Italy: Rome + Florence + Venice

Select Experience Tour, Italy: Rome, Florence & VeniceSelect Experience Tour, Italy: Rome, Florence & Venice

Italy

Rome + Florence + Venice

overview

La dolce vita embraces you from the moment you arrive in Rome. This adventure begins in the Eternal City, discovering its best-loved places and hidden treasures, both on foot and via Vespa! Your elegant boutique hotel is within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants, theaters, and piazzas. Heading north, you’ll explore the medieval streets of Siena and San Gimignano, before arriving in Florence. The city overflows with art, history, culture, and elegant Florentine cuisine. A private tour with an expert local guide reveals Florence’s well-known attractions and takes you off the beaten path to discover its hidden gems.

As the grand finale, a first-class trip by high-speed train takes you to Venice, “Queen of the Adriatic.” Widely considered the world’s most beautiful city, Venice is a walker’s dream destination. Your luxurious hotel is close to Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace. Explorations take you over arched bridges to Renaissance palaces and down timeless, stone walkways. A wine tasting at an authentic osteria and a guided tour by private water taxi showcase the beauty of the islands in the Venetian lagoon.

Activity Level
Activities vary and
are accessible to
most fitness levels;
see full itinerary
Meet
Rome, Italy
Depart
Venice, Italy
Daily Itinerary
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itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
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9 days, 8 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Accommodations for eight nights in four-star hotels (with private bath)
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts
  • Private three-hour walking tour of Rome with expert, bilingual guide
  • Private four-hour Vespa tour of Rome with expert, bilingual driver/guide
  • Private Siena and San Gimignano excursion with expert driver
  • Private full-day tour of Florence with an expert, local guide
  • Private half-day walking tour of Venice with expert, bilingual guide
  • Evening wine tasting with appetizers (a local representative will accompany you from the hotel to the osteria)
  • Private half-day private water taxi transfer with expert guide to islands of the lagoon
  • Transportation from the meeting point to the departure point including 1st class train tickets on Eurostar from Florence to Venice and private transfer from Venice to train station to Venice hotel
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

*Surcharges may apply for New Year’s, Christmas, or other national holidays

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Rome
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2
Rome
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3
Rome
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4
Florence
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5
Florence
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6
Venice
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7
Venice
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8
Venice
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9
Venice
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Day 1

Rome

Arrival in Rome

Upon your arrival in Rome you check into the historic Hotel Piranesi, which occupies the 19th-century Palazzo Nainer designed by Roman architect Giuseppe Valadier. Within walking distance of many of Rome’s main sites and attractions, the hotel’s elegant street, Via del Babuino, is replete with art and antique galleries and is also near the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo. There are no scheduled activities this afternoon, leaving you time to settle in and begin to enjoy Roman life.

From the settlements of the early Etruscan civilization in the region, Rome grew to rule a vast empire and, of course later, the city became the center of the Christian world. Artists and architects flocking to work for the popes and their families, notably in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, created some of the city’s most magnificent buildings and monuments. The legacy of this uninterrupted millennial history can be seen all over the city and the surrounding area.

Dinner is on your own this evening in one of Rome’s many fine restaurants or trattorias. A list of recommended restaurants is available for dining ideas.

Hotel Piranesi

Rome, Italy

An intimate boutique hotel located in the historic Palazzo Nainer, near the Piazza del Popolo, on a street known for art and antique galleries. The spacious guest and public rooms are elegantly furnished with rich fabrics and antiques, parquet floors, and marble bathrooms. Amenities also include a fitness room, sauna, and massage on site. A complimentary room upgrade (pending availability) can be requested on arrival.

Day 2

Rome

Rome walking tour; 3 hours, easy

After enjoying breakfast in your hotel, your expert local guide joins you to lead you on a walking tour through the beautiful Campo Marzio. A perfect welcome and introduction to exploring the highlights and atmosphere of Rome, some of the sites and stops on this walking itinerary are: the Spanish steps, Fountain of the Barcaccia, Building of the Propaganda Fide, the Trevi Fountain, and the Virgo Water Aqueduct. You continue onto the Via del Corso (Rome’s longest road), reaching the political center of Italy with the Palazzo Montecitorio, the House of the Deputies, Palazzo Chigi (the office of the Prime Minister), the famous Obelisk used inside the Pantheon, which is the best preserved Roman temple. The tour concludes in Piazza Navona, at the baroque Fountain of the Four Rivers of Gianlorenzo Bernini, and a perfect spot for an aperitivo and lunch at one of the square’s many open air bars, restaurants, and pizzerias.

You are free to continue your exploration of Rome on your own this afternoon and evening. You may choose to visit Vatican City, the world capital of Catholicism and the world’s smallest state. Occupying 106 acres within high walls watched over by the Vatican Swiss Guards, it was the site where St. Peter was martyred (~AD64) and buried, which then became the residence of the popes who succeeded him. The papal palaces, next to the great basilica of St. Peter’s, are home to the Sistine Chapel and the eclectic collections of the Vatican Museums, as well as being the residence of the Pope.

