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Messages: 1 - Deposit: <div style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; margin: 0px;">Only $#amount# deposit to book.<br> Pay in full 45 days before travel.<br> </div>


Simply Italy

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DAYS
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DAYS
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28 Departures between April 2017 and October 2017
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12-days floating around Italy - now there's an idea! Learn to make pizza, watch the intricate art of Italian leather, & enjoy Chianti & antipasto at a 16th century Tuscan winery. Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice and beyond… It's amore! 

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April 2017

Apr
2
  • Sunday 2nd April
  • Thursday 13th April
Definite departure $2,025
$2,025
Apr
16
  • Sunday 16th April
  • Thursday 27th April
Definite departure $2,025
$2,025
Apr
30
  • Sunday 30th April
  • Thursday 11th May
$2,025
$2,025

May 2017

May
14
  • Sunday 14th May
  • Thursday 25th May
Definite departure $2,075
$2,075
May
21
  • Sunday 21st May
  • Thursday 1st June
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Full
May
28
  • Sunday 28th May
  • Thursday 8th June
Definite departure $2,125
$2,125

June 2017

Jun
4
  • Sunday 4th June
  • Thursday 15th June
$2,125
$2,125
Jun
11
  • Sunday 11th June
  • Thursday 22nd June
Definite departure $2,125
$2,125
Jun
18
  • Sunday 18th June
  • Thursday 29th June
Definite departure $2,175
$2,175
Jun
21
  • Wednesday 21st June
  • Sunday 2nd July
Full
Full
Jun
25
  • Sunday 25th June
  • Thursday 6th July
Definite departure $2,175
$2,175
Jun
28
  • Wednesday 28th June
  • Sunday 9th July
Definite departure $2,175
$2,175

July 2017

Jul
2
  • Sunday 2nd July
  • Thursday 13th July
Definite departure $2,175
$2,175
Jul
5
  • Wednesday 5th July
  • Sunday 16th July
$2,175
$2,175
Jul
9
  • Sunday 9th July
  • Thursday 20th July
Definite departure $2,175
$2,175
Jul
16
  • Sunday 16th July
  • Thursday 27th July
Full
Full
Jul
23
  • Sunday 23rd July
  • Thursday 3rd August
Definite departure $2,175
$2,175
Jul
30
  • Sunday 30th July
  • Thursday 10th August
Full
Full

August 2017

Aug
6
  • Sunday 6th August
  • Thursday 17th August
Definite departure $2,175
$2,175
Aug
20
  • Sunday 20th August
  • Thursday 31st August
$2,175
$2,175
Aug
27
  • Sunday 27th August
  • Thursday 7th September
$2,125
$2,125

September 2017

Sep
3
  • Sunday 3rd September
  • Thursday 14th September
Definite departure $2,125
$2,125
Sep
6
  • Wednesday 6th September
  • Sunday 17th September
$2,125
$2,125
Sep
10
  • Sunday 10th September
  • Thursday 21st September
$2,125
$2,125
Sep
13
  • Wednesday 13th September
  • Sunday 24th September
Full
Full
Sep
17
  • Sunday 17th September
  • Thursday 28th September
Definite departure $2,125
$2,125
Sep
24
  • Sunday 24th September
  • Thursday 5th October
Full
Full

October 2017

Oct
1
  • Sunday 1st October
  • Thursday 12th October
$2,125
$2,125

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SIMPLY ITALY

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WHAT'S INCLUDED
Accommodation
Team
Food
Inclusions
ME Time
Transport
ITINERARY
YOU WILL VISIT
Italy Italy +5 MORE
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APPROX TIME SPENT
approx time spent
1
2
Rome
1 day
Pompeii
Sorrento
2 days
Capri
Chianti Region
Florence
2 days
Verona
Venice
2 days
Lake Garda
Milan
1 day
Italian Riviera
1 day
Pisa
Rome
2 days
1
2
Reviews for

Simply Italy

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4.9

  • 5

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32 reviews

  • Ebony.jarry
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled April 2014
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

AMAZING!

Simply Italy is an amazing tour to go on if you are looking at seeing the highlights of Italy in the cheapest way possible. The tour manager and driver (Enzo and Lino) made this tour something special. This was the second tour that had done together but you never would have picked it up if they didn't tell us. They ran like a well oiled machine. Enzo and Lino made us a family. Enzo knowledge and passion about his country was like no other. He went above and beyond what a tour manager should do. Always checking to see if we were well looked after. I am a coeliac and this was not a problem. Every meal was delicious and wheat free :). The sights and experiences that you get on this tour is definitely value for money. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and will forever remember the people (now my family) and memories made forever. I would like to thank the crew because I think that if we didn't have them, this trip would not have been the same.

My Contiki was: Fan-Bloody-Tastics

READ MORE CLOSE

6 April 2014 - 17 April 2014

  • Explorer1242737
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled May 2012
  • 20
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Detailed Simply Italy Tour Review

