( See below for a more detailed Itinerary )
During the vacation, visitors can explore and enjoy the most unique and famous cities. Starting their adventure in the world's unique, special and romantic city of Venice, visitors are treated to a welcome dinner on their first night at a breathtaking local Italian restaurant, a demonstration of glassblower on Murano Island, and guided sightseeing that include visits to the Bridge of Sighs at Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square. The second night for visitors is a highlight of romance filled with gondola rides as they are serenaded while exploring the canals. Afterwards, visitors board the luxury high-speed train and depart for Florence. In Florence, visitors acquire knowledge on quality leather from experts and marvel at the sculpture-studded Signoria Square and Michelangelo's David.
In San Gimignano, visitors can tour the most preserved and finest medieval towns across Europe. Afterwards, they can retreat to Florence for an evening relaxation. At the crack of dawn, they can board the highspeed train to Rome, where guided sightseeing features visits to the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, St. Peter's Basilica and Square, and Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums.
The next activity is the optional tour of the magnificent Amalfi Coast, a stone throw from Pompeii, where visitors are guided through Roman city excavations both preserved and ruined by the volcanic activities of Mount Vesuvius during 79AD. Finally, visitors can complete their vacation in Sorrento; magnificent resorts where visitors will are treated to exciting day trips to the Capri Isle. At night, visitors can join farewell dinners hosted at local restaurants to celebrate their successful vacation in Italy. Price PP $1,428
*** Optional Excursions Available ***
*** Optional Excursions Available ***
*** Optional Excursions Available ***
*** Optional Excursions Available ***
Tour differences displayed in bold
Premium Luxury Tour
* If you are traveling alone on our Deluxe Tour a single supplement rate will apply of $955 to be added at checkout
* Book Today to Receive a $500 Per Person Discount on the Premium Luxury Tour
* If you are traveling alone on our Premium Luxury Tour a single supplement rate will apply of $1,655 to be added at checkout
* Air fair not included
* Add 3 days Amalfi Coast Ext at checkout ($1,428 pp)
*** All Optional Excursions are booked directly by your Tour Director by calling 800-274-4919 prior to your departure for your tour. Except for the Amalfi Coast extension some pricing may be subject to change. Grazie!
Visitors to the hotel might think are following the steps of Giacomo Casanova, through a mansion that once belonged to the Dandolo family and which hosted the first public "Ridotto." The Hotel Monaco was a meeting place for the aristocracy and people from other social cadres (traders, travelers, card sharps, harlots, adventurers, royal and noble people) for numerous reasons, including political and social relations, courtesan pleasures, and gambling. Notably, Giacomo Casanova regarded the place ideal for his goliardic lifestyle and conquests that made him prominent across the globe.
The Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal can be accessed easily through different modes of transport. The hotel’s front is occupied by the landing stage (vaporetto). For visitor’s preferences, private docks can be used to procure taxis; this will enable visitors to make a direct entry to the central part of the hotel, and for those seeking love, the gondolas stations are outside the restaurant.
Visitors to the place are afforded a scenic view from the rooms that face the Grand Canal. Here, their panorama dominates the entire St. Mark’s Basin with Giudecca and San Giorgio islands appearing in the opposite direction, practically a short distance from the San Moise Church, within the Baroque Basilica of Madonna della Salute, and Punta della Dogana.
St. Mark's Square is characterized by origins that can be traced to 828 A.D. and has often had a turbulent past, loaded with local and historical importance. Considered the center of commerce in Venice, from its establishment, the square underwent continual enlargement with new structures and buildings until it culminated into what it is today.
Since 1908, one family has managed the Hotel Monaco. Led for four generations as a family hotel, it has developed a hospitality knowledge and culture.
More than 80 employees, dedicated towards the satisfaction and well-being of guests, guarantee the service of the hotel. The Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal has 89 rooms for guests.
