For every 10 feet down you go in Rome, you go back 1,000 years of history. Layered with cultural treasures chronicling a legacy of human achievements, there’s no other city like it in the world. And there’s no better way to experience it than on the Roman Holiday Event ,“ our 6-day, one-of-a-kind experience bringing a maximum of 210 guests together in the “Eternal City” for themed sightseeing and exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime gala experiences on a five-night stay at The Westin Excelsior, Rome in the heart of it all. Providing uncommon insight and access to the many layers of Rome through unique, life-changing experiences, the Roman Holiday Event garners rave reviews… and we’re presenting an encore performance from October 18 to October 23. A cherished highlight of this most extraordinary of Rome tours is our private VIP dinner inside the Vatican Museums; guests who joined us for dinner here called it the memory of a lifetime., Other highlights include a private Italian fashion show, a lecture and guided sightseeing by Rome insiders, palace visits, opera classics, art masterpieces and movie sets. The Roman Holiday Event reveals the essence of Rome as few have ever experienced it before. By day, small groups averaging 35 guests engage in four themed sightseeing tracks ,“ Ancient Rome: Romulus to the Caesars; The Eternal City: Geniuses of Rome; First Families, Private Palaces & Movie Sets; and Caput Mundi: Rome & the Middle Ages ,“ accompanied by a Director and local guides. These tracks are identical for each group, but will occur on different days for different groups; your specific detailed day-by-day itinerary will be provided in your personalized documents. In the evenings, all guests come together for our Exclusive, one-of-a-kind gala events hosted by the family ,“ the lecture, the opera performance and fashion show; our welcome reception and dinner, and our exclusive evenings in the Vatican Museums and in Ancient Rome, at the Cinecitti Studios. The day-by-day itinerary presented here represents a sample.
Day 1 Meals D A representative will meet you at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and provide transportation to The Westin Excelsior, Rome. The Tauck Roman Holiday Event begins: 4:00 PM at The Westin Excelsior, Rome. Our first night together will be spent at your landmark hotel on the prestigious Via Veneto in the historic heart of Rome, where the Event begins with a historic overview of Rome’s important sites by a professor – many of which guests will visit over the coming days. A welcome reception featuring cocktails and canapés precedes a welcome dinner with food stations featuring Italian regional specialties, accompanied by regional Italian music. Lodging The Westin Excelsior, Rome Day 2 Ancient Rome: Romulus to the Caesars and the Opera Meals B, L, D The first of our themed sightseeing tracks puts the history of the Roman Empire at your feet… literally… as you explore what’s atop, inside and underneath the buildings and streets of the Eternal City. Today on this most extraordinary of Rome tours, you’ll travel through layers – spiritual, cultural and temporal – to witness firsthand Rome throughout the ages… from its village origins to its brick-and-mortar days, where a once-grand legacy is echoed in ruins, art and artifacts, resplendent still. Begin your time travels on an informative drive that includes the oval arena, Circus Maximus, evoking the setting of Ben Hur overlooking the Palatine Hill, and the Baths of Caracalla. In its day, this 3rd-century spa sprawled across 27 acres and welcomed 1,600 bathers at one time with steam rooms and hot and cold baths, followed by massages. Nearby, the Colosseum roars into view with a legacy of life-and-death entertainment; inside, walk in the footsteps of the victors and the vanquished and sit where some 50,000 Romans cheered and jeered the combatants who fought in the arena before them. The smallest of Rome’s seven hills, Capitoline Hill, abundant with temples and palaces, was the center of government in the Middle Ages. Michelangelo redesigned its central square in 1540, building a stunning staircase and new balconied palazzos that regale you with panoramic, ultimately cinematic, views of the Roman Forum – the center of the world for centuries – that take in two millennia of history in a single glance. Walk to the Teatro di Marcello and lunch in the Jewish Ghetto, an icon of Jewish solidarity on the banks of the Tiber River for hundreds of years. Tonight, the evening sings during a private performance of opera classics at the Palazzo della Cancelleria, the earliest Renaissance palace in Rome and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Italian operas historically gave a dramatic musical voice to the concerns of society, and inspired a chorus of tenors and baritones who have added passionate new dimensions to the art form. We wouldn’t be surprised if you are moved to sing your own soulful aria after this “command” experience in this beautiful palace. Top off the evening with dinner at a restaurant on the fabled Appian Way. Lodging The Westin Excelsior, Rome Day 3 The Eternal City: Geniuses of Rome & Dinner in the Vatican Museums Meals B, D What makes Rome an eternal city? Rome through the ages was a melting pot of cultures and customs that were quickly passed around the world; Christianity spread from here, trades flourished, the arts evolved and geniuses thrived. Today we’ll introduce you to the men and minds behind the monuments… beginning with a private walking tour of the 58-acre Vatican Gardens, a place of quiet contemplation for the papacy since 1279. By special permission, your guided stroll ends at the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, the perfect place to consider the influence of two prolific “geniuses” without whom the history and artistic face of Rome, and art history itself, would be vastly different. Skilled sculptors and dramatic artists with different styles and opposite personalities, Michelangelo and Bernini both lived into their 80s; their contributions were immense. Your guided visit in St. Peter’s offers insights on the incredible dome that defines Michelangelo’s work and Bernini’s handiwork gracing the outdoor piazza. Drive to Piazza Navona to see Bernini’s spectacular Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, and admire his “elephant statue” in