11am Colosseum, Rome
Greer has touched down in the Eternal City, Rome, and is ready for 48 hours of food, culture and history! She heads straight to the Colosseum where she meets Zaira, fellow Flight Centre travel consultant and Italy expert. There’s no time to waste, so Zaira has organised a tour of the Colosseum straight up. Their tour guide Barbara from Back-Roads Touring takes the girls around the ancient arena, explaining the fascinating history of the site and the gladiators who once fought there.
1pm Campo de’ Fiori
Next up Zaira takes Greer to ‘Campo de Fiori’, one of the many squares in central Rome. The name translated, means field of flowers, and dates to the Middle Ages, when the area was a meadow. The girls walk through the food and flower market before stopping for lunch at Obica for some authentic Italian Mozzarella and cured meats.
2pm Bocca della Verita, Santa Maria in Cosmedin
After lunch Greer and Zaira start walking to their next activity and quickly stop at the Mouth of Truth and stick their hand inside. This ancient marble disc was used to tell if people were lying - apparently you get your hand bitten off if you have told a lie. Luckily Greer and Zaira get away unscathed this time!
Next up, Greer and Zaira go to one of the best kept secrets of Rome. CineCitta is like the Warner Bros studios of Europe, except without the crowds! The girls meet tour guide Elena, who takes them through the permanent exhibition, CineCitta Shows Off. After seeing myriad artworks, props and costumes, they get to go onto the set of the TV series ‘Rome’, produced by HBO.
5pm MAXXI Museum
Greer and Zaira visit Rome’s biggest contemporary art and architecture museum. In a city filled with ancient landmarks, even the building itself is a modern architectural masterpiece. The girls do a tour through the museum with their guide Emily, who shares some of the most fascinating pieces on display.
6:45pm Pasta Making Class
All of this culture has Greer and Zaira hungry! So Zaira has just the right idea: a pasta making class. Chef Roberto and Chef Denyse teach the girls, along with their classmates, to make the best pasta amatriciana the girls have ever tasted!
10pm Trastevere nightlife
When in Rome you have to do as the Roman’s do! The girls go for a walk through the vibrant streets of Rome’s Trastevere district, ending the night with a delicious Espresso Martini!
7am Train to Florence
Today the girls are off to Florence, the capital of the beautiful Tuscany region. High speed trains travel between Rome and Florence regularly, and take just an hour and forty minutes. The ride is spectacular too, with plenty of medieval villages, vineyards and rolling countryside to watch out the window.
11am Duomo Sky Walk
Meeting up with Zaira’s friend Sibylla, the girls head for the famed Duomo, Florence’s main cathedral. Construction started in 1296, and took 140 years to finish, but it was worth it because the Duomo is still today the fourth largest church in the world, and a truly fascinating building. The girls explore the inside of the Cathedral with Sibylla, before she takes them up to the roof, which is the highest point in the city, and has spectacular views.
1pm Walking tour with Back-Roads
After their breathtaking experience on top of the dome the girls move on to explore the city with guide Giulia Peccianti. Their very knowledgeable guide takes them to Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, and over the Ponte Vecchio, some of Florence’s most famous sites! The Ponte Vecchio is famous not only for being an important bridge in Florence, but for its many dazzling jewellery stores – too bad the girls don’t have more time for shopping!
3pm Boat tour on a Florentine Gondola
After all the walking the girls jump on a boat and experience the town from the water. Their guide Francesca takes them right underneath the Ponte Vecchio!
6pm Dinner at Borgo San Jacopo
This evening, Zaira has a surprise in store for Greer: dinner athe Michelin Starred, Borgo San Jacopo restaurant! They are treated to a spot on the private balcony with views over the River Arno and the famous Ponte Vecchio. Chef Peter Brunel’s dishes are renowned for recounting beautiful stories that delight and surprise guests every time.
9pm Piazzale Michelangelo
To enjoy the sunset, Zaira taks Greer to a dazzling spot on the hill overlooking the city: Piazzale Michelangelo. Many people mistakenly believe that this piazza has existed since the birth of Florence, or that it was designed by Michelangelo. In fact, it is a relatively recent addition to the city, created in 1869 by Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi, as part of a major redesign of the city walls.
7am Tuscan countryside
Zaira and Greer get up early to make the most of their last few hours in Italy. Getting out of Florence, they travel through the Tuscan countryside, where each village is more picturesque and charming than the last one. They arrive at their destination, Corzano e Paterno, a family owned farm that produces wine, olive oil and cheese. After learning about the wine making process, harvesting the olive oil, and the ricotta the farm is renowned for producing, the girls have worked up an appetite. It’s time to dig into a platter and finish the 48 hours celebrating everything they’ve loved about Italy!