Day 1 – Rome: Arrival & Rome by night Tour with dinner
Upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport, you will meet your private English speaking driver in the arrivals hall for a direct transfer to your hotel: Hotel Lunetta 4****. We will book: 1 Junior Suite Triple. Check in and time to rest. In the evening, you will be met by your private English speaking driver and reach the restaurant we have selected for you in the neighborhood of Trastevere, where you will sample a traditional menu, carefully selected by the chef and including only the freshest ingredients. After dinner you will meet up again with your driver, who will delight you with stories and some history of the most famous Roman monuments. You will be able to admire, photograph and learn about their incomparable history by moonlight: this is a unique experience that Dragonfly Tours has reserved exclusively for you. End of the tour and transfer back to your hotel. The Hotel Lunetta is ideally situated in the heart of Rome, in Piazza del Paradiso, near the famous Campo de' Fiori market and within walking distance of many highlights of the city. The 30 cozy rooms feature sophisticated, modern design and are equipped with wood floors and fine fabrics. Every morning a rich buffet breakfast can be prepared and served in room, upon request. The Spa boasts an indoor pool with hydromassage and water blades particularly suited for treating the neck, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath with chromotherapy and multi-sensory shower, a Suite Spa for couples and several rooms for advanced treatments. At the Roof Garden, open almost year-round (excepting December to February), guests can revel in candlelight aperitivi or organize happy hours and other small events. From December to February, the Bar moves inside: here, light lunches and tea are on offer in the afternoon, while during evening guests can taste a selection of distilled liqueurs.
Day 2 – Rome: AM Vatican Museums & Gourmand & Highlights Tour
After breakfast, you will be met by your private English speaking driver and guide and transfer to the world’s smallest state, The Vatican. Here tour through one of the world’s most cherished art collections that is visited by over 5 million people every year, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, that will play an essential part in your Roman experience. Your qualified expert guide will lead you through the centuries and highlight the masterpieces that no visitor to Rome should ever miss. The treasure trove you see today originated over five hundred years ago, as a result of the humanist popes’ passion for collecting and commissioning artworks. Nestled next to St. Peters lies the world-famous Sistine chapel. You will be overwhelmed to find yourself at the core of the Christian world as you admire Michelangelo’s stunning frescoes amongst which are two of his most famous masterpieces: the Last Judgement and the Creation of Adam. After this breathtaking experience your tour will lead you to St. Peter’s Basilica, where the impact of Michelangelo’s Pietà cannot fail to move ones emotions then you can admire the colossal dome, also designed by Michelangelo that still impresses every single person as you are standing in the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. End of the tour and time to relax. In the afternoon, you will meet your private English speaking guide and get ready for an amazing walking tour. It will combine Rome highlights and food tasting according also to client’s taste: you will start with an excellent coffee, a selection of salamis, the best mozzarella and burrata, the famous Jewish style artichokes, the super suppli (Roman rise balls made with Bolognese sauce) and last but not the least Roman style pasta, like cacio e pepe or amatriciana, forget diets you are in Italy, some of the best food in the world. Together with your guide, you will admire the beautiful fountains and street markets, outstanding palaces and little boutiques with freshly home cooked Italian food, enjoy the unique architecture whilst breathing in the divine perfume of freshly baked white pizza, gorgeous paintings of famous artists located inside the Churches that only Rome can offer you, and then of course, the best Gelato! While tasting the typical Roman specialties, you will learn about the culinary traditions walking through some beautiful famous piazzas and some off the beaten track, charming districts less known but not less important, discovering why food plays such an important role in Italy. For wine lovers, we can also combine a wine tasting! Let us know! End of the tour and the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 3 – Rome: AM Ancient Rome & PM Vespa Sidecar Tour