May 5th 2012 I woke up in the morning at 4:30am and had a shower, got dressed, and had breakfast. We left home at 6:45am and got to the airport at 7:30am. I checked in with no waiting line at the Air Canada counter. I got my tickets and had a tea and a muffin from Tim Horton’s while waiting to go through security. I went through security where I met Sarah while waiting for our plane, who was also going on the same trip I was. We sat at gate A3 and talked until it was time to board the plane. My seat was 16F by a window. I watched The Vow. I looked out the window and saw the great lakes under me. They are much bigger than I imagined. Toronto looks so green and big from above. We flew so close to the highways underneath us! When we landed we walked around for a while and then made our way to our gate where we sat waiting for our boarding time. Our flight boarded at 7:5pm and I sat in seat 22A which was supposed to be a window seat but there was no window, just the wall. At 2:07am Rome time we were served supper. I had chicken and veggies with cold corn salad and a brownie with orange juice. I am happy there are no delays! We didn’t have individual TV’s, just overhead ones. They were playing Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and the Iron Lady. The plane was very cold. It turned dark at about 2:40am Rome time, 8:40pm Toronto time. I should probably go to sleep now. All my worries about the flight and thinking I was crazy to go on this trip are still lingering, I hope they disappear as soon as I get there! May 6th 2012 It was very hard to sleep, probably because I was so anxious and nervous. My nose, eyes, and lips were so dry. I woke up at 8:08am Rome time. We were served blueberry muffins and juice and tea. I looked out the window in front of me and saw the Italian coast and a big peninsula with a long river going from it. I made it, I am in Italy!! Only one hour left to go before I am on the roads that lead to Rome. I expect it to be beautiful and busy. I don’t care if it rains or shines I will explore all afternoon! We landed and walked off the bus to the tarmac and took a bus to the customs terminal, from then we went through customs and I got my passport stamped! I went to the bathroom, gross! I picked up my bag at the baggage claim. I met up with Sarah and caught a ‘taxi’ and got to the hotel 95 euros later!!! Make sure you take a certified taxi and ignore the men that are waiting inside the door of the airport. I checked into the hotel- Hotel Regent- and went to my room, # 151. It was small but decent. The only thing I didn't like about the hotel was that is was far from any attractions. I put my stuff away and went with Sarah around Rome. My umbrella was broken so we got rained on and got lost. We gave up and found our way back to the hotel. Not a good way to start the trip! I hope it gets better; I wanted to buy stuff today and take pictures. We dried off and then went out again in the rain. Sarah, Sara (from Florida) and I went to a gelato/pastry shop. I had my first gelato, Sorrento lemon gelato. I got really bad blisters on my ankles, they hurt really badly. We met for the group meeting at 4pm. The wifi was broken so I couldn’t message home. Our tour manager is named Vinni, he is really funny and is an amazing tour manager! The meeting lasted until 6:30pm. Then a bunch of girls on the trip and I went to a pizzeria connected to our hotel for supper. I shared a margarita pizza with a girl named Katie. The pizza was delicious, the best pizza I have ever had! After that we went to a pub called Carrots for a drink. We went back the hotel, had a shower, organized my suitcase and set my alarm for 6am. We are supposed to have breakfast at 6:30am and leave at 7:15am. I went to bed at 10pm after blow-drying my hair and clothes. I hope the weather is nice tomorrow. Pompeii and Sorrento tomorrow! I spent hardly any money today, I think only 62 euro for the ‘taxi’ and food. Weather: Rome- rainy, warm, 20 degrees May 7th 2012 We woke up at 6am and got ready and packed. We went down for breakfast at 6: 30am. I had a croissant with lemon in it, cornflakes, fruit juice, and fruit salad. At 7:15am we boarded the bus and left at 7:30am. They didn’t measure or weigh our bags. We drove a while and got stuck in traffic. We first stopped at the designer outlet, where we tried a local cake called baba. It is saturated in rum and is covered in syrup. We had an hour to shop and I bought a couple things for my sister, but the shops were very expensive. We then drove to Pompeii and had a guided tour of Pompeii by a women with radio headsets. This optional is a must do!! I bought some souvenirs and then left on the bus for half an hour ride to Sorrento. The views from the bus were amazing - Mt Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples especially! We got to our hotel ‘Hotel Central’ and went to my room, # 310 with a balcony facing the main road in Sorrento. This was one of my favorite hotels that we stayed at. The fresh air feels so good, we explored a bit and bought postcards and chocolate. I went back to the hotel and bought 30 minutes of internet usage. At 6pm we left the hotel, walking to a place with a view of the coast and Vesuvius. We had a welcome glass of prosecco and some appetizers. I didn’t like prosecco, I found it very strong and bitter. We took many photos and then we walked to the location for our pizza party. We first had salad, toast, and water. Vinni took us to the back of the restaurant to show us how to make traditional pizza. He put flower all over our faces! We were given 3 kinds of pizza: margarita, mushroom and zucchini; corn and mushroom. Then we had a lemon cake called grandma’s cake and lemoncello. (Make sure your lemoncello is ice cold other wise it does not taste good!) It was warm and really sour, it burned down my throat! After, I went souvenir shopping and then got melon and fruit de bosco gelato. I walked back to the hotel and organized my stuff before going to bed at 12:30am. Weather: Sorrento- cloudy, sunny, hot, 25 degrees May 8th 2012 This morning we woke up at 6am, got ready and had breakfast at 7am. I had a pastry with nutella on it, a sugared bun, fruit salad, and yogurt. Nutella is everywhere in Italy. Then we walked down the street to a long case of stairs all the way down a hill to the sea port. At 9am we got on a ferry ship that took us to the island of Capri. I took gravol because I knew from past experiences I get motion sickness on big boats. I was light headed but I made it. Then we got off that boat and got on another smaller motor boat. It took us all around the island. On the other side of the island it was very wavy and I got a little nauseous, but I didn’t get sick. We floated by the blue grotto entrance but couldn’t go in because the tide was too high:( Then we went to the green grotto. There was an option to swim but I didn’t and was glad I didn’t because people who did got stung by jelly fish. Then we stopped at a public beach and spent some time sitting at the beach and looking in the local shops. We floated right through the Faraglioni rock formations. They are much bigger in person. From the boat we saw a natural arc formation on the cliff side. Then we went to the white grotto entrance and saw the waving boy statue on the cliff side. We got back to the marina at 12:30pm. I went to the bathroom and then got a gelato that was coconut and lemon flavoured and bought postcards. I bought a ticket to go up the funicular where I met up with Sarah and Sara. We walked around trying to find the gardens. I bought some paintings from a lady. We never did find the gardens and I decided to go back down the funicular and bought a lemon slushy. I then went to the free public beach and sat in the shade to write in my journal. It was a beautiful day! I then joined the girls that came to the beach; we picked rocks and hung out until 3:30pm. We met Vinni at the marina and boarded a ferry back to Sorrento. I fell asleep on the ferry. After we docked, we walked up many stairs to the top of the cliff where Sorrento sits. It seemed like a million stairs. My legs were really tense afterwards. I went to the hotel and went of Facebook and got ready for supper. We went to Il Borgo Sorrento restaurant in the upper Sorrento mountain area. We were served 4 courses and bread. The first course was broccoli, peppers, zucchini and eggplant. Then we were served 2 kinds of pasta, they were really good. After, we were served veal and buffalo mozzarella with potatoes and peas. Finally, dessert was a lemon cake with crème on it for Annie’s birthday. We also had red and white wine; I don’t like them because I find them very bitter. We left on the bus and Vinni sang the Italian national anthem and told us about tomorrows activities. We got to the hotel at 10pm. I packed m stuff and went to bed around 12am. I got really burned on my feet, chest, and one arm. Ouch!! Weather: Capri- sunny, warm, subtle wind, 18 degrees May 9th 2012 This morning I woke up at 6am and got dressed to finish packing. Then I went down at 6:35am and sat in the lobby until breakfast opened. I had yogurt, fruit salad, pastries, and a sugar bun. We left at 7:15 am and slept on the bus for 2 ½ hours. We stopped at an autogrill, owned by the pope, and got crackers, cookies and went to the washroom. We watched ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ movie on the bus. As I looked out my window I saw many sheep and a farmer working in his land. There are also many poppies covering the ground. We got to another autogrill for lunch and I bought a Capri sandwich. It was very good! Then we started our trip to the castle winery. Leonardo Davinci is from Florence area; he actually does not have a last name because he was an illegal son and could not take the last name of his father. Davinci mean from Vinci (a small town by Florence). When we got to the castle winery we got out of the bus and were shown where the grapes/olives are taken to be crushed. Then we went to the winery entrance and were told that the largest olive tree they have only produces 40 ml of oil. We were given rosa red wine which was not horrible and then we were guided through the wine cellar. It had huge barrels with dates of when they started to be fermented and how much barrel holds. One barrel held 7200L of wine! Then we were told that the cellar used to be the castle dungeon. We then went to the wine tasting. 4 kinds of wine were served. I tried the first and the last wine, both of which I did not like and did not finish. I just ate the cookies you were supposed to dip into the wine. There was also sheep cheese and toast with extra virgin olive oil on it and chilli pepper jelly. The food was really good! Our driver is amazing! He turned and drove down a street backwards with both sides congested with parked cars and Vespa’s. It was really scary. We arrived at our hotel called Hotel Grifone and went to my room number 102 with free wifi downstairs. Our room has a balcony! We got ready quickly and headed to supper by bus and by walking. We had breadsticks, salad, spaghetti with meatballs, and tiramisu (It was really good even though it is coffee flavoured). Then we walked to the Red Garter karaoke bar which was funny. A girl and guy were grinding, a girl shook her booty and 2 men stripped down into their birthday suits! We left at 10:50pm and walked past Ponte Vecchio at night and got on the bus. Weather: Tuscany- sunny, some clouds, warm, 23 degrees May 10th 2012 Today we woke up at 7:30am, got dressed and went for breakfast. I had nutella on bread, a croissant, cereal that tasted like corn pops, and fruit salad. Then I went on wifi. We left at 9am on the bus for a very short ride to the river in Florence. We crossed the river and went to the leather demonstration. It was very interesting. You can tell if something is fake by the smell, touch, stamp, cost, and by what the vendors do to try to sell their products to you. Then we had a chance to buy stuff, everything was so expensive, I bought 4 bookmarks for 20 euro! I also bought 2 bracelets. Then we had free time until 11:15am and I walked around Piazza Della Signoria, took photos, and bough postcards and a Pinocchio pen because Florence is the home of the original Pinocchio story. We then had a walking tour of Florence’s main sights. She told us about Michelangelo and the Statue of David, the Ponte Vecchio and the duomo and cathedral. Hitler did not destroy the Ponte Vecchio because he liked it too much. Then we had free time. I walked around the duomo and bought paintings. Gypsy vendors are crazy; they surround you and follow you until you buy things from them. Then I went to the San Lorenzo market. It was very busy, full of shops selling the same things. I saw a lot of fake leather and silk goods. I walked to Franchesco Vini for lunch. I had ravioli with ricotta cheese and spinach with bread and chocolate mousse. I highly recommend this resturant, it is close to the leather demo place from earlier in the day. After, I walked to the bridge and took photos. Then I went back to Piazza Signoria to wait for Vinni to come. We went back to the hotel to get ready for the photo and the evening events. We left at 6:30pm. We went to Piazza Michelangelo for the group photo; it was a beautiful view, definitely the best view of the city. There were painters painting and selling art. Then we made our way to dinner in the Tuscan hills with spectacular hills and view. First we were given a welcome glass of prosecco which I didn’t mind. We had bread, salami, bread with olive, ham, and pork liver on it. The first 2 were good but not the brown one. We then had pasta with tomato sauce and oils, as well as ribollita with bread and vegetables which looked like stuffing. We then had pork, potatoes, with a side of salad. Many people got drunk off wine. Dessert was dessert wine and almond cookies. We then travelled to Space, a disco club in Florence, with loud music on the bus. We got out first drink and shot free. The shot tasted like apple vodka and I got a blue drink with coconut, Bacardi vodka and other ingredients. We danced and had fun! I went back to the hotel with four girls in a taxi. I got organized and went to bed at 1:30am. Weather: Florence- sunny, hot, 30 degrees May 11th 2012 This morning we woke up at 7am, got ready, and went for breakfast. I had bread and nutella, a croissant, peaches, coconut loaf, and water. We left at 8:30am onto the bus and drove to Pisa. I slept most of the way there. When we got there we parked in parking lots and walked over to Pisa. It looks interesting. We took some photos and got souvenirs before walking back to the bus. Illegal street vendors were everywhere trying to sell fake watches, bags, and sun glasses. I didn’t spot any gypsies though. We drove to La Spezia and walked around Portovenere until it was time to catch the boat. We walked to an old castle church that was on the cliff edge. A lady gave us a sample of focaccia bread and pesto. We left on the boat at 2:45pm. I took gravol and started to feel really sleepy. We travelled by boat looking at the sights of Cinque Terre taking pictures often. We docked at 4:45pm and walked under a tunnel to the old part of Monterosso. I went for lunch to the beach bar with Sarah, Andrea, and Annie. The food was delicious. I split an order of bruschetta with Sarah. It had huge chunks of tomato and olive oil on them. Then I ordered a strawberry milkshake and pesto lasagna. Then we left the beach bar and went to Slurp Gelato and had chocolate and mint gelato. I took photos and looked in shops and wrote in my book. At 7:10pm we caught the public train back to La Spezia and walked to the bus and drove to Hotel Ghinaldi. I was put in room 302 with a balcony, again! I packed, organized, went on the internet, and went to bed at 12am. Weather: Pisa and La Spezia- HOT, sunny, 30 degrees May 12th 2012 This morning we woke up at 7am and got dressed and packed up before going for breakfast and to pay for my water. I had a croissant, an apple, a boiled egg that crushed when I tried to break its shell, and a pastry that was very salty – so I put nutella on it. I had water to drink. We left the hotel at 8:30am. On the way we passed around an email list and gondola seating chart to fill in. I slept until we got to the autogrill at 10:30am. I got a water and bounty chocolate bar. We met back on the bus at 10:50am, we drove for 1 ½ hours to Milan. We got off the bus infront of the castle sforenzco. We had to meet back at the fountain at 5:50PM. Vinni walked us to the duomo. We took photos and couldn’t go up the duomo because Sarah and Sara didn’t have their knees covered. We went to the Emmanuelle galleria and stomped on the bulls balls which brings good luck. Then we went to the Leonardo monument and took more photos. We walked around, it was scorching hot out. We found Luini’s and ordered a panzerotti with ham, cheese and tomato in it. It was so good! Then they found a H+M and looked around and saw nice stuff but I didn’t buy anything. We looked at some other stores and then found the gelato store GROM. I had strawberry, pistachio, and chocolate gelato, it was really good gelato! We looked in more shops but the clothes were really tightly fitted. I bought some postcards and then walked to the castle and park. Illegal people were trying to sell us bracelets; one of them put it on my shoulder and wouldn’t take it back so I put it on his shoulder! I bought a slushy and then walked into the park and found a shady spot under the trees to sit for a while and relax. We went to the peace monument which is the original, where the French monument was replicated from. Then we sat on a park bench for a bit. While walking back through the park we saw a jesus pride parade with cops clearing a way for it. We sat at the fountain talking to Vinni about his