This magnificent journey showcases Italy’s grand past, romantic cities and exquisite natural wonders. Step into the ancient world, as a Local Expert shows you the cobblestone alleyways of Pompeii, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in VIP style, and the gravity-defying Tower of Pisa. Along the way, you’ll discover how medieval trades are being kept alive, participate in a Tuscan cooking masterclass and cruise along the canals of Venice onboard a traditional gondola. From iconic capitals to the charming fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, uncover the full grandeur of Italy. This magnificent journey showcases Italy’s grand past, romantic cities and exquisite natural wonders. After your journey ends in Venice, why not choose to extend your travels and step onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for an overnight journey to Paris?
Welcome to Rome.
On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, designed with the perfect mix of elegance and rich history. Built in the heart of the eternal city, Hotel Palazzo Montemartini is ideally located to begin your Italian journey. At 17:30, meet your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers for a short stroll through the charming streets, enjoying the romance of the Eternal City as night falls, before gathering for a Welcome Dinner in an elegant restaurant in Piazza della Rotonda near Rome’s famous Pantheon.(Dinner with Wine)
Rome and the Vatican.
Our VIP entry into the Vatican Museums is the best way to enjoy the timeless Papal art collection. Explore the beautiful corridors of the Vatican museums with a Local Expert on the way to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public. Continue to St. Peter's Basilica to see La Pietà, before seeing the Roman Forum and skipping the line to visit the grand Colosseum. This afternoon enjoy time at leisure or join a Local Expert for a walking tour of some of the harder to find sites of Rome.(Breakfast)
Pompeii and The Isle of Capri.
Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time since A.D. 79 when it was violently engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius. Join your Local Expert to learn about the lifestyles of the people who once lived here and explore the remnants of ancient shops, baths and patrician villas. In Naples board a fast-boat at the Molo Beverello for the sun-drenched Isle of Capri. On arrival, enjoy an escorted ride in an open-top taxi to your exclusive hotel. Settle in and appreciate the splendours of Capri at your leisure, long after the day-trippers have returned to the mainland. Dates with + feature the following itinerary and accomodations: Pompeii & Sorrento Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii. Join your Local Expert to learn about the lifestyles of its former residents. Arrive in Sorrento to check in to your Seaview rooms and maybe explore this resort town that overlooks the Bay of Naples. Tonight you will indulge in a dinner as you watch the sunset on this beautiful coastline. Hotel: Hotel Sorrento Palace (Seaview Executive rooms) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Explore the Isle of Dreams.
Embark on a dazzling cruise to see the White Grotto and spectacular cliffs of the island, before arriving in Capri town to cool off with a refreshing lemon granita. Walk with your Local Expert to the gardens of Caesar Augustus to view the legendary Faraglioni Rocks, jutting out of the water. Prepare for a Highlight Lunch at the incredible Michelin-starred Mammà. Enjoy exclusive views over the Gulf of Naples, whilst savouring Mediterranean flavours created with passion from fresh, local produce by chef Salvatore La Ragione. The rest of the day is yours to explore and relax in this island paradise. Ask your Travelling Concierge for suggestions. Dates with + feature the following itinerary and accomodations: ISLE OF CAPRI In the morning, board a fast-boat to the beautiful Isle of Capri. Embark on a dazzling cruise to see the white grotto and spectacular cliffs of the island, before arriving in Capri town to cool off with a refreshing lemon granita. Walk with your Local Expert to the gardens of Caesar Augustus to view the legendary Faraglioni Rocks, jutting out of the water. Prepare for a Highlight Lunch at the incredible Michelin-starred Mammà. Enjoy exclusive views over the Gulf of Naples whilst savouring Mediterranean flavours created with passion from fresh, local produce by chef Salvatore La Ragione. Return to Sorrento where you are at leisure. Hotel: Hotel Sorrento Palace (Seaview Executive rooms) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Lush Umbria and on to Assisi and Perugia.
Return to the mainland and travel north along the Highway of the Sun to the winding, cobbled streets of Assisi for a guided visit to the imposing Basilica of St. Francis with your Local Expert. Continue on to the Umbrian capital of Perugia. Ascend from the lower town, through the maze of medieval streets, to your five-star hotel. Your centrally located hotel allows for easy access to one of the traditional outdoor cafes where you can enjoy the lively buzz of the town. Ask your Travelling Concierge for dinner recommendations this evening.(Breakfast)
San Gimignano and Tuscany.
Meet Marta, the director of Laboratorio Giuditta Borzetti and the recipient of a TreadRight grant, to learn how the workshop's artisans are preserving the heritage craft of textile loom-weaving. Journey to the 15th century wine domain of 'Guardastelle', with its spectacular views over the rolling vineyards and the 'medieval Manhattan' which is San Gimignano. Explore the vineyard estate with a wine expert to learn about the various grape varieties and visit the wine cellars that combine ancient traditions with modern technology, where you will enjoy a wine tasting. Afterwards indulge in a lunch of Tuscan specialties and beautiful views of the countryside. [CC] If you are travelling on a Chairman's Collection departure, you are invited to an exclusive lunch and wine tasting with Marchese Mazzei at his centuries-old Tuscan estate. This experience will replace the lunch and wine tasting at the 'Guardastelle' estate. [/CC](Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
For a relatively small city, Florence boasts an abundance of art and architectural masterpieces, chic boutiques and fabulous restaurants. Explore Florence Your Way with a choice to join an art historian for an insider's guide to this romantic city. Admire Michelangelo's original statue of David in the Accademia Museum, before strolling to the cathedral, baptistery and open-air gallery of Piazza della Signoria. Alternatively, join a local foodie on a walking tour of the best gastronomic treats in this Tuscan town. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Enjoy dinner in an elegant villa which will include a choice of dishes featuring the famous 'Fiorentina' (mouth-watering grilled Tuscan beefsteak).(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Tuscan Cooking Class and Pisa.
Join a professional chef and uncover the secrets of Tuscan cooking during an authentic culinary masterclass set in the former hunting lodge of the Medici family. Complete your cooking experience by savouring the fruits of your labour with a lovely lunch. In the afternoon, travel to Pisa and meet your Local Expert to view the splendid Duomo, Baptistery and the famous, gravity-defying Leaning Tower of Pisa.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Exploring The Cinque Terre.
Journey northwest towards the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join your Local Expert in the picturesque fishing village of Manarola, then cruise along the rugged coast to explore Monterosso's medieval quarter and popular sandy beach. Enjoy lunch at leisure, before arriving at your hotel with fabulous views overlooking the Portofino peninsula where you may want to take a dip in the pool or enjoy a cocktail before dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Theatrical Venice and the Doge's Palace.
Today's journey will take you across the the Appenine mountain range with spectacular scenery. Take a water taxi along the famous Grand Canal, lined with historical Venetian palaces. Formerly the Doge's residence and the seat of Venetian government, the Palace is the very symbol of Venice and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. As all crowds disappear, discover the history, art and culture of the Venetian Republic with your Local Expert.(Breakfast)
The Magic of Venice.
Spend the day exploring the beauty and culture of Venice. Venture to a craftsman’s workshop to witness the age-old skill of glassblowing and admire the famous St. Mark's Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs. Later, take your seat in a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals. At our final dinner this evening, you will learn how to make Venice's celebrated cocktail, the 'Bellini' - your aperitif tonight at dinner in the atmospheric Taverna La Fenice. Savour a dish that keeps with tradition and is enriched with seasonal ingredients.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
After breakfast, bid farewell to your travel companions and transfer by private boat to Venice Marco Polo Airport for your onward journey.(Breakfast)