Experience the top highlights of Italy in elegance and comfort on our Luxurious Italy tour. This 21-day journey takes you from the North to South of the boot in style! Destinations include Venice, Lake Como, Milan, Portofino, Florence, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Naples. Plus, there will be some wonderful day trips to Verona, Milan, Le Cinque Terre, Capri, and more.
Italy is a destination that has something for everyone from history buffs to beach lovers. If you have been dreaming of the brightest azure sea, the rolling hills covered in vineyards, the snow-capped mountains, the mirror-like lakes, or the most magnificent art-filled cities in the world, then Italy delivers. It is a country that brings you from one opposite to another, from the spices of Calabria to the rich polenta and sausages of Friuli. It’s the long, magnificent coastline of enticing Puglia and winding roads of the Dolomites. Italy is a place that is held in the hearts of repeat visitors who find themselves hard-pressed not to come back and continue exploring its twenty magical regions. On your Luxurious Italy vacation, you will get a “taste” of what this beautiful country has to offer. Thus, leaving you wanting more for the next trip!
VENICE – 3 NIGHTS
Your first stop on your “Luxurious Italy” tour, will be the island city of Venice. There is truly no place like it on earth. Rising from the waters of the lagoon, you will be entranced by all it has to offer. For example, explore the labyrinth of alleyways, marvel at the extraordinary architecture, and experience a life lived on the water. Done right, Venice is probably the most unique and romantic destination on earth.
Upon arrival in Venice, we will arrange for a private water taxi to deliver you to your spectacular accommodations on the island. We have several exceptional 5-star choices for your consideration. From the hotel, you’re a short walk (and boat ride!) from all the amazing sights and landmarks Venice has to offer. During your stay in Venice, we will arrange the following special experiences:
- A Welcome Orientation & Cicheti Aperitivo with a member of the Bella Vita team. This meeting will help you navigate your days in this unique city. As you chat, you’ll enjoy one of the city’s favorite pastimes; sampling the local tasting dishes and regional (delicious!) wines. This will give you a chance to ask any questions you may have about your Luxurious Italy tour. It also lets us say “Grazie Mille”!
- A wonderful half-day Private Venice by Land and Water tour which will allow you to discover the highlights of the city. Together with your local expert guide, you’ll have visits to Saint Mark’s Square, the Rialto bridge, and more. Then, you will have the opportunity to explore the city for an hour by private boat. Here you will enjoy its sleepy back canals as well as the Grand Canal, the city’s main thoroughfare.
- An extraordinary evening of spectacular food at a Michelin starred restaurant and a small hotel that encompass an entire island on the lagoon! This is a truly unique opportunity! A private roundtrip water taxi transfer is included.
- A private tour to the outer islands of Murano and Burano. Enjoy a half-day on the lagoon away from the bustle of the main island. The internationally famous island of Murano has been the center of glassmaking for over 700 years. And still today, this artistry can still be seen and appreciated. Burano, once a full-time fishermen’s village, is an incredibly picturesque destination with its brightly painted houses. Time permitting, you will also visit the tiny island of Torcello.
LAKE COMO – 3 NIGHTS
The next stop on your Luxurious Italy itinerary will be beautiful Lake Como. After transferring by private boat back to the mainland, your driver will begin the journey west.
Along the way, you will have a wonderful day in Verona and the Valpolicella Wine Region. After an hour’s drive, you will arrive in Verona where you will meet your local guide. The tour begins at the ancient city gates: Porta Nuova and Porta San Zeno. The second stop is Castelvecchio, a medieval castle with its bridge over the Adige River. Then, on to Castel San Pietro where you will have a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Stop by the famous Romeo and Juliet’s Balcony. Then, just a few steps away from this place you will be able to see the city center in lovely Piazza Delle Erbe. The last stop will be Piazza Brà where you will visit the Arena, a Roman amphitheater, which is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there.
Finally, you will head to the Valpolicella wine region and our trustworthy winery. Here you will taste the famous Amarone wine, a personal favorite! You will have the choice of either lunching in town or the countryside.
Your driver will deliver you to your luxurious accommodations on the lake in the early evening. Here, there are several wonderful lodging choices based on your travel style and taste. You can’t go wrong with any of them! During your stay on Lake Como, we will arrange for the following special experiences:
- A very special Private Walking and Boating Tour of Lake Como for you. Your local expert guide will meet you at your hotel with a private boat and captain. You will cruise up the lake viewing charming villages and spectacular villas with wonderful history and commentary along the way. Eventually, you will come to the beautiful Bellagio where you will enjoy a walk through the village and visit the historical part of the town or have an optional tour of the garden of Villa Melzi. Villa Melzi is an English styled garden designed by the architect Luigi Canonica and by the botanist Luigi Villoresi, enriched with sculptural groups and statues from the various periods, and a long tree-lined avenue that leads from the main gate to the Villa. Next to the entrance, you’ll find a small bamboo grove and a Japanese garden with 25 Japanese maples. Villa Melzi’s gardens also include azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and rare Mexican pinesan orangery, and a private chapel. Afterward, you will have the option of returning to your hotel, or you can go on to lovely Varenna for lunch and take the local ferry back on your own.
