- A private tour of Pompeii and the nearby vineyards
- Driving through and visiting the picturesque towns of the Amalfi Coast with your private guide and driver
- A full day on the island of Capri including a visit to the Blue Grotto
- A private tour of the art of the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel, the Painting Gallery, Raffaello’s Rooms including his “The School of Athens” and Michelangelo’s Pieta in St. Peter’s
- Strolling the promenade in the Tuscan seaside resort of Viareggio
- A privately guided tour through the five villages of Cinque Terre accessible only by train, footpaths or boat.
- Visiting the art treasures of Michelangelo at the Accademia Gallery and the masterpieces from Giotto to Raphael at the Uffizi Gallery with your own art expert.
- Standing in the Piazza San Marco and realizing that you are finally in Venice
- Dinner on the verandah of your hotel, a 15th Century palazzo, right on the Grand Canal
- A gondola ride through the back canals of Venice
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your flight for the overnight journey to the historic city of Naples where your your discovery of Bella Italia begins.
Day 2 Welcome to Naples
You arrive in Naples where you are met by your guide and escorted to the car that will take you into Naples and your iconic hotel, a landmark since the end of the 19th Century. You have a chance to relax before enjoying dinner as the sun sets on the Bay of Naples.
Day 3 Gems of the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast has become famous throughout the world for the unique beauty of its landscapes. The twisting road squeezed between the rocks reveals tantalizing glimpses of small villages, secluded bays and inlets, all looking out over a clear blue sea in stark contrast to the lush green Mediterranean flora which colors the slopes of the hills and cliffs. During your exploration today you will certainly visit Positano, Amalfi and Ravello enjoying lunch along the way. Depending on your mood you may also visit some lesser known, but equally beautiful, towns such as Nerano, Praiano and Conca dei Marini. After your scenic adventure you return to your hotel overlooking the Bay of Naples.
Day 4 A Enchanted Island of Capri
In the morning your guide is waiting to take you to the jetty for the ferry ride to the island of Capri. Upon arrival on Capri, your guide will lead you on an introductory tour of the island. You start by taking a tramway up to the small town of Capri. Nearby is the village called Anacapri where you can take a chair lift to the top of one of the highest peaks on the island and enjoy a spectacular view of the Bay of Naples. Descending back to the village of Capri you arrive at Piazzetta Square where we you have time to have lunch on the square and explore some the surrounding streets and trendy boutiques. Later, after doing some exploring you return to the hydrofoil for the trip back to the mainland.
Day 5 Pompeii, Great Wine and Great Food
Whenever you are in Naples, a visit to Pompeii is a must but we show you this Roman site in an entirely new light. Your guide picks you up at the hotel and takes you to Pompeii which is about 15 miles away. Upon arrival you have a private tour of this well preserved Roman town, buried alive and preserved for posterity in volcanic ash as nearby Vesuvius erupted. You will walk the streets; visit the baths, the villas, the Forum and the frescoes (the ones in the former brothels are not for the faint of heart). After your tour you head to the Vesuvius vineyards where you will meet the owner and get a lesson on the origin of their famous wine, Lacryma Christi, the "Tears of Christ". You will sample some of the vintages with lunch finishing up with a glass of grappa before driving north to the Eternal City of Rome.
Day 6 The Vatican and a City of Art
Early in the morning, your driver will be waiting to take you to the smallest state in the world, the Vatican. You will follow the walls surrounding the Vatican until you arrive at the main entrance. Here you will meet your Vatican guide whose expertise will, initially, explain the secrets behind the creation of Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. You will also visit the Painting Gallery and the Raffaello Rooms where we will see his masterpiece "The School of Athens". Your guide will then take you into the Basilica of St. Peter's, the largest church in the world, where you will span four centuries of history and art including Bernini's Baldacchino and the Michelangelo's Pieta. After your exploration of the Vatican you go to a restaurant nearby for lunch. After lunch, your expert guide will take you to a selection of Renaissance piazzas and fountains, many of which were the work of one man, Bernini. You will visit the Piazza Navona which still retains the shape of the Roman Stadium which previously filled this spot. Here you will see the Fontana dei Fiumi with four giants at its base representing four rivers. You visit the Piazza Barberini and the Fontana del Tritone, the Fontana della Barcaccia in the Piazza di Spagna and, of course, the Fontana di Trevi this most famous Baroque construction that took thirty years to complete. Readers of "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown will recognize these fountains from the book and the movie.
Day 7 Roman Shopping and Coastal Tuscany
After breakfast your driver is available to take you to the major shopping areas and help with the packages. After lunch your guide will be waiting for the trip to the Tuscan coast and the delightful coastal resort of Viareggio site of an annual carnival that rivals Venice, if not Rio. Your hotel is a Grande Époque gem fully modernized to meet international standards. Once you have checked in, take some time to stroll the famous promenade right outside your hotel before savoring dinner in one of the hotel's renowned restaurants.
