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 airports and train stations
- Reserved business class seats on high-speed trains
- Accommodations selected apartments in historic centers of Rome - 4 nights, Venice- 3 nights. Boutique hotel in Sorrento - 3 nights
- English-speaking local tour guides throughout your vacation
- All skip-the-line tickets included
- Private Introduction to Rome “Dolce Vita” Walking Tour evening of arrival
- Private Tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum
- Private Tour of The Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
- Private Tour of Pompeii with lunch and wine tasting on Villa of Mt. Vesuvius
- Private Day Excursion to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Lunch on panoramic terrace in Ravello (not included)
- Private Day Excursion with guide to the Island of Capri. Private Boat Tour around the island
- Private Introduction to Venice Walking Tour with Gondola Ride
- Private Tour of St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs
- Private Boat Tour with guide to the islands of Murano for glass-making demonstration and Burano for visit to lace-making factory and lunch (not included)
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 accommodations in the historic center of Rome. After relaxing you will be picked up by your private local 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 (ancient Rome's best preserved 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 as if you were a native.
DAY 2: Walk in the Footsteps of the Ancient Romans
Your guide will pick you up at your accommodations and accompany you to the Coliseum, one of the ancient world's largest structures, where Romans once gathered to watch gladiator games, animal contests, and even reenactments of sea battles. A massive stone amphitheater that 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 the foundation of a column. Your tour will end on the Capitoline Hill, the smallest and most important of the seven hills of ancient Rome, which offers a wonderful view of the city and the Forum.
DAY 3: Explore The Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
Your guide will pick you up at your accommodations 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 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 this work 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 see Michelangelo’s magnificent Pietà, Bernini’s acclaimed altar canopy, and the tombs of the Popes, including that of John Paul II.
DAY 4: Culinary Adventure
VISIT THE LOCAL MARKET FOLLOWED BY A PRIVATE COOKING CLASS
This culinary endeavor is perfect for experienced cooks as well as novices, and includes shopping, cooking, and a taste of Italian culture. We’ll begin, as the Italians would, with visits to a variety of local stores and marketplaces, such as an artisan butchery, fish shop, cheese store, bakery, and produce market. We will then head to your kitchen or ours, where we cook. The class will be tailored to your individual tastes, and can include Italian favorites or unique new menus.
ENJOY A PRIVATE WALKING FOOD AND WINE 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 on evenings and weekends. On this private four-hour walking tour with a sommelier, you will 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 Rome's train station for a high-speed train to Naples. A private driver will pick you up - destination Pompeii for a private tour. With its intact streets and buildings, many two stories tall, Pompeii is a trip back through time and into the world of people who were not all that different from today's. Whether enjoying an affluent citizen's life in spacious, frescoed houses centered around airy courtyard, or struggling along as a working stiff, eating on the go at a “fast food” restaurant and bathing in public baths, Pompeii's inhabitants lived their lives in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, which will be your next stop for lunch at the wine-producing Cantina del Vesuvio. Afterwards, your guide will take you up to the crater for a 20-minute walk to the rim and its amazing views of the Bay of Naples. Afterwards, you will be driven you to your hotel in nearby Sorrento, where you will dine at a local restaurant, homemade limoncello hardly optional.
Day 6: Let the Coast Awaken Your Spirit
Your experienced driver will handle the twists and turns of the winding roads of the Amalfi Peninsula while you sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views. In the tiny jewel of Positano, a small town that clings to a mountain rising from the sea, you will have the opportunity to take in the local style - white linen dresses, artisan sandals, jewelry - in charming courtyard markets, and the local refreshments - including true Italian lemon ice, or "granite al limone" made of fresh local lemons - at bars with terraces overlooking the sea. The colors are so bright and pure that you might have to pinch yourself to remember that this is real reality and not the virtual kind. From Positano you will be taken to Ravello, at the top of Mount Cerreto, where you will lunch at 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. Wrap up the day in Amalfi, where you will visit the 11th century cathedral of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of the town.
