Luxury Italian Bucket List
Once-in-a-lifetime Italy - Orient Express, Venice, Lake Como, Florence, Amalfi Coast and Rome
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- A night on the Orient Express luxury train
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Privately guided tours
- Private transfers and first class rail travel
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Embark upon this exquisitely luxurious 20 day tour to see Italy’s evocative highlights in the most glamorous of styles, with exclusive private tours and only the finest hotels.
Begin with a night in London before boarding the legendary Orient Express across France and through the snow-capped Alps to Venice. A ‘must do’ trip for many, this elegant journey invokes the spirit of a bygone era with incredible attention to detail – and this is just the start.
Enjoy three nights in Venice, one of the world’s most romantic cities, exploring its maze of canals and seeing St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and Rialto Bridge. Naturally they’ll be a gondola ride, but you will also get to see inside a private palace on the Grand Canal and visit quieter, authentically Venetian islands out in the lagoon such as Burano and Torcello, with lunch at a Michelin star winning restaurant surrounded by vineyards on Mazzorbo.
Travel west via a winery to the shores of Lake Como, whose sparkling waters and surrounding Rhaetian Alps make for one of Italy’s prettiest destinations. Here, take a day to relax and a private boat tour to see the fairytale villas and towns that dot the lake’s edge.
Then it’s on to Milan for a night of opera at world renowned La Scala before continuing south to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. As well as walking its enchanting streets between great masterpieces of art and architecture, you venture out of the city to visit Pisa and spend a day drinking in the rolling hills, terracotta towns and fine chiantis of Tuscany.
Onwards down the boot, via the extraordinarily well preserved ruins of Pompeii, to the Amalfi Coast, for four nights in one of the most dramatic and glamorous spots in Italy. Take a private tour to the candy coloured towns strung along the Amalfi Drive, each more charming than the last, and head out to the isle of Capri for a day trip aboard a private boat.
Your last destination is Rome, the eternal city, a fitting finale to your three weeks. Wander through millennia of history, stretching back through the Renaissance to the glorious monuments of Imperial Rome, get exclusive access to the Vatican City and experience the Papal Audience.
Example Trip Itinerary
Airside meet and greet at Heathrow airport
Private transfer to your hotel in London
Accommodation in London
- 96 rooms and suites
- Bowling alley
- Buzzing restaurant and bar
- Roof terrace
Just moments from bustling Soho and a stone’s throw from Mayfair, the Ham Yard Hotel is an oasis of calm in the heart of central London. Quintessentially British but with a modern twist, the hotel is bursting with character and is impeccably styled, its decor a unique mix of vibrant colours, patterns and textures. Each room has been individually designed and features floor-to-ceiling windows. There is the option of interconnecting rooms, making it an ideal base for families. Enjoy sweeping views across the London skyline from the roof terrace, a haven of tranquility with lush planting and tinkling fountains. There’s a real buzz around the beehive and the kitchen garden keeps the hotel restaurant’s larder well stocked. When you need to put your feet up, you can relax with the papers or a book in the library or curl up in front of the fireplace in the drawing room. There’s a world of culture on your doorstep, but in between soaking it up at the nearby galleries and museums be sure to pull up a chair at the bar and sip an expertly mixed cocktail or enjoy a decadent afternoon tea.
- 111 rooms and 23 suites
- Ritz Restaurant
- Palm Court for afternoon tea
- Rivoli Bar
- Private club
- A ratio of over two staff to every guest room
Since its opening in 1906 César Ritz, this London landmark has been a firm favourite of royalty, heads of state and thousands of discerning guests for over a century, and has become a symbol synonymous with true luxury. Its opulent Louis XVI neoclassical style flows throughout the establishment, from the grand Long Gallery lobby and into each of its 111 rooms with their signature blue, yellow, rose pink or peach colours. Some offer exquisite views into Green Park or Piccadilly and a handful can be connected for families. 23 suites range in size from 62 square metres (665 square feet) to a positively palatial 260 square metres (2,802 square feet) five bedroom suite. Each enjoy 24-hour butler service and a one-way London airport transfer in the chauffeur driven Ritz Rolls-Royce Phantom. The Palm Court is the setting for the quintessentially British Afternoon Tea at The Ritz, while the Rivoli Bar is the place for Champagne and cocktails amidst Art Deco glamour. The Ritz Restaurant, one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the world, serves timeless fine French classics. There is also a spa on the seventh floor, a tranquil sanctuary in this bustling part of town, and the exclusive Ritz Club with its own bar, award-winning restaurant and 24 hour gaming facilities which residents of the hotel are welcome to visit during their stay.