pet birds. We walked to a place for supper. We were served risotto, veal, salad, tomato, and crème puffs. Then we walked to the bus and went to the hotel that was far away from the city, a different one from the itinerary – Country Hotel Borromeo. Our room number was 130. Very nice and spacious room! I bought an hour of wifi for 3 euros. I changed into my pjs, organized my stuff, and wrote in my book before going to bed at 11:30pm. Weather: Milan- Way too hot, humid, sunny, 20 degrees May 13th 2012 This morning I woke up at 6:30am, got dressed, straightened my hair, and went on the internet to say happy mother’s day to my mom. It is raining out and is very windy! I went for breakfast at 7:30am. I had a croissant, pineapple, and pie pastries. I had red orange juice?! We left the hotel at 8:15am. There was pollen floating everywhere, it looked like snow. We drove 2 ½ hours to the autogrill and got nutella to go and a water. We drove another hour and got to Sirmione. We could not do the cruise because of the weather. So we had 2 hours to explore the town. It was very very windy! We went into the Castle Rocca Scaligera. It was cool to see but it was very windy. We took photos and climbed steps to the very top of the castle watch tower. I then went to the Bar Al Cigni and got a ham, cheese, tomato, and lettuce sandwich. Then after I ate my sandwich and I had gelato with chocolate and pistachio. I walked around some more after picking up souvenirs. Then at 12:50pm we met up outside of the castle gate and left for Verona. On the way there I fell asleep for a bit. We heard the story of Romeo and Juliet and were paid back 9 euros for the cruise we couldn’t go on. In Verona we walked to the arena and then went through a shopping area to juliets balcony in a courtyard. We all took turns rubbing the right breast of the Juliet statue – it brings good luck and love. Then I bought some postcards and took photos of the locks everywhere. I walked by an embroidery place and a girl working there asked where I was from and my name, she embroidered my name into a piece of paper for free. I went into a couple stores but didn’t buy anything. Then we met back up at 4:10pm. We took the bus to the hotel where we dropped off our luggage in room 411, had a shower, and went for supper to a restaurant Vinni recommended ( Vecio Decimo) down the street across from the gas station, behind the market. I had 4 cheese pizza, it was okay, not the greatest. But it was cheap, only 10 euro for a whole pizza. Then we went back to the hotel and hung out for a bit before going to bed at 11:30pm. The hotel was a Best Western on the mainland off of Vencie. It had a balcony and was spacious. Weather: Lake Garda/ Verona- cloudy, windy 10 degrees May 14th 2012 This morning we woke up at 6:15am, got ready and went for breakfast. I had toast with nutella, a pastry, a croissant, an apple, pineapple, and orange juice. We left 8am sharp from the hotel. We walked 5 blocks to the train station. We got out tickets activated and then got on the train. We arrived in Venice’s St Mark’s Square at 10am after taking a boat from the train station. We then walked through the square to the Murano glass blowing demonstration. It was amazing how the guy was so quick, he made a vase and a horse sculpture in a minute. Then we had time to look around. I bought earrings, a vase, and a bowl. Then I bought postcards and met up with the group at the winged lion statue symbolizing St Mark the evangelist. At 11:30am we did a walking tour of Venice with an old French lady that was funny. She walked us through St Mark’s Square and told us that Venice was built on wood piles and that is why they are sinking with affects from the tide. It is very touristy in Venice. Within 5 years the citizen population has gone from 200000 to 65000. Citizens moved from Venice to the mainland and commute every day to work in Venice. Within the next 50 years Venice will sink completely, especially since cruise ships float right along the square with the engine vibrations. We then walked through Venice to a small castle with a column staircase and to Ponte Rialto. We took photos and then we were free to explore for ourselves. Sarah, Sara, and I went walking around trying to find an ATM, masks, and a cheap place to have tiramisu. We found a place selling it for 6 euro. It was really good! We got lost in Venice and while trying to find our way back we ended up in the same place we started after going in a big circle. When we found the square we went up the bell tower costing 8 euros. It had amazing views of the water and canals. Then we went back down and took photos in the square until 3:50pm. We met the group for the lace demonstration which was really interesting. Then we had a gondola ride through the small canals of Venice. It was amazing to just sit quietly and look at the structures of the buildings and bridges. It was very peaceful! It was cool to see how the water has risen past people’s windows and doors. After our ride on the gondola we went for supper to a restaurant on the water front. I had vegetables, cheese with honey and jam, spinach pasta, tomato penne, roast beef, potatoes, and salad with orange prosecco. For dessert we had panacotta, it was very good- one of my favorite desserts! The people sitting at my table had a little too much wine and were quite drunk. At 8:30pm we caught the boat to the train station and then took the train to the mainland. We got to the hotel and went to bed at midnight. Weather: Venice- warm, sunny, 20 degrees May 15th 2012 In the morning we got ready at 5:30am, went down for breakfast and had orange juice, nutella on toast, pastries, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Then we went back to our room, packed and left on the bus at 7:15am. I slept for the first 2 ½ hours until we stopped at an autogrill for a bathroom break. Then we drove another 2 ½ hours. We wrote our tour reviews and I ate my crakers and tried to sleep. I slept for a while but as awoken by the peepee song as we stopped at our last autogrill of the trip for lunch. I bought an Apollo sandwich with chicken and tomato in it and a white kitkat bar. Then at 1:30pm we started our last leg to Rome. Rome was the largest civilization in the world before 753 bc. Italy became a country in 1861. Italy started the fascist trend that Hitler rose from. Italy joined Hitler in his activities of the holocaust. The official name of the country is republic of Italy. Italy was 1 of 6 first founding countries and was one of the 7 wealthiest countries in the world. Italy is experiencing social issues and political issues with the mofia and corrupted government, especially in the south. The Spanish steps lead to a French church, with the Spanish embassy beside the stairs. The trevi fountain is dedicated to Neptune and 3000 euro a day is thrown into the fountain. You are supposed to hold the coin in the right hand and throw it over your left shoulder. The pantheon means temple for all gods, it is the most well preserved temple, 2000 years old. It is no longer a temple, it is now a church. The flags colors mean different things- white means purity, red means passion, and green means hope. We got to Rome at 2:30pm and were dropped off at Piazza del Popolo where we walked down one of the most expensive streets in Europe, via del corso and via del condotti, to the Spanish steps. I climbed up the steps all the way to the top, taking videos and pictures. At the top I bought 2 paintings from a man. Next we walked to the trevi fountain. It was beautiful and much bigger/ grander than I imagined it to be. There is one horse who is calm- representing hope and future, the other horse is furious- representing the past wars and conflict. I went to a store and bought an I heart Rome shirt and postcards. Next we walked to the pantheon. WOW! It is 2000 years old and it is still standing in great condition. I went inside of it and saw the three burials. Also I saw the gigantic hole in the ceiling where romans used to collect water coming down from rain into holes in the floor. Then we sat on the bases of the columns until Vinni lead us to Piazza Navona. It was full of painters selling art. We went for gelato from GROM. I got salted caramel, vanilla, and pistachio. Then we walked all around the piazza admiring the three fountains and the paintings. After our time at the piazza Vinni lead us to the restaurant where we would have supper. We walked up across ponte Umberto, toward the Supreme Court building, beside Piazza Cavour filled with palm trees to Gran Caffe Visconti restaurant. We had angry pasta (spicy pasta), salad, chicken, and a coffee dessert. Then we walked to catch the bus. We got to the hotel- Hotel Regent- and went to our room, # 170. It is much bigger than our room from the first night in Rome. We went to a café for wifi and I had strawberry and chocolate gelato. Then I went back to the hotel, had a shower and