When new clients approach us to plan their dream trip to Italy, the first thing we do is schedule a telephone call to discuss their hopes and wishes and discover their definition of “dream”…is it art and culture, food and wine, or pure R&R on the beach? Each of our Italian itineraries is customized to the specific traveler, from honeymooners on their first Italian sojourn to experienced adventurers who love Renaissance architecture and local cuisine to multi-generational trips with fun truffle hunts and child-focused activities. Our goal is to deliver the most unforgettable Italian vacation to all of our travelers.
Crafting an Italian itinerary that will appeal to thousands of sophisticated travelers with whom we haven’t spoken on the phone is more challenging, but we rose to the task for this month’s special issue of Town & Country Travel! To celebrate the magazine’s 170th anniversary, Town & Country teamed up with Wendy Perrin, sourcing Wendy’s “WOW List” of trip-planning experts to create a modern-day Grand Tour: a trip around the globe in 170 days, including stops in over 50 countries. From Sweden to Antarctica, this Grand Tour is the ultimate template for the vacation of a lifetime, and we were honored to take up the challenge of planning the perfect week in Italy for T&C readers.
We began with the basics: most travelers dream of the comforts of luxury travel, so we were sure to include some of the most indulgent yet welcoming hotels in Italy. You will stay in boutique hotels housed in historic palazzi and monasteries, and be pampered by the most attentive and friendly staff in the country.
Italy’s three favorite cities are by far, Venice, Florence, and Rome, followed closely by the pretty fishing villages along the Amalfi Coast, so we based our Italy Grand Tour week on those four destinations. Don’t fear that you’ll be following the same overcrowded tourist trail as the millions of other travelers who visit these destinations each year, however.
All of our trips are created around the philosophy that the best side of Italy is its authentic side, so our travelers are all guided by local hosts who are native to that specific city or area and who speak perfect English, combining the ease of a common language with the knowledge of a true insider. Your Venice host will take you out for the evening ritual of “ombra and cicchetti,” or the Venetian cocktail hour. In Florence, you will be welcomed for a private visit at the baroque Palazzo Corsini by a Contessa, a descendant of the Corsini family. Your personal trainer in Rome will lead you on a jogging route past the stunning monuments and charming hidden alleyways of the Eternal City. A native skipper will show you the secret coves and tiny beaches along the Amalfi Coast, deserted and begging to be explored.
We also love to give a memorable twist to transportation, so rather than spending your entire week with a private car service, we arrange a twist on “planes, trains, and automobiles”: boats, Vespas, and helicopters. You’ll explore Venice by traditional “bragozzo”, the wooden boat used on the Adriatic in the 18th and 19th centuries; float down the Arno River with a Florentine “renaiolo”, one of the city’s few remaining historic boatmen; zip around Rome’s central food markets on the back of an iconic Vespa scooter; and fly south from Rome over the breathtaking Amalfi Coast in a private helicopter.
Even when traveling by car, we break up the trip with stops in Bologna for a walk around this gourmet capital and Umbria for a tromp through the woods with trained dogs to forage for truffles as locals have done for centuries.
(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)
Does this sound like a true dream trip to you? Contact us and we can start planning the Italy leg of your Town & Country Grand Tour together!