Italian Perfection: A Week Long Love Affair Touring Italy

Florence city view
A 7 day trip to Italy & Vatican City 
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Feel pleasure and passion with an Italy tour customized for a perfect week spent immersed in a dreamy atmosphere shaped by ancient ruins, breathtaking artwork, and enchanting hilltop towns. Bask in love and romance while strolling through the hidden Garden of Ninfa, embrace the marvelous view of the Tuscan countryside from a private veranda and dine beneath the glowing figures of angelic statues designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Italy will stir your love and satiate your desire during a week-long love affair for you both. 

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Rome, Vatican City, Tivoli, Ninfa Gardens, Montepulciano, Pienza, Florence, Volterra, Colle Val d’Elsa, Siena, Pisa, Cortona, Fiesole 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Rome – Arrive in Rome for a Romantic Four-Course Tiber Dinner Cruise

The churches in Rome create the skyline with elaborate domes and fascinating spires rising over the terracotta rooftops. The Eternal City shimmers with gold in the morning light and glows deep orange at sunset. Hidden gardens fill the air with the aromas of jasmine and orange while enticing restaurants hide within the cozy corners of historical buildings. Your private transfer will greet you at Rome Fiumicino Airport upon your arrival and escort you both to your gorgeous hotel that will combine the grandeur of antiquity with the luxury of modern amenities, embodying the brilliance of Rome. You will have time to explore the beauty of the cobblestone streets that wind around the historic city center at your leisure and eventually land at the Pantheon, one of the oldest surviving structures in the city dating back to the 1st century AD.

The dome has a diameter of more than 140 feet with a central opening that reaches nearly 30 feet wide, providing the only light source for the entire structure. The marble floors slope at a slight angle leading to the interior’s center, where a groove allowed rainwater to drain. A harmonious ambiance fills the gallery, deriving from the diameter of the dome and the height of the walls being of the same proportions. 16 massive concrete pillars support the portico in front of the large doors once draped in bronze.

In the early evening, you step onto the dock near the Sant’Angelo Bridge. The light casts a unique glow across the marble statues that frame the walkway above, with each figure designed by the master Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Board an elegant boat and set off on the Tiber River, the source of life and the heart of the Roman Empire. The glass windows provide ample views of the antique city and its fascinating architecture that rises over the elevated river banks, guiding your eyes from St. Mark’s Basilica to Sant’Angelo Castle. You can sit back and sip your wine as you enjoy the luscious aroma of simmering garlic and herbs while savoring the gentle sounds of the strumming guitar and the pleasure of the company you keep. 

What’s Included: accommodation, airport transfer, dinner

Day 2: Rome – Relish Ancient Rome at Sunrise and Tour the Vatican After Hours

Before dawn, the Italian capital has a captivating serenity as the soft glow of the streetlights brings a golden tint to the cobblestones and seasoned facades. Flowers stalls keep their doors open all night ready for lovers and late-night strollers eager to perform a romantic gesture. Campo de’ Fiori begins to churn with florists and produce farmers bringing their wares to the marketplace for the morning rush, and your guide will greet you in the lobby before dawn and escort you through the marvels of the city. The fresh air will nip at your cheeks as you stop in Piazza Navona to watch the waters of the Fountain of Four Rivers trickle.

Allegorical figures represent the four major waterways of the known world during the 17th century and depict the Nile, the Danube, Rio de la Plata, and the Ganges as designed by Bernini. A cool dew rises from the tranquil pool as you continue to the steps of Ancient Rome, passing the Forum to reach Palatine Hill. The elevated station nestled between the center of the empire and the Circus Maximus shimmers with emerald pine trees and the foundations of the former empire that date back to the 8th century BC. It is the most central of the city’s seven hills and lies at the root of the word “palace,” which evolved from the Latin name Palatium.

The sunlight peeks over the hills to the east and casts a gentle glow over the terracotta rooftops. The remaining walls of the Emperor Domitian’s vast complex begin to glisten with light golden hues, returning to the 1st-century grandeur for a moment. In the afternoon, you will cross the border into one of the smallest Independent Principalities in the world, Vatican City. The museum closes its doors to the rest of the city but will welcome you and a select number of other guests into the grand halls for an intimate look at the wonders sponsored and collected by the church over a millennium, leading to the crowning jewel of the Sistine Chapel.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Rome – Visit Idyllic Tivoli and Enjoy the Serene Ambiance of the Garden of Ninfa

At breakfast, you can indulge in the refreshing aroma of espresso accompanied by the buttery sweetness of a fresh-baked brioche. Your guide will greet you in your hotel lobby after your meal and escort you out of Rome for day to discover the enchanting atmosphere of nearby historical gardens. The town of Tivoli is located nearly 800 feet above sea level and was used as a summer retreat for the Roman aristocracy to escape the heat of the city. The remains of emperor Hadrian’s villa continue to draw enthusiastic visitors from around the world eager to step into the past and enjoy the collection of buildings and gardens that date back to the 2nd century AD.

The complex spans nearly 300 acres and is filled with preserved art and architecture that inspired the emperor during his travels. Reproductions of Greek sculptures reflect in the pond around the Maritime Theater while the pool measures nearly 400 feet by 60 feet with a marble balustrade connecting the framing marble pillars. The gardens provide an ample opportunity to stroll hand-in-hand along secluded walkways that follow the footsteps of historical figures.

