Ultimate Luxury Trip through Italy
14 Days / 13 Nights
Day one: Arrival in Florence, Private Florence Food & Wine Tour: Tuscan Experience - Grand Hotel Villa Cora
Once in Florence, you can check in your accommodation: Grand Hotel Villa Cora. This exclusive 5-star hotel stands amid a century-old park overlooking the Boboli Gardens, placed just outside the historic center of Florence. Villa Cora was built in the 19th century by the architect Pietro Comparini as an aristocratic residence. Its exquisite architectural style still reflects the greatness of that era. The hotel has a total of 45 rooms and suites, a spa and an outdoors climatised pool, all meticulously cared for down to the smallest details.
One of the best ways to see a city is to eat your way through it and that is just what you can expect on this Private Florence Food Tour. Expect to taste hearty foods typical of this region such as the popular street food sandwich lampredotto, quality cured meats and cheeses local to Tuscany, regional pasta dishes, gelato and of course Tuscan wine!
Your Private Florence Food Tour begins with an intro to the city and its culinary history from your guide, as you walk along narrow Florence streets on your way to an historic enoteca winery. Here you will be met with a platter of local cured meats regional cheeses and Tuscan wine. Learn about the Sangiovese grape, sometimes referred to as the ‘king of all grapes’ thanks to its robust quality and timeless appeal.
Once your bellies are filled with local specialities, your guide will take you to yet another stop. But first, take in the beauty of this stunning Renaissance city in all its glory. Some of the other sites you will see along this tour is the Piazza della Signoria, the most important square of the city and a common meeting point for locals. You will also visit a local restaurant with a focus on Tuscan specialties. Here you will sit down to a variety of pasta choices. Finally, your Florence Food Tour now takes a turn for the sweet with a proper gelato finale!
Day two: The Uffizi Gallery: Private Guided Visit of Florence Art Museum, Free Afternoon in Florence
Few troves of art stir the soul like the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s oldest art galleries famous for its Renaissance masterpieces and the most visited museum in Italy.
On this guided visit you enjoy an overview of the development of Italian painting from the 13th to the 16th century, thanks to the museum’s chronological layout. Since 1581, the Uffizi’s resplendent architecture has housed some of the most alluring of paintings, drawings and sculptural works, a seductive prospect for art lovers from all over the globe.
An immersive exploration of the gallery’s major rooms and halls, that connects you with the masterpieces, your private tour will deliver some of the finest works of the Renaissance from Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci to Caravaggio.
The private lives of the Great Masters are a fascinating backstory; with your guide, learn how jealousies have intertwined with raw eroticism and religion – you can feel it in the Uffizi, read it in Dante, see it in Michelangelo and become engulfed by it in every Florentine church. Your guided visit will finish inside the museum, where you can continue to explore the museum at your own pace or return to pieces where you wish to linger.
In the afternoon, you are free to explore the city on your own. Florence is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture, including the iconic Duomo, a terracotta-tiled dome, and the Galleria dell’Accademia, which displays Michelangelo’s ‘David’ sculpture. So, there are plenty of things to do!
Day three: Traditional Local Artisan Experience, Gelato Making Class in Florence
This private Florence Artisan Tour starts at the famous Ponte Vecchio, a historic home to the city’s jewelers. Crossing the bridge, you’ll arrive in Oltrarno. This quieter part of Florence is known for its craftsmanship and laboratories, now fighting to survive as mass tourism makes it hard for traditional arts to compete with cheap souvenirs.
The first stop on the tour is a famous paper workshop where they create beautifully marbled paper patterns. The art started with Florentine bookbinders in the 17th century. Your tour will continue with a visit to a family of Florence artisans. Oltrarno has been home to leather workers since the 14th century and although most producers have now moved out of the city, a few workshops have survived. You’ll visit a family-owned leather workshop where the mother designs and crafts purses by hand, the son produces luxury pet supplies, and the daughter makes unique,beaded jewelry and learns about their craft.
On the final stop on this tour, you’ll meet the artists of a mosaic laboratory. You’ll meet the craftspeople who carry on this tradition and watch them take rough pieces of stone and turn them into stunning works of art.
Then, you can opt to have a free afternoon to explore the city on your own, or join our Florence Gelato Making Class. In this one-hour experience, you will visit an authentic family-run Gelato Academy and learn all the ins and outs of gelato making from a pro. Discover the differences between gelato and ice cream. Make your very own flavor from scratch and then enjoy eating it all up!
