Start your Italian adventure in historic Rome, visiting the Roman Forum and Coliseum. Explore art and religion with private visits to The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and much more of what makes Rome The Eternal City. Discover the gems of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello on the panoramic winding roads. Set sail on a romantic tour of Capri on your private boat with a bottle of Prosecco. Scout the ancient city of Pompeii and view the entire region from the pinnacle of Mt. Vesuvius. Delight in the heights and depths of the Amalfi Coast. This is your Italian vacation of a lifetime. With custom touches and English-speaking guides every step.
Highlights and What’s Included
• Private Mercedes transfers to and from the airport and train stations.
• English-speaking tour guides throughout your vacation.
• All skip-the-line tickets included.
• Accommodation in your choice of hotel or apartment in historic center of Rome - 4 nights and Sorrento - 4 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 a private tour guide.
• Full day excursion in private car to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello.
• Selection of day-long excursion or walking tour for your “Design Your Own Italy” day.
• Culinary experience in a Villa near Sorrento.
• Full day excursion with guide in private boat to Capri & Anacapri.
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: Transfer to Sorrento with Visit to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius
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: Sorrento Cooking Class
You’ll enjoy wine tasting and a full immersion, private cooking class in the nearby farmhouse - Fattoria Terranova. A family owned villa that produces its own Campania region wines, you’ll be guided by a sommelier who will tell you of the villa’s history as you walk through the vineyard tasting sparkling, white, red and dessert wine. Afterwards, you’ll experience a hand’s on cooking class with Francesca using vegetables grown on the farm. You’ll make the famed ravioli of the Campania region filled with fresh ricotta and herbs, as well as the gnocchi with the “pomodorini” of “piennolo vesuviano” sauce. At the end of your meal you’ll receive the farmhouse cook-book and participation certificate!
DAY 7: 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 8: Return to Rome
After a relaxing breakfast, your driver will pick you up and accompany you to the train station in Naples for your high-speed train transfer to Rome. Your driver will pick you up at Rome’s station and accompany you to your hotel in the historic center. We’ll help you plan a farewell dinner in the Eternal City.
DAY 9: Departure
Your driver will pick you up with plenty of time to make your flight. Rome salutes you with a warm and heart-felt “Arrivederci! See you again! Now that you’ve travelled 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!
• The tour of Pompeii 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.
- 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.