Best of Italy

13-Day Italy sightseeing tour of Rome, Lake Como and Sorrento

Travel - 13 days, 2 countries and 14 cities

Accommodations - 12 nights

Meals: 12 breakfast, 1 Be My Guest, 5 Dinners

Discover the Best of Italy, from the ancient treasures of Rome to Renaissance Florence and everything in between.  Imagine staying overnight in a renovated Franciscan monestery in Assisi, lapping up the chic lifestyle on Capri, and taking a private guided visit to Pompeii to see a Roman city frozen in time.

Italy, Rome forum

Day 1 - Discover Ancient Rome and the Vatican City

Ciao Roma! Explora this imperial city of emperors and senators. gods and goddesses, before joining your travel director for an introduction to the "Eternal City" on an orientation drive.  Arrive at Basilica Santa Maria in Cosmedin for a private after-hours visit to the Mouth of Truth.  See the church, crypt and the relics of the famous saint of love, Valentine, and learn about the legend of the Mouth of Truth.  This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your travel companions.

Meals: Dinner

Hotel: Cicerone/Una


Day 2 - Discover Ancient Rome and the Vatican City

The Holy See takes center stage today as we join a local specialist for an included sightseeing tour in the Vatican Museums.  Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.  See the marble masterpiece of the Pieta, housed in the Basilica before crossing the Tiber into Ancient Rome.  We then enjoy a guided in dept walking experience around the walls of the Colosseum, before seeing Circus Maximus, once the site of celebrated chariot races.  This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Rome.  Indulge in an espresso in the Piazzo Navona or clamber up the Spanish steps.

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel Una/Cicerone

italy, Rome St Peters

Optional Experiences:

Piazzas and Fountains - Discover the most charming areas in the city with a local specialist.  Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares of Rome's historic center, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.

You will be offered one of the following two optional experiences depending on availability.:

Roman Evening with Dinner: tonight, spend a lively evening with us in Rome.  After a short drive, we'll arrive at a characteristic trattoria to relax and enjoy a typical Italian meal, soaking up The Eternal City's unique atmosphere all the while.

Roman Delights with Dinner - tonight, relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine, soaking up Rome's unique atmosphere in a characteristic trattoria with drinks and music.


Italy, pompeii

Day 3 - Explore the Ruins of Pompeii and Sorrento

We journey south to the well-preserved ruins of Pompeii.  Here we join a local specialist who will share details of the devastation caused by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius as we wander through the ancient paved roads of a city that was frozen in time.  Later, we arrive at our hotel in the clifftop town of Sorrento where we'll dine tonight.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Johanna Park / Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto


Optional Experiences:

Amalfi Coast and Positano - Come with us for a drive along the famous Amalfi Coast.  You'll have a chance to visit the exclusive artists paradise of Positano, which is a magnificently positioned on the Mediterranean coast.

Day 4- Cruise to the Isle of Capri

We cross the Bay of Naples today by ferry to the glamorous Isle of Capri to visit some of its landmark sights.  Wander past the chic boutiques and pavement cafes in Capri town in the company of a local specialist before taking your time to soak up the sophistication of this lovely island.  Later, we return to the mainland.

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Johanna Park / Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto

italy, isle of Capri

Optional Experiences:

Discover The Isle of Capri - Experience a private, guided cruise along beautiful southern coast to see spectacular cliffs, the famous Faragalioni Rocks and White Grotto sea cave with its small red coral.  View the turquoise waters and private villas and hear the stories of Roman Emperors and famous people through history who have called Capri home before ascending to Capri town.  This optional experience is weather dependent and may be replaced by a minibus tour of the Island with a visit to the Anacapri and eith the Villa San Michele or the Anacapri chairlift.

you will be offered one of the following two optional experiences depending on availability.

Dinner Neopolitan Style - join us for an evening of Neapolitan specialist at one of our favorite family-run restaurants.  Savor local dishes all served up with the famous Neapolitan hospitality and zest for life.

