Rome and 2 other cities.
The Big 3 - Rome, Florence and Venice
The Big 3 - Rome, Florence and VenicePerfect for first-time visitors and experienced travelers alike, this package is focuses on the must-see marvels of the Bel Paese. From the ancient majesty of the Eternal City to the Renaissance splendor of Florence and the incomparable atmosphere of Venice, this affordable package includes accommodations in selectively chosen 3-star hotels, museum reservations, a private walking tour and ground transportation. Your sojourn begins with three nights in Rome at the charming Hotel Fontanella Borghese, located within walking distance of the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona. It is an ideal starting point from which to explore not only the most famous of Rome's monuments but her exclusive boutiques, fine restaurants and many theaters as well. Included in your package is a half-day private walking tour to give you a greater understanding of Rome's prominent place in world history, as well as entrance tickets to the Vatican Museums (meaning that you get to skip the lines!). A private wine tasting in one of the city's most stylish wine bars provides a taste of La Dolce Vita, Roman style! Florence beckons so it's off to the capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance. Opened in 1999, the Hotel Relais Uffizi seems almost too good to be true; its prime location on Piazza della Signoria means your morning cappuccino can be enjoyed overlooking what is virtually an open-air museum of Renaissance sculpture. Just across the square is the Uffizi Gallery, housing world-renowned masterpieces by such luminaries as Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. Your vacation package includes advance reservations to this museum, as well as to the Accademia Gallery where Michelangelo's 15-foot tall marble "David" stands center stage. Your final destination is Venice: no other place on earth quite compares with the allure of this romantic city often called La Serenissima. During your two nights in Venice, the delightful Hotel Violino d'Oro will be your home base. From here the joys of Venice are right at your doorstep including the glittering, mosaic-encrusted Basilica of St. Mark, the lavish Doge's Palace and the art treasures in the Accademia Gallery. Not to mention brightly lit shops featuring exquisitely hand-blown Murano glass and exceptional restaurants serving the best of Venetian cuisine; we're sure you'll leave Venice wanting more! Customize This Package Do you like this package but prefer a different style of hotel or arrangement of cities? We would be happy to modify the "Big 3" vacation package with 4- or 5-star hotels, with 3 nights in all cities or in the reversed direction (visiting Venice first and ending in Rome). A $100.00 change fee + any additional costs associated with the modified services applies. Please email us or phone 800-877-1755 for a custom "Big 3" quote.
Verdi Festival in Parma
Verdi Festival in ParmaThe Verdi Festival in Parma is one of the most important music festivals in the world, and the 2013 edition promises to be even more exceptional in honor of the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth. From September 30th to October 31st, the whole town will become a part of the Festival with outstanding art exhibitions, special events, and performances all around. On every day that month, there's an event either in Parma itself or in one of the centers related to Verdi: Busseto, Roncole, Reggio Emilia, Fidenza, and Modena. Parma's historic Teatro Regio will present the operas "Simon Boccanegra" (Oct. 1, 4, 6, 8, and 11) and "I Masnadieri" (Oct. 18, 20, 23, 25, and 27), while on the maestro's birthday, Thursday October 10th, the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini will be performing Act II of "Aida" in concert form. The gala celebration concludes on October 31st with a thrilling rendition of Verdi's "Messa da Requiem" by the Orchestre national de France, Daniele Gatti conducting. Our two-night package includes first category seats for two performances of the Verdi Festival, two nights in a double room at a 4-star hotel in downtown Parma (daily breakfast included), and a privately-guided walking tour of the artistic marvels of Parma, including the Romanesque Baptistery and the splendid frescoed ceiling by Correggio in the Cathedral. One of the particular delights of the Festival is to have music lovers taste the gastronomic tradition of the region. Parma and its surroundings are great culinary centers with well-known products such as Parma ham, Parmesan cheese and fine wines making every meal a gourmet experience!
Rome and 2 other cities.
