Planning a trip to Italy can be a daunting task on your own. We'll make it easy by creating a completely custom itinerary aimed at meeting your every need. With our custom Europe trips, no two itineraries are the same as they are built to suit YOUR needs and "must see's."
Starting can be the hardest part, as there is so much to see. Italy is a big country and we feel it can be best visited for the first time in about 10 days for the average traveler.... and if you have more time, even better. To get your mind wrapped around all the possibilities we have provided a sample itinerary below for an AMAZING 10 days in Italy. This could be your trip, or simply the inspiration to create your own customized tour of Italy!
We've had the pleasure of experiencing Italy ourselves and hope the knowledge we've learned first hand can help deliver an experience you'll remember for a lifetime!
You'll begin in Rome - a thriving city built on the foundation of a medieval empire. Climb to the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica or dine and people-watch at a sidewalk café in trendy Trastevere. Take the train to Florence, where masterful artwork is the name of the game. Admire the works of Botticelli displayed in the Uffizi, then head to the Galleria dell'Accademia for a glimpse of Michelangelo's "David." In Venice, lose yourself in the labyrinth of canals as you make your way to lively Piazza San Marco. By the end of your trip, you and Italy will be on the best of terms.
Highlights and Inclusions
Accommodations: Rome 4 nights,
Florence 3 nights, Venice 2 nights
Breakfast daily except where noted otherwise
Private arrival transfers
Pizza Making Course in Rome
Private Rome in a Day with Vatican Tour
Naples and Pompeii Tour with Lunch
Espresso and Gelato Walking Tour of Rome
Private Evening Walking Tour of Florence
Half-Day Tuscany Bike Tour
Private Masterpieces of the Uffizi Tour
Cinque Terre Tour with Lunch
Private Gondola Ride
Private Murano, Burano, and Torcello Tour
The Treasures of St. Mark's Cathedral Tour
Private departure transfers
Rome - 4 nights
DAY 1: Arrive in Rome
Arrive in Rome and collect your bags. As you exit customs, your transfer representative will be waiting to escort you to your hotel. The afternoon is yours to explore as you wish. Grab some gelato and soak in the atmosphere of Piazza Navona, or stretch your legs with a walk to the top of Palatine Hill. Don't forget about your evening pizza making course!
PIZZA MAKING COURSE IN ROME:
This 90-minute lesson at the popular That's Amore Restaurant is perfect for all ages. One of the restaurant's fabulous chefs will guide you through the process of preparing pizza dough from scratch and teach you how to dress your pizza properly. You'll have a variety of toppings from which to choose, and the prize at the end is getting to devour your edible masterpiece. A beverage (water, wine or soft drink) is included.
On the docket for today is a full-day private walking tour of the city. You'll be done in time for dinner, which you can enjoy in one of Rome's copious restaurants. If you're in the mood for a post-dinner cocktail, Salotta 42 is rated one of the best bars in the world and boasts a stunning view of the 2nd-century ruins of the Temple of Hadrian.
PRIVATE ROME IN A DAY WITH VATICAN ESSENTIAL WALKING TOUR WITH SKIP-THE-LINE ENTRANCES AND GUIDE:
Your first stop will be the Colosseum, the imposing first-century architectural masterpiece that once hosted gladiatorial combat. From there it's on to the Roman Forum, where your guide will recount stories about some of ancient Rome's most influential political figures. You'll have an hour for lunch (not included) near the Vatican, then enjoy priority entry to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. A tour of St. Peter's Basilica will be your last stop in Vatican City before heading for some of the city's most famous fountains and piazzas, including Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain.
You're in for a busy day today, so eat a good breakfast before heading off on your day-long tour of Naples and Pompeii. When you return, grab a late dinner just like the locals.
NAPLES AND SKIP-THE-LINE POMPEII TOUR WITH LUNCH:
You'll depart Rome by bus and drive along the "Sun Route" motorway, passing through the stunning coastal regions of Lazio and Campania. You'll take a panoramic tour of Naples, then continue on to the lost city of Pompeii for lunch and a tour of the excavations and remnants of the city.
Take your last full day in Rome to visit any final sites you may have missed. Enjoy your day leisurely, but remember your espresso and gelato walking tour in the afternoon.
ESPRESSO AND GELATO SMALL GROUP WALKING TOUR IN ROME:
A local food connoisseur will be your guide on this 2.5-hour tour of renowned coffee shops, gelaterias and the most famous tiramisu shop in the city.
