Best of Italy
10 Days / 9 Nights
Treat yourself to the Italian adventure you've always wanted. You'll begin in Rome - a thriving city built on the foundation of a medieval empire. Climb to the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica or dine and people-watch at a sidewalk café in trendy Trastevere. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Naples and the Amalfi Coast before stopping in the lost city of Pompeii. Take the train to Florence, where masterful artwork is the name of the game. Take a bike tour and wine tasting in Tuscany, and explore the Italian Riviera at Cinque Terre. In Venice, lose yourself in the labyrinth of canals as you make your way to lively Piazza San Marco. By the end of your trip, you and Italy will be on the best of terms.
HIGHLIGHTS AND INCLUSIONS
Accommodations in 4 star centrally located hotels: Rome 4 nights, Florence 3 nights, Venice 2 nights
Breakfast daily except where noted otherwise
Private arrival and departure transfers
Pizza Making Course in Rome
Private Rome in a Day with Vatican Tour
Naples and Pompeii Tour with Lunch
Espresso and Gelato Walking Tour of Rome
Private Evening Walking Tour of Florence
Half-Day Tuscany Bike Tour
Cinque Terre Tour with Lunch
Private Gondola Ride
Murano, Burano, and Torcello Tour
First class train tickets to Florence and Venice
Arrive in Rome and collect your bags. As you exit customs, your transfer representative will be waiting to escort you to your hotel. The afternoon is yours to explore as you wish. Grab some gelato and soak in the atmosphere of Piazza Navona, or stretch your legs with a walk to the top of Palatine Hill.
Don't forget about your evening pizza making course! This 90-minute lesson at the popular That's Amore Restaurant is perfect for all ages. One of the restaurant's fabulous chefs will guide you through the process of preparing pizza dough from scratch and teach you how to dress your pizza properly. You'll have a variety of toppings from which to choose, and the prize at the end is getting to devour your edible masterpiece. A beverage (water, wine or soft drink) is included.
On the docket for today is a full-day private walking tour of the city. Your first stop will be the Colosseum, the imposing first-century architectural masterpiece that once hosted gladiatorial combat. From there it's on to the Roman Forum, where your guide will recount stories about some of ancient Rome's most influential political figures. You'll have an hour for lunch (not included) near the Vatican, then enjoy priority entry to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. A tour of St. Peter's Basilica will be your last stop in Vatican City before heading for some of the city's most famous fountains and piazzas, including Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain.
You'll be done in time for dinner, which you can enjoy in one of Rome's copious restaurants. If you're in the mood for a post-dinner cocktail, Salotta 42 is rated one of the best bars in the world and boasts a stunning view of the 2nd-century ruins of the Temple of Hadrian.
You're in for a busy day today, so eat a good breakfast before heading off on your day-long tour of Naples and Pompeii. You'll depart Rome by bus and drive along the "Sun Route" motorway, passing through the stunning coastal regions of Lazio and Campania. You'll take a panoramic tour of Naples, then continue on to the lost city of Pompeii for lunch (included) and a skip-the-line tour of the excavations and remnants of the city.
When you return, grab a late dinner just like the locals.
Take your last full day in Rome to visit any final sites you may have missed. Enjoy your day leisurely, but remember your espresso and gelato walking tour in the afternoon. A local food connoisseur will be your guide on this 2.5-hour tour of renowned coffee shops, gelaterias and the most famous tiramisu shop in the city.
After an early breakfast, head to the train station for your trip to Florence. After you've settled in to your hotel, you're free to explore to your heart's content!
In the evening, meet your guide and set off on your private evening walking tour of Florence. This walk will take you through Florence's Oltrarno neighborhood, where Florentine artisans have operated for centuries. You'll amble along ancient cobblestone streets, past Renaissance palaces and a medieval hospice holding secrets from Michelangelo's dark past. The tour ends with a glass of fine Italian wine.
This morning after breakfast you'll head out on your half-day bike tour through Tuscany. Your guide will lead you on a short walk from the meeting point to pick up your bikes. From there, you'll cross over the Arno and head south through the countryside. The route is easy to follow, and the spectacular vistas will more than make up for the hills you'll scale. Light snacks will be provided, and you'll bike to a villa estate for a wine tasting. Throughout the tour your guide will share fascinating stories about the history of the area. This tour requires you to feel comfortable riding a bike both in the city of Florence and on country hills.
Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring Florence on your own. Or, add on a Tuscan cooking class or private tour of the Uffizi Gallery.
Eat breakfast and make your way to the meeting point for your all-day tour of the Cinque Terre. When you return, take a stroll through the Boboli Gardens and cap off a busy day with one final Florentine dinner and aperitivo at a cocktail bar in Oltrarno.
The Cinque Terre takes its name from its five picturesque fishing villages - Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso - that together make up the only remaining unspoiled portion of the Italian Rivera. The Cinque Terre has been inaccessible from the land for centuries, isolated by steep mountains and valleys on one side and the sea on the other. You'll begin in Manarola where you'll catch a boat (weather permitting) to Monterosso, renowned for its beautiful beach and small craftsmen's shops. After a short train ride to Vernazza, you'll have some time to wander the quiet streets and step into a café for coffee and a pastry (not included). From there you'll take a train to Riomaggiore for a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean. Lunch will be served in restaurant with views of the sea and surrounding cliffs. After lunch, a train will take you back to La Spezia where you'll board a bus for your return to Florence.
After breakfast, pack your bags and head to Santa Maria Novella Station for your train to Venice. Upon arrival on Venice Island, make your way to your hotel and check in. You'll have a short private gondola ride in the evening, then you're free to wander the canals in search of the perfect sidewalk restaurant for dinner.
Enjoy a romantic 45-minute private gondola ride through the labyrinth of Venice's pleasant canals.
Your morning will begin with a half-day tour of three outlying islands in Venice Lagoon. The first stop on this guided tour is the island of Murano, renowned for its glass manufacturing industry. You'll have time to visit one of the factories before heading on to picturesque Burano, famous for its lace and brightly colored fishermen's houses. The final stop is Torcello, the earliest center of civilization in the lagoon. Only the mosaic cathedral, the Church of Santa Fosca, remains as testament to the island's former glory.
In the afternoon, explore Venice on your own. Be sure to stop at the stunning St. Mark's Cathedral and Doge's Palace.
After breakfast, meet your transfer representative for the boat ride to the airport. The landscape may disappear as you take off, but your experiences will always loom large within you.
International flights (may be included)
Travel insurance (may be included)
Meals not indicated in this itinerary
From $2300 per person
Based on double occupancy. For solo travelers or larger groups, please inquire. Rates are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed until a deposit has been made.
This trip can be completely customized to suit your needs and desires. Want to skip an activity or add something in? Are you traveling with kids? Please contact me with any questions.