Sorento Countryside and Farmhouse Meal - Join us at a traditional farm in the Sorrento countryside, where you 'll visit the lemon groves, olive oil mill and see first-hand how mozzarella is made.  Afterwards, enjoy the authentic flavors of home-produced cold cuts, marinated vegetables, fresh olives and more - all washed down with the local wine.  The atmosphere is informal as the family are welcoming you into their home.

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Day 5 -  Onward to Assisi

Marvel at the beauty of the Bay of Naples and mighty Vesuvius as you leave the Sorrento coastline.  Glimpse the Benedictine Abbey of Cassino perched high on the mountain peak featured as the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944 before heading north to the slopes of Mount Subiaco.  We arrive in the mystical town of Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, under whose protection this medieval city is said to remain.  We join our local specialist for a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis before some free time to explore this fascinating hilltop town.  Tonight, we'll stay at one of Trafalgar's stay with stories - a fully renovated old Franciscan monastery.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Cenacolo

Day 6 - Venture to Verona and Venice

Journey through the glorious countryside of the Emilia Romagna region.  This area is renowned for its gastronomy and is credited with being the origin of tortellini, mortadella and parmesan cheese.  Travel to Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, to admire the ancient Roman arena and Piazza Bra.  Arrive later into beautiful Venice, the "queen of the Adriatic " to spend time admiring the unique city.

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Biasutti Lido


Optional Experiences:

Gandolas & the Grand Canal - join us for a breathtaking cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal.  You'll admire the magnificent palazzi, catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square.  Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice's dreamy, narrow waterways.

italy venice

Day 7 - Cruise your way through Venice by private launch to soak up the sights and sounds of what was once one of the world's greatest ports.  Your Make Travel Matter Experience with the master craftsmen of Venice follows.  Watch as they share their centuries-old-glassmaking traditions.  Your visit helps to preserve this delicate craft for which Venice is justifiably famous and you'll want to remember your visit by purchasing a souvenir or two to display at home.  From there, continue past the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace to St. Mark's Square where we will view the impressive square and Basilica.  Consider an Optional Experience to see the colorful fisherman's houses on the Island of Burano or search for a cozy bacaro and indulge in some tasty Venetian treats, starting with that refreshing Venetian Spritz which is the Local drink of choice.

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Biasutti Lido


Optional Experiences:

Venice's Secrets - Explore the hidden maze of streets which make up this unique city as your local specialist gives you a fascinating insight into Venice's past and present.  You'll discover tucked away squares and back streets local Venetians use to side-step the tourist throng and give you a sense of authentic life on the island of Venice

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drink -  This afternoon, discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat.  You'll enjoy a delicious meal, with a selection of drinks, on the fisherman's island of Burano, famous for its multi-colored houses- a photographer's paradise.

Day 8 - Stroll Around Milan

Cross the lush green plains of Lombardy to sophisticated Milan, Italy's capital of design and fashion is our destination.  An orientation tour takes us past the intricate Gothic Duomo, La Scala Opera House and the famous Galleria. Later arrive in the Italian Lakes where we'll enjoy a Highlight Dinner with your fellow traveling companions.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Simplon

Italy milan

Optional Experiences:

Treasure of Milan - A fantastic opportunity to take in some of the highlights of elegant Milan.  Amongst other sights, we'll visit La Scala, the world's most famous opera house, where Giuseppe Verdi, Maria Callas and others have left their mark.  Our wonderful local specialist will bring the city's eventful past to life.

