Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily (Summer 2020)

Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily (Summer 2020)


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Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Experience the treasures of Rome, Pompeii and the Neapolitan Riviera. See the unique trulli houses of Alberobello and the Sassi di Matera, and witness the rich heritage of Sicily.

Day 1 - Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.
On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, complimentary transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a local restaurant(Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Hotel Bettoja Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome.
Meals: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 - Rome with the Locals.
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizza, and our included walking exploration with a Local Expert has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best-preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time to do as the Romans do. Perhaps join a tour to discover an unknown quarter of Rome, Trastevere?(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Bettoja Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - VIP Vatican, St. Peters Basilica and on to Sorrento.
Meet your Local Expert, for a guided visit through the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-tracked entry and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Continue with your Local Expert to visit St. Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Later depart for the picturesque resort of Sorrento, perched upon the southern cliffs of the Bay of Naples and looking over to Mount Vesuvius.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Isabella, Sant'Agnello, Sorrento.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - Exploring Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
Wake up full of anticipation for your trip to Capri, the Isle of Dreams. Meet your Local Expert and cruise to the island. Under the Mediterranean sun, ride up to Capri town in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis, where you can explore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and enjoy the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by funicular railway and return to Sorrento where rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Isabella, Sant'Agnello, Sorrento.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - Pompeii, Matera and Alberobello.
Start your day in Pompeii, buried in A.D. 79 by the historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets to see a city frozen in time. Journey along the country roads to the ancient town of Matera, specially selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Meet with a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the extraordinary Sassi, a complex of cave dwellings carved into the mountainside, the most extensive example of their kind in the Mediterranean. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mel Gibson chose Matera as the setting for his film ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Venture on to Alberobello.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 6 - The Trulli of Alberobello.
Admire another of Italy's record number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a Local Expert. The Trulli of Alberobello are circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within. They are built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar. In the evening, meet Alessandro, the founder of Trattoria Terra Madre, who will share his philosophy of using only organic, seasonal produce that he grows himself. See Nonna making orecchiette pasta, before savouring the fresh flavours of your Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 7 - Alberobello at Leisure.
The day is free for you to enjoy this fascinating town. Perhaps visit Ostuni - reminiscent of a North African Arab Medina - with its stark, white-washed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways? Later, relax and indulge in the facilities of your remarkable hotel.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Journey South to Maratea.
The local roads take you south to the coastal town of Maratea. Known as the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian, its beautiful and peaceful location has offered an idyllic hideaway for many of the rich and famous over the years, including Frank Sinatra and Princess Diana. After checking into your hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure, you may wish to spend it relaxing by the pool, sipping cocktails and enjoying the spectacular views of the rugged coastline.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Pianeta Maratea Resort.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 9 - To Sicily and the Taormina Riviera.
In the morning, travel along the Purple Coast to the very toe of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily across the Strait of Messina. According to Grecian legend, this was home to the mythical sea monsters Scylla, a six-headed rock monster, and Charybdis, a whirlpool, based on either side of the strait. Together, they posed an inescapable threat to passing seafarers as avoiding one meant passing too close to the other. You will soon arrive at your hotel where you will spend three glorious nights on the Taormina Riviera. Join a Local Expert for a visit to the Greek Theatre of Taormina, graced with the most spectacular of backdrops. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina's grandest building. Further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. Take your pick of specially selected restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 10 - Free time on the Taormina Riviera.
The day is at leisure to relax at your resort's private beach, or perhaps explore the medieval quarter? Don't miss the chance of an optional drive through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 - The dawn coast of Europe.
Early risers may experience what D.H. Lawrence christened the ‘dawn coast of Europe.' The day is free to explore Taormina at your leisure or to embark on an Optional Experience to Syracuse, where you can witness Caravaggio's celebrated painting, the 'Burial of St. Lucy'. In the evening, venture to a local restaurant for a tasty meal accompanied by wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 12 - Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples and on to Palermo.
Drive to Agrigento, on the southern coast of Sicily, where the Valley of the Temples once formed part of the ancient Greek colony of Akragas. Meet with a Local Expert and walk along the fortified ridge of the Valley of the Temples. The massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno, overlooking the sea, are especially impressive. In the afternoon, continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: NH Palermo.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 - Palermo and the Golden Age of the Normans.
Join a historian to see the highlights of part of the old city. Palermo Cathedral has been altered over the years and a venture inside will help you to appreciate the blend of architectural styles. Continue to the amazing Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans. Outside, there are few clues to its astonishing interior, completely covered in glittering 12th century mosaics. In the afternoon, there is free time to explore or shop in Palermo or continue sightseeing. In the evening, join your fellow guests and Travel Director at a local restaurant for a Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine and wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: NH Palermo.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 14 - Depart Palermo.
Your journey draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport at 06:00 and 08:00.(Breakfast)
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Authentic Dining

  • Alberobello: Meet your host Alessandro, who will share his philosophy of using only organic, seasonal produce that he grows himself. See Nonna making orecchiette pasta, before savouring the fresh flavours of your Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.
  • Taormina Riviera: Choose from our handpicked selection of local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening, each with its own ambience and distinctive cuisine.
  • Palermo: At a local restaurant, enjoy fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine at your Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Rome: Explore the backstreets of Rome and experience local life, alongside a passionate Roman who will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, the Living Room of Rome.
  • Vatican City: Gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums and be among the select few to admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Admire the Popes’ treasure-trove and witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel before venturing inside St. Peter's Basilica to see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
  • Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
  • Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
  • Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
  • Alberobello: With your Local Expert, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the Trulli of Alberobello. Circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within, built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar.
  • Matera: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and see famous Sassi or cave dwellings, which were home to about 20,000 people until 1950.
  • Matera: With your Local Expert explore this town that Mel Gibson chose as the setting for his film 'The Passion of the Christ.'
  • Straits of Messina: Cross to Sicily by ferry.
  • Taormina Riviera: Visit the ancient Greek Ampitheatre with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
  • Taormina Riviera: During your orientation with your Travel Director, visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
  • Agrigento: A Local Expert will lead you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples. See the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno.
  • Palermo: With a local historian, see the Teatro Massimo en route to Quattro Canti Square to glimpse the Fountain of Shame.
  • Palermo: Visit Palermo Cathedral and walk through the Palace of the Normans to stand in the jewel-like Palatine chapel for an up-close look at some of the finest examples of Norman art.
  • Scenic Drives: Admire the beauty of southern Italy as you travel along the Bay of Naples, past the Apennines and Calabria mountains, along Sorrento cliff top road and Capri cornich.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

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Ratings based off 4 reviews . Currently showing 2 reviews with comments only.
By Kathleen Y on Sep 27, 2019

We had a wonderful experience, as always. We are excited to plan our next trip with Rachel. We love Insight Tours. They are consistently wonderful, as is Rachel

By Rhina C on Apr 27, 2019

We took this tour to celebrate our friends 50th wedding anniversary and it was a blast, our tour director Sara was the best, she was very thoughtful, very professional, kind and sweet always going the extra mile not only for us but for the rest of the people in the tour. I have taken several tours and I can honestly say that she has been the BEST! Insight should have more directors as her it made our tour experience extra ordinary and we are thankful 


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