Italy, Vatican City
Rome, Tivoli, Vatican City, Amalfi, Positano, Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Montecassino
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Revel in the charisma of Italy’s heritage as it brings art, history, food, and wine to the forefront during your custom-tailored culture and history tour from Rome to the Amalfi Coast. Discover iconic treasures in the Vatican and enjoy immersion into the once-buried streets of Pompeii. Watch a demonstration about homemade buffalo mozzarella and venture deep into the life of an empire at the Roman Forum. From rugged views along the Amalfi Coast to a unique blend of contemporary and medieval history...
Rome – Arrive in Rome with an Introductory Tour of the City Center
Rome is a city rich in culture and history that spans 3,000 years and captures the imaginations of visitors from around the world. The mix of ancient ruins and inspiring art will create a captivating ambiance that is accentuated by the central piazza that is brimming with cafes and fountains. Restaurants and museums will capture the charisma of tradition in the home of the Roman Empire. Your private transfer will meet you at Fiumicino Airport upon your arrival in Rome and escort you to the luxurious welcome of your accommodations along the bustling streets of the historic city center.
After spending time freshening up, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby eager to introduce you to the marvels of Rome on an introductory walking tour that will take you from the Trevi Fountain to Piazza Navona. The prestige of Rome stems from the remarkable feat of engineering and design that created the Pantheon. The massive dome remains the largest unreinforced, concrete building in the world and stands 142 feet tall that is equal in diameter. Your guide will offer hidden secrets and well-known facts about the construction and history of the former Roman temple.
Rome – Discover Ancient Rome and the Beauty of Vatican City
The life and times of ancient Rome will become tangible after breakfast when your private guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and lead you on an exemplary tour of the ruins that are scattered across the city, beginning with the Colosseum and Roman Forum. The Forum will take you deep into the fascinating but often overlooked details of civic and religious life in the ancient capital with foundations of the impressive remains that date back to the fifth century BC. The Temple of Saturn remains one of the most iconic images of the city with eight huge Corinthian columns that soar above the plaza nearly 30 feet tall. The ruins of the temple embody both grace and grandeur of ancient Roman architecture that is displayed in the tribute to the father of the gods.
In the afternoon, you will continue your exploration of art and history in and around Rome with a private tour of Vatican City. The allure of the art and architecture stem from the grand design of St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as the fascinating collection of masterworks and artifacts that are displayed in the Vatican Museum. Your tour will begin in St. Peter’s Square with a view to the magnificent dome that stands over 448 feet tall. The arcade that borders the basilica resembles arms that are welcoming visitors to the church.
The interior of the basilica will enchant you with dazzling sophistication. It was built on the foundations of the fourth-century church under which St. Peter was buried. A figure of Emperor Constantine riding a horse will greet you upon entering while the natural light that filters through the windows will glint against the double bronze doors. The splendor of the nave will culminate with your view of Michelangelo’s Pietà, which depicts a young Mary cradling Jesus after the crucifixion. The fascinating images of the two biblical figures were carved from a single block of marble and still contain intricate detail that rendered their features lifelike.
Rome – Explore Prestigious Villas in Tivoli and Enjoy a Cooking Class
Outside of Rome sits the city of Tivoli on the hillside, which overlooks lush waters of the River Aniene. Your guide will meet you at the hotel after breakfast and whisk you into the countryside to discover the remarkable history and natural charms of the town where aristocratic Romans once escaped the summer heat. You can hear the splashing waters that rush down the hillside along the edge of Via delle Cascatelle with a tremendous view from the Belvedere. The first-century BC Temple of Vesta has been preserved near PIazza Rivarola with 10 of the original Corinthian columns remaining. Your guide will lead you into the captivating ruins of Villa Adriana, which was once the summer home Roman Emperor Hadrian.
The sensational complex that embodied the artistic aesthetic of the emperor was accumulated through his travels across the empire, creating an ideal city within his palatial home. You will have a glimpse into the life of the Roman empire 2,000 years ago by walking along the gorgeous landscape at the Doric Pillared Hall, which retains the Doric bases and capitals that support the colonnade. The vaulting in the Great Baths reflects in the water that accentuates the sculptures’ Greek aesthetic. You will also marvel at the stunning mosaics that decorate the floor of the guests’ quarters.
