Day 1Arrive in Rome, Italy
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring this great city.
Two days to get well acquainted with Rome. Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter's Square, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and the mighty COLOSSEUM. Optional excursions are available to discover more of the “Eternal City.” (Breakfast daily)
South all the way today. First, a stop to enjoy the awe-inspiring sights of one of Europe’s greatest live volcanoes—VESUVIUS! Leave the coach and walk to the top to view its crater. Then, to POMPEII, where time stopped in 79 AD, when the Vesuvius eruption totally destroyed it. On the included visit you can see the luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Embark on the FERRY to Capri to enjoy two overnights on this charmed island. (Breakfast, Dinner)
This legendary island is surrounded by a rocky coastline—the crashing sea has formed remarkable caves. The town, with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and smart restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set, and optional excursions take you to see more of the island. Join Tiberius, Emma Hamilton, and Axel Munthe, historical figures who all fell in love with this exquisite spot. A full day to do exactly what you please. Maybe explore some of the island’s lovely walks or join an optional excursion to see Mount Solaro and the house of Axel Munthe (San Michele). (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 6Capri–Sorrento. Excursion to Amalfitan Coast
Take the FERRY to Sorrento this morning. Few places in the world match the very special charm of Sorrento. This picturesque resort overlooking the Bay of Naples boasts a marvelous climate, beautiful views, trendy shops and boutiques, interesting museums, and a vibrant nightlife. Don’t miss out on the included excursion along the breathtakingly beautiful AMALFITAN COAST (Breakfast, Dinner)
Two full days to enjoy this town set on a plateau high above the waters of the Bay of Naples and with truly spectacular views as far as towering Vesuvius. Sorrento’s terraces, adorned with flowers, jut from winding streets and alleys above a small harbor. Streets are filled with shops, cheerful bars, and cafés. Day 7 (Breakfast), Day 8 (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9Sorrento–Villa San Giovanni–Ferry Crossing–Taormina Area
Today, by way of the autostrada, travel through the wild and mountainous scenery of Italy’s most southern regions before boarding the FERRY for the 45-minute crossing to Sicily. Only a few more miles to the Taormina area, where you stay for two nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 10Taormina Area. Excursion to Mount Etna
Magnificently situated on a 700-foot plateau overlooking the Ionian Sea, the heart of Taormina is Piazza Nove Aprile, a paved square with unrivaled views of the sea and Mount Etna. Enjoy a visit to the heights of MOUNT ETNA and the option of a jeep or cable-car ride for a better view of Europe’s largest active volcano. Return to the Taormina area in time for dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 11Taormina Area–Piazza Armerina–Agrigento
Today, drive westwards to Piazza Armerina, a maze of steep streets positively overflowing with the colorful atmosphere of Sicilian life. At nearby Casale, visit the ROMAN VILLA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its mosaics including the whimsical “Bikini Girls.” Next on the agenda is Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, one of Italy’s archaeological jewels. Visit the DORIC TEMPLE OF CONCORD, one of the finest examples of Greek civilization existing today, and the hilltop TEMPLE OF JUNO LACINIA. Spend the night in Agrigento. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Leave Agrigento for Selinunte, one of the most striking and interesting sites in Sicily. At the apex of its power before 409 BC, the city exceeded 30,000 people, excluding slaves. Here you will see the remains of the ACROPOLIS with its temples and fortifications. Then, head northeast to Palermo, capital of Sicily, for an overnight. (Breakfast)
Day 13Palermo. Excursion to Erice, Trapani & Marsala
Three Sicilian towns are on the agenda today. First is the medieval hilltop town of Erice reached by cable car. Situated about 2,500 feet above sea level, it immediately impresses with its defensive walls and castle affording breathtaking views over the Trapani Gulf and Egadi Island and on clear days, all the way to the African coast. Next, visit enchanting Trapani with a Local Guide, set on a harbor that was once at the heart of a powerful trading network stretching from Carthage to Venice. The city center stretches along the port and was built in primarily baroque style. Finally, on the western coast of Sicily, stop in Marsala, known for its celebrated Marsala wine. Here, you will visit a local SALT MINE and learn how this local product is extracted and refined. Return to Palermo. (Breakfast)
Day 14Palermo (Embarkation)–Overnight Ferry Crossing to Naples
A full day to enjoy this busy and colorful city full of interesting squares and marketplaces, churches, and palazzos in every style—from Moorish to baroque. On the included guided tour, learn more about this city, and visit the magnificent CAPPELLA PALATINA. Evening embarkation for the overnight ferry from Palermo to Naples. (Breakfast)
Day 15Naples (Disembarkation)–Rome
North this morning back to the “Eternal City” with plenty of time to enjoy one of the optional excursions, to do last-minute shopping, or maybe to sip a drink in Piazza Navona and watch the world go by.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
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