The Colosseum tour starts off from Piazza Venezia, we can climb the steps that lead us to the top of Capitol Hill, one of the famous seven hills. It was the political and religious center of ancient Rome. It’s today the seat of the City Hall. The square was laid out by Michelangelo in 16th century and decorated with testate of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (the same emperor that in the movie Gladiator with Russel Crowe was killed by his son Commodus)
A walk down the hill takes us to the Forum. It was the most important square of Ancient Rome used as daily market place and meeting-point. Around this square, the Romans constructed the most important buildings, temples and palaces as the Roman Senate where the senators met and decided the destiny of the known world and Titus Arch built to celebrate the Roman Empire victory over the Jews.
We can walk along the Victory’s road in the Forum, leading us to the Colosseum, the ancient world’s largest amphitheater. Even though centuries have gone by, you are no doubt familiar with the sights and sounds of the Colosseum. Gladiators, animals and spectacles entertained the thousands of Romans who gathered, free of charge.
San Gimignano and San Vivaldo tour with wine tastingstarts at your lodging where a minivan with private driver will pick you up.
The first stop will be at the medieval town of San Gimignano.
San Gimignano stands 334 metres above sea level on the site of a small Etruscan settlement, but it takes its name from the Bishop of Modena who saved the town from Barbarians in the 6th century.
It developed considerably during the Middle Ages thanks to the Via Francigena which runs straight through the town.
The Via Francigena is an ancient road and pilgrim route running from the Cathedral city of Canterbury in England, through France to Rome and Apulia, where there were the seaports to embark for Holy Land.
The Elsa Valley around this famous Tuscan town is everyone's image of a wine producing region in Italy.
Cypress trees, vines and olive orchards form an impressive landscape.
The vines cultivated around San Gimignano produce the "Vernaccia", a dry, pale, white.
It is a wine so gentle you could be drinking a refined mineral water and its character hasn't changed for centuries.
This the reason why our wine tastingwill be rightin a fabulous wine estate situated in San Gimignano, The lovely family who runs it with care and commitment,love sharing their passion for the land, the wine and the olive oil with their guests.
The location is unique. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty around you. It is possible to arrange for cooking class too, using the products of their land.
Afterwards we will head to the "Living Jerusalem" at San Vivaldo.
San Vivaldo, a hidden gemthat really few people know. It is a special place, a unique site in which history, art, spirituality and nature blend together perfectly. It hosts the “Jerusalem” of San Vivaldo - one of the most significant examples of Western reproduction of the Holy Land - built at the beginning of the 16th century by order of the local community of Franciscan friars and conceived like a “real” Jerusalem for pilgrimages.For centuries going on pilgrimage to Jerusalem was not possibledue to the Ottoman Occupation. The Franciscan friars built several Chapels thatrepresent the important sights of the city in order to allow pilgrims to do a symbolic pilgrimage.
After touring it,we will head back to your lodging.
Our Sistine chapel tour will focus on the most famous and grandiose religious monument hidden in the heart of the Vaticanmuseums, the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.
The Sistine Chapel is located inside the Vatican museums that are among the most visited museums in the world.
Over 7 millions tourists flock to discover the splendor of these 12 museums annually. The museums are compromised of no less than five galleries and 1.400 rooms, inaugurated in 1771. They consist of an extraordinary collection of works of art, mainly paintings and sculptures, collected over the centuries by the popes.
After visiting the Sistine Chapel , we will pass through a door (for tour guides only) that will get us directly to St. Peter's Basilica. The tickets, purchased for this tour, will allow us to skipthe lines. This will give us more time to enjoying exploring this memorable sight together.
Saint Peter is the largest basilica in the world. Construction began in 1506, but was not completed until 1626. It contains wonderful masterpieces like the Pietà by Michelangelo or the canopy over the main altar by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Upon entering the church, you will overwhelmed by the beauty of its hundreds of giant mosaics and the atmosphere that reigns in this amazing house of worship.
Tour length: 2/3 hours.
Suggestions:Vatican dress code – no bare shoulders, skirts and shorts under the knees, no weapons ad no big bags or backpacks.
We can catch the train from Rome and 1 hour we will be in Naples. Once there, a driver with a private car or minivan will get us to the fabled Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most amazing places in Italy. The coastline is beautiful, magnificent, captivating, amazing.
Beginning at the southern end of the Sorrentine peninsula, and ending at Salerno, it offers some of the most beautiful scenes combining cliffs and the Mediterranean Sea below. It is truly a photographer’s paradise.
We will first stop in Positano, we will walk down the winding streets to the beach, to get a real feel for the town and the people of Positano. This was one of the filming locations for the movie Under the Tuscan Sun.
Second stop the hilltop town of Ravello which is situated five km above Amalfi. The views are spectacular from this high, as Ravello overlooks the Amalfi coast towns of Maiori and Amalfi. Ravello gardens inspired the Opera Parsifal by Richard Wagner.
