After twelve years of traversing many of the twenty regions of Italy, I know there is so much more to discover and many more years of exciting adventures. There is something unusual, something wonderful, something unexpected around every corner. I have loved Italy from day one. Every time I return, I know why.
In the words of Frances Mayes, “In Italy you can find the place that corresponds to your soul more easily than any other place in the world.”
Ciao Italy Tours are designed to capture the true essence of Italy so that you feel totally immersed in local culture. The days are leisurely paced, but filled with different adventures for you to experience Italy as a traveller, not as a tourist. This is an Italy that will tug at your heartstrings.
Like most stories, it began with an idea in 2008 . . . to create an exclusive travel adventure for a small group of like minded people who enjoyed being active, had a passion for wandering Italy and wanted a truly authentic experience.
Planning a trip to Italy with the internet and guide book may not have you walking a hidden path without a tourist in sight; eating glorious food in a tucked away cobblestone alleyway or engaging with locals in the daily rituals of Italian life.
Groups are small with no more than 12 people – perfect if you are a solo traveller, a couple or a few friends seeking an unforgettable adventure in Italy.
We wander narrow, winding streets in walled medieval hilltop towns, order cappuccino Italian style (al banco), explore outdoor markets, discover artisans working in tiny shops, are spellbound by thousands of years of history, walk ancient, awe inspiring trails and eat simple, delicious food amidst loud Italian families.
Meticulous planning and research goes into every trip to ensure you are getting a perfect balance of local experiences and time to wander and explore at your own pace. Not too structured because often the most treasured memory will be something unplanned and totally spontaneous!
It is a passionate, intimate, authentic journey, allowing you to experience Italy from a local perspective.
Groups are small with an average of 10 and a maximum of 12. We visit and stay in small, quintessential hilltop towns, eat in tiny trattorie where the locals eat, explore places off the tourist grid on foot, in a wooden boat, on a bicycle or on a vespa behind a driver/guide.
A three night minimum in most places is the difference between experiencing a place or seeing a place.
Twelve years of organising and guiding tours through Italy, including time spent in Italian Language School in Tuscany.
Everything is booked directly including accommodation, private transfers, tours and places to eat.
Not too structured with the perfect balance of organised local adventures, choices of special interest activities and free time for wandering and exploring.
Accommodation in historical, often family owned 3-4 star boutique hotels and villas centrally located in the centro historico, town piazza, lake edge or seaside.
Research is a continual journey, sourcing the best local places to eat, drink and shop where artisans are at work in their small shops, as well as new places and tiny towns off the tourist radar.
Walks on ancient, hidden trails with rarely a tourist in sight.
Recommendations and assistance with booking flights and travel insurance.
Deb took us to many amazing little out of the way places as well as many of the 'must sees'. She knew all the great little cafes, bars, restaurants and sights that were off the normal tourist grid. This made the experience an authentic and truly memorable one. Unlike many tours there was plenty of flexibility in the itinerary to do your own thing and explore on your own terms. I thoroughly recommend anyone who wants the real Italian experience to travel with Deb. Buonissima!
What an incredible time we had on our first trip to Italy. From day one we were blown away. We loved all the little, hidden towns on the Tuscany tour and had enough time everywhere to create indelible memories. After being home for three months, we planned our next tour with Deb which was the Amalfi Coast and Sicily. Again, Deb gave us the best holiday ever as she puts 100% into it. We would return to Italy in a heartbeat to join another Ciao Italy tour.
Deb’s passion and enthusiasm for all things Italian means everyone in her small groups, either seasoned or first time novices, receive an amazingly well researched experience in Italy. Deb loves ‘the scene behind the scenes” and introduces her travellers to places in Italy generally only seen by locals. Our first tour was in 2019 and now we can’t wait to return to Italy for our next slice of la vita bella with Ciao Italy Tours.
“Loved your quirkiness and sense of adventure. Every day was filled with delightfully unexpected morsels of great food, laughter and FUN! The walks were sensational and challenging and I loved every minute!! Thanks, Deb, for helping me to fall in love with Italy all over again.”
Discover Italy like a local. That’s the experience you get on Deb’s tours. The small group is perfect for eating at hidden cafes and bars known only to locals and seeing places you’d never find on your own. We loved the flexibility of options every day to appeal to individual interests. Two tours so far with Deb and we’re keen to go again.
It was my first time and now I’m hooked! Two tours with Deb gave me total immersion into the Italian way of life. Loved it all. The small villages, culture, food, history, different adventures every day, our fantastic accommodation. Can’t wait for my next Italian adventure with Ciao Italy Tours.
Deb’s knowledge, planning and energy are what I love most. Small groups and great interaction with people happy to share this authentic taste of Italy. Do yourself a favour and experience this sensational country with Deb – you’ll be sorry if you don’t.
“What an incredible holiday you created for us. Your delightful enthusiasm was contagious! I could never have found all the beautiful walks in stunning out of the way places that you took us on. So much fun. Best holiday ever!”
“Deb’s energy and enthusiasm, along with her research and local knowledge, make her personalised tours absolutely stress free and totally enjoyable. The Hotel or Villa accommodation was always in wonderful positions. Consider it a treat in store to travel with Deb.”
Wow! I love Deb's tours so much I have done six. Every trip has been an amazing experience full of unexpected delights. Deb is so passionate about putting together an Italian adventure that will literally change your life forever. I know I will go again and continue my love affair with Italy!