Best of Italy: from Rome to Venice

1.760

This tour will take you along some of the most beautiful art cities of Italy, a real crab for culture and taste. But besides the iconic sites, we will make you discover also some hidden gems and most authentic sides of each city. You will visit local markets and shops, meeting producers of excellent “made in Italy” foods and wines, artisans and local people.

Type of tour: Private escorted
Min/max people: from 2 pax
Length of stay: 9 days/ 8 nights
Arrival/Departure: Rome/Venice
Dates 2018: All year long

Description

Map

Highlights

  • Breath the atmosphere of the Eternal city and discover the vibrant Trastevere area eating like a local, with locals!
  • Enjoy a funny Ape Calessino tour along the most fascinating Baroque sites
  • Discover the hidden corners of Florence, Bologna and Venice thanks to our local buddy guides
  • Visit the artisans shops in the most authentic quarter of Florence
  • Enjoy the slow rhytm of Siena and San Gimignano
  • Treat yourself with an exclusive dinner in a noble villa in Chianti hills
  • Be surprised by the colours of Rialto Market and taste the local “cicchetti” , the real Venetian tapas

Itinerary

Day 1: Rome, Ape Calessino tour 

Arrival at Rome airport. Private transfer to the hotel centrally located.

In the late afternoon, enjoy a welcome tour to Rome aboard a snappy Ape Calessino, “cousin” of the Vespa but more like a buggy, that was very popular among the youth and even became a protagonist of roman Dolce Vita in the 1960’s, still preserves its timeless charm. This vehicle, originally designed for the transport of goods and animals, turned into a comfortable mode of transport for passengers, will accompany you to discover the wonders of the Eternal City.  

You will see the most iconic sites of the city with its baroque squares.  From Piazza Barberini and its scenic Triton Fountain, you will walk through the Eternal City and visit its most picturesque squares. The Trevi Fountain, the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat) located in Piazza di Spagna, a meeting place for millions of tourists each year, and the Fountain of the Four Rivers in the famous Navona Square are some of the most famous attractions covered through this itinerary.

Dinner at leisure. Return to the hotel and overnight.

Day 2: Imperial Rome & Trastevere Food Tour

After breakfast, you will discover the greatness of the ancient Rome thanks to our Imperial Rome tour visiting the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine hill with views over the Forum and Circus Maximum.

In the late afternoon enjoy a stroll through the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, one of Rome’s most authentic and vibrant areas. Thanks to our buddy guide you will really eat local, with locals!

In our tour we will show you that Italian cuisine is more than just pizza and pasta, there is so much variation and regional differences! We will try to give you an overview of the Roman cuisine and you will learn the ‘do’ and ‘don’ts’ of Eating in Italy. Our local buddy guide will tell you interesting stories about the food, regional recipes, and will introduce you to local vendors. Everything you will taste is very simple but made with high quality and locally sourced ingredients. Some of the tasting locations include a century old cheese shop, a cookies’ factory that dates back to 1920, a traditional wine cellar. As a backdrop to our walk, Trastevere will surprise you, especially because our tour does not exclusively visit the famous squares and streets known and visited by most, but we travel the intricate alleyways and hidden corners and go off the beaten paths.

The tour includes 10 food tastings and 2 wine tastings in 5 different locations.

Evening at leisure. Overnight.

Day 3:  Vatican Museums

Breakfast. The morning will be dedicated to the visit of the Vatican Museum, including the St Peter’s basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Free time for lunch and free afternoon to discover the city by your own or to book and additional excursion. (Frascati Wine tour , Bracciano Lake, Tivoli). Evening at leisure, overnight.

Day 4: Florence walk among handcrafts & artisans shops 

Breakfast, check out and departure by high-speed train to Florence. Arrival, accommodation in hotel 4*. Free time for lunch.

In the afternoon meet our local guide for a walk in the historical centre and an interesting tour of the ancient shops and artisan laboratories of the town. You will discover the excellence of the “made in Italy” getting to know the traditions and the techniques of the artisan work that will reveal an authentic and “off the beaten track” side of Florence.

Enjoy some free time in town. Possibility to book extra escursions. Overnight.

Day 5: Siena, San Gimignano and Dinner in Noble Villa in Chianti

Breakfast. Time at disposal to explore the town by your own or by an extra activity (Vasari Corridor & Uffizi Gallery tour, cooking class).

After lunch, enjoy a small-group tour to Siena, San Gimignano and the Chianti countryside.The tour will end admiring the sunset on the Tuscan hills and tasting a typical dinner in a fascinating location before going back to Florence.

Starting from Florence, you will be taken to Siena by a comfortable air-conditioned minivan by an English speaking driver and tour leader. Here you will enjoy a guided walking tour of this compact city that will let you discover also Piazza del Campo,  the main central square where the famous Palio horse race takes place every year, as well as exploring quieter backstreets and learning everything about the Contrade, the 17 medieval city districts that compete against each other in the Palio. During the visit in Siena you will also have the opportunity to have a surprise tasting of a typical product.

The journey continues to San Gimignano, famed for its medieval skyscrapers, high walls and narrow streets that typify most peoples image of a Tuscan hill town. San Gimignano is unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses,  which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls, form an unforgettable skyline.

