Great Gardens, Museums & Architecture of Rome
For Groups (Minimum: 15 People)
Overnight flight from North America to Rome.
Arrive in Rome to be met by your tour director, transfer to Hotel close to the city centre. The rest of the day is for you to relax and unwind after your flight.
Evening welcome reception and overview of your forthcoming tour.
After breakfast this morning we will meet with our local expert guide, who will lead us on foot and by public transport, on a full day of sight seeing to include: - Colosseo - Circo Massimo - Foro Romano - Arco di Tito - Piazzi Venezia - Campidoglio - Via del Corso - the world-famous Trevi Fountain (renowned not only for its excellent water but also for the tale that whoever drinks from it or throws a coin in the fountain is certain to return to Rome), the Scalinata di Trinita dei Monti, the famous flight of 137 steps, which takes you down to Piazza di Spagan;
Second night in Rome.
Another full day following our guide meeting with the guide. We commence at the park of the Museums VILLA BORGHESE: the park surrounding the villa is rich in fountains, minor buildings, statues and sculptural decorations representing themes in line with the natural setting; guided visit to the Casino, today called GALLERIA BORGHESE - advance excursion to the Pincio a magnificent monumental park designed by Valadier (1834); from the terrace of which a view of remarkable beauty can be enjoyed, especially at sunset; visit to Villa Medici known as the "Basin of Pincio"; nearby, on the Viale delle Belle Arti is the impressive facade of the National Gallery of Modern Art. This houses collections of modern and contempary art from Neo-classicism to the present - with work by Italian and foreign artists.
Third night in Rome.
Our last day of walking and public transport as we follow our guide on yet a further fabulous trip of this beautiful city, starting at the Domus Aurea, this residence, constructed by the emperor Nero, is celebrated still today for its existing original decoration. After leaving here we continue onto St. Peter's Square - visit to the Basilica with Michelangelo's Pieta - the Piazza Navona, located on the ancient Domitian Stadium with three magnificent fountains: the one in the middle is Bernini's River fountain whose four statues represent the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the River Plate;
Fourth night in Rome.
Today we travel by bus to the Viterbo's area. Our first stop is in BOMARZO where we visit the charming Parco dei Mostri: commisioned and designed by Prince Orsini at the end of the 16th century; this park, unique of its kind, contains eerie figures sculpted from peperino - Tuscan volcanic rock; departure for BAGNAIA and visit to the Villa Lante. The magnificent Italian garden of the villa is the central element, while the two Palazzine Gemelle, situted in a perfect position amid the gardens, remain in the background. This structure was designed by Vignola, and its centre is represented by the monumental Fontana dei Quattro Mori. Many other functions, placed on a hill rising above the garden, are the scenes of intricate waterworks. Then, we proceed to CAPRAROLA with the visit to the majestic Palazzo Farnese, dating back to 1559-1575, which is adorned by a landscape garden. This Palace was built following the design of Vignola, who wanted to leave the stamp of the Farnese family's power on the building. The large internal rooms are decorated by Zuccari and other notable artists of the late Roman and European Mannerism.
Returning to Rome for our last night's stay.
This morning we drive out towards Tivoli to visit firstly the Villa ADRIANA, containing the Imperial Palace, baths, libraries and gardens rich in masterpieces and pools, gorgeous country residence of the Great Emperor Hadrian. A short drive will take you to Villa d'Este one of the most enchanting of the late renaissance, home of Lucretia Borgia's son. In its garden the silent majesty of trees is only interrupted by the melody of water coming from numerous fountains (more than five hundred). Built by cardinal Ippolito d'Este on the ruins of a Benedictine monastery, it consists of a large building, designed by the architect Pirro Ligorio with rooms frescoed by painters of Roman School (1500).
Departure for Ulysses' at our hotel at Ulysses' Coast.
Our excursion this morning will take us to the gardens of NINFA, abandoned Medieval City of the 14th Century; Ninfa is a botanical garden which incorporates the remains of a medieval town (churches, houses, castle and town hall). The gardens are crossed by the Ninfa River, which originates on the outskirts of the town. A dam built in the 11th century creates a romantic pond. A plentiful variety of birds can be observed; the itinerary continues with a visit to the typical medieval village of Sermoneta and to its beautiful Caetina Castle - then stop in Fossanova and visit S. Tommaso d'Aquino's Abbey in typical gothic - Cistercian style
Second night at our hotel Ulysses' Coast.
Today we travel to Ostia antica; returning back we stop in Nettuno - visit of the historical centre and of the port - on our way to the hotel we will cross the National Park of Circeo, - stop at the Lake of Paola in Sabaudia and the sand dunes along the coast. On request - visit by boat (price on demand) to the splendid remains of the archaeological complex of Domitian's Imperial Villa (1st Century AD) and Paula's Tower.
Third night in Ulysses' Coast.
A full day excursion to the Pontine Islands. Transfer by coach to the S. Felice Circeo's port and depart by boat to the island of Ponza: tour of the island by mini-coaches - alternatively - according to weather conditions - excursion to cassino and visit to the Abbey of Montecassino and the Museum and excursion to Casamari - "Arrivederci" dinner with music - Last night in Ulysses' Coast
Transfer to Rome airport for the return flight to North America.