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Gondolas in Venice

Things to do in Italy

A cultural powerhouse famed for its legendary art and architecture, glorious landscapes and gourmet food and wine, Italy offers you a wealth of experiences. Our carefully chosen activities offer a deeper insight into the country's most famous attractions and give a local perspective on life in this fascinating destination.

You can explore the backstreets of Rome on a Vespa, go truffle hunting in Tuscany, or revel in an opera performance in Verona’s Roman amphitheatre. The options are endless, and whether you learn to cook with a local family, go wine tasting on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius or join a workshop on traditional mask making in Venice, Italy's rich history and culture is revealed at every turn.

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Audley Travel specialist Cara

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Ideas for experiencing Italy

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know Italy, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • Pompeii street

    A private guided tour of Pompeii

    The Amalfi Coast

    Enjoy a guided tour of the ancient Roman town of Pompeii, preserved by six meters of volcanic ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius back in 79 AD.

  • Filleting fish at Casa Laura's cooking class

    Experience a cooking class with a local family

    The Amalfi Coast

    Experience a half day cooking class at a local family home. You will learn the secret recipes of the D’Antonio family, from making homemade pasta to fileting the catch of the day.

  • Lemon grove, Amalfi Coast

    When life gives you lemons tour

    The Amalfi Coast

    Discover the role that lemons play in traditional life on the Amalfi Coast with this half-day tour. You’ll take a guided walk through the lemon groves and tour a local limoncello distillery, as well as sitting down to a seaside lunch.

  • Michelangelo's 'David', Florence

    Accademia and Uffizi Galleries walking tour


    A full day guided walking tour around the highlights of Florence including the Santa Croce Basilica and the incredible Renaissance artwork of the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries.

  • Fresh truffles, Italy

    Truffle hunting and tasting lunch


    A wonderful opportunity to visit a family truffle business, learn about the production process, go on a truffle hunt and enjoy a tasting lunch.

  • Barolo, Piedmont

    Barolo village and winery tour


    On this guided tour, you’ll discover the medieval village of Barolo, renowned for the high quality of its wines. There’s time to stroll its cobbled streets, explore the 11th-century castle and museum, and visit a local vineyard for a wine tasting.

  • Villa Carlotta, Lake Como

    A private boat tour of Lake Como

    Lake Como

    Explore Lake Como on a private boat tour, passing lakeside villages and elegant villas. You will stop off at stunning Villa Carlotta and the pictureseque town of Bellagio.

  • Views from kayak, Lake Como

    Lake Como by kayak

    Lake Como

    Following a local guide, you’ll explore Lake Como from the water on this two-hour kayaking tour. As well as getting an unusual perspective of the lake’s sparkling waters and the surrounding Alps, you’ll pass grand villas as you paddle.

  • Alberobello, Puglia

    Puglian villages tour (Alberobello, Cisternino and Martina Franca)


    You can visit Puglia's most characterful villages on a full-day private guided tour of their historic streets, shady squares and medieval churches. See Alberobello's conical trulli, the whitewashed hilltop town of Cisternino, and the Baroque and Rococo buildings of Martina Franca.

  • Veiw of St Mark's and the Doge's Palace, Venice

    St Mark's Square & Doge's Palace secret histories tour


    This half day tour takes you to the iconic Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Square, and St Mark's Basilica. You will also have the opportunity to see some hidden areas of the Doge’s Palace not always open to the public.

  • Church of San Francesco di Paola, Naples Square

    Historical walking tour and Cappella Sansevero


    Take a private guided tour of Naples, admiring the architecture and, in particular, Giuseppe Sanmartino's marble statue, 'The Veiled Christ', regarded as a sculptural masterpiece.

  • Duomo Square, Milan

    Explore the highlights of Milan


    Explore the highlights of Milan, including Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’, on a walking city tour around the city with your private guide.

  • Carnival Masks in Street Market, Verona

    Mask making experience, Venice


    Learn about the history of Venice’s vibrant and elaborate masks and try your hand at making your own with materials such as brocade edging and bright acrylic paints.

