3 Nights Rome, 3 Nights Florence, 3 Nights Venice & 3 Nights Lake Maggiore (DIX)

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck once enjoyed a Roman Holiday filled with romance and fun, and now you can too! Plus, on this vacation, you’ll also visit Florence, Venice & Lake Maggiore—and Monograms makes it easy! This 13-day vacation includes three nights at centrally located hotels in each city; buffet breakfast daily, sightseeing with an expert local guide in each city, transportation between cities, transfers to/from the train stations, and materials on each city. Also, you’ll have a Local Host® in each city, a one-of-a-kind feature offered only by Monograms. Your Local Host is a friend in the city—someone who can answer questions, give suggestions, help you personalize your vacation, and help make sure your vacation is all you want it to be.

Your vacation starts when you arrive in Rome, where your Local Host will meet you with materials to get you familiar with the city. The next day, after enjoying your included breakfast, you’ll be picked up at your hotel for your guided sightseeing with an expert local guide. You’ll hear insider stories and see the must-see sights: the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel. In fact, your sightseeing in each city includes the sights you cannot go home without seeing: Santa Croce Square and Michelangelo’s David in Florence; St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, Doges’ Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs in Venice; and a boat ride to Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore. But that’s not all…your sightseeing includes VIP access to the sights, so you can skip the lines. Time is short, so why waste it with the other tourists in line when you can be gazing at Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings, hearing insider stories about the gladiatorial fights held at the Colosseum, and shopping for jewelry at Florence’s Ponte Vecchio? You know a vacation is meant for exploring and enjoying—not standing in line! And don’t worry, we know the perfect place to capture a photo of St. Peter’s Square in Rome and the Duomo in Florence.

Time in each of these Italian cities gives you the opportunity to explore on your own (with the support of your Local Host of course). Taste the sumptuous cuisine, shop for Italian goods, explore the stunning churches and museums, and participate in optional excursions, such as an outing to Pisa and Lucca from Florence, an underground tour in Rome, and a gondola serenade in Venice. In Lake Maggiore, be sure to enjoy the picturesque lakefront and colorful flowerbeds. Perhaps take the Mottarone Cable Car for panoramic views over seven lakes and the Alps.

And don’t forget…your Monograms package includes first-class transportation between each city via high-speed train. Plus, we escort you to/from the train stations and help you get on the correct train—always a plus in Italy, where the train stations are notoriously confusing for non-Italian speakers. So all you have to do is sit back and relax as you see the beautiful countryside and towns dotting the landscape.


Always Included:

Your Choice of Hotels

We've carefully screened and selected the right hotels in the heart of the destination and you can choose your accommodations to match your style and budget.

Local Host

& Destination Guides with city maps

Meals Included

Buffet breakfast daily

Sightseeing & Activities

Guided sightseeing; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE. ALSO INCLUDED: personal headset for included city sightseeing in Rome, Florence and Venice; entrances to the Marciana Library, and the Correr and Archaeological Museums in Venice

Baggage Handling

Monograms has taken care of porterage at your hotel, so feel free to let the bellman help get your luggage to your room with no tipping required.

Day-By-Day 2019

FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

Your package to Rome, Florence, Venice & Lake Maggiore includes a beautiful boat ride to the gardens of Isola Bella, completed in 1671. Located on Lake Maggiore off the shores of Stresa, the famous gardens have entertained members of high society, such as Napoleon and Josephine. Now it’s your turn to experience them.

DAY
1
ROME, ITALY

Benvenuto—welcome! Your Local Host is on hand to help you maximize your time in Italy’s capital city.

DAY
2
ROME

Your morning guided sightseeing, with headset, is rich in religious and ancient history. Visit the VATICAN MUSEUMS to see its amazing treasures. In the SISTINE CHAPEL, where the Conclave is held to elect new popes, view Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment and his famous ceiling paintings. Also on the agenda today, enter monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA, built in 313 AD above St. Peter the Apostle’s tomb and home to Michelangelo’s masterpiece Renaissance sculpture, the Pietà. Cross the Tiber River and continue your immersion in history at the iconic COLOSSEUM, built for 50,000 spectators, and the ROMAN FORUM, where the oldest structures of the ancient city are located.

DAY
3
ROME

Ask your Local Host for the best way to discover the “Eternal City” today.