Amazing Family Tours
Amazing Family ToursSelect Italy's Amazing Family Tours are a bonding experience for the whole family! We have created them by teaming up with Alphabet Kids, the go-to source for multicultural educational activities and adventures. The trip starts in Venice where your hotel is the warm and welcoming 3-star Locanda al Leon. It's right in the center of town, and when you arrive, a gondola ride will introduce you to the city's canals and to mesmerizing views of its ancient palazzo. The following day, explore Venice with a private guide in a special guided walking tour designed for children with interactive learning in mind. In the afternoon, get your hands dirty during an informative and fun mask-making workshop. You will learn all about Carnival and its centuries-old traditions, while making your very own mask to take back home with you! Florence is your next stop -- here you will stay at Relais Uffizi, a charming property facing onto the central Piazza della Signoria. Our family-friendly walking tour introduces your children to the birthplace of the Renaissance; they'll get to climb a 13th century tower and do a yummy gelato tasting, too! No visit to Florence is complete without a face-to-face meeting with Michelangelo's David. In Italy food is both culture and fun, so get ready for a visit the farmer's market and your hands-on family cooking class where you will prepare a traditional Tuscan meal. Last stop is Rome, the Eternal City. Your hotel, the Fontanella Borghese, once belonged to a Borghese princess. A highlight is your visit to one of the world's the most compelling art spaces: the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon, it's time for another hands-on cooking class where you will learn how to make a real pizza just like the Romans do! Customize This Package Like this package, but prefer a different hotel category or a reversed sequence of cities? We are happy to modify the "Amazing Family Tours" vacation package with 4- or 5-star hotels, a reversed itinerary flow (visiting Rome first and ending in Venice) or with pre- and post-tour extensions. The revised package will be customized and re-quoted based on your preferences. Please email or call us toll free at 800-877-1755 for a customized "Amazing Family Tours" itinerary.
Florence and 1 other city.
Inaugural Concert of the Melodia del Vino Festival...
Inaugural Concert of the Melodia del Vino Festival, June 25 - June 28, 2013Wine tasting and world-class art - who can resist such a delightful combination? This is exactly what the Melodia del Vino Festival offers to its guests every year. The idea behind the festival is to open up several prestigious country estates (including Castello Banfi and the Chianti Classico Antinori Winery) to an audience of connoisseurs and fans, offering superb musical performances and samples of the stellar local wines. Every evening of the festival is planned to be an event in and of itself. Concerts are spread across four Tuscan provinces, each with an equally distinct range of music and wines to taste. This three-night package includes the inaugural concert held at the newly opened Chianti Classico Antinori estate, a custom-built winery designed by Marco Casamonti, and an impressive work of modern architecture framed by the gorgeous Tuscan countryside. On Day 1 you will check-in at the four-star Hotel Rivoli in the city center of Florence, with the afternoon and night at your leisure. In the morning of day 2, a Shared Walking Tour introduces you to the splendid city acclaimed as the "Birthplace of the Renaissance." An independent visit to the Uffizi Museum OR the Accademia Gallery is scheduled for the next morning, where you will skip the line to admire some of the most famous artworks ever produced. That night you will travel to the Antinori winery in Bargino in the heart of the Chianti Classico region to explore the grounds and hear the beautiful music of celebrated American pianist, Nicholas Angelich, while sipping on local wine produced by one of the most seasoned winemaking families in Italy.
Tuscany and 1 other city.
Melodia del Vino Festival in Montalcino & Val d'Or...
Melodia del Vino Festival in Montalcino & Val d'Orcia, July 1st - July 4th, 2013The third concert of the Melodia Del Vino Festival takes place in the scenic Val d'Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the essence of Tuscany. Throughout the festival, several prestigious country estates will open their doors to an audience of connoisseurs and fans, offering superb musical performances and samples of the stellar local wines. Concerts are spread across four Tuscan provinces, each with an equally distinct range of music and wines to taste. This three-night package is centered on Montalcino, one of Tuscany's best-preserved hill towns, and includes a concert at the historic Banfi Castle, a 3,000-acre winery whose illustrious wines and Museum of Glass and Wine have gained international renown. On Day 1 you will pick up your rental car from the Florence, Pisa, or Rome airports and drive to Bagno Vignoni to check into the four-star Hotel Relais Osteria dell'Orcia. Day 2 you are free to explore the area - we suggest either a visit to Montepulciano, a hill town of Etruscan origin that is famous for its red wines, or Pienza, a beautifully preserved Renaissance town that Pope Pius II had designed to be "the ideal city." That night you will head to the Banfi Castle to taste the estate's exquisite wines while being serenaded by the music of celebrated French cellist, Henri Demarquette. Day 3 is open for more exploration, perhaps a visit to the 13th century Montalcino fortress, whose history is complimented by its panoramic views and quaint wine shop, or a relaxing spa treatment at the Bagno Vignoni thermal springs. This package combines several of the best aspects of Italy: beautiful landscapes, charming country villages, top quality wines, and musical masterpieces. Allow yourself the luxury of enjoying them all! Those wishing to extend their stay in Tuscany can request tickets and/or accommodation for the subsequent Melodia del Vino concerts, to be held in the adjoining Maremma region.
