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Duration: 12 days Visiting: Italy
This magnificent journey showcases Italy’s grand past, romantic cities and exquisite natural wonders. Step into the ancient world, as a Local Expert shows you the cobblestone alleyways of Pompeii, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in VIP style, and the gravity-defying Tower of Pisa. Along the way, you’ll discover how medieval trades are being kept alive, participate in a Tuscan cooking masterclass and cruise along the canals of Venice onboard a traditional gondola. From iconic capitals to the charming fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, uncover the full grandeur of Italy. After your journey ends in Venice, why not choose to extend your luxurious travels there and step onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for an overnight journey to Paris?
On select Chairman’s Collection departure dates you’ll have the pleasure of meeting Marchese Francesco Mazzei at his centuries-old Tuscan estate, Castello di Fonterutoli. The grounds are home to the Mazzei family’s winery, which is the second oldest in Italy, and have been owned by the family since 1435. Join Francesco for an exclusive lunch in the osteria and enjoy a wine tasting with the Marchese in the winery.
Look for the CC icon on the Dates & Prices panel to see which departures feature the Chairman’s Collection.
Welcome to Rome.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, designed with the perfect mix of elegance and rich history. Built in the heart of the eternal city, Hotel Palazzo Montemartini is ideally located to begin your Italian journey. At 18:00, meet your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers for a short stroll through the charming streets, enjoying the romance of the Eternal City as night falls, before gathering for a spectacular Welcome Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine at an elegant local restaurant near Piazza Navona.
Rome and the Vatican in VIP Style.
Our fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums is the best way to enjoy the timeless Papal art collection. Enter Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel for a private tour with a Local Expert before it opens to the public. Continue to St. Peter's Basilica, before seeing the Roman Forum and visiting the grand Colosseum. Enjoy time at leisure in the afternoon, perhaps relishing an espresso at a piazza cafe or walking along the romantic Tiber River. In the evening meet Debora, your local EatWith host, for a home-cooked Italian meal served at her wonderful flat. Located on Janiculum hill you'll have splendid views over the city.
Pompeii and The Isle of Capri.
Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time since A.D. 79 when it was violently engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius. Join your Local Expert to learn about the lifestyles of the people who once lived here and explore the remnants of ancient shops, baths and patrician villas. Journey on to the Bay of Naples where you’ll board your hydrofoil bound for the sun-drenched Isle of Capri. On arrival, enjoy an escorted ride in an open-top taxi to your exclusive hotel. Settle in and appreciate the splendours of Capri at your leisure, long after the day-trippers have returned to the mainland.
Explore the Isle of Dreams.
Embark on a dazzling cruise to see the white grotto and spectacular cliffs of the island, before arriving in Capri town to cool off with a refreshing lemon granita. Walk with your Local Expert to the gardens of Caesar Augustus to view the legendary Faraglioni Rocks, jutting out of the water. Prepare for a Highlight Lunch at the incredible Michelin-starred Mammà. Enjoy exclusive views over the Gulf of Naples whilst savouring Mediterranean flavours created with passion from fresh, local produce by chef Salvatore La Ragione. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps treating yourself to a pampering massage at your hotel’s day spa?
Lush Umbria and on to Assisi and Perugia.
Return to the mainland and travel north along the Highway of the Sun to the winding, cobbled streets of Assisi for a guided visit to the imposing Basilica of St. Francis with your Local Expert. Continue on to the Umbrian capital of Perugia. Ascend from the lower town, through the maze of medieval streets, to your five-star deluxe hotel. In the afternoon, meet your Local Expert for a walk along Perugia's Corso Vannucci to the main square where you’ll see the Great Fountain, Collegio del Cambio and the splendid Prior's Palace. Spend the evening at your leisure; perhaps soaking up the vibrancy of this historic university town from a local cafe?
San Gimignano and Tuscany.
Discover the preserved heritage of textile loom-weaving at the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti, a weaver’s workshop situated inside a 13th century Franciscan church. Meet Marta, the workshop director and recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant, and learn how this medieval craft has been kept alive over the generations. Continue your journey north through glorious Tuscan landscapes to hilltop San Gimignano and stroll through its serpentine alleyways to taste the award-winning gelato of Sergio Dondoli. Travel to the Chianti region to meet your Local Expert for a guided tour through the former house and Mediterranean gardens of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Nicolo Machiavelli. You’re invited to join a special opening of his private ofﬁce where he famously wrote 'The Prince' and then to enjoy an exclusive wine tasting in his original cellar. Taste a variety of wines from his cellar including a rare Super Tuscan. Conclude your visit with a light lunch of Farm-to-Table Tuscan snacks.
