Italy, Vatican City
Rome, Naples, Ostia Antica, Tivoli, Castelli Romani, Vatican City
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The glory of Rome knows no bounds as the city embodies 3,000 years of history as it accentuates the opulence of ancient life, medieval tradition, Baroque artistry, and contemporary views. Fountains adorned with intricate marble statues decorate piazzas as the scent of fresh pasta emanates from countless mouthwatering restaurants. The Colosseum towers over Rome’s past on the edge of the city center, and the Sistine Chapel radiates the unique view of a master artist. You will be immersed in...
Rome – Embrace the Wonder of Rome with an Introductory Arrival Tour
Rome is a city overflowing with artistic riches and historical depth as the streets and squares have evolved over 3,000 years. In the morning, business people hustle to the office and in the evening, the same people will linger in the squares to bask in the fading sunlight as they sip local wine. Your flight will land at Rome Fiumicino Airport, and your private transfer will meet you upon your arrival to escort you to your luxurious hotel in the historical center of Rome. The outline of the Colosseum will guide you eye skyward to the marvelous church domes that crown the city, none more spectacular than St. Peter’s Basilica. Indulge in the comforts of your accommodation as you soak in the views from the window and the vibrant life outside the lobby.
Your guide will meet you for an immersive first experience of the city. Torre Argentina also referred to as the Roman Cat Sanctuary, is an old Roman temple excavated in the 1920s. Cats lounge on the ruins to enjoy the open air and the fading sunlight. Walk the bustling cobblestone streets shaded by the shadows cast by Baroque palaces. The Spanish Steps were erected in the 18th-century to connect the Piazza de Spagna with Piazza Trinita dei Monti. In the evening, university students, couples, and visitors from around the world congregate on the marble stairway to chat, enjoy the refreshing night air, and sip wine beneath the dual towers of the Trinita dei Monti Church.
Rome – Revel in Rome’s Past with an Immersive Antiquity Tour
The Tiber River frames the borders of ancient Rome and the current propels the water beneath the decorative statues that line Sant’Angelo Bridge. Three posts at the center of the structure remain from its original construction in the 2nd-century AD to connect the heart of Rome with Hadrian’s mausoleum. In the morning, your guide will meet you after breakfast for a private tour of the ancient sites of the city which branch out from the heart of Rome to the walls of the Colosseum. The edifice was erected in the 1st-century AD as its four walls rise to a height of more than 185 feet tall. Inside the stadium, your guide will lead you into the secret compartment beneath what was once the arena floor.
Although the wooden slats that cover the subterranean level are gone, the thrill of wandering along the labyrinthine tunnels remains. The walls of the hypogeum rise to two-stories tall and once contained training rooms for gladiators, along with cages to house exotic animals before a battle. Outside of the arena, before you visit the Roman Forum, your guide will take you up to Palatine Hill, which watches over the Tiber River. The first inhabitants of Rome settled along the hillside before the temples, villas, and emperors. The remains of Emperor Augustus’s wife’s house highlight the apartments of the Republic before the Empire. The house was erected in the Pompeian style around the year 25 BC.
Rome – Visit the National Museum of Rome and Tour the Neighborhoods
The Trevi Fountain is serene in the morning before the crowds of couples cozying up to one another on the marble benches arrive. The stone figures depict Oceanus, his horses, and the various Tritons to offer symmetry to the opulent décor, with a natural spring that spills refreshing water into the pool. The 18th-century fountain continues to draw spectators from around the world eager to bask in the grandeur of the position attached to the back of Palazzo Poli. After breakfast, your guide will lead you on another wonderful tour of the city, this time beginning with the National Museum of Rome followed by a visit to the Baths of Diocletian.
The structure was erected in the 4th-century AD and boasted the largest collection of imperial baths in all of Rome, positioned on the smallest of Rome’s seven hills. The water supply to the baths was cut in the 6th-century AD which caused the structure to fall into disrepair. A portion of the National Museum fills the former bathhouse with artifacts from ancient Rome making the largest collection of historical art. The familiar Greek figure of the Discobolus, the Disk Thrower, was created in the 5th-century BC in bronze while the Roman copy is crafted from marble from the 1st-century AD and is on display in the gallery.