After breakfast, you will be met by your private English speaking driver and guide to reach the Ancient part of town: the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Specially designed to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience and in-depth understanding of the splendors of Ancient Rome, this tour will lead you to the most significant monuments and sights of this spectacular open-air museum. Your visit begins as you access the Colosseum, Rome’s most stunning landmark and one of Ancient Rome’s most vital social centers. Once inside the amphitheater, you will tread the same ground as the gladiators and ferocious beasts that once fought here and the emperors, with a mere gesture of the thumb, decided the fate of slaves and prisoners. Your guide will lead you through the ruins and bring to life the dramas that all took place within these ancient walls for over four centuries. You will climb the Palatine Hill, the legendary birthplace of Rome where Romulus and Remus are said to have been raised by a she-wolf. From here, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Fora and the ancient Circus Maximus nearly 2000 feet long, where chariots once raced round the track. The tour will end with a stroll along the Via Sacra which is the main route through the Roman Forum. End of the tour and time to relax. In the afternoon, you will meet your private English speaking guide with your sidecar and will be ready to enjoy a unique tour of Rome. The tour will start with the Quirinale Square: the Palace, the Obelisk and Fountain are protagonists along with the Panoramic view. Riding down the Quirinal Hill, you will reach Fontana di Trevi, where you will park the Sidecars and walk to the Fountain. You will proceed towards Trinità dei Monti. This stop also provides a beautiful panoramic over Rome. The next stop will be in Piazza del Popolo and then, you will have the opportunity to walk through the colonnade of Saint Peter’s square. Afterwards, you will reach one of the highlights of Rome for its view, the Gianicolo, discover Rome’s skyline and time for taking pictures. On the way to the next stop, you will drive across Trastevere and the Jewish ghetto, two important areas of Rome. Trastevere’s narrow streets and lively squares with markets & cafés, allows you to sense Rome’s authentic soul, going beyond the usual touristic attractions. The Jewish ghetto, besides its beauty, is imbued in tangible historical facts. The last stop will be at the Pantheon, where you will visit the inside, the most incredible building in Rome dating back to before Christ. For afternoon riders this stop also combines a happy Gelato. You will not miss driving through the central hub of the Capital, Piazza Venezia, which intersects with via del Corso, the famous shopping area and via dei Fori Imperiali. Finally, you will briefly stop your vehicles between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill and from this strategic position, you will make your way to circumnavigate the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and discover miracles & legends of this important Church. End of the tour and the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 4 – Rome to Florence & PM Rafting Tour on Arno with Aperitif
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, you will meet your private English speaking driver for a transfer to the railway station, where you will take your direct fast train to Florence (about 1 hour and 30 minutes). Upon arrival, in Florence, you will be greeted by your English speaking driver for a transfer to your hotel: Hotel Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 4****. We will book 1 Junior Suite Library Triple. Check in and time to relax. In the afternoon, you will meet your private English speaking driver and transfer to the meeting point with your private guide and get ready for a rafting experience with a panoramic view. You will be immersed into the nature and enjoy a descent on the Arno river that flows through the historic center of Florence, from San Niccolò to Santa Rosa. The river offers a truly unique perspective, with the possibility of taking magnificent photographs of the most famous palaces and monuments (Ponte Vecchio, Vasari Corridor, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Santa Trìnita etc.), comfortably seated aboard your dinghy. A perfect mix of sport and culture, the guide will tell you anecdotes about the river and its centuries-old relationship with the city. During the excursion, you will make a stop for an Exclusive Aperitif under the arches of Ponte Vecchio including a bottle of prosecco and Schiacciata (typical Tuscan pizza). After the ride, you will have the rest of the day at leisure. The Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1 is a historic residence located in the heart of Florence, a short distance from the city's famous attractions, the places of interest and the luxury shopping streets. The hotel is housed in a tower-house built in the mid-12th century. Thanks to attentive restoration, it is an exclusive location with 24 rooms, decorated in Renaissance or classic style with frescoes, exquisite fabrics and furniture, canopy beds, soft tones finishing’s as well as opulent bathrooms. Almost all the rooms enjoy an enchanting view of the Arno River. Breakfast is served on fine Richard Ginori porcelain at the Salotto Sonoro, a refined ambience featuring panelling’s. The hotel also features panoramic terraces where guests can sample select cocktails, good wines and culinary delights.
