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Destinations Offered > Italy > Beyond the Seven Hills

Beyond the Seven Hills

Rome seen from the Vatican
Rome is a city with many pasts, perhaps that is why she is called the Eternal City. There is the Republican Rome at the time of Julius Caesar, Imperial Rome, and center of the known world, Rome as Haven for the Vatican and the Catholic world and Renaissance Rome where architecture becomes art. But you also need to get out of the city to really appreciate the impact Rome had on history. With this program you do both, you explore the highlights of Rome in its various stages and head out into the countryside to get a different perspective. This perspective is enhanced by the quality of your guide and the fact there are never more than six, all picked by you, to share in the discovery.
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Traveler's Overview10 Days $5,439 per person inclusive of a superior room in a deluxe hotel, most meals, wine or other beverages with all included meals, privileged access to the Vatican, cooking class, wine tasting, private guides and transfer and touring by private car and driver. Private departures based on your schedule for a minimum of four and a maximum of six guests. Rates for private departures based on two persons available on request.
Trip Dossier

Personal Highlights:

• A private tour of the Forum and the Colosseum with your own expert guide
• A private tour to Castelli Romano and the Frascati wine area
• Your driver waiting for you as you go shopping on Via del Corso
• A private tour of some of the lesser known churches in Rome with artistic treasures by Caravaggio, Raphael and Michelangelo
• La Dolce Vita as you have a private tour of an illuminated Rome with dinner and the chance to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, assuring your return to Rome

Day 1 Depart USA

You board your flight for the overnight journey to the Eternal City of Rome where your exploration of the Rome and the surrounding countryside begins.



Day 2 Welcome to Rome

Upon arrival in Rome you are met by your guide and taken by private car on an overview tour of the city. If this is your first time in Rome it will be like watching a movie as you first see the Colosseum or the dome of St. Peter's. Iif you have been before it will bring back fond memories. After this overview of the city you are delivered to your hotel where you have a chance to relax or take a stroll in the area around your hotel. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.


Day 3 Rome Through the Ages

Today the world of Rome both as a Republic and as an Imperial Power will be brought to life with your private walking tours of the ancient Forums of Rome and the Flavian amphitheatre world renowned as the Colosseum. The site of the original forum was, in Etruscan times, a swamp but it was drained into the Tiber River and the original Forum was built. Later as Julius Caesar came to power he built a larger forum in a more "fashionable" part of town. After his death, Augustus Caesar his adopted son and successor built yet another Forum to recognize the arrival of Imperial Rome. You will also spend time at the Colosseum built to entertain the citizens of Rome through Gladiatorial contests of man against man or man against wild beast. . After your exploration of Imperial Rome, your guide will take you to a restaurant where you have lunch. After lunch you will focus on Renaissance Rome with the plazas and the fountains crested by Bernini, the Trevi fountain and the Spanish steps. This will provide a concise overview of the development of Rome as a cultural center.

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Day 4 Roman”Castles” and the Wines of Frascati

Today you head beyond the seven hills and into the Italian countryside to the area known as Castelli Romani. While this means "Roman Castles", they are not actually castles but a series of hill towns that the Romans have been using to escape the city since the time of the Caesars. Your eventual destination is the town and wine growing region of Frascati but on the way you will have time to view Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer palace overlooking Lake Albano and towns with intriguing names like Nemi and Rocco de Pappa. Upon arrival in Frascati you will have the opportunity savor some of this delightful and refreshing white wine while enjoying lunch. After returning to your hotel you have a chance to relax or do a little shopping.

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Day 5 Treasures of the Vatican

Located in the heart of Rome is a separate country the administrative and spiritual capital of the world's Catholics and also a repository of some of the finest Renaissance art in the world. You will leave your hotel after an early breakfast and head to the Vatican where you will be introduced to your private guide. By special arrangement you will be among the first to enter the Vatican and this gives you the opportunity to inspect the Sistine Chapel without the crowds. You then move on to the Vatican Museum and finish with the magnificence of St. Peter's cathedral. After your tour the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. In the evening we will take you across the Tiber to the ancient Etruscan City of Trastevere (Tevere means Tiber so Trastevere is literally "across the Tiber"). This is a fascinating area and you will get a chance to absorb is atmosphere before dining in one of its many fine dining establishments. While tourists like the area you are just as likely to be sitting next to a local family.

