In-Depth Italy from 3.270 €
In-Depth Italy

In-Depth Italy

Rather than be a simple tourist, our 12-day tour gives you the opportunity to experience Italy up-close and personal; like never before. The trip will take you to some of the most mesmerising architectural sights, while providing a closer feel of the everyday life of important cities like Rome, Cortona, and Florence. From the gladiatorial coliseums to the rich, Renaissance chapels, Italy truly comes alive on the tour.
Themes: Family Gastronomy Shopping History City Wine Route Spring Break Activities

Your Day to Day

16/05/2019 20/05/2019


About the city

Modern and old, past and present go side by side, all the time. Whether you are in Rome for 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months, be prepared to step into the world’s biggest open air museum. Rome will seduce you and it will hardly leave you indifferent. It will surprise you, since has so much to offer to any visitor, and it’s beauty is just been merely blurred by time passing by. Rome is one of world's most photogenic cities - not surprising when you remember what's here - The Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, St Peter's Square, Spanish Steps, Colosseum... Whether you spend your time sightseeing, or lazing in cafés watching the world go by, it will be your turn to feature in your very own Roman Holiday. If you can plan to stay as long as a week, you won't run out of things to do and you'll still feel like you're leaving too soon.

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Grand Hotel De La Minerve

  • At 0.4 km from the center
  • Piazza della minerva 69, Roma 00186
With a stay at Grand Hotel De La Minerve, you'll be centrally located in Rome, steps from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and 3 minutes by foot from Pantheon. This 5-star hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Via del Corso and 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Piazza Navona....
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  • 4 Nights

3 Activities

Two Masters at the Papal Court: Raphael and Michelangelo in the Vatican

day 2 - Default - Default

The Vatican palaces and St. Peter's Basilica were a true "factory" of Renaissance art: here worked the two most notable artists of the period, Raphael and Michelangelo. In adjoining rooms, sweet natured Raphael and his many assistants frescoed the private apartments of Pope Julius II from 1508 to 1520, while the gloomy and laconic Michelangelo labored almost alone on the Sistine Chapel ceiling from 1508-1512 (he returned in 1536 to paint the monumental "Last Judgment" on the chapel's altar wall). 

These treasures and much more will be revealed by your expert private guide in this half-day tour of the Vatican Museums, the most extensive collection of art in the entire world. Corners of the Vatican such as the Pio-Clementino courtyard with the famous antique marble statues of the "Laocoon" and "Apollo Belvedere," as well as the galleries of the Candelabra, Tapestries, and Maps will be passed through en route to the Sistine Chapel. 

The tour concludes in St. Peter's Basilica with its imposing dome and the sculpted marble masterpiece of the "Pieta'," both designed by Michelangelo. Gian Lorenzo Bernini"s impressive Baroque baldachino above the high altar, where only the Pope is allowed to say Mass, is lavishly covered in gold and bronze. You will also see the most recent papal tomb inside the Basilica where the Blessed Pope John Paul II was laid to rest in 2011.


Due to Vatican policy, this tour can only be confirmed within 60 days of the tour date. Select Italy will gladly hold your tour order on file and request the reservation as soon as Vatican policy allows (60 days beforehand). 

All orders depend on Vatican availability and the availability of Select Italy guides. No charges will be made to your credit card until all reservations are fully confirmed. 

Transportation to/from the meeting point is NOT included in the total price. Select Italy will be happy to arrange a private transfer for a supplemental fee.

You will not be allowed to enter without proper attire - no shorts, miniskirts or capri-style pants, no sleeveless shirts or bare shoulders. 

St. Peter's Basilica is closed to visitors when ceremonies are in progress (Wednesday mornings, religious holidays, and feast days). 

Please note that for groups with more than 5 participants, headsets are required and are included in the final price. 

Important note for Wednesday morning tours:

Due to the weekly Papal Audience, the visit to St. Peter's Basilica is NOT guaranteed on Wednesday mornings. To avoid problems in entering the Basilica, on that day please choose an afternoon tour.

Sites Included: Vatican Museums, including the private apartments of Pope Julius II painted by Raphael and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel; St. Peter's Basilica (schedule permitting).

Entrance tickets are NOT included in the price (approx €21.00 per person, including the advance reservation fee) and must be paid in cash on site to the guide. Prices are subject to change without prior notice.


Power & Glory of Imperial Rome

day 3 - Default - Default

3-Hour, Skip-the-Line Tour: Come and see the most magnificent monuments in ancient Rome!

In the year 27 BC, Augustus became Rome's first emperor, and in his memoirs he proudly wrote: "I found a city of stone and bricks; now I leave it to you remade in marble." It is the monumental ruins and imposing buildings that remain from the Eternal City's glorious past that are the focus of this fascinating walking tour that starts with the most famous of them all, the Colosseum

Begun by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, this elliptical amphitheater was capable of seating more than 50,000 spectators. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts and executions. 

