Highlights and Hidden Treasures of Italy Tour: Rome, Florence & Venice

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Total Trip:

10 Days
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Countries Visited:

Italy
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Places Visited:

Rome, Florence, Venice
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.
In Italy you find that one person’s daily landscape is another person’s cherished experience. Cathedral cupolas create the Roman skyline, and opulent marble statues decorate a public square in Florence, available for everyone’s viewing. The Gothic Doge’s Palace stands beside St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice creating a powerful, historic ambiance. Your custom tailored Italy tour to Rome, Florence, and Venice embraces the wonderment of these three iconic Italian cities and their magnificent surroundings.

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Day 1

Roman Treasure Trove

Rome is a city rich in antiquity and Christian history, brimming with decadent restaurants and vibrant markets. The fountains in Piazza Navona trickle with grace amidst the Baroque palaces lining the square. The oldest market in Rome emanates the scent of seasonal produce in the morning, filling with the jovial calls of vendors. Flower stalls around the city give Rome a certain floral aroma at all times of the day and night.

When you arrive at the airport, your private transfer is waiting to bring you into the charismatic city, and the cradle of the Roman Empire. Narrow alleyways twist around antique buildings opening up to hidden piazzas. Your hotel is located in the heart of Rome along the cobbled streets and close to the bubbling sounds of the iconic Trevi Fountain.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 2

Jewels of Rome

Rome is a treasure trove of wonder, from ancient architecture to priceless artwork decorating historic palaces. At breakfast, the aroma of fresh espresso drifts from the countless cafes across the city, blending with the luscious taste of a flaky brioche filled with chocolate. Your guide leads you on a morning walking tour, helping you orient yourselves around the expansive city, from the massive concrete dome of the Pantheon to the elegant marbled piazza around the Spanish Steps.

In the afternoon, you make your way to the Vatican Museum for a self-guided exploration of the majestic gilded hallways. Marble statues glint in the sunlight. The tiled floor is polished to perfection. The gilded walls and crown moldings shimmer against the bright frescoes decorating the ceilings and walls, most notably in the Map Room. You reach the Apostolic Palace and find the 16th century painting known as the School of Athens decorating almost an entire wall. The colors burst from the canvas with grace, creating a tranquil image of Athens during its height of enlightenment. If you look closely, you can see the painter, Rafael, leaning his head into the frame to accompany the likes of Plato and Socrates, each rendered to resemble different Renaissance master artists.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Sensational Summers

In the morning, the decadent scent of espresso wraps around the city and brings vivaciousness to the streets. Your guide meets you at the hotel and escorts you the 18 miles east of the city to the exceptional splendor of Tivoli. The hilltop town was once a summer retreat for ancient and wealthy Romans during the Renaissance. Emperor Hadrian had a stunning complex of gardens and buildings around the 2nd century.

Your guide leads you to the perfect example of ornate Italian gardens of Villa d’Este, which countless European gardens have emulated over the years. The terraced grounds were converted into a luxurious retreat in the 16th century. In the cool mid-morning air, the gargoyle spouts water into pools. Cypress trees emanate a spiced aroma throughout the grounds. Trees shade the lanes meandering around the extravagant fountains. Your guide explains that each fountain is powered by gravity and nothing more. You take your time along the 426-foot Avenue of the Hundred Fountains, basking in the magnificent artistry in every luxuriant detail.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Highlighting the Renaissance

In the morning, you make your way to Roma Termini Station. After your board your first-class car, you watch the remnants of the powerful empire fade behind the horizon. The golden hills around the city turn into the lush, rolling greenery of Tuscany. Your train stops at Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence where you find your hotel nestled in the historic center of the sensational city. The medieval walls continue to border the outer ring of central Florence.