DAY
4
ROME–FLORENCE

Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (first class) to Florence.

DAY
5
FLORENCE

Morning guided sightseeing, with headset, includes a visit of the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s original David. Walk through Cathedral Square; sculpture-studded Piazza della Signoria, the center of the city’s political life since the 14th century; and Santa Croce Square. Also admire medieval Ponte Vecchio, the arched, stone merchant bridge spanning the Arno River.

DAY
6
FLORENCE

A full day at leisure to visit the city at your own pace. Your Local Host can help you plan your day.

DAY
7
FLORENCE–VENICE

Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (first class) to Venice.

DAY
8
VENICE

Morning guided sightseeing, with headset, features ST. MARK’S SQUARE and BASILICA with its exceptional gold mosaics. Visit DOGES’ PALACE and the evocative BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Watch skilled GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects in the age-old manner, and learn why glass-making was so important in Venetian history. ENTRANCES to Marciana Library, and the Correr and Archaeological Museums are included; ask your Local Host for details.

DAY
9
VENICE

Today you may want to shop for famous Murano glass items, or admire the views from atop St. Mark’s Bell Tower. Your Local Host will have many ideas.

DAY
10
VENICE–LAKE MAGGIORE

Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (first class) to Milan, then transfer to your hotel in beautiful Stresa on Lake Maggiore.

DAY
11
LAKE MAGGIORE

On your morning guided sightseeing, take a short boat ride to the opulent PALACE and monumental GARDENS of ISOLA BELLA. Once a rocky island and home to a community of fishermen, it was purchased by Carlo III Borromeo in 1630 and eventually transformed into the beautiful location it is today. Carlo III named the island after his wife, Isabella, and it is still owned by the Borromeo dynasty to the present day.

DAY
12
LAKE MAGGIORE

Your Local Host will have many recommendations for your day at leisure. Perhaps visit the Umbrella Museum in nearby Gignese.

DAY
13
LAKE MAGGIORE

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (nearest airport is Milan Malpensa).

Transportation

Travel by high-speed train (first class) between cities; transfers to/from train stations

Included Hotels

Rome
Florence
Venice
Lake Maggiore

Best Western Hotel Universo

Via Principe Amedeo 5
Roma, Italy

Check-in - 14:00
Check-out - 10:00

Set in a 19th-century building with 198 modern rooms, two restaurants serving traditional Roman and international cuisine, an elegant bar and Free WI-FI internet access throughout the property. The fitness zone of the Hotel is equipped with a gym, Turkish bath, Finnish sauna and hydromassage shower.

Location & Highlights

A good position close to the National Museum of Rome, the Opera House, the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Termini Train Station. Via Nazionale, a famous shopping street where many cafés, bars and trattorias can also be found is within easy reach of this property.

Room Amenities

  • In-Room Safe
  • Internet Access
  • Disabled Access / Rooms
  • Wake-Up Calls
  • Mini-bar
  • Air Conditioning
  • Television
  • Voicemail
  • Non-smoking Rooms
  • Room Service
  • Climate Control
  • Coffee Maker
  • Smoking Rooms
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • Complimentary Newspaper
  • Hair Dryer
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Window Opens
  • Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
  • Pay Movies
  • Desk
  • Phone

Hotel Amenities

  • Dry Cleaning
  • Luggage Storage
  • Business Center
  • Free WiFi
  • Fitness Room
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Elevator
  • Currency Exchange
All guestrooms are air-conditioned and offer tea and coffee making facilities and Free Wi-FI internet access.

Other Hotel

Monograms offers an impressive choice of hotels pre-selected for their location, amenities and service. When booking your package check to see what other hotels are available for your dates. Some hotels may not be available for this package.

Rome
Florence
Venice

Starhotels Metropole

Via Principe Amedeo 3
Roma, Italy

Check-in - 14:00
Check-out - 12:00

This elegant 236 room modern boutique style hotel is perfectly placed. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the property and there is also a fitness room. Tempting international dishes and Roman specialties can be savored in the intimate restaurant and for a refreshing break there is a stylish bar offering all day drinks, cakes and light bites.

Location & Highlights

In the heart of the city, close to the beautiful church of Santa Maria Maggiore, near the Opera Theatre, with many historical wonders including the Forum, the Colosseum and the Pantheon just a short walk away. A Perfectly placed hotel with plenty of local bars and restaurants nearby.

