Upon arrival at Venice Airport, you will be met by your private English speaking assistant and your water taxi, you will reach your hotel: Hotel Ruzzini Palace 4****. We will book 1 Junior Suite + 1 Triple Deluxe room. 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 2 – Venice: AM Discovering Venice with a Venetian Friend & PM Gran Canal boat tour, Murano & Burano
After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your private English speaking guide and get ready for a special guided tour of Venice. Your guide will base the tour on your preferences and will leave you dazzled and incredulous, understanding that there is no possible way you would see, or even find the magical places your new found Venetian friend, has introduced you to! Your walking tour will take you off the beaten track and you will stroll in uncontaminated areas of the city. Beautiful gems which, because of their distance from the “hordes” of tourists, and because of their sheer beauty, inspire mysterious beauty and awe. Silent places, where all that surrounds us transpires centuries of Venetian history. Your children will learn all the secrets of this magical city and they will be given material and play activities to involve them in this unique discovery. After a 4 hour tour, you will have free time for lunch at leisure. After lunch, you will meet up again with your private English speaking assistant and water taxi at your hotel for another amazing tour. The best way to know and experience Venice is certainly by 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 listen to all the legends and history; we will point out the most important monuments, architectural masterpieces and art and introduce you to the lives of those who created 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 the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 3 – Venice to Florence
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, meet your private English speaking assistant and water taxi for a direct transfer to the Railway Station in Venice. Here, you will take your high-speed train to Florence. Upon arrival, meet your private English speaking driver who will transfer you to your centrally located hotel: Grand Hotel Minerva 4****. We will book 2 Triple Executive rooms. Check in at the hotel and the rest of the day will be at leisure. The Grand Hotel Minerva is a prestigious 4-star hotel, located in the heart of Florence, just a few steps from many highlights and shopping streets of the city. The hotel renovated by architect Piera Benelli and embellished by design works. The hotel offers 97 rooms with city view decorated in contemporary style and embellished with exquisite finishings and details. The panoramic terrace, on the rooftop, boasts a swimming pool, open from May to September, and Three-Sixty, Rooftop Pool bar, where guests can sample cocktails and delicious snacks. The restaurant La Buona Novella, open for both lunch and dinner, serves the finest dishes of the Tuscan and Mediterranean tradition, an added personal touch is given by the hotel's chef. From June to October the restaurant extends outdoors onto an elegant, inviting terrace with view over the Santa Maria Novella Square
Day 4 – Florence: Walking Tour and Accademia Gallery
Breakfast at your hotel. Then, meet your private English speaking guide in the hotel lobby and begin your walking tour of Florence. You will have the opportunity to observe close up the priceless Duomo with 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: the famous Campanile of Giotto. Next stop will be the political center of the city, that will open its doors to us, offering you the chance to see the Palazzo della Signoria also known as Palazzo Vecchio, once the Medici family residence and also seat of the secularists' power, today, seat of the municipality, as well as the oldest "piazza" (square) in Florence, Piazza della Repubblica, built on top of Ancient Roman ruins, the Roman Forum. Today the square is surrounded by historic cultural cafès, where young intellectual Florentines have gathered for centuries. Make your way to the Accademia Gallery Museum where the most symbolic work of Michelangelo is housed: Il David, an expression of beauty and physical perfection. You will admire also other sculptures by Michelangelo and the original plaster cast of: “Il Ratto delle Sabine” by Giambologna (The Rape of the Sabine Women), discover why and how all artists made life size plaster casts before the actual sculpture, except for Michelangelo. Enjoy the incredible collection of Renaissance paintings , including “La Madonna ed il Bambino” (Madonna and Child) and “la Madonna del Mare” (Madonna of the Sea) by Botticelli. End of the tour and enjoy your free afternoon at leisure.
Day 5 – Florence: Half day Tour to Pisa
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your private English speaking driver and get ready to discover the town of Pisa. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your private English speaking guide: the tour will start from the central Piazza Dei Miracoli, known as the Square of Miracles, not because any miracles happened there but considered just so beautiful it was like a miracle. Famous for its Leaning Tower and for the other beautiful architectural structures the Duomo and the Baptistry in the square, discover why all the buildings lean but in different directions. Wander around this beautiful town. You will have time to explore it with your guide and discover its many different aspects. Named after a Greek city, from which it is believed originated the first inhabitants. A town, that thanks to its Tower, become a symbol in Italy and all over the world. It has also fascinated many film directors that have chosen it as a location for their film sets. It is so unique that it has been suggested as one of the seven modern wonders of the world. End of the tour and transfer back to your hotel in Florence.
Day 6 - Florence to Sorrento
After breakfast and check out from the hotel, meet your private English speaking driver for a transfer to the Railway Station for your fast train to Naples. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your English speaking driver and transfer to Sorrento, directly at your Hotel: Grand Hotel Riviera 4****. We will book 1 Triple Large Deluxe Room with Frontal Sea view + 1 Triple Superior Room with Partial Sea View. Check in and the rest of the of the day will be at leisure. This property is a 9-minute walk from the beach. Grand Hotel Riviera is set on a cliff top looking out over the Gulf of Naples. Take the elevator down to its secluded private beach or bathe in the panoramic outdoor pool. Located just 500 m from Sorrento's main square, Grand Hotel Riviera's beautiful gardens and terraces ensure you a peaceful and relaxing stay. The pool is surrounded by palms and eucalyptus trees and have views of the sea and Mount Vesuvius.
