General

PLACES VISITED
Rome, Positano, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Capri

DEPARTURE DATES
Flexible departures from April to October, four departures per month during the high season.

DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 1: Hello, Italy!

Welcome to resplendent Rome, the center of Italy and the capital of the West’s most famous Empire, home to some of the most incredible architecture, entrancing art and irresistible food. After a private drive to your hotel, set out to explore the highlights of this incomparable metropolis, from the immense neoclassical monument to Victor Emmanuel II to the otherworldly serenity of the gardens of the Villa Borghese, enjoying the pace of life in this urban center and the undeniable charm of its vivacious population.

Gaze upon the complex of the Roman Forum from the reaches of Palatine Hill before returning to street level to explore some of the best-known structures here, like the triumphant Arch of Constantine and the inspiring and imposing Colosseum.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: The Heart of an Empire, the Heart of a Faith

Wake up for your first morning in Italy and grab an espresso – better make it a double – before exploring the incredible and innumerable artifacts at the Vatican Museums, a sprawling complex stretching some nine miles and housing the immense art collection of the Holy See. You’ll pass by famous statues and make your way through more than 50 rooms filled with priceless antiques and timeless works of art—like Raphael’s triumphant fresco The School of Athens – before emerging into the otherworldly splendor of the sensational Sistine Chapel. You won’t mind the neck strain as you rend your gaze up to the heavens to take in the inimitable genius of Michelangelo’s ceiling, retelling the best-known stories of Genesis and resplendent with the glory of God and the human spirit.

After this inspiring excursion, you’ll turn to the most sacred site in Catholicism as you venture into the immense confines of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the crowning achievements of Western architecture. You can rub the foot of the statue of St. Peter, worn to a dull glaze by the countless hands of the faithful, or simply stand in reverential awe at the crowning Pietá, a masterpiece of Michelangelo that was completed when the artist was not yet 25 years old.

The evening sees you enjoying a delicious Roman dinner in a cozy and intimate local establishment.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 3: The Untold Stories of the Eternal City

Set out to explore the more esoteric corners of this unique conglomeration as you’re led on the Hidden Treasure of Roma tour. You’ll be regaled with colorful stories of the secretive and shrouded history of the Knights Templar in Rome, the much-publicized dispute between rival artists Borromini and Bernini that resulted in a sensationalized duel and some of the city’s greatest artwork, and the colorful life and times of Caravaggio, one of the era’s greatest talents and worse characters. Be sure to keep your eyes up at all times, as the tour will make its way past some of the city’s most impressive sights, like the bustling Piazza Navona, the sensational Trevi Fountain and the graceful and elegant Spanish Steps.

Dinner this evening is in a local trattoria, far from the crowds and far from ordinary, where the stars over the city offer the perfect setting for some of the best food you’re ever likely to try.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 4: The Wonders of Southern Italy

This morning is an early breakfast and an early train ride. The gentle vibrations of wheels on rails lull you back to sleep in your luxurious cabin as you turn south to the pleasure lands of Roman Emperors, vacation spots, and resort towns that have seen visitors flock to its shores since before the birth of Christ. On your way to this earthly Eden you’ll stop under the shadow of soaring Mount Vesuvius to visit the remains of Pompeii, the ancient city encased in ash that offers unimaginable insight into the lives of the ancient Italians. Walk through the streets of this former hotbed of culture and witness the level of preservation of some of the mosaics and frescos before continuing on to Positano by car, where you will be taken to your hotel in plenty of time to drop off your things and prepare for a delicious dinner served in a rustic trattoria in the center of the city.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfers, accommodation

Day 5: Amazing Amalfi and Captivating Capri

The Amalfi Coast is where the rich and famous spent their summers, where the best-loved and best-known Italians escaped the pressures of their lives to experience the invigorating climate of this sensational area. From your hotel in Positano, you can set out to explore some of the most famous of these areas, traveling in any number of ways, from hiking to biking to going by car.

Wind your way down the stretch of coastline, the former center of the Duchy of Amalfi and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or venture out into the sparkling blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and alight on the shores of Capri, where the Emperors of Rome built summer villas that rival the greatest summer palaces of Europe. Once you make it to this charming island, you’ll want to do some exploring: walk the stirring villa-lined promenade of the Belvedere of Tragara or descend into the famous Blue Grotto before wandering the remains of the Imperial villas, where Augustus himself built a summer residence.

The evening sees you back in Positano, sure to enjoy another incredible meal in southern Italy.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 6: Relaxing and Reconnecting

No plans await you, no journeys demand your attention and there’s nothing on the schedule, but enjoying the serene environment of this unforgettable area. You can simply enjoy the rolling surf of the Mediterranean as it crashes against the rocky coast, a cappuccino in hand and the breeze in your hair, basking in the warmth of the sun and in the unbeatable peace that surrounds you: locals are sure to offer you a limoncello, as the best brands of this succulent liqueur come predominantly from the south.

Or, if you prefer, set out to explore the main sights of Positano itself, the churches and shops and villas that set John Steinbeck’s heart aching after he left this incredible place. With the threats of foul weather far at bay and the concerns of the real world miles behind, you can be sure that whatever you choose to do today will transport you to a world of utter bliss.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 7: Cruising the Coast

After a morning of passive pursuits, set out for a cruise along one of the most captivating coastlines on Earth, making your way past the cities of the Amalfi Coast. You’ll scour the waters of the Gulf of Salerno and the headlands of the Sorrentine Peninsula, taking in the pockmarks of land worn by the sea into fantastic formations, breathtaking and dazzling in their seeming impossibility, and look upon the charming villages of Minori and Amalfi, Vietri and Positano. The voyage ends with a spectacular farewell dinner set high above Sorrento with a view out towards the clapping blue waters of the Mediterranean and beyond.

What’s Included: breakfast, cruise, dinner, accommodation

Day 8: Arrivederci to Italy’s South

Today you’ll say goodbye to the Mediterranean coast and the southern Italian peninsula. You’ll return to Naples where you’ll board the plane that will take you home. You’ll never forget the romance and splendor of this endearing place, the warm people you met and the cool breezes that swept over the Amalfi Coast with the smell of the sea, or through the streets of Rome with the thrill of the past… and you’ll be sure to start planning your return voyage once you enter your front door.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

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