Italy is a land blessed by the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps and Apennines Mountain Ranges. As a result, It often finds its beautiful lands dominated by tourists. Many older adults visiting Italy have reached a point in their lives where they can travel limitlessly due to flexible schedules. Thus, early spring and autumn are the best times to visit.
Older adults find their leisure time can easily be filled with walking tours, bus tours or cruises that show off the wonders of the world. Also, tours can easily be booked through local tour operators, online and even hotel staff. Most Importantly, an advanced booking is often recommended since many of the tours in Italy are popular.
People over the age of 60 are traveling more than ever before, and being a senior citizen entitles you to some terrific travel bargains. In most Italian cities, people over 60 or 65 get reduced admission at theaters, museums, and other attractions, and you can often get discount fares or cards on public transportation. Thus, making it an even more affordable and rewarding experience. In addition, senior citizens can triple up with discounts, acquiring a discounted travel ticket, hotel stay, and tour package. In an entirely unquantifiable benefit of travel in Italy, seniors are most often treated as respected elders and not marginalized.
Escorted tours come in an eclectic array of themes for older adults. They include wine tasting lessons, Italian cooking lessons, deluxe spa packages, and city tours or cruises being the most popular. In addition, tours are available in shorter and longer versions providing flexibility for the traveller with limited energy or mobility. Therefore, walking tours conducted at a leisurely pace, treat visitors to a trip back in time, along authentic back streets of restored medieval villages.
Above all, Italy has so much to offer older adult and senior citizen travellers who are looking for an unforgettable and experiential adventure. Like, listening to the melodic notes of a musical performance streaming from a cathedral. The words of the Gregorian Chant of the monks coming from the windows of a historic monastery provides a delightful memory. In addition, sampling some of the best wines from northern Italy and tantalizing the taste buds even further with true authentic Italian cuisine gives pause to the realization of some of the true pleasures in life.
Shopping for true Italian products, visiting old historic places, relaxing in a beauty spa, and travelling from region to region, captures the heart of the sightseer and beckons them back for more. Enjoy the simplicity of the mountainous regions where evidence of past still exists in their way of life. And, revel in the nightlife and entertainment of Italy’s sophisticated cities where something is always happening. Visit Italy for the experience of a lifetime.
Popular destinations in Italy
The most popular destinations include Rome, Venice, Naples, and Florence. As a result, older adults traveling to those destinations will have the best period from April to June, in the low season, when summer is just beginning, or, in September and October, when the sun is not very strong. Since national holidays and summer tourism bring higher prices and crowds.
The Eternal City (Rome) is like one huge living museum where you’ll find ancient history and fascinating places behind every corner. It’s also a very lively city with lots of restaurants, cafés, and local markets that are heaving with activity. If you visit just one city in Italy, make it Rome! Not because it’s the largest city with the biggest population or because it’s the capital city, but because of its history and architecture that has no equals in the entire world!
No matter which street or town square you turn into, which church or museum you visit, you’ll be fascinated by the incredibly rich history of Rome and awed by its impressive landmarks. While you can see the musts of Rome in a day, we recommend planning at least a few days in the city. If you want to see all the main landmarks without having to rush, you’ll need at least 2-3 days in Rome.
Here’s what you must see: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Also the Vatican with St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel, St. Angelo Bridge, and Castel Sant’Angelo.
Surrounded by the hilly Tuscan countryside and set on the banks of the Arno River, Florence (Firenze) is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy! Known as the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is world-famous for the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Florence is the city of art where you’re surrounded by stunning Renaissance artworks, monuments, and the most impressive architecture. It’s also a very lively city with music, dance, cinemas, and theaters. But Florence is also the city of food and wine, with various festivals taking place throughout the year.
Here’s what you must see: Duomo (Florence Cathedral) and everything around it, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria town square. Michelangelo’s statue “‘David’ at the Galleria dell’Accademia (book in advance!). Also, the view over the city from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Venice (Venezia), the floating’ town is not just the most unique among the Italian cities, but it’s also one of the most beautiful cities in the world! The city of Venice and its lagoon consists of 118 islands. Most of these islands are tiny and are connected by small bridges – you can explore them on foot. While some othersare a bit further away and require a boat to get to.
Here’s what you must see: St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace (and its famous Bridge of Sighs), Rialto Bridge, and the waterfront promenade Riva degli Schiavoni. And, of course, Venice canals including the impressive Grand Canal.
Naples (Napoli), located in the southern part of the country, is a very different city from the ones situated in northern Italy. It’s a chaotic and busy town, but one that also has a rich history, arts, and culture. Dominated by the nearby Vesuvius volcano and surrounded by hills on one side and the sea on the other, Naples is also quite picturesque. The historic town center is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are so many landmarks in and near the city that you can easily spend 3 days in Naples alone. Furthermore, just nearby, is the famous ancient Roman city Pompeii and the stunning coastline of the Amalfi Coast. Also, the islands of Capri and Ischia are well worth visiting!
Here’s what you must see: Spaccanapoli (the famous street that ‘splits’ historic Naples old town in two), Piazza del Plebiscito, National Archeological Museum, views from Castel Sant’Elmo, Certosa di San Martino (former monastery, now a museum), Cappella Sansevero, and Naples Catacombs.
Tour companies specializing in senior and mature travel
Here are some tour companies specializing in senior travel if you are interested.
Exploritas (www.exploritas.org) – These are educational trips, often coordinated by universities, with more than 55 trips in or including Italy. Your days are packed with seminars, lectures, field trips, and sightseeing, all led by academics or expert tour guides. Programs range from one to four weeks. They also offer cruises, intergenerational trips (i.e.: bring the grand kids), and outdoor adventures.
Grand Circle (www.gct.com) – Top tour company for the senior set, aimed squarely at the over-50 market. Usually the full soup-to-nuts tours, including nearly all meals, sightseeing, etc., and paced reasonably—you see a lot, but not a whirlwind clip. Prices are guaranteed (no surprise fuel surcharges or anything). Usually a handful (3–4) Italy tours, plus another handful of cruises that include Italy.
OneTravel (www.onetravel.com ) – Major online travel agency with frequent coupons and advertised airfares up to 60% off. It also has a specialty in senior travel.
Eldertreks (www.eldertreks.com) – Adventure outfit for mature travelers; tends to favor off-the-beaten-path trips, hence the only Italy trip currently on offer is an “Adriatic Adventure” that also encompasses Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and Bosnia.
Grandtravel (www.grandtravel.com) – Tours designed to bridge the generations of the family, aimed specifically at grandparents and grandchildren traveling together. A couple of summer Italy trips on tap.
Reid Bramblett, “Senior tours to Italy”, Reids Italy, April 2015. http://www.reidsitaly.com/planning/get_to/tours_seniors.html
Total Advantage Team, “Senior Travel in Italy”, Total Advantage Travel & Tours, 10 December 2019. https://totaladvantagetravel.com/senior-travel-italy/
Ana Patrícia, “Tourism for Seniors in Italy”, Your Travel To Italy, 25 January 2021. https://www.yourtraveltoitaly.com/tourism-for-seniors-in-italy/
Jurga, “11 very best cities to visit in Italy (+ Map & Travel tips)”, full Suitcase, 23 May 2022. https://fullsuitcase.com/best-cities-to-visit-in-italy/