With English-speaking guides throughout your trip, you’ll start right in the middle, in Rome, where you’ll explore history, art, religion, and more, with private visits to the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Then you'll head south into "il Mezzogiorno," where you’ll visit Pompeii, lunch on Mt. Vesuvius, settle into Sorrento, explore the Amalfi Coast, and even sail to Capri on a private boat to swim in the perfectly blue Mediterranean. Finally, it's north to Florence, to its art treasures and culinary delights. When you return to Rome, you’ll be renewed and ready for more.
• Private Mercedes transfers to and from the airport and train stations
• Business class seats on high-speed trains
• English-speaking tour guides throughout
• All skip-the-line tickets included
• Accommodation in your choice of apartment in historic center of Rome - 4 nights, Sorrento - 3 nights and Florence - 3 nights
• Introduction to Rome “Dolce Vita Tour” evening of arrival
• Private tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum
• Private tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
• 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 and Anacapri
• Introduction to Florence walking tour including the Duomo, Baptistry and Academia Gallery
• Private tour of the Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery
• Day excursion to the Chianti region with lunch and wine-tasting in wine-producing villa
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 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 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. 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 here, 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, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Imperial Forum and modern Rome, too.
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. 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 you will see 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 guide will explain the intriguing history of how this work was painted and the messages Michelangelo his in it. After the museum, you’ll visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world, where you can see Michelangelo’s magnificent Pietà, Bernini’s unparalleled altar canopy, and the tombs of the Popes, including that of John Paul II.
DAY 4: Explore Ancient Pompeii and Settle into Sorrento
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel for your trip to Pompeii, the world's most well-preserved ancient town, with intact streets and many buildings extending up to the second story. Members of the upper classes lived in airy homes centered around landscaped courtyards, with vivid frescoes depicting lives of leisure while commoners lived in apartment blocks, ate "fast food" on the go, and bathed in public facilities; whoever they were, they did it in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, your next stop. After lunch at a wine-producing villa on the mountain, your driver will take you to your hotel in nearby Sorrento.
DAY 5: Let the Coast Awaken Your Spirit
Your driver will do the hard work on this tour, handling the winding roads that cling to the mountainside of the Amalfi Peninsula while you enjoy the view of the Mediterranean from dizzying heights. Positano, your first stop, is a tiny gem of a town that clings to the side of a mountain that arises straight out of the sea. Take a look at the shops displaying the white linen dresses, artisan sandals, and jewelry that signal the Positano style; stroll through courtyards behind whitewashed walls where artists show their work; have a seat at a bar overlooking the blue sea and enjoy a “granite al limone,” or Italian lemon ice, made with lemons picked that morning. From Positano you will travel to Ravello, atop Mount Cerreto, where you will have lunch on the most spectacular panoramic terrace you have ever seen and stroll in the lovely gardens of Villa Ruffolo, home of the world-famous summer music festival. Wrap up the day in main town of Amalfi, where you will visit the 11th century cathedral of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of the town.
DAY 6: Dive into the Waters off Capri
Cruise on a private boat to nearly-private coves around Capri, where the water dances in a dozen hues of deep blue. Leave the details to your guide, who will bring towels and prosecco and direct the boat's captain to linger under the lovers’ cove. Upon docking, you will meet your taxi driver, who will transport you in an open vehicle up the hairpin road to Anacapri. Stroll atop the mountain to visit the famous Capri sandalmakers and take in breathtaking views 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 restaurant where the only offering is the fresh catch of the day. Your captain awaits to take you back to Sorrento.
Day 7: Transfer to Florence and Private Introductory City Walking Tour
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to the station where you will take the high-speed train to Florence. There, you will be met by a greeter who will accompany you to your hotel. After relaxing, your guide will take you on an afternoon tour of the historic center that will include the gothic cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore and the Academia Gallery to see Michelangelo's David.
DAY 8: Tour of Florence’s Unique Sites
Your guide will take you on a walking tour of the Piazza della Signoria and its many sculptures. The graceful Loggia dei Lanzi houses the sculptures of Perseus Holding the Head of the Medusa, by Cellini (1554), and the Rape of the Sabine Women, by Giambologna. The day culminates with a private tour of the world-class Uffizi Gallery, where you can view great works of the Renaissance masters Giotto, Michelangelo, and Botticelli, then relax with a glass of prosecco on the terrace overlooking the Piazza della Signoria.
DAY 9: Day Excursion to San Gimignano and the Chianti Region
This relaxing tour begins with a drive on picturesque local 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 of rolling hills, cypresses, and charming villages, along with an unhurried pace of life. 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 10: Transfer to Rome for Food and Wine Walking Tour
A driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to Florence’s train station for the high-speed train to Rome. You will be met at the station by a guide who will take you on a food and wine tour of trendy Trastevere, a neighborhood across the Tiber River that is a little bit Greenwich Village, a little bit Left Bank, but mainly regular Italian - a place where Roman pappas bring their families for Sunday dinners after church and young Romans lounge in the piazzas on evenings and weekends. Your Own Italy’s four-hour food and wine walking tour presents Trastevere at 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. Few activities in Rome deliver as many hidden surprises and enchanting moments as this, in one of our favorite neighborhoods.
Day 11: Departure
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.
• 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 those with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will devise alternative routes suitable for you.
• Please wear comfortable footwear as the tours on your vacation involve a lot of walking.
• 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.