Best Italy Tours 2021
We don’t know when, but we’ll start again travelling. We are troubled and distressed, longing to leave our woes behind for a while. Let’s dive into beauty, take a fabulous Italy tour!
Bestsellers: the hottest Italy tours for 2021
Wondering what the latest travel trends are? What Italy tours are today’s best sellers? After studying the travel market surveys carefully and connecting with local experts and premium tour companies I’ve come up with the 7 most popular and diverting Italy tours in 2021.
Read on for a full overview of hit seller Italy tours 2021, and pro advice on when to go and how to handle the planning.
Walking tours of Italy – roam through an exciting cultural heritage
Housing more Unesco World Heritage sites than any other country on earth Italy inspires and exhilarates like no other country. Should you admire Botticelli’s Springtime in Florence? Explore Venice’s sumptuous Doge’s palace or the seafront ruins in Ostia Antica? Tempting options of guided, or solo, Italy tours are countless, and can be daunting.
A natural masterpiece – custom Italy tours
The north’s glaciers and Alpine lakes, Tuscany’s vineyards and Umbria’s gentle hills. Emerald green grottoes along the Amalfi coast and Sardinia’s caribbean-like beaches. Italy tours offer nature lovers, intrepid pioneers and sports-fans a rainbow of extraordinary sights.
Authentic Italy up and down the boot
How and where can you experience the “real thing”? Where will you find authentic Italian flavor? What Italy tours are most enticing, adventurous, enlightening? Follow my insider’s tips up and down the Italian boot, enjoy the best Italy tours ever!
The Top 7 Italy Tours to experience in 2021
- Ancient and Contemporary Rome
- Astounding Apulia – Alberobello and Ostuni
- Baroque treasure troves – Modica, Scicli and Ragusa
- Bike tours forever!
- Catania, intensely Sicilian
- Langhe, Roero and Monferrato – luxury Italy tours, the wine and the truffle
- Tuscany – the olive grove experience
Ancient and Contemporary? Rome!
Best season: April – June, late September-November
duration: 2 full days
Haunting ancient ruins and contemporary chic, mystery and beauty. Vivid and easygoing, high-spirited and seductive… I lived in Rome for 10 years and can assure you it has something for everyone!
DAY 1 – The best Rome Italy tour starts from the Via Veneto, with its Dolce Vita reminiscences. Wend your way to the Spanish steps. Wander down the shopping streets and roam the side alleys. Find stately Piazza Farnese, have cappuccino or gelato in Piazza Navona, admire the fountains. A brief walk takes you to the evocative Jewish ghetto, where you can feast on crispy carciofi alla giudia and minestra di arzilla.
Spend the afternoon exploring the picturesque Isola Tiberina and Trastevere, before heading back to Campo de’ Fiori, the iconic Roman piazza, for an aperitivo. Crown your day with dinner at Pierluigi, in charming Via Giulia. Courteous service and al fresco seating on a delightful square.
DAY 2 – Discover antiquity, feel the thrill of traveling back in time. Do it the right way: pre-book entrance tickets for the Colosseum and Roman Forum and book a private licensed English-speaking guide. A customized private guided tour of Ancient Rome’s most outstanding sights is the best way to explore, experience and learn all about ancient Roman history and architecture.
After traveling through the past, have your guide show you to a good alimentari, a local deli. Take your sandwiches to the Borghese Gardens. Enjoy panini and a walk in the park, and maybe a visit to the Canova sculptures in the Borghese Gallery after lunch.
Astounding Apulia – Alberobello and Ostuni
Best period: February – June, any time in the fall. July and August are great for beach-lovers
duration: 2 full days
Sun-drenched Apulia, with its massive olive trees, welcoming locals and exquisite villages, is no doubt one of the best Italy tours ever! Stay at a country masseria, an ancient farmstead, or seafront hotel, book a local licensed English-speaking driver and go for a two-day joyride.
DAY 1 – Discover Unesco World Heritage Site Alberobello. It’s… a vision come true! Made up of limestone cone-shaped dwellings known as trulli, the town is something out of a bedtime story. Roam the sun-bleached streets where time seems to have come to a stop. Admire the singular details of the beehive-like buildings and their snow white tips. Enjoy a leisurely aperitivo and top off your day with a tasty lunch: the local fare is genuine and delicious.
DAY 2 – Graceful, exquisite, pearly white like a gem. Set in a superb position atop a low hill, delightful Ostuni, with its whitewashed 15th century buildings, is breathtaking. Take a leisurely stroll, feel the atmosphere and lose yourself in the striking 360° views of the gleaming blue sea. Have lunch, and spend your afternoon, on one of the pristine nearby beaches (Marina di Ostuni, Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area).
Baroque treasure troves – Modica, Scicli and Ragusa
best period: February – June, any time in the fall
duration: 2 full days
Dazzling, diverse, dramatic. Apart from being the reign of classical architectural marvels, a roaring volcano and marvelous beaches, beguiling Sicily is also the kingdom of stunning Baroque. For a lovely off-the-beaten-track experience visit the smaller towns of southeastern Sicily: Modica, Ragusa and Scicli. Innately charming and welcoming all three are a treasure chest of Baroque architecture and authentic local character.
You’ll need a driver to get around, so book a local licensed English-speaking one in advance and schedule which visits to combine depending on where you’re staying. Once you get to the single towns you can easily, and very pleasantly, explore on foot.