The Wide Range of Services and Amenities
The hotel, with a millennium of history, has refined experiences and mixed tradition with style and elegance for the accommodation of visitors’ needs. The hotel can organize many different events for the convenience of visitors: Murano glass, gondola rides, museum tickets, and excursions among others. Visitors can try the La Fenice Season ballets, concerts, and operas at the La Fenice Theater; these present a unique and memorable experience.
Family pride is reflected through La Caravella Restaurant. Considered one of the ever-popular and best restaurants (top in TripAdvisor), its unique cuisine will satisfy and surpass visitors’ expectations.
The best way of kick-starting a day is eating an excellent meal; a hearty breakfast buffet provides a mouth-watering variety of dishes, and in summer, visitors can have their breakfast within the relaxed and quiet conditions of the typical Venetian garden filled with flowers.
The only place where visitors can stay while in Florence is Hotel Helvetia & Bristolin Niquesa. The hotel offers cosmopolitan visitors a superb home within the city since the 19th century. From the start, the Helvetia & Bristol's magnificent location coupled with exquisite elegance attracted the high profile and elite visitors from across the globe. The most famous guests included Eleonora Duse, writers Luigi Pirandello and Gabriele D'Annunzio, and noble prize finalists Eugenio Montale and Enrico Fermi. Over the years, the hotel was considered a preferred destination that the aristocracy, writers, artists including Bertrand Russell, Giorgio De Chirico, and Igor Stravinsky.
The hotel's pride lies in the suites and rooms; rich furnishings, paintings, objects d'art, carefully selected antique furniture, and tasteful color palettes are the design's hallmark. Each room is characterized by uniqueness that can be likened to famous people whose names grace them. With the Florentine skyline serving as the backdrop, the unrestricted beauty of Brunelleschi duomo cupola in the far end, the hotel can be considered a fitting testimony to the Renaissance city.
The enduring Florentine magic is distilled within the adored historic center of the breathing, living UNESCO global heritage site. Famous churches, museums, and galleries in the world line the city's streets. Visitors can marvel at the sights of the Medici Chapels, the Accademia, and the Uffizi while taking in the highlights of Florentine. The entrance opens onto a Florentine Renaissance architecture masterpiece (Palazzo Strozzi). From this location, visitors can head to exclusive shopping street of Florence (Via Tornabuoni). Moreover, visitors can spend hours uncovering artisan boutiques, cobbled alleyways, and concealed squares. Besides, visitors have the choice of crossing the Arno over one of the ancient bridges of Firenze and uncovering historical sites or investing time in enjoying the sumptuous culinary heritage of Tuscany.
Dining out constitutes part of the Italian culture and visitors should embrace it holistically. Popular ingredients are sourced locally from the fertile and rich Tuscan soil that borders the city. Dishes have likelihood of embracing in a single form or another, four main elements: homemade wine and bread, olive oil, and meat. Food, art, and history constitute the pillars of the city, thus gastronomic aficionados would have their needs catered for
Hotel Villa Marsili, situated in an optimum position to the center of Cortona, perfectly restored, offers you an extraordinary welcome in his marvelous luxury rooms and suites. The antique furniture, the fabrics, and curtains, the warm tones of the frescoed walls, all confer a discreet luxury which matches perfectly with efficiency and modernity, not omitting comfort and the aesthetics.
The panoramic position will amaze you. You can enjoy spectacular sunsets and emotions of the Valdichiana Valley, with its velvet colors, the thousands of shades of green in the distance which take you to the horizon of the Senese hills, and embrace with a glance this land of wonders, full of history, perfume, unique tastes, and authenticity.
In the cozy atmosphere of Villa Marsili, you can live the experience of one tasty afternoon tea, learn the traditional Tuscan recipes securely guarded with one of our tailor-made cooking classes or explore the magical surroundings and take away one of our 5 stars quality picnic.
Spacious and bright, the Deluxe rooms 30sqm have large windows with a spellbinding frontal view over Val di Chiana Valley. Refined elegant furnishings, lamps and antique furniture, make all rooms unique, each with a distinctive style.
