This is Italy with no-holds barred, an excursion of such incomparable luxury that it beggars description. Private tours of the Vatican Museum and after-hours visits to Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica. Exclusive cruises along the famed Amalfi Coast and once-in-a-lifetime excursions to Bologna and St. Moritz. The biggest suites in five-star hotels and dinner at restaurants with multiple Michelin stars. Whatever your inclinations, this tour comes down to five words: Go big or go home.
Lake Como – Beginning Your Italian Experience
Greet Italy at Malpensa Airport on the outskirts of Milan, where a private driver will be waiting to take you to the inimitable splendor of your hotel in on Lake Como. You’ll enjoy the unparalleled luxury of one of the best rooms in this exclusive and elegant hotel that also offers a sensational restaurant, a perfectly attentive staff, and views that will take your breath away. Throw in a world-class spa, and you can understand why this is one of the best hotels in Northern Italy. For dinner tonight, enjoy fresh, creative, and perfectly prepared Italian cuisine while you get a splendid view over the azure expanse of Lake Como.
Milan – From the Shores of Lake Como to the Streets of Milan
After a delicious and hearty breakfast at the hotel, you’ll get the ultimate first-look at Lake Como as an expert guide ferries you to the area’s most attractive villages and towns. Start on Como’s western coast, taking in some of the most enchanting villas in the country, from the stunning gardens of Villa Balbianello to the opulence of the villas that line the lake. Pass some of the lesser-known towns on Como’s shimmering shore before exploring Bellagio and enjoying a unique and unforgettable lunch at Isola Comacina.
In the afternoon, you’ll travel back to the streets of Milan to get a rare and very special tour of the Refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the incredible Last Supper fresco by Leonardo da Vinci dominates a wall where the faithful used to take their meals. After this amazing artistic interaction – led by an informative and engaging guide – you’ll enjoy a superb dinner at one of Milan's best restaurants, where the food is sublime and the wine list truly unmatched.
Lake Como – Through the Alps to Switzerland
Bring your passports as your local driver takes you through the soaring Rhaetian Alps past the Italian frontier and into the dominion of Switzerland, bound for the sensational resort town of St. Moritz. The drive will lead you alongside Lake Como, its blue waters glistening in the morning sun, before you begin your ascent of the mountains and the crossing into Switzerland. Upon arriving in St. Moritz, spend some time cruising through the scenic streets of this beautiful city, enjoy a traditional Swiss lunch at one of the city’s many laid-back cafes or climb the nearby peaks to gain a spectacular vista over the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you. Return to Lake Como for the evening.
Venice – Across the North, Via Verona
Make your way east from the shores of Lake Como through the rugged landscape of the Italian north, bound for the shores of the Adriatic and the singular city of Venice. While en route, stop in the delightful northern town of Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s immortal Romeo and Juliet and a fascinating community in its own right. You’ll certainly want to see ramparts and battlements on the Castel Veccio, as well as tour the incredible Arena Amphitheater, a Roman-era structure that still hosts performances of Verona’s opera company.
After a delicious lunch, you’ll continue your journey to Venice, finally alighting at the Piazzale Roma. There, you’ll take a water taxi to your amazing accommodations, a five-star monastery-cum-resort-style hotel that is a few footsteps away from the famed Piazza San Marco. You can take a few hours to explore your immediate environs before setting out for dinner.
Venice – Discovering the Mysteries of the Queen of the Adriatic
Today begins with a fully guided tour of the incomparable Floating City, winding your way through the labyrinthine canals and serpentine streets that slither through the metropolis. Your expert guide will show you the back alleys – or rather back canals – of Venice, the unworn paths that many tourists overlook, the nooks and crannies that hold the treasures that make this one of Italy’s greatest cities. You’ll explore Venice by land and by water, checking out the most beautiful churches, townhouses, and artwork that the city has to offer.
This afternoon, take an exclusive tour of St. Mark’s Basilica led by a guide who will be sure to give you all of the best details of this opulent church of gold. You’ll be free from the throngs of people to take your time, reveling in the amazing details that go into seemingly every square inch of this beautiful structure.
Venice – The Environs of Venice
After a leisurely morning and a delicious breakfast, you’ll take a private water taxi to the immaculate island of Torcello, just in time to make your reservation for lunch, where the food is simple and superb and the service is second-to-none. Enjoy the rich wood ceilings and the warm terra cotta bricks that dominate the scenery here before setting into classic Venetian fare re-done “Cirpriani style.”
After this delectable meal, the main islands of the Venetian lagoon await you, ready to showcase their artisanal wares and the darling communities to all passersby. Explore Murano, Torcello, and Burano as a knowledgeable guide tells you about these islands’ storied history and their cultural impact, and where you can pick up some of the fine handicrafts that can be found throughout the islands. Murano is particularly known for its glasswork, while some of the best lace in the world is made in Burano.
