Italy With Pleasure

About Italy With Pleasure

We’re really proud of our tours and of the wonderful times people have whilst traveling with us.

We are Italian specialists. This is the country that we know best. For you, this means you won’t have a tour leader who works in multiple countries, as is often the case. We limit our tours to selected regions where we have the depth of knowledge to share with you. 

We cover destinations that would be difficult to reach on your own, and you get an insider’s perspective in each location.

When you are in a country or region only for a week or two you want to maximise your time. On our tours, we give you the local insights, the understanding of what you are seeing. We allow you to understand the essence of what makes a place special. 

Founders of Italy With Pleasure, Antonella and Malcolm.

Our Story

Italy With Pleasure emerged from a marriage of ideas (the traditional marriage came later). To explain, we need to wind the clock back to the time when the founders of the company, Antonella and Malcolm, were embarking on what became Italy With Pleasure.

Malcolm was working as a winemaker in Puglia, southern Italy. Discovering new flavours, but more significantly the depth of history and culture all around. Nearby was Antonella, studying for a masters in literature. Together we embarked on an exploration of firstly Puglia, where we were living, and later further afield around the many and varied regions of Italy. Everywhere we went we would seek out the local cuisine, traditions tied to the land, places off the beaten track. We’d always try to find the essence of what made each place unique, maybe it was a local artisan, maybe it was part of an ancient Roman road; it could be the particular way they make their pasta shapes in their village.

And what were our own travels in Italy are now the tours that we offer to you – Italy With Pleasure was founded specifically for this purpose. We collaborate with a group of likeminded individuals who are our Tour Leaders – Mark and Anita, Riccardo and Roberta – who will lead your group for the week and provide insights into this land. Our guiding philosophy in designing the tour itineraries is to do so with the care we would in planning a personal trip with a close friend. We’ve maintained the spirit of those early days, almost 20 years ago now, back when we were driving around Italy with hands stained from the intense primitivo wine being made back in the winery.

We invite you to come and uncover some of these special places for yourselves. With pleasure, of course.

Watch Our Video

The personal touch

Our tours are a balance between being informative (examples of the culture and lifestyle, historical details) as well as having everything that makes for an enjoyable trip (long lunches in good restaurants, a relaxed pace). We plan the itinerary in the way that you would plan to travel yourself, or with a group of friends.

Your tour leader is your ‘safety net’

Many people appreciate having someone to turn to who is familiar with the local area, whether it be for help getting something from a pharmacy / drugstore, or simply where to find the best gelato! Throughout your time with us your tour leader is on call for anything that may come up.

We have a maximum of 14 in our tour groups

and this is a very important feature. We’ve trialled a range of group sizes over the years, and even with a group of 16-18 people, you start to lose that personal touch. We find anything up to 14 works well and gives you a focussed and in-depth tour – we know that not exceeding that maximum number is key to this. 

Free time

As well as organised excursions, we leave some time each day for you to explore at your own pace so you can get a sense of how it is to live like a local. This is what memories are made of.

Maximise your time

We have found the right places to eat, the best things to see, and have planned each day to balance the time in each place. While you could drive yourself or take public transport, you have neither the relaxing nor optimized experience that we can give you.

The tour price is comprehensive

It includes transport, accommodation, and all the visits and activities listed in the itinerary. Really the only thing left is dinner some days – we include breakfast and lunch, and actually most people eat very lightly in the evenings after our Italian long lunches! 

We refund your deposit

Your deposit is fully refundable, up until ten weeks before the tour start date. We recognise that your plans may need to change, perhaps for circumstances beyond your control – and we do not penalise you for this.  

We are a hands-on company. Family run. A small team. This means that we are genuinely interested in the success and enjoyment of your tour, and your time here in Italy.