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Day 9 - On to Como and Scenic Lake Maggiore

The glistening blue water of Lake Como beckons this morning.  We'll enjoy some free time to explore the lakeside lifestyle and beautiful scenery which has enchanted visitors for centuries.  Explore Como's historical quarter, indulge in the area's delicious gelato, or consider a cruise on the lake.  Later, spend time exploring your lakeside resort or join an optional experience to discover the palace and gardens of Isola Bella.  This evening we venture private boat to a secluded island on Lake Maggiore where we'll connect the locals over dinner at a be my guest experience.  Join the Cinque family and hear all about the intriguing history of Villa Toscanini, situated on a tiny romantic island which was the hide away of the great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini one of the most influential musicians of the 19th century.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Simplon


Optional Experiences:

Discover Lake Como - Enjoy views of elegant villas and gardens as you cruise with your local specialist along Lake Como, one of the most beautiful spots in the Italian Lake District.

Discover the Borromean Island - We've organized a private launch to take you to the beautiful island of Lake Maggiore.  Here you will meet with your local specialist to do tour of the magnificent palace. You will also explore the Island's baroque garden with its white peacocks and vista terraces, from where you can enjoy privileged views of the Alps, the Isola Madre and the Isola dei Pescatori,

This is optional and is only able to be operated between mid-march and the end of October.

Day 10 - Admire Pisa and on to Florence

Tuscany lures us across the forested Apennine Mountains, past the marble quarries of Carrara to the famous city of Pisa and its Square of Miracles where we will enjoy an opportunity to view the Leaning Tower. Our next stop is Florence, the "Cradle of the Renaissance."

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Grand Mediterraneo


Italy, Pisa

Optional Experiences:

You will be offered one of the following two optional experiences depending on availability:

Dinner in the Tuscan Hills - This evening we'll take a scenic drive to experience a fun and relaxed evening at a friendly, typical restaurant in the countryside.  The chef will delight our senses with regional dishes made with freshly-bought ingredients from the local farmers' markets.  Your delicious meal will be accompanied by excellent wines from the vineyards for which this area is so well known. In short, a Tuscan dream come true in an authentic setting.

Tuscan Dinner at Villa Machiavelli - Through the Chianti hills, we'll drive past vineyards to a delightful hamlet.  Our destination is the ancient stone house of Machiavelli, where the great political theorist wrote his immortal work, "The Prince". After a welcome drink and a visit of the villa and its wine-cellars, we'll enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine accompanied by great music and drinks, including of course, Chianti form the Villa's own vines.

Italy, florence

Day 11- Experience Art and Architecture in Florence.

Delve into the extravagant history of the Medici family. whose legacy of art and architecture is explored in the company of a local specialist. We visit Piazza della Signoria with its exquisite statues and palazzi and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the beautiful skyline of Florence, dominated by the elegant Duomo and the almost 700-year old Ponte Vecchio, form Pizzale Michelangelo.  Later, learn about the quality and workmanship of two of the city's historic industries at demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold.

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Grand Mediterraneo


Optional Experiences:

You will be offered one of the following two optional experiences depending on availability:

Michelangelo's " David & Accademia - Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David.  We'll visit the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you'll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our local specialist.

This option is subject to availability and involves reservations and entrance prepayments.  If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.

The Accademia is not available on Monday's due to a weekly closure day.

Discover Palazzo Vecchio - Marvel at the legacy of the Medici as you visit Palazzo Vecchio, the symbol of Florence's political power for over seven centuries.  With our local specialist we'll visit the wonderful "Hall of the Five Hundred", dedicated to the Medici popes.  We'll also visit rooms decorated with masterpieces by famous artist of the Renaissance like Michelangelo and Donatello.

Day 12- Treasures of San Gimignano and Return to Rome

This morning we stop at the Florence American Cemetary and Memorial .  Continuing south, we visit the charming Tuscan hill-town of San Gimignano, with its extraordinary medieval architecture and rich history.  Venture to the center of town to view the Piazza del Duomo, surrounded gy medieval towers and 10th century city walls.  This evening in Rome, we enjoy a Farewell Dinner in the company of newfound friends and our Travel Director.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Shangri-La

italy san gimignano
rome street scene

Day 13 - Bid fond ciao to your travel director and fellow travelers as your discovery of the best of Italy comes to an end.