Italy: The Vatican to Venice 10D/9N

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Summary

Travel with your private party on this luxury tailor-made journey, departing when you choose and with expert local guides leading the way; you can even customize the itinerary to your interests.

On a privately guided journey that reveals Italy's splendors at their most compelling, enjoy a special early entrance to the Vatican, view the artistic treasures of Florence and sample Italian cuisine with tastings in Tuscany and a food tour in Venice.


TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

- Explore several of Italy's most popular cities, as you make your way through Rome, Florence and Venice

- Admire the Vatican before the crowds arrive on a special early-morning visit

- Savor Italian cuisine at one of Tuscany's Michelin-starred restaurants, where you are invited to taste olive oils and Tuscan wine before enjoying lunch

 Tour the treasures of Florence, including the Duomo, the Galleria dell'Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery

- Embark by private motorboat to the islands of Murano and Burano to see their famous artisan glassworks and handmade lace

- Stroll the market district in Venice, and sample cicheti (traditional snacks) at local bacari (wine bars)

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2

Arrive in Rome, capital of Italy, where you are met, transferred to your hotel and assisted with

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Eden

Day 2 - 3

Early this morning, cross the Tiber River for an unforgettable exploration of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. Begin at the Vatican, where you are permitted special entry and enjoy a light cafeteria-style breakfast. Then, proceed with a handful of other visitors to experience outstanding highlights, including Michelangelo’s breathtaking masterpiece, the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, before the museum is open to the general public. Afterward, visit the Basilica of St. Peter, passing by the colourfully dressed Swiss Guard and into the world's largest church, where you behold a glorious mix of Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Eden
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 3 - 4

Explore ancient Rome with your expert guide, starting on Capitoline Hill, traditional seat of religious and political power, where you visit the Capitoline Museums. In Palazzo dei Conservatori, view splendid historical frescoes, and in Palazzo Nuovo, view the wonderful sculptures on display. After time for lunch at leisure, continue to the Roman Forum and nearby Palatine Hill, where you discover the remains of temples, palaces and excavated homes from ancient times. Finish at the imposing Colosseum and the adjacent Arch of Constantine.

ACCOMMODATION:
Hotel Eden
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 4 - 5

Drive to Florence, stopping en route for a guided walking tour of the hillside city of Orvieto, home to the cathedral housing Signorelli’s Cycle of the Apocalypse. Proceed through the rolling Tuscan countryside, where you visit a local wine producer and savour a wine tasting before continuing to Florence.

ACCOMMODATION:
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 5 - 6

Tour Florence, visiting the famed Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) and the Galleria dell'Accademia, where you view Michelangelo's incomparable David. Next, go off the beaten path to the 13th-century Basilica of Santissima Annunziata. Accompanied by a member of the small, on-site team of art restorers, visit the Giambologna Chapel, one of the Basilica’s many side chapels. Observe firsthand how restorers bring out the original features of its Renaissance artworks, which might otherwise be lost forever.

ACCOMMODATION: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 6 - 7

Venture into the Chianti region today, in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Enjoy a special visit to Badia a Passignano, a fourth-century medieval hamlet and abbey where monks of the Vallombrosan Order still reside. Visit the abbey’s wine cellars before adjourning to the on-site Michelin-starred restaurant for an authentic Tuscan wine and olive oil tasting experience and lunch. Learn tips on decanting wine and food pairing, and then continue, time permitting, to visit the market town of Greve in Chianti or the charming hilltop village of Montefioralle. This evening, return to Florence.

ACCOMMODATION: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 - 8

Set out with your guide on a walking tour of Florence, starting at the famed Uffizi Gallery, located in a building originally designed to hold the uffizi (administrative offices) of the Medici Grand Duke Cosimo I. Pause to admire such celebrated works as Caravaggio's Medusa, Botticelli's Birth of Venus, Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation and the Madonna of the Goldfinch by Raphael.

Next, stroll through Florence’s historic Mercato Centrale and enjoy tastings of various Tuscan street foods. This afternoon, journey by high-speed rail to Venice, where you embark on a cruise of the Grand Canal before arriving at your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: The Gritti Palace
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 8 - 9

Journey by private motorboat across the Venetian Lagoon to the island of Murano, known the world over for its elaborate glassware. See how the glass is blown before heading to the colorful island of Burano, renowned for its handmade lace.

This afternoon, discover Venice on a walking tour, including a visit to glorious St. Mark’s Basilica. View the four bronze horses on the exterior and admire the interior filled with luminous mosaics and marble floors. Stop to admire La Fenice Theater and view the Grand Canal from the Accademia Bridge.

ACCOMMODATION:
The Gritti Palace
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 9 - 10

Begin your day at the Frari Church, where you admire Bellini’s Madonna and Child and an altarpiece, Assumption of the Virgin, by Titian. Then, immerse yourself in local life with a visit to the market district around the Rialto Bridge. Next, sample Venetian cuisine at a bacaro (wine bar) that serves cicheti (traditional snacks) with un’ombra (a small glass of wine). Tonight, enjoy a relaxing gondola ride on the romantic Grand Canal.

ACCOMMODATION:
The Gritti Palace
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 10 -

After breakfast, transfer to the Venice airport and depart.

End of the trip!

MEALS: Breakfast

- This is a guide itinerary and can be modified to suit. It is subject to availability and price at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply -

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