- 268 rooms and suites
- Three restaurants
- Award-winning cocktail bar
- Afternoon tea
- Beauty and Fitness spa, pool and gym
Wonderfully located between the Strand and the northern banks of the River Thames, The Savoy has stood as a London landmark since its opening in 1889. 268 luxury rooms and suites celebrate two distinct historic styles – stately English Edwardian and Art Deco grandeur – each encapsulating a timeless London glamour. Many enjoy wonderful views across the river and to other monuments around the city. Those staying in suites have a dedicated butler service, and all guests have access to Beauty and Fitness, a private facility in which offers spa treatments, a private pool, and 24-hour gym. Fine dining is central to The Savoy’s history, indeed upon its opening it attracted an aristocratic crowd in full regalia, suppering in public for the first time. Today, Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill offers informal dining in a stylish Deco setting, whilst Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill presents a British menu with a French touch. Simpson’s-in-the-Strand celebrates the best of British and is famous for its roasts. The award-winning Beaufort Bar is renowned for pushing the boundaries of mixology and the Knight’s Bar is perfect for pre-theatre drinks. The beautiful Thames Foyer is where The Savoy serves one of London’s best Afternoon Teas.
London is one of the most exhilarating and diverse cities in the world. This thriving metropolis has a rich history evident at every street corner and yet it continues to innovate, reinvent itself and lead the world.
Private transfer to London Victoria station
Venice Simplon-Orient Express
Journey in classic style from London on a luxurious overnight trip to Venice. From the vintage carriages and liveried stewards to the refined cuisine and fine wines, this classic rail trip is timelessly romantic.
On the morning of the first day, board the beautiful Belmond British Pullman train at London Victoria station. Sit back and enjoy brunch served with a Bellini as you steam through the Kentish countryside to the coast.
After crossing the Channel board the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train and enjoy a delicious four-course dinner, prepared by skilled French chefs. After dinner retire to your cabin, which has now been transformed into a cosy bedroom.
Awake to the magnificent mountain and countryside scenery as breakfast is served in your cabin, then spend the morning relaxing in your cabin or in the Bar Car chatting to fellow guests.
Lunch is a leisurely three-course affair served in another one of the beautiful restaurant cars and a relaxing afternoon is punctuated by tea. All too soon it is time to prepare to disembark as the train crosses the Venetian Lagoon and pulls into Santa Lucia station.
Private boat transfer to your hotel in Venice
Accommodation in Venice
- 96 rooms and suites
- Fine dining, al fresco and poolside restaurants
- Wellness centre
- Olympic-sized swimming pool
- Red-clay tennis court
- Private shuttle boat to St Mark's Square
- Children's club
The iconic Belmond Hotel Cipriano is located on Guidecca Island, across the water from St Mark’s Square, a most enviable location that has long helped make the hotel one of Venice’s most exclusive. 96 rooms and suites, split between the mid 20th century building and historic palazzo, are decorated in an opulent and impeccably Venetian style, with views out across the lagoon and cityscape or the lush Casanova gardens. Fine dining options, such as the Michelin-starred Oro Restaurant and Cip’s Bar, take full advantage of the location’s wonderful vistas, while the Gabbiano Bar, Wine Cellar and Piano Bar are each draws in the evening. The famous Olympic-sized swimming is at the centre of the property, the only one of its size in central Venice. There is a personal trainer on site, red-clay tennis courts, and a fitness centre, as well the Casanova Wellness Centre for something a bit more relaxing. It is just five minutes from the Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s own pier to St Mark’s in the heart of Venice. Here the city’s highlights await.
- 61 rooms and 21 suites
- Club del Doge Restaurant
- Bar Longhi
- Culinary school
At the Grand Canal’s edge, the historic Gritti Palace occupies a building that dates back to 1475 as a private home for the noble Pisani family, followed by the distinguished Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti. Carefully restored in 2013, the Gritti’s heritage and culture have blended with a renewed Venetian style. 61 luxurious guest rooms and 21 sumptuous suites, including some with canal views, are replete with rare archival fabrics, the finest Italian marbles and a stunning array of new and original chandeliers from Murano, as well as the latest technology and sumptuous beds. Gritti’s famous terrace has long been a social hub. The splendid Bar Longhi features some of the best cocktails in Venice and the Club del Doge Restaurant features regional specialties, casual chic by day and a more formal affair at dinner. The palace is also home to the Gritti Epicurean School, an informal Venetian open kitchen that hosts wine tastings, cooking workshops and celebrations. Well located by the Grand Canal on the southern edge of the San Marco district, Venice’s great opera house, cathedrals, museums and palazzos are all close by.
- Two suites
- Five themed rooms
- Five deluxe rooms
In the gallery-filled Dorsoduro borough, hidden away by the Salute church, is the intimate Ca’ Maria Adele in its quaint 16th-century palazzo. There are just twelve sumptuous rooms, including two suites and five themed rooms inspired by Venice’s history, such as the Oriental Room, a nod to the travels of Marco Polo, and the Doge’s Room, all deep-red damask drapes and gold accents. The vibe is Venetian and decadent – think terrazzo floors, Murano chandeliers and antique furnishings – but playful touches of African wood, polished concrete and a laid-back, bohemian atmosphere make it modern. Whilst lacking a restaurant of its own, breakfast is served wherever you feel, whether in room, in the lounge or out on the terrace, a setting where Italian-style tea can be enjoyed in the afternoon. There is also an exceedingly well stocked bar. Ca’ Maria Adele can organise tailored tours in and around the city, the Royal Palace a short gondola ride away from the hotel’s own water entrance. Being in Dorsoduro, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Punta della Dogana and the Magazzini del Sale are a short stroll away.
