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Northern Italy: Venice, Florence & Rome

Kayak through the canals of Venice, discover Rome in a vintage Vespa sidecar & go truffle-hunting in a Tuscan forest 

Northern Italy: Venice, Florence & Rome

8 Days | From $4845

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Important Notes

About your trip

Venice. Florence. Rome. Renaissance art and Tuscan hills. If you’re looking to explore Italy’s triumphant trio of World Heritage cities – with plenty of indulgent aperitivi along the way – this one’s for you.

Starting in Venice (arguably one of the world’s most picturesque cities), you’ll explore the labyrinthine canals by kayak, seeking out hidden treasures. You’ll visit Italy’s finest producers of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Modena balsamic vinegar, with gourmet samples along the way. Then it’s on to Tuscany, where you’ll visit Florence’s artisan workshops, taste wine in the ancient cellars of a historic hilltop castle and go truffle-hunting with a local expert. 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.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Max 14 travelers per group
  • Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
  • Arrival transfer included
  • Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
  • All activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
  • Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Local transport
  • 3-day Venice transport pass

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.

Itinerary

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Your Itinerary

  • Day 01 A Venetian welcome

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    Welcome to Venice, a captivating city of canals, palaces and paintings, where cars are replaced by boats and an archipelago of tiny islands is linked by over 400 bridges. Upon arrival at the airport, a private taxi will be waiting to whisk you to your hotel in Mestre – just 10 minutes from the glittering lagoon, with its famously floating skyline of Renaissance domes and Gothic spires. Here you’ll meet your fellow travelers and Pack Leader before heading out for a welcome dinner at an atmospheric osteria for your first taste of Venetian cuisine. Saluti!

  • Day 02 The islands of Venice

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    Wake up to the sounds of the city coming to life outside your window. You’ll spend your first morning discovering two of Venice’s most characterful islands: Murano and Burano. A short ferry ride across the lagoon, Murano has been known for its Venetian glass-makers for over 700 years. You’ll see the artisan craftsmen at work before exploring Burano’s brightly painted cottages and boutiques selling handmade lace. Then, you’ll take to the water again on a kayaking tour of the city. Paddling serenely through the backwater canals, under arched bridges and by crumbling buildings, you’ll enjoy a more intimate viewpoint that many never see. Back on dry land, there’s a Flash Pack surprise in store – but that’s all we’ll say for now.   

  • Day 03 Piazzas & palazzos

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    Today, you’ll explore some of Venice’s most authentic sestieri (districts) on an off-the-beaten-track walking tour. Starting in Cannaregio, with its fascinating Jewish ghetto, you’ll explore the warren of medieval alleyways and laidback piazzas, making your way through Santa Croce to the majestic Rialto bridge and its colorful market piled high with seasonal produce. Finish your tour by visiting some ‘bacari’ (taverns) to sample local wine and cicchetti – Venice’s answer to tapas. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city at leisure. Make use of your vaporetto pass by cruising along the Grand Canal. Climb the campanile for views over St Mark’s Square, or check out the torture chamber in the ornate Palazzo Ducale.  

  • Day 04 A taste of Modena & Parma

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    For your first full day, there’s an appetizing 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 Florence for the next part of your adventure. Spend the evening sipping aperitivi with your group in a lively local piazza.

  • Day 05 Truffles & art in Florence

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    Spend the morning on a truffle-hunting adventure in a lush forest near the city. You’ll be accompanied by a truffle expert and a specially trained dog who can sniff out the gourmet fungus, which you’ll sample with some local wine. Back in Florence, you’ll learn about the city’s cultural heritage with a visit to some artisan workshops, where goldsmiths, woodcarvers, marble paper-makers and shoe-makers keep centuries-old traditions alive. The rest of the day is yours to explore the incredible array of artistic and architectural treasures on offer (not to mention the world-famous gelati). Admire the landmark cathedral with its neo-Gothic facade, amble over the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge and take in the views from Piazzale Michelangelo – particularly atmospheric at sunset.

  • Day 06 Tuscan hill towns

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    After breakfast, you’ll be met by an English-speaking chauffeur and travel across the bucolic Tuscan countryside to the stunning hilltop town of San Gimignano. One of Tuscany’s most recognizable sights, the skyline of medieval towers is visible from miles around. You’ll have time to explore the triangular Piazza della Cisterna and climb the Torre Grossa, before enjoying a traditional Tuscan lunch and wine-tasting. Then, you’ll continue your journey to Siena: a compact Gothic town, famed for its beautiful Campo square. Don’t miss visiting the duomo cathedral, with its black-and-white striped marble walls, ornate mosaic floor and sculptures by Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo and Bernini. Later, you’ll return to Florence for a relaxed evening at your boutique hotel. 

  • Day 07 Vespa sidecar adventure

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    Arrivederci Florence – next you’re onto Rome. 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. Raise a toast with your fellow Flashpackers to an incredible week of adventure. 

  • Day 08 Until next time, Rome

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    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 Puglia – one of the country’s most traditional and untouched regions – via the Amalfi Coast. 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.

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Staycity Aparthotels Venice Mestre

Enjoy easy access to the sights of Venice from these chic studio apartments in Mestre, just 10 minutes from the lagoon. Expect sleek, streamlined rooms with well-equipped kitchenettes and contemporary decor throughout.

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San Gallo Palace, Florence

From the Florentine garden bistro to the classically styled rooms, everything about this 19th-century hotel whispers Italian elegance. The peaceful location, just off Piazza della Libertà, puts you within easy striking distance of some of Italy’s most prized artworks.      

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The Savoy, Rome

Fancy soaking up views over Rome with a cocktail in hand? The rooftop terrace of this historic hotel is the perfect sundowner spot. Set in a former palazzo, and steeped in Old World style, you’re just a few minutes walk from major sights including the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. 

Important Notes

Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code

Fly into Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) 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 12 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.

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?

Please note that tips are not included in the cost of this adventure. Suggested amounts per person are:

  • Pack Leader: 7-10 USD per day
  • Drivers: 3 USD per day
  • Local tips: your Pack Leader will be able to advise on how much to tip local guides, restaurants, etc. Some Pack Leaders will collect a tipping kitty at the welcome meeting to take care of local tips.

However, all tips are at your discretion depending 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 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 authorization 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.

OUR PROMISE

Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees

THE PEOPLE

Our mission 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? GET IN TOUCH

THE SECURITY

We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

THE TRIPS

Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS

THE GUIDES

We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.

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