Cobblestone streets meander past antique buildings now filled with prominent boutique shops. Chic cafes offer tables outside where locals sip espresso at all times of the day. You can see the dome of the Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo, peek its head over the buildings from almost anywhere in the city. Stroll down Via del Corso and find Piazza Signoria crowning the avenue with a clock tower of Palazzo Vecchio more than 308 feet tall.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Hidden Paths

Florence has a serene quality in the morning. The Arno River rushes underneath the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, and is the last remaining Florentine bridge constructed by the Romans. The cafes open their doors and the sleepy quality of early morning becomes blessed with espresso beans. Your travel guide meets you in your hotel’s lobby and escorts you to your Tuscan food tour starting point. There, you will meet the locals at Taste Florence Food Tours, where you will be accompanied on a stroll through the streets of Florence discussing classic Tuscan dishes, olive oil, and wine. Along your tour you will stop at several of the best markets Florence has to offer, sampling Tuscany's most prized possession of flavors. Purchase your favorite bottle of wine and try some of Tuscany’s best Prosciutto. You will leave with not only a satisfied appetite but also the knowledge of the best local flavors and restaurants around Florence thanks to the expert guides at Taste Florence Food Tours.

When finished, your travel guide will pick you up and lead you underneath the shade of the towering Duomo, and to the Uffizi Gallery. The Gallery was commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici in the 16th century as an office for the city magistrate. From the outside of the gallery, your guide points to a small archway connecting Palazzo Vecchio to the Uffizi Gallery. From the outside, the archway is unassuming. This archway is the beginning of the Vasari Corridor, leading from the palace to the Gallery and continuing along the Lungarno dei Archibusieri and crossing over the Ponte Vecchio until eventually feeding into the Palazzo Pitti. The corridor provided safe and easy access for the Medici’s to move between the governor’s palace and their residence.

An air of aristocracy remains in the corridor. When you enter, the ambiance sweeps you into the past, filling the halls with a surreal quiet. Paintings from the 16th and 17th century line the walls, including unique images of artist’s self-portraits. Windows open to a view of the Arno River and the colorful apartments bordering the waterway. You pass above unknowing crowds of people on the Ponte Vecchio and have a tranquil view into the Church of Santa Felicita.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Private Flavors

The morning light washes over Tuscany and flickers on the surface of the Arno River. After breakfast you make your way into the famous Tuscan hills where the rolling countryside blossoms with cypress trees, verdant grass, and endless rows of grape vines. The cypress trees line the narrow country roads. Manicured shrubberies border gravel walkways. Elaborate staircases lead to the garden. Your exclusive tour of a private Renaissance villa takes you into the heart of Chianti. The slower pace and tranquil atmosphere is immediately apparent.

Your host leads you to a large wooden table on a terrace overlooking the garden. The traditional Tuscan spread of simple meats and cow cheeses are set with charm across the table. Your host pours a sample of the Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico for you to taste. The intense ruby color stands out against the garden greenery. You find an aroma of wild cherries and raspberries with a slight, supple spice from the tannins on your tongue. The pleasures of the wine embody the majesty of the day.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 7

Pearl of the Lagoon

In the morning, the brick dome of the Duomo shines a vivacious red against the white marble of the encompassing structure. You sip your espresso and think about the endless marvels of the city. Make your way to the Santa Maria Novella Station and board your first-class compartment journeying to the magnificent city of Venice. The Tuscan hills give way to the dense trees of Veneto.

When you arrive in Venice, you find a city unlike any other, surrounded by water yet glowing with grace. A water taxi takes you to your lavish accommodations in the heart of the city near the rising domes of St. Mark’s Basilica and the towers of the Ducal Palace. The saltwater aroma of the city rises from the canals. The labyrinthine cobbled streets hide historic gems. Carnival masks decorate shop windows adding to the luster of the city’s antique wealth and legendary nobility.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Venetian Magnetism

The quiet lapping of the water against the cityscape creates a unique soundtrack to your time in Venice. Cafes open their doors and set tables on the cobbled walkways alongside the canal. After breakfast, your guide meets you at your hotel ready to lead you on a half-day private tour of Venice’s marvels, set around the maze-like alleyways leading back to St. Mark’s Square.