PORTOFINO/SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE – 3 NIGHTS
Your Luxurious Italy tour continues on the Italian Riviera! Before heading to the coast by private transfer, you will enjoy a Half-day tour of glamorous Milan. Your private expert guide will show you the highlights of this noble and elegant city. You will visit Castello Sforzesco, the home of the powerful Sforza family who during the golden age of Milan’s renaissance hoped to turn Milan into the artistic capital of Northern Italy; the glorious Duomo (cathedral); the impressive nineteenth-century‘ shopping center’ of La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and, of course, the world-famous theater of La Scala. We will also make reservations for you to view Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper (depending on availability) today. Afterward, there will be time for lunch at one of our preferred restaurants as well as some time for shopping.
Your private driver will have you delivered to your gorgeous accommodations by early evening. You can choose between one of Italy’s top luxury resorts in Portofino or a couple of elegant hotels in nearby Santa Margherita Ligure. During your stay on the Italian Riviera, you will enjoy the following activities:
- A Private Cruise on the Riviera. Your private boat and captain will meet you one morning for a gorgeous private cruise up the coastline of the Italian Riviera. Pass by spectacular villas owned by the Italian and international jet-set. Then, you make your way towards the historic abbey of San Fruttuoso, a UNESCO protected site and unique monument. Here, you can decide to go on land and visit the abbey or stay on board and continue your journey on the Mediterranean. You’ll then continue on to lovely Santa Margherita Ligure, where your captain will bid you ‘arrivederci’ (and give you some insider’s tips on where to eat lunch!). You can easily return to Portofino by hotel shuttle, ferry boat or enjoy the half-hour walk along the seaside to your hotel.
- You’ll have a wonderful treat in-store with a Private Walking Tour of the Cinque Terre. The “Five Lands” make up one of Italy’s most idyllic seaside clusters of villages. It is a National Park that encompasses about 11 miles of the rocky coastline and is composed of these 5 colorful cliff and seaside villages and terraced hills cultivated with vineyards and olive groves. Your private expert guide will accompany you along the way giving you the history, gossip, and folklore of this special corner of Italy. You will have the chance to hike between a few of the villages (our favorite is Vernazza to Monterosso or vice versa), enjoy the villages from the sea by ferry should you like as well as reward yourselves with delicious, hot focaccia and a dip in the Mediterranean! This is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage protected coastline.
FLORENCE – 3 NIGHTS
Now it is on to the next stop on your Luxurious Italy tour, the beautiful medieval city of Florence. En-route with your private driver, you can stop in Lucca or Pisa for lunch if you desire. Then, in Florence, you’ll stay at one of our preferred 5-star luxury hotels for three nights. As always, it will be situated in the city center within a short walk of the city’s most famous sites. Your visit to Florence will consist of the following:
- You’ll start your visit to Florence with our Leisurely Walking Excursion of the City with our private local expert guide. Florence’s rich past as the cultural center of the Italian Renaissance can still be seen today. Visits such famous sites as Il Duomo, Piazza dell Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, and more. Plus you will have the choice of a VIP, skip the line visit to either the Uffizi Gallery or Accademia (where you can find Michelangelo’s David).
- A fabulous “gastronomic” tour at one of the city’s most famous and bustling markets followed by a hands-on and cooking lesson and meal. The Florence market is a place where the stalls are heaped with produce raised in the green belt around the city and brought in before dawn by the producers. The market offers everything from fruits and vegetables, fish, fresh meat, salt-cured meat, cheese, and much more in a true Italian farm-to-table experience. Your guide will take you through the market, explaining local products as you absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of this incredible foodie dream. Afterward, you will head to a wonderful kitchen for your hands-on rustic Tuscan cooking class with a professional chef. You will prepare a full 4-course menu, including appetizer, first and second course, and dessert. The menu will depend on the seasons and availability of products. You will then “enjoy the fruits of your labor” with a delicious sit-down meal of your creations…buon appetito!
- Private transfers upon arrival in Florence and to return you to the train station at departure.
TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE – 2 NIGHTS
Leave the city behind and enjoy the spectacular landscape and wines of the Tuscan countryside for 2 nights. Your private driver will bring you to your spectacular accommodations which could be a 13th-century monastery turned 5- star luxury hotel. Or you might choose a working winery and castle. You will have plenty of excellent accommodations choices for the next two nights.
