Venice, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Florence, Santorini
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
You can never have enough romance on this 14-day tour through Italy and Greece meant for honeymooners and passion seekers, lovers and explorers, adventurers and romantics. Spend your days traversing cities that have inspired passion; landscapes take your breath away and the luxuries rejuvenate your soul. Traverse Italy’s vibrant coasts and stunning countryside, along with Greece’s majestic island, where each city offers you a unique treasure to take with you, hiding within the dreamy quality of...
Venice – Romantic Beginnings
Welcome to romantic Venice, where the labyrinthine streets and glistening canals have brought historical passions and luxurious seclusion to anyone in search of a grand vacation. Step onto a water taxi and cruise along the famous waterways where colorful gondolas drift beside the raised, ancient buildings. The wind wafts through your hair; you can see the dome of St. Mark’s basilica edging closer to you. The taxi docks at the basin of the lush Londra Palace Hotel, where the 140-year-old building sits side by side with the rest of historic Venice. The hotel overlooks the splendid open water of St. Mark’s basin. The opulence of the hotel has made it favored amongst historic artists and travelers of all sorts coming to witness the unparalleled beauty of Venice. Each room is adorned with Biedermeier style, plush upholstery, and elegant marble bathrooms. Just steps from St. Mark’s Square and the picturesque fantasy of the city, your sensational vacation has begun.
Venice – Gilded Stone and Waters
The narrow streets of Venice are filled with hidden romance that can keep you winding through the city from sunrise to sunset without ever stopping to look at a clock. The fragrance of buttery pastries and rich espresso drifts from the cafes. The morning streets come to vibrant life with opened shops showcasing the island’s famous masks, gilded with glitter, paint, and magnificence, meant for Carnival but stunning every day of the year. Step outside Londra Palace and watch the decadent past of the city rise above you. Torre dell’Orologio stands proudly over the St. Mark’s Square, a clock tower built at the end of the 15th century, shining with pink bricks and an opulent white spire. Two strong Moors, cast from gunmetal, chime the hour.
St. Mark’s Basilica is the iconic image of Venice, set beside the calm water and the grand connection between the city’s long-standing independence and its Byzantine past. Built in the mid to late 11th century, the view of Piazza San Marco is breathtaking. The domes and Moorish arches create an elegant frame housing the exterior’s gilded mosaics that shimmer in the sunlight. Around the central portal is a Romanesque masterpiece beneath three carved arches. The golden sky bends with the domed shape over the replicated basilica and colorful devotees. It is easy to spend the day around the square, absorbing the exceptional architecture and history of Venice without having to venture too far; however, the charm of the streets remains hidden within the maze-like alleyways filled with secluded restaurants, hidden shops, and the city’s culture that is veiled in the shadow of St. Mark’s Square.
Venice – Marvelous Glass
Off the coast of Venice lie various islands that have added to the history and culture of the city for centuries. Board a comfortable boat and journey out to the lovely island of Burano where the fishing village is swathed with vivacity stretching beside its illustrious canals. Burano’s island claim is more of an archipelago, where you can stroll around the variety of islands all linked by quaint bridges offering tiny vistas of the canals. Walking along the cobblestones brings you through the vibrant homes that will lift your spirits, and where blues, pinks, and reds brighten the day and the island like a private display of the island’s culture. The breeze drifts from the water and brushes against the energetic facades.
Continue your tour on Morano, an island famous for its lustrous glassware. Forced to move from the main island to Murano in the late 13th century, glassmakers have thrived on the island’s shores, creating sensational artwork that gleams elegantly in the light. Witness a glassblowing demonstration where you can see the masters at work, twisting the boiling orb over a firm table, shaping the smoldering substance into whatever shape they desire. The work is hard but rewarding, creating some of the most sought after artwork in the world, and generating a choreographed dance with the glowing earth, twisting, pulling, pushing, and cooling the elements, giving you a tremendous display and an amazing finished product.
