Highlights of Italy - 18 Day Itinerary

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How To Spend 18 Days In Italy Itinerary

Welcome to our 18-day highlights tour of Italy itinerary! 

On this journey, you will get to experience the best of what this beautiful country has to offer. You’ll start off in the vibrant city of Naples, known for its rich history, delicious cuisine, and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. From there, you’ll head to the eternal city of Rome, where you’ll marvel at iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. You’ll also get to experience the stunning beauty of the Amalfi Coast, with its charming towns and breathtaking cliffside views. 

Next, you’ll visit the charming city of Venice, where you can take a gondola ride through the city’s famous canals. Finally, you’ll end your trip in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, where you can indulge in some shopping and visit iconic landmarks like the Duomo di Milano. It’s sure to be an unforgettable trip!

Watch Our 18 Day Tour of Italy Video Overview

Day 1: Transfer Rome - Naples

Your first day of our itinerary will see you travel to Naples, the home of classic Italian pizza.

Your private chauffeur will collect you and all of your luggage from your Rome-based accommodation or airport to make the approximately 2-hour journey in one of our luxury air-conditioned vehicles, or you may wish for us to reserve train tickets for you for the 1 hr 13-minute rail journey.

Evening Tour of Naples & Private Pizza Making Class

best pizza in naples italy
Pizza Making Class, Naples

A private pizza-making class with your private chef in Sorrento makes for a fun and hands-on way to learn about the art of pizza making and the traditional ingredients used in the birthplace of Pizza!

Meet with a local pizza chef or instructor in a cooking school or a pizzeria of your choosing

Learn about the history and traditions of pizza making in Italy, as well as the different types of pizza and their regional variations.

Practice preparing pizza dough from scratch, using flour, water, yeast, and salt. The instructor will demonstrate the proper technique and help participants as needed.

Learn how to stretch and shape the dough into a round or oblong shape, and how to add toppings such as tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of vegetables and meats.

Bake the pizzas in a wood-fired oven or a traditional pizza oven, learning how to control the temperature and cook the pizzas to perfection.

Finally, the main event, Enjoying the fruits of your labor together as you slice into your handmade, authentic Naples pizza with a glass of local wine or beer.

Day 2: Pompeii & Naples Tour

Discover the preserved ancient city of Pompeii.
Pompeii, Italy

Experience the rich history of Pompeii, the iconic ancient Roman city, with the guidance of our friendly expert tour guides, starting with collection from your hotel in Naples and a private transfer to Pompeii.

Our guides will provide interesting and engaging explanations of the city’s history, including the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius that froze its citizens in time through the famous plaster-cast bodies. Get a glimpse into the past and learn about the food, work, and leisure activities of the ancient Romans as you walk along the streets and visit their homes. 

As you explore the well-preserved ruins, you will discover the fascinating daily lives of the city’s inhabitants through its various structures such as:

  • The Roman Forum: the central hub of the city where public buildings and temples were located.
  • See the ancient baths, where the Romans would have gone to relax and socialize. 
  • Visit the amphitheater, where gladiator games and other public events were held. 
  • Visit the House of the Faun, a luxurious residence with well-preserved frescoes and mosaics.
  • The famous plaster casts of victims of the eruption, made by filling the voids left in the ash by their bodies with plaster.

Return to Naples and Walking Tour

Naples, Italy

Experience the history and culture of Naples on a walking tour through the city center, starting at Spaccanapoli, which literally means ‘Naples splitter’ – a straight street dating back to ancient times that bisects the historic city center. 

Along the way, visit Via San Gregorio Armeno, known for its workshops that create presepe or Christmas nativity scenes, and see historic Baroque churches like the Chiesa del Gesu’ Nuovo and Chiesa di Sansevero, home to the stunning marble sculpture known as the Veiled Christ.

Located nearby, your guide will take you to the awe-inspiring Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara (the Monumental Complex of St. Clare) includes the Basilica of Santa Chiara, a monastery, tombs, and an archaeological museum.

You’ll also visit the Spanish Quarter, one of Naples’ most renowned working-class neighborhoods, with its colorful maze of narrow streets and alleyways festooned with hanging laundry, to encounter everyday life at its best.

The tour includes the historic shopping arcade, Galleria Umberto I, dedicated to King Humbert I, which is the grandest and largest glass-roofed arcade in southern Italy.