Elegant bathrooms set handmade painted, Jacuzzi tub and shower. The rooms also feature comfortable beds with a range of pillows on request, air conditioning, digital safe and a mini-bar, LCD, Sky channels.
They may have a king size bed or two separate beds, both extremely comfortable. Our Deluxe rooms’ guests are welcomed with a bottle of one of the best local wine upon arrival.
Deluxe rooms are suitable also for families with children, for them we have specially-made services.
The style of the building, the place where it is located, and the panoramic position recall the fascinating atmosphere of the epoch, abide by a wise and complete renovation, that recovered the stylistic and architectural characters of the Villa, hidden by the previous centuries restoration works. Today, this historical residence is Villa Marsili, the only hotel in Cortona that overlooks the Valley.
Villa Marsili has a strategic position to reach the most beautiful and interesting tourist attractions in Tuscany and Umbria. Arezzo, Firenze, Siena, Montepulciano, Assisi, Perugia, are only some of the many places to visit. Cortona is in the center of a perfect historical and cultural position, which is envied throughout the world.
Hotel Splendide Royal Roma is considered an affluent hotel in the most romantic world city. The location of the hotel is within Rome's noble centre, a city that was historically and remains a communication and cultural intersection. After many years of restructuring, the 19th century palace that was previously the Roman Maronite community headquarters- a stone throw from Via Veneto – is a classy hotel and in its right, a symbol for changes underway in the city's rich hospitality culture. The hotel may be considered a toutcourt filled with familiarity and warmth often found among friends. Visitors acknowledge the broad spaces and wealth in style- in stark contrast to the current minimalism that governs the interior design and décor of many new hotels.
Directed with Bruno Borghesi's undisputed professionalism and class, the Mirabelle is regarded as the best restaurants that the city can offer. It is considered an exclusive meeting place among the internal and Italian "bel mondo" and the hotel's 7th floor has the most elegant and beautiful"gourmet terraces" in Rome. Its big glass doors lead out to a breathtaking view: a panorama that sweeps through the city from the Trinita dei Monti, Villa Medici, and Pinciano palaces up to Gianicolo and Saint Peter's. The haute cuisine rewards both taste buds and eyes.
Located in Rome's historical center are Ciampino International Airport measuring 12.6 miles by 21km, Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) International Airport measuring 16.8 miles by 35km, The City of Vatican measuring 0.6 miles by 1km, Spanish Steps measuring 0.5 miles by 800 meters, Fontana di Trevi 0.4 miles - 700 meters, Via del Corso covering 0.4 miles by 700 meters, Venezia square 0.3 miles by 500 meters, Navona square covering 0.13 miles by 220 meters, and Pantheon square covering 0.03 miles by 50 meters.
Hilton Sorrento Palace is located 55 kilometers from Naples Airport and visitors can take about 10 minutes from Sorento and from the beach. Visitors are spoilt for choice from executive, suite, or guest rooms facing a mountain or private balconies with a sea view. Visitors in executive rooms or suites can access the Settimo Club Lounge, which offers snacks, drinks, and a continental breakfast the whole day; additionally, visitors have access to private rooftop pool that offers scenic views of Naples Bay.
The hotel boasts of modern cardiovascular equipment; this helps visitors to exercise and tone up. A floodlit all-weather tennis court, that doubles up as a 5-a-side soccer pitch can be used by visitors during the day and night. Furthermore, visitors can relax under the shade of citrus trees or refresh in the swimming pool. Similarly, visitors can cool off with a glass of wine at Pagoda Bar while enjoying the scenic views of Mount Vesuvius. Boasting exquisite views of Naples Bay, Sorrento Restaurant becomes awake with warm colored tones, serving sumptuous marine food specialties. Unwind over a cocktail or a cappuccino within the Sorrento Lounge, an expansive bar playing live evening music.