Room Amenities

  • In-Room Safe
  • Window Opens
  • Complimentary Newspaper
  • Alarm Clock
  • Air Conditioning
  • Pay Movies
  • Hair Dryer
  • Television
  • Coffee Maker
  • Smoking Rooms
  • Wake-Up Calls
  • Room Service
  • Climate Control
  • Mini-bar
  • Desk
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Internet Access
  • Phone
  • Voicemail

Hotel Amenities

  • Bar/Lounge
  • Luggage Storage
  • Parking/Valet
  • Fitness Room
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Free WiFi
  • Business Center
  • Concierge desk
  • Currency Exchange
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Ice Machine
  • Beauty Salon
  • Elevator
  • Gift Shop
Sumptuous guestrooms equipped with coffee/tea making facilities, bathrobes, slippers and Free Wi-Fi internet connection.

NH Collection Giustiniano

Via Virgilio, 1
Rome, Italy

Check-in - 14:00
Check-out - 11:00

Named after one of Rome's great Emperors, this modern 161 room hotel has a relaxed atmosphere in a great central location. Free Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby and guestrooms. Amenities include a fitness room, a contemporary styled restaurant serving regional & international dishes and a lounge bar serving refreshments and light snacks.

Location & Highlights

Set in the heart of the fashionable Prati district, close to the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica with a good selection of restaurants and shops nearby. Villa Borghese and the Spanish Steps are just a stroll away, across the river Tiber and the Lepanto metro station provides easy access to other historical sights.

Room Amenities

  • Climate Control
  • Hair Dryer
  • Wake-Up Calls
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Phone
  • Mini-bar
  • In-Room Safe
  • Air Conditioning
  • Television
  • Desk
  • Room Service
  • Alarm Clock
  • Internet Access
  • Window Opens
  • Smoking Rooms
  • Complimentary Toiletries

Hotel Amenities

  • Dry Cleaning
  • Business Center
  • Luggage Storage
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Currency Exchange
  • Concierge desk
  • Elevator
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Parking/Valet
  • Fitness Room
Contemporary furnished guest rooms with parquet flooring.

Activities & Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

Rome
Florence
Venice
Lake Maggiore

Rome

Ghost and Mystery Tour of Rome

When the sun sets, another side of Rome comes to life. Join an expert guide for an eerie nighttime walking tour that reveals the city's spooky, supernatural, and mysterious side.

Price Range: $

Gourmet Dinner in Rome

Bask in the hypnotic atmosphere of the Eternal City as you savor a gourmet dinner with wine at an elegant restaurant

Price Range: $$

Bike Tours

Explore some of Italy's greatest wonders on this exhilarating guided bike tour.

Price Range: $$

Private Guided Tour

Explore Rome the way you want on this private guided sightseeing tour. Just decide what you want to see and do with your expert guide-the choice is yours!

Price Range: $$$$

Unforgettable Highlights of Rome

This guided tour has it all: bustling piazzas, the incredible Pantheon, lively Navona Square, and beautiful Trevi Fountain, where legend says tossing a coin will ensure your return to Rome!

Price Range: $$

Barefoot in the Park: Your Gourmet Organic Picnic in Rome

Take a well-deserved break from sightseeing and indulge yourself-with time to relax and a delightful al fresco picnic surrounded by exquisite gardens.

Price Range: $

Cooking Class in Rome

Learn to prepare authentic Italian dishes from a real Italian chef at this fun and interactive cooking class that's perfect for kids and adults alike!

Price Range: $$

Taste of Testaccio Food Tour

Discover Cucina Romana-real Roman cuisine on this yummy foodie walking tour through the Testaccio district!

Price Range: $$

Classical Concerts

Enjoy an evening of soul-satisfying classical music at Rome's most inspiring locations.

Price Range: $

Tiber Island and the Underground of St. Nicholas in Prison

Join your expert archaeological local guide for a unique visit to the Isola Tiberina. An underground tour for anyone fascinated with mysteries of places missed by the average tourist.

Price Range: $$$

Excursion to Ancient Ostia by Train

Life in the Roman Republic springs to life on this mesmerizing half-day guided excursion to the ancient port city of Ostia.

Price Range: $$

The Catacombs

The early Christians created the Catacombs, a network of underground corridors. We will show you the best of them!

Price Range: $$

Trastevere for Foodies

Surrounded by cobblestone lanes, ivy-covered buildings, and quaint artisan shops, eat and drink your way through atmospheric Trastevere, a foodie paradise!

Price Range: $$

Underground Rome: Private Visit of the Mitraeum of Circus Maximum

Discover the hidden underground sanctuary of one of ancient Rome's most mysterious pagan cults on this private guided tour to the Mithraeum at Circus Maximus.

Price Range: $$$$

Florence

Florentine Dinner

Bask in the spirit of Tuscany at this incredible dinner featuring the region's most celebrated Italian dishes and tantalizing wines.

Price Range: $$

Private Guided Tour

Explore Florence the way you want on this private guided sightseeing tour. Just decide what you want to see and do with your expert guide-the choice is yours!

Price Range: $$$$

Highlights of Uffizi Gallery

Come face-to-face with the world's greatest masterpieces faster when you skip the long lines and head right into the Uffizi Gallery on this fantastic guided tour.

Price Range: $$

Palatina Gallery, Royal Apartments and the Modern Art Gallery in Pitti Palace (entrance ticket only)

Discover the city's largest museum complex at Pitti Palace. Marvel at the Royal Apartments, Gallery of Modern Art, and the Medicis' private art collection

Price Range: $

Discover Florence: Boboli Gardens

Discover some of Florence's greatest natural and manmade treasures on this delightful excursion

Price Range: $

Create Your Own Pizza

From the art of dough-making to choosing the best toppings, learn all about pizza, craft your own signature pie, and then savor the tasty results!

Price Range: $

Florence Sunset Food Tour

Discover the heart of Florence on this fun foodie tour. Enjoy 9 different tastings that include everything from a traditional aperitif to authentic Steak Florentine!

Price Range: $$$

Bike Tour

Pedal your way past incredible scenery and mesmerizing sights on this invigorating guided bike tour.

Price Range: $

Venice

Venetian Dinner

The magic of Venice comes to life as you enjoy an unforgettable evening of gourmet specialties at one of the city's most celebrated restaurants.

Price Range: $$

Celebration Package

Enjoy an unforgettable romantic evening in Venice! Enjoy a private ride in a traditional gondola, later proceed to one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Italy.

Price Range: $$$$

Classical Concert

Enjoy an evening of soul-satisfying classical music at Venice's prestigious Scuola Grande di San Teodoro concert hall.

Price Range: $

Gondola

When in Rome, do as the Romans -- and when in Venice, head right for the gondolas! Hop aboard a traditional gondola for a ride through the magical Venetian canals

Price Range: $

Ghosts Of Venice Private Walking Tour

This spine-tingling private guided walk takes you through the hidden corners of Venice-places of tragic history from the ghostly past-to encounter the city's deepest, darkest secrets.

Price Range: $$$$

Private Guided Tour

Explore Venice the way you want on this private guided sightseeing tour. Just decide what you want to see and do with your expert guide-the choice is yours!

Price Range: $$$$

Paint Your Own Venetian Mask

Learn the dark secrets and captivating history behind one of Venice's most ancient art forms-Carnival masks-then paint your very own with the help of an expert instructor

Price Range: $$

Drives, Putts & Chips: 18 Holes in Venice

Play an unforgettable 18 holes of golf at the stunningly beautiful Venetian Golf Club, which once hosted the drives and putts of Venetian aristocracy.

Price Range: $$$

Mamma Mia! Serenaded Gondola Ride & Pizza

Enjoy the quintessential Italian experience: a romantic serenaded gondola ride, followed by a dinner of authentic Italian pizza!

Price Range: $$

Cicchetti Aperitif Tour

In Venice "andar a cicchetti" is a way of life! Going out for an aperitif, meeting up with friends and chatting over a nice glass of wine while enjoying appetizers is a big part of everyday life for Venetians. Take part of it!

Price Range: $

Food and Wine Experiences Outside Venice

Trade the crowds of Venice for breathtaking scenery and unforgettable wines on this inspiring private excursion.

Price Range: $$$$

Private Morning Run Through Venice

Hit the ground running and see the magnificent sites of Venice at the same time on this 1-hour private guided running tour.

