Guided Tours and Excursions in Italy
Two Masters at the Papal Court: Raphael and Michel...
Two Masters at the Papal Court: Raphael and Michelangelo in the VaticanThe Vatican palaces and St. Peter's Basilica were a true "factory" of Renaissance art: here worked the two most notable artists of the period, Raphael and Michelangelo. In adjoining rooms, sweet natured Raphael and his many assistants frescoed the private apartments of Pope Julius II from 1508 to 1520, while the gloomy and laconic Michelangelo labored almost alone on the Sistine Chapel ceiling from 1508-1512 (he returned in 1536 to paint the monumental "Last Judgment" on the chapel's altar wall). These treasures and much more will be revealed by your expert private guide in this half-day tour of the Vatican Museums, the most extensive collection of art in the entire world. Corners of the Vatican such as the Pio-Clementino courtyard with the famous antique marble statues of the "Laocoon" and "Apollo Belvedere," as well as the galleries of the Candelabra, Tapestries, and Maps will be passed through en route to the Sistine Chapel. The tour concludes in St. Peter's Basilica with its imposing dome and the sculpted marble masterpiece of the "Pieta'," both designed by Michelangelo. Gian Lorenzo Bernini"s impressive Baroque baldachino above the high altar, where only the Pope is allowed to say Mass, is lavishly covered in gold and bronze. You will also see the most recent papal tomb inside the Basilica where the Blessed Pope John Paul II was laid to rest in 2011.
From $542.00 Per Group
Power & Glory of Imperial Rome
Power & Glory of Imperial RomeIn the year 27 BC, Augustus became Rome's first emperor, and in his memoirs he proudly wrote: "I found a city of stone and bricks; now I leave it to you remade in marble." It is the monumental ruins and imposing buildings that remain from the Eternal City's glorious past that are the focus of this fascinating walking tour that starts with the most famous of them all, the Colosseum. Begun by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, this elliptical amphitheater is capable of seating 50,000 spectators. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts and executions. After marveling at its vast interior, you'll pass by the triumphal arches of Constantine and Titus as you enter the Roman Forum. The center of Roman public life for centuries, it was the site of temples, a senate house, law courts and numerous monuments commemorating the city's great men. You will tread the 2,500 year-old paving stones of the Via Sacra as you ascend to the Capitoline Hill. In ancient times the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus stood here, while in the 16th century the space was redesigned by Michelangelo with a monumental bronze statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback as its focus. One of the most magnificent views in Rome can be had from the Capitoline terrace, looking back over the Palatine and Roman Forum. You can choose the fourth monument you wish to visit: either the Pantheon or the Palatine Hill. Hadrian's Pantheon is the most impressive and best-preserved monument of classical antiquity. It is covered by the biggest cupola ever built by the Romans; a "celestial vault" with an open oculus as its center. Or you can climb up the grass-covered Palatine Hill where legend says that the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, were suckled by a she-wolf. The Emperor Augustus made the Palatine his official power center, thereby initiating a building boom in which many lavish imperial palaces were constructed. Today artworks from these palaces are exhibited in a small museum, along with various artifacts from Iron Age tombs.
From $467.00 Per Group
One-Day Rome: An Introduction to the City
One-Day Rome: An Introduction to the CityIf you have just one day to see Rome, this is the tour that will help you get the most out of your visit and enhance your appreciation of the city's aesthetic and architectural highlights. For those planning a longer stay, this tour will provide the perfect introduction to the Eternal City. The tour starts with San Clemente, where two superimposed churches evocatively illustrate the wealth and development of Rome as a medieval city. You will continue along Via dei Fori Imperiali - laid out during the Fascist Period and lined with the imposing ruins of the Imperial Forums - to the Colosseum for the classic and always-exhilarating exterior view of this emblematic feature of the Roman cityscape. Then it's on to the Capitoline Hill, where the genius of Michelangelo has left its indelible mark on the 'Eternal City.' From the Capitoline terrace, there is a breathtaking view of the Roman Forum, encompassing the broad sweep of ancient Rome's magnificent past. In Piazza Venezia you will admire the enormous and impressive monument to the unification of Italy. Next, you'll explore the picturesque Jewish Ghetto (with an independent lunch, perhaps at one of the renowned Roman-Jewish eateries in the neighborhood) and the Renaissance piazzas around Campo de Fiori before arriving at the splendid Piazza Navona, with its remarkable Baroque fountains. Afterwards, you'll visit the Pantheon, the best-preserved and most astonishing ancient Roman building of all. And where else can the tour end but at the mythic cascades of the Trevi Fountain? Toss in a coin so you'll be sure to return to Rome!
From $803.00 Per Group
Private Tour of the Accademia & Uffizi
Private Tour of the Accademia & UffiziThis special highlights tour gives a whirlwind introduction to the arts of Florence's two foremost galleries. We begin at the Galleria dell'Accademia, where Michelangelo's 15-foot tall David still amazes visitors with its masterly carving technique and its potent aesthetic presence. Nearby are Michelangelo's Slaves, studies in the raw power of sculptural creation. A short walk through Florence's historical center brings us next to the Galleria degli Uffizi, a veritable pantheon of Western master painters. With the expert knowledge of your guide, you can exult in the coloristic flourishes of such Italian Renaissance geniuses as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Other illustrious artists in the collection include Durer, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and several ancient Roman sculptors, whose works were the very inspiration for their Renaissance successors. This special, 2-museum tour provides invaluable assistance in navigating the vast collections of the museums, guiding you to the most important works and enriching your experience with critical artistic insights. Don't miss this opportunity for an expert look at the masterpieces in two of Italy's most famous art museums. Interested in a behind the scenes look at the Uffizi Gallery and the famed Vasari passageway? See our Exclusive Uffizi: Vasari Corridor Private Visit.
From $595.00 Per Group
Rome and 1 other city.
Small Group Tour of the Vatican & St. Peter's Basi...
Small Group Tour of the Vatican & St. Peter's BasilicaThis 4-hour, small group tour will introduce you to the marvels of the vast Vatican Museums, one of the world's greatest repositories of art, and to the treasures contained within St. Peter's Basilica. It begins with a visit to the Pinacoteca which contains approximately 500 paintings, among them Giotto's two-side altarpiece for Old St. Peter's, Raphael's "Transfiguration" and his woven tapestries that once hung in the Sistine Chapel, an unfinished panel by Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio's monumental Baroque "Entombment" whose vivid, almost photographic realism makes viewers feel as if they, too, are taking part in the scene. As you walk through the Vatican Museums with your guide, you will feel the great weight of history accumulated in these halls, as well as the deep sense of the sacred characterizing these works of art. Raphael was busy painting the walls of Pope Julius II's private apartments in 1508-12 when his rival, Michelangelo, was working on the Sistine Chapel ceiling next door. Gazing up at Michelangelo's masterpiece, "The Creation of Adam", is an experience you will never forget! The tour continues in St Peter's square, where the arms of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's splendid colonnade reach out to embrace you, and then into the Basilica. Here is Michelangelo's exquisite marble statue of the "Pieta'" right next to the tomb of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005 and was made a saint in 2014.
From $136.00 Per Person
Small Group Tour of Rome's Archaeological Sites
Small Group Tour of Rome's Archaeological SitesDiscover the most fascinating archaeological sites in Rome during this 2 and a 1/2 hour tour. You will begin your journey at the Arch of Constantine, built in honor of the emperor Constantine, where you will meet with your guide. While wandering around the sights you will discover the history of the city while listening to the stories about life in ancient Rome. The tour will continue in the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever made by the Romans, an imposing structure that can seat up to 50,000 people. This is the place where gladiators fought for their lives and where Romans came to entertain themselves. Upon leaving the Colosseum, the tour will head towards the Roman Forum Once the political and religious center of ancient Rome, the Forum's origins date back to the 7th century BC. You will start to understand the life ancient Romans led by visiting the most important buildings and temples in the Forum: the Temple of Augustus where the funeral of Julius Caesar took place, the Via Sacra, and the Curia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate. To complete this exciting tour, you will visit a nearby enoteca, where you will be able to have a glass of wine while discussing the wonderful sights you have seen.
From $130.00 Per Person
Venice by Private Gondola
Venice by Private GondolaNothing conveys the romance of Venice like a gondola -- these elegant, black, hand-built wooden boats have been an unmistakable feature of the city for almost 1,000 years! Choose between two different routes that allow you to explore the major monuments and picturesque byways of the Sestiere San Marco or the Sestiere San Polo, on either side of the Grand Canal. Classic Venice: Meet the gondolier at Calle Vallaresso in front of Harry's Bar, right off Piazza San Marco. Glide along the Grand Canal by the Punta della Dogana and the monumental church of the Salute. A series of side canals leads to the backside of the Teatro La Fenice, the Palazzo Ca' Corner and the palace where Mozart stayed during the Carnival of 1771. Return past the Campo San Moise' to your starting point. Hidden Venice: Meet the gondolier at the San Toma' traghetto stop on the Grand Canal, on Venice's quieter Left Bank. Glide along the Grand Canal almost as far as the Rialto Bridge and return downstream past the aristocratic palaces of the Mocenigo, Ca' Garzoni, Pisani Moretta and Dona'. A small side canal leads to the expanse of Campo San Polo; return past the 15th century Palazzo Bernardo to your starting point. Please note that this is NOT a guided tour. The gondolier usually does not speak to clients nor provide any information about Venice. Routes may differ depending on the season, the tides, the amount of boat traffic and the time of day. At the height of the tourist season (June, July, August), the Hidden Venice route may offer a less crowded, more enjoyable ride.
From $205.00 Per Group
Must-See Rome: Small Group Walking Tour
Must-See Rome: Small Group Walking TourThis unique walking tour reveals the secrets of the Roman Dolce Vita, from the city's most beautiful monuments to the places where the locals go for the best espresso and gelato. Departing from the Spanish Steps, you will walk along the exclusive Via Condotti past the boutiques of Armani, Gucci, Bulgari and many other world famous fashion designers. Here you'll also encounter the Rome of yesteryear at the Antico Caffe Greco, a beautiful cafe' that has been a meeting point for artists and philosophers since the 18th century. The Trevi Fountain is next. The most enduring - and maybe the quirkiest - legend about Rome is that throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain will ensure your return to the Eternal City (an estimated $4,000 are tossed into the fountain's waters each day). It has become an icon of La Dolce Vita due to its 'starring role' in Federico Fellini's film of the same name. A little further along you will find the spacious Piazza Colonna, home to Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian government and nearby Montecitorio, which houses the Parliament. There you'll pause for a well-earned break at Rome's best gelateria for a cup or cone of delicious ice cream. Next up is the Pantheon, one of the greatest and best preserved Roman temples in existence. Nearby there is a small cafe' where you will enjoy the best espresso in Rome! Piazza Navona comes next; here the Baroque age explodes with Gian Lorenzo Bernini's spectacular Four Rivers Fountain. Not far away is the statue of Pasquino, known as one of the talking statues of Rome because of the comments that are still being attached to it. In front of the statue you will find an excellent enoteca where you can end your tour with a glass of wine chosen from a list of more than 3,000 vintages, accompanied by tasty hot and cold appetizers.
From $85.00 Per Person
Small Group Tour of the Borghese Gallery and its G...
Small Group Tour of the Borghese Gallery and its GardensThis semi-private tour gives you the chance to discover the marvelous collection of works of the Borghese Gallery and its beautiful gardens. You will join a small group of no more than six people for a unique visit accompanied by an art history expert. After many years of restoration, the Galleria Borghese is once again inviting visitors to view the superb collection of masterpieces assembled in the 17th century by the great collector and patron of the arts, Cardinal Scipione Borghese. His passion and instinct for art led him to amass a unique collection that includes many Baroque masterpieces. Highlights of the collection are Gianlorenzo Bernini's marble sculpture groups of "Pluto and Persephone" and "Apollo and Daphne," while the painting galleries contain Titian's "Sacred and Profane Love" and other famous works by Caravaggio, Rubens, Raphael and Correggio. The Villa Borghese itself is a noteworthy example of an opulently decorated and frescoed suburban villa, set in a wonderful extensive park. After the guided tour of the Gallery, you will stroll through the leafy, green expanse of the Borghese Park admiring the Casino of the Uccelliera and Piazza di Siena until reaching the Pincio Terrace, from where you will enjoy a striking panoramic view of Rome.
From $129.00 Per Person
Small Group Walking Tour of Trastevere
Small Group Walking Tour of TrastevereThis unique walking tour reveals the secrets of Trastevere, one of Rome's most atmospheric quarters, famous for its labyrinthine streets and typical Roman stores. This neighborhood offers artisans' shops, art galleries, mosaic-adorned basilicas and squares animated by the splash of fountains where you will discover an authentic slice of Italian life. Departing from the banks of Tiber Island, the first stop is the wonderful 10th century basilica of San Bartolomeo all'Isola. Inside you will find one of the most important medieval pieces of the church: a marble puteal, or wellhead, created from a fragment of an ancient Roman porphyry column. After strolling over the Ponte Cestio, you'll head to the basilica of Santa Cecilia, built where the Roman martyr Cecilia died in the year 220. Legend has it that her body was discovered here in 1600, completely intact and untouched by time. The tour continues along the cobblestone streets to reach the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, the heart of the neighborhood, where you will admire the square's wealth of 12th-century mosaics. Afterwards, you will reach Piazza Trilussa, one of Trastevere's most popular spots. The Acqua Paola fountain, which was originally fed by Trajan's Aqueduct, sits at the heart of this square and is a popular meeting point for young locals. After an afternoon of exploration, the tour will take you to the Renaissance Ponte Sisto, where you can easily walk back to the center of the city, or head back into Trastevere to continue exploring the neighborhood on your own.
From $85.00 Per Person
Behind-the-Scenes Vatican: A Semi-Exclusive Visit ...
Behind-the-Scenes Vatican: A Semi-Exclusive Visit to the MuseumsIf you have ever wanted to peek behind the scenes in the Vatican Museums, this is the tour for you! This 3-hour, semi-private guided tour allows you access to sections of the museums that are normally closed to the public, as well as the exceptional chance of staying inside the Sistine Chapel until 6:15 p.m., after the general public has already left. The itinerary starts in the Cabinet of Masks, not usually open to the public, where the remarkable Roman Venus of Cnidos is kept. Based on a mid-4th century B.C. marble statue by Praxiteles, it was much admired in antiquity. Then comes the revolutionary, double helix spiral staircase designed by Donato Bramante in 1512 to connect the Belvedere Palace to the city. You will see more antique statuary in the Candelabra Room and then, after passing though halls hung with priceless tapestries woven in wool, silk and gold threads, you reach the Gallery of Maps. Here Pope Gregory XIII (he introduced the Gregorian calendar that we still use today) displayed his great interest in geography by having the walls of the 394-foot long gallery frescoed with very accurate maps of the Italian regions and papal properties as they were in the 1580's. The large windows offer fantastic views of the Vatican Gardens and of Michelangelo's dome of St. Peter's. A precious jewel box is the best definition of the private Chapel of Nicholas V. Fra Angelico's Renaissance frescoes have been magnificently restored, and the vivid pink, blue and green pigments look fresh as the day they were painted, over 550 years ago. This beautiful little chapel is usually off-limits to the public, but you will be able to enter it on this tour. The best is saved for last: the four private apartments starting in 1508 when his rival, Michelangelo, was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel next door; these are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome. After your expert Vatican guide explains the iconography of the papal apartments, the tour will end in the Sistine Chapel where you may remain until 6.15 p.m., after the general public is gone.
From $3,770.00 Per Group
The Simplest of Tastes: Shopping for the Best of R...