You will take advantage of Rome’s open-air atmosphere with a guided walk through the neighborhood of Trastevere, a medieval neighborhood of cobblestone streets and historical houses that cross the Tiber River. The Roman identity of the district emanates from the classic Trilussa Piazza in front of the Sisto Bridge. Vines dangle along the facades of the houses and bright flowers grow on the windowsills in narrow pots. If you want to let the artist in you free, you can partake in a mosaic workshop taught by a master craftsman eager to share his trade with newcomers.
Rome – Discover the Beauty of Vatican City on a Private After-Hours Tour
The Baroque façade of Palazzo Barberini glows white in the spreading sunlight of morning. Pope Urban VIII rebuilt the palace of his family name in the 17th-century using the brilliant designs of renowned architects Borromini and Bernini. Oval stairways contrast the rectangular design of the structure, and the décor of the apartments embody the style and grandeur of Italian Baroque. After breakfast, you will be eager to see more of the styles and artistry of Rome’s history. Your private guide will lead you through Vatican City to explore the treasures of the church, from Michelangelo’s dome that accentuates the magnificence of St. Peter’s Basilica to the marvels of the Borgia Apartment, the private residence of Pope Alexander VI.
The Museo Chiaramonti offers a perfect introduction to the wealth of artwork on display in the variety of galleries inside the independent principality that covers some of the only surviving figures of known Greek sculptors. Two Discus Throwers, marble copies of the original bronze work, stand near the entrance as if protecting the portal.
The figures have become a theme through your time in Rome, and your tour only gets better as the day progresses. When the doors of the museum close to the public, your guide will lead you on an intimate after-hours tour of the galleries and allow you to traverse the gilded halls at your preferred pace, with pristine views of the works on display. The Sistine Chapel adorns the end of the tour to provide you with ample time to get close to the 16th-century frescoes that drape the nave and accentuate the ceiling as the scent of candle wax and myrrh emanates from the walls.
Rome – Traverse the Historic Streets of Ostia Antica outside of Rome
The city of Ostia Antica once thrived with goods and people as they arrived from all around the known world. The city was founded in the 4th-century BC where the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea converged. At its zenith, the city held more than 50,000 people to form Rome’s largest suburb and the empire’s main commercial port. The Tiber River shifted in the 16th-century, and the sea receded from the once-vibrant port. Explore the city during your private guided tour of the excavated streets and homes, which paint a vibrant picture of Ostia between the 2nd and 4th-centuries AD. The scent of oak and cypress trees drift along the cobbled avenues as lush meadows border the brick red hues of the former city.
The main street of Decumanus Maximus traveled half a mile to connect to the marina. Public buildings and shops line the old boulevard and include a fishmonger’s shop. The stone table used for cutting fish remains at the center of the shop. The Baths of Neptune provide insight into the social and hygienic lives of the city as rich mosaics decorate the floors of what were once pools. Sea serpents, fish, and mermaids bring vibrant detail to the bathhouse and the heating system in the corner of the northeast terrace kept the temperatures around the bathhouse diverse and consistent. Your guide has a natural ability to bring the past to life and mix mythology with history for an immersive experience into the ancient Roman Empire.
Rome – Explore the Borghese Gallery and the Famous Churches of the City
In the morning, the active runners of Rome race into the gardens at the Borghese estate as they separate the bustling atmosphere of Italy’s capital city with the countryside. After breakfast, you will follow in the footsteps of the Romans and seek escape in the beauty of the land in the glades, lakes, and woods of the nearly 200 acres of the collected gardens of the Borghese. The villa was erected in the 17th-century under the patronage of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The dramatic entryway includes frescoes that decorate the ceiling with each painted by the Baroque artist Mariano Rossi. Fragments of mosaics from Torre Nueva add layers of historical grandeur to the halls and depict gladiators and hunting scenes.
