If Italy is on your bucket list, then this 17 day escorted group tour will ensure that you do not miss a thing during your once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Covering the full peninsula from Venice all the way down to the Island of Sicily, this is an itinerary designed for curious travelers who wish to admire Italy's major monuments and engage with the local culture. During the trip, you will visit major destinations such as Rome, Florence, Venice and the Amalfi Coast while also stopping by smaller gems such as Siena, Bologna and Padua along the way. End your trip exploring enchanting Sicily with its unique monuments, cultural traditions and outstanding cuisine that together set this island apart from the rest of the country. Experience the best that Italy has to offer while creating lasting memories during this comprehensive escorted tour.
From Rome to Catania
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Assisi, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Padua, Venice, Tuscany Countryside, Montepulciano, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Palermo, Monreale, Erice, Marsala, Mazara del Vallo, Agrigento, Noto, Siracusa, Taormina, Giardini di Naxos or surroundings, Mount Etna, Savoca, Forza d'Agrò, Catania
DAY 01: ROME, ASSISI, SIENA, FLORENCE
Pick-up in the early morning at the assigned meeting point in the historical center of Rome to start your sightseeing tour. The first stop will be in charming Assisi, where you'll have free time to wander the streets. We suggest visiting the Basilica of St. Francis, home of the famous saint. After you enjoy lunch (not included) the tour will continue through the Tuscan hill country and the next stop will be Siena. Known for its rich medieval history and the Palio horse race held in the famous Piazza del Campo, you'll want to take plenty of photos in Siena as you stroll through the lovely historical center. Later in the afternoon, the bus will continue to Florence, where you'll have dinner and get a good night's rest.
DAY 02: FLORENCE
Enjoy a nice breakfast to prepare you for a pleasant day day of sightseeing. Next, you will enjoy a walking tour of Florence. Called the Cradle of the Renaissance, you will marvel at Florence's art, architecture and churches created by the Masters. You'll stop at the Duomo, with Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery, with doors so beautiful that Michelangelo called them the Gates of Paradise. The Piazza Della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio and the Santa Croce Basilica are also on the tour. After the tour, take some time for lunch on your own (not included). The afternoon will be at your leisure, where you can choose to shop or visit the Accademia Gallery with the famous David by Michelangelo or the Uffizi Gallery (Optional, not included. Advanced reservations to skip the entrance line are recommended and can be arranged upon request). You may decide you'd rather go on an optional excursion to Pisa and see its famous Leaning Tower and adjoining Cathedral and Piazza dei Miracoli (optional, not included). In the evening you'll enjoy dinner and a final night in Florence.
DAY 03: FLORENCE, BOLOGNA, PADUA, VENICE
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and board the motor coach to Bologna, Italy's food capital and the city of porticoes. As you explore Bologna's historic streets, you will have the opportunity to admire many examples of its breathtaking architecture including the Podesta' Palace, Piazza del Nettuno and the Basilica of San Petronio. After lunch (not included), you will continue on to Padua, home to many beautiful churches and the oldest botanical garden in the world. You will stop at the Basilica of St. Anthony, with its lovely frescoes. The motor coach will then continue on to Venice, known for its scenic canals, art and gondolas. You will have dinner and spend the night in Venice.
DAY 04: VENICE
After breakfast, you will start your day in St. Mark's Square for a visit of St. Mark's Basilica (interior visit) and the Doge's palace (external visit). Along the way you will also see the Bridge of Sighs, which connects to the prison where Casanova was held for 5 years. The afternoon is free, giving you time to shop, take a tour to Murano Island with a visit to one of its famous glass workshops, enjoy a Bellini in front of the Grand Canal or take in more of Venice's art at one of the many local museums (optional, not included). Dinner will be with the group and you will spend the night in Venice.
DAY 05: VENICE, TUSCANY, MONTEPULCIANO, ROME
Breakfast will be enjoyed at the hotel, and, afterwards, you will board the motor coach to Tuscany. Be ready to take countless photos of the postcard-perfect countryside with its rolling landscapes, charming farm houses, historic churches and magnificent castles. The group will stop in Montepulciano, a town rich in art and history, where you will have free time to explore at your leisure. Wine lovers will certainly want to visit one of the local wineries to sample the famous Montepulciano wine, a medium-bodied red. The motor coach will continue back to Rome. Arrival in Rome and check in at your hotel accommodation. This evening you will have dinner on your own then spend the night at your Rome hotel.
