Sample Itinerary: The Italian Explorer
Experience the canals of Venice, the history and culture of Florence, and the views of Positano.
Day 1: Arrive in Venice
After being shuttled to your hotel on the Grand Canal via private speedboat, you’ll enjoy an espresso (or prosecco) as you take some time to adjust your internal clock to the different pace of Italian life. Since you actually got a decent night’s sleep in your lay-flat Delta One seat, it won’t take long to overcome the jet lag and acclimate to your new time zone.
Once you’ve settled in to your room at the NH Venezia Palazzo Barocci and posted your picture of the postcard worthy view of the Grand Canal on Instagram, you’ll head out on a private guided walking tour and spend the afternoon exploring St. Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace
Day 2: Tour Murano
After a leisurely morning, head down to the lobby of your hotel to meet your guide who will take you to Murano to experience the pinnacle of Venetian glass-making first hand. After experiencing the vibrant colors of this series of small islands in the Venetian Lagoon, you’ll be returned to your hotel to ready for yourself for dinner Trattoria Antiche Carampane, a small family run restaurant specializing in local seafood.
Day 3: Florence
After being whisked off to the Venice Santa Lucia Train Station, you’ll travel in comfort in the first class cabin of your mid-morning train to Florence. Upon arrival in Florence, you’ll take a short five minute stroll through the narrow but bustling Italian streets to your hotel, Albani Firenza, situated right in the heart of one of one of the most culturally rich cities Europe has to offer.
Day 4: Explore Florence and the Uffizi Gallery
When you’re ready, meet your guide in the lobby for a half-day escorted walking tour of the city. After soaking in the rich history of the streets of Florence, you’ll arrive at the side entrance to the Uffizi Gallery, bypassing the lines, to experience some of the world’s most famous sculptures and other priceless works in their collection of masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance. After a full day absorbing Italian history with your eyes, your appetite will be primed for a quintessentially Italian meal at Ristorante La Giostra.
Day 5: Hands-On Cooking Lesson and Market Walk
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. You’ll be taking more than just physical souvenirs home from this journey. Spend your fifth day in Italy exploring a local market before heading to your private cooking class. While there is much to learn from classically trained Michelin star rated chefs, this cooking class will be led by one of Italy’s true culinary masters, a grandmother, who’s hands have kneaded, rolled, and cut, countless servings of pasta with effortless perfection. When you finally return home, you will be prepared to excite your friends taste buds with your own creations.
Day 6: Siena & San Gimignano
The first half of your day will be spent exploring the Italian hill town of San Gimignano, southwest of the city. At the Duomo di San Gimignano, a 12th-century church with frescoes by Ghirlandaio, you’ll experience a taste of the rich history and way of life found in Italy’s smaller cities. Upon returning to Florence, take a few moments to relax before heading to Ristorante Trattoria Angiolino to indulge in one of the regions most famous and epic dished, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a spectacular porterhouse steak from the special Tuscan breed of called Chianina.
Day 7: Travel to Positano and Pompeii
Today will start a little earlier as you take a morning train from Florence to Naples, where you’ll meet your private driver to complete the journey to your hotel in Positano. Even though most of the day will be spent in transit, there won’t be a shortage things to see. In the middle of your drive you’ll make a stop in Pompeii, the ancient Roman city that was buried in over 15 feet of volcanic ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Situated high up on a hill between craggy cliff tops and the glistening Mediterranean Sea, you’ll spend the evening relaxing on your balcony at the Hotel Villa Franca as you look out at one of the most amazing vistas the Amalfi Coast has to offer.
Day 8: Tour the Amalfi Coast
You’ll spend a full day being driven from small town to small town, through winding roads carved into the side of the hilly landscape as you explore all the nooks and crannies of the Amalfi Coast. You’ll experience amazing views of the sapphire blue Mediterranean from above, interrupted only by pit stops you make for shopping, dining, and possibly an afternoon glass of wine (or two).
Day 9: Leisure
This is your last full day in Italy. You’ve seen, learned, and experienced so much already and today is for relaxing, absorbing, and reflecting on your journey and taking some unhurried time to let it all soak in before you prepare for the trip back home.
Day 10: Travel Home
By now, you will have adapted to the Italian way of life. The pace, the food, the culture, and the attitude of Italy you experienced will likely leave you wanting more. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll be back.