The Simplest of Tastes: Shopping for the Best of RomeThere's nothing quite like sightseeing in the Eternal City. The ruins, the churches, the fountains and... the shopping! Anyone who has ever been to the city before knows that a Roman shopping excursion is actually like sightseeing. The only difference is that you can take home the treasures you find, and in Rome you can find just about anything. Oscar Wilde famously declared "I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best" and we think he'd be quite at home among the city's sensational shops. Past historical monuments, down twisted narrow alleys and through charming piazzas, your personal assistant will lead the way to the best local designer clothing boutiques, jewelry shops, art & antique galleries, fine furniture showrooms, artisanal workshops and open-air markets. Simply let us know what you are shopping for and we will design a tour based on your interests. Your personal assistant will pick you up at your hotel and take you through the maze of streets that make up Rome's shopping districts. Indulge yourself, maximize your time and let your assistant source out the places where you'll find only the very best to satisfy your simple tastes. In addition to conducting general shopping tours, our assistants particularly relishes the challenges presented by very specialized requests. Their business is to track down and establish relationships with independent dealers and artisans specializing in such things as: Designer clothing Custom made-to-order clothing & shoes Antique & contemporary jewelry Handmade crocodile or leather bags Handmade papers & stationery Historic reproduction fabrics & trim Hand-painted furniture & ceramics Silverware Religious articles But this is just a sampling. Take advantage of our shopping assistants insider knowledge, because it's their mission to help you find what you want. They will act as your personal translators to help you negotiate the best prices available [although you are under no obligation to purchase anything]. So, whether you've been searching for custom-made crocodile shoes, damask silk fabric based on Renaissance motifs, or just want some stylish new duds, let them help you find it.
From $478.00 Per Group
Tour Rome in a Vintage FIAT 500!
Tour Rome in a Vintage FIAT 500!The Fiat 500 is an icon of Italian style, featured in many famous films of Italian Neo-realism. This symbol of Italy's post-World War II economic boom is very special to many Italians and touring the city of Rome in one will make you feel like a genuine local. Each vintage Cinquecento comes with an English-speaking driver-guide that will entertain you with interesting stories about Rome while driving by its many celebrated sites. At tour's end, the unforgettable monuments you've seen will become a lasting part in your own personal "movie" of the Eternal City!
From $565.00 Per Group
When in Rome - Hop on a Vespa!
When in Rome - Hop on a Vespa!If you want to imagine yourself riding alongside Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in the classic 1953 movie, "Roman Holiday," than this is the tour for you! Our vintage Vespa tours are an authentic and entertaining way to explore the narrow streets and tiny alleyways of Rome's historic center from the back of a mythic Vespa motor scooter. An experienced driver-guide will take you around to all the famous sites in the Eternal City and tell you everything there is to know about them! You'll feel like a local when you sign up for one of the two great itineraries we have on offer. The Grand Tour This 4-hour tour shows you Rome's most iconic sights: the Colosseum, Mouth of Truth, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain and St. Peter's Square, just to name a few. Night Tour This option is a nighttime version of the Grand Tour; the main difference is that it lasts 3 hours instead of 4. You will get to see all of Rome's most famous monuments and sites, beautifully illuminated to show off all their grandiosity and splendor!
From $265.00 Per Person
Eternally Young: Rome for Children
Eternally Young: Rome for ChildrenStay young in the Eternal City on this tour of Rome's most delightful sites. The tour starts off in front of the Trevi Fountain: the sparkling cascades and waterfalls of this iconic landmark make the stone statues come alive. After tossing a coin into the fountain to ensure your return to Rome, you'll head to the impressive Piazza Colonna, punctuated by the ancient Column of Marcus Aurelius. Further on is the magnificent Baroque church of Sant'Ignazio; your guide will show you just where to stand to get the full effect of the amazing, illusionistic ceiling frescoes that seem to extend all the way to heaven. You will marvel as you gaze up at the 142-foot high dome of the Pantheon with its central, open "eye" that lets in rain and sleet. Nearby Piazza Navona shelters charming fountains, outdoor cafes and ice cream shops. Last stop is the Castel Sant'Angelo on the banks of the Tiber River. Throughout its 2,000-year history, it has served as a tomb, fortress, castle, prison, palace and a hideout for the Pope. The panoramic, 360-degree view from the top is awe-inspiring.
From $437.00 Per Group
Vatican & St. Peter's Basilica: Shared Group Tour
Vatican & St. Peter's Basilica: Shared Group TourDuring this 3-hour tour of the Vatican's treasures, your guide will introduce you to the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and the Basilica of Saint Peter's. Admire the works of Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini among the many works of art the Vatican has to offer. The Sistine Chapel is one of the most visited sites in the world. Ordered in the late 15th century by Pope Sixtus IV, Michelangelo painted his sublime masterpiece on the ceiling, "The Creation of Adam," as well as the incomparable "Last Judgment" on the altar wall. The Vatican Museums contain much more than just the chapel; here there are approximately 2,000 rooms filled with the most extensive collection of art in the world. The guide will show you other corners of the Vatican such as the Pio-Clementino courtyard with the marble statues of the "Laocoon" and "Apollo Belvedere," as well as the galleries of the Candelabra, Tapestries and Maps. The tour concludes in the Basilica with its imposing dome and the sculptural masterpiece of the "Pieta'," both designed by Michelangelo. Gian Lorenzo Bernini's impressive gilded bronze Baldacchino hovers above the high altar, where only the Pope is allowed to say Mass. The tour ends in the splendid Colonnade in St. Peter's Square, also the work of Bernini.
From $88.00 Per Person
Discovering Rome: Shared Group Tour
Discovering Rome: Shared Group TourExplore the colorful squares, quaint streets and magnificent palazzi in this three-hour walking tour of the Eternal City. Departing from Campo de' Fiori, the only square in Rome without a church, you will see the open-air market and the statue of Giordano Bruno in the middle of the piazza. Adjacent is Piazza Farnese, with its aristocratic palace designed by Michelangelo. Next comes Piazza Navona, with its remarkable Baroque fountains, the most famous of which is the Fountain of Four Rivers designed by Bernini. The magnificent Pantheon in Piazza della Rotonda is one of the greatest and best-preserved Roman temples in the world. A little further along you will find the spacious Piazza Colonna, home to Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian government. The Trevi Fountain comes next. The most enduring - and maybe the quirkiest - legend about Rome is that throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain will ensure your return to the Eternal City (an estimated $4,000 are tossed into the fountain's waters each day). It has become an icon of La Dolce Vita due to its 'starring role' in Federico Fellini's film of the same name. The tour finishes in Piazza di Spagna in front of the Spanish Steps and the Fontana della Barcaccia. You can continue walking along exclusive Via Condotti past the boutiques of Armani, Gucci, Bulgari and many other world famous fashion designers after the tour ends.
From $52.00 Per Person
Imperial Rome: Shared Group Tour
Imperial Rome: Shared Group TourThe shared walking tour will take you around Rome's most famous archeological sites, introducing you to the life as it was during the times of the Roman Empire. The guided tour will begin at the Arch of Constantine, the largest and best preserved triumphal arch in the city of Rome. The guide will then take you inside the Colosseum, Rome's most famous monument, an elliptical arena used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts and executions. As you enter the Roman Forum, the center of Roman public life for centuries, you will realize why this is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The Forum was the site of temples, the Capitol Palace, the Senate House, and the Sacred Way, all of which you will see on this walking tour. The tour will end inside the Roman Forum, but you are free to continue exploring this magnificent archaeological site on your own.
From $75.00 Per Person
Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere
Jewish Ghetto and TrastevereMany tourists to Rome pass by the Jewish Ghetto without even noticing it, but this tour explores its rich history and importance for the Jews in Rome. This fascinating neighborhood is home to the oldest Jewish community in Western Europe, dating back to the 2nd century BC, when the Jews first arrived as part of a diplomatic delegation sent by Judas Maccabeus. Pope Paul IV established the Ghetto in 1555 to segregate and control the Jews, and it was not dismantled until Italian unification in 1870. Bordered by the Capitoline Hill, the Tiber River and Largo Argentina, the Ghetto is directly across the river from Trastevere, a neighborhood that will also be visited on this tour. The Ghetto's main street is the lively Via Portico d'Ottavia, lined with popular kosher restaurants, delicatessens, and shops selling Judaica. At one end stands the majestic Porticus Octaviae whose colonnaded walkways enclosed ancient Roman temples adorned in white marble imported from the colonies in the 1st century AD. Next stop is the Assyrian-style Great Synagogue, built in 1904 on the banks of the Tiber River. Its aluminum dome is the only squared dome in the city and makes the building easily identifiable even from a great distance. The adjacent Jewish Museum contains prominent artifacts, rare prayer books and manuscripts. You will cross the river over the boat-shaped Tiber Island, a calm oasis in the center of the city that was once the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Aesculapius, Greek god of medicine and healing. The island still has ties to wellness through the continued presence of the Fatebenefratelli Hospital. Trastevere, one of Rome's most characteristic neighborhoods, is entered through the medieval Via Arco dei Tolomei. Famous for its labyrinthine streets and typical Roman restaurants and shops, Trastevere is also rich in art and religious history, including one of the oldest churches in Rome, Santa Maria in Trastevere. The tour ends in the piazza in front of this mosaic-encrusted church. PLEASE NOTE that the Shared Group Tour does NOT enter the Great Synagogue.
From $54.00 Per Person
Vasari Corridor & Uffizi Gallery - Group Guided Vi...
Vasari Corridor & Uffizi Gallery - Group Guided Visit with Guaranteed DepartureJoin the most exclusive cultural experience in Florence on this shared tour of the celebrated Vasari Corridor! This aerial walkway dates back to 1564 when the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de' Medici, ordered his favorite architect, Giorgio Vasari, to build a path that would allow him and the royal family to move freely from their residence (Palazzo Pitti) to the government palace (Palazzo della Signoria) on the other side of the Arno river.Hidden between houses and other buildings, and passing right through a church, the Vasari Corridor is one of the most astounding architectural innovations of the Renaissance. The Corridor is rarely open to the public so take advantage of this opportunity to view Florence and its artistic treasures on this exclusive shared tour. Your visit to the Corridor is preceded by a 1 1/2 hour introduction to the Uffizi Gallery and, an added plus, you skip the usual long lines to get into the museum!
From $123.00 Per Person
Become a Roman Gladiator For One Day!
Become a Roman Gladiator For One Day!Are you ready to become a real Roman gladiator? This 2-hour shared lesson is interactive fun for the whole family. You and your kids will learn the fighting techniques developed more than 2,000 years ago by professional swordsmen in ancient Rome. The lesson starts with a tour of the Gladiator Museum to provide some insight on the history of Rome and the daily life of a gladiator (or "gladiatrix," as female gladiators were known). Then, covered from head to toe in full gladiator armor, you will enter the training arena to learn all about gladiator tactics and techniques. The instructor teaches you how to defend yourself with a metal protective shield, how to fight with the rudis (training sword) and swing the wooden sword, as well as introducing you to the steel spatha - the preferred weapon of the elite Roman Legionnaires. Once your training is completed, all of the participants will get a certificate from the Senatus Populusque Romanus and become full-fledged Roman citizens. This is an adventure that will transport you and your family back in time 2,000 years and is guaranteed to leave an indelible memory of your stay in Rome! If you are fascinated by Roman gladiators but not sure if you are up for it, you can choose to watch friends or family free of charge.
From $234.00 Per Group
Florence Shared Walking Tour
Florence Shared Walking TourThis shared walking tour reveals the innermost secrets of Florence, from the city's most beautiful monuments to the places where the locals go for the best espresso and gelato. An expert tour guide will share with you entertaining facts and anecdotes about this beautiful city's history and art from Roman times through the Middle Ages and Renaissance up until today. Michelangelo, Leonardo and the fascinating inventions and projects they came up with will be covered. A break during which you will taste typical Florentine flavors and wines is also a part of this tour! During this pleasant walk you will see the Duomo, Giotto's renowned belltower and Brunelleschi's imposing dome, among other fascinating sights. You will also walk alongside Vasari's Corridor from the Ponte Vecchio to Piazza della Signoria and the crenellated Palazzo Vecchio, still today Florence's City Hall. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to explore the city in the company of a knowledgeable guide who will share with you its most fascinating and intriguing stories!
From $30.00 Per Person
Florence Small Group Bike Tour
Florence Small Group Bike TourThis 2.5 hour shared bike tour is the best way to get an introduction to the splendor of Florence's centro storico with its flat city area. An expert and entertaining guide will accompany you and explain the great stories behind magnificent buildings, facades and monuments. Stops along the way include the classics Piazza del Duomo, with its gaily colored marble-clad cathedral, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Franciscan Basilica of Santa Croce - a veritable Pantheon of famous Florentine citizens - and other small sites not overcrowded by other tourists. The tour also includes a stop for gelato in the Oltrarno district. Satisfaction guaranteed: With this tour you will discover more of Florence while having extra fun in the process! Please note: The level of difficulty may vary from easy to medium.
From $39.00 Per Person
Towers, Lions, and Gelato: Florence for Children
Towers, Lions, and Gelato: Florence for ChildrenSee Florence through the eyes of a child by focusing on the animals - both ferocious and friendly - found throughout the historic center. This entertaining and informative tour is a great way to learn more about this marvelous city in a lighthearted, playful manner. Begin by meeting the golden lion that stands guard over Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria. This crenellated fortress-palace still serves as Florence's City Hall, 800 years after it was built. Then you'll make your way to Orsanmichele to see the rearing horse being shod by a medieval blacksmith. In the colorfully frescoed Oratory of San Martino dei Buonomini, you'll learn the story of the knight in shining armor that shares his cloak with a poor beggar. Be sure to pet the nose of the wild pig that crouches outside the Straw Market. Legend has it that by doing so, you are sure to return to Florence. Along the way, on the Borgo SS. Apostoli right by the Ponte Vecchio, you will climb an actual tower dating from the Middle Ages; the view from the top is incredible! The tour also includes a stop for gelato at one of Florence's oldest ice cream parlors where you'll get an insider look at how handmade gelato is prepared.
From $560.00 Per Group
VIP Morning at the Uffizi & Vasari Corridor with G...
VIP Morning at the Uffizi & Vasari Corridor with Guaranteed DepartureAn EXCLUSIVE opportunity to avoid much of the crowd by being among the first visitors to the Uffizi Gallery. Enjoy the services of an English-speaking guide and discover the astonishing silence of history as you enter the Vasari Corridor, the secret passageway of the Medici family. First, enjoy a 2-hour guided highlights tour of the main rooms of the Uffizi Gallery, skipping the usual long lines, entering from a reserved entrance. You will be able to view the main masterpieces by artists like Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, enjoying the personalized attention that only an exclusive small-group tour can provide. A delicious Italian breakfast will then be served at the Uffizi Cafe, offering you fascinating views from the cafe terrace. Then walk down the staircase into the magic atmosphere of one of the best-kept secrets of Florence: the Vasari Corridor. Hidden between city houses and passing over the Ponte Vecchio, the Vasari Corridor has evolved as one of the most astounding architectural masterpieces of the Renaissance. It served as a passageway dating back to 1564, when the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de' Medici, ordered his favorite architect, Giorgio Vasari, to build a path that would allow the Medici family to move freely from their residence (Palazzo Pitti) to the government palace (Palazzo della Signoria) on the other side of the Arno River. Today, the Corridor houses one of the greatest collections of portraits and self-portraits in the world. The corridor is not always open to the public, so take advantage of this unique opportunity to view Florence and its artistic pleasures on this exclusive small-group guided walking tour. Please note that from September 2nd until September 27th, 2013 the very last section of the Vasari Corridor will not be open to the public due to construction in preparation for a new portrait collection.
From $191.00 Per Person
Zip through Tuscany on a Scooter!
Zip through Tuscany on a Scooter!This shared, full day excursion is an easy and fun way to discover the Tuscan countryside. Roll through Tuscany on a scooter and soak up the sights, smells and sounds: warm winds on your face, earthy colors, the scent of thyme and rosemary... this is an unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss! A comfortable minivan will bring you to Chianti country, far away from the busy and bustling city. Astride your scooter, you will ride through a picture-perfect landscape of tidy vineyards, medieval castles, magnificent villas and silent monasteries. You will stop for lunch at a typical Tuscan castle where an array of Italian delicacies will be served, along with a short tasting of the famous Chianti wine. Please note that as an alternative to a scooter, you may decide to reserve a seat on the Tuk Tuk - a 3-wheeled Vespa that will be driven by a tour leader.
From $184.00 Per Person
Pisa and 2 other cities.
