      • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
      • Tips can only be paid in cash.
      Purchasing excursions on tour
      • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
      • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
      • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
      • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
      Museums in Florence
      • If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. See uffizi.org for the Uffizi Gallery or accademia.org for the Accademia Gallery. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

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