Highlights Of Sicily & Southern Italy 2013

Highlights Of Sicily & Southern Italy 2013


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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Italy

Tour Itinerary

This is the perfect vacation for those who wish to concentrate on southern Italy. Start in Rome, where a welcome dinner at a local restaurant is included as well as guided sightseeing with visits to St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and Roman Forum. Leave Rome and visit splendid Reggia of Caserta, the “Italian Versailles.” Arrive in Naples and visit the National Archaeological Museum. A special highlight is a visit to the famous Ferrigno Arts & Crafts, where terracotta figurines are made, before continuing to Sorrento, where you will stay for two nights. In the morning, board the jetfoil to the Isle of Capri. Enjoy a guided walking tour of Pompeii, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. In Matera, visit one of the picturesque Sassi houses, and in Reggio Calabria, visit the museum that houses the Bronzi di Riace, the world-famous bronze warrior sculptures. Next, travel across the Strait of Messina and arrive in Sicily. In Taormina, a special lunch is included as well as a visit to the Greek Amphitheater. Also enjoy a guided walking tour of the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, and in Palermo, guided sightseeing features the cathedral, the Capo Market, the Norman Cathedral in Monreale, and more. Later, visit an original Sicilian farm, meet the Casaro, and see how he prepares a fresh ricotta. A farewell dinner is the perfect way to conclude your adventure!

Day 1: Arrive in Rome, Italy.
Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and leave the hotel for a special welcome dinner with wine at one of Rome’s lively restaurants. (D)

Day 2: Rome.
Sightseeing with your Local Guide starts with a visit to the magnificent VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL, world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings. Continue to monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA. Cross the Tiber and visit the impressive COLOSSEUM and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. To make the most of your stay, join our optional Roman Highlights excursion, and see the sites and squares of medieval Rome made famous in the movie Angels and Demons. (B)

Day 3: Rome–Reggia Di Caserta–Naples–Sorrento.
[LF] Visit splendid REGGIA OF CASERTA, the “Italian Versailles,” an impressive residence of 1,200 rooms with elegant GARDENS stretching two miles. It was built in the 18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples; today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next is colorful Naples. A Local Guide takes you first to the NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, housing some of the world’s greatest Greco-Roman treasures; focus on the well-preserved objects found in Pompeii. Then, on to the city center to admire the remarkable Triumphal Arch of the New Castle, St. Charles Theater, the Royal Palace, Galleria Umberto, and the semicircular Piazza Plebiscito. Also [LF] visit famous Ferrigno Arts & Crafts, where you will learn how terracotta figurines are made, before continuing to the charming resort of Sorrento. (B)

Day 4: Sorrento. Excursion to Capri.
Speed across the bay by JETFOIL to the Isle of Capri. Ride the FUNICULAR to Capri village for a guided visit of this pretty town. Free time to explore the little shops on the piazzetta before returning to Sorrento. (B)

Day 5: Sorrento–Pompeii–Matera.
Arrive in fascinating POMPEII, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Your Local Guide will walk you past patrician homes, public baths, and commercial districts strikingly recalling day-to-day life when Rome was at the apex of her power. Next, drive to Matera for a guided walking tour featuring a visit to one of the picturesque SASSI HOUSES. (B,D)

Day 6: At Leisure in Matera.
Today is your chance to join an optional excursion to visit the picturesque town of Alberobello, famous for its unique trulli, whitewashed dry stone circular houses with pinnacled, conical roofs. (B)

Day 7: Matera–Reggio Calabria.
A spectacular drive south along the Gulf of Taranto before heading inland to Reggio Calabria. Visit the MUSEUM that houses the world-famous bronze warrior sculptures, Bronzi di Riace, with a Local Guide. (B,D)

Day 8: Reggio Calabria–Taormina Riviera.
Cross the Strait of Messina by FERRY and start your discovery of the beautiful island of Sicily, the great melting pot of the Mediterranean world: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Normans, French, and Spanish have left their marks and contributed to its rich heritage. Arrive in Taormina, a charming hilltop town overlooking the Ionian Sea, and visit the GREEK AMPHITHEATER. Time to stroll and shop along Corso Umberto I. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste local specialties like the Sicilian Granita. (B)

Day 9: At Leisure in Taormina Riviera.
Two days to just relax in this beautiful resort or choose from our exciting optional excursions: to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, or to the fascinating archaeological site of Syracuse, birthplace of mathematician Archimedes and once a powerful Greek port whose fleet was feared throughout the Mediterranean. On Tuesday evening, an included dinner with wine at a local restaurant, with breathtaking sea view has been organized. On Wednesday evening, enjoy an included dinner at your hotel. (B,D daily)

