Celebrate Italy on a journey that will have you floating through history in Venice, admiring great art in Florence, tasting wines and olive oils at an agriturismo in Tuscany, and exploring Rome's magnificent sites with a private guide.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary Request Itinerary or Ask Us A Question or Call 855-215-8690
 Gondolas grace a Venetian Canal
 Piazza San Marco, Venice
 Basilica of San Marco
 Interior of the Basilica of San Marco
 The Grand Canal at dusk
 Panorama of Florence at dusk
 The iconic Duomo in Florence
 The Palazzo Vecchio at dusk, Florence
 Michelangelo's <i>David</i>, at the Accademia. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy
 Botticelli's <i>The Birth of Venus</i> in the Uffizi in Florence
 Traveling with a small group of freinds
 Exploring sites your way
 A reunion of women friends
 Enjoying a reunion in Italy
 Taking a break over gelato
 Exploring the arts of Florence with your daughter
 Wine tasting in Italy
 Enjoying the wine and food of Italy
 A lesson in making pasta
 The Campo in Siena
 The facade and distinctive belltower of Siena's cathedral
 Vineyards and San Gimignano
 The Colosseum of Rome
 The Roman Forum
 St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City
 Interior of St. Peter's Basilica with Bernini's Baldocchio
 Michelangelo's iconic Sistine Chapel ceiling

Culture and Cuisine of Italy: A Tailor-Made Journey

From Venice to Rome

13 days from $10,995

Celebrate Italy on a journey that will have you floating through history in Venice, admiring great art in Florence, tasting wines and olive oils at an agriturismo in Tuscany, and exploring Rome's magnificent sites with a private guide.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690


When you travel on a tailor-made journey, you will receive a Friends of the Smithsonian Archivist Circle membership. Benefits include:

  • Recognition in the Friends of the Smithsonian Honor Roll displayed electronically on the National Mall in the Membership Reception Center
  • Invitation to a special welcome tour for new members at a Smithsonian venue
  • A Smithsonian Institution annual engagement calendar with full color images of exceptional art and artifacts
  • A complimentary Smithsonian museum guidebook
  • Subscription to the award-winning magazine Smithsonian
  • 20% discount at Smithsonian Museum Stores, 10% discount at selected dining facilities, at SmithsonianStore.com, and Folkways Recordings
  • Special member rate for tickets to the Smithsonian's IMAX® theaters and Einstein Planetarium
  • Admission to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City
  • Weekday access to the Friends of the Smithsonian Reception Center

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 — Venice

Fly into Venice and meet your guide for a private boat transfer to your hotel. The journey will take 30-45 minutes, passing through the lagoon and along the famous Grand Canal. The rest of the day is free to settle into your hotel, located just steps from St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) in the heart of the city. (B)

Day 2 — Venice

Set out on a private guided tour of some of Venice’s most celebrated sites. Trace architectural styles through the centuries at St. Mark's Basilica, originally built in 832.  At the 15th-century Doge's Palace, go behind-the-scenes to discover the hidden chambers where the Doge would administer the republic in secrecy, and visit the fabled Bridge of Sighs. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the city. (B)

Day 3 — Venice

Today you will have a full day at leisure. One option is to ride the vaporetto to the islands of Murano and Burano. Visit a glass making workshop on Murano, where artisans have blown colorful glass creations since ancient times. Stroll the narrow lanes of Burano past brightly painted houses and shops that showcase the intricate lace made by hand on the island. (B)

Day 4 — Florence

Take a private water taxi to the train station for your first-class journey to Florence. Upon arrival, a private driver will meet you and escort you to your hotel. In the afternoon, you may want to take some time to stroll the stunning Piazza del Duomo, home to Florence's iconic Renaissance cathedral, known for its famous dome designed by Brunelleschi. If you’re feeling energetic, climb to the top of the bell tower or the dome for some wonderful views of the city. (B)

Day 5 — Florence

This morning, join Marcella Ansaldo, one of Florence’s top chefs, for a private cooking class. During this convivial, hands-on lesson, you’ll learn to make a local specialty like pasta or gelato from scratch. Then sit down at the chef’s table to taste your creations. This afternoon, take advantage of free time to discover more of the city. Cross the river and climb up to Fort Belvedere with a picnic or a bottle of wine and watch the sun set over the rooftops of Florence. (B)

Day 6 — Florence

Spend today immersed in art on a private tour of the world-class Accademia and Uffizi galleries with a local art expert. Established during the Renaissance, the Uffizi is home to masterpieces by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael and iconic works such as Botticelli's Birth of Venus. The Accademia is best known for Florence's most famous resident: Michelangelo's impressive David, as well as his evocative, unfinished prisoner sculptures. This is a long but rewarding day and a marvelous introduction to the artistic legacy of Florence. (B)

Day 7 — Florence

Head into the woodlands just outside Florence to hunt for truffles with a private local guide and a truffle dog. Discover the secrets behind the surprisingly difficult art of truffle hunting, and gain insight into the different types of truffles and how they can be used. At the end of your expedition, sit down to a full truffle-tasting lunch featuring a series of traditional Tuscan dishes. Your tour includes private transfers to and from Florence. (B,L)           

Day 8 — Tuscany

Meet your driver to journey into the heart of Tuscany this morning, passing medieval villages and hillside vineyards. Your destination is your home for the next two nights: Badia a Coltibuono, a hilltop former monastery that has served as an organic farm and winery for centuries. This is a wonderful property to explore in your free time, including Italianate gardens and outbuildings that date back a thousand years as well as the historic wine cellars. (B)

Day 9 — Tuscany

Spend the day exploring Tuscany. Start with a private guided tour of Siena. Admire the magnificent marble façade of Siena’s famous cathedral, and stroll the sprawling Piazza del Campo, where the medieval bareback horserace known as the Palio takes place every summer. Savor a traditional Tuscan farmhouse lunch overlooking vineyards and olive groves, accompanied by a selection of Tuscan wines. On your way back to the hotel, stop for a short visit to the beautiful hilltop town of San Gimignano. (B,L)

Day 10 — Rome

Return to Florence with your private driver and board a train bound for Rome. The journey takes around an hour and a half and passes through beautiful countryside. You will be met by a private driver at the station and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to get to know this enchanting city. (B)

Day 11 — Rome

Start the day at Rome’s most famous landmark: the Colosseum. Skip past the lines and gain direct entry into this legendary ancient Roman site for a private tour with your guide. Learn about its architectural innovations and how they helped the games play on from AD 80 until the sixth century. Continue to the nearby Forum, the heart of Roman public life, and explore its temples and triumphal arches with your private guide. During a free afternoon, consider crossing into the Trastevere district, a warren of winding cobbled lanes filled with lively bars and restaurants. (B)

Day 12 — Rome

Head to Vatican City this morning for a private tour. See the artwork of the Vatican Museums and gaze up at the incomparable Sistine Chapel. Then venture into St. Peter's Basilica to see its remarkable art and architecture and admire its immense dome. In the afternoon, set off on a Vespa tour around the city to discover some lesser-known areas and enjoy different perspectives on the city. (B)

Day 13 — Depart Rome

After breakfast at your hotel, take a private transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)                        

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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