This vacation is your chance to make acquaintance with two of the world’s most memorable cities. You will discover ancient Rome, Christian Rome, and artistic Rome at the Forum and Coliseum and with private visits to the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and much more of what makes this city the Eternal City. From the land and from the water you will see the best of Venice, one of the world’s most unique, and Italy’s most romantic, cities … all with Your Own Italy extras that make vacations unforgettable.
• Private Mercedes transfers to and from the airport and train stations
• English-speaking tour guides throughout
• Accommodation in your choice of 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 local 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 will be waiting for you at Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport and will escort you by private car to your boutique hotel in Rome. After relaxing, you will be picked up by your private 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 monument from ancient Rome, 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 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 that 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. The most ancient Latin text ever found, the Lapis Niger (“black stone”), can be found in a foundation column here. Your tour will end on the Capitoline Hill, the smallest and most important of the seven hills of ancient Rome, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Imperial Forum and modern Rome, as well.
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. 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 is the famous “School of Athens” fresco that depicts influential thinkers of ancient Greece mingling 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 the ceiling was painted and what messages Michelangelo hid within it. You’ll then visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world, where you can see Michelangelo's magnificent Pieta, Bernini's unparalleled altar canopy, and the tombs of the Popes, including that of John Paul II.
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 Hidden Venice
Your driver will pick you up and accompany you to the train station for the high-speed “freccia rossa” to Venice. You will be met in Venice by your tour guide, who will lead you to your private taxi-boat that will take you, via the magnificent Grand Canal, into one of the most unique cities in the world. After relaxing in your hotel room, you will take a tour through the delightful labyrinth also known as “hidden Venice” to enjoy shops, cafés, and colorful gondolas. Your introduction to Venice culminates with a tranquil gondola glide through the city's canals. Are you a music lover? A tenor will join your gondola ride and sing opera as you sip wine!
DAY 6: Tour Venice’s Main Sites
After a leisurely breakfast, your private guide will introduce you to Venice's main attractions, the Piazza San Marco, famous for its yearly flooding in the winter. You will climb to the top of the cathedral bell tower for 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 sped 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 glass tradition dating back to 1291, when artisans moved their kilns from the old city center. You will have the opportunity to watch a skilled glassblower, visit the Murano glass museum, and explore the island's magnificent palaces and Veneto-Byzantine-style churches, some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the 12th century; if it's a clear day, you may catch a glimpse of San Michele, Venice’s 19th-century cemetery, across the water. From here, it's on to Burano, a miniature Venice with picturesque fishermen’s houses painted in bright fuscia, acquamarine, and gold. Burano's traditional craft, dating back to the Renaissance, is lace, once considered the most refined in Europe. You can purchase some at the local shops or just look through the museum dedicated to the craft. Lunch will be at a restaurant on the canal in 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, 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. Please contact us directly and we will provide alternative routes.
• Please wear comfortable footwear as the tours on your vacation involve a lot of walking.
• St. Mark’s basilica may be closed due to high water or religious ceremonies. During high water the tour will take place, but will be adapted to weather conditions; skip-the-line tickets will not be available, as at that time only one door provides access to the church. Guaranteed skip-the-line fast entrt to St. Mark’s Basilica are available only from April to October.
• 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.