- 210 rooms and suites
- Rooftop restaurant
- Wine suite
Set on the lively Riva degli Schiavine promenade, Hotel Danieli is the epitome of Venetian style and elegance. On entering the hotel you are welcomed by rich golds and reds, marble floors and beautiful tapestries. This classic décor is carried throughout the 210 rooms and suites which feature high ceilings, Murano glass lamps and large windows through which you can take in the views of the canal or the cobbled streets of the city. The rooftop restaurant allows guests to gaze out across the Grand Canal, watching the gondolas glide across the water while enjoying traditional Venetian cuisine influenced by the spice traders that used to pass through the city. For a pre-dinner aperitivo or a morning cappuccino, Bar Dandle with its marble columns and chandeliers has plenty of atmosphere. You’re ideally situated to explore Venice, just minutes from the Bridge of Sighs, Piazza San Marco and the Palace Gardens.
Sat within a shallow lagoon between the mouths of Po and Piave rivers, Venice is formed of 118 islands formed by some 170 canals connected by over 400 bridges. The entire city is considered a World Heritage Site, an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building may contain works by some of the Europe's greatest artists.
Iconic attractions on the main Rialto islands are evocative by name alone - Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Grand Canal - a unique collection of brooding Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque architecture. Days can be spent discovering tucked away galleries, museums and palazzos. Away from the crowds, other islands are where traditional Venetian culture still runs deep.
As you wander through Venice's winding streets and waterways, you'll learn all about the city's history and development. A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Doge's Palace is just as impressive inside with works by Titian, Veronese, Tintiretto, Vittoria and Tiepolo adorning the walls. Your historical walking tour will also take in a visit to the shimmering, mosaic-filled St. Mark's Basilica, the mightiest of Venetian monuments. Its architecture, a mixture of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian, is the work of artists and craftsmen from all over the world.
You'll also visit the lively market on and around the Rialto Bridge, where sellers hawk their mountains of colourful fruit and veg and shimmering seafood.
No visit to Venice would be complete without experiencing it. Travel like a Venetian on a gondola down the city’s iconic canals. It gives you a very special point of view and it is from the water that Venice offers its most spectacular side.
Start your day with a private cruise along the Grand Canal, and admire this beautiful city from a different angle. Your guide will point out the important sights, explaining the history and significance behind them as you travel along the waterways. Visit the noble floor of a private palace on the Grand Canal complete with original furnishings, fabrics and chandeliers and admire the magnificent secret Italian garden.
You will then take a walk through the Dorsoduro district, near the Accademia, passing the church of San Sebastiano where Veronese, one of Venice’s most famous Renaissance painters, is buried. You’ll then visit Venice’s famous islands of Burano, known for its colourful houses, and Torcello, the first island in the lagoon to be inhabited. Torcello is home to a beautiful cathedral with mosaics dating back to the 1100s, and the Locanda Cipriani where Ernest Hemingway stayed while writing ‘Farewell to Arms’.
Enjoy a meal of fresh local produce at the Michelin star winning Venissa Ristorante on the quiet island of Mazzorbo, surrounded by the estate's vegetable gardens and vines.
This hilly, agricultural and marble-quarrying region is famous for its wine production, a practice that has existed since the time of the ancient Greeks. A variety of wines are produced here, including a Recioto dessert wine and Amarone, both made from dried grapes. Several light and fragrant styles are also produced here. You'll visit a local winery to learn all about the processes and techniques used in the production, and enjoy a tasting.
Accommodation in Lake Como
- 90 rooms and suites
- Five restaurants and bars
- Outdoor pools
- Indoor pool and spa
- Fitness centre
- Billiards room
Lake Como is all about style and elegance, and the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo with its impressive art nouveau façade, fits the brief perfectly. Sat on the western shores of the lake, the hotel looks out across the water to the pretty town of Bellagio and the dramatic Grigne mountains. Not to be outshone by its famous neighbour, Villa Carlotta, the hotel sits within beautifully landscaped gardens filled with rare and ancient magnolias, palm trees and flowers that explode in clouds of red, purple, pink and blue. Rooms come with large windows that look out over lake or gardens, and the views from the rooftop suites are hard to beat. It’s not just the scenery that’ll catch your eye, however, and there’s plenty to admire inside as well. The lounge is filled with brightly coloured furniture and features ornate silk hangings on the wall, while the billiards room is home to an original table from the 1800s. Guests can dine on seasonal Mediterranean cuisine in the restaurant where in the warmer months, food is served on the terrace. The trattoria and wine bar is perfect for more casual dining, offering the relaxed atmosphere of an ancient wine cellar with a touch of modern elegance. Relaxing here is easy; the hotel has a secluded outdoor pool in the gardens and its own man-made beach, located just in front of the water-on-water floating pool on the lake. The indoor infinity pool and spa look out over the water and offer luxurious ESPA treatments. The hotel also has its own water limos for when you want to explore and discover the lake.
