Italy, Vatican City
Rome, Lucca, Florence, Venice, Assisi, San Gimignano, Brenta Canal, Verona, Vatican City, Siena, Pisa, Monterosso, Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Effortless charm, captivating cuisine, and immersive artistry exemplify your 10-day family vacation to Italy. Travel from Rome to Venice discovering the family-fun of ancient life and Renaissance beauty, traditional pasta, and hand-crafted masks. Celebrate architectural marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and learn the techniques of gladiators inside the Colosseum. Explore the hidden canals of the Venetian Lagoon and witness the colorful seaside homes of Cinque Terre. Whether wandering through...
Rome – Arrive in Rome with a Walking Tour in the Historic City Center
The Eternal City is an icon of antiquity and the evolution of Christianity, home to classic Renaissance artwork and opulent Baroque architecture. The urban city center spans more than 3,000 years and casts a captivating ambiance with couples lingering at cafes sipping rich espresso and families wandering along the fashionable luxury shops of Via Condotti winding away from the Piazza di Spagna. Your private transfer greets the family at the airport upon your arrival and escorts you to the comforts of your hotel located at the heart of the Rome.
The marvelous dome crowning St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican adds luster to the skyline contrasting the skyscrapers of the central business district. The elegance and fast-pace of the city quickly absorb the family as you set out on an introductory walking safari through the historical center in search of the wild animals featured in the majestic artwork decorating the streets, piazzas, and architecture. You reach the famous trickling waters of the Trevi Fountain attached to the back of Palazzo Poli.
The stunning work of aquatic art was constructed in 1762 reaching more than 161 feet wide and 86 feet tall. The natural spring has fed the junction marking three historical roads known as Tre Vie, supplying Ancient Rome with pure water from over eight miles away. The kids point to all the different animals decorating the fountain, specifically noting the horses splashing outward from Neptune’s powerful pose. The position and movement of the horses provide symmetrical balance to the greater feature.
Rome – Enjoy a Gladiator Class, Colosseum Tour, and Vatican Museum Visit
The day begins with adventure as the kids enter Gladiator training. The morning holds the scent of fresh espresso emanating from the corner bars while bakeries emanate the aroma of sweet brioche and cookies. The kids learn what it took to fight in the Colosseum with a hands-on lesson from instructors bringing history to life. The kids don a gladiatorial tunic, hold it tight with a traditional belt, and cling to a shield interacting with history. The instructors put the kids through the rigors of training modeled after the regiment of gladiators in Rome.
They swing wooden swords for offense and leap over a spinning pole to perfect their defense. At the end of training, they receive a certificate exclaiming their excellence in the gladiatorial arts. You pass through the miniature museum displaying Roman artifacts of weapons, shields, and sentry armor before reaching the soaring walls of the Colosseum for a private tour inside the towering walls colossal arena. In the evening, your guide leads you into the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City for an exclusive after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums.
The galleries represent the wealth of the Catholic Church over more than a millennium with rooms decorated by some of the greatest artists of their time. In the calm halls of the limited tour, you can hear your shoes squeak against the polished marble floors. The end of the exploration brings you into the marvels of the Sistine Chapel. Pope Sixtus IV supported the structure’s creation in the 15th century with Michelangelo decorating the ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ambitious undertaking included nine ceiling panels depicting scenes from the book of Genesis, with the “Creation of Adam,” at the center of the captivating collage.
Lucca – Uncover Assis’s Classic Charms and Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli
The aroma of flowers drifts over the cobblestones in Campo di Fiori emanating from the vendors at the morning market. Antique and vintage treasures overflow from the shops on Via del Governo Vecchio. Your private transfer greets the family in the hotel lobby after breakfast bound for the charming hilltop city of Assisi in Umbria. The crenulated walls and towers continue to provide exceptional views of the valley leading to the former rival city of Perugia, the capital of the Umbrian region.
The pedestrianized cobblestone streets climb up the slopes from the plateau featuring the Basilica de San Francesco. The impressive structure was erected in the 13th century becoming one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country after St. Francis’s canonization in 1228. Late Romanesque vaulting decorates the upper church while the kids are drawn to the ambiance of the Gothic chambers in the lower church. The famous artist, Giotto, created scenes depicting the saint’s life draping over the chapel walls in the lower church.
