Italy, Vatican City
Rome, Florence, Venice
Flexible and customizable for private departures.
Together, these three cities are calling you to join them, and there are an infinite number of reasons to answer with this 8-day tour. Rome is beckoning, singing to you the triumphs of her past and the incomparable splendor of her present. Florence is begging, enticing you with her world-class art scene and spectacular shopping. Venice is waiting, promising the treasures of a city that is truly unlike anywhere else on Earth.
Rome - Welcome to Italy!
Your first day on the peninsula sees you in its political and cultural heart, as this morning you touch down on the outskirts of resplendent Rome. A private driver will be waiting and ready to take you to your posh and perfect Roman hotel. After dropping off your bags and taking some time to recover from your flight, you’ll be off on a half-day walking tour, led by a private guide who will give you incredible insight into Rome’s history, culture and continuing global importance. The afternoon concludes in fine fashion with a private tasting at one of the city’s poshest wine bars, featuring wines from the heart of Italy and across the world.
Rome - The Allures of an Empire
Awake this day to a fresh espresso and the echoes of Rome’s epic history as you set out for the best-known sites of classical Rome. Climb to the top of Palatine Hill – the first place ever called Rome, according to one foundation myth – to gaze over two of the largest and grandest spectacles of the ancient world: the Roman Forum and the Circus Maximus. Get an up-close look at the best-preserved monuments, like the Arch of Constantine, before turning to the nearby Colosseum, a wonder of ancient engineering and perhaps the most enduring image of the city of Rome. You’ll get an engaging and informative tour of this remarkable structure, learning about the events that were held here and the Colosseum’s role as a political tool during the days of the Empire.
The afternoon is free to explore the rest of the city; if you’re still feeling the pull of days gone by, the Capitoline Museum on the summit of Capitoline Hill is a great place to continue your education, and it has one of the best sculpture collections in the country. This evening, enjoy dinner at one of Rome’s best restaurants, where the food is always superb and the service sparkling.
Rome - A Day in Vatican City
Today, you’ll enter the realm of the world’s smallest sovereign state and one of the most important stretches of land in Western history as you cross the border into Vatican City. Start your adventures at the door of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest religious buildings in the world and a crowning example of Renaissance architecture, its construction the result of a conference of some of the greatest geniuses of the day. The immense interior fills you with a sense of awe and reverence, and the art to be found here is truly spectacular, from Michelangelo’s Pieta to the altar designed by Bernini.
After St. Peter’s, you’ll enter the miles of priceless artifacts that line the walls and fill the halls of the Vatican Museums. There is art here from almost all stages of human history: from ancient Greek statues and Renaissance frescoes to even modern oils on canvas, united in their incredible quality and their incomparable skill. Revel in the Raphael Room, a giant sala covered with frescoes done by the master and his studio, including the famous School of Athens, and marvel at the phenomenal Gallery of Maps before making your way to the grand finale—the big bang, the frontispiece of, perhaps, the entire country: the sensational Sistine Chapel. Cast your gaze to the heavens to witness the unmatched genius of Michelangelo, the stories of Genesis done in stirring and inspiring ways, challenging us and bringing us closer to perfection. This is a building unlike anywhere else on Earth; so be sure to take some time to savor it.
Florence - Through the Tuscan Hills to Florence
After two and half days in the splendor of the Eternal City, it’s time to encounter the other corners of this fascinating country. The morning sees you boarding a first-class train bound for Florence, the capital of the region of Tuscany and the home to some of Italy’s favorite sons. Once you arrive in Florence, a private car will take you from the station to your hotel, whose chic and cosmopolitan ambience perfectly complements its unbeatable location mere steps from the front door of the famous Uffizi Gallery.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the streets of Florence, wandering your way along the banks of the Arno or walking the edges of the bustling Piazza della Signoria. There are a number of great cafes with ample outdoor seating that make a great place to rest for a coffee or glass of wine, and no trip to Florence would be complete without taking in the remarkable Santa Maria del Fiore, the acclaimed Duomo of Florence, with Giotto’s beautiful bell tower rising stridently and gracefully into the air beside it. Dinner this evening can be had at an authentic Tuscan trattoria. The bisteca alla fiorentina is always incredible, and the wines range from bold and bountiful to soft and supple.
Florence - One of Europe’s Greatest Museums
This morning, you’ll stay near your hotel as you have a morning appointment at one of the best art museums on the planet: the Uffizi Gallery, the home to arguably the most important collection of Renaissance art known to man. You can behold two of Botticelli’s vibrant and vivid masterpieces, Primavera and The Birth of Venus, or enjoy the fine assortment of Titians, Raphaels and Caravaggios that also fill the gallery. The sculpture collection is also quite good, and the museum also includes an impressive number of Roman and Etruscan artifacts.
