AU$4,637 Per person twin share
- Tour TypeEscorted Tour
- Tour CodeCAR-19-6011
- Travel From08 Apr 2019
- Travel Until07 Oct 2019
- Tour HighlightsAccommodation 16-night accommodationCruise Capri Island cruise with outside Blue Grotto stopInclusion Overnight ferry from Naples to PalermoInclusion English-speaking tour guideMeals All meals as per itineraryTour 17-day tour of Italy's most beautiful regions & cities - Florence, Venice, Pompeii, Sorrento, Tuscany's wine region & Sicily
Dubbed as Bel Paese or “The Beautiful Country”, Italy entices tourists all over the world with its diverse landscape, the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, mouth-watering cuisine and so much more. This incredible, 17-day tour takes you to the most beautiful regions and cities of Italy from Rome to Sicily. Explore the medieval cities of Assisi and Siena en route to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the sanctuary of many famous Italian artists. Continue to Venice, Italy’s Floating City via Bologna and Padua. Discover the highlights of religious and ancient Rome at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Head south to Sorrento, the garden of Italy, visiting the archaeological excavations of Pompeii along the way and take an excursion to the beautiful Isle of Capri. Finally, explore Sicily, the pearl of the Mediterranean, with its crystal-clear waters, ancient Greek-Roman ruins and cultural treasures.
- May 13 & 27
- June 10 & 24
- July 8
- August 12 & 26
- September 9 & 23
- October 7
- Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance
- Skip-the-line access to St. Mark's Basilica in Venice
- The wine region of Tuscany
- Vatican Museums with skip-the-line access
- Ancient ruins of Pompeii with skip-the-line access
- Capri Island and the Blue Grotto
- Archaeological sites of Sicily
Day 1, Rome – Assisi – Siena – Florence
Departing at 7:15 am from your hotel by a deluxe coach, you will arrive in Assisi, ready to explore, at your own leisure, this tiny town surrounded by walls, built in the Middle Ages. Take your time to visit the Basilica of St. Francis, where you will see masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue and, then, have free time for lunch (not included). Board on the bus to reach Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, world-known for the Palio, the historical horse race around the shell-shaped town square: Piazza del Campo. Next, you will continue to Florence, where you will check in at your hotel before enjoying dinner and a well-earned night of rest. (D)
Day 2, Florence
After breakfast, you will spend the day venturing around beautiful Florence, the Cradle of Renaissance, where, with the help of Michelangelo, Italian art reached its pinnacle. Based on Etruscan - Roman origins, the city flourished in the Middle Ages as a free commune and was further refined during the Renaissance. You will be fascinated by the uncountable monuments, churches and buildings as Santa Maria del Fiore, more commonly referred to as the Duomo. On your visit, you will be amazed by its magnificent dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi. Cross a small piazza to see the Campanile tower (partly designed by Giotto) and the Baptistery, with its bronze doors where Michelangelo imagined the “Gates of Paradise.” In the heart of the city, you will see Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo della Signoria (also known as Palazzo Vecchio), and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce.
Spend the afternoon strolling the cobblestone streets of Florence on your own or take a short trip to Pisa (optional), one of the four main historical Marine Republics of Italy. There, you will tour the Piazza dei Miracoli with the Duomo, Pisa’s symbol, the Leaning Tower and the Baptistery. Dinner at leisure. Overnight stay in Florence. (B, L)
Day 3, Florence – Bologna – Padua – Venice
After breakfast in Florence, departure to Bologna. There, you will discover the elegant city centre with its porticos, shopping streets and so on. From Piazza Malpighi, walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore (Nep¬tune square and Major square) in the heart of the city, then King Renzo’s Palace; Palazzo Podestà and the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the biggest in the world. Bologna is a real gourmet’s heaven. Don’t miss a tasty meal at your own leisure!
