Treasures of Italy

With amazing art and architecture, unequaled cuisine and shopping, compelling religious and historical sites, picturesque scenery and friendly people, Italy is a never-ending journey, a virtual banquet where you’ll find yourself doing things you never dreamed of – or always dreamed of. This journey highlights Italy’s grand past, romantic cities and exquisite natural wonders.

Explore the Itinerary below:

Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome – Rome is the former religious, political and commercial heart of a vast empire. You will be met on arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport with transfers to your hotel located in the city center. 

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a private walking tour of Ancient Rome which includes the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Capitoline Hill.

Experience the top sites of Ancient Rome with one of our best guides. Your 3- hour walking tour will start with the Colosseum, Rome’s most recognizable landmark and one of Ancient Rome’s most vital social centers. Follow your guide around the circumference of the Colosseum and to the first and second tier and listen to the stories that bring ancient ruins to life. Discover the secret history of this ancient amphitheater, its lesser-known uses and distinguish fact from fiction with the help of our expert guide. You will also learn about everyday life in Ancient Rome, especially when you proceed to the Roman Forum. Here you will see the stores of money lenders; the final resting place of Julius Caesar; and the House of the Vestal Virgins, whose namesake were charged with keeping the sacred flame alive, plus the grave responsibility of bestowing clemency on men condemned to death. Your walking tour will end on the Capitoline Hill, the smallest and most important of the seven hills of Ancient Rome. Since the city’s foundation 2,500 years ago Capitoline Hill has been the religious center of the city, and for a long time the entire Roman Empire. An outdoor space designed by Michelangelo, the hill is now home to many Medieval and Renaissance palaces and the Capitoline Museums. From here you can enjoy stunning views over the Roman Forum.

Early Morning Entrance: Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica & Square along with a private guided walking tour.

Meet your English speaking guide for your exclusive private walking tour of the Vatican City, starting before the general public can enter the Museums. The Vatican City is one of the most interesting and beautiful sites in the world; your expert guide will take you to some of the major attractions, as well as to some lesser-known spots that other tourists often miss. You will receive a broad base for understanding the remarkable history, architecture, and politics of the Vatican. Your guide will show you famous sites including the Pinecone Courtyard, the Laocoon and other important sculptures, the Hall of Maps and the Gallery of Tapestries. You will learn about the figures responsible for these works and their history along the way. Thanks to your Early Access Tickets you will have the chance to visit the beautiful Raphael Rooms, commissioned by Pope Julius II almost with no crowds. Admire the works of art of The School of Athens and the Disputation on the Sacrament that are contained in the Sala della Segnatura. Later walk into the Sistine Chapel and feel the magic of this place where everything is priceless and rich in history, from the pavement to the amazing frescoed ceiling by Michelangelo. You will receive an exhaustive explanation of what you can see in the Chapel before entering it as guides are not allowed to talk inside. You will have some time on your own inside the world-famous room to pick out the details you have heard about and better understand Michelangelo’s genius. After the Sistine Chapel, exiting through a special door that leads straight into St. Peter’s Basilica, you will enjoy a guided tour of the holiest place in Christendom. Built over St. Peter’s tomb, the basilica is one of the world’s most important Christian sites and the world’s largest ancient basilica. It’s also one of the most striking architectural spaces, taking the best minds of the Renaissance more than 110 years to complete. See the incredible altar and marvel at Michelangelo’s beautiful sculpture, La Pieta’, before heading outside to St. Peter’s Square. The tour ends in St. Peter’s Square, where you can admire Bernini’s impressive colonnade, spot the balcony from which the Pope delivers his public addresses, and take photos of the imposing exterior of the basilica.

After the end of your morning private tour, enjoy some free time before your private tour of Campo Marzio area.

In the afternoon, you will experience the “Best of Rome” with a pleasant city walking tour with your private guide.  You will visit the most ancient area of Rome, namely Campo Marzio, from the Latin Campus Martius. The name derives from the fact that since the time of the kings of Rome, the zone was consecrated to Mars, the god of war, used primarily as a military exercise ground. As you stroll through this amazing area, you will find yourselves surrounded by some of the most antique and prominent monuments of the Eternal City. Our guide will make this tour even more special by telling all of the secrets and stories behind some of the most famous squares, fountains and palaces of Rome. You will stop in Piazza del Popolo that has always been one of Rome’s most important squares. This was the starting point for the vital northbound route, which connected Rome with the northern coastline. You will then experience the Spanish Steps and the Fountain of the Barcaccia created by Bernini, when he was only 17. Then on to the Fountain of Trevi, the most famous and captivating of all of Rome’s fountains. The Fountain of Trevi was a distinctive masterpiece created in the latter part of the Renaissance. You will then reach the political center of Italy with the Palazzo Montecitorio, House of the Deputies, Palazzo Chigi (office of the Prime Minister), before arriving at the impressive Pantheon, requested by Hadrian in 120 AC, perfectly unbroken even after 2000 years. See the tomb of the great Raphael and marvel at the magnitude of the dome.

