This is it: your Grand Tour of Italy. Seventeen days/sixteen nights touring all the major regions of our amazing country. You’ll discover all the beauty, romance, art, history, cuisine and culture – you may want to stay! You’ll start in Venice, for a walking tour, gondola ride, boat ride to Murano and Burano islands and more. Then you will head to the sophisticated city of Milan, the world capital for design and fashion. Be transformed when you see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper…be prepared to shop when you visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Next, Lake Como, where you’ll explore its beauty and the riches of its residents and visitors…Cinque Terre, where you’ll find colorful villages, indulge in a pesto-making class, enjoy panoramic views and more. On to Florence, by way of Pisa. Florence? Too much to summarize here. For all the details of the rest of your trip – the unequalled art of Florence, the preserved history of Pisa, the amazing cuisine of Tuscany, the exquisite beauty of the Amalfi Coast and the glory of Rome, the Eternal City – please read the Itinerary below. This is the trip of a lifetime, exploring the nation…The Complete Italian Experience.
• Private Mercedes transfers to and from the airport and train stations.
• Business Class seats on High-Speed trains.
• English-speaking tour guide throughout.
• 16 nights’ accommodations total. Your choice of apartments in historic. center in Venice – 3 nights,
Milan – 2 nights, Cinque Terre – 2 nights, Florence – 3 nights, Sorrento – 3 nights, Rome – 3 nights.
• Introduction to Venice walking tour with gondola ride.
• Private Tour of San Marco, the Marciana Library, the Clock Tower and Doge’s Palace.
• Private Boat Tour of the islands of Murano and
Burano w/ glass-making demonstration.
• Private Walking tour of Milan with visit to see Leonardo
Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
• Day Excursion on Lake Como to Bellagio and Villa Balbianello.
• Walking Tour of the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre with Pesto making demonstration.
• Private Tour of Pisa’s Cathedral and Leaning Tower.
• Introduction to Florence Walking Tour including the Cathedral, Accademia Gallery, the Baptistry and the Duomo.
• Private tour of the Piazza della Signoria and famed Uffizi Gallery.
• Tour of the Chianti Region and wine tasting with lunch in wine producing villa.
• Private tour of Pompeii with lunch in Wine producing
villa on Mt. Vesuvius.
• Full day excursion in private car to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello.
• Full day excursion with guide in private boat to Capri & Anacapri.
• Introductory to Rome “Dolce Vita” Tour on the evening
of arrival in Rome.
• Tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum.
• Tour of The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
DAY 1: Private Transfer from Airport. Walking Tour of Venice with Gondola Ride
Your private driver will pick you up at Venice’s Marco Polo airport and take you to your hotel in the historic center. That afternoon, you will be taken on an introductory walking tour of the labyrinth also known as “hidden Venice” to enjoy the shops, cafés and colorful gondolas. Your introduction to Venice will culminate with an enchanting gondola glide through the canals of Venice. Are you a lyricist? A tenor will join your gondola ride and sing opera as you sip on a glass of wine.
DAY 2: Walking Tour of Venice’s Unique Sites
After a leisurely breakfast, your private tour guide will introduce you to the main attractions of one of the most unique cities in the world. You will have a first-hand presentation of the Piazza San Marco (famous for its yearly flooding in the winter); you will climb to the top of its bell tower for the magnificent views of the city and visit the Marciana Library and the Clock Tower. Then, you will visit the Bridge of Sighs, an enclosed span of white limestone built in the 1600s to move common criminals. You will see its baroque beauty, learn its sad history, and start to unravel the facts and the lore.
DAY 3: Explore Murano and Burano
You will be picked up at the dock of your hotel by a private boat and speed along the Venetian Lagoon to two islands famous for their handicrafts and architecture: Murano and Burano. Known for its glassware shops and factories, Murano boasts a long and still-thriving tradition dating back to 1291, when glass artisans moved their kilns from the old city center. Explore the island on foot and stop at a glass factory to watch a skilled glassblower create works of art. View the magnificent splendor of Murano’s palaces and Veneto-Byzantine style churches, some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the 12th century, and catch a glimpse of San Michele – Venice’s 19th-century cemetery – across the water. Before re-boarding the boat, you’ll have time to visit a museum showcasing the world-famous Murano glass.
Afterward, journey to the island of Burano and admire the picturesque fishermen’s houses painted in bright pastel colors. In this miniature Venice, you’ll find the famous lace – abundant since the 16th century and once considered the most refined in Europe. Browse local shops and find lace on display at a museum dedicated to the craft of lace. You will enjoy lunch in a restaurant on the canal with the colorful backdrop of the fuscia pink, deep blue and vibrant yellow houses that characterize this lovely island town.
