- Take a guided tour of Rome's Colosseum, Roman Forum and Vatican Museums
- Master the art of pasta and Neapolitan pizza in Rome and Naples
- Sail to Capri and stroll the beautiful Augustus Gardens
- Take a tasting tour of Sorrento's best artisanal producers
|Day 1||Arrive in Rome, Evening Aperitivo & City Sights by Night||Rome|
|Day 2||VIP Colosseum & Roman Forum Tour, Classic Italian Cooking Class||Rome|
|Day 3||Guided Tour of the Vatican, Self-Guided Foodie Tour of Rome||Rome|
|Day 4||Train to Naples, Street Food Tour||Naples|
|Day 5||Explore Naples, Neapolitan Pizza Masterclass||Naples|
|Day 6||Transfer to Sorrento via Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius, Lunch & Wine Tasting||Sorrento|
|Day 7||Visit Capri, Aperitivo & Stroll Around Sorrento||Sorrento|
|Day 8||Tour of Sorrento's Artisanal Producers, Olive Oil, Cheese & Limoncello Tasting||Sorrento|
|Day 9||Private Tour of the Amalfi Coast, Dinner in Positano||Sorrento|
|Day 10||Transfer to Naples, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Rome, Evening Aperitivo & City Sights by Night
Benvenuti in Roma! (Welcome to Rome). Upon arrival at the airport, meet your driver and transfer to your hotel in the historic center. Settle in and relax, then head out to discover the city's enticing mix of ancient history, laid-back piazza lifestyle, and delicious cuisine that continues to captivate visitors worldwide.
Golden hour in Rome is when the locals fill the streets and piazzas for one of the country's favorite predinner rituals—aperitivi (local drinks including prosecco, spritz, or artisanal beer, served with small bites). This evening, you'll experience the city's famous landmarks by golf cart, a great way to zip through the distinct quartiere (neighborhoods) and learn about aperitivi and Rome-specific customs from your guide. Start with a tour of Testaccio, famed for its vast food market, 118-foot (36 m) high Pyramid of Cestius, and some of the city's best eateries.
Your next stop is the charming Jewish Quarter, established in 1555 CE and now famed for its leafy cobbled streets and carciofi alla giudia (Jewish fried artichokes). As dusk falls, head to Gianicolo Hill to see the sunset over the "Enchanted City," where you can even glimpse the twinkling St. Peter's Dome in the Vatican. Then, it's on to the Pantheon, where you'll sip prosecco in the Piazza della Rotonda and admire the temple's dramatic silhouette. Your tour ends after a visit to the Trevi Fountain, whose illuminated Baroque carvings are even more spectacular at nightfall.
Day 2: VIP Colosseum & Roman Forum Tour, Classic Italian Cooking Class
Follow in the footsteps of gladiators this morning with a VIP walking tour of Rome's iconic Colosseum. Built by Flavian emperors in 80 CE as the epicenter of Ancient Rome's public entertainment, you'll slip the queues and discover the amphitheater's highlights and the labyrinthine dungeons. You'll also get special access to the arena itself—it's a moment to remember as the custodian unlocks the gates and you imagine the roar of 80,000 spectators calling your name.
Continue your step back in time with a short walk to Palatine Hill, once an exclusive neighborhood for political leaders and emperors, where you'll see ruins of the sprawling palaces. Admire the umbrella pine-dotted views toward the Vatican, Circus Maximus, and the Roman Forum—the focal point of political life in Ancient Rome and your final stop. Explore the forum's vast 2,000-year-old excavations that reveal the temples, squares, and religious sites used by the empire's noble citizens. Meanwhile, your guide will bring the ruins to life with fascinating stories of the political power plays conducted here.
Later on, you'll continue your immersion into Italian life with an authentic cooking class led by a local, who'll guide you through the different types of pasta used in Roman cuisine and the four classic sauces: carbonara, cacio e pepe, alla gricia, and amatriciana. You'll start by preparing the dolce (dessert). Choose from a classic tiramisu or gelato and leave to set as you work on the pasta. Learn how to mix and knead your flour and eggs, then cut or shape your preferred type of pasta. At the end of the workshop, sit down with your fellow chefs and enjoy your creations.
Day 3: Guided Tour of the Vatican, Self-Guided Foodie Tour of Rome
Start the day as the locals do with café and a cornetto semplice (croissant) at one of the neighborhood bars, then meet your guide for a three-hour tour of the Vatican City, starting with the Vatican Museums. Founded by Pope Julius in the early 16th century, the museums are renowned as some of the world's most splendid, with classical sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces that have fascinated countless generations with the city's art and history.