the Piazza della Minerva. We’ll also give you the inside track on the Pantheon, the only one of Rome’s great ancient buildings to remain intact, and, schedule permitting, an opportunity to stand under Andrea Pozzo’s trompe l’oeil nave ceiling in the Church of St. Ignazio. Exclusively Tauck, the centerpiece of The Tauck Roman Holiday Event is tonight’s once-in-a-lifetime private dinner and evening in the Vatican Museums. Following your private guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, enjoy canapés and cocktails in several rooms of the museum rarely offered for private functions – Sala della Rotonda, featuring the marble bath of Nero and gorgeous mosaic tiled flooring; Sala delle Muse, featuring the priceless Belvedere torso; and Cortile Ottagono, a courtyard featuring the museum’s masterpiece sculpture, Laocoön. Dinner will be served inside the Sala dei Chiaramonti, featuring over 800 sculptures – where you’ll dine to the accompaniment of Renaissance musicians. Words defy description of this gala Tauck evening, usually reserved for state dinners or special occasions and rarely open to the public, in one of the most revered museums in the world. Lodging The Westin Excelsior, Rome Day 4 First Families of Rome, Palaces, Movie Sets & a Private Fashion Show Meals B Rome today is an amalgam of its many epochs. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome give us a window into the lives of its very first families; antiquities from Republican and Imperial days chronicle life in the time of the Caesars; and Renaissance palaces and churches enlighten our understanding of the power of the wealthy and the papal elite in the building of a truly eternal city. Today, this most remarkable of Rome tours offers an exclusive red-carpet walk through two of the most elaborate private palaces of the first families of Rome. Before the eyes of the world fixed their gaze on Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) and her palatial residence in the film Roman Holiday, Palazzo Barberini was the family home of the powerful Barberini clan, and one of Rome’s most splendid 17th-century palaces. On your visit inside, you’ll see art treasures from Raphael’s La Fornarina to Pietro da Cortona’s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Gran Salone. Our royal tour stops next at Palazzo Colonna, built over the course of centuries in a multitude of styles, and still a private home today – 20 generations of the Colonna family have resided here over the past 900 years. You’ll recognize the Sala Grande as the room where Princess Ann met the press in Roman Holiday. A walking tour includes many sights instantly recognizable from the cinema – including the Fountain of Trevi, iconic in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita as well as Roman Holiday. Italian fashion has been the height of style since the 11th century, when artistic development throughout the country was at its peak, and still sets the benchmark for the art of fine living all over the world. This evening, you’ll get an unique insider’s look at the world of Italian glamour and haute couture as our exclusive fashion show features one of Italy’s hottest designers and his latest collection, and which reflects the Italian fashion industry and its relevance to Italian society and business. Think Gucci, Armani, Valentino, Prada, Ferragamo, Versace and others as you meet a talented designer who is following in their footsteps (and be sure to look at their shoes, too!). Lodging The Westin Excelsior, Rome Day 5 Caput Mundi: The Middle Ages & a Gala at Cinecittà Studios Meals B, D Rome survived myriad political and religious changes to emerge as the Caput Mundi, “capital of the known world.” On today’s sightseeing track, discover firsthand how the Ancient Roman Empire was recreated as the Holy Roman Empire and how Rome and the Vatican eventually became the capital of the Roman Catholic Church. The best place to start is inside the most complete example of an early Christian basilica, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, founded in the 4th century and boasting an elaborate 18th-century Baroque facade. Your next stop is an in-depth look at the official cathedral of the diocese of Rome, where the Pope himself often celebrates Mass – the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, a treasure trove of religious and architectural history built by Emperor Constantine in 315. Our local expert shares special insights as you view the frescoes and bas-relief sculptures inside. Continue with a visit to the basilica’s 13th-century Cloisters and the adjacent Baptistery, then go beneath the Baptistery on Tauck’s exclusive private tour of the subterranean remains of a 1st-century Roman villa and an early 2nd-century bathhouse – an “underground village” not open to the general public and rarely seen by anyone, even local Romans! Back above ground, cross the street to the Scala Santa, believed to be the 28 steps (later moved to Rome) that Jesus ascended in Pontius Pilate’s villa in Jerusalem, and one of the holiest sites in Christendom. The final WOW of our event is tonight’s unforgettable farewell cocktail reception and dinner in “Ancient Rome” at the time of the Caesars… extraordinarily brought to life on an active movie set at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios – “Hollywood on the Tevere” – the largest film studio in Europe! Think Roman Holiday, Ben Hur, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Cleopatra, La Dolce Vita, the HBO series Rome and many others, and you’ll get a hint of the spectacular sets that transport you to another layer of time here… not to mention the legendary directors who have filmed classics here, like Fellini, Rossellini, Coppola and Scorsese. Including a presentation about Italian film production, our final evening at Cinecittà promises to be a festive celebration of the movies’ lasting love affair with the Eternal City, and really brings the history of the city together in one place – as we declare “it’s a wrap” and say arriverderci Roma on a movie set that’s reserved exclusively for Tauck. Lodging The Westin Excelsior, Rome Day 6 Journey Home Meals B The Roman Holiday Event ends: Rome. Fly home anytime; a transfer from The Westin Excelsior, Rome to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Fiumicino is included; allow three hours for flight check-in.LESS