organized my bag. I went to bed at 12am. Weather: Rome- warm, sunny, 20 degrees May 16th 2012 In the morning we woke up at 6:30am, got ready and went for breakfast. I had a croissant with nutella on it, fruit salad, and orange juice. We left at 7:15am on the bus to the coliseum and forum. We rode on the bus for about 30 minutes. It was very beautiful; I stared at it for many minutes, lost in the columns and arches. We walked down toward the entrance where we met up with our local guide ‘grandpa’. He led us through the coliseum which was amazing. Half of it fell due to an earthquake; it is 2000 years old and took 8 years to build. Slaves became gladiators and fought each other or animals. Then we learned that it is made of many arches of brick and limestone with support beams inside them. We then walked past the Arch of Constantine and down the street to the entrance of the roman forum. It was just like Pompeii with the same cobble streets. We heard about the political beginnings of the Roman Empire and saw where Julius Caesar was cremated. After, we had a lunch break at an expensive café. I had a calzone that was too huge to eat. We went toward the bus pick up area and it started to rain out. Next we drove to Vatican City. We got radio headsets, waited in line, and went through a security check before entering the museums. We started talking about the Sistine Chapel. We had to walk up the circular walkway because the escalator broke. We went to many museums, a candelabra museum, Egypt museum, carpet museum, statue museum which were all packed full!! One lady wad pushing me with her baby and people were being very aggressive, budging the line and such. We went into Sistine Chapel which was not allowed to be photographed. It was amazing. Then we went into the Vatican entrance, men have to cover shoulders and have to wear long pants, girls have to cover their knees and shoulders. I didn’t think it was made to be what it is advertised as way too overrated. There is some kind of door that is only opened every 25 years and has something to do with the newly elected popes. We went outside to St. Peters Square and got souvenirs and went on the bus at 4:30pm. We got to the hotel and got ready for our final dinner. I wore my skirt and striped shirt. We left for supper at 6:45pm. It looked really cool inside the restaurant. They had performances every course. It was fun. We took lots of photos! First we had veggies and salad, shrimp pasta, ravioli, beef, green beans, potatoes, cake, and water. We left the restaurant, walked to the bus, drove and dropped off some of the group at a club, and the rest of us went back to the hotel. I went for gelato – chocolate and pistachio went on the internet, packed and went to bed at midnight. Weather: Rome- sunny, warm, little windy, 20 degrees May 17th 2012 This morning I woke up and got ready at 5:30am. I was extremely tired. I went downstairs at 5:50am and went on wifi and said goodbye to some people. Then I went for breakfast at 6:30am. I had a croissant, fruit salad, and orange juice. Then I went upstairs to get my luggage and went back down stairs to the lobby. I sat there on wifi for a while, took some Tylenol and Echinacea which made me feel weird. Then at 7:30am Kendall, Sarah, Jill, Taylor and I caught a van taxi to the airport. We all hugged Vinni goodbye before we left. We got dropped off at terminal 3 of the airport and paid for the taxi- 75 euro total. We took turns going to the bathroom and then said our goodbyes to Sarah. We went to check in at the Air Canada booth. My bag weighed 20.4kg. Then we waited for the other girls to get checked in and went upstairs to McDonalds. I had an orange juice and a hash brown. Then we wandered the airport realising that once you go through security there are stores to shop in. We went through security and then I went through passport control and walked down the hallway to gate G area, went up an escalator, and then took a train to the gate area. Make sure you leave a lot of time to get to your gate, the airport is very confusing and has many unexpected passages you have to go through. I met up with Sarah and Andrea from Ottawa. We all tried to get internet but couldn’t connect. We boarded the plane at 11:05am. I have seat 21k- with 2 window views! No one was sitting beside me so I put my stuff under the whole seat in front of me and I had more room to spread out. We took off at 11:50am. It was so clear outside that I could see the boats in the water and the details of the land. Further on I saw the Swiss alps. We were served lunch, pasta with olives and cheese, a potato salad, a bun, a cookie, orange juice, and water. After that we were given tea and our customs papers for landing in Canada. I wrote in my journal for a bit. At 1:30pm Rome time I went to the bathroom on the airplane for the first time in my life! It was very compacted; you had to press the faucet at the same time as you wash your hands. Then I looked at the Rome and Vatican book I bought. The only thing I didn’t get to see that I wanted to see that was in the book was the mouth of truth. There is a lot of cloud cover now. Once again they didn’t have individual TV’s the movies they were playing were really old. It was now 4:40pm Rome time. I have listened to my ipod, deleted photos, and slept for a while. They gave us vanilla ice-cream and pretzels for a snack, it was really refreshing. I slept for a bit more and listened to my ipod again. I slept for a bit more and listened to my ipod; they had the seatbelt sign on telling us not to take them off?! It’s a little cloudy outside but not turbulent. It seem like this flight is lasting forever. I looked out my window and saw ice on the ocean we were flying over. It looks so cool! You can see chunks together and parts that have melted off. I wonder where we are flying over, north Canada, Greenland, or is there just a lot of ice on the ocean?! Now I see mountains. It must be Greenland and north Canada. We have a little more than 2 hour left until we land in Toronto. We watched a movie called Rum Diaries. It was very weird. 1 ½ hours left! We were given hot wraps with beef, gravy, and tomato in them and water. I organized my stuff for the rest of the time. We landed at 3:20pm in Toronto Canada! First we walked down a long hallway, cleared customs, claimed baggage, dropped bags off, went up an escalators, went through security, got my hands and feet swabbed, and went to Tim Horton’s. I got a tea, water, and a muffin. I went to gate D35 to wait for my flight at 9:30pm. 4 hours left before I get to go home. I went on wifi and ate my food; I suddenly become really home sick while I was sitting on the floor in the corner of the airport with no one around. I am extremely bored and becoming anxious about getting home, I have 3 hours left… I miss normal people so much; I miss my people, my family, buddy and my bed and pillow. I had so much fun but there comes a point when you are just ready to go home. I wish I could be having supper right now at home, watching TV shows and play with buddy. I was quite excited to use a toilet with a seat and liquid hand soap. I slept on the floor for a while and then I went to the washroom at 8:50pm Toronto time. We boarded at 9pm. I had seat 16A (window seat). We had individual TV’s so I watched The Help and then looked at the map as I fell in and out of sleep. The flight lasted 4 hours. I didn’t use gravol at all! On the way down my right ear popped and it hurt, I could not hear out of it. I was given orange juice. We landed at 11pm. I went to the bathroom and then went through the gate where I saw mom, dad, and Missy. We waited for my bag as I drank my tea. Then we drove home. Weather: Rome- sunny, 20 degrees - My tourmates were awesome, we all got along and had alot of fun together - I did all of the optionals and I am glad I did because they were all really great! - the bus was good, it didn't have any outlets and the washroom could only be used in emergencys. - I highly recommend this tour, it was very informational and busy, but we always had free time. I saw everything I wanted to see! - our bus driver and tour manager were amazing! - get lost in Venice - eat gelato everyday - try everything on your plate - don't worry, everything will be fine! - pack your suit case and then take out half of your clothes- you wont use half of the clothes you pack. - take echinacea to make sure you dont get sick - You dont have to go out every night, take some nights off to get a good sleep - you will do and see so much- write in a journal every night - there is wifi at every hotel- some have a small cost and some are free - I budgeted for 80 Euro a day and came home with 50 Euro. - you need plug adapters - but you only need a voltage adapter if you have electronics that are not 120-220Volts. I used my ipod charger, ipad charger, and my hair straightener (dual voltage straightener) without a voltage adapter.

