Northern Italy: Milan to Rome
Sample wine in an ancient Tuscan castle, discover Rome in a vintage Vespa sidecar & eat your way around beautiful Bologna
Northern Italy: Milan to Rome
About your trip
Florence. Rome. Pasta. Wine. Renaissance architecture and Tuscan hills. If you’re looking to really (no, really) indulge – this one’s for you.
Kicking things off in Milan (arguably Italy’s most glamorous city), you’ll visit the region’s finest producers of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Modena balsamic vinegar, with gourmet samples along the way. In Bologna, you’ll cook up a feast of fresh pasta and ragu with a passionate local chef who’s obsessed with good food. Then it’s on to Tuscany, where you’ll visit Florence’s artisan workshops with a local expert and taste wine in the ancient cellars of a historic hilltop castle. And let’s not forget your Vespa sidecar adventure through Rome’s vibrant streets.
This might just be our most opulent adventure yet. Go on, treat yourself.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 4-5 star hotels
- We offset the carbon emissions per person on this trip
- Arrival airport transfer
- Local transport including buses and trains
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Buongiorno, Milan
Welcome to Milan, a fast-paced metropolis at the cutting edge of Italy’s design industry, attracting artists, photographers and fashionistas from all across the globe. Upon arrival at the airport, a private Flash Pack transfer will be waiting to take you to your centrally located hotel on one of the city’s elegant streets. Here you’ll meet your fellow travellers and Pack Leader before heading out for a welcome dinner at a typical Milanese restaurant with superb views of the cathedral. Saluti!
Day 02 A taste of Modena & Parma
For your first full day, there’s an appetising itinerary in store with a culinary tour of the region. Thanks to its fertile plains and abundance of fresh ingredients, Emilia-Romagna has long been considered an agricultural powerhouse and superstar of Italian gastronomy. First up, you’ll travel to Modena, to visit the workshop and cellars where the finest balsamic vinegar is aged. You’ll follow this up with a visit to the artisan cheese factory in Parma to discover the intricate process of crafting vintage Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (with plenty of samples, of course). Tastebuds satisfied, you’ll continue to Bologna for the next part of your adventure. Spend the evening sipping aperitivos with your group in a lively local piazza.
Day 03 Perfect the art of pasta
Bologna is world-renowned for its rich food scene and there’s much more to try beyond spaghetti bolognese: think classic lasagna and tagliatelle drenched in ragu (a slow-cooked meat sauce), handmade stuffed pasta like tortellini, and local specialities such as salami and mortadella. Today, you’ll take a cookery class with an esteemed local chef who will share her passion for traditional Italian cuisine as you master tagliatelle and ragu. Together, you’ll prepare fresh pasta dishes from scratch using seasonal local ingredients, washed down with regional wine. Spend the rest of the day enjoying Bologna at leisure. Lose yourself in the lavish porticoed walkways, beautiful historic plazas and storied medieval centre with a mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture.
Day 04 Immersion in artistic Florence
Leave Bologna behind as you travel to the Renaissance city of Florence, home to an incredible array of artistic treasures – and possibly the world’s best gelati. To help you get your bearings, you’ll start with a walking tour with an expert local guide who will bring the city’s history and culture to life. Admire the landmark Duomo cathedral with its neo-Gothic facade, amble over the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge packed with goldsmiths and jewellers, and rub the nose of the Fontana del Porcellino – Florence’s wild boar fountain – to ensure you return to the city. After the tour, you’ll be free to explore at leisure and your Pack Leader will have plenty of tips. We recommend taking in the views from Piazzale Michelangelo – particularly atmospheric at sunset.
Day 05 Wine tasting at a Tuscan castle
After breakfast, you’ll be met by an English-speaking chauffeur and travel across the bucolic Tuscan countryside to Siena. You’ll have time to explore this compact Gothic town, with its beautiful central Campo square, before continuing to the stunning hilltop town of San Gimignano. One of Tuscany’s most recognisable sights, the skyline of medieval towers is visible from miles around. From here, you’ll visit the nearby castle of Verrazzano – once home to the explorer who discovered the Bay of New York – for a tour of the centuries-old wine cellars and a tasting of the finest Chianti. Later, you’ll return to Florence for a relaxed evening at your boutique hotel.