DAY 4: Private Transfer to Milan with Tour of Milan
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to your hotel in the historic center of Milan.
After time for you to relax in your hotel, your guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you on an introductory walking tour of Italy’s most stylish city. Your tour will include a visit to see one of the most famous works of art in the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’, housed at Santa Maria delle Grazie church.
You will also visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping gallery, a 19th century glass vaulted shopping arcade. Filled with fashionable shops and cafes, it is often called the ‘salotto di Milano’ or ‘Milan’s drawing room.’ It has always been important as a meeting point for the people of the city.
Next on your walk: the medieval Sforza’s Castle; a grand medieval Castle and fortress. Once seat and residence for the ruling family of Milan, it now is the home to several of the city’s museums and art collections. Your next stop: the Duomo, one of the world’s largest, most striking Gothic cathedrals. This magnificent building boasts 135 spires and 3,200 statues, all on the roof and the façade.
DAY 5: Day Excursion to Lake Como and Bellagio
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to Como for a walking tour of this charming medieval town. After lunch you will board a ferry to cross Lake Como, a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times. Often called the most beautiful lake in the world for its microclimate and environment, Lake Como is a not only a tourist destination. It also includes many villas and palaces – as well as the homes of many famous people hugging the shores of the lake. This is luxury unlike anything else you will find in the world.
DAY 6: Transfer to Monterosso in Cinque Terre
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Milan and drive you to Monterosso al Mare, one of the five villages in the Cinque Terre. On the way, you’ll stop for lunch and a stroll in the charming town of Portofino. Located on the Italian Riviera, Portofino is a fishing village and holiday resort famous for its picturesque harbor and historical association with celebrity and artistic visitors. The town is clustered around its small harbor, and is known for the colorfully painted buildings that line the shore. You’ll settle into your hotel in Monterosso. Rest up for your walking tour tomorrow.
DAY 7: Walking Tour of 5 Villages with Pesto Making Demonstration
In one day, explore the villages of Cinque Terre. You’ll have a great taste of this unique region, including a touch of local culture, amazing views from the seaside, indulging in local specialties -- everything at your own pace.
With your English-speaking guide, you’ll take the train from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, walk along the panoramic footpath that leads from the new to the old part of the village. There, you will have a view of the “Via dell’Amore”, the rest of Cinque Terre coast, the harbor and the old Riomaggiore. You’ll pass the ancient church of St. John the Baptist to the main street. Next stop is Manarola, one of the smallest villages. You’ll walk uphill to the village’s church, then choose to walk through the vineyards or through the upper side of the village.
After your stroll, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the Pesto making class. You’ll pick the basil from fresh plants and use an old mortar to make traditional pesto. Lunch will include pesto bruschetta, meat and cheese platters, olives and vegetable cakes accompanied by white wine from Cinque Terre.
In the early afternoon you’ll take the train to Vernazza, the pearl of Cinque Terre. With your local guide, you will explore the maze of its alleys and enjoy the stunning view of the village from the hiking path leading to Monterosso. Then, back to the starting point village of Monterosso.
DAY 8: Private Transfer to Florence with Stopover in Pisa
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Monterosso for the drive to Florence. On the way, you’ll stop by to visit the cathedral complex of Pisa and climb the famed leaning tower. The Pisa Cathedral and its surrounding buildings, constructed from 1063 to 1350, form a Romanesque complex unequalled in all of Italy in size, quality and unique style. The cathedral includes a large separate baptistery and a famous bell tower. How famous? The Pisa Cathedral bell tower is now the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You’ll have time to explore and climb to the top of the tower, a truly memorable experience.
DAY 9: Walking Tour of the Museum of the Duomo, the Baptistery, Piazza Della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery
Your private tour guide will take you on a walking tour of the Piazza della Signoria and its many sculptures including the David (the original is in the Galleria dell’Accademia) by Michelangelo which was placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio as a symbol of the Republic’s defiance of the tyrannical Medici family. The graceful Loggia dei Lanzi houses the famed sculptures of Perseo holding Medusa’s head, by Cellini (1554) and Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabines. The day culminates with a private tour of the world-famous Uffizi Gallery. Enjoy the masterpieces of the Renaissance masters Giotto, Michelangelo and Botticelli followed by a glass of prosecco on the terrace overlooking the Piazza della Signoria.
