Italy

Bespoke holidays and honeymoons to Italy – city breaks, train travel, walking holidays and villas

Italy is the land of romance, culture, great food and scenery.  There is so much variety it’s hard to know where to begin!  The Italian Lakes to the north are a popular summer playground but also a winter retreat and home to various famous painters.  Venice with it’s world of water and the surrounding Riviera and gondolas is a fascinating place – explore also the outer lagoon islands, a world away from the bustle of the tourist attractions!  Rome, Florence, Milan, Naples and many other cities offer a vibrant cafe culture and entertainment.  For opera and cultural events there are performances taking place all year round, some in spectacular open air settings. Why not time your Italian holiday to coincide with one of these amazing experiences?

Take a look at these special luxury self drives holidays in Italy – experience the thrill of driving your own Ferrari!

If you would like to travel to Italy by rail, the Venice Simplon Orient-Express journeys to Venice or Verona or you can take the Eurostar to Paris and connect on Italian Rail through into Italy, internally there is a good reliable network.

For me, food and drink are at the heart of any holiday to Italy!  Ask us about escorted tours, tailor made holidays, cookery classes and tasting tours to incorporate the amazing authentic food of Italy into your holiday.  One of our favourites is Al Vecchio Convento, a gorgeous owner run small restaurant hotel deep in the hills of Emilia Romagna – spend time here learning about the local food products, tasting and making your own lunch!

Tuscany is certainly one of the main ‘foodie’ parts of Italy with it’s Chianti wines, truffles, beans and cheeses and you can explore the historic towns of Florence, Pisa and Siena. Surrounded by historic hill top towns and spectacular scenery is Umbria, the green heart of Italy.  Here you can visit galleries and frescos, explore medieval towns and villages and enjoy lots of rural hospitality.

Sardinia, a large island to the west of Italy has plenty of good beach resorts and hotels and interesting towns of Olbia and Alghero with great restaurants. Fabulous outdoor adventure, trekking and cycling holidays can be enjoyed in the Italian Alps and Dolomites.Travel to the Italian Lakes of Garda, Como, Maggiore, Lugano, Orta or Iseo for stunning scenery, spa hotels, vineyards and restaurants – visit the many different lakeshore towns crossing the water by boat taxis or cycle around the shores and soak up the clean mountain air.

Of course in the winter months, skiing and other snow based activities take place in the mountains too so visit Italy on a winter holiday too!

City breaks in Italy are rightly popular and can easily be arranged at short notice and are very good value for money.  Ask us about a quick foodie or culture weekend holiday to Italy!  Keep an eye on special offers for short break bargains to Italy too!

The Amalfi Coast is popular – we have fabulous hotels in Sorrento and the Bay of Naples – atmospheric cobbled streets and bright sunbathing platforms surrounded my dramatic scenery, sparkling blue waters and cliff top villas and hotels.  There are boutique shops, fabulous cafes and bars and things to do nearby such as taking the Amalfi drive along the coast, visiting the island of Capri and it’s Blue Grotto or exploring around the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and of course visit Vesuvius. There are several good walking and sightseeing holidays along the Amalfi coast throughout the year.

Sicily with Mount Etna and many historic sights, is a great summer destination with lovely beaches and plenty to see and do or join a walking holiday to trek the Volcanoes of the Aeolian Islands. Puglia stretches along the ‘heel’ of Italy and consists of olive groves, hills and white-washed Trulli houses with lovely beaches and a great climate. One of our favourite luxury hotels here is Borgo Egnazia for superb food, location and atmosphere.

If you want to enjoy Riviera culture without the price tag of the French Cote D’Azur, visit Liguria bordering France in the north with stylish cafes, hotels and villas, marinas and shops.  Rows of colourful houses flank the waterfronts surrounded by Cinque Terre villages and San Remo, one of the oldest Italian ‘holiday resorts’.

The Italian Lakes are simply stunning and are surrounded by famous vineyards, art galleries and stylish hotels. Lake Garda is the largest covering three different regions.  Water taxis take you easily around the lake between different resorts such as Malcesine, Limone, Sirmione, Garda and Bardolino.  Take a Valpolicella wine tour or travel to nearby Verona for a ‘Night at the Opera’. Lake Como is home to many writers and artists and is surrounded by magnificent mansions and beautiful gardens. Lake Maggiore borders Switzerland and it’s possible to take a tour from here to Zermatt and the Matterhorn and visit Lake Lugano across the border too.

Villas in Italy, particularly around Tuscany and Umbria are increasingly popular as holiday choices. There are some gorgeous converted farmhouses, monasteries, country mansions or smaller rustic croft cottages to be rented.  Take a hire car as well and explore the best of rural Italy on a self drive holiday (or drive your own car over from the UK).  If you have a large family group or bunch of friends and want a villa sleeping 10 or more people, please ask me as far in advance as possible, especially if it’s during school holidays, as they are in demand and sell out fast!

