A revolution is taking place across Europe and Italy is the latest country to follow. Populist anti-immigrant parties are coming to fore. We explore the rise of the Five Star movement and the League who came to government in June 2018. The new government includes the League’s head and interior minister Matteo Salvini who has made his mark by turning back migrants in Italian waters and calling for the end of the Euro.

What are the implications for the rest of Europe? The tour includes Milan, Italy’s business hub, rural areas and ends in the splendor of Rome.

DATESSaturday 3 October 2020 – Sunday 11 October 2020

The tour is led by the Italian based reporter, author and amateur football player, Tobias Jones.

DURATION8 nights
All AccommodationMeals, Water & All Entrance Fees
Local TransportationExpert Guide
COSTCost: £4500.00
Single supplement: £500.00

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Day 1

Sunday, 5th May: Milan

Our journey starts in Milan, Italy’s business hub and also home to the headquarters of what was called the Northern League. An introduction to the week ahead with our expert.
Overnight Milan

Day 2

Monday, 6th May: Milan

Until recently Matteo Salvini led a small separatist party with just 4 % of the vote – now it is the major coalition partner in government. Milan is where Salvini began this transformation. Anti-Immigration and opposition to the EU have been the cornerstones of his campaign. We look at Milan’s relationship with both, as working class voters have abandoned the left. We also look at how the government of Silvio Berlusconi, as well as his media ownership paved the way for a more populist brand of politics.
Overnight Milan

Day 3

Tuesday, 7th May: Milan to Bologna

Populism has shaken the Italian establishment to its core notably in a city known as a centre for business and finance. The coalition has approved a budget that has breached the EU’s agreed limits, and is making increasingly critical noises about the Euro. We visit the bourse, headquartered in Milan, as well as Italy’s leading financial newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore. A leading industrialist explains his concerns. An international statesman looks at the split with Europe. In the afternoon we take the train to Bologna (1 hour).
Overnight Bologna

Day 4

Wednesday, 8th May: Bologna

Bologna is best known as a bastion of leftist support and a centre of learning. But our morning starts outside the city in the neighbouring town of Predappio where the cult of Mussolini is thriving and pilgrims can be seen giving fascist salutes. Is Italy really ready to embrace neo-Fascist politics? Back in Bologna a leading academic analyses the possibilities. We look at Salvini’s mastery of social media and his skillful mix of authoritarian and affectionate language. At Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies we examine the implications for the rest of Europe.
Overnight Bologna

Day 5

Thursday, 9th May: Rome

The last two days of the tour are spent meeting leading analysts and politicians in the capital.

After breakfast we take the train to Rome (2 hours). In Rome too there are increasing signs of the ultra-right spreading their message – from new political movements, to graffiti daubed on the walls. Where is all of this heading? Some worry that Salvini could pursue a more authoritarian agenda like Hungary’s Victor Orban. Much depends on the League’s partners in any future coalition. Dinner in Rome.
Overnight Rome

Day 6

Friday, 10th May: Rome

Much of the tension between the new government and Brussels is over public spending. A member of the ruling coalition puts forward their case. Can Italy sustain such a large debt – with it’s conflicting priorities of lower taxation and increased benefits – one think tank doubts it and says the implications for the Euro could be profound. Foreign diplomats give their take – could a founding member of the European Union advocate a looser more flexible union? We review the week over dinner.
Overnight Rome

Day 7

Saturday, 11th May: Rome

Tour Ends after breakfast

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Saturday 3 October 2020 – Sunday 11 October 2020

Cost £4500  Single supplement  £500                                                                   

The tour will start in Milan and end in Rome

What’s Included

All of your accommodation and meals with water are included, as well as local transport (except during your free time). Flights are not included in the price and need to be arranged by customers themselves or with an agent.

Following the news

Like all our tours the itinerary is focused on current affairs. Events on the ground may change and the final schedule may be adjusted accordingly.

Group size

As on all our expert-led tours the groups are deliberately small and will not exceed 14 people. Frequently we travel with 10-12 people. Limited spaces are available.


Italy is a member of the European Union (EU) and part of the Schengen Convention. US, Australian and New Zealand travellers do not need a visa if they are staying less than 90 days but passports must have a six month validity from the planned return date.


Daytime temperatures in Milan and Rome will range from mid to high 20s Centigrade (C) (70-80 Fahrenheit (F)), with overnight temperatures dropping by around 5-10 C (55-65 F). It is advisable to wear sunscreen.