In the garden, you can wander along the manicured hedges and blossoming tulips as chestnut trees add a sweet fragrance to the air that drifts past the marble lion heads that frame the gravel path. Rent a rowboat and paddle out onto the lake beneath a copy of ancient temple façade. The museums that border the gardens contain inspiring works of art from masters such as Titian and Caravaggio. After you enjoy the villa, you will dive into the history and lavish accents of the churches of Rome, beginning with St. John Lateran to view the bronze doors and Statue of Constantine the Great. In the evening, you can partake in a Roman tradition as you learn the art of pasta making. Dig your fingers into the soft flour and eggs until you begin to knead the homemade dough.
Rome – Venture to Pompeii for a Full Day Excursion to the Preserved City
Today your guide will meet you at the hotel in the early morning before the bustle of Rome returns to the streets. Travel south towards the Bay of Naples to arrive at the entrance to the ancient city of Pompeii. The sprawling cobblestones streets cover an area of 170 acres as the looming silhouette of Mount Vesuvius stands stoic across the water, the reason for the city’s preservation. In 79 AD the volcano erupted to cast the life of Pompeii into ash and pumice stone, now waiting to be uncovered. The city housed up to 20,000 people at its height of one of Rome’s great port cities.
The scent of the rich earth continues to rise from partially covered homes to blend with the prevalent fragrance of lemon trees that emanate from the nearby citrus groves. Nearly half of the city has been excavated, with the most recent ruins displaying private homes of merchants. Furniture and frescoes continue to decorate the rooms meant for social gatherings as lavish Corinthian capitals border the entrance to the House of Meander. The wooden roof has remained intact over the millennia with an opening at the center that allowed water to drain into waiting pools. The rooms feature frescoes that depict scenes from Homer’s Iliad which highlights the connection of mythology with the fast-paced world of Pompeii.
Make your way into Naples for lunch and meet a private chef ready to teach you the celebrated flavors involved in creating a perfect Neapolitan pizza. The dough and sauce are made fresh, and the cheese was made at a local dairy in the Campania region that specializes in mozzarella buffalo. The scent of the brick oven fills the kitchen with savory delight.
Rome – Relish the Splendor of Rome with a Day at your Leisure
The treasures of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj are often overlooked when people visit the Eternal City. The palace has four wings that look inward to the courtyard as Renaissance arches lead into elegant rooms that are decorated with the private art collection of the Doria Pamphilj family. The palace was built in the 16th-century and witnessed the unions of significant Italian families. After breakfast, the day will be yours to experience Rome and the region of Lazio as you desire. Wander beneath the extravagant ceiling décor of the Doria Gallery wing to visit the captivating villas of Tivoli located less than 20 miles outside of Rome.
The grand hotels and shops along Via Veneto are famous for their luxury, along with their connection to celebrities who take the time to wander down the tree-lined boulevard. Spend the day to discover the treasures of the city too often passed over, including the Church of Sant’Ignazio. The Baroque structure is tucked into the heart of the historical city, and the encompassing piazza provides a perfect frame for the church. The interior contains the herbaceous fragrance of frankincense. When your eyes adjust to the dim light, you will find magnificent frescoes painted across the ceiling.
The riotous colors create a dizzying display of 17th-century oil painting of St. Ignatius, created by a Jesuit priest, Andrea Pozzo. You will tear your eyes away from the lavish painting of the ceiling to find the marble disc in the nave floor. Stand atop the disc before you return your gaze to the ceiling. The simple change in perspective will send you into the heavens as painted by Pozzo, which turns the artwork into a three-dimensional landscape. The effect continues as you stare into the artwork that decorates the dome, which in fact is a flat surface draped in canvas.
Rome - Depart for Home
Along the hills of Rome, the locals stroll near the Parco Savello. The small park near the Aventine offers unparalleled views of the city skyline, from the red-tiled roofs to the domes and towers of the churches. An elegant monastery belongs to the Knights of Malta with an antique door with a seasoned keyhole. When visitors look through the keyhole, you are then viewing the capital of three states, Rome, the Vatican, and the micro-country of the Knights of Malta. The main view creates a dramatic frame of St. Peter’s Basilica as shaped by the figure of the keyhole. The scent of espresso drifts from the cafes, and as you are ready, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel to escort you to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for your flight home.
