The endless variety of Italy is highlighted on this custom tailored tour along the country’s best sites, within marvelous cities and magnificent landscapes. Witness the intricate detail of Michelangelo’s David. Wander through the antiquity of Rome, where the sensational Colosseum continues to tower over the columns of the Forum. From the romantic canals of Venice to the astounding remains of Pompeii, you will wander along Italy at its best, immersing yourself in exceptional coastline...
Venice - The Best View
The plane arrives in Venice and you can sense the history and celebration of the city no matter the time of year, from Carnival to autumn. You are met at the airport by a private transfer and guided via the water taxi, traversing the Grand Canal where boats and gondolas roam, viewing the arching domes and pink bell tower that rise over St. Mark’s square. Arrive at your hotel located near the historic city center. The energetic cheerful sounds of active visitors are contagious, bringing more excitement to your lavish surroundings. Step out onto the streets and visit the city that has been built on the water. Striding into St. Mark’s Square is an experience in and of itself. The cobblestones are filled with cooing pigeons and jovial children chasing the birds through the open plaza.
Venice - Within the Grandeur
The images of Venice are fresh in your mind and right outside your window as you wake in the morning to the scent of fresh cappuccino, a subtle reminder of your surroundings. As you make your way back to St. Mark’s Square you will travel deeper into Venice’s stunning history with a tour of the Doge’s Palace. The Palazzo Ducale features quintessential Venetian exterior architecture, a large square structure with arched colonnade wrapping around the palace and along the canal. After your magnificent stroll through the iconic square you will journey through the treasured canals of the city by gondola. As you wade through the waterway you will find what feels like a hidden neighborhood, winding through the artery of the city that has for so long been the image of Romance throughout the world, within the legends of Casanova and even movies such as Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. Private docks continue to stretch from buildings constructed during the Venetian Renaissance, some even older, and offer the best views of the city.
Florence - The Renaissance City
The gentle bells of the Campanile di San Marco continue to ring at the hour and feel as though they summon in the morning. After a delicate breakfast of fresh brioche you will board the first-class compartment of a comfortable train, arriving shortly in the Renaissance city of Florence. At the station you will be met by a private transfer and taken to your accommodation at the heart of the ancient city. The charm of Florence is immediate, within the streets, along the luster of buildings, and even as you step out and see the outdoor museum that has captivated visitors and locals for centuries, from Dante to da Vinci. After a brief introduction to the marvelous city of the Renaissance you will come to the Gallerie dell’Accademia, a pristine museum attached to the art school that has guided sculptors and painters throughout history and continues to do so today. Within the cavernous space of the museum you will find the lofty walls dressed with vibrant paintings. To the left of the entrance you will find a crowded hall, long and pristine with an open dome at the far end spotlighting the jewel of the exhibit, Michelangelo’s David.
Florence - Artistry for All
The early morning rush of Florence sweeps you up into the cobblestones and comes not from the people but from the city itself, an energetic sunrise that quickly washes away the sleepy night and drapes the city in an electric light that bounces off of the walls. The energy of the morning will bring you to the Uffizi Gallery. What was once a palace built for the Medici family in the 16th century now holds some of the most magnificent images of the Renaissance. Later in the day you will meet your guide at Mercate Centrale, the old central market, housed within a brick pavilion. Your guide will take you through the market picking out the freshest ingredients which are essential to making Tuscan food, including aromatic fennel. Soon your guide will then demonstrate their knowledge as decorated chef, as they guide you through the cuisine, from the ingredients chosen to the proper ways to slice, julienne, and cut the produce. All the while, your instructor will give you hints and tips as the kitchen begins to fill with lovely fragrances. The only thing better than the scent of the dishes is the taste, as you learn to create and then devour your masterpiece.
Florence - The Wandering Hills
The Renaissance world of Florence is surrounded by arguably some of the most beautiful scenery in Italy, the coveted Tuscan hills, where you will come to the medieval walls of Siena. The city was meant to be explored at a leisurely pace that fits in with the atmosphere; let the buildings surround you and the essence of the city overtake you. The people are friendly and proud of their history. Whether sitting in the main square with a caffé and watching the people come and go or spending the mid-morning in awe of the spectacular Duomo, there is endless majesty to be found. In the afternoon you will find yourself within the Tuscan hills along the open, rolling greenery near the amiable medieval municipality of Chianti. You will delight in a Tuscan lunch and taste the variety of regional wines, including the slightly spiced Chianti itself.
