BOOKING We recommend securing your spot as soon as possible. There are only 12 spots available on each trip and we anticipate a full group. A $500 booking deposit per person will be due at time of booking. After we receive your booking deposit, your spot on the trip is secured. Click here to submit your booking deposit.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE After the initial $500 per person booking deposit, the final payment (the remainder of the trip cost) will be due 91 days before the departure date.
CANCELLATION We very much hope you don’t have to cancel, but in the event you do, our cancellation fees are as follows:
90 days prior to departure or more: $500*
45-89 days prior to departure: 50% of trip price
31-44 days prior to departure: 75% of trip price
30 days prior to departure or less: 100% of the trip price
MINIMUM TRAVELERS FOR DEPARTURE This trip will depart with a minimum of five (5) travelers. If a trip does not reach the minimum number of five (5) travelers, anyone already registered will have the option to join the next Guided Trip (currently planned for Spring 2022) or be issued a refund of their trip deposit. Otherwise, only in the case of a force majeure would we postpone or cancel a trip.
COVID-19 Italy has been diligent and successful in managing the virus and we're very confident that restrictions will be lifted and we'll be able to safely travel together in fall of 2021. Please note that during the trip, we will adhere to any/all local regulations that are in place, which may include (but is not limited to) obligatory mask wearing. Your health and safety is absolutely our highest priority.
In the event that it is unsafe to travel and there are travel restrictions in place, the trip will be rescheduled for June 2022. If the alternative trip dates don’t work for you, we will provide you with a Cohica travel credit (for the deposit amount), which can be used on any Cohica Custom Travel Plan, Designed Trip, or future Guided Trip.
AIRFARE International flights to and from the U.S. are not included in Cohica Guided Trips. However, if you’d like our recommendations on the most cost-effective and efficient flights from your home airport, just ask.
Please book your flights into Florence (FLR) and out of Milan (MXP) for this trip.
HOTELS We will stay in highly-rated boutique hotels, luxury agriturismos (farm/winery stays), and unique resorts and villas with a minimum of 3 stars (but generally of the 4 to 5 star level according to the European Hotel Stars system). Please note that many of the hotels in Europe are located in historic buildings, often with smaller rooms than those in the U.S. or Canada.
PRE AND/OR POST-TRIP EXTENSIONS If you’d like to travel independently before or after the Guided Trip, we will happily plan a custom extension(s) based on your interests and travel style.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement, please inquire about availability.
TRAVEL INSURANCE Travel insurance is not included in the price of the trip and is highly recommended. While you are responsible for arranging your insurance and ensuring that it meets your personal requirements, we are available to assist wherever possible.
FLORENCE ARRIVAL A private car will meet you in the arrivals hall upon your flight arrival at Florence International Airport (FLR). From there you’ll be driven directly to our hotel in the center of Florence, approximately 20 minutes from the airport.
MILAN DEPARTURE A private car will take you from our final hotel in Varenna, Lake Como, to Milan (MXP) Airport for your departing flight. The travel time from Varenna to Milan Airport is approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes.
ITINERARY CHANGES Itinerary changes for our Guided Trips are always possible. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary to ensure travelers have the best experience possible. We will keep you up to date with any such trip changes.
Physical Activity & Group Travel
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS This trip is suitable for most people with a reasonable level of fitness. Travelers will need to be able to to walk up hills, oftentimes on uneven or cobbled streets. In addition, the trip includes both a guided e-bike ride and hike, however these activities can be opted out of if you would rather not participate. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you.
Exploring Italian Cities: One of the best things about Italy is the ease at which cities can be explored on foot. We’ll personally take you on ‘Get to know’ city walks, and you'll have the opportunity to further explore in your own time (pack comfortable walking shoes!).
Chianti E-Bike Trip: The E-Bike trip will be approximately 15 miles on rolling hills with 3-4 stops along the way. E-Bikes are easy to use and are for all levels of bikers. If you would prefer not to cycle, we'll be happy to provide you with alternative activities that can be done independently.
Cinque Terre Hike: We'll hike along the Cinque Terre coast, from Corniglia to Vernazza, which requires hiking up a steep incline and along some uneven terrain. The hike is about 2 miles long and will take between 1.5-2 hours (but the views are worth the effort!). Each traveler will be provided with a Cinque Terre train and trail pass for those who would like to explore independently.
TRAVELING ON A GUIDED TRIP Cohica Guided Trips offer a unique camaraderie built on a similar travel philosophy. Cohica travelers are people who are inquisitive, open, and value connecting with local cultures. Because we all travel a bit differently, we ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your fellow travelers. Traveling of any kind, especially with a group, requires patience and flexibility. We appreciate you taking into consideration the needs of others as we explore together.
Passports & Visas
PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel to Italy. Your passport should have a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends.
VISAS Visas for Italy are not required for passport holders of the USA, Canada, the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for most up to date information.
Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time.
CURRENCY The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in Italy and is accepted everywhere we will be traveling during this trip.
CASH When you arrive, we recommend visiting a local ATM or Bancomat (as they're often referred to in Europe) to withdraw cash - the exchange rate that your bank provides will be better than a Currency Exchange counter at the airport, even with an ATM withdrawal fee. Check with your bank in advance about using your account overseas and to confirm if any international withdrawal fees will be applied. Generally, nearly every major shop or restaurant accepts international credit cards, with Visa and MasterCard being a bit more common than American Express. However, in many small towns and at local markets, cash is best.