For many years, the city of Venice surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, provided the refugees fleeing the nomadic barbarians with a safe haven. Currently, based on trade and travel publications, Venice is considered the most prominent destination around the world. Notably, the glassblowers, restaurateurs, hoteliers, lace makers, and gondoliers are indisputable.
During the apprenticeship era, skillful construction of boats in Venice helped develop their naval and fishing institutions. The focus of the contemporary Venice is on showcasing the unique, twisting streets and lovely canals for tourists from across the globe. Venetian Gothic palazzos dating back to 15th century magnificently garnish the landscape, dishing out the popular Italian wines and food.
Rialto Bridge/Ponte Di Rialto
The Rialto Bridge derives its name from ‘rivo alto' (high bank) and is considered the first site of human settlement in Venice.
Initially a banking district and later a market district, it is still one busy site in Venice. Visitors and natives alike interact among the attractive vegetable and fruit market (Erberia stalls) and fish market (Pescheria). By 12th century, stone bridges existed in Venice; however, it was following the sabotage, decay, and collapse of wooden bridges, that the Rialto- a strong bridge made of stone, was designed in 1588. Many visitors who throng to the city of Venice do not leave without crossing the common bridge. The place is ideal for photographing and watching the movement of boats along the Grand Canal.
Existing for five centuries, the large number of collected paintings within the Accademia offers a holistic spectrum that characterize the Venetian school, from the Baroque, Rennaisance, and medieval Byzantine eras. The collection was based on the Accademia di Belle Arti that Giovanni Battista Piazetta –a painter launched in 1750. In 1807, Napoleon transferred the collected paintings to Accademia and added other artworks looted from monasteries and churches.
Piazza San Marco, St. Mark's Square
In its entire history, Piazza San Marco has hosted several Carnival festivities, political events, processions, and pageants. Many visitors come here to see two important historical sites namely the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica. These attractive buildings support the equally valuable but less-known elegant café (Florian and Quadri), shops, open-air orchestras, Giardinetti Reali gardens, Torre dell'Orogio, Museo Correr, and Campanile.
Basilica di San Marco
The most prominent Basilica in Venice blends the decorative and architectural styles of West and East to form the greatest building in Europe. The nearly oriental splendor that characterizes the exterior can be traced to numerous treasures from Venice's overseas empires. Among these include pieces of prominent bronze horses, taken from Constantinople in 1204, as well as colored marbles, bas reliefs, and vast columns that stud the major façade. The five entrances are adorned with mosaics of different epochs, while the most adorable Romanesque carvings frame the portal.
The Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), served as the main residence of Venetian rulers (Doges) and was established in the 9th century. Notably, 14th and 15th century architects are famed for designing the external appearance of the current palace. For creation of the Gothic masterpiece, the people of Venice discarded their tradition by choosing the pink, Veronese, marble palace on arcade and loggia apartment fretwork (constructed with white Istrian stones).
Santa Maria della Salute
The most common architectural landmark in the city of Venice is the great Baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute, at the entry point to the Grand Canal. In terms of reputation, Henry James compared it to a beautiful lady on her salon's threshold. The church was constructed as a token of appreciation for the deliverance of the city from the 1630 plague epidemic, hence the name ‘Salute', which implies salvation and health. In celebrating the event, the congregation lights candles and move across several boats that span the entrance to the Grand Canal.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Founded in memory of San Rocco- a saint who spent his entire life assisting the sick, the Scuola began as a confraternity of charity. Construction commenced in 1515 guided by Bartolomeo Bon and Scarpagnino prolonged the construction until he passed on 1549. Keen on invoking San Rocco's protection, Venetians financed the construction, thus making the Scuola the richest in Venice. Its members chose to contract Tintoretto to paint its ceilings and walls. His ancient paintings, the first of more than 50 works, were eventually abandoned in the Scuola, filling the tiny Sala dell'Albergo away from the Upper Hall. The Ground Floor Hall, just near the entrance is dotted with his later works.
