Amazing Voyages kept track of us every day and we cannot explain how important it was to us to feel that we were in very good hands. Every driver and guide was always on time and very gracious and helpful and our every need was taken care of for us. We really appreciate your professionalism.
The Plaza Grande in Quito is absolutely fabulous, the Royal Palm in the Galapagos is the best hotel we ever stayed in; the chef is outstanding, his meals are some of the best we ever had. Did you know that Prince Charles stayed there when he visited the islands? We are sure that the service we received was just as good as his. We had a marvelous time in the Galapagos and it was living a dream.
Steve and Mary. Read More
Explore the extraordinary countryside, wonderful cuisine, wine and fine arts. VIP signature tour of Italy covering the very highlights of the country with accommodation at the very finest suites at the very best hotels, including La Posta Vecchia, Villa Spalletti Trivelli, Villa San Michele, and the Dogaressa Suite at the Palazzo Vendramin, Cipriani Hotel. With all private tours and private helicopter transfers this is an opulent breathtaking tour of Italy for the world's elite and discerning clientele.
16 Days/15 NightsRome - Florence - Tuscany - Venice
Day 1. Rome
Arrival at Rome international airport, reception and transfer to your private helicopter for your transfer to your hotel just outside of Rome, La Posta Vecchia, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Once the home of Paul Getty, La Posta Vecchia is an elegant mansion with the perfect location for relaxing and recovering from your flight.
Accommodation in the Master Suite, lavishly decorated with Carrara marble bathtub, 16th and 17th century furniture and magnificent tapestries. Dinner on your own.
Day 2. Rome (B & D)
Free day to relax and unwind. Enjoy the marvellous indoor swimming pool and visit the museum focusing on the ancient ruins on which La Posta Vecchia was built. Dinner at the Caesar Restaurant.
Day 3. Rome (B & D)
After breakfast, transfer to the city centre of Rome in your private luxury car and to your centrally located residence for three nights, the exclusive Villa Spalletti Trivelli. Accommodation in a Grand Deluxe Suite.
A beautiful villa located a few minutes from the Spanish Steps offers a unique stay in a luxury period residence complete with fine antiques.
In the late morning, a fully guided walking tour through Rome starting at the Spanish Steps and visiting the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Piazza Venezia. After lunch (not included) you will continue the tour by private car to the incredible Colosseum dating back to 70 AD.
Originally capable of seating around 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. Visit the inside of the Colosseum before returning past the Arch of Constantine and through the Capitoline Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome and site of many palaces. Return to your hotel to refresh and relax. Dinner at La Terrazza, a restaurant of the highest standards within the Eden Hotel which enjoys a wonderful panoramic view over Rome.
Day 4. Rome - Vatican City (B & D)
Today, after breakfast, a full day visit to the Vatican City by private car and guide. The Vatican holds numerous wonders, including the most magnificent museums and chapels in the world.
The Vatican Museums represent the largest art collection in Europe including the Candelabra Gallery, the Tapestry Gallery, the Historical Maps and the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo painted 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of the Sistine chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. He resented the commission, and believed his work only served the Pope's need for grandeur. However, today the ceiling is widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievement.
The Sistine Chapel takes its name from a pope, Pope Sixtus IV, who restored the old Cappella Magna between 1477 and 1480. During this period a team of painters that included Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio created a series of frescoed panels depicting the life of Moses and the life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l'oeil drapery below. Since the time of Sixtus IV, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave; the ceremony by which a new Pope is selected.
You shall also visit St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Church in the world, with several Tombs of Popes and where the most important Statue of Michelangelo, "The Pieta" is located.
Return to your hotel. Dinner at the Sapori del Lord Byron, one of the best restaurants in Rome.
Day 5. Rome (B)
Free day at leisure in Rome to enjoy this charming romantic city at your own pace.
If available, spend a night at the opera at the Teatro dell'Opera or to the spectacular Terme di'Caracalla for the summer season.
Return to your hotel.
Day 6. Rome - Florence (B &L)
After breakfast, private transfer to the airport for your private helicopter flight to Florence. With a sweeping fly over tour of Rome before heading northward and flying over the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The flight will take a little over an hour. Arrival to Florence and private transfer to your fabulous residence for four nights, the wonderful Villa San Michele.
