Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Venice, Italy
NH Collection Venezia Palazzo Barocci None

Arrive Venice, Italy

Arrive in Venice and meet a local guide for your transfer to the historical center. Cruise from the mainland airport across the Venice lagoon in a private water taxi, getting your first look at the city from the famous Grand Canal. Your hotel overlooks this elegant waterway—the city’s main “street,” lined with marble palazzi and dotted with drifting gondolas. After settling into your room, take a private walking tour of the surrounding promenades and canals, and step into the iconic Basilica di San Marco. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Day 2
Venice, Italy
NH Collection Venezia Palazzo Barocci Breakfast

Venice

Enjoy a morning to amble along the canals at your leisure. This afternoon, visit a squero, or boatyard, to meet a local craftsman and learn about the art and science of traditional gondola construction. Then enjoy a private, after-hours visit to Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where opulent galleries are adorned with paintings from Italian masters like Tintoretto and Titian. Dine on your own this evening.

Day 3
Florence, Italy
Venice, Italy
Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1 Breakfast

Bologna/Florence

Discover the leafy side of Venice on a private tour of the city’s little-known parks and gardens. Enjoy a light lunch at a local wine bar serving cicchetti—small snacks unique to Venice—and then board the high-speed train to Florence. Settle into your boutique hotel, an elegantly restored 14th-century tower home, and then set out on a private walking tour of the city. Learn about da Vinci’s famous painting The Battle of Anghiari, known as “The Lost Leonardo,” and see the epicenter of a National Geographic-funded search for this misplaced masterpiece, believed to be hidden behind a wall in Palazzo Vecchio.

Day 4
Florence, Italy
Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1 Breakfast

Florence Browse the food stalls of the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, where locals shop for fresh produce. With the help of your guide, pick out ingredients for your private cooking class with a Florentine chef. Continue to the kitchen and learn to make regional specialties, then feast on your creations for lunch. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Consider climbing the iconic Duomo, marveling at Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery, or seeing Medici family treasures in the Pitti Palace.

Day 5
Siena, Italy
Florence, Italy
Castello di Spaltenna or Grand Hotel Continental Breakfast, Lunch

San Gimignano/Siena

Take a final morning to explore Florence on your own, then transfer to the walled hilltop gem of San Gimignano—a World Heritage site with 14 picturesque medieval towers. Set out from town on a leisurely bike ride through the vineyards blanketing the surrounding landscapes. Continue through the Tuscan countryside to our 14th-century castello, originally built as a monastery. Settle in, and dine in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant this evening.

Day 6
Siena, Italy
Castello di Spaltenna or Grand Hotel Continental Breakfast

Siena

Spend the morning at leisure at our historical hotel. Take a dip in the pool, indulge in a spa treatment, or enjoy the on-site tennis courts, billiard room, and bicycles. Later, head to Siena and soak up its medieval flavor on a walking tour that includes the Piazza Salimbeni and the colorful, marble-clad Basilica di San Domenico. Savor a cappuccino and ricciarelli, a famous Sienese almond cookie, at the historic Caffe Nannini. Continue to the Piazza del Campo, one of Italy’s most beautiful squares and host to the thrilling Palio bareback horse races. Step into the medieval cathedral before returning to your hotel.

Day 7
Siena, Italy
Rome, Italy
Hotel Splendide Royal Breakfast

Rome

Travel to Rome, stopping en route at the stunning town of Orvieto, sitting atop a plateau of volcanic rock. Visit the town’s Gothic cathedral, and see St. Patrick’s Well, a marvel of ancient engineering that draws water up from the bluff far below the city. Cap off your visit with lunch and wine pairings at a local winery. Then continue to Rome and set out on a private walking tour that includes stops at the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazzas del Popolo and Navona, and the Sant’Agnese church. Break at one of Rome’s most famous coffee shops, and share the social ritual of an afternoon coffee.

Day 8
Rome, Italy
Hotel Splendide Royal Breakfast

Rome

Rise early to see the Sistine Chapel before the tourist crowds arrive. Marvel at two of the world’s most spectacular masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Genesis ceiling frescoes and his Last Judgment altar fresco. Visit the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Square, and St. Peter’s Basilica—home to treasured Renaissance artwork by masters like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini. After lunch on your own, explore ancient Rome at the Arch of Constantine and the iconic Colosseum.

Day 9
Rome, Italy
None Breakfast

Rome/Depart

Transfer to the airport this morning to catch your international flight home.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

Private Expedition: Italy

The treasures of Italy are both iconic and enchanting: ancient ruins encircled by vibrant city streets, rolling vineyards crowned by medieval hilltop towns, gondolas bobbing in turquoise canals. Get an intimate look at these Italian classics on a journey from Venice through the heart of Tuscany to Rome. Enjoy private visits to opulent art galleries, delve into one of the world’s most celebrated cuisines with Tuscan vintners and a Florentine chef, and take advantage of time on your own to soak up the magic of Italy.

Trip Highlights

- Join private guides for tours of five UNESCO World Heritage-listed cities, including Venice, Rome, and Florence.

