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
- Accommodations in selected apartments in historic centers of Rome - 4 nights and Venice - 3 nights
- English-speaking local tour guides throughout your vacation
- All skip-the-line tickets included
- Private introduction to Rome “Dolce Vita" Walking Tour evening of arrival
- Private Tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum
- Private Tour of The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
- Culinary Experience with Professional Chef or Walking Food and Wine tour with Sommelier
- Private Introduction to Venice Walking Tour with Gondola ride
- Private Tour of St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs
- Private Boat Tour with guide to the islands of Murano for a glass-making demonstraiton and Burano for visit to lace-making factory and lunch (not included)
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
Your guide will pick you up at your accommodations and accompany you to the Coliseum, one of the ancient world's largest structures, where 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, 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 the foundation of a column. Your tour will end on the Capitoline Hill, the smallest and most important of the seven hills of ancient Rome, which offers a wonderful view of the city and the Forum.
DAY 3: Explore The Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
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: Culinary Adventure
VISIT THE LOCAL MARKET FOLLOWED BY A PRIVATE COOKING CLASS
This culinary endeavor is perfect for experienced cooks as well as novices, and includes shopping, cooking, and a taste of Italian culture. We’ll begin, as the Italians would, with visits to a variety of local stores and marketplaces, such as an artisan butchery, fish shop, cheese store, bakery, and produce market. We will then head to your kitchen or ours, where we cook. The class will be tailored to your individual tastes, and can include Italian favorites or unique new menus.
ENJOY A PRIVATE WALKING FOOD AND WINE TOUR IN TRENDY TRASTEVERE
Trastevere is a neighborhood like no other. Its cobblestone streets come alive at night, earning it comparisons to Greenwich Village and Paris’s Left Bank. It’s where Romans choose to eat with their families on a Sunday and where young Romans go for buzzing nightlife on evenings and weekends. On this private four-hour walking tour with a sommelier, you will explore this photogenic neighborhood by night. You’ll sample a sumptuous blend of Italian classics like pizza and pasta, real Roman street food, less-known meats and cheeses, and amazing wine in a secret cellar – its history will blow you away. Enjoy Rome at night with the guidance of a local who knows the streets!
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 Unique Sites
Your tour will begin between the famed columns of St. Mark's Square. You will admire the outside of St. Mark’s Basilica,
with its Byzantine mosaic renditions of scenes from the life of Christ and, in the lunettes of the lateral portals, scenes
showing the history of the relics of Saint Mark. Within the Basilica, which is unique in the world for its 4,000 square
meters of golden mosaics and marble floor inlays, your guide will introduce you to its many art treasures, including the
magnificent high altar, or Pala d’Oro. You'll proceed to the opulent Doge’s Palace, adjacent to the cathedral, which was
the seat from which the Duke wielded power over the great economic empire that was the Republic of Venice. You'll
visit the prison where enemies of the state, including Giacomo Casanova, were held (and in his case escaped) and
pass through the Bridge of Sighs, an enclosed bridge with small windows that allowed prisoners one final lachrymal
look at the lagoon of Venice before their confinement.
DAY 7: Explore Murano and Burano
Your guide will pick you up at your apartmtent and will accompany you to your private boat. You'll speed along the Venetian Lagoon to two islands famous for their handicrafts and architecture. 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. Exploring the island on foot, you will visit a museum dedicated to the art of glass and watch a skill glassblowers at their craft; view the splendor of Murano’s palaces and Veneto-Byzantine style churches, some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the 12th century; and, if weather permits, catch a glimpse of San Michele, Venice’s 19th-century cemetery, across the water. Your next stop will be Burano, a miniature Venice with picturesque fishermen’s houses. Since the 16th century Burano has been famous for its lace, once considered the most refined in Europe. Browse local lace shops, visit the museum dedicated to the craft of lace, and lunch in a restaurant on the canal with the colorful backdrop of the fuchsia 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, 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 on tours that include churches as storage is not always available
- Please wear comfortable footwear as the tours on your vacation involve a lot of walking
- The team at Your Own Italy is absolutely flexible and will customize your vacation to suit your personal needs. Are you traveling with children? We will provide the necessary assistance to adjust our packages to ensure that your vacation is truly memorable!
- Contact Your Own Italy for customization options on your vacation
- Refer to our website for details on our Cancellation Policy
- When should we start planning our trip?
- Ideally, we ask for at least 3 months' advance notice, especially in the high season (May through 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 Your Own Italy'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 45 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 an invoice with a link to be used for payment by credit card on the online portal of PayPal, 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 offer travel insurance through out partner, Allianz.
- 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 give us bundled prices for the services provided and 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.