If you are travelling on a Chairman's Collection departure, you are invited to an exclusive lunch and wine tasting with Marchese Mazzei at his centuries-old Tuscan estate. This experience will replace the lunch and wine tasting at the home of Nicolo Machiavelli.
For a relatively small city, Florence boasts an abundance of art and architectural masterpieces, chic boutiques and fabulous restaurants. Explore Florence Your Way with a choice to join an art historian for an insider's guide to this romantic city. Admire Michelangelo's original statue of David in the Accademia Museum, before strolling to the cathedral, baptistery and open-air gallery of Piazza della Signoria. Alternatively, join a local foodie on a walking tour of the best gastronomic treats in this Tuscan town. Enjoy Florence in the afternoon at your own pace or return to your renaissance hotel for a relaxing afternoon spent in its tranquil Tuscan gardens. In the evening, gather for a delicious dinner with wine, served at Rivasud, a local restaurant in delightful Barberino Di Mugello
Tuscan Cooking Class and Pisa.
Join a professional chef and uncover the secrets of Tuscan cooking during an authentic culinary masterclass set in a historic villa. Complete your cooking experience by savouring the fruits of your labour with a lovely lunch. In the afternoon, travel to Pisa and meet your Local Expert to view the splendid Duomo, baptistery and, of course, the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Exploring The Cinque Terre and The Italian Riviera.
Journey northwest towards the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join your Local Expert in the picturesque fishing village of Manarola, then cruise along the rugged coast to explore Monterosso's medieval quarter and popular sandy beach. Enjoy lunch at leisure, then journey by train to the resort town of Rapallo. Your prestigious hotel offers striking views.
Theatrical Venice and the Doge's Palace.
Cross the fertile Po Valley to Verona, home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. Stroll past the well-preserved Roman arena and through a maze of elegant squares to stand beneath the balcony said to have belonged to the Capulet family. Continue on to your five-star luxury hotel in Venice. In the evening, you are invited to an after-hours private visit of the magniﬁcent Doge's Palace. As all crowds disappear, discover the history, art and culture of the Venetian Republic with your Local Expert.
Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
In the morning, cruise to the idyllic fisherman’s island of Burano. On return, stop to witness the age-old skill of glassblowing, admire St. Mark's Basilica and see the Bridge of Sighs. Later, take your seat in a traditional gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals. In the evening, raise a glass of local Italian wine during your delicious Celebration dinner of refined Venetian cuisine at a local restaurant. Savour a dish that keeps with tradition and is enriched with seasonal ingredients.
After breakfast, bid farewell to your travel companions and transfer by private boat to Venice Marco Polo Airport for your onward journey. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Rome (Contemporary) - Italy
Centrally located at the Palazzo Montemartini Rome, you’ll be close to the Baths of Diocletian, the Church of Diocletian and Church of Saint Maria deli Angeli. Built in 1881, this historic building is an agreeable mix of rich history and contemporary design.
Anacapri (Boutique) - Italy
The five-star luxury boutique hotel, Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, is furnished with Mediterranean elegance and offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples.
Perugia (Heritage) - Italy
Since 1884, this exclusive hotel has housed royalty and celebrities. It is situated in the historic heart of Perugia and the only five-star hotel in the city. Fine Umbrian dining and a luxurious wellness spa are some of the highlights that make the Brufani extra special.
Barberino di Mugello, Tuscany (Historic) - Italy
A short drive from Florence, the grand Villa Le Maschere is a late Renaissance country mansion, built in the 16th century.
Rapallo (Historic) - Italy
The Grand Hotel Bristol & Spa is regarded as one of the most prestigious properties on the eastern Ligurian Riviera, this elegant hotel overlooks the Portofino Promontory and is housed in an Art Nouveau-style residence dating back to 1908. It boasts a sea-facing restaurant terrace and a pool.
Venice (Heritage) - Italy
The Palazzo is divinely located on the Grand Canal, just off St Mark's Square, and offers spacious and elegant guest rooms.
Our guests rate us
1011 independent user reviews received during the past year.
05 January, 2019
Trip: So many amazing experiences all in 12 days!
Service: Our Travelling Concierge Karen Gower and driver Alessandro were superb - friendly and knowledgeable, nothing was too much trouble.