Day 10: At Leisure in Taormina Riviera.
Two days to just relax in this beautiful resort or choose from our exciting optional excursions: to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, or to the fascinating archaeological site of Syracuse, birthplace of mathematician Archimedes and once a powerful Greek port whose fleet was feared throughout the Mediterranean. On Tuesday evening, an included dinner with wine at a local restaurant, with breathtaking sea view has been organized. On Wednesday evening, enjoy an included dinner at your hotel. (B,D daily)

Day 11: Taormina Riviera–Agrigento–Palermo.
Head south to Agrigento and enjoy a walk with your Local Guide through the breathtaking VALLEY OF TEMPLES. Even travelers who have visited Athens and Delphi are awed by the gigantic yet graceful Greek structures that miraculously survived 24 centuries of tormented history. Arrive at your hotel in Palermo. (B)

Day 12: Palermo.
Guided sightseeing features the ornate Piazza Bellini, Capo Market, the baroque Church of Immacolata, and the CATHEDRAL. Drive up to Monreale for a panoramic view of the Conca d’Oro and a visit to the 12th-century NORMAN CATHEDRAL, famous for its 50,000 square feet of precious Byzantine mosaics. Later, visit an original SICILIAN FARM, Antica Masseria Barone di Salvo in Tumminia. Meet the Casaro, and see how he prepares a fresh ricotta. Next, [LF] enjoy your exclusive farewell dinner with local specialties and wine, the perfect way to celebrate the success of your Italian vacation. (B,D)

Day 13: Palermo.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

ROME
Welcome dinner with wine at a local restaurant; guided sightseeing, visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Colosseum and Roman Forum

REGGIA OF CASERTA
[LF] Visit the palace and gardens

NAPLES
Guided sightseeing, visit the National Archaeological Museum; [LF] learn how terracotta figurines are made at Ferrigno Arts & Crafts

SORRENTO–CAPRI
By jetfoil

CAPRI
Guided visit of Capri village, including a funicular ride

POMPEII
Guided walking tour of the excavations

MATERA
Guided walking tour, visit one of the Sassi houses

REGGIO CALABRIA
Guided visit of the Bronzi di Riace museum

STRAIT OF MESSINA
Ferry crossing

TAORMINA
Visit the Greek Amphitheater; a special dinner with wine at a local restaurant

AGRIGENTO
Guided walking tour of the Valley of Temples

PALERMO

Guided sightseeing, visit the Capo market, the baroque Church of Immacolata, the cathedral, and the Norman cathedral in Monreale; enjoy [LF] a special farewell dinner with wine at a Sicilian farm house and learn how ricotta is made

Headsets throughout the tour

MEALS
Full buffet breakfast daily(B); 6 three-course dinners (D), including a special welcome dinner with wine in Rome and a special farewell dinner with wine at a Sicilian farm

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Accommodations

ROME Cicerone (SF)
SORRENTO Conca Park (F)
MATERA Hilton Garden Inn (F)
REGGIO CALABRIA Grand Hotel Excelsior (SF)
TAORMINA RIVIERA Hilton Giardini Naxos (SF) at Giardini Naxos
PALERMO Excelsior Hilton (F)

Prices based on double room occupancy.

Single room supplement:
$551.

Triple room reduction per person:
$72.

Extra nights per person in Rome:
in single room $208, in twin $150, in triple $128.

Extra nights per person in Palermo:
in single room $145, in twin $90, in triple $75.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Customer Reviews

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Ratings based off 36 reviews. Currently showing 5 reviews with comments only.
By Anthony P on Sep 28, 2014

The tour guide/director was excellent....and made the trip most enjoyable and memorable

By Marilyn R on May 11, 2014

One of the best trips we have ever taken.

By Jean D on May 13, 2013

The hotel Cicerone in Rome was a disappointment.We were very hopeful that would be the worst of the hotels and it did prove to be. Other than that, all accomadations were fine.

By Donald P on Sep 30, 2012

We had a wonderful time - great guides, wonderful accomodations ( except for our stay in Palermo - the NH Jolly simply didn't live up to your high standards) and great food! We were kept very busy each day. The only suggestion I would make is alllowing for a bit more free time. Also, the dinner on the final evening should have been included in the tour rather than offered as an option.

By Joel P on May 27, 2012

the Highlights of Southern Italy tour was fantastic, wonderful and adventurous. We love the various cities and the excursions and the great varieties of foods. The tour guide was friendly, cheerful, helpful, concerned, knowledgeable and very professtional -


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