Siena: The Race That Stops the Nation!
Siena: The Race That Stops the Nation!The Palio occurs just twice each summer, on July 2nd and August 16th, and the pure excitement of this festival that has survived almost intact from the Middle Ages is unequaled in Italy. Because Siena's lovely medieval buildings were never torn down and replaced with modern structures, UNESCO has declared its medieval city center a world heritage site of incomparable beauty. The medieval city was divided into 17 contrade, or city wards, and in the 13th century these neighborhoods held a competition to establish which contrada would reign supreme. Today the Palio is not just a medieval horse race, it's a festival rich in tradition that is televised live on national TV. For the citizens of Siena, this event is all about neighborhood pride and rivalry; the Palio is also the continuation of a medieval tradition associated with religion and honor. The night before the race, you'll bask in the undeniable atmosphere of excitement by attending the exclusive, invitation-only contrada dinner. Here you'll sit with the locals and enjoy enormous bowls of pasta and exquisite wine. On race day you have reserved tickets to watch the event from one of the many balconies or in the grandstand on the Piazza del Campo. In addition to the Palio tickets, your package also allows you to learn about the festival and the city of Siena with a guided walking tour featuring a visit to a contrada museum. This is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that no Italy lover should miss! Customize This Package Do you want to discover more about Siena and the Palio festival? If so, here are some options for you to consider: Request a room upgrade Add a couple of days in Siena Upgrade your tickets for the horse race to mossa seats to be closer to the action For these and more options please email us or phone 800-877-1755 for a custom Palio Festival quote!
Cooking 'alla Bolognese'
Cooking 'alla Bolognese'Tortellini, tortelloni, mortadella, lasagna -- the mouthwatering list of local specialties goes on and on.... Recipes from Bologna are some of Italy's most famous. Perhaps you've had tagliatelle alla Bolognese? If so, then you know exactly how sumptuous this dish can be. Now imagine the authenticity of this cuisine in the city where it was born! For a lover of Italian food, it doesn't get much better. In this two-night vacation package, based at the 4-star luxury Hotel Corona d'Oro, you will have the opportunity to prepare a traditional Bolognese meal at the prestigious Vecchia Scuola Bolognese. This is the only school in the world for the official formation of sfoglini (handmade pasta and pastry artisans) so you can be sure that fresh egg pasta will be on the menu. The learning doesn't stop after your trip to Italy; a recipe book entitled "Bolognese Cooking Tradition" by Barbara Bertuzzi is included in the package. That means you can experiment with a wide variety of recipes after you get back home, using the valuable tips you picked up in this entertaining and informative, hands-on lesson. The cooking class itself is four hours in length, including the delicious meal that you helped to prepare. On the day that you are not cooking, a dinner in a restaurant in the city center and a sightseeing tour of Bologna by bus are included. This package makes the perfect stopover if you plan on traveling from central Italy to the northern regions; from Florence to Venice, for example.
Sicily and 4 other cities.
Mystery & Fire: Taormina & the Aeolian Islands
Mystery & Fire: Taormina & the Aeolian IslandsEnchantment and the odd flash of volcanic fire will be your guides on this 9-day trip to a mysterious and enchanting, sensual corner of Italy and the Mediterranean. You begin in historic Taormina, near one of the world's most active volcanoes, Mount Etna. Get to know the fashionable city center with your own private guide and wind down your days at the beautiful sandy beach below the city, which can be reached by funicular. After a journey by land and water, you'll head to the Aeolian Islands, located just off Sicily's north coast. A warm turquoise-blue sea, soaring volcanic peaks, fragrant breezes...the Aeolians are the Mediterranean at its most majestic. The tiny but uber-stylish island of Panarea is home to a small population during the off season but in the spring and summer the place comes to life with beachgoers, scuba divers and party people looking for some sophisticated relaxation. The 5-star Hotel Raya is just steps from the water and offers fantastic views to the nearby islands from its pools and terraces. Next up is the island of Stromboli, home to another of the world's most active volcanoes. Stromboli is in a constant state of eruption and people have been coming here for years to enjoy therapeutic thermal waters, beautiful volcanic sand beaches and a glimpse of a moody and majestic Mother Nature you don't see every day. You can enjoy all of the beauties of the island and the comforts of a top-notch hotel at La Sirenetta Park Hotel, the finest on the island. Your last stop will be the green island of Salina. A magical place that is relatively unknown to foreigners, Salina boasts a lush, pristine landscape that you may recognize as the setting for much of the classic 1994 film Il Postino. Indulge in a luxurious body treatment at your hotel's spa, shop for local crafts and souvenirs in the charming town of Malfa, and sample the local Malvasia, a delicious variety of sweet white wine produced on Salina. With so much beauty, history and remarkably unspoiled nature, this truly is a part of the world that invites exploration.
