If you are looking for maximum diversity in your Italian vacation, this 11-day trip is the one you want. With the history, religion, art and architecture of Rome, the blue waters of the Amalfi Coast and Capri, and the romance and shopping opportunities of Venice and its nearby islands, you will experience the best Italy has to offer, all with expert, English-speaking tour guides, private cars, and the customization that makes our Italy your own!
• 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 Venice- 3 nights
• Introduction to Rome “Dolce Vita” Tour on the evening of arrival in Rome
• Private tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum
• Private tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
• Tour of Pompeii with a private tour guide
• 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 Venice walking tour with gondola ride
• Private tour of San Marco, the Marciana Library, the Clock Tower and the Doge’s Palace
• Private boat tour of Murano and Burano with glass-making demonstration
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 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 also be found 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 ancient Rome, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Imperial Forum and of 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 of the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. The art of the Vatican is among the most recognizable in the world, and 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 Room 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 Michelangelo’s magnificent Pietà, Bernini’s unparalleled altar canopy, and the tombs of the Popes, including that of John Paul II.
DAY 4: Culinary Adventure
TAKE PART IN A CULINARY ADVENTURE
Shop, immerse yourself in the art and pleasure of hands-on cooking techniques, and learning something about Italian culture! We’ll explore local markets and visit a variety of different stores, as the Italians do; stops may include an artisan butcher, fish shop, cheese store, bakery, and produce market. We will then head to your kitchen or ours, where we will cook. This class is suitable for the culinary novice or the experienced chef, and can be tailored to your individual tastes, with Italian favorites you would like to add to your repertoire or new recipes based on seasonal ingredients.
ENJOY A FOOD AND WINE WALKING 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 at evenings and weekends. On this guided four-hour walking 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. Enjoy Rome at night with the guidance of a local who knows the streets!
Day 5: Explore Ancient Pompeii and Settle into Sorrento
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Pompeii, Italy's most well-preserved Roman town. Whether a wealthy citizen who lived in an airy home with vivid frescoes on the wall that depicted the life of the leisure class, or a commoner who rented an apartment, ate "fast food" on the go, and bathed in public facilities, they all did it in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, you next stop. After lunch at a wine-producing villa on the volcano, your driver will take you to your hotel in nearby Sorrento.
Day 6: Let the Coast Awaken Your Spirit
The winding roads that cling to the mountainside of the Amalfi Peninsula are no match for your expert Italian driver. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the views. Your first stop is Positano, a tiny jewel of a town that clings to the side of a mountain tumbling down to sea level. Enjoy a walk through shops displaying the Positano style: white linen dresses, artisan sandals and jewelry, open air art exhibits in courtyards behind whitewashed walls. At any of the bars with terraces overlooking the sea and you can enjoy a “granite al limone,” or Italian lemon ice, that might be made with lemons picked off the tree that morning. From Positano you will continue Ravello, atop Mount Cerreto, where you will have lunch on the most spectacular panoramic terrace you have ever seen, then stroll in the lovely gardens of Villa Ruffolo, home of the world-famous summer music festival. Your day concludes in Amalfi with a visit to the eleventh century cathedral of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of the town.
DAY 7: Dive into the Waters off Capri
Your unforgettable day at Capri begins with a private boat ride to the world-famous grottos that encircle the base of the island. Your captain knows the nearly private coves where the water sparkles in countless hues blue. No need to bring towels or drinks! Your guide is prepared for impromptu toasts. After docking, you will be driven in an open vehicle up the hairpin curves to Anacapri. A stroll at the top of the mountain to visit the famous Capri sandal-makers, a view of the breathtaking panorama from the enchanting villa San Michele, and a sumptuous seafood lunch back at the dock at a restaurant where the fresh catch of the day is all that is offered ends your visit to this magical island. Your captain awaits to take you back to Sorrento.
Day 8: Transfer to Venice and Tour of Hidden Venice
You will be picked up at your hotel and accompanied to the train station for the high-speed “freccia rossa” train to Venice. There, you will be met by your guide, who will accompany you on a private taxi-boat through the splendid entrance of the Grand Canal and into one of the most unique cities in the world. After relaxing in your hotel room, you will go on a walking tour of the labyrinth also known as “hidden Venice” to enjoy its shops, cafés, and colorful gondolas. Did we say gondola? Your first day in Venice will culminate with an enchanting glide through its canals on a private gondola. If you're a music lover, a tenor will join you and sing opera as you sip a glass of wine.
Day 9: Tour of Venice’s Unique Sites
After a leisurely breakfast, your private tour guide will introduce you to the main attractions of one of the most unique cities in the world. You will have a first-hand presentation of the Piazza San Marco (famous for its yearly flooding in the winter), you will climb to the top of its bell tower for the magnificent views of the city, and visit the Marciana Library and the Clock Tower.
Day 10: Explore Murano and Burano
You will be picked up at the dock of your hotel by a private boat and sped along the Venetian Lagoon to Murano and Burano, two islands famous for their handicrafts and architecture. Known for its glassware shops and factories, Murano boasts a long and still-thriving glassmaking tradition dating back to 1291, when artisans moved their kilns from the old city center. Stop at a glass factory to watch a skilled glassblower create works of art, view the splendor of Murano’s palaces and Veneto-Byzantine style churches (some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the twelfth century), and catch a glimpse of San Michele – Venice’s 19th-century cemetery – across the water. Before re-boarding the boat, you’ll have time to visit a museum showcasing the world-famous Murano glass. Afterward, journey to the island of Burano, a miniature Venice with picturesque, pastel-colored fishermen’s houses. Burano has been famous for its lace, once considered the most refined in Europe, since the sixteenth century. Browse local shops and find lace on display at a museum dedicated to the craft of lacemaking. You will enjoy lunch in a restaurant on the canal with the colorful backdrop of the fuscia, deep blue, and vibrant yellow houses that characterize this lovely island town.
Day 11: 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, know that 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 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. 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.
• At times St. Mark’s basilica is closed due to high water or religious ceremonies. Wen it is open with high water, skip-the-line tickets will not be accepted, as there will be only one means of ingress to the church. Guaranteed skip-the-line entrance to St. Mark’s is available only from April to October.
• 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.