- 9 Full Days + 9 Nights
- Type of Tour: Point to Point
- Start in: Florence
- End in: Rome
- 9 nights with European Breakfast
- 2 3-course dinners (wine not included)
- Private transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned van
- Admission to Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence
- Admission to Pompei Archeological Site
- Admission to Musei Vaticani in Rome
- Battle tour in Montecassino
- Cooking class in a Wine Estate in Chianti
- All taxes and tips
Day 1 - Florence
Welcome to Florence! You will meet at the hotel your Tour Leader and your travel mates who will accompany you in this unforgettable tour around Italy. Let’s have a coffee together just to know each other!
A guided sightseeing tour introduces us to the city’s splendor. We’ll visit the Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile and the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city, in the Florentine Romanesque style with its famous bronze doors. Then at midday we will have lunch with “Panino con Lampredotto” in a typical Florentine market.
In the afternoon we will reach Galleria dell’Accademia which hosts Michelangelo's David, the most famous sculpture in the world! After that, we’ll visit the Convent of Santa Croce where Michelangelo, Galileo and other Italian glories are buried. We will also spare some time to relax, visiting a typical market for shopping, strolling through the pedestrian streets of the city and crossing the oldest bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio, rich of jewellery shops.
Tonight dinner in Oltrarno, the Florence of the Florentines, enjoying a Florentine grilled steak with a glass of good red Chianti wine!
Overnigth in Florence
Day 2 – Florence and Chianti
Our itinerary today includes the visit to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums in the world for its extraordinary collections of paintings. Beside it we will see the imposing Palazzo Vecchio with the crenellated tower of Arnolfo, one of the symbols of the city.
In the afternoon we will reach a country house in the Chianti area, renowned for its excellent wine! It will be amazing to spend time in the splendid landscape among vineyards and olive trees! We will also attend a cooking class and taste the excellent wine of the estate. Dinner will be served in this relaxing place, where you will eat what you have cooked in the afternoon!
Overnight in Chianti
Day 3 - Siena, Bagno Vignoni and Montalcino
This morning our Tour Leader will drive us to Siena, famous for its summer horse-race, known as ”Il Palio” and run in Piazza del Campo. We will visit Fontebranda, the area in the heart of Contrada dell'Oca (Goose Quarter) which owes its name to the most famous fountain in Siena, then Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia, and you will be astonished by the black and white of the Duomo and the beauty of the Baptistry. But, maybe, the thing that you are going to remember more is the colour of the frontages and of the roofings, the renowned colour “Sienna”, a pigment first produced during the Renaissance, that makes the city lovely and warm. And don’t forget to taste the Senese sweets: “cantucci” (biscuits with toasted almonds), “ricciarelli” (soft biscuits with icing sugar), “panforte” (cake with fruit nuts and spices) and “cavallucci” (biscuit with honey, walnut, candied fruits and spices)!
We will then head for Bagno Vignoni, a tiny and charming village different from all the others: actually, the main square is a pool 49 meters long and 29 wide, from the bottom of which bubble up a number of hot springs whose therapeutic quality has been renowned since antiquity! All this creates such a pleasant sensation, that it will be hard to leave! Our Tour Leader will then drive us to the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a former Benedictine monastery near Montalcino. In this elegant Romanesque edifice of the early 12th century we will hopefully listen to the Gregorian chants of the Monks living here. Quite a moving experience!
We will finally arrive in Montalcino, one of the prettiest hill towns in Tuscany. Rows of olive-trees and of precious grape vines and the yellow fields create an enchanting landscape. It will be unforgettable to have dinner in such a charming land! Remember that the dry wine Brunello di Montalcino is one of the best Italian reds!
Overnight in Montalcino
Day 4 - Orvieto and Tivoli
Today we will reach Orvieto in Umbria, one of the most interesting hill towns in Italy, perched up on volcanic rock, its history dating back to the Etruscans. Although just an hour from Rome, the architecture is different, with many of the buildings constructed out of tufo, a type of volcanic rock. Orvieto’s main attraction is its 14th century Duomo – a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with a glistening façade of stained glass, mosaics and sculptures.
At lunch don’t forget to sip the delicious white wine of the area, Orvieto Classico!
In the afternoon we will discover one of Italy’s hidden gems! Here is Tivoli, a small town in Lazio, about 30 Km east of Rome. One major sight here is Hadrian’s Villa; this is where Emperor Hadrian came when he wanted to escape the capital. Much of the enormous, luxurious ancient villa remains intact today, and you will be surprised by the clever application of Renaissance plumbing in the fountains and waterworks, perfectly integrated with the landscape. There are about 500 fountains here!
In Tivoli we will have a delectable dinner, tasting gorgeous spinach and ricotta ravioli with marinara sauce!
Overnight in Tivoli
Day 5 - Pompei and Amalfi Coast
Today we’ll reach Pompei, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, to enter the very heart of Roman ancient splendor!
