My wife and I are planning a trip to Italy this May. It is our "trip of a lifetime", 12 days touring Italy, and we would like to do this one and only trip right. We used an Italian travel agency to plan the visit and squeeze in all the "must see" sites. The last part of this email is the trip as planned out by the agency. It's a L..o..n..g read but for those who can endure it I would appreciate your comments and suggestions. The private guides and personal transportation is because of my handicap so please overlook that part. Are we seeing all the "must see places" and is the time allocated for each city reasonable? All suggestions are appreciated. Your experiences will help us avoid mistakes.
I want to thank everyone who responds in advance.
Monday 5 May – Rome
Arrival at the airport in Rome. Meet our private driver in the waiting area holding a sign with
Private transfer from the airport to Hotel Santa Chiara*** or similar.
Hotel Santa Chiara is located near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, so in the heart of Rome.
Included: 3 nights in a double superior room with breakfast included.
Afternoon/Evening: Golf Cart Tour of Rome at Sunset
With our Golf Cart Tour you will be able to access in any restricted areas and our RPG guide
will drive you around hidden corners and small alleys with historical palaces once
inhabited by nobles families. The beaten heart of Rome is along the narrow alleys and old
sections of the city from the Renaissance periods. You will see Baroque churches, the Key
Hole, the Circus Maximus, the Baroque fountains and baroque squares and many more
sights you will find on your way!
Included: 3 hours private guide with Golf Cart
Tuesday 6 May - Rome
Morning: Walking Archaeology Tour of Rome with Coliseum Undergrounds
First you will have the unique opportunity to visit the restricted parts of the Coliseum,
including the Undergrounds. This is very unique because these areas are usually closed to
the public. First, you will visit the Arena where gladiators used to fight, then the tunnels of
the Undergrounds and finally you will go up to the 3rd level of the Coliseum where you will
enjoy a stunning view of the city center.
Then you will continue the visit of the Coliseum with your guide. Then you will go to the
Roman forum where temples are still standing, you will end your tour at the Capital hill
Included: 3 hours private guide, skip the line tickets for 2 adults for the Coliseum and the
Roman Forum, reservation for the restricted parts of the Coliseum.
Early Afternoon: Vatican Tour with skip the line tickets
With this tour you will see with our private guide: the Vatican Galleries, Octagonal court,
Room of the Muses, Round Room, the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of the
Tapestries, the Gallery of the Maps, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.
Please note in case the Basilica of St. Peter is closed for special Mass celebrated by the
Pope, we will offer an alternative visit inside the Vatican Museums.
Included: 3 hours private guide and skip the line tickets for 2 adults.
Wednesday 7 May – Rome
Underground Rome and Catacombs Tour
With our private dedicated guide you will discover the undergrounds of the Eternal City with
over 3000 years of history. You will visit the undergrounds of St. Clemente’s Basilica: here
you will go about 45 feet below the ground level and like a time machine that takes you back
in the past, you will admire a well preserved 4th century Christian church with frescoes from
the XI century. You will go further below to see a 1st century house transformed in the 2nd
century in a pagan temple and school.
Your next stop will be the Appian Way, the first roman road lined by many monuments,
basilicas and Christian catacombs. You will visit the unique catacombs started at the end of
the 2nd century AD, where you will be walking through narrow tunnels built like a maze!
From the Catacombs with your dedicated guide you will go to the Crypt of the Bones, where
you will be astonished by the impressive cemetery of the Capuchins where each crypt is
decorated with the human bones of the Capuchins that lived in the old convent.
Included: 3 hours private guide
Thursday 8 May Rome – Sorrento
Private transfer with driver and car from your hotel in Rome to Termini rail station. 1st class
high speed train from Rome to Naples. Our private driver will pick you up at Naples Central
rail station for private transfer to your hotel in Sorrento. Hotel Plaza Sorrento**** or similar
Included: 2 nights in a double superior room with breakfast included.
Friday 9 May – Full Day Amalfi Coast Tour
Our driver will pick you up from your hotel in Sorrento to enjoy a Full Day Tour of the
Amalfi Coast with private car. Our driver is an English speaking driver-guide, so he will tell
you all about the beauties, anecdotes and traditions of the area. The tour lasts 8 hours and
you will have fun along the Amalfi Coast Line doing pleasant stops in Ravello, a village
perched on the hill, go to the beautiful Positano and Amalfi Village. On the way you might
choose to visit the unique Emerald Grotto and to take local boats to Amalfi village. You will
have also the chance to taste the world famous Limoncello liqueur!
Included: 8 hours private driver-guide with private car.
Saturday 10 May – Sorrento – Florence
Our private driver will pick you up from your hotel in Sorrento for private transfer to Naples Central
OPTIONAL: stop to visit the Archeological Site of Ancient Pompeii on the way to Naples.