12 November, 2018
Trip: Wonderful broad intro to Italy, its wonderful people, their culture and history, and the many fascinating sites. Again, the great itinerary was enhanced by all of the guides, proprietors, our driver, and service staff, and most of all by Frances Touschek. (If we do another Luxury Gold Trip we would like to request Francis. The only recommendation on the itinerary would be to add a day in the middle to rest and recharge our batteries where we did not need to get up early and could just do our own thing. Maybe somewhere in Tuscany or on the Isle of Capri.
Service: First I want to rate Francis Touschek as six stars on a five star scale. He was always attentive to our needs or concerns and he was superb at providing history and interesting information and in elevating our enjoyment. We thoroughly enjoyed our travels with Luxury Gold primarily because of the quality of service provided by Francis and all of the local guides. We were surprised at the size of our group. We expected around 24 versus the 39 and on occasion our group size made it difficult for us to follow and hear our guides. The service quality and food for the Luxury Gold arranged dining was nearly always very good. There was one dinner where I believe our larger size inhibited the ability of the restaurant to provide their best service. The hotel accommodations except for two stops were good. I understand there is a difference between 4 & 5 stars in Europe vs the US. But, we had a couple rooms that were pretty well worn out, small, and not attractive. Francis Touschek intervened to solve those two situations. My service quality rating is actually very close to five stars and I’m convinced it would have been five stars if the group size had been smaller thereby eliminating the dining service issues and eliminating the two or three subpar rooms at each stop problem our group experienced. We really enjoyed our stay at the Ana Capri Palace. It also would have been fun to stay a little longer at the Italian Riviera. The itinerary was excellent and gave us a broad exposure to the people of Italy, their country and its history. Our only suggestion would be a day in the middle of the excursion to kind of rest and recharge our batteries (sleep in and relax doing our own thing). Maybe an extra day of leisure in Tuscany or the Isle of Capri.
08 November, 2018
Trip: Extraordinary. We just loved it.
Service: Excellent. Margarite was s fabulous tour host and worked so hard to ensure we had the most incredible experience. She far exceeded our expectations!
08 November, 2018
Trip: ALL great places to go!
Service: Tour director exelent!
08 November, 2018
Trip: Saw everything we wanted.
Service: sites visited were excellent but the pace was a little fast. The CSRs in the office lacked a lot of care in the paper work and it took over 3 weeks to get a credit posted to my credit card. Also one week before the tour began, we did know the hotel where the tour began and we had tried to book a pre night reservation but he hotel was not known. Probably will not book a future tour with Insights because of the paper work problems
08 November, 2018
Trip: Included all the places we wanted to see. Very informative.
Service: Well organized trip. Jackie Whiteford was our traveling concierge. Kept us on time and made sure we were all comfortable. She gave us so much information about all the areas we visited. I would recommend Luxury Gold to my friend and use them myself for future trips.
28 October, 2018
Trip: Loved the itinerary and grateful for the organization
Service: The tour director (Francis) and driver (Alessandro) were fabulous.
26 October, 2018
Trip: Everything was fantastic as I said above from start to finish
Service: From start to finish the trip was well thought out & organized. Our guide Jackie was knowledgeable and eagerly shared her expertise along with humorous stories. Our stops were great - we wanted an over view of Italy and that is exactly what we were given. I would gladly suggest to anyone that your company is the way to go!
26 October, 2018
Trip: Covered a lot, but several people in our group fell. I would recommend that a the amount of walking is stressed.
Service: Francesco and Jackie made the trip extra special. Thank you I wish the dinners had more selections. I was getting tired of a Pasta and Pizza. I do not eat fish. The dinner at a local home is okay. Very nice people, but I woukd prefer a restaurant.
26 October, 2018
Trip: Covered a lot of Italy. If you plan on a relaxing vacation this is not for you. This vacation requires a lot of walking on all different surfaces. Best vacation ever!
Service: Customer Service was great. I only have a few comments. The first hotel which was highly rated was not great. It did lack on customer service.
26 October, 2018
Trip: Loved it. Couldn’t have been better
25 October, 2018
Trip: Aggressive but worth it. There is a lot of Italy to see and we saw it!
Service: I thought Jackie was exceptional! She had the perfect combination of expertise and personality. I would consider specifically finding her for another tour. There was literally nothing left to chance and I would recommend Luxury Gold to the least experienced traveler.