In the afternoon, continue toward Padova, with Sant’Antonio Basilica: one of the most visited churches by pilgrims of the Catholic world. Later in the afternoon, arrival in Venice: the City of Love, one of the most romantic cities of the whole world and, undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man! Check in at your hotel for dinner and overnight stay. (B, D)
Day 4, Venice
After breakfast, enjoy your private water-taxi transfer to Piazza San Marco, with skip-the-line tickets to visit the splendid St. Mark’s Basilica and, after this, check out the most iconic places of the Floating City, the Palazzo dei Dogi, symbol of Venice’s glorious past, the legendary Bridge of Sighs. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel and overnight. (B, D)
Day 5, Venice – Montepulciano – Rome
After breakfast, departure from Piazzale Roma heading to Tuscany, world-known for its landscapes, its churches and castles and its delicious wines. You will proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art. Known for its Nobile wine, on purchase in local wine houses, Montepulciano also hosts an annual jazz and wine festival every July. Lunch in a typical restaurant included. Spend the afternoon discovering Montepulciano at your own pace, enjoying free wine tastings in many wine shops and free time for shopping. In the evening, you will arrive in Rome to check in into your hotel. (B)
Day 6, Rome
After breakfast, departure from the hotel for the included tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica with your exclusive skip-the-line access. No stress to reach the area. Upon arrival, your guide will lead you into the museums where you’ll visit one of the most important art collections of the world. Walk along the beautiful Galleries of Tapestries and Geographical Maps before admiring Raphael’s Rooms and, then, the amazing Sistine Chapel. After this incredible masterpiece, you will be taken by a privileged door to St. Peter’s Basilica, the biggest church in the world! The tour ends on St. Peter’s Square.
Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the city at your own leisure or get any one of our selected tours for the afternoon or at night. Overnight stay. (B)
Day 7, Rome
Enjoy an energetic breakfast at your hotel before spending the day exploring Rome on your own or by booking an additional sightseeing tour of the city or its surroundings (additional cost). Return to the hotel for your last overnight in Rome. (B)
Day 8, Rome – Naples – Pompeii – Sorrento
After breakfast, pick up at your hotel at 7:00 am approximately. Departure by coach heading south crossing the regions of Lazio and Campania. Arrival in Naples and short panoramic tour climbing up to Vomero hill to enjoy beauti¬ful views over the Gulf of Naples with the Vesuvius, Capri, Ischia and Procida and the city below; time to take some nice pictures. Descending towards the port of Mergellina, you will leave the city and travel south towards Mount Vesuvius and, once you reach the town of Pompeii, you will have lunch with the real Neapolitan pizza!
After lunch, you will enter one of the most important archaeological sites in the world: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruins of Pompeii, with skip-the-line entrance and a guided tour. Visit the haunting ruins of Pompeii, traveling back in time to the tragic days in 79 A.D .when the silent Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted, covering the prosperous Roman city in deadly volcanic ashes and poisonous gases, leaving this prosperous city crystallized until our days. You’ll learn how people lived at that time, visiting houses and “bars” of the time, admiring frescoes and mosaics to imagine how rich and prosperous was the city before the dreadful day. After the visit, you will drive along the Sorrentine Coast, arriving in Sorrento for dinner (dress code: jacket for men) and an overnight in your new hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 9, Sorrento – Capri – Sorrento
After breakfast, get ready for an exciting excursion to the island of Capri: one of the most exclusive summer destinations of the Mediterranean! Depending on weather and sea conditions, you will admire the dreamy Blue Grotto on a small rowboat. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then roam the island at your own pace. Once back on the mainland, return to your hotel for dinner and your last overnight in Sorrento. (B, L, D)
Day 10, Sorrento – Palermo
Breakfast at your hotel, then spend a leisurely morning ex¬ploring Sorrento. In the afternoon, you will reach the port of Naples, where you will board on the Tirrenia/Snav ferry to Palermo. Let the waves rock you to sleep. Dinner and break¬fast are not included on the ferry. (B)
Day 11, Palermo
Arrive in Palermo and transfer to your hotel. Have dinner in the hotel and rest up for the adventure that lies ahead. (D)
Day 12, Palermo
