April 12, 2024

Five Italy travel ideas for your next La Dolce Vita getaway

Roman ruins, verdant landscapes, endless pastas and cliffs hugging coastlines – it’s no wonder Italy is known as Il Bel Paese. (The country consistently tops Virtuoso’s list of top destinations.) Whether travelers are first-time visitors or experts on la dolce vita, it’s nice to let someone else handle the logistics on site. To help travelers experience it all, travel company Classic Vacations has teamed up with Virtuoso travel advisors to create curated private itineraries across the country. Trips include luxury accommodations in iconic hotels, private transfers and exclusive tours. Here are highlights from five sample itineraries to spark a little Italian wanderlust.

Travel to Rome with Classic Vacations (Photo Credit: Classic Vacations)

The classic getaway – Venice, Florence and Rome

Although travelers can spend unlimited time in three of the world’s greatest cities—Venice, Florence, and Rome—ten days is a good start to appreciate the history, charm, and gelaterias of this Italian trifecta. In Venice, check into a lagoon-view suite at the 52-room Londra Palace Venezia before heading out on a private walking tour that reveals the rich history of La Serenissima, followed by a gondola ride through the city’s enchanting canals.

In Florence, enjoy views of Renaissance architecture from the 63-room Hotel Lungarno and stroll around the city’s famous square, Piazza della Signoria, before visiting the Uffizi Gallery to admire the great works of Michelangelo, da Vinci and Giotto to admire. Travelers can learn the art of cooking authentic Tuscan cuisine – and taste the results – or enjoy world-class wines on an excursion to the rolling hills of Chianti.

In Rome, the final stop of the trip, travelers immerse themselves in thousands of years of history through guided tours to some of the city’s most enchanting ancient monuments, including the Forum and the Colosseum. On a guided tour of Vatican City, admire the Renaissance Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. End the trip with a toast to the Eternal City from the top of the Spanish Steps at the 87-room Hotel Hassler.

Amalfi Coast with classic holidays

Amalfi Coast with Classic Vacations (Photo Credit: Classic Vacations)

The Grand Tour – Milan to Sicily

This epic two-week journey stretching from northern to southern Italy begins in Milan, where travelers banish jet lag at the Mandarin Oriental, Milan’s 104-room spa, before spying Da Vinci’s Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie and indulge in retail therapy in the city’s elite fashion district. On a day trip, travelers explore Lake Como by boat before enjoying an exclusive dinner at the opulent 84-room Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

From Milan, spend a few days in the Tuscan countryside in the medieval hill town of Siena, or head to the Cinque Terre coast for seaside afternoons and al fresco dinners. Then it’s on to the Amalfi Coast, where a dip in the sea at Capri is paired with an afternoon strolling the ancient streets of Pompeii and lazing in the good life at the 66-room Hotel Santa Caterina. The trip ends in Sicily, known for its beaches, medieval ruins and flaky cannoli. While on the island, follow one of the many panoramic trails along Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, before tasting local wines at a nearby vineyard.

Venice, Italy, with classic holidays

Venice, Italy, with Classic Vacations (Photo Credit: Classic Vacations)

The unexpected getaway – Verona, Bologna and more

Travelers can get off the beaten track on a 12-day tour that starts in Verona and visits some of Italy’s most fascinating sights under the radar. In Verona, check into the historic 89-room Due Torri Hotel, then explore the city’s elegant, centuries-old squares, shopping arcades and Roman arena before heading to Vicenza, birthplace of famed architect Palladio.

A stay at the 106-room Grand Hotel Majestic già Baglioni in Bologna, housed in an eighteenth-century palazzo originally built for Pope Benedict XIV, is the gateway to the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants and car museums. After sneaking away to Porto Venere, a charming seaside town on Liguria’s romantic Gulf of Poets, travelers explore the picturesque coastline of the Cinque Terre by boat or train before returning to the 48-room Grand Hotel Portovenere. The journey ends in the Tuscan countryside at the 53-room Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, an ideal home base for cycling through ancient hill towns, a few rounds of golf and tasting some of the region’s award-winning brunello wines.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy (photo by Lauren Breedlove)

The unforgettable family trip – Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome

The memories of a 10-day family vacation in Italy will last a lifetime—and this itinerary puts a kid-friendly twist on one of the country’s classic getaways. After settling into a two-bedroom suite at the 92-room Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venice, take the family on a gondola ride or to a mask-making workshop, or simply enjoy the freedom and fun of getting lost in the maze of streets and sights of the Floating City. channels. From there it’s on to Florence, where the children’s program at Rocco Forte Hotels’ 80-room Hotel Savoy pampers everyone from toddlers to teenagers. See who can climb the fastest to the towering dome of Florence Cathedral, learn about Galileo’s remarkable cosmic discoveries, and, of course, taste gelato in the city where it was invented.

An excursion to Pisa gives families the chance to take turns holding up the iconic leaning tower before a grand Roman finale. The 120-room Hotel de Russie hosts families in the heart of the Eternal City, where they can choose from a pizza and gelato crawl, bike rides in Villa Borghese Park or private child-friendly tours of Rome’s ancient highlights .

The romantic escape – Milan, the Cinque Terre and Rome

Italy is just as attractive as you’d expect, and Milan is the starting point for this fun eight-day getaway. The 106-room Park Hyatt Milano puts travelers in the heart of the action, with the Duomo shopping arcade and belle epoque Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II just steps away. Tour the city in a luxury sedan and enjoy negronis along the canals of the bustling Navigli district.

Travelers move to the Italian Riviera and Santa Margherita Ligure’s 72-room Grand Hotel Miramare, where a sea-view balcony suite is an ideal hideaway after a private yacht excursion to the Cinque Terre’s five postcard-perfect villages. In Tuscany, an overnight stay at the 14-room Castello Banfi Wine Resort offers time for spa treatments, Michelin-star dining, horse riding and wine tasting at the hotel’s working wine estate.

Finally, eternal love arises in Rome, where legendary sights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps provide the backdrop for romance. The 114-room Bulgari Hotel Roma offers a private spa suite for two people, and from the door, travelers can enjoy private market tours, cooking classes and nightly wine tastings through Rome’s charming backstreets.

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