Duration: 2.5 hours
Type of Service: Best of Rome Evening Walking Tour with Wine & Appetizers - great for first-time visitors to Rome
An intimate tour of 15 people or fewer, see Rome from a different perspective – Enjoy a relaxing walking tour of major sights including the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, among others. Admire hidden gems and fascinating details of each location that you would have missed on your own. And do it all in a single evening, with each site illuminated gloriously for the occasion.
Your expert local English-speaking guide will bring each step on the cobblestones to life with entertaining and mesmerizing tales of the most interesting historical characters - from Bernini to Galileo, Raphael to Michelangelo. Much easier to navigate than during the overcrowded days, the evening’s streets and sights exude with fascination during this most bewitching time of day.
Enjoy an authentic Italian 'aperitivo', (a traditional evening drink to stimulate your appetite) as the locals do, with a nice glass of wine (or another beverage, as you choose) and an assortment of mouth-watering appetizers in one of Rome’s most charming neighborhood wine bars.
This tour is perfect for first-time visitors to Rome, helping to orient you to the city’s diverse areas. You’ll receive recommendations on great restaurants, quaint neighborhoods, popular nightlife spots, or whatever your interests are, in addition to the sights and stories only your expert local guide would know. But if you’ve been to Rome before, see it from this new perspective that many tourists, including yourselves, may have missed.
Things to Know
Enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of Rome after dark on this evening walking tour. With a guide, stroll around the city’s historical center where you’ll enjoy an aperitivo, the Italian tradition of wine and appetizers.
The cost for this 2.5 walking tour with wine and appetizers is $69.00 per person.
The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following.
Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily.
Duration: 3 hours
Type of Service: Vatican Tour
Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience - Make sure your Vatican visit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience by booking your own, private guide. Traveling with an expert, English-speaking guide through the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, you’ll have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the masterpieces held within the papal palaces. Ask all the questions you want and influence your tour route – with your own private guide the Vatican is your oyster. Our No Wait Access Private Vatican Tours typically follow a carefully crafted route through the museums, visiting all the highlights of the collection such as the Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Laocoon Group sculpture that inspired Michelangelo.
Be amazed as you enter the Sistine Chapel and experience for yourself two of the world’s most famous masterpieces – The Last Judgement and The Creation of Adam. With an explanation from your guide, you’ll see things that other visitors never spot – like Michelangelo’s bone-free self-portrait, his message to the world that he would rather be skinned alive than paint the Sistine Chapel again.
Our tour ends with a bang at St. Peter’s Basilica. We enter directly from the Sistine Chapel via a special entrance, skipping the long line outside. Your guide will provide you with a detailed description of the Basilica of the spectacular altar, Michelangelo's famous 'Pietà' and the side chapels that make this the world's largest historic church.
Things to Know:
Visit the main highlights of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms, plus St. Peter's Basilica.
Duration: 3 Hours
Type of Service: Colosseum Walking Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Enjoy an intimate, personalized visit of Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill accompanied by an expert official guide whose love for ancient Rome and extensive background in art, history and/or archaeology will reveal Ancient Rome’s true history and spirit. Experience Rome as never before!
Skip the line into the Roman Empire as you enter the Colosseum, the world’s most famous stadium, where ferocious battles of gladiators and exotic animals entertained the Romans and their Emperors. Your expert guide will provide you with a detailed account of this famous landmark leaving you with a vivid portrait of the world-renowned Colosseum and the gladiatorial games.
Continue onto the Palatine Hill Emperors constructed their palaces overlooking the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the heart of Ancient Rome. Take a step back in time as we guide you through the Roman Empire’s majestic villas and gardens and see first-hand where the Emperors lived, ruled, and became immortal.
Visit the heart of Ancient Rome’s political and commercial center, the Roman Forum, where you will encounter the Temple which houses the altar of Julius Caesar. Stroll along the original paths of the Roman Forum and admire the astonishing remains of the “Via Sacra” or “Sacred Way”, which once sparkled with festivals and triumphal processions. Surround yourself with majestic temples, awe-inspiring palaces, and magnificent basilicas constructed two thousand years ago!
Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and articulate English-speaking tour guides will cater specifically to you and make your private visit to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum a unique and unforgettable experience.
Things to Know
Visiting the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, we give you a panoramic view of the history of Rome - from its humble beginnings led by Romulus to the glory days of its gladiators.
