Rome & Area
Enjoy the best of both worlds during your exploration of Italy with a mix of private guided tours and transfers mixed in with a number of days on a small group trip taking in the best sights (some off the beaten path) along the way. Carefully crafted to create an intimate, indulgent introduction to one of the world’s most popular peninsulas, this tour takes in all the major, must-see attractions in Italy. Breach the typical tourist barriers to become totally immersed in the history of Rome, the creativity of Florence, the romance of Venice, and the glamour of Milan. Then move beyond the signature cities to the rustic countryside regions, the Cinque Terre and the lakeside spectacle of Lake Maggiore's Borromean Islands . Enjoy the splendours of Italy as you uncover the elegance of Italian culture, cuisine and history.
In general, the small group tours depart every Friday from April 4, 2013 until November 14, 2014 and have a maximum of 18 people per trip.
Remember, there is always the option to add a full day or afternoon of private guided services throughout your small group multi-day tour. Do things your way, at an affordable price, knowing that you have 24/7 support as you travel.
For your added comfort, we will have an English speaking assistant waiting for you outside the customs with a sign with your name on it. Your representative will help you to co-ordinate meeting up with your private driver and accompany you to your accommodation.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
The Rose Garden Palace (4*) is located on Via Vittorio Veneto, Rome, a mere forty five minutes away from the Fiumicino Airport. This historical property is situated in the heart of the city centre and features 57 elegantly designed guest rooms and 8 contemporary and spacious suites. Feast like royalty with menus that feature delicious Italian delicacies and international specialties at the onsite a la carte restaurant, Il Roseto. Wander through the hotel’s garden area, hosting beautiful floral compositions and hand-crafted modern sculptures. The Rose Garden Palace also boasts a well-equipped fitness centre, a relaxing whirlpool and soothing sauna. The property is within walking distance to some of Rome's most famous landmarks including the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and various Baroque inspired churches.
Hop aboard your privately driven vehicle, accompanied by an experienced local guide, outside your hotel for a 4 hour cultural journey through the center of Christianity, the Vatican. You're sure to be fascinated by the impressive collection of art and sculpture at the Vatican Museum and surely awe-struck by Michelangelo's surreal masterpiece which illuminates the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. His conception and execution of both the "Creation of the World" and "Last Judgment" are to this day hailed as one of the world's greatest achievements in art. Marvel at the Baroque and Renaissance inspired magnificence that is St. Peter's Basilica; featuring some 800 plus pillars, 44 altars and numerous heavenly created sculptures and paintings. Constructed over 100 years, St. Peter's Basilica is by far the largest and most renowned Catholic Church in the World. Whilst touring this holy hollows, speaking at a high tone is not permitted, so for this reason you will provided with a radio headset which your guide will whisper descriptions and information regarding this epic monument of Christianity. Upon completion of the tour, a return transfer to your hotel is provided. Entrance fee to Vatican included.
Meet up with your group this evening 6:00pm at Domus Australia Hotel, Via Cermaia 14/B, 00185 Rome, who will be joining you on the next 14 days adventure as you discover Italy together.
Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Domus Australia is the new boutique guest house in central Rome, offering a calm and welcoming refuge from the busy tourist pace of the Eternal City. The Domus was established by the Catholic Church in Australia, to provide a place for travelers to Rome to be able to stay while visiting the Eternal City. Home to its own Roman ruins, the old Italian building complex of accommodation wings surrounding a central courtyard was completely restored in 2011 and offers beautiful and very comfortable facilities including 32 bright and spacious rooms. There is a lounge room for guests to enjoy as well the more informal rooftop bar. The large dining room opens onto the internal courtyard for alfresco dining.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
Explore Rome’s classical streets and visit the Colosseum, the Forum and the Gladiator School to discover the secrets of Imperial Rome`s Gladiator Games.
This afternoon is free to explore at your own pace before your first dinner together this evening.
Leaving Rome behind, you head to the picturesque town of Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis. Its medieval masterpieces, including the Basilica of San Francis and paintings by Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Giotto, made the city a reference point for the development of Italian and European art and architecture. Then continue to Perugia, a lively medieval walled town, where you will spend the night.
Tonight's stay is in Perugia, a lively medieval walled town, famous for its chocolates. The traditional hotel that is home for the night is located in the heart of the town so the old town can be easily assessed on foot. The Hotel Fortuna dates back to the 13th century and is a stones throw from the Corso Vannucci and the Palace. The 52 ensuite bedrooms are individually decorated and include facilities such as telephone, tv, mini-bar, air conditioning and a safe. The third floor has a relaxing reading room and the hotel also has a wonderful solarium.