Upon returning to Rome, you will meet your private chef who will be happy to unveil to you the secrets of Roman cuisine. The aromas of black pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese will fill the kitchen as you learn how to craft fresh, handmade pasta. You will delight in preparing a three-course meal that follows the traditional flavors of Rome as you create crunchy fried rice balls, also are known as supplí, which are deliciously braised artichokes and tender noodles known as tonnarelli. You will take your first bite of the popular cacio e pepe pasta dish and indulge in a savory, cheesy flavor with a bite from the pepper that will symbolize the Roman passion for local cuisine.
Naples – Visit Montecassino and Revel in the Culinary Delights of Naples
Your private transfer will meet you at the hotel after breakfast and escort you away from Rome, traveling south to the bustling port-side city of Naples. Before exploring the culinary treasures of the southern city, you will stop at the fascinating Montecassino Abbey that is perched atop a hill at 1,706 feet above sea level. The foundations of the religious complex date back to the sixth century AD, leading to a golden age of art and architecture before the building’s destruction in World War II. In the forecourt, you will pass a statue of a saint with preserved shrapnel damage that connotes the tumultuous era of war and the destruction of the complex. The views over the countryside will brim with lush trees and a refreshing pine aroma. The restoration of the historic abbey will highlight its historical importance that can be seen in the glinting, bronze doors from Constantinople and the ornate decoration inside the tomb of Pietro di Medici.
Upon arriving in Naples, you will have time to relax and freshen up in your hotel room before meeting your private chef for a sensational introduction into the city’s pizza heritage. You will snack on customary hors d’oeuvres such as local cheeses and charcuteries while you learn to make the perfect dough from scratch. You will craft a tremendous tomato sauce, roll out your dough, shape the pizza, and cook the dish in a wood-fired oven that will result in a sensational, crispy crust that is balanced with a savory sauce and melted buffalo mozzarella.
Naples – Traverse the Remarkable History and Culture of Naples
The city of Naples will fill with the aroma of the sea breeze and the scent of freshly baked sfogliatelle pastries in the morning. The esplanade near the harbor will erupt with activity from the cafes as fishing vessels return to the marina with fresh seafood. Your guide will escort you through the city on a private tour after meeting you at the hotel, immersing you in the culture of the regional capital and stunning history that dates back to the arrival of Greek settlers in the eighth century BC.
Your tour will begin at the National Archeological Museum, which houses a fantastic collection of antiquity from Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as the treasures that have been amassed from the kings of Naples, including the Farnese collection. Your guide will lead you through the remarkable galleries that possess intricate mosaics and stunning frescoes before introducing you to the Farnese Hercules, which is a gigantic statue of the Roman hero that stands over 10 feet tall and is draped in the skin of the Nemean lion.
You will continue through the narrow streets of the historic city center before reaching the Cappella Sansevero. The sixteenth-century, private chapel will fill with the aroma of frankincense and myrrh that embellish the Baroque décor. Your guide will show you the stunning statue by Sammartino, which is known as Veiled Christ. The intimate sculpture depicts Jesus with a translucent tissue over his body. You will be stunned to learn that the delicate feature was carved from marble and woven seamlessly over the body.
Positano – Tour the Ancient Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum
You will take a trip back into ancient Roman times once again with a private guided tour of the preserved cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. You will begin the day with your guide at the gates of Pompeii, which was infamously buried beneath nearly 20 feet of ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The wide, cobbled boulevards will lead you to the Forum, which was the center of life in the bustling port city. The amphitheater will rise out of the landscape at the far end of the excavated city, dating back to 80 BC and making it the oldest Roman amphitheater in existence. You will enter the stadium and stand at the center of the theater that was once capable of supporting 12,000 spectators.