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and then head out on a morning excursion to Monreale, recently included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, an ancient royal town famous for its almonds, olive oil and citrus fruits, as well as for its fine Norman architecture. Visit the elaborate Cathedral of Monreale and then enjoy some shopping of local delicatessen and souvenirs. Back to Palermo and continue with a walking tour of the city. Wander the streets of the Old Town, hearing tales of Palermo’s 3,000-year history and discovering attractions like Palermo Cathedral. Walk inside the impressive-looking place of worship and marvel at its arches, cupolas and mosaics – with an incredible mix of influences coming from several dominations on the island. Enjoy free time in the late afternoon and return to your hotel for dinner. Overnight. (B, D)
Day 13, Palermo – Erice – Marsala – Agrigento
Early breakfast and departure to Erice, a medieval village stacked into the side of Monte San Giuliano. Many say that little has changed in the village since the sixth century, and its labyrinth-like twist of lanes is perfect for a cool and pleasant morning amble. Continue to visit the Saline, an extraordinary lagoon, where history, nature, archaeology find a perfect synthesis and allow the visitor to try different, unique and charming experiences. Have a nice boat trip to the islands, located nearby. The tour of the natural reserve of the Stagnone di Marsala is a one of a kind archaeological and naturalistic experience. Board on these special boats, designed ad hoc to be able to navigate in the lagoon bottoms that at low tide reach only 25 cm. With a helpful audio guide, you will admire all the islands of the lagoon of the Stagnone up close, remaining comfortably seated in the boat, sailing at a speed of 4 knots. You will pass from the Island of Mo¬zia, Isola Lunga, Isola di Schola, from the Ancient Via Punica Sommersa.
After this wonderful experience, enjoy your lunch in a restaurant by the lagoon. Return to your coach and travel to Agrigento, your last destination of the day. Visit Ancient Greek monuments and ruins at the Valley of Temples (entrance included), a UNESCO World Heritage site, and learn about archaeological relics like the Classical Temple of Concord the Temple of Hercules; the Temple of Jupiter, one of the largest Doric-style buildings. Check in to your hotel in the evening. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)
Day 14, Agrigento – Piazza Armerina – Ragusa Ibla – Ragusa
Breakfast at the hotel and travel to Piazza Armerina a pretty and historic town nestled into the heart of Sicily. Entrance in Villa Romana del Casale to admire the largest, richest and most complex Roman mosaics in the world. It is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy since 1997. The mosaics spread over 3,500 sqm show mythological scenes and portrayals of daily life. Depart to Ragusa and visit of the enchanting historical centre, Ibla, with its stunning baroque palaces and churches; together with other seven cities in the Val di Noto, Ragusa is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit the old gate of San Giorgio, the Giardini Iblei and then walk to Piazza Pola where we will visit the church of San Giuseppe: a little gem. Be enchanted by the elegant Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Church of the Souls in Purgatory and the magnificent Cosentini palace, one of the most interesting Late Baroque palaces in Sicily! Arrive in hotel, dinner and overnight. (B, D)
Day 15, Ragusa – Noto – Siracusa – Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel and travel to Noto, a picturesque fishing town popular for its stately Baroque architecture. Visit Cathedral of San Nicolò, recently restored after a earthquake, and then have a nice walk in the town’s centre. Continue along the south coast to Syracuse, on Sicily’s southeastern tip. Visit Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, Syracuse’s famous archaeological area, home to a vast collection of Greek and Roman ruins from all over Sicily. Head inside to see impressive landmarks such as the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Ear of Dionysius – an artificial limestone cave. After the visit, cross one of the city’s bridges for a visit to the island of Ortygia – the most ancient part of Syracuse - home to a wealth of Baroque churches and medieval palaces.
In the late afternoon arrive, in Taormina. Check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner. (B, D)
Day 16, Taormina
Breakfast at your hotel and then head off to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe and the highest mountain in Italy. Learn about volcanic activity and marvel at the old lava fields and black magma rock that comprises Etna’s landscape. If weather permits, you have a chance to climb to the summit (1800 m). After, return to Taormina, the beautiful and romantic town located on Mount Tauro. Return to Taormina in the afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)
Day 17, Taormina
Enjoy one final breakfast before the tour comes to an end. (B)
- 16-night accommodation in 4-star hotels
- All meals as per itinerary
- English-speaking tour guide
- Entrance tickets to St Mark's Basilica, Vatican Museums, Pompeii excavations & archaeological sites of Sicily
- Capri & Blue Grotto excursion
- Overnight ferry from Naples to Palermo
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