Venice, Lake Como, Milan, Portovenere, Florence, Chianti Area And Rome
16 Days, Private Journey
Visit Venice, Murano, Burano, Verona, Lake Como, Milan, Portovenere, Cinque Terre, Lucca, Florence, San Gimignano and Rome
Itinerary at a Glance
INCLUDED WITH EVERY LUXURY TAILOR MADE JOURNEY
Arrival at Venice International airport and private transfer to your accommodation. At sunset take a private gondola ride to enjoy a different perspective of this amazing city.
Join our Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica Small Tour for an entertaining and educational way to explore the history of Venice! Together with a professional local tour guide you will get privileged access (no waiting in lines) to the two main sites of Venice including the panoramic terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica.
Late afternoon enjoy our Venice Wine tour. During this fascinating 2-hour walking tour of Venice, you’ll receive an insider’s glimpse into the lives and habits of authentic Venetians while visiting a favorite local Venetian hangout: winebars called baccari (or bacari). Your private walking and wine-tasting tour includes stops in two baccari (winebars) that are filled to the brim with Venetians at the classic aperitivo time of 7pm. At the winebar, crowded with locals, you can sip a bubbly Prosecco or a smooth Soave and devour a cicchetto, a local Venetian snack, while your expert local guide tells you more about the traditional cuisine, native wines, history, and assorted lore. Some typical cicchettos are small pieces of toast with baccala, tiny meatballs, hardboiled eggs filled with anchovies, or pieces of fried, seasonal vegetables.
Morning dedicated to the visit of the amazing islands of Murano and Burano. First stop is Murano. This island, where all of Venice’s glass factories have been located since the 13th-century, is the most famous place for glassmaking in the entire world – and for good reason, as you’ll see soon. You’ll stop at an authentic glassmaking factory, which we’ve handpicked both for its history and quality. Then you will continue to Burano, a working fisherman’s island, famous for its brightly painted buildings. Return to Venice around lunch time and afternoon at your leisure.
Following breakfast and check out your private driver will meet you at your accommodation and take you to Verona. Enjoy a private guided tour of Verona. Juliet, the squares, the arena: don’t miss this tour of the downtown historical centre of Verona, fully embraced by the bend of the Adige river. In ancient Roman times, the city of Verona received its chess-board layout and was adorned with the Arena, the world’s best preserved Roman amphitheater that today still provides hours of good music and entertainment. The visit also includes the 14th century house of Juliet, a lovers’ venue and a very popular stop: in everyone’s mind Verona is linked to her image and her sad love story. Another 14th century attraction consists of the bizarre “Arche” of the Della Scala family, namely the stone lace structures pointing up to the sky that still harbour suspicions and mysteries. Along the way you will cross three main squares that have maintained their peculiar and very popular, aristocratic or institutional character throughout the centuries.
After lunch continue to your accommodation at Lake Como area.
With your private guide discover Lake Como and Bellagio, “the pearl of Lario”. Visit this lively village and the gardens of Villa Melzi! You’ll begin the day on board a ferry that will sail slowly among villages, villas and gardens, introducing you to the atmosphere of Lake Como. Your guide will tell you about local traditions, old and new anecdotes and it’ll be possible to spot Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, Villa Oleandra (George Clooney’s retreat!), Villa del Balbianello (Star Wars and 007 location), the mysterious Island Comacina, Villa Carlotta with its botanical gardens and much more. Once you arrive in Bellagio you will explore the steep alleyways full of shops and the buzzing lakeside. Then free time for a typical lunch (suggestions provided) or shopping: Bellagio is famous for silk and olive wood items. The highlight of the afternoon is the visit of the gardens of Villa Melzi, that stretch out along the lakeshore with an impressive collection of plants, antique sculptures and beautiful architectures. Return to your accommodation.
Meals included – Breakfast
Today discover the elegant city of Como and its highlights: the Cathedral, piazza Volta, via Vittani, San Fedele church and the ancient medieval walls. The city of Como is charming and has many stories to tell: you’ll be fascinated with the quaint alleys and the tradition of silk weaving, with the history of how the electrical battery was invented here and the mystery of the two statues on the Cathedral front-side. Founded more than 2000 years ago, Como is rich in art masterpieces. After a pleasant stroll in the centre, a walk along the lake will take us to the Funicular station. You will reach the cute village of Brunate with a short ride: only 7 minutes! Enjoy the panorama over the lake, admire the Art-Nouveau style villas and breathe the fresh and pure air of Brunate. The tour may end with a well deserved aperitivo before lunch time. Return to your accommodation and afternoon at your leisure.
Following breakfast and check out your private driver will meet you at your accommodation and take you to Milan city center. Check into your accommodation and lunch at your leisure.
In the afternoon enjoy a walking tour of Milan to visit Milan’s marvellous Cathedral and rooftop terraces, the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the Brera district and the Castello Sforzesco to learn about the family who sponsored much of da Vinci’s work and brought Milan to prosperity.