Two Tuscan Towns: Pisa and Lucca
Two Tuscan Towns: Pisa and LuccaTwo of Tuscany's most characteristic towns are explored in this full day private tour of Lucca and Pisa, departing from and returning to your Florence hotel. First stop is Lucca. The city of "a hundred churches" has preserved the ancient mystery of its streets, squares, Renaissance palaces and medieval towers. Rich in history, the charming old-town center is completely enclosed by imposing, 16th century brick walls that are wide enough for tall trees to grow on top. After a walking tour of Lucca, your guide will accompany you to the Fattoria Villa Maionchi, a wine and olive oil producing estate located in the hills outside Lucca. Here you'll taste some of the most prestigious Tuscan wines and olive oils; a tasty lunch at a traditional Tuscan trattoria follows. After lunch you'll head to Pisa, one of Italy's most popular destinations. The celebrated Leaning Tower - Torre pendente - is just one of the splendid monuments that rise from the emerald green lawns of the Piazza dei Miracoli, or "Field of Miracles." You'll learn that all the buildings in the piazza lean because their shallow foundations were built on sandy subsoil. Pisa's impressive Romanesque Cathedral, with its glittering apse mosaic and precious marble pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, is meant to inspire awe. After a tour of the Cathedral's interior, you'll visit the Camposanto (Monumental Cemetery). Tradition holds that in 1146 the Archbishop Ubaldo De' Lanfranchi ordered that some earth from the site of Christ's Crucifixion be carried from the Holy Land and placed inside this four-sided cloister.
From $205.00 Per Person
Private Tour of Dan Brown's Inferno
Private Tour of Dan Brown's InfernoFollow in the footsteps of Robert Langdon and Sienna Brooks as they make their breathtaking quest across Florence looking for the death mask made for the poet Dante shortly after he passed away in 1321. Your art historian guide will reveal the symbols, facts, and monuments contained in Dan Brown's bestseller, "Inferno." Even if you have already been to Florence, this tour will show you the city in a way that you've never seen it before! This 4-hour tour follows the plot of Brown's novel, bringing Dante's spirit realm into sharp focus by visiting all of the sites that Dan Brown refer to in "Inferno." You will meet your guide at Porta Romana, the main entry point into medieval Florence; in the novel, this is where the Italian army block Robert and Sienna's access. Their only way to reach the city center is to cross the 11-acre Boboli gardens past fountains, avenues lined with statues, lovely meadows, and small groves of trees. At the end lies the hidden Grotta del Buontalenti where the novel's protagonists take refuge while running from the flying drone. Upon exiting the gardens, you will trace the path of the Vasari Corridor from below -- used by Langdon to elude his enemies -- until it reaches the Palazzo Vecchio. The tour continues inside Palazzo Vecchio through hidden rooms and up into the roof trusses of the palace's attic. A visit to the tiny, ornate Studiolo of Francesco I de' Medici is a special treat. Dante's reconstructed house comes next, followed by the little chapel where he first saw his beloved Beatrice. A few steps away is Piazza del Duomo with its marble-clad cathedral and octagonal baptistery. The tour ends inside the baptistery; here Dante and many other famous Florentines were baptized.
From $151.00 Per Person
Shared Boat Tour on Arno River
Shared Boat Tour on Arno RiverExperience Florence from a different perspective as you cruise down the Arno River, soaking up the views while enjoying your ride in a vintage gondola-style boat -- the Barchetto -- rowed by traditional renaioli. This shared boat tour is the perfect way to view Florence in a different light, admiring the beautiful palaces and the people dining in nice restaurants along the river. The guide will make sure you are entertained by telling you many tales about the city and its famous inhabitants. The riverside palazzi you will pass are silent witnesses of the past and guardians of many secrets. A different perspective of the Uffizi Gallery and the celebrated Vasari Corridor is seen, and you will float by the Santa Trinita' Bridge and Palazzo Corsini, too. The boat tour will be preceded by a small walking tour of Florence leading to the point of embarkation, while to finish off this spectacular excursion, you will get a taste of the famous Prosecco in the shadows of Ponte Vecchio. Not to mention how fascinating it is to pass under the Ponte Vecchio; this is an exhilarating experience that you will remember for many years to come!
From $54.00 Per Person
Pompeii and 1 other city.
Totally Ruined: The Excavations at Pompeii
Totally Ruined: The Excavations at PompeiiWith this half-day walking tour of these amazing archaeological excavations you will set off on a journey to explore the mystery of Pompeii and the life of people in the Roman Empire. On August 23rd, 79 AD, Pompeii looked like any other bustling, prosperous ancient city but just three days later, on August 26th, the fiery lava and ash of Mt. Vesuvius made the city fall silent and literally vanish from the face of the earth. Gradually grass and vines covered the land where the town once stood and the local people eventually forgot even the name "Pompeii". For more than 1600 years, Pompeii remained buried until it was rediscovered in 1748. This discovery struck the imagination of people all across Europe and, suddenly, the classical world was once more fashionable. Philosophy, art, architecture, literature and even fashion drew inspiration from the discoveries that were made in Pompeii. The Neoclassical movement was born. Now, more than 1900 years after that fateful August morning, we are learning more and more about the last days of Pompeii.
From $416.00 Per Group
Horseback Riding in Hills of Florentine Chianti
Horseback Riding in Hills of Florentine ChiantiThis shared tour by horseback is a unique opportunity to explore the Tuscan landscape and enjoy the extraordinary views while engaging in some a physical activity in a natural setting of great beauty less than half an hour from Florence. The added bonus is a delicious Tuscan meal at the end of your ride! The horseback riding part of the tour lasts for about an hour, during which you will pass by medieval villages, villas, Chianti vineyards and picturesque farms in the countryside outside San Casciano Val di Pesa. Afterwards, you will be welcomed to a privately owned, 14th century villa surrounded by vineyards. Here you will be introduced to the production process for making olive oil and Chianti wine. A traditional Tuscan lunch of bruschetta and pasta will then be served, accompanied by characteristic Chianti wines.
From $154.00 Per Person
Florence and 1 other city.
Bike Tour of the Tuscan Countryside
Bike Tour of the Tuscan CountrysideThis shared bike tour is a unique opportunity to explore the Tuscan landscape and enjoy the extraordinary views while engaging in some a physical activity in a natural setting of great beauty only a few miles south of Florence. A full day's cycling takes you through small towns and past beautiful vineyards and silvery-green olive trees. There are frequent rest stops and a lovely Tuscan lunch with Chianti wine will be served. On the way back to your starting point, you will have many opportunities to take photos that record your carefree moments on the road. Two itineraries are available: Meet in central Florence and start biking from Certosa You will meet your group in central Florence and the shuttle will take you just below the imposing monastery of the Certosa where you will be given a helmet and a 24-gear bike; total distance covered is 18 miles. You will explore Tuscany's gorgeous natural setting, filled with olive trees, cypresses and Chianti vineyards. The tour includes stops to enjoy the panorama and to photos, plus a longer break for lunch. The home-cooked lunch will be served in a 17th century private villa, where you will also visit the wine cellar and taste some of their wines at the same time you learn about the traditional production techniques. Start biking from Florence city center You will meet the group at a bike shop in central Florence where you'll be supplied with a helmet and a 21-gear hybrid bike. Cycling along safe roads, your guide will lead you for 10 miles to the lovely village of Impruneta where you'll pause for a quick visit. Next stop is lunch where you will dine on local specialties along with a guided tasting of Chianti wines or genuine olive oil. Depending on availability, lunch will be served at either a farmhouse or a private villa. You'll return to Florence by a different route, stopping at Piazzale Michelangelo for a photo opportunity. Total mileage for this cycling tour is about 18 miles.
From $123.00 Per Person
Naples and 2 other cities.
Amalfi Coast & Pompeii - Private Chauffeured Road ...
Amalfi Coast & Pompeii - Private Chauffeured Road TripThis tour offers you a chance to experience the best of Campania, from archaeological excavations to fresh air and seaside vistas. Starting from and returning to anywhere along the Amalfi Coast, this tour is a full day of exploration. You can choose to take your private guided tour of Pompeii in the morning or in the afternoon. Either way you'll drive along the scenic Amalfi Coast and visit many of the charming towns that dot this lovely area. There is flexibility in your time, so that you can pick the stops as you go, or rely on your driver for suggestions. Possible stops along the way are Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. You'll have some free time for lunch (cost of meal not included). At the time you choose, you can schedule your three-hour, guided walking tour of the amazing archaeological excavations at Pompeii, one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Italy. This 'frozen city' is the result the fiery ash and lava of Mount Vesuvius that completely buried the city on August 26th, 79 AD. Gradually, grass and vines covered the land where the town once stood and the local people eventually forgot even the name "Pompeii". For more than 1600 years, Pompeii remained buried until it was rediscovered in 1748. You'll gain unforgettable insight into daily life in Roman times, and at the end of your full day excursion, your driver will return you to the Amalfi Coast location of your choice.
From $1,087.00 Per Group
Hot Air Ballooning Over Le Marche
Hot Air Ballooning Over Le MarcheIn the safe hands of our experienced local pilots, you can enjoy panoramic flights of up to one and a half hours as the first light of dawn creates a magical frame for the beautiful landscape of Le Marche. The smooth and peaceful motion of the balloon provides an ideal opportunity to take photographs, or just savor the scenes below you as you become familiar with the lay of the land. From your elevated position you will be able to admire Le Marche's celebrated red-roofed towns and follow the course of wary wild animals taking flight in the fields below. Your pilot will relate interesting tales about the terrain and its history as you silently drift along. At the end of the flight, after a smooth landing, the flight's success will be celebrated with the traditional Champagne toast!
From $571.00 Per Person
Taormina and 1 other city.
Introduction to Mt. Etna
Introduction to Mt. EtnaMt. Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of Italy's most recent UNESCO World Heritage sites, is located between the enchanting cities of Catania and Messina on the spirited island of Sicily. This lively volcano has been erupting since 1500 BC, leaving the neighboring lands lush and particularly receptive to a culture of agricultural superiority. In fact, the land's wine and food production continues to win the most prestigious Italian and international awards year after year. Departing from your hotel in Taormina, you will visit the active volcano with your driver and English-speaking guide, exploring the mountain's volatile past and still treacherous present. The full-day excursion also includes a stop at a nearby vineyard, where you will sample wines grown in the rich volcanic soil, accompanied by regional specialties like ricotta infornata (baked ricotta cheese), salami, artichokes in olive oil, homemade bread, and many other delicacies. This introduction to Sicily's Mt. Etna region will satisfy all of your senses. You will smell the countryside that makes the area's wines, the traditional foods of Mt. Etna, and get close enough to touch an active volcano. Finally, you will hear your inner thoughts saying you can't wait to discover the rest of Sicily!
From $913.00 Per Group
Olbia: The Enchantment of Sardinia
Olbia: The Enchantment of SardiniaSardinia's northeastern city of Olbia is a busy port for those cruising to or by the Emerald Coast. The area's sparkling beaches with crystal clear waters are some of the most celebrated in the world, welcoming global VIPs and celebrities on holidays. However, in addition to its five-star resorts, modern hotels, and relaxing vacation options, this corner of the island area is also home to millennia of history, tradition, and of course, outstanding cuisine. Both the full- and half-day version of this excursion begin as you are picked up from your hotel or cruise ship to discover Olbia and its surrounding areas near the Emerald Coast. The first stop is the Tomba dei Giganti. Dating back to the Bronze Age, it is a massive megalithic gallery grave built by the Nuragic civilization, a community that was ubiquitous throughout Sardinia in that era. Your tour will continue on to La Prisgiona, one of the best preserved Nuragic villages. Here you can view the enigmatic round structures and discuss the significance of the mysterious nuraghi, trademark of the ancient civilization. After touring the archaeological sites, your private group will enjoy a lunch incorporating the local wines and food of the region. The half-day tour will end here, and the full-day tour will continue with a visit to the enchanting natural beauty of Olbia's beaches on the gloried Emerald Coast. Revel in the tranquility of the pristine Sardinian shore and its glimmering waters.
From $1,114.00 Per Group
Shared Group Tour of Dan Brown's Inferno
Shared Group Tour of Dan Brown's InfernoThose of you who haven't gotten around to reading "Inferno," Dan Brown's newest blockbuster novel, fret not - you can now explore firsthand the author's secrets and symbols during this excursion to the sites described in his book. Throughout either this half or full-day shared tour, an English-speaking guide will illustrate professor Robert Langdon's elaborate path through Florence, sharing countless stories and insights along the way. The half-day tour includes a visit to Florence's Duomo as well as the Baptistery with its gorgeous gold mosaic ceiling where you will decipher the many signs hidden within. Moving on, you'll enter Palazzo Vecchio inside which you'll closely examine Vasari's puzzling paintings in the Salone dei 500 (the Hall of 500), wander the Duke of Athen's secret passageway and be baffled by the Hall of Geographical Maps. At the end of the half-day tour, you will look into Dante's dead face (or more specifically, his death mask). For the truly curious traveler, an afternoon extension is available. During these additional three hours, you will skip the line s and enjoy an hour and a half tour of the principal areas of the Uffizi Gallery, taking pleasure in the many masterpieces by talented artists like Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Even more intriguing is the special opening of the Vasari Corridor, the aerial walkway once used by the Medici family.
From $100.00 Per Person
Capri and 2 other cities.
Capri - Island of Romance
Capri - Island of RomanceThe sun-kissed island of Capri, basking in the midst of the Tyrrhenian Sea, has been enchanting visitors for centuries. This full day boat excursion takes you around this stunning Mediterranean island so you can explore its celebrated rocky coastline, which hides many caves and secret grottos in its depths. Departing from Positano, as you come into Capri you'll pass the infamous Tiberio's leap - legend has it that this was the place where disobedient servants and unwanted guests were thrown over the cliff! Upon reaching the island's port, your captain provides you with maps of the island, as well as information about the must-see sites; then you have about four hours to independently explore the island. Once you return to the boat, a panoramic ride around the island begins and you will be able to admire Capri's rugged cliffs, white sand beaches, lemon trees, flowers and magnificent views from the water. An optional stop at the beautiful Blue Grotto, known for the intense blue tones of its interior and the magical silvery light, gives you a chance to enter the mouth of the cave to admire the spectacular colors. Then, you'll head to the Green Grotto, named for the emerald colored waters that fill its interior. Capri's iconic symbol is the trio of three rugged rock formations known as the Faraglioni. On your way to see them, you can stop for a swim in one of the island's hidden bays. Last stop of the tour is the White Grotto. At the conclusion of the excursion, you'll return to Positano with many happy memories and pictures of the fabled isle of Capri.
From $147.00 Per Person
Discovering Milan's Masterpieces
Discovering Milan's MasterpiecesIn spite of its bustling, modern incarnation as the fashion and business capital of Italy, Milan offers enchanting treasures from its glorious past. Founded by the Gauls in the 4th century BC, the ancient city of Mediolanum was named after its strategic position in the middle of a fertile plain. From Roman domination to recent times, wealthy clients and important artists have left countless vestiges of their power and taste. First stop on our itinerary is Leonardo's Last Supper, considered a highlight of Italian Renaissance painting due to its artistic, theological, and scientific implications. A fifteen-minute walk takes us to the Sforzesco Castle with its unforgettable skyline and beautiful courtyards. It was the residence of the Sforza dukes in the 15th century and now houses the Sculpture Museum. Here we can admire Michelangelo's final work, the touching Rondanini Pieta, on which he was working the week he died. Downtown, the majestic Late Gothic Duomo enchants with its marble-encrusted facade and fabulous spires. The huge square in front of the Cathedral is flanked on the right by the porticoes of Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade. The cast-iron and glass dome of the gallery shelters the luxurious cafes and shops within. The Arcade leads to La Scala opera house, probably the most famous theater in the world. Unless a rehearsal is taking place, it is possible to visit the wonderful neoclassical interior and museum, which displays unique memorabilia of the performing arts from all periods.
From $407.00 Per Group
The Sistine Chapel Private Visit (After-hours Tour...
The Sistine Chapel Private Visit (After-hours Tour)Imagine yourself in the Sistine Chapel... alone. No pushy crowds, not jostling for a good vantage point from which to admire the masterpiece overhead... just a small group, your guide and a hushed awe in the presence of the great master, Michelangelo. Now this dream can become reality with Select Italy's Exclusive Private Visit, which gives you a rare chance to encounter some of Italy's most famous monuments one-on-one and "for your eyes only." Our highly qualified English speaking guides will unveil the true and secret story behind the genesis of this spectacular space. This private visit also includes stops at other impressive exhibits of the Vatican Museums including the Raphael Rooms and the Galleria delle Carte Geografiche (the Hall of Maps; a superb collection of 40 frescoed wall maps representing a unique record of the geographic and cartographic knowledge of the 16th century).