- 73 rooms and suites
- Floating outdoor pool
- Spa and fitness centre
Lake Como has welcomed plenty of well-known faces in its time, and you’re following in famous footsteps with a stay at the Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como. The hotel was once home to Giuditta Pasta, one of the most successful opera singers of the 19th century, and it’s easy to see why she chose this particular spot. The resort features 73 rooms and suites and two villas, perfect for those looking for the ultimate getaway. The majority of rooms come with lake views, some with private balconies or pools. Located at the south end of the lake, the Mandarin Oriental is ideal for those coming from Milan. You’re also ideally situated for exploring, and some of the main attractions, including Villa Carlotta, are easily reached by boat. If relaxing closer to home is more your thing, then take advantage of the spa with indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna and outdoor pool. Fresh Mediterranean cuisine can be enjoyed in the Orangerie restaurant or out on the terrace. If it’s an aperitif you’re after to enjoy while the sun goes down, then the Bellini Bar should be your first port of call, with views over the lake.
Lake Como has been a popular retreat since the time of the Roman Empire, and its popularity shows no signs of waning. Shaped like an inverted ‘Y’, the lake is long and slender and one of Europe’s deepest. Surrounded by the Rhaetian Alps and close to the border with Switzerland, its enviable position means few fail to be charmed by its beauty. Picturesque towns, grand villas and beautiful gardens are scattered around the lake and exploring them is easy thanks to the ferry service.
The sparkling waters of Lake Como and the surrounding Rheatian Alps make this one of Italy’s prettiest destinations. Take to the water and enjoy a boat tour of the lake that lets you appreciate its beauty from the best angle. The lake is flanked by beautiful villas and small villages with ancient stone bell towers. You’ll see the small wooden island of Comacina as well as the characteristic bell tower of Santa Maria Maddalena, before proceeding to Bellagio, known as the pearl of the lake, where you can walk along its narrow streets.
Private transfer from Lake Como to Milan
Accommodation in Milan
- 65 rooms
- 33 suites
- Bistro lounge
- Indoor pool
A city known for its elegance and style, it’s no surprise that Milan’s five-star Palazzo Parigi is achingly chic. With culture, history and fashion on your doorstep, you’re ideally situated to experience all that this city is about. The sweeping marble staircase that greets you is a sign of things to come, with every corner of the hotel beautifully styled. 65 bright and spacious rooms and 33 lavishly decorated suites provide a haven for city explorers, each featuring a balcony or terrace overlooking the hotel garden or Milan’s characterful streets. Staying true to Italian culinary traditions, the hotel’s restaurant serves honest yet creative dishes; the glass tunnel and food alter add a real sense of theatre. The walls are adorned with works of art ranging from the 17th to 19th century and a private garden is the perfect place to spend a balmy summer evening. The more relaxed bistro lounge is ideal for casual dining, cocktails or an afternoon treat crafted by the master patissier. Exploring this exciting and bustling city can be tiring, so be sure to take some time out and unwind in the pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath. Enjoy all Milan has to offer including the Teatro alla Scale opera house and the Gothic Duomo before exploring the fashion district for stylish additions to your wardrobe.
- 77 rooms including eight suites
- Wine cellar and bar
- Amore & Psiche Spa
Neither French, as its name might suggest, nor typically Milanese with its overtly playful design, the Château Monfort is truly unique in both its interiors and ethos. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel is housed within an early 20th-century art nouveau building, and draws its inspiration from the world of fairytales and opera. Pastel colors adorn the walls of the 77 rooms, enhanced by floral patterns and butterflies, mosaics on the floors, mirrors and princely alcoves. Downstairs you’ll find the exceptional glass-domed Lounge Bar Mezzanotte – the perfect spot to sip a Milanese aperitivo. The magnificent Rubacuori Restaurant is split into three unique rooms, including a room of mirrors and of ceramic animal head trophies, and specialises in modern Italian cuisine. Underneath it all is the Cella di Bacco, an inmate setting for an informal meal of cold cuts, cheese and fine wines. The Château Montfort also has its own spa – the Amore & Psiche Spa – an exclusive refuge with a sauna, Turkish bath and swimming pool.
An arbiter of international style, Milan is Italy’s financial and industrial heart, a thoroughly modern European city with a great history not far under the surface. Whether shopping, seeing da Vinci’s Last Supper, dining or out discovering hip canal-side bars, Milan is a city with an overlooked charm hiding just beneath the chic surface.
This dynamic city is know the world over for its glamour and you'll enjoy a tour which lets you explore its gems. The cathedral is the fourth largest in the world and is a spectacular example of Gothic architecture. The Milanese are known for their style, and you'll visit the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of the world's oldest shopping malls. Together with Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, it is considered one of the most important areas for shoppers.
The Dominican convent adjoining the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie houses one of the most important masterpieces in the world, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. Only a small number of people are admitted at a time to help protect the fresco from further damage.
The Teatro alla Scala was founded under the auspices of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, to replace the Royal Ducal Theatre which was destroyed by a fire. Designed by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini, La Scala opened in the summer of 1778 and has been hosting world-class opera and ballet ever since.