Today you travel to the Chianti wine region in Tuscany, renowned for its exquisite art, food and wine. Your first stop is in Siena, where you see its exquisite sites such as the Palazzo Pubblico and the Piazza del Campo. This afternoon you travel through a landscape of rolling green hills, vineyards and age-old olive groves to their idyllic rural accommodation in the Chianti region, where you will spend the next two nights.
Surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Chianti, the Villa la Palagina is situated in the undulating countryside that stretches out between Florence, Siena and Arezzo and was first populated by the Etruscans in around the seventh century B.C. Reflecting the natural beauty of Tuscany, the Villa is constructed using stone from an ancient convent and has tastefully furnished bedrooms and apartments. Relax in the expansive gardens, sunbathe poolside, or enjoy a gourmet meal al fresco or in the stone vaulted restaurant.
This morning you will learn the art of traditional Italian cooking and try your hand at pasta and bread making. You will then sit down to enjoy the dishes that you have prepared.
The Chianti wine region specialises in rich red wines, derived from the native Sangiovese grape, and this afternoon you will have the opportunity to taste these wines with a visit to a reputed winery with vintage cellars complete with wine caves.
Depart from Chianti towards Lucca via Florence. Most of today will be spent in Florence, the home of Renaissance art and architecture. After visiting the Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo`s David, enjoy a walking tour with a local guide to see some of the city’s most remarkable sites. Late this afternoon you continue your journey to Lucca, probably the most spectacular walled town in Italy.
Albergo San Martino is located in the heart of the ancient town of Lucca, inside the town walls. The rooms are comfortable and furnished with the facilities of a modern hotel with familiar and friendly atmosphere.
This morning take a journey to ancient Pisa whose famous Leaning Tower has withstood the onslaught of gravity for almost 600 years. You will visit the Baptistery of St. John, one of the stunning buildings on the Piazza dei Miracoli, which captivates visitors with its mix of architectural styles. Inside you will discover the building’s remarkable acoustics. Return to Lucca in the afternoon.
Time at leisure in Lucca to explore the narrow winding streets of this almost perfectly preserved jewel of medieval architecture at your own pace.
Today you travel to the Italian Riviera and explore its rugged coastline, which includes the five captivating villages that make up the Cinque Terre. You will explore three of the five villages by boat, train and foot to discover the secrets of this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site. You will then continue to your overnight accommodation in Soragna, a town in a region known as Italy’s “Food Valley”.
Built in the 18th century by the Princes Meli Lupi, lords of this lands, the Locanda has been restored with great care. Its original atmosphere is intact not only on the outside, but also on the inside. Antique furniture and paintings of the 17th century Italian School decorate the reception area, the hall and the restaurant while the brick-floor still spreads at heat from the kitchens to the surrounding rooms. The Locanda offers 46 bedrooms, comfortable with spacious bathroom, radio, colour TV, telephone with outside line and air conditioners, antique furniture, 18th century fireplace, wooden ceiling beams and comfortable beds with linen covers. Locanda del Lupo is the perfect setting for guests during the day and peaceful night, ensuring a heartfelt welcome and a music that will never be forgotten.
Begin your exploration of the food valley with a visit and tasting at a local producer of Felino Salame, Culatello and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Then continue to Modena, renowned for its production of balsamic vinegar. Here you will enjoy a traditional balsamic vinegar tasting.
Continue your day with a drive to Ravenna for an evening at leisure.
Palazzo Bezzi (4*) is located in the heart of Ravenna, a few steps away from the center and from the most prestigious Byzantine Mosaics. Palazzo Bezzi offers to all its guests all the charm of the old traditions combined with exclusive and refined details. Hotel facilities: 24 hour reception, concierge, room service, wellness center, bar lounge with pool table, Wi-Fi Internet, direct dial phone, safety box, restaurant at 300 meters.
This morning you will explore Ravenna, the best place in Italy to see early Christian and Byzantine Mosaics.
Continue your day with a drive towards Venice. Here you will take a water taxi to your hotel, located on Venice Island itself.
Hotel Al Sole (3*) is located in a very pleasant area of Venice, a short distance from piazzale Roma, the University, Chiesa dei Frari church, campo Santa Margherita and from the Gallerie dell'Accademia. 51 rooms in Venetian style, some with a view of the canal and others with a view of the garden. The common rooms are distributed amongst reception, hall, dining room and the delightful indoor garden (a real privilege for a hotel in Venice) where breakfast is served during the mild season and where guests may spend their free time. Breakfast is a buffet and proposes a wide selection of sweet and savory foods, homemade cakes, fresh fruit ect. Hotel Al Sole's bar offers drinks, coffee and small snacks to be enjoyed in the garden, weather permitting obviously. Wi-fi internet and internet point located at the reception, concierge, safety deposit, night doorman ect. are some of Hotel Al Sole's'services, one of Venice's most appreciated 3 star hotels.