Hotel Piranesi

Rome, Italy

An intimate boutique hotel located in the historic Palazzo Nainer, near the Piazza del Popolo, on a street known for art and antique galleries. The spacious guest and public rooms are elegantly furnished with rich fabrics and antiques, parquet floors, and marble bathrooms. Amenities also include a fitness room, sauna, and massage on site. A complimentary room upgrade (pending availability) can be requested on arrival.

Day 3

Rome

Chauffeured Vespa tour of Rome

This morning, after breakfast in your hotel, you set off on the ultimate Roman experience—a tour of the city on an authentic vintage Vespa. Don’t worry, you’re not driving! Your scooter chauffeur puts safety first (helmets provided), and won’t exceed a speed of 30 kilometers (~19 miles) per hour. On the real life set of your own “Roman Holiday” you discover the hidden Rome—along the lesser known routes to the small squares and quiet streets beloved by Romans themselves. Highlights may include the Basilica San Giovanni, the Giardino degli Aranci, Piazza San Pietro, and Piazza Gianicolo.

The remainder of the afternoon and evening are yours to continue your independent explorations of Rome.

Hotel Piranesi

Rome, Italy

An intimate boutique hotel located in the historic Palazzo Nainer, near the Piazza del Popolo, on a street known for art and antique galleries. The spacious guest and public rooms are elegantly furnished with rich fabrics and antiques, parquet floors, and marble bathrooms. Amenities also include a fitness room, sauna, and massage on site. A complimentary room upgrade (pending availability) can be requested on arrival.

Day 4

Florence

Departure from Rome; private transfer from Rome to Florence with stops in Siena and San Gimignano; Arrival in Florence

After breakfast and checking out of your hotel, your driver meets you for your private transfer from Rome to Florence, taking you through the pastoral countryside of Rome’s Lazio region into the rolling landscape of Tuscany, where you visit two of its most important towns. Your first stop in Tuscany is Siena, the lovely city that rivals Florence with its charming medieval center, striking Duomo cathedral, and Campo square of the famous Palio horse race. Then, a drive of about 45 minutes brings you to San Gimignano, known for its many towers presiding over the hilltop town and surrounding vineyards, the result of a medieval competition to build the highest.

Another hour drive brings you to Florence, where you check into the perfectly situated Hotel Lungarno—along the River Arno, a stone’s throw from Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi, and the main shopping area—it is also just a 10-minute walk to the narrow streets of “the real Florence.” There are no scheduled activities this late afternoon, leaving you time to settle in and begin to explore the city. In essence a vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance—the paintings and sculptures of artists such as Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Donatello turned the city into one of the worlds greatest artistic capitals.

Dinner is on your own this evening in one of Florence’s many fine restaurants or trattorias. A list of recommended restaurants is available for dining ideas.

Hotel Lungarno

Florence, Italy

An elegant and recently renovated four-star hotel overlooking the Arno River offers plush and luminous guest and public rooms, decorated with a distinguished collection of antiques and early 20th-century original artwork (including works by Picasso and Cocteau). In addition to a fine-dining restaurant and stylish lounge bar, the hotel also has a rooftop terrace bar atop the medieval Consorti tower. A complimentary room upgrade to the next room category (pending availability) can be requested on arrival.

Day 5

Florence

Florence morning walking tour (4 hours); Afternoon “off-the-beaten-track” walking tour

After breakfast in the hotel, you depart for a customized private walking tour of Florence with a local expert guide, who will tailor the itinerary to suit your areas of interest and whether or not you have visited Florence before. For a first visit to Florence, the following highlights are suggested: Piazza della Signoria, one of Italy’s most beautiful squares, with a backdrop of the medieval Palazzo Vecchio, the city’s seat of government for over 700 years; Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral square, especially appreciated for the graceful Gothic bell tower and the Romanesque baptistery with its beautiful gilded bronze doors, the “Gates of Paradise” by Lorenzo Ghiberti, and of course Brunelleschi’s Dome, the largest masonry dome in the world; The Ponte Vecchio, or “old bridge,” and its tantalizing jewelry shops. Making your way on foot through Florence, you may come across one of its many outdoor markets before arriving at square where you can enjoy a well-earned lunch.

Your walking tour continues after lunch, this time to some of Florence’s charming quieter neighborhoods, lesser-known areas that most visitors miss, with artisan workshops, intimate piazzas, (squares), and smaller churches with priceless Renaissance altarpieces, such as the church of Santa Croce or Santa Maria Novella. Your guide explains how each quarter and piazza developed around its associated trade of woodworking, metal- or goldsmithing, leather crafting, or shoemaking. Winding your way back to your hotel through narrow streets in the late afternoon, you can try one of Florence’s many fine restaurants this evening, or dine in the comfort of your hotel.