Private transfer to Milan train station
Train from Milan to Florence
Private transfer to your hotel in Florence
Accommodation in Florence
- 37 rooms and 7 suites
- Le Bistrot Restaurant and bar
- Spa with hammam
- Heated outdoor swimming pool
- Complimentary shuttle service to the city
Overlooking the historic Boboli Gardens, near to Florence’s centre, Villa Cora is an exquisitely restored 19th century palace that offers step back into the grandeur of neoclassical Florence, with eclectic and occasionally bizarre artistic styles of the period. Built at a time when Florence was the cosmopolitan capital of the newly created Kingdom of Italy, Villa Cora earned its reputation by hosting guests such as Princess Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, and the Russian composer Tchaikovsky, being considered the most beautiful residence of the Tuscan capital. It became a grand hotel in 1960, during another of Florence’s most stylish periods. The hotel has 44 rooms and suites, divided into the main villa and in two adjacent buildings. The majority are in the main villa, split over four floors, each of which has been characterised around a theme, one with extravagant frescoes, another taking Moorish influence from the Orient. Villino Eugenia is a small guesthouse overlooking the Boboli Gardens, containing 13 accommodations, each decorated and furnished according to the bourgeois styles of the late 19th century. Lastly, La Follie, a small guesthouse located at the edge of the park that surrounds Villa Cora has a particular charm and discretion with only two rooms for complete privacy. Le Bistrot Restaurant offers seasonal produce, during the winter months in the splendid Moorish Room with its domed ceiling with original frescoes by Antonio Caremmi, and in the summer outdoors in the winter garden by the side of the swimming pool, where guests can relax in an elegant yet informal environment. The Benè spa is located on the lower floor of Villino Eugenia and is equipped with a small gym, tepidarium, sauna and Turkish hammam. The wellness centre offers Asian and European massages as well as beauty treatments. There is also a large heated outdoor pool shaded by vast oak trees.
- 88 rooms and 14 suites
- Irene restaurant
- Bicycle hire
- Family friendly tours
The Hotel Savoy could not be more centrally located if it tried, located on Florence’s Piazza della Repubblica, next to the Duomo, with all the famous attractions of the city within walking distance. Interiors are the work of designer Olga Polizzi, combining sleek and contemporary Italian with the building’s historic form, along with some more playful touches throughout. There are 88 rooms and 14 suites, including the two bedroom Repubblica Suite and its spectacular view over the square, and the Brunelleschi and Signoria suites that each enjoy private steam rooms. Hotel Savoy’s restaurant, Irene, is overseen by renowned chef Fulvio Pierangelini and offers authentic flavours using local seasonal products, with some light and healthy reinventions of Tuscan classics. During warmer months, guests can enjoy al fresco dining on the terrace and soak up the atmosphere.
- 20 rooms and 25 suites
- Two restaurants and three bars
- Gym and spa
- Swimming pool
- Extensive gardens
- Complimentary shuttle service to and from Florence
Set amidst lush trees and terraced gardens, the Belmond Villa San Michelle enjoys the most perfect view over Florence from its hilltop position. Dating back to a 15th century monastery, the renaissance villa’s facade has been attributed to Michelangelo, as much a part of Italy’s heritage as the cathedrals and galleries down the hill. Today, Belmond Villa San Michele is recognised as one of the country’s finest boutique hotels. Each of the 20 rooms and 25 suites are unique, with sumptuous antiques, along with cotto-tile flooring and bright Florentine textiles. Separate from the main building, the exquisite Limonaia Villa contains three suites located in the convent’s former orangery, all with incredible views. These can be connected together to create perhaps the most glamorous villa in Tuscany, a unique haven for families and groups of friends, or for a special occasion such as a wedding or exclusive party. Belmond Villa San Michelle is naturally a favourite among honeymooners, however there are special services tailored towards family adventures, and world famous the cookery school is a destination in itself. A huge range of activities are on offer, such as exclusive historical tours and rafting under the Ponte Vecchio, and there is a complimentary shuttle to and from Florence itself. At the hotel, relax amongst the immaculate gardens and at the spa, swim in the panoramic pool or take part in one of the renowned culinary classes. Dining options here include one of the best restaurants in Florence – the romantic La Loggia – and more laid back cuisine at the Pool Restaurant, each with their own bar, as well as the Cloister Bar in the old monastery.
Surrounded by rolling Tuscan hills, the beautiful city of Florence is one of Europe's most enchanting and historically influential cities. If anywhere in the world can claim to have shaped modern Western consciousness, it is Florence's grand piazzas and palazzos.
The world's greatest Renaissance artworks and sculpture can be found at every turn in the historical centre, an area that can be traversed on foot in under an hour but would infinitely longer to properly explore.
Explore Florence’s Renaissance past with this guided walking tour of the city's historic centre. Begin with the church of Santa Maria del Fiore – the famous Duomo - to view Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome. Nearby you’ll see the Campanile of Giotto (bell tower) and the Ghiberti’s enchanting ‘Gates of Paradise’, door to the Baptistry. A short walk next takes you to the Medici Palace, from where the powerful dynasty ruled over the Golden Age of Florence. You'll also visit the Academia Gallery, home to Michelangelo's ‘David’, one of the finest sculptures ever created.
