Itinerary Suggestions For Italy

Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings

Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit magazines

select Endless Beginnings as Top Travel Specialist and for their Epicurean Travel Consultant Board

 
 
Italy Overall
The culture of Italy varies greatly from region to region, province to province. Once a collection of city-states, Italian diversity grew from earlier occupations, geography and even familial
Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings
connections. Venice, created on a series of manmade islands in the lagoon, was once a seafaring republic and the end of the Silk Road, more Byzantine than western. Florence, a major trade and banking center, was the flower of the Renaissance where its artistic and architectural treasures are the result of patronage of its wealthy merchants. Tuscan hill towns each have a unique history based on wool trading, banking or farming traditions and their allegiances to Florence or Siena. The towns of Umbria, like St. Francis’ Assisi, are often associated with spiritual movements. The Eternal City, Rome, has been an international city for over 2,000 years, serving as a capital of both imperial and Catholic empires. Naples, the preserved towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum are all influenced by the volatile Mt. Vesuvius while the beauty of the dramatic cliffs and islands of the nearby Amalfi Coast have drawn visitors for centuries. Further south, forming Italy’s heel, are the white towns and pristine beaches of Puglia. Just off the toe lies the fascinating and divergent culture of the island of Sicily, influenced by the Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Spanish and French. The complexity of this intricate patchwork quilt that is Italy may highlight the differences but Italians everywhere enjoy the sweet life, la dolce vita. Italy is a country that embraces its ancient traditions and modern sophistication, revealed in the aesthetic of its ceramics, leather, jewelry, artisanaltraditions, regional cuisine, gardens and villas, modern art galleries, antique districts and fashion showrooms.
Rome
The Eternal City can be at times overwhelming, its multilayered past, churches and historic palazzi, ancient ruins, tombs and castles, colors of soft ochres, umbers and siennas of its buildings, the greenery of its parks and refreshing sound of the many fountains all forming a stark contrast to the traffic and sheer exuberance of its citizens. Whether you want to toss a coin into Trevi Fountain or visit the the Colosseum and Forums, Endless Beginnings’ travelers are encouraged to enjoy Rome's more off the beaten path sights. Explore the Palatine Hill’s ruins, the Aventine Hill’s streets lined with beautiful homes and groves of
Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings
orange and lemon trees or see the panorama of Rome from the top of the Janiculum Hill. Tour Emperor Nero’s Golden House, the Domus Aurea, the Baths of Caracalla, the best preserved of the imperial bath complexes, the Pantheon, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Spend half a day among the ancient ruins of the Appian Way. Or visit the galleries and museums such as the Borghese Gallery, housing an intimate Renaissance and Baroque collection, Capitoline Museums for Roman sculpture, Renaissance and Baroque art, the Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia to see Etruscan artifacts in a 16th century villa, Galleria Doria Pamphilj for a private painting collection in a patrician palace, Museo della Casina delle Civette to see Art-Nouveau stained glass windows and the restored Villa Torlonia, San Luigi dei Francesi, the French church with Caravaggio paintings and Palazzo Barberini, a 17th century palazzo painting gallery.
Rome is a city best experienced through its sounds, smells and colors ~ church
Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings
bells ringing calling the faithful to prayer, daily neighborhood markets like colorful Campo dei Fiori where loud haggling carries over the produce, aromas of freshly baked breads, sweets and pizzas mingling in the air. And, there are good gelaterias and period cafes throughout the heart of the city where a stop for a coffee is a welcome pick me up while sightseeing.

Stroll along the Tiber river crossing the bridges from bank to bank, take a wine tasting class in the academy overlooking the Spanish Steps, walk at twilight through the Pincio Gardens and enjoy a dinner in the stylish setting of Casina Valadier. Buy bread, cheeses and a bottle of local wine for an impromptu picnic away from the crowds on Isola Tiberina, an island in the middle of the Tiber river. Enjoy a walk from glamorous Via Veneto to Piazza Navona, a jewel of Baroque architecture. Stroll through the lively neighborhoods of Trastevere and Testaccio. Enjoy a rustic meal in a trattoria opening onto a hidden piazza.

For shoppers in Rome there are the designer stores and boutiques on Via Condotti, Piazza San Silvestro to Via della Croce,
Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings
Via Borgognona, Via Frattina, Via Sistina, Via Cola di Rienzo near the Vatican where you find both boutiques and department stores, as well as gourmet food shops, Via dei Coronari for antiques and home furnishings, Via Giulia and nearby streets for the decorative arts, Via del Babuino for exclusive antique stores, and the Via del Corso or Via Nazionale for more moderate prices and trendy fashion stores.