Rome and 2 other cities.
Italia by Ferrari - A Customized Driving Adventure...
Italia by Ferrari - A Customized Driving AdventureImagine the invigorating scent of Italy as you speed past olive groves and vineyards, along cypress-lined country roads. Feel the power of an 8 or 12-cylinder engine as you fly through the Italian countryside. This is the ultimate in luxury road trips - our fully customizable Ferrari tour has all the bells and whistles, including multiple cars and a specialized entourage of Ferrari travel experts to guide you on your adventure. Select Italy offers the following three routes: 1-Day Rome Ferrari Tour The exclusive Sporting Yacht Club in Civitavecchia is the meeting point for this tour that heads to Lake Bolsena. Drive through Tarquinia, Monte Romano, and Viterbo before coming to a halt in Bolsena, where a break for lunch is planned. In the afternoon, you explore the beautiful, ancient Etruscan town of Orvieto in scenic Umbria, before heading back to Civitavecchia. 1-Day Milan and Lake Como Ferrari Tour Starting point for this tour is an exclusive location outside Milan where you take your Ferrari for a short practice drive, before heading towards Lake Como. The first stop is Cernobbio, famous for its villas; among the most beautiful is certainly Villa d'Este where you stop for a drink. Bellagio is next, with its wonderful views of the lake. Following a short break for lunch, the tour continues towards Lecco with a planned coffee break, before heading back to Milan. 1-Day Florence and Chianti Ferrari Tour Meet the Tour Director at an exclusive location outside Florence, and the scenic Via Chiantigiana through Greve in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, and Barberino Val d'Elsa to San Gimignano; here you stop for coffee at Relais La Collegiata. The drive continues towards Siena (famous for its Palio) with some free time to explore the medieval city and have lunch. In the afternoon, on the way back to Florence, the last stop is the charming Tuscan village of Radda in Chianti. Each tour is completely defined by your desires - it is the ultimate indulgence. Let us create the perfect vacation while you enjoy the thrill of the ride, relaxing in the knowledge that absolutely everything is taken care of!
Brindisi and 6 other cities.
Southern Hospitality: Wine & Culinary Trails of Ap...
Southern Hospitality: Wine & Culinary Trails of ApuliaAs one of the most celebrated but often overlooked wine regions of Italy, Apulia offers visitors a true taste of Italy. The best wines of the region will be your guide on this eight-day trip to a mysterious and enchanting corner of Italy and of the Mediterranean. Apulia's most representative wines are reds and roses, however, the region also produces some interesting white wines from local grapes. Distinctive tastes are achieved through time-honored methods of winemaking using Moscato of Trani, Verdeca, Malvasia of Salento, Primitivo, Salice Salentino and Negroamaro grapes. These grapes can be seen growing everywhere throughout the region.During the tour you will stop at different vineyards and will have the chance to sample the flavors that have made this region famous and you will also discover Apulia from its historical, artistic and architectural point of view. Each producer offers different local varietals accompanied by a selection of carefully chosen appetizers made by Apulian artisans from only the freshest ingredients. At a caseificio you can watch expert cheese makers create what is truly one of the world's most delicious foods, while at a bakery you'll taste some of the best breads of Southern Italy!
Sicily and 1 other city.
Fresh and Sicilian: The Healthy, Tasty Roots of Si...