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Commonly called Frari (coined from 'frati,' implying friars), this huge Gothic church dominates the eastern side of San Polo. Franciscan friars built the first church at the site between 1250 and 1338 CE; however, a vast building completed in mid15th century replaced it. The ventilated interior is attractive for its big size as well as its artwork's quality that includes numerous grandiose tombs, a Donatello statue, and masterpieces by Giovanni Bellini and Titian.
Like Venice, Murano is an archipelago linked by bridges. Since 1291, it has emerged as the center of glassmaking industry, when craftsmen and furnaces were transferred here from the city to reduce fire risks and the harmful impacts of smoke. Some houses on the archipelago can be traced to this era.
Of all the lagoon islands, Burano is the most attractive and the church's tilting tower makes the island distinguishable farther away. Compared to the haunting Torricello, Burano can be considered a densely populated island with its brightly decorated houses, for instance, the Casa Pepi fringing the waterways. Via Baldassare Galuppi is the main street and it owes its name to the composer who is a native of Burano. It consists of conventional linen and lace stalls, as well as open-air trattorias that serve fresh fish.
Italy's cultural and art center is Florence; besides, it is the cradle of renaissance as well as the capital center of Tuscany. Florence is famous for producing Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatello, and is a source of inspiration in cuisine, architecture, fashion, and art. Florence is considered the paradise of shoppers, particularly in attracting leisure travelers and business from around the world, art, clothing, jewelry, and fine leathers.
Accademia delle Arte del Disegno
Established in 1563, the Academy of the Art of Design was the pioneer school founded in Europe to specifically sculpture, painting, and drawing techniques. The collected paintings on display were created in 1784 to provide students with resource materials for copying and studying. A colossal 17 foot/5.2 meter painting of the biblical David (1504) by Michelangelo is the most prominent work.
Duomo and Surroundings
While a large portion of Florence was reconstructed in the renaissance era, the eastern side of the city still retains a medieval touch. With its numerous small alleys, it is a region that would still bear semblance to Dante (1261-1321), whose place of birth lay among the lanes.
The richly-painted cathedral (Duomo of Florence) as well as 'The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore with its dome-shaped orange tiles, has emerged as the most prominent symbol of Florence. Typical of the determination of Florence to dominate in everything, the Duomo is the tallest structure in Florence and the fourth –largest church in Europe.
The greatest art gallery in Italy-Uffizi was constructed between 1560 and 1580 CE to serve as Duke Cosimo I's offices. Vasari, the architect reinforced the building with iron; this enabled Buontalenti, the successor to create nearly continuous glass walls on the top floor. Francesco I used it as the gallery to display Medici art treasures. The collected paintings in the gallery were shared out in the 19th century. Old objects were transferred to the archaeological museum at Bargello; this left Uffizi with a few paintings.
Piazza della Signoria
Notably, the core of social and political life in Florence has for many years been Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria. Initially, the great bell that was used for summoning civilians to public meetings (parlamento) is still there, and the promenade has become a prominent square for Florentines and visitors. The statues of piazza serve as a commemoration of the major historical activities within the city. Its most prominent event is commemorated using a simple pavement statue adjacent to the loggia: Girolamo Savonarola-a religious leader that was executed at the place.
Santa Maria Novella
The Dominicans built Santa Maria Novella church from 1279-1357. The lower part of its Romanesque façade was combined on the basis of classical proportions by Leon Batista Alberti -the pioneer of renaissance architecture between 1456 and 1470 CE. The Gothic interior features great frescoes such as the powerful trinity of Masaccio. The popular Green Cloister, contains frescoed perspective scenes of Paolo Uccello, as well as the dramatically-painted Spanish Chapel, are currently used as an archive.