Price Range: $$$

Lake Maggiore

Dinner in Lake Maggiore

Bask in the romantic atmosphere during this unforgettable 3-course candlelight dinner along the western shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore.

Price Range: $$

Garden Picnic at Villa Pallavicino

Take a well-deserved break from sightseeing and indulge yourself-with time to relax and a delightful al fresco picnic surrounded by exquisite gardens.

Price Range: $$

Insider

Rome
Florence
Venice
Lake Maggiore

Rome

Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Rome and Italy. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Rome and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Rome insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Rome

Welcome to Rome, the city of all time and of the world. I’m Oana and it will be my great pleasure to assist you with your discovery of this city of treasures. Rome was a captivating subject of my studies and a dream destination during my early travels, it became my home almost two decades ago and remains my favourite place to explore during my time off. Let me share my city’s secrets, hidden corners, flavours and perfumes with you.

Bocca della Verità

Find it in the portico of the Santa Maria church and dare to put your hand in the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) - the marble disk presumed to be the face of a river god that, legend has it, will bite off a liar’s hand.

Ara Pacis

The Ara Pacis Museum was designed by the international architect Richard Meier and houses the Ara Pacis, the 2,000 year-old “Altar of Peace” that was used (paradoxically) for sacrifices. It is a commanding work of Roman art and architecture that had been lost to civilization for centuries.

Capitoline Museums

The creation of the Capitoline Museums can be traced back to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a group of bronze statues of great symbolic value to the people of Rome. The collections are closely linked to the city of Rome, and most of the exhibits come from the city itself.

Jewish Synagogue & Museum

The synagogue was built from 1901 to 1904 on the banks of the Tiber, overlooking the former ghetto. The eclectic style of the building makes it stand out, even in a city known for notable buildings and structures. This attention-grabbing design was a deliberate choice made by the community who wanted the building to be a visible celebration of their freedom and to be seen from many vantage points in the city. The aluminum dome is the only squared dome in the city and makes the building easily identifiable even from a distance. Also visit the small museum nearby which depicts Roman Jewish life and ritual.

Marcellus Theater

The Theater of Marcellus is an ancient open-air theater built in the closing years of the Roman Republic where people were able to watch performances of drama and song. In the 12th-century the Theater was turned into a fortress. In 1368 it was acquired by the Savelli family and later transformed into a building with private living quarters. A part of the exterior of the original theater is now visible. The Theater is one of the oldest preserved examples of an entertainment venue from ancient Rome.

Gianicolo Hill

This is known as the city of seven hills, but actually Rome has more than that. Indeed, the Gianicolo (or Janiculum), the hill that affords the best view of Rome, is west of the Tiber and outside the ancient city, so it's not counted among the ancient seven. The panorama and the silence from the top take your breath away. At noon, the quiet is momentarily broken by a single cannon shot, to mark the exact time, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century. Busts of some of Italy’s modern heroes are scattered along the pathways, and looming over everything is a gigantic statue of the great bearded hero Giuseppe Garibaldi on horseback.

Via Condotti

It begins at the foot of the Spanish steps and is named after conduits (channels) which carried water to the Baths of Agrippa. Today, it is the street which contains the greatest number of Rome-based Italian fashion boutiques. Antico Caffé Greco, a historic landmark café, was established at Via dei Condotti 86 in 1760, and attracted figures such as Stendhal, Goethe, Byron, Liszt and Keats. Today, Caffe Greco remains a haven for writers, politicians, artists and notable people in Rome. Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio, lived at Via dei Condotti 11, until his death in 1937.

Roman Cuisine

When in Rome, you should do as the Romans do by eating some of the city's typical dishes. Try pizza alla Romana (thin crusted white pizza brushed with olive oil & rosemary); pasta cacio e pepe (pasta in a creamy olive oil, pecorino cheese and black pepper sauce); pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas soup); carciofi alla Giudia (fried artichokes), saltimbocca alla Romana (Veal scallops), and for dessert: Maritozzi (soft buns with raisins and candied orange peels), crostata di ricotta (kind of cheesecake made with fresh ricotta and candied fruits), Ciambelle al vino (hard doughnut-shaped cookies to be dipped in wine at the end of the meal). And don’t forget to sample the most famous delicate, white wine of the region -Frascati - produced in the nearby Roman Hills, perfect with fish, appetizers and fresh cheeses.