DAY 06: ROME
After breakfast, you will head to Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. You will visit the Vatican Museums, skipping the long entrance line. Once inside you will have the chance to admire a number of famous works of art in addition to the magnificent Sistine Chapel. Next, continue on to St. Peter's Basilica to explore the largest church in the world and admire its many chapels and stunning works of art such as Michelangelo's Pieta'. Free time for lunch and remainder of the afternoon to enjoy at leisure. You have the chance to shop, enjoy a gelato or visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum to immerse yourself in ancient Rome (optional, not included). Dinner on your own and overnight at your Rome hotel.
DAY 07: ROME
You'll enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and a free day in Rome to discover the hidden treasures of the Eternal City at your own pace and preference. Feel free to ask us if you would like some suggestions, some ideas include a stroll in the characteristic market of Campo de' Fiori paired with a hands-on cooking class, a visit of the historic Catacombs, a day of shopping at Rome's best boutiques or visiting some of Rome's art museums such as the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art. In the evening enjoy dinner on your own and an overnight stay at your hotel in Rome.
DAY 08: ROME, NAPLES, POMPEII, SORRENTO
You will enjoy breakfast at the hotel then the motor coach will depart to Naples, traveling along the Sun Motorway, through the regions of Lazio and Campania. There will be a panoramic city tour of Naples, showing Castel dell'Ovo, Plebiscito Square, the Royal Palace, Maschio Angioino and the port. You will enjoy lunch then stop in Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. You will visit the famous archeological excavations of Pompeii which feature houses, streets, and other structures that were remarkably preserved by the volcanic ash, offering a captivating portrait of Roman daily life. Afterwards, we will drive along the Sorrentine coast and arrive in Sorrento for dinner and the night.
DAY 09: SORRENTO, CAPRI, SORRENTO
After breakfast, we will board the ferry to the Island of Capri (sea conditions permitting), and take the small rowboats to enter the famous Blue Grotto (sea and weather conditions permitting). You will have free time to enjoy this charming island which is divided into two sections, an upper part and a lower part, that are connected by a panoramic chair lift. Lunch with the group in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will return to Sorrento for dinner and overnight at your hotel accommodation.
DAY 10: SORRENTO, PALERMO with overnight Ferry transfer
You'll enjoy breakfast and free time this morning to go shopping, enjoy lunch or to write your postcards. In the afternoon, we'll depart to Naples' dock where you will board the ferry to Palermo. Overnight ferry boat transfer from Naples to Palermo in a private cabin. Please note that dinner and breakfast are not included during your boat transfer.
DAY 11: PALERMO
Breakfast will be on your own (not included), before the boat docks. You'll arrive in Palermo in the morning and transfer to the hotel. Afterwards, you'll have the day to yourself, to rest, explore and indulge in this colorful capital of Sicily. Dinner will be with the group this evening and you'll spend the night at the hotel in Palermo's city center.
DAY 12: PALERMO, MONREALE
After a nice breakfast, you'll visit the ancient town of Monreale, where you'll admire the hilltop Cathedral with its beautiful 12th century gold mosaics and the Benedictine monastery. Be sure to enjoy the breathtaking view of Palermo and the surrounding area as well. You'll then return to Palermo for a sightseeing tour of the Capital of Sicily, viewing wonders of art and architecture, such as the Palatine Chapel, the Cathedral, the Opera house and Praetorian Square. The afternoon will be free to do as you please, and you'll return to the hotel for dinner with the group and a good night's sleep.
DAY 13: PALERMO, ERICE, MARSALA, AGRIGENTO
After breakfast, you'll depart for Erice, a medieval hilltop town situated approximately 2,300 feet above sea level that offers breathtaking panoramas and historical remains of the Phoenicians and the Normans. The tour continues to Marsala, where you will have free time to visit this seaside resort known for its world-famous wine. We will then pass by the fishing port of Mazara del Vallo and the tour will stop for the day in Agrigento, home of the Valley of the Temples. You'll have the chance to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, wander the Temples of Juno, Concordia, Hercules and Jupiter and marvel at the majesty of the ruins (admission included). You'll have dinner and spend the night in Agrigento.