Luca Pitti, a banker was the first person who built The Palazzo Pitti. The large scale of the structure, commenced in 1457 and associated with Brunelleschi, was a depiction of Pitti's ambition to outdo the Medici family by displaying power and wealth. Ironically, the Palazzo was sold to the Medici when Pitti's heirs became bankrupt. In 1550, the Medici converted the building into the main residence that would house all subsequent city rulers. Currently, the colorfully decorated rooms showcase many treasures from the Medici artworks.
The Medici family used San Lorenzo as its parish church. In 1419, a contract was awarded to Brunelleschi to reconstruct it using a renaissance style. Nearly one century later, Michelangelo provided designs for the façade with construction works commencing within the Sagrestia nuova, a section of the Medici tombs. Additionally, Michelangelo produced plans for the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (the library); this was intended for storage of the family's collected manuscripts. The Cappela dei Principi (a posh family mausoleum) was commenced in 1604.
The most active food market in Florence, Mercato Centrale is positioned at the center of San Lorenzo street market. It is placed in a big two-story structure of glass and cast –iron, constructed by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1874. The stalls on the ground floor sell olive oils, cheeses, ham, salami, fish, poultry, and meat. Additionally, Tuscan foods including tripe (trippa), pig's intestines (lampredotto), and roasted suckling pig (porchetta) are also abundant. The top floor houses stalls for flowers, vegetables, and fresh fruits. In spring, baby artichokes, peas, and broad peas are plenty whereas in the autumn, truffles and wild mushrooms are common.
Built between 1461 and 1466, Palazzo Antinori is one of Florence's finest tiny renaissance palazzo. In 1506, Antinori acquired it and is still owned by the family up to this moment. The Antinori dynasty owns other estates scattered across Umbria and Tuscany, generating a variety of liqueurs, oils, and wines. Such gastronomical delights are sampled at the Cantinetta Antinori, a restaurant located off the major courtyard.
Other than Campanile and Duomo, Piazzale Michelangelo is another site in Florence that provides a magnificent view of the landscape. Constructed by Giuseppe Poggi and accentuated with elements of Michelangelo's statues, its balconies numerous visitors as well as masses of souvenir dealers. However, the square is still an evoticative place, particularly when the orange orb is descending over the far flung Tuscan hills and the Arno River.
Considered the home to Siena medieval architecture, Florentine arts, and Chianti vineyards, Tuscany is the most densely populated area of Italy.
Arguably, the most attractive piazza in Italy is Siena's Il Campo (Piazza del Campo). The construction of the Piazza is believed to have occurred in the 1100s and the Roman convention was held at the site. The conventional red brick from Siena has been used for paving streets that are lined with closely intertwined storefronts and homes.
Visitors to the hotels in Siena can enjoy Chianti glasses and a tour of the old streets. Additionally, the city's famous water system coupled with an underground canal system designed with magnificent engineering are other attractive sites for visitors. Siena hosts the spectacular and colorful Siena's Palio, two times a year. This Italian festival is characterized by 7 days of parades, feasts, races, and horse acrobat exhibitions. Visitors are urged to join the celebration that commenced in 1310.
The major sites in Siena are clustered in the mazes of narrow alleys and streets near the fan-shaped Il Campo. The Piazza, considered the attractive medieval squares in Europe lies at the core of Siena's 17 contrade, a sequence of parishes whose old rivalries are reenacted twice a year during Palio. Once a rival city to Florence, Siena
One of Europe's greatest medieval squares, the piazza sits at the heart of the city's 17 contrade, a series of parishes whose ancient rivalries are still acted out in the twice-yearly Palio. Once a capital to rival Florence, Siena remains the most attractive medieval town in Italy, boasting the grandeur of age wherein it peaked between 1260 and 1348.
With a powerful navy, Pisa dominated the western Mediterranean in the middle ages. Commercial ties with North Africa and Spain within the 12th century enabled Pisa to acquire huge mercantile wealth that formed the base for a cultural and scientific revolution, which is still manifested Pisa's spending structured, particularly the Leaning Tower (Campanile), Baptistry, and Duomo.
