Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Rome will fully immerse you in history and culture as you take in the ancient columns and lavish palaces as historical roads wind into the countryside to lead you to medieval villages along the Sabine Hills. Every day is an adventure and every adventure a discovery as you are brought face to face with catacombs and villas, cliff-carved churches and preserved stone homes filled with unspoiled regional traditions. During your custom tailored Italian tour you will indulge in the aromas of comforting...
Rome is a city with intrigue around every corner, whether it be ancient stones or Baroque fountains. Church domes and bell towers create an elegant skyline with marbled palaces that once stood on the outskirts of the city center now hidden among the antique residential buildings. Gelaterias grace secluded piazzas and restaurants fill the streets with the aromas of fresh pasta with a tomato sauce that has simmered for hours. Upon your arrival, your private transfer will meet you at Rome Fiumicino Airport and escort you into the city. Once in the city center, you will settle into your hotel that overlooks the cobblestone streets between Moses Fountain and the Piazza Repubblica.
Your hotel was established in the late 19th century, making it nearly brand new in comparison to the décor of the city. Your guide will meet you in the lobby eager to be the first to show you the remarkable sites of Rome as you walk along the open neighborhoods. Make your way first to the Spanish Steps, a structure of elegant marble that connects the lower Piazza de Espana with the upper-level Trinita dei Monti. The church of Trinita dei Monti looms over the stairway with a grand façade erected in the 16th century. Frescoes crafted by Daniele da Volterra grace the interior, the most notable of which, Deposizione, fills the second chapel to the left of the main door. In the evening, university students and couples sit on the marbled stairway and linger in the soft tones of the street lamps to enjoy the vibrant life of Rome.
In the morning, the water continues to flow out of the Trevi Fountain as it cascades beneath the towering figure of Oceanus, over the rocks, and into the waiting pool below. You can hear the water splash down before you see the Baroque figures waiting around the corner. The pool has been emptied of coins, and in the early hours of the day, you can have a moment of quiet as you listen to the quiet trickle of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct before the bustle of the morning with Palazzo Poli acting as a backdrop to the famous fountain. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel ready to lead you into the depths of the empire’s ancient center.
The Colosseum casts a dramatic figure against the backdrop of Palatine Hill as the structure remains one of the most notable images of ancient Rome with its outer four-story walls that reach a height of 157 feet. The edifice was completed in the 1st century AD and housed remarkable games, holding up to 50,000 spectators at once. Your guide will lead you through the arcades of the nearly 2,000-year-old structure as the aroma of rich earth emanates from the stone. You can look down into the hypogeum, a two-story underground labyrinth where gladiators once trained and cages filled with exotic animals were once stored.
You can practically hear the battles once fought in the stadium, with the crowds’ chanting echoing off the walls. The remainder of the day takes you around the Roman Forum and into the Vatican Museums before you step onto a vintage tram. A live band sets the soundtrack for the evening to blend Italian favorites with classic Rock and Roll, along with the seasoned sounds of Dean Martin to fill the car with music. The tram will lead you back to the Colosseum where your day of touring began to enjoy the fun sounds, elegant aroma of small dishes, and stunning outline of the Colosseum at night.
The ancient Roman road, known as the Appian Way, once traveled more than 400 miles to the port city of Brindisi on the Adriatic Coast. The street enabled easier movement for Roman legions as they traversed the countryside and merchants as they traveled to and from Rome. After breakfast, you will venture to a national park which preserves up to 10 miles of the ancient roadway. Verdant grass borders the old paving blocks outside the center of Rome as the aroma of chestnut trees lingers in the air.
A church was erected over the spot where Peter had a vision of Jesus and Roman monuments continue to decorate the roadside. Strolling along the road brings a sense of tranquility and history, combining the beauty of the natural landscape with the Roman’s eagerness to tame the elements. Tombs of ancient Romans rise out of the ground like signs, projecting glitz and glamour in both life and the afterlife. Venture into the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, the daughter-in-law of a Roman nobleman as the cylindrical tomb stands on the hillcrest and was erected in the 1st century BC.
