Places Covered: Venice, Florence, Montelpulciano, Val d’Orcia, Siena, Rome, Vatican City, Capri, Ravello
Duration: 14 days
Tour Cost: €300
Your first trip as a married couple should be remarkable. It should be filled with fine food and fun times, dictated by nothing but the slow circuit of the sun across a cloudless blue sky. It should be notable for its uniqueness, taking you to places you’ve never heard of and showing you things you could have never imagined. It should be as bold and as boundless as your love for each other, which means it can only be done in inimitable Italy.
Venice, Florence, Montelpulciano, Val d’Orcia, Siena, Rome, Vatican City, Capri, Ravello
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Arriving in Italy and Captivating Venice
Touch down on the outskirts of the Queen of the Adriatic, the romantic and enchanting City of Canals that has inspired poets and artists since its Renaissance heyday: Venice. A private water taxi will escort you in true Venetian fashion from the airport to your beautiful and perfectly located accommodations at the Hotel Londra Palace, minutes away from Piazza San Marco and filled with a timeless elegance that is sure to delight. You’ll have a splendid view over the roofs and bell towers of the city, and the hotel’s restaurant, Do Leoni, is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Venetian dinner or a cocktail before strolling out to take in the nightlife.
A Day Among Venice’s Romantic Canals
Today, explore the many shops, galleries, and city squares that make up the heart of this enchanting city. Begin at the famous Piazza San Marco, the heart of Venice for centuries and the site of the city’s most notable landmarks: the Byzantine masterpiece of the Basilica of Saint Mark and the stolid and imposing Palazzo Ducale, the residence of the Doge of Venice, who ruled the city during its mighty heyday. The basilica is home to an astounding collection of mesmerizing mosaics, while the Doge’s Palace features a fine museum of the history of the city.
The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the city as visitors have for generations, as a skilled navigator of Venice’s labyrinthine canals leads you on an unforgettable ride through the city onboard an iconic gondola. Snake your way past Renaissance-era townhouses and under the graceful pedestrian bridges as the sun makes its way down to the edge of the lagoon far on the horizon. The evening sees you at one of the city’s finest restaurants, where freshly caught seafood is almost always on the menu.
The Magic and Majesty of Fantastic Florence
Today you head west, through the rugged and resplendent scenery of Northern Italy on board a first-class train until you reach the boundaries of Tuscany, bound for the captivating regional capital of Florence. A private driver will take you from Florence’s train station to the unmatched Hotel Brunelleschi, a four-star gem situated in the center of Florence’s marvelous shopping district and mere steps from the soaring dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as the Duomo of Florence. The rooms are uncommonly comfortable and equipped with all the trappings of modernity, and the views over the nearby city square are a major plus.
This afternoon, walk the streets of Florence and discover the allure of this history-filled city. Cross the River Arno at the Ponte Vecchio, where some of the best jewelers in the city ply their trade and spend some time simply relaxing in one of the city’s many charming squares. The evening is dedicated to a private, hands-on cooking class that will teach you all the secrets to making the very best traditional Tuscan cuisine, including pasta, a main course, and a delicious and succulent dessert. Spend dinner enjoying the fruits of your labor with a sumptuous bottle of Tuscan wine.
Seeing the Sights of the Central City of the Renaissance
This morning features a guided small group tour through the winding lanes of Florenece, teaching you about the history of this one-of-a-kind city and showing you the highlights from its noble and glorious past. You’ll take in the intimidating facade of the Bargello and the multicolored marble that gilds the cathedral and campanile of Florence’s Duomo, a crowning achievement in the history of Renaissance architecture. Here, you’ll walk the inside of the cavernous church building and marvel at Ghiberti’s doors to the Baptistery that no less an authority than Michelangelo once named, “the Gates of Paradise.”
Make your way past some of Florence’s best-known and most notable buildings – like the offset tower and the art-filled courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio and the Basilica di Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in the world – before visiting Florence’s renowned Accademia, the city’s main art school whose gallery features an impressive collection of Michelangelo’s masterpieces. Gaze upon some of the lesser-known masterpieces of the 15th and 16th centuries before entering the main hall and casting your eyes upon David, the almost lifelike work of art of human genius that seems to always inspire. The monumental work is flanked by the artist’s well-known “Slaves,” sculptures commissioned to adorn the tomb of the Pope that went incomplete at the time of Michelangelo’s death.
Art Excursions and Retail Therapy
Your last day in Florence begins with a delicious and hearty breakfast and a fantastic cappuccino before setting out to explore the fashion areas of Florence, home to a diverse array of goods and brands that are sure to engage your consumptive side. You’ll find the best-known and highest-end fashion houses on the Via Tornabuoni and the Via Strozzi, while some of Florence’s finest leather goods can be found at Bemporad on the Via dei Calzaioli. The straw market, adjacent to the Ponte Vecchio, has been in operation since the 1700s, and you’ll find merchants offering all manners of goods here, from scarves and linens to Florentine mementos and souvenirs.
