Fascinating Friuli & the Veneto

The undiscovered treasures of Italy’s beguiling North!

26 August – 09 September 2017

8, 890 AUD per person (twin share)
9, 880 AUD per person (solo traveller)

This tour begins in the wonderfully romantic small city of Verona, home to opera, the historic Scaligeri family and of course the legend of Romeo and Juliet.

The picturesque wine growing area of Collio is our first base in Friuli and we’ll be exploring both the ancient Roman origins of the area as well as the world famous wineries located in the surrounding hills.

From Collio we move on to the enchanting literary city of Trieste, on the coast bordering Slovenia and Croatia.

We finish our tour in Venice, where we explore some of the lesser known sights such as the island of Burano and the Venetian Lagoon as well as meandering through the city that people affectionately term La Serenissima.

We’ll be staying in just four hotels over the 15 days to ensure we minimise the time spent packing and moving. Our bases for the tour are Verona (4 nights), the Collio region (3 nights), Trieste (3 nights) and Venezia (4 nights).

There are 6 lunches and 4 dinners included in the tour in restaurants chosen for their high quality food and wine that is typical of the area we’re visiting. And we are always on hand to enjoy a meal together on other occasions.

What our clients say about travelling with Italian Tours

“We have visited Italy previously, once with a large group and twice independently, but Italian Tours was definitely the most enjoyable. The carefully chosen hotels, cultural visits and local food and wine experiences, combined with a small friendly group, were decidedly a bonus”
Paul (2013)



Our tour begins with four nights based in that most romantic of small Italian cities, Verona. On day one we meet at our charming small hotel where we gather for welcome aperitivi in the evening followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Verona


Because of its size and charm, Verona is an extremely walkable city, with plenty of opportunities to linger in the lovely piazze. We spend the morning walking with a local guide who will introduce us to the legacy of the Scaligeri family who dominated this city during the 13th and 14th centuries.

This afternoon we delve a little deeper into Verona’s mediaeval past with a visit to the fascinating Castelvecchio museum. This museum is housed inside the Scaligeri castle and exhibits a range of mediaeval arts and artefacts.

The evening of our first full day offers a real highlight as we join thousands of Italian opera lovers  for a spectacular open air performance in Verona’s Roman arena. The atmosphere of the opera is something you’ll never forget: as darkness falls and the overture begins, people light thousands of candles and then… let the show begin!
Overnight: Verona


The morning is yours to  sleep in after a late night at the opera or to explore this lovely city further.

Hidden away in the centre of Verona is a 16th century Neo-Classical palace, which is still home to the ancient Giusti family. However the reason for our visit here this afternoon is to explore one of the most outstanding gardens in Europe. The garden, which was established in 1580, is a perfect example of the Italian Renaissance style.


Today we make a short drive to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Vicenza, the home of arguably the most influential architect in history. Palladio was responsible for the renaissance of classical architecture in Italy.  We’ll visit the Teatro Olimpico, Palladio’s perfectly preserved, original theatre complete with sets that demonstrate the science of perspective so dear to the Renaissance artists. We’ll stop for coffee under the arches of the incredible basilica in Piazza dei Signori. And finally we’ll have time to explore the streets lined with the grand palazzi designed for the wealthy of Vicenza.

Leaving Vicenza we drive on to the picture-perfect little town of Soave, centre of the Soave wine growing district, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely lunch and some even more leisurely wine tasting as we explore what the region has to offer.
Overnight: Verona


This morning we head east towards our next destination, the picturesque wine growing region of Collio. Along the way we call in to Villa Pisani, a spectacular Venetian villa built along the Brenta Canal for the noble Pisani family in the 18th century. We’ll stop at a local restaurant for lunch and arrive in the afternoon at our accommodation which is located within a well known winery.
Overnight: Capriva del Friuli (Collio)


This morning we make a short drive to the town of Cividale del Friuli, founded by Julius Caesar in 50BC and for a time the most important Roman town of the area. We’ll visit the intricately decorated Tempieto Lombardo, the finest example of 8th century art in Italy, and explore what is now a delightful mediaeval townscape.