The final site on your Neapolitan tour is Piazza del Plebiscito (Square of the Vote), named in 1860 after the vote that brought Naples into the unified Kingdom of Italy.

Simply outstanding! We visited Italy in September & used Luxe for all our tours and we can honestly say, they were the best! Right from the start, communication was easy and professional. Amy and her guides were able to customize their tours to suit our interests! If you want bespoke tours, I wouldn’t use anyone else. We would highly recommend Luxe & will definitely use them again when we next visit Italy!
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Day 3: Private Transfer to Sorrento and Boat Tour

On day 3 your private driver will collect you to make your way to the beautiful Italian coast as you make the 1-hour journey via executive class vehicle from Naples to Sorrento.

Private Capri Boat Tour

Clients on a boat tour around the island of Capri sailing near a rock formation on crystal blue waters.
Boat Trip To Capri, Italy

A private boat tour in Capri allows you to see the island’s stunning coast and grottoes, as well as enjoy some time swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Here is what a typical private boat tour in Capri will include:

Meet with a local boat captain at the marina and board a private boat for the tour.

Cruise along the coast of Capri, taking in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the island’s rugged cliffs.

Stop at the Blue Grotto, a famous sea cave known for its electric blue waters, and take a boat ride through the grotto to see it up close.

Visit the White Grotto and the Green Grotto, two lesser-known but equally beautiful sea caves on the island.

Stop at a secluded cove or beach for some time to swim and relax in the clear blue waters.

Enjoy snacks and drinks on board the boat, consisting of local specialties such as Caprese salad or mozzarella di bufala, and finish your tour with a chilled glass of sweet limoncello, home-made by the boatman’s family.

Day 4 & 5: Postano and the Amalfi Coast

After your boat excursion on the island of Capri, spend the next 2 days relaxing and exploring the best of Positano and the Amalfi Coast with your guide.

Amalfi Town

Colorful cliffside town on the Amalfi Coast that you will explore with your private guide.
Amalfi Town, Italy

A 1-day tour of Amalfi Town on the Amalfi Coast could be a wonderful way to experience the charming town and its surroundings. 

Your guide will deliver you to Amalfi Town center as you take a walk through the winding streets of the town, taking in the charming architecture and local culture, all while your guide provides information about the history of the town and its landmarks.

Visit the Cathedral of Amalfi, a beautiful medieval church with a stunning bronze door and a cloister filled with lemon trees.

Take a boat tour of the Amalfi Coast, enjoying the breathtaking views of the coast and the surrounding landscape from the water.

Visit a local artisan workshop to see how traditional Italian crafts, such as ceramics or limoncello, are made.

Dine at a local restaurant, trying dishes made with fresh, local ingredients and accompanied by local wine.


Positano Italy
Positano, Italy

Positano is a fashionable and visually stunning town on the Amalfi Coast, known for its colorful houses cascading down the cliffs towards the Mediterranean Sea and its narrow, winding streets lined with fashionable hotels, restaurants, and retailers.

Despite its luxurious facade, Positano maintains a laid-back, holiday atmosphere, with locals and tourists alike enjoying the beach, eating pizza and gelato, and shopping in the boutiques.

10 day trip to Italy Planned a 10 day trip in Italy with Travel by Luxe. The experience did not disappoint. We had wonderful guides and terrific drivers. Initially spoke to Amy but then dealt with Marta in planning trip. Best parts of the trip included trip to Pisa and Lucca with Viola. Luxe arranged for tickets to climb the leaning tower which my son said was the highlight of the trip. In Lucca we took a leisurely bike ride on the walls of the city and had one of our best lunches at restaurant Viola took us to. Also had Viola for a tour of Florence. She was very adaptive to our family that included two teenagers and made sure to include activities that kept their attention. Also great experience with Kylie in Rome who took us on a fantastic food tour. Finally, perhaps a bit off the beaten path but did a tour of a prosciutto factory near Parma and then had lunch cooked by our guide, Stefani, that our boys really enjoyed. Would also recommend the bike tour of Appian Way with Glenn- would suggest the e-bikes but we did with regular bikes and didn’t feel it was too difficult. Marta was also very responsive to our questions while we were in Italy. Our hotel in Rome (Rome Life), in Venice (Sina Centurion Palace) and in Modena (Best Western) were all terrific. Wonderful trip which I would not have been able to plan without Luxe.

