Experience Italy's Decadence
Italy is one of the most visited countries in the World, and with great reason. Italy is home to more iconic architecture, priceless works of art, delectable gastro faire, extraordinary landscapes and award winning wineries than anywhere else. Join us and other travelers for this incredible journey through the heart of this beautiful country. Our journey will begin in the modern chic streets of Milan, where you will dive into the deeply rich art scene from past to present. From there we will travel through Emilia Romagna, visiting a historic estate winery in route to Florence. Enjoy a taste of Florence's history, culture and cuisine before continuing on to Rome. Follow your expert local guide on a tour of Ancient Rome. See all of the famous landmarks and learn the secrets of their history. Explore the halls of The Vatican City with early entry VIP access. Just be sure to pack your appetite! There will be no shortage of culinary delights throughout this trip.
What is included?
9 Day/8 Nights April 10 - 19, 2020
Roundtrip International Airfare
4-Star & 5-Star Accommodations
Airport Transfers in Houston
All Ground Transportation in Italy
Premium Vehicle Transfers
Private Guided Tours
English Speaking Guides
Entrance fees to Museums & Experiences
Wine & Cocktail Tastings
*Travel insurance recommended but not required.
*Payment plans available
Milan is a fast-paced metropolis where style and creativity are big business and after work drinks are compulsory. Since Leonardo da Vinci broke all the rules in his stunning Last Supper, the indefatigably inventive Milanese seem to have skipped straight from the Renaissance to the 21st-century. Not only is Milan a treasure trove of 20th-century art, but art deco and rationalist architecture abound. Today the city leads the way with the largest post-war re-development in Italy, impressive, sustainable architecture and a futuristic skyline modelled by Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and César Pelli. And there’s more to come with ambitious plans to mold the city into a hi-tech hub, home to the likes of Google, Microsoft, Alibaba and Apple. The city currently has the largest post-war re-development project in Italy. Zaha Hadid and other prominent architects have designed plans for an impressive futuristic skyline. Cucina povera (peasant cooking) may be the cry of the south, but Milanese cuisine is a product of a rich urban culture. Milan pushes Italy’s culinary boundaries, making sushi and dim sum their own, and holding the second highest number of Michelin stars in the country.
Florence is romantic, enchanting and utterly irresistible. Florence is the place to feast on world-class art and gourmet Tuscan cuisine. Few cities are so packed with extraordinary art and architecture masterpieces at every turn. The urban fabric of this small city, on the banks of the Arno river in northeastern Tuscany, has hardly changed since the Renaissance and its narrow-cobbled streets are a cinematic feast of elegant 15th- and 16th-century palaces, medieval candle-lit chapels, fresco-decorated churches, marble basilicas and world-class art museums brimming with paintings and sculptures by Botticcelli, Michelangelo and more. Unsurprisingly, the entire city center is a Unesco World Heritage site. Italy's fashion industry was born and bred here. Homegrown designers Guccio Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo opened haute-couture boutiques in Florence in the 1920s and shopping in the Tuscan capital has been stylish ever since. A-lister fashion houses lace Via de' Tornabuoni and a Pandora's box of specialist boutiques selling all manner of beautiful objects parade alongside family-run botteghe (workshops) in a glorious tangle of medieval backstreets. Watch fourth-generation Florentine goldsmiths and shoemakers at work, buy artisan scents evocative of the Florentine countryside and Tuscan sea breeze, and know the tag 'Fiorentina' is one of the finest international labels going. Be it a traditional bowl of earthy ribollita (bean, bread and veg soup), a tripe panino at a family-run food truck or a blue T-bone steak served in a market trattoria unchanged since 1915, dining in Florence is timeless and memorable. Raw cuisine, fish bistros, craft cocktails and the dazzling creativity of modern young Tuscan chefs add contemporary edge.
Rome is a dynamic mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and inspiring cities. The result of 3000 years of urban development is an exhilarating spectacle of cityscape. Ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon recall the city’s golden age as caput mundi (capital of the world), while its many monumental basilicas testify to its historical role as seat of the Catholic Church. Lording it over the skyline, St Peter’s Basilica is the Vatican’s epic showpiece church, a towering masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Elsewhere, ornate piazzas and showy fountains add a baroque flourish to the city's captivating streets. Few cities can rival Rome's astonishing artistic heritage. Throughout history, the city has starred in the great upheavals of Western art, drawing the top artists of the day and inspiring them to push the boundaries of creative achievement. The result is a city awash with priceless treasures. Walk around the center and without even trying you’ll come across masterpieces by the giants of Western art – sculptures by Michelangelo, canvases by Caravaggio, Raphael frescoes and fountains by Bernini. A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at street side cafes, people-watching on pretty piazzas – these are all an integral part of the Roman experience. The tempo rises as the heat of the day gives way to the evening cool and the fashionably dressed aperitivo (pre-dinner drinks) crowd descends on the city's bars and cafes. Restaurants and trattorias hum with activity and cheerful hordes mill around popular haunts before heading off to cocktail bars and late-night clubs.