Get in the holiday spirit at Christmas markets at every stop on this enchanting Italian adventure. Drift through canals of Venice, taste the flavors of Tuscany and follow in the footsteps of ancients in Rome.
What are the top highlights?
- See three of Italy’s most popular destinations, along with two bonus cities
- Head to seaside Cinque Terre for the best Instagrams and a quick swim
- Explore Rome’s greatest hits like the Vatican and the Colosseum
- Step into the Renaissance in Florence
- Indulge in Italian food and wine while taking in the Tuscan countryside
- Visit a guy named David and witness the Birth of Venus in Florence
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 8 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Metro passes in each major city
- Entrance to select attractions and local Christmas Markets around Italy
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight, bound for Italy. Get ready to eat spaghetti on penne on linguine on fettuccine on gnocchi on ravioli on chocolate gelato (not literally, but maybe literally).
Day 2: Arrive in Venice + Welcome Mixer
Benvenuto (welcome) to the Venice Region, otherwise known as Veneto. Once one of the richest and largest maritime trade empires in the world, the sheer number of canals, bridges, and boats should come as no surprise. You’ll drop off your bags, stretch your legs, then venture over to an authentic neighborhood on the western side of Venice.
- Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
- Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
- Bask in the unique culture and style of the city during on introductory tour with your Tour Director.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy some appetizers over drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.
Day 3: Tour Venice + Christmas Markets
Meet a local guide who’ll show you the famous sights of the city, including the intricate artwork of St. Mark’s Basilica. Just remember to observe the local custom of covering your shoulders and knees before entering—but covering your mouth in awe is completely up to you.
- Arrive in true Venetian style at St. Mark’s square via the Giudecca Canal.
- Skip the line and gawk at the golden ceiling of St. Mark’s Basilica.
- Stand in the footprints of history on the Rialto Bridge, the oldest spanning the Grand Canal.
- Get in the Christmas spirit at Campo Santo Stefano, a square that is completely transformed into a Christmas village this time of year.
Day 4: Travel to Florence via Ferrara
Head further down the boot that is Italy and add two more cities to your ‘been there, done that’ list. Watch the hills and trees of the countryside slip by out the window of your private coach before reaching your final destination for the evening and deciding what’s for dinner (pizza is never not an option).
- Break up your trip to Tuscany with a stop in Ferrara for some lunch and time to explore.
- Check in to your accommodations in Florence and see what the place has to offer.
- Get the scoop on the area you’re staying on a short walk with your Tour Director.
Day 5: Tour Florence + Florence Christmas Markets
Join a local guide as you walk to some of the most famous sights in the city while taking mental notes of the best smelling restaurants you pass for later. After all, it is Italy, and food is kind of a big deal.
- Take note of the Piazza della Singnoria, home of the Uffizi Gallery and the world’s most famous nude man, Michelangelo’s David.
- March your way across Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge with shops built along it (formerly butchers, now jewelers and souvenir shops).
- Visit the final resting place of some of the most illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Basilica di Santa Croce.
- Join your Tour Director on a merry adventure to one of the city’s Christmas markets—hot chocolate highly encouraged.
Day 6: Free Day in Florence + Optional Tuscan Wine Tasting
Regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the Tuscany region is known for its landscapes, history, and artistic legacy. It is also an area known for its wine, notably Chianti, which is sure to come in handy later when you have plenty of free time on your hands.
Free Time Suggestions
Pitti Palace: Pitti Palace once housed the dukes of Tuscany and their extensive art collections, these days the dukes are gone but the art remains. Be sure to check out the statues in Boboli Gardens out back.
***Vivoli Gelateria: ***Would it really be a trip to Italy without gelato? The answer is no. Vivoli Gelateria is the local institution to go to for this frozen treat.
Tuscan Wine Tasting(extra cost)
Note: Availability is subject to your tour’s departure date for specific trips.