Your day will start with a visit of one of the most famous paintings in the world. This artwork was painted between 1494 and 1498 under the government of Ludovico il Moro and represents the last “dinner” between Jesus and his disciples.
Next you will continue with a visit of Leonardo’s Vineyard, or La Vigna di Leonardo, that lies tucked within the lush gardens of the Casa degli Atellani, an elegant private residence that provides a unique opportunity to experience the Milanese Renaissance.
Leonardo Da Vinci spent a productive period in Milan working on numerous projects for the Duke Ludovico Sforza over twenty years. He engineered the city’s canal district, drew thousands of sketches preserved in his Codex Atlanticus notebook and painted The Last Supper (1495-1498), housed within the refectory of the convent of the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. To demonstrate his gratitude, Ludovico Sforza gifted Leonardo a small vineyard which the artist tended to while he painted The Last Supper. Leonardo himself hailed from a family of winemakers and took great care of the vineyard, even including it in his will at the end of his life.
Following breakfast and check out your driver will take you to the lovely village of Portovenere, one of the most romantic spots on the Italian Riviera thanks to the multicolored tower houses, that in the ancient times were built as defense against the pirates, the tiny square and its fountain, the beautiful ancient church of St. Peter on the white and black rocks of the point from where the poet Byron used to swim, the church of S. Lorenzo with its precious works of art and the massive 16 century castle.
While in Portovenere don’t miss the chance to enjoy a dinner at Locanda Lorena located in the rugged island of Palmaria across the small bay of Portovenere. To get here, take the restaurant’s free riva boat from the Portovenere jetty.
Today enjoy a private guided visit of the Cinque Terre: five stunning towns perched on seaside cliffs overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The full-day Cinque Terre Walking Tour allows you to visit these small fishing villages, famously connected in older times exclusively by a winding, steep, rock-laden and root-crossed trail. Each village has a distinct character, and offers different amenities. Your knowledgeable, friendly English-speaking tour guide specializing in outdoor excursions will take care of you for the full-day tour, and tell you more about these unique villages. Return to Portovenere and overnight stay.
Following breakfast and check out your private driver will take you to Lucca, actually my favourite Tuscan city after Florence and enjoy a guided tour of this relatively unknown gem. Hidden behind imposing Renaissance walls, its cobbled streets, handsome piazzas and shady promenades make it a perfect destination to explore by foot. Continue to Florence and check into your accommodation.
Start your Florentine sojourn with a guided orientation walk to admire the most important Florentine sites: the Cathedral with its Giotto Bell Tower, Piazza della Signoria with the Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio knowing for its gleaming gold shops. The tour also includes the visit of the Accademia Gallery which houses the famous statue of David by Michelangelo and of the Uffizi Gallery with masterpieces of Caravaggio, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci and many other famous painters. Afternoon at your leisure.
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Chianti area which offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, characteristic parishes and countryside homes in stone. Visit one of the most prestigious wineries of the area. The visit will be followed by tasting of their superb wines and a delicious Tuscan lunch. After lunch your driver will take you to the romantic hilltop town of San Gimignano where you will spend some time at your leisure. Return to Florence and overnight stay.
Florence is not just paintings and palazzos; it is also home to one of the most palatable and well-known cuisines in the world. With your private guide visit one of Florence’s most characteristic food market, Sant’Ambrogio, and learn about history and traditions of Tuscan cuisine. During the visit you will taste some local specialties: cheeses, salami, focaccia, extra – virgin olive oil.
After lunch take your high – speed train to Rome. Upon arrival transfer to your accommodation.
Feel the fear and hear the roars of the crowd above you as you enjoy this full Colosseum Underground tour. Stepping beneath the arena floor, you’ll walk in the footsteps of gladiators who waited here before battle. As you tour the tunnels, your guide will tell you about the real life of gladiators before taking you back up to the arena floor. Walk out onto a recreation of the stage where the fighting took place and be blown away by the most impressive view of the Colosseum (seen by so few!). After your Colosseum and Colosseum Underground tour, you’ll experience the very heart of Ancient Rome: the Roman Forum. Here was where Rome ruled its empire of untold political and cultural influence—and of more than 2.5 million square miles and 65 million people. At the Palatine Hill you’ll discover the origins of Ancient Rome. Legend has it that this is the spot where Remus and Romulus were found by the she-wolf and where they battled to decide which would have the privilege of building their own town. Hear how this legendary battle impacted the world you know today (your very own life even!) We owe the Ancient Romans more than you’d believe! Afternoon at your leisure.
Your early bird Vatican tour lets you carpe diem, seize the day, by getting the most out of your time in Rome. Starting with a breakfast fit for the Pope in the verdant Pinecone Courtyard, you’ll be thoroughly energized to meander through the expansive halls of the Vatican Museums, gaze up at the stunning ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and explore the world-renowned Saint Peter’s Basilica. Afternoon at your leisure.
Private chauffeured transfer to Rome International airport to take your flight back home