Day 8 Cinque Terre, the "Five Lands" of Legend
After breakfast you meet your guide who will take you along the coast to the town of Monterosso which is the gateway to the five charming towns of the Cinque Terre. These towns are not accessible by road but are linked by an efficient rail system, boats and scenic walkways. A land of mountains diving into the sea, the villages were fishermen's refuges that became known as the "five lands" and served as inspiration for the likes of Shelley, Lord Byron and Petrarch. You will visit the towns by taking short hops on the train, walking on the most scenic paths and, weather permitting, by boat. In addition to its natural beauty, the area is known for its cuisine particularly its pesto and classic pasta sauce. Obviously seafood is a specialty so you will have a good excuse to work up an appetite. At the end of the day's excursion you meet up with your car and return to Viareggio
Day 9 Lucca, Pisa and Florence
In late morning your guide will be waiting to take you to lunch and then take you to the town of Lucca which was originally a Roman town and enclosed by massive red brick walls in the 16th and 17th centuries. You will walk along the Medieval via Fillungo, the main axis of the historic town and lined with ancient houses and towers. You will also visit the Roman Amphitheatre. Lucca is also famous as the birthplace of Puccini and you will visit and discuss key links between Lucca and the composer. Your visit to Lucca will conclude with an exploration of the Pisan-Romanesque church of San Martin and the San Michele in Foro. After breakfast your guide will be waiting to take you to the town of Pisa, world famous for its leaning tower. Upon arrival in the port city of Pisa you will enjoy an overview of the city before stopping at the Romanesque complex called the Campo dei Miracoli. This is made up of the Duomo, Baptistry, Camposanto and the leaning tower. After your guide explains the historical significance of each, we have left time for you to enjoy lunch and explore the area at your leisure (Please try to resist taking the photograph where you appear to be holding up the tower). After lunch, your guide will take you into Florence where you will begin a walking tour of the historic parts of the city. You will visit the Piazza del Duomo and learn the history of the dome created by Brunelleschi and the nearby bell tower by Giotto. A visit to the Ponte Vecchio will be followed by a tour of Franciscan Santa Croce church and its masterpieces by Giotto, Donatello and Brunelleschi. Within its walls are the burial sites of the Renaissance greats, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. Dante is also honored but his sarcophagus is empty. A more recent addition is the great composer Rossini. You complete your tour in the Piazza della Signoria, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Your hotel, overlooking the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio, is nearby and after check-in you have a chance to relax before dinner.
Day 10 Treasures of Renaissance Art
After breakfast you visit the Accademia Gallery famous for its collection of sculptures by Michelangelo. In addition to the world-renowned "David", you will also see the four "slaves" created for Pope Julius II and the "Pieta di Palestrina" It is "David" however which is close to the hearts of the citizens of Florence since, as the young hero who is about to defeat the giant, Goliath, it symbolizes the determination of the Florentine Republic to defend its freedom no matter the size of the adversary. At nineteen feet, the stature of David with its smooth marble could be considered as the pinnacle of his career but it was actually completed while he was in his early twenties. The "slaves" emerging from the block of marble are more abstract and primitive but do in fact represent Michelangelo as an evolved artist. After lunch you have a private tour of the Uffizi, designed by Vasari as an administrative office for the Medici's, it was, in 1591, turned into an art gallery to make available to the public the great works of art acquired or commissioned by the Medici family. It is a treasure trove of Renaissance art including notable works by DaVinci, Giotto, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raffaello and after viewing and studying the art you return to your hotel. We have left this evening open for you to choose from the many fine restaurants within walking distance of your hotel
Day 11 Journey to Venice
This morning is at leisure, allowing the opportunity for more sightseeing or perhaps a little shopping. Your guide will pick you up and take you for a light lunch before you board the train. After enjoying the countryside from your 1st Class seat, you cross the causeway and arrive at the train station in Venice where your guide meets you and takes you to the water taxi which will take you to your hotel. Since it is located on the canal the taxi drops you off right at the hotel. After freshening up you enjoy a glass of Prosecco as a precursor to dinner which can be enjoyed on a terrace by the side of the Grand Canal.
Day 12 A Walking Tour of Classical Venice
This morning your guide will take you on a walking tour of the key highlights of classical Venice. You will start in St. Mark's Square. Your first stop will be the Doges Palace where you will learn about the history, art and culture of the Venetian Republic. This former seat of government is richly decorated by some of the most important artists of the 16th Century and this is especially so in the Doge's private apartments which you will also visit. You cross the Bridge of Sighs to see the old prison of the republic before returning to St Mark's square where you enter Saint Mark's Church. This was originally the Doge's private chapel but is now the Venetian cathedral and is a rare example of Byzantine Art with its golden mosaics and the "Pala d'Oro" (Golden Altar), rich in enamels, precious stones and jewels. After lunch the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening you have the option of selecting among the numerous restaurants in close proximity to the hotel.
Day 13 Exploring the Grand Canal... the Venetian Way
Today your guide will meet you at the hotel and take you to the nearby Ca d'Oro Vaporetto stop for a native's way to see the Grand Canal. The vaporetti or (singular) vaporetto is a water bus that provides public transportation around Venice with the number 1 route covering the Grand Canal. Along with your guide you will take the vaporetto in the direction of the Lido, stopping at several points along the way to inspect the various sestiere or districts of Venice. It is a great way to view the city and meet the locals. After your ride the rest of the day is open. In the early evening, you will board a gondola for a trip through some of the back canals accompanied by a musician and a singer. It is a bit touristy but hearing Santa Lucia from the seat of a gondola makes Venice come alive. You top off your day and your stay in Bella Italia with a farewell dinner with wine as the gondolas pass by your table on the Grand canal.
Day 14 Return to USA
After breakfast your guide picks you up for the boat ride to the mainland and the trip to airport where your return flight to the US awaits. You arrive back home later the same afternoon.
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Tailor Made Tours - Bella Italia ULIT12 Location and other villas and tours nearby
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Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Naples, Rome, Viarregio, Florence, Venice
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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