Grand Tour of Italy with Armando & Francesca
(Rome, Latium, Campania – duration 7 days)
With this tour Armando & Francesca (both licensed guides and happily married since 1989) will make you experience the famous “Grand Tour” that since the late sixteenth century, and for the next 300 years, it became fashionable for young aristocrats, artists and intellectuals to visit Venice, Florence, Naples and, above all, Rome, as the culmination of their classical education. With their expertice in touring people since the last 20 years Armando and Francesca will make you experience the fascinating landscapes and cities of Italy bringing to mind the impressions of famous Grand Tourists such as Stendhal, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Turner, West…etcetera.
Our aim is to promote the knowledge of the Italian cultural and naturalistic heritage in the mood of the travellers of that age, a way to travel nowdays lost in the context of modern “mass tourism”.
We provide different type of Italy Grand Tours of various duration (from a minimun of 5 days up to 30 days), for private, families and small groups, off the beaten tracks and away from the crowded routes (the itinerary below is flexible and it can be modified on the base of clients’ interests).
Visits: Rome (2 nights), Vatican City, Veroli, Mt. Cassino, Pompeii, Sorrento (3 nights), Capri, Naples, Amalfi coast, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Paestum, Salerno, Vietri, Herculaneum, Mt. Vesuvius, Caserta, and back to Rome (1night).
Day 1st – Rome (2 nights): morning, pick up from the Leonardo Da Vinci Rome Airport and check into hotel; then you’ll start to discover Rome: its history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC; Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe; it is referred to as “The Eternal City” (Latin: Roma Aeterna) and “Caput Mundi” (English: Capital of the World), two central notions in ancient Roman culture; In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization; since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic. We’ll have lunch in a typical restaurant and in the afternoon we’ll show you the magnificent archaeological area of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum, that reveals what the central goverment of the Roman Empire must have been like in ancient times; visit to the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains (Michelangelo’s Moses); then time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 2nd – Rome & Vatican City: after breakfast we’ll get you to the Vatican City State: it is a walled enclave within the city of Rome; with an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842, it is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population; we’ll show you the wonders of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica; lunch in a typical restaurant, then we’ll walk to see Castel Sant’Angelo, the Tiber River, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain; then back to your hotel, time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 3rd – On this day we’ll leave Rome to drive to Sorrento (3 nights): after breakfast we’ll drive along the Old Appian Way to visit Catacombs of St. Sebastian and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella; then we’ll get to the Park of the Ancient Roman Aqueducts; then we’ll drive to Veroli to visit the Abbey Casamari; then we’ll reach the top of Mt. Cassino to visit its famous Abbey; then well drive to Pompeii for a visit to the Archeological park; and we’ll finally get to Sorrento: the town overlooks the Bay of Naples as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints allow sight of Naples itself, Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri; check in in your hotel; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 4th – Sorrento & Amalfi coast: after breakfast we’ll walk Sorrento to visit the Cathedral and Piazza Tasso; then we’ll drive along the cost to visit Positano: it was a port of the Amalfi Republic in medieval times, and prospered during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; it began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s; we’ll walk down to the beach and we’ll visit St. Vito Church; then we’ll drive to Amalfi: it lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Mt. Cerreto, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery; the town of Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic known as the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200; visit to the Cathedral on a side of the main piazza; then we’ll drive to Ravello: it was founded in the 5th century as a shelter place against the barbarian invasions which marked the end of the Western Roman Empire; in the 9th century Ravello was an important town of the maritime republic of Amalfi, a producer of wool from its surrounding country that was dyed in the town and an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200; visit to the Cathedral and to Villa Rufolo; then we’ll drive back to your hotel in Sorrento; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 5th – Naples & Capri Island: after breakfast we’ll drive to Naples: the city was founded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and eventually becoming a cultural centre of the Roman Republic; Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816; thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861; visit to Museo Archeologico Nazionale; then by hydrofoil we’ll reach Capri: the Island of Capri, already a renowed vacation resort in the ancient ages, in the latter half of the 19th century, it became a popular resort for European artists and writers; visit to the villages of Capri and Anacapri; then back to the hotel in Sorrento; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 6th – Paestum, Salerno & Vietri: after breakfast we’ll drive to Paestum: it was a major ancient Greek city on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Magna Graecia; we’ll visit some of the most preserved “Greek” temples of the Mediterranean; then we’ll drive to Salerno: it is the main town close to the Amalfi Coast, and is mostly known for its Schola Medica Salernitana, the first medical school in the world; jn the 16th century, under the Sanseverino family, among the most powerful feudal lords in Southern Italy, the city became a great centre of learning, culture and the arts, and the family hired several of the greatest intellectuals of the time; visit to the Cathedral; then we’ll stop in the village of Vietri where the famous pottery is produced since Middle Ages; visit to a pottery factory; then back to the hotel in Sorrento; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 7th – On this day we’ll leave Sorrento to drive back to Rome (1 night): after breakfast we’ll drive to Herculaneum to visit the famous archeological park; then we’ll reach the top of Mt. Vesuvius: it is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; that eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ash and fumes to a height of 33 km (20.5 mi), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing; we’ll walk around the crater of the volcano; then we’ll drive to Caserta: town’s main attraction is its Royal Palace created in the 18th century by the Italian architect Luigi Vanvitelli as a Versailles-like residence (“Reggia”) for the Bourbon kings of Naples and Sicily; visit to Realm & Park; then we’ll drive back to Rome; time for leisure and dinner in a typical restaurant (End of the Grand Tour).
The above itinerary is ideal for a couple, as well as for a family with children, or for a small group of people (friends/family), and it can be modified on the base of client’s interests; also it is possible to make a shorter vacation (minimum 5 days).