In the afternoon, discover the exhibits at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence’s foremost art gallery and one of the finest of its kind on the planet, home to a wide-ranging Renaissance collection. Here, you’ll find relics of the Roman Empire and masterpieces of Renaissance painting, classical sculptures and revolutionary canvases, including works from Titian, da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt. From its striking halls to the works that fill it, the Uffizi is truly an art experience that everyone should know.
Romance Rekindled Under the Tuscan Sun
Head out to the Tuscan countryside by rental car as you leave the bustle of Florence to explore the villages and natural grandeur that fill this glorious region. On your way out to your final destination of Montepulciano, you’ll want to stop by some of Tuscany’s best settlements and tour the region’s incredible wineries. Spend the morning in the Chianti region, from the history and beauty that surrounds the town of Greve, to the noble lineage of Castellina, a town with history going back to at least the 13th century.
Continue on past San Gimignano, one of the country’s best preserved medieval communities and renowned the world over for its seemingly innumerable towers, climbing to the sky like ersatz teeth, before finally reaching the Villa Cicolina in Montepulciano. This former noble residence has been lovingly restored and turned into one of the best hotels in the area, where the ambience is soothing and the staff superb.
The Inspiring Scenery of the Italian CountrysideReturn to nature as you reconnoiter the splendid landscape of Val d’Orcia, a stretch of Italian beauty that has inspired artists for centuries, from the oils on canvas of the Renaissance to the photographs of the present day. Pass through medieval villages like Pienza and Montalcino, reveling in their ageless charm, before gorging on a five-course tasting menu at Castello Banfi, accompanied by only the finest and most carefully chosen wines.
The afternoon offers you the chance to tour Castello Banfi’s wine production area. Learn all about the winery’s long viticultural history and the technique behind making delicious wines, before sampling some of the best varietals and vintages that the estate has to offer. The evening sees you heading back to Montepulciano.
Uncovering One of Italy’s Hidden Gems
Few cities capture the august and inspiring history of Northern Italy quite like sensational Siena, famous for its delicious food, its historic city center (named a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the biannual horse race known as the Palio that fills the city’s streets. Discover the secrets of this ancient settlement, originally founded by the Etruscan civilization, from its serpentine cobblestone streets to the sprawling Piazza del Campo, the social hub of the city for generations. Lunch today is at the inimitable Taverna di San Giuseppe, where handmade pasta and Florentine specialties liked perfectly prepared beef fill a menu that frequently changes to reflect the bounty of Tuscan ingredients.
The afternoon sees you back in Montepulciano, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Piazza Grande, lined with buildings from the Gothic and Renaissance periods, or the unmatched comforts and elegance of your hotel.
Uncovering One of Italy’s Hidden Gems
Today you turn south, making your way to the capital of Italy and the former center of the Western world, the Eternal City of Rome, where history lingers on every street corner and culture fills the air of even the lowliest places. The journey out is a memorable one in its own right, as you can discover more of the area’s most beautiful scenery and most charming towns, like the unique village of Pienza, a community that was fully redesigned by a Pope who wished to make his hometown the manifestation of humanist urban planning principles and an UNESCO Heritage Site.
Upon arriving in Rome this afternoon, a private driver will take you from the train station to your impeccable accommodations at the Hotel Barocco, set squarely on the edge of the Piazza Barberini and just a whisper away from the elegant Spanish Steps and the posh Via Veneto. You’ll enjoy the sumptuous amenities that await you in your room, and you’re sure to appreciate the hotel’s excellent bar, which stays open late and offers excellent drink options.
Hitting the Highlights of Resplendent Rome
This morning, after a leisurely exploration of romantic Rome, you’ll enjoy lunch near the famous Trevi Fountain, where you’ll witness the awesome opulence of one of the most famous fountains in the world, an iconic symbol of the beauty and glory of Rome. After a classic Roman lunch, visit the center of Catholicism and the world’s smallest sovereign state as you cross the border into Vatican City. Start by taking in the incredible scene in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world and a masterpiece of the Renaissance era, with contributions from great artists like Bernini and Michelangelo. You’ll marvel at the huge interior before rubbing the foot of St. Peter as millions have before you and gazing at the world-famous majesty of Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Your tour of the Vatican concludes at the famous Vatican Museums, one of the best art collections in the world, featuring works from Renaissance heroes and the great names of modern art, like Dali and van Gogh. Make your way through Raphael’s frescoe rooms – the most amazing of which is his inspired School of Athens – before being rewarded with entrance to the world’s most beautiful chapel: the Michelangelo-filled magnum opus that is the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling depicting scenes from Genesis is justifiably renowned, but you’ll be equally moved by the colossal fresco that dominates the altar area known as The Last Judgment.
