Upon arrival at Venice Airport, you will be met by your personal English speaking assistant and water taxi and together you will make your way to your hotel: Hotel Metropole 5*****. We will book 2 Double Deluxe Rooms with Lagoon View. Check in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Set in a privileged location, just a few steps from Saint Mark's Square, Hotel Metropole offers luxurious rooms with antique furnishings and fine fabrics. Offering views of the Venice Lagoon, the hotel features a contemporary restaurant, ethnic lounge bar and citrus garden. All your senses will be involved by the Hotel atmosphere, a place where the décor becomes an emotional experience and where each detail tells a story. A 5 star hotel that seduces and charms, a restaurant that surprises for its creative cuisine and the fame of its awards. Behind both of them, love, care and persistence.
Day 2 – Venice: AM Gran Canal boat tour, Murano & Burano & PM Walking Tour & Private Gondola Ride with Cicchetti tasting
After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your private English speaking assistant and water taxi at your hotel and be prepared for an amazing tour. The best way to know and experience Venice is definitely 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, the stories and the history; we will point out the main monuments, architectural masterpieces, art and introduce you to the lives of those who created it and endowed in it – artists, noblemen, courtesans and other inhabitants of the lagoon. Then, you will visit the island of Murano that is famous all over the world for its glass production – incredible to watch the mastery of blowing and shaping the glass and learning some of the secrets that have as long a history as the city itself. Here, you will visit a glass factory for an exclusive presentation of glass making. This is your chance to observe at close quarters the skill of artisans as they forge objects employing techniques passed down through generations. Next stop will be the next door island of Burano that is visible from afar because of its buildings 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 memorable pictures. Finally, you will meet up again with your private driver and transfer back to your hotel. Free time for lunch.
After lunch, 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 not normally granted to visitors of this spectacular city. 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, the Piazza and its main monuments: Basilica (inside), Doge’s Palace (outside), Bridge of Sighs, Clock Tower and the Bell Tower. After this historical tour, your guide will accompany you to the meeting point with your gondolier: we will reserve for you a unique Gondola Ride with a food experience. The tour will start in Rio di San Polo and from here, you will explore the jewels of these undiscovered corners, with its numerous Palazzi and aristocratic homes built in diverse architectural styles. During this pleasant ride, you will have a quick stop in front of a typical “Bacaro” and your waiter will give you a bottle of Prosecco with some Cicchetti (classic Venetian appetizers) made with the best ingredients found in the city accompanied by well-known wines. You will taste them while sailing the hidden canals of Venice and whilst you glide along the canals and enjoy the magical views and perspectives which only a gondola can give you. After the tour, you will have the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 3 – Venice to Florence with stop in Bologna
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, meet your private English speaking assistant and driver with a private water taxi for a direct transfer to Piazzale Roma, where you will meet your private English speaking driver and travel to Bologna. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your guide and together you will walk through the ancient roads of the city. You will admire the Fountain of Neptune, one of the symbols of the city, Piazza Maggiore with its Basilica of San Petronio, Sala Borsa, the city’s economic center and today it is a place of culture. From the piazza, you will walk along the beautiful Portico del Pavaglione and see some of the most desirable shops in Bologna. The tour will focus also on the food aspects. During the tour, you will stop in some traditional food shops and taste the local products, learning about their legends, stories and some amusing jokes. Walking round the medieval market, you can taste mortadella, ciccioli, salsiccia, passita, chocolate, etc. All these different tastings will make your lunch an unforgettable experience. At the end of your tour, meet up again with your private English speaking driver who will transfer you to your hotel in Florence: Hotel Brunelleschi 4****L. We will book 2 Double Deluxe Rooms. Check in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure. This is a 4-star Hotel in Florence center where culture, mystery, trade and religion are clinched together thus creating a haven for sanctuaries, museums and charming corners. Just a few places in Tuscany can treasure such a striking tale of their location and are so proudly enriched by its intense, particular and fascinating past. The district where this 4-star accommodation is located was once owned by Filippo Brunelleschi, hence the hotel’s name. Over the years, the neighborhood has benefited from extensive and authentic transformations. Right in the heart of town, peerless in its kind, from a discernible and symbolic perspective, the Torre La Pagliazza, a former prison, embodies the cultural soul and the history of our property. Nowadays, this building, which tells about the ancient times of Florence, plays host to one of the most wonderful 4-star hotels in the region.
