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Best of Italy and Sicily Preview 2014

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The ruins of Pompeii near Naples, ItalyVenice, Italy
The ruins of Pompeii near Naples, Italy
Venice, Italy
  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: Europe Preview 2014
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  • Style: Italy and Combinations Regionals
  • Description: From Roman ruins to Renaissance treasures, Greek temples, Byzantine churches, Mount Etna, artisan workshops, the Isle of Capri, Sicily - this comprehensive tour unearths the best of Italy’s long, rich heritage.
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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1

    ARRIVE ROME (2 NIGHTS)

    Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! Spend the day relaxing. Join your fellow travellers and Travel Director this evening for a Welcome Reception. Afterwards, enjoy an orientation drive through the city to see St. Peter’s Basilica and other sights - a perfect introduction to this beautiful city.


    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

  • Day 2

    ROME SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME

    Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Guide begins at the Vatican Museums. Experience a Unique Insight when you ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante. Admire Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and then visit St. Peter’s Basilica to see his famous Pietà. Your tour continues in ancient Rome. View the Forum and see Circus Maximus, where chariot races were held. Visit the impressive Colosseum. There’s time afterwards to explore the city on your own, or simply relax and watch the world go by!


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 3

    ROME - FLORENCE

    This morning, travel to the Renaissance city of Florence, with free time to take a leisurely stroll through historic streets and soak up the unique atmosphere!


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 4

    FLORENCE SIGHTSEEING - VENICE (2 NIGHTS)

    Experience the incredible sights of Florence on your walking tour with a Local Guide. See the magnificent marble Duomo, Signoria Square and Ponte Vecchio. Marvel at the panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo. Later, drive to the floating city of Venice. This evening, why not appreciate this elegant city from the comfort of a gondola?


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

  • Day 5

    VENICE SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME

    Your cruise by private launch to St. Mark’s Square is spectacular! View the Bridge of Sighs and the ornate Doge’s Palace. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating local specialities at a glass-blowing workshop on Giudecca island. Spend free time shopping or relaxing. Consider a boat trip to the colourful island of Burano for a delicious seafood lunch.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 6

    VENICE - CLASSE - ASSISI

    Drive south from Venice along the Adriatic coast to visit the Church of St. Apollinaris at Classe, famous for its wonderful mosaics. Later, in the spiritual city of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio, visit St. Francis’ Basilica on your walking tour with a Local Guide. Visit the Church of St. Clare and shop for colourful ceramic pottery.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

  • Day 7

    ASSISI - POMPEII - NAPLES - AT SEA

    The ancient city of Pompeii was buried beneath volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, and lay undiscovered for centuries. Your Local Guide gives a fascinating account of the excavations during your walking tour. A short journey brings you to Naples for your overnight cruise to Palermo, Sicily’s capital.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 8

    AT SEA - PALERMO

    Arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. Meet your Local Guide for a sightseeing tour of the city which includes the honey-coloured cathedral and Piazza Bellini. Travel to the town of Monreale and visit the magnificent 12th century Norman Cathedral. Admire views of the Conca d’Oro before continuing your journey to visit the beautiful fishing village of Mondello. Return to Palermo this afternoon.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 9

    PALERMO - AGRIGENTO

    In Agrigento, your Local Guide takes you on a tour of the Valley of the Temples. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to five ancient Greek temples dating from the 6th century BC. These are some of the grandest Grecian remains outside Athens! Dine tonight at your hotel.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

  • Day 10

    AGRIGENTO - ENNA - TAORMINA (GIARDINI NAXOS) (2 NIGHTS)

    Travel through the vineyards of the southern hills towards the seaside resort of Taormina, stopping en route to enjoy views of the fortress town of Enna. Arrive this afternoon in the resort town of Taormina, your home for the next two nights.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 11

    TAORMINA - FREE TIME

    Spend the day relaxing in this fun Sicilian resort. Perhaps swim and sunbathe or shop for handmade lace on the Corso. Consider joining an optional excursion to Savoca, the village made famous by ‘The Godfather’, and the crater of Sicily’s active volcano, Mount Etna, widely regarded as one of the most impressive in the world. This evening, join your companions for a very special Be My Guest dinner in a vineyard close to Mount Etna.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest)