Enjoy a guided walking tour of this fascinating city this morning. Watch daily Venetian life pass by in bustling St Mark’s Square and see local landmarks including St Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and Rialto Bridge.
This afternoon is free for you to continue your independent exploration of the city.
Leaving Venice, you'll head to romantic Verona and explore the city, seeing its colossal Roman amphitheatre, the Piazza delle Erbe, the Madonna Verona fountain, Tower Lamberti and Juliet’s Balcony.
This afternoon you will travel to the serene Lakes region of northern Italy for an evening at leisure.
Built in 1870, on the elegant west Piedmont shores of Lake Maggiore, the Grand Hotel Majestic is a fascinating exemplary conception of La Belle Époque. Located on the lakeside promenade of the picturesque town of Pallanza, it stands proudly on stunning headland promontory stretching directly over Lake Maggiore, surrounded by beautiful impeccable gardens, immersed in peace. Its privileged position affords it, from almost every angle, breathtaking views of the splendid Borromeo Islands, the surrounding mountains and the Lake itself. The hotel offers guests a choice of 80 bedrooms, including 32 junior suites and 6 suites. The hotel's main restaurant La Beola with large panoramic windows offers a contemporary interpretation of tasty traditional Italian dishes: a triumph of flavours and tastes. Enjoy breakfast in the comfort of the Rossini Room, large bright panoramic windows make this an elegant and refined ambience overlooking the immaculate gardens. The Wellness Centre, modern and welcoming, is an area completely dedicated to beauty and the "remise en forms". Featuring a heated indoor swimming pool, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the beautiful gardens and the lake. The high tech gym also enjoys magnificent views of the gardens and the islet of San Giovanni.
Spend most of today exploring the Borromean islands on Lake Maggiore visiting Isola Bella with its magnificent Baroque Garden, Isola dei Pescatori with its pretty harbour and Isola Madre with its wonderful Renaissance Villa.
The rest of the day is free for you to relax on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
This morning you visit Lake Orta, the enchanting lake that the Milanese try to keep to themselves. After some time exploring the lake you enjoy a farewell lunch together. Leaving the serenity of the Lakes behind you head to Milan, Italy’s famous fashion capital, where the tour ends.
Your small group tour concludes in Milan at the Hotel Genius Downtown, Via Porlezza, 4, 20123 Milan at approximately 4:00pm.
Transfer to your hotel using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
UNA Maison Milano (4*), located in Milan, is in a prestigious and historical building that has been restored as a hotel. This property is ideally located in the heart of the city, only a few steps from the famed Duomo. UNA Maison Milano's interior has been furnished using a variety of light and elegant colours amongst the numerous pieces of international design and art. It features 27 rooms that offer comfort and space, and in some cases splendid views of this historical and beautiful city.
Enjoy an airport transfer in private vehicle with driver. Please note drivers may or may not speak English as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another. If you would like to have the presence of an English speaking Assistant or Guide for your transfer this can be pre-arranged upon request and would be subject to an additional supplement.
February 19, 2014
"Lynne Pettit is a particularly good tour planner and contact person because she is knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. She makes sure she understands exactly what you want to get from your trip and plans the tours accordingly. In my case, she was right on the mark!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Edwards Family ,
November 28, 2013
"People do not know what they are missing by not going to Romania. The landscape: beautiful, clean, untouched. The people: People exceeded friendly! Super safe. Wherever we went, we received the reception of "Welcome, welcome! You are our guest", by everyone. Food & Drink: Everything had such incredible flavor! They use only the freshest ingredients and everything is organic. Every meal was a new, exciting experience to our palettes. Architecture: The beauty, intricacy, history. One cannot help but appreciate the abundance of castles, churches and buildings boasting such incredible architecture. Experience Romania sooner than later! You’ll be so glad you did! Once again, Kensington Tours, and special thank you to Claudia.
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Mike Mikkelsen ,
November 15, 2013
"Lianne Kim did a great job for us (on our tour of Spain). Most enjoyable - thanks for all you did."
November 09, 2013
"My trip to Holland and Belgium was a lifelong dream and Kensington Tours made it greater than my dream. I was treated like royalty, even when I missed some of my connections. They quickly solved any problems that U had. All the drivers were courteous and helpful. My accommodations were top notch. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a better tour experience. Thanks to Richard Racicot for booking the best fo me."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery lWestlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bend over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangement made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
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