You're sure to have seen it in plenty of books, and now you can learn all about the city of Pisa and its famous leaning tower. The tower itself is the belfry for a magnificent cathedral complex with a baptistry and walled cemetery, and you'll hear what inspired the artists and architects of this cathedral square, known as the 'Field of Miracles'. Inside this square sits the tower, and you'll wind your way to the top, feeling the 'lean' as you ascend.
Today discover the beautiful Chianti region with a private driver at your disposal. Learn about some of the most excellent Italian wines, or perhaps simply explore the beautiful of Tuscany countryside and its scattered Medieval towns.
Your tour starts at the Piazza del Duomo with the spectacular Romanesque and Gothic cathedral. The square is surrounded by the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital, the Archbishop's Palace, the unfinished Duomo, Opera del Duomo museum, the crypt and the baptistry. You'll then reach the Piazza del Campo, a unique shell-shaped area which was paved with bricks in the 14th century. Be sure to look out for the different animals and symbols that represent the city's 17 contradas; giraffes, dragons, owl, unicorns and caterpillars all appear on the outside of buildings and competition between them is fierce during the Palio horse race which happens twice a year.
Private transfer to Florence’s train station
Train from Florence to Naples
To visit Pompeii is as close as you can get to travelling in a time machine back to ancient Rome. In August of 79 AD, Vesuvius had been rumbling for some days and it is estimated that a large part of the population of 20,000 had been evacuated; those that were left were as if suspended in time, as the plaster casts made of the bodies that were found shows. Excavation started in the 18th century and continues to this day.
You will get to walk Roman streets, look into bars, stroll into Patrician villas, complete with frescoes and mosaics, there is even a mosaic doormat, saying ‘beware of the dog’. Graffiti (an Italian word) is written on some of the walls, reflecting a forthcoming election. When you see the baths, the central heating systems and the gentle fountains in the courtyards of the villas, you really feel it wouldn’t be too much of a hardship to live there.
Private transfer to your hotel on the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast
Accommodation in The Amalfi Coast
- 20 rooms and suites
- Infinity pool
- Restaurant and bar
- Fully equipped spa
- Outdoor fitness area
After falling for the ruins of this dramatically perched 17th century convent while boating in Salerno Bay, the American owner of the Monastero Santa Rosa spent the next decade painstakingly renovated and restoring the building, creating the stunning and secluded boutique hotel it is today. With only 20 rooms and suites, but plenty of outdoor living areas and private spaces dotted around the estate, this unique property is dedicated to total relaxation, as you can take your pick from the various secluded sun terraces perched on the hillside. Make your way down the lush tiered gardens to reach a truly breathtaking infinity pool where you can soak up the sweeping, panoramic views across the Amalfi Coast. The sisters’ former winery is now the setting for a vast sanctuary of a spa – an impressive selection of some 400 wines now stored in the cellar of Ristorante Il Refettorio, where guests can expect an innovative Mediterranean gastronomic experience with the freshest ingredients from the gardens and surrounding Campania region. The convent sits in the quaint fishing village of Conca dei Marini, just a 20-minute car or boat ride from the most scenic towns along this glamorous coastline – notably Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. An array of excursions can be organised, from walking trails and cultural tours, to diving and windsurfing.
- 43 rooms and suites
- Three restaurants
- Cocktail bar
- Swimming pool
- Rooftop solarium
A Ravello establishment, the gracious Palazzo Avino combines its long history, unwavering modern luxury and timeless coastal views. Much the current structure was built on the remains of a 12th century palace in 1710 by the Sasso family, then renovated in the 19th century as the grand Hotel Palumbo that hosted a long list of royalty, aristocrats, actors, poets and writers. Reborn again two decades ago, it has consistently rated amongst the best hotels in Europe ever since. There are 43 rooms and suites, the pick which have wonderful sea views while others look back to the mountain or charming town. Interiors are bright with a selection of period furniture and typically resplendent Italian bathrooms. Dining here is an absolute highlight. The famed Rossellinis offers Michelin-star dining and fine regional wines, while Terrazza Belvedere is a more casual affair with panoramic views. Caffé dell’Arte is the place apertivos and cocktails and the Lobster & Martini Bar is self explanatory. The heated pool, gym, full service spa and rooftop solarium’s jacuzzis make the most of the views. Another unique feature is the Palazzo Avino’s Clubhouse by the Sea. Just 15 minutes away, on a complimentary shuttle service to the small town of Marmorata, guests have use of the beach platforms, a small swimming pool and casual Clubhouse Restaurant.
