You’ll have plenty of time to relax with an espresso or gelato or sip a limoncello on the 3rd Annual Dolce Vita Tour in Rome and Florence this fall. Rather than racing around in a large tour bus to see the Colosseum and all the other major sites, you’ll be strolling leisurely between destinations, with plenty of time to window shop and enjoy that famous Italian sunshine.
“I call this a ‘dolce vita-style tour,’” said Julie Richey of Julie Richey Mosaics, who leads the tour. “The tour is a mix of small, gem-like museums, mosaics and art in the major Roman and Florentine churches, a few parks and gardens, a cooking class in Florence where you meet the chef first in the central outdoor market to select the foods you’ll be cooking, an olive oil tasting, and some very special meals.”
The emphasis is on mosaic masterpieces but you don’t need to be an award-winning mosaic artist like Julie to enjoy a private tour of the Vatican’s Micromosaic art studio or a guided tour by an American art historian living in Florence of the Uffizi’s highlights, followed by a special insiders’ look at the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens. You’ll enjoy excellent Italian cuisine as you dine at many of Julie’s favorite restaurants.
“This kind of trip is ideal for a couple who has perhaps traveled to Italy before, but is interested in delving more deeply into the hidden treasures the cities have to offer,” Julie said. “And as we are only traveling between two cities, we stay in only two hotels so people don’t have to constantly change rooms and repack. Also, those who wish to go off on their own for a bit are welcome to.”
Full disclaimer and firsthand recommendation: In addition to being an award-winning mosaic artist and tour maestra, Julie is my sister-in-law. We have traveled together many times, including a memorable trip to Tuscany where she was both very helpful and vastly entertained at our mangling of the Italian language. She is an excellent and entertaining traveling companion.