Beneath the rolling landscape, you will find the catacombs of ancient Christians scattered around narrow, miles-long tunnels. The air cools significantly to contrast the warmth of the sunlight outside the catacombs. You will touch your fingers to the wall, and its supports remain sturdy. The Catacombs of San Domitilla are the oldest of the burial sites, with more than eight miles of subterranean galleries and approximately 80 painted tombs. You will find a 2nd century AD fresco of the Last Supper along the passageway with the colors still vibrant after nearly two millennia.
The morning market at Campo de’Fiori opens to the fanfare of both locals and visitors. Flower stalls radiate color, and herbaceous fragrances with blossoming hydrangeas and roses as produce such as eggplant and oranges provide layers of pleasant aromas alongside artisan honey and fresh baked bread. Your guide will meet you after breakfast and escort you to the former port city of Ostia Antica, which once thrived with as a commercial center with more than 60,000 residents. The ruins contain docks, warehouses, apartments, and mansions that offer insight into the lifestyle of the Roman Empire.
The city was founded in the 7th century BC due to its proximity to the salt flats, later becoming an important port in the 5th century BC. The gridded streets lead north, south, east, and west, and your guide will point out the different tiers of the city. The ground level rose over the years, causing the city to elevate the streets as every lane or home that you walk by into dates back to at least the 1st century BC.
The scent of fresh grass has long overtaken the aroma of the seaside as the mouth of the Tiber filled with silt in the centuries earlier. The crescent theater could hold up to 2,700 spectators, and the top row offers a view to the current excavations across the archeological park, including the remaining columns of the Temple of Ceres. In the summer, visitors from across Italy arrive at Ostia Antica to enjoy concerts held inside the ancient theater, and the acoustics remain pristine. Upon your return to Rome, you can visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest church in Rome specifically dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The town of Tivoli is the most famous town of the Sabine Hills, notable for its medieval architecture and opulent villas set along the limestone ridge of a ravine. The cold waters of the River Aniene meander along the basin and continue to shape the landscape outside of Rome. The hilltop town has been a favorite escape for Romans for thousands of years due to the cooler climate and fresh air found outside of the city during summer. You will make your way to the hilltop town and stop first at the renowned estate once belonging to Emperor Hadrian. In the distance, you can see the soaring figure of the bell tower that belongs to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo as it rises above the cypress trees. The hills slope downward outside of the historical walls as oak and chestnut trees grow with emerald leaves and sporadic olive groves line the countryside.
The villa was erected in the 2nd century AD and decorated with architectural styles that the emperor found enticing during his exploration of the empire. Caryatids decorate the Canopus and statues depicting Egyptian gods stand beside the Roman imitations of the Greek figures. Classical Ionic columns rise along the edges of the manmade lake as the dome, and main buildings have Corinthian columns which highlight the Roman architectural style. Wandering through Hadrian’s gardens offers a stunning insight into the rich tastes of the Roman emperor, along with the remarkable artwork preserved through time, including various copies of Greek statues such as the Wounded Amazon.
In the morning, you will set out into the countryside of Lazio to leave behind the traditional structures and Baroque embellishments of Rome. The aroma of freshly baked brioche changes to the aromatics of the olive groves that will soon surround you. Chestnut trees grow along the rolling plains of north Lazio that spread from Rome to the hills on the horizon. You will reach the village of Fara Sabin, located at an elevation of more than 1,580 feet above sea level, making it the highest village in the Sabine Hills. The area was first settled between the 9th and 6th centuries BC before the Roman Empire conquered the region.