- 50 luxury rooms and suites
- Seasonal restaurants
- Wine cellar
- Private seafront deck
Built upon the ruins of a Roman villa in the 18th century and a landmark hotel ever since, the Bellevue Syrene brings bright modern style and refined service to a setting above Sorrento that has long attracted emperors, artists and intellectuals. From its precarious cliffside position, views spill out across the Gulf of Naples to Vesuvius in the distance. 50 luxury rooms and suites are elegantly furnished, interiors blending traditional features and historical artefacts with more contemporary finishes. Most boast sea views and balconies. The breathtaking Roccia ‘Rock’ Suite is set in an ancient Roman grotto and has a large hydrotherapy bath tub opposite the bed, as well as sea views. Outside there is a pool on the terrace as well as a lift down to sun beds and parasols on the private seafront deck. Dining here is seasonal, with the splendid panoramic terraces of La Pergola perfect for hot summer days, and the Gli Archi’s warm and welcoming style for winter. The Mimmo Jodice room, decorated with some of the pictures of the great Neapolitan photographer, completes the hotel’s dining options. There is also a club lounge and wine cellar. Guests can explore Sorrento, the nearby ancient ruins of Pompeii and picturesque Positano. Capri is a short ferry ride away and offers fantastic designer shops and restaurants.
- 51 rooms and suites
- Belvedere restaurant
- Pool restaurant
- Two bars
- Infinity pool
Perched atop Ravello’s cliff, the beautifully restored Belmond Hotel Caruso is one the finest spots from which to soak up the Amalfi Coast. The current building dates back to 1800, the original palace 700 years further still, and its 51 rooms and suites in an array of shapes and sizes are fittingly replete with marble, original frescos and Italian antiques. Many enjoy wonderful vistas of the coast, sea and fragrant gardens. The Belmond Hotel Caruso’s two Exclusive Suites have their own terrace and garden. The Belvedere Restaurant serves up Italian and local Neapolitan delicacies, in the summer to be enjoyed out on the terrace. There is also a restaurant by the famous infinity pool with a wood-fired pizza oven, an adjoining bar, and the elegant piano bar indoors. Explore the coast on complimentary cruises to Amalfi and Positano, scenic helicopter flights on request, or perhaps take out vintage Vespas or classic car along the coastal road.
Draped along the cliffs on the southern side of the Sorrento Peninsula, between Salerno and the city of Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most dramatic and glamorous spots in Italy. Between the two, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello’s candy coloured buildings spill their way down into blue bays.
The peninsular combines affluent sophistication with a honest simplicity, where super yachts and gurgling Italian sports cars next sit amidst an unchanging rural way of life. The food gloriously reflects this and some of Europe’s finest restaurants can be found here, thriving on fresh local produce, whilst the rustic Neapolitan food found everywhere here to many epitomizes Italian cuisine. The views and food are perhaps the main draw here, but there is a rich history to explore too, hidden beaches to discover and pristine trails in the Lattari Mountains to climb.
Discover the spectacular Amalfi Coast, situated like an amphitheatre among the mountains and the sea. Visit Ravello and the Villas Rufolo and Cimbrone, two sites not to be missed for their splendour and decorations. Both villas have amazingly beautiful gardens. You'll also take in the wonderful Positano, considered to be one of the most picturesque of all Italy's coastal resorts.
Head out into the Gulf of Naples across to the beautiful island of Capri, a draw to visitors for thousands of years.
The tour will touch Li Galli Islands, the legendary home of the sirens who lured Ulysses to the islands with their enchanted singing. This is also an ideal place for snorkelling with its clear waters and underwater treasures. Tide permitting, you will approach the famous Blue Grotto where it will be possible to get inside using the local small boat.
Private transfer to Naples station
Train from Naples to Rome
Private transfer to your hotel in Rome
Accommodation in Rome
- 91 rooms and 31 suites
- Le Jardin de Russie restaurant
- Stravinskij Bar
- De Russie Spa
- Fitness centre
Once hosting aristocratic travellers, Russian royalty and renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau, a half century hiatus as an office building ended with a glorious restoration and re-establishment of this Roman icon, with contemporary-chic design and modern updates in harmony with the building’s classical architecture. The Hotel de Russie lies between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo on the Via del Babuino, within easy walking distance of Rome’s main attractions, fashion houses and Via Condotti. Though surrounded by the ceaseless buzz of the city, behind the hotel’s unassuming frontage, is a soothing tranquility – both in design and ambiance – and vast private 18th century terraced gardens, a rare oasis away from it all. 122 rooms and suites are thoroughly up to date amenity wise, complete with Bisazza mosaic and Carrara marble in the bathrooms. Some feature private terraces and many rooms have views over Rome, Piazza del Popolo or the garden. The Stravinskij Bar is renowned for its apertivos, while Le Jardin de Russie and its chef, two-Michelin-star chef Fulvio Pierangelini, serve up simple yet refined dishes Mediterranean dishes in one a most romantic of settings. Furthering the Hotel de Russie urban oasis credentials is the De Russie Spa, one of Rome’s best health clubs.