  • Day 12

    TAORMINA (GIARDINI NAXOS) - SORRENTO (2 NIGHTS)

    Cross the Straits of Messina to mainland Italy by ferry, driving north through rustic Calabria via Salerno to your hotel in Sorrento. Tonight, relax at your hotel and take in the scenery.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 13

    ISLE OF CAPRI EXCURSION

    Visit an inlaid-wood workshop to see a demonstration of this local craft. Take a short cruise to the charming Isle of Capri, and enjoy an orientation walk of Capri town. Appreciate views across the sea to the Faraglioni Rocks and Marina Piccola. Spend free time afterwards exploring this charming island on your own! Later in Sorrento − famous for the alcoholic digestive Limoncello − visit Piazza Tasso, with its many cafés, and shop in boutiques on the Corso Italia.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

  • Day 14

    SORRENTO - ROME

    Admire the spectacular coastline as you drive north from Sorrento. Stop at Cassino to view the Benedictine Abbey. Arrive later in Rome, and spend the rest of the day shopping or seeing the sights. Tonight, celebrate with your companions and your Travel Director at a Farewell Dinner.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

  • Day 15

    DEPART ROME

    Say 'arrivederci Roma' as you prepare for your journey home with wonderful memories of your holiday. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Local Speciality Visit an inlaid-wood workshop in Sorrento.
  • Local Speciality Visit Giudecca Island for an insider look at Venetian Arts. See glass-blowing artisans and other craftsmen in action.
  • Be My Guest Arrive at a spectacular Sicilian winery or ‘agriturismo’ surrounded by a vast expanse of vineyards at the foot of Mount Etna. Enjoy regional cuisine and savour the delicious wine which you will taste with an explanation from an expert sommelier.
  • Local Guide in Rome, Florence, Assisi, Pompeii, Palermo and Agrigento.
  • Unique Insight Follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo and da Vinci when visiting the Vatican Museums. Ascend the smooth and step-less spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante, in a part of the Vatican not open to the public.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • RomeSightseeing tour with a Local Guide includes views of the ancient Roman Forum and Circus Maximus. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica and see Michelangelo’s Pieta. Visit the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel. Visit the Colosseum.
  • FlorenceAdmire the panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo. Your walking tour with a Local Guide takes you to Signoria Square and includes views of the Duomo, Baptistery, Ponte Vecchio and Santa Croce Basilica.
  • VeniceCanal cruise by private launch. View St. Mark’s Square, the Byzantine Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.
  • ClasseVisit the Church of St. Apollinaris to see the beautiful mosaics.
  • AssisiWalking tour includes a visit of St Francis’ Basilica.
  • PompeiiVisit of the excavations at Pompeii with a Local Guide.
  • PalermoSightseeing with your Local Guide includes Piazza Bellini and the cathedral.
  • MonrealeVisit the Norman Cathedral.
  • MondelloVisit the fishing village.
  • AgrigentoVisit the Valley of the Temples.
  • EnnaViews of the fortress town.
  • SorrentoOrientation includes a visit to an inlaid wood factory.
  • Isle of CapriTravel by ferry to the beautiful island and take the funicular to Capri town. View the Faraglioni Rocks, the Marina Piccola and visit the Piazzetta.

Dining

  • 14 hot buffet breakfasts.

  • 7 evening meals including:
  • Welcome Reception including light snacks and welcome drinks with your Travel Director in Rome.
  • 4 three-course dinners with local wine.
  • Be My Guest Dinner on a wine estate in Sicily.
  • Farewell Dinner with wine in Rome.

Travel Highlights

  • Overnight cruise from Naples to Palermo.
  • Ferry across the Straits of Messina to mainland Italy.
  • Return cruise to the Isle of Capri.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring two-bedded rooms and private facilities.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes.
  • Travel by luxury, air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director.
  • Audio headsets to clearly hear your guide’s commentary on all included sightseeing.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and map.
  • Airport transfers are included on the arrival and departure days of your trip.

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
Disclaimer
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Notes
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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