Are you ready to see a different part of Italy? May 2-15, 2024.
Southern Italy & Sicily
featuring Taormina, Matera and the Amalfi Coast
Day: 1
Overnight Flight
The hidden treasures of Southern Italy and Sicily are yours to explore, for it’s here you’ll find breathtaking scenery, historic cities, centuries-old hilltop villages and iconic cuisine.
Day: 2
Palermo, Sicily – Tour Begins
Dinner NH Palermo
Your Italian sojourn opens in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. Discover the city’s vibrant culture as you take in its picturesque harbors, cobblestone piazzas, and captivating energy. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner featuring authentic Sicilian cuisine.
Day: 3
Breakfast NH Palermo
Get to know “Palermo in a Nutshell” and discover the city’s Moorish, Norman, and Spanish architecture on a walking tour. Explore the Kalsa district – home to Mafia legends and lush gardens – before continuing your walk through Palermo’s famous landmarks such as the Fontana Pretoria, the Quattro Canti, and the Cathedral. This evening visit a medieval palace, where a countess guides you through her family’s home, joining you for an aperitif and hors d’oeuvres.
Day: 4
Breakfast NH Palermo
Decide how you spend your day in the Sicilian capital. Perhaps you’ll peruse the open-air markets, visit one of Palermo’s art galleries, or relax in an outdoor café. Or you might venture further afield and join a full-day optional excursion to medieval Cefalù (UNESCO). Tour this remarkable seaside town with a local guide before visiting a nearby farm for a ricotta cheese* demonstration and farm-to-table dinner, made with family recipes.
Day: 5
Palermo – Monreale – Agrigento – Valley of the Temples
Breakfast & Dinner Baia di Ulisse
Visit the nearby hilltop town of Monreale (UNESCO), ascending on foot to its 12th-century cathedral for a guided tour of its majestic Byzantine mosaics. Then, it’s your choice! Explore the cathedral’s cloisters, taking in their serene atmosphere of the monastic complex -OR- ascend the southern tower to the panoramic terraces for a bird’s-eye view over Palermo. Travel over rolling hills and peaceful farmland to the town of Agrigento. Upon arrival, explore the stunning Valley of the Temples (UNESCO), one of the world’s most esteemed archeological sites, and get an up-close view of the temples of Juno, Concordia, and Hercules.
Day: 6
Agrigento – Taormina – Giardini Naxos
Breakfast & Dinner Una Hotel Naxos Beach Sicilia
Journey east to Sicily’s Ionian Coast. En route, discover beautiful Taormina, home to ancient relics, rocky hills, and charming gardens. With an expert local guide, you’ll stroll the lively pedestrian only main street, the Corso Umberto, see the imposing Corvaja Palace, and the city’s well-preserved Greek theatre. Later this afternoon, continue on to Giardini Naxos – the “garden of Sicily” – for your 2-night stay.
Day: 7
Giardini Naxos – Mt. Etna – Giardini Naxos
Breakfast Una Hotel Naxos Beach Sicilia
This morning, set out for the impressive Mt. Etna Volcano National Park (UNESCO) where a local expert introduces you to the park’s spectacular landscapes sculpted by nature. This afternoon, enjoy free time in Giardini Naxos to relax in this seaside resort. Or perhaps you’ll join an optional tour to charming Savoca. This historic hill-top village was one of the filming locations for the classic 1972 movie The Godfather. Then let traditional Sicilian melodies fill the air as you savor a traditional Sicilian dinner before returning to Giardini Naxos.
Day: 8
Giardini Naxos – Matera
Breakfast & Dinner UNA MH Matera Hotel
Take a short ferry ride to Villa San Giovanni, located on Italy’s mainland. Pass through the unspoiled region of Calabria to the Basilicata region. Wander through the twisting vines of a local winery before touring the cellar for a tasting. Linger over regional cuisine at dinner in the winery’s agriturismo restaurant.
Day: 9
Matera – Alberobello – Matera
Breakfast & Dinner UNA MH Matera Hotel
Explore the Sassi di Matera (UNESCO), an ancient settlement of carved cave dwellings. A local guide shares the history and explains why film producers are seeking out this unique landscape. Visit a local shop and get a taste of regional specialties. This afternoon decide how you explore because it’s your choice! Discover more of Matera with a guided tour of an underground cistern followed by free time to browse the city’s stores and cave churches -OR- head to Alberobello (UNESCO) and marvel at the town’s whimsical trulli homes, known for their distinct, cone-shaped roofs.
Day: 10
Matera – Sorrento
Breakfast Hotel Michelangelo
After a stop at a sustainable buffalo farm for a taste of freshly made mozzarella and a peek into the history of this iconic cheese, arrive in Sorrento, where you’ll settle in for a 2-night stay. Later this afternoon, discover this charming seaside town during a walking tour and learn about the local tradition of wood marquetry.
Day: 11
Sorrento – Positano – Sorrento
Breakfast & Dinner Hotel Michelangelo
This morning, take in the sights and colors of the Mediterranean Sea as you sail** along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast (UNESCO). Gaze out over the deep blue hues of the sea paired with the bright citrus fruits lining the hillsides. Pause in Positano with its pastel-colored houses and pebbly beaches. Spend time in this legendary locale browsing the posh boutiques or resting along the beach, before returning to Sorrento for an afternoon at leisure. This evening, celebrate the end of your journey with a delightful farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Day: 12
Sorrento – Pompeii – Rome
Breakfast & Dinner Shangri-la Hotel
Journey north to Rome. En route, experience the excavated ruins of Pompeii (UNESCO). A local guide gives you an in-depth look into this 2,000-year-old Roman town, nestled in the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. Step into another time as you explore its preserved buildings and imagine life in the 1st century. Later, check in to your hotel located close to Fiumicino Airport.
Day: 13
Rome – Tour Ends
Your tour comes to a close today.
The price for two people is $12,636.00, which includes flight from Newark, pre night stay in Palermo, travel insurance, 18 meals.
** Price is subject to change after today 8/17/2023**
I can quote for any dates or airports. Can also find something that would fit your needs.
Contact me for a complimentary vacation planning session.