The Amalfi coast
Travelling south from the bay of Naples, passing Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii en route, you’ll find the stunningly beautiful Amalfi coast.
As soon as you arrive, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and rugged mountains that plunge deep into the azure Tyrrhenian sea. Idyllic bays, secret coves and ancient fishing villages lie at every turn as you make your way around the Serpentine roads that follow the coastline.
Only 16km from Positano, Sorrento makes the perfect base to explore the Amalfi coast and is well worth a visit in its own right.
Places to visit
- The chic town of Positano, with its flower-draped pastel houses
- Amalfi, one of Italy’s most memorable places to visit
- Ravello, a wonderful village overlooking the sea, incredible villas and stunning gardens
- The beautiful island of Capri, a short boat journey from Positano
- Praino, perched between Amalfi and Positano, a hidden gem 120 metres above the sea
Best time to visit
Spring or Autumn, away from the thronging Summer crowds.
One of the world’s most magical cities and a world heritage site, Venice shines like a jewel on the northwestern edge of the Adriatic, a collection of small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges.
The Grand canal sweeps majestically through the heart of Venice, surrounded on either side by grand palaces dating back centuries. History greets you at every turn as you walk from island to island.
Places to visit
- The spectacular Grand Canal
- The Rialto Bridge (Grand canal)
- Piazza San Marco
- Doge’s Palace
- The world-famous Islands of Burano and Murano
Best time to visit
In February, the Carnival is a sight to behold with masked balls, parades and fireworks. February is the month the locals reclaim their city.
Palazzo Manfredi - Rome
Located in Rome’s historic centre with spectacular views of the Colosseum and Forum, the Hotel Palazzo Manfredi is a magnificent landmark villa with an exclusive, luxury hotel. Owned by the Count and Countess Manfredi, the hotel reflects the luxury and sophistication of their lifestyle.
The onsite Michelin starred “Aroma” restaurant showcases a menu of classic Italian dishes served on a beautiful outdoor terrace that offers incredible views of the historic centre.
The Grand view Colosseum suite
At 120 sq metres and built over two levels, the Grand view Colosseum suite offers magnificent views of the Colosseum and the Ludus Magnus.
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria - Sorrento
One of the leading hotels in the world, the iconic Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittorio offers five-star luxury in the middle of Sorrento. The hotel is the perfect base to explore the beautiful Amalfi coast and the important historical sights at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Perched on a high cliff with spectacular views of the Bay of Naples, the Sorrentine peninsula and Mount Vesuvius. Which was once part of the Grand Tour; the legend goes that this was once the site of a Villa built for Emperor Augustus.
Many famous guests have stayed at the Excelsior Vittorio for its charm, elegance, and attentive service. Including Enrico Caruso, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, Luciano Pavorotti and Sophia Loren, to name but a few.
It has to be the lavish Deluxe Suites, classically styled with a contemporary touch; these suites offer sea views and a separate living area.
Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina, Sicily
Set in the heart of Taormina, Sicily, the Grand Hotel Timeo offers a five-star luxury experience with beautiful views towards the coast, Mount Etna and beyond.
The hotel has a private beach, heated swimming pool with pool and snack bar, fitness and wellness centre.
A complimentary shuttle will take you to the private beach, where you can hire a luxurious beach cabana and enjoy a minibar, loungers and exclusive waiter service.
The Presidential suite offers incredible views of the sea and surrounding area; each suite has two bedrooms, two marble bathrooms and a private outdoor jacuzzi.
Villa Cora - Florence
Located in a position overlooking the famous Boboli gardens on the hills just outside Florence’s historical centre. You’ll find the magnificent Villa Cora, built in the 1870s by Baron Oppenheim. Villa Cora has become one of Florence’s significant cultural and cosmopolitan symbols.
Over the years, Villa Cora has hosted many important guests, including Princess Eugenia, wife of Napoleon III and the Russian composer Tchaikovsky.
The accommodation has remained sympathetic to the original architectural style as far as possible; the first floor, known as the “noble floor”, is characterised by its beautiful frescoes. The second floor honours Empress Eugenia, whilst the third floor pays homage to the Orient and Moorish styles.
The grand and opulently designed Imperial Suite was dedicated to Emperor Akihito, who stayed in the villa in 1982. It’s the most impressive Suite in the villa with views of the city and internal gardens.
Ca’ Sagredo Hotel - Venice
The spectacular 15th Century Ca’ Sagredo Palazzo, situated on the Grand Canal, opposite the famous Rialto market, showcases Venice at its opulent best.
