This private tour is your chance to indulge yourself for 8 days/7 nights in two of the world’s most memorable cities, all with experienced English-speaking guides. First, discover historic Rome, the Roman Forum and Coliseum. Explore art and religion with private visits to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel – and much more of what makes Rome The Eternal City. Then move on to one of the world’s most unique city and one of Italy’s most romantic. Meet the wonders of Venice in a walking tour… enjoy the romance of a private gondola ride… explore the Grand Canal… visit the islands of Murano and Burano and more…all with Your Own Italy extras that make vacations unforgettable.
Highlights and What’s Included
• Private Mercedes transfers to and from the airport and train stations.
• English-speaking tour guides throughout
• Accommodation in your choice of hotel or apartment in historic center of Rome - 4 nights and Venice - 3 nights.
• All Skip-the Line tickets included
• Introduction to Rome “Dolce Vita Tour” evening of arrival
• Tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum
• Private tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
• Introduction to Venice private walking tour with Gondola ride.
• Private tour of St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, the Marciana Library, the Clock Tower and the Doge’s Palace
• Private transfer by boat and tour of the islands of Murano
and Burano with guide.
• Selection of day-long excursion or walking tour for your “Design Your Own Italy” day.
DAY 1: Welcome to Rome! Dolce Vita Tour
Your driver, waiting for you at Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport, will escort you by private car to your boutique hotel in Rome. 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 2: Walk in the Footsteps of the Ancient Romans
At the Coliseum, 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 3: 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 4: Design Your Own Italy Day
Contact us for customizing options on this “Design Your Own Italy” day OR just relax and enjoy shopping.
DAY 5: Transfer to Venice and Tour of Hidden Venice
Your driver will pick you up and accompany you to the Stazione Termini train station to take the high-speed “freccia rossa” train to Venice. Upon arrival your tour guide will meet and lead you to your private taxi-boat. You will never forget the splendid entrance on the Grand Canal into one of the most unique cities in the world. After relaxing in your hotel room you will be taken on a 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 music lover? A tenor will join your gondola ride and sing opera as you sip on a glass of wine.
DAY 6: 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.
DAY 7: 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 8: Departure
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you by private boat to Venice’s airport for departure. We salute you with a warm and heartfelt “arrivederci”! See you again! Now that you’ve traveled with us, know that you have friends here in Your Own Italy.
• 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.
• This tour is 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.
• Please wear comfortable footwear as the tours on your vacation involve a lot of walking.
• At times St Mark’s basilica is closed due to high water 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.
• There is a dress code for churches and basilicas.
• Contact Your Own Italy for customization options on your vacation.
• Refer to our website for details on our Cancellation Policy.
• The team at Your Own Italy is absolutely flexible and will customize your vacation to suit your personal tastes and needs. Are you traveling with children? Are you disabled? We will provide all the assistance necessary to adjust our packages to ensure that your vacation is truly memorable!
- 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.