Today you will spend the day exploring Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. You’ll embark on an in-depth exploration of the ruins at Pompeii and a relaxing drive along the beautiful Amalfi Coast, with time to explore the gorgeous seaside town of Positano. 

Few places send shivers up your spine like Pompeii, the Roman city frozen in time by the volcanic eruption of 79 A.D. The volcanic ash preserved Pompeii’s buildings, streets, mosaics, and frescoes, making Pompeii a unique site in the world: It’s an intact ancient city you can explore just as if it were 2,000 years ago! 

Join your certified Pompeii tour guide and together you’ll explore the best of Pompeii, from the Roman Forum to plaster casts of those killed in the eruption, the Pompeii amphitheater. Feel the site come to life with your guide’s stories and fascinating anecdotes about life of the Romans as before and during the eruption.

After the visit to Pompeii, you’ll head further south so be ready for the stunning views and exciting twists and turns of a panoramic drive down the Amalfi Coast. Along the way you’ll hear stories about life in this gorgeous region of Italy and get some background about the next stop –Positano. Positano is renowned for its romance and elegance. Follow in the footsteps of Shelley, Goethe as you climb Positano’s winding staircases and explore its narrow streets. Poke into the upscale boutiques, order sandals made to fit your foot or relax over a fresh fish lunch. 

In the morning, your private driver will transport you to Rome Termini train station to catch the train to Florence.  Enjoy your first-class train ride from Rome to Florence.

Upon arrival in Florence, check in at Hotel Berchielli – a beautiful hotel located in the heart of Florence, overlooking the Lungarno Acciaiuoli. All the artistic and historic treasures of Florence are just a few steps from this charming hotel. The hotel has been hosted in an historic building since 1890, and it is one of the most famous hotels in the center of Florence. In fact, Hotel Berchielli hosted many distinguished guests, as Romain Rolland and Pablo Picasso. The hotel is characterized by elegance and a strong Florentine style, which creates the perfect atmosphere for your stay in this magical city of fine art. You can enjoy a marvelous view of the rooftop of Florence from the building’s main facade, and an even more enchanting panorama from the 4th floor Garden, where you can relax while watching an unforgettable sunset. 

Enjoy some time relaxing before your late afternoon shared cooking class.

Get ready for a join-in hands-on cooking class in a real Italian kitchen with our chef, who will tell you some secrets and tips on how to make 2 to 3 kinds of pasta from scratch along with different sauces. You will use fresh ingredients, carefully selected by our chef, and hear fascinating details about the importance of seasonality and local products. Our chef will be thrilled to answer any questions you might have about the Italian cuisine. Once you have created your own home-made pasta, you will enjoy your meal all’italiana – around a shared table. Everything will be paired with local great wines.

Enjoy your private walking tour through the Cradle of the Renaissance. Your private guide will escort you through the most interesting sites of Florence’s historic center. Walk around one of the most famous squares in the world, Piazza della Signoria, and admire its magnificent buildings as the Loggia dei Lanzi, the medieval Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery from outside. You might then stop at the Church of Orsanmichele, where you will be enchanted by the artworks of famed artists such as Donatello, Ghiberti and Verrocchio. As tradition dictates, rub the nose of the legendary boar, ‘il Porcellino’ to make sure you will return to Florence and visit Piazza della Repubblica, the Forum of the old Roman city, that still represents a popular meeting place today. See the famous Baptistry Doors by Ghiberti that Michelangelo had judged to be worthy of paradise. You will also admire the amazing Piazza del Duomo with Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Brunelleschi’s dome that continues since centuries to enchant those who observe it from afar.

At the end of the tour enter the Accademia Gallery, founded in 1563, where Michelangelo’s David is kept. Learn more about this impressive masterpiece, the ‘Slaves’ and Michelangelo’s genius.

Enjoy the afternoon and evening exploring Florence at your leisure.

Today is your day to enjoy a Chianti wine tour and olive oil tasting through the Tuscan countryside. An expert sommelier will guide you during an amazing tour in the Chianti wine area and you will have the chance to discover where the world-famous Chianti Classico is produced. You will be impressed by the beauty of this area characterized by olive treescypresses and vineyards that produce some of the best wines in the world, blending Sangiovese, Canaiolo and different varieties of red grapes. During the day, you will visit two wineries and while tasting great local winesyour sommelier will teach you the different characteristics of wine, how to distinguish the acidity and flavor pairing with food. He will also share some tradition and the history of the Chianti area. This authentic experience also includes olive oil tastings and a typical Tuscan lunch. What a great way to spend the day!!!

After you enjoy your breakfast at Hotel Berchielli, your driver will transport you to Florence Santa Maria train station to catch the train to Monterosso. The train ride from Florence to Monterosso is connecting through Pisa, another lovely historical city in Italy.  Enjoy the views from the windows in the train!