Adventure in the Heart of the Empire
Your day starts early, as you meet your guide at 9:00am for a small group tour of the famed Roman Forum, the heart of the ancient city that was once a kingdom, then a republic, and finally the most famous empire the West has ever known. You’ll be regaled by Rome’s creations myths – fromThe Aeneidto Romulus and Remus – and dazzled by the exploits of Rome’s greatest leaders, from the dash and gall of Julius Caesar to the wisdom and prescience of Marcus Aurelius. The tour concludes at the famous Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Collosseum, where you’ll discover the incredible secrets of this engineering marvel, one of the great wonders of the Roman age.
This afternoon, near the banks of the Tiber, visit Trastevere, whose old-time charm has been delighting visitors for years, echoing a Bohemian feel that somehow mixes the sympathies of modern Rome with the stories of its past. Cobblestone streets speak of a simpler time, when life was run by the seasons and you took time to enjoy beautiful weather and the company of friends, while flower-filled squares make you wonder if you’re still in the city at all. The evening sees you back at your hotel.
Southern Italy’s Indisputable Charm
Further south, the Italian coast lands beckon, so you board a first-class train that will take you to the marvelous metropolis of Naples, the capital city of Southern Italy’s resort area and the site for some of the most historic areas of the country, dominated by the imposing visage of the notorious Mount Vesuvius. You’ll be transferred to your Neapolitan delight, the charming Covo dei Saraceni, where a spectacular view over the Bay of Naples complements the truly dazzling staff and services of this boutique beauty. The hotel’s terrace gives you the opportunity to enjoy delicious Neapolitan seafood al fresco, reveling in the warm sun and cool breeze that floats off the Mediterranean Sea.
Cruising the Coast of the Med
After a leisurely morning, you’ll set out from Positano Port at 11:00 am for a full-day boat trip along the stunning Amalfi Coast. You’ll make your way slowly through this coastal wonderland, stopping at the most attractive bays for the swim of a lifetime and admiring all of the inlets and grottos, some of which can only be accessed by boat. You’ll pass in front of Praiano and the fjord of Furore, visit the Coca dei Marini (the home of the Emerald Grotto) if you so desire, and stop by the ancient maritime republic of Amalfi before proceeding on to a small cascade of fresh, clear water, the perfect place for a refreshing dip. If there’s still time left on your journey, you’ll turn to Maiori for the spectacular experience of swimming in a nearby cave.Lunch this afternoon is at a small seaside restaurants perches on stilts above its own private stretch of sand for a memorable 3-course meal with plenty of local wine. You’ll return to Positano by 5:30 pm.
A Day in Magical Capri
In the afternoon, take the ferry to explore the shores of the famed island of Capri, the summer homes of Roman emperors and a get-away destination for royalty and celebrities ever since. Experience the otherworldly marvel of the sapphire sunlight illuminating the chamber of the Blue Grotto and the dramatic rock formations known as the I Faraglioni before riding a chairlift to the summit of Mount Solaro, where you’re afforded an astounding view over the Bay of Naples to the crowning rise of mighty Mount Vesuvius.
Begin your life together in incomparable Venice, one of the world’s most romantic cities and a place that is as unforgettable as it is unique
Continue on to Florence, the heart of the Italian Renaissance and the capital of the enchanting region of Tuscany, where the rolling hills and fertile fields give way to some of the most charming cities and villages in Italy
Visit some of Italy’s greatest art galleries, like the Uffizi in Florence and the Vatican Museums, and awe at the country’s most sublime and inspiring edifices, from Venice’s Basilica of Saint Mark to the incomparable Roman Forum
Enjoy the best of the country’s natural splendor, from the shores of the magical Mediterranean to the gentle undulations of Val d’Orcia, and the undeniable allure of its hidden urban gems, from Siena to Sorrento
Live the life of a true foodie as you partake in a cooking lesson with a master of Tuscan fare, then taste some of the best wines in the Chianti region
5-star:Minimum EUR 450 - 8000+ per person per day
4-star: Minimum EUR 350 per person per day
3-star: Minimum EUR 300 per person per day
Architecture Tours / Arts & Crafts Tours / History & Archaeology Tours / Museums & Galleries / Religious Sites / Food & Wine / Cooking Classes / Beaches / River Barges / Scenic Drive / Shopping / Walking Tours
Honeymoon / Self-Drive Vacations / Romantic
Leisure / Spectacular Scenery / Unique Accommodations