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Day 6 Your Personal Rome

We have left this day open for you to have a "Roman Holiday" moment and explore Rome at your own pace. You will have a car and driver for half the day and you can decide which half the day before. If shopping is your thing then you might want the car to carry the packages. The three most famous streets for shopping are Via Condotti, home to Bulgari, Hermes, Cartier, Ferragamo and Battistoni. In nearby Via Borgognona you will find Ferre, Fendi, Laura Biagiotti and Gai Mattiolo. Last, but not least is Via Frattini where Tiffany, Versace and Byblos may be found.


Day 7 Life in the Etruscan Countryside

After breakfast you will head out to the Etruscan countryside to explore the more agrarian side of Roman life particularly organic. Keep in mind that the slow food movement was started in Rome in reaction to the culinary sacrilege of a McDonald's at the Spanish Steps. You will explore vineyards and taste their product and learn to make Mozzarella and other chesses. Obviously your lunch will be both fresh and filling. In the afternoon you return to urban life having a better idea of where the Mozzarella for your caprese salad originated.

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Day 8 Non-Imperial Rome

Staying in Rome you are exposed to the vestiges of Imperial Rome in its entire splendor but Rome also needed a port and hard-working artisans to make the Empire work and many of those people lived in Ostia Antica. During your visit this morning you will gain a greater understanding of how Romans lived from the 1st through the 3rd Centuries A.D. Ostia served as the port of Rome but was, in addition, a town in its own right. When Rome fell it too went into disrepair and much of the marble was taken to create townhouses in Rome. Since the Second World War large excavations have taken place and it is called the "Pompeii of the North" as it provides a well-preserved glimpse into Roman times. You can walk down streets and see the ruts in the cobblestones made by the carts used to haul the goods from the docks into Rome. Covering over 10,000 acres the site is immense but your guide will focus your time and attention on the most interesting areas. After returning to Rome you have some time to relax before enjoying dinner at the hotel especially if the roof restaurant is open.

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Day 9 Hidden masterpieces and a Novel Way to Say “Arrivederci Roma”

The Vatican is justly renowned for its art collection and you have been fortunate to see them without the crowds. There are, however, other houses of worship offering equally splendid art works. After an early breakfast, meet your guide for a walking tour of a selection of these churches supplemented by cab rides as appropriate. Although we have established some priorities you are free to amend the schedule in consultation with your guide. If you are a fan of Caravaggio you will definitely want to visit Santa Maria del Popolo, San Luis dei Francesi and Sant'Agostiino all of which have excellent examples of his work. Sant' Agostino also has a Raphael. Other churches will expose you to lesser known but equally relevant works by Bernini and Michelangelo. Consider it your own "Angels and Demons" Tour. After your exploration the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Tonight is your last night in Rome so we have arranged something fun and appropriately Roman. In the late afternoon you will be taken to one of Rome's top restaurants but instead of going in the front door you go into the kitchen where the master chef will take you through the preparation of an excellent Roman meal which you then enjoy in the restaurant knowing that you had a hand in its creation. After dinner your car is waiting to take you on a tour of Rome illuminated to enhance its architectural beauty. You will revisit the major sites like the Colosseum but based on popular request your last stop will be the Fontana di Trevi where a coin, thrown over your shoulder into the fountain, assures an early return to the eternal city

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Day 10 Return to USA

After breakfast your guide picks you up for the trip to the airport where your return flight to the US awaits. You arrive back later that same afternoon.

Days 2 - 7

Grand Hotel De La Minerve
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The privileged position of this five star luxury hotel makes it the perfect choice to discover the beauty of the Eternal city. Located in the heart of the historical centre of Rome, a few steps from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, it is possible to easily reach every Roman masterpiece such as the Trevi Fountain, Piazza de Spagna and Via Condotti. Located in an elegant 17th century building, the hotel includes Superior and Deluxe rooms, Junior Suites and Suites to satisfy not only needs of comfort and functionality but also desire of a luxury stay. The buffet breakfast, with its rich selection of homemade products provides an excellent start to the day’s activities and the restaurant "La Cesta" serves typical Roman, national and international cuisine for lunch and dinner. "Le Cupole", located next to the hall, offer guests a wide range of Italian wines and irresistible cocktails. During summer, dining in the spectacular "Roof Garden", offers gourmet alfresco dining and an incomparable view. This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the day's last light and to delight in one of the spectacular sunsets that only the Roof Garden can offer.