Day 6: Transfer Positano to Rome

Today you make your way to Rome, the capital of Italy and known as the Eternal City. The drive with your private chauffeur will take approximately 3 hours.

After arriving at your central Rome-based accommodation and taking time to settle and enjoy a meal, join your guide in the evening for a walking tour of the city.

Evening Walking Tour of Rome

The Spanish steps in Rome.
Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

This tour mixes ancient history with modern life, as you visit the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon (from outside), Piazza Navona, and many hidden sites in between.  Let your expert guide introduce you to the splendors of one of the most magnificent cities in the world.

Designed to be your first experience of the Eternal City, this guided walking tour will take you on a leisurely stroll through the monument-studded heart of Rome.

As you explore the city’s historic streets and piazzas, your expert private guide will take you on a political, historical, and artistic journey, giving you not only the history of these sights but also the anecdotes, traditions, and local legends that make them so enduringly fascinating.

*Please note that you will be entering operational churches on this tour.  You must ensure that shoulders are covered & clothing reaches the knees for both men & women.

Day 7: Private Early Bird Tour of the Vatican

A tour guide explaining the statues in the Vatican museum on a private tour.
Vatican Tour, Rome, Italy

You will find yourself face to face with Michelangelo’s masterpiece having the chance to access the Vatican Museums before opening time! 

Your expert guide will navigate you through the intriguing history of the Vatican Museums as you explore its vast network of corridors and galleries. From ancient sculptural monuments to Renaissance masterpieces, this feast for the eyes will be served by your guide with a healthy dose of context and humor.

You’ll hear the legendary stories of the scandalous popes and often petulant artists behind the most famous masterpieces in the Vatican, as well as see our favorite little-known gems that are often overlooked by most visitors.

Moving on, you will enter into the world-famous Sistine Chapel for a jaw-dropping look at Michelangelo’s celebrated ceiling frescos.

After marveling at Michelangelo’s masterpiece, you will visit St Peter’s Basilica, where you will learn about the fascinating history and personalities behind the construction of one of the most iconic buildings in the world.

Afternoon - Ancient Rome Driving Tour

Ancient Rome is not just about the Colosseum and Roman Forum; some of the city’s most interesting sites are found in areas that can’t be accessed so easily without a private guide. On this exclusive tour, you will head outside the ancient city walls to learn all about how ancient Romans worked and lived: from their greatest engineering feats to their daily habits and traditions.

In your fully air-conditioned vehicle, your expert guide will take you to places such as the oft-forgotten ancient cattle markets of Rome, the Forio Boario, Circus Maximus, and the Aventine Hill, the home of the elite in antique and modern times. 

We will then travel outside of the city to the ancient Park of the Aqueducts and the famous Appian Way, where you will have the opportunity to walk on the ancient road that dates back to 312 BC. Further on you will visit the 1st-century Roman Pyramid of Cestius and head into the district of Testaccio, the warehouse district of classical Rome. Its archeological site, Monte Testaccio, looks like a hill but is actually a huge ancient Roman rubbish tip of broken urns, today housing a park as well as nightclubs and restaurants. 

The tour finishes with one of the most panoramic vistas of Rome: Janiculum Hill.

Trip to Italy We just returned from a trip that was organized through Travel by Luxe. It was one of the best trips we ever took and it was organized brilliantly. A special thank you to Francesca, she not only helped plan the itinerary, but was available throughout the trip to assist and make any tweaks and adjustments. Overall, a great experience and highly recommend.

Day 8: Exploring the Colosseum

view of people on a private tour of the Colosseum visible through one of the structures arches
Tthe Colosseum, Rome, Italy

A private guided tour of the Colosseum with skip-the-line tickets would allow you to avoid the long lines that can often form to enter the iconic ancient amphitheater. The tour would be conducted by a private guide who would take you through the Colosseum, providing information about its history and significance as you go.

Skip-the-line tickets allow you to enter the Colosseum without having to wait in the regular queue, which can be especially useful during peak tourist season when the lines can be very long. With a private guide, you will also have the benefit of personalized attention and the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Colosseum and its place in Roman history.

During the tour, you will be able to explore the interior of the Colosseum, including the seating areas, the underground tunnels, and the arena floor. You will learn about the various events that took place at the Colosseum, such as gladiator fights and animal hunts, as well as its role as a symbol of Roman power and engineering prowess.