Florence

Meet one of your Local Hosts in Florence, ItalyMonograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Florence. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Florence and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Florence insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Florence

Born in Holland, with a passion for art history, fashion, and Italy, Florence was a natural draw for Helma. She now has several years of local tourism experience, and is a licensed guide. She is very happy to welcome Monograms guests to the Cradle of the Renaissance.

PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO AND SAN MINIATO AL MONTE

Enjoy a sensational view over the "cradle of the Renaissance" from Florence's most panoramic square located high on a green hillside overlooking the city. A little further up the hill, see the beautiful basilica San Miniato al Monte where the Benedictines built a church in honor of St. Mennas.

THE CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE (DUOMO)

Better known as the ‘Duomo’ – it not only dominates the skyline but also represents the geographical, cultural and historical center of the city. Visit Brunelleschi's spectacular, 37,000-ton dome and climb Giotto's bell tower “the Campanile” – three-floors with 414 steps.

CHURCH OF SAN LORENZO

See Brunelleschi's early-Renaissance masterpiece and the mausoleum of the Medici family, built by Michelangelo, in the New Sacristy.

CHURCH OF SANTA CROCE

Built towards the end of the 13th century by the great architect Arnolfo di Cambio, this Franciscan basilica is a highlight of the specifically Italian architecture of the Gothic style. Wander along the three wide naves enriched by Galileo's and Michelangelo's tombs, and admire works of the Early Florentine School from Giotto and his followers in the transept chapels.

CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA NOVELLA

Enjoy the harmony of this medieval architectural jewel. Built in 1246 by the Dominicans, its beautiful arcades and its incredible vaults preserve works by many Renaissance artists.

MODERN ART

While the art scene in Florence is destined to be more classic than contemporary, modern art is alive and well. Many of the contributions come from the restaurants, bars and hotels that show the work of local and international artists. Astor Caffè, Rex Café, and Gallery Hotel Art are among those putting on regular, gallery-worth exhibitions.

CENTRAL MARKET

Florence's bustling Central Market (better known as the Mercato Centrale) is a fascinating place to visit, especially for foodies. Located in a towering cast-iron building dating from 1874, its entrances are often obscured by the stalls of the San Lorenzo market that line the streets outside (the San Lorenzo stalls feature crafts, leather clothing, shoes, souvenirs, etc). Inside the market are a myriad of vendors dedicated to the primary ingredients of Tuscan cuisine.

MUSIC IN FLORENCE

Numerous churches offer concerts and opera performances throughout the year. Try St Mark’s English Church or some grander settings which include the magnificent Chiesa di Orsanmichele and the gorgeous 12th-century Chiesa di Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio. Stop at Santa Maria dei Ricci for the daily organ concert. Ask your Local Host for more information.

OLD PHARMACY OF SANTA MARIA NOVELLA

The pharmacy/museum displays the results of more than 800 years of work by Dominican monks. Following centuries-old formulas, the officina sells ancient remedies and tonics alongside hand-molded soaps and perfumed powders.

FLORENTINE FASHION AND SHOPPING

Florentine leatherwork, gold jewelry, Italian craftwork, and art books are great gifts to take home. Florence is also famous for its out-of-town fashion outlets, but if you only have time to do one, visit the ‘Mall’- just a half-hour drive from the city, it is home to many designer names and discounts.

TUSCAN FOOD SPECIALTIES

Specialties to try include succulent bistecca fiorentina (Florentine steak); pappa al pomodoro (local bread and tomato soup); ribollita, (cabbage and bean soup); and biscottini di Prato con vin Santo (a special cookie and white wine) to finish off your meal. Sip Chianti wine, Brunello di Montepulciano, or the Super Tuscans.

Venice

Meet one of your Local Hosts in Venice, ItalyMonograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Venice. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Venice and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Venice insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Venice

Hi! Monograms Guests, you can call me "Grace" or my Italian name "Graziella." After studying foreign languages in schools abroad, I started my career working on a cruise ship and travelled around the world. I continued as a tour guide around Europe and Morocco until I came back to my hometown of Venice to be a Monograms Local Host. I feel so lucky to work in this magical place, where everything provides our guests with unique emotions - from the canals, monuments, and the lagoon itself, to the colors, perfumes, and music on the Piazza. The splendor of the past and its traditions are all to be shared with my guests who enjoy it very much.

