Day 1 - Venice/ Venice Airport
Upon arrival at Venice airport meet your personal English speaking driver just outside the airport who will escort you to your private taxi boat, for a transfer to the hotel in Venice: Hotel Ca de conti 4****. Ca' dei Conti, is in the heart of Venice, just a stroll from St. Mark's Square, and offers you that once in a lifetime experience of staying in an age-old Venetian residence. Each detail was attentively studied to bring to life an harmonious atmosphere, where it is a pleasure to take some time out to relax. The typically Venetian atmosphere creates a perfect setting between the hotel and the city. Late afternoon you will enjoy a guided tour and you will discover a different Venice, far from the crowd. You’ll learn about the mysteries and the dark stories of this incredible city. Tour will start at Saint Mark’s square, with the Clock’s tower ( the two clock makers were blinded because the Government didn’t want they could create another one) and looking for the spot for capital executions. You will take then the Gondola for a fantastic tour in the venetian canals, with other incredible stories and you will end your day at Rialto’s Bridge in a nice local typical restaurant for a delicious dinner. Overnight at the hotel Ca’ dei Conti.
Day 2 - Venice Half day walking tour of Venice highlights and cicchetti tasting
You will meet your English speaking guide directly at the lobby of your hotel. This is the perfect tour for those who want to know the history of Venice starting from the most important site of the city: Saint Mark’s Square. Entering in San Marco square by the two monumental columns in front of the lagoon (the so-called “water square”), near the Bridge of Sighs, suddenly we can admire the history of the Republic of Venice displayed: we can visit the Doge’s Palace, seat of government and center of political and administrative life of the city, the Basilica, with its golden mosaics and precious marbles, the Clock Tower and the Bell Tower. The walk then leads to the Grand Canal and to the famous Rialto Bridge through beautiful and hidden corners. After a 3 hours historic guided tours, your guide will bring you to discover the “Enogastronomic” Venice, passing by the most hidden areas and canals of the lagoon city. Throughout the tour you will make some appetizing stops, enabling you to sample "i cicchetti" (classic Venetian appetizers) made with the best ingredients found in the city accompanied by well-known wines ; a gastronomic and historical tour of this wonderful ancient city on the lagoon perfect for those who want their journey to be a unique, unforgettable experience. Rest of the day at your leisure. Dinner free, overnight in Venice at hotel Ca’ dei Conti.
Day 3 - Venice/ Bellagio Lake Como
After your breakfast and check-out, you will meet your personal driver and private water taxi for a transfer to Piazzale Roma and departure, by private car, to Bellagio. Check in at your Hotel Bellagio 3**** and rest of the day at your leisure to stroll around and start to appreciate this beautiful lake resort. Overnight at Hotel Bellagio The rooms in the Bellagio hotel provide romantic views over the downtown rooftops and picturesque streets. Some of the rooms also offer a splendid view over Lake Como.
Day 4 – Bellagio Boat tour
After breakfast you will enjoy a beautiful private boat ride and while sailing on the lake you will admire the several beautiful villas and natural landscapes that only Lake Como can offer, such as Villa Balbianello and Villa Melzi. Villa Balbianello is a beautiful 16th century residence that is under the ownership of the FAI (the Italian Foundation for the Environment) since 1988. This villa has been chosen also for some scenes included in the 17th movie of the 007James Bond saga: ‘Casinò Royal’ of 2006 by Martin Campbell. Villa Melzi called Villa Gallarati Scotti, was formerly of the Melzi Family. This building with neoclassical features was built between 1810 and 1815 and designed by G. Albertolli. The extensive park, which runs down to the edge of the lake, surrounds the villa and among the trees, there are Egyptian, Etruscan- Roman, Renaissance and neoclassical Sculptures. Rest of the day at your leisure Overnight in Bellagio.
Day 5 - Bellagio/Milan/Cinque Terre
After breakfast and check out you will leave Bellagio for direct transfer to Milan where you will meet your private guide for a 3 hours tour of this city, including the famous dome of Milan and the must-see spots of the city , Teatro alla Scala (from outside) .Milan has always been a rich and important city. It offers variety of churches, buildings and monuments as well as many historic palazzos like the Royal Palace situated in the south side of Piazza Duomo. Eventual visit of the Last Supper can be included on request. The large fresco ( 460 x 880 cm ) was painted by Leonardo between 1495 and 1497. Technique used is a mixed technique on the wall . Example of sacred art among the most famous of all time.The Last Supper decorates one wall of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan . The fresco is the later affirmation of Christ " one of you will betray me " , and describes through gestures , expressions and postures of the bodies the different reactions to the words of the apostles of Jesus ; The apostles are asking incredulous , expressing dismay and astonishment , the meaning of his words , wonders who is the traitor ; reigns agitation, confusion , discussion . Your long day tour will end at Monterosso at Cinque Terre after your visit in Milan. Overnight at the Hotel Villa Adriana 3*** .