Afternoon - Trastevere Food Experience

Trastevere Food Tour with a Private Guide
Trastevere, Rome, Italy

Experience the culinary delights of Rome as you wander through the charming cobblestone alleyways of the medieval Trastevere neighborhood with your private guide. Discover the artisan cafes, renowned restaurants, bustling wine bars, and craft beer scenes that make this area a foodie paradise. 

You’ll be guided to the best spots in town, where you can savor some of the best food and wine the city has to offer and your guide will help you choose the exact courses to tailor the tour to your tastes, however, some of the most popular types of food our guest enjoy on this tour include:

  • Suppli: Traditional Roman street food
  • Different varieties of delicious cured meats and cheeses 
  • Authentic Italian Pasta dishes
  • A variety of locally produced wine
  • You will discover businesses that have their roots grounded in the community and delicious Roman-style street food and get to know the lives of the locals in this memorable food walk

Day 9: Transfer to Florence

Exploring Florence with your private guide.
Florence, Italy

Today you will transfer from Rome to Florence, home to the Statue of David. On a private transfer with your chauffeur helping you to transport your luggage and baggage, the journey will take approx 3 hours. Alternatively, you may wish to take the train which shortens the journey time to 1 and a half hours.

Florence Walking Tour

During the course of the tour, you will visit the following sites with your private guide:

  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Arno River
  • Duomo
  • Baptistry doors
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Piazza Repubblica
  • Orsanmichele Church

Begin your walking tour of Florence at one of its most iconic landmarks, the Ponte Vecchio, or ‘old bridge,’ crossing the Arno River. This historic structure has a long history dating back to the year 996 and has retained its current form since 1345. You’ll have the chance to visit the unique shops and jewelers that line the bridge.

Next, stop outside the breathtaking 13th-century Gothic Duomo Cathedral, featuring Brunelleschi’s famous dome. Here you’ll also see the Baptistry doors, known as the “Gates of Paradise.”

Explore some of the city’s most important squares, including Piazza Della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, and Piazza Repubblica, and learn about their history from Ancient Rome to their use as the Jewish Ghetto and beyond.

You’ll also visit the Orsanmichele Church, where you can rub the nose of the Porcellino pig for good luck!

Day 10: Accademia Gallery Tour

michelangelo's david on a private museum tour in Florence.
Michelangelo's David in Florence

This tour will lead you through the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, or “Gallery of the Academy of Florence”, most famous for hosting a collection of Michelangelo’s work including Prisoners, which was originally intended for the tomb of Pope Julius II, and an unfinished statue of Saint Matthew, and of course most famous of all for being home to the world’s most celebrated statue, Michelangelo’s David.

Originally located outside the Palazzo Vecchio, the original Statue of David was moved to the Accademia Gallery in 1873 and will undoubtedly leave you in awe as you gaze upon the 5.17-meter marble statue that represents the biblical hero David. Visiting the museum with your private guide is the ideal way to experience this true masterpiece of renaissance sculpture in all its glory as they will be on hand to discuss the fascinating tales of Michelangelo’s life, the importance and meanings behind the statue, and of course its historical significance.

Alongside the works of Michelangelo, you may wish some time with your guide discovering some of the other collections in the Gallery of the Academy of Florence by artists such as:

  • Paolo Uccello 
  • Sandro Botticelli
  • Andrea del Sarto
  • Giambologna

Afternoon: Guided Tour of Santa Maria del Fiore and Baptistery

The famous Duomo in Florence, known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with intricate design.
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture located in the heart of Florence. Its iconic red dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, towers over the city’s skyline and can be seen from many points in the city. 

The cathedral, which took over a century to complete, is home to a number of important works of art, including frescoes by Giorgio Vasari and stained glass windows by Giovanni di Balduccio. Visitors can climb to the top of the dome for panoramic views of the city, and take a tour of the cathedral’s interior to see its beautiful frescoes and sculptures up close.

The Baptistery of San Giovanni, one of the most ancient churches in Florence, sits opposite the church of Santa Maria del Fiore.

The octagonal design of this building is clad in white Carrara and green Prato marble slabs. The dome, made up of eight segments, is supported by the perimeter walls, but cannot be seen from the outside because it is concealed by the walls that rise above the arcade on the second level and are topped with a flat pyramid roof

Upon entering the building, you’ll be struck by the beautiful mosaics that adorn the dome, which was one of the largest in the world to be decorated using this technique at the time. The central figure of Christ in Judgement dominates the mosaics, with scenes from the Last Judgement taking up three of the dome’s eight segments. The horizontal registers, arranged in layers, depict the stories of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence, Jesus, Joseph, and the Creation of the World. The Angelic Hosts occupy the highest register in the center of the dome.