From $5,764.00 Per Group
Venice for Beginners: A Small Group Tour
Venice for Beginners: A Small Group TourVenice's layers of history and mazes of calle can seem like a big undertaking to first-time visitors, but with the a little guidance and the proper introduction, the city becomes yours to discover. This tour gives you a complete introduction to Venice, from its foundation, to its historical significance to the city today, covering the must-see sites and more! The tour begins in St. Mark's Square, where your guide will debrief you with a short history of the city, followed by an explanation of the square's importance as the religious and political center of Venice. This section of the tour includes an introduction to the architectural wonders of the square, such as the ornate Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica, the majestic Doge's Palace, Sansovino's Library, and the Bell Tower. From this stunning piazza, your guide will help you orient yourself to the city, introducing you to present-day Venice and its people. You'll navigate Venice like the locals do, crossing bridges and snaking through the interconnected streets and canals. The tour ends with a visit to the commercial center of Rialto whose stunning views, outdoor market, and rows of shops have been captivating visitors for centuries.
From $103.00 Per Person
Insights into the "real" Venice: A Small Group Tou...
Insights into the "real" Venice: A Small Group TourThis small group walking tour provides excellent insight into the "real" Venice, far from the crowds in Piazza San Marco. It is designed to take you deep into the heart of Venice's colorful past, as you walk in the footsteps of some of the city's best known characters. Meet your guide in St. Mark's Square and then head to La Fenice opera house, a true Venetian jewel that has been restored since it was severely damaged in the fire of 1996. The surrounding artist's neighborhoods of Sant'Angelo and San Samuele, where Antonio Vivaldi and Casanova once roamed, are filled with the inviting shops of present-day artisans. A traghetto ride across the Grand Canal provides the chance to join the locals on this characteristic gondola shuttle. Sestiere di San Polo was infamous as Venice's "red light district" but Carlo Goldoni, the great 18th century playwright, had a palace here, as did two of Venice's most significant female personages: Isabella Teotochi Albrizzi and Caterina Cornaro. You will be enchanted by the Rialto market, a lively hub of commerce, bustling with vendors selling food and other goods. The streets are lined with stylish cafes and wine bars where Venetians sip Prosecco while enjoying their evening snacks called cicchetti. More shops line both sides of the Rialto Bridge and crossing it brings you to the San Giovanni Grisostomo district, home to many silk merchants in the Middle Ages, where Marco Polo and his family lived. The tour ends with a taste of the best gelato in town... your guide will make sure you get back to St Mark's Square, only five minutes away.
From $103.00 Per Person
The Power of the Past: A Small Group Tour
The Power of the Past: A Small Group TourNowhere else in the city is the incredible glory of the Venetian Empire felt than when standing in front of St. Mark's Basilica and the extravagant Doge's Palace. This tour is designed to transport you back to the golden age of power that Venice wielded for centuries, shedding light on the gilded basilica and the mighty palace. Your tour begins in St. Mark's Basilica, whose history dates back to 800 AD. Your guide will take you through the stories told in the sparkling mosaics as you tread on the colorful marble floor: decorative elements in both are derived from the Eastern world. After exiting the church, your guide will present the buildings in St. Mark's Square, each of which had significance in the political, religious, and everyday lives of Venetians during the Empire. From here, you will continue into the Doge's Palace which housed the rulers of Venice for over nine centuries. As you walk through the ornate rooms, you will learn about this powerful maritime republic, its role in trade with the East, and its avant-garde political thinking. Your guide will point out the impressive paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese, the armory, and the Great Council Hall before leading you across the Bridge of Sighs into the New Prisons to conclude the tour.
From $106.00 Per Person
An Island in the Venetian Lagoon: Murano
An Island in the Venetian Lagoon: MuranoThe ephemeral beauty of blown glass is a perfect metaphor for Venice and its lagoon. Experience the wonder of this delicate art with a guided visit to the island of Murano - for over seven centuries home to the glass making industry that was transferred here from Venice in 1291 as a precaution against fire. The island is only a short ride from Saint Mark's Square and boasts a miniature version of the Grand Canal lined on both sides with glass factories and shops. Watch the skilled artisans at work as they manipulate the molten glass into masterpieces of color and form; you will have the chance to question them about the age-old techniques of mouth blown and molded glass, as well as to purchase an exquisite example of their craft as a souvenir. Next stop is the Museo Vetrario housed in the handsome 17th century Palazzo Giustiniani, once residence of the Bishops of Torcello and now one of the largest collections of Venetian glass in the world. Here the whole history of glass making from Roman times to the present day is illustrated with pieces ranging from elegant wine goblets to enormous flower-festooned chandeliers. A few steps from the glass museum is the 12th century church of Santa Maria e Donato where a lovely elongated mosaic figure of the Virgin Mary stands in solitary prayer against the gold of a Byzantine heaven. The relics of the patron saint Donato are kept behind the high altar, along with bones of a ferocious dragon he is said to have slain.
From $528.00 Per Group
Baroque Splendors in the Age of Bernini & Borromin...
Baroque Splendors in the Age of Bernini & BorrominiHardly has any man left a stronger imprint on a city than Bernini has on Rome, and his universal genius permeates the Roman landscape. However, he was by no means the only outstanding artist of the time: his contemporary Borromini vied with Bernini for the title of the most original genius of high baroque architecture. Their temperaments and personalities were quite different: Bernini was successful, self-confident, sociable and affluent, while Borromini was gloomy, solitary, depressed, often irascible and always difficult. Offering the opportunity of a first hand comparison of the works and styles of the two artists, this tour will take you to some of the most important and famous monuments in Rome: the glorious outdoor theater of Piazza Navona, with the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the church of Sant' Agnese in Agone; the church of St. Ivo alla Sapienza, the highest masterpiece of Borromini with its startlingly beautiful whirling cupola; the Pantheon and the church of St. Ignazio, with its unforgettable ceiling frescoes; and the imposing Trevi Fountain.
From $475.00 Per Group
One-Day Venice: An Introduction to the City
One-Day Venice: An Introduction to the CityIs it possible to understand Venice in only one day? That is the goal of this walking tour that uncovers twelve centuries of Venice's glorious history. The starting point is St. Mark's Square. Praised by Napoleon as the most beautiful drawing room in Europe, this spacious square is the only one in Venice to merit the title "piazza." Its graceful Renaissance arches shelter some of the city's most elegant shops and historic cafes. At the piazza's eastern end rises the St. Mark's Basilica with its multitude of marble pillars and five white domes. Begun by Greek architects in 1063 to house the relics of the patron saint St. Mark the Evangelist, the church is a treasure-chest of mosaic decoration both inside and out. We will climb to the gallery level to admire these glittering, golden mosaics at close range and to see the four ancient gilt-bronze horses stolen from Constantinople in 1204 to grace the basilica's facade. A short walk takes us to the lively neighborhood around the Rialto Bridge. On the opposite side of the Grand Canal is the fish market, displaying all the rich bounty of the Adriatic Sea, and nearby is the Franciscan church of Santa Maria dei Frari with precious altarpieces by Titian and Giovanni Bellini. In the afternoon we will visit the Ca'Rezzonico, the most magnificent palace on the Grand Canal. With its lacquered antique furniture and frescoed ceilings, it has the authentic atmosphere of a great 18th century house. The day concludes at sunset at an outdoor cafe along the Zattere; here the imposing line-up of Palladian churches across the channel provides a romantic backdrop against which to enjoy a relaxing drink or gelato.
From $1,136.00 Per Group
The Craft of Mask-Making: Fun for the Entire Famil...
The Craft of Mask-Making: Fun for the Entire Family!You probably know that masks are worn during Venice's Carnevale, but have you ever bothered to scratch the surface and learn about the intriguing and mysterious legends behind Venetian masks? In this 1 1/2 hour hands-on workshop, you will learn the craft of mask making from a real Mascareri, one of the skilled artisans who, for hundreds of years, have made original Venetian masks in their ateliers located all over Venice. Here you will have the opportunity to see extraordinary Venetian carnival costumes, along with all their related accessories. You'll hear amazing stories of the Carnevale's history and learn about its most popular characters: Arlecchino, Pulcinella and Pantalone, beloved by kids and adults alike. Afterwards you'll get to choose your favorite character and one of the artisans will guide you through the fun process of painting and decorating your mask with glitter, feathers, sequins, ribbons and fancy trimmings like little silver bells. And instead of taking home one of the commercial, mass-produced masks that you can buy at every street corner shop in Venice, you will walk away from a memorable experience with your very own one-of-a-kind Venetian mask!
From $200.00 Per Person
Eternal Waters: The Fountains of Rome
Eternal Waters: The Fountains of RomeRome is a celebration of water. The some 280 fountains that grace the city's piazzas, courtyards and public spaces provide a universal display of falling, gushing and spurting waters that is refreshing to behold on even the hottest summer day. Most were built to mark the endpoint of one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied fresh drinking water to the citizens of Rome, and they are the unique creations of some of the greatest Renaissance and Baroque artists of all time. This 3 1/2 hour walking tour offers an entertaining and informative history of Rome through its fountains. It begins at the imposing Dioscuri Fountain in front of the Italian President's Palace on the Quirinal Hill and continues on to the most famous of all, the Trevi Fountain. The most enduring - and maybe the quirkiest - legend about Rome is that throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain will ensure your return to the Eternal City (an estimated $4,000 are tossed into the fountain's waters each day). A magnificent Baroque marble structure representing the Roman and Greek sea gods standing side by side, it has become an icon of La Dolce Vita due to its 'starring role' in Federico Fellini's film of the same name. More fountains are encountered in Piazza Colonna and in the square in front of the Pantheon but it's in Piazza Navona that the Baroque age explodes with Gian Lorenzo Bernini's spectacular Four Rivers Fountain. In the shadow of an immense Egyptian obelisk are symbolic representations of the four major rivers known at that time: the Danube, Ganges, Nile and Plata. Two smaller fountains stand at either end of this elliptical piazza that was once the site of thrilling chariot races under the reign of the Emperor Domitian. If time permits, the final stop of the tour will be Giacomo della Porta's Fontana delle Tartarughe (Turtle Fountain), a charming fountain of the 16th century located in the Jewish Ghetto.
From $437.00 Per Group
Sunset Small Group Boat Tour
Sunset Small Group Boat TourAdmiring the sunset on board the boat captained by Angelo and his American wife, Paula, is a truly romantic experience that you won't soon forget. This spectacular evening cruise in the Cinque Terre gives you the chance to admire the coastline at the magical sunset hour from the deck of a gozzo, a traditional, wooden Ligurian fishing boat. Every trip is a little different, but all start from Monterosso al Mare and include a minimum of two hours of cruising. You'll have the opportunity to experience the picturesque Italian Riviera as the sunset glows on the multi-colored houses in the villages, and to see the breathtaking, rocky coastline of the Cinque Terre as it's bathed in red, orange and pink tones. You'll cruise out to sea to get a better view of the sunset and, with luck, a group of friendly dolphins might join the route of the boat. This magical experience will be accompanied by an array of Ligurian tapas: bread and focaccia, tomatoes from Paula's garden, local cheeses, salumi, seasonal fruit, a barbecue of fresh fish prepared by Angelo and plenty of Prosecco and other cold beverages. This small group tour is a unique option for birthdays, honeymoons and other special occasions, and will create memories that will last a lifetime.
From $163.00 Per Person
Discovering Naples' Masterpieces
Discovering Naples' MasterpiecesThe historic center of Naples is a feast for the eyes and the ears - it is full of local color, with narrow lanes harboring over 2,400 years of precious artworks that rival those of any other European capital. Piazza del Gesu' is the starting point for this walking tour; it is dominated by the impressive ashlar-work facade of the church of Gesu' Nuovo. After a peek at its exuberant Baroque interior, you cross the piazza to enter a totally different world: the austere, medieval spirituality of the Franciscan convent of Santa Chiara, begun in 1310 to house the tombs of the Angevin rulers. The adjacent nun's cloister and garden is adorned with beautiful majolica tiles painted with scenes of daily life in the 18th century. Proceeding down the wide street known as the "Spaccanapoli" (Split-Naples), you arrive in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore. Here is the wonderful Cappella San Severo where Sanmartino's marble sculpture of the "Cristo Velato" (Veiled Christ) will amaze you with its incredible realism. The tour continues along Via San Gregorio Armeno, the street of the celebrated Nativity scene artisans. Piazza San Gaetano is the entrance to the Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore and its museum. At the end of Spaccanapoli stands the Duomo where the Treasure of San Gennaro is kept. Flasks containing the saint's blood can be found in an ornate chapel in the right-hand aisle. Three times a year the blood miraculously liquefies, which is considered to be a good omen by the Neapolitans.
From $510.00 Per Group
The Appia Antica
The Appia AnticaRegina Viarum -- Queen of the Roads -- this is what the Ancient Romans called the Appian Way. Built in 312 BC, it was the first Roman road to be named after the magistrate that was responsible for its construction. It was adorned with sumptuous villas and monumental tombs belonging to important Roman families. Today, the first few miles are part of a fascinating archaeological park that maintains the romantic atmosphere of its past. The tour starts from Porta San Sebastiano, the largest and best-preserved gate in the Aurelian Wall. It houses a lovely museum illustrating the history of the wall, allowing visitors to walk on the wall itself and enjoy the wonderful views. Driving along the ancient Appian Way, the tour continues to the suburban palace built for the Emperor Maxentius; it includes a very well preserved circus for chariot races. Last stop is the monumental Tomb of Cecilia Metella, one of the most famous landmarks of the Roman Campagna. En-route will be a visit to either the Catacombs of San Callisto or the Catacombs of San Sebastiano.
From $753.00 Per Group
Ostia Antica: The 'Pompeii of Rome'
Ostia Antica: The 'Pompeii of Rome'The beautifully preserved ruins of Ostia lie twenty miles from Rome, in the meadows between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was founded, probably in the 4th century BC, as a military colony to guard the river mouth against seaborne invasions. By the 2nd century AD, it had become a flourishing commercial center inhabited by upwards of 100,000 people, whose apartment buildings, taverns, and grocery shops are still intact. Although Ostia now sprawls over 10,000 acres, around a main street that runs for more than a mile, the streets are so quiet one hears only the crickets in the trees and perhaps the echoes of ancient children playing stickball. As you walk along Ostia's main street, the Decumanus Maximus, your feet settle into deep ruts left by carrucas, the four wheeled carts used to ferry merchandise and baggage between Rome and Ostia. Among the most significant remains are those of the city's stone theater, warehouses, and the oldest known Jewish Synagogue in Europe. Only just discovered in 1961, its unique setting and successive layers of various structures built in different centuries are a perfect illustration of the city's long and many-storied past.
From $894.00 Per Group
Exclusive Vasari Corridor & Uffizi Gallery - Priva...
Exclusive Vasari Corridor & Uffizi Gallery - Private VisitHigh above the streets of Florence and its famous bridge, the Ponte Vecchio sits the Vasari Corridor. It was built in 1564 by Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to serve as a private walkway between his old dwelling in the Palazzo Vecchio, his offices in the Uffizi and his new home on the opposite side of the river, the Palazzo Pitti. Over the centuries the passageway has survived floods and nearby bombings to become a restricted area under the care of the Galleria degli Uffizi. The Corridor is only accessible by advance reservation and entrance to the space is extremely limited. Most people can only gaze up at the passageway from the streets below or the bridges that cross the Arno, but now you can reserve a guided tour through this exclusive aerial walkway. Not only will you experience Florence in a way that only the Medici could, but you can also view the Uffizi's vast collection of artist's self-portraits (the largest in the world) with works by Guido Reni, the Carracci, Delacroix, Rubens and Marc Chagall, among others.
From $1,355.00 Per Group
Rome and 1 other city.
