View of Rome's Piazza del Popolo.
A grand tour of Italy is often high on the priority list of people who love to travel. For many, it is the appeal of historic locations, ancient architecture or the religious significance of the country. For others, the call of olive orchards, great cheese and a wealth of culinary choices provide the draw. Whatever the reason, Italy is a wonderful travel destination. For those planning a tour, this information will help you create an interesting, fun and memorable tour of Italy.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:
- Internet access is helpful
Guidebooks of Italy
- Internet access is helpful
- Guidebooks of Italy
Consider the individual needs or desires all parties. No matter the size of the tour group, each traveler has specific needs and expectations. Even couples should consider the other person's wishes when planning a tour of Italy. Take into consideration points such as varying interests, preferred destinations and preferred methods of travel. Travelers with disabilities or reduced mobility may limit some of your travel options and even alter your tour itinerary. Be sure to talk with each member of your group so you have a good understanding of issues to consider when creating your tour.
Determine the length of time for your tour. Although this seems like a simple step, it may not be as clear cut as one might imagine. For example, if you are planning a two-week tour, you will need to decide if travel time, to and from Italy, will be part of this time frame or not. Also, the time of year may limit activities in certain areas of the country, thus altering your plans. Use a simple, monthly calendar to map out the allotted time for your tour.
Decide on the area(s) to be included in the tour. Using the information gathered in the previous steps, sketch out a rough itinerary for your tour. This should include all travel time and locations on the route. Review this plan with your fellow travelers to get feedback and suggestions on the tour details. The length of time allotted for your tour may reduce the area you can cover or limit certain activities or destinations.
Investigate the details of your tour. Once you have a rough tour plan, investigate each part for possible issues related to weather, seasonal conflicts or travel limitations. Use the Internet to check out each attraction, tourist site, hotel and travel segment for possible trouble spots. Issues such as limited train service, seasonal closures, major events or public holidays can alter your itinerary or even eliminate some parts. Discuss any changes with all members of your tour and make appropriate updates.
Evaluate the financial aspects. With a firm itinerary on paper, the financial part of your tour should be the next consideration. Contact each transportation provider, hotel, attraction or destination for pricing and available options during your anticipated time frame. You may find limited availability or other issues that require more changes to your plan. Keep a good record of quotes, prices and any discounts you find during your search. Use this information to plan a financial spreadsheet of your tour costs. Convey this information to each member of your tour and verify that they agree with the costs and how they will be divided.
Plan the tour on paper. At this point, you should have a good understanding of your tour itinerary and details, which will allow you to create a firm tour plan. Plan each day, showing an hour-by-hour progression with travel times and other important appointments. Be sure to include hotel check-in and check-out times, train, plane or bus schedules, and any confirmed tour appointments.
Book the tour. You can now use your information to book the tour. Book each hotel, tour or travel segment and confirm details before making any payment. Be sure to get a written confirmation of your reservation and keep this information with your tour details.
Jeff O'Kelley is a professional photographer and writer, currently based in the Tampa, Florida area. His images and words have been featured by websites and publications such as CNN, Creative Loafing and Tampa Bay Times. O'Kelley holds associate degrees in telecommunications and website design from St. Petersburg College.