Rome – Tuscany – Pisa
Best for… Classical ruins, ancient hill towns and a glass of Chianti
The journey: 221 miles
Start your tour in lazy old Rome, where classical sites are high on the agenda. After strolling the ruins of the Roman Forum, avoid the gladiators at the Colosseum and instead tackle massive portions of gelato – try unusual flavours like lavender and pear. The famous Pantheon looks uncompromisingly squat on the outside but has a perfectly proportioned domed ceiling within, a true architectural marvel. At the top of Aventine hill, look through a keyhole in a gate for a special, secret view of Saint Peter’s Basilica down an avenue of trees. Pre-dinner drinks are best served in the quieter Trastevere neighbourhood.
The Inn at the Spanish Steps is a small luxury hotel spread over four buildings. All the rooms are colourful and chic. To kill the mood, pop into the house nearby where the Romantic Poet John Keats died of tuberculosis. If you want a stylish room, The First Luxury Art Hotel Roma is a boutique hotel that feels like the apartment of your cool, rich friend. Right near the grounds of the Villa Borghese, it’s topped with a gorgeous rooftop terrace. Wake up early the next day to get in the queue for the Vatican. Don’t forget to look out for Da Vincis and Caravaggios in the Vatican Galleries on your way to the Sistine Chapel.
If Amalfi were a colour it would be yellow – for its lemon groves, colourful facades and local Limoncello.