Declared a National Monument, the Palazzo still maintains the untouched beauty of an ancient noble residence. Inside, you will find stunning frescoes and beautiful masterpieces, whilst the magnificent “Lo Scalone Dei Giganti” staircase is a work of art in its own right.
At the splendid L’Alcova restaurant, you will be able to enjoy traditional Venetian cuisines and fine Italian wines from a beautiful panoramic terrace overlooking the Grand Canal.
The Grand Canal Suites
These rooms focus on history and luxury. All enjoy spectacular views over the Grand Canal through their floor to ceiling windows. The designs have a sophisticated urban-chic feel with elegant furnishings, antique decor and a spacious layout.
Defined by Dylan Thomas as the most beautiful island of the Mediterranean, Elba sits just off the coast of Tuscany, the largest island on the Tuscan Archipelago and the third largest in Italy.
Rich in charm and tradition, Elba's biggest claim to fame is that it was the site of Napoleon's first exile before the Hundred Days War and his subsequent defeat at Waterloo.
Very much off the beaten track (you won't find hordes of tourists here), with its fine white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, seafaring cuisine and lovely island wines, Elba will enchant you at every turn.
Things to do:
- Elba is ideal for hiking, biking, kayaking, trekking and snorkelling.
- Diving around Elba is a real treat and one of the best things you can do. The water is some of the cleanest in Italy, and there is plenty of colourful Mediterranean flora and fauna to see.
- Visit Villa Dei Mulini; an old Medici villa refurbished and redesigned by Napoleon and the town dwelling where he held court.
- Head to the fortress of Volterraio, the most ancient building on the island dating back to Etruscan times.
- Try Limoncino, Elban wine and cacciucco ( a delicious fish stew).
- Take a trip to the Medici fortress at Portoferraio (as with the rest of Tuscany, Elba was a Medici stronghold).
Naples and the Amalfi coast
- Explore underground Naples and the Catacombe di San Gennaro
- Visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli where you'll find some of the most important artefacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum.
- Spend a few days exploring the stunning Amalfi coast
- Drive the winding coastal roads to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
- Visit the UNESCO world heritage excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
- Enjoy wine tasting and lunch in the foothills of Mt.Vesuvius.
- Head to the beautiful Island of Capri for an overnight stay away from the daytime crowds; the islands of Ischia, Procida, Ventontene and Ponza offer a quieter alternative.
Day 1 + 2 - Fly into Naples
Day 3 + 4 - Amalfi/Ravello
Day 5 + 6 - Positano
Day 7, 8 + 9 - Sorrento (for Vesuvius)
Day 10 - Capri overnight
Day 11 - Fly out of Naples
Venice, Verona, Lake Garda and Milan
- Cruise the waterways of Venice and the incredible Grand Canal, passing under the famous Rialto bridge on your private tour
- Visit the Piazza San Marco and its famous Basilica and Campanile
- Head to the islands of Murano, where you can watch artisan glassblowers at work in a historical glass factory
- Visit the Island of Burano with its bright pastel-coloured houses and traditional lace workshops.
- Spend the day in Verona with its links to Romeo and Juliet, experience a night of open-air Opera at the beautiful Arena di Verona, an ancient stadium built before the Coliseum.
- Head to Lake Garda and a tour of the lake followed by some well earned R&R.
- On the final leg of your holiday, take a private tour of Milan and its sights and art galleries, including the famous Duomo and Da Vinci's "Last Supper."
Day 1 + 2 - Fly into Venice
Day 3 + 4 - Venice/Verona
Day 5, 6 + 7 - Lake Garda
Day 8 + 9 - Milan
Florence, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre
- In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, skip the queues on a private tour of the Uffizi, Accademia art galleries and Michaelangelo's David.
- Take a private walking tour of Florence with an expert guide visiting its most famous sites, including Bruneschelli's iconic Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the stunning Boboli gardens.
- Visit Siena and the historic, medieval centre, a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Explore the Chianti region with its beautiful vineyards and hilltop towns, including a stroll through the medieval streets of San Gimignano.
- Enjoy a private wine tasting experience and local cuisine in the Tuscan countryside.
- Visit the famous Piazza Dei Miracoli, including the famous leaning tower, on your way to the historical city of Lucca.
- Explore the Cinque Terre and walk the "Sentiero Azzurro", spanning all five villages.
- Stop off at Rapallo for a private boat tour to Portofino and some R&R before heading home.
Day 1, 2 + 3 - Florence
Day 4 - Siena
Day 5 + 6 - Chianti
Day 7 - Pisa & Lucca
Day 8 + 9 - Porto Venere, Italian Riveria
Day 10 + 11 - Rapallo/Portofino
Day 12 - Fly home from Genoa