- 12 rooms
- Garden apartment and two suites
- Private garden
- Listed library
- Wellness centre
Built the late 19th century, this grandiose villa has stayed with the Trivelli family ever since, through hosting meetings of the National Council of Italian Women, high society gathering of Counts and Countess to being the residence of Piero Trivelli, a sensitive writer and refined poet. In 2004, son of Count Piero decided to convert the historic residence into the fabulous boutique hotel of today. Communal areas are full of antiques and art, the library is listed and lounge areas steeped in a dark wood, old world luxury. Outside are peaceful formal gardens that form a walled oasis away from the Rome’s bustle. Overlooking the greenery are just 12 rooms, warm and welcoming, with subtle modern touches enhancing the historic charm of the original features. Large beds are clad in Fiandra linen sheets and alpaca or cashmere throws. Bathrooms are spacious and lined in marble, and all have baths as well as showers. Well-stocked minibars are complimentary. On the other side of the garden are two Garden Suites and a large apartment ideal for families, small groups or those seeking privacy. Breakfast is a vast spread and afternoon tea is served by the fireplace, whilst dinners can be arranged in the garden during summer months. There is also a wonderful spa and health centre offering restorative wellness therapies. Centrally located between the Via Nazionale and the Quirinal Palace, the Colosseum is a 15 minute walk away, the Trevi Fountain half that, and many of the city’s best restaurants are just around the corner.
- 91 rooms and suites
- Three restaurants
- Two bars
Rome is a city steeped in history and culture, and a stay at Hassler Roma ensures you’re right in the thick of it. Overlooking the Spanish Steps and within easy reach of the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna and the Vatican, you’re perfectly placed to enjoy all this majestic city has to offer. Think Italy and you think food, and the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Imàgo draws on the country’s rich culinary heritage. Head chef, Francesco Apreda, has crafted a creative menu that follows the seasons, showcasing a mix of classic and contemporary Italian cuisine. They say you eat with your eyes as well, and you’re certainly in for a treat with the spectacular panoramic views from the sixth-floor restaurant. Each of the 91 individually decorated rooms and suites are impeccably styled and come with garden or city views. A nation know for its style, the contemporary design and chic features of the hotel, coupled with a real focus on hospitality and comfort, make this the perfect launch pad from which to explore Rome. With so many sights to see, you’ll need to recharge your batteries so check in to the spa, which offers a range of treatments, for some rest and relaxation. Adopt a more leisurely pace and enjoy afternoon tea or an expertly mixed cocktail at one of the hotel bars. The Eternal City is full of hidden gems and the charming garden restaurant is a secluded haven surrounded by ancient stones walls, flowers and ivy. Live piano music in the evening makes it the perfect romantic retreat.
Rome, Italy’s capital and largest city, needs little introduction. One of the most historied locations in the world, glorious reminders of Rome’s illustrious past, from ancient Roman wonders to Renaissance masterpieces, are all on show. That’s not to say that its cosmopolitan streets do not embrace the now; Rome is as exhilarating and forward thinking as ever.
Arrive at 7am at the Vatican when the museums are still closed. You'll have the chance to enter with just a few others and enjoy an American breakfast. Then you are ready to start the tour of the museums with your personal guide. You will pass through room after room full of treasures, before the culmination of the visit, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, home to the conclave that elects Popes. The ceiling frescoes and Last Judgement on the altar wall are probably the most viewed paintings in the world.
From here, enter St Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world and a triumph of Renaissance architecture, the work of Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Once inside, having got over the feelings of awe inspired by the sheer size and magnificence of it all, one of the first things you will see is Michelangelo's Pieta. Sculpted at the age of 23, it must be the most moving of all Michelangelo's sculptures; a mother gazing lovingly at her child as if seeing the baby she gave birth to but in fact the body of the 33-year-old Christ. Moving down the church, you will pass the statue of St Peter, whose bronze toes have been completely worn away by the millions of pilgrims who have stroked them and arrive at Bernini's Baldacchino (canopy), under the centre of the dome and behind this, the throne of St Peter.
Discover the great Roman Forum, for centuries the centre of civic life as the site of triumphal processions, elections, public speeches and criminal trials. Then, along the Via Sacra (Sacred Way), head to the Palatine Hill, one of the most ancient parts of the city, where you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium Last but not least, enter the magnificent Colosseum, considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering, and capable of seating up to 50,000 spectators.
The Papal Audience is held on Wednesdays if the Pope is in Rome, giving pilgrims and visitors the chance to see the pontiff and receive the Papal Blessing or Apostolic Blessing from the successor of the Apostle Peter during their visit.
The Audience with the Pope consists of small teachings and readings mainly in Italian but also in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese. Your guide will help to find the best place for you to attend the Audience and enjoy this special moment.
Rivalry between noble families has long been a part of Italy's history, each competing to build the highest tower or the most elaborate palace. Visit some of Rome's most impressive houses, starting at the Palazzo Colonna, home to the Colonna family for over 1000 years, who were considered the most important family in Rome. The visit takes in the private apartments of Princess Isabelle with the famous Grottesche by Pinturicchio, the glorious gallery, the State Apartments and the Throne Room. These contain works by Carraci (the bean eater), Guercino, Poussin, Tintoretto and Ribera, as well as priceless furniture. From here, continue to the Villa Medici with its spectacular 15th-century gardens, once the property of Cardinal de Medici and situated in the heart of Rome. It is now home to the French Academy.
Private transfer to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport
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