Day four: Florence to Rome, Guided Visit of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill & Roman - Hotel de la Ville
During your time in Rome, you will stay at Hotel de la Ville. This 5-star hotel is an 18th-century palazzo that blends classical Roman romance and modern flair. The accommodation is perched high above the Spanish Steps with sweeping views of Rome, the «Eternal City.» Hotel de la Ville is a hub of activity, with popular drinking and dining spots right on your doorstep, and it’s only steps away from some of the city’s most famous attractions, such as Via del Corso, which is a 10-minute walk away.
On your first day in Rome, you’ll visit the world’s largest amphitheater: the Colosseum. Your private guide will bring the Colosseum back to life by explaining how the gladiators entertained the crowds with spectacular fights and show you the engineering applied by the Romans to build such an imposing structure ahead of its time.
After the Colosseum, you will proceed to the archaeological site of the Roman Forum which represented the commercial, legal, and administrative center of ancient Rome. You will feel as if you were brought back in time during the Imperial age of Rome.
In the afternoon, you will visit the town of Frascati, which has been famous for its wines since the era of ancient Rome. Your guide, who is a Frascati local, will meet you at the train station to take you to a 16th-century Farmhouse. Here, accompanied by the winemaker, you will learn about how the artisanal winemaking tradition has been kept alive by a devotion to traditional winemaking techniques, incorporated into the production of our modern DOCG wines.
Day five: Guided Visit of Tivoli Villas by Vespa
A trip out by Vespa, along the Tiburtina Consular Road, up to the magnificent Hadrian’s Villa, built and designed by Emperor Hadrian at the beginning of the 2nd century AD as his own extraordinary imperial residence.
After lunch in a typical Tivoli restaurant, you will walk through the wonderful garden of Villa D’Este, a Renaissance villa with 50 fountains and spectacular water games, which inspired the construction of villas and gardens such as Versailles; it is immersed in the greenery and surrounded by the music of waterfalls and secular trees. Both Villas are declared World Heritage Sites.
Before returning to Rome, you will admire the splendid view of Villa Gregoriana and its incredible engineering work ordered by Pope Gregory XVI in the mid-19th century, to deviate from the Aniene River and protect Tivoli from continuing floods.
Day six: Free Day in Rome, Dinner at a Michelin Star Restaurant, La Pergola
Today you have a free day to explore the city’s highlights and make the most of your time in the Eternal City. A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and charismatic cities.
The result of 3000 years of ad hoc urban development, Rome’s cityscape is an exhilarating sight. Ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon recall the city’s golden age as caput mundi.
Few cities can rival Rome’s astonishing artistic heritage. Stroll through the centre and without even trying you’ll come across masterpieces by the titans of European art – sculptures by Michelangelo, paintings by Caravaggio, frescoes by Raphael and fountains by Bernini.
A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at streetside cafes, people -watching on pretty piazzas – these are all central to the Roman experience.
In the evening, you will dine at the exclusive restaurant La Pergola. A breathtaking view of the Eternal City is revealed to guests at one of the world’s most beautiful restaurants. Under the guidance of Heinz Beck, it has become a temple of international gastronomy, historically the first and, still today, the only three-star Michelin in Rome. Its one-of-a-kind cuisine is a fusion of genius and creativity; from the absolute quality of simply unique ingredients, it continues to set forth new tastes and new emotions coaxed from the real flavours of Italian and Mediterranean tradition.
Day seven: Excursion to Visit Roman Castles and Medieval Hilltop Villages
Visit some of the most beautiful hill towns near Rome following the road of the Castelli Romani, south of Rome. In picturesque Monte Porzio Catone, renowned as the city of wine, enjoy a wine tasting of the local wines, while in the lovely and magical town of Ariccia, filled with architectural gems, taste the mouth-watering Porchetta. In Castel Gandolfo, set in a beautiful setting you’ll admire the numerous villas built through the centuries by wealthy Roman families. In all the cities, you’ll enjoy free time to wander around these lovely hilltop villages.
Today you will discover the Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) – a group of small villages located just a one hour drive from the busy city. Monte Porzio Catone is the first village you’ll visit. It is nestled between hills covered by olive groves and vineyards. Growing on this unique volcanic territory the grapes have a very distinctive flavor that can’t be found in any other place on the planet. Stop at a local traditional winery for a full wine tasting with some typical homemade delicatessen snacks.
Back on the road, drive along the famous Via Appia, ancient Rome’s gateway to the east, in order to reach Castel Gandolfo. This Apostolic Palace is still in use today, specifically by the Popes who have their summer residence here to enjoy the cooler climate. The next town is a short drive away. Ariccia was once the main residence of the powerful Chigi family, but today it is famous for roasted pork, known in Italian as porchetta. In the center wander the charming streets and check out Bernini’s Baroque Square, Palazzo Savelli-Chigi, and the Santa Maria Assunta church.