My Contiki was: Amazing-Busy-Memorable

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5 May 2012 - 17 May 2012

  • Maddie K
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled May 2016
  • 22
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

Such a great way to see Italy!

This was my 3rd Contiki trip in Just over a year, I left the day my first trip started. This was the first time dealing with a different language and I had been told not to worry to much... almost everyone spoke english or could figure out what you wanted. I had such a great group of people! My bus driver Enzo was Italian and didn't speak much english. Our tour manager Vivienne didn't tell us into after we did the trip reviews that it was actually her first time with Contiki! She had done smaller groups before but our group was 51! A few things got switched around and we never would have known! The best part was spending my 23rd birthday traveling to Pisa then having an afternoon and evening in Rome! Everyone made it such a great day for me! I just have to figure out where to go next! Tiki tiki! :)

My Contiki was: Sights-Once in a lifetime-People

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15 May 2016 - 26 May 2016

  • Victoria W
  • Booked from United Kingdom
  • Traveled June 2014
  • 20
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Simply Amazing!

As a solo traveller having never used Contiki before, I did not know what to expect. However, based on this trip, I'd have no hesitation in travelling with Contiki again. We had the best tour manager (Maité) and bus driver (Alessandro), who made sure everything on tour was great - even when dealing with difficult dietary requirements in the restaurants we visited (such as vegetarianism and allergies). As much as Italy was an amazing country by itself (the places, food and wine are beyond extraordinary - the highlight for me being the family-run restaurant we ate at in CinqueTerre suggested by Maité ), it was the Contiki staff that made this tour unforgettable. I've been home just 2 days and miss it already! I would definitely recommend Contiki to anyone, especially this tour (fingers crossed you will get Maité - honestly the best tour manager I've ever had). Brilliant sights, food, wine and people!

My Contiki was: amazing-unforgettable-cultured

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15 June 2014 - 26 June 2014

  • Skylark1983
  • Booked from Reviews.ZA
  • Traveled September 2014
  • 31
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Simply Amazing

I can not really add much to the already 5 star trip and reviews below. Simply Italy, simply do it! :-)

My Contiki was: --

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28 September 2014 - 9 October 2014

  • B1NZ
  • Booked from New Zealand
  • Traveled July 2011
  • 31
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Simply Italy - Simply Amazing!!

My wife and I traveled on this trip in July 2011 and were not disappointing, Contiki gave you a taste of all the major sights of Italy and our guide Christina was fantastic, We made a lot of new friends and were sad when we had to leave our Contiki family at the end of the trip. Probably the highlight for us was the boat cruise around the Island of Capri and swimming through the green grotto. We had one day were the weather and train strikes didn't play their part and unfortunately we missed the Cinque Terre boat cruise although we were bused down to Monte Rosso to spend the day there instead which was a lovely place. If you want a taste of Italy then I suggest you do this trip, allow a few days in Rome at the end of the trip to see a few more of the sights of this historic city.

My Contiki was: Fantastic-Fun-Amazing

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17 July 2011 - 28 July 2011

  • mk0603
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled April 2014
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 7 Countries

One of the best trips of my life

Just came back from the Simply Italy tour (April 20 - May 1) and I have to say the majority of us had an excellent time on this tour. Without going over long on this review, here are some pros and cons of this tour. Pros: - Meet a group of like-minded, fun and friendly fellow travellers. True, the majority of the group are girls and they came on this tour by themselves. It's a good thing cause we look after each other and we had a great bonding during and after the trip. - Great itinerary. For those who always say they can pay less and travel on their own...I can only say that if they want to follow the same itinerary and visit the same amount of places we've been, that's almost near impossible. I've travelled on my own with friends before and just trying to find the right train station and check in to a hotel in a small town can take you more than half a day, especially when you are in a foreign place with people who don't speak much English...We honestly saw almost all the major attractions in Italy on this trip. Plus you can always stay a few more days after the trip to go at your own pace. - Tour Manager and Driver: I've been on 2 contiki trips now and both Tour managers are fantastic people. They are young, smart, friendly and knows their way inside out of all the cities they are in. No matter how long they stay up late with us, the next stay they manage to get up early on time and get us going. I have huge respect for the professionalism that they bring into this tour. I've never felt like they would force us to buy/purchase anything from a vendor. This trip we have 2 people's birthday and my tour manager bake them cakes and planed special surprise for their night out. She's not ask to do that and she really doesn't have to...it really came from her heart and the birthday boy/girl are over the moon happy. - Free time: I know people said with that much free-time why bother to join a tour. Again, if you have a group of people travelling with you I suggest you don't do a tour. If you are travelling on your own, free time is good as we get brief while we are on the bus commuting to the next destination. By then we can choose what we wanted to see and the people we want to see it with. Everyone has different ideas of what they wanted to see so that's actually the best way to go about. At the end of the day everyone is happy with the path they took. Okay, a lot of pros, now let's go with the cons: - Hotel choice and location. Well in Italy you really have to lower your expectation in terms of hotels...most of them are outside of the city and would require taxi ride to get back to your hotel. The hotel near Cinque Terre is terrible, worse hotel I've stayed in. However when I do my research for all the cities that I've stay, they are pretty much the same within the price point. So just really don't expect much of the hotels you stay in and remember that this is a budget tour. - Optional meals: If you can, skip all the optional meals. Italy have tons of good restaurant so you WILL have better luck just walk into any place with a menu you like. Optional meals are over price and usually very average as it's hard for the chef to cook good food for 50 people at once. All the optional meals are bad to us and the restaurants in small towns have the best food. - Autogrill lunch. Again, because we are on the bus a lot we tend to get drop off to the gas service station called "Autogrill" to have our lunch. The food is average and expensive. If you can wait, I suggest you just get some snack and waited for a small at a small town or the big city to have a proper meal. Just because it's noon doesn't mean you need to have lunch. We all kind of hated Autogrill after having it many times on the road... But honestly, overall this has been an amazing journey and I would definitely join coniki again in the near future.

My Contiki was: Amazing-Unforgettable -Life changing

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20 April 2014 - 1 May 2014

  • jessy.seida
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled May 2013
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Erica Belli is the best tour guide ever!

I loved having Erica as my tour guide. She went above and beyond with her efforts to make sure everyone was comfortable and having the time of their lives. Her happiness and enthusiasm was contagious and made the trip unforgettable. She is the reason I am so many others on the Italy tour had the best trip of our lives.

My Contiki was: Amazing-perfect-Fantastic

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25 May 2013 - 6 June 2013

  • Simran
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled August 2013
  • 28
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