DAY 7: Dive into the Waters off Capri
Your guide will pick you up at your apartment and accompany you to the port of Sorrento where you will board the ferry to Capri. There you private boat and captain will be waiting to accompany you on a dream like day in the waters of Capri. Be prepared to dive in the pristine blue waters of the world-famous grottos that encircle the base of the famed island. Your captain will navigate 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 captain will have them on board. You will also have snorkeling equipment to use while swimming. Upon docking, dry off and meet your guide will accompany you in a private 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. You can also choose to go up the funicular to see the views fro the very top of the island. After lunch your guide will accompany you on a walking tour of the town of Capri and its port.
Day 8: Arrival in Venice and Tour of Hidden Venice
Your driver will pick you up and accompany you to the train station for the high-speed “freccia rossa” to Venice. You will be met in Venice by your tour guide, who will lead you to your private taxi-boat that will take you, via the magnificent Grand Canal, into one of the most unique cities in the world. After relaxing in your hotel room, you will take a tour through the delightful labyrinth also known as “hidden Venice” to enjoy shops, cafés, and colorful gondolas. Your introduction to Venice culminates with a tranquil gondola glide through the city's canals. Are you a music lover? A tenor will join your gondola ride and sing opera as you sip wine!
Day 9: Tour of Venice’s Unique Sites
Your tour will begin between the famed columns of St. Mark's Square. You will admire the outside of St. Mark’s Basilica,
with its Byzantine mosaic renditions of scenes from the life of Christ and, in the lunettes of the lateral portals, scenes
showing the history of the relics of Saint Mark. Within the Basilica, which is unique in the world for its 4,000 square
meters of golden mosaics and marble floor inlays, your guide will introduce you to its many art treasures, including the
magnificent high altar, or Pala d’Oro. You'll proceed to the opulent Doge’s Palace, adjacent to the cathedral, which was
the seat from which the Duke wielded power over the great economic empire that was the Republic of Venice. You'll
visit the prison where enemies of the state, including Giacomo Casanova, were held (and in his case escaped) and
pass through the Bridge of Sighs, an enclosed bridge with small windows that allowed prisoners one final lachrymal
look at the lagoon of Venice before their confinement.
Day 10: Explore Murano and Burano
You will be picked up at your apartment by a guide who will lead you to your private boat. You'll speed along the
Venetian Lagoon to two islands famous for their handicrafts and architecture: Murano and Burano. Known for its
glassware shops and factories, Murano boasts a long and still-thriving tradition dating back to 1291, when glass
artisans moved their kilns from the old city center. Explore the island on foot and stop at a glass factory to watch a
skilled glassblower create works of art. View the magnificent splendor of Murano’s palaces and Veneto-Byzantine style
churches, some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the 12th 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 and admire the picturesque
fishermen’s houses painted in bright pastel colors. In this miniature Venice, you’ll find the famous lace – abundant
since the 16th century and once considered the most refined in Europe. Browse local shops and find lace on display at
a museum dedicated to the craft of lace. You will enjoy lunch in a restaurant on the canal with the colorful backdrop of
the fuscia pink, 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 on tours that include churches as storage is not always available
- Please wear comfortable footwear as the tours on your vacation involve a lot of walking
- The team at Your Own Italy is absolutely flexible and will customize your vacation to suit your personal needs. Are you traveling with children? We will provide the necessary assistance to adjust our packages to ensure that your vacation is truly memorable!
- Contact Your Own Italy for customization options on your vacation
- Refer to our website for details on our Cancellation Policy
- When should we start planning our trip?
- Ideally, we ask for at least 3 months' advance notice, especially in the high season (May through 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 Your Own Italy'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 45 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 an invoice with a link to be used for payment by credit card on the online portal of PayPal, 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 offer travel insurance through out partner, Allianz.
- 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 give us bundled prices for the services provided and 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.