Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Trip review of Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy, highlighting Rome.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Friends, on a recent trip to Italy with my good friend, Lori, from RecipeGirl.com, my experience was different than most. You might say that I was on a deluxe vacation, with special enlightened tours (yes, we saw Pope Francis!), fabulous food and experiences (being serenaded with opera at dinner), and history come to life. It was like I was on a spectacular cruise, in a sense, but one without sea sickness and Dramamine.

(After Rome, we visited Calcata, Umbria, and Perugia.)

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

I was on a trip of a lifetime, a vacation with Insight Vacations, their deluxe, luxurious gold line. And I haven’t been the same since …

A dream vacation to Italy has different highlights, and I was able to experience their exceptional culinary tradition, history coming alive, world-class art and architecture, and the most serene scenery.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

From the Vatican City to the Sistine Chapel, Insight brings shares the secrets of Italy together to create a truly remarkable experience with an amazing Ultimate Italy itinerary.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold Trip to Italy: Rome

Let’s start with our arrival in Rome, a city that is truly bustling! We were met at the Fiuicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, and transferred to our elegant 5-star hotel, Baglioni Hotel Regina.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Hotel: Baglioni Hotel Regina

It’s situated on the strategic, central Via Veneto, a stone’s throw from the Villa Borghese, Piazza di Spagna and Via Condotti (the famous fashion street), and the Spanish Steps. This magnificent hotel is one of 3 of the luxurious hotels that we stayed at in Italy, which I’ll be sharing (Tuscany and Venice) in posts to come!

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

At the hotel, we were greeted in the lobby by our Traveling Concierge, Daniele, who for the next 7 days took us through some amazing places, to experience the “Ultimate Italy.”

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

The 5 star comfort deluxe rooms, in original Art Deco style, were spacious, posh, and overlooked spectacular Via Veneto.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome
Our posh rooms featured en suite Italian marble bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, sitting and dining areas with designer furniture, terraces and butler service, along with open bars, city views and in-room breakfast. The beds were heavenly, meaning comfort was at its finest.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Day 1 in Rome

Our first day took us on a walk through the city.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Let’s just say, Lori, Judi and I are not that great with directions. We ended up in places we never dreamed, but at the end of the day, we were happy when we got our #dailygelato and made it back to our comfortable hotel, to put our feet up and rest, before our delightful dinner.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

We did take in some pretty fabulous shopping, I may add.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

And visited the Spanish Steps.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Welcome dinner: Artisan Pizzeria

Our welcome dinner, at a boutique artisan pizzeria, was a grand way to meet people, enjoy true Italian pizza, and start the trip off with a toast to the Eternal City!

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Day 2 in Rome

Day two of our incredible adventure with Insight Vacations went like this …

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

An added bonus of being part of an Insight Luxury Gold Trip is not only having surprises that we’d never dreamed of, but getting access to special passes into some pretty spectacular events and places.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

The first one was admission to the Vatican Museum before it opened to the general public, and then we filtered one by one into the stunning, glorious Sistine Chapel, before thousands squished together to view Michelangelo’s ceiling masterpiece.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Our tour guide was top-notch, interesting, funny, she kept us moving, and a whole new world was opened up to us!

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Then as we strolled to magnificent St. Peter’s Square, we were surrounded by thousands waiting to hear Pope Francis address us, as he spoke from the covered altar.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

We squinted to see him, but they also had close-ups on the big screens, as if he was standing right near us as he was speaking.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

My first time in Rome, I was in awe. Seriously, I had to breathe deep, so surrounded by all of this history and beauty.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

The Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are the museums of the Vatican City, made up of 54 galleries, with a display of works from the immense collection built up by the popes throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the Pope’s enclave inside Rome.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the decorated ceilings, with the most popular paintings of history: Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement, but also The Book of Genesis, and The Creation of Adam. It was amazing to think Michelangelo worked on his back for 4 years to complete his art.

He painted it from 1508 til 1512 under the reign of Pope Julius II, it’s a large Chapel built within the Vatican Museums.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

The Colosseum

The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. To visualize the 1 million animals that died fighting either men or other creatures in this arena (such as elephants, lions, bears, crocodiles, giraffes, rhinos and hippos) was unreal.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

I loved the history that was shared, how the seating reflected the hierarchy of Roman society – the lower a person’s tier, the higher their position – Senators sat in the bottom level, closest to the action, while women, the poorest men and slaves could only sit on the top level.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

And to find out that not everyone was welcome in the Colosseum, except mostly actors, the grave diggers and former gladiators.