Bellagio – Remarkable Lakeside
Your romance continues as you leave Venice’s waterways behind. Board the comfortable train, making a quick stop in Milan to catch your service to the fabulous Lake Como, where a graceful ferry will whisk you to the quiet town of Bellagio. The medieval town stands out against the limestone mountains and lush forest that push against the shimmering lake. It’s like you have stepped into a fairytale with remarkable villages and unparalleled landscapes. Whether in the summer’s warm sunlight or winter’s blanketing snow, the lakes are stylish, classy, and comforting with a chilled breeze sweeping off of the water. Settle into your extraordinary accommodation, Hotel Florence, where wisteria dangles over balconies and terraces, adding a semblance of vitality and romance. Watch out over the lake, enjoying the calm, reflective waters, whether from your balcony or from the restaurant that emanates the seductive scent of saffron from their traditional risotto.
Bellagio – A Graceful Way
Revel in the passion of Lake Como, along the streets that climb through the hillsides and beside the water. Stroll through the lanes at your leisure, letting the city absorb you, from the cobbled walkways to stone architecture. For the best of Como’s blend of natural and architectural wonder, you can take the Greenway del Lago, a tremendous walk that takes you along the lake and through the surrounding hills, visiting the towns along the way. Although the entire trail is over six-miles long, stretching from Colonno to Cadenabbia, you can always stop at one of the villages, relax along the pristine water, and watch the boats come in and out of the marina. There is a serenity to the hills, the vivacious greens of the trees, the scent of forceful earth from the limestone mountains, all while overlooking the quaint homes, shops, and restaurants that bring life to the lake’s shores. Enjoy the privacy, the villages, the food, and the natural allure.
Bellagio – Villas and Flowers
The day is once again yours to wander along the lake’s shores and visit the wondrous sites of the townships. A short walk from the vast splendor of Bellagio is the celebrated Villa Melzi. The Villa sits on the shore in lustrous white. Pines stand tall against the grand façade, climbing into the hills. The structure was built between 1808 and 1810 when Northern Italy was part of the Italian Republic under Napoleon. The villa is not open to the public; however, the illustrious contents are not hidden within its decadent main doors but on display within the orangery. Images from Milan’s Napoleonic past, along with prints and artifacts, line the length of the interior, including two renaissance frescoes. The botanical gardens, designed by Luigi Villoresi, contain astounding plants that range from the rare to the exotic. Azaleas and rhododendrons blossom into effervescent hues, looking like decorations rather than flowers, a sensual site that gives you the greatness of the region, the history, arduous architecture, and isolated excitement.
Portofino – Lake to Riviera
The richness of breakfast brings in the new day, from fresh pressed caffé to flaky brioche. The water mirrors the mountains and sky in the early light. Today you will journey to Milan where you will catch your train to the stunning Italian Riviera on the Genoan Coast. The sapphire sea brushes against the spirited buildings of Portofino, where the marina wades in the calm water and the town reaches back into the surrounding trees. Settle into your comfortable Domina Home Piccolo. Hidden within the trees, rising on the limestone cliffs, your private hotel looks like a palace overlooking the glossy sea. Sailboats glide by the sloping landscape; the rooms blend the historic romance with modern amenities, allowing for comfort and sensuality in the extraordinary atmosphere. At night the entire city illuminates the shaded blue water. The pastel buildings shine in the fluorescent lights. It’s hard to imagine something so lovely…but you don’t have to imagine.
Portofino – One Town to Five Towns
When the morning rises over the pastel colors of Portofino you will venture by water taxi around the steep horn and arrive in Rio Maggiore, the first town of the renowned Cinque Terre, also known as Five Towns. Whether you visit all five towns by the local train that runs often or choose to trek the sometimes challenging but always rewarding hike, there is hardly a better cluster of villages to see. For a more unique experience venture to the final town, Monterosso al Mare, known for having the best beaches. The air is perfumed with sweet sea and grilled seafood, where the crispness of freshly cooked calamari entices you accented by the earthy aroma of pesto sauce.