- Get an in-depth look at Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, site of a National Geographic-funded search for Leonardo da Vinci’s lost masterpiece, The Battle of Anghiari.

- Meet a craftsman at a Venetian boatyard to learn about the art of gondola construction, and then enjoy a private after-hours visit to the gilded galleries of Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

- Stay at a 14th-century castello in the Tuscan countryside and dine at its Michelin-starred restaurant.

Available through December 2018

National Geographic Private Expeditions are specially crafted itineraries designed for independent travelers that combines guided excursions, fascinating insights into culture and wildlife, and top accommodations. Simply select a trip and decide whom you’d like to travel with and when you want to travel. We’ll take care of the rest.

Note: Private Expeditions can be arranged to fit into your schedule. You choose your desired departure date, and we'll make all the arrangements. Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for more details

About Us

National Geographic Expeditions offers a broad array of travel experiences to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents, each led by a National Geographic expert, a dynamic trip guide, or an expedition team. National Geographic taps into their vast network of resources around the world when designing trips to create authentic and transformative travel experiences. The official travel program of the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Expeditions aims to fulfill the organization’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet by providing meaningful opportunities to explore it.


Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

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Please note that the 55 trips with varying terms and conditions have links at the bottom of the global terms website.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for National Geographic Expeditions

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By: Howie


Reviewed on: 05 Oct 2015

Wonderful and busy tour.
Travel Advisor:  Dennis Wallace

Very Well done and professional

By: Judd


Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2016

Our 14 day Antarctica adventure was wonderful: the National Geographic team were extremely knowledgeable and very much enjoyed their jobs! All were really in to teaching and conveying their devotion to Antarctica and their particular area of expertise. We are already planning our next adventure with NG!
Travel Advisor:  Cheryl Everhart
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Outstanding

By: The ayotollah


Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2016

She has helped me with a number of trips and always shines. I know I can rely on Linda to be certain that all of the details are taken care of, and her recommendations are well though out. She is a superstar.
Travel Advisor:  Linda Rainwater

Maya

By: Ron


Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017

This was my third trip with National Geographic and, like the others, it was interesting, professional, and well managed.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Galapagos/ Nat Geo 2017

By: Sree


Reviewed on: 23 Jul 2017

National Geographic was on my bucket list for an expedition to the Galapagos. The Islands are amazing and Nat Geo had great programs in place to highlight this ecological paradise. The partnership with Lindblad was a plus. My kids had a blast with the ships young explorers program which was the kind of quality education I expect from Nat Geo. The naturalists were real professionals. The entire team succeeded in making it a memorable trip.

Wild and Windswept, for sure!

By: RobinBG


Reviewed on: 25 Sep 2017

Always the best trip out there if you want history, culture and adventure. We learned so much about the places we visited, were able to hear local musicians play, and went to places that are hard to reach any other way than by a small ship. And - the food and service is beyond compare.
Travel Advisor:  Amy Rectenwald

Morocco Private Expeditions

By: Morocco Traveler


Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2017

Good trip. Fair amount of driving but most of it is on the autoroutes which are good roads. Going to the south the road is under construction so it is longer. Good representation of the various areas of Morocco. Our private guide, Ali was excellent.
Travel Advisor:  Martha Gaughen

Morocco

By: Jud


Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2017

Outstanding in every respect except Casablanca Sofitel and some of the guest on the tour
Travel Advisor:  Jamo Ladd

NatGeo Photo Workshop

By: Lance R


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2017

The NatGeo photo workshop was a great experience. Myrna was wondering to work with. Can't wait for my next trip through her!
Travel Advisor:  Myrna Arroyo

The White continent - Antarctica

By: Anissia


Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2017

Absolutely amazing! They ran a tight ship literally. Everyone was so pleasant to deal with, all naturalists were so knowledgeable. Expedition Leader Lucho had all zodiac outings running smoothly. I would repeat this trip if it was not so expensive though it is worth the money!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

excellent

By: oh my


Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2018

Natalie was excellent. Very good to work with and very helpful.
Travel Advisor:  Natalie Rael

Yellowstone

By: Dana


Reviewed on: 30 Mar 2018

Nat Geo hosted a wonderful tour of Yellowstone in winter. We would use Nat Geo again in a minute!
Travel Advisor:  Loni Truitt

Antartica, South Georgia and Falklands

By: Lin


Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2018

The Antartica, South Georgia and Falklands trip exceed my expectations. Travelling on the National Geographic Orion provided an exceptional experience which included spacious well appointed accommodation, delicious food, attentive good natured staff and interesting daily presentations and outings with knowledgeable experts. I can not think of a better way to explore and enjoy the incredible beauty of this pristine and its abundant wildlife. I now understand why there were a number of returning visitors on this fabulous trip.
Travel Advisor:  Samuel Spencer

Exploring Patagonia

By: Greg


Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2018

Nat Geo Expeditions is awesome! This particular expedition provides an excellent overview of this unique area of the world. Our tour manager Sylvina and expert Constanza Ceruti were excellent guides for our expedition providing high-level insights into the culture, history and ongoing research of Argentina, Chile and Patagonia. We would highly recommend this expedition!
Travel Advisor:  Courtney Regan