Day eight: Rome to Naples, Naples through the Historical Center with a Local, Make a Pizza like Neapolitan Pizza Maker for a Day - Grand Hotel Vesuvio
Today you will transfer from Rome to Naples. Once in Naples you will check in the Grand Hotel Vesuvio. Since 1882 the Grand Hotel Vesuvio has been the Neapolitan home for celebrities and travelers from all over the world. Vesuvio is the only 5 Star Deluxe Hotel on the sea front of Naples and has 160 rooms with 21 suites, 2 panoramic restaurants, fitness club with indoor pool, function rooms, bar, private cabin cruiser, limo service, garage.
Naples is a mix of historical masterpieces, with its magnificent artifacts, so rich in history, art, and folklore. Its historical center is a UNESCO site, due to its artistic and cultural heritage. It includes more than 500 churches and a lot of underground tunnels.
The main squares are Piazza Bellini, famous for its Greek wall of the ancient Neapolis, or Piazza Del Gesù with the famous church of Gesù Nuovo, in baroque style, home of the reliquies of St. Joseph Moscati. Also, Santa Chiara Church is very famous as it was destroyed by a fire during the war. Its famous Closter is covered with colorful hand-painted ceramic tiles.You will continue the tour to Spaccanapoli, the longest and oldest city of the ancient city of Neapolis, which is still running above the buried original Roman road.
With your private guide, you will have the chance to access the San Severo Chapel, worldwide famous for the sculpture called the «Veiled Chryst»«Duomo di San Gennaro.
You will also explore the San Gregorio Armeno neighborhood, famous for the Nativity Christmas Market, the tradition of the handmade nativity scene. You will finally visit the cathedral of Naples called «Duomo di San Gennaro«.
Discover the true Neapolitan pizza with this interactive pizza making workshop designed to make you experience the art of Neapolitan pizzaiuolo, recognized by UNESCO as an intangible heritage of humanity. This experience is an exciting journey into the history and culture of Neapolitan pizza where the participants can live the experience of being a “pizza maker for a day”.
Day nine: Volcano Hiking Experience: Vesuvius, Privately Guided Visit of Pompeii with Archaeologist
Today you will enter the Vesuvius National Park, where you can observe the vegetation and the beautiful views. You will hear explanations from a park guide about the numerous transformations of the mountain due to its volcanic nature, learning how this force of nature was able to destroy the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Afterwards, experience a two-hour guided tour of the Pompeii archaeological site with a professional archaeologist guide and skip-the-line tickets included. You will walk through the ruins of Pompeii with a small-group and appreciate preserved frescoes, artwork, and mosaics up close. Meet your guide outside the main entrance of “Porta Marina Superiore” and discover the most beautiful parts of the ancient city buried by Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Pompei lay buried under meters of ash and lapilli and forgotten for hundreds of years; the area had a complex water system, an amphitheater, a gymnasium, baths, and a substantial population, which grew prosperous from the region’s renowned agricultural fertility. An expert guide will reconstruct the tragic moments that preceded the explosion and he will bring back to life the magnificent history of the prosperous Romans. The guided visit is 2 hours showing you the main public monuments and some of the homes of the Pompeii ruins.
You’ll visit the Western part of the town, where the most important public buildings, homes, and shops are located. Highlights include the Marina Gate, the Basilica, the Forum, the baths, the Lupanar (brothel), the bakery, the house of Faun, the Thermopolium, the main street, the Plaster Casts of the dead, and the Theaters.
Day ten: Naples to Fasano, Free Day in Fasano - Masseria Torre
Time to transfer from Naples to Fasano. Once there, check in the exclusive Masseria Torre Maizza. This 5-star hotel is set in a large estate in the area of Savelletri di Fasano. The property offers a stylish restaurant, a pool bar and a rooftop bar, as well as a 20-meter pool and a private beach club. On your first day in Fasano, enjoy a free day to experience the amenities and activities at your hotel.
Puglia is a region located in the southern part of Italy. It is also known as Apulia in English. This area is known for its stunning coastline along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, historic towns, unique architecture, and delicious cuisine. From exploring ancient archaeological sites to enjoying the beautiful beaches, olive groves, and vineyards, Puglia offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers.
Day eleven: Day Excursion to Alberobello, Free Afternoon to Enjoy the Beaches of Apulia
Today, enjoy a half-day excursion to Alberobello – the Itria Valley’s premier location to see trulli, the cone-shaped houses distinctive to Puglia, making it the most enchanting part of Italy’s heel. Alberobello has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and it is the landmark of Puglia, a unique place that can not be missed while visiting Puglia.