Florence - View from the Tower
Just outside of the city of Florence is the quiet city of Pisa, where during the day the main streets come alive with cheerful visitors coming to witness the sensational tower. Within the square known as the Field of Miracles you will find the spectacular architecture that has inspired visitors to come to Pisa for centuries. It is not necessarily just the tower, but also the incredible Duomo beside it. The plaza sits next to the oldest city wall constructed in the 12th century and perfectly preserved. The sheer magnitude of the cathedral is as impressive as the artistry, similar to that of the Leaning Tower, with thin columns creating long arched colonnades that encircle the rotunda. If you look closely you will notice that the Cathedral and the Baptistery are also listing, but by no means to the degree of the tower. Due to the heavy material and soft grounds, as the terrain sunk, the buildings began to tilt. There is much more to Pisa than the Field of Miracles, having been a consistent university town since the 14th century; visit the crafts market outside of Porta Nuova where the true cultural market resides.
Rome - Known Antiquity
Today you will leave the rolling Tuscan hills behind you and come to the Eternal City, Rome. Meander through the historical center and come to the remarkable Pantheon. The ancient temple constructed in 125AD was dedicated to all the pagan gods; however, in the Middle Ages it was consecrated as a church. The impressive dome remains the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever constructed. Step past the immaculate pillared pediment; once inside you will marvel at the arched vault ceilings said to symbolize the heavens. Sunken panels are evenly spaced along the ceiling as the polished marble floor lends echo to your footsteps. In the evening you will enjoy a typical Roman dinner at a local trattoria. Traditional dishes such as saltimbocca, veal cutlet cooked in white wine with sage leaves and draped with prosciutto, give a succulent and decadent end to the illuminating day.
Rome - History’s Best
This morning you can see the sun shine over Rome’s antiquity as you wake up to the inviting aroma of fresh espresso. The dark roast gives you an extra zip before you are met by your guide and venture out into a historic day. Come to one of the most recognizable icons of Rome, the Colosseum, filled with lofty arches that circle around in a grand scale of human ingenuity and historic preservation. The Roman Forum is situated adjacent to the imposing rotunda, where the Corinthian columns of past buildings continue to straddle the hill. At the heart of ancient Rome you can almost hear the ancient city come alive, mixing with the modern streets and the people who continue to visit a city that has captured hearts and minds for thousands of years. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore the many pleasantries of the city, from Piazza Navona to the Trevi Fountain. In the evening you could even enjoy an indulgent dining experience in one of the many delicious restaurants of Rome city center, whose ambiance will make you feel like one of the family.
Rome - The Opulence of a Church
The opulence of Saint Peter’s Square guides you in, encircled by a colonnade that leads on either side to St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican’s heart. Once in the Vatican Museum, it is hard not freeze in overwhelmed excitement. The collections seem to go on for days, containing one of the largest art collections in the world with over nine-miles of pieces, and filled with paintings and sculptures, busts and jewelry, all within the luxurious halls of immaculate architecture. The crown jewel of the museum is the Sistine Chapel, home to Michelangelo’s famous work which took four years to complete. In the evening you can enjoy a sweet, creamy taste of gelato as you sit in Piazza Navona, like so many Romans do, listening to the gentle strum of guitar and the late night buzz of the city.
Rome - What Remains
Wake ready to move towards Pompeii. The abrupt end to the city of Pompeii has left a sensational mark on history and remains today, giving insight into the Roman past and its shaping of the rest of the world. The city was covered in ash during a large eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD; its peak continues to grace the skyline in the distance. The city was immense in ancient standards, stretching far and wide beneath the looming volcano. The earthen scent of stone and soil mixes into the greenery that has developed in the main square. As you are guided through the site you will pass what were once shops and homes, filled with relics, form earthenware to mosaics and which continue to decorate the city after almost two millennia. After your tour you will come to Sorrento, the graceful city built along the bay, which rises into the cliffs, making a safe, relaxed, and stunning atmosphere for you to perch.
Sorrento - Stretching the Coast
Just over the hills of Sorrento you will find the sparkling waters and remarkable cliffs of the Amalfi Coast. The remarkable sweep of coastal cities, twisting roadway, and immaculate scenery has captured the hearts of movie stars and visitors throughout time; you can see why as you gaze out over the sapphire water that brushes against the rocky alcoves below. The ride along the coast is an adventure in itself as your guide weaves along the narrow two-way road. Pass the lovely city of Positano that climbs up the mountainside, touching down at the water with pink and white houses as the soft scent of citrus mixes with that of the sweet sea. Enjoy a day at your leisure to enjoy the scenery and the hospitality of the locals.