Breath taking, out of this world

This was my first major trip I've ever taken and decided to trust Contiki. Smart choice!! I was not expecting to see SO much with the time we had and I loved every bit of it. I got to see all the major cities and hot spots that I know on my own, I wouldn't have managed it. Ill give you a bit of my view for each day and some advice on how to prepare your self for this trip. Day 1: Its a chilling day. If you land the day of then you wont get much time to check out Rome on your own. You do however get time again in Rome at the end of the trip. However I would have liked to arrive early and go out for a bit - so recommend you do the same! Day 2: Pompeii Tour was great - highly recommend it. If you dont, then your kinda stuck on your own and cant do much either. Plus this is a great time to know the rest of your travel pack. You learn alot about what happened in Pompeii. Day 3: 100% - DO THE CRUISE! Omg the sites, the water and the Blue Grotto - WOW. Capri is a beautiful city; one of my favorites. And as suggested, you must try Limoncello - just for the sake of it! Day 4: The wine tasting was fun - a bit disappointed that we didnt get to see more of Tuscany. Be prepared...youll be in the coach for a long time. Another thing I did not like. The siteseeing was amazing but being locked up inside was a bit of a downer. Day 5; FLORENCE - My absolute FAVORITE. I fell in love with this city. If I ever decide to come back to Italy, I would go to Florence. The club was really good but I dont think it was the Space club we went too. However this night was the BEST night. Did the group dinner - it was spaghetti and meatballs and my oh my...mouthwatering DELICIOUS! Start of the day we did go see the leather crafts man - dropped a few bills there. Leather is amazing - try to get something for yourself! And the Secrets of Michelangelo's Florence was really informative and had a great time. While here - BEFORE you leave to Venice, you MUST climb the INFINITE stairs. When you reach the top - the city view is amazing. Ask your tour guide about this! Day 6: This was an okay day. If you like to shop, then hav fun! Its like a shop market - all cobblestone and everything. You do see Juliets Balcony but its not an 1hr thing. Its quick so make the most of your time here and check it out. Day 7: Get ready to SHOP! Another great place to shop - so many vendors! And you MUST take the Gondola ride. I think for this day, I opt out the Walking Tour. Go on your own - explore. Have fun. Check out St. Mark;s Square - some really good restaurants. Day 8: If you want to drop some major $$ on name brands - this is the place. Top name brands and very poshy. I wasnt too impressed with Milan. Again Im not a major spender. I enjoy siteseeing so this was more of a chilling day for me which it is actually. Day 9: To be honest - I cant remember what I did this day...sorry! Day 10: Ah yes - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You wont spend too much time here - hopefully your tour guide will make you take funny pictures and compete with one another. Glad they included this on the way to Rome. However again - another long ride in the coach! Day 11: Back in ROME! Def check our the Colosseum if you didnt arrive early and do it on your own. Its a must see and just learning the history behind it is great. Make the most of your day as this is your last!! So, things I wasnt too impressed/or would like to change: 1) Long coach ride - cant avoid it and its nice they added in pit stops (Tuscany, La Spezia). But prepare yourself...bring something to occupy you or catch up on some MUCH needed rest...why... 2) Get ready for EARLY mornings! If you are not a morning person or like to take it easy, prepare yourself for a rude awakening. This is after all an 'In-Depth Explorer' style. I didnt mind it but at times it does get to you. But you get to catch up on SOME sleep on the coach... 3) Was not impressed with breakfast at all. I LOVE my breakfasy - one of the meals I will TRULY pig out on. There is only SO MUCH bread I can consume :( 4) If you like cheese, bread and oil for dipping then great! If not - as Im lactose intolerant and sensitive to wheat...then oh boy! lol Its Italy - what was I thinking! Home of PASTA AND PIZZA. 5) WATER WATER WATER - buy a water bottle and REFILL when you can. With the heat and walking, you will get dehydrated. 6) Washrooms - YUP - you gotta pay in order to use them unless you dine in which then you can use it for free! 7) Coffee - YUMMY! However I guess I forgot that they serve coffoe/americano is small cups - not what Im used to here 8OZ or more actually :) Oh and DEF try the GELLATO's! I think everyday I treated myself. BEST one is in Florence and Rome. Overall -this trip was amazing! You wont have regrets - the early mornings pay off...eventually ;)

My Contiki was: --

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24 August 2013 - 5 September 2013

  • ninaraminelli
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled August 2014
  • 25
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Amazing!!!

It was my first time with Contiki and also my first time travelling solo. I had the time of my life!! First of all, our tour manager, Margherita, was the best ever!! She made everything to make every moment unforgettable! She gave us a lot of information about history, italian culture, best places to eat, best drink, maps with all the tips we need it. Our trip wouldn't have been as amazing without her!!! Our driver, Enzo, did a great job of driving safely despite the crazy traffic of Italy. He also did his best to communicate with us despite the language barrier. He was always ready to get in and even when it was not their obligation. I made a lot of friends from Canada, USA, Australia, France, Puerto Rico. Although my English was not fluent, I could talk, laugh and have a lot of fun. The itinerary couldn't be more perfect! We discovered differents Italies in each city we went to. I'm really in love with Italy, their food, people, culture and everything! Thank you Contiki, Megghy and Enzo!

My Contiki was: best staff-friends-differents Italies

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24 August 2014 - 4 September 2014

  • Explorer1226373
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled June 2011
  • 29
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Awesome Experience!

I have to tell you that I had an amazing experience on the Simply Italy tour! It was incredible - super exhausting but well worth it. I was able to experience and see all the sights that I wanted to and the tour allowed for such free time that I wasn't restricted to staying with the group for everything which I found to be great! I had Vinnie as my tour manager - he was AWESOME - the best tour guide ever! His knowledge of the country, the cities, the little things that only locals know was insightful and helpful. He was simply great! Our bus driver was great too, though he didn't speak English Ginarro (sp) got us around the country safe and sound! Italy is a beautiful place to visit - this tour got me to all of the cities that I wanted to visit and more! The one thing that I would recommend is that if you want to see Rome for yourself than book a few days before the tour starts or after the tour ends because Rome is the only city that you don't get very much free time in at all. I was there a few days before the tour which allowed me to explore for myself - and I waited until the end of the tour to buy things from Rome but was greatly disappointed that I wasn't able to because of the timing on the tour. Also DO NOT stay in the hotel that Contiki starts and ends with in Rome - The Regent Hotel was GARBAGE - service was horrible, the rooms were terrible - smelly, dirty and the beds were the worst of all - I had springs sticking into my body all night long. The hotel is far from central Rome as well so find something closer! Other than that the experience was incredible - it was fun and enriching and I enjoyed it all! Already planning my next one - New Zealand here I come!

My Contiki was: Awesome-Fantastic-Exhausting

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25 June 2011 - 7 July 2011

  • KathyL
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled August 2015
  • 26
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 5 Countries

August 2015

This trip was awesome! Had a great time beginning to end. Though it says easy pace you are moving and hopping around to the different cities within Italy at a fast pace. You are pretty much in each city for a day so try to maximize your time and plan out 2-3 things you would want to see/do. I recommend adding a day or two at the beginning or end of the tour in Rome. We had a nice group of 50 including couples, solo travelers and friends joining from all over and diff age ranges. By the end of the trip we were tied at the hip. It was hottt in August so dress light/airy, wear comfortable shoes and carry water and a fan. Most of the optionals were worth it especially the dinner in Sorrento, the Tuscan Feast and the last dinner in Rome. The dinner meal in Verona was probably the least tasteful. Hotels were decent. If you stay extra days in Rome I recommend getting a hotel that is more center city. When you are in Cinque Terre at the bed and breakfast, if you are offered the homemade meal....have it! Best lasagna ever. Our tour guide Maggie did a great job of keeping the group together and on schedule. She made sure we got to know each other, using the hours on the coach to play games. She was also super helpful and shared many tips and tricks. Overall would recommend if you want to see a lot of Italy in a short time with the goal of one day returning to your favorite places.

My Contiki was: Great Time in Italy - August '15--

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2 August 2015 - 13 August 2015

  • Earl
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled May 2014
  • 29
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 5 Countries

Simply Italy

Overall great trip. Great people in the group. Great views. Great Weather (Lucky). Food was great. Now, down side. NOT A PARTY TRIP. The only place where we were really able to cut loose was in Florence.

My Contiki was: Cultured-Romance-Iconic

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4 May 2014 - 15 May 2014

  • Explorer1273832
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled August 2011
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Tour Review

Amazing Tour; I had a great time.......met great ppl from around the world and had a fabulous tour manager...all & all it was a amazing Tour.....whooo !!

My Contiki was: --

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13 August 2011 - 25 August 2011

  • Tony
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled April 2012
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 4 Countries

Simply Italy

WOW what a trip!!! Tour manager Katia was amazing. If you are debating on shorter/longer trip go with the longer trip you will not be disappointed. This was a trip of a lifetime and I'm already saving for my next one. Two words if you are thinking of going on Contiki DO IT!!!!

