April 8-16, 2025 Explore Italy with Spike!


Waiting List!

This tour has sold out but click this button to be added to the waiting list. We will notify you a cancellation creates an available opening.

Save To Wish List

Adding item to wishlist requires an account

8 days, 8 nights
Availability : April 8-16, 2025
Min Age : 21+ (or 16+ with parent)
Max People : 13

SOLD OUT: Sign up for the waiting list HERE to be notified if a spot becomes available.

Is Italy at the top of your “bucket list?” This trip is built for you. The 8 day, 8 night tour is planned for a first-time visitor to Italy… and Spike will lead the tour!  You’ll be transported through time as you explore ancient Roman ruins, medieval streets, and Renaissance art in cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice, while indulging in the rich flavors of authentic Italian cuisine in Siena and experiencing the warm hospitality of the locals. You’ll visit the rolling hills of Tuscany (including lunch at a farmhouse winery), the medieval walled city of San Gimignano, the picturesque winding alleys and canals of Venice… all of these diverse landscapes offering a sensory journey through history, culture, and the breathtaking beauty that defines authentic Italy.

2025 is a Jubilee Year for those of Catholic faith and our trip includes a private guided tour of The Vatican!

Did I mention the food? You’ll eat well! Few countries have mastered the fresh seasonal culinary craft that changes with each region we visit. We’ll visit colorful markets, family-run pizzerias, seaside trattorias, and maybe even do a little cooking ourselves!

With a group size of 13 people, you get an up close and personal tour. This trip is perfect for solo travelers, couples, family and friends. (In fact, two people save $ by sharing a room!)  Not designed specifically for photographers but you’ll come home with some amazing pictures and stories!

Tour Details

Starting in the capital city of Rome, we will visit the “birthplace of Western Civilization” and wander through iconic landmarks of the once-mighty Roman Empire like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon… a literal millennia of history. We will also visit Vatican City for a private tour to marvel at St. Peter’s Basilica (the largest church in the world) along with the Renaissance art of the Vatican Museums, and of course Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Did you know that 2025 is a Jubilee Year for those of Catholic faith? Since 1300 AD, the Pope calls for a special holy year of grace and pilgrimage (typically every 25 years). A central part of any jubilee are “the Holy Doors.” These doors, found at St. Peter’s Basilica are normally sealed behind a wall but in a jubilee year, they tear down the cement and allow the faithful to enter the Vatican through these giant gold doors toward salvation. Only the Pope is allowed to open the doors and during our private tour of The Vatican, you will have the rare opportunity to walk through these doors! Even if you are not religious, the massive doors are impressive to see with 16 bronze panels telling the story of mankind. After the Vatican and more sightseeing, we will enjoy authentic Italian cuisine and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Rome’s lively piazzas and my favorite neighborhood, Trastevere.

Then, we board a high speed train and move on to Florence, a city synonymous with Renaissance art and culture and home to masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David and Brunelleschi’s Duomo. Surrounding Florence, the region of Tuscany unfolds with rolling hills adorned by vineyards and olive groves, inviting travelers to savor world-class wines, indulge in delectable cuisine, and immerse themselves in the timeless beauty of this enchanting Italian landscape. We’ll visit Siena and the Medieval walled city of San Gimignano with lunch and wine samplings in a local farmhouse winery. There will also be an option to take a cooking class while in Florence with a local chef teaching us how to make three homemade dishes from scratch as well as a dessert – all of which we will enjoy with a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice).

Have you ever arrived to your hotel by boat? Venice is our last stop… a city of unparalleled beauty and one of my favorite places on Earth. We will wander its unique network of winding alleys and picturesque canals and get lost in a world of exquisite architecture on foot and by boat. You’ll enjoy the slow food experience known as “Cicchetti” as we walk through quiet neighborhoods to some of my favorite spots. You’ll see all of the historic palaces and landmarks, plus you’ll have the option of floating down the Grand Canal on an enchanting gondola. Venice remains an bucket-list destination where every corner holds a piece of the city’s rich cultural heritage… the perfect place to end our tour before returning home with incredible photos and memories.

