From Tuscan hills to trulli houses and treasure troves of art, from lakes and islands to medieval sepia cities, from basilicas and baroque façades to super-scenic shores, and from Prada and Armani to pasta, prosciutto, and prosecco, Italy is la dolce vita.
Italy’s incredible diversity includes ancient mosaics, alpine lakes, and churches that double as galleries of exquisite art; palaces, places of pilgrimage, and architecture from every era; and busy cities, pretty port villages, atmospheric old towns, and inspirational islands, each setting their own style and tempo.
Covering the country from top to toe, Jules Verne tours the northern regions of Piedmont and Liguria for picturesque Portofino, palazzi-peppered Genoa, and the ‘Cinque Terre’ villages, clinging to coastal cliffs.
Lombardy boasts Milan’s La Scala and designer shops; Cremona, ‘the city of music’ and birthplace of Stradivari; and the idyllic Italian Lakes, Como’s gorgeous gardens, mountain backed Lugano, majestic Maggiore, and Garda’s immense reaches.
Veneto's visitors focus on inimitable Venice and its lagoon, Vicenza’s Palladian villas, Verona’s ancient Arena and Juliet’s Balcony, picture-perfect Padua, and tranquil Treviso; while Emilia-Romagna is known for cookery and composers. Modena was Pavarotti’s home, Mantua the setting for Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’, Bologna famed for gastronomic glories, and Parma for ham and cheese.
Tuscany teams Montecatini spa resort with the hundred churches of Lucca; the living museum of Siena; uncrowded, authentic Pistoia; and Florence, a treasure chest of art, its Duomo and Uffizi palace/museum drawing the crowds.
In the south are Campania, combining the Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast with haunting Pompeii, the citrus groves of Sorrento, and views of Vesuvius and Capri; the heel of Italy, Puglia, for the Saracen/Byzantine port of Bari, Lecce’s florid Baroque façades, and the ancient ‘sassi’ cave dwellings of Matera; and Basilicata, where a thousand beehive ‘truli’ houses make Alberobello a honeypot for visitors.
Occupying Italy’s middle ground, Umbria’s hidden gems and holy places include the subterranean streets of Perugia, Assisi’s grand basilicas, medieval Todi, and ‘Italy’s most beautiful city’, Orvieto; and Lazio has Rome at its heart and the Vatican City as its soul, teaming catacombs, cathedrals and the colosseum with fountains, bridges, and breathtaking art.
Offshore are Sardinia, blending Italian and Catalan culture in Alghero, with Caglieri’s palm-studded piazzas, and stunning Costa Smeralda scenery; Sicily, with lush landscapes in the tracks of Etna’s ancient lava flows, and sublime sea views from Taormina’s amphitheatre; and the volcanic Aeolian Islands, fusing fact with fiction for Jules Verne’s famous “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”.
On a wonderful, once-a-year event in Assisi, we witness the Calendimaggio Festival in praise of Spring, evoking medieval life with a thousand participants, and four days of pageantry and processions.
Italy’s Mediterranean climate varies greatly across the country, the south enjoying long, hot summers, while the north experiences milder temperatures. April to June is an ideal time to tour the northern lakes, when spectacular gardens are in full bloom. Summers are blissful on the islands and amid the olive and lemon groves of the Sorrento/Amalfi shore; and the cooler autumn months make for comfortable exploration of Italy’s cities. Our tour dates are timed for the seasons which best suit the various areas, so whether you’re planning a cultural feast or a leisurely interlude, you enjoy the destination at its best.
For gourmets and gourmands, afficionados of art and architecture, avid historians, lovers of lakes and landscapes, and those who choose a fast-paced city or slow-lane rural town, Italy has it all, including 58 UNESCO World Heritage sites, more than any other country in the world. Touring with an average of 10-16 like-minded people, Jules Verne’s small-group tours are generally a mix of singles, couples and friends, and include ‘No Single Supplement’ dates in Venice, and exclusively solo-traveller tours in Rome and at Lake Como.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne visits iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge. Our tours in Italy cover all the country’s components, from Roman ruins to medieval towns, modern cities, and the unique culture of the islands; the music of maestros, the architecture of Brunelleschi and Giotto, and the artworks of Bernini, Michelangelo, and Raphael; the spirituality of sainted sites, and the vineyards of Chianti, Prosecco, and Piedmont wines.
All our guided tours to Italy are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
Get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today and embark on your next holiday with Jules Verne.
Treasures & Secrets of Sicily
A heady blend of ancient sites, stunning scenery, charming towns and glorious churches, this is our ‘grand tour’ of Sicily, its highlights varying from Aeolian Isles to UNESCO sites, Mount Etna to Marsala wine, and the Scicli film locations of Inspector Montalbano
Peaks, Ports & Palazzi
From piazzas and palazzi in Turin to the splendid scenery of Romano Canavese, to Piedmont vineyards and picturesque Portofino, Genoa’s medieval lanes, and clifftop Cinque Terre villages, this is a tour of colour and culture, from Alpine slopes to Ligurian Sea shores
Dolce Vita & Music in Italy
“If music be the food of love” prepare to love the local food and music maestros, forming a dual focus of this tour in northern Italy. From parmesan and Parma ham to Pavarotti and Ponchielli, via menus, museums and monuments, this is a feast for all the senses
Trulli & Sassi
From Bari’s historic Adriatic port to a sublimely different enclave of Italy, this enchanting tour takes you to Lecce’s lavishly adorned baroque buildings, to mystical Matera’s ancient ‘sassi’ cave dwellings, and to the unique cone-topped ‘trulli’ houses of Alberobello
A very varied journey through Sicily’s less-visited sites, this tour reveals the hidden gems of cultural heritage and contrasting landscapes, from Aeolian Islands to ostentatious Baroque towns, and from fishing villages to the fictional world of Inspector Montalbano