The Best of Europe - Summer Experiences in Rome
It’s time to experience La Dolce Vita this summer and explore the very best that Rome has to offer, from its Renaissance palazzos to its Michelangelo masterpieces and Baroque fountains. While staying at the eighteenth-century palazzo Hotel de la Ville, you might also want to venture out to one of Europe’s most beautiful green spaces, the Garden of Ninfa, or step back in time at spectacular UNESCO World Heritage sites. We also recommend you escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day to explore Bracciano’s medieval history. Whatever you do, take it slow and enjoy a gelato along the way.
THE VATICAN CITY - PRIVATE AFTER-HOURS TOUR
The Vatican City is home to a breathtaking collection of some of the world's most iconic artworks. Soak up the unique atmosphere of the Eternal City’s tiny state, away from the chatter of the daytime crowds. This exclusive after-hours experience guides you through 2,000 years of history, and with the luxury of time and space that this tour affords you are truly able to appreciate the opulent glory of the Vatican and its spectacular surroundings. Once you can bear to tear your eyes away from Michelangelo’s hypnotic Renaissance paintings and the tranquility of the Sistine Chapel, a celebratory aperitivo will be waiting to mark this unforgettable experience
THE MAGNIFICENT GARDEN OF NINFA
Enjoy a scenic day trip from Rome to discover one of Europe’s most beautiful green spaces, the Garden of Ninfa. A Natural Monument of the Lazio Region, the vast botanical garden is named after a Roman temple dedicated to ancient Greek water deities. Home to thousands of species of both native and exotic plants, a bubbling brook full of brown trout, ruins re-roofed by climbing roses and landscaped flower beds set around reflective pools, this peaceful oasis is a small slice of paradise. With endless revisions and additions added over the centuries, a wander through Ninfa is a walk through history: in addition to ancient ruins, spot the fish ponds and ornamental fountains created by Cardinal Nicolò III Caetani in the sixteenth century, the holm oaks and beeches of Gelasio Caetani’s 1920s romantic garden and several restored buildings harking back to the Middle Ages.
THE ICONS OF TIVOLI - VILLA ADRIANA AND VILLA D’ESTE
The hillside town of Tivoli has been a renowned summer retreat for centuries, notably popular amongst Ancient Romans and Renaissance aristocrats. Step back in time with our expert guide and discover two spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Your first stop is Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa), a complex of classic buildings, erected between 118 and 138 AD on the orders of Roman Emperor Hadrian, who sought an oasis to escape everyday life. Spanning more than a square kilometre, the Villa remains the largest and most extravagant holiday home ever built, comprising thermal baths, temples, palaces and theatres. Next, Villa d’Este is a wonderful example of no-expenses-spared late Renaissance architecture, commissioned in 1550 by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, son of Alfonso I d’Este and Lucrezia Borgia, famous for its multitude of sparkling waterscapes and breathtaking waterfalls.
BREATHTAKING WATERSPORTS AT BRACCIANO LAKE
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day to explore one of Italy’s largest lakes. Just an hour’s drive northwest of Rome, Bracciano, perched above the southern shore of Lake Bracciano, combines medieval history with scenic views. Once you’ve soaked up the striking surrounds and the town’s historical streets, it’s off to the impressive Orsini-Odescalchi castle dating back to the Middle Ages. Just down the hill, Lake Bracciano is blessed with brilliantly clear blue waters that make it a perfect spot for swimming, canoeing, sailing and even a spot of scuba diving.