With English-speaking guides throughout your trip, you’ll start right in the middle, in Rome, where you’ll explore history, art, religion, and more, with private visits to the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Then you'll head south into "il Mezzogiorno," where you’ll visit Pompeii, lunch on Mt. Vesuvius, settle into Sorrento, explore the Amalfi Coast, and even sail to Capri on a private boat to swim in the perfectly blue Mediterranean. Finally, it's north to Florence, to its art treasures and culinary delights. When you return to Rome, you’ll be renewed and ready for more.
- Private Mercedes transfers to and from airports and train stations
- Reserved business class seats on high-speed trains
- English-speaking local tour guides throughout
- All skip-the-line tickets included
- Accommodation in selected apartment in historic center of Rome - 4 nights and Florence - 3 nights
- Private introduction to Rome “Dolce Vita 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 in Villa on 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 Florence Walking Tour and the Academia Gallery
- Private Tour of the Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery
- Lunch and Wine Tasting at Villa Machiavelli followed by visit to San Gimignano
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 boutique hotel in Rome. After relaxing, you will be picked up by your private 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, the best preserved ancient Roman 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 almost like 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 hotel for this signature Your Own Italy tour. 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 with Raphael himself and some of his contemporaries. In the Sistine Chapel, below the largest and most renowned fresco in the world, your guide will explain the intriguing history of how this work was painted and the messages Michelangelo his in 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 unparalleled altar canopy, and the tombs of the Popes, including that of John Paul II.
DAY 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 who 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. Stroll to the top of the mountain to visit the famed Capri sandal makers as well as see the 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 7: Arrival in Florence, Walking City Tour and the Accademia Gallery
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Sorrento and accompany you to the high-speed train to Florence. You will be met at the train station in Florence by a greeter who will accompany you to your apartment for check in. After you relax, your private tour guide will take you on an afternoon tour of the historic center that will include the gothic cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore and the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo's incomparable David.
DAY 8: Tour of the Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery
Your private tour guide will take you on a walking tour of the Piazza della Signoria and its many sculptures. The graceful Loggia dei Lanzi houses the famous sculptures of Perseus Holding Medusa's Head, by Cellini (1554), and the Rape of the Sabine Women, by Giambologna. The tour continues with a private tour of the magnificent Uffizi Gallery, where every piece of art is a Renaissance masterpiece, followed by a glass of prosecco on the terrace overlooking the Piazza della Signoria.
DAY 9: Lunch and Wine Tasting at Villa Machiavelli and Visit to San Gimignano
This relaxing tour begins with a drive on picturesque local roads through the world-famous Chianti region. Lying between Florence and Siena, and bordered on the east by the Chianti Mountains and the west by the Elsa River, this wine region boasts delightful vistas of rolling hills, cypresses, and charming villages, along with an unhurried pace of life. You’ll visit the celebrated Machiavelli winery for a tour of the vineyard and a sampling of several different types of local wine, followed by a sumptuous lunch in the family’s villa. Following this, your driver will take you to the medieval gem of San Gimignano, “city of beautiful towers.” In its heyday, the town boasted 72 towers. Now 14 remain, and, rising above Tuscany’s Elsa Valley, they give the town the appearance of a medieval dream. Your walking tour begins at the Piazza della Cisterna, Piazza del Duomo Collegiata, and Romanesque cathedral, and continues with a stroll along the ancient pilgrimage road, the Via Francigena. There will also be time to visit shops, browse the lovely Santa Fina pottery and other handmade products, and purchase some saffron, a local culinary specialty.
Day 10: Return to Rome and a Private Walking Food and Wine Tour
After a relaxing breakfast, your driver will pick you up and accompany you to the train station in Florence for your high-speed train to Rome. You will be picked up at Rome's station by a driver who will accompany you to your hotel in the historic center. Later that evening, you will meet a master sommelier who will take you on a food and wine tour of trendy Trastevere. This quintessential Roman neighborhood across the Tiber River is a little bit Greenwich Village, a little bit Left Bank, but mainly regular Italian - a place where Roman pappas bring their families for Sunday dinners after church and young Romans lounge in the piazzas on evenings and weekends. Your Own Italy’s four-hour food and wine walking tour presents Trastevere at 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. Few activities in Rome deliver as many hidden surprises and enchanting moments as this, in one of our favorite neighborhoods.
Day 11: Departure
Your driver will pick you up in plenty of time to make your flight. Rome salutes you with a warm and heartfelt “arrivederci!” See you again! Now that you’ve traveled with Your Own Italy, you have friends here in Rome.
- 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.