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"The Italian Government Tourist Board is featuring Italia Much More as its theme this year," says the ENIT director for Canada. The Italy promotion appeals to families, middle-aged and youth visitors to Italy.

Helping the Italian tourist office, with Italy travel packages that meet ethical travel industry standards, are tour operators belonging to the Canadian Travel Council Promoting Italy. CTCPI is a non-profit organization comprised of Globus, ALBATours, Sunquest, Arts & Leisure Tours / Travel with Flair, Insight Vacations, Kompas Express and Contiki Holidays.

CTCPI Italy trips include student tours, escorted vacation packages, culinary vacations, cruise holidays, tailored independent travel, Mediterranean cruises, hotels in Italy and guided trips to Venice, Rome, Florence, Siena and other Italian cities.

Student tours

Contiki offers affordable Italy trips for students and travelers who are 18 to 35 years old. The tour operator also combines Italy holidays with trips to other European countries.

Simply Italy is the most popular Contiki package. Participants visit Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Florence, La Spezia, Monterosso, Portovenere, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Milan, Sirmione, Lake Garda, Venice, Bologna, Rome and Vatican City. The 13-day trip begins and ends in Rome and includes accommodations, hotel gratuities, local taxes, 11 breakfasts and six dinners, many tours, coach and ferry transportation and a tour guide.

Insight Vacations

With several escorted motorcoach tours to Italy, Insight Vacations packages range from an 11-day Best of Italy trip to a 17-day Country Roads of Italy vacation. Especially popular, is the 13-day Italian Elegance trip, which includes guided tours of Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Tuscany, Chianti, Siena, Verona, Venice, Ravenna, Cortina D'Ampezzo and Lugano.

Participants stay for three nights at Hotel Borgo San Luigi, a Tuscan villa, near the walled town of Monteriggione.

Insight Vacations Italy tours include quality hotels and restaurants, several guided excursions and personal insights, such as wine tutorials. On some tours, a Dine Around program allows participants to choose from a selection of restaurants for dining in Rome.

Guided holidays

Arts and Leisure Tours / Travel with Flair offers customized trips, Italy travel packages and escorted coach tours, with guaranteed departures that include Sicily, Southern Italy and Italian cities. One exclusive small group tour to Tuscany features a cooking lesson with a private chef.

A Cooking in Sicily package includes breakfasts, tastings of Sicilian marzipan and other local specialties, market visits and two cooking classes.

Travelers who want to arrange their own trips to Italy can book a la carte hotels in Rome, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Umbria, the Lake District, Milan, Liguria, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Sardinia and Sicily. The tour operator also offers Italy car rentals with all-inclusive rates. Arts and Leisure Tours / Travel with Flair brochure features a selection of accommodations in country homes and castles in Italy.

Luxury vacations

KOMPAS Express offers tailor-made unique trips to Italy for individuals and groups, such as the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Out-of-the-box itineraries from KOMPAS Express can focus on spas and wellness, culinary and wine tourism, nature, historic gardens and villas and active holidays.

KOMPASxlusive culture and language immersion programs are the most popular tours. Besides language lessons, customized trips can include orchestra and choral performances, opera and art tours. KOMPAS Express arranges private receptions in castles, monasteries and other venues with historical or architectural importance.

Globus Vacations

Italy travel packages from Globus include Monograms Independent Travel to Rome, Venice, Florence and Sorrento. Escorted vacations to Italy range from the 8-day Taste of Italy holiday to the 16-day Best of Italy and Sicily package.

The Globus brochure also describes winter trips to Italy, as well as religious vacation packages. The Grand Catholic Italy tour, for example, features several basilicas, the Vatican museums, Benedictine monasteries, Assisi and the shrine of Monte Sant'Angelo.

Discount flights to Italy

ALBATours sells bargain airfares to Italy, on Air Transat, departing from Toronto to Rome, Venice, Pescara and Lamezia. For cheap business class flights to Italy, passengers pay an additional fee for Club Class tickets.

Escorted coach tours include a 10-day Essence of Italian Art & Wine Country tour. Vacations can be land-only or land with air packages. Travellers can also book car rental in Italy with all-inclusive rates.

Italy cruises

Sunquest offers Mediterranean cruises on the MSC Poesia, MSC Musica, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida. Cruises depart from Rome, Venice and Naples, Italy.