Fresh and Sicilian: The Healthy, Tasty Roots of Sicilian CuisineAbout halfway between Palermo, on the north coast of Sicily, and Agrigento, on the south, lies one of the island's premier wineries and cooking schools - Regaleali, which has been in the family of Count Lucio Tasca since 1830. The almost 3,000 acre Regaleali estate and its cooking school draws culinary professionals from around the world and is practically self sufficient, producing most of the vegetables, fruits, wheat, olives, cheeses and meats used in the classes. In the charming country kitchen of Le Case Vecchie, immersed in the vineyards, you will learn to make authentic Sicilian dishes like sarde al beccafico (pan-fried fresh sardines) and arancini, the breaded rice balls consumed all over Sicily as a snack. Cooking lessons will be held daily under the expert guidance of the school's director, Fabrizia Tasca Lanza, an art and food historian who is the daughter of acclaimed cookbook writer, Anna Tasca Lanza. Choose from a 3-night or a 5-night package that includes accommodation in a room with private bath. Each hands-on lesson will feature seasonal ingredients produced on the estate and will end with a delectable meal paired with some of Tenuta Regaleali's exquisite wines.
The 'All-in-One' Amalfi Coast
The 'All-in-One' Amalfi CoastThis seven-night package gives you an opportunity to relax and unwind, while immersing yourself in Italian culture and traditions. You will be staying at Hotel Villa Romana, a charming and family-run 4-star hotel situated in the seaside village of Minori. Only 12 miles from Positano, in the heart of the Amalfi Coast, it is the ideal base from which to explore the coastline and its surroundings. The small town of Minori itself is a hidden treasure, overlooking the turquoise-blue Tyrrhenian Sea - an authentic slice of small town Italian life that you'll get to experience on your guided walking tour of the town. Minori also has a rich culinary tradition dating back to Ancient Rome. Learn about it from the hotel's chef whom you will join for the cooking lessons that introduce you to delicious regional specialties like Sorrentine-style cannelloni and branzino all'acqua pazza (sea bass with fresh herbs and tomatoes). A certificate will be conferred at the end of the two-day course. During your stay, a tasting session is arranged so you can sample the Amalfi Coast's traditional lemon liqueur, limoncello. A visit to a traditional pasta-making facility and a mozzarella-making demonstration at a local dairy is also included. Relaxation is easy when you can choose between the hotel's sun terrace, its outdoor pool or the private beach. Hotel Villa Romana is only steps from the lively seafront promenade with its many bars, restaurants and boutiques; here you can enjoy the vividness of life in a typical Italian town. After a pleasant week in this charming Amalfi Coast town, you will return home relaxed and ready to share all the culinary tips you've leaned with your friends and family.
Fall in Love with Matera!
Fall in Love with Matera!Sleep like a caveman on this exclusive 2-night vacation package that provides a glimpse of what life would have been like 9,000-years ago (if prehistoric people had had Wi-Fi and air conditioning, of course!). Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita (The Caves of Civita) in Matera is an extraordinary 4-star boutique hotel where tufa rock mixes with hospitality to create an atmosphere that's far from the traditional concept of luxury. Call it "minimalist eco-luxury" that coddles its guests in spacious but sparsely furnished caves spread over three levels that are all connected by a staircase and a system of private terraces, accessible through the individual rooms. The hotel is located in the oldest part of the Sassi di Matera, facing the dramatic backdrop of the Park of the Murgia and its gorgeous rock-hewn churches. After check-in, you will venture out to explore the Sassi on a 3-hour privately guided walking tour of the intricate labyrinth of alleys and stairways, of caves and small elegant buildings, arches, galleries, gardens and terraces that make up this remarkable city of stone. Streets in some parts of the Sassi are located on the rooftops of other houses in a tight-knit community that has evolved over the millennia in complete harmony with its natural environment. Highlights of the walking tour are a visit to the evocative spaces of the Museum of Modern Sculpture (MUSMA) and to the immense underground cisterns in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, as well as a stop to sample local gastronomic products. That evening you'll be introduced to Basilicata's traditional cuisine as you savor a multi-course meal at a restaurant in the main piazza of the Sasso Barisano. An organic breakfast gets Day 2 off to a healthy start, and then you'll board an air-conditioned luxury vehicle for a full day enogastronomic excursion to the charming small towns of Venosa and Melfi in search of Basilicata's most characteristic wines. Learn all about Primitivo, Negromaro, Sussumaniello and Aglianico in the vineyards where these grapes are grown; you'll also visit the cellars and pause for two guided wine tastings. Lunch in a farmhouse and a tour of the 11th-century Norman-Swabian Castle built at the foot of the Vulture Mountains in Melfi are included too.
The Rhythm of Time: Le Marche's Lifestyle