Day 5 – Florence: Walking Tour with Food tour & Accademia Gallery
Breakfast at your hotel and you will be met by your private English speaking guide in the hotel lobby for a guided walking tour of Florence. You will have the opportunity to observe from close up the incredible Duomo and the famous dome done by Brunelleschi, the largest brick dome in the world, stretching protectively over the Florentine Cathedral. You will also see its splendid bell tower: Campanile of Giotto and the town Baptistry, the oldest building in Florence. Next stop will be the political center of the city opening its doors to us, offering you the chance to visit the Palazzo della Signoria, seat of the Medici family and government also known as Palazzo Vecchio, today seat of the municipality, proceed to Piazza della Repubblica, built on top of the Ancient Roman Forum in Florence, surrounded today, by historic cultural cafès, where young intellectual Florentines have always liked to gather. You will also visit the nearby San Lorenzo Market, where you will have a taste of Tuscany’s “green gold”, its renowned olive oil, as well as a variety of cheeses, salami and prosciutto, truffle sauces and balsamic vinegar. You will have a wine tasting where you can enjoy some of the region’s finest wines. Still not full? Next stop will be at a local “fiaschetteria” where you can have a tasting of some of the city’s traditional recipes. The tour will finish in grand style with one of the finest gelato parlors in town where you can pick your flavor made with genuine and fresh products. After this culinary experience, you will discover the Accademia Gallery Museum where the most symbolic work of Michelangelo is housed: Il David, an expression of beauty and physical perfection. There are also other sculptures by Michelangelo and an intriguing collection of Renaissance paintings: you will also admire the plaster cast of “Il Ratto delle Sabine” by Giambologna (The Rape of the Sabine Women) and discover why all artists made plaster casts but not Michelangelo. Gaze at the paintings of “La Madonna ed il Bambino” (Madonna and Child) and “la Madonna del Mare” (Madonna of the Sea) by Botticelli. End of the tour and free afternoon at leisure.
Day 6 – Florence: Private Cooking Class
After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your private English speaking chef-guide at your hotel and get ready for an amazing day. You will immerse yourself in a private cooking class in a beautiful characteristic apartment located right in the heart of Florence. The Chef will share her secret techniques and you will learn how to prepare tasty dishes using fresh, organic ingredients. You will cook a complete meal with appetizers, a pasta dish, a main course (meat, fish, or vegetarian) and a dessert. Each dish will be accompanied by fine wine. The cooking class takes 3 hours and it will be a fun experience for you and your family. Make sure it is good as this will be your lunch! End of the tour and rest of the day at leisure.
Day 7 – Florence to Venice
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, you will meet your private English speaking driver for a direct transfer to the railway station, where you will get your fast train to Venice. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your private English speaking assistant and private water taxi for a transfer to your hotel: Hotel Ruzzini Palace 4****. We will book 1 Junior Suite Triple. Check in and the rest of the day will be at leisure. Ruzzini Palace Hotel is set in Campo Santa Maria Formosa, one of Venice's largest and oldest squares. This enchanting 18th century historic building has beautiful décor and is a 10 minute walk from Rialto. The Hotel has been completely renovated and conserves the fascinating spirit of the Venice of times gone by and offers all the modern services of the most elegant 4-star hotels, pleasing common areas and splendid suites with typical Venetian décor, flat-screen satellite TV and minibars. The staff is friendly and professional.
