Escorted tours are structured group tours, with a group leader. The price usually includes everything from airfare to hotels, meals, tours, admission costs, and local transportation. Despite the fact that escorted tours require big deposits and predetermine hotels, restaurants, and itineraries, many people like the structure, and they're particularly convenient for people with limited mobility. Don't make the mistake of thinking, however, that an escorted tour will be less expensive than doing Italy on your own—or more satisfying, for that matter. Most tours won't be less expensive, and many place a barrier between the visitor and the country, by using big motorcoaches that can rarely be parked in the ancient cores of Italian cities and towns (meaning that tourists are often housed in the suburbs on these tours).
The best way to find an escorted multi-day general tour of Italy is to look at such tour marketplaces as TourRadar.com
. All three contain unedited user reviews of the various companies; side-by-side price comparisons for similar tours; and a nice range of travel providers, including some that only handle Italy (and thus should have a deeper level of expertise).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.