The East Door, known as the Gates of Paradise by Michelangelo, is a fully Renaissance masterpiece by Ghiberti and his assistants, including Luca della Robbia. Ghiberti and his workshop were awarded the commission for the door without competition, altering the design to include ten large panels instead of the twenty-eight smaller ones on the previous doors.

Recommend them highly! These folks are very professional, and flexible in creating a custom tours, and handling last-minute changes. The guides were knowledgeable and friendly. Recommend them highly!

Day 11: Val d'Orcia Tour With Cooking Class

Twisty cypress road, green landscape at sunset, Tuscany, Italy Val d'Orcia
Val D'Orcia, Italy

On this tour, you’ll visit some charming and lesser-known hamlets in the Val d’Orcia region that have managed to stay off the beaten tourist path.

Your first stop will be in Bagno Vignoni, a town that boasts a truly unique central square – a pool filled with hot springs water. The Renaissance-era piazza, measuring 49 meters long and 29 meters wide, was built directly over the original source of hot springs used by the Romans. You won’t find anything else like it in Italy.

Your next destination is the Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a stunning and atmospheric 12th-century abbey. The drive to the monastery along the winding country road is a visual delight, with vineyards, olive groves, green hills, and isolated farmhouses scattered throughout the landscape. The Abbey, made of travertine stone, sits in serene isolation amid olive groves and wheat fields.

According to legend, the abbey was founded by Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, in 781. His army stopped at the site while returning from Rome, as the soldiers were suffering from an unknown plague. An angel appeared to Charlemagne, directing him to have his men drink an infusion made with a local herb. The treatment worked, and the army was saved. In gratitude, Charlemagne decided to build the church. Some believe that remnants of this period can still be seen on the right side of the church, where you’ll find the ‘Carolingian chapel,’ possibly the first abbey church.

Take a leisurely stroll through the town of Montalcino, with a stop for lunch at the Taverna del Grappolo Blu (lunch not included). On the way back, you’ll make a stop in the charming town of San Quirico d’Orcia, perched atop a hill halfway between Pienza and Montalcino. In ancient times, this town was a significant stop along the Via francigena, a pilgrimage route that connected northern Europe to Rome in the Middle Ages.

Day 12: Cinque Terre Tour From Florence

Cinque Terre National Park, Liguria, Italy

Depart from Florence with your private driver and guide to explore the coastal gems of Liguria, known as the Cinque Terre. 

Monterosso al Mare, the largest village in the Cinque Terre and the first to be documented in 1056, is divided into two districts: the old village and Fegina, the more touristy part. In addition to its natural beauty, Monterosso al Mare is home to important monuments.

Vernazza is often considered the most charming of the Cinque Terre, first documented in 1080. The village’s impressive economic and social status during the Middle Ages is reflected in its town planning and the presence of important architectural elements such as lodges, churches, casetorri, and arcades. The village is dominated by the remains of the “castrum,” a series of Medieval forts dating back to the 11th century, including a cylindrical castle and tower.

Corniglia is the only village in the Cinque Terre not located directly on the coast, perched atop a rocky promontory. Its low, wide houses are more similar to those of the hinterland than the typical coastal houses, reflecting its traditional focus on agriculture rather than the sea.

Manarola, a hamlet of Riomaggiore, is a town planning gem, renowned for its typical tower houses in the Genovese style. Founded in the 12th century, the village may have gotten its name from an ancient “magna roea,” or large mill wheel, located in the village.

Riomaggiore boasts several noteworthy monuments, including the San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist) church, built in 1340 with central aisles that are double the width of the side aisles (like all the other churches in the Cinque Terre), and the Oratorio di Santa Maria Assunta (Oratory of St. Mary Assumption) housing a 15th-century triptych and a 1300 wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. The castle, which overlooks the historic center, is also notable.

After the tour, you’ll return to Florence in the evening.

Day 13: Transfer to Venice Including Water Taxi

With both a private chauffeur trip and a water taxi, your combined journey time will be approx 3 and a half hours.

Evening Performance at Teatro La Fenice Opera House

Teatro La Fenice Opera House, Venice, Italy
Teatro La Fenice Opera House

Watching a show at Teatro La Fenice, also known as the Phoenix Theater, is a special experience because of the theater’s rich history and beautiful architecture. 