You drive through the quintessential rolling hills, towering cypress trees, and lush vineyards for which the Tuscany region is celebrated before reaching the city of Pizza and its famous Square of Miracles. The city on the banks of the Arno River gained prominence in the 11th century during its instrumental role in defeating the Saracens in Sicily. The Pizza dei Miracoli showcases the wealth of the Pisan Republic between the 11th and 15th centuries before the city’s fall from distinction. The kids marvel at the iconic list of the Leaning Tower. The first stone was laid in the 1170s and has since grown to eight stories listing to nearly four degrees.
Lucca – Relish a Full Day Excursion to the Fascinating Trek of Cinque Terra
At breakfast, you bask in the refreshing aroma of fresh espresso filling the hotel dining room. The city of Lucca has retained its fascinating medieval charms with the former defensive walls acting like as a public park since the 19th century. The family travels to the charming seaside towns of Cinque Terre in the early morning for a full day exploring the famous five towns nestled against the Ligurian cliffs. A local specialist greets you at Riomaggiore, the most southerly of the towns first connected to greater Italy by the railway built in the late 19th century connecting Genoa to Rome. Pastel pinks, yellows, and blue wash over the fascinating tower homes clinging to the rugged cliffs overlooking the azure Ligurian Sea.
A small rocky beach connects to the wharf where fishing boats wade in the calm ripples of the translucent water. The scent of focaccia bread drifts out of the local bakeries blending with the scent of sea breeze. Torre Guardiola provides a stunning viewpoint from which the family can look over the promontory for views out to sea or in search of the local birdlife. Your guide leads you to the marina to board a boat bound for Manarola, the neighboring town. The kids beam with excitement during the boat ride as the sea breeze leaves small salt crystals on your cheeks with water splashing up from the wake.
Florence – Explore the Beautiful Tuscan Towns of San Gimignano and Siena
The morning light washes over Tuscany’s lush landscape revealing the emerald hues of the hills, trees, and vineyards. You venture away from the charming walls and soaring towers of Lucca’s historic city center for the preserved beauty of San Gimignano. The hilltop town once boasted 72 towers reflecting the wealth of the prestigious noble families but only 13 of the towers remain. The pale stone glints in the daylight above the sloping rooftops surrounding triangular plaza of Piazza della Cisterna. The towers evoke the imaginations of the kids, who quickly start telling stories about the possible knights, maidens, and evil noblemen who could have populated the landscapes.
Part of the town’s prosperous history derived from its position on the Via Francigena, the pilgrimage route connecting Paris and Rome. The Torre e Casa Campatelli reflects the life of the last family to have occupied the grounds before its being donated to the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI). The compelling home décor creates a narrative of wealth and high-ranking bourgeois life in Tuscan society during the 19th and 20th centuries blending tradition with a contemporary aesthetic. Montelupo ceramics and paintings by the famous Florentine artist Guido Peyron decorate the entryway. The tower stands nearly 92 feet tall embodying nearly 1,000 years of history.
Florence – Delight in a Day of Florence’s Historical and Artistic Treasures
The Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance slowly groans to life in the morning with cafes setting out tables and chairs along the cobblestone streets of the historic city center. The defensive walls around the city continue to connote beating heart of Republic along the banks of the Arno River, as well as the Roman grid leading south from the water’s current. The fantastic dome of the cathedral crowns the city’s skyline reaching 376 feet above the surrounding streets, making it the tallest unreinforced brick structure in the world.
Colorful light fills the nave pouring in through 44 stained-glass windows with the neo-Gothic façade shimmering with white, green, and red marble features. The family makes their way into the famous Uffizi Gallery, which was originally erected as the offices for the magistrate under the Medici family in the 16th century. The kids set out searching for clues on an elaborate scavenger hunt connecting them with the art. The Medici’s bequeathed the fascinating collection to the city in the 18th century upon the condition the works never leave the city.
The gallery host’s 101 rooms spanning two floors hosting works spanning Greek sculptures to 18th-century Venetian works. You enter the Botticelli Room and find the enchanting vision of the 15th-century work The Birth of Venus. The artist depicted the Roman goddess emerging from a clamshell as Zephyr blows her hair in the wind. Your guide points to the heavy use of gold in Venus’s hair, which created highlights acting as a motif in the wings, textiles, shell, and landscape.
