Florence, Tuscany & the Italian Riviera with Gail Hinkley

9 days
Slow down and learn the true meaning of la dolce vita as you explore three of Italy’s most inviting destinations. Walk in the footsteps of Michelangelo and Dante in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and take in Tuscany’s iconic red rooftops and green hills. Then, make your way to the sunny, colorful shores of the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

On this guided tour, you'll walk for about 2.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Overnight flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Florence today.

Florence 4 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Florence

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Italy! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

With a local as your guide, get to know Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, as you make your way through the UNESCO-recognized historic center.

• View the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Step inside the Basilica of Santa Croce, burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo

• See the medieval Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, the center of Florentine life

This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the city on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Fiesole Villa Dinner $95pp* Details

Head just outside Florence to Fiesole, a historic Tuscan town perched on a hill overlooking the Renaissance city. Tonight’s dinner is set in a picturesque villa with panoramic views of the city below. Start your evening with an aperitif and then enjoy a refined Italian dinner with local wine.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Day 4: Free day in Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day to explore Florence on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - The Leaning Tower of Pisa $79pp* Details

Travel through the Tuscan countryside for a visit to Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles). You'll see the famed Leaning Tower and enjoy a tour of the adjacent cathedral and the Baptistery of St. John.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Optional Excursion - Tuscan Cooking Class & Dinner $95pp* Details

This evening, learn how to make a traditional Tuscan meal under the direction of expert local chefs. Craft authentic pici, a thick, hand-rolled pasta, two kinds of bruschetta and tiramisu. Then, pair your creations with wine for a delicious dinner you’ll enjoy with the group. Please note: Depending on the size of the group, the class may be divided into two shifts.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Day 5: Free day in Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend another free day exploring the city or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns $109pp* Details

Discover the essence of Tuscany on a full-day excursion. In Siena, a local guide introduces you to the town and its black-and-white marble duomo, where you’ll find brilliantly colored 16th-century frescoes in the Piccolomini Library. You’ll have some free time to explore the Campo, the square that serves as the center of civic life in Siena. Then, journey through the countryside to the town of San Gimignano, where you’ll have some free time to explore the city’s medieval towers or simply admire the Tuscan hills. Later, you’ll head to a nearby vineyard, where an included wine tasting awaits. Please note: This excursion involves moderate walking.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Italian Riviera 3 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Italian Riviera via Lucca

  Included meals: Breakfast

Known for its Renaissance-era walls, the town of Lucca sits in the heart of Tuscany. You’ll get to know it on a guided tour. 

• Walk along a section of the city’s walls and learn about their illustrious history

• Take in impressive views of the classic red-tiled rooftops, medieval churches, and swathe of cypress trees below

• Descend into the center of town to view the Palazzo Pfanner, Guinigi Tower, and Basilica of San Frediano

• Enter San Martino Cathedral and San Michel in Foro, a basilica known for its intricately inlaid facade

This afternoon, continue to the Italian Riviera.

Day 7: Cinque Terre

  Included meals: Breakfast

Clinging to the cliffs of the Riviera coastline sits Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site that encompasses five very distinct villages. Get a taste for their unique flavors as you explore the peaceful promenades of Monterosso and Vernazza, making your way between each village by boat (or by train in inclement weather).

Day 8: Free day in the Italian Riviera

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a full free day to explore the Italian Riviera on your own or add an excursion.

Later, join the rest of your group for a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Villages of the Italian Riviera & Lunch $85pp* Details

Villages of the Italian Riviera & Lunch

Drive through the countryside to Sestri Levante, a beautiful seaside village located on the Italian Riviera. Here, you’ll have free time to explore on your own before setting out on a walk along the coastline to Baia delle Silenzio, one of the city's sparkling azure bays. Enjoy stunning bayside views while eating a delicious lunch of local seafood and meat specialties paired with regional wine. Then, stroll through the village castle gardens and take in views of both Baia delle Silenzio and another bay known as Baia delle Favole. Next, make your way to the breathtaking village of Portofino. Artists and celebrities alike flock to this celebrated destination, and you’ll enjoy free time for shopping or relaxing while admiring the picturesque vistas or the harbor. Please note: This excursion involves a moderate amount of walking.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 9: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the Genoa airport for your flight home or continue your trip to explore Lake Como.

Add Lake Como Starting from $449 pp


Lake Como 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Transfer to Lake Como

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head north to beautiful Lake Como, located in the foothills of the Alps, where your Tour Director introduces you to the waterfront city of Como.

• See Como’s eclectic architecture, glittering lakefront and mountain scenery

• View Como Cathedral, one of the last Gothic cathedrals built in Italy

Day 10: Free day in Lake Como

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in the Lake Como area or add an excursion.

This evening, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

Optional Excursion - Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio $85pp* Details

Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio

Hop aboard a scenic cruise of Lake Como to soak in some of Italy’s most beautiful estates and gardens. Float past charming lakeside towns to Bellagio, a village whose scenery has inspired poets and young lovers for centuries. You’ll have time to take in Bellagio’s classic beauty before heading to a local restaurant, where you’ll sample cuisine from a carefully chosen menu. Please note: Your included meal may be lunch or dinner. This excursion is seasonal and runs March through October. The departure time varies by season.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the Milan airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Florence, Italy
  • Genoa, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.  

