Below you will find a suggested sample itinerary. There are many small towns to visit from Tropea in the south to the Lake District in the north. The Islands such as Sicily are more challenging to reach unless you plan your trip around them. It is up to you to decide what is important to you. Take Me Home Italy can devise a journey to fit your needs.
Depart from the USA!
Arrive at Leonardo Da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport in the morning where you will be met by our driver who will transport you to your hotel in Rome. Drop off luggage and walk around the area to become acclimated to the sights, sounds, and scents of Rome. Have lunch at a local bar. Stay awake as long as possible. Get a good night’s sleep.
Hit the sights of Rome— choose from the many beautiful attractions such as the Colosseum, the Vatican or Hadrian’s Market. Or do nothing but sit on the Spanish Steps and people watch. This is Italy. You do what you feel.
One more day in Rome—you will probably feel like you have adjusted to the time change. Have a big Roman meal today. Maybe visit the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo Di Fiori or the Campidoglio. Simply enjoy the hustle and bustle that is Rome.
Travel by chartered bus or car to your home town to meet your famiglia. Enjoy dinner and a walk with them. See where your Italian ancestors were born. Notice they have your nose—the sauce on the pasta tastes just like home—they use their hands in the same way your grandfather did—they absolutely stuff you with food. They seem to understand you, even if you do not speak Italian. You laugh, you sing, you dance and you cry.
Spend more time with la famiglia. They tell you today they will only serve spaghetti. They promise. When you arrive at the table you are served antipasto with vegetables, a bowl of spaghetti too big for you, pizza, more wine, and some Strega —a mysterious alcoholic beverage with a floral scent. Three trays of homemade desserts appear accompanied by another wine. You eat and talk for hours.
Off to Florence- this quintessential Renaissance city is meant for walking. After you check into your hotel, head out for a walk. Make sure your camera is ready. Every building is a work of art. People-watching is wonderful here. There is an expression in Italian: fare una bella figura, to make a good impression, and they mean it. Standard Tour groups march around following their guide and listening to headphones. They are missing Italy while they allow their guide to tell them what they should see. You are free to see all. Enjoy!
Day two in Florence. Today you can visit the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia where Michelangelo’s David is housed. Perhaps you view art in the morning and visit a winery in the afternoon where you will be treated like royalty, filled with wine and aperitivi (snack food Italian style) and you send home a case of fine Italian vintage.
Pack up in the morning and catch a train to Venice, the romantic city without cars. You will take a vaporetto, a water bus, to your hotel. Walk along a winding street until you see the hotel. Drop off your luggage and get lost in Venice. Every pathway appears to go to Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Square. Whichever sign you follow doesn’t seem to take you there. Sit down, have lunch and some wine, and try again later. Part of the charm of Venice is strolling along and getting lost. That is when you will discover the best shop or the finest meal, and the friendliest locals who will laugh with you and point you in the right direction.
Day two in Venice. You can visit St. Mark’s Cathedral or the Doge’s Palace. At the Palace you travel through Venetian art history to other passageways. Here, you trace the footsteps of ancient criminals who walked along the Bridge of Sighs and gazed at the city for the last time as they went to their execution. You may choose to take a ferry ride to Murano for a glass blowing demonstration or another ferry to Burano, a smaller version of Venice famous for handmade lace and gorgeous homes painted in all the Venetian Colors. It is quieter and so picturesque.
Venice for one more night! Stroll, shop, ride the vaporetto around Venice and last but not least splurge for that gondola ride—Singing gondoliers cost extra but it is a wonderful way to prepare to leave Italy. The ride is romantic yet somber and contemplative. You can drink prosecco and toast la famiglia. Stay out late.
Time to return to your life: Check out of your hotel, take a water taxi to the Venice Airport and gaze upon the beauty of Venice in the morning light. Your heart will be filled with love, joy and la dolce vita. Carry it home with you and begin planning your return. Arrive in your home town. Hug your family. Thank your grandparents, parents, and aunts and uncles for their heritage, their food, their laughter and their flamboyant, expressive behavior you now truly appreciate. Ciao for Now Italy. We will Take You Home Again soon. Are you ready to go home to Italy?
May 9-19, 2017
A Unique, Custom Wine and Food Adventure with us where you join an Italian Family
Only $2950/person, double occupancy, Single Supplement $975(land only)*
*Pre & post Wine Experience travel can be arranged by Take Me Home Italy. Airfare by David Benensen of New Departures (www.newdepartures.com) for possible group rates from Minneapolis and elsewhere.