From the history, religion and art of the Eternal City to the blue waters of Capri to the culinary delights and world-renowned art of Florence, this is a trip that will transform you. With English-speaking guides throughout your trip, you’ll start in Rome, where you’ll explore history, art, religion and more, including private visits to The Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Next, you’ll visit Pompeii – with lunch on Mt. Vesuvius…settle into Sorrento…head to the Amalfi Coast for an experience of a lifetime plus an opportunity for unique and amazing shopping. Then, to Capri, with a private boat trip and swimming in the perfectly blue grottos. Finally, to Florence, with private visits to its famous museum – and time to explore the beauty and tastes of Tuscany. When you return to Rome, you’ll be renewed – and there’s more to do before you head home.
Highlights and What’s Included
• 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 hotel or 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 & Anacapri.
• Introduction to Florence Walking Tour including the Duomo, the Baptistry and the Academia Gallery.
• Private tour of the Piazza della Signoria and famed Uffizi Gallery.
• Day Excursion to the Chianti Region and wine tasting with lunch and wine tasting in wine producing villa.
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: Explore ancient Pompeii and settle into Sorrento
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel - destination Pompeii. 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 and at a wine producing villa on Mt. Vesuvius, your driver will take you to your hotel in nearby Sorrento.
DAY 5: 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 6: 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 7: Transfer to Florence and Private Introductory City Walking Tour
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to take the high-speed train to Florence where you will be met by a greeter who will accompany you to your hotel for check in. After relaxing, your private tour guide will pick you up and 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 Museum to see the famed David.
DAY 8: Tour of Florence’s Unique sites
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 9: Day Excursion to San Gimignano and the Chianti Region
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 10: Transfer to Rome and Walking Food and Wine Tour
A driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to Florence’s train station where you will take a high-speed train to Rome. A driver will be waiting for you and will That evening you’ll enjoy a Walking Food and Wine Tour in the Trendy Trastevere Neighborhood. Think of Greenwich Village, ivy-covered Harvard Square and Paris’s West Bank, with cobblestone streets that come alive at night with the buzz of food and nightlife. Romans bring their families to Trastevere for Sunday dinners – and young Romans are found throughout the neighborhood evenings and weekends. You must not leave Rome without walking through these streets, tasting the best food on offer, and taking a million pictures of this amazing hotspot.
On Your Own Italy’s guided 4-hour walking food tour we 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. Few activities in Rome deliver as many hidden surprises and enchanting moments as this. Be sure to take advantage of an unforgettable night in one of our favorite Rome 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 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.
• 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.