Venice – Sample a Cooking Class in Bologna and Ride a Venetian Gondola
In the morning, the scent of aged cheese and fresh artichoke emanates through the doors of the Central Market in San Lorenzo. The vendors open their stalls lining the cobblestone streets near the entrance to the Medici’s private chapel, the Chapel of the Magi. After breakfast, your private transfer greets the family at the hotel and escorts you to the bustling city of Bologna, capital of the Emilia Romagna region. The aroma of steeping broth and tomato sauces fills the streets drifting away from the collection of celebrated restaurants in the city known as Italy’s stomach for the delicious cuisine crafted in the area.
The medieval center reflects the depth of history fusing elegant antique colonnades with the high-tech contemporary ambiance connected to the Po Valley. The university was founded in 1088 and continues to bring students from across Italy and around Europe to its storied campus. The two towers soaring over Piazza di Porta Ravegnana tilt more than 10 feet. The taller tower, Torre degli Asinelli, reaches more than 318 feet tall, while the smaller tower is 154 feet tall. You enter a small and inviting shop known for making fresh, delicate pasta.
Your instructor welcomes you with a warm hello before introducing you to the types of pasta for which Bologna is famous including tagliatelle and tortelloni. The kids happily dig their fingers into the flour to help combine the dough before rolling out the mixture on the table. You learn to properly stuff, fold and twist the textured dough into plump tortelloni. You need a light touch ensuring the dough doesn’t get too sticky from the natural oils on your fingers.
Venice – Find the Secrets of St. Marc’s Square and Make a Venetian Mask
Venice emerges from the lapping waters of the lazy lagoon with opulent marble structures and shimmering mansions reflecting the former wealth of nobility along the canals. The vendors in Rialto Market set up their stalls in the early morning light with fishmongers showcasing the famous octopus, squid, clams, and mackerel. Your guide leads you over the famous stonework of the Rialto Bridge, through the bustling marketplace and into the center of St. Mark’s Square. The onion-shaped domes of the basilica reach over 141 feet tall and the majestic frescoes decorating the exterior archways shimmer with gold-leaf in the passing light.
The Doge’s Palace boasts traditional Venetian Gothic architectural design featured in the slim columns wrapping around the base of the structure influenced by the Byzantine and Moorish styles known for a sense of lightness. Every hour a pair of figures appear on the platform of the Torre dell’Orologio and strike the bell announcing the hour. The family passes the proud figure of St. Mark’s Lion on the Porta della Carta and eventually reaches the hidden Sala del Consiglio dei Dieci. The hidden gallery acted as the chambers of a shadow government known for manipulating the Venetian Republic as a secret state court.
The council of ten, sat within the elegant wood paneling and sparse gilding accentuating the artwork like Jupiter Hurling Thunderbolts against the Vices, as painted by Veronese. You continue to small shop continuing in the tradition of making the celebrated Carnival masks. The kids choose their favorite figure from over 60 different types of plain-white masks and learn how to decorate the veneer using traditional techniques and materials. You can add feathers, glitter, sequins, or paint revealing the true nature of your character from the Commedia dell’Arte.
Venice – Discover Verona’s Beauty and Cruise the Brenta Canal to Venice
The unique streets of Verona bring to light images of the Renaissance and the Roman age, dramatic castles, and star-crossed love. You travel to Verona in the morning with your private transfer passing the 14th century Ponte Scaligero bridge where local families take an early stroll. The water of the Adige River brushes against the banks in the shadow of Castelvecchio’s impressive defensive walls. The gallery now hosts the Civico Museo d’Arte, which displays stunning Veronese sculptures, paintings, and the works of artists like Tintoretto, Pisano, and Tiepolo.
The Roman Amphitheater rises out of Piazza Brà dating back to the 3rd century AD during the reign of Diocletian. The vaulted seating surrounding the arena could accommodate 22,000 people and continues to draw thousands of spectators during the summer Opera Festival. Water trickles down the 14th century Madonna di Verona fountain crowned with an ancient marble statue in the main plaza of Piazza dell Erbe. You reach small colonnade leading into the courtyard of the Casa di Giulietta, the home of Shakespeare’s tragic heroine Juliet Capulet. The courtyard has a tranquil ambiance with a bronze figure of Juliet standing near the famous balcony overlooking the courtyard.
