If you don't believe Italy runs the gamut of human endeavor, try this week-long adventure! It begins with the glory, pomp, and majesty of Rome, ancient, baroque, and modern; takes you through incredible Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius; and concludes on the Amalfi Coast with the tiny urban gems of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello and a romantic boat tour of Capri. This is your Italian vacation of a lifetime, with custom touches and English-speaking guides every step, because this is Your Own Italy.
• 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 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 and Anacapri
DAY 1: Welcome to Rome! Dolce Vita Tour
Your driver, awaiting 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 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 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 be found in the foundation of a column here. Your tour will end on the Capitoline Hill, the smallest and most important of the seven hills of ancient Rome, where 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 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 tour guide will explain the intriguing history of how this work was painted and the messages Michelangelo hid 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: Transfer to Sorrento with Visit to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel - destination Pompeii. This extraordinarily-preserved ancient town, with its intact streets and buildings that reach beyond the second story, provides a virtual time travel experience. Whether a wealthy citizen who lived in an airy home surrounding a neatly landscaped courtyard vivid wall frescoes depicting a life of leisure, or a commoner who ate "fast food" on the go and bathed at large public facilities, everyone who lived here did it in the shadow of Vesuvius. After lunch at a wine-producing villa the volcano, 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. Sit back and enjoy the views while you are driven along the winding roads that cling to the mountain side of the Amalfi Peninsula. Your first stop is Positano, a tiny jewel of a town that clings to the side of a mountain that arises right out of the sea. Enjoy a picturesque walk through lovely shops displaying the Positano style: white linen dresses, artisan sandals, and jewelry. Enter a courtyard just beyond whitewashed walls for a look at art for sale or have a seat at one of the bars with terraces overlooking the sea. Cool off with a “granite al limone,” or lemon ice, that might have been made of lemons picked that morning. From Positano you will head to Ravello, atop Mount Cerreto, where you will have lunch on the most spectacular panoramic terrace you have ever seen. Then, take a stroll in the lovely gardens of Villa Ruffolo, the home of the world-famous summer music festival. You will wrap up the day in Amalfi, where you will visit the 11th century cathedral of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of the town.
DAY 6: Sorrento Cooking Class
At the Fattoria Terranova, a family-owned villa that produces its own Campania-region wines, the sommelier will talk about the villa’s history as wander through the vineyard, tasting sparkling, white, red, and dessert wines. Afterwards, you’ll experience a hands-on cooking class with Francesca using vegetables grown on the farm. She’ll show you how to make the ravioli of the Campania region, filled with fresh ricotta and herbs, as well as gnocchi with the “pomodorini” of “piennolo vesuviano” sauce. At the end of your meal you’ll receive the farmhouse cookbook and a 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 into 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 prepared for impromptu toasts of prosecco as the boat lingers 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 whitewashed villas behind their walls of flowers. At the top of the mountain are the famous Capri sandalmakers and 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 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 to Rome. You will be met at Rome’s station and accompanied 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 to wheelchair users or those with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will devise 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.