Sorrento - Side of Greece
Dating back to a time before the Roman’s held immense power, the temples of Paestum decorate the open fields of the southern countryside with the best preserved Greek ruins in Italy. Stepping in front of the Temple of Hera is a daunting and exhilarating moment. The large, girthed pillars hold together the sensational pediment that encircles a large expanse dating back to the original construction in the 7th century BC. The magnitude of the temple, along with the surrounding landscapes, from the green grass to the mountainous distance, gives a lovely grace to the antiquity. Later in the day you will return to Rome with the city at your whim in the afternoon. When the evening settles over the city’s grandeur you will enjoy a farewell dinner, filled with the flavors that you have fallen in love with over your time in Italy.
Sorrento - Of the Fond Farewells
There is never an easy way to say goodbye, especially when it’s to the best of a country so ready to embrace you as one of its own. From Roman ruins to Grecian temples, Venetian waterways to Florentine art, you have made your way through the extraordinary cities of Italy. You have fallen in love with the fabulous countryside, and witnessed the variety of flavors, textures, and history that have mesmerized countless people before you. As you make your way to the airport to make your flight home you know that the best of Italy will be there to one day welcome you back.
- Witness the spectacular city of Venice, including the iconic Doge’s Palace
- Enjoy a gondola ride through the romantic canals
- Experience the Renaissance streets of Florence, filled with grand architecture and sculptures lining the streets
- Delight in a cooking course that will give you unparalleled tastes of Tuscany
- Visit the celebrated Leaning Tower of Pisa within the Field of Miracles
- Explore the Eternal City of Rome, including the Vatican, home of the Sistine Chapel
- Discover the ancient remains of Pompeii
- Revel in the remarkable beauty of the Amalfi Coast and the Blue Grotto of Capri
There is no doubt that the iconic images of Italy will give you a sample of the best cities and countryside, from ruins to art, on this 13-day excursion through picture-perfect scenery. Whether settling over a view of the Amalfi Coast or visiting the Uffizi Gallery to witness the acclaimed Botticelli paintings that hang along the old Palace walls, you will find the grandeur of Italy within its wonders, from Venetian skyline to Roman antiquity. Every day will seem like an endless stream of magnificence promising you that the best is yet to come.
Your journey through the best begins in Venice, home to canals and St. Mark’s Square, lavish Carnival and labyrinthine streets. A brief tour of the city will find you at the wonderful Byzantine Cathedral with its towering domes and glinting mosaics. The following day you will tour through the Doge’s Palace, a symbol of power and opulence. Drift through the canals on a tour of the city through the waterway in the iconic gondola coveted by worldwide.
Make your way to Florence, a city filled with beauty, from its Renaissance buildings to its golden aged artistry; in the afternoon you will find yourself in the Galleria dell’Accademia to view the breathtaking David, created by Michelangelo. Visit the Uffizi Gallery where sensational paintings line the many halls. In the afternoon you will enjoy a cooking course that will teach you about the cultural foods of Tuscany and which will simultaneously introduce you to the history of the region. In Siena and Chianti you will find the medieval cities’ charm included in the flavors of the wine. A day in Pisa will have you experiencing the Field of Miracles, home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the extraordinary sites within the medieval walls.
Continue your discovery of the best as you enter Rome, the Eternal City. Stepping through the historic center you will find the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, filling the city and your time with spectacular images. Your days in Rome will have you touring through the historical majesty, from the Colosseum to the Vatican, looking up to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Travel southbound to wander through the ash covered city of Pompeii, a unique construct that has given insight to an illustrious past. At the Amalfi Coast you will glide along the narrow road witnessing the natural beauty of the rocky cliffs, sapphire sea, and even the celebrated Blue Grotto of Capri. A visit to Paestum brings you to the oldest Greek ruins in Italy, viewing the magnificent temples before returning to Rome and eventually making your way home.
$4,025 per person (excluding international flights)
- 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.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.89 stars based on 4153 reviews.
Reviewed By Philip V.
Reviewed By Travis A.
Reviewed By Derek M.
Reviewed By Steven B.
Reviewed By christine G.
Reviewed By Albert A.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era