Hotel Lungarno

Florence, Italy

An elegant and recently renovated four-star hotel overlooking the Arno River offers plush and luminous guest and public rooms, decorated with a distinguished collection of antiques and early 20th-century original artwork (including works by Picasso and Cocteau). In addition to a fine-dining restaurant and stylish lounge bar, the hotel also has a rooftop terrace bar atop the medieval Consorti tower. A complimentary room upgrade to the next room category (pending availability) can be requested on arrival.

Day 6

Venice

Departure from Florence; Eurostar train ride to Venice and private water-taxi transfer from Venice train station to hotel

Following breakfast in the hotel, you are transferred to the Florence train station to catch your Eurostar Train for Venice, where a first-class seat has been reserved on this 2½-hour train journey. You are met at the Venice train station by a local representative who leads you to a private water taxi that navigates along the Grand Canal to your hotel in the heart of Venice, near St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. You can settle in to your luxurious haven and begin to explore Venice.

Rising from the waters of the lagoons like a mirage, the city of canals is unlike any other. A romantic maze of alleys, waterways, squares, majestic palaces, Venice is perennially intriguing. Steeped in history and art, you can follow in the footsteps of Vivaldi, Titian, or Marco Polo, or enjoy a private art collection, learn all about the gondolas and Carnival masks, climb the Renaissance Campanile clock tower for stunning bird’s-eye views, or simply explore and enjoy the beautiful shops lining Venice’s streets and canals.

Dinner is on your own this evening in one of Venice’s many fine restaurants or trattorias. A list of recommended restaurants is available for dining ideas.

Hotel Palace Bonvecchiati

Venice, Italy

A luxurious four-star hotel in the historical heart of Venice, with elegant and contemporary Italian design and furnishings, featuring plush individually decorated rooms with rich colors and unique artwork. It is also equipped with a top-floor fitness room, sauna, steam bath, whirlpool bath, and sunbathing terrace. A complimentary room upgrade (pending availability) can be requested on arrival. *Please note that this hotel is completely nonsmoking.

Day 7

Venice

Venice guided walking tour, morning (3.5 hours). Early evening wine tasting in a favorite “osteria”

After breakfast in your hotel, your expert local guide meets you in the lobby and you depart for a walking tour of Venice, the perfect introduction to this unique city. You begin at its heart, the area in and around colonnaded St. Mark’s Square. Your guide not only explains the sites and atmosphere of Venice, but also provides a deeper understanding of the city, what it offers, how real Venetians live here, and how they cope with 30,000 visitors a day. From St. Mark’s Square with its famous winged lion that strikes the hour, you tour St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), as well as the neighborhoods outside the square. Before the tour concludes, your guide provides excellent shopping and lunch suggestions and ideas for enjoying Venice to the full for the remainder of the afternoon and your time here.

In the early evening, a local representative meets you at your hotel to accompany you to a true Venetian wine tasting. Held in a favorite osteria (traditional place for wine and simple fare) known for its excellent wines, food, and typical Venetian atmosphere, the experience lasts about two hours and includes an introduction and tasting of three local DOC wines (the “quality assured” certification of Italian wine makers), local cheeses, typical Venetian cicchetti (appetizers), and breads. If you are still hungry, you may dine on your own at one of Venice’s many restaurants.

Hotel Palace Bonvecchiati

Venice, Italy

A luxurious four-star hotel in the historical heart of Venice, with elegant and contemporary Italian design and furnishings, featuring plush individually decorated rooms with rich colors and unique artwork. It is also equipped with a top-floor fitness room, sauna, steam bath, whirlpool bath, and sunbathing terrace. A complimentary room upgrade (pending availability) can be requested on arrival. *Please note that this hotel is completely nonsmoking.

Day 8

Venice

Private guided tour by water taxi to three islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Murano, Burano, Torcello (4 hours)

After breakfast in the hotel, from your hotel’s private boat landing, you depart with your expert local guide via water taxi to the three main islands of the waters surrounding Venice—Murano, capital of glassmaking; Burano, known for its lace; and tranquil Torcello. En route, your guide gives an overview of the history of the Serenissima Repubblica (“Most Serene Republic”) and the islands of its archipelago. The island explorations include meeting local people and learning about their way of life, their livelihoods (which are primarily glass and lace), the relationship between the islands and the “mainland” of Venice, and of course, the opportunity to visit the lace and glass workshops and the artisanal techniques that are still used. Completing the tour of the islands, you return with your guide by water taxi back to your hotel or to St. Mark’s Square, where your guide can advise on shopping and dining to enjoy the rest of the day and evening in Venice.

Hotel Palace Bonvecchiati

Venice, Italy

A luxurious four-star hotel in the historical heart of Venice, with elegant and contemporary Italian design and furnishings, featuring plush individually decorated rooms with rich colors and unique artwork. It is also equipped with a top-floor fitness room, sauna, steam bath, whirlpool bath, and sunbathing terrace. A complimentary room upgrade (pending availability) can be requested on arrival. *Please note that this hotel is completely nonsmoking.

Day 9

Venice

Departure

Following breakfast in the hotel, you check out and depart Venice at your leisure.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

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