Some of the world’s best wines come from Tuscany, and now you get to sample the local product at a scenic winery. Who knows, you might even become a connoisseur. Next head to the town of San Gimignano, aptly known as the “City of Beautiful Towers.” The small medieval walled city is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s also home to Gelateria di Piazza, named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 best food hot spots in the world. That’s some tasty gelato.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 7: Travel to Rome via Orvieto
Board your chariot (AKA bus) and head to the Eternal City: Rome. On the way, make a pit stop to the olive groves—get it? Pit stop!—of the rustic town of Orvieto. Take refuge from big city life among the relaxing vistas and winding streets, then continue on to today’s destination
- Say ciao to Tuscany as you head to Rome on the next leg of your odyssey.
- Stop en route in Orvieto, to stretch your legs and snap your shutter at the never-ending Italian countryside.
- Enter the arena that is Rome—you are the gladiator, and pasta is your lion—and get your bearings for the night.
Free Time Suggestions
Piazza del Campidoglio: Michelangelo didn’t invent the square, but he did revolutionize it when he designed this city meeting spot on top of the Capitoline Hill. Municipal politics never looked so Instagrammable.
Porchetta: You didn’t come all the way to Rome to not pig out. Ask your Tour Director where you can find an authentic spot for Porchetta—a delicacy of roasted pig with herbs and garlic served fresh from the countryside.
Day 8: Explore Rome + Optional Roman Catacombs
They say all roads lead to Rome, but once you’re there you quickly realize that all roads actually lead to restaurants. Take the morning to satisfy your cravings and sip some espresso, then experience everything ancient Rome has to offer with a local guide.
- Practice your “buongiorno”s as you mingle among the locals exploring on your own in the morning.
- Tour the city with a local guide who will show you the Roman Forum, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Piazza Venezia, Teatro Marcello, and the Roman Ghetto.
- Learn where we get the word “colossal” from as you walk by the world’s most famous gladiator arena—the Colosseum.
Free Time Suggestions
Dancing in Testaccio: They don’t call it the Eternal City for nothing—keep the party going all night at one of the Testaccio Neighborhood’s many glamorous nightclubs.
Via dei Condotti: Stroll this “who’s who” street of high fashion shops, including Armani, Prada, Versace, and Gucci—all of which once charged entrance fees—ultimately culminating at the famous Spanish Steps.
Roman Catacombs & St. Paul's Basilica(extra cost)
Rome isn’t all spaghetti and Sistine Chapels. It’s also got a bit of a spooky side, and you get to see it firsthand. Travel several stories underground to the labyrinth of catacombs built by early Christians as a burial ground for peasants and popes alike. Some of the original nearly 2,000-year-old wall paintings and inscriptions remain, preserved in the eerie and sometimes chilly environment. You’ll also have a chance to tour the stunning St. Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls. A basilica has stood on these grounds since at least 324 AD, and they say St. Paul himself is buried there—a fact further corroborated by bone fragments and an engraved stone tomb carbon-dated to Biblical times.
Day 9: Free Day + Optional Vatican City Excursion + Christmas Markets
Rome looks goooood for being 2,000 years old. (It must moisturize.) Shop, eat, drink, and talk like an Italian (with your hands) during your free day. In the afternoon, head to Piazza Navona for your last taste of Italian Christmas cheer at Rome’s best Christmas market.
Free Time Suggestions
National Roman Museum: Practice your Latin at this immense collection of Ancient Roman statues, frescoes, mosaics and more, housed across four different buildings throughout the city.
Campo de' Fiori: Veg out at the daily market held for centuries at this “field of flowers,” perfect for people watching and produce prodding.
Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.
A Visit to the Vatican(extra cost)
Cross off another country with a visit to the Pope’s house: Vatican City. Take a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and get your Intro to Art History up close and personal. Make like Michelangelo and crane your neck in the Sistine Chapel to get a glimpse of the single most famous painting of two fingers touching ever made. Let the neck craning continue as you tour St. Peter’s Basilica and gawk at its iconic dome.
Day 10: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateway