Once-in-a-Lifetime Italy experiences

Amazing, once-in-a-lifetime deluxe tours and experiences in Italy

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $317 per person
Book: Reserve with Viator

Private viewing of the Sistine Chapel

See the Vatican as VIPs do – with this once-in-a-lifetime private Sistine Chapel viewing and tour of the Vatican Museum's secret rooms. This exclusive gives you unprecedented VIP access to the magnificent rooms usually off-limits to the public. Be awed by secret rooms like the Niccoline Chapel and the Room of Gold, and see classic sights like Raphael’s Rooms. This VIP experience includes skip-the-line entry and ends with an after-hours private viewing of the Sistine Chapel, empty except for your small group (average 10 people) and guide...

Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: $297 per person
Book: Reserve it

Tuscan Cooking: Fruits and Flavors of Chianti Country

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, travel to the Badia a Coltibuono, an evocative 11th century abbey in the heart of Tuscany that is also the cooking school of famed cookbook writer, Lorenza de Medici. In this hands-on lesson you will prepare a traditional Tuscan meal with the Badia's Florentine chef, Andrea Gagnesi, and taste world-class wines and olive oils produced on the estate. Chef Gagnesi will guide you through the preparation of a full four-course regional meal, starting with antipasti and ending with dessert. ...

Package: 2 day
Cost: From $3,076 for 2
Book:Reserve with Context Travel

Italia by Ferrari - A Customized Driving Adventure!

Imagine the invigorating scent of Italy as you speed past olive groves and vineyards, along cypress-lined country roads. Feel the power of an 8 or 12-cylinder engine as you fly through the Italian countryside. This is the ultimate in luxury road trips - our fully customizable Ferrari tour has all the bells and whistles, including multiple cars and a specialized entourage of Ferrari travel experts to guide you on your adventure. Select Italy offers the following three routes:

  • 1-Day Rome Ferrari Tour
  • 1-Day Milan and Lake Como Ferrari Tour
  • 1-Day Florence and Chianti Ferrari Tour


Duration: All day (race: 90 seconds)
Cost: From $692 per person

» more

Siena's Palio: The 400-year-old Thrilling Horse Race

The Palio occurs just twice each summer, on July 2nd and August 16th, and the pure excitement of this festival that has survived almost intact from the Middle Ages is unequaled in Italy. Share in the excitement by booking a reserved seat in the beautiful, shell-shaped Campo and choose just how close to the action you wish to be. You'll have a great view of the historical parade in which the costumed members of the 17 medieval contrade, or city wards, parade through the piazza along with their assigned horse and the sbandieratori (flag throwers) who launch their colorful banners into the air. Then, at the stroke of 7 p.m., the ten chosen horses line up at the starting line and the race begins -- three laps around the piazza; don't blink or you might miss it because this thrilling, bareback race lasts only 90 seconds! ...

Duration: All day
Private: $3,263 per group 
Book: Reserve it

Deluxe Amalfi Coast Shore Excursion by Yacht

You'll meet your skipper at the Naples cruise ship port and spend the day cruising the Amalfi Coast in the 37-foot open yacht Princess. With room for up to 10 people and stops at Positano and the town of Amalfi, as well as plenty of time to take in the sun and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, it's hard to imagine a more perfect day at port. By the end of the day, you'll be ready to get back on board your cruise ship, with memories of perfect Italian coastal vistas indelibly etched in your mind...

Package: 1 day
Cost: Variable
Book:Reserve with Select Italy

Get married in Italy

Have you dreamed of marrying your true love in historic and romantic Rome? It may be easier than planning a big wedding but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Weddings abroad can be challenging to arrange. How do you find an officiant? What constitutes a legal marriage ceremony in Italy? Will the wedding be legally recognized in the U.S.? Select Italy offers a package that takes care of all the problems you’ve thought about plus some you haven’t. Not only do you have the convenience and reassurance of dealing with a U.S. company recognized by Travel + Leisure as an A-list travel agent, but we have people in Italy who are there to make sure everything goes right and all the paperwork is correctly done. Skip the worry and hassle of Italian red tape and get moving on that honeymoon! Want the whole nine yards? Select Italy can help! Hotels, limos, flowers, celebratory restaurants, hairstyling — whatever you need for your perfect day.

Tips & links

Useful links & resources
Book ahead

While for some activities you can just show up, this is one travel item you really should try to reserve in advance.

Popular activities like cooking classes can sell out.

Many are available only on certain days of the week, so it pays to know that you'll have to set aside, say, Tuesday morning for that guided market walk with a local cookbook author.

Many of the best activities are available by advance booking or appointment only—particularly wineries. Some vineyards welcome walk-ins, true, but many more will give you a cellar tour and wine tasting only if you call ahead a few days (and those tend to be the ones most liberal with the free samples).

If you have your heart set on dining in a particular restaurant, go ahead and call ahead,even if it's just earlier on the same day—though a day ahead is preferable. I have found that a corrollary of Muphy's Law applies to this aspect of travel. Any restaurant I am particularly keen on but blithely assume I can just waltz into will inevitably be filled to the brim: no tables available. However, half the time when I do book a table in advance I'll end up being the only guy in the place (nor near enough for my advance booking to feel like overkill). Still, better safe than sorry. Reserving a table is quick and painless; getting turned away at the door can be crushing.

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