The theater, which is located in Venice, Italy, was built in the 18th century and has been the site of numerous famous opera productions. The theater is known for its excellent acoustics and has a reputation for hosting high-quality performances. 

In addition to opera, the theater also hosts concerts, ballets, and other live performances. Many people choose to watch a show at Teatro La Fenice because it is an opportunity to experience a piece of cultural history and to see a performance in a beautiful and iconic setting.

Day 14: Venetian Mask Workshop

Collection of venetian masks you can consider for a souvenir of your venice vacation.
Venice Mask Workshop, Italy

Join your guide as you enter a real Venetian Atelier. You will be shown the techniques and materials that are still used to this day by the artisans to craft the world-famous Venetian masks.

Your guide will help you as you start with a paper mache base which you will build up into your own unique Venetian mask, resplendent with decorations of your choosing.

Have you ever noticed that there are certain ‘archetypal’ Venetian masks? They are called:

  • The Bauta
  • The half-mask Colombina 
  • The long-nosed plague doctor (Medico Della Peste)
  • The Volto
  • The Joker (The Arlecchino)

Your master will talk you through the history of these masks and explain the purpose and context behind each of them, alongside the roles they symbolized in Venetian society.

Now you successfully have your own unique hand-built mask, you’re ready for the Venice Carnival!

Evening Gondola Ride

An evening gondola ride in Venice is a romantic and memorable experience. As you glide through the canals of the city, you will be surrounded by the stunning architecture of the Venetian buildings and the warm glow of the streetlights. The gondolier will guide you through the winding waterways, pointing out landmarks and historical sites along the way.

As you pass under bridges and through small squares, you may see locals enjoying an evening stroll or musicians performing on the banks of the canal.

The ride usually lasts for about an hour, during which you can sit back and relax as you take in the beauty of the city. Many gondola rides include a serenade from the gondolier, adding to the romantic atmosphere. At the end of the ride, you can disembark at your starting point or choose to continue exploring the city by gondola. Overall, an evening gondola ride in Venice is a unique and magical experience that is not to be missed.

We highly recommend the Tours by Luxe experience! During our week in Rome in July, Amy and her fabulous assistants Irenes P and V put together two wonderful tours for us. Our first was a tour of the Vatican Museum accompanied by our guide Jessica, the second to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Forum with Letizia. Both guides were knowledgeable, entertaining and fun. We all got a lot out of the tours - it’s so much better than wandering around by yourselves. Discovering secret messages in famous art works or having centuries old graffiti pointed out is just thrilling. It’s also fabulous bypassing the queues and having air-conditioned transfers to and from the sites. We highly recommend the Tours by Luxe experience.

Day 15: Walking Tour of Venice with St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace

People outside St Marks Cathedral ready to go on a private tour.
Doge's Palace, Italy

Your private guide will meet you at St. Mark’s Square, the “drawing room of Europe” where figures such as Casanova and Napoleon once walked. Here, you can follow in their footsteps and experience the rich history and opulence that surrounds the square.

St. Mark’s, dating back to the 11th century, has long been a symbol of the wealth, power, and status of Venice. This is evident in the ornate design and Italian Renaissance style of the building, which boasts 43 thousand square feet of stunning mosaic. Your guide will take you inside to explore the numerous treasures, sculptures, and priceless artworks on display, including the “Triumphal Quadriga” – the famous bronze horses of Saint Mark.

Your next stop is the Doge’s Palace, located to the right of St. Mark’s. With its white and rose-colored herringbone brick façade and highly stylized Gothic white stone arches, the Doge’s Palace is a uniquely Venetian building. As a bonus, you will not have to wait in line to enter.

The tour of the Doge’s Palace will conclude with a view of the famous “Bridge of Sighs” and a visit to the interrogation quarters with your guide. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Venice on foot. The itinerary for the rest of the tour may vary depending on timing and your interests.

  • Typical canal pathways
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Fondaco dei Tedeschi (ex-German trade house)
  • Marco Polo’s neighborhood
  • St. Mark’s “Great School”
  • St. John & Paul’s Cathedral (aka Dogees’s Pantheon)
  • Campo S. Maria Formosa

Day 16: Transfer to Milan

Your private transfer to Milan will take approximately 3 hours.