Day 06 Vespa sidecar adventure
Arrivederci Florence – next you’re onto Rome. Arriving by train, your introduction to Italy’s charismatic capital will be on a Vespa sidecar adventure. Sit back and enjoy this stylish ride as you take in one breathtaking location after another. Navigating the labyrinthine streets, you’ll feel like you’re in a classic movie as you ride past sights including the Roman Forum, Colosseum and even Vatican City. You’ll be dropped off back at your boutique hotel, ideally positioned for setting out on foot. Enjoy an atmospheric evening strolling from one piazza to the next before heading out for a farewell dinner with views to die for on the highest rooftop in the city.
Day 07 Until next time, Rome
It’s now over to you to make your own way to the airport. Or why not book some additional nights in Rome and really get to know this incredible city? You might also consider extending your adventure with our Southern Italy tour, which will see you journey from Rome to Naples and on to Puglia – one of the country’s most traditional and untouched regions. Our team of travel experts are at your service.
Our Favourite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Bright, modern and full of Italian charm, this four-star hotel is just a short stroll from the esteemed National Gallery. Combining glass and chrome with a bold colour scheme, the contemporary feel is complemented by top-notch facilities.
Hotel Albani Firenze
One of Florence’s grandest hotels, just steps from Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Here you’ll find impeccably designed rooms with carrera marble bathrooms, a private wine cellar and a restaurant specialising in recipes from the Renaissance.
The Republic Hotel
Fancy soaking up views over Rome with a cocktail in hand? Head to the rooftop terrace of this stylish central hotel. Set in a historic building just 2km from the Colosseum, rooms are slick, streamlined and packed full of mod cons.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly into Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) and out of Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO), also known as Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.
- What time do I need to arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
We suggest arriving before 4 pm on Day 1, to allow yourself enough time to freshen up and meet your group before dinner.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no scheduled activities for the final day, so you can depart at your own leisure. Rome Fiumicino Airport is approximately 40 minutes away from your final hotel.
- Are airport transfers included?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi.
- Are tips included?
Tips are not included in this adventure. Your Pack Leader can advise on suitable amounts to tip local activity guides or services where appropriate, and we will provide a suggested tipping budget closer to your departure date. Please note that all tipping is optional and will depend on what you feel comfortable with.
- How far in advance should I book entrance tickets for Rome sights?
To fully immerse yourself in the history of Rome, we suggest booking some additional nights at the end of your trip. This will allow you time to explore and appreciate the rich cultural attractions the city has to offer.
Note that tickets for popular attractions – such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Vatican Museums – sell out quickly, particularly in the summer months of May to September.
We highly recommend that you book tickets for these attractions well in advance to avoid any disappointment or last-minute complications.
Tickets are typically released on official websites three to four weeks in advance.
If you miss out on purchasing tickets through the official websites, you may still be able to buy tickets through third-party vendors. Bear in mind that they may add their own margins to the ticket costs.
The official website for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tickets is: https://colosseo.it/en
The official website for the Vatican Museum tickets is: https://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en.html
Note that St Peter’s Basilica (which is separate from the Vatican Museums) is free of charge. However, during summer, queues can stretch up to two hours and there is limited shade. The Basilica may be closed or have restricted access during special events, so check in advance on the official Vatican website: https://www.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html
If you have any additional questions or would like assistance in arranging activities before or after your tour, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here to help!
- Will this itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try and communicate to you.
- Do I need a driving licence if I want to test drive a Ferrari?
The Ferrari driving experience is only included with a few of our early departures. Please contact a member of our sales team if you’re interested to find out more. To take part, you will need an international driving license and credit card for insurance purposes. You will also be required to sign paperwork/hire contract terms before the activity.
- What are the Covid-19 requirements for visiting Italy?
Due to the changeable nature of Covid-19 entry requirements, we strongly advise Flashpackers to consult the travel advice issued by your local consular services well in advance of your departure date. Some countries do still require travellers to comply with pre-arrival testing and/or vaccination requirements. Links to the key consular services can be found on our Safety page.
- Do I need a visa?
You do not normally need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the EU, UK, USA, Australia or Canada. Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.
From 2024, ETIAS travel authorisation will be an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to European countries https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias/what-etias_en.
We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission is to create 1 million friendships, so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends.
Want to know more about your group?
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We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account, meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled.
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