The day is devoted to the Eternal City. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged special priority entry to gain behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture, normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where Popes are elected, to admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling.
Continue to St. Peter's Basilica, to wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pietà,' and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. Cross the Tiber river to enjoy ancient Rome. See the incredible Circus Maximus. Come up close and personal with the beautifully preserved Arch of Constantine, walking on the ancient pavement. Discover the history, the construction and the legends of the iconic Colosseum as you stroll around the exterior of this amazing structure.
Later, perhaps continue your exploration of Rome to see the Pantheon, toss a coin in Trevi Fountain and enjoy free time around Piazza Navona? (B)
Journey to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Walk with a Local Expert through cobbled streets to learn about Roman life in the first century before enjoying a refreshing lemon granita. Then continue to your hotel in the charming town of Sorrento.
The afternoon is yours to explore as you wish, or perhaps join an Optional Experience to Positano? A hydrofoil delivers you to mainland Italy to reach the artist's paradise of Positano. Witness the dramatic beauty of the Amalfi Coast's gravity-defying, vertical towns, and spectacular coastline before disembarking. (B) Stay: Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.
Board your jetfoil to the Isle of Capri. Enjoy a scenic drive by open-top taxi past orange and lemon groves to your hotel, then appreciate the glorious vistas over the rugged coastline and sparkling sea. Visit Capri town, with its whitewashed houses, winding alleyways and small cafes. A Local Expert escorts you to the lush Gardens of Augustus for views of the Faraglioni rocks.
After time to explore the pearl of the Amalfi Coast with all its colours, wonderful aromas and small beach, you are then returned to the Isle of Capri by another boat transfer. As the glow of twilight descends and the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels, the island is yours to saunter along scenic paths, gather with the locals in the piazzetta or relax with a glass of wine at an al-fresco restaurant. (B) Stay: Gatto Bianco Hotel & Spa, Capri.
Descend to the port by private open-top taxis and take the jetfoil across the bay to Naples. Follow the Autostrada del Sole north passing Rome and continuing through the Province of Umbria. Journey through idyllic Tuscan landscapes to Florence, centre of art and culture, and the heart of the Italian Renaissance. (B/DW) Stay: NH Firenze, Florence.
Explore Florence with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the Accademia Museum and see Michelangelo's David. Alternatively, wander through the market stalls on a shopping tour, enjoying all the Italian treats and finery on offer.
Continue to the multi-coloured marble cathedral to admire Giotto's bell tower and Gates of Paradise. Visit Piazza della Signoria and explore the area around Santa Croce Basilica. After a demonstration of leatherwork, there's free time to shop or explore Florence on your own. In the evening, why not sample fine Florentine cuisine of tasty starters and typical Tuscan dishes accompanied by Chianti wine? (B)
The famous Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre are a highlight of your journey as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat. Spend some time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach.
Our journey continues to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, epitome of la dolce vita. Admire the colourful houses, browse the boutiques or stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbour. (B/DW) Stay: Best Western Regina Elena, Santa Margherita Ligure.
Visit St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica and admire the Doge's Palace with its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Take your seat on a gondola and be serenaded through the myriad of beautiful canals, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
The rest of the afternoon is yours to discover Venice at leisure. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience during a visit to a traditional arts centre, where you can see how beautiful handcrafted glass is made by expert glassblowers, safeguarding traditional skills. Cruise the Venetian lagoon to Burano and sit down to a sumptuous Celebration Dinner with wine, sampling the local specialities. (B/DW)
Choose between two carefully selected activities