The Highlights of Italy
With the most UNESCO Sites in the world, Italy is a country of highlights. First inhabited by prehistoric people, the Greeks came in the 8th century BC, followed by the Romans. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Italian Renaissance spread across Europe, marking the end of the Middle Ages.
Skip the lines at the Vatican for works by Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Let a guide take you on a private tour of the Roman Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain. A personal shopper will negotiate crafts with you in Florence, and a local expert leads you through medieval canals in Venice. Dine at a Tuscan estate. Be amazed by villas, castles, palaces, piazzas, and terraces with breathtaking views. It’s time to experience the authentic Italy, joyful and self-confident.
The Vatican’s Secret Side
When in Rome, many people feel that visiting Vatican City is a must. This is where St. Peter was martyred—the basilica was built over his grave in the 4th century AD. Other than a brief sojourn in France, the Vatican has been the residence of every Pope and a site of pilgrimage. Although the smallest state in the world, it holds the genius of the Greeks, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
While there, look for the smaller stories, too. Pope Victor I was a Berber, while Miltiades and Gelasius came from African families. Four Popes were married. The 16th century Bramante staircase was designed so it could be ridden on horseback. Keep an eye out for wonders excavated from Egypt and Etruscan tombs. Reaching along miles of corridors, the Vatican is a miracle of time and culture.