After a delicious lunch, set out for the Accademia, the former art school at Florence, ready to experience an artistic awakening. Here, you’ll find an excellent assortment of classical and Renaissance statues, but the collection is unquestionably centered around Michelangelo’s greatest sculpture, the magnificent David, fronted by the sculptures left unfinished by the artist at the time of his death, his now famous Slaves. There are a number of exhibits detailing the creation process of the David as well as the sculpture’s impact on art history, and those interested might want to stop by the Accademia’s storehouse, where smaller models used by former students fill the shelves and crowd the tables.
Venice - Goodbye to the Duomo, Hello to St. Mark’s
A first-class train to Venice awaits you early this morning, but not before you grab a delicious cappuccino and something for breakfast from your favorite Florentine café. The trip to Venice is varied and beautiful, filled with the majesty of the Northern Italian countryside, the remnant of central Italy’s fertile fields and the foothills of the mighty Alps and Dolomites that rise spectacularly to the north. Once you arrive at the train station in Venice, a private water taxi will take you to the door of your beautiful Byzantine hotel that offers every modern luxury and a location near Venice’s fantastic Piazza San Marco. Located in a serene nook in the delightful Cannaregio District, you’re sure to find the Hotel Ai Mori d’Oriente everything you could have imagined.
Spend the evening strolling the streets of this romantic metropolis, stopping for some fresh seafood or a delicious Venetian cocktail; the Bellini was born here, just off the Piazza San Marco in a famous bar called Harry’s. Stop by for a spell – you’ll join noted guests like Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, and Jackie Onassis.
Venice - Around the Most Serene Republic
Your final day in Italy could not come in a better place, as the offerings of Venice are as endless as they are eclectic. Check out the incredible opulence of St. Mark’s Basilica, whose flowing domes and intricate mosaics have earned it the well-deserved soubriquet of the “Church of Gold,” or stop by the nearby Palazza Ducale, where the Doge of Venice ran the city’s affairs. It’s now an excellent museum, and it even gives you the chance to walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs. Pick up a souvenir at the Rialto Bridge, one of the city’s main landmarks, or set out across the lagoon to visit the islands of Venice. In Murano, you’ll find some of the best glassblowers in a city that prides itself on its glasswork, while Burano sports gaily colored houses and storefronts and some of the most delicate and beautiful lacework this side of Belgium.
Art lovers will even find their desires met as well. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection offers fascinating exhibits in Guggenheim’s own Venetian mansion, filled with pieces from artists that are the leading lights of the modern period; there are works from Duchamp and Dali, Mondrian and Kandinsky, Max Ernst and Juan Miro and Pablo Picasso. Not only is the artwork impressive, but the scenery is also sure to take your breath away.
Venice - Heading Back Home
The morning sees you leaving Italy, returning to the airport where a flight will take you home. The sights and sounds and tastes and experiences of the past week will flood over you, leading you to smile in remembrance of times past and to plan for your inevitable return visit.
- Discover the more modern side of Rome, like the amazing shopping at Via del Babuino and Via Condotti and the eclectic offerings at one of the city’s best wine bars
- Learn about the great victories and heroic statesmen that led the states of Ancient Rome at the inspiring Roman Forum before entering the center of Catholicism and encountering some of the best known art in the world at the Vatican
- Take a first-class train through the spectacular scenery of Tuscany before alighting on the outskirts of Florence, one of the great art capitals of Europe and a much over-looked shopping hub
- Cruise the canals and snake your way through the narrow streets and alleyways of unforgettable Venice, enjoying the artisans that populate the islands of Burano and Murano or simply settling down for a drink at Harry’s Bar on the edge of the magical Piazza San Marco
The rolling hills of Tuscany, the broad and bustling streets of Rome, the sound of the wake of a Venetian canal: these are the images that, perhaps more than any others, scream Italy. This eight-day tour is dedicated to showing off the best of these three major metropolises, these three giants in the world of culture and civilization. And with friendly people ready to meet you every step along the way, you’ll find yourself slowly falling in love with this irresistible country.
Visit some of the greatest art galleries in the Western world, from the immense Vatican Museums that culminate in the stupendous Sistine Chapel to the massive collection at Florence’s Uffizi, one of the finest art galleries in Europe. Enjoy the best in regional Italian fare, like freshly caught and perfectly prepared seafood in Venice, hearty pastas and thick cuts of steak in Florence, and southern Italian specialties like pasta and pizza in Rome. Spend some time in the best of the country’s city squares, such as the Piazza San Marco or the Piazza della Signoria or the Piazza Navonna. Whatever your interests, passions and pursuits, why ever you chose to visit Italy, this is the trip that will give you the perfect reason to return.
$4,555 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.
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