Whether you want to hire a car, bike or walk around the hills, vineyards and pretty villages of Puglia or Tuscany or if you want to find a cosy farmhouse and learn how to cook with an Italian Mama, there’s always something to keep you returning to Italy – a feast for the senses in every way!

Contact us to search for your ideal family villa, fabulous city break, walking or cycling holiday – tailor made Italy at it’s best!

Thank you for your organisation of our holiday to Rome and Sorrento. All ran very smoothly ! Locations of both hotels was good. Too many highlights to mention here but we saw such amazing sites in Rome and then loved visiting Pompeii via the local train . We were happy we took your advice and only stayed in Rome for four nights, more would have wiped us out!
Sarah & John – Italy Rome & Sorrento (April-May 2017)
May 3, 2017

Is there anything that could be done better? Can't think of one thing… All went seamlessly – no hitches just a great short break at a brilliant location. The choice of hotel was spot on (quiet in its environment) and our hosts were fab to boot… Choice of hotel, the advice given in terms of when to travel – it was VERY early but that meant more time in Venice! And Venice itself. Glorious. Simply Glorious.
Steve & Annya – Venice (March 2017)
April 4, 2017

Thank you for your organising our last minute city break to Palermo we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. The junior suite at Hotel Quintocanto was worth the extra and you couldn't ask for a better location. We understand that the reason for the cancellation for our return flight was indeed strike action in Italy. We commend yourselves and the operator for how you handled the change to plan.
Carol & Chris – Sicily (Feb 2017)
February 26, 2017

Service from Travel with Jules was first class! You guys were great and helpful and patient…. All very good on the organisation side of things. The chef at the villa produced lovely food and the weather was great. The couple of trips into Rome itself went really well, the guide was a real star! The swimming pool at the villa was lovely and it was nice that they kept it open for us.
Italy – villa and Rome tours – Angus family (Oct 2016)
October 13, 2016

If you’re considering seeing the Palio in Sienna (and you should) you must go for a few days before, and at least one day after. It is an extraordinary event that has its feet firmly placed in the Middle Ages, The Palio is actually about tradition, pageantry, corruption and thuggery. But all of those things make for an amazing experience. Jules got really good seats for us – the terraces is where it’s at. Then there’s the drums, the flags, the roaring oxen, the colour, the noise – an incredible time WILL be had! ..... But get stuck in – because they haven’t arranged it for you, and they won’t wait for you to join them!
The Palio in Siena, Italy – Howlett Family (Aug 2016)
August 26, 2016

Our holiday in Venice, taken to celebrate David’s 70th birthday, and arranged with great care by Travel with Jules was quite wonderful. We loved every moment of the performance of La Traviata which we attended at La Fenice - the cherry on the top of the holiday cake.
Annette & David (from France) – Venice (May 2015)
June 6, 2015

Thank you to Travel With Jules for co-coordinating our rail and accommodation arrangements for our rail holiday to France and Italy – I would have no hesitation in recommending you to any of our friends requiring similar help. All rail bookings were as requested  and documentation clear. In particular the Turin/Rome, Rome/Napoli and Napoli/Rome train journeys […]
Ian Brown & Family (from Australia) – Rail Holiday in Europe (Oct 2014)
May 29, 2015

We have used ‘Travel with Jules’ twice now over the last 2 years (last time to South Africa) and have been absolutely delighted with the very friendly, personal and efficient service which Jules has provided. On both occasions she has been able to distil our rather sketchy ideas into more coherent plans which she has […]
Wright family – Italy,Tuscany (September 2014)
November 2, 2014

Brilliant. Hotel Valadier was a great find. Lovely room. Gorgeous rooftop restaurant. Close to lovely restaurants.  Thank you!
Julia & Peter – Rome Italy (June 2014)
July 1, 2014

As usual the whole organisation, choice of hotel, resort and weather was impeccable. And you arranged for Vesuvius not to blow it's top whilst we were there. So that's another item ticked off the list: I am amazed I've finally seen Pompeii and particularly Herculaneum. We don’t do holidays that are so relaxing that we really, REALLY, DON’T WANT TO GO HOME! AND IT WAS ALL YOUR FAULT......
Ian & Cathy Furbank – Italy, Sorrento & surrounds (October 13)
November 24, 2013

Just to let you know we had a brilliant holiday and all the excursions/tours were excellent, especially the cooking one, we are now inspired to recreate at home! Thanks again for your help, will be in touch for next year and that long awaited safari!
Chris & Laura – Italy, Tuscany (Sept 13)
November 24, 2013

Hi Julie we are back from Italy I just wanted to say that was the best holiday we have ever had! I cannot rate Villa la Massa (Florence) highly enough and your help with setting it all up was invaluable. I have sent in the post holiday questionnaire to the operator and included your name […]
Rowena & William – Italy Tuscany (September 2013)
October 1, 2013