This afternoon we visit Signor Beppino Zoff, who makes some of the best local caciotta cheese, a semi ripened cheese with a hard yellow rind and pale creamy texture.

There will be time later this afternoon for leisure. You may wish to book a round of golf or join a cookery class or simply relax and read a book.
Overnight: Capriva del Friuli (Collio)


A short drive takes us through rural landscape to the pretty university town of Udine. We’ll explore the centre with its extraordinarily beautiful piazza, wander the old streets interwoven with canals and then enjoy lunch before we move on.

In the afternoon we’ll make the most of the Collio region’s wines as we visit one of the local wineries.
Overnight: Capriva del Friuli (Collio)


We head off for Trieste this morning with a special stop along the way. La Grotta del Gigante is one of the largest accessible underground caves in the world. The atmosphere inside the cave is distinctly Lord of the Rings!

We’ll have lunch at an osmizza, a farm where they sell their own produce such as cheese, salumi and wine. Osmizze date back to the time of Charlemagne, who gave them the right to sell their produce provided they hung a branch of ivy on the gate.
Overnight: Trieste


We spend this morning with a local guide who will give us some special insights into this most beautiful of beautiful cities. Trieste has historically been a melting pot of cultures and we’ll be able to observe the richness of its history during our morning walk.

In the afternoon we’ll visit Miramare castle, a visually stunning edifice that towers on a promontory by the sea. You’ll find the interior decoration quite eccentric!

Because of its location, Trieste has been heavily influenced by the Slavic states. You’ll discover the Slavonic influence on the local cuisine at dinner tonight where you might sample cevapcici, bread gnocchi, sausage and gulasch.
Overnight: Trieste


Today we visit one the most famous coffee makers in the world. Illy coffee has been produced by the local Illy family since 1933. We’ll tour the factory and sample the coffee. Coffee is akin to lifeblood in Italy. Because Trieste is a port, historically the local merchants had the pick of the beans that were imported from South America. Trieste became the main coffee production centre for the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was famous throughout Europe for the quality of its coffee.

This afternoon you have free time to explore the city on your own. We can recommend several museums that you may enjoy.

In the evening we’ll meet on the piazza at Café degli Specchi, the most famous of Trieste’s cafes, for aperitivi as we say farewell to Trieste.
Overnight: Trieste


On our way to Venezia this morning we stop in Grado, a small fishing and tourist town that lies on an island within its own lagoon and is reached via a pretty causeway.

After lunch in one of its small piazze we will reach Aquileia, where we will visit its Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which contains one of the most extensive and beautiful fourth century mosaic floors in Italy.

Moving on, we arrive in Venezia by water taxi.
Overnight: Venice


Our local guide this morning will introduce us to the unmissable sights of the city including San Marco, the Doge’s Palace and the intricate waterways that thread through this magical place.

The afternoon is free for you to explore more of Venice. We can recommend a variety of museums, churches and other activities that you may enjoy.
Overnight: Venice


This morning we head out across the lagoon on our private charter boat to visit Burano, famous for its fishing, lace making and gorgeously coloured houses. You’ll appreciate this quieter corner of Venice, where Venetians still live and work. We’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Burano. We’ll also pass through wetlands that are teeming with birdlife and past the smaller fishing islands that historically provided sustenance for the city. We’ll return to Venice in time for aperitivi.
Overnight: Venice


Today we will visit one of the only remaining gondola-building workshops in Venice Squero di San Trovaso to learn the ins and outs of this particular type of boat construction.

Our last afternoon in Venice is free for some last minute sightseeing, shopping or even just wandering through this extraordinary city.

In the evening we’ll meet for our farewell dinner.
Overnight: Venice


On our last day we’ll say our farewells and provide you with a water taxi to the airport for your departure.