Third stop Amalfi and its Cathedral with bronze doors cast in Constantinople in 1066.
Along the way it will be mandatory a stop to taste the famous limoncello, a liqueur made from local lemon zest, sugar and water and the delicious mozzarella.
Tour length: 6 hours
While staying on the Amalfi Coast, you can spend a day in Naples. I can arrange a transfer with a minivan that picks you up at your hotel or apartment.. If you are in Sorrento, you can catch the train to go to Naples. (1 hour).
The Vatican Scavi Tour that goes through the excavations below Saint Peter's basilica is one of the most exclusive tours of all Rome.
I have been an official guide of Vatican Scavi since 1996. You could blindfold me and I would be able to show you around with ease.
We will visit an Ancient Roman Necropolis, discovered by archeologists in 1939 and filled with the fresco-painted tombs of wealthy Roman families and an early Christian cemetery with the tomb of St. Peter's, the Apostle. This part of the tour will be with about 15 other people, though we will visit St. Peter's church on our own.
Saint Peter's basilica was built in 1506. It is the longest church in the world, filled with the most important Renaissance masterpieces like the Pietà by Michelangelo.
You can combine this tour with the Vatican Museums or Pope's audience on Wednesdays.
We will start our Capri tour from Marina Grande Sea Port where we will board a bus to Anacapri. From here we will take the chairlift to the summit of Monte Solaro, where you can enjoy the most spectacular views of the Bay of Naples.
From there we will descend the slope by by chairlift. If we decide to walk (estimated 30 minutes), we will take a moment to visit the hermitage of Cetrella.
At Anacapri we have choice between two distinctive sights.
The baroque church of St. Michael noted for for it’s marvelous XVII century hand painted ceramic tile floors. Every inch of the church’s floor is covered with. grand scene depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. A modest fee is required for entry.
Your other choice is the Villa San Michele, a house museum created by the 19th century Swedish writer and physician Axel Muthe, which boasts one of the island’s most panoramic views.
Afterwards we will take back a bus to Capri and stroll down the Via Camerelle, famous for its luxury shops and designer fashion boutiques which line the street. When you’ve had your fill of window shopping, continue along the Via Tragara until reaching the breathtaking scenic overlook facing the world-famous Faraglioni rock formations. After taking in their splendor. turn around and descend to the port by Funicular Train, then back to the mainland via hydrofoil.
Tour length: 7 ore
If you are staying in Sorrento or Naples and want to organize a Capri day trip, you can take the ferryboat to go to the island.
Another option is a private boat that take you to and from the island, which I can arrange. This allows you to enjoy a relaxed and flexible trip to island, visit the renowned Blue Grotto and swim in the waters of Mediterranean Sea.
Chianti and Siena Tour with wine tasting is an amazing day trip that takes you from Florenceinto the super picturesque Chianti region.
This tour gives you the chance to explore the rolling hills of the marvelous Chianti Wine region. It’s a getaway from the noise and the crowds of the city.
During our drive through the famous Chianti region, you will be spoiled with spectacular views of this famous landscape. As we drive, admire the cypress trees, vineyards and olives groves.
Our first stop will be in Siena where we will explore Piazza del Campo and the Cathedral.
Once inthe Piazza del Campo, you’ll see why it’s so well known and well loved. It’s a semi-circular piazza, in a bowl-like shape, surrounded by beautiful red-brick buildings. This is the heart and soul of Siena, not to mention one of its most distinct landmarks. It was built with the intention of all the locals being able to meet there for events, games and socializing. It’s still doing its job of bringing people together, as you’ll see from the amount of people sitting on its curved base, eating, drinking and chatting.
The piazza is also home to Siena’s famous bareback horse race, the Palio di Siena, which is held twice a year. They do put sand on the tiled flooring of the piazza, so the horses aren’t galloping directly on stone, but the turns are still incredibly tight.
Siena’s Gothic cathedral is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. Even if you’re not into cathedrals, it’s worth seeing and is one of the highlights of the city. Its green-and-white-striped interior is even more impressive than Florence’s duomo, and the exterior is pretty snazzy too, with one of the most detailed facadesyou’lI’ve ever seen on all your travels.
Afterwards we will head to Panzano in Chianti to visit a winery where we will have a wine tasting.
The stop at winery is alsoan excuse to get know a little bit more about the winemaking process, we will explore the Estate, the vineyard and the cellar with one of the staff of winery who is very knowledgeable and passionate about the wine.
Harvesting by hand and rigorous quality selectionof the grapes are the distinctive hallmarks of their harvest. Cutting-edge technology and the final, hands-on-touch of their winemaker are the secrets of the high quality of thiswinery’s wines.
Once we’ve covered every aspect of winemaking, we sit down to taste three Chianti wines accompanied by fresh olives and cheese. It is possible to have lunch too.
After the wine tasting we will head back to your lodging.
Tour length: 6 hours
Transportation: minivan with private driver
Which are the grapes of Chianti Classico?