Glimpse of Rome: Civitavecchia Shore Excursion
Glimpse of Rome: Civitavecchia Shore ExcursionCruising the Mediterranean presents a myriad of opportunities to indulge in various cultures while anchored at famous Port of Calls such as Rome, Livorno, and Venice. However, many of the on-shore excursions can be heavy financial investments that do not always show the best and most authentic of the famed cities...until now. This Port of Call excursion is designed to take you in and out of the Eternal City, hitting the highlights and experiencing the best of what Rome has to offer for a fare that will not break the bank. Your day begins with a pickup from a personal driver at the Civitavecchia Port around 8am. You will drive into the city, where you will meet your guide at the Spanish Steps for the Must-See Rome Small Group Walking Tour at 10am. With your group, you will have the opportunity to pose at the Trevi Fountain, learn the significance of the Piazza Colonna, visit the 2000-year-old Pantheon, and finish in the popular Piazza Navona. You will meet your driver immediately following the tour, and are free for lunch until the next stop on your itinerary: the mighty Colosseo. The afternoon continues with the Dungeons and Upper Tiers Tour of the Colosseum, a rare opportunity to visit formerly off-limit areas of the famed structure with a certified Colosseum guide. The 75-minute tour takes you into the heart of the Colosseum floor as well as up to the very top of the stands for a breathtaking view of Rome. The day concludes with a drive past St. Peter's and the Vatican City, with opportunities to stop for pictures, if time allows, after which your driver will take you back to Civitavecchia in time to catch your ship.
From $1,114.00 Per Group
Medieval Florence & Its Urban Design
Medieval Florence & Its Urban DesignIdeal as an introduction to the splendors of Florence, this half-day tour is perfect for those who want a basic understanding of the culture and historical events that shaped this magnificent city. The tour begins in the Piazza della Repubblica, site of the Forum in ancient times; from here you will explore the many picturesque corners of the centro storico. Marvel at the Piazza del Duomo, with its gaily colored, marble-clad cathedral and baptistery. You will then make your way to the poet Dante's house, and the little chapel where he first saw his beloved Beatrice. Discover the drama behind the Piazza della Signoria, the shape of which is the result of a 13th century family feud. Nearby is Orsanmichele, once a grain market, the exterior of which is adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture in marble and bronze. The tour ends in the majestic spaces of the Franciscan Basilica of Santa Croce, a veritable Pantheon of famous Florentines, housing the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. The depth of understanding you gain from this tour will follow you as you explore the rest of the city.
From $550.00 Per Group
Florence and 2 other cities.
Siena-San Gimignano Full Day
Siena-San Gimignano Full DayDeparting from and returning to Florence, this full day excursion begins with a visit to the picturesque village of San Gimignano, famous for the 13th century towers that stand as a testament to its medieval prosperity and the wealth of its merchants. Afterwards, you will drive through the gorgeous Tuscan countryside to Siena. In this cradle of the Italian Gothic style, your expert, private guide will introduce you to the artistic marvels of the historic center with an hour and a half tour. See the spectacular Duomo and baptistery, both of which beautifully symbolize the devout religious nature of the Sienese. The city's heart is the gracious, shell-shaped main piazza, or Campo, site of the celebrated Palio - this thrilling horserace is run twice each summer, on July 2nd and August 16th. Looming over it is the Palazzo Pubblico (City Hall), a crenellated, medieval building that represents the independence and economic might of the Sienese oligarchy. Time permitting, the driver will take a slight detour to Monteriggioni, a tiny village surrounded by high walls and 14 square towers. It is one of the finest examples of medieval military architecture in existence.
From $152.00 Per Person
Pompeii and 1 other city.
Lost Cities: Pompeii & Herculaneum from Rome
Lost Cities: Pompeii & Herculaneum from RomeIn the first century AD the Roman Empire had many cities, but none located in a more beautiful setting than those lining the Bay of Naples in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. On August 23rd, 79 AD, Pompeii looked like any other bustling, prosperous, ancient city but just three days later, on August 26th, the city fell silent and the place itself had literally vanished from the face of the earth. Gradually grass and vines covered the land where the towns had stood and the local people eventually forgot even their names. For more than 1,600 years, they remained buried until Herculaneum was rediscovered in 1738 and Pompeii ten years later in 1748. The imagination of Europe was ignited and suddenly, the classical world was in vogue. Philosophy, art, architecture, literature and even fashion drew upon the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum for inspiration. Now, more than 1,900 years after that fateful August morning, we are learning more and more about the last days of Pompeii and important discoveries are still being made. Begin your exploration of the mysteries of Pompeii and Herculaneum on this fascinating 10-hour excursion from Rome.
From $1,851.00 Per Group
Cinque Terre and 2 other cities.
Cinque Terre: Day Trip from Florence - Private Tou...
Cinque Terre: Day Trip from Florence - Private TourA cultural landscape of great scenic and cultural value, the Cinque Terre is an UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for its incredible beauty. This full-day excursion departs from and returns to your Florence hotel, and offers a convenient way to discover the colors and flavors of this fascinating area. You will meet your guide in Riomaggiore, the southern-most of the "Five Lands." Due to rock slides Via dell'Amore and some of the Cinque Terre's paths are closed until further notice, therefore instead of walking between the villages, you will take the train or public boat instead. After visiting Riomaggiore, you will reach Manarola, second smallest of the villages and probably the oldest; the cornerstone of Manarola's church of San Lorenzo was laid in 1338. Corniglia is next. Perched on top of a promontory, Corniglia is the only one of the five villages without direct access to the sea. It is enclosed on three sides by picturesque, terraced vineyards while the fourth side descends steeply to the blue waters of the Mediterranean. After a guided visit of the village and its park, you'll stop for a tasty lunch of local dishes and wines at the Cantina de Mananan (included in the price). Last but certainly not least is Vernazza, the most picture-perfect of the five and considered to be one of the most authentic fishing villages on the Italian Riviera. You'll not soon forget the feeling of being embraced by Vernazza's fine, natural harbor. Please note that due to rock slides, the Via dell'Amore is closed until further notice. Therefore you will go from Manarola to Riomaggiore by train.
From $289.00 Per Person
Civitavecchia and 1 other city.
Rome Shore Excursion: Civitavecchia Port-of-Call
Rome Shore Excursion: Civitavecchia Port-of-CallAt 8 a.m. or the time you will indicate meet your driver at the dock : he will take you to Rome (about 1.5 - 2hrs drive) where you will meet your private guide. With your guide and driver you will have the chance to visit the highlights of Rome: providing the perfect introduction to the city, this tour will start from the visit of the Colosseum (interiors included), the biggest theater ever built by the Romans, and the most famous monument of Rome! Tour will proceed driving along Via dei Fori Imperiali to reach the Capitoline Hill, where the genius of Michelangelo has left its indelible mark in the form of the magnificent complex known as Piazza Campidoglio. From the Capitoline terrace, a breathtaking view of the ruins of the Roman Forum will encompass the once magnificent epicenter of the ancient city. At Piazza Venezia, you will notice the impressive Victor Emanuel Monument, which commemorates the unification of Italy in 1870. Next stop will be Trevi Fountain: be sure to toss in a coin to insure your return to Rome! This would be a good moment to take a rest or to have a quick break for lunch or a gelato. Not far are the lively Spanish Steps, a must-see in Rome. Then you'll head to the Pantheon, one of the highlights of the tour and the best preserved and most astonishing ancient Roman building in the world! The tour will end at the charming Piazza Navona, with its Baroque treasures and charming cafes. Last stop before leaving the Eternal City will be Saint Peter's Square, with its amazing colonnade designed by the genius of Bernini and the imposing Basilica of Saint Peter's (exterior only). After the tour the driver will take you back to the port and your cruise ship. *Please note the itinerary may vary depending on the total time you will have available in Rome.
From $1,821.00 Per Group
Civitavecchia and 2 other cities.
A Day in the Country: The Villas of Tivoli
A Day in the Country: The Villas of TivoliThe historic hill town of Tivoli, 22 miles east of Rome, is justly famous for its great monuments, most notably the Villa d'Este and Hadrian's villa. This full day excursion will reveal the charms of Tivoli by introducing you to the Baroque splendor and Imperial Roman excess of this small town on the Aniene River. Wealthy Romans have always flocked to Tivoli, lured here by its temperate climate. But no summer retreat tops that of the Emperor Hadrian who, in the early 2nd century AD, conceived a gigantic complex with underground service passages, artificial lakes, fountains, libraries, baths, temples and gardens. Hadrian himself personally supervised the construction and architectural features of the more than 30 buildings that served as reminders of his foreign travels and the countries he had visited. After Hadrian, the villa was used by his various successors. During the decline of the Roman Empire it fell into disuse and was partially ruined. In the 16th century Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este had much of the marble and statues in Hadrian's villa removed to decorate his own Villa d'Este located nearby. Son of the infamous Lucretia Borgia, Cardinal Ippolito used the villa primarily for entertaining. The main attraction is the breathtaking garden composed almost exclusively of water features. Sparkling water cascades down stone banisters, into deep pools shaded by trees, over a miniature reproduction of Rome and powers the pipes of a gigantic organ. Sadly, the fountains no longer operate as they once did, but two were restored in 2003: the 'Owl Fountain,' which plays birdsong, and the large 'Water Organ Fountain.' Their mechanisms have been recreated and the fountains are sounded several times a day.
From $1,715.00 Per Group
Amalfi Coast and 3 other cities.
Amalfi Coast Exclusive Cruise
Amalfi Coast Exclusive CruiseAre you sick of interminable lines and crowds of tourists? Do you want to experience the pristine Amalfi Coast like a jet-setter? Then become a shipowner for the day and sail away on an exclusive cruise adventure! Choose the option that best suits your needs from a wide variety of exeptional vessels, such as the comfortable Azimut 62ft, the stunning Fiart 23ft, the unique Itama 38 or the classy Rio Blu 32ft. All of these yachts and speedboats seem more like an upscale hotel suite than an ocean-going yacht, and they are all guaranteed to make your day unforgettable. Your sea escapade departs from the port of Positano or Sorrento and cruises leisurely along the jagged coastline. Born and raised on the Amalfi Coast, our experienced, English-speaking captain will show you the secret grottos and the private inlets of the coast, pointing out the best spots to swim in the turquoise waters. You'll hear the legends, facts and histories of the little villages that you pass all along the way. You are free to customize the itinerary as you like but among the must-see highlights are: Amalfi, the ancient Maritime Republic that gave the coast its name; Atrani, the tiniest fishing village on the coast; the Grotta Pandora, with its clear blue waters; the enchanting Waterfalls of Marmorata and the Fiordo di Furore, famous cliff for its diving championships. Beverages, beach towels and snorkeling masks are included on board. We trust a local saying that "you haven't really experienced the Amalfi Coast until you see it from the sea". So what are you waiting for? Book this exclusive private cruise today!
From $1,509.00 Per Group
Amalfi Coast and 3 other cities.
Amalfi Coast Exclusive Sunset Tour
Amalfi Coast Exclusive Sunset TourAre you looking for an exclusive way to celebrate your birthday, your honeymoon or just a special moment with your family and friends? Then become a shipowner for a couple of hours and enjoy the chance to admire the Amalfi Coast at the magical sunset hour. Choose the option that best suits your needs from a variety of exceptional vessels, such as the comfortable Azimut 62ft, the stunning Fiart 23ft, the unique Itama 38ft or the classy Rio Blu 32ft. All of these yacht seem more like an upscale hotel suite than an ocean-going yacht, and they are all guaranteed to make your day unforgettable! Embark from any of the towns along the coast of Amalfi on a two-hour journey during which you will take a relaxing cruise as you sip Prosecco and admire the sunset reflecting off the colorful houses along the coastline. Some breathtaking highlights of this tour are the view of the picturesque towns of Amalfi and Positano, lit by the last rays of the setting sun, a circle around Li Galli Islands where Ulysses was seduced by the siren's song and the amazing view of Capri as the sun disappears behind the Faraglioni. This tour is a unique opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime; time seems to stop as the jagged coastline blazes in red, orange and pink tones. You'll also cruise out to sea to get a better view of the sunset and, with luck, a group of friendly dolphins might follow the route of your vessel!
From $936.00 Per Group
Ancient and Underground Cagliari
Ancient and Underground CagliariCagliari is the capital of the beautiful, wild island of Sardinia. Surrounded by sea and hills, the modern city sits on the top of a continuous stratification of human settlements dating back 5,000 years, from the Neolithic period to today. Relive the fascinating history of this multi-layered city on a private walk through its ancient districts and impressive underground areas. Departing from the city center or from the port of Cagliari, you will meet an experienced local guide who will lead this tour. Cagliari's Sardinian name, Casteddu, literally means "castle", and the tour starts with a pleasant walk along the narrow lanes of the medieval district of Castello. Here, you will admire imposing medieval towers, the Basilica of Santa Croce, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Royal Palace, and the Bastions of this small fortress overlooking the sparkling sea. Large terraces facing the bay, offer an unforgettable view of the city's wide and sinuous landscape. After a short break in Piazza Yenne, the tour continues for a glimpse of a subterranean Cagliari with many stories to tell. Among the highlights of the underground tour are the Don Bosco gallery, used as an air-raid shelter during the World War II; the Crypt of Santa Restituta, a little treasure in the heart of the city; and the Crypt of Sant'Efisio, dedicated to the island's most venerated martyr. For the genuinely active tourists, a full-day tour is also available, and includes a visit to the archaeological site of Sant'Eulalia and entrance to the National Archaeological Museum, whose collection of Sardinian artifacts is second to none. Both half-day and full-day tours include an optional stop where it is possible to sample regional food and wine specialties.
From $52.00 Per Person
Borghese Gallery and Gardens
Borghese Gallery and GardensAfter many years of restoration, the Galleria Borghese is once again inviting visitors to view the superb collection of masterpieces assembled in the 17th century by the great collector and patron of the arts, Cardinal Scipione Borghese. His passion and instinct for art led him to amass a unique collection that includes many Baroque masterpieces. Highlights of the collection are Gianlorenzo Bernini's marble sculpture groups of "Pluto and Persephone" and "Apollo and Daphne," while the painting galleries contain Titian's "Sacred and Profane Love" and other famous works by Caravaggio, Rubens, Raphael and Correggio. The Villa Borghese itself is a noteworthy example of an opulently decorated and frescoed suburban villa, set in a vast park. After the guided tour of the Gallery, you will stroll through the leafy, green expanse of the Borghese Park until reaching the Pincio Terrace: from here there is a beautiful panoramic view of Rome. The tour ends in the Piazza del Popolo, whose centerpiece is a tall and ancient Egyptian obelisk.
From $470.00 Per Group
Capri and 1 other city.
Capri Exclusive Cruise Tour
Capri Exclusive Cruise TourWhat could be better than a full day at sea, circumnavigating the fabled island of Capri? And what if you had the chance to do it in your own personal yacht? Let your wildest dreams come true and sail on an exclusive cruise adventure! Choose the option that best suits your needs from a wide variety of exceptional vessels such as the comfortable Azimut 62ft, the stunning Fiart 23ft, the unique Itama 38ft or the classy Rio Blu 32ft. All of these yachts and speedboats seem more like an upscale hotel suite than an ocean-going yacht, and they are all guaranteed to make your day unforgettable. Your sea escapade departs from the port of Positano or Sorrento. There you will meet our trusted and experienced captain who will guide you from the crystal blue waters of the Amalfi Coast to the ravishing island of Capri. On the way to Capri you will retrace the journey of Ulysses who, seduced by the song of the sirens, landed on the enchanted little islands of LiGalli. Then the captain will sail towards Capri's most famous symbol, I Faraglioni, the setting of a famous advertisement for Dolce & Gabbana perfume. Among the must-see sites on this itinerary are the blue-green waters of the Green Grotto, the natural light emanating from the Blue Grotto, the famous Villa Tiberio and the traditional ports of Marina Grande and Marina Piccola. If you wish, your captain will drop you off on land and give you some insiders' tips on the best restaurants, shops and cafes on this legendary island. Beverages, beach towels and snorkeling masks are included on board. We trust a local saying that "you haven't really experienced Capri until you discover its priceless charms from the sea." So what are you waiting for? Book this exclusive private cruise today!