At Herculaneum, you will follow your guide along the elevated pathways that lead down into the streets of the former city that was once covered in over 52 feet of ash and mud. The natural encasing conserved perishable elements of the city such as the wooden rooftops and furniture, as well as jars filled with wine and oils. You will see how the city stops at the former waterline compared to the new shoreline in the distance. You can visit the Terme Maschili, which are the thermal baths that were built in the first century BC, revealing the separate bathing areas for men and women.
Positano – Wander the Elegant Charms of the Amalfi Coast at Leisure
At breakfast, the aroma of freshly brewed espresso will drift through the dining room of your hotel, providing a refreshing scent that blends with the fragrant morning sea air. Your private driver will meet you in the hotel lobby ready to escort you around the Bay of Naples to reach the celebrated beauty of the Amalfi Coast. The enchanting ambiance derives from the collection of small, pastel-colored towns that decorate the steep maritime mountains and luxurious beaches.
A collection of 30 defensive ramparts will soar above the coastal landscape, and these were built between the ninth and seventeenth centuries to protect the towns from Saracen pirates. You will reach the town of Amalfi and stroll through the narrow lanes that lead to the main piazza. The impressive cathedral rises above the plaza with 62 steps that lead to the portico. The sunlight will wash over the black and white stripes on the façade as they glint against the gilded mosaics.
The cathedral represents the former power and prestige of Italy’s first maritime republic before falling to the Pisan navy. The scent of the sea breeze will blend with the aroma of freshly grilled squid that is dressed in lemon juice. The interior Romanesque architecture will fascinate you as it is showcased by the fabulous frescoes on the walls and ceilings that depict the life and miracles of St. Andrew.
Positano – Revel in Antiquity at Paestum and the Heritage of Mozzarella
In the morning, the charming town of Positano will embody the grandeur of the Amalfi Coast with pastel facades that protrude from the Mediterranean brush. The scent of lemons will sweep through the streets, which stems from the terraced orchards. Your guide will lead you inland to the plains of Campania to discover the fascinating history at Paestum, which dates back to the Greek settlers in Italy during the sixth century BC.
The preserved Doric temples will mesmerize you as you wander around the three structures that have been dedicated to Poseidon, Hera, and Ceres. The oldest of the three temples was dedicated to the goddess of marriage and family with archeologists uncovering inscriptions that were devoted to Hera inside the structure. You will also visit the legendary Tomb of the Diver, which is a conserved crypt that dates back to the fifth century and is known for its marvelous frescoes.
Your fascinating tour will continue outside of Paestum with an introduction into the unique flavors of the region that are captured in the delectable buffalo mozzarella. You will visit a family farm where the buffalo graze on the lush grass of the plains. You will enjoy the demonstration of the farmer who produces the handmade mozzarella cheese, and you will be able to sample the local delicacy where you will find the hints of grassy and floral notes that will are complete with a satisfying tang.
Positano – Delight in a Wine and Food Cultural Tour of the Amalfi Coast
Today, you will indulge in the special flavors of the Amalfi Coast with an immersive tour that samples the wines and cuisine that are celebrated along the gorgeous Tyrrhenian waters and rich, mountainous landscape. Your sommelier guide will meet you at the hotel after breakfast and drive you inland through the Apennine landscape to a winery of his choice. Your guide will provide exciting information on the type of grapes that grow along the terraces of the Amalfi Coast, while also offering insight into the reasons of how a struggling grape can become a more dynamic wine.
In the tasting room, you will sample wines with a Designation of Origin guarantee, protecting the consumer by ensuring a sustainable and consistent quality by the producer. You will sample a tremendous Fiano di Avellino, enjoying the aromas of pineapple and honey that emanate from the glass. The lingering aroma of jasmine will lead to an enveloping flavor of toasted hazelnut with a creamy texture that is perfect for a warm day overlooking the enchanting mountainous terrain. After indulging in the satisfying flavors of the wine, your guide will introduce you to a salumi factory, which produces the most popular prosciutto in the Irpinia province and Campania region.