Sangiovese, the region’s principal grape variety, is the exemplar of the unique characteristics of the land of the Black Rooster. Chianti Classico wine can be produced with Sangiovese grapes at a minimum of 80% or with the maximum addition of 20% of other red varieties.
Over time, thanks to the commitment to research in the field, the importance of Sangiovese in Chianti Classico wine and the use of red varieties has become increasingly important: since 1996 it has been possible to produce DOC wines using pure Sangiovese grapes, and since 2006 Chianti Classico can be produced exclusively with red grape varieties.
The better way to discover Venice is booking Venice Tour by by boat.
During this fascinating tour you will travel alongthe Grand Canal with its beautiful palaces. You will see the church of Santa Maria della Salute, the famous Saint Mark Square and the bridge of the Sighs.
You will also explore the narrow canals that criss cross through the island, flanked by wonderful private palaces and gardens. Along the boat ride you willsee the façade of the Church SS. Giovanni e Paolo, where many of the Doges of Venice are buried, the RialtoBridge, the Aman Hotel (where George Clooney’s wedding took place), The Church of Saint George, designed by Andrea Palladio and the island of Giudecca with its iconic building called the three Eyes.
You will admire the first Cathedral of Venice, Saint Peter’s church, then you will enter the imposing Water Gate to access the Arsenal where you will seethe famous Hands by Lorenzo Quinn.
By boat you’ll also sail outin the open lagoon, passing by Murano, while enjoying the view of the Dolomites mountains in the distance.
Then, continuing your route of this fascinating labyrinth of canals you will stop at a famous Gondola Boatyard called The Squero of San Trovaso .
San Trovaso is the city’s longest continually operating squero, documented as far back as the late 1600s. Today it is owned by the city of Venice and operated by a co-op of specialized artisans who make new gondolas and refurbish old ones.
Tour length: 2 hours
You can combine this tour with Burano and Murano islands that are famousfor the Glass Blowing and Lace artworks.
Everybody in the world knows Pompeii.Videos, films, articles tell all details of the day that the eruption of Volcano Vesuvio took away thousand of people’s life away.
Today the ghostly ruins of ancient Pompeii (Pompei in Italian) make for one of the world’s most engrossing archaeological experiences.
Much of the site’s value lies in the fact that the town wasn’t simply blown away by Vesuvius in AD 79 but buried under a layer of lapilli (burning fragments of pumice stone). The result is a remarkably well-preserved slice of ancient life, where we can walk down Roman streets and snoop around millennia-old houses, temples, shops, cafes, amphitheatres, and even a brothel.
Tour Lenght:2/3 hours
You can visit Pompeii while staying on the Amalfi Coast. I can arrange a transfer with a minivan that picks you up at your hotel. If you are staying in Sorrento, you can catch a train that will take you there. The good thing is that the train station lets you off right in front of the entrance to the archeological park.
If you are in Rome, we can catch the train to Naples (1 hour) then we can either transfer to a local train that will take us to Pompeii or rent a minivan with driver to take us there.
If you are in Rome and you are going to the Amalfi Coast, I can arrange for a minivan with driver to pick you up at the hotel or apartment in Rome, take you to Pompeii and wait while you visit, then take you to your final destination on the Amalfi Coast
Alago, Polycarbon, Patricio Lorente, Loris Silvio Zecchinato, Wolfgang Rieger, Pompejanischer Maler um 60 v. Chr., Marcus Cyron, Wikimedia Commons
We will start our tour at Piazza della Repubblicathat during Roman times, was Ancient Florence downtown. As of the Middle Ages and for several centuries thereafter, it remained the old city market. Although it has undergone many changes over time, the Piazza della Repubblica was very lively and busy, until recently.
Cosimo I forced the Jews to reside in that area of the city, which thus became a ghetto known as the Jewish Quarter. The changes were part of urban planning that resulted from the establishment of Florence as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy (1865-1871). Consequently, many buildings, including the ones forming the ghetto and the Loggia del Pesce (Lodge of the Fish) were demolished.
After visiting the square,we will head to the Baptistry of the Duomo to learn about the Biblical stories of the door panels.
We will proceed then to the Academy where we will admire the perfection of David’s Michelangelo.
This astonishing Renaissance statue was created between 1501 and 1504. It is a 14.0 ft marble statue depicting the Biblical hero, represented as a standing male nude. Originally commissioned by the Opera del Duomo for the Cathedral, it was meant to be one of a series of large statues to be positioned in the niches of the cathedral’s tribunes, way up at about 80 mt from the ground.
Then we will go to Synagogue or Tempio Maggiore that is one of the largest synagogues in South Central Europe andwas built between 1874 and 1882. Travertine and pink pomato stone were used to build it, in the Moorish style, centrally planned and with a dome flanked by towers. Standing in a garden filled with exotic plants, surrounded by cast-iron railings designed by P. Franci,the synagogue will evoke in you a sense of oriental splendour.
At the end of the tour we will take a break for lunch at the Kosher restaurant right around the corner.