You'll pass through 45 galleries and the Raphael Rooms before arriving at the Sistine Chapel, famous for its frescoed ceiling and Michelangelo's "Last Judgement." Take a moment to appreciate the extraordinary setting inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's dramatic "La Pietà," a depiction of the Virgin Mary holding the dead Christ in her arms. Your guide will leave you with some free time to explore the Basilica on your own, where you can view the Papal Tombs, climb to the top of the dome, and, afterward, stroll around Bernini's celebrated Piazza San Pietro.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your leisure. A few blocks north of the Vatican City, you'll find the Prati neighborhood of Rome, full of locals soaking up the sunshine and lots of great lunch spots. Head along the river to the charming wisteria-filled Trastevere neighborhood, where you'll find plenty of quaint backstreets to grab a café or a spritz. Hop over to Testaccio, and if you're feeling peckish, try Roman street food specialties such as supplì, pizza bianca filled with stracciatella, mortadella, and pistachios, and porchetta (roast pork, stuffed and rolled with herbs).
Day 4: Train to Naples, Street Food Tour
While Naples is justifiably famous for its pizza and its rich history of Neapolitan cuisine, it's also one of Italy's most magnetic and unique cities with its maze of narrow streets, exuberant atmosphere, and culture and chaos at every turn. You'll experience the best of the city's street food and architectural gems today as you board a high-speed train from Rome's Termini Station for the one-hour and 15-minute journey. Upon arrival, a private driver will meet you at the station and transfer you to your central accommodation. Grab some downtime before heading out to meet your guide.
You'll start this afternoon's tour with a walk through the lively Mercato dell Pignasecca, where you'll enjoy tasty morsels such as taralli (tiny, crunchy, and flavorsome bagels), mozzarella di bufala, and cuoppo di pesce fritti (cones of fried fish), from the enthusiastic vendors. Continue to snack, weave your way through the back streets, and see the city's key landmarks, churches, and piazzas while your local guide shares anecdotes about Naples' history, architecture, and culture.
There'll be plenty of time for refreshments as you seek out old bars, learn the best places to feast on Neapolitan pizza and gain private access to places where the city's culinary masters do their work. Be sure to leave room for gelato and polish off your foodie tour with delicious sfogliatelle (sweet shell-shaped filled pastries) and espresso. You'll part ways with your guide in the UNESCO-listed Centro Storico (Historic Center), where the rest of the evening is yours to continue the evening at one of the local bars and sample the city's nightlife.
Day 5: Explore Naples, Neapolitan Pizza Masterclass
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Spend today exploring Naples at your own pace and either embrace the chaotic choreography of the scooters and street life or take a self-guided tour of the city's churches, museums, and historical highlights. The splendid Duomo di Napoli, a 10-minute walk from Piazza Cavour, dates back to the 13th century and incorporates a range of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architectural styles, while the San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica is one of the city's oldest and most interesting churches—it even hides the remains of an underground Greco-Roman market.
Follow the main street, Via Toledo, toward the waterfront, and you'll find the Royal Palace, San Carlo Theater, and Castle Nuovo, all worth a visit, including the castle's two museums, which house an array of medieval and 19th-century paintings, sculpture and objects. Don't miss the Fontana dell Gigante, a beautiful 17th-century fountain featuring a trio of arches adorned with heraldic symbols and marine animals. Standing on the waterfront near Castel dell'Ovo, it's a great place to catch a breather and soak up your Neapolitan experience.
Later on, spend your last afternoon in Naples discovering the secrets to making the perfect Neapolitan pizza. You'll be led by your guide to the restaurant of one of the city's oldest families of pizza makers. Your pizzaiolo and his staff will greet you and introduce you to the art of pizza making, guiding you through every step of the process, from which ingredients to use to the history of this world-famous dish. With your creations freshly out of the wood-fired oven, you'll dine with your fellow chefs and add "Neapolitan pizza maker" to your cooking repertoire.
Day 6: Transfer to Sorrento via Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius, Lunch & Wine Tasting
Bid farewell to Naples this morning and enjoy a comfortable and scenic journey south along the Amalfi Coast to Sorrento. You'll stop along the way to visit two of the area's key sites, Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. Walking through the remains of Pompeii's ancient streets is a fascinating and sober experience, with the ash and volcanic debris that flowed from Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE preserving many of the town's structures entirely. See the plazas, villas, and shops frozen in time before visiting a workshop to see local handicrafts being produced.
Next, you'll continue your tour of the area with a drive to Mount Vesuvius National Park. Pass a series of small farms and wineries dotted along the landscape, and you'll soon reach the dormant volcano. It's around a 30-minute hike to the crater with some steep ascents, but it's worth it for the exceptional views of the Bay of Naples and the islands of Capri and Ischia. Reward your efforts with lunch at a local winery, where you'll tour the beautiful vineyards and taste local Lacryma Christi wines made from grapes indigenous to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.