Florence – A Traipse Through Italy’s Culinary Heartlands
Return to the west of Italy as today sees you leaving Venice and bound for Tuscany, passing through rustic Italian scenery and past noble and fascinating villages. Stop in Bologna in the mid-morning to discover all that this city has to offer, from the campus of the world’s oldest university to the striking edifices and delightful streets of the historic city center. You’ll even get the chance to enjoy a meal in one of the best foodie towns in Italy.
Alight in Florence, where you’ll spend your nights within eyeshot of the famous Ponte Vecchio with a fantastic view over the gently rolling River Arno. You’ll find the staff is attentive and courteous, the facilities modern and elegant, and the location simply unbeatable, as it offers the perfect place to base your excursions into Florence.
Florence – The Capital of the Italian Renaissance
Today is stuffed with Florentine adventures, as you’ll walk the streets of this famous city where the air is thick with the remnants of artistic genius. Begin at the bustling Piazza della Signoria, the traditional city center, fronted by the immense and imposing Palazza Vecchio, where the city’s ruling class met to made city-wide decisions. Continue on to the Piazza del Duomo, where Giotto’s brightly colored campanile and Brunellschi’s soaring dome highlight the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Fiore. Don’t forget to check out the baptistery doors, executed by Lorenzo Ghiberti and dubbed “the Gates of Paradise” by Michelangelo himself.
Check out the remains of some of Italy’s greatest names at Santa Croce, as Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo and many more are all laid to rest here, before returning to the shores of the Arno and the alluring Ponte Vecchio, where some of the best jewelers in Florence have set-up shop.
Florence – The Masterpieces of the Uffizi
This morning, discover the many magnum opuses that fill the halls and walls of the unmatched Uffizi, one of the best art galleries in Europe and arguably the foremost collection of Renaissance art in the world. Enjoy the best efforts of legends like Caravaggio, Botticelli, and da Vinci, before exploring the astounding Vasarian Corridor, the hidden passage used by the Medici to spirit them from their home at the Pitti Palace to their “office” at the Palazza Vecchio. This is a side of this famous structure that few know about and even fewer get to see, and it is a truly one-of-a-kind experience. If you like Italian art, you may find the Italy art tour interesting.
Take the afternoon to enjoy Florence on your own. Maybe shop for some of the fine leather goods that fill the city, or simply spend some time on the patio of a nearby café sipping an espresso drink, before heading to dinner.
Rome – Through Tuscany to the Capital
Bid adieu to the banks of the Arno and travel south to the streets of the Eternal City – Rome. Along the way, you will stop in two of Tuscany’s best-known and best-loved towns to get a true sense of life in this tremendous region of Italy. First up is Siena: a medieval town that has one of the most picturesque squares in Italy, Il Campo. Not just beautiful, it’s also home to the famous Palio, a twice-annual bareback horse race that is run through the streets of Siena. Next, you’ll visit the tower-filled town center of San Gimignano, the site of a Renaissance arms race that resulted in the skyline being dominated by scores of proto-skyscrapers, reaching like teeth into the blue Tuscan air.
Finally, you’ll arrive in Rome and check into your accommodations right in the middle of all of Rome’s best spots, with the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Via Veneto all beckoning you with their nearness.
Rome – The Relics of the Eternal City
There are few cities on the planet that can match the majesty and history of puissant Rome, and today is dedicated to discovering all the highlights of its noble and notorious past. Start at the Roman Forum, which was the major public meeting place in Ancient Rome and is where you’ll get a view of the remains of the Roman Senate as well as the Basilica of Constantine. After, head next-door for an in-depth look at the iconic Colosseum, one of the most indelible images of the grandeur of the Roman Empire. Enter the venerable church of St. Peter in Chains to see Michelangelo’s triumphant statute of Moses (meant to decorate the tomb of Pope Julius II) before visiting the cavernous Basilica of St. Peter and enjoying a drive past the immense Circus Maximus up Palatine Hill, the legendary founding place of the city.
Later this afternoon, you’ll get a private visit to the Vatican Museums and the sensational Sistine Chapel, led by a guide that knows the Vatican better than most cardinals. Make your way through the incredible collection of the museums – you’ll be sure to enjoy Raphael’s famous work The School of Athens – before ending your tour in the awesome presence of the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, one of the greatest artistic achievements of any age.