DAY 10: Visit to a Wine Producing Villa in Chianti for Lunch and Wine Tasting, Plus a visit to Medieval S. Gimignano
This delightful, relaxing tour begins when your driver-guide picks you up at your hotel in Florence and takes the picturesque roads through the world-famous Chianti region, lying between Florence and Siena and bordered on the east by the Chianti Mountains and the west by the Elsa River. This wine region boasts delightful vistas framing vine-covered rolling hills and ever-present cypresses, along with an unhurried pace of life and charming villages. You’ll visit the celebrated Machiavelli winery for a tour of the vineyard and a sampling of several different types of local wine, followed by a sumptuous lunch in the family’s villa. Following this, your driver will take you to the medieval gem of San Gimignano, “city of beautiful towers.” In its heyday, the town boasted 72 towers. Now 14 remain, and, rising above Tuscany’s Elsa Valley, they give the town the appearance of a medieval dream. Your walking tour begins at the Piazza della Cisterna, Piazza del Duomo Collegiata, and Romanesque cathedral, and continues with a stroll along the ancient pilgrimage road, the Via Francigena. There will also be time to visit shops, browse the lovely Santa Fina pottery and other handmade products, and purchase some saffron, a local culinary specialty.
DAY 11: Transfer to Sorrento and Tour of Pompeii
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Florence and transfer you to the nearby train station where you will take a high-speed train to Naples. Upon arrival, a private driver will pick you up at the train station and take you to Pompeii for a private tour. The most well-preserved ancient town, with its intact streets, and many buildings up to the second story is a true experience of time travel. See how the ancients entered their city through one of the main gates, lived in courtyard centered airy homes with vivid frescoes depicting the leisurely life of the wealthy inhabitant. Live also the footsteps of the commoner eating on the go at one of the many “fast food” restaurants on his way to the baths followed by an imaginary discussion at the temple in the main Forum. Close your eyes while sitting in the 500-person theater imagining a performance about to begin, all in the shadow of the Vesuvius. After lunch at a wine producing villa on Mt. Vesuvius, your driver will take you to your hotel in nearby Sorrento.
DAY 12: Let The Coast Awaken Your Spirit
Your driver will pick you up for an experience of a lifetime. The winding roads that cling to the mountain side of the Amalfi Peninsula await the expertise of your Italian driver – and your excitement! First stop after a breathtaking view of the Sea from dizzying heights is the jewel of Positano. A tiny town that clings to the side of a mountain tumbling down to sea level. Enjoy a picturesque walk through some of the loveliest shops displaying the Positano style: white linen dresses, artisan sandals and jewelry, dotted by open air art exhibits in the beautiful courtyards just beyond the white washed walls that define the narrow winding road from top to bottom. Enter one of the bars with terraces overlooking the bluest sea and enjoy a “granite al limone” or Italian lemon ice, the best way to cool off. With the abundance of flowers, the white buildings and deep blue sea, you will feel part of the visual richness which is Italy. From Positano you will be taken to the top of Mount Cerreto to the town of Ravello where you will have lunch on the most spectacular, panoramic terrace you have ever seen followed by a stroll in the lovely gardens of Villa Ruffolo, the home of the world-famous summer music festival. As you wind down the mountain with your driver make sure to stop for breathtaking views and photos. Wrap up the day in main town of Amalfi where you will visit the 11th century Saint Andrew’s cathedral, the patron saint of the town.
DAY 13: Dive Into The Waters Off Capri
Last, but not least, you will spend an unforgettable day on a private boat to Capri. Be prepared to dive in the pristine blue waters of the world-famous grottos that encircle the base of the famed island. The captain of your private boat will take you to nearly private coves where the colors of the water dance amongst the many hues of the deep blue that characterizes this enchanting island. No need to bring towels or drinks…your private guide is well prepared for impromptu toasts of prosecco as he purposefully has the boat linger under the lovers’ cove. Upon docking, dry off and meet your private taxi driver who will transport you in an open vehicle up the hairpin, narrow road to Anacapri. On the way, sneak a few peaks at the white washed villas masked by an abundance of colored flowers. A stroll at the top of the mountain to visit the famed Capri sandal makers as well as a breathtaking view from the enchanting villa San Michele perched on the furthest edge overlooking the bay. A sumptuous seafood lunch awaits you upon your return to the dock at a famed restaurant where the fresh catch of the day is all that is offered. Your captain awaits to take you back to Sorrento.
DAY 14: Private Transfer to Naples Train Station and High-Speed Train to Rome
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Sorrento and transfer you to the train station in Naples to take a high-speed train to Rome. A driver will be waiting for you at Rome’s train station and will transfer you to your hotel in the historic center. After relaxing you will be picked up by your private tour guide who will accompany you on your “Dolce Vita” Tour. You’ll uncover the secrets locked in Bernini’s work, marvel at the Pantheon, the best preserved ancient Roman monument, toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to the Eternal City and simply enjoy Rome’s charming streets in a leisurely Italian fashion. By the end of the tour, you will realize that your guide has not only shown you around Rome, but has taught you how to get around Rome making you feel almost like a native.