The origins of the contemporary town date back to the 6th century AD, under Lombard rule. The castle was erected in the 11th century and soon became the Abbey of Farfa, one of the most recognized medieval religious buildings. Charlemagne protected the Abbey at the height of his empire. The refurbished library contains more than 60,000 original manuscripts and volumes of from Western Europe, including a collection of the first books ever printed. In the village of Castelnuovo di Farfa, you will find a beautiful olive museum that traces the history of the fruit that continues to dominate the landscape. The galleries showcase a rare collection of antique oil processes as the creamy scent of the olive oil lingers in the galleries.
Wake up in the peaceful town of Casperia, located in the province of Rieti and the medieval architecture will shine along the hilltops as they are lined with old cobblestone streets and a relaxed pace. The aroma of olive oil fills the town with boutique shops decorated with artisan bottles from orchards that speckle the countryside. The ancient walls continue to surround the city as they have for thousands of years and small cafes set out chairs in the main piazza to offer a traditional breakfast of brioche and espresso.
Today you will visit the small towns along the Sabine Hills, following the road that leads to a carved out rock at the Hermitage of Saint Cataldo. The medieval church was erected in the 10th century and retains an element of surprise as you find the structure carved into the cliff side that was once used as a defensive post in battles throughout the Middle Ages.
By the time you reach Orvieto, the town will feel like a metropolis as the medieval piazzas offer views to the Umbrian Valley. Brick walls and cobbled streets create one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe, positioned atop a nearly vertical cliff of tuff, surrounded by defensive walls. Etruscan ruins and crypts honeycomb the precipice as the Tiber River sweeps along the base of the hills below. The Gothic façade of the church includes four pillars an array of mosaics surrounding the elegant rose window.
Much like the villages of the Sabine Hills, the Arch of Janus is a historical monument nearly forgotten by time. The significance of the 4th century AD structure made from brick and pottery shards is still not completely understood. The edifice stands more than 52 feet tall and contains a stone at the apex of the arch depicting Minerva. After one last morning of enjoying your surroundings, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Fiumicino Airport for your direct flight home.
The splendor of Rome goes beyond the remains of the former empire and into the city towns and villages outside of the city, forgotten with time and overlooked by passersby. Your 8-day tour will take you through the olive orchards and hillsides of Lazio, as well as beneath the streets of the Eternal City for an immersive tour of impressive imperial monuments and traditional medieval streets. Your journey will begin with your arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport. Your private transfer will escort you into the historical heart of the city for an introductory tour of Rome’s open-air sites, including the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
The next day you will enjoy a private guided tour of Rome’s ancient heart, from the Roman Forum to the Colosseum, including a secluded view of the hypogeum. In the afternoon, you can traverse the halls and galleries of the Vatican Museums to witness the treasured art and artifacts collected by the Holy See over the centuries. After your tour, hop aboard an antique tram for an evening of small dishes, free-flowing wine, and live music with a shifting backdrop of the city’s famous monuments. Enter next into the preserved Appian Way Regional Park to traverse the ancient road and old catacombs of the former empire.
In the evening, you will board a river cruise to indulge in beautiful dinner while on the Tiber. Wake the following day for a fabulous tour of Ostia Antica, the former port city of Rome. Wander among the layers of the former city to find the majesty in the remaining art and architecture. Upon your return to Rome, you will visit a number of prestigious churches known for their history, mystery, and artistic allure. Venture next to the town of Tivoli to explore the medieval castle and marvelous villas, including the Renaissance estate of Villa d’Este and the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Villa. The next day, you will exit Rome and make your way by private transfer to the villages that dot the Lazio countryside.
Move next to the Civic Museum of Rieti to view the collection of Roman armor en route to the province of Farfa. Relax in the open air and serene panoramas of the hilltop villages before you reach Casperia. The next day, continue your discovery of the enchanting medieval towns and villages of the Sabine Hills with visits to Greccio, Cascata delle Marmore, and the town of Orvieto, located atop a steep cliff. Conclude with your return to Rome at your leisure with your private transfer ready to escort you to Fiumicino Airport for your flight home.
$2,195 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.
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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