After marveling at its vast interior, you'll pass by the triumphal arches of Constantine and you will enter the area of the grass-covered Palatine Hill

The legend says that this is the place where the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, were suckled by a she-wolf. Here the Emperor Augustus made the Palatine his official power center, thereby initiating a building boom in which many lavish imperial palaces were constructed.

Walking down from the Palatine Hill as you enter the Roman Forum you will admire the Arch of Titus. The Forum has been the center of Roman public life for centuries: it was the site of temples, the Senate house, law courts and numerous monuments commemorating the city's great men. 


Transportation to/from the meeting point is not included in the total price. Select Italy will be happy to arrange a private transfer for a supplemental fee.

Sites Included: Colosseum (interior included), Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Entrance tickets are not included in the price (approx €14.00 per person, including the advance reservation fee) and must be paid in cash on site to the guide. 


Montepulciano & Pienza from Rome with Transportation to Cortona

day 4 - Default - Default

This full day excursion is a celebration of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, one of Italy's most outstanding red wines made from a skillful blend of Prugnolo GentileCanaiolo Nero and Mammolo grapes.

Departing from Rome and dropping you in your Cortona hotel, the first stop is the Boscarelli Vineyards, known for their fine Nobile wine. A visit to the cellars and a wine tasting is included. Next stop is Montepulciano - called "The Pearl of the 16th Century" - a jewel of the Renaissance period. Curving its way along a ridge, the town delights visitors with vino and views.

After a short tour of Montepulciano, you'll visit the historic cellars of Contucci. This wine making family dates back 1,000 years and is one of the 'Fathers' of Vino Nobile. Lunch will be at Diva e Maceo, a lovely trattoriaserving local Tuscan specialties.

Afterwards you will head to the Poliziano estate for a guided wine tasting. Final stop of the day is Pienza. The town's main piazza was commissioned by native son Pope Pius II in 1459, and is the first example of Renaissance town planning in Italy. Pienza is also known for its excellent sheep's milk cheese (pecorino di Pienza).

No Transportation Selected
20/05/2019 23/05/2019


About the city

Cortona is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo. MAIN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS • Piazza della Repubblica. The most famouse piazza in Cortona. • Piazza Signorelli. • Piazza Garibaldi Built by the french during the naopleonic wars. • The Cathedral (Il Duomo). • Church of Santa Maria Nuova • Eremo Le Celle • Farneta Abbey

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Villa Borgo San Pietro

  • At 2.8 km from the center
  • Loc. san pietro a cegliolo 3, Cortona 52044
With a stay at Villa Borgo San Pietro in Cortona, you'll be within a 15-minute drive of Lake Trasimeno and Palazzo Comunale. This 4-star hotel is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Piazza della Repubblica and 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Museum of the Etruscan Academy. B...
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  • 3 Nights

1 Activities

Half-Day Walking Tour of historic Cortona

day 5 - Default - Default

A half-day private tour of picturesque Cortona, the medieval town perched on a hilltop in Tuscany's Val di Chiana, made famous by several movies.

Nowadays, Cortona is well known for being the backdrop of the movies "Life is Beautiful" by Roberto Benigni and of Frances Mayes' book "Under the Tuscan Sun." Its fascinating appearance is due to the fact that it was a powerful enclave in the Middle Ages, with a commanding position overlooking the Val di Chiana.

This tour starts in the Neo-Gothic Basilica of Santa Margherita, built in honor of the patron of the falsely accused. A beautiful, solid silver urn designed by Pietro da Cortona in the 17th century contains the saint's body, while the piazza in front of the church boasts a spectacular view of the valley towards Monte Amiata and Lake Trasimeno. This is the highest point of the city, where the fortress also stands, and from here you will descend along small and at times steep medieval alleys to the church of Saint Francis of Assisi, the second church built in his honor, after the one in his hometown.

Continuing on to the heart of Cortona, you will visit the impressive Duomo. Passing by City Hall, you'll walk among the various little artisan shops on the so-called Ruga Piana, the only level street in the entire town. The tour concludes at DelBrenna goldsmith's shop where you will enjoy a glass of sparkling Prosecco, served in a silver and gold plated chalice.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to conflicting schedules with Sunday Mass, Select Italy does not recommend this tour on Sunday morning, as churches will only be visible from the outside.

All streets in Cortona, with the exception of the Ruga Piana, are on a slope so comfortable shoes are highly recommended.

Please note that transportation to/from the meeting point is NOT included in the total price. Select Italy will be happy to arrange a private transfer for a supplemental fee. 