Florence - 3 nights
DAY 5: Arrive in Florence
After an early breakfast, head to the train station for your trip to Florence. After you've settled in to your hotel, you're free to explore to your heart's content! In the evening, meet your guide and set off on your private evening walking tour of Florence.
PRIVATE ORIGINAL EVENING GUIDED WALKING TOUR:
This short private guided walk will take you through Florence's Oltrarno neighborhood, where Florentine artisans have operated for centuries. You'll amble along ancient cobblestoned streets, past Renaissance palaces and a medieval hospice holding secrets from Michelangelo's dark past. The tour ends with a glass of fine Italian wine.
This morning after breakfast you'll head out on your half-day bike tour through Tuscany. When you return, you'll have some free time before your private guided tour through the Uffizi.
HALF-DAY TUSCANY BIKE TOUR:
Your guide will lead you on a short walk from the meeting point to pick up your bikes. From there, you'll cross over the Arno and head south through the countryside. The route is easy to follow, and the spectacular vistas will more than make up for the hills you'll scale. Light snacks will be provided, and you'll bike to a villa estate for a wine tasting. Throughout the tour your guide will share fascinating stories about the history of the area. This tour requires you to feel comfortable riding a bike both in the city of Florence and on country hills.
PRIVATE MASTERPIECES OF THE UFFIZI GALLERY HALF-DAY GUIDED WALKING TOUR WITH SKIP-THE-LINE ENTRANCE:
Gain a firm understanding of world-famous artworks from a knowledgeable private guide while hearing stories about the masters who influenced art forever. Learn such facts as how Michelangelo outsmarted a famous skinflint and the identity of the woman in Botticelli's "Birth of Venus."
Eat breakfast and make your way to the meeting point for your all-day tour of the Cinque Terre. When you return, take a stroll through the Boboli Gardens and cap off a busy day with one final Florentine dinner and aperitivo at a cocktail bar in Oltrarno.
CINQUE TERRE BEST EXPERIENCE WITH LUNCH:
The Cinque Terre takes its name from its five picturesque fishing villages - Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso - that together make up the only remaining unspoiled portion of the Italian Rivera. The Cinque Terre has been inaccessible from the land for centuries, isolated by steep mountains and valleys on one side and the sea on the other. Led by knowledgeable guides, you will discover some of the secrets of this breathtaking stretch of coastline. You'll begin in Manarola where you'll catch a boat (weather permitting) to Monterosso, renowned for its beautiful beach and small craftsmen's shops. After a short train ride to Vernazza, you'll have some time to wander the quiet streets and step into a café for coffee and a pastry (not included). From there you'll take a train to Riomaggiore for a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean. Lunch will be served in restaurant with views of the sea and surrounding cliffs. After lunch, a train will take you back to La Spezia where you'll board a bus for your return to Florence.
Venice - 2 nights
DAY 8 Arrive in Venice:
After breakfast, pack your bags and head to Santa Maria Novella Station for your train to Venice. Upon arrival on Venice Island, make your way to your hotel and check in. You'll have a short private gondola ride in the evening, then you're free to wander the canals in search of the perfect sidewalk restaurant for dinner.
PRIVATE GONDOLA RIDE:
Enjoy a romantic 45-minute gondola ride through the labyrinth of Venice's pleasant canals.
Your morning will begin with a half-day tour of three outlying islands in Venice Lagoon. When you return, you'll have time for lunch before heading out later in the afternoon for an exclusive tour of St. Mark's Cathedral.
PRIVATE HALF-DAY MURANO, BURANO, AND TORCELLO TOUR:
The first stop on this guided tour is the island of Murano, renowned for its glass manufacturing industry. You'll have time to visit one of the factories before heading on to picturesque Burano, famous for its lace and brightly colored fishermen's houses. The final stop is Torcello, the earliest center of civilization in the lagoon. Only the mosaicked cathedral the Church of Santa Fosca remain as testaments to the islands former glory.
THE TREASURES OF ST. MARK'S CATHEDRAL:
The tour begins in the center of the cathedral, where you'll learn about the structure's thousand-year history. After the introduction, you'll be invited to explore two locations generally closed to the public: the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel. The last item on the itinerary will be the Treasury of St. Mark, home to the Golden Pall.
After breakfast, meet your transfer representative at your predetermined embankment for the boat ride to the airport. The landscape may disappear as you take off, but your experiences will always loom large within you.