16-Day Itinerary: Rome, Pompeii, Orvieto, San Gimignano, Siena, Greve, Pisa, Portofino, Lucca, Venice, Lake Como (Argegno and Bellagio), Milan

Date of Trip: May – June 2004 Rectaingular Img
Day Stops Itinerary Observations


Depart from the US



Arrive in Rome (population 2.87M)
Airport car service and luggage assistance
Check In: Hotel Navona in Piazza Navona

6hr Private guided tour of Ancient Rome
Dinner in Piazza Navona

Hotel was centrally located – the interior was sparse but breakfast was good. There is no elevator – beware! Starting a 6-hour tour after arriving may be too much.



Private guided tour of the Vatican, including the Vatican Museum
Dinner at Trattoria Vecchia Roma

The next morning when we jumped the Vatican Museum line I said, “It was worth whatever we paid IDI for our private guide.”



Private guided tour of Pompeii, including a brief stop in Naples (population 22,039)


San Gimignano

Pick up rental car and drive (3hrs) to San Gimignano (population 7,780) with a brief stop in Orvieto (population 20,468) for pottery shopping at Ceramiche Bellocci

We drove out of Rome on an early Sunday morning – I would NOT recommend this during a busy weekday. Rather, take the train to Orvieto or Chiusi and pick up a rental car there.

Check In: La Cisterna in the Piazza della Cisterna


Siena Greve

Drive (43min) to Siena (population 53,772) for a self-guided walk on the way to Chianti
Drive (40min) to Chianti for lunch at Gaiole at Badia a Coltibuono
Check In: Castello di Querceto in the vineyard

Badia a Coltibuono is beautiful. Besides the restaurant they offer a small hotel.



Private guided tour of Florence

Our guide met us outside of Florence and drove us into the city.


Pisa Portofino Lucca

Drive (1hr and 20min) to Pisa (population 90,488) for a quick photo op
Drive (1hr 45min) to Portofino (population 416)
Enjoy a seaside lunch at Ristorante Puny
Drive (1hr and 51min) to Lucca (population 88,397)
Check In: Albergo San Martino

Portofino was out of the way – the day would have been shorter if we had gone to La Spezia, Forte dei Marne, or one of the Cinque Terre villages.



Drive (1hr and 5min) to Florence (population 382,258)
Return rental car in Florence
Take the train from Florence to Venice
Train station pick up and private boat launch to the hotel
Check In: Hotel Antico Doge
Walked to San Marco Piazza and listened to the orchestras while sharing champagne.

Entering Venice via the train station, the arriving/departing point for the Orient Express, and walking down to your private boat launch is the perfect way to experience arrival into this ancient city.

The hotel was affordably nice but required the use of a large number of steps. Beware!



Private tour of the Venitian highlights
Vivaldi Concert
Dinner at Ristorante Al Graspo de Ua


Murano Burano

On our own:
Water taxi to Murano Island – Venetian glass
Water taxi to Burano Island – Venetian lace
Lunch at Ristorante Il Gatto Nero – da Ruggero


Argegno Lake Como

Check In: Villa Belvedere
Dinner lakeside at Villa Belvedere

At the time, it was a Cappelletti family-run hotel.



Tour the Giardini di Villa Melzi in Bellagio
Dinner lakeside at Villa Belvedere



Take the train from Como to Milan
Check In: Antica Locanda dei Mercanti
DInner at Trattoria Milanese

The major attractions of Milan can be easily seen in one day.



On our own: Leonardo di Vinci’s Last Supper; La Scala Opera House; Galleria Vittorio; Sforzesco Castle



Return Flight to the US

Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.

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