Our Italy travel experts recommend day trips from Rome to Ostia Antica to see ruins of Rome's ancient seaport, Emperor Hadrian’s Villa Adriana and the water gardens of Villa d'Este in Tivoli or Cerveteri and Tarquinia to explore the frescoed Etruscan necropolis. Explore the Castelli Romani where the "castles" are actually ancient hill towns which still produce excellent wines. Some of the best are the hill towns of Rocca di Papa, perhaps the most atmospheric, Frascati with its beautiful patrician villas and wines, Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence, Nemi where Europe's best strawberries are grown, Ariccia best known for its delicious roasted baby pork and Genzano which has some of Italy's best bread. Or visit the hillside town of Palestrina, charming medieval Viterbo, and the nearby villas of Bagnaia, Caprarola and Bomarzo, all famous for their gardens or villas. Another excursion is into Umbria and its charming cities of Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Gubbio, Spoleto, Narni, Orvieto and Todi.

Venice
Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings
In Venice’s six districts, or sestieri, visit our favorites of Dorsoduro, San Marco, Castello, San Polo, the outer islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Shop along the Mercerie or Frezzeria, the arty boutiques near Palazzo Grassi or the Accademia and the tiny artisan shops of Santa Croce, San Polo and Giudecca. From the city take a day excursion, perhaps a private boat to the islands of the lagoon - Murano, Burano and Torcello - or visit the private and "secret gardens" of Venice, nearby Verona and the Valpolicella wine region, Vicenza and Palladian villas along the Brenta River, and Padua.
Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings
The city has a large variety of museums to engage culture lovers. Among the best are Robert Browning’s home, the Ca'Rezzonico with its collection of 18th Century art, the Accademia highlighting painting from the 14th to 18th century, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of modern art, Scuola Grande di San Rocco with its monumental Tintoretto paintings, Museo Correr featuring exhibits of the life of the Venetian Republic, Cà Pesaro for modern art, the Fortuny Museum and Palazzo Mocenigo for textiles and costumes, Casa Goldoni, birthplace of 18th century playwright Goldoni with its
Endless Beginnings and Victoria Goyet picked by Condé Nast Traveler as Top Travel Specialist, Luxury tours, Luxury travel, Luxury Italy travel, Luxury Italy tours, Luxury travel Italy, Italy luxury travel, luxury Italy tours, deluxe travel Italy, Luxury Italy travel, Endless Beginnings
period costumes, a model theater, and marionettes, Cà d'Oro’s collection of Venetian and Flemish art, the Glass Museum on Murano and the Lace Museum on Burano, or if your timin is right, the Biennale exhibition every two years with avant-garde arts. If that isn’t enough to fill a week’s worth of a visit there are scores of churches and palaces like Santa Maria della Salute, Ducal Palace and Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark's Basilica, the Miracoli and San Zaccaria. Then there are the myriad of local venues like bacari,  the informal, tiny bars where locals drink and eat traditional Venetian snacks, Rialto market, designer shops selling collectors' Carnevale Masks, Fortuny inspired velvet and silk accessories, handmade artistic marble paper and a multitude of galleries.
 
The Lake District ~ Maggiore, Como, & Orta
When arriving or departing in Milan, consider spending few days in lovely Lake District taking a cruise on the blue
Italy Travel
waters and touring the gardens and villas. Visit Lake Maggiore’s colorful fishermen’s island, Isola dei Pescatori, the gardens of Villa Taranto, the beautiful Isola  Bella where white doves and peacocks roam freely in the magnificent gardens. Or tour Lake Como strolling through the landscaped gardens of Villa Carlotta, Villa Melzi, Villa Balbianello, and Villa Serbelloni, exploring the chic resort towns Bellagio and Cernobbio, visiting Como's Silk Museum and shopping for luxurious fabrics. Make a day trip to Bergamo, Lugano or visit the designer outlet malls in Switzerland. Lesser known Lake Orta offers a quiet retreat in a charming medieval town for rest and relaxation in a beautiful setting.
Florence
In the jewel of the Renaissance, explore ornate
Florence Travel
churches like the Duomo with its majestic cupola, the bell tower, Giotto's Campanile, and the Baptistery with Ghiberti 's bronze doors or Santa Maria del Carmine and its Brancacci chapel, with frescoes by Massacio emphasizing both humanism and perspective, which contributed greatly to the change of the course of Western art. Visit museums which hold some of the world’s finest collections, the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, Museo dell' Opera del Duomo, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, and the smaller and less discovered Museo Horne, a former residence of a British arts collector or Museo Marino Marini for modern art. Or there are historic neighborhoods of Santa Croce, colorful San Frediano, the Oltrarno and Santo Spirito to visit. There are magical vistas over the city and lanquid Tuscan countryside from Forte Belvedere, Piazzale Michelangelo and Fiesole. For spectacular shopping
Italy Travel, Tuscany
there is the Via Tornabuoni, Via Roma, Via della Vigna Nuova, artisans' shops selling beautiful handmade paper, leather goods, cashmere-lined gloves, or the antique dealers of the Oltrarno. For bargain hunters the nearby designer outlets are selling Gucci, Tods, Bottega Venetta, Loro Piana, Ferragamo and other brands at greatly reduced prices.

