Have you already walked the Colosseum walls in Rome, experienced a gondola ride along the canals in Venice and had your photo taken holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
If so, you might be looking for something a bit different on your next holiday to Italy. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite unusual excursions – slightly quirky (but seriously cool) tours and experiences not to be missed on your next trip.
Wine tasting with a splash of painting
We are always on the lookout for new and exciting experiences. This year, we’ve got a great new one in Florence which involves wine tasting and painting. Painting while slightly intoxicated might sound like a recipe for disaster, but it combines two of Italy’s passions, which is why we love it. You’ll sip on a glass of Tuscan wine while channelling your inner Michelangelo, with tips and encouragement from a local artist as you go. You can take home your finished masterpiece, as well as your new-found wine knowledge.
Vintage Fiat 500 tour
You might be familiar with Tuscany self-drives – hiring a car and motoring across Tuscany’s rolling hills. But how about exploring the Tuscany countryside in an authentic vintage Fiat 500? These classic Italian cars only reach around 50 kilometres per hour, so although it’s definitely not all about the speed, you’ll be in for a great adventure. Stop at hilltop villages, local wineries or just to simply admire your surroundings. Don’t forget to put on your Italian radio for a true authentic feel!
Me, myself and I
In a number of Italy’s top destinations, there is the opportunity to hire a private guide. We can organise someone to take you round for the day, giving you top tips and insider secrets to some of the world’s most renowned sites, as well as showing you a hidden gem or two.
While in Rome, if you have climbed the Spanish Steps and thrown a coin in the Trevi Fountain, we can organise a tour to some of the areas you might not normally have thought of visiting. Why not spend an afternoon being shown around the charming Trastevere neighbourhood, with its gorgeous piazzas, palaces, churches and gardens? Plenty of restaurants and trattorie line its maze of cobbled streets – you can ask your guide for a few local recommendations on your way round.
A visit to Pompeii with a twist
This excursion is great for those looking for an ancient adventure. Your first stop is Pompeii, the village that lay buried under lava and ash for hundreds of years after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. Once you have visited fascinating Pompeii and learnt all about its tragic past, your excursion takes you to the volcano that buried it: Mount Vesuvius. Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe and dominates the coastline of the Neapolitan Riviera. This memorable experience allows you to head right up to the edge of the volcano and peer into the crater. Ssshhh – be careful not to wake the sleeping beast.
“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse…”
Films buffs will love walking in the footsteps of (in our opinion) one of the most legendary movie trilogies of all time, The Godfather. Many of the film’s scenes were shot on the gorgeous island of Sicily. On this movie-themed tour, you’ll recognise sites such as the village of Savoca and Forza D’Argo. More importantly, real Godfather fans will love seeing the exact spots where Michael and Apollonia’s relationship came alive – for example, the table where Michael asks Apollonia’s father for her hand in marriage in Bar Vitelli, and the church where they said their vows.
Godfather fan or not, the tour is a wonderful way to explore some of Sicily’s off-the-beaten track villages, as well as getting to the see some of the best bits of the town of Taormina.
It’s back to school for this excursion – only this time, your school is set in ancient Rome and your classes will focus on training you to be a gladiator. The knowledgeable trainers will tell you everything about what life was like as a gladiator, plus you’ll be able to see weaponry and armour used in the Roman times. The best bit? You’ll be taught to fight like a gladiator with hand-to-hand combat training and discover what it would have been like in Ancient Rome (dressed like a gladiator, of course). This excursion is not just for kids – adults will love it just as much (if not more).