Book Now for only $5,795
Regular tour price $6,244 when sale ends.
SOLD OUT: Sign up for the waiting list HERE to be notified if a spot becomes available.

Why April?
Summer in Italy is crowded, expensive and hot! But in April, the temperatures are comfortable, rural colors are rich, and there’s no crowds! Mid April in Rome averages around 63°F and Tuscany around 68°F.  Plus, artichoke and lemons are in season, finding their way into sensational dishes as the Spring food scene explodes!

Please Note: This tour will involve a lot of walking, you should be physically fit to be on your feet most of the day (and able to handle your own luggage to & from hotels and airport).  We regret that this tour is not designed to accommodate guests with wheelchairs, mobility limitations, or strollers due to conditions beyond our control – some of the villages, ancient sites and old buildings we are visiting are not fully accessible.

Minimum Age: 21 (or age 16+ with parents)

Departure & Return Location

We will fly into Rome (FCO). Your flight should depart the U.S. on April 7, 2025 to arrive on April 8th before 2pm so you can make it to our welcome dinner. You will depart from Venice (VCE) to return home on April 16.

Price Includes:

  • 8 nights hotel accommodation
  • Transportation by private shuttle vans & boats, high-speed train, vaporetto (water bus)
  • Most Meals (7 dinners, 7 lunches and 7 breakfasts)
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours & attractions
  • Private "skip the line" guided tours for most major attractions
  • Several fun, engaging & knowledgeable tour guides
  • Welcome gift upon arrival

Price Excludes:

  • Airfare (but I'll help you plan it!)
  • Transportation to/from airports
  • Excessive alcohol (a complimentary drink is included with dinner each night)
  • Room service fees & personal expenses
Daily Itinerary

April 8Arrive in Rome

Begin your Italian adventure in Rome, a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modern charm. Check in your hotel room and shake off the jet lag. We will meet for an early welcome dinner and tour orientation in Trastevere with its medieval houses and some of the oldest churches in Rome. We’ll wander through the maze of narrow car-free streets and alleyways – it’s a particularly lively affair at night.
HOTEL: ROME (3 nights) …if you choose to arrive in Rome even earlier, I can provide hotel info for discounted rates.

April 9Rome

Today we’ll visit iconic landmarks & ruins of the Roman Empire. No matter how many photos you’ve seen of the Colosseum, your first view in person is likely to amaze you with its sheer size and grandeur. We will have a “skip the line” guided tour of this archaeological wonder of the world. Other impressive sites we’ll visit today include the Roman Forum Ruins, Palatine Hill, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and more.

April 10The Vatican

We’ll start our Roman adventure this morning in Vatican City. You’ll have a private tour of the Vatican Museums, one of the world’s true marvels.​​ How does the smallest country in the world have the largest art collection on Earth complete with priceless masterpieces and curiosities from around the world? We will see the highlights before our guide takes us into St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest sites of Christianity (and one of the largest buildings in the world). Before leaving, we will step inside the Sistine Chapel, a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art with its ceiling painted in fresco by Michelangelo. After lunch we will have a chance to visit more Roman sites as well as some free time.
** We may take the train to Florence tonight… or tomorrow morning. I’m still working on a Tuscany itinerary.

April 11Florence

In the morning, we will take a high-speed train to Florence (if not last night). You will have a choice of two activities in the afternoon: You can take a guided walking tour of Florence (the choice for art lovers to see masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David and Brunelleschi’s Duomo). OR you can take a cooking class led by a local chef who will teach you how to make 3 courses and a dessert, which you will enjoy with a glass of wine.
HOTEL: FLORENCE (2 or 3 nights)

April 12Siena, San Gimignano, Winery in Tuscany

We will visit Siena today, Italy’s medieval heart and soul. This Tuscan hill town will transport you back to the Middle Ages. After seeing the grand cathedral, Piazza del Campo (the main town square) and Siena’s narrow cobblestone streets, we will have lunch at a local farm/winery in the countryside and then visit San Gimignano, a small walled medieval hill town that is both visually striking and perfectly preserved. Then we return to Florence for dinner and a free night of exploring.

