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Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

westfield, nj
Level Contributor
320 posts
303 reviews
Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

My wife and I are planning a trip to Italy of 10-12 days 31 years after our honeymoon there.

We want to eat dinners on our own, which rules out many tours, but would consider tour companies if they save you money on good hotels and/or are much more convenient than lugging 3 suitcases on and off taxis and trains.

We will appreciate advice.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
87 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

My advice.....pack very light and do it yourself! I've taken my family of five (myself, my husband and 3 children) for two weeks at a time in Europe several times, and we are each allowed one backpack....no more.

Go where you want, see what you like, don't depend on a tour! Rent an apartment with a washing machine or wash your clothes in the sink.....that's the secret to packing light. Using a backpack requires no lugging of three suitcases.

Travel light and have fun!

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
Level Contributor
9,363 posts
166 reviews
2. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

Some small group tours stay in good, central hotels but they are very expensive. An example is here.


I would be very wary of that website's claim that 'Trip Advisor rank us highly' - the link takes you to a forum post from a one-time poster who has posted nothing since and was probably solicited for his praise.

Edited: 01 May 2016, 03:48
westfield, nj
Level Contributor
320 posts
303 reviews
3. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?


West Palm Beach...
Level Contributor
687 posts
24 reviews
4. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

It depends on how many cities you want to go to in 10-12 days. We prefer independent travel (have only gone on 2 escorted tours to areas we thought difficult to navigate independently). It's nice to have the freedom of movement and travel at your own pace. It is easy to take trains between cities.

British Columbia...
Level Contributor
400 posts
29 reviews
5. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

My husband and I ..in our late sixties..are in Italy on our first trip to Europe. We thought about a tour but decided to do it on our own. SO glad..the thought of being herded around following a leader holding a silly "stick"..is awful ...at least to us..but to each their own. There is lots of planning to do it on your own..but so fun and worth it. Whatever you do you will love Italy

Level Contributor
118 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

Check out into Untours. They provide a structure and some deals.

You don't need three suitcases for two people.

Edited: 01 May 2016, 17:43
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
40,169 posts
18 reviews
7. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

Italy is a very easy country to see on your own without an escorted tour. Read through the forums for different cities to get an idea for planning. You may see that it will not only save you money but will allow you to visit exactly what you want, when you want.


r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
9,294 posts
1 review
8. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

this is how I see tours.

1. they take the guess work out of travel.

2. they charge you for taking the guess work out of travel

3. you are on their schedule

4. you go where they go

if that's what you want, the go for the tours.

now with that said, I will take a tour when.

1. they are going where I want to go.

2. I don't care to drive there or here so guess what I will do....#1

good luck.

Level Contributor
3,247 posts
102 reviews
9. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

Italy is a very easy country to maneuver around on your own. Trains are the best way to travel between cities and as long as you pack well (one rolling piece of luggage and a bag each), it is really easy to get around. Yes, independent travel requires more research as your plans are entirely up to you but a good guide book and some online research should help.

Edited: 01 May 2016, 19:04
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
37,153 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: Are Organized Tours of Italy Worthwhile?

I agree with #8 - I've taken many tours to Italy, but never covering the whole country in one tour: I often do city tours on my own and "travelling around" ones with a group, in particular for transport reasons. But then my situation is different from yours: travelling alone, I like having dinner, at least, with the group as it allows me to eat in restaurants I probably wouldn't have gone into on my own.

In fact I've only ever encountered one organised tour which didn't always involve group meals, and that was Tauck Tours (not in Italy!). Although even with groups, you sometimes get people who go off on their own despite a group meal being laid on, because it (or maybe the group) didn't meet their standards and they didn't mind paying again to eat separately. Of course nobody will force you to join in if you don't want to, as long as you don't expect any deduction from the price... That goes for excursions too, at least when they aren't part of the transport to the next place in the itinerary. I've often taken the odd morning or afternoon "off" and I also frequently join groups on the spot, doing my own thing before and/or after the organised part of the tour. That way I feel I get the best of both worlds.