Pompei is the only place in the world where you can understand how the Romans of the 1st century AD really lived: from the brothels and lavatories to the posh dining rooms and the bathing establishments which gathered modern spa, health club and gym. The eruption of Vesuvius destroyed the town in 79 AD and more than 3,000 people died with their bodies covered by debris from the volcano.
After this interesting visit our Tour Leader will drive us to the Amalfi Coast or Costiera Amalfitana, widely considered Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline, a landscape of pastel-coloured villages terraced into hillsides, steep panoramic roads, luxuriant gardens and enchanting vistas over turquoise waters and green mountains. Considered by UNESCO "an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values," the coast is a World Heritage Site since 1997.
Let’s celebrate our arrival at Amalfi with a gorgeous dinner on a terrace overlooking the sea, according to the Coastal tradition, rich of tastes and in the meantime delicate and light! What about Spaghetti with clams in olive oil and garlic sauce, or a seafood Risotto, with a glass of excellent Greco di Tufo white wine?
Overnight on Amalfi Coast
Day 6 - Amalfi Coast
Today our tour Leader will take us from town to town at the discovery of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, three of the most beautiful villages in Southern Italy, world-famous for their charm and colorful architecture.
Positano sits in a splendid panoramic position on one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline. Its enchanting town center of delightful pastel-coloured houses surrounds the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta; its streets are lined with quaint, colorful shops and its numerous beaches are world famous.
Amalfi has a typically Mediterranean architecture, made up of lanes and characteristic white houses piled one upon the other. In the Middle Ages it was of Italy's four powerful maritime republics (with Venice, Pisa, and Genoa). All sea trade in the Mediterranean was once governed by the 12th century Tavole Amalfitane, one of the world's oldest maritime codes. A must-see in Amalfi is the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, fronted by an intricately patterned façade, redone in the 19th century. Founded in the 9th century, the cathedral's subsequent alterations have spared its principal glory, the main portal's 11th century Byzantine bronze doors. Next to the church lies the Chiostro del Paradiso (1268), or Cloister of Paradise, whose serious Romanesque tone is enlivened by the Arab elements in its sinuous columns. To escape the bustle of Amalfi let’s take the popular walk along the Valle dei Mulini, a steep-sided valley dotted with ruined watermills – mulini - once used to make paper, an industry for which Amalfi was, and still is, famous.
Ravello is situated in a more elevated position than the other pearls of the Amalfi Coast, boasting exceptional views of the coast and its marvelous villas and gardens which, according to French novelist André Gide, are “closer to the sky than the sea”. We will visit Villa Rufolo, built in the 13th century, which hosted popes and kings, as well as Richard Wagner, who composed part of his opera Parsifal here in 1880. Views from its idyllic gardens are magnificent!
Overnight on Amalfi Coast
Day 7 – Montecassino and Castelli Romani
On our way to Rome, we will pass by Montecassino, where you will admire the Benedectine Abbey which was built 4 times after destruction over the centuries, the last in 1944 during a fierce battle.
We will spend the afternoon on the Alban Hills (20 kms south of Rome), known as “Castelli Romani” (Roman Castles). It is an area of pretty hill towns famous for their ancient history and highly regarded wine: Castelgandolfo, the summer residence of the pope, Rocca di Papa and Grottaferrata, known for their culture and gastronomic delicacies, Frascati, popular for its breathtaking views and for its sweet and refreshing white wine named after the city, are only some of them.
Overnight in Castelli Romani
Day 8 – Rome
Welcome to Rome, the “Eternal city”! Today we will start from the 2,000 years old Colosseum and the Imperial Forums, the administrative and monumental centre of the Roman Empire. Then we will have lunch in the park in Villa Borghese, Rome's most famous park. Originally Cardinal Scipione Boghese' estate in the 17th century, it covers about 80 hectares and boasts several museums and galleries.
After having thrown a coin into the Trevi Fountain, tonight we will have dinner in Trastevere, a charming medieval neighbourhood with a fiery temperament! We will taste the Roman Cuisine in a “Trattoria” where you may try “Saltimbocca alla Romana” ( veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage),“Bucatini cacio e pepe” (pasta with Pecorino Romano cheese and ground black pepper) and, in season ,”Fiori di Zucca Fritti” (fried zucchini flowers)!!
Day 9 – Rome
Today will be a very busy day! Let’s start from the enchanting and immense Vatican Museums with its the exquisite and unique Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, framed by the magnificent four column-deep colonnade designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
In the afternoon we will visit the Pantheon, dedicated to the worship of every god (Pan-every Theon-divinity), now memorial chapel of great Italian people of the past, and the Church of St. Louis of the French, famous for the cycle of paintings by the Baroque master Caravaggio at the end of the 16th century. Then we’ll head for Rome's prettiest square, Piazza Navona, we will climb the Spanish Steps for unforgettable pictures and we’ll finally stroll along the fashionable Via dei Condotti and the surrounding streets.
Tonight is ,sadly, our last night together! We will have our farewell dinner in a typical Roman trattoria, sharing experiences and emotions of this unforgettable tour around Italy!
Arrivederci with another tour at the discovery of Italy with VITOR.
Overnight in Rome