Private Shore Excursions
for Cruise Passengers in Italy
Rome, Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's, Coliseum
Ostia Antica, Etruscan Tombs, Viterbo
If you are going to be on a Mediterranean cruise with stops at Civitavecchia, Livorno, Naples, Palermo, Messina, Venice and/or La Spezia, you can go with a large group of fellow passengers on a full-day bus tour, or you can spend the day with an affable guide, in your own private vehicle, chatting and learning about the wonderful Italian way of life as you see the artistic masterpieces that make it a major destination. A private tour costs more than a bus ride, but then again, you will have a knowledgeable world-class guide all to yourselves, and what better way to make every minute count in Rome, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Cinque Terre, Venice and Sicily!
La Spezia & Portofino (Cinque Terre)
Livorno (Tuscany & Cinque Terre)
Naples (Pompeii & Amalfi Coast)
Palermo & Messina (Sicily)
For those who do not care to visit the Vatican, this is the perfect way to get the most out of your day in Rome. Your driver will meet you at the dock in Civitavecchia. The 90-minute drive to the Eternal City culminates as you pass the Circus Maximus and meet your guide for a visit to the Coliseum. Later, you'll stroll along the broad avenue that dissects the ancient city, with the Forum on one side and the imperial markets on the other. From atop the Capitoline, seat of the world's first Senate, you'll be able to see all the monuments laid out before you as the guide explains what they were and how they were used. A secret passageway leads down the other side of the hill, past the cliff off which rebels and criminals were hurled to their death. Here you'll marvel at the so-called "Little Coliseum," a beautifully preserved arena topped by a medieval palace that is one of modern Rome's most enviable addresses. It marks the entrance to the former ghetto: site of Europe's oldest Jewish community, this tiny neighborhood was enclosed by a wall for over 300 years, finally being decimated by Hitler's occupying army in 1943. These days the community is coming back, making this a great place to stop for lunch on your own, because Roman-Jewish food is a delicious cuisine. What passes for "fast-food" in this neighborhood is haute cuisine elsewhere, and will give you a chance to rest your feet while you delight your taste buds. Afterwards you'll again be joined by your guide for a walking tour of Baroque Rome: Piazza Farnese, Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps. Before meeting your car for the drive back to the ship, you'll stop at Trevi Fountain to throw your coins in and assure you'll be back again soon!
This tour starts at 8 am and lasts approximately six hours.
Prices include private car and driver and personal tour guide.
Your day starts when your driver meets you at the dock in Civitavecchia. It takes about 90 minutes to drive to downtown Rome, giving you the chance to see the beautiful coast of Latium, the famed campagna romana (Roman countryside), with its flocks of sheep and gently rolling hills. You'll enter the city through EUR, the all-marble suburb that was Mussolini's attempt to create his own Imperial City. Your first stop is the Coliseum, where you'll meet the guide and tour the world's most fascinating amphitheatre. Afterwards you can visit the Roman Forum and the Palatine, or stroll over to the Baroque area and see Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona or the Spanish Steps. At about noon, you'll meet your driver again and proceed to the Vatican, where you'll have time for a brief lunch break. At one o'clock, the least crowded time of day, you'll have a private guided tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. After such an exciting and interesting day, you'll enjoy the relaxing ride back to the pier.
This tour starts at 8 am and lasts approximately nine hours. If your group includes at least two adults plus children, one child under 18 years old pays nothing for the tour except for entrance tickets (the reduced ticket price for children is 40 Euros). If you have more than one child, all the others pay the adult price for the tour no matter their age. If your group numbers more than 7, you will hear the guide better if you purchase audio headsets at the start of the tour for 4 Euro/person. The tour is available in English or Spanish.
Prices include private car and driver, entrance tickets and personal tour guide.
If you have already been to Rome, why not travel north for an enchanting day discovering the secret world of the Etruscans? The original inhabitants of Tuscany, they were the first civilization to fall beneath the mighty Roman sword, and a visit to their stunning tombs can offer glimpses of their fascinating lost civilization. Your journey into one of the greatest mysteries of antiquity begins with a short but picturesque drive along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea and across the broad plains that are the gateway to Tuscany. Your first stop is Tarquinia, a town that traces its founding back to the 7th century BC, when a terrible famine forced the mythical hero Tarchon to leave his homeland in Asia Minor and sail all the way across the Mediterranean to Italy. Little remains of that Etruscan city; today's savvy travellers come to visit the necropolis of Monterozzi, which boasts no fewer than 150 tombs. 14 of these underground chambers are open to public, and one thing that sets them apart from your average everyday ancient tomb is that they were deliberately made to look like the home the deceased had just left behind. Hidden beneath emerald fields where flocks of sheep graze in peaceful oblivion, there lies a warren of elaborate rooms covered with delicately painted scenes from nature, banqueting scenes where players and dancers revel, erotic bedroom scenes and more. There is no place for sorrow in these replications of the family dwelling; happiness and celebration prevail. Among the most famous tombs are those of the Hunters and Fishermen, the Leopards, the Lotus Flower, the Lionesses and the Maiden. Your guided walking tour will include 6 or 7 of them and last approximately two hours, with plenty of opportunities to admire the paintings while your guide explains the history and main decorative features so that you will have a complete picture of what life was like at the time of the Etruscans.
