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Luxury in Italy without the crowds

Italy is experiencing a boom in overseas visitors. Many of the key cities say they are overwhelmed with visitors, with huge queues at many of the big attractions.  Demand for travel to Italy is higher than ever and Italy’s tourist board has just announced that visitor numbers to Italy in 2024 are expected to exceed those of 2023, which saw a record 13 million overnight stays- double the number of 2022.

Travel service Tourist Italy is launching a raft of unique tours designed to help you explore Italy without the crowds and to experience Italy in a very different way. The tours take you to the regular spots, but in a way that makes them more accessible. The tours take  place outside of the usual times when the large crowds arrive, for example, the Sunrise tour departs earlier than any other tour making sure you arrive in these iconic cities before the crowds – also a magical time to experience the beauty of Italy. 

Tourist Italy also offers tours to unexplored parts of the country, such as rural Tuscany and to farms and factories that are exclusive to Tourist Italy. They also offer tours that focus on lesser known cities like the historic Lucca, which encapsulates the culture, heritage, and architecture of Italy but is less known and therefore less busy.  Tourist Italy’s tours are also perfect for second time visitors to Italy, as they offer a new and unique way to explore the country.

The Tuscan Olive Oil and Winery Tour

This tour will introduce you to a side of Tuscany that most tourists don’t get a chance to see, taking you to the source of some of Tuscany’s most exceptional local food and drink producers in the midst of the Tuscan countryside, allowing you to foster a genuine appreciation for the region’s distinctive local products. The tour includes a visit to a historic family-owned Tuscan olive oil producer where you will have the opportunity to step into a historic olive press and learn about the production of olive oil tracing the journey of olives from deleafing to crushing, filtering, and bottling. The tour then takes you to the beautiful Tuscan hill village of Fiesole with its stunning views over Florence, before heading off to one of Italy’s centuries-old wineries for a tour and tasting session and the chance to see the extensive collection of wines spanning various harvests.

The Tuscan Olive Oil and Winery Tour is ideal for anyone looking to discover the real Tuscany and meet local farmers and producers who are not normally available to the public. The tour costs 99 euros pp.  Running Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuscany at Sunrise: San Gimignano, Lucca and Pisa from Florence.

Discover the essence of Tuscany’s beauty and escape the crowds on this very special sunrise tour from Florence. The tour leaves Florence at daybreak when the city is still beautifully calm. You will then travel to the famous medieval hill town of San Gimignano. The journey unfolds with picturesque photo stops of sunrise over the rolling hills of Tuscany for that ideal shot for the Gram – before everyone else arrives. In San Gimignano, an expert guide from Tourist Italy will lead you through the cobbled streets, unveiling the secrets of this historic town, from the soaring Torre Grossa to the charming Piazza della Cisterna. A short drive will take you then to beautiful Pisa, where you will learn about the Leaning Tower and other architectural marvels. Then, after free time for exploration and a mouth-watering Tuscan lunch, it’s on to the medieval showstopper of a town, Lucca, one of Italy’s true gems – known as ‘the town of a hundred churches. Delve into these towns like a true local and experience sunrise over the Tuscan landscapes and the exploration of these iconic towns without the crowds. Prices from 99 euros pp.

Accommodation on Tourist Italy tours can be varied to suit your needs, from simple guest houses, such as the one starred Casa Bertagni in Bologna, to the beautiful five-star Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice. And if you want a personalised itinerary, the experts at Tourist Italy can create a Private Tour especially for you – a bespoke trip designed with handpicked hotels, restaurants and local guides and experiences to ensure your trip will provide a unique and unforgettable experience at great price points.  

Tourist Italy is an exciting new travel service that launched May 2023 to visitors from around the world. The go-to travel hub for all things Italian, the service is perfect for solo travellers looking for a day tour cultural deep dive into Italy, a couple looking for a luxurious romantic Italian break, or a family or group of friends searching for the ultimate Italian package tour.  Whatever your travel needs are, the experts at Tourist Italy have created a one-stop shop full of unique adventures that can be tailored to fit any budget, as well as a useful library of information accessible online.  

‘Travel with Passion’ is Tourist Italy’s philosophy and every tour, package, hotel, or itinerary that Tourist Italy offers is carefully considered to provide not only the bucket list locations but an immersive cultural experience. Tours range from single day tours to longer 10–13-day package trips for all areas of Italy including Tuscany, Rome and Florence but also to Milan, Naples, Sicily, The Amalfi Coast and Venice.

Founder Ben Julius says, ‘With Tourist Italy we are redefining the traditional tour or package operator. With a background that fuses tourism experience with technology, we are able to do things differently. We want to provide visitors to Italy with the best possible experience and work with like-minded individuals throughout – those who share our belief that travel is about more than just ticking a list of boxes, but is a time of discovery, experiences, and personal memories.’  

Tourist Italy has over 400 itineraries to choose from.  From a simple one-day tour such as a historical escape to explore the ancient ruins of Pompei, or for foodies, a one-day tour in Tuscany where you will be welcomed at an organic, family-operated winery for a lavish banquet of homemade pasta, artisanal cured meats, regional cheeses and Tuscan biscotti with an informal wine tasting session.  The perfect way to experience the gastronomic delights of Italy if you are short of time.

Tourist Italy is part of Tourist Journey – a trusted travel service with over 150,000 users currently per year. The company was launched by travel and technology expert Ben Julius in 2008. Tourist Journey’s team of experts are equipped with endless curiosity and passion for content, quality, and authenticity and teamed up with talented guides and local experts to craft unique tours and experiences that speak to the global traveller.  Tourist Journey also receive a yearly Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and has been featured widely in the media including the New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg and the Independent.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. Luxury without the crowds. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

    Unfortunately it isn’t always easy to find. Good to know that there are some travel experts on the job for us. I’m always up for a flight to Italy.

  2. That increase on overnight stays from 2022 to a record number for 2023 suggests that the travel industry has roared back on full throttle after the desperate COVID years.

  3. Although getting out of bed for a sunrise tour can be a challenge when I have made the effort it is worth it to escape the crowds.

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