Afterward, relax and admire the views as you transfer to your hotel in Sorrento, around a 1.5-hour drive away. A change in pace from the roaring energy of Naples, this city is a favorite with Italian and international vacationers and is known for its beautiful views, tranquil atmosphere, and terraced lemon groves. Check into your hotel, and when you're ready, get your bearings with a wander around town. In the evening, dine on local specialties, including gnocchi alla Sorrentina (tiny potato dumplings with tomatoes and bufala mozzarella) and scialatielli alle vongole (spaghetti-like pasta with clams).
Day 7: Visit Capri, Aperitivo & Stroll Around Sorrento
Set sail for the "Isle of Sirens" this morning and head to Sorrento's port, where you'll board a ferry and cross the cobalt blue waters past the Amalfi Coast to Capri, known locally as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean." You'll arrive at the Marina Grande harbor, where the day is yours to explore the island at your leisure. Head first to the quaint village of Anacapri perched toward the top of the island. Here, you'll see the beautiful sweeping views of the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius that prompted Emperor Tiberius to build twelve villas on the isle.
Stroll Piazza Vittoria and stop for a gelato before taking the chairlift from Anacapri to Mount Solaro. At 1,932 feet (589 m) above sea level, it's the island's highest point and offers more astonishing views across the bays and over to the Calabrian mountains. When you're ready, make your way back down and enjoy lunch overlooking the coastline. After a wander around Capri's chic Old Town, don't miss a trip to the Gardens of Augustus. These beautifully manicured Mediterranean gardens provide the world-famous shot of the dramatic Faraglioni Rocks below.
Discover Sorrento's own aperitivo traditions and evening culture tonight with a guided walking tour of the Centro Storico. Pass sights include the ruins of the Villa Pollio in Capo di Sorrento, the 11th-century Duomo, and the Basilica di Sant'Antonio. As you wander the piazzas and waterfront, embrace the Italian tradition of passegiata, where locals take to the streets to socialize and stroll after work. Your destination is one of Sorrento's most elegant terraces, the perfect spot to enjoy an aperitivo and relish in la dolce far niente (the sweet art of doing nothing).
Day 8: Tour of Sorrento's Artisanal Producers, Olive Oil, Cheese & Limoncello Tasting
Today, you'll embark on a foodie tour around the colorful Amalfi coastline. Meet your driver at your hotel, and your first stop is a local olive oil mill where you'll learn how this centuries-old staple of Italian life and diet is harvested, pressed, and bottled. Sample the estate's extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) alongside complimentary bread and snacks and discover the different flavor notes (grassy, floral, and spicy) that make the oil an essential ingredient in Italian cooking.
Italian formaggi (cheeses) are some of the best in the world, and today's next stop at a dairy farm on the Sorrentine Peninsula will guide you through local cheese production with a master cheese maker. You'll learn the traditional cheese-making techniques handed down through generations and see perfectly preserved copper churns and manual machinery from the 19th century in the farm's small museum. Of course, there'll also be plenty of cheese to try, including the farm's famous Provolone del Monaco DOP, washed down with a glass of the local wine.
Your last stop is a scenic lemon farm where you'll meander through lemon groves filled with Sfusato Amalfitano lemon trees. See the farmers at work and discover the special qualities of Amalfi lemons and how citrus fruits are used throughout Italian cooking in both salato (savory) and dolce (sweet) dishes. You'll end your tour with a delicious farm lunch using local produce and finish by tasting the farm's own artisanal limoncello (lemon liqueur).
Day 9: Private Tour of the Amalfi Coast, Dinner in Positano
See out your Italy vacation in style with a day dedicated to discovering the towns and hilltop villages nestled along the Amalfi Coast. Your first stop is Positano, whose beautiful beaches and tumbling pastel-hued houses attract visitors worldwide. Stroll the steep cobbled streets and alleyways covered in fuchsia bougainvillea and hop back in the car to the coast's namesake—Amalfi, passing the beautiful villages of Praiano, Furore, and Conca dei Marini along the way.
You'll have some free time to wander the town at your own pace and discover the region's local crafts, such as handmade paper. Savor the views with a spritz and bruschetta (chargrilled bread topped with tomatoes and olive oil) in the main square and wander up to the hilltop Cathedral of Sant'Andrea. Your last stop is Ravello, a favorite destination among musicians, artists, and poets. Visit one of the town's star attractions, the 13th-century Villa Rufolo, overlooking the Piazza Vescovado and known for its enchanting panoramic terrace and wonderful gardens.
Late afternoon, you'll return to your hotel for a refresh before your driver drops you back in Positano (where a dinner reservation will be made for you) to enjoy the evening at your leisure. Find a scenic spot and people-watch over aperitivi, then stroll the town. The village itself is nice and compact, so a leisurely walk takes around an hour, perfect to build up an appetite. You'll spend the rest of the evening savoring a delicious dinner at a restaurant of your choice.
Day 10: Transfer to Naples, Depart
Say goodbye, or ciao, to Italy for now. Take advantage of any extra time with one last morning stroll around Sorrento before transferring to Naples, where you'll catch your flight home or continue your European adventure. Safe travels!