Duration: 2.5 hours walking tour and (includes 30-minute gondola ride) - tour begins at 11:30 am
Type of Service: Walking Tour of Venice with Gondola Ride
Follow your expert, English-speaking guide through the quieter streets and piazzas of Venice. As you walk, your guide will captivate you with histories of Ca’ Dario, the cursed (and possibly haunted) house whose owners have continuously met untimely and often suspicious deaths. You’ll learn why music schools around the world are called ‘conservatories’ at Fondamenta degli Incurabili, the hospital where monks took orphans from the streets and trained them as nurses and world-famous musicians.
Along with local legends, you’ll hear tales of familiar characters. You’ll see Harry’s Bar across the canal, where Ernest Hemingway once kicked back after a long day of writing. You’ll see the home of Peggy Guggenheim, the heiress who lost her father to the Titanic but gained the means to build one of the world’s most interesting art collections. (Back in her day Peggy used to scandalize the locals by sunbathing naked on her roof and parading around town with a pack of tiny dogs on leashes.) Remember the play, Othello? You’ll see the house where Desdemona supposedly lived before her tale was transcribed by an Italian author and stolen by a man called William Shakespeare.
Your tour ends on the sweetest note with a gondola ride along the quieter back canals of Venice. Relax as a gondolier, in his ubiquitous striped shirt, rows along waterways built for these very vessels. With a maximum of five people per shared gondola, your tour will be intimate and, with no commentary on this section of the tour, quiet and romantic too.
Things to Know:
You’ll visit the fascinating district of Dorsoduro - explore the back canals of the city by water. Relax on our pre-booked and pre-arranged 30-minute gondola ride.
The cost for this small group tour with a 2-hour walking tour with a local tour guide and 30-minute gondola ride is $82.00 per person.
The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.
Booking Procedures and details: Upon hitting the “book now” button, you can choose your date and time, and look over the cancellation policy (terms and conditions), and preview the precise pricing. Once you have entered your details, L&B Italian tours will request your credit card number. We will not charge your credit card until we have confirmed the details for your reservations, this usually happens within 24-48 hours for tours and up to 4 days for trip packages. Once the card is charged your reservation is confirmed. Along with the confirmation, you will get a complete recap of your booking that includes maps, meeting places, times and contact numbers.
Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily.
Duration: 3 hours
Type of Service: Borghese Gallery and Gardens Tour
One of Rome’s richest and most interesting villas, the Borghese Gallery houses a vast and diverse collection of sculptures and paintings produced by masters such as Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titian. The Borghese Gallery is truly a magical setting in which the beauty of the artwork, fountains, and monuments combine with the rich and diverse flora of the vast surrounding park. In all a true pleasure for the senses.
Your guide will lead you on a walking tour through the breathtaking rooms of the Borghese Gallery and reveal the secrets, stories, and techniques behind the masterpieces. Then, you will go for an enchanting walk through the Borghese Gardens (Villa Borghese) and enjoy the surprises and silence of this Eden in the heart of busy Rome. The tour ends with a breathtaking view from atop the Pincio Terrace.
Tickets Aren't Easy to Come By and Because of its strict, reservations-only ticketing policy, the Borghese Gallery can sell out far in advance, leaving many a vacationer disappointed about not being able to get in. Highly Recommend Advance Reservations - to see one of the most beautiful art collections in the world.
Things to Know:
The Borghese Gallery is undoubtedly one of the most interesting, charming, elegant, and compact art museums in the world. After visiting the museum, you will stroll around the renowned Borghese gardens, enjoying views of the Villa Borghese from the outside and looking out over the picturesque Piazza del Popolo below.
Small group tours and private tours available
Start in Rome, then discover the less touristed regions of Lazio, Le Marche, Molise and the Abruzzo as well as two regions teeming with visitors, Tuscany and Umbria. The heart of Italy has a lot going for it, from good wine and olive oil to the sunny climate and a good percentage of the world's fine art. On either coast there are numerous beaches; Italians flock to them when the mercury soars in summer. Explore Rome, then head for the isolated hill towns, monasteries and religious shrines in the rural countryside.
So you’ve decided you are GOING TO ITALY! How Exciting! Many people dream of visiting Italy and experiencing la bella vita, and while you certainly can’t avoid it anywhere in the country, there are some things to think about before you take off that will make your time that much more enjoyable.
First, Italy is a large, and very diverse country. Traveling across regions is almost like traveling across countries themselves. The Italian people are very attached to their City, Region, and Country, in that order, so be sure to talk to locals wherever you go to get to know the intricacies of the very different regions of Italy.