Outside of Tivoli, you can continue to the Garden of Ninfa on the southern outskirts of Rome. The 260-acre park brings a pastoral landscape to life with a small lake, church ruins, and secluded pathways that wind through the blossoming flora. The scent of citrus drifts from the orchard, and you can listen to the tranquil water that rushes along the small river. You will expect the nymphs to dance around the jade meadows near the frescoed wall of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore as you walk along the stone footbridge and sneak a kiss above the reflective water where carnations bloom with bright pink petals.  

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Tuscany – Travel to Montepulciano and Pienza for a Day of Wine Tasting 

Rome returns to vibrant life as the sunlight washes over the dramatic walls of the Colosseum. The marvels of the city will continue to captivate you, and you will wish for more time to return to explore the fabled churches, hidden neighborhoods, and secret catacombs scattered around the metropolis. After breakfast, your private transfer will bring you north to the renowned region of Tuscany. The golden pastures of Lazio will give way to the idyllic rolling hills and beautiful cypress trees of the region that is well known for its golden sun and enchanting hilltop towns.

You will stop first in Montepulciano, located on a promontory 2,000 feet above sea level. The limestone ridge glints with silver and gray hues that will contrast with the emerald leaves of the oak and cypress trees. Vineyards spread across the hilly slopes, and olive orchards provide shade to the edges of the wide plains. Private verandas provide sweeping views over the Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana, the valleys that surround the hilltop streets. The aroma of chestnut cheesecake drifts out of the bakeries and fades beneath the rich, rustic scent of grilled fennel. You can wander the medieval cobblestone streets to find many enoteche, wine shops that offer samples of the celebrated local flavors.

Piazza Grande stands at the highest point of the town and is filled with locals sipping wine, chatting, and enjoying the daylight in view of the 16th-century Cathedral. You will enter a small family-owned vineyard that produces pristine wines that are shaped by the unique soil and microclimate. You can walk through along the vines and brush your fingers against the plump grapes. Taste one and you may find an astringent flavor, learning the fruit is not yet ready for harvest. In the tasting room, you can enjoy the view of the landscape as your guide provides a sample of the Brunello Nobile. An earthy aroma drifts from your glass, blending with the scent of blackberry, plum, and mint.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Tuscany – Discover Cortona and Arezzo with a Cooking Class in Siena

The charm of Cortona is undeniable at any time of day, but as the morning sunlight returns the golden hues to the historic stone homes and walls located at nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, it is especially beautiful. The prominent position of the city brings spectacular views to the surrounding valley that leads to the glistening waters of Lake Trasimeno. The scent of almond cookies lingers above the cobbled streets in the morning, and the doors to the Diocesan Museum open to display the marvelous artwork crafted by the likes of Luca Signorelli and Pietro da Cortona.

Boutique shops line the main avenue and fill their windows with handmade ceramic plates and cooking utensils that look like they belong in the kitchens of a rustic Italian country home. Continue to the town of Arezzo before reaching the city of Siena, which once matched Florence in power and artistic prestige. The old walls continue to surround the city center and protect the antique structures from outside influence. White and black marble shimmer along the façade of the Cathedral, and wrap around the remarkable rose window.

The interior fills with the spiced aroma of frankincense that drifts over the 56 different floor-mosaics set beneath the elaborate vaulted ceilings. The artworks depict a collection of local folklore and biblical history for insight into the historical cultural and religious beliefs of Sienese citizens. You will meet your private chef in the main square of Piazza del Campo and enter the kitchen to find all the ingredients laid out for you, ready for your delightful couple’s cooking class. Begin as you make a mound of dough to learn the art of crafting perfect Tuscan pasta, a staple of any Italian themed menu.   

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, dinner

Day 6: Tuscany – Indulge in the Beauty and History Renaissance Florence

The intricate façade of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence’s cathedral, gleams with green, pink, and white marble in the light of morning. The rosy brick dome was the largest in the world between the mid-15th century and late 1800s and remains the largest brick feature of its kind. The interior contains hints of frankincense and myrrh that have lingered in the transept from the morning mass. A fabulous fresco dominates the dome’s interior and depicts the Last Judgment, as painted by Vasari and completed by Federico Zuccari.

The stained glass windows along the octagonal frame allow colorful light into the dome that highlights the masterful artwork. The Cathedral embodies the majesty of the Renaissance city where you can discover a masterpiece or hidden charm around any corner. Merchants showcase leather and silk goods along the winding lanes of the San Lorenzo neighborhood as you walk through the city.  The view from Piazza Michelangelo provides a stunning look at the terracotta rooftops, and of the remarkable bell towers and the soaring facades of the city’s elaborate churches.

Historical statues, grand palaces, and replicas of magnificent artwork turn the piazzas of Florence into an open-air museum and account for the fairytale ambiance. You will enter into the Uffizi Gallery, which was erected in the 16th century to house the magistrate’s office of the Florentine Republic. The museum now holds more than 100 rooms that overflow with art from the likes of da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Titian. Your guide will provide a private tour, leading you through the galleries to reach the mesmerizing work The Birth of Venus, by Botticelli.   

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Tuscany – Depart for Home

In Pisa, the marble terraces of the Leaning Tower shimmer in the returning sunlight while the medieval walls surrounding the town of Lucca glow emerald from the manicured vines, thriving trees, and soft grass. The iconic towers of San Gimignano soar above the valley floor, with 13 of the original 72 towers remaining. There is so much more to see and experience in Tuscany alone, urging you to extend your time in Italy to continue enjoying the pleasures of passion and the culture shaped by elaborate histories. After breakfast, your private transfer will greet you in your hotel lobby and escort you to the airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$1,920
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.