Day 7 – Sorrento: Amalfi Coast Tour
After breakfast, you will be met by your private English speaking driver for a full day tour on the Amalfi coast. He will drive you along the enchanting route of the “Divine Coast”: on the way, you will have stops from incredible panoramic viewpoints to take some breathtaking pictures. You will then have time to discover and relax on the top of Positano, a small village with Mediterranean styled white washed houses with bright pink bougainvillea. On the way to Amalfi, you will visit a Ceramic shop in Conca dei Marini, known as some of the best pottery in Italy. At the end of your visit, your driver will bring you to nearby Amalfi, one of the oldest Maritime Republics. At lunch time, you will have some free time at leisure. After lunch, you can enjoy a walk on your own around the town and admire the magnificent and imposing facade of the cathedral of Saint Andrea with its unique Arab Norman and Romanesque Style. Later, your driver will escort you to Ravello for some relaxing moments on the picturesque square where you will admire the magnificent panorama that has inspired poets, philosophers and beauty lovers for centuries. After this tour, your driver will be ready to take you back to your hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 8 – Sorrento: Pizza Making Class
Today we will book you for a very special and fun experience: pizza making in Sorrento. After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your private English speaking driver for a transfer to the cooking class. The class takes place in a farmhouse located not far from Sorrento, overlooking the bay of Naples and Salerno surrounded by lush vegetation and characterized by olive groves, vineyards and hundreds of citrus trees, remember you are in the land of Limoncello! Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by your private English speaking chef and receive a chef’s hat and apron. Then, together, you will learn the tricks of the trade from the experts. As you fire up the wood stove, you will learn how the dough is rigorously made from scratch and choose from a variety of toppings: from the simple style of the ‘Margherita’ with tomato and mozzarella and basil to the more elaborate prosciutto, mushrooms, anchovies and more. At the end you will taste the pizza you have made, so make sure it is good! Once finished your fun class, your English speaking driver will be waiting for you and ready to take you back to your hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 9 – Sorrento to Rome with stop in Pompeii & Lunch
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, you will meet your private English speaking driver and travel to Pompeii where, you will meet your guide for your tour of the Pompeii and the excavations. You will admire the ruins of this famous city that, in AD 79 was submerged by lava and boiling hot ashes from the nearby volcanic eruption of 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 Pompeii are, due to their importance and relevance, the most visited archeological site in the world. After the tour, your driver will accompany you to a winery settled close to the Archeological Site. Here, you will enjoy a guided tour inside the 4 hectares of the property, historical witnesses, vineyards and an elegant cellar. You will visit the Wine Museum in an beautiful building dating back from the 16th century. The tour will end with Wine Tasting and a tasting of both some traditional Neapolitan specialties and ancient Roman dishes.
After lunch, meet up again with your private English speaking driver and transfer to Rome, directly to your Hotel: Grand Hotel De La Minerve 5*****. We will book 1 Triple Deluxe Room + 1 Triple Classic Room. Check in and the rest of the of the day will be at leisure.
The Grand Hotel De La Minerve is housed in a magnificent mansion dating from the 1600s. Set in Rome’s historic center, the hotel overlooks the Pantheon and is just a few minutes’ walk from Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Completely renovated to better meet the needs of its modern, sophisticated clientele, the hotel has retained its noble, elegant lines and the warmth of a comfortable, welcoming aristocratic “home”. It offers 135 rooms including Classic, Superior, Deluxe, Junior Suites and Suites. A fitness room with cardio-fitness equipment is available for exclusive guest use. All year long, the spectacular Minerva Roof Garden restaurant on the terrace offers a stunning view of Rome and an unique gourmet experience through typical Italian dishes at lunch and dinner.
Day 10 – Rome: Vatican Museums & PM Gourmand & Highlights Tour
After breakfast, meet your private English speaking driver and guide and transfer to the world’s smallest state, the Vatican. Here, have a tour through one of the world’s most cherished art collections. Visited by over 5 million people every year, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel 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 started over five hundred years ago, as a result of the humanist Popes’ passion for collecting and commissioning artwork. Nestled among several marvels lies the world-famous Sistine chapel. You will be thrilled to find yourself at the core of the Christian world as you admire Michelangelo’s stunning frescoes among which are two of his most well-loved masterpieces: the Last Judgement and the Creation of Adam. Finally the guided tour will lead you to St. Peter’s Basilica, where the impact of Michelangelo’s Pietà cannot fail to move and the colossal dome to impress every visitor to the heart of the Roman Catholic Church.
End of the tour and time to rest.
In the afternoon, you will meet your private English speaking driver and guide and get ready for an amazing walking tour. It will combine Rome highlights and food tasting according also to client’s taste and availability of shops open: you will start with an excellent coffee, the Italian expresso, a selection of salamis, the best mozzarella and burrata, the famous Jewish style artichoke, the super suppli (Roman rise balls with bolognaise sauce) and last but not least, Roman style pasta, like Cacio e pepe or Amatriciana. Together with your guide, you will admire the beautiful fountains and street markets, outstanding palaces and little boutiques of traditional Italian food, unique architectures whilst breathing in that unique smell of freshly baked white pizza, enjoy gorgeous paintings of famous artists located inside Churches that only Rome can offer, and also 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 those of you that are wine lovers we can combine also a wine tasting! End of the tour and the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 11 – Rome: Ancient Rome
After breakfast, meet your private English speaking driver and guide and 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 ground that gladiators and ferocious beasts once fought and emperors, with a mere gest of the thumb, decided the fate of slaves and prisoners. Your professional guide will lead you through the ruins and bring to life the dramas that unfolded within these ancient walls. You will climb the Palatine Hill, the legendary birthplace of Rome where Romulus and Remus are said to have been raised by the she-wolf. From here, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Fora and the Circus Maximus where chariots once raced round the 2000 foot track, started in the 6th century BC. 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 the rest of the day will at leisure.
Breakfast and check out from your hotel. Then, meet your private English speaking driver for a direct transfer to Fiumicino Airport.