Day 4 – Florence: Walking Tour with Food tour & Accademia Gallery
Breakfast at your hotel and meet your private English speaking guide in the hotel lobby and start your tour of Florence. You will have the opportunity to observe from close up the priceless Duomo built by Brunelleschi, with 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, 700 years old. Next stop will be the political center of the city that will open its doors to us, offering you the chance to visit the Palazzo della Signoria, seat of the secularists' power and home to the Medici ruling family, today known as the Palazzo Vecchio, seat of the municipality, as well as the oldest "piazza" (square) in Florence, Piazza della Repubblica, built on top of the Ancient Roman Forum, surrounded today by historic cultural cafès, where young intellectual Florentines still like to gather. Your walking will bring you to 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 oil and balsamic vinegar. You will also have a wine tasting where you will enjoy some of the region’s finest wines. Still not full yet? Next stop will be at a local “fiaschetteria” where you will 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 of the city where you can pick your favorite 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. It also has other sculptures by Michelangelo and an incredible collection of Renaissance paintings and Sacred Art. You will also admire the “Il Ratto delle Sabine” by Giambologna (The Rape of the Sabine Women) plaster cast and discover why all artists but Michelangelo made a plaster model before the original marble one. Enjoy some masterpieces like “La Madonna ed il Bambino” (Madonna and Child) and “la Madonna del Mare” (Madonna of the Sea) by the world famous Botticelli. End of the tour and free afternoon at leisure.
Day 5 – Florence: Siena & San Gimignano with lunch
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your private English speaking driver and discover the Tuscan towns of Siena and San Gimignano. Upon arrival in Siena, you will meet your private English speaking guide who will accompany you for a pleasant walking tour of the city. 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 17 Contrade (ancient Sienese name for neighborhood) and visit the famous Cathedral of Siena, that houses some of the most important monuments of the European artistic panorama. During your tour, you will discover also the “gastronomic” Siena with a tasting of the locally produced “Panforte of Siena” and of “Ricciarelli biscuits” recipes dating back to the Middle Ages. At the end of the tour, you will reach your restaurant in Siena, where you will sample a menu carefully selected by the chef , made up of several courses made with the freshest traditional ingredients. After lunch, meet up again with your private English speaking driver and together you will reach San Gimignano, the Medieval village that has been declared a World Heritage Site. Even with its 19th and 20th century renovations, its 13th and 14th century appearance has remained almost intact and is one of the finest examples of Medieval town organization in all of Europe. The main attraction of San Gimignano are the 14 Medieval Towers that still stand today. Together with your private English speaking guide, you will walk around the city and discover the unknown corners of the town. At the end of the tour, your driver will accompany you back to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 6 - Florence to Rome & PM Ancient Rome
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 Rome, you will get there in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your private English speaking driver for a direct transfer to your boutique hotel: Grand Hotel De La Minerve 5*****. We will book 2 Double Deluxe Rooms. Check in and time to rest. 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 7 – Rome: AM Vatican Museums & PM Vespa Sidecar Tour
In the afternoon, meet your private English speaking driver and private guide and reach the Ancient part of the 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 did, where they once fought and emperors, with a mere gesture 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 Circus Maximus where chariots once raced round the 620 meter track built in the VI th 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 rest of the day at leisure.
In the afternoon, you will meet your private English speaking driver-guide and your sidecars and will be ready to drive through Quirinale Square. The Palace, the Obelisk and Fountain are protagonists along with the Panoramic view towards Saint Peter’s. Riding down Quirinal Hill, you will reach Fontana di Trevi. With no effort, you will park the Sidecars and walk to the Fountain. You will then make your way towards Trinità dei Monti. This stop also provides a beautiful panoramic view over Rome, as your guide narrates the Church’s history along with the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna on which you are standing on top of. The next stop will be in descent towards Piazza del Popolo and then make your way to St. Peter square and walk through the Bernini colonnade, a forest of columns . Afterwards, hold on tight as you will wind your way up hill to reach one of the most spectacular views of Rome on top of the Gianicolo Hill, an absolute highlight , enjoy time for taking some pictures. On the way to the next stop you will drive through Trastevere and the Jewish ghetto,two important areas of Rome. Trastevere’s narrow streets colored by boutiques & trattorias 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 main historical facts. The last stop will be at Pantheon, where you will do a complete visit of the inside. For afternoon riders this stop also combines a happy Gelato. You will not miss driving through the central hub of the Capital, Piazza Venezia, where you can get an idea of where to shop, as it intersects with via del Corso a 3 mile shopping street and via dei Fori Imperiali which will bring you to the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill for a stop and, due to its strategic position, you will go to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which you can circumnavigate entirely, listening to the narrating of miracles & legends of this important Church. End of the tour and rest of the day at leisure.
After breakfast and check out, meet your private English speaking driver and transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport from your flight back home.