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Florence and depart from Genoa (or Milan Malpensa on the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted. 
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance. 
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).


  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Italy. 
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.


  • Tuscany is world-famous for its wine, oil, sauces, and pasta. Menus favor subtle, lighter pastas and desserts made with nuts, fruit, and honey. Try a dish featuring the region’s Chianina beef, perhaps the most prized breed of cattle in all of Italy. For wine, popular Tuscan reds include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which are primarily made from the Sangiovese grape. Well-known white wines are also made around the San Gimignano region.
  • On the Italian Riviera, a taste of the region's famous basil pesto is a must. Luscious seafood dishes are popular along the shore, but true Ligurians favor simple, traditional recipes like minestrone soup and farinata, an unleavened chickpea pancake.
  • For more authentic meals, try trattorias, small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like grappa or limoncello

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, F, or L plugs with two or three small, round pins. 
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.  
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed. 


  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET). 
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.


  • You will use the euro on this tour. 
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.


  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour. 
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

Museums in Florence

  • If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. See uffizi.org for the Uffizi Gallery or accademia.org for the Accademia Gallery. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate you understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/16/2017

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Trip

What a wonderful trip! Chiara was AWESOME. Everything went as planned and it was just absolutely everything and more that I had expected. This was my first trip to Italy and it was fabulous.


Hi Roberta! We're thrilled to hear that everything exceeded your expectations! We hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | March 29, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/16/2017

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Florenze and more

The tour was just what we prefer when traveling to Europe. The 4 days in Florenze and the 3 days in Rapallo with side trips to Lucca and Portofino were evenly spaced with ample free time to really enjoy the people, surroundings and antiquity. Excellent tour.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 9/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: IN

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5


We felt that we were rushed through everything and didn't get to see what the highlights should have been. Like seeing the statue of David and getting to visit the tower of pisa for more than 45 minutes . Lake Como and Bellagio were the highlights. Do not take this tour if you have kidney issues.


Dear Cynthia, We are glad a member of our Quality Control team was able to speak with you about your experience. Although we regret that you felt rushed during certain points, we are pleased that you enjoyed many aspects of your tour, such as visiting Como. Regarding health conditions, travelers with various conditions safely and comfortably travel with Go Ahead on a regular basis. However, it is up to the traveler to disclose this information to Go Ahead, so that we may prepare and advise said traveler on how to proceed on tour, as well as what to expect. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, and we hope you will reach out to us with any further questions or concerns. You can reach our team at 1-800-597-0350.

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | October 03, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 5/12/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: LA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best food!

This tour exceeded my expectations , especially in the food department. I have never taken a tour where the food was this good. There was nothing on this tour that I did not enjoy eating. The hotel accommodations were excellent! We stayed in three separate hotels that were truly 5 star. I would with out a doubt recommend this tour to all interested in a tour of northern Italy.


Hi Mary! We're thrilled to hear this tour exceeded your expectations. We're so glad you enjoyed the food and accommodations. Thank you for your recommendation, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | June 14, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 5/5/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Loving Florence

The best experience was a stay in Florence with time to tour the City of Florence. Discovering San Gimignano, Siena & Lucca. Beautiful old medieval cities with lots of charm. The leaning Tower of Pisa was fascinating but the surrounding area was too touristy with trinket stands & very aggressive street peddlers. Rapallo & the Italian Riviera was fascinating.


Hi Louise! We’re so glad you enjoyed Florence, Tuscany & the Italian Riviera. It sounds like you were able to soak up the wonders and charms of this part of the world, and we’re happy to hear it. We appreciate your feedback regarding the surrounding area of The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Because this is a major tourist attraction, it may appear more touristy than some other places on this itinerary. We will be sure to pass along your sentiments to our Product Development team for further evaluation. We thank you for sharing your experience, and we look forward to welcoming you on tour again!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | June 03, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/17/2016

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful tour!

Wonderful tour! The itinerary of this wonderful tour is a nice combination of the somewhat hectic abundance of beauty in the art and architecture of Florence and the more relaxed picturesque scenery of the Cinque Terre and Italian Riviera. Hotels were fine, and food and wine were of course delightful everywhere. Our tour director, Sabra Amerio, is a pro! She was enthusiastically knowledgeable about the history, culture, and significance of every place we visited. And she was just as helpful with the daily practicalities of making everything work smoothly, including adjustments to the itinerary along the way to make the tour even more pleasant and successful. I don’t know when she rested. We really enjoyed this terrific tour.

1 / 4

Hi Charlie! We’re happy you enjoyed your tour and that you were able to bask in the picturesque scenery of Florence, Tuscany, and the Italian Riviera. We’re also pleased to learn that your Tour Director left a wonderful impression on you and contributed to the success of your trip. It sounds like she did a great job coordinating everything! Thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon.

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | April 18, 2016