During the trip to Itria Valley, you will cross the beautiful and idyllic countryside that surrounds the cities, with its breathtaking views dotted with trulli. Then, in Alberobello, we will take you off the beaten path to discover the most suggestive and authentic corners and the incredible story that is at the origin of this unique village.
After visiting Alberobello, you will have lunch at a Slow Food Restaurant to introduce you to Apulian cuisine. The Slow Food movement was born in Italy in the ’80s. It has now become a widespread international movement in 130 countries that emphasizes the pleasure of food and slowness, educates people about the authentic taste of food, and safeguards traditional products and biodiversity. Slow Food counters agribusiness’s efforts to standardize the taste of food, defending the need to inform and educate the consumer and protecting the cultural identities linked to traditional food and wine productions.
Aftwards, you can enjoy a free afternoon to experience the stunning beaches of Apulia. The region’s diverse coastline offers something for everyone, from sandy beaches and rocky coves to historic seaside towns and natural reserves. Each beach has its unique charm, making Apulia a fantastic destination for beach lovers.
Day twelve: Half Day Private Boat Excursion of the Gargano Coast
Live a slow-paced day at sea on the Gargano coast on a luxurious rental boat with a skipper, where you can go along the Gargano coast- from Vieste to Mattinata.
Visit the sea caves of the Gargano Promontory, among the most beautiful in Italy and only reachable by boat. From Vieste to Mattinata, a professional skipper will take you along the Gargano coast in search of those hidden beaches and coves. In addition, you can choose your spot for a dip in the crystal clear water of the Adriatic Sea.
Gargano is formed by mountainous highlands that create the backbone of Gargano Promontory. The area is so fertile that it became a part of the Gargano National Park. There are hiking trails up the highest peak, Monte Calvo for a panoramic view of the Adriatic Sea and the Gargano Coast. The Gargano Peninsula was once covered and filled with ancient oak and beech forests and is the only remaining Apennine montane forest in Europe. There are two major salt lakes in the northern region of Gargano and the oldest shrine of Europe is the Monte Sant’Angelo.
Vieste is a historical town situated on a coastal cliff as well as a traditional fishing village that still keeps many of its ancient cultures and traditions. It was once an ancient Greek settlement and a Roman municipality. At the top of Vieste’s hill, you will see the castle that Frederick II built. The Romanesque Cathedral is also built on top of the hill and it is believed to be the location where a pagan temple was built underneath. The 18th-century coastal Vieste lighthouse is situated in one of the coastal caves with traces of Greek and Latin invocation inscribed to the deities.
Mattinata is a part of the Gargano National Park and it is located on two hills enclosed by mountains. Due to its location and climate, you can find 60 different species of orchids hidden amongst the hills. It is believed that this area was populated but the Greek-Balkans population during the 5th B.C.
Day thirteen: Visit the Archaeological Excavation of Egnatia & the Foodie Paradise of Ceglie Messapica
The Egnatia Archaeological Park is situated in a beautiful natural environment. The site is characterized by wonderful countryside and by the sea that runs along the coast; it contains some of the most important archaeological findings in Puglia.
By visiting the Archaeological Museum, you can experience the ancient Gnathia, part of the history of Puglia with all its prestige, starting from the 13th century BC and ending with the Roman age in the 3rd century BC.
The history of the excavations started in the early 19th century when French officers plundered the site. Later, during the historic famine of 1846, the inhabitants of nearby villages looted the ancient tombs of vases, precious objects, and grave goods to sell. It wasn’t until 1912 that systematic excavation work began. They continued intermittently in the 1940s, then again from the ‘60s to the ‘80s, and are ongoing today.
After spending time in the Roman era, you will head to the enchanting streets and piazzas of Ceglie Messapica: a quaint town in the heart of the Itria Valley. You will immerse yourself in the daily life of a typical southern Italian town. Ceglie is also a temple of gastronomy. A highlight of the day will be a visit to a very special bakery that offers handmade, high-quality products following traditional recipes. It recently has been noted as one of the “Slow Food” sites in Italy. We will taste the typical “biscotti cegliese,” a cookie that is made without any flour. Its ingredients include almonds, honey, lemon liqueur, lemon zest, cherry jam, and eggs. The recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, and all the ingredients are produced in Ceglie.
Day fourteen: Depart Italy
Your trip finishes here! At the designated time, a driver picks you up at your hotel for transfer to Naples airport. Today you catch your flight home full of memories of Italy and wishing your stay had been longer.
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