Etruscans were the founders of Cortona. Apart from serving as Tuscany's most ancient hill-towns, it is the most panoramic as well.
The regular street grid of Lucca still adheres to the pattern introduced by the former colony of Rome in 180 BCE. Solid and giant ramparts, constructed during the 16th and 17th centuries, lock out traffic; this renders the city ideal for exploration, particularly for pedestrians. Lucca's quiet narrow streets wind among medieval buildings, opening abruptly to showcase tiny piazzas, churches, alongside other reminders of the town's history that includes a Roman amphitheater.
Set within the metal-bearing hills (Colline Metallifere), where silver, copper, and lead ores were extracted during Etruscan times, the town of Massa Marittima is yet to be considered an industrial town. Good examples representing Romanesque architecture are still alive from the era when Massa Marittima gained independence (1225-1235).
This is the highest hill town in Tuscany with its fortifications and walls providing extensive views over Southern Tuscany and Umbria. Its vineyards are famed for producing the popular wine-Vino Nobile.
At the hearth of Brunello-producing vineyards, famed for their red wines in Italy, is the hilltop town of Montalcino.
Monteriggioni is considered a medieval hilltop town. Established in 1203, the town rose quickly to become a garrison town. The town is totally surrounded by high walls that feature 14 fortified towers constructed to guard Siena's northern territories from the Florentine army invasion.
Noble families built the 13 towers, which dominate the majestic skyline of San Gimignano from 12th to 13th centuries when the geographic position of the town (on the pilgrim path from Rome to northern Europe) prospered. The change of the pilgrims' route coupled with the 1348 plague, contributed to the town's decline and its present preservation. Even though Torre Grossa is the only tower that is accessible to the visitors, the town is still rich in restaurants, good shops, artworks.
Pitigliano sits spectacularly on the cave-riddled Lente Valley cliffs. Its small street maze features a tiny Jewish ghetto that the Jews established in the 17th century while escaping Catholic persecution.
Considered eternal, the city of Rome is filled with future, present and past air. Via Condotti and Via Veneto streets are jammed with fashionable Italians on Vespa motorcycles, amid a background of temple ruins and marble columns. About 2000 years ago, the city of Rome served as the capital of Roman Empire. Rome succeeded to gracefully combine its contemporary character, fashion, and engineering with its past; this has made it a lively city that attracts visitors from different parts of the world.
Apart from breathtaking, time-tested sites such as the Trevi Fountain, St Peter's Basilica, Pantheon, and Colosseum, Rome is the capital of Italy and it is a major business nexus of Europe. Because of this, the city hosts embassies, government offices, and headquarters of global corporations.
Piazza di Spagna and Spanish Steps
Rome boasts of the most prominent square in Piazza di Spagna. Surrounded by shuttered, muted facades and with a shape resembling a crooked bow tie, the square attracts crowds throughout the year. The steps, which were intended to connect the square to Trinita dei Monti-the French Church were constructed in the 1720s.
The theatrical design of Nicola Salvi for the most prominent and largest fountain in Rome was accomplished in 1762. The main figures are Neptune, surrounded by two Tritons, one leading a silent beast, and the other attempting to master a stubborn seahorse, symbolizing two contrasting conditions of the sea.
Considered the smallest country in the world, the city of Vatican is the global capital of Catholicism. It sits on 106 acres in high walls watched by Vatican police. St Peter was killed and buried at the site, and it has since become a residential place for popes that succeeded him. The palaces of the Pope, adjacent to the St. Peter's Basilica, hosts the Pope, Vatican museums' eclectic collections, and the Sistine Chapel.
A picturesque ancient quarter, Trastevere is inhabited with people who perceive themselves as the true Romans. The proletarian symbol of the site slowly changes annually because of the adjacent trendy shops, clubs, and restaurants.