The Coach

Our group of 22 toured together in a European motorcoach equipped with wi-fi, led by our host, Daniele, and we were lucky to have CEO John Boulding along on the tour.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

They took care of us, guided us, and shared fascinating history and stories.

Rome came alive not only on the tours, and walking through all of the history, but through the variety of stories shared on the coach by our fabulous director, Daniele.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

He made everything feel effortless, and there were no wrong questions. He always had a smart answer! His smile and cheer, even in stressful situations when dealing with crowds and people, were inspiring. A true delight!

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome with a width of 65 feet and height of more than 85 feet.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

The Tiber River, Rome’s spouting fountains, and the daily gelatos that we indulged in under the hot Italian sun, are just the tip of the iceberg of what we experienced in Rome!

Dinner at Ristorante Le Volte

Excitement came when Daniele would say, “By the way. We are headed to dinner tonight with a lovely surprise, are you up for that?” We all knew that it had to be more than the delicious tiramisu served for dessert, in small bowls, creamy and delicate, so unlike the American version, with thick ladyfingers sticking out of the top. What Daniele had in mind on this occasion was 4 amazing musicians who shared beloved opera pieces with us while we enjoyed our meal!

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Dragan and Daniele were so engaging with the crowd, for a minute there I felt like they were a part of our group, which they were for the evening.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

Our meal consisted of antipasti with white focaccia, mixed tempura vegetables, roast vegetables, rustic tart of pecorino romano cheese, and then Roman lasagne and a fillet of sea bass cooked in a potato crust. We ended, in Italian style, with a mixed salad.

The food was fabulous and the ambience was out of this world!  In my heart, they will always be a vivid part of this amazing adventure.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

La Dolce Vita!

Rome was of course magical, the Baglioni Hotel elegantly completed our experience, and Insight Vacations gave us a passion for fine living!

“La Dolce Vita” or the “good life” indeed!

Insight Vacations generously sponsored and paid for my trip to Italy, but as always, all opinions are my own. More to come, my adventures to Tuscany and Venice. Photos shared are a mix of my own photos… and some from professional photographer Simon Boucher-Harris from Insight Vacations.

Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome

17 comments on “Insight Vacations Luxury Gold trip to Italy: Rome”

  1. Ahhhhh….Thanks for helping me re-live that incredible Insight Luxury Gold Italy experience. I miss the glorious sites, incredible food, daily gelato, and the wonderful camaraderie of the group! And, oh yeah…our sense of direction might have been lacking, but didn’t we have fun????

  2. what stunning photos Sandy and an incredible trip!  It’s on my bucket list with my daughters!

  3. I so enjoyed this beautiful blog about your amazing experiences. It’s on my bucket list as well. The beauty and romance I have always envisioned is clearly visible in your pictures. Not only do I have Rome and Venice on my list but I would love to spend time in the countryside. 

    And that gelato!  As dreamy as the rest!

  4. This is the best tour company ever.  I loved that they took care of every detail and made the trip so much fun and SO RELAXING for all.  It was perfect in every way.  I hope to do another Insight trip one of these days.  It was fun experiencing it with you!  My favorites in Rome:  the Colosseum, our VIP early entrance to the Vatican museums, meeting Judi, being serenaded at dinner, pizza, wine and gelato!

  5. Pinning this right  now! I am so in love with your trip! It totally sounds like the trip of a life time! I’m so glad you got to visit The Colosseum! It’s on my bucket list! 

  6. I’ve heard about Insight – so cool to learn more!! I visited Italy 15 years ago but would LOVE to go back one day!

  7. I want to go back to Italy!!!! Nice feature …. I just wrote my column last Sunday and Lori and you (and the rest of the gang) were all part of the feature!!! I will try to send the link! 
    Keep in touch! Kisses!!! 

    • Thanks, Tessa! Such a fun time, all together. What I love is that Insight also helps forge NEW friendships! That is a lifetime gift!

  8. What an amazing city Rome is and you sure captured a lot of it in your gorgeous pictures. Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed your post!!

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