Rome – Relaxing in Roma
Today is yours to enjoy the pleasures of Rome as you see fit. Head to the Piazza Navonna to enjoy a cappuccino and some of the best people-watching in the city, or check out the exhibits at one of the city’s excellent museums. The Capitoline Museum, for instance, sports an impressive assortment of ancient statuary – including a cast of the famous Capitoline Wolf, the she-wolf that allegedly nursed the legendary brothers Romulus and Remus – while the National Gallery of Modern Art has the largest collection of works by Italian modern artists in the world, as well as a number of pieces from foreign masters.
Amalfi Coast – From Ancient Glories to Breezy Shores
Your last days in Italy are spent in the serene splendor of the southern shores of the Mediterranean, bound for Ravello on the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Once in Ravello, you’ll check into a five-star hotel that perches prominently and features envy-inducing views of the stunning Amalfi Coast and the crashing surf of the Mediterranean. Situated in a former Italian villa, this hotel has consistently been rated one of the best hotels in the country and, indeed, the world; the suites are large and offer stupendous amenities, the spa has a myriad of incredible treatments. This is sure to be a stay that you will never forget.
Amalfi Coast – The Jewel of Southern Italy
Wind your way through some of Italy’s most dazzling scenery as you spend today in and around the eye-catching and breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Start at the town of Amalfi, where you can admire the beautiful cathedral and its Cloisters of Paradise, a shining example of Norman and Arabic architecture in Italy, before continuing on to Ravello. It is in Ravello where you’ll find the best sweet pastries in the region and where you can find the spectacular Villa Rufolo, a 13th-century mansion that charmed the heart of Richard Wagner with its gorgeous gardens and miraculous view.
Amalfi Coast – One Last Day on the Italian Peninsula
One final hurrah awaits you today, a day of exploration and adventure, a day of discovery and pure, unadulterated natural beauty, for today, you set out for Capri, the play place of emperors and aristocrats for centuries. You’ll board a private yacht that will show you all of this amazing coastal region, treat you to a delicious lunch and introduce you to the charming towns that dot the landscape. Stop by the stunning Li Galli Islands before setting out for Capri, where you can walk the ruins of the former imperial villas or marvel at the beryl glow of the famed Blue Grotto.
Naples – Returning Home
Today, a private driver will take you to the airport in Naples, where you’ll board the plane that will see you back to your home country. As you reminisce upon the past two weeks, these 16 incredible days that saw you traverse this amazing nation, you’ll find yourself smiling at the fun of the past and planning for the fun of the future.
- Spend your nights in the finest hotels and dine in the finest restaurants in Italy, from boutique darlings and home-style cuisine on Lake Como to lavish luxury and phenomenal fare in the heart of Rome
- Check out some of Italy’s greatest churches, from the Gothic detailing of the Duomo in Milan to the red-tiled dome and towering campanile of Florence’s Santa Maria del Fiore to the indescribable grandeur of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City
- Witness some of the greatest art the Western world has ever seen, like Leonardo’s incredible Last Supper fresco in Milan, the statues that line the Piazza della Signoria and fill the Uffizi in Florence, and Michelangelo’s unparalleled ceiling and altar frescoes in the Sistine Chapel
- Have the thrill of being led around romantic and one-of-a-kind Venice with an expert guide, regaling you with stories of this amazing city’s past while you marvel at the highlights of this magical metropolis
- Visit some of the smaller towns of Italy as you make your way across the country, stopping for a respite in the quaint and charming town of Verona and grabbing a bite of the best Italian food you’ve ever tasted in famed Bologna
- Explore the august past of incomparable Rome, from the glories of the Roman Forum to the treasures of the Vatican Museums to modern marvels like the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza Navonna
- Turn to the Mediterranean coast as you enjoy three days in a resort area that’s been drawing royalty since before Jesus was born at the renowned Amalfi Coast
- Cruise the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and discover the summer hideout of emperors and famous Romans at Capri, as well as the gorgeous Blue Grotto
This sixteen-day tour is an exercise in opulence, an Italian adventure that is unlike any other. You’ll be taken from historic hotels in the center of the country’s greatest cities to tiny trattorias of the country’s greatest food spots. You’ll discover the best art, the best culture and the best natural scenery of anywhere in Europe. And you’ll cover almost the entire country in the company of excellent local guides and drivers, ready to show you all the secrets of enchanting Italy.
Marvel at the glories of Rome and the romance of Venice and experience Tuscan life in places like San Gimignano. Explore the art of Florence and discover the natural beauty of Lake Como. Relax in the sun off the coast of the Med at the famous Amalfi coast and enjoy a meal that will move you to tears in brilliant Bologna. Whatever your wishes, desires or inclinations; however you choose to spend your time, wherever you choose to stay and however you choose to get there, this vacation is sure to be the standard by which all future trips are judged.
This and many other tours of Italy on Zicasso are fully customizable so you can configure any portion of your trip.
$9,595 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.
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