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Best of Italy and Sicily 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 & Britain 2014
  • Style: Regional
  • Description: Traditional north to passionate south, this odyssey traces the length of Italy, exploring its cultural and geographical diversity by land and sea. It's Insider moments like… the knowledge of your Local Expert casting light on the shadows of Agrigento, one of the greatest ancient cities of the Mediterranean. Walking among the ruins, it's hearing how a Greek settlement on the coast of Sicily helped the tyrant Thero fight for control of the island. And it's seeing the piety of ruthless regimes as you wander between the cool pillars of the Temple of Concord, searching for marks of the enemy fire that scarred its walls more than 2,400 years before.

Guest Experiences

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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1


    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)

    Hotel: Milton Roma

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 2


    Your included sightseeing tour with a Local Expert 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 the 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


    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)

    Hotel: Grand Mediterraneo

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 4


    Experience the incredible sights of Florence on your walking tour with a Local Expert. See the magnificent marble Duomo, Piazza della Signoria 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? Enjoy a Regional Meal this evening.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Regional Meal)

    Hotel: Le Boulevard

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 5


    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 a Local Speciality 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 meal.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 6


    Drive south from Venice along the Adriatic coast. Later, in the spiritual city of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio, visit St. Francis' Basilica on your walking tour with a Local Expert.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine)

    Hotel: Grand Roseo

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 7


    The ancient city of Pompeii was buried beneath volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, and lay undiscovered for centuries. Your Local Expert 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


    Arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. Meet your Local Expert 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)

    Hotel: Principe de Villafranca

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 9


    In Agrigento, your Local Expert 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 with wine)

    Hotel: Dioscuri Bay Palace

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 10


    Travel through the vineyards of the southern hills towards the seaside resort of Taormina. Arrive this afternoon in the resort town of Taormina, your home for the next two nights.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: Caesar Palace

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 11


    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 experience 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 Dining)

  • Day 12


    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)

    Hotel: Johanna Park

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 13


    Visit an inlaid-wood workshop to see a Local Speciality 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. 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 with wine)

  • Day 14


    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)

    Hotel: Sheraton Golf Parco de Medici

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 15


    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

  • 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 Expert 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.
  • Local Speciality Visit Giudecca Island for an insider look at Venetian Arts. See glass-blowing artisans and other craftsmen in action.
  • Local Speciality Visit an inlaid-wood workshop in Sorrento.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tours in Rome, Florence, Assisi, Pompeii, Palermo and Agrigento.
  • Orientation of Sorrento.
  • Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice and to the Isle of Capri.
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the amazing Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, the Roman Colosseum, St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, the excavations at Pompeii, the Norman Cathedral at Monreale, the fishing village of Mondello, the Valley of the Temples and an inlaid wood factory in Sorrento.
  • View the Roman Forum, Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo in Florence, the Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica, Palermo Cathedral and the fortress town of Enna.


  • 14 hot buffet breakfasts.
  • 7 dinners (including Welcome Reception, Be My Guest, 4 three-course dinners with wine and Farewell Dinner).

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • Overnight cruise from Naples to Palermo.
  • Ferry across the Straits of Messina to mainland Italy.
  • Return cruise to the Isle of Capri.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo.

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
  • * 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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