Our holiday was quite simply superb. Al Vecchio was fantastic and the cooking lessons were terrific. Thank you so much for organising such a memorable trip for us. Everything went incredibly smoothly and most importantly it was just what we wanted and needed!
James & Anna – Italy (August 2013)
September 19, 2013

Lets start by saying a big thank-you for all your help. Our idea of having a Europen adventure in the car (as an alternative to our usual sailing holidays) came last year after watching Micheal Portillo on the mountain trains in Switzerland and our desire to encorage our daughters interest in  history by visiting Rome. […]
Young Family – Road trip to Italy (August 2013)
August 27, 2013

The Journey of a Lifetime on the Venice Simplon Orient Express! The whole holiday was a great success. Thank you very much for all your planning, booking and checking the finer details. We have many happy memories that will last for a long time! The Goring Hotel in London, the Pullman/Orient Express trains and Hotel Cipriani in Venice were all brilliant. Staff looked after us extremely well and were very patient.
Roger & Pat Fern – Orient Express to Venice (April 2013)
May 2, 2013

Jules took the stress out of finding a hotel at Lake Garda that was not full in September and was perfect for our requirements. It was lovely to have a friendly voice on the end of the phone. Thank you for all your knowledge and advice.
Gill Nunn – Italy (Sept 2011)
October 14, 2011

One of the things I have come to love about you, Jules, is that you listen and take on board what makes me tick, and then tailor the holiday to fit me, not just try to convince me to fit a holiday in a brochure!
Ian Furbank
June 30, 2011

Review of 2016 from Travel With Jules
December 27, 2016

Pageantry at The Palio!
August 26, 2016

Date with a Dragon!
February 17, 2016

Why you benefit from booking with a specialist travel planner!
January 17, 2016

It’s all your fault ….! (Part 1)
July 30, 2015

It’s all your fault ….! Part 2
July 27, 2015

Update from British Airways
April 3, 2017

Terminal changes at London Gatwick
December 23, 2016

New flights from Stansted!
September 21, 2016

Internet bookings often go wrong!
October 17, 2016

Travel With Jules New Office!
February 29, 2016

Don’t get caught out by holiday fraud – book with us!
July 17, 2016

What does Brexit mean for travel?
June 24, 2016

ZIKA Virus Travel News
January 26, 2016

We are working with Naturetrek!
January 14, 2016

Venice Simplon Orient Express

The Venice Simplon Orient Express train is the ultimate in romance and nostalgia for the rail traveller!

Cooking Holidays to Italy – Al Vecchio

An authentic owner run Italian restaurant, hotel and cooking school in Emilia Romagna. Al Vecchio Convento runs cookery and language courses, painting and truffle hunting.

Luxury Sports Car Holidays in Italy

Drive your own Luxury Ferrari through stunning scenery of Italy, stay in top hotels, experience the ultimate Gran Turismo experience.

Painting Holidays

Do you love painting? How about joining a small, friendly group dedicated to creating inspiring paintings with something to suit everyone.

Singing Holidays!

Joining a small, friendly group dedicated to creating inspiring singing holidays could be just the thing to make your soul sing!

La Fenice in Venice

A cultural trip to Venice including three guided walking tours including the Accademia, the 'National Gallery of Venice' and important churches. The highlight is a visit to La Fenice to see an opera.

Amalfi Coast Walking Holiday

Small group walking holiday to the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Rural villages, coastal towns & Roman sights.

Volcanoes of Sicily

A week of walking and sightseeing on Sicily and Aeolian Archipelago. Trek on live volcanoes and enjoy fabulous food and wine.

Cycling Dolomites to Venice

A wonderful week cycling from the high Dolomite mountains, ferry on Lake Garda, to Verona and cycle to Venice.

Motor Sport – Formula 1 Grand Prix Holidays

Motor Sport Formula 1 Grand Prix races travel around the world between March and November. Combine these sporting events with a holiday in far flung places or close to home in Europe. Hotels, flights and hospitality can be included.

Tastes of Tuscany

All around Tuscany vinyards and olive groves abound and there are some really special local bistros, agritourismos, festivals and trattorias where you can experience the local cuisine of Tuscany.

Classic Tuscany

A week in Tuscany to enjoy the sights and tastes of this beautiful part of Italy with expert tour guides, staying in a lovely medieval village in the hills of Chianti country.

Christmas Markets

Spices & sweets, mulled wine and twinkling lights .... Festive Christmas Markets light up the streets of Europe's capital cities from late November. Travel by rail, air or coach to a huge selection of fabulous destinations for a magical Christmas shopping experience!

Mont Blanc Walking Circuit

A group walking holiday around the Mont Blanc Circuit of the Alps in France, Switzerland and Italy, based for 7 nights in a chalet in Chamonix Valley. Moderate walking challenge taking in beautiful scenery.