Day 17: Exploring Milan

The Milan cathedral or Duomo.
Milan Duomo, Cathedral Square

Meet your guide at your hotel or a central location in Milan as you set off on a walking tour of the city.

First, you will stop at the Duomo di Milano, also known as the Milan Cathedral. This stunning Gothic cathedral is the largest in Italy and took nearly 600 years to complete. You will have the opportunity to go inside and marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows, frescoes, and marble sculptures. You can also climb to the top of the cathedral for a panoramic view of the city.

Next, you will visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a luxury shopping center that is housed in a beautiful 19th-century glass-vaulted arcade. You will have the chance to browse the designer stores and boutiques or stop for a coffee at one of the elegant cafes.

Finally, you will visit the La Scala opera house, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. You can go inside and see the lavish auditorium or visit the La Scala Museum to learn about the history of the theater and the operas that have been performed there.

Visit the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology

Take the opportunity to learn about the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most famous inventors and scientists in history. The museum is dedicated to showcasing the contributions that da Vinci made to the fields of science, technology, and engineering.

Upon entering the museum, you will be greeted by a large model of da Vinci’s flying machine, which is based on his designs and sketches. You can then continue on to see a variety of exhibits that explore da Vinci’s work in fields such as anatomy, mechanics, and hydraulics.

The museum also features interactive displays that allow you to learn about da Vinci’s inventions in a hands-on way. For example, you can try your hand at operating a model of da Vinci’s rotating crane or see how his designs for a clockwork car would have worked.

Throughout your visit, your guide will provide information about da Vinci’s life and the significance of his contributions to science and technology. You will leave the museum with a greater understanding and appreciation for this brilliant inventor.

Custom tour: We accepted an invitation to join friends on a private yacht for 5 days from Sicily to Naples. We wanted to spend a total of 3 weeks in Europe including Croatia. I reached out to several companies and Travel by Luxe got back immediately and were really great at arranging an itinerary around our dates and locations. They set us up with really nice hotels, private drivers and guides, all of which were excellent. They were very responsive during the trip as well and it was nice to know we had someone to call if there was a problem. Highest recommendation!

Day 18: Guided Milan Part 2

The Brera Art Gallery is a must-visit destination for art lovers visiting Milan. Located in the Brera district, the gallery is home to a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art that span a wide range of historical periods and styles.

On your guided tour of the gallery, you will have the opportunity to see works by some of the most famous artists in history, including Caravaggio, Mantegna, and Titian. The gallery is particularly known for its collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, which includes many masterpieces by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Botticelli.

As you walk through the galleries with your guide, you will learn about the history of the gallery and the artists who are represented there. Your guide will provide context and background information about the works of art, helping you to better understand and appreciate them.

Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco Castle, Milan
Castello Sforzesco Castle, Milan

To end your last day in Milan and your final day in Italy, you will visit the Castello Sforzesco, a castle complex located in the heart of Milan. The castle was built in the 15th century and has served as a military fortress, a royal palace, and a cultural center over the years. Today, it is home to several museums and art collections.

Upon arriving at the castle, you will have the opportunity to explore the various museums and galleries at your own pace. The castle complex includes the Museum of Ancient Art, which features a collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The castle also houses the Museum of Furniture and Decorative Arts, which displays a wide range of antique furniture and other decorative items.

After visiting the castle, you will take a walk through the beautiful Sempione Park, located just north of the castle. The park is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike and is known for its wide open spaces, green lawns, and beautiful gardens.

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Fill out the form below with the destinations, wish-list, an idea of budget, & preferences for your perfect trip.

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Contact Us About Our 18 day Highlights of Italy Itinerary

Over the 18 days we have planned above you had the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful and historic cities in the country, including Naples, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Venice, and Milan.

If you would like to customize this tour or create a new itinerary for your next trip to Italy, our team would be happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your travel plans and to create a complimentary customized version of this tour.

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Local Italian Tour Planners

At Italy by Luxe, our team of specialist tour planners use their intimate knowledge of local specialties, festivals, and hidden gems to customize your itinerary with exclusive events or off-the-beaten-track experiences that other providers just cannot match, alongside ensuring you enjoy Italy’s most famous and iconic monuments and attractions of course!

We love sharing our passion for Italy with our guests and can’t wait to customize any of our Italian day tours for you to ensure you enjoy an absolutely perfect vacation in Italy. Contact us using the form below and we can get started designing your complimentary itinerary today.