A former monastery, nestled on a hilltop surrounded by trees and terraced gardens, this magnificent hotel overlooks the city of Florence. Dating from the 15th century its facade is attributed to Michelangelo. To step inside is to experience the ethereal beauty and solitude of a renaissance building that is as much a part of Italy's culture as the country's greatest cathedrals and galleries. Accommodation in the Presidential Suite.
Located in the 17th century 'Limonaia' (the former orangerie of the convent), with a breathtaking view over Florence and the surrounding hills. Decorated in Tuscan renaissance style, the suite has a private garden with a natural water spring and a fully furnished terrace.
After lunch, a half day's city tour of Florence.
Known as the"cradle of Renaissance" (la culla del Rinascimento) for its monuments, churches and buildings, the best-known site and crowning architectural jewel of Florence is the domed cathedral of the city, Santa Maria del Fiore, known as The Duomo. The magnificent dome was built by Filippo Brunelleschi. The nearby Campanile tower (partly designed by Giotto) and the Baptistery buildings are also highlights. The dome, 600 years after its completion, is still the largest dome built in brick and mortar in the world. In 1982, the historic center of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and the centre of the city is contained in medieval walls that were built in the 14th century to defend the city after it became famous and important for its economic growth.
At the heart of the city in Piazza della Signoria is Bartolomeo Ammanati's Fountain of Neptune (1563-1565), which is a masterpiece of marble sculpture at the terminus of a still functioning Roman aqueduct.
The Arno River, which cuts through the old part of the city, is as much a character in Florentine history as many of the people who lived there. Historically, the locals have had a love-hate relationship with the Arno — which alternated from nourishing the city with commerce, and destroying it by flood. One of the bridges in particular stands out as being unique, The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), whose most striking feature is the multitude of shops built upon its edges, held up by stilts. The bridge also carries Vasari's elevated corridor linking the Uffizi to the Medici residence (Palazzo Pitti). First constructed by the Etruscans in ancient times, this bridge is the only one in the city to have survived World War II intact. Return to your residence in the hills overlooking Florence.
Dinner is on your own tonight.
Day 7.Florence (B & D)
After breakfast, return to Florence to continue the tour and visit the church of San Lorenzo which contains the Medici Chapel, the mausoleum of the Medici family - the most powerful family in Florence from the 15th to the 18th century. A visit to the nearby Uffizi Gallery, one of the finest art museums in the world, founded on a large bequest from the last member of the Medici family.
The Uffizi itself is located at the corner of Piazza della Signoria, a site important for being the centre of Florence civil life and government for centuries (Signoria Palace is still home of the community government): the Loggia dei Lanzi was the set of all the public ceremonies of the republican government. In 1301, Dante was sent into Exile from here (a plaque on one of the walls of the Uffizi commemorates the event).
In addition to the Uffizi, Florence has other world-class museums. The Bargello concentrates on sculpture, containing many priceless works of art created by such sculptors as Donatello, Giambologna, and Michelangelo. The Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno (often simply called the Accademia) has in its collection highlights of Michelangelo's David and his unfinished slaves.
Across the Arno is the huge Pitti Palace containing part of the Medici family's former private collection. In addition to the Medici collection the palace's galleries contain a large number of Renaissance works, including several by Raphael and Titian as well as a large collection of modern art, costumes, and porcelain. Adjoining the Palace are the Boboli Gardens, elaborately landscaped and with many interesting sculptures. After the tour, free time before returning to your hotel.
Dinner at your hotel.
Day 8.Florence - Siena - Florence (B & L)
Today, after breakfast, a visit to the historical city of Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was first settled in the time of the Etruscans from 900 BC to 400 BC. Located some thirty miles away, you shall visit Siena's cathedral, the Duomo, which began in the twelfth century, and is one of the greatest examples of Italian Romanesque architecture. Its main façade was completed in 1380. It is unusual for a Christian cathedral in that its axis runs north-south. This is because it was originally intended to be the largest cathedral in existence, with a north-south transept and an east-west aisle, as is usual. After the completion of the transept and the building of the east wall (which still exists and may be climbed by the public via an internal staircase) the money ran out and the rest of the cathedral was abandoned.
