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Tailor-made specialist Audley Travel launches Italy, its first short haul destination

Date published: 31/12/2018 Updated: 02/01/2019

Audley Travel, the UK’s leading tailor-made travel specialist, is launching its first short haul destination – Italy. Ideal for clients who love history, art and the outdoors, tailor-made trips that are designed just for them are now available to book.

The move is a result of an increasing desire from UK clients to experience more destinations through Audley’s tailor-made offering, particularly closer to home, with 66 per cent* saying they would like to travel to Italy with the operator if trips were available.

The Audley Way

Audley Travel’s Italy specialists will develop clients’ tailor-made trips using their first-hand knowledge (gained through either living in the country or travelling there extensively) of the best routes, guides, food, accommodation and local secrets to showcase Italy's lesser-known ways of life. The specialists regularly return to Italy to discover new hidden gems, stay in the accommodation and meet the guides as well as experience all the excursions and activities. This means that Audley can offer its clients a tailor-made service and enable them to experience a side of Italy that others might miss.

Mark Hanson, UK Managing Director for Audley Travel, says: “While Italy may not feel as off the beaten track as other countries we operate to, Audley has successfully applied its principle of seeking out unique experiences and offering an authentic insight into the destination. Our role is to distil, from the vast array of options, a journey that captures the places and experiences that will be most interesting and memorable for our clients. They will gain an insight and appreciation of what makes these people and places tick that cannot be obtained from any guidebook, no matter how good.”

Audley’s Italian Experiences

Audley’s offering in Italy is split between three regions – ‘Venice, Florence and Rome’, ‘Northern Italy’ and ‘Southern Italy’, with carefully selected and stringently audited experiences available.

Venice, Florence and Rome

Any visitor to these three cities can find their way around the wealth of treasures on offer with the help of a guide book, but Audley believes in offering its clients the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the country and its people. With the help of expert local guides, Audley brings these historical cities to life, with examples including:

  • Venice - visiting a selection of authentic hidden bacaros (wine bars) in the backstreets of Venice’s Rialto area with a local guide, taking private boat trips or secret walking tours around Venice, visiting hidden areas of the Doge’s Palace or custom designing their own Venetian mask

  • Rome - taking guided Vespa rides around Rome, touring the Vatican Museum after hours and enrolling in gladiator school

  • Florence - meeting traditional artisans and learning to cook like a local

Northern Italy

Audley’s Italy specialists can offer revealing insights into the lesser-known attractions of the region and help clients see the major sights without the crowds. The art and architecture of Verona and Milan will of course be on the wish-list of many visitors, but Audley aims to take them beyond the obvious. For example:

  • Tuscan hills - truffle hunting with an expert and his dog

  • Milan - touring the boutiques with a personal shopper

  • Verona - enjoying wine tasting in the vineyards surrounding Verona

  • Italian Lakes - taking a private boat tour led by some of the region’s finest guides

  • Liguria - hiking through terraces of vines to reach the tiny villages of Cinque Terre

  • Bologna - a gastronomy tour visiting small scale food producers

  • Piedmont - exploring the Barolo and Barbaresco wineries and hilltop medieval villages

Southern Italy

The private guides commissioned by Audley in Southern Italy are truly excellent at sharing the historical significance of the cultural sites such as Pompei and Herculaneum, as well as arranging for clients to visit these popular places at quieter times. Other highlights in the region include:

  • Sorrento - heading out with a local fisherman on his boat to catch dinner prior to a seaside dining experience

  • Naples - seeing the sights during a two hour walking tour, sampling some of the city’s best street food and enjoying the impressive street art

  • Amalfi Coast - hiking along coastal paths with an expert historian and botanist

  • Matera - hiking around the cave churches set in the hills of Matera

  • Puglia - cycling around the city of Lecce

Itineraries

Audley Travel has designed a fantastic programme for clients, with 12 sample itineraries available to inspire travellers. All itineraries include flights, premium class train travel (where applicable), accommodation, private excursions and a private car with driver and guide. Lead-in prices can be found in the notes to editors.

Mark Hanson, UK Managing Director for Audley Travel, says: “We are delighted to launch Italy to the UK market. Our clients have been asking us for many years to bring our tailor-made offering closer to home so they can enjoy the same quality of experiences and local guides that we offer in our long-haul destinations but with a much shorter flight time. I hope Italy will be the first of many European destinations that we are able to offer to our clients in the UK.”

Audley’s sample itineraries for Italy are at www.audleytravel.com/Italy and available to book with Audley’s Italy specialists on 01993 838960.

Notes to editors

*From Audley’s 2017 client survey – 66% said they would consider travelling to Italy with Audley if the country was introduced. The survey received 4,469 responses.

Sample pricing:

All itineraries include flights, premium class train travel (where applicable), accommodation, private excursions and a private car with driver and guide. For more information on all sample itineraries visit www.audleytravel.com/italy from 20th November or call 01993 838960.

Classic Italy: Rome, Venice, Florence and Tuscany - a 13 day trip focusing on three cities and rural Tuscany which costs from £5,100 per person, based on two sharing.

Florence, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre - a 10 day trip exploring Tuscany from Florence and Pisa to Porto Venere and Lucca which costs from £4,148 per person, based on two sharing.

Luxury Italy Honeymoon - a 12 day trip taking in rural Tuscany, Florence, Pisa, the Amalfi Coast and Rome and costs from £6,212 per person, based on two sharing.

Culinary Tour of Italy - a 16 day trip visiting Venice, Florence, Gaiole in Chiani, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Campania and Amalfi costs from £5,987 per person, based on two sharing.

Southern Italy and the Amalfi Coast - an eight day trip taking in Naples, Campania, Sorrento, Capri and Positano costs from £4,126 per person, based on two sharing.

Venice and the Lakes - a nine day trip taking in Venice, Verona and Verbania costs from £4,360 per person, based on two sharing.

Classic Italian Family Adventure: Venice, Florence and Rome - a 10 day trip costs from £4,352 per person, based on four sharing.

Italy Outdoors - a 10 day trip to Milan, Lake Como, Florence, Naples, Positano, Campania and Sorrento costs from £4,400 per person, based on two sharing.

Puglia and Matera - a 10 day trip to Bari, Matera, Fasano, Lecce and Otranto costs from £4,565 per person, based on two sharing.

Ultimate Italian Family Adventure: Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Pompeii - a 12 day trip taking in these cities plus Pisa, Naples, Campania, Sorrento and Capri costs from £5,863 per person, based on four sharing.

Classic Luxury Italy and Amalfi Coast - a 13 day trip visiting Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Positano and Capri costs from £8,978 per person, based on two sharing.

About AudleyTravel
Audley Travel creates unique travel experiences through first-hand specialist knowledge and outstanding customer service. Its tailor-made travel experiences are available in over 80 countries across the world. Each trip is designed by a destination specialist who knows the country in great detail, having lived there or explored it many times. Each trip is designed specifically for a client, based on their tastes, interests and budget with a common commitment to quality and to showing clients the highlights of a destination in a different light, and introducing them to places and experiences that others might miss. For more information on all of Audley’s tailor-made trips, please visit www.audleytravel.com.