- Enjoy your VIP status during a spectacular After-Hours tour of the Vatican Museum and linger in the wondrous artwork of the Sistine Chapel
- Discover the often overlooked Baroque church of Saint Ignazio to find graceful frescoes that form a three-dimensional effect
- Indulge in the traditional flavors of Rome with a private pasta-making class
- Witness the ancient streets of Pompeii during a private excursion to the historical city still covered in ash and pumice
- Wander beneath the former arena floor of the Colosseum during a special tour of Rome’s ancient sites
- Wander the medieval neighborhood of Trastevere for an in-depth look at contemporary Roman culture within the historical Roman architecture
- Experience the grandeur of the gardens, art, and familial legacy of the Villa Borghese
- Stroll along the main road of Rome’s iconic port city of Ostia Antica to see first-hand the preserved culture of ancient life
- Relish the soft pizza dough between your fingers during you private pizza making class in Naples
- Visit the main portal to the monastery of the Knights of Malta for an unforgettable view of Rome
- Take a class on mosaic tile-work from an artisan craftsman in the heart of Rome’s historic art district
Experience the true marvels of Rome during your 9-day exclusive tour of the artwork, architecture, and culture of one of the most famous cities in the world. Relish your private excursions to ancient monuments and delight in your exclusive exploration of the Vatican Museums during an After-Hours Tour. The splendor of Rome will welcome you and turn every moment into legendary memories. Your perfect adventure will begin with your arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport as your private transfer will escort you into the heart of the ancient city and your luxurious hotel near the highlights of Rome’s spectacular monuments. Your guide will meet you at your hotel eager to lead you on an introductory tour through Rome’s open-air museum atmosphere, from the Piazza Navona to the Spanish Steps.
Next day, your guide will immerse you in the ancient life of Rome after you have had breakfast. Explore the secluded sections of the Colosseum and wander along the historical structures of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Explore the National Museum of Rome the next day, which encompasses several antique buildings, including the Baths of Diocletian. In the afternoon, you will have a walking tour of the Jewish Ghetto and the medieval neighborhood of Trastevere. You will have the chance to learn the secrets of crafting mosaic tiles during a private demonstration by an artisan craftsman. Next day, you will have a full day tour of Vatican City with an in-depth visit to the gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the museums. The highlight of your tour will be your private After-Hours excursion through the galleries of the main museum concluding in the Sistine Chapel.
Venture next to the outskirts of Rome and the old port city of Ostia Antica to uncover the old passageways and gain insight into the daily life of a Roman city. The expansive gardens of the Borghese Villa are yours to explore the next day, along with the lavish works that decorate the villa’s interior. In the afternoon, your guide will take you on a tour of Rome’s distinctive historical churches before you embark on a private pasta-making class to learn the art of the Italian cuisine. Travel south to the Bay of Naples with your private transfer the next day and visit the preserved city of Pompeii. For lunch, you venture into Naples for a cooking demonstration about Neapolitan pizza.
The following day is at your leisure to indulge in the splendor of Rome at your leisure. Visit the collective towns of Castelli Romani outside of Rome or relax in the stunning gardens of the villas in Tivoli. In Rome, you will witness the Baroque ceiling frescoes of Saint Ignazio Church and wander the streets to take it all in. Next day, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel ready to escort you to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for your flight home.
$2,470 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.
- 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
4.85 stars based on 117 reviews
"Every aspect of the trip was considered and managed for...
Reviewed By Bill B.
"Our guides...truly gave us a nice taste of these cities...
Reviewed By Josie P.
"It was a seamless experience."
Reviewed By Jonathan A.
"All of the organization involved was right on the mark...
Reviewed By Bryan P.
"[This travel company] recommended hotels and tours for...
Reviewed By Thomas C.
"Our vacation with this travel agency and the travel planner...
Reviewed By Morgan F.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era