All, in fact, are relatively small and jam-packed with cultural sights. You’ll see an array of baroque architectural masterpieces, golden-hued domes and stunning cathedral facades. Plus, Scicli showcases eclectic museums too, Modica is world-famous for its unique chocolate, and all three were used as sets for the hit TV series Inspector Montalbano!
Italy bike tours forever!
Best period: late March – May, late September – October
duration: half day, full day or 1 week!
It all depends on how much you want to bike, how far you want to go, how much you want to… perspire! With its vast valleys, woods, fields, vineyards and small villages Italy is perfect both for fun-loving travelers and more exertion-oriented bike fans too. Among the most diverting Italy bike tours there are week-long excursions in many areas, such as Tuscany, Umbria and Valtellina, and full day options in all art cities and smaller towns.
My favorite not-too-strenuous ideas? Rent bikes, or book a customized guided bike tour, to explore smaller Tuscan towns, such as Lucca or Pistoia. Enjoy the views and the breeze on a bike tour around Lake Garda. And discover Florence’s sights with a well-planned, very cost-effective, group E-Bike Tour – easy to book via this link
Catania, intensely Sicilian
Best period: February – June, any time in the fall
duration: full day
Sicily’s second-largest city lies on the Ionian Sea and under the looming shadow of Mount Etna. The ever-present volcano, ‘a Muntagna as the locals respectfully call it, has shaped the history of Catania. And its character too, seeing as it is one of Italy’s most magnetic cities.
I recommend you plan to stay in Catania a couple of nights, in order to have one full day to discover the city. Explore on your own, if you like, or book a local licensed guide for an all-round history and architecture experience. You’re bound to fall in love with the city’s UNESCO-listed heart, an inspiring maze of black-and-white palaces, airy baroque piazzas and vibrant daily life.
Climb up the domes and catch sweeping views of the surroundings. See the grand Cattedrale di Sant’Agata and Fontana dell’Elefante, the exquisite black lava elephant dating from Roman times symbol of the city. Make sure you visit La Pescheria, the extraordinary local fish market, and stroll along Via Etnea, the main shopping street. Have an almond granita or pistachio ice-cream at one of the pretty cafès, and walk up to the Giardino Bellini to relax on a bench of the shady gardens
Langhe, Roero and Monferrato – truffle and wine tour Italy
Best season: April-July, anytime in fall, Christmas
duration: from 1 full day to 1 week depending on what you want to see (and how much you can drink!)
Gourmets, foodies, wine lovers and discerning travelers worldwide THIS is your tour! Almost everyone has heard of, or been on, a wine tour in Italy. But not many, in fact, know about the Langhe, birthplace of some of the world’s greatest wine.
First of all let’s get the facts together.
What and where is Langhe, Roero and Monferrato? The name defines that hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the provinces of Cuneo and Asti, and the fertile triangle between Asti, Alessandria and Casale Monferrato in Piedmont, northern Italy.
What’s it like and why is it fabulous? Just imagine: an extent of marvelously groomed gentle hills and verdant valleys where sweet hazelnuts, rare white truffles, arborio rice, choice meats, prized cheeses and Nebbiolo grapes grow. Rows and rows of tidy vineyards and award-winning cellars which yield magical wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Dolcetto. Ancient traditions, majestic castles, and dainty quaint townships. There’s enough to see, experience, and taste to last you a year! So, figure out what you want to see and what budget you can allow, and then take your pick.
Must-do experiences in my opinion are:
- a visit to Alba, the region’s exquisite capital, and – budget permitting – a meal at Michelin-star chef Enrico Crippa’s Piazza Duomo restaurant
- a visit to Bra, home of the Slow Food Movement
- a visit to the Agenzia di Pollenzo, headquarters of the Bank of Wine and University of GastronomicSciences
- a visit to one, or more, of the charming villages: La Morra, Neive, Barolo and Barbaresco
- a vineyard hike
- wine tasting in one, or more, of the local cellars
- overnights: high rollers and honeymooners should consider staying at Relais San Maurizio, one of Italy’s most enchanting properties.
Tuscany – the olive groves experience
Best season: springtime to see the olive groves, late November early December to harvest the olives
duration: 1 full day
Heavenly panoramas made of fields and hillsides dotted with silvery ancient trees. L’ulivo, – Tuscan dialectal word for the olive tree – is Tuscany’s flagship tree. And its product, extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, one the region’s most beloved staples.
Light green in color, almost spicy when new, superb on toast, flavorful and healthy always. Tuscan olive oil is world-celebrated for its excellence.
Boasting centuries-old traditions and vast extents of venerable olive trees Tuscany offers the very best opportunities for tours of Italy olive gardens ever!
And, you can choose your preferred area: Florence and the Chianti hillside, Siena and surroundings, Grosseto and Maremma. Olive trees and olive oil are everywhere! You’ll find different landscapes, of course, different cultivars, and different oils. But all sublime. All Tuscan!
You can discover the marvelous realm of olive trees and oil year-round hiking in the countryside, visiting olive oil mills, chatting with the local farmers and tasting the oil.
Or, you can plan to visit Tuscany in late November early December and take part in the olive oil harvest.
So, what’s the bottom line? Whatever your plans in 2021, be sure to visit Italy!