St. Mark's Bell Tower

Travel to the top for an unrivalled view of Venice and its surroundings. The tower is 323 ft. (98.6m) tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark’s Square.

Squero di San Trovaso

A characteristic boatyard (squero) dating back from the 17th century on the rio (small canal), of San Trovaso. It's one of the last traditional squeri still constructing gondolas.

Burano Island, Lido Island, Saint Elena Island

Burano Island, Lido Island, Saint Elena Island: Burano Island, in the Venetian lagoon, is made of picturesque canals lined with brightly colored houses. The island is famous for its artisan lace makers and there's a Lace Museum, as well as shops selling lace. The Lido Island offers small canals, a variety of dining and impressive views of the city from across the Lagoon. Lido is the beach of Venice and is famous for its Movie Festival. Sant'Elena Island lies at the eastern tip of the main island group and was centered on the Church of Sant'Elena and its monastery.

Museums

Palazzo Mocenigo houses a history of Venetian fashion and perfume. Accademia Gallery contains works by Tintoretto, Bellini and Carpaccio. The Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, houses one of the most important collections of American and European Modern Art. Ca'Rezzonico is home to a collection of 18th century Venetian furnishings and paintings. Jewish Museum: visit the Jewish Ghetto dating back to the early 16th century, its Museum exhibits traditions of goldsmith's and textile arts. The Arsenal and Naval History Museum founded in 1104, houses a fascinating collection of model ships, including the amazingly lavish ceremonial Doges' barge, the Bucintoro.

Churches

Venice has a wealth of churches showcasing fine religious art and historic testimony. Here is a selection of the most famous which are well worth a visit. Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo: after the 15th century funeral services of all Venetian Doges were held here, and 25 Doges are buried in the basilica. Church of San Rocco: holds paintings by Venetian artist Tintoretto (1519-1594), and was one of The Plague sanctuaries. Santa Maria Formosa: built in 1492 on the site of a church dating from the 7th century where the Virgin Mary was believed to have appeared. Santa Maria dei Miracoli: known as the marble church, was built in 1481 and is one of the finest examples of early Venetian Renaissance architecture. Basilica of San Pietro di Castello was the city's cathedral, serving as its spiritual and religious administration center. San Giorgio Maggiore: located on St. George Island, houses paintings by famous artists, including Tintoretto.

La Fenice Theater

Visit one of Italy's most famous theaters, the reconstructed La Fenice is famed for its acoustics. The world was stunned when it was destroyed by fire; millions of dollars were raised and stars such as Luciano Pavarotti and Woody Allen offered their support for the reconstruction.

Murano Island and Traditional Gifts

Murano, the center of the Venetian glass blowing industry for more than 1,000 years, is also known for its Glass Museum and the Byzantine church, Santi Maria e Donato with its beautiful mosaic floor. Venetian shopping specialties include Murano glass crafts and glass pearls, lace, carnival masks, and unique Christmas gift calendars.

Venetian Fabric

Fortuny’s showroom on Giudecca collects and displays the company’s mementos, textiles and other works, plus carries a range of products, including pillows, accessories, and fabric. Fabrics made by the prestigious firm, Bevilacqua, have been used to decorate the Vatican, the Royal Palace of Stockholm, and the White House. Master artisans still weave the fabrics in Venice on 18th-century wooden looms, and the front-room display is just a sample of their artistry.

Carnival Costumes

Atelier Nicolao is in the very heart of the city, and here deft and expert fingers create unique and wonderful costumes that are appreciated all over the world. The Nicolao Atelier has become a point of reference for theatre, opera, films and historical parades and processions.

Venetian Cuisine

Sample “cicchetti” which are various small snacks or side dishes, typically served in traditional "bàcari" (cicchetti bars or osterie). Some classic Venetian dishes are Sarde in Saor, (sweet & sour sardines), Bigoli in Salsa (pasta in a salted sardine & onion sauce, one of the oldest recipes of Venice), famous Risi e bisi (rice & peas), Baccalà Mantecato (a creamy soft mousse-like cod), Pasta e Fagioli (pasta & beans), Fegato alla Veneziana (liver cooked with onions) and to satisfy your sweet tooth, the traditional Carnival Frittelle (little sweet fried dumplings) and Tiramisù.

