You'll be captivated by two of Italy's most beloved cities when you visit Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, and Rome, Italy's vibrant capital. Whether you've been to Italy before or this is your first time, you'll fall in love with the wide spectrum of wonders this country has to offer, from ancient ruins to gorgeous relics, captivating cultures, breathtaking sites, romance, traditions, energy and a passion for Catholicism. Soak up as much as you can on four tours which encompass everything from incredible cuisine to the Roman Colosseum, art in the Vatican to the Oltrarno Artisans, ghettos to the powerful Medici family, and so much more!
Rome is overflowing with history, ancient structures and landmarks, from the imposing Colosseum where great fights were once fought, to the depths of the city's underground. Discover all the romance and wonders for which the Eternal City is known on your choice of two out of five half-day small-group tours. The historian-led Vatican Art tour lets you skip the entry lines, slip around the crowds, and learn about the collection. The Roman Forum – Roma Antica tour takes you into the ancient Roman Forum and the archaeological core of the city, focusing on the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, and the Colosseum. Led by an archaeologist or classical historian, this is an incredibly in-depth tour and uses the ruins of the ancient city as a backdrop for discussing the rise of the Roman empire, the political intrigues of emperors, and the daily life of commoners. While Rome may contain the seat of the Catholic Church, the city also has a vibrant, long-standing Jewish history, particularly in the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere neighborhoods. On this Jewish Rome tour in the company of an art or religious historian, you will explore the Ghetto itself and learn about the history of the Roman Jewish community, one of the oldest in Europe. Rome shines brightly as one of Europe's top food destinations, with a gastronomic culture that can be traced back to ancient Roman times. On the Savoring Rome Food Tour, you will touch on a few of the city's most cherished food traditions, especially Rome's revered street food culture. Walk through the historic city center with a docent, food writer, chef or culinary educator on the hunt for the best coffee, chocolate, pizza and gelato! Many believe that getting a true feel for an ancient city requires digging below the surface—both literally and figuratively. Much of ancient Rome is still being excavated today, at some points 30 feet below the modern city! On the Underground Rome tour you will join an expert archaeologist for an in-depth exploration of Rome's underground, including sewers, crypts, and buried temples. You'll piece together an educational narrative about urban layering, the relationship between the modern city and its history, and the cutting edge of Roman archaeology.
Get a taste of the sweet life in the heart of Rome with a stay at the Ludovisi Palace Hotel, set in a building that dates back to the early 1900s in the fashionable area of Via Veneto. Open since 2001, Ludovisi Palace Hotel puts its guests within walking distance of the gardens of Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, the stylish shops on Via Condotti, the fashionable bars on Via Veneto, the Triton and Moses fountains, the baroque churches, and the breathtaking masterpieces on display at the Borghese Gallery. You'll find that the tranquil rooms are equipped with every comfort, including soundproof windows, bathrobe and slippers, kettle and tea cups, air conditioning and heating.
You can walk in the footsteps of over 2,000 years of tumultuous history as you wander cobbled streets, study fabulous masterpieces, listen to medieval stories about astounding historical events, and immerse yourself in the Florentine culture. Select two of the five following half-day small-group tours for the perfect Florence experience! The Florentine tradition of producing artisanal goods has been in existence for centuries and remains one of the cornerstones of Florence's visual and social history. This Florence Artisan Workshop tour explores the area known as Oltrarno, which has produced goods for countless generations of kings, queens, gentlemen, and noblewomen. The tour will take you to the private workshops of distinguished leather workers, shoemakers and milliners who continue to practice their crafts building upon methods passed down through the generations. The Introduction to Florence Tour includes Michelangelo's Statue of David and the Galleria dell'Accademia Florence, making it the perfect tour for first-time visitors. Led by a local historian, the walk gives a general overview of the city and its history, combined with a special focus on the Accademia, home of Michelangelo's sculpture, David, which was carved into marble between 1501 and 1504. Food and gastronomy have always played an integral part of Florentine culture and identity, and on the Savoring Florence Food Tour you will join a local chef or food writer to explore Florence's great contributions to Italian cuisine. Along the way taste a little wine, sample gelato, and sink your teeth into some amazing cheese! While walking Florence, one can't help but run into the symbols of the Medici, the great Renaissance family that ruled this city politically during the Renaissance and sponsored its prominent artists, including Michelangelo. During the Florence Medici Portrait of a Family tour, led by an art or social historian, the focus will be on the history and patronage of the family, visiting several key sites connected with them, including the Medici Chapels and Medici Palace. Or explore the Palazzo Pitti, the larger, more extravagant palace of the Medici family after the Renaissance on the Art and Power at the Palazzo Pitti Tour. Led by an art historian, this tour explores the fabulous art and object collections of the several royal families who have made the mansion home—the Medici, Lorraine and Savoy—as well as the building's stunning architecture.
The exclusive Hotel Cellai offers you a charming welcome to Florence with its location in the heart of its historic center, surrounded by monuments, churches and buildings of extraordinary beauty. All the most compelling city sites are within a short walking distance, as are little streets full of charm and mystery. Nearby is the San Lorenzo Market, hosted in a gigantic iron and glass building, where natives gather to buy local food and wine specialties. Hotel Cellai's passion for detail contributes to the intimate, tranquil atmosphere which transforms each room into a pleasant refuge within the bustling city of Florence. The rooms of Hotel Cellai are extremely comfortable, equipped with warm and precious materials and individualized with authentic antiques expertly chosen one by one in the many markets of Tuscany.
Your trip for two includes:
• 3 nights accommodations at Ludovisi Palace Hotel in Rome
• 3 nights accommodations at Hotel Cellai in Florence
• Daily breakfast
• Two half-day small-group tours in Rome
• Two half-day small-group tours in Florence
• First class one-way train transfer between Rome and Florence
• Round trip airport transfers
• All room-related taxes (including VAT)
• Free concierge reservation service