Sites Included: Basilica of Santa Margherita, Piazza Garibaldi, church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Duomo, Ruga Piana, DelBrenna goldsmith's shop

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23/05/2019 27/05/2019


About the city

Florence is as vital and beautiful today as when its wool and silk merchants and bankers revolutionized the economy of 13th century Tuscany, and the art of Dante and Michelangelo stunned the world. Florence was the centre of the Italian Renaissance. The fruits of the city’s rebirth are still evident in its seemingly endless array of museums, churches and palazzi. With its historic centre classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Duomo, the elegant and beautiful cathedral, dominates the city and is an unmistakable reference point in your wanderings. The River Arno, which cuts through the oldest part of the city, is crowned with the Ponte Vecchio bridge lined with shops and held up by stilts. Dating back to the 14th century, it is the only bridge that survived attacks during WWII. Standing by the river at night, when the city is illuminated with a myriad twinkling lights, is unforgettable. But more remains of Florence’s incomparable heritage than stones and paint, the city’s indomitable spirit has also survived the centuries, ensuring Florentine life today its liveliness and sophistication.

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Residenza d''Epoca Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni

  • At 0.3 km from the center
  • Via dei tornabuoni 1, 50122 firenze, elba & umbria, C!022507 50122
Property Location With a stay at Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1, you''ll be centrally located in Florence, steps from Via de'' Tornabuoni and Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. This family-friendly residence is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Santa Trinita Church an...
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  • Suite (Renaissance) (1)


  • 4 Nights

2 Activities

Medieval Florence & Its Urban Design

day 8 - Default - Default

Ideal as an introduction to the splendors of Florence, this half-day tour is perfect for those who want a basic understanding of the culture and historical events that shaped this magnificent city. 

The tour begins in the Piazza della Repubblica, site of the Forum in ancient times; from here you will explore the many picturesque corners of the centro storico. Marvel at the Piazza del Duomo, with its gaily colored, marble-clad cathedral and baptistery. You will then make your way to the poet Dante's house, and the little chapel where he first saw his beloved Beatrice. 

Discover the drama behind the Piazza della Signoria, the shape of which is the result of a 13th century family feud. Nearby is Orsanmichele, once a grain market, the exterior of which is adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture in marble and bronze. 

The tour ends in the majestic spaces of the Franciscan Basilica of Santa Croce, a veritable Pantheon of famous Florentine, housing the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. The depth of understanding you gain from this tour will follow you as you explore the rest of the city.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to conflicting schedules with Sunday Mass, Select Italy does NOT recommend this tour on Sunday morning as most churches will only be visible from the outside. 

Please also note that transportation to/from the meeting point is NOT included in the total price. Select Italy will be happy to arrange a private transfer for a supplemental fee.

Sites Included: Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza del Duomo (cathedral and baptistery), Dante's house and church (exteriors only), Orsanmichele, Piazza della Signoria, Basilica of Santa Croce


Private Tour of the Accademia & Uffizi

day 10 - Default - Default

This special highlights tour gives a whirlwind introduction to the art of Florence's two foremost galleries. We begin at the Galleria dell'Accademia, where Michelangelo's 15-foot tall David still amazes visitors with its masterly carving technique and its potent aesthetic presence. Nearby are Michelangelo's Slaves, studies in the raw power of sculptural creation.

A short walk through Florence's historical center brings us next to the Galleria degli Uffizi, a veritable pantheon of Western master painters. With the expert knowledge of your guide, you can exult in the coloristic flourishes of such Italian Renaissance geniuses as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

Other illustrious artists in the collection include Durer, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and several ancient Roman sculptors, whose works were the very inspiration for their Renaissance successors.

This special, 2-museum tour provides invaluable assistance in navigating the vast collections of the museums, guiding you to the most important works and enriching your experience with critical artistic insights. Don't miss this opportunity for an expert look at the masterpieces in two of Italy's most famous art museums. 

Interested in a behind the scenes look at the Uffizi Gallery and the famed Vasari passageway? See our Exclusive Uffizi: Vasari Corridor Private Visit.

Purchase of this tour includes tickets and pre-reserved entry times to both sites. Please note that the order in which we visit the museums will depend on the ticket availability to these galleries.

Both museums require visitors to pass through metal detectors before entering. While the general admission line is skipped, eventual lines at the metal detectors cannot be avoided.

Please note that transportation to/from the meeting point is not included in the total price. Select Italy will be happy to arrange a private transfer for a supplemental fee.

Sites Included: Accademia Gallery, Uffizi Gallery

Entrance tickets are not included in the price (approx €40.00 per person, including the advance reservation fee) and must be paid in cash on site to the guide. 


In-Depth Italy
In-Depth Italy