Harry's Bar, Caffè Florian

Harry's Bar was one of Hemingway's favorite haunts, see where the novelist created his signature cocktail … made of 15 parts gin to 1 part vermouth! Or try its world famous "Bellini". Stop for a drink at Caffè Florian, situated in the shadows of San Marco and listen to its orchestra.

Verona, Padua and the Dolomites

If you have already visited Venice, take advantage of its excellent location to visit nearby mainland areas such as Verona, Padua and the Dolomite mountains.

2018: Biennale of Architecture

Freespace is the theme of the Biennale Architettura 2018. See examples, proposals, elements - built or unbuilt - of work that exemplifies essential qualities of architecture which include the modulation, richness and materiality of surface; the orchestration and sequencing of movement, revealing the embodied power and beauty of architecture. Architecture Exhibition that will take place from May 26th to November 25th 2018.

Lake Maggiore

Meet one of your Local Hosts in Lake Maggiore, ItalyMonograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Lake Maggiore, Italy. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Lake Maggiore and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Lake Maggiore insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Lake Maggiore, Italy

My name is Kate; I am originally from Scotland and have lived in the Lake Maggiore area now for over 20 years. After working in Milan, I am now happy to be working close to home as a Monograms Local Host. I know you will enjoy this beautiful resort area of lakes and mountains, with its relaxed atmosphere, splendid scenery, and plenty to see and do.

STRESA-MOTTARONE CABLE CAR

Enjoy a 20 minute panoramic ride to the top of Mount Mottarone. From the summit take in 360° views over 7 lakes and the Alps. At the mid-way stop you can visit the Alpine Garden, with over 500 essences, unique for the typology of its plants, solely of alpine origin. Departure is from Lido di Carciano (walking distance from hotel Bristol).

THE UMBRELLA MUSEUM IN GIGNESE

This museum houses a wonderful collection of parasols and umbrellas, along with the history of the families who made them. Near Stresa, just up to the hill, towards Mount Mottarone.

MERGOZZO

This picturesque town is located on small Mergozzo Lake. Its stone houses are in part arranged in the form of an amphitheatre along the bank of the river and in part cling to the Montorfano mountainside. While visiting, try the local specialty, a cookie called Fugascina di Mergozzo. The area is also famous for the quarry of Candoglia which has been exporting its precious pink marble for over 6 centuries and used in the building of the Duomo di Milano.

VILLA TARANTO GARDENS IN VERBANIA

The gardens of Villa Taranto are known for their great beauty and the huge number of plant species they contain. A labor of love on the part of the Scottish Captain McEacharn in 1931, the marvelously landscaped garden continues to enchant visitors to this day (from March to October).

THE LAVENO BUCKET LIFT FROM LAVENO MOMBELLO

Laveno Monbello is a typical lakeside town on the western shores of Lake Maggiore. The lakefront is lined with porticoed buildings and there are elegant 17th and 18th century villas throughout the town. There is a cable car from Laveno to Mount Sasso del Ferro known as the "bucket lift". This is due to the fact that the two-man cabins are open top and resemble giant buckets. The peaceful journey up the mountain takes 16 minutes and takes you to 3,484ft which is just below the summit. Admire stunning views across Lake Maggiore, the Alps, the Po Valley and Lombardy's other lakes.

HERMITAGE OF SANTA CATERINA DEL SASSO

This Roman Catholic monastery, perched on a rocky ridge on the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore, can be reached on foot by descending down a long winding stairway, by taking an elevator, or by a number of ferry services or boats that dock at the pier. The construction of the monastery dates from the 14th century, although the more recent frescos are from the 19th century. In 1914 it was declared a national monument.

THE ROCCA BORROMEO DI ANGERA

The Rocca Borromeo di Angera, also called Borromeo Castle, is an 8th century Lombard fortress that stands on a lakeside hilltop in the town of Angera on the southern shores of Lake Maggiore. It contains a Doll Museum, founded in 1988 at the request of Princess Bona Borromeo Arese, and displays over a thousand dolls made between the 18th century and the present day.

ISOLA PESCATORI (AKA ISOLA SUPERIORE)

The picturesque fishing village is a 10-minute boat ride from Stresa. Its narrow cobblestone streets, pretty harbour, and charming houses make it an enchanting place to visit.

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