Positano – Depart for Home
The heritage of Positano derives from the ruins that are scattered across the hills near the Church of the Assumption as well as inside the historic boutique shops that line the narrow, cobbled lanes. The morning light will wash over the majolica tiles that decorate the church cupola as the fishermen return to the shore, hauling their fresh catch and leaving their colorful boats to wade in the crystal-clear water. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you in the hotel lobby and escort you around the Bay of Napes to reach the airport where you will board your flight home, bringing a comfortable end to your history and culture tour of the Amalfi Coast. You can always extend your time in Italy with a visit to the unique island of Sicily or the fascinating heritage of the Basilica region, which is home to the fabled Matera.
- Enjoy the immersive history of Pompeii and Herculaneum with a private full day tour that features excavated artwork and portraits of ancient daily life, including viewing the oldest remaining Roman amphitheater in the world
- Traverse the ancient heart of Rome with a guided tour of the Forum for insight into the civic and religious center of the grand empire
- Revel in the culinary culture of Naples with a private pizza-making class that unveils the secrets of crafting the perfect traditional pizza
- Sample the heritage of Campania on a wine tour in the lesser-visited Irpinia province, guided by a sommelier who celebrates historic, local tastes
- Venture deep into the artistry of ancient cultures in Naples’s National Archeological Museum for a stunning view of the expansive collection
- Discover the grandeur of preserved, Doric, and Greek temples at Paestum and the sensational fresco panels that have been preserved in the elegant Tomb of the Diver
- Witness the point at which ancient and contemporary history converge when exploring the historic complex of Montecassino and its World War II history
- Delight in the fascinating aesthetic of Roman Emperor Hadrian at his villa in Tivoli, which displays 2,000 years of stunning design and elegant décor
- Experience the thrill of viewing Michelangelo’s famous Pietà on display inside St. Peter’s Basilica
- Indulge in the splendor and passion of Roman cuisine while making a three-course meal during a private, luxurious cooking class
Fascinating cities, ancient insights, enchanting scenery, and artistic treasures await during your 10-day culture and history excursion from Rome to Amalfi. Your fascinating exploration takes you deep into the heritage of Italy, discovering the preserved ruins and uncovered artworks that date back thousands of years, while also celebrating the significant cultural contribution of cuisine across the distinct regions of Lazio and Campania. The exotic scenery of hillside villages that overlook azure waters and charming villas that conserve the aesthetic of former emperors only scratches the surface of the grandeur you will experience during your luxury tour of Italy.
Your captivating discovery from Rome to the Amalfi Coast begins with your arrival in the Eternal City where your private transfer will meet you at the airport. With three nights in Italy’s capital, you can indulge in the remarkable ambiance of the winding medieval lanes, towering churches, and fascinating artwork that decorates the public piazzas. Your private tours introduce you to the sensational pearls of Rome’s artistic aesthetic, taking you deep inside the Vatican, around the fabled fountains of Piazza Navona, and to the heart of ancient Rome at the Colosseum and Forum. Outside of the city, you will have the opportunity to tour the enchanting town of Tivoli and the gorgeous former palace of Emperor Hadrian.
Transfer to Naples for two nights where you will visit the unique development of Montecassino, combining breathtaking artwork and battles of ancient and contemporary history. Inside Naples, your private excursion will combine artistic merit and culinary heritage, which is where you will discover the elegance of the city from inside the sensational National Archeological Museum and historic city center. You will also have the opportunity to take a private cooking class where you will uncover the secrets of Neapolitan pizza. Venture deep into the ancient world of Rome at Pompeii and Herculaneum for a more dynamic understanding of life along the ports of a Roman colony that has been preserved in mud, ash, and pumice for nearly 2,000 years.
Travel to Positano for four nights where you will indulge in the luxurious views and enchanting ambiance of the Amalfi Coast. A mixture of private drivers and private tours will combine for an excellent exploration of the fabled towns along the shoreline, as well as a grand excursion into the depths of cultural history in Campania at the Greek temples of Paestum. Learn the art of crafting buffalo mozzarella during a demonstration on a farm and embrace the magnificent tastes of the Apennines with a wine and food tour of the inland towns that will be guided by a sommelier for a perfect embodiment of Italy’s diverse, yet familiar cultural flavors. Read some of our Italy traveler reviews to discover new experiences to add to your own tour.
$2,745 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.
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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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