Italy’s famed attractions entice travelers to marvel over cathedrals and ruins, yet just beyond the surface lies a trove of special experiences. Find unexpected moments of insight from expert guides whose hearts belong to the land, revealing new perspectives of Italy’s beloved culture and cuisine.
Florence is renowned for its essential sights that you’ll explore with awe, from the Uffizi Gallery’s expansive collection of artwork to il Duomo’s labyrinthine staircase that reveals a closer look at frescoed ceilings by Giorgio Vasari. Pair that with a day of exploring the nuances of la cucina Italiana with your guide, Chef Libero: shop for ingredients at a Florentine market overflowing with local delicacies and fresh produce, then return to his restaurant kitchen for a cooking lesson with a glass of wine in hand.
The source of this bounty is just beyond the city’s outskirts in the Tuscan countryside. Nestled outside the town of Greve is Fattoria di Petroio, a wine estate run by two generations of the Lenzi family. Meet proprietor Diana Lenzi — a celebrated chef who left her career in Rome to run her family’s vineyard — as you swirl and sip estate-grown chianti, taste local olive oils and experience the complex flavors of a wine-infused chocolate spread. The highlight of your visit is a dinner featuring the best of Tuscan cuisine along with generous pours.
Another excursion brings you to the 12th-century Castello del Trebbio in Pontassieve. Owned by the Baj-Macario family, 850 acres are covered with vines, olive groves and crocus fields from which the saffron is harvested. You’ll tour the castle’s former dungeons, now the cellars where chianti is aged to perfection in oak barrels, and learn why the family lives here year-round — a rarity in this region. Stay for a buffet dinner in the great hall pairing two types of chianti, one young and one Riserva.
There is perhaps no place richer in culture than the city of Rome. Stand in the gallery of the Colosseum and imagine the gladiator battles that once took place in its pits, hear the echo of ancient spectators cheering on chariot races in Circus Maximus and step foot in St. Peter’s Basilica at the heart of Vatican City. Gazing upon Michelangelo’s magnificent “Pietà” and the Sistine Chapel is merely the beginning of your exclusive look into three centuries of art and antiquities. You’ll begin with a guided tour that grants you priority access to the Vatican Museums, then go where the general public cannot: the Vatican’s spiraling Bramante staircase.
Your behind-the-scenes visit continues beyond the velvet rope of the Missionary Ethnological Museum, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926. Surrounded by priceless relics and historic artifacts, you’ll savor a private three-course dinner served in the gallery and sip coffee as you quietly admire ceremonial objects, plaster portraits and archeological treasures.
For another detailed perspective on local artistry, a separate guided excursion may take you behind the scenes of an inlaid-wood workshop in the southern Italian city of Sorrento. This famous style of furniture entails more than just careful craftsmanship — it’s a tradition that spans centuries, as you’ll discover during a demonstration with an artisan. Take home a handcrafted piece of Italy as you shop for souvenirs made right here.
Experiencing Italy’s legendary past is as easy as sleeping amidst it. Your journey may include a night in a Franciscan monastery near the spiritual city of Assisi, on the Umbrian slopes of Mount Subasio. Hotel Cenacolo stays true to its original mission: welcoming pilgrims who have arrived to Santa Maria degli Angeli from far and wide. Rooms and suites were once the chambers of Franciscan friars, and original stone façades from local quarries sit side by side with modern touches in steel and glass.
Authentic moments within a variety of Italian journeys make traveling with Trafalgar more than a sightseeing experience. Along with complimentary meals, comfortable transportation and front-of-line access courtesy of well-connected guides, Trafalgar parlays its expertise on the ground to create a cache of local experiences reserved especially for you.
We recommend the following Trafalgar vacations to experience Italy deeper.
Flavors of Italy
Savor the aromas of Italy as you journey from the avenues of Rome to the canals of Venice. Sip chilled chianti, sample olive oil, and buy fresh local produce in Florence.
9-Nights Flavors of Italy from $2825 per person (Offer ID: 1250404)
Contrasts of Italy
Travel via high-speed train from Rome to Venice, stopping in Florence to admire historical treasures. Cross the Rialto Bridge, cruise to St. Mark’s Square and dine amidst three centuries of art and antiques in the Vatican.
9-Nights Contrasts of Italy from $2795 per person (Offer ID: 1250348)
Best of Italy
The essence of “la dolce vita” is explored through the cuisine, art, and landscapes of Italy, from its iconic cities and turquoise lakes to its balmy southern shores.
12-Nights Best of Italy from $3250 per person (Offer ID: 1250314)
For more information about Trafalgar tours in Italy, contact Brad Martin at Anywhere Anytime Journeys.
[Cover Photo: Vatican Museum / pexels]