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco was erected in the 16th century out of lavish marble. Two separate main halls, one on the ground floor and one on the second floor, characterize the Scuola. The lower hall has a nave and two aisles leading in from the plaza. The painter, Tintoretto, decorated the interior. On the upper floor, you find a magnificent telling of the Old Testament draping the ceiling and the New Testament carpeting the walls. The sensational contrast of colors and shading enhance the emotions of the tales told through the artwork. Although the Scuola is not hiding, it feels like a hidden gem.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 9

The Richness of Time

Waking up in Venice feels like waking up in a painting, where you can watch the sunlight wash over the golden weathervane of Archangel Gabriel topping St. Mark’s Campanile, the bell tower. After breakfast, the day is yours to discover the remaining splendor of the city with your private guide. Whether you want to venture to the island of Murano to watch the glass blowing or meander around the countless arching bridges connecting the many islands of the city together, every moment will be special.

The Palazzo Rezzonico allows you a momentary glimpse into the elegant life of the Baroque and Rococo periods of Venice. Palace construction began in the 18th century but was completed in the 19th century. The palace stands on the right bank of the Grand Canal. Gondolas glide past the three-story marble facade unaware of the silk wall coverings and lavish furnishings decorating the interior. The gilded crown molding and high ceilings shape the elegant ambiance, enhanced by the exuberant chandeliers and wall coverings, and embellished with lavish paintings.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 10

Glassy Goodbye

The beauty of Murano glass brightens the display windows across Venice. The colors twist and wind across light fixtures and vases showcasing exquisiteness at every turn. In the morning, you can sit at a café on the banks of the Grand Canal and watch the city come to life. Children marvel at the Carnival masks and wonder what it was like to have attended a grand gala in the height of Venice’s power. You sip your espresso and enjoy the cool breeze sweeping off of the water.

Soon your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport for your flight home, but for now you can bask in the grandeur of the city and treasure the moment.

You may want to browse the Italy reviews section on Zicasso to read about traveler experiences while on their customized trips.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Discover the marvelous artistry and attention to detail needed to establish the grand gardens of Villa d’Este in Tivoli
  • Witness the splendor of color and imagination in the celebrated Sistine Chapel
  • Traverse the secrete halls of the Vasari Corridor used by the Medici Family at their height of power in Florence
  • Indulge in the flavors of Tuscany at a private Renaissance villa in the heart the Chianti region
  • Revel in the marbled allure of Venice with a private guided tour of the city’s more unique artistic treasures
  • Experience the stunning Renaissance artifacts of Florence in Piazza della Signoria, filled with marble statues like an open-air museum
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Detailed Description

The majesty of Italy never fades, but only grows stronger in the persistence of Roman ruins and the elegance of Renaissance art, the romance of Venetian Gothic architecture and the shaped grace of Italianate gardens. This 10-day Italy tour to Rome, Florence, and Venice will show you that Italy is much more than just highlights. On this discovery tour, you will go beyond the surface to find the hidden treasures of the cities sure to inspire you. As with many tours of Italy, your journey begins in Rome. Your private transfer awaits your arrival at the Fiumicino Airport and escorts you to your hotel.

Soon, you are settled into your luxurious accommodation located in the historic center of the city. In the evening, you get your bearings of Rome with a self-guided walking tour. The following day, your guide leads you on an orientation tour of the city. Once at the Vatican Museum, you will explore the countless artistic riches of the grounds leading to the Sistine Chapel. Continue your exploration of Rome and its surroundings with a visit to the hillside town of Tivoli, known for Emperor Hadrian’s villa and the picturesque gardens of Villa d’Este.

Your private transfer meets you at the hotel the following day and escorts you to Florence, which is part city, part open-air museum. On your first full day in the city, your guide leads you on a fabulous tour of the hidden halls of the Vasari Corridor, connecting Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti across the Arno River. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the city, from reveling in an artisan walk to viewing Michelangelo’s David.

Spend a day outside of Florence indulging in a lavish Renaissance villa, basking in the flavors of Chianti, with a stunning view of the Tuscan hills all around you. Travel northbound to the world famous city of Venice to find the architecture reminiscent of the Republic’s glorious past. Your guide leads you on a private half-day walking tour of the city, showcasing the wonders of Venice’s historic center culminating and the Ducal Palace. Your second day in Venice lets you discover the islands and treasured museums of the city at your whim and pleasure, using your guide’s suggestions to explore Murano and Burano or visit some of the lesser-known museums along the Grand Canal. On your final day in Venice, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and take you to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport for your flight home. 

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Starting Price

$2745 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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