DAY 14: AGRIGENTO, NOTO, SIRACUSA, TAORMINA (GIARDINI NAXOS or surroundings)
After breakfast, the tour will leave for Noto, an exquisite town full of beautiful churches and baroque buildings. You will have plenty of free time to walk the streets and take beautiful photos of the historic city center, which was completely rebuilt following a 17th century earthquake that devastated the area. Next, the tour will stop in Siracusa, where you'll visit the Greek Amphitheater, the Ear of Dionysus and the Roman Theater (admission included). You'll also visit the Island of Ortigia, the baroque and medieval heart of the town. In the afternoon you will arrive in the Taormina area, where you will eat dinner and spend the night at your hotel in Giardini Naxos or Letojanni.
DAY 15: TAORMINA (GIARDINI NAXOS or surroundings)
Enjoy breakfast with the group and, afterwards, you'll go on an excursion to Mount Etna. The largest active volcano in Europe is sure to astonish and, weather permitting, you will have the chance to scale the volcano and admire an amazing panoramic view of the Ionian Sea. Afterwards, you'll return to your hotel in the surroundings of Taormina for dinner and a well earned night's sleep.
DAY 16: TAORMINA (GIARDINI NAXOS or surroundings); SAVOCA and FORZA D'AGRÒ, CATANIA
After breakfast, we will drive off the beaten path and discover the atmosphere of a few small Sicilian towns. We will visit Savoca and Forza d'Agrò, two unspoiled villages famous for serving as the setting for a few scenes from the Godfather movies, where you can discover the slow life and the traditions of the Sicilian inland. Don’t forget to taste the delicious Sicilian lemon granita, an icy beverage made with local fruits. Later we will head to Catania, where after checking in at your hotel accommodation, you will have the afternoon free to explore Catania's historical city center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last dinner with your travel party and overnight stay at your hotel in Catania.
DAY 17: CATANIA
After breakfast, the tour, and our services, will end.
PACKAGE START AT $3,844.00
- Transportation by Deluxe motor coach as per itinerary;
- Accommodation in Tourist Category Hotels with overnight stay in Venice Mestre or in First Category Hotels with overnight stay on Venice Island in double/twin rooms with private facilities;
- Daily Breakfast (excluding the overnight ferry transfers one);
- 12 Dinners and 2 Lunches as per itinerary;
- Multilingual Tour-Escort;
- Panoramic Visits as per itinerary;
- Overnight ferry transfer from Sorrento to Palermo in private cabin;
- Entrance fees at Agrigentos Valley of Temples and Syracuse archeological Park;
- Vat Taxes and service Charges.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- All Land & Air prices: Additional U.S. & Foreign Departure Taxes and Surcharges Fee(s) assessed by the Airlines.
- Hospitality city tax which varies by city and hotel category. Where applicable it must be paid locally to the hotel.
- Porterage service.
- Entrance Fees to Monuments or Museums, Tips, Extras.
- All which is not listed under PACKAGE INCLUDES.
Multi language escorted group tour.
All departure are Guaranteed.
Please note: Due to the frequent change of transportation during the southern Italy part of the tour, it is required to bring only one piece of luggage per traveler. In the eventuality of extra luggage an extra charge of 15 euro per piece will be charged locally. The itinerary could be reversed or modified for technical or logistic reasons.
(*) Rate based on two adult persons sharing a double or twin bedded room with private bathroom. Single rooms are available at an additional supplement. Childrens, triple room rates and alternative accommodation arrangements are available upon request. (Additional and different charges may apply).
- Children (0-3 Yrs Old) share double room with parents. Cot available upon request (Extra fees may apply).
- Children (0-3 Yrs Old) travel on parents laps. (Seat space available upon request, extra fees may apply).
- Beverages and Meals for Children are not included (To be paid locally upon consumption).