From $1,452.00 Per Group
Cinque Terre by Private Boat
Cinque Terre by Private BoatThe best way to enjoy the beauty of the Cinque Terre is from the water. During this seven-hour motorboat cruise you will slowly follow the shoreline so you can admire the charming "Five Lands" of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. A local tour guide will relate the fascinating histories of these villages and will accompany you in your visit to four of the five picturesque fishing villages that make up the celebrated Cinque Terre; since Corniglia is situated on the ridge of a rocky promontory and has no pier, it is not included as a stop. During this excursion you'll have plenty of opportunity to swim, sun, fish or just relax on deck and enjoy the scenery. Lunch will be at Trattoria Gianni Franzi - one of the most famous restaurants in the Cinque Terre - located right in Vernazza's main piazza with a view of the sea (lunch not included in the tour price). After a full day of cruising and sightseeing, you'll return to your starting point. Prices apply to departure from Rapallo; other embarkation points are available for a supplement.
From $2,162.00 Per Group
David: A Jewish Hero in Renaissance Florence
David: A Jewish Hero in Renaissance FlorenceThe Old Testament figure of David, the young giant-killer who saved the Hebrew people from tyranny, had special meaning for Renaissance Florentines who saw their city under constant threat from envious rival states. The tour starts in the Piazza della Repubblica, site of Florence's former Jewish Ghetto; it was dismantled in the late 19th century when the city center was modernized. We will then explore the political and artistic symbolism of David as portrayed in five masterworks of Renaissance sculpture: Ghiberti's dazzling, gilt-bronze relief of "David Slaying Goliath" for the Baptistery doors; Donatello's two versions of the young hero in marble and bronze and Verrocchio's bronze statue in the Bargello Museum and Michelangelo's monumental marble "David" for the Piazza Signoria, now housed in the Accademia Museum. A tour of the Great Synagogue and its Jewish Museum can also be arranged, as well as lunch at the communityâs Kosher restaurant.
From $429.00 Per Group
Discovering BolognaBologna La Grassa (the fat one) is a nickname that this historic city has earned thanks to its perpetually burgeoning food scene. Foodstuffs, however, are not Bologna's only claim to fame (although you have to admit that a place where Bolognese sauce and tortellini were created sounds like foodie paradise!). During this 3-hour private tour, you'll discover all Bologna has to offer. Marvel at the oldest university in Europe and its Palazzo Del Archiginnasio, which features Emilia Romagna's largest library. Discover the artworks contained within the city's magnificent Gothic Basilica of San Petronio (it's the 15th largest church in the world). Finally gaze at not one, but two Leaning Towers: Garisenda and degli Asinelli. While wandering under Bologna's elegant porticos, you'll receive an in-depth knowledge of its history and architecture. You will pose for photos in front of Piazza Maggiore's iconic Neptune Fountain, and smell the glorious perfumes of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and rich cured meats escaping from the covered market. You'll end the tour hungry for more; Bologna's gluttonous side has gotten to you!
From $279.00 Per Group
Discovering CasertaThe excursion starts inside the Royal Palace of Caserta, one of the most grandiose of Italy's royal residences. The Royal Palace was commissioned by the Bourbon King Charles III in 1752 and built by Luigi Vanvitelli. The nearly 475,000 square foot palace comprises of 1,200 rooms, 1,742 windows, and four courtyards. Some of the highlights include the Stairwell of Honor, the sumptuously decorated Royal Apartments, Throne Rooms, the Royal Chapel, a Theater, a Library and a precious collection of antique Neapolitan presepio figures (characters from the nativity scene). Annexed to the Royal Palace is the Royal Park, which was also designed by Luigi Vanvitelli. Throughout the 300-acre complex you can admire esplanades, formal gardens, ornate fountains, the Large Fish Livery, the Miniature Castle, a botanical garden referred to as the "English Garden", an Open Air Theater and a magnificent waterfall which Vanvitelli himself enriched with many sculptures of Roman gods, goddesses and realistic animals. The Royal Palace and its park were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
From $412.00 Per Group
Discovering Gubbio's Masterpieces
Discovering Gubbio's MasterpiecesWhen you catch the first glimpse of Gubbio coming from Perugia, through the rolling hills that separate it from the Tiber Valley, you get the feeling that you are about to enter a real medieval citadel, developed around the towering, crenellated castle known as the Palazzo dei Consoli. On this private walking tour, you will discover how Gubbio evolved from the ancient Umbrians until today, and see some of the beautiful, hand-painted ceramics for which the town is known. The tour starts from the current main square at the foot of the hill, from where you will slowly climb up to the Piazza Grande and the Palazzo dei Consoli, traversing the straight streets that follow the Roman layout and the winding alleys of the Middle Ages. Part of the route follows the Camignano brook that provided water to the townâs craftsmen during the 13th and 14th centuries. A stop is made at the little church of San Francesco to admire statues of Gubbio's three patron saints, as well as in the impressive, vaulted spaces of the Palazzo dei Consoli. Next is the medieval gatehouse of Porta Romana. It was restored in 1990 and now houses a precious collection of ceramics, including three by the renowned Maestro Giorgio. The tour finishes with a stroll along the townâs main street, Corso Garibaldi, where you will see several stunning, noble Renaissance facades.
Palermo and 1 other city.
Discovering Palermo's Masterpieces
Discovering Palermo's MasterpiecesLively Piazza Castelnuovo is the starting point for this full day tour. It's bordered by art galleries and cafes, and dominated by the impressive, 19th century Teatro Politeama. Two busy streets Via Ruggiero and Via Maqueda - take you further into the heart of Palermo. Next stop is Teatro Massimo -- the biggest opera house in Italy and the third largest in all of Europe! This beautiful example of the neoclassical style in architecture is renowned for its perfect acoustics. You will continue to walk along Via Maqueda and it will leads to an intersection built in the 17th century to divide the city into four sections; called the Quattro Canti, it became the center of the Baroque Palermo. Here wealthy religious orders built magnificent churches and decorated them with the intricate marble inlay known as mischio. You will pass the Pretoria Fountain in gleaming, white Carrara marble on the way to the church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, known as the Martorana. It is a mixture of Norman and Baroque styles with splendid Byzantine mosaics covering the interior. After a peek at the small churches of San Cataldo and Santa Caterina, you'll walk along Corso Vittorio Emanuele ? Palermo's oldest street -- to the Cathedral. Originally constructed by the Normans, but with an interior that was completely rebuilt at the end of 18th century, it houses the medieval tombs of the emperors and other royal figures. A visit to the oldest outdoor food market in Palermo - Ballaro' finishes off the morning part of the tour. After lunch (not included in cost of tour), you will head to the Palazzo Reale; inside is the Cappella Palatina, one of the most beautiful royal chapels in existence. As a spectacular finish to your day of touring, you will go by car to the little hill town of Monreale, located on the slopes of Mount Caputo overlooking the fertile valley of the Conca d'Oro where Palermo is situated. Famed for its glorious golden mosaics, Monreale Cathedral is the finest Norman building in Sicily. It was built in the 12th century as part of a grand royal complex. The interior is embellished with 70,000 square feet of glittering glass mosaics, arranged in tiers.
From $849.00 Per Group
Discovering Perugia's Masterpieces
Discovering Perugia's MasterpiecesPerugia, the capital of the Umbrian Region, has a glorious past. It was one of the 12 confederate cities of Etruria, an important settlement during the Roman period and an artistic center in the Middle Ages. Set atop a hill, it is encircled by massive travertine walls that were built for protection purposes. A highlight of your visit will be the notorious citadel - the Rocca Paolina - one of the most impressive and frightening symbols of papal power ever built. Constructed by Pope Paul III in 1540 from the remains of hundreds of demolished houses, churches and monasteries, it still leaves its visitors in awe. Walking along Corso Vannucci, the town's vibrant main street, you see the Collegio del Cambio. Once seat of the powerful guild of money changers, its importance is reflected in a fresco painted by Perugino in 1500. Proceeding along this street you pass the Old University, the Palazzo dei Priori, the beautiful 13th century fountain called the Fontana Maggiore and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. From there you descend to the Arco Etrusco, one of the seven Etruscan city gates. Last stop is a visit the Palazzo dei Priori, site of the National Gallery of Umbria. Here is housed a precious collection of Renaissance paintings by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Piero della Francesca and Beato Angelico, as well as other works of art ranging from the 13th to the 18th centuries.
Discovering Siena's Masterpieces
Discovering Siena's MasterpiecesIdeal as an introduction to the splendors of Siena, this half-day private walking tour is perfect for those who want a basic understanding of the culture and historical events that shaped this magnificent city. Siena is so lovely and well preserved that UNESCO has declared its medieval city-center a World Heritage Site. The tour begins in front of the Basilica of San Domenico, where you will learn about Saint Catherine of Siena's mystic life (as well as see holy relics consisting of the Saint's head and thumb); from here you will explore many picturesque corners of the historic center. Marvel at the spectacular zebra-striped Gothic cathedral and baptistery, both of which beautifully symbolize the devout religious nature of the Sienese. Inside the Duomo you can find some of the city's most cherished artworks: statues by masters like Donatello, Michelangelo and Gianlorenzo Bernini, and colorful scenes from the life of a Renaissance pope frescoed on the walls of the Piccolomini Library. Next comes the city's secular heart, Piazza del Campo, where the thrilling horserace known as the Paliois run twice each summer. An understanding of Siena's 17 contrade (city wards dating back to medieval times) helps you to appreciate the pride and rivalry of each group during the Palio. Looming over Piazza del Campo is Palazzo Pubblico (City Hall), a crenellated, Gothic building that represents the independence and economic might of the Sienese oligarchy. The knowledge you gain from this tour will follow you as you explore the rest of the city.
From $319.00 Per Group
Cinque Terre and 1 other city.
Discovering the Cinque Terre: Full-day Excursion
Discovering the Cinque Terre: Full-day ExcursionMonterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore -- each with its own distinct character, set high above the rocky cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea - these five picturesque villages comprise the celebrated Cinque Terre. This breathtaking place was proclaimed a UNESCO Wold Heritage site in 1997 and it is the perfect backdrop for an entire day spent exploring the area. Excursion starts from Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure, but alternatively, the tour can also start from one of the Cinque Terre. The first stop of the tour is Corniglia. After exploring this little village, you hike through the famed terraced vineyards and pine forests all the way to Volastra, and then descend to the seaside town of Manarola. Following a break for lunch, you take the celebrated Via dell'Amore (Road of Love) that connects Manarola and Riomaggiore where you catch a ferry to Monterosso. This is a wonderful chance to admire the beauty of the area from the sea and take some stunning photos to treasure for years to come! Monterosso is the largest of the Cinque Terre and has frequent trains back to Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure. Please note that due to rock slides, the Via dell'Amore is closed until further notice. Therefore you will go from Manarola to Riomaggiore by train.
From $652.00 Per Group
From Riches to Rags: The Story of St. Francis of A...
From Riches to Rags: The Story of St. Francis of AssisiMount Subasio frames the story of St. Francis, the spoiled son of a wealthy draper. He was a general in the army until destiny called on him to become Brother Francis, and subsequently to found the Franciscan Order. This half-day tour introduces you to the place where St. Francis was born, the streets where he walked, the stone floor where he died and the grave where he rests. First stop is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, one of the largest sanctuaries in the Christian world. Here is the beginning and end of St. Francis' earthly mission: his first church - the small stone chapel called "Porziuncola" - and the Cappella del Transito where he died in 1226. Francis' friend St. Clare founded the order of nuns known as 'Poor Clares' whose headquarters is the early Gothic Basilica of Santa Chiara. Her tomb is located in the crypt and the church also preserves the venerated, 12th-century crucifix that spoke to St. Francis. The Renaissance-style Chiesa Nuova is built on top of the presumed birthplace of St. Francis, while nearby is Santa Maria sopra Minerva with its temple facade of six Corinthian columns dating back to ancient Roman times. Assisi's crown jewel is the magnificent Basilica of San Francesco. Two churches built on top of one another house extraordinary, medieval frescoes by Giotto, Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini. The lower basilica is Romanesque and contains St. Francis' humble tomb, carved right into the rock of Mount Subasio, while the upper basilica is Gothic and full of light. Both were painstakingly restored after the disastrous earthquake of 1997. Full-Day Tour Itinerary (Afternoon Hours) After lunch the full day tour continues with the remains of the Roman amphitheater. Built in the first century AD, an original travertine arch and the arena's clearly defined elliptical form can be admired. The Duomo of San Rufino comes next. Although the townâs cathedral is not nearly as famous as the Basilica of San Francesco, its historical importance and beautiful Romanesque facade make it a must-see when in Assisi. San Damiano is 'where it all began in Assisi'. This sacred place, located just outside the city walls, is where young Francesco received his call from the crucifix that miraculously spoke to him. The magnificent Eremo delle Carceri is the last stop on the full day tour. Originally, it was a natural cave in the rock of Mount Subasio where St. Francis used to come and pray, but throughout the centuries buildings were added to create the complex we see today; it is still occupied by Franciscan friars.
From $464.00 Per Group
Amalfi Coast and 1 other city.
Grottoes of the Amalfi Coast
Grottoes of the Amalfi CoastThe world-famous Amalfi Coast is an UNESCO World Heritage site whose rugged coastline, beautiful bays and many sea caves have attracted visitors to this fabled coast for centuries. This full day boat tour is your chance to experience some of the coast's most stunning sites, many of which are approachable only from the water. Departing from Positano, this boat tour first passes the small fishing village of Praiano, considered to be one of the most romantic spots on the coast, and the Fiord of Furore, a fascinating creation of nature that has a small village of the same name at its core. Here, Roberto Rossellini and Anna Magnani fell madly in love with one another while filming the movie L'Amore. Next stop is Conca dei Marini, where you will visit the Emerald Grotto, named after the brilliant green waters inside the cave. Further along, the boat stops by a small cascade of fresh water where you can go for a swim. Upon reaching the port, your will have about three hours to independently visit the town of Amalfi. Then, you will board the boat and slowly cruise back to the port of Positano. Please note that the lunch is NOT included in the total price. Clients have the option of deciding where they would like to eat and pay for the lunch on site.
From $144.00 Per Person
Introduction to Palermo: Half Day Tour
Introduction to Palermo: Half Day TourYour half day walking tour of Palermo begins in the oratories of San Domenico and Santa Cita, decorated with graceful stucco works by Giacomo Serpotta, an Italian sculptor famous for his exuberant stucco sculpture in the Rococo style. Palazzo Mirto, a wonderful example of 17th century architecture with lavishly decorated rooms, is your next stop. When you walk out of the palazzo, just a few steps away is the famous Piazza Marina whose Garibaldi Gardens feature the biggest ficus magnolia trees in all of Europe. This is a wonderful place to sit on a bench and soak up your surroundings. Beautiful Palazzo Abatellis, home of the Regional Gallery of Art, is next. It is located in the intriguing and colorful Kalsa quarter, built by the Arabs in the Middle Ages when they ruled the island. You will visit two of the most exquisite masterpieces in the gallery: "The Annunciation" by Antonello da Messina and the "Triumph of Death," a large and terrifying fresco painted by an unknown master around 1400.
From $340.00 Per Group
Introduction to Turin: City of Chocolate and FIAT
Introduction to Turin: City of Chocolate and FIATFirst stop on this exclusive half-day private walking tour is Turin Cathedral, dedicated to St. John the Baptist and site of the Chapel of the Holy Shroud: here, the precious Shroud is preserved inside an ornate silver reliquary. Not far away is the Royal Church of San Lorenzo, a masterpiece of ingenious construction designed by the priest and architect, Guarino Guarini in 1666. The astonishing Palazzo Reale is a magnificent baroque palace complex surrounded by formal gardens that was home to the Savoy royal family for almost four centuries. A short coffee break in Piazza San Carlo, Turin's most beautiful square, allows you to admire the so-called Caval d'brons. This equestrian statue of Duke Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy depicts him sheathing his sword after the victorious battle of San Quintino in 1557. Historic 19th century cafes surround the square, the most famous being Cafe' San Carlo, Cafe' Torino and Fratelli Stratta with original furnishings from 1836. Turin's tallest and most recognizable landmark comes next: the Mole Antonelliana. Originally built as a synagogue, today it houses the National Museum of Cinema. A glass elevator whisks you up 312 feet in the air for a breathtaking, 360-degree view of Turin and the snow-covered Alps beyond. End your tour with a sweet treat in one of the confectioner's shops in Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Perhaps no other city in Europe has so many pastry shops and chocolate-makers that roast and blend their own cacao beans. Foil-wrapped "gianduiotti" with their distinctive chocolate-hazelnut flavor make a fitting souvenir of the gracious city of Turin.