Planning your trip’s itinerary won’t be easy since there is SO much to see and do, but a little background on the country’s layout is helpful when decided what it is you want to get out of your time: are you looking for sports? history? art? food? beaches? mountains? fashion? design? Italy has it all, but some places have it better than others!
Italy can best be divided into three geographical areas: north, middle and south, although again across those areas culture, food and tradition varies greatly.
Northern Italy is made up of the Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino Alto-Adige. It boasts such famous cities as Milan, Venice, Turin, Genoa and Bologna. The weather is cooler than the rest of the country due to the northern location and proximity to the Apennines and Alps. This area is traditionally the more wealthy part of Italy, and houses most of the country’s industry. Cities like Milan and Venice can be slightly more expensive than some cities in the central or southern parts of Italy. However, public transportation and tourism services are much more developed and functional than in other parts of the country!
The major airport for the northern region is Milan’s Linate International Airport. There are many other airports in the region however, including Bologna, Venice and Genoa, so do some price comparisons before booking your ticket. The climate in this region varies considerably, both depending on time of year and location. Venice gets extremely hot in the summer, while Turin and the Lake District (Cuomo) stay much cooler and tend to be flocked by Italians trying to beat the heat during the summer months. The Italian Alps begin their ski season as early as November in some places.
Northern Italy has many attractions and offers activities for everyone. Those who enjoy sport and the outdoors may want to visit the lakes for water sports, or go hiking in the Italian Dolomites. Everyone should see Venice at least for a day while they still can! Milan is great for anyone interested in design or fashion, and also has a wide selection of galleries and museums for those interested in both Renaissance and contemporary art. One can also visit the Italian Riviera for some great beaches.
The cuisine of this region is also quite variable, but generally tends to be no the heavier side of some of the traditional Italian specialties we normally think of. This is where Italians eat risotto with saffron, polenta, LOTS of parmigiano reggiano (from the Emilia Romagna province – an area that all foodies must visit), heavy meat dishes and stews, etc. Closer north near the Austrian border we see a lot of Austrian or Slovenian influence in the cuisine, as well as the wines. Prosecco is from the Veneto, and Gewürztraminer is from Trentino Alto-Adige. Think lots of nice white wines, and a LOT of grappa!
Central Italy is made up of the regions Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria. Geographically it also contains Abruzzo and Molise, but they are traditional grouped with Southern Italy due to cultural similiarities. This is where the rolling hills of Unbria and Tuscany call to mind Napa Valley. This is wine country. Central Italy is home to cities like Florence, Siena, Perugia, and of course Roma. Still quite wealthy, but more varied wealth across regions, central Italy is also extremely easy to explore via bus or train, so you can visit some little hill towns in the Val D’Orcia, or take a train and ride up and down the coast. This section of Italy is full of tiny medieval towns, and if you do your research ahead of time, you could get to participate in one of their on-going traditional medieval festivals!
Rome and Florence both have international airports, as does Pisa. Flying into Bologna is also an easy way to get to Florence as they are connected via both fast and regional trains. The weather in the region is quite temperate, with clearly distinct seasons similar to the weather on the mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. The winters are cold, and although snow is uncommon it is not unheard of. The summers get quite hot, going up to one hundred degrees, and the air tends to be humid, especially inland.
Florence and Rome are the dominating destinations in Central Italy, and rightfully so. Rome as the capital and Florence as the birthplace of the Renaissance are not to be missed if possible. I would argue each city really deserves its own trip to truly get the most out of what they have to offer. Rome is a massive metropolitan center, filled with tourists all year round. The Vatican is a major destination, its museums housing some of the most beautiful and famous Renaissance artwork, as well as the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The City of Rome of course has many ancient Roman ruins that would excite anyone remotely interested in human history: the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Catacombs, just to name a few. Florence on the other hand is the must-visit for anyone interested in Renaissance art or history, and is also a good base to explore some of the smaller towns in the region that will have you thinking of Under the Tuscan Sun. The Chianti region is full of tiny gems to visit and have an amazing meal at, as is the area between Siena and Rome. You’ll have to get to know the regional bus lines though!
