In the history of the classic “Grand Tour” of Europe, Italy was a must for any traveler’s itinerary. For many, it was the top destination, with several months spent exploring the peninsula from north to south. Today’s travelers might not have several months to spare, but with a well-organized itinerary and knowledgeable guides, it’s still possible to fully experience Italy’s history, culture and food.

Most first-timers to Italy will surely include Italy’s greatest hits: Rome, Florence and Venice, but a Grand Tour doesn’t stop there. Between those cultural powerhouse cities, there is the idyllic countryside of Tuscany, the medieval villages of Umbria and the romantic towns of Veneto, for example.

Of course if you take part of our Grand Tour of Italy we’ll take care of all the details for you, but first-time visitors can read our guide with everything you can expect while touring through Italy.

The Grand Tour of Italy Destinations

Where to go and what to see on your first-ever grand tour trip to Italy.

The colosseum in Rome, a perfect destination on a grand tour of Italy
The tradition of a Grand Tour in Italy always calls for a stop in Rome! Image by Alexander Naumann from Pixabay

The best trips to Italy have the perfect mix of culture and relaxation, culinary experiences and outdoor activities, and they all have a full immersion into the beauty of the Bel Paese!

Ciao Andiamo has launched its Grand Tour of Italy with the best of what Italy offers, from the big hits to the smaller town charm of Padua, Orvieto, Assisi and Verona. 


The Top 3 Destinations for First-Time Visitors to Italy

The Duomo of Florence is a must-see for a first time visitor to Italy!
Along with the Colosseum in Rome and the canals of Venice, The Duomo of Florence is a must-see for a first time visitor to Italy! Image by Andrea Spallanzani from Pixabay

The capital of Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and the most famous city on water in the world. There’s a reason that Rome, Florence, and Venice are must-see destinations, and they should be for first-time visitors to Italy as well! These big hitters are filled with 2,000 years of history and culture to explore and experience.

Read more about what to see and do in these classic cities at our Guide of Italy’s Greatest Hits for First Time Visitors.

What to Do in Tuscany

The Tuscan countryside is filled with gems to explore, like beautiful Siena. Image by BÙI VĂN HỒNG PHÚC from Pixabay

There’s plenty to see between Florence and Siena, but a trip to Tuscany is hardly complete without a vineyard tour!

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage city center of Siena. Home of the infamous Palio race, the massive Torre di Mangia with spectacular views over the Tuscan countryside and the beautiful Duomo complex, tiny Siena packs a big punch.

After, get into the Tuscan countryside to taste your way through the super Tuscans at ground zero. The long history of winemaking and beautiful rolling hillsides of Chianti and the valleys surrounding Siena are the perfect location to learn about the history of Tuscany’s wine culture and taste some local snacks!

What to See in Umbria

a close up of the cathedral of Orvieto to show it's beauty
The Cathedral of Orvieto is a masterpiece that merits a visit on a tour of Italy. Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Filled with unique, medieval towns to explore, the scenery, food and lifestyle combine to make the perfect vacation atmosphere. Here’s what to see while you’re there:

Visit Orvieto. The entire town is built atop a volcanic tuff cliff, with the 14th-century cathedral towering above while the wine cellars and infamous double-helix well of St. Patrick are dug into the soft rock below. 

Travel to Perugia, Umbria’s largest city and the capital of the region. Home to the oldest university in the region, Perugia’s small city center packs a big personality.

Deep dive into Italy’s religious roots in Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi and home to the massive two-level basilica dedicated to the patron saint. One of the best-preserved medieval cities in Italy, the entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Between these towns and even smaller hamlets, like beautiful Spello, there’s a wealth of charm to explore in verdant Umbria.

No matter where you go in the region, visit Umbria in style with our Guide to the Green Heart of Italy


Where to Go in Veneto

First-timers to Italy should include Verona to their itinerary to add even more romance to their Grand Tour of Italy itinerary

Moving north, visit the romance and long-lost power of Verona. The setting of Romeo and Juliet, travelers can still visit Juliet’s balcony and take a picture with her much-frequented statue, but that’s not all Verona has to offer. Admire the impressive frescoes of the houses in Piazza delle Erbe and the 1st-century Arena, a predecessor to Rome’s Colosseum that is still used for operas and concerts today. Read on to learn about how to see an opera in the Verona Arena.

Traveling from Verona to Venice, stop in small Padua, a university town and home to the Scrovegni Chapel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its 14th-century frescoes by Giotto, in particular the Last Judgement and its vibrant blue sky.


How to Travel in Italy

When in Rome, do as the Romans do! Here are the top tips you need to know if you want to travel in Italy with ease.


Order Coffee like an Italian

coffee in Italy

No matter where you go in Italy, authentic Italian coffee is just around the corner. A glimpse into Italy’s culture and identity, Caffè Italiano revolves solely around espresso and the different ways it can be served.

Be prepared at the bar with our in-depth Italian Coffee guide.


Navigate Like a Local

Though a first-time visitor rarely feels like a local, there are some ways that a visitor can look and act more like a local. After all, when in Rome….

From eating to language to tipping, here are some pro tips to help you feel right at home when traveling in Italy.


What to Pack for Your First Time to Italy

Italians have a reputation for good style. And though it might feel intimidating, with a bit of attention, anyone can make a bella figura when traveling in Italy.

Packing for Italy means a simple but elegant style. We suggest you use light fabrics for the summer, dress in layers for the shoulder seasons and bring smart, but polished footwear. And when in doubt, a comfortable sundress, linen pants and sunglasses will get you far.

Get the full list of what to pack for your Italian vacation here.

Summer in the Mediterranean is hot! Pack accordingly to feel cool, calm and collected on your Italy tour. Image by LUM3N from Pixabay

Relax knowing every detail of travel is taken care of while you experience the best of what Italy has to offer on Ciao Andiamo’s Grand Tour of Italy. Click here to book!

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