From $77.00 Per Person
L'Atelier Sangalli: High Fashion Dreams in Milan
L'Atelier Sangalli: High Fashion Dreams in MilanFor those looking to cultivate their inner fashionista, a visit to the L'Atelier Sangalli is an extraordinary experience not to be missed. No place else in Milan can you find a fully functioning workshop of haute couture where accomplished seamstresses are busy working at early 20th century, pedal-operated sewing machines, using techniques from the 1950s to create handcrafted clothing with a contemporary air (young designer Federico Sangalli calls this place his "Factory of Dreams"). Throughout this approximately 2-hour tour, visitors are introduced to a distinctive method of clothing production that has nothing in common with the mass-produced fashion sold all over the world today. Here, on the seventh floor of a building on the corner of Piazza San Babila, Milanese high society women come to be fitted in made-to-measure confections where the beading, lace, embroidery, and even the buttonholes are all made by hand. The mannequins are old school, too, not to mention sized to each client's body. After learning about the history of Sangalli, and seeing its vintage showroom and workshop, it's time for a question and answer session with one of the stylists. You can ask whatever your heart desires: for example, how much does one of these remarkable dresses cost?
From $573.00 Per Group
Lake Como By Private Boat
Lake Como By Private BoatThe best way to enjoy the many splendors of Lake Como is from the water. During this six-hour motorboat cruise you will slowly follow the shoreline so you can admire the charming villages and elegant private villas from up close: Villa Versace, Villa Le Rose, Villa Passalacqua and Villa Oleandra (owned by actor George Clooney). A local tour guide will relate the histories - both past and modern - of these luxurious properties, some of the most costly real estate in the world. Villa Balbianello, a striking complex built in the XVIII century on the site of a Franciscan monastery, is the first stop. It stands on the tip of a steep promontory in the center of the lake, almost directly opposite Bellagio, and is surrounded by panoramic, terraced gardens. An elegant loggia with three arches rises on the land's highest point and dominates the gardens so that nothing distracts from the enchanting vision of the lake's blue waters. In 1974 the villa was purchased by Guido Monzino who led the first Italian expedition to climb Mount Everest. He filled it with art and artifacts acquired during his travels. Villa Balbianello is now administered by Italy's National Trust and a number of films, including the James Bond movie, Casino Royale, and one of the recent Star Wars episodes, have used this location for shooting. After touring the villa and its gardens, you will continue by boat to Bellagio, called the "Pearl of the Lake." Here you'll visit the gardens of the Villa Melzi, adorned with classical statues and rare, exotic plants. In May, the azaleas are justly celebrated.
From $2,036.00 Per Group
Masterpieces of Genoa: The Aristocratic Contributi...
Masterpieces of Genoa: The Aristocratic ContributionsGenoa was a major European powerhouse from the mercantile empire of the Middle Ages until the 17th century because of its strategic position on the Mediterranean Sea. The financial supremacy of Genoa in Europe was aided by and benefited the aristocratic families of the time which grew more powerful as time passed. A testimony of their wealth was evident in the private palaces, squares and churches they constructed. The best way to understand the glorious history of Genoa is by walking through its squares, from the Medieval Piazza San Matteo - owned by the Doria Family - to Piazza DeFerrari, the modern day heart of the city. During this tour, you will also visit Porta Soprana, one of two existing 12th century gates to the city and glimpse from the outside at the Carlo Felice Theater, which was rebuilt following its destruction during WWII. The tour will conclude on Via Garibaldi, formerly known as Strada Nuova, a monumental area with several historic palaces.
From $390.00 Per Group
Off the Beaten Path in Veneto
Off the Beaten Path in VenetoEnjoy a relaxing day in the Veneto hills to the north of Venice. Stroll around enchanting villages and towns, and savor the delicious Italian cuisine and famous wines of the Veneto. During this full-day tour you will travel along scenic back-roads, with enough time to enjoy each destination. The first stop on this tour is the medieval town of Marostica, with its imposing fortified castle and a giant chessboard permanently laid out in the town square, where a famous living game of chess is played every two years. Then you'll move on to the picturesque town of Bassano del Grappa where you will visit the magnificent Palladian bridge. As you walk through the narrow streets and spacious squares of this town, renowned for its hand-painted ceramics, you will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding hills and mountains. You'll also sample some of the local "firewater" known as grappa. Next stop is the enchanting and elegant hill town of Asolo - 'the pearl of Veneto' - filled with full of medieval houses, beautiful Renaissance palaces and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Famous for being the most richly decorated of all the Palladian villas, with amazingly detailed Renaissance frescoes by Paolo Veronese, Villa Barbaro at Maser is the highlight of your afternoon. The tour will end with a visit to Treviso, a small city with canals just like Venice, but with frescoed house facades, medieval arcades and charming (and still working) waterwheels.
From $917.00 Per Group
Cinque Terre and 2 other cities.
Portovenere & Cinque Terre by Private Sailboat
Portovenere & Cinque Terre by Private SailboatThis relaxing full day excursion from La Spezia features views from the sea of the five charming fishing villages that make up the celebrated Cinque Terre, followed by a walking tour of the charming village of Portovenere. This area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997; it was a favorite destination of the English poets Byron and Shelley, and was nicknamed the "Golfo dei Poeti". As you cruise down the Gulf of Poets, you will enjoy some traditional appetizers like salumi, cheese and Liguria's famous focaccia, along with some cold beverages. The boat continues on to Portovenere for a stroll around the small town. This historic seaport is dominated by the zebra-striped church of San Pietro, rebuilt in 1277 on foundations dating from the 6th century. Around lunch time, Martin - your experienced boat's captain - will give you some great restaurant suggestions and you will have some free time on the mainland to enjoy your lunch (not included in the total price). After this stop, you will continue your cruise to the Cinque Terre and depending on the weather and your mood, a stop for a swim is always a possibility.
From $860.00 Per Group
Small Group Boat Tour of Cinque Terre
Small Group Boat Tour of Cinque TerreA gozzo is a traditional, wooden Ligurian fishing boat and Angelo and his American wife, Paula, are the owners of this one that will take you and other clients on an informal and delightful lunchtime cruise in the Cinque Terre. Every trip is a little different but all start from Monterosso al Mare and include 5 hours of cruising to allow you to admire the Cinque Terre from its most beautiful perspective: the sea. Along the way you'll enjoy an apertivo of Ligurian-style tapas and Prosecco and, weather permitting, a swim in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. A stop at the beautiful, private cove of Acquapendente -- famous for its all-season waterfall - gives you a chance to swim, snorkel, explore the sea caves or simply relax in the sun. Beach towels and equipment for snorkeling are provided and so is a delicious lunch of barbequed, fresh fish and home grown, organic vegetables. A homemade dessert and all beverages are included, too. There is a fresh water shower on board the boat and a Bose music system so that your cruise will be as comfortable as possible. At the conclusion of this small group tour you'll return to the harbor of Monterosso al Mare with many happy memories of Ligurian hospitality.
From $239.00 Per Person
Style & Substance: Shopping for the Best of Milan
Style & Substance: Shopping for the Best of MilanFashion-forward Milan was recently cited by the New York Times as one of "The 41 Places to Go in 2011" and no visit to the Lombard capital is complete without a bit of retail therapy! From designer boutiques to handcrafted jewelry to elegant home furnishings, Milan supplies the discerning shopper with the very best quality goods. Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Via Torino and the small niche streets that only a true Milan shopaholic might know are included on this entertaining half-day or full-day tour. Choose the option that is best for you. Our professional shoppers have an intimate knowledge of the city -- its best shopping districts, its new designers, its clothing houses and boutiques -- and they will customize an itinerary just for you. Tell us exactly what you're looking for, or have our guides design an itinerary based on a certain style, theme or item. They will be glad to help you pinpoint the best places to purchase what you desire. This is shopping at its finest -- sophisticated, stylish and oh so Italian!
The Cave World of Matera
The Cave World of MateraWalk down ancient streets where prehistoric humans once tread in the city of Matera in Basilicata. This fascinating historical setting that has been used as a backdrop location for Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," and the Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1993. In the half-day tour the guide will introduce you to the Sassi di Matera, while the full day tour also includes an afternoon visit to the park. The tour begins with an overview of the Caveoso and Barisano districts, both 9,000-year-old neighborhoods of Matera known for their cave dwellings, dug into the rock the city was built on. These habitats date back to the Paleolithic age and are among the first human settlements in Italy. Walk through this underground world, see the ancient water systems, look at how these caves are put to use nowadays and visit MUSMA - the Museum of Modern Sculpture - to see how the historical and modern ages come together. In the afternoon, if you opted for a full day tour, you will explore the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera. Over 150 rupestrian (cave) churches can be found here - some are a simple cave dwelling with one altar, while others are more complex, such as the Crypt of the Original Sin where you can see a magnificent set of frescoes showcasing scenes from the Old and New Testaments, dating back to the 9th century. By the end of the day, you will come to appreciate the unique beauty of this remarkable 'cave city.'
From $166.00 Per Group
The Doge's Dominion: St. Mark's Basilica and the P...
The Doge's Dominion: St. Mark's Basilica and the Palazzo DucaleThe elegant Piazza di San Marco, the political and religious heart of Venice for over 1,000 years, is the starting point for this guided tour. At the eastern end of the spacious piazza is the Basilica of San Marco, built in 1063. With its Byzantine style domes and its stunning golden mosaics, the Basilica is a testament to Venice's historical power as a sea-trading empire, and to its political links with both East and West. Our next stop will be the adjacent Palazzo Ducale, or Doge's Palace, the seat of the Venetian government until Napoleon's conquest in 1797. Today the Doge's Palace houses myriad Renaissance masterpieces, including Tintoretto's Paradiso, one of the largest paintings on canvas ever produced. The Doge's Palace also contains the infamous "Bridge of Sighs," where prisoners took a last, wistful look of Venice before descending to the dank cells below. We will conclude the tour with either a climb up to the Loggia dei Cavalli for a close-up view of the famous equestrian statues, or a visit to the Basilica's stunning gold altarpiece known as the Pala d'Oro. PLEASE NOTE: Due to changes in the booking policy of the Doge's Palace, this tour no longer includes a visit to the "Secret Itineraries" portion of the Palazzo Ducale. The Secret Itineraries is available at Select Italy: Doge's Palace - Secret Itineraries Tour
From $611.00 Per Group
The Genius of Michelangelo
The Genius of MichelangeloA prodigious genius and the world's most celebrated Western artist, Michelangelo's 75-year long career produced many seminal works of art that are found in Florence. Discover what distinguishes him as a master as you make your way through the museums and monuments of this splendid city to focus on one man's brilliance. The tour begins in Piazza della Repubblica, Florence's Forum in ancient Roman times. Leaving the piazza you will walk the same streets as Michelangelo did, passing the Duomo where it was first planned that the statue of "David" would go, high up on the cathedral's exterior. First stop is the Medici Chapel behind the nearby church of San Lorenzo. Here Michelangelo carved the Medici tombs with their enigmatic, reclining figures of Dawn, Dusk, Night and Day. In their unfinished state, they tell us more about the tormented psychology of the sculptor himself than they do about the family they were meant to commemorate. After passing the great Medici Palace, where Michelangelo lived for a time when he was 15-years old, you arrive at the Accademia Gallery. Here, the 15-foot tall marble "David" dominates the specifically created, light-filled apse where he has stood since the late 19th century. You will explore the symbolism and carving technique that characterizes this supreme masterpiece and his attendant "Slaves." Looking for a highlights tour that includes the Accademia and the Uffizi? See our Masterpieces of the Accademia and Uffizi half-day tour.
From $592.00 Per Group
The Museums of Naples
The Museums of NaplesStarting from the National Archaeological Museum, on the ground floor we will observe the superb collection of Greco-Roman sculptures - some found locally in Pompeii and Herculaneum - and others part of the Farnese collection. Then we will see the fabulous "Mosaics of Pompeii" followed by the Galleria Antica di Napoli which houses exhibits on the history of Naples, along with a superb series of terracotta heads. Upstairs we will see fabulous frescoes, a wonderful collection of small bronzes, silver, glass, and ivory from Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as a section dedicated entirely to the artifacts that were recovered from the famous Villa dei Papiri. A fine Egyptian collection will end the morning visit, which will be followed by lunch at a typical local restaurant in the historical center of Naples (cost not included). Proceeding up the Capodimonte hill, we will visit the National Gallery of Capodimonte which houses one of the finest collections of paintings in Italy with works by Raphael, Botticelli and Caravaggio. In the Museum we will also admire a splendid collection of majolica and porcelain that includes the glorious Salottino di Porcellana (Porcelain Room), completely lined with 3,000 beautiful tiles of Capodimonte porcelain. We will conclude our tour in the lush park that surrounds the Royal Palace where we will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Bay of Naples.
From $693.00 Per Group
The Slow Life III: Half Day Cycling Tour of the Um...
The Slow Life III: Half Day Cycling Tour of the Umbrian ValleyA bicycle's leisurely pace and non-polluting mode of transport is the best way to get a close-up view of the verdant Umbrian landscape, with its gentle hills thickly planted in olive groves and vineyards. A professional Italian cycling guide will lead you through the Umbrian countryside and towns of Spello, Cannara, and Bevagna, with views of the hiltowns of Perugia, Assisi and Montefalco. After a pleasant morning of cycling, you will stop for an abundant picnic lunch of typical Umbrian products: local salumi (cold cuts and cured meats), cheese, bread, and olives are just some of the delicacies you will taste.
From $163.00 Per Person
Venetian Renaissance after the Plague
Venetian Renaissance after the PlagueOut of the millions visitors that Venice welcomes every year, only a few are aware of the tremendous impact that the plague had on La Serenissima. Between 1348 and 1509 the Black Death struck the city and its mainland possessions 28 times, continuously challenging Venice's very survival. This fascinating tour starts with a visit to the church of San Rocco, patron of plague victims, which preserves the remains of the Saint and the great works by Tintoretto dedicated to the miracles performed by the Rocco infirmaries where patients were housed. The visit to the church is then followed by a stop in a Venetian mask workshop where the origins and the outfit of the costume worn by the "doctors of the plague" are mapped out for you, according to the interpretation of the disease symptoms. Mask after mask, decade after decade, century after century, you will be able to follow the evolutionary process of providing different interpretations of the plague. The experience continues with a stop at the old wells to discuss the treatment of drinking water and how Venetians could denounce those who did not respect the laws for the prevention and cure of the fatal malady. Our walk ends at the church of Santa Maria della Salute, the votive sanctuary funded by the Senate in 1631 in an attempt to stop the epidemic that cost the lives of 46,000 Venetians. Its history and its popularity are evidence that hope for a future of peace and prosperity are often contingent on both fervent faith and great collective effort. The paintings of the young Titian and Tintoretto and the richness of the pictorial and sculptural decoration of the interior make this church one of the most representative monuments of Venetian civilization.
From $506.00 Per Group
Venice for Children: Belltowers, Gondola Makers & ...
Venice for Children: Belltowers, Gondola Makers & Sailing ShipsThis full-day tour offers an entertaining and informative look at Venice's illustrious maritime past. Starting at the Victor Emanuel Monument on the Riva degli Schiavoni, a short vaporetto ride across the Bacino di San Marco takes you to Palladio's domed church of San Giorgio Maggiore, which floats like a huge galleon on the waters of the lagoon. From the vantage point of its tall brick bell tower you will enjoy a stupendous bird's eye view of the city and the lagoon. On a clear day, the craggy snow-covered peaks of the Dolomites can also be seen. Back down on ground level, the tour continues with a look at the elegant private yachts moored in the harbor and another vaporetto ride across to the quay of the Zattere. On a quiet canal is the old boat-building yard (or squero) of the Tramontin, the only one of its kind left in Venice. Here the art of gondola making will be explained by a member of the Tramontin family: the purpose of the gondola's distinctive curved shape, the choice of eight different woods and other jealously-guarded secrets of a handicraft passed down through the centuries from father to son. From here you?ll go by vaporetto to the massive brick Arsenal, guarded by two friendly lions; this was where the war galleys and trading ships that made Venice the "Queen of the Seas" were built. Last stop will be the Museo Storico Navale. It houses a model of the famous Bucintoro, the doge's ceremonial barge (the original barge was destroyed on the orders of Napoleon).