Again, each region has its own traditional cuisine, but Central Italy has some of the healthiest, heartiest, what traditionally would have been peasant food but has now been elevated to an incredible level of International renown. Bistecca alla Fiorentina can only be truly enjoyed in Tuscany, just as Rome is the place to eat Saltimbocca or Osso Buco. Siena is famous for its sweets, traditionally eaten at Christmastime, and the Umbrian town of Norcia, in the Appennine foothills is where the best black truffles can be found, as well as some of the best pork products like prosciutto and salame. The hills are home to wild boar, which is cooked into many traditional stews or sauces. This is also wine country, so look out for Chianti, Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. I could write a whole article about Tuscan cuisine, and I probably will, so check our blog frequently!
Southern Italy is where many Italian Americans origins are. It is the poorest part of the country, and encompasses the “foot” part of the boot of Italy, as well as the island of Sicily and some other Islands off the coast of Naples. It is made up of the regions of Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Molise and Sicily. Due to traditional poverty and well-known corruption, transportation to many less-frequented yet extremely beautiful areas is difficult without a car of your own. The trains are regional and buses connecting cities are infrequent. We’ll talk more about renting cars in Italy later, but this may be the area to do so if you are up for the challenge!
The nearest major international airport is Rome, but there are two smaller airports on the east coast: Bari and Brindisi, both in Apulia. Naples has an international airport, and the island of Sicily may be reached via Palermo in the north or Catania in the south. The climate in the South is Mediterranean, so again variable across seasons but markedly warmer than the north or center of the country. The area is frequently overlooked as a tourist destination, so it is a nice respite from the throngs of Florence or Venice if you have the chance to visit. The beaches are spectacular, overlooking truly crystalline water. On clear days you can even see Africa from certain points along the coast.
While Sorrento, the Amalfi coast and the island of Capri are all beautiful places to visit, they are also the most famous tourist destinations in this area. If you are looking for beautiful vistas and country club style and treatment, these resort towns are a perfect place to pamper yourself or take a boat out. If you are more on the adventurous side, continue south and explore the towns of Calabria, famous for its spicy peppers and warm inhabitants. From Naples you can climb Mount Vesuvius and eat a traditional Neapolitan pizza. Matera, in the Basilicata region, is slated to be the European Capitol of Culture in 2019, and boasts what are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in Italy carved out of the rocks that make up its ancient city center. Those interested in architecture will enjoy the cities along the southern coast of Sicily, where due to volcanic and seismic damage, many buildings were rebuilt in a new Sicilian Baroque style.
Southern Italian cuisine is what most Americans think of as Italian cuisine: eggplant parmigiana, pizza, calzone, spaghetti, maccheroni, and the list goes on. The region is big on short, dry pasta, as opposed to the soft egg pastas of the northern, wealthier regions. Mozzarella is from this area, as is ricotta, made light and fresh. San Marzano tomatoes are grown in the volcanic soil under mount Vesuvius, and are used ubiquitously. Many of the dishes served in the south have Italian-American counterparts due to generations of Italians emigrating to the US from these regions due to extreme poverty. This part of Italy also of course produces much of its own wine, but the wine tends to be drunk young and domestically, rather than bring preserved and shipped. So come here if you are okay with some chilled red table wine or a beer with your pizza!
This has just been an EXTREMELY brief overview of what you might expect as you plan your trip to Italy. Every part of the country has its own secrets, cuisines, and traditions, but if you can’t move there, these generalized descriptions should help you tailor where you want to start and end your visit to the big boot. Once you determine your itinerary, be sure to check seasonal weather charts so you can pack accordingly to where you will be visiting. Read on for more about the items that you will need to bring with you to get the most out of your Italian vacation!
My friend and I vacationed in Italy for a week and visited Venice, Florence, Rome, and Pompeii with the help of Hali at L&B Italian Tours.
Her planning and knowledge of the touristy and not so touristy attractions was exceptional. Hali recommended visiting the Grand Bazaar, which we found rather easily to navigate to with the rail system leaving directly from the airport.
Once we arrived in Italy, she suggested various restaurants and some main attractions. Additionally, she was great help on
finding the best deals for connecting trains between the cities, quality places to stay though Air BnB, and booked us tours that included “skip the line” passes so that we could avoid long lines at major attractions like the Vatican and the Coliseum.
We found her overall knowledge of the cities, transportation and room and board to really give us an incredible trip abroad without breaking the bank!
We loved your tours - Wonderful - meraviglioso / Fantastic - fantastico
My family and I had an amazing time while in Italy. We visited Venice, Florence, Rome - Thank you L&B Italian Tours!
Your tours, tour guides, and customer service were excellent. I will highly recommend you to all my family and friends.
We will be ready to go back in 2 years and I look forward to using your services again.