Discover Your Love for Italian Art, Food, and Lifestyle
Fall in love with Italy in 10 days! This trip highlights the perfect balance of two of Italy's most beloved cities, Rome and Florence, and Italy's most charming countryside -- Tuscany. You'll surely discover the pleasures of all things Italian, from the world's greatest collections of art to passionately cooked food and exquisite wine. Revel in the lifestyle of Italians (yes, they really do know something about loving life)!
This custom trip can be arranged to fit your schedule. Best months are May, June, September & October. July and August can be hot, and there's more of a chance to be able to take advantage of the swimming pools. December, January, February and March are cold; the cities are lively; the countryside has a winter look compared to the vibrant fields of yellow and green one sees during the summer.
November and April are usually less cold; 50s average with some rain.
Rome, Siena, Cortona, organic farmhouse, Florence, & small Tuscan towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and the enchanting Val D'Orcia valley
From $2500 per person (based on double occupancy). Actual pricing depends on the month of travel, hotel choices (choose from a list of high quality 4 & 5 star unique hotels), and optional add-on tours & activities to the program.
Arrival in Rome
In the Eternal City you can see many layers of history, from ancient to modern times, existing side by side. The center of the Catholic Church and the third most visited city in Europe has something for every seeker of culture and adventure. Once the center of the greatest empire on Earth, its universities, libraries, and museums are repositories of culture going back centuries. The Vatican Museum and the Colosseum are two of its greatest attractions.
Pick up at Rome’s airport and transfer to your centrally located hotel.
Afternoon tour of central Rome.
You will begin in Piazza del Popolo, which traditionally marks the northern “door to Rome” with the church Santa Maria del Popolo which was often the first church visitors to Rome would see upon entering its gates. The Spanish Steps with their lively atmosphere and stunning view bring you down into the winding alleys of the heart of Rome's historic center – where you encounter the Trevi Fountain, which needs no introduction. Your path continues with a stop at Piazza Colonna which contains the column erected by Marcus Aurelius and is considered by Romans as the very center of the city of Rome. You will also stop at the Pantheon which, with its impressive concrete dome and open oculus, never fails to impress. Nearby you explore Piazza Navona, with Bernini’s famous “Fountain of the Four Rivers” (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) triumphantly marking its center. Next, Campo de’ Fiori gives you a taste of one of the liveliest and famous traditional Roman piazzas.
Evening at leisure.
Morning tour of Ancient Rome to discover the Colosseo, Palatine and Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia and the Arch of Constantine. Your Ancient Rome Colosseum tour will begin atop Colle Oppio ("Opium Hill") with a panoramic view of the Colosseum, modern Rome’s most recognizable landmark and one of Ancient Rome’s most vital social centers. From there you will descend to a special Skip the Line access to the Colosseum. Once inside, an expert guide will talk you through the bloody past of the amphitheater as you listen to tales of gladiators, mock sea-battles and executions. After a brief rest at the Arch of Constantine, you will arrive at the Palatine Hill- the most famous of the seven hills of Rome. From here you will admire the views of the Roman Forum and Nero’s Circus Maximus where chariot races were once held. Romulus and Remus were said to have been found on the Palatine Hill by the she-wolf who nursed and raised them. Legend holds that Romulus went on to found Rome. The last stop is a walk along the “Via Sacra” or “Sacred Way” which is the main path through the Roman Forum that once sparkled with festivals and triumphal processions. It ends at the Temple which houses the altar where Julius Caesar was cremated. Visitors from around the world still leave flowers and candles at this site today. This classic colosseum tour is specially designed to bring together all of the best that Ancient Rome has to offer. Your English speaking colosseum tour guide will bring the ruins to life for you and your group in a way that is not possible without an expert leading the way.
Afternoon Only in Rome tour. The wonders of the Eternal City never end. Here’s a short list of places that will leave you in awe.
Rome famous keyhole: on the Aventine Hill, the gateway to the order of the knights of Malta has the most famous keyhole in the world. The Mouth of Truth in the portico of the church of Saint Mary in Cosmedin, a simple sewer cover with the face of a sea god from Roman time supposed to chop the hand off of anyone with a guilty conscience. The crypt of the Capuchin monks under the church of Saint Mary of the Conception. Five chapels decorated with the skulls and the bones of the monks who used to live in the adjacent convent. The church of Saint Ignatius with its fake dome. An exercise in illusion that can trick also the weathered visitor The Janiculum cannon which fires every day at noon, it is the official signal for all the bells in Rome to toll.
Evening at leisure.