DAY 15: Walk in the Footsteps of the Ancient Romans
At the Colosseum, one of the largest structures of the ancient world, Romans once gathered to watch gladiator games, animal contests, and even reenactments of sea battles. A massive stone amphitheater which seated an estimated 60,000 spectators, it was built in only eight years. Your guide will tell you about its design and construction, political purposes, fighters (both willing and unwilling), and eventual demise as an arena. At the Imperial Roman Forum, you will hear about the myths and religions of ancient Rome as you wander through the ruins of meeting halls and temples, such as that of the Vestal Virgins, who maintained Vesta’s sacred fire and were considered to be almost goddesses. The most ancient Latin text ever found, the Lapis Niger (“black stone”), can also be found in the Forum, in a foundation of a column. Your tour will end on the Capitoline Hill, the smallest and most important of the seven hills of the Ancient Rome, and enjoy a wonderful view of the city and of the Imperial Forum.
DAY 16: Explore St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel for this signature Your Own Italy tour of The Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. The art of the Vatican is among the most recognizable in the world, with masterpieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo. In leading you through the museums, your guide will convey the tantalizing background of these Renaissance masterpieces, the geniuses who created them, and the powers who commissioned them. In the stunning Raphael Rooms you will see the famous “School of Athens” fresco that depicts influential thinkers of ancient Greece mingling unknowingly with Raphael himself and some of his contemporaries. In the Sistine Chapel, below the largest and most renowned fresco in the world, your tour guide will explain the intriguing history of how this work came to be and the hidden messages Michelangelo painted into it. After the museum, you’ll visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world, where you can visit the tombs of the Popes, including that of John Paul II. You will also see Michelangelo’s magnificent Pietà and Bernini’s acclaimed baldachino, or altarpiece.
DAY 17: Depart Rome
Your driver will pick you up in plenty of time to make your flight. Rome salutes you with a warm and heartfelt “arrivederci”! See you again! Now that you’ve traveled with Your Own Italy, you have friends here in Rome.
• Please wear comfortable footwear as the tours on your vacation involve a lot of walking.
• Many tours take place in an historical areas and are not fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will be able to take you on
alternative routes suitable for you.
• There is a dress code for churches and basilicas.
• Shoulders and knees must be covered; shorts, miniskirts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted.It is recommended that you not take large bags or backpacks on tours that include churches as
storage accommodations are not always available.
• At times St Mark’s basilica is closed due to
highwater or religious ceremonies. During high water the tour will take place, but it might happen we have to partly adapt the tour to the weather conditions. On those occasions when St Mark’s
• Basilica is open with high water, skip the line tickets will not be accepted as all visitors have only 1 door open to get in the church.
• Guaranteed skip-the-line entrance to St. Mark’s
• Basilica are available only from April to October
• St. Mark’s Basilica does not offer a fast entry service to anyone in other periods, considered off peak season.
• The tour of Pompeii is not fully accessible forwheelchair users or people with walking disabilities.
- When should we start planning our trip?
- Ideally, we ask for at least 3 months' advance notice, especially in the high season (May to September). Arrangements can be made on shorter notice, but you run the risk of missing out on the availability of our favorite hotels and guides. We want the best for our clients, and the more time we have, the more we can guarantee just that.
- What are YOI's payment terms?
- For our customized vacations, we require a 20% deposit upon approval of the itinerary we have presented to you. The balance is due 30 days prior to your arrival date.
- What happens after I've made a reservation through your website?
- Upon submitting your reservation through our website, you will be provided with a voucher with a reservation number that will be used for payment by credit card on the online portal of Blue Pay, our credit card processor.
- Should I purchase travel insurance?
- We strongly encourage you to buy travel insurance at the time of booking, in the event you must cancel and forfeit funds or in the unfortunate case of injury or loss. We also recommend checking with your credit card company, which may offer travel coverage.
- What kind of information will we receive before our trip?
- Approximately one month prior to your departure date, you will receive a Your Own Italy travel packet consisting of a detailed day-to-day itinerary, our list of recommended restaurants, a “Helpful Hints Guide” for Italy, and your specific destinations, plus detailed information and contacts for your accommodations, tours, excursions, and transportation.
- Can you give me a cost breakdown of my customized vacation and what is included?
- The vacations we create are bundled packages and therefore we do not provide a cost breakdown. Our local suppliers often give us a bundled price for the services provided and so we do the same for our clients. We arrange for all your accommodations, transportation, local tour guides, restaurant reservations, and any other fun activities and experiences from the moment you arrive until the day of your departure.