Inside is the famous Gothic octagonal pulpit by Nicola Pisano (1266-1268) supported on lions, and the labyrinth inlaid in the flooring, traversed by penitents on their knees. Within the Sacristy are some perfectly preserved renaissance frescos by Ghirlandaio, and beneath the Duomo in the baptistery is the marvelous baptismal font with bas-reliefs by Donatello, Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia and other 15th century sculptors. A visit to the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the town square, which houses the Palazzo Publico and the Torre del Mangia, another architectural treasure, famous for hosting the Palio horse race. After lunch at the excellent Osteria le Logge, we return to Florence and your hotel.
Day 9. Florence (B)
Free day of leisure to enjoy the city. Perhaps shopping in the exclusive Via de' Tornabuoni and Via de' Calzaiuoli or why not wander through the artisan's workshops and antique dealers of the Oltrarno, the most authentic part of Florence located between Piazza del Carmine and Piazza Santo Spirito.
Day 10. Tuscany (B)
We stay in Tuscany but head to your new residence for a couple of days, a splendid farmhouse and vineyard located in the middle of the Tuscan countryside at the Capannelle Vineyard. The simple yet chic decor expresses the rustic charm typical of Tuscan country homes complete with a panoramic swimming pool.
With only five bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, comfortable sitting rooms, two with open fireplaces, and an outside spacious terrace with gardens which have spectacular views of the vineyards, pencil cypress and mellow tiled rooftops stretching to the horizon.
The magnificent dining room is flooded with light and creates the perfect setting to enjoy local regional delights accompanied by the olive oils and wines produced at Capannelle.
Free day at leisure with a variety of pursuits to choose from such as archery (instructor available), a trip on horseback over the hills of Chianti accompanied by a guide; mountain bike with a guide or on your own; wine and olive oil tasting at the Banfi winery (which produces Brunello); wine tasting at "La Bottega" run by the house of Antinori in Badia a Passignano or just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Day 11. Tuscany (B)
One more wonderful day in the Tuscan countryside.
Day 12. Tuscany - Florence - Venice (B & D)
After breakfast, we leave Tuscany behind as we head towards the airport for your private helicopter flight to Venice.
Arrival and private transfer by luxury car to what many consider to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice. Arrival to the private dock for your private launch to your hotel, the Hotel Cipriani, with accommodation at the Palazzo Vendramin, a 15th century building linked to the hotel through an ancient courtyard.
With magnificent views on the lagoon and St. Mark's Square, accommodation is in the unique Dogaressa Suite. Your sitting room, the largest in the Palazzo, is decorated with original 18th century Coromandel screens, a collection of antiques enriched by priceless Fortuny and Rubelli fabrics.
Complete with private butler, your privacy is guaranteed.
Afternoon at leisure with ample time to enjoy the Casanova Wellness Centre.
Tonight, dinner will be at Cip's Club, which enjoys a unique panorama of St. Mark's Square and is considered one of the best dining venues in the world.
Day 13: Venice (B, & L)
After breakfast, a tour of Venice with a visit to St. Mark's square, the Basilica and its Byzantine heritage, the Doge's Palace and its adjoining prisons, that retain the true secrets to comprehend how a city built on swamps became one of the most enlightened cities in the western world. Then, leave the square and crowds behind to enter a labyrinth of narrow passageways and alleys where an enchanting city of meandering canals punctuated by delicate bridges awaits you. Explore the lively Campo Santa Maria Formosa with its outstanding Gothic Palaces and at the Scuola di San Marco learn about the famous trade schools of Venice that provided the foundations of the great mercantile empire. Admire the Church of San Giovanni e Paolo "the Pantheon of Venice", enter an old merchants warehouse and see the most beautiful well-head in Venice before finishing the tour near the Rialto bridge. Lunch at the Locanda Cipriani. Free afternoon before returning to your hotel.
Day 14: Venice (B)
As Venice is a city made of more than 100 islands, there's no better way to explore it than by boat so today you will embark on a private boat trip of the city. With its enchanting canals and corners, including the magnificent Grand Canal, where the most beautiful Palazzi are in addition to the three most famous islands, Murano with its glass factories, Burano with the colourful houses and Torcello with the famous Basilica. You can personalize your itinerary and enjoy at your own time your favourite places.
Day 15: Venice (B)
Free day at your own leisure to return to St. Mark's Square and wander through the streets for last minute shopping and enjoy one of the most splendid cities in the world.
Day 16: Venice (B)
After breakfast, private return transfer to Venice international airport for your return flight home.
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