Because we believe that you can know a country best through its food, Endless Beginnings clients enjoy meals in both countryside trattorias and Michelin starred restaurants, explore food markets like the Mercato Centrale and Sant' Ambrogio, sample local specialties such as cured meats, game dishes, hand made fresh pastas, mushrooms and truffles, panini, regional pecorino and honeys, often at the source, and have the opportunity to taste and buy exceptional Italian wines.

With time to spare on a trip to Florence, venture further on a day trip to the hill towns of Siena and San Gimignano, to charming Lucca rich with history and landscaped villas, to the chic resort town of Forte dei Marmi, to Pisa, to ancient Arezzo famous for its monthly antique market, to splendid Cortona and the Valdichiana, to the Chianti region where its prestigious
Italy Travel, Wine
wineries, ancient castles and villages are snapshots from a time gone by, to the hill towns of the Val d'Orcia in Southern Tuscany, Pienza, Montepulciano and Montalcino, the still unspoiled Maremma, rich with relics of an ancient past and now home to hotels and spas or secluded seaside resorts as well as home of the Super Tuscan wines. On the northern Tuscan coast visit the Carrara marble quarries and the artists’ town of Pietrasanta.
Amalfi Coast
Italy Travel, Coast
Legend tells of Hercules who fell in love with the nymph Amalfi, who when she died, was buried in a most beautiful place, naming the region in her honor. Endless Beginnings’ travelers to the Amalfi Coast are immersed in the romantic atmosphere of this magical stretch of coast, dotted with hillside villages perched on rocky cliffs high above the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the coast by traditional boat or drive along the Amalfi Drive to discover little towns set among fragrant lemon, chestnut and olive groves, and enjoy the mouthwatering local cuisine including grilled buffalo mozzarella in lemon leaves, limoncello, pastries and pasta with clam sauce.

In lovely Ravello visit the patrician villas of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, in Vietri-sul-Mare buy intricately patterned, colorful ceramics, in chic Positano enjoy the beach and nightlife or shop for handmade sandals, bikinis and summer clothing, in Sorrento stroll around cobblestone streets and purchase cameos carved from seashells and coral, lace, and skillfully embroidered table linens. Or see the town of Amalfi, with its small square lined with pastry and gelato shops and excellent restaurants.

Day excursions include the island of Capri to stroll around the flower-filled narrow lanes, visit splendid villas including the ruins of Emperor Tiberius’ Villa Jovis and Villa Malaparte, a Modernist villa in Pompeian red, explore the Carthusian Monastery, shop for designer wares in Anacapri or enjoy the sweeping vistas across the Bay of Naples.

Italy Travel, View
Naples can be frenetic so many of our travelers to the Amalfi Coast spend a day with a private private guide and driver touring the museums, seeing the waterfront, sampling pizza and pastries or perhaps shopping for ties, custom suits or beautiful Nativity figures for  a Christmas creche. Naples has spectacular museums - the National Archaeological Museum, one of Europe's most treasured Greek and Roman archaeological collections as well as the artifacts from Pompei and Herculaneum. The National Museum & Gallery of the Capodimonte is one of the city's finest. Explore lively neighborhoods like Spaccanapoli or take a walk through Santa Lucia along the waterfront at sunset. Naples is famous for its men's boutiques selling handmade ties and suits. Make an excursion to the preserved highlights of Pompeii: House of the Vettii, House of the Mysteries, House of the Gilded Cupids, the Forum, Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Jupiter, and ancient, extravagantly decorated bathhouses. Or visit one of the other ruins in the region, Herculaneum and the Greek temples at Paestum.
Milan
Italy Travel, Shopping
For art, design, fashion shopping and opera lovers, you’ll need two days in dynamic and sophisticated Milan. Attractions include the Duomo and the Baptistry, Santa Maria delle Grazie for Leonardo’s Last Supper, Sant' Ambrogio, Brera Picture Gallery, the Ambrosiana Library and Picture Gallery, Museo Poldi-Pezzoli. As one of Europe's top shopping destinations, Milan offers stylish boutiques and designer studios selling clothing, shoes, accessories, linens, housewares, and jewelry,
Italy Travel, Endless Beginnings
centered around the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga, Via Sant' Andrea, the Brera district and its side streets - Via Solferino, Via Madonnina, Via Fiori Chiari. For the antique lover, the monthly Milan antique fair is a necessity. To help you with your shopping, just ask and we can hire the services of a personal shopper who will escort you on an in-depth, personalized tour of Italian designers' private showrooms and Milan's most exquisite boutiques.

Also check out  our Cost Savers for Italy!

Italian Travel, endless BeginningsContact_EB.php