  • Verona Opera Performance

    Verona opera performance


    Enjoy an opera performance at Verona's historic Roman Arena. The open-air performances benefit from this impressive setting, a circular amphitheater with the stage in the center of stone steps that rise up around it.

  • Gondola under old bridge, Venice

    Gondola ride on the waterways of Venice


    Designed in the 16th century, specifically for navigating the narrow Venetian waterways, these beautiful boats offer the opportunity to enjoy the city as it was intended to be seen.

  • Scooters

    La Dolce Vita: Vespa tour of Rome


    See Rome from the back of a Vespa motorbike, passing some of the main sites as well as venturing further out into more residential areas.

  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

    Personal shopper experience in Milan


    Renowned as one of the most stylish cities in the world, your personal shopper will ensure you have the best experience possible browsing Milan's boutiques, tailored around your preferences.

  • Sassi di Matera, Matera

    Matera walking tour with tasting lunch


    In southern Italy’s Matera, you can explore cave dwellings and medieval churches in a city cut into the soft volcanic rock of a river canyon. This private half-day tour reveals much about the city's history, its people and the conditions that forced its evacuation.

  • Palace canal and Bridge of Sighs, Venice

    Panoramic boat tour of Venice


    Travel along the waterways of Venice by boat, viewing the city from the water on this two hour tour. You’ll see the different areas of the city and will even have the opportunity to view the lagoons and outlying islands.

  • Ancient temple, Agrigento

    Agrigento: Valley of the Temples tour


    The city of Akragas was one of the most lavish ancient Greek outposts and much of it remains intact in the Valley of the Temples. It is best toured with a knowledgeable guide who can reveal its many treasures and mysteries.

  • Street market, Palermo

    Street food city tour


    Take the uncertainty out of exploring Palermo's boisterous food markets and sampling their famous delicacies on this guided tour that introduces you to some of Italy's finest produce, as well as some of its greatest street food.

  • Corniglia, Cinque Terre

    Hiking in the Cinque Terre

    Porto Venere

    Meander along narrow paths between citrus and olive groves as you explore the romantic villages of the scenic Cinque Terre. With an expert local guide you'll learn about the history, heritage and culture of this unique place.

  • Traditional fresh pasta, Bologna

    Bologna cooking class with market visit


    Learn from the experts in a region famous for its fine food by starting out in a local market to choose ingredients then mastering how to cook them in a private cooking lesson in Bologna, Italy's 'pasta capital.'

  • Cinque Terre photography tour

    Cinque Terre photography tour

    Cinque Terre

    Perched on the sheer cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea, the villages of the Cinque Terre hold a lot of potential for avid photographers. You can explore the area and capture its beauty with the help of a professional photographer on this half-day tour.

  • Gardens of St Francis, Assisi

    Assisi walking tour and Spello


    Get an expert’s view of medieval Assisi on this guided walking tour that introduces you to the highlights of Saint Francis’s hometown as well as the quiet hilltown of Spello where Roman walls encircle a tangle of winding streets.

  • Views over Forio, Ischia

    Hiking the green island of Ischia


    Hike into Ischia’s interior for sweeping coastal views and a taste of traditional life on the island. Along the way, you’ll learn about local history and culture, share a meal on a family-run farm, and get a deeper insight into island life.

  • Tufo caves, Orvieto

    E-bike from Orvieto to Bagnoregio


    Tour the rural roads of Umbria by electric bike, leisurely exploring the rolling countryside and taking in a crumbling medieval village perched on a plug of volcanic rock in a rugged valley followed by lunch at a local farmhouse.

  • San Carlo and Santa Cristina churches, Turin

    Historical walking tour of Turin


    Turin’s wealth of history is unfurled on this half-day walking tour with a private guide, who’ll help you discover its grandest architecture, explain the story of the Shroud of Turin, and offer a deeper insight into the city and its people.

  • Summit crater, Mount Etna

    Mount Etna summit visit with wine tasting lunch


    Mount Etna is Europe's most active volcano. Reaching its summit involves an adventurous trip but reveals much about its history, temperament and geology, which you can then discuss over lunch accompanied by some of the region's finest wines.