Exploring the birthplace of romance and renaissance is an experience meant to be shared. Ideally, you’re sharing it with like-minded souls discovering fascinating places together. But group travel in Italy can induce worrying thoughts of harried tour guides herding obedient passengers along jam-packed itineraries. Back-Roads Touring is doing their best to change this reputation with their locally-focused, small group tours.
What is a “citizen of the world?” For inspiration, look to the guides and passengers of Back-Roads tours. The experienced guides hold passports from all over the world whose pages are bursting with travel stamps and travel stories. Their diverse backgrounds, from the sailor to the policeman, add a unique flavor to the wealth of knowledge each guide holds about his or her countries of specialization.
If you consider yourself a citizen of the world and thrive on shared connections, then you’re likely a Back-Roads traveler. The intimate travel groups are made up of couples, friends, relatives and an average of 20% single travelers. With 18 passengers or less on every tour, the concept of being a stranger rapidly fades into the distance.
The carefully-curated itineraries of Back-Roads tours are less about schedule and more about authentic connections. The 12-day Italian Indulgence tour is built around a route that’s more of a treasure map to discovering Italian culture and hospitality.
The renowned highlights of Italy are not bypassed on this trip, but simply balanced. Urban tours of Rome and Siena are paired with overnights in a medieval walled town and an elegant Tuscan villa. A step back into the artistic passions of the renaissance in Florence is countered with a modern outing on the waters of Lake Maggiore.
Visits to the iconic landmarks of the Tower of Pisa and the villages of Cinque Terre are followed by pleasant journeys through the red wine county of Piedmont and the rice-growing region of Vercelli. And the ancient Roman ruins of Verona are matched with a final evening to remember in the floating city of Venice.
The Immersive Activities
A blend of old-world sightseeing and hands-on activities defines the refreshing approach of this trip. Explore the Borromean Islands by sea and get your hands dirty on a truffle hunt with a local farmer.
Discover Italian architectural masterpieces like the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi and the Grinzane Cavour Castle. But don’t let the artists of Italy intimidate you – flex your creative muscles during a locally-inspired cooking class in Tuscany.
And of course, do as the Italians do and make the most of fresh food and exceptional wines. This tour is labelled Italian Indulgence for good reason! Embrace the European way with relaxed slow-food dinners and wine tastings in Alba and Valpolicella. The tour even includes a visit to a distillery hidden away in the rolling hills of Asti to sample traditional liqueurs, chocolate and home-made nougat.
An expedition though Italy with Back-Roads doesn’t follow the busy tourist track – or any busy track, for that matter. The enchanting destinations of this tour are connected by country roads, boat and water taxi. Luxury mini-coaches wind through scenic side streets that offer a genuine snapshot of day-to-day life in Italy.
The Back-Roads guides are explorers at heart and they won’t hesitate to divert off a planned route to chase down an exceptional view or a particularly bold reserve wine.
They honour the organizational dedication to supporting regional communities and local businesses. This foundational commitment has gained the company a Silver Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme, and is perhaps what makes a Back-Roads tour feel so much like a journey with close friends.