Arrive in Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (Fiumicino FCO), where your chauffeur will whisk you away to your city center hotel at 11am. Stunning views of Roman Ruins, Baroque Cathedrals, The Colosseum and Circo Massimo romantically await from your new window and rooftop. If hungry, indulge in a pre-arranged light lunch. Try not to eat too much, as you'll want to indulge in the legendary Roman feasts at dinner, which not only takes a few hours, but also includes several courses.
After lunch, enjoy a couple of hours at leisure to get settled, before your chauffeur whisks you away again for "Rome at Night." An illuminated panoramic tour, featuring the Eternal City's historic monuments, cathedrals and piazzas, "Rome at Night" is a highlight for most first-time travelers as it's not only an introduction to Rome, but to Italy's past and present.
Afterwards, continue to your welcome dinner at a local trattoria. Trattorias are popular in Italy as they are smaller, more intimate, family-owned and affordable. Your Roman feast at the trattoria will feature five courses, beginning with apperitivo, and continuing with primi, secondi, dolci e cafe. And we won't forget the limoncello, which is a sweet, lemon-flavored after-dinner digestif. You'll also drink a glass of wine with every course, which has been said to be cheaper than water in this country. Expect similar extravagant feasts for the remainder of the tour, because in Italy every meal with good company is reason enough to celebrate.
Overnight stay in Rome
Rise and shine! The following two days begin with American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Continue your Roman holiday with an English-speaking tour guide escorting you through the most famous sites in Rome: Basilica di San Clemente, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Capitol Hill, Piazza di Spagna, Fontana di Trevi, and The Pantheon. Major highlights include Vatican City, where St. Peter's Basilica lies. Finished with Michelangelo's Dome and Pieta, as well as Bernini's baroque Baldacchino di San Pietro, St. Peter's Basilica was originally built above the bones of St. Peter.
We'll also trek up to the top of the dome (or take the elevator to the top) and head to the Vatican Museums, finishing with the Sistine Chapel, where Pope Francis was elected. Once a pope has passed, cardinals from around the world gather here for conclave to elect the next pope in the Sistine Chapel; black smoke rises from a rooftop chimney declaring the pope's death, while white smoke signals "Habemus Papam!" a new pope has been chosen.
You'll also have time at leisure for shopping or to buy historic or religious souvenirs. Lunch and dinner will continue to be served at classic Italian restaurants in Rome’s historic center.
Overnight stays in Rome
Buon giorno! After your American-style buffet breakfast, enjoy a food tour complete with cooking lessons, as well as food, wine and olive oil tastings at the famous Eataly. A food emporium endorsed by the Slow Food movement, Eataly is home to fresh food, wine and coffee produced by small companies, farmers and vintners throughout Italy's 20 regions. While touring through EATALY, guests can stop along the way to enjoy pizza Margherita, prosciutto crudo, mozzarella and more.
You'll be escorted on a tour through different food stations with a show and tell that will teach you about the history and old-world recipes of pizza and mozzarella. During the tour, you'll stroll past some of the best bread bakers of the country, who use organic flour and yeast base for their key ingredients. Then you'll have a chance to sample some of the history and old-world recipes in modern-day Italy. You'll also visit the brewery to learn how Italians make their birra before tasting it. Finally, you'll finish your tour and tasting with a sampling of Italian cured meats.
Afterwards, it's time to put on your chef hat and apron to get a little dirty. Roll up your sleeves, because for this cooking lesson you'll learn about handmade regional pasta, how to make it from scratch, and whether or not it's best served, al dente, hot or cold. You'll revel in the richness of biodiversity while drinking Italian wine, and savoring seasoned parmesan cheese and olive oil.
You'll also make three different types of pasta, perhaps ravioli, casarecce, or tagliatelle, depending on the season. The tour and cooking lesson features the best and freshest ingredients from around Italy, so that you can live like an Italian too! Life is too short not to drink and eat well.
Overnight stay in Florence or Rome
After four beautiful days in Rome, your chauffeur will whisk you away again, through the scenic region of Tuscany. A lunch featuring the region's best and freshest local ingredients may be served at a villa among rolling hills and vineyards, or in Florence's historical center. After lunch, continue to your Florence hotel, where you'll settle for the next two evenings. After dropping off your luggage, your afternoon continues with a walking tour of Florence's city center.
Overnight stay in Florence
As in Rome, your time in Florence will begin with a large and lovely hotel breakfast and continue with an English-speaking tour guide escorting you through the most famous sites of the historic center:
Galleria dell'Academia, home to Michelangelo's famous David, as well as the Galleria degli Uffizi, which is located in a former 16th Century Palace and includes Renaissance works once owned by the famous Medici Family; Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo.
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Il Duomo, is made of stunning Gothic architecture and is topped with Brunelleschi's celebrated dome. Other sites include The Baptistery, Il Campanile (Bell Tower) and a walk along the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). Your chauffeur will drop you off back at your hotel where you'll have time at leisure to relax or shop before another authentic dinner in the historic center.
Overnight stay in Rome
Tour comes to an end. On the final day, we will organize transportation to Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (Fiumicino FCO) at 7AM. That is, unless you've decided to move to Italy at this point, for La Dolce Vita.