From $982.00 Per Group
Verona, City of Romance
Verona, City of RomanceThe City of Romeo and Juliet, nestled on the Adige River about halfway between Milan and Venice: this is Verona. Here in one of Northern Italy's most noteworthy gems, you will spend three hours with a private guide discovering Verona's medieval heart. Starting off the tour is the ancient Roman amphitheater, the Arena. This well-preserved amphitheater was constructed at the beginning of the 1st Century A.D. and is famous for its grand opera performances and sold-out concerts. Afterwards, a stroll through Piazza delle Erbe reveals the core of Verona's historic center: a rectangular piazza that once held the Roman Forum. Standouts on this medieval square include the Merchant's House and the antique Roman sculpture reused as part of the Madonna Verona fountain. Next, walking under the Arco della Costa (it gets its name from the huge rib bone of a whale that hangs from the arch), you'll find yourself in Piazza dei Signori. A statue of Dante marks the center of this small piazza where the city's government once resided. Among Verona's most powerful rulers was the notorious Della Scala family whose monumental gothic tombs are masterpieces in marble. No one can visit Verona without seeing the sites connected to Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. The tour ends with Juliet's and Romeo's houses. Built in the 14th century, Romeo's house is protected by a high defensive wall (perfect for keeping out enemy-families!). Juliet's house is situated nearer to Piazza delle Erbe; in the courtyard, a bronze statue of the girl stands underneath the famous balcony, amid letters and graffiti from couples from all over the world declaring their eternal love for one another.
From $252.00 Per Group
The Slow Life II: A Horseback Ride and Umbrian Lun...
The Slow Life II: A Horseback Ride and Umbrian LunchAs Italy's only peninsular landlocked region, Umbria already sets itself apart from its neighbors, but it is the incredible scenery, rich cuisine, and historical significance of towns such as Assisi and Perugia that makes this small region truly outstanding. This tour combines sport, food, and wine to introduce you to the beauty of the Umbrian landscape, as well as give you a taste of the daily life of its people. Your morning begins with a 45-minute horseback ride through the Terre Margaritelli winery in Torgiano, just 10 miles from Perugia. No experience is necessary to enjoy this relaxing excursion through the gentle hills and terraced vineyards of the Umbrian countryside. Immediately after the horseback ride, you will tour the winery itself. Typical Umbrian wines such as Malot, Mirantico, Costellato, Pietramala, and Roccascossa are produced here, and the tour culminates with a wine tasting. Then, after having worked up an appetite, you'll sit down for a delicious lunch of the traditional dishes of the region!
From $163.00 Per Person
Science and Art in the Age of Galileo
Science and Art in the Age of GalileoDuring the infamous reign of the Medici family, an enormous proliferation of the arts and sciences took place in Florence. Find yourself guided directly to these works in the Uffizi Gallery and Science Museum with this unique tour of Medici-sponsored science and art. Begin in the Uffizi Gallery, the world's first public art museum, where the Medici family's own collection of art and scientific instruments are the main focus. Among this incredible collection are the likes of artistic geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Caravaggio. Make your way next door to the medieval Palazzo Castellani, now the home of the Science Museum. Here, in addition to Galileo's own telescope, see a fascinating array of antique globes, compasses, maps, microscopes, armillary spheres and surgeon's instruments. Don't miss the opportunity to put these revolutionary artworks and discoveries in their correct historical perspective. Your tour guide will illuminate your understanding of the world's most seminal works.
From $571.00 Per Group
Two Islands in the Venetian Lagoon: Murano & Buran...
Two Islands in the Venetian Lagoon: Murano & BuranoThe ephemeral beauty of blown glass is a perfect metaphor for Venice and its lagoon. Experience the wonder of this delicate art with a privately guided visit to the island of Murano - for over seven centuries home to the glass making industry which was transferred here from Venice in 1291 as a precaution against fire. With a miniature version of the Grand Canal lined on both sides with glass factories and shops, you are invited to watch the skilled artisans at work and can purchase an exquisite example of their craft as a souvenir at the end. Your private water taxi will then pass through a navigable channel marked by wooden piles. Soon the peaceful, cypress-covered island of San Francesco del Deserto appears on the right; according to a medieval story, St. Francis of Assisi was shipwrecked here and preached his legendary sermon to the birds. Neighboring Burano is dedicated to more secular pursuits. Most of the island's inhabitants are fishermen and some of their wives and daughters still make the lace for which the place is famed. With its brightly-painted houses in shades of lemon, lilac, and tangerine, Burano has a more southern appearance than anywhere else on the lagoon and boasts all the charm that nets, sailcloth, and fishermen give to any port. You will have a complete tour of the island where the local lace making technique "a tombolo" will be explained.
From $966.00 Per Group
The Mithraeum of the Circus Maximus
The Mithraeum of the Circus MaximusClosed to the public since its discovery in the 1930's, this exclusive 1.5 hour tour will take you to the underground chambers of the Circus Maximus where you will discover the mystical religion known as Mithraism. Celebrated as one of the most famous racetracks in the world, the Circus Maximus of Ancient Rome welcomed chariot races, naval battles, and exotic menageries throughout the reign of the Caesars of the Roman Empire. Hidden below this massive spectacle site is one of the most interesting and mysterious sites of Roman history: the Mithraeum of the Circus Maximus. A religion born in antiquity, at a time of elaborate spiritual rites and sacrificial ceremonies, Mithraism is often times identified as a cult. However, this widespread religion has been said to inspire even the most sacred of Christian holidays: December 25th was celebrated as the birth of Mithras. The vast subterranean building dates back to the 2nd century, with the ceremonial chamber, called the Mithraeum, constructed in the 3rd century. The Mithraeum under the Circus remained undiscovered until the 1930's, and is one of the largest locations of the Mithras religion in Rome. As you explore the multiple rooms and area of the building, you will see a magnificent relief in white marble revealing the ceremony called "Tauroctony", a key sacrificial rite of Mithraism.
From $358.00 Per Group
Jewish Venice & Cannaregio (Half Day)
Jewish Venice & Cannaregio (Half Day)A melancholy calm permeates the Venetian Ghetto, which today is home to a mere 50 Jews. During the Renaissance, however, it was a beehive of activity with an intense cultural life and five Synagogues to serve the various nationalities of Jews who settled here.The oldest of these is the Scuola Tedesca of 1528 where German Jews followed the Ashkenazi rite, while the Scuola Levantina (1538) and Scuola Ponentina (1580) administered to Sephardic Jews from the Balkans and Spain. We will visit several of these Synagogues, as well as the Jewish Museum with its fascinating collection of antique ketubboth, or marriage contracts. A striking bronze monument to the Holocaust stands in the Ghetto's main square. The whole neighborhood was once full of foundries where bronze cannons were cast - "gettare" in Italian - from which derived the name "ghetto" subsequently applied to the Jewish quarters of other European cities. On the Calle del Forno the old outdoor oven for baking unleavened bread is still in use. After a snack at a kosher bakery, the tour continues along the quiet Rio della Misericordia. To the right of the Ponte dei Mori is the little palace [no. 3399] where the great 16th century painter Tintoretto spent the last 20 years of his life. He was buried in the nearby Gothic church of the Madonna dell'Orto close by two of his largest and most dramatic canvases: the 50-foot high "Last Judgement" and "Worship of the Golden Calf".
From $562.00 Per Group
The Underground Chambers of San Clemente & Santi G...
The Underground Chambers of San Clemente & Santi Giovanni e PaoloThis 3-hour tour will explore the subterranean chambers below two of the oldest basilicas still present in Rome: San Clemente and Santi Giovanni and Paolo. Both basilicas were constructed in the traditional nave-apse style, but below the buildings are layers of Roman history, dating back as early as the 2nd century! The area below the church of San Clemente is the perfect way to view Rome throughout the different eras of history. The primitive church of San Clemente, which today is located underground, has its origins dating back to the second half of the 4th century. This church was built inside the remains of an existing 3rd century Roman house, or domus, which sprang up from an even older structure. On your tour you'll see various Ancient Roman highlights: from a 3rd century Mitreo, or place of worship for the occult, to the streambed of the ancient river, Clivus Labicanus, which once flowed into Nero's manmade lake, now the site of the famous Colosseum. The church of Saints John and Paul represents four levels of history, from the underground chambers to the basilica rooftop. The 2nd century foundation consists of three Roman houses that were later transformed into a single shop with a street level storefront in the first half of the 3rd century. In the 4th century the building became the house of a nobleman, with beautifully conserved decorations that can be seen your tour. In the later part of the 4th century, a confesso, or a rectangular niche with a slightly elevated landing, decorated with thematically Christian paintings, was added to the structure. Finally, in the 5th century, the construction of the modern-day church began.
From $664.00 Per Group
The Architecture of Joy: Palladian Villas
The Architecture of Joy: Palladian VillasExplore the verdant countryside of Venice's terra firma in this full-day tour that takes you to three of Palladio's most celebrated villas. You'll visit enchanting Asolo, too - called the 'Pearl of the Veneto,' it is one of Italy's most beautiful hill towns and is the perfect place to sample the local wines and regional recipes. Departing from and returning to Venice's Piazzale Roma, first stop is Vicenza - "the city of Palladio" - which UNESCO has made a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of buildings by the famous architect. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, instead of going to Vicenza, you will have the possibility of visiting the Villa Malcontenta on the Brenta Canal. Built for the wealthy Foscari family, it is one of Palladio's most admired structures. Asolo provides the perfect interlude between villas. A walking tour of this picture-perfect little hill town is followed by a leisurely lunch at a local osteria where you'll enjoy delicious regional cuisine and some of the local wines. Villa Barbaro is up next - the most richly decorated of all the Palladian villas, famous for its delightful frescoes by Paolo Veronese. These frescoes were the source of the famous conflict between Palladio, the patron Marcantonio Barbaro and Veronese as they wrestled over the design and ideology of the building. Set in the hillside at the rear of the villa is a spectacular spring-fed statuary grotto known as a nymphaeum. The villa is still the private home of the Volpi family, who has lived here since the 1930's. The last stop of the tour will be Villa Emo in the mainland village of Fanzolo. The villa's simple form, unencumbered by lavish decoration and surrounded by elegant gardens, makes it one of Palladio's purest creations. Its famous five-part profile was used in later Palladio-inspired architecture, including the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
From $1,120.00 Per Group
Livorno and 2 other cities.
Florence & Pisa Shore Excursion: Livorno Port-of-C...
Florence & Pisa Shore Excursion: Livorno Port-of-CallWhen your cruise ship stops at the port of Livorno, why not disembark and take a private excursion to the splendid cities of Florence and Pisa? Visiting Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is like strolling through an open-air museum, while Pisa is home to the world-famous Leaning Tower and you can't return home without a photo of that! Miles of gorgeous Tuscan countryside separate Florence from Pisa, and you'll get to enjoy them as you drive between the two. This excursion features a three-hour, guided walking tour of Florence, including the many picturesque corners of the centro storico: Piazza del Duomo, with its brightly colored, marble-clad cathedral and baptistery; Orsanmichele, once a grain market, the exterior of which is adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture; and the Piazza della Signoria, whose form is the result of a 13th century family feud. A stop at Piazzale Michelangelo offers you an astounding panorama of the city. During your visit to Pisa, you'll see the breathtaking Piazza dei Miracoli with the famous Leaning Tower. Independently explore the beautiful, medieval cathedral, baptistery and the monumental churchyard; if tickets are available, you may even have the chance to climb the bell tower. You'll arrive back in Livorno with plenty of time before the ship sails.
From $1,324.00 Per Group
Livorno and 1 other city.
Florence Shore Excursion: Livorno Port-of-Call
Florence Shore Excursion: Livorno Port-of-CallWhen your cruise ship stops at the port of Livorno, why not disembark and take a private excursion to the splendid, historic city of Florence? Rich in masterpieces of Renaissance art, walking the city's streets is like strolling through an open-air museum. Your private guide will illuminate and entertain you on a three-hour walking tour of the highlights of Florence, including the many picturesque corners of the centro storico. Among these are the Piazza del Duomo, with its brightly colored, marble-clad cathedral and baptistery; Orsanmichele, once a grain market, the exterior of which is adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture; and the Piazza della Signoria, whose form is the result of a 13th century family feud. Perched high above the city center is Piazzale Michelangelo, offering an unparalleled, picture-perfect view of Florence - you'll stop there to take in the breathtaking vista. There's free time for shopping, too, and your guide or driver will be happy to suggest a typical trattoria for lunch. Then it's Arrivederci, Firenze! You'll return to Livorno with plenty of time before the ship departs.
From $1,222.00 Per Group
Naples and 1 other city.
Amalfi Coast - Private Chauffeured Road Trip
Amalfi Coast - Private Chauffeured Road TripThe Amalfi Coast has been enchanting visitors for hundreds of years - from La Dolce Vita to Under the Tuscan Sun, this area has exemplified the romance of Southern Italy on the silver screen. This excursion, departing from and returning to anywhere on the Amalfi Coast, including Naples, Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi, and Ravello, will take you along this picturesque stretch of coast in a private, chauffeured, luxury sedan or minivan, allowing you to experience the charm of this area without the stress of navigating hairpin turns on your own. The best part of this tour is the flexibility which it offers: there is no set itinerary! Your driver will pick you up at your designated address and continue along the coast: you can decide where you want to stop along the way or rely on your driver for suggestions of particularly lovely stops. You can choose to make a stop in Sorrento to shop and then head to Positano and lounge on the beach, or head for the hills and take a stroll on lemon-scented trails above glorious ocean vistas. Do whatever you want! Your car and driver are at your disposal for eight full hours.
From $671.00 Per Group
Pompeii and 1 other city.
Lost Cities: Pompeii & Herculaneum from Amalfi coa...
Lost Cities: Pompeii & Herculaneum from Amalfi coastIn the first century AD the Roman Empire had many cities, but none located in a more beautiful setting than those lining the Bay of Naples in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. On August 23rd, 79 AD, Pompeii looked like any other bustling, prosperous, ancient city but just three days later, on August 26th, the city fell silent and the place itself had literally vanished from the face of the earth. Gradually grass and vines covered the land where the towns had stood and the local people eventually forgot even their names. For more than 1,600 years, they remained buried until Herculaneum was rediscovered in 1738 and Pompeii ten years later in 1748. The imagination of Europe was ignited and suddenly, the classical world was in vogue. Philosophy, art, architecture, literature and even fashion drew upon the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum for inspiration. Now, more than 1,900 years after that fateful August morning, we are learning more and more about the last days of Pompeii and important discoveries are still being made. Begin your exploration of the mysteries of Pompeii and Herculaneum on this fascinating 8-hour excursion from anywhere on the Amalfi Coast.
From $1,283.00 Per Group
Cinque Terre and 1 other city.
Cinque Terre Shore Excursion: Livorno Port-of-Call
Cinque Terre Shore Excursion: Livorno Port-of-CallThe Cinque Terre are the undisputed jewels of the Italian Riviera. These five charming fishing villages, suspended between land and sea on sheer cliffs overhanging the Mediterranean, are one of the world's great beauty spots. Only a 1 1/2 hour drive from Livorno, they make the ideal shore excursion for cruise ship passengers wishing to experience Italy at its most picturesque. Our full-day excursion starts with pickup at the Livorno pier and a private transfer to the town of La Spezia. There, you'll meet your private guide for the day, a local who'll reveal all the secrets of this exquisite area. From La Spezia, you'll head to Manarola (one of the five towns that make up the Cinque Terre), passing dramatic sea cliffs and scenic terraced farms along the way. The celebrated Via dell'Amore is the half-mile path connecting this village to Riomaggiore; you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the gorgeous scenery as you walk. Lunch at a typical trattoria gives you a chance to sample the local food and wine (cost of lunch not included). After a quick visit to Riomaggiore, you'll hop on one of the ferryboats that connects the villages and head to Vernazza. A natural harbor boasting tall, pastel houses and a waterfront piazza protected by a castle, Vernazza looks like the stage set for an opera. From here you'll board a train to return to La Spezia, where your private transfer will be waiting to whisk you back to the Livorno pier. PLEASE NOTE that due to rock slides, the Via dell'Amore is closed until further notice.
From $1,527.00 Per Group