Authentic Italy Tours, family business, small group tours, inspiring Italian regions, Auckland, New Zealand


new! 2014 tours

This year we propose a 16-day Veneto Study Tour and an 11-day Puglia Tour

please register your interest asap with us


1 - VENETO STUDY TOUR [Sep 2nd/Sep 17th]

(dates to be confirmed and detailed itinerary to follow)


The Veneto Study Tour moves from Venice to Padua, along the plain of the Brenta River; the area is dotted with historical country houses and gardens, the famous architecture and land heritage the region is proud of; Palladio represents the apex of this genre.

Near Padua we discover the beautiful and quiet hilly landscape of the Colli Euganei, from where we approach a number of nice small and medium size towns: Monselice, Montagnana, Bassano, Vicenza, Feltre, to name just few, whose architecture and urban design is excellent in quality and good maintenance, having its origin in the Renaissance or even earlier, in the Middle Ages.

Next to Vicenza and Bassano-del-Grappa lie the pre-Alps, an interesting area very close to the Dolomites, our third highlight of the tour. Our destination in the Dolomites is Mount Civetta and its surroundings, where mild autumn reveals nature at its best.

Lastly (but not least) the tour ends up in Venice, a three nights stay full of enchantment and surprise!


2 - APULIA TOUR [Sep 23th/Oct 3rd

(dates to be confirmed and detailed itinerary to follow)


Little known region of charm and fascination Apulia, along with many other areas of Italy beyond the usual tourist trails, is relatively unknown to outsiders. Therein lies its charm and attraction. Quintessential Apulia is the simple but memorable combination of geometric buildings in a landscape of hot sun, white rock, azure sea and ochre soil studded with almond groves, vineyards and ancient olive trees. Apulia’s singular landscape is dominated by the surrounding sea and three main geographic features: the mountainous Gargano peninsula, a vast plain called Murge, and the rolling, raised plateaux called the Tavoliere. These provide a pleasing and often spectacular backdrop for ports positioned on cliff edges or on islands, for whitewashed hilltop towns and the large, old farming estates called masserie. All this is experienced in this eleven-day tour, a short and coherent itinerary through history, art and cuisine. The influence of the long Spanish occupation is best seen in the proliferation of outstanding buildings in the southern Baroque style and Arabic influence in the regional cuisine. Interesting archaeological remains from earlier times are found throughout the region, such as temples, mosaics, pottery and jewellery from Greek and pre-Roman Italic cultures, and remnants of several Roman centres and roads. The National Archaeological Museum in Taranto and other local museums have interesting collections where artefacts can be studied. Rather than being contained in galleries, the true art of Apulia is that incorporated into buildings. Fresco and carved ornament adorning both the inside and outside of buildings, are abundant. In Lecce spectacular decorated Baroque building predominate, but there are numerous excellent Romanesque and Baroque examples elsewhere. Unusual vernacular architecture is a significant feature in Apulia. Here are found the trulli, round stone houses and farm buildings with conical roofs; the impressive masserie, solid rectangular farm houses; and the white towns on hilltop or coast, such as Cisternino and Otranto. Grottaglie is a major centre of ceramics, traditional, colourful or contemporary, with over a hundred studios within walking distance, while interesting pictorial and contemporary art is presented in small provincial galleries. Long periods of privation are a thing of the past in Apulia and the region has entered a period of prosperity. However, the Apulian people, now numbering about four million inhabitants, are still known for their famous hospitality and pride in their region. The traditional diet, based on the local produce (grain, fish and shellfish, lamb, tomatoes, olives and almonds) is one of the outstanding Italian regional cuisines and provides genuine interest to those of an epicurean leaning. Equally pleasing is the variety of D.O.C. wines, such as the red Salice Salento and Primitivo di Manduria, the white wines of the Locorotondo area and some of the best Italian ‘rosato’.

For more information on our 2014 tours contact our staff. Website is being constantly updated since now; more in the next few days. Last update 14 february 2014.



Sunday Star Times - TRULLI, MADLY, DEEPLY

PUGLIA IS the new Tuscany. So much is conveyed by that sentence – the food will be tasty; you won’t meet Tony Blair; you won’t even meet anyone English; you definitely will not find yourself on exactly the same town-to-town perambulation as another English couple with the same guidebook.... read more 

Authentic Italy Tours is a family business and  based in Auckland, New Zealand and Rome, Italy. Your principal guides are architects and brothers in law John Anderson and Andrea Bassan. 

Our specialist regional itineraries are designed to make accessible genuine and authentic Italian destinations and Italian culture in a similar way informed Italians enjoy sampling different regions within their country.

Attested by a high rate of return business, our clients benefit from our thorough knowledge and familiarity with the Italian regions we visit, years of preparation, thought and attention to detail put into making each day, meal and experience at least equal to, if not better than, the last.



Appreciate and savour the essential nature of regional Italy

The Italian regions and destinations within them we have selected are the type of places discerning Italians would choose to escape the tourist hordes within their own country, while still enjoying the best that Italy has to offer. 


Apulia: Rural Trullo structure - Valle d' Itria 

Italy is a nation of enormous allure, yet one bewilderingly difficult to get to grips with. The sheer breadth of its culture and beauty can leave even the frequent visitor to Italy with the disconcerting impression of merely scratching the surface. Resolving  this dilemma is the underlying idea of our regional tours in Italy.

Authentic Italy Tours itineraries mirror the way informed Italians explore and enjoy their country's amazing and diverse heritage. We deliberately seek out the less visited destinations and more obscure locations, which often yield the most memorable and satisfying experiences, just as stunning and beautiful and Italian but without the attendant disadvantages of their more famous tourist attraction counterparts. Like Italians, our guests move more slowly, limiting travel to one area in order to savour and absorb the essence of a place.

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A comprehensive experience of regional Italian culture



Apulia: Picnic and wine stop


Italian regions are really countries within a country, each region having its own heritage developed over a period spanning millennia. Italian nationhood has done little to dilute their fundamental differences in character. Today each of Italy's twenty regions remains a distinct cultural entity set apart by historical events, language and dialect, custom, building, artistic style and physical characteristics from landscape, land form to geology.

The idea of regional identity is intrinsic to the way Italians identify themselves and each other. Ask any Italian and you will be told that regional identity far out ways nationality.

Unlike many other tour operations in Italy, which focus on the usual mass tour centres scattered across the country, Authentic Italy Tours offers a truely comprehensive travelling experience within the confines of an Italian region. This adds enormously to your travel experience in Italy in terms of satisfaction and value for money.


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Authentic Italy Tours


For any enquiries specific to a tour, please contact

John Anderson 
Tour Designer & Leader 
Authentic Italy Tours (NZ) Ltd
Auckland New Zealand

Andrea Bassan
Tour Designer & Leader 
Rome, Italy

Tel: +64-9-361 1113

Postal Address 
Authentic Italy Tours 
P.O Box 36-294, Herne Bay 
New Zealand

Tel: +39-06-807 9060
Fax: + 39-06-807 2280


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