Upon arrival to Monterosso, check-in to Hotel Porto Roca – Cinque Terre. The Hotel Porto Roca hotel is located in the incomparable scenery of the bay of Monterosso. The Hotel is just 200 meters away from the main square of the historical center, and it has a breathtaking view onto the bay. The hotel has beautiful terraces built on the side of a hill that overlook the sea, the beach, and the historical center of Monterosso. The terraces host an infinity pool, where you can admire an unforgettable view. With greenery and vineyards all around, the pool is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the stunning context that surrounds the hotel.

Relax and enjoy on your own the Cinque Terre area, a stretch of rocky coastline on the Riviera di Levante in Liguria. Its name refers to five self-contained villages that seem to cling to the very edge of vertiginous cliffs, namely Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. The colorful villages can be reached by train, boat or on foot following some suggestive paths.

Board your boat at Monterosso Harbor and then enjoy the view of the villages of the wonderful Cinque Terre, UNESCO World Heritage Site. This stretch of rocky coastline on the Riviera di Levante in Liguria derives its name from the five self-contained villages that seem to cling to the very edge of vertiginous cliffs, namely Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Depending on the weather you can stop along the way to swim and explore a cave. You will also enjoy an aperitivo on board and lunch.

Enjoy your breakfast overlooking the beautiful coastline of Cinque Terre.  Then, your driver will transport you to the train station to board the train to Venice via Milan.

Upon arrival in Venice, your private taxi boat will transport you from the Venice train station to your hotel.  Hotel Locanda Vivaldi is a charming hotel located in the heart of Venice. The building, that is a historic dwelling of the famous Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi in the first half of the 18th century, was inaugurated as hotel at the end of 1999. The Hotel is adjacent the beautiful Church of Pieta, and just a short walk from the magnificent Piazza San Marco. Overlooking Riva degli Schiavoni, the view from the Locanda Vivaldi is breathtaking; it goes from the columns of Piazza San Marco to the Dogana’s point, from the Island of Giudecca and the nearby Island of San Giorgio to the Lido of Venice. The hotel features a private docking place on the adjacent canal Rio dei Greci, so it is easy to use either public transportation or taxi boats.

Enjoy your evening at your leisure.

Today is a fun-filled day of exploring the islands and Murano Glass Factory by vaporetto. This private tour around the Lagoon of Venice will show you that the life, the culture and traditions of the city can be found all around it. You will visit Murano, which is known all over the world for its ancient tradition of glass-making since the 13th century, when the Venetian Republic declared that all furnaces, due to safety reasons and after many fires within the city of Venice, should be moved to an island far from downtown.  On the island you will enjoy a private exclusive visit to a glass factory during which you will learn more about this precious art.

You will also visit the island of Burano, known not only for its lace making but also for the brightly- colored fishermen’s houses. They were painted with bright and different colors so that the fishermen, when coming home and already in the distance, could spot their own home through the fog and mist of the lagoon.

After this half day around the Venice Lagoon, you will be back downtown in order to enjoy the rest of your day at your leisure.

In the evening, enjoy a fabulous tradition – a private gondola ride. When you think about Venice, one of the first things you imagine is a gondola silently gliding on the water, and the silence of the Venice canals at sunset. You can experience all this too, in the late afternoon, while enjoying the city from a different perspective during your private gondola ride. This is really the best way to discover the enchanting sceneries hidden amongst the canals of Venice, allowing you to admire this romantic city from the best observation point: a gondola gently floating on the water, the element that best characterizes Venice and makes it a unique destination in the world. Absorb the colors, the atmosphere, the noises of the city in the background, and relax while comfortably sitting in what has been the everyday means of transportation in Venice for centuries. Did you know that, originally, gondolas were equipped with a small cabin used most of all to ensure privacy? They used to be painted with bright colors and had all sorts of decor and then, a sumptuary law of the Republic stated that they should be simple and painted black, exactly as you see them today. Gondolas were and still are used for weddings as well: in this case, they are decorated with red and golden accents for the very important day of the couple.

Meet your English-speaking guide for a private half day walking tour and discover the main highlights of Venice. Follow your guide down narrow alleyways and into piazzas. Visit the Rialto Bridge and spend some time people-watching in the lively piazzas of the city. Visit St. Mark’s Square, take some time to soak up the atmosphere outside – orchestras playing, beautiful architecture and on the other side of the Basilica, the Columns of St. Mark melting into mist. Visit the impressive St. Mark’s Basilica its 11th century mosaics and enjoy nice views over the city from the second-floor terraces. Your tour finishes at the Doge’s Palace, home to one of the longest-standing governments the world has ever known. For an hour you will see all the best sights open to the public, from ceilings frescoed by Tintoretto to Veronese paintings.

Enjoy your last breakfast overlooking Venice.  Then meet your private water taxi driver at the hotel for your transfer to Venice Marco Polo Airport for your onward flight home.

Stress-free, full of heart, and good for the soul.

That’s the XOOM Tour’s way.

Ready to embark on your own expertly planned journey? I invite you to connect with me on your complimentary consultation call.

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