After some free time in San Gimignano, gaze in awe at a marvellous sunset on the Tuscan hills and then enjoy a typical Tuscan dinner in the cellar of a fascinating noble Villa in the Chianti countryside. During your dinner you will also enjoy a wine tasting, pairing different wines with the various courses of your Tuscan meal. (The tour is available from April till October, in low season it will be replaced with the Chianti tour with lunch)

Return to the hotel and overnight.

Day 6: Bologna

Breakfast. Transfer by train to Bologna. Arrival and accommodation in hotel centrally located.

In the afternoon our guide will take you discovering the town.

The itinerary starts in Piazza Maggiore overlooked by the Palazzo di Re Enzo (Palace of King Enzo), the Town Hall, the Palazzo dei Notai (Palace of the Notaries), the Podestà Palace, the Fountain of Neptune, the Gothic-style Basilica of S. Petronio, with the major portal framed by the sculptures of Jacopo della Quercia, and inside of it the Bolognini chapel and Cassini’s Sundial. Through the picturesque alleys of the Mercato di Mezzo you will reach S. Stefano Square, with the Medieval monastic complex of S. Stefano. You will then arrive at the Gothic Palazzo della Mercanzia (Palace of Merchandise), flanked by houses of the twelfth century with wooden porticoes, to end at the Two Towers, symbol of the city.

In the evening enjoy an aperitif and a typical dinner in one of the many excellent restaurant of the town.

Overnight.

Day 7: Venice, buddy welcome tour

Breakfast. Check out and departure by train to Venice. Arrival and accommodation in hotel centrally located on the Island.

Meet our local buddy guide for a welcome tour to Venice. You will enjoy a pleasant walk among the main sites of the city: St Mark’s square, Rialto bridge and Doge Palace. But thanks to our local expert, you will also discover some hidden corners and most authentic quarters of the city. You will also get some interesting tips on must see’s and do’s , as a true local.

Time at disposal for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: The Venice Food tour: Rialto Market, bacari tour and Jewish Ghetto 

After breakfast, join us on a gastronomic adventure spanning two sides of the Grand Canal. You’ll visit four of the best eateries in Venice, learning how to find great food in the Floating City. The best way to understand the history of Venice is through its food. With your guide you’ll visit the famous Rialto Fish Market & more, learning about the culture of the city. Then taste  cicchetti, wine, fritti, pasta and hop aboard a Gondola.

Who better to lead your Venice food tour than a local Venetian foodie? You’ll meet near the Rialto Bridge and start your culinary adventure as Venetians have for centuries – at the Rialto Fish Market. This is where the seafood restaurants in Venice buy their fish daily, deciding their menus based on the day’s catch. It’s also where you’ll first come to grips with the strange quirks of island living.

Your first food stop is one of our favorites. This bacaro is a popular gathering spot for locals thanks to its unbeatable cicchetti and a mean spritz. You’ll try two items of your choice here along with a glass of wine, prosecco or spritz. We would highly recommend the baccalà, a salted cod dish served here whipped, slathered on bread and so fresh it will knock your socks off.

Next up is another great cicchetti bar. Like the Spanish tapas, cicchetti is a food form synonymous with Venice. Although menus change daily, they are usually dominated by crostini; slices of bread with various creative toppings; panini, which we know as sandwiches; and fritti, or fried food – mostly fish and vegetables.Cicchetti are a big part of Venetian food culture, as the perfect snack for fisherman, who arrive home from sea around 9am and settle down in their favorite dark bars for a bite to eat and a glass of wine.

Hop aboard a gondola to cross the Grand Canal with your guide, disembarking by Ca d’Oro (or the ‘Gold Palace’) in the historic neighborhood of Cannaregio. While tourists clog the streets between Rialto & St. Mark’s Basilica, Cannaregio is where locals congregate. Historically the Jewish Ghetto, it’s the most historic and storied part of the city, as you’ll learn from your guide.

Settle down in this lovely neighborhood for yet another glass of wine and a plate of the city’s best fresh fish pasta.

In the afternoon you will have some time at leisure, you can visit the Lagoon islands by boat or just get lost in the narrow streets of the city centre.

Day 9: Venice, departure

After breakfast, check out and transfer to Venice airport for departure.

Price per person: from 1760 euro in dbl room

Sgl room supplement 350 euro

The tour includes:

  • 8 nights accommodation in hotels centrally located with ensuite bathroom : hotel 4* in Rome, Florence, Bologna and hotel 3* in Venice
  • Breakfasts
  • Private transfer from Rome airport to hotel
  • Transfer from hotel to Venice airport
  • Guided tours with English speaking guide as per programme:
  • Trastevere food tour (small Group max 8 pax)
  • Ape Calessino Tour (small Group max 8 pax)
  • Imperial Rome tour including entrance tickets to Coliseum, Roman forum and Palatine hill (group tour max 25 pax)
  • Vatican Museums tour including entrance tickets (group tour  max 25 pax )
  • Florence tour with visit to the artisans shops (private tour)
  • Siena, San Gimignano tour & dinner in Noble Villa in Chianti (small group tour max 16 pax)
  • Bologna tour (private tour)
  • Venice tour
  • Venice food tour (small group max 16 pax)
  • Railway standard tickets to Highspeed trains Frecciarossa: Rome-Florence; Florence-Bologna; Bologna-Venice           

The tour does not include:

  • Local City tax (to pay on the spot)
  • Flights
  • Everything not mentioned under the item “the tour includes”
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