Morning tour of the Vatican. Explore one of world’s most fascinating Meccas on the Vatican City Tour. Stroll the Vatican Museums, which house over 2000 rooms and 9 miles of the most extensive collection of art in the world. Brilliantly decorated and lined with masterpieces, the Museums brim with treasures and history. They will share the stories and secrets contained within the Museum’s walls, pleasures originally meant for the exclusive enjoyment of the Pope. Experience Michelangelo’s famous Creation of Adam with your own eyes as you explore the Sistine Chapel and wander Raphael’s Rooms. After taking in the Museums, be humbled by the imposing beauty of Saint Peter’s Basilica, where you will encounter another of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, La Pietà. For a fascinating finish, you will stop to admire the magnificent Saint Peter’s Square, as your guide points out Bernini’s ingenious use of optical illusion.
Private transfer from Rome to Siena with stops in Tuscany along the way.
You will visit the town of Montepulciano, great example of medieval architecture, besides a world-known wine region. A brief stop by the church of Sant’Antimo to listen to live Gregorian chants will take you to different world.
You will continue to Siena, travelling trough Montalcino and the wonderful landscapes of Val d’Orcia. Free time in Montalcino to walk through the small and characteristic streets.
Arrival in Siena, the town with the most beautiful square in the world.
Enjoy your evening at leisure.
Siena / Cortona
Morning guided visit to learn about this interesting and lively town, whose patron saint is Santa Caterina, responsible for bringing the Pope back to Rome from Avignon. Everywhere is Siena you will see references to the Palio horse race, held twice a year on July 2nd and August 16th. Learn about the various contradas or factions, and their rivalries. Transfer to Cortona. Arrival at organic farmhouse Parco Fiorito.
On the Umbria - Tuscany border, in the heart of the verdant hills between Cortona and Lake Trasimeno, in the town of Piazzano, the Relais Parco Fiorito holiday farm is the ideal destination for a vacation surrounded by nature near delightful cities and exciting archeological ruins.
In an ancient 16th century convent, nestled on a green farm surrounded by woods, fields and pastures, just six kilometers from Cortona and at the center of the "Golden triangle of culture" created by Perugia, Arezzo and Siena, the Relais Parco Fiorito holiday farm is the ideal solution for people who want to spend their vacation in a homey and authentic atmosphere enhanced by all the most modern comforts and services. The Russo family warmly welcomes guests to the farm whose locally grown organic produce is certified by AIAB (Italian Organic Agricultural Association).
Day on your own to enjoy the countryside and experience not only slow food but also slow life. You can visit Cortona and enjoy some amazing works by Frà Angelico in the Diocesan museum, as well as the medieval architecture with narrow and steep streets on a hillside, and the view of the Val di Chiana. There are also two major examples of Renaissance architecture. One is Santa Maria Nuova, built by Giorgio Vasari in 1554, and the Santa Maria delle Grazie al Calcinaio, built by Francesco Giorgio Martini, and famous for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Madonna del Calcinaio.
Back at the Parco Fiorito farm, Roberto Russo, owner and chef, will show you how he prepares truly organic olive oil and wine.
Morning transfer to Florence.
En route stop in Monteriggioni and San Gimignano, two cities that like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscan. San Gimignano is listed as a World Heritage site and fascinates for its medieval look. Its high towers create a unique skyline. Lunch will be served in a small and typical trattoria in San Gimignano.
Monteriggioni is considered one of most beautiful castle in the world. It was a station of standstill on the Francigena Road, until the XI century, when Siena transformed it into an imposing Fortress to protect the northern boundary during the wars against Florence. Arrival in Florence and check in at hotel. Free time to explore the town. Overnight in Florence.
Once the hub of the Renaissance, Florence is still a city marked by outstanding cultural and artistic splendor. In the modern day this translates into some of the best shopping anywhere for fine products from leather to gold. A perennial favorite of tourists and home to such historical figures as Machiavelli and the Medici clan, all of the finest aspects of Renaissance culture, from literature and art to theater and music still flourish here. Besides tourism, food and wine production are also prominent industries in this city, which is the main city of the Tuscany wine-producing region. In the morning, enjoy a walking tour of the city with guide.
Lorenzo de Medici transformed Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance by attracting the best artists, architects and writers of the time such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli to whom he commissioned various works. Visit Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, the Dome with Giotto’s bell tower, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce.
Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring Florence on your own, visiting the Uffizi or the Accademia or taking the opportunity to visit Pisa or Lucca.
Evening at leisure.
Morning tour of the Uffizi museums. You can’t leave Florence without visiting one of the most important art galleries in the world. Here you can admire numerous works of art by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Giotto, Cimabue, Masaccio. You will be able to understand and observe how changes in the way of living and thinking - throughout history - are reflected in the arts.
Afternoon and evening at leisure.
Transfer to Florence’s airport. Return home with great memories and a more open heart.