Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Arrive Rome, Italy
Arrive in Rome, capital of Italy, where you are met by your Guardian Angel, transferred to your hotel and assisted with check-in. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.
Rome | Treasure Hunts & Vatican Splendor
Join your expert guide for a morning of exploration by private vehicle through the narrow streets and wide-open piazzas of central Rome. Listen as your guide tells the stories behind the fountains and monuments you pass, creating a treasure hunt for symbols and animals among Rome’s famous marble sculptures. In the stunning oval-shaped Piazza Navona, see the plan of its original purpose as a Roman athletics track and view Bernini's famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). Stop for a stroll to the nearby Pantheon, Rome’s best-preserved ancient monument. Walk narrow cobblestone streets, past the ministries of the Italian Government, across the Via del Corso, to the world famous Trevi Fountain, where you may wish to toss a coin, to ensure, so it’s said, you return to Rome one day. Finish your morning at the elegant Piazza di Spagna, with the Spanish Steps rising to the Trinita dei Monti. Climb to the top (or choose the elevator) for stunning views over the hills of Rome. After time for lunch at leisure, continue to the Vatican, where you set out on a visual, all-ages treasure hunt through the magnificent collections of art, maps and sculptures kept in the museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Vatican City, the smallest sovereign state in the world, is one of the biggest highlights of any visit to Rome. Home to the Pope, and perhaps most famous for Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the walled city-state also encompasses the circular, columned grandeur of St. Peter’s Square, glorious St. Peter’s Basilica and a complex of museums filled with centuries worth of fine art, sculpture and manuscripts.
Rome | The Colosseum & Gladiator School
Begin today at Rome’s most famous landmark, the Colosseum. Built in AD 72, the great amphitheater hosted gladiatorial combat and other spectacles that entertained some 50,000 spectators. Continue to the Roman Forum, a patchwork of ruined temples set amid the remains of churches and archways. Then, visit Palatine Hill, site of the mythical founding of Rome and see the Farnese Gardens. This afternoon, it’s back to school — Gladiator School, that is. Enjoy a two-hour, all-ages session that starts with a brief historical introduction. Then, don a tunic, pick up a rubber sword and take part in a series of exercises that prepare you for a mock tournament, complete with a prize for the winner and a certificate for all participants.
Siena/Florence | Palio Scavenger Hunt
Drive to Florence, stopping en route in the Tuscan town of Siena. Enjoy lunch at leisure before you explore this medieval city and learn about its famous Palio, one of the world’s oldest and most famous horse races. Pay an uncommon visit to the contrade — the neighborhoods from which Palio contestants are chosen — taking part in an intriguing scavenger hunt around the city. Receive a map of the city, a scarf from a contrada and a customized wooden coat of arms as you set out to discover the traditions and legends of knights and jockeys. Enjoy breaks from the hunt with tastings of ricciarelli, almond cookies traditional to Siena. Following your time exploring Siena, continue to Florence and check in to your hotel.
Florence | Renaissance Wonders
This morning, set out on a walking tour of Florence, passing the Piazza della Signoria and visiting the Palazzo Vecchio (City Hall). Next, see the astronomer Galileo’s works at the History of Science Museum, viewing his telescopes, microscopes, clocks and other scientific apparatus. Then, cool down with a behind-the-scenes tour of Florence’s oldest and best gelateria. Briefly learn the heritage of gelato in Florence, before sampling all manner of gelato concoctions, including cocktails. Finish with a ride on the carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica before enjoying the remainder of the day at leisure.
Pisa | The Famous Leaning Tower
Journey to Pisa, a city resplendent with historical landmarks, reminders of its glorious past as a Maritime Republic. Once there, embark on a walking tour with your local guide to view the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. Climb the tower, if you’re so inclined (minimum age 8 years). Visit the inspiring 11th-century Duomo, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture, and the majestic, circular Baptistery — the largest of its kind in Italy. Just like the tower, both the cathedral and the baptistery have a lean (as do other buildings in Pisa), due to the unsteady soil rich in ground water. Return to Florence and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.
Florence/Venice | Michelangelo’s David
Stroll the city, admiring its lovely piazzas, churches and palaces. See the Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), as well as the Galleria dell’Accademia, where you behold Michelangelo’s David. Walk through Florence’s historic Mercato Centrale and enjoy tastings of various Tuscan streetfoods. After lunch at leisure, zoom by high-speed rail to Venice, where you continue by boat to your hotel.
Venice | St. Mark’s Basilica & Venetian Mask Making
Visit magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica on a family-oriented walking tour, viewing the four bronze horses on the exterior and admiring the interior filled with luminous mosaics and marble floors. Also visit the Doge’s Palace, and continue on foot through unique local sites, as your private guide explains their history. Arrive at a Venetian mask studio, where you learn how to decorate a genuine Venetian mask. You may choose to make a mask from Carnival, Venetian daily life, the theater (Commedia dell’Arte) or perhaps try your hand at a modern, fantasy mask. Finish with a hand-made mask of your own design to wear and take home with you. Tonight, on your final evening in Italy, enjoy a gondola ride on the iconic Grand Canal.
After breakfast, transfer to the Venice airport and depart.
Enhance Your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
Alternate hotels and room upgrades are available for this journey.
Rome | Pizza Making Tour
In place of your city tour of Rome, attend a private pizza-making class in an authentic Italian pizzeria, preparing the dough, and learning about dough rising times, toppings and cooking techniques to make the perfect pie. After your three-hour lesson, enjoy the fruits of your labor, and receive a cooking manual, apron and diploma for your participation.
Rome | Expanded Colosseum Tour
Expand your tour of the Colosseum to include both the underground and top levels of this ancient monument. Explore its subterranean chambers where gladiators once prepared to battle wild animals, and then ascend to the third ring of the amphitheater for a perspective that includes a view of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.