My Contiki was: --

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7 April 2012 - 19 April 2012

  • NoosaChick13
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2012
  • 21
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Excellent

I had the best time, made the best friendships. Our tour guide was fantastic. Do all the optionals they were def worth it. Accommodation overall was pretty good

My Contiki was: Cultural-Fun-Interesting

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1 July 2012 - 12 July 2012

  • KezzaLiebs
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2010
  • 30
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Tour Review

It was excellent well worth the money nice mix of ages and people on tour even for a big size group. Sorrento, Capri, Cinque Terre great to cool down on those hot days. everywhere else and food amazing. Tour manager and driver excellent too.

My Contiki was: Amazing-Awesome-Wow

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4 July 2010 - 15 July 2010

  • Sherrie
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled October 2013
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 5 Countries

Italian Adventures--something for everyone :)

This review is a bit overdue, but this tour was Simply Awesome! This tour has it all--art, laughter, culture, dancing, great food and of course, friendships. You're definitely limited to the amount of time you spend in each area (only got to see the Pantheon for 15 min and did a quickie tour of the Vatican), but that's a small price to pay for all the amazing sights and adventures you have. You can choose not to do the Contiki optionals, but I definitely recommend it--from classic monuments/sites like Pompeii, opera singers at an underground restaurant to dancing to old school hip hop in Rome--no regrets! It's true that some of the optionals are pretty pricey, but it gives you a chance to experience something different--like seeing a braised pig lit up with sparks in an elegant restaurant overlooking the water. Pics: Here's some pics from Capri http://shaireproductions.com/photos-capri-island/ Hotels: Generally nice accommodations, except the first night in Rome--the vent/air-conditioning was so loud, I couldn't sleep, while my tourmates next door complained of some flies buzzing around in their room, but aside from that it a was pleasant experience. In Sorrento, we were booked at a hotel right next to the beach--incredible! It was like a dream, falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. In some of the hotel locations, you'll have to carry your luggage up/down stairs, so try not to pack a super heavy suitcase :) Tour Guide: Enzo. Great character and so accommodating. He blasted Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" every morning on the bus, so it's forever etched into my brain as the Italian Trip song, but he added a great vibe to the tour. We picked up fun facts and history like Italian hand gestures and such. TIPS: Bring a small first aid kit--tissues and some Vitamin C tablets or something. With 50 people packed onto a bus for hours & hours together, everyone got sick by the end of the tour :( Though, it was worth the trouble--lifetime of memories! Chocolate Lovers--there's great quality of chocolate in Italy, so load up! Keep an eye out for Ferrero's Pocket Coffee too (small chocolates loaded with liquid espresso)--amazing treat! I wish I bought more. Overall, this tour has a good mix of large cities, small towns and beaches. You can choose to check out the museums, party or just kick back with a drink. There's definitely something for everyone. Good luck!

My Contiki was: Amazing-Artistic-Diverse

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5 October 2013 - 17 October 2013

  • Bailey
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled April 2015
  • 27
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

Absolutely No Regrets.

Let me start off by telling you I didn't want to go on this trip. I had bought it as a surprise gift for my boyfriend. You see Italy was on his bucket list, not mine. However, he said no to the trip and I went anyway. Contiki is about no regrets and I wasn't going to let buying a trip for someone be one of mine. Am I ever glad I went! Italy is such a beautiful country with so many things to see, experience and eat! Boy oh boy, do you ever eat. So many pastas, pesto, gelato, pizza, wine and more! I had Margherita as my tour manager and Enzo as our Driver. Margherita is an amazing person with such a passion for her job and it shows. If you end up with Margherita you wont be disappointed. Enzo is such a lovely driver with some serious driving skills. Italy has got some tight bends to it and I never felt unsafe in his bus once. A big shout out to both as they both made this a unforgettable trip for me. The places you will visit are breathtaking. This is a trip where you make it what you want it to be. Rain or Shine! We had a day of rain in Rome, and let me tell you it dumped buckets. Be prepared for the wet, but also for the beautiful sun! Italy has a beautiful personalty to it and it will give you many great memories. I don't have much bad things to say about this. The only thing I didn't like was the Autogrill. Like mentioned by others, you make a few stops at them. You do spend some time on the coach and as a result you will have to make stops. You could complain about the stops but you will probably be to busy sleeping on the coach, laughing with your new friends, or watching Italy go by to really notice. Contiki is about adventure, memories and no regrets. This trip had everything and more then I had expected. To be honest with you I had no idea what to expect when I booked it, but I'm glad I booked it and I can't wait for my next adventure with Contiki.

My Contiki was: No Regrets-Adventures-la dolce vita

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19 April 2015 - 30 April 2015

  • Heather
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled June 2014
  • 20
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Just Do It!!

This tour was amazing!! And as my first Contiki I could not have been happier. First of all, Megghy was the most amazing tour manager you could possibly ask for. She went above and beyond in everything she did to make sure you were looked after and got to see what you wanted. As a Celiac she made sure I had gluten-free food at all the included dinners and was able to answer any and all questions you may have had. I booked a couple of things on my own that I really wanted to see and she was able to make them fit with the schedule and ensured I got to see everything I paid for, even though I didn't book them with Contiki. She was always super upbeat and positive and really made the trip what it was, which was awesome! Alessandro was also a fantastic driver. He managed to squeeze a 50 passenger coach through spaces I wouldn't have attempted with a smart car! He tried his absolute hardest to make sure the coach was always comfortable and clean and I'll miss his shouts of Energy Energy!! whenever we were passed out, comatose, in the heat. The people on the trip were also all fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people. Everyone got along really well and were all so fun and accepting. This really wasn't a party tour (something I'm very glad of) but we always managed to have a really great time. I met so many amazing, like-minded people who made me appreciate more fully just how big the world is and how many things there are to do and discover. I already miss all my new friends but now have 50 more couches to crash on all over the world! As for the tour itself, it exceeded my expectations tenfold (and I had some pretty high expectations). Even though we were always busy it was a good busy and I never once felt rushed. We had ample free time in every city (even the one hour in Pisa was long enough to get pictures and grab a quick bite to eat) and there was a good balance between touring and wandering. We didn't do all the optional dinners which gave us more free time to explore the cities, eat some amazing food at local restaurants and really get a good feel of Italy. My Mom and I did a bus tour a few years ago and we both felt rushed and like we didn't get to see anything. This tour was the exact opposite. I felt like I've seen and experience Italy (not just one of two cities but the country as a whole) and while I'd love to go back (does tomorrow work?) I certainly don't feel like I need to go back. We saw and did all the major attractions everywhere we went and still had loads of free time to explore on our own. This trip was the most fun I've ever had and was one of the best experiences of my life. I definitely came home a different person from the shy, introverted girl who left Canada a few weeks ago. The combination of people, sights, experiences (and amazing food) really made for the best time possible. If you're debating with yourself about whether or not you should do this trip (like I was) I can assure you the only disappointment you'll face is if you decide to stay home. Just do it, I promise you won't regret it!! Or as Megghy would say: Dominate, don't hesitate!

My Contiki was: Best-Time-Ever

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1 June 2014 - 12 June 2014

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