CREDIT CARDS Before leaving the U.S., contact your credit card company and bank to advise them of your travel dates and destination, and to be aware of any international transaction or withdrawal fees.
SPENDING MONEY While accommodation, activities, and most meals are included in the trip price, please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling.
TIPPING Gratuity and tips for all hotels, restaurants, activities, and transportation are included in the trip price and it is not necessary to tip your Trip Leaders. For any meals or activities not included in the itinerary, please be prepared to tip when appropriate. Tipping in Europe varies greatly from the United States, but some general guidelines to consider would be:
Basic restaurants and cafes - round up to the nearest €1
Nicer restaurants - approximately 10% of the bill
LUGGAGE Please limit your luggage to one small suitcase and one ‘personal item’ (backpack, tote bag, etc.) per person. Please expect to carry your luggage on cobblestone streets, uneven surfaces, stairs, and on/off trains and ferries. We'll do our best to limit the amount of walking with luggage, but in some places it may be necessary. If checking luggage on international flights, we always recommend packing a change of clothing and other essential items/medication in your carry-on bag just in case.
WHAT TO PACK We will provide a packing list for men and women in your pre-trip packet.
WATER BOTTLE To avoid contributing to enormous environmental problem of single-use plastic water bottles, we highly recommend bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. Water is safe to drink in all of our destinations and we'll point out public fountains where you can easily refill your bottle.
DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe (it's okay, you can wear shorts!), but please note that when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites, it's necessary to dress more modestly.
WEATHER Temperatures in Italy during early September are generally quite pleasant, although it’s not uncommon to have hot days or the occasional thunderstorm at this time of the year. It’s important to use sun protection, drink plenty of water, and bring a light jacket (in case of rain).
Depending on how much you want to be connected, you have a few options:
Contact your mobile provider before leaving and sign up for a temporary global plan with international data and/or calls.
If your phone is unlocked, you can visit a local mobile provider and purchase a prepaid SIM card once you arrive. The local SIM cards range in number of minutes, data usage and duration. If you’re interested in this option, we can provide our recommendation for the best local providers.
Disconnect during the day (turn your data off) and use your phone for photos only, then hop on WiFi at local cafes or at the hotel.
ELECTRICAL ADAPTERS Although most hotels now have universal outlets, you will need a simple plastic European electric adapter. If you forget, you can purchase one at many stores in major cities.
What will the experience be like?
While this is the first time Cohica has offered Guided Trips, we expect the experience to be a lot like our Custom and Designed Trips - well-paced, stress-free and loaded with authentic experiences, amazing hotels and stunning scenery. However, this time you’ll have the added benefit of sharing your travel with a small group of like-minded people, local guides, and us!
What is included?
Just about everything! Virtually every travel expense is included in one up-front price – airport transfers, luxury boutique accommodations, meals as specified in the itinerary, authentic experiences with local guides, private transportation from one destination to the next, and all entry fees and appropriate gratuities.
What is the group size?
Our groups are capped at 12 travelers. Every Cohica Guided Trip is led by both Ryan and Megan, for a maximum 6:1 traveler to Trip Leader ratio.
What kind of people travel with Cohica?
Cohica Travelers are people who value connecting with the local culture through authentic, active and participatory experiences. This curiosity and appreciation of authenticity runs through every person who has traveled with Cohica to date, so we expect the group to include a wonderful mix of backgrounds with a common philosophy for travel.
How much free time can I expect to have?
We will have a minimum of one planned group experience per day. Free time will range from 1-4 hours, at which time we will provide tips of what to see and do in your destination.
What type of accommodation is included?
We will stay in highly-rated boutique hotels, luxury agriturismos (farm/winery stays), and unique resorts and villas. Before the trip, we'll have visited each of the properties personally, to ensure they are comfortable, offer a high level of service, and provide an authentic feel and sense of place. The hotels are minimum of 3 stars, but generally of the 4 to 5 star level, (according to the European Hotel Stars system).
What type of transportation is included?
Transportation is via small luxury, air conditioned vans. Drivers take scenic routes whenever possible. The vans do not have restrooms, but we won’t travel more than 1.5 hours without a break. We often include stops at historical sights, wineries, or restaurants to break up a journey. Total daily drive time is never more than 3 hours.
What type of activities & experiences are included?
Activities will be authentic, immersive and reflective of the destination. We often include workshops and classes encouraging participation and experiences that you wouldn’t get at home. Activities are either pre-arranged by us with our personal contacts, or with our trusted network of local guides.
Should I be concerned about safety or crime?
In general, Europe is a safe, secure and organized place to travel. In the unlikely event of an emergency, we are familiar with the local emergency numbers and procedures, as well as the local healthcare system. That being said, we encourage you to be empowered while traveling - to always be aware of your personal surroundings and follow your intuition on anything that ‘doesn’t feel right.’
What if I don’t speak the language?
One of the benefits of traveling with a group is that you’ll always have an English-speaking American trip leader nearby to help with the local language and bridge the gap between American and local culture. That being said, we encourage you to try to speak the local language! Most Guided Trips include a ‘crash course’ to learn simple phrases, how to order, how to locate a bathroom, etc., during the first couple days of the trip.
I have special dietary requirements - will this be a problem?
Absolutely not. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions or allergies before the trip and we will be sure the chefs are aware. We take allergies very seriously.
What if guided/group travel is not for me?
No problemo. Traveling with a small group is not for everyone. Check out our independent Designed Trips, or contact us about creating a Custom Travel Plan just for you.