Day 6 - Discovering the Cinque Terre
After breakfast meet your personal English speaking guide at your hotel to start a full day guided visit to discover the beauties of this part of the region. The Ligurian Coast is a masterpiece of nature that offers its visitors unique and breathtaking vistas; here you will find five little “jewels” or hills - the Cinque Terre - the true “jewels” of the Mediterranean sitting along a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. On today’s tour you will be chauffeured in a luxury car by your personal driver to the idyllic village of Monterosso: the most populated of the five Cinque Terre villages, it is situated in the center of this small natural bay. Take time to explore, before continuing your journey to Vernazza, nestled in a breathtaking inlet whose shoreline features classic cultivated terraced grapevines. Next, perched atop a rock (or promontory) 90 meters high, you will visit the only hill of the Cinque Terre that is not directly adjacent to the sea: Corniglia. Here you will pause briefly to enjoy lunch on your own, and experience the incredible panoramic vistas beyond the area’s stunning terraced vineyards. The tour continues after lunch on to Manarola: a region characterized by its colorful houses facing the sea, and its small intertwining streets connected by a network of stairways that lead to the little village. The last stop on your tour today will be Riomaggiore. This southern-most village contains a very high concentration of houses in a small area, a distinctive feature giving the impression of a "tree" with its buildings as the branches. Overnight at Villa Adriana.
Day 7 – Cinque Terre
Day free at your leisure to explore the surroundings and discover more about this beautiful land. Overnight at Villa Adriana.
Day 8 - Cinque Terre/ Pisa/Florence
After breakfast and check out of the hotel , on your way to Florence today you will stop in Pisa for an interesting visit of this lovely town. Here you will meet your personal English speaking guide: your tour will begin at the central Piazza dei Miracoli, famous for its Leaning Tower and the myriad of beautiful architectural structures that distinguish this city. Named after a Greek city (from where it’s believed the first inhabitants originated) Pisa will be yours to explore alongside your personal guide. Thanks to its Tower, Pisa has become a symbol in Italy and around the world where it is often cited as one of the seven wonders of the medieval world; one that has fascinated film directors and location researchers alike. Skip the line tickets to visit the Leaning Tower are included in this visit. Before proceeding to next destination you will enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant reserved for you to appreciate the Tuscan cuisine. You will then leave to Florence with your private minivan where you will get in about 1 hour. Free time to relax and rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Florence at Hotel degli Orafi 4**** . Between Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery, the hotel degli Orafi could hardly be more central offering a delightfully panoramic roof terrace, and an ornate, frescoed breakfast room with Arno views that runs the whole length of the building.
Day 9 – Florence Uffizi and Accademia Gallery
AM This is going to be a very interesting and cultural day!! Your English speaking guide will lead you to the famous Uffizi Gallery which houses a superb collection of priceless art, originating in great part from the Medici family collection, enriched over the centuries by endowments, exchanges and donations, among which an important group of religious works stands out, resulting from the suppression of the monasteries and convents between the XVIII and XIX centuries. Here, you will find the richest collection in the world of works of the Tuscan school, Florentine in particular, among which: Cimabue, Michelangelo, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello. Without parallel is the collection of works by Sandro Botticelli. PM Free time for lunch at your choice before heading to another famous Gallery Museum: the Accademia so to admire the many masterpieces that this Gallery hosts: ‘David’ and ‘Prigioni’ sculptures by Michelangelo , just to name a couple. Your night will be delighted by a delicious dinner run by a very good restaurant considered one of the best in town, an informal setting complete with works by young artists who dress the graphics menu in collaboration with major contemporary art galleries in Florence. Overnight at Hotel degli Orafi.
Day 10 – Florence /Siena /Cortona
On this day, after breakfast and check out of the hotel, we will drive southbound towards Siena, escorted by our private English speaking driver on a full day journey to discover the beauties of the Tuscan city of Siena. You will meet your personal English speaking guide in the city center of Siena and begin your tour. The history of this small and unique city will be expertly illustrated, allowing you to open your heart as if you were a true inhabitant of Siena. You will discover the Magnificent Piazza del Campo where , twice a year (2 July and 16 August) an event , that every citizen of Siena looks forward to , takes place : the Palio di Siena. You will learn about the history of the Contrade (ancient Sienese name for neighborhood) and visit the famous Duomo but also other monuments of the city. PM At the end of the visit you will have lunch in a nice and typical restaurant in the city centre with a stunning view over the city. Here you will be able to taste some delicious Tuscan dishes: from the flavors of wild boar ravioli to the classic "ribollita“ (Tuscan soup) and their exquisite Florentine steak, all accompanied with the best local wines. The tour will end in the nice old village of Cortona framed in the center of a triangle which has for its corners Arezzo, Siena and Perugia, three of the richest cities of Central Italy in history and art works. Check in at the splendid Relais Il Falconiere 4****L. The hotel is situated in a quiet rural location among vineyards and olive groves. Overnight at the Relais il Falconiere.
Day 11 - Full day tour Montalcino and Brunello with wine tasting and lunch
Everything seems like a dream in the Brunello kingdom-the castle and village of Montalcino at the top the highest hill, the roads through the Sangiovese grosso vineyards, the taste from the huge barrels resting in the deep cellars. We offer full-day guided tours to Montalcino wineries by private miniva with driver. The tour includes an English speaking guide, wine cellar visits, wine tasting and lunch. 9:00 Departure from your hotel in Cortona 10.30 Visit the Altesino winery and tasting 12:00 Visit of Montalcino historical center 13:00 Lunch at Restaurant or Enoteca 15:00 Visit the San Antimo Abbey 16:00 Visit the Poggio Antico winery and wine tasting 18:30 You are back to your location where you may relax at the beautiful SPA of the Relais Overnight at the hotel Il Falconiere.
Day 12 - AM - Half day guided visit in Cortona including a unique lunch in a typical restaurant / PM Pienza
A lovely mountaintop town straddling Tuscany and Umbria. Cortona is a very well preserved Etruscan town, which belonged to the “dodecapolis” of the 12 main Etruscan cities. Today, it’s possible to see the original city walls dating back to 5th century B.C. You can also visit a very interesting Etruscan Academy displaying bronzes, vases and other objects from the Etruscan era. You will have free time to explore Cortona’s main attractions, including churches, museums, and the shopping area of Via Nazionale. Then, we will head to Le Celle is referred to as "Santuario Le Celle" or "Convento delle Celle" (Convent of the cells). Outside the walls of Cortona , through the woods to an amazing complex of stark beige buildings spilling down the slopes of Monte Sant' Edigio. Saint Francis founded the monastery in the early 13th century, preaching here in 1211. Locals and pilgrims alike find great spiritual inspiration from visiting Saint Francis' spartan cell with its stone bed and wooden pillow. There is a church and a small store on the property. After the visit lunch is reserved for you in a unique restaurant in the hearth of Cortona, it is a cozy, family-run restaurant, you are guaranteed a warm welcome from owner Romano, a DOP cheese affineur and charcuterie expert as well as, and above all, a lover of Arretine cuisine, his wife Agostina who, true to local tradition, accurately prepares superb traditional dishes from the Cortonese and Tuscan cuisine, including soups, hand-made pasta, I.G.P. Chianina beef and traditional desserts, using impeccable seasonal ingredients. PM After the visit in Cortona and lunch transfer to the beautiful Pienza, here you will have free time approx. 2hours. Pienza has started as a Siennese citadel, called Corsignano, from what lasts only a piece of city walls, and a Romanesque church located 3km away. However, Pienza is completely Renaissance style, because has been built by order of the Pope Pio II – Enea Silvio Piccolomini – that decided to transform his home town in a beautiful place for him and his court to be protected and relaxed near the water risings of Valdorcia. Actually, this area is very special because stays near to three important lakes: Trasimeno (of Cortona), Chiusi and Montepulciano Lake; and also close to a great quality water source called Vivo – this the main source that supplies Siena nowadays. Pienza is also the capital city of the “Pecorino” – sheep cheese, and organizes every year, on the second Sunday of September, the “Fiera del Cacio” or the Festival of the local sheep cheese. The milk is particularly aromatic because the configuration of the clayey land where many aromatic herbs grow, and sheep all freely grazed, producing a perfumed milk and cheese. Pienza Pecorino cheese has the D.O.P. European label (which means a Protected Origin Denomination). Pienza Pecorino cheese and Brunello di Montalcino are undoubtely a perfect match!!!! After the visit you private driver will escort you back to your Relais Il Falconiere.
Day 13 – Cortona/Civita di Bagnoregio/Rome
Breakfast and check our from your hotel to proceed then towards Civita di Bagnoregio accompanied by your private English speaking driver with minivan. This is a small town of Lombard origins, where you will enjoy a wonderful lunch in one of the most well-known restaurants in the area. Here, the cuisine is simple with traditional dishes of Viterbo, where you will discover piciarelli (local pasta made with water and flour), wild boar, truffle and fungo porcino (boletus mushroom). For wine lovers, or for those who simply enjoy a good glass of wine to accompany your meal, there is an excellent and abundant list from which to choose, with particular regard to the local wines and wineries, such as the famous Orvieto Classico or the EST EST EST di Montefiascone. Before lunch you can enjoy a walk around the village and you will discover all of its hidden, evocative corners, before heading to Rome where you will get in about 1 hour drive. Check in at your Hotel Forty Seven 4**** very centrally located. This Boutique Hotel is a luxury 4-star hotel in the historic centre of Rome, right next to the impressive Roman Forum, the emblematic Piazza Venezia square, the Colosseum and the Palatine, and the famous Bocca della Verità, and offers impressive views over the Temple of Vesta and the Circo Massimo. An enviable location in the very heart of the Eternal City. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel
Day 14 - Rome half day tour in the ancient Rome
After breakfast you will reach a gorgeous archaeological site whose foundations are embedded in an historic building of the roman nobility, where rooms, stairs, baths, paintings, flooring and polychrome mosaics belonging to the ancient residences of the imperial city emerged and now are on permanent display adding to Rome's already rich historical and artistic heritage. the ancient Rome will begin in the area of Coloseum and Imperial Fora. The construction of the Colosseum was desired and begun by Emperor Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty, and continued in the years ahead. Titus, the son and successor of Vespasian, added two rows of seats to the structure willed by the Father and to celebrate the work (80 AD), called for a hundred days of games. The Colosseum is today one of the most important and representative monuments of Rome, which imposes its majestic presence at the center of the city. With direct access to this remarkable landmark and no waiting in long lines, you will be awestruck even before entering. Once inside, your personal guide will bring to life the ancient world of the various emperors, noblemen, aristocrats, gladiators and wild beasts that once populated this building. You will then be accompanied to the nearby Roman Forum, known as the "heart" of ancient Rome, and the commercial, political and religious center. Spend the rest of the day ay your leisure. Overnight at the hotel FortySeven.
Day 15 – Rome tour to the Vatican Museum and Sistine chapel
Meet with your private English speaking driver for a transfer to the Vatican Museum. Just outside the entrance of the Museums you will meet with your private English speaking guide. There are no queues and no waiting as your specialist guide introduces you to the masterpieces of such great painters as Raffaello, and Michelangelo. This one of the greatest Collections of art in the world, a gathered over the centuries by the Popes of the Catholic Church. You will be enthralled and enchanted by the stunning vision of the Sistine Chapel and also Continuing on to the Cortile della Pigna ( "Court of the Pinecone" ) and the celebrated Raphael’s rooms, and finally direct access into Saint Peter's Basilica. Rest of the day free. Overnight at the hotel Forty Seven.
Day 16 - 2015 Rome/Naples/Pompei/Sorrento
Check out of the hotel in Rome to be transferred by private minivan to rail station for departure to Naples with 1st class reserved seats. On your arrival you will be greeted by your private driver with minivan to proceed towards Pompei where you will meet your personal guide for a tour at the excavations. Here you will visit the archeological site and admire the ruins of this famous city that in AD 79 was submerged by lava from the nearby volcano Mt Vesuvius. You will be able to examine up close, the daily life of this Roman population and how it was devastated by one of the worst natural disasters in ancient history. The excavations of Pompei, due to their importance and relevance, are the most visited archeological site in the world. Free time for lunch and transfer to your beautiful hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento 5***** located in one of the most popular tourist destinations of the Sorrento Coast, close to the Capri and Ischia islands, at only 1.5 km from the main Sorrento attractions, the city center and the harbour Marina Piccola. Overlooking the sea and surrounded by a magnificent botanical park, the hotel offers to its guests the emotion of living and enjoying of an unique and everlasting landscape: the Vesuvius and its Gulf. Rest of the day and dinner at your leisure Overnight in Sorrento.
Day 17 – Amalfi coast
Today your English speaking driver will chauffeur you along the charming scenic route to the nearby city of Ravello, the city of music. Set on the Amalfi Coast in an area of extraordinary natural beauty, your private driver will accompany you on a tour of this beautiful coast, before heading to the nearby town of Amalfi, one of the oldest maritime republics. Here you can spend time exploring this splendid Cliffside town, unlocking its fascinating history, including local ceramics which date back to ancient times and the Duomo di S. Andrea. Later in the afternoon your driver will transfer you back to your beautiful hotel. Overnight at Hotel Parco dei Principi 5**** In Sorrento
Day 18 - Sorrento/Capri/Sorrento
Breakfast at the hotel . Private transfer from the hotel to the embarkation point at the port of Sorrento to catch hydrofoil to Capri .On this day, you will have the chance to enjoy the splendid sea surrounding the strip of land that is the Sorrentina Peninsola and discover the secrets of the Island of Capri. After a pleasurable boat ride (30 minutes approx), during which you are able to breathe in the healthy brackish sea water while admiring the gorgeous Sorrento Coast, you will arrive at Capri's where you can disembark and visit the island with your English speaking guide waiting for you . You could stroll around Capri visiting the Famous and elegant ‘ Piazzetta’, Anacapri with its beautiful Villa S. Michele and many other highlights that Capri can offer. At the end of the visit came back on the hydrofoil to Sorrento and transfer by car to your hotel. Dinner at a local typical restaurant in Sorrento. Overnight at Hotel Parco dei Principi 5**** In Sorrento
Day 19- Sorrento / Cheese making/Limoncello tasting
AM After breakfast meet the driver who with private minivan will take you to the owner of the cheese factory at the hotel, or nearby, one of the oldest Cheese factory of the Peninsula Sorrentina. It is a family run cheese factory: here, during the day you will discover all the secret how they make the Fresh Mozzarella every day since 1940. You will enjoy: - how they produce the best cheeses Sorrento has to offer. - practical demonstration of how they create mozzarella from the simple cow’s milk - final tasting of all own specialties in their welcoming tasting room : mozzarella, caciocavallo, provolone del monaco and caciotta. At the end of the tasting with the driver and the guide transfer to a the lemon grove, with elucidations about the typical “Sfusato Amalfitano” lemon. You will discover how they made Limoncello every day and everything about the production steps. The tour will ends with the limoncello and the typical local liqueurs tasting. Free time for lunch. PM Transfer from Sorrento to Naples harbour for embarkation and departure at 8.00 pm to Palermo . Overnight on the boat. Accommodation in double outside cabins.
Day 20 - Palermo/Monreale
Upon arrival at Palermo Port, meet your personal English-speaking driver/guide and will be transferred by Mercedes Minivan for explore the fascinating city of Palermo, which was ruled at different times by the Normans and the Arabs. As you discover this fascinating city, admire its unique and brilliant convergence of western and eastern influences. Begin at the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Royal Palace, and discover the incredible 12th-century Palatine Chapel, the best example of the Arab-Norman-Byzantine style, decorated with rich Byzantine mosaics. Proceed next to the nearby Palermo Cathedral, erected in 1185 on an earlier Byzantine basilica, and which continued to be built until the 18thcentury, to enjoy its splendid architecture and decoration. During the afternoon, will drive to the nearby town of Monreale and discover its world-famous Duomo, the greatest extant example of Norman architecture, entirely covered with celebrated, priceless mosaics and 24-carat gold, depicting stories from the Old and New Testaments. Transfer to the hotel Grand hotel Piazza Borsa and overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 21 - Regaleali Estate and Valley of Temples
Breakfast in hotel. Meet your private driver for direct transfer to Regaleali Estate, the famous estate of the Tasca d’Almerita family located in the center of the island. Eight generations of the Tasca family have been involved in the creation of some of Italy’s best wines from 500 hectares of land in the heart of Sicily. Here they will take care of their guests by sharing their history, wine, and authentic Sicilian cuisine. Then will continue to Agrigento . Transfer and check in at your hotel and rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Agrigento at Baglio della luna hotel 4****or similar Day 22 – Agrigento /Valley of the Temples /Taormina Breakfast and check out of your hotel and meet your private driver and guide for an unforgettable tour of one of the most remarkable sites in the world—the legendary Valley of the Temples, where the remains of seven Doric temples stand in a breathtaking setting of almond groves and olive trees. After the visit proceed towards your last destination : Taormina. Here you will visit the ancient Greek Amphitheatre before heading to your hotel Villa Diodoro 4**** centrally located and overlooking the beautiful sea. Spend the rest of day at leisure. Overnight in Taormina
Day 23 – Taormina /Catania back home
After breakfast and check out direct transfer to Catania airport for flight back home.