Day 8 – Venice: AM Walking Tour & Private Gondola Ride & PM Rowing Class with cicchetti tasting
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your private English-speaking guide and start the perfect tour for those who want to discover the history of Venice starting from the most important site of the city: Saint Mark’s Square. Together with your guide, you will explore a wealth of hidden sights of this spectacular city not normally granted to visitors. Allow yourselves to be soothed by the magical imperfection of the Venetian streets and cast under the spell of its evocative atmosphere. You will visit St. Mark's Basilica, its Piazza and main monuments: Basilica (inside), Doge’s Palace (outside), Bridge of Sighs, Clock Tower, Bell Tower. After this historical tour, your guide will accompany you to the meeting point with your gondolier: we will book a unique Gondola Ride. The tour will start at Bacino Orseolo just behind Saint Mark’s Square. Together with your gondolier, you will boat down smaller but unbelievably beautiful secondary canals such as Rio dei Barcaioli which was where Mozart lived and Rio dell’Ovo to reach the Grand Canal. From here, you will enjoy the spectacular view of the Rialto Bridge from the water, the only bridge crossing the Grand Canal up until the 19th century. Looking to your left you will see some imposing palazzi such as Ca’ Farsetti, seat of the municipal government, and Palazzo Grimani, the largest building overlooking the Grand Canal and which now hosts the Court of Appeal. The tour continues down Rio San Luca where it passes by Palazzo Manin, residence of the last doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin, and today the Bank of Italy’s Regional headquarters. End of the tour and time to relax. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a fun rowing class. This tour is dedicated to the preservation of a Venetian tradition, the voga alla veneta, the Venetian style of rowing: standing up, facing forward, native to Venice and made iconic by the gondoliers. Row like a Venetian! You will get off the beaten track and onto the Venetian waterways and the Venetian pace of life! Once you have become ‘au fait’ with the Venetian oar, why not dare to go somewhere else? And what better destination than a local bàcaro...or two. We will combine this enjoyable lesson together with a “cicchetti” tasting with Spritz! An assortment of typical cicchetti- (appetizers)- accompanied by local wines at Venice’s traditional bàcari which is a tradition for mid-morning tasters without committing to a whole meal. Venice has the most incredible fish market therefore several of the cicchetti are fish based delicacies, for example Venetian classics like piovra- octopus, fluffy white bàcala mantecato (cooked codfish whipped with olive oil) on polenta, a savory hot polpetta- meatball, meat or tuna croquet, or a speck, robiolo e tartufo crostino, tastes for all different palates. The classical itinerary includes learning the basic strokes in the Cannaregio canals, then heading out into the incredible lagoon as the sun begins to set. Afterward, we will return to two of the many bàcari along the lively Misericordia canal, where your reward will be to sample an even larger variety of cicchetti and regional wines, or other drinks. End of the tour and rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 9 – Venice: Gran Canal boat tour, Murano & Burano
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be met by your private English speaking assistant and water taxi and be prepared for another amazing tour. The best way to know and experience Venice is certainly by getting on a private boat and travelling around the Grand Canal that is quite rightly known as “the most beautiful avenue in the world”. From your boat, you will enjoy the most beautiful parts of the city and discover all sorts of legends, history; monuments, architectural masterpieces, art and be introduced to the lives of those who created it and endowed in it– artists, noblemen, courtesans and other inhabitants of the lagoon. To get an even better insight of the Venetian culture, you will visit the island of Murano renowned world-wide for its glass. Here, you will visit a glass factory for an exclusive presentation of glass making using techniques that have been passed down through generations. Enjoy watching the masters blowing, shaping and forging the glass into spectacular objects. The factories were moved here in the 13th century and the glass masters were never allowed to leave the island in order to keep their glass ‘recipe’ secret! Next stop will be the next door island of Burano that is an array of colors of the rainbow because all their buildings are painted in bright and vivid colors. Here, you will have time to wander around, meet some locals, enjoy a cup of coffee and take some unforgettable pictures. Finally, you will meet up again with your private driver and water taxi and boat through some smaller and secret canals, while observing the most popular and lively neighborhoods, you will reach the pinnacle of the tour - San Marco’s Square. End of the tour and time to relax.
Day 10 – Venice: Departure
After breakfast and check out, meet your private English speaking assistant and with your private water taxi for a direct transfer to the airport for your flight back home.