Winter in Italy with Venice Carnival
Peel back the mask and uncover the secrets of Venice during the legendary Carnival. From the marvels of St Mark’s Square to the exuberant crowds in full costume, Venice is a feast for the senses. Feel the pull of mystery at the Bridge of Sighs and visit the tiny fishermen’s island of Burano, known for its lace-making and painted houses. Explore Byzantine basilicas and the famous traditional glass-blowing studios of Murano. And of course, immerse yourself in the sounds and energy of the crowds on festival night. Add in the highlight cities of Rome and Florence and you have a trip you’ll never forget.
Traditional local dinner (Rome). Orientation walk in Florence. Day trip to Pisa. Three nights in Venice for carnival, including Fat Tuesday. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Revel with the Venetians through the lively streets of Venice Carnival, explore Florence’s museums and markets, set eyes on the Leaning Tower of Pisa, savour a local meal in Rome.
1. LOCAL GUIDES
It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times. We highly recommend travelling with a backpack or duffel bag over any wheeled luggage options.
3. RESERVE TICKETS IN ADVANCE
Please note that if you wish to visit popular museums such as the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) and Villa Borghese in Rome, and the Uffizi or Accademia Galleries in Florence, to avoid waiting in line for a long time, it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. Tickets can be reserved online at www.weekendafirenze.com or by phone (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-12.30pm. If you are interested in purchasing tickets we recommend that you do so once your G Adventure trip is confirmed (up to 2 months if possible) especially for the ever-popular Uffizi. For Florence museum’s, please reserve tickets on Day 4. For additional museum resources you might want to refer to this website, www.firenzemusei.it. There may be the possibility of arranging tickets on arrival on Day 1, with the help of your CEO, but availability cannot be guaranteed at such short notice.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.
Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.
For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
About our Transportation
Intercity transport on this trip will mostly be by train and occasionally by local bus. The bus and train systems in Italy are generally good, with seat reservations and toilet/snack facilities on longer journeys. Keeping to schedules is notoriously not one of the Italian transport system’s specialties, so pack in your MP3 player, a good book and some Italian phrases, and kick-back and enjoy the views with the locals.
Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage as there will be a lot of up and down stairs on this trip due to the nature of station layouts in Italy (very few are equipped with escalators or elevators). Between public transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 15mins walk), in larger cities you may travel by metro or city bus, and occasionally the group will take taxis to and from hotels.
Standard Hotel (8 nts).
It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not build to be hotels but rich owners houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather “thin” walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.
On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.
Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign in the arrivals hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way!
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am – 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.
-Weather appropriate clothing
•Sturdy walking shoes or boots
•Watch or alarm clock
•Camera and film
•Cover for backpacks
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Western Europe. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of euros, travellers cheques and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.
Colosseum & Roman Forum (combined ticket) – €12/€20
Vatican Museums including Sistine Chapel – €16
St Peter’s dome climb – €8
Capitoline Museum + Exhibitions Combined ticket- €13
Time Elevator – €12 (€9 child)
The Christian Catacombs – €8
Pantheon – free
Borghese Gallery – €11
Roma Pass – €34
Uffizi Gallery – €6.50
Duomo – €8
Accademia Gallery – €6.50 -
Walking Tour – €25
Tourist Bus (hop-on, hop-off – 2 routes) – €20
Medici Chapels – €6
Venezia Concerto – €30
Gondola ride – €80-100 for up to 5 people
Accademia Gallery – €9
Campanile San Marco – €8
Museum Pass – €24 ( includes Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Ca’ Rezzonico – Museum of 18th-Century Art, Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo, Carlo Goldoni’s House, Ca’ Pesaro, Internazional Gallery of Modern Art + Oriental Art Museum, Glass Museum – Murano, Lace Museum – Burano)
Guggenheim Museum – €14
Clock tower – €12
Scuola Grande di San Rocco – €10 (incl. audioguide)
Vaporetto Day Pass (12hrs) – €18
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical demand rating for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Trip Specific Safety
Always keep an eye on your belongings especially in major cities, bus and train terminals.
A Couple of Rules
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
In Italy, shoulders should be covered while visiting churches and cathedrals. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD310-405 for meals not included.
8 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 1 dinner
PRODUCT_LINE: EIIC, ID: 22594
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Rome
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Rome (1B, 1D)
Take an orientation walk of the Eternal City before enjoying a free day to explore a myriad of options. Opt to tour Vatican City, cross the river to charming Trastevere, eat some gelato in Piazza Navona, or swing by the Colosseum and Forum. In the evening, enjoy a true taste of Italy with a traditional Roman meal.
Day 3 Rome/Florence (1B)
Fill your days with a visits to the marvelous multicoloured Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, the medieval Ponte Vecchio, or the Medici Chapels. Take a break at Piazza della Signoria with a gelato or an espresso before hitting lively Piazza San Lorenzo to bargain for discounted woolen and leather goods. Opt to catch a local bus or train to nearby Siena to see more of what this province has to offer.
Tuscany is famous for its food and wine, and there are many regional specialties to tempt you in Florence. The world-famous Chianti wine comes from this area and makes an excellent match for the local steak.
On one of the evenings in Florence, walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, and enjoy the magnificent view over the River Arno and the city.
Piazzale Michelangelo Walk
Local train (1.50-3.00 hours)
Day 4 Florence (1B)
From Florence, opt to visit nearby Siena or head into the hills above the city for Chianti wine tastings.
Day 5 Florence (1B)
Head to Pisa by local train and spend time at the famous leaning tower. Opt to go inside the tower or church. With easy access back to Florence, spend as much or as little time here as you want.
Local train (1.00-1.50 hours)
Day 6 Florence/Venice (1B)
Continue on to Venice, a unique and magical city that comes alive during ‘carnevale’. Spend time getting to know its hidden streets and canals.
Local train (3.00 hour(s))
Days 7-8 Venice
With gondolas bobbing in the Grand Canal and the spires of the Basilica looming over the festivities, there’s no better stage for a festival than ancient Venice. It all culminates on Martedí Grasso, Fat Tuesday, and you’ll be right there for all the fun.
Day 9 Venice (1B)
Depart at any time.