During your stay, we will arrange for a wonderful experience as follows:
A Full-day Tuscan Immersion with Wine Tasting. You will have the choice of visiting the Chianti wine region and the medieval town of San Gimignano. Otherwise, you can head to the rolling hills of the Val D’Orcia with its charming hilltop villages and pecorino cheese. In both cases, we can arrange for winery tours and tastings. Another option is a half-day walking tour of beautiful Siena. The day will be designed to your travel wishes.
ROME – 3 NIGHTS
Next up on your Luxurious Italy tour will be the Eternal City! Rome is simply fascinating. With its mix of modern, chaotic city life shadowed by endless historic landmarks and artistic masterpieces, you will be amazed and possibly overwhelmed by all it has to offer, but. That is where Bella Vita does some of its best work. By creating a haven of activities designed to give you a wonderful taste of this amazing city without exhausting you!
You will be greeted at the Rome train station by your private driver. He/she will then accompany you to your gorgeous accommodations in the historical center. During your 3 days in Rome, you will enjoy the following experiences:
- Our Private “Before Hours” Morning Vatican Tour. This incredible opportunity offers a more personal Vatican experience, and the ability to avoid the noisy crowds. You will visit the Sistine Chapel at a more solitary, reflective hour. With our expert guide, you’ll discover masterpieces of the Renaissance as well as ancient statues from the Vatican collections. The tour will conclude in St Peter’s Basilica to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Your private guide will also give you access to the Basilica straight from the museums, avoiding the sometimes endless lines.
- Private Tour through Ancient Rome with VIP access to the Coliseum Underground (limited availability). Together with your expert guide, you’ll learn about ancient Rome’s tragedies and love for entertainment. Also, discover some of its famous citizens, such as Julius Caesar, Emperors Augustus, and Nero. Visit Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum, finishing off with the spectacular Coliseum.
- Lose yourself within one of Europe’s most extraordinary museums and one of Rome’s greatest patrician collections, the Borghese Gallery. It is home to glorious works by Bernini, Caravaggio, and other highly-regarded artists in Italian history. We consider it is an astounding showcase of Italian art and antiquity. Your art historian/private guide will make the artists and statues come alive in this short but captivating tour.
AMALFI COAST – 3 NIGHTS
Your last but certainly not least destination in your Luxurious Italy itinerary is beautiful Positano! You’ll take the speedy direct train to Naples today (in first class!). Your private driver will then accompany you to beautiful Positano. But first a special treat along the way…see below! In Positano, Bella Vita has a selection of elegant luxury sea-view hotels that we’ll choose from according to your taste and style.
During your days on the Amalfi Coast, we can arrange for you to enjoy the following activities:
- Enjoy a fascinating 2-hour walk through the Ruins of Pompeii with a private guide. This once beautiful and thriving Roman port city was destroyed by the Vesuvius volcano in 79 a.d. The visit to the ruins starts from Porta Marina, the main entrance, which will bring you a Via Marina, an excellent example of Roman architecture, filled with fountains, buildings, and private homes. In these beautiful homes, you can admire wall paintings depicting various episodes of daily life. Then, by continuing along the Via Marina, you arrive at the center of commercial and political life: the Forum. From here you can easily reach the major buildings and monuments and private noble homes like the Villa Dei Misteri, one of the most beautiful roman villas of the city. Here you’ll see some of the best-preserved frescos of the time. Your guide will help bring to life the streets and buildings, preserved for years under layers of volcanic ash, with stories and facts that will let you understand the history and culture of the period. This will certainly be a visit that you will remember for years to come. Also, If you wish, while in Naples, your driver can then stop to let you sample the city’s world-renowned and quintessential street food – pizza!
- A very special day on a Private Boat Tour to the Breathtaking Island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast. They say that “getting there is twice the fun”, and seeing this World Heritage coastline from the water is as impressive as your arrival in world-famous Capri. You will cruise along the coast and around the island, with stops for a swim and even a snorkel along the way. Weather permitting, you will have the choice to visit some of the various grottoes nestled on the coast – the White, Blue (extra), or Green. Your English-speaking skipper will drop you off at the port in Capri where you will have free time to explore the island before heading back for the slow, romantic sail along the Amalfi coast as you make your way back to the harbor.
- On the last day of your Luxurious Italy tour, we will arrange a private transfer to the Naples airport or train station.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Luxurious Italy tour. A few days in the “heel of Italy”, otherwise known as Puglia? Or a visit to the island of Sicily? Alternatively, spend some extra days in Umbria. The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish.