The Spectacular South of Italy Tour
5 Days/4 Nights
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Castel del Monte, Castellana Caves, Noci, Lecce, Ostuni, Alberobello, Matera, Sorrento
Day 1 - Monday: ROME-NAPLES-POMPEII-SORRENTO
The group will meet at 7:30 at a designated meeting point in central Rome, although select hotels will have a pick up time between 6:45 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. A multilingual tour leader will join you on the motor coach for your ride to Naples.
Upon arrival in the beautiful city of Naples, the local guide will take you for a delightful walking tour. You will first visit the beautiful Neapolitan landmark known as the Piazza Del Plebiscito, which is the largest town square in Naples. The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) is the former home to several kings of Naples and is filled with an impressive array of classic paintings, frescoes and tapestries. The architectural masterpiece known as the Gallery of Umberto I is a shopping mall filled with fantastic mosaics and a glorious 184’ tall arching glass dome. The regal San Carlo Opera House is the oldest public opera house in Europe and is described as a vision of gilded opulence.
Pompeii is the next stop on the tour. Here you will visit a coral and cameo factory to watch the talented artisans at work. Lunch will be enjoyed in a typical Pompeii restaurant. Next on the itinerary is a tour of the famous excavations. This historic site shows the ancient Roman city that was buried and frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius violently erupted in 79 AD.
Sorrento is next on the tour. This beautiful town is situated on a terrace that overlooks the famed Amalfi coast. You will end the night with a delicious dinner and a comfortable overnight stay at a local hotel.
Day 2 – Tuesday: SORRENTO – CAPRI – SORRENTO
Enjoy an American style buffet breakfast at the hotel. You will leave the hotel at 9:15 a.m.to head to the luxuriant island of Capri. You will take the ferry to the Marina Grande, the main port of Capri. Once on the island, you will be able to see the magnificent Blue Grotto if the weather permits. This is a beautiful blue sea cave which reflects the sunlight spilling into the cave, casting a beautiful blue glow. The lush Gardens of Augustus offer beautiful photo opportunities and a breath taking view of the Faraglioni rocks below. The next site will be the famous “Piazzetta” a small, lively town square filled with bars, cafés, and jewelry shops.
Next you will board a minibus that will take you up to Anacapri where you will have lunch. You will then return to Marina Grande for the ferry ride back to Sorrento.
The evening will end with a savory dinner and an overnight stay at a local hotel.
Day 3 - Wednesday: SORRENTO – CASTEL DEL MONTE – CASTELLANA CAVES - NOCI
Indulge on a buffet breakfast at the hotel, and then depart for Apulia, which is an area rich in history, tradition and nature. You will have the opportunity to see the unique octagonal shape of the beautiful Castel Del Monte. It is set along a lush green landscape with a wide open sky. It was constructed in the 1240s by Emperor Frederico II. Lunch follows at your own leisure. After lunch the day continues on to the stunning Castellana Caves, which were discovered in 1938 and opened to the public in 1939. It is around 60 meters deep and filled with small lakes, stalactites and stalagmites. The guided walking tour winds along at a distance of around 3 km. The natural beauty and wonder of the caves is sure to impress all who experience it. You will then travel to Noci where you will enjoy a pleasant dinner and a comfortable night’s rest at a local hotel. Noci is a small picturesque town than sits up on a hill in central Puglia.
Day 4 – Thursday: NOCI – LECCE – OSTUNI – ALBEROBELLO – NOCI
After you enjoy a tasty buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will depart to the historic city of Lecce. You will see the rich Baroque influence in this city of approximately 94,000 people. During the day’s sites, you will see the beautiful statue honoring Sant’ Oronzo, the patron saint of this area, perched high upon a beautiful column. The Basilica of Santa Croce will also be seen, with stunning Corinthian columns flanking the main entrance. The Palazzo dei Celestini will show the strong Baroque influence on the ornate façade. The Roman Amphitheatre is another ancient site. It was built in the 2nd century and is now used for various art and religious events.
The next stop is the beautiful village of Ostuni, set upon the top of a hill. The majority of the buildings and homes are white-washed, lending the nickname the “White City.”
Lunch will be at your leisure, and in the afternoon, you will travel to Alberobello. This unique town has roughly 1500 trulli, making it a UNESCO World Heritage site. The trulli are remarkable houses made out of limestone with a charming cone shaped roof.
You will then return to the town of Noci, where you will have a delightful dinner and stay overnight at a local hotel.
Day 5 – Friday: NOCI – MATERA – SORRENTO or ROME
After your buffet breakfast at the hotel in Noci, you will depart to Matera. This town lies in a small canyon that was eroded through the years by a river that has since turned into a small stream. It is known for the Sassi di Matera (stones of Matera in English). The Sassi are homes and caverns dug into the rocks. The Sassi have a remarkable similarity to areas around Jerusalem, making this a prime spot for many Biblical productions. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
There will be a bit of time for a snack while in Matera. You will then return to either Sorrento or Rome via Pompeii on your deluxe motor coach. Your arrival in either Sorrento or Rome will officially end the tour.