The hiking path runs along the cliff, taking you over the water that shifts from turquoise to crystal clear, beside small vineyards and graceful olive groves. You can even see enormous basil plants reaching into the sky. A small plateau juts out from the tree cover and looks into the effervescent buildings of Vernazza; the natural harbor encloses small fishing vessels, while the castle tower continues to watch over the open sea. Part of the fabulousness of doing the hike in reverse is witnessing the enchanting town that you are wandering into, where the zesty scent of pine and pressed basil emanates from the excellent restaurants. The restaurants are known for their tremendous pesto sauce, which helps explain the supreme basil crop that you witnessed on the walking path. Vernazza has been pressed between the rugged coastline and towering cliffs for around 1000 years, and continues to mesmerize visitors with its splendor.
Florence – A Day with the Renaissance
Rise with morning and see the orange glow spread along the tender grass. Journey through the Tuscan hills en route to the storied city of Florence. History is alive and well in Florence, thriving in the city-center above the streets, within the museums, and along the streets themselves. With so much to see and experience the city will not only enrapture, but inspire you. From the Palazzo de Medici to the Bargello, you can stroll through the streets on a guided tour and see the outdoor museum that Florence is within the outer-medieval walls. The closer you come to Piazza Signoria the more the scent of fresh pastries and creamy gelaterias drift through the streets. Duck into Perché No for a great selection of unique flavors and friendly smiles.
Inside the Uffizi Gallery are some of the greatest Italian artists of all time. The halls are lined with entrancing marble, creating the desired effect of patina and romance, where you can feel your legs quiver knowing how close you are to masterpieces. Inside of the galleries, the boisterousness of the crowd subsides, replaced by quiet awe. In front of you is the Birth of Venus, painted by Botticelli in the late 15th century. The classic painting shows the goddess Venus being birthed from the sea. It is one of the most iconic paintings of the Renaissance; however, standing within its splendor is more than just seeing an art piece but is experiencing the colors, details, and imagination of a masterpiece up close.
Santorini – From Tuscan Hills to Island Cliffs
Enjoy your breakfast amongst Tuscany’s misty, morning hills once more before venturing to Rome where you will return your rental car, catch your flight, and find yourself sitting along the sensational cliffs of Santorini, Greece overlooking the endless azure water of the Aegean Sea. Your Greece honeymoon has begun!
A private transfer will take you to your accommodation located in the town of Imerovigli. Overlooking the wonderful caldera you can peer into the northwest tip of the island at Oia, as the picturesque whitewalls and cobalt blue roofs are illuminated in the afternoon sun. Every room is a secluded suite with magnificent space, giving you unfettered views, comfortable access to the infinity pool, and the insatiable sunset that overtakes the horizon in a golden orange.
Santorini – Colorful Beaches
The sunrise casts a pink shadow over the whitewashed buildings of the island. Whether you choose to savor your breakfast on your private balcony or at the edges of the pool, you will have a view of the expansive volcano and twinkling water. The day is yours to do as you desire, wandering and wondering through the phenomenal sites of the island. For a rejuvenating day, you can journey to the White Beach, accessible only by taxi boat. Nestled within a cove are the towering limestone cliffs that loom over the black sand shore which stems from the island’s volcanic nature. The beach derives its name from the opulent white color of the precipice that resembles the buildings overlooking the caldera. The limited access gives the beach romantic seclusion on the thin stretch of sand. The water is warm and crystal clear, offering you a view to the sea floor. Bask in the welcomed Grecian sun and embrace the dramatic scenery revealed between the cliffs and the shore.
Santorini – Around the Crescent
Another morning brings another special breakfast with a backdrop of the vast Aegean, looking more like a painting than a view. Your time in Santorini can be spent exploring the island in every way, from sights to flavors, and there is hardly a better way to experience the crescent shape of the landscape than by wandering the trail from Fira to Oia. The path was once a donkey trail, meant for the island’s revered animal to transfer goods between towns. Now the footpath offers you impressive and unique views of Santorini and the horizon. The earthy scent of the rugged terrain lifts in the breeze. The wind brushes against your cheeks and through your hair. You can hear the waves crash against the rocks settled at the bottom of the cliffs. The luminous walls of the undulating village of Oia come closer. The panorama’s majesty never diminishes. Once in Oia, you can stroll through the marbled walkway of the picture-perfect village, where your iconic image of Santorini not only exists but flourishes.
