The ultimate introduction to Italy's acclaimed heritage, civilisation-defining culture and world-famous culinary delights. Start by discovering the likes of the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain through expert-led private tours in the iconic city of Rome, before exploring the gothic piazzas of romantic Florence. There's even time for a taste of the Tuscan countryside, as you'll visit medieval towns and tasting your way through the region’s famed vineyards. Knit it all together with a First-Class rail journey and stays in two of the country’s finest hotels.
Your journey begins in with complimentary airport lounge access before your flight to Rome. On arrival, you'll be met by your private driver who will bring you to your exclusive accommodation right in the heart of the Eternal City – the impressive Baglioni Hotel Regina. Shrouded by timeless elegance, the hotel's fine dining vies for your attention against spa indulgences. What's more, when you're ready you'll step right out on to the bustling cafés and restaurants of leafy Via Veneto. Opt to head out for a first meal or take advantage of the hotel's Brunello Lounge and Restaurant, offering an eclectic menu of Mediterranean flavours.
Today we've included the highlights of this historic city through an included private walking tour, so you can get your bearings. Your expert guide will bring the rich heritage of the Vatican's wonders to life, taking in its artistic treasures and the gilded wonders of St. Peter's Basilica before heading further back in time with the Colosseum. Then, there are the Baroque flourishes of the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona's eclectic collection of distinctive architecture and the Renaissance beauty of Capitoline Hill's Michelangelo-designed palaces. The following day you'll have plenty of time to explore at your own pace. Don't also forget to take some time out with the city's gastronomic indulgences, showcased in everything from humble eateries to Michelin-starred restaurants. Likewise, look out for the many chic stylish boutiques for a chance to shop the latest in Italian fashion.
Following breakfast and at a time to suit you, a private transfer will see you to the train station where you’ll board your First Class rail journey to Florence. Your comfortable journey to Rome takes under 2 hours and offers some enjoyable views. On arrival, you will be met by a private driver who'll in turn take you on a short journey to your luxury accommodation for the next three days – Hotel Lungarno – set directly along the banks of the Arno river, less than 100 yards from Florence's famed Ponte Vecchio. The rest of the day is free to familiarise yourself with the hotel and the surroundings.
This morning you’ll have the choice of two private tours. The first is a guided walk, taking in the skyline views from the Piazzale del Michelangelo, Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia and the 15th-century cathedral, resplendent in a multi-coloured marble façade and a giant brick dome. Your second option starts with a visit to the Uffizi Gallery. With front-of-line entry, you'll observe one of the world's greatest collections of Renaissance art. Then, a private driver will take you out to Fiesole in the city’s verdant surrounds. Set on a hilltop, its pretty cathedral, Roman amphitheatre and historic villas boast spectacular views back to Florence.
The following day you'll explore the Tuscan countryside with a private day trip. Your driver will bring you through rolling vineyards to reach Siena, a Gothic masterpiece of red brickwork. It’s famous for its giant piazzas, Palio horserace and the 200 years of artistry that went into its spectacular cathedral, dazzling with a great vaulted ceiling gilded with stars. You'll compare its grandeur to that of nearby Monteriggioni and its imposing hilltop walls before stopping at San Gimignano, a medieval town of giant brick towers. In between, you'll have a chance to taste some of the region's award-winning viticulture, sampling the local vernaccia – a deliciously dry white wine.
Have a final breakfast at leisure, and depending on the timing of your flight home you have time to capture some final memories or do some last minute shopping. Finally, you'll be transferred to the airport by private driver in time for your flight back to the UK.
"This Rome and Florence twin-city trip is perfect for first-timers to Italy as it combines the country's two iconic cities, each with their own distinct attractions and cultures. While Rome is all about its headline landmarks like the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain, Florence allows you to immerse yourself in a world-class artistic culture and gourmet cuisine. "
15 Mar - 18 Apr / 26 Jul - 29 Aug 2024 from: £3,070 pp
19 Apr - 25 Jul / 30 Aug - 31 Oct 2024 from: £3,745 pp