The Tomb of the Leopards
Next you will rest your feet on an hour-long drive through the beautiful countryside to Viterbo, "the city of the popes." Originally a small Etruscan village, it was conquered by the Romans and completely destroyed in order to build a new Roman colony. In the Middle Ages, a fortified castle was built on the site, and Viterbo is fiercely proud of it magnificent buildings, starting with the Papal Palace. Built for the popes between 1255 and 1267, it is a shining example of Gothic architecture with its wonderful arched loggia and mullioned windows. Also worthy of note are the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the three major palazzi in Piazza del Plebiscito, but the most charming part of town is surely the Medieval District of San Pellegrino. The layout of this old neighbourhood has remained unchanged over the centuries. Strolling through the narrow lanes, enhanced by many antique shops, workshops and pristine stone homes, you can feel the glorious past of the ancient city. Your visit to Viterbo will begin with an hour-long drive through the main attractions, after which you will have time for lunch on your own, followed by a chance to wander through this charming town at your own leisure. Your drive back to the ship lasts about 90 minutes, with plenty of wonderful scenery all along the way.
This tour is available on request any day except Monday and major holidays. It starts at 8 am and lasts approximately eight hours. Prices include private car and driver, as well as private tour guide for the tombs. Entrance tickets cost 8 Euro/person paid in cash on site. Lunch is not included.
|Without Guide||With Guide for the Entire Day|
|1-3 people||638.00 Euro/group||864.00 Euro/group|
|4-6 people||741.00 Euro/group||1029.00 Euro/group|
If you have already been to Rome, and/or you would like to visit Pompeii but don't have time, consider visiting the beautifully preserved ruins of Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient seaport. It was founded, probably in the 4th century BC, as a military colony to guard the river mouth against seaborne invasions. Later, during the centuries when virtually all imports reached the Capital via the Tiber, Ostia gained prominence as the domestic landing for cargo boats. By the 2nd century AD, it had become a flourishing commercial center inhabited by upwards of 100,000 people, whose apartment buildings, taverns, and grocery shops are still intact.
Although Ostia now sprawls over 10,000 acres, around a main street that runs for more than a mile, it is still easy to imagine the local shepherds who for centuries sheltered their animals amongst its ruins, for they are an integral part of the tranquil Roman countryside. No modern houses, roads or telephone wires are visible on the horizon. The streets are so quiet one hears only the crickets in the trees and perhaps the echoes of ancient children playing stickball. As you walk along Ostia's main street, the Decumanus Maximus, your feet settle into deep ruts left by carrucas, the four-wheeled carts used to ferry merchandise and baggage between Rome and Ostia.
After a two-hour private guided tour of the ruins, you will get back in the car and drive up the coast to the delightful little town of Cerveteri, where you will break for lunch, and then move on to the Etruscan necropolis. Little is known of the Etruscans, a people who sprang to importance in the 8th century BC. At the height of their power, their influence spread from the Po Valley to Campania, even encompassing ancient Rome, which finally defeated them in the 3rd century BC. The Etruscans' demise may be partly attributed to their ephemeral attitude towards life on this earth, which led them to build their homes of wood and clay. On the other hand, their tombs were built to last forever, which is why their necropolis is a cemetery like none you've ever seen. Situated in the tranquil countryside, it is a real town whose streets and squares are lined with massive tumuli and rectangular tombs cut into the rock. To protect these precious relics, the locals open them a few at a time in rotation, so we can't say which you'll see, but it might include the Tomb of the Capitals, which will show you what an Etruscan home looked like, or the Tomb of the Reliefs, decorated with painted stucco reliefs of weapons and household items. A trip through Etruria is one of the most interesting archeological excursions you can take in Italy.
This tour is available on request any day except Monday. It starts at 9 am and lasts approximately seven hours.
Entrance tickets in Ostia and Cerveteri cost a total of 20 Euro/person extra, paid in cash during the tour (ticket prices may vary slightly without notice). If your group includes at least two adults plus children, up to two of the children under 18 years old pay nothing for the tour except for tickets. If you have more than two children, all the others pay the adult price for the tour no matter their age. If your group numbers more than 7, you will hear the guide better if you purchase audio headsets at the start of the tour for 4 Euro/person. The tour is available in English or Spanish.
|Prices include private car and driver and personal tour guide. Meals are not included.|