Santorini – Thriving Antiquity
There is hardly a better-known story than that of the mythological city of Atlantis. The romance of the story is in its mystery, passion, and grandeur. No one knows what happened to Atlantis, but rumors have made their way into the ether that says that the once illustrious city of Akrotiri, found on the southwest point of the island, is the true location of the lost continent. The city is known as Greece’s Pompeii, having been covered in ash and frozen in time by the intimidating volcano. The site is covered by awnings to protect that ancient city from the elements where ash and earth had enclosed the area for millennia. There is a rich scent of earth filling the awnings. Other that the ash covered buildings, the city has been preserved as it was, complete with pottery filled with wine and onions, along with lavish frescoes lining the walls. The main street highlights the magnitude of the commercial city; you can take in the splendid view of the uncovered town as a whole from the triangular plaza near the exit, where two-story buildings rise over the antiquated streets.
Santorini – Disappearing Aegean
The morning washes over the cliffs bringing back the pleasant pink hue draping over the village walls. During your last breakfast in Santorini you can revel in the view and savor the succulent fare on your isolated balcony. Soon you will have a private transfer to the airport where you will be taken to Athens to meet your return flight home. Your time has been spent venturing through the history and modernity of some of the most romantic places in Europe where your ardor has been as exciting as the cities themselves.
- Scour the romantic streets of Venice, from Saint Mark’s Square, to the labyrinthine streets
- Visit the famous glassmakers of Murano
- Experience the sapphire waters and lush forests at Lake Como
- Relax along the Italian Riviera
- Visit the charming streets and local gardens of Cinque Terre
- Discover the reasons for Tuscany’s famous countryside by venturing through its rolling hills and medieval villages
- Luxuriate on Santorini’s famous cliffs, where the whitewashed homes and blue roofs are a way of life
Let the romance overtake you on this custom tailored tour through Italy and Greece meant to illuminate the passion, beauty, and majesty of the countries’ most charming cities. Stroll along Venice’s elegant canals. Luxuriate within the whitewashed walls of Santorini’s iconic architecture that overlooks the stunning Aegean Sea. Witness the grandeur of the Renaissance in Florence and the charm of seaside villages along the Italian Riviera. From sweet baklava to buttery risotto, Lake Como’s secluded glamor to Tuscany’s tender hills, it is never too late to make your European fantasy come true.
Your passionate vacation begins with your arrival in Venice, Italy. The canaled city offers unique walkways and stunning architecture, all marked with romantic history. Spend your days traversing the paths, dining beside the lapping water, and touring through the Moorish architecture of the Basilica of San Marco. In the evenings you can relax in the grandeur of Londra Palace Hotel. A half-day tour will take you to the shores of Buran, Torcello, and Murano, where the pastel homes are as multi-hued as the glass that is created and shaped before your eyes. Through the eastern hills and into the base of the Alps, you will arrive in Lake Como, known for its tremendous scenery and famous visitors. Your nights will be spent in comfort at the Bellagio Resort, while your days will be at your leisure, wandering through the vast blossoming flowers, the reflective lake, charming towns, and extraordinary food.
Once in Portofino you will have the graceful surroundings of the Italian Riviera. The sweet life is known to be alive and well in the city, where the marina dazzles, the buildings sparkle, and the sea gently rocks back and forth. Discover the five towns of Cinque Terre, whether through the hiking trail or by quick rides on the local train, you can dig your feet into the sand, look out over the vast ocean-filled horizon, or stop and catch the scent of basil filling the steep mountainside. Once you are settled in Tuscany’s countryside you will have the open, green hills to wander through.
Voyage through the majestic countryside of Tuscany, settling in sensational Florence. Each step offers a new and exiting piece of antiquity and enchantment. Spend the day winding in and out of museums, while the entire city feels like an outdoor exhibit filled with legends, art, and architecture that you can relish. Arrive in Santorini, Greece where the image of the island has lingered in your mind and opens up before you. Your days around the crescent caldera are at your leisure, giving you the opportunity to lounge on the beaches, cruise along the coastline, and even visit the legendary city of Akrotiri. When your vacation comes to an end you will find yourself back home with the fascinating memories calling you to return.
$3,663 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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