There is no particular dress code for Italy. Men: Will need a jacket and tie for some of the meetings. Women: You will need some smarter attire for one or two meetings.

FCO Website – Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. Where it considers it appropriate to do so, the FCO may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to particular countries or parts of particular countries. Similarly, the FCO may withdraw any such previously given advice. Where the FCO issues such advice, we may as a result cancel your tour or make changes so as to avoid the area concerned (see clause 10). Alternatively, we may ask you to sign a form confirming you wish to proceed with the tour notwithstanding the FCO advice. It is in the nature of the itineraries we offer that the FCO may have issued such advice in relation to the country or parts of the country we are intending to visit prior to confirmation of your booking. In this case, you will be asked to sign the above form before we confirm your booking.

Medical Requirements

Advice on health requirements may be obtained from your GP, or alternatively from the Department of Health leaflet Advice on Health for Travelers, or the Department of Health in the UK. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx

It is also useful to travel with medications for traveller’s tummy – like imodium, probiotics and rehydration sachets.

We suggest you visit your own doctor or local travel clinic who will have the most up-to-date travel advice, and be able to recommend any vaccinations prior to travel based on your medical history.


Currency is Italy is the Euro.


Electricity supply is 230 volts, 2 round pin European plugs.

Internet access

Wifi is available in all hotels, as well as many coffee shops and restaurants.

International Passenger Protection Insurance (IPP)

All our travel arrangements are covered by the UK’s package tour regulations and are financially guaranteed. We are a land-only tour operator and flights are not included.

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Tobias Jones

Tobias Jones is the author of four works of non-fiction, including the bestselling The Dark Heart of Italy and Blood on the Altar and three crime novels set in Italy.

He has written and presented various documentaries for the BBC and for RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, and co-founded the Windsor Hill Wood community – the subject of his seventh book, A Place of Refuge.

A former columnist for the Observer and Internazionale, he writes regularly for the British, American and Italian press. He plays football for the England writers football team, and has taught writing and journalism at a variety of universities, prisons and charities.

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CM, September 2017

“I have been on a few tours before, but not one of them compared with this one. This was by far the best. Of course, the material content, and the time and place of its setting had a lot to do with it, but there were other factors. The size and mix of each group was about right, and having both yourself, and a local expert with us was a big advantage, able to sort out en route problems too, and help set the tone and atmosphere. The tour itinerary was very detailed, and could hardly have been more so.”
CB, US Elections 2016

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CF, September 2017

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Israel & Palestine, Sept 2017

“Tour experts were excellent! They all had their own perspective/point of view, but that´s good. We had many speakers in addition to them, so onesidedness was not a problem at all.”
CM, Israel & Palestine, September 2017

“Political Tours introduced me to some interesting people (including fellow travelers); it took me to places and to people I would have never accessed as an ordinary tourist.”
MS, September 2017

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August 2017

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Israel & Palestine, September 2017

“A must for anyone with an interest in politics and current affairs who want to meet like minded people. I would recommend Political Tours for the detailed organisation, visits to places not usually open to the general public and for the more adventurous, the exciting countries you visit”
CB, US Elections, 2016

“Quite the most comprehensive way of finding out what makes a country and the individuals in it tick. PT arrange access to all sorts of different people and experiences that would be impossible to access on one’s own and the organisation is excellent. The tours aren’t cheap, but, when you consider all that is on offer, they are very good value for money.”
Russia, May 2016

“I would recommend the tours to anyone interested in current political events because the experience offered the sort of access that experienced journalists have, minus the pressure to report back of course. Also the guarantee of the company of people with similar interests.”
VH, US Elections, 2016

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Lebanon, March 2016

“We also thoroughly enjoy travelling with you both because you are deadly serious except when you are deadly fun.”
Lebanon, 2016

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Recommended Reading

Tobias Jones; The Dark Heart of Italy
John Foot; The Archipelago
David Lane; Berlusconi’s Shadow
Barbie Latza Nadeau; The Roadmap to Hell
Tobias Jones; Blood on the Altar
Paul Ginsborg; Italy and its Discontents
R.J.B.Bosworth; Mussolini’s Italy
Christopher Duggan; The Force of Destiny
Alexander Stille; The Sack of Rome
Paolo Berizzi; Nazitalia (In Italian)


The Fascist Movement that has brought Musolini back to the mainstream
By Tobias Jones

An unsolved murder at Italy’s most notorious tower-block
By Tobias Jones

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