1st class high speed train from Naples to Florence. Arrival at St. Maria Novella Train station
in Florence. Our private driver will pick you up from the station for private transfer to your
hotel in Florence. Hotel Plaza Lucchesi**** or similar.
Included: 4 nights in double superior room with breakfast included.
Sunday 11 May – Florence
Morning: 3 Hours Classic Walking Tour of Florence
You will meet our private guide for 3 hours Classic Walking Tour of Florence. This tour
includes the visit to the Academy museum where you will see the impressive Michelangelo's
David and its prisoners carved for the tomb of the Pope Julius the II. From the Academy fine
art gallery you will proceed to the religious center of the city where you will see the Duomo
with a Pieta of Michelangelo and see other important works inside the spectacular basilica.
Your adventure continues with a small stop in the San Lorenzo Market to visit the local and
typical market and to the Old Bridge and Signoria Square adorned with beautiful statues .
Included: 3 hours private guide and entrance fees and reservation for the Academy for 2
Monday 12 May –Florence
OPTIONAL: Day Trip to Cinque Terre from Florence
Our driver will pick you up at your hotel in Florence for a Full Day Tour of Cinque Terre. A
memorable experience discovering the 5 Lands, so well renowned for their beauties, the 5
villages are located along the Italian Riviera.
9 hours private English-speaking driver-guide with private car Euros 550,00
Tuesday 13 May – Florence
OPTIONAL: Half Day Tour of Florence with visit to the Uffizi Gallery
3 hours private guide.
Wednesday 14 May – Siena, San Gimignano plus overnight in Chianti Area
Meet our private driver at your hotel in Florence for Full Day Tour of Siena, San Gimignano
with overnight in Chianti area. Our English-speaking driver will drive you south from Florence along the Tuscan hill renowned for the production of the Chianti wine. After 1 hour you will reach San Gimignano, a picturesque and fascinating medieval town also called the medieval Manhattan
due to the incredible numbers of towers, symbol of power of the noble families. San
Giminiano is a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. You will have free time to stroll along the
charming alleys lined by artisans shops and wine stores. Do not miss tasting one of the best
ice creams of Tuscany!
Our tour will then continue on to Siena, the splendid medieval-walled city.
OPTIONAL: 3 hours private guide in Siena.
After Siena your driver will drive you to Chianti area, world-famous for the production of
Chianti wine Country Resort Borgo Casa al Vento, a top class luxury BB surrounded by the Chianti countryside.
Included: 1 night in double deluxe room with breakfast included.
Included: 9 hours private driver-guide with private car.
Thursday 15 May – Chianti (Florence) – Venice
Our private driver will pick you at your BB in Chianti for private transfer with car to Florence
St. Maria Novella Train Station.
1st class high speed train from Florence to Venice.
Our tour escort will meet you at the platform at St. Lucia Train Station in Venice for private
transfer with boat to your hotel in Venice.
Starhotels Splendid Venice**** or similar.
Included: 3 nights in double room with breakfast included.
Afternoon: 3 hours Classic Walking Tour of Venice with private guide.
With our private guide you will visit the heart of Venice with its impressive St. Marks’
Square, Doge Palace, Bridge of Sighs, Basilica of St. Mark with its splendid Golden Pall
with over 2000 precious Gems. Your adventure will continue to Rialto Bridge. With
your dedicated guide you will discover hidden corners and have the chance to visit
the picturesque district of Rialto with its colorful market.
Included: 3 hours private guide and skip the line tickets and reservation for Doge
Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica.
Friday 16 May – Venice
Venice Market Tour with private guide
Enjoy a true exploration inside Venetian authentic food traditions. With our private guide,
you will walk along the calle (the picturesque alleys of Venice), visit the bustling and colorful
Rialto Market and taste delicious local specialties. The Rialto Market, with its vibrant
atmosphere, has been Venetians’ favorite place to buy their food for centuries. From fruit
and vegetables to fish, you will realize that everything has to arrive by boat here!
Our tour will combine food with art in an enjoyable mix. For this reason, with our private
guide you will see the Church of San Giovanni Elemosinario, housing a great artwork by
Titian. On your way you will also be able to see the Church of St. James, protector of the
merchants. Strolling makes you hungry? The ideal end of our tour is a stop in a local wine
bar to taste the traditional Cicchetti (Venetian Tapas) accompanied by white or red wine.
Our private guide will be glad to recommend you good restaurants and bars for your stay in
Included: 2 hours private guide.
Saturday 17 May – Venice
Free day at leisure
Sunday 18 May – Venice – Paris
Our tour escort will meet you at your hotel in Venice for private transfer with boat to St.
Lucia Train Station, where you will board your train to Paris.