May 8: Rome for 7 nights
Meet & greet private transfer from airport to hotel (based on individual transfers for 2 people)
Double room at Hotel dei Borgognoni****
This 4-star hotel is set in an elegant 19th-century building. Offering a peaceful internal courtyard, it is less than 5 minutes' walk from both the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.
Rooms at Hotel dei Borgognoni have a contemporary design and a range of modern facilities. All air-conditioned, they also come with a laptop safe and an interactive LCD TV with satellite and pay-per-view channels and internet access.
Wi-Fi access is available in the Borgognoni's lobby and the hotel's conference rooms. Staff provide a free bike rental service and plenty of useful tourist information.
A full English breakfast is served each morning, while the bar offers snacks, drinks and hot and cold meals throughout the day. Room service is available until midnight and includes a comprehensive list of fine Italian wines.
Spagna Metro Station is just 500 m away and provides easy access across Rome. Secure parking is available in the hotel's underground garage.
Welcome lunch. Location to be announced.
Walking tour of Rome at night.
Market and Cooking Class
The route includes a gourmet tour, with spending in "SHOPS" of traders and local markets, where you will choose together the fresh ingredients
for cooking. The next stop is in an apartment with a lovely private veranda and views of St. Peter's Basilica, where you can cook with the chef, listening to the stories that bind each recipe to our local tradition.
Then at the table, to eat what has been freshly prepared: an authentic rich Italian dining, with fine vintage wine.
Private Walking Tour: Caravaggio's Rome
Duration of tour: 3 hours
Early Baroque painter, Michelangelo Merisi (1573-1610), better known as Caravaggio, left an indelible mark on the world of art; and Rome is fortunate to contain a large selection of his works. In this tour, we focus specifically on Caravaggio's work that lies in-situ, that is in the places that they were originally created for. In this case, our walk takes us to three significant churches in the historic center: Santa Maria del Popolo, San Luigi dei Francesi, and Sant'Agostino. Along the way, we'll pass through the same city streets that Caravaggio inhabited in the 1600s. We'll start at Santa Maria del Popolo, where two of Caravaggio's works are juxtaposed in the same chapel with that of his stylistic rival Annibale Carracci. As we pass through Piazza del Popolo and into the Tridente neighborhood where Caravaggio lived and worked, we'll talk a bit about his method, recent scholarship, and the controversies that surrounded him, including the accusation of murder, during his career. Our adventure includes a visit to San Luigi dei Francesi, the church of the French congregation in Rome and home to Caravaggio's stunning series on Saint Matthew, his first public altarpiece. Here we'll discuss some of the fundamental art concepts that underpin Caravaggio's place in history, including his revolutionary use of chiaroscuro, the strong interplay of light and dark so characteristic and powerful in his work. We'll also slip in Sant'Agostino, home to a rarely-visited late work, and a perfect bookend to our time together.
Includes: Services of a guide
8:00pm This evening we head to the Teatro Dell Opera Roma to see Matthew in Rome's premier of Benjamin Britten's, " Billy Budd.
After the performance, you will be guests at a cast party, late night snacks and drinks included.
May 11: Small group Crypts and Catacombs at night with exclusive after hour access
Duration of tour: 2 hours 30 mins
These subterranean tunnels were created by Rome first Christians during a time when their religion was heavily persecuted. They can plunge six stories deep into the ground and once held the remains of saints, martyrs, and thousands of early converts. Rome Catacomb tours are becoming increasingly popular. For the first time ever, we are offering you an opportunity to visit Rome Catacombs at night. Your guide will be easy to hear and interact with and the Catacombs themselves will be transformed. Step back in time 2,000 years with an unforgettable experience of Rome hidden history. Your tour starts at the Capuchin Crypt. An incredible series of rooms decorated with the bones of 4,000 monks. Although it is unclear how the decorating process began, the end product is undeniably creepy. There are light fixtures made from spinal bones, a coat of (real) arms, and a few full skeletons still wearing their monk robes. Included in your ticket is the Capuchin Museum, where your guide will point out an authentic Caravaggio and some strange mementos of monks. Then you'll board a private vehicle for the journey across town to the highlight of our tour. Our Rome Catacombs Night Tour visits the incredible Catacombs of Santa Priscilla. They are home to the oldest known drawing of the Virgin Mary. They were also once known as the Popes Catacombs because they housed the remains of not one but seven early popes and a handful of martyrs.
Includes: Special access to Rome Catacombs after closing, Tickets to the Capuchin Crypt and Museum, Round-trip transport between sites, English speaking guide.
May 12: Day of Leisure
Full day private guided tour to Tivoli
Enjoy a day away from the hustle of the city and join this 7.5-hour day trip out of Rome to discover the famous Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este. Step back in time and explore the archaeological ruins of Hadrian's Villa, former home to 2nd-century Emperor Hadrian, with its temples, statues, theaters and much more. After the lunch break, learn intriguing Renaissance history visiting the stunning gardens of Villa d'Este and see the famous Fountain of Neptune.
Lunch to be paid locally
May 14: Farewell dinner at Casina Valadier
The restaurant claims to have the best viewpoint in Rome, and it’s not hard to see why. Occupying the very top of the Pincio hill inside the Villa Borghese, it combines breathtaking views with an enchanting interior. The Casina has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century; after it closed in the 90s it was restored to its original neoclassical look, reopening successfully in 2004. VIP guests such as Princess Diana and Mikhail Gorbachev have previously graced its floors on their visits to the Eternal City. Chef Massimo D’Innocenti, holder of two of the Gambero Rosso magazine’s prestigious “forchette” for his commitment to the fine art of cooking, ensures the Casina’s patrons are served only the most rigorously seasonal offerings from the kitchen.
Private transfer from hotel to airport .
Total cost PER PERSON for all of the above $4096
Deposit required: $1000 per person non-refundable deposit is required to secure hotels. Please make check payable to Holt Travel Service.