April 13More Florence, then on to Venice

This morning is our chance to see anything in Florence we missed including the Duomo. For those who like exercise, you can climb Giotto’s Bell Tower for beautiful early-morning views from the top. For the rest of us who don’t want the morning challenge of 400 steps, we’ll lazily sip espresso in the cafe. After breakfast, we will board the high-speed train to Venice, our final stop. Venice is a city of unparalleled beauty and one of my favorite places on Earth. We will wander its unique network of winding alleys and picturesque canals and get lost in a world of exquisite architecture on foot and by boat.

April 14Venice

Today you’ll see all of the historic palaces and landmarks that make Venice a city of unparalleled beauty. How does it all just rise up out of the sea? You’ll also have free time this afternoon for shopping or have the option of floating down the Grand Canal on an enchanting gondola ride. And how about dinner by the waterfront and watch the sun set from one of the best viewpoints in Italy.

April 15 Venice

Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Basilica, The Bridge of Sighs, Teatro La Fenice, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Rialto Bridge… these are some, but not all, of the iconic Venetian landmarks you’ll see before we leave. Plus a haunted, flooded crypt under a church if you dare. For our last night in Italy, we will enjoy the slow food experience known in Venice as “Cicchetti” as we walk through quiet neighborhoods to some of my favorite spots.

April 16Depart for home

Bid farewell to Italy in the morning, a private water taxi will take you to Venice Airport for your flight home. (Or you have the option to extend your stay… just ask for details!) There may be an option to extend your stay to include a day trip by boat to the beautiful Murano and Burano… I am working out the possibilities now – it is too early to get the bookings but stay tuned for updates.

Some Photos by Spike

The itinerary published above is subject to change as the trip draws closer in order to create the most comfortable tour schedule possible for our group.

DOCUMENTS NOTE: You must have a passport that is valid at least 3 months beyond our visit (or a visa to enter Italy if you’re a U.S. green card holder or if you’re not a U.S. citizen). Refunds will not be given because you did not secure a valid passport or visa in time for this trip. Please ask if you need clarification on travel documents.

LIMITATIONS NOTE: For this trip. we require you to be reasonably fit in order to casually walk from location to location. We also require that you are able to handle your own luggage/bags, and enter/exit the vehicle without assistance. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make a trip challenging and we can answer all questions. We regret that this tour is not designed to accommodate guests with wheelchairs, mobility limitations, or strollers due to conditions beyond our control – some of the village streets, ancient sites and old buildings we are visiting are not fully accessible.  When you send your tour deposit, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for others on the trip or alter/delay the group’s travel plans.

CANCELLATION NOTICE:  In the event that you have to cancel your “Explore With Spike” trip, we make every attempt to replace you with another paying traveler but if not, your payments are non-refundable. The best way to protect yourself against unforeseen changes in your travel plans is to purchase travel insurance.

Italy 2025 Payment Schedule & Cancellation Policy

Travel Insurance Recommendations

Questions? Email us! travel@explorewithspike.com

WEATHER NOTICE: Our tour takes place during one of the most beautiful times of the year in Italy. But we will adjust the tour locations each day as necessary for comfort but we continue in all weather. Weather is the one thing we can not control on our tour.

COVID-19 NOTICE: We kindly ask you to take precautions if you have symptoms or feel sick, for example wear a mask and notify your guides so they can care for you. We follow each country’s guidelines; at this time, Italy does not require proof of vaccinations. We do not offer a refund if you can not attend a tour due to changing Covid-19 guidelines. Explore With Spike’s tour guides, pros and staff are fully vaccinated. We wish to be respectful to each other and the people of Italy. Kind people are our kinda people!