In 72CE, Emperor Vespasian commissioned this greatest amphitheater in Rome. In a bid to gain prominence, wealthy citizens and emperors staged wild animal fights and lethal gladiator combats. Slaughter increased; during the inaugural fights in 80 CE, more than 9,000 wild animals were slaughtered. The 55,000 seat Colosseum hosts spectators that sit on the basis of ranks.
The Roman forum was considered a disorderly place with the Senate, temples, brothels, and food stalls. Law courts and business centers replaced the food stores as a means of restoring Rome to its salubrious status in 2nd century CE. Under the Empire, the Forum remained the city's ceremonial center, with subsequent emperors erecting new monuments and temples, and renovating ancient buildings.
Piazza Navona and Surroundings
Roma's Piazza Navona has an unrivalled theatricality. The city's social center is the luxuriant cafes. The Baroque fountains, with their flamboyancy are always busy at night and day, this is particularly true of the pedestrian area. Additionally, Baroque is represented within several churches. To uncover the ancient Rome, one has to saunter along Via del Governo Vecchio to marvel the renaissance buildings' facades, browse within the antique shops, and have lunch in the numerous trattorias. The beautiful piazza in Rome-Baroque is shaped like a 1st century CE stadium constructed by Domitian that was utilized for hosting athletic competitions. In August, flooding was experienced by blocking the outlets of the fountain; however, this was halted in the 19th century. During the event, street urchins paddled whereas the rich, in their carriages would splash.
The narrow street mazes around the Pantheon are blended with finest sights, cafes, and lively restaurants. Moreover, this is the political and financial district of the city, hosting governmental offices and the parliament. With its attractive domed interior, The Pantheon has been considered the city's identity. The best-preserved and most unique old building in Rome is the Roman Temple of all Gods (the Pantheon).
The huge Castel Sant' Angelo fortress derives its name from the Archangel Michael's vision by Pope Gregory the Great during the 6th century as he held a procession on the bridge, praying for the plague to end.
The castle commenced in 139 CE as the mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian. From that time, it has emerged as a bridgehead in the Aurelian city wall of the Emperor, a prison and a medieval citadel, as well as a safety place for Popes in periods of political instability. A corridor connects it with the palace of Vatican, providing the Pope with an escape path.
Once considered the aristocrats and emperors' residence, the Palatine is the most attractive, ancient site in Rome. The ruins range between a simple house, where Augustus is believed to have inhabited, and the Domus Agustana and Domus Flavia, the private and public wings of a luxurious palace that Domitian built.
Visitors will be treated to a sluggish pace of life at this place; the center of attraction is the scenic views brought about by a splendid weather.
Visitors to this place are treated to a sumptuous dinner and a glass of wine, because all house wines in Italy are good. The getaway town offers ambience and serenity, allowing visitors to have maximum relaxation.
The Sirens City is a town that provides visitors with mythological experiences. Greek mythology lovers will remember that the entrancing lyrics lured fishermen to dangerous rocks, thus visitors will be equally fascinated by the lively coastal town. If visitors want to wake from their reverie, then they should savor the local limoncello created from local lemon grove boon.
Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzura) can be accessed by taking a boat ride to Capri Island via Sorrento. This mystery laden place was previously regarded as a nymphaeum, a consecrated natural well for nymphs and mythological creatures that lived in minute water bodies.
Positano appears to be characterized by a magnetic personality. People flock to the site, do not want to exit, and appear happily stuck within the town of cafes, plazas, and twisty streets.
Once a prominent port, the current hotspot within the town is the sparkling and extensive beachfront resorts.
Visitors are urged to check out the Chiesa di San Luca Evangelista, a church that is a dedication to St. Luke within the serene town with enough breathing space.
Regal processions of marines are held annually on July 13th for Santa Trofimena, the patron saint of the town. A visit to Italy will not lack taste and variety; however, Minori's rare almonds and sugar, chocolate, eggplant dessert, and melanzane alla cioccolata, will make visitors have a second thought concerning the stereotypical ingredients of the dessert.