Letters decorate the colonnade from around the world written by people asking for Juliet’s blessing in their love lives with a team of secretaries responding. The family continues to the entrance of the Brenta Canal, a long waterway once connecting Padua to the Venetian Lagoon. The nobility would retreat to their villas on the waterway decorating the banks with lavish estates between which towns have sprouted. You board a boat and float down the canal toward Venice, stopping to explore the elaborate architectural design of Villa Foscari.
Venice – Depart for Home
The Rialto market blossoms once again before sunrise with fishmongers and producer vendors arriving with hauls from the farming island of Sant’Erasmo. They bring purple artichokes and ripe red tomatoes, onion sprouts, and giant watermelon. The bohemian ambiance of Caffe Rosso draws crowds of artists and students spilling into the bustling square sipping espresso and debating politics. At breakfast, the kids share their favorite memories of Italy, carrying their colorful Venetian masks with them at the table. Your private transfer ferries the family over the Grand Canal and continues onward to Marco Polo Airport for your flight home.
- Traverse the ancient streets of Rome in search of the fantastic sculpture bringing the wild animals of the world to life on a walking tour
- Witness the famous list of Pisa’s Leaning Tower when visiting the Piazza dei Miracoli
- Explore the medieval treasures of San Gimignano with a tour of the soaring towers crowning the antique city streets in Tuscany
- Enjoy a scavenger hunt of Florence’s celebrated Uffizi Gallery in search of Renaissance opulence including The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
- Learn the art of making delicious tortelloni pasta during a private cooking class in Bologna
- Choose your own Venetian mask from the Commedia dell’Arte to craft, color, and decorate with the flair of the traditional Venetian Carnival
- Train as a gladiator of ancient Rome at gladiator school before visiting the marvels of the Colosseum
- Uncover the works of Michelangelo during an after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums without of the usual crowds inside the Sistine Chapel
The masterpieces of Italy become a revelation for the entire family on your custom-tailored tour turning historical art into tangible beauty and antique cities into a palpable charm. Travel to Rome, Lucca, Florence, and Venice for insight into the most popular destinations while drifting from the beaten path for a unique discovery of the fascinating monuments, museums, and cuisine. Whether riding a gondola in Venice or crafting delicious handmade pasta, climbing historical towers in Tuscany or wandering coastal trails between towns clinging to the cliffs, the family will have an active and thrilling adventure during your extraordinary Italy vacation.
Your family-friendly journey begins with your arrival in Rome, the capital of Italy and known as the Eternal City. A few nights in the bustling city provide you with an opportunity to uncover the splendors of iconic monuments at your family’s preferred pace. A fun-filled gladiator lesson adds a different perspective to exploring the Colosseum. An ancient walking excursion turns the sculpted décor of the city center into a game, and the after-hours tour through the Vatican leaves the crowds behind for an intimate introduction into some of the Western World’s most iconic artwork.
Lucca reveals the bountiful beauty of Umbria and Tuscany beginning with a visit to the legendary town of Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. Explore the cobbled lanes and fascinating basilica before exploring the captivating architecture of Pisa, home to the Leaning Tower. You also have a chance to wander the medieval lanes and preserved antique walls for which the Tuscan town of Lucca is known. Lucca also provides easy access to the renowned five towns of Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast. Enjoy a scenic boat ride and fascinating hike between the different towns.
Before venturing to the remarkable city of Florence, the capital of Tuscany, you can discover the sensational medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, which boasts incredible towers, and the preserved medieval city of Siena, home to the remarkable horse races known as the Palio. Florence brings the family into brilliance of the Renaissance, from the fascinating dome of the cathedral to the intricate details of Botticelli’s paintings. The Renaissance city is close to Bologna, the soul of Italian cuisine where the family can partake in an informative and fun cooking class en route to Venice.
Venice unveils the wonders of the city on the lagoon. Whether your first time in the city or returning after years away, the kids will marvel at the winding canals on an introductory gondola ride. Spend time bringing out your inner artist while making Carnival masks. Search for secrets in the Doge’s Palace at St. Mark’s Square. Outside of the city, you can immerse the family in the subtle charms of Verona’s ancient and medieval architecture within the looming shadow of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. A relaxing cruise down the Brenta Canal connects Padua to the Venetian Lagoon allowing you to stop at lavish villas along the way, providing insight into the opulent lives of Venetian nobles through the centuries.
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$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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