Your private driver will meet you as you arrive in Rome, and transfer you to your central city hotel. In the afternoon you will receive a welcome briefing from your tour host and be able to meet the other member of your small tour group. After your introduction you will all walk to a nearby restaurant for a welcome dinner, getting your first taste of Rome’s delicious cuisine.
After breakfast at your hotel, your tour guide will take you to the Vatican Museums in the middle of Rome’s independent city-state, the Vatican City. This tour lets you visit all of the most popular attractions within the museums, such as the Raphael Rooms, the Belvedere Courtyard, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Candelabra, Maps and Tapestry Galleries, and most importantly the Sistine Chapel.
After exciting into St. Peter’s Square and admiring the cathedral, you will go back to your hotel for a rest and a siesta. In the afternoon, join your tour guide again for a walking tour of Rome’s Baroque Town, including visits to the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Italian Parliament, the Pantheon and the Piazza’s Navona and Spagna. You can then either return to the hotel with the group or carry on exploring Rome by yourself and choose somewhere to eat dinner.
What makes this tour so popular is the combination of guided exploration and free time to do as you please. Your third day in Rome has been left empty to give you the chance to decide your own itinerary.
Some recommended experiences for this day off are to visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum, see the art at the Palazzo Borghese or visit the nearby town of Tivoli and see its world-famous gardens. You can also take an excursion to Capri or Pompeii for views of the coast, or travel by high-speed train to Naples and explore this famous area.
After breakfast your group will leave your hotel in Rome, meeting a private driver and travelling to Tuscany. This journey is an experience in itself, as sensational scenery passes you by interspersed with medieval villages and castles.
Your journey will be broken up with a stop in the city of Siena, where you will be greeted with a wine and food experience in the historic town centre. Siena was once considered to be as influential as Florence in terms of its power and cultural influence, and is full of interesting pieces of architecture and art as well as the Piazza del Campo where horse races are held every summer.
After exploring Siena you will continue to Florence in Tuscany, and spend the night in a hotel.
After breakfast, your tour of Florence will begin in some of the lesser-known parts of the city, exploring back streets and visiting the San Lorenzo market. Fresh local produce arrives here each morning from the countryside, and it’s a great place to sample new foods and pick up something for lunch.
In the afternoon your guide will meet you again at your hotel to journey into the city centre, and learn about how the ancient statesman Lorenzo de Medici brought writers, artists and architects to Florence in the 15th century, and secured its reputation as the birthplace of the Renaissance. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli are just some of the famous names whose work is now on display in Florence.
Your tour will take you past the Palazzo Vecchio, over the Ponte Vecchio, to the Piazza della Signoria and end with a visit to the Accademia gallery. Here, your tickets will allow you to skip the queues and see Michelangelo’s influential statue of David, as well as other classic artworks.
You will return to your hotel after this full day of sightseeing, and spend another night in Florence.
Today you will take a trip from Florence to the northern coast of Italy, discovering incredible views and mouth-watering local cuisine in the fishing region of Cinque Terre. We will drive through the Tuscan Hills and along the Italian Riviera Coast until you can spot the southern part of the Alps.
Cinque Terre is known for being a hiking and backpacking destination, and on arrival we will visit the area’s National Park and experience some of its iconic trails across the cliffs and forests. The highlight of today’s itinerary is lunch, which will consist of wonderfully fresh seafood dishes cooked in the classic Ligurian style, accompanied by crisp white wine and views of the coast.
We will relax after lunch before travelling back to Florence, and spend another night in the city.
The morning of your last full day in Italy has been left empty, to allow for recovery after the busy day in Cinque Terre and give you time to tick off any more Renaissance sights on your bucket list.
After lunch, your guide will collect you from your hotel and take you out into the nearby Chianti countryside, known for its vineyards and incredible wine. You will be dropped off at a countryside villa and winery for an afternoon of activities relating to the estate’s product.
First, a wine expert will take you on a guided tour of the winery cellars, which are 500 years old and still store a small selection of very fine wines. This tour will lead to an in-depth wine tasting session, sampling all of the different varieties that the estate produces and learning the correct techniques to distinguish the different flavours.
After your wine tasting experience, you will enjoy a delicious multi-course dinner in a nearby restaurant. One of the courses will be a local charcuterie and a cheese selection served with fresh bread and chutneys, along with balsamic vinegar and olive oil that are also produced nearby. A different wine will be served with each course, including a typical sweet dessert wine at the end of your meal.
On the way back to your hotel, you will stop at Florence’s Piazzale Michelangelo Belvedere and take in breathtaking views of the city in the dark, as a final goodbye to the area.
You will depart Florence independently after your last breakfast in the hotel.