Southern Italy and Sicily
Duration: 10 Days
Destinations: Rome - Sorrento - Capri - Taormina - Agrigento - Erice - Mondello - Palermo
1st Day: Welcome to Rome
Ciao Roma, "the Eternal City", which you'll have an opportunity to explore on your own before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception this evening. Enjoy an orientation drive - a perfect introduction to this beautiful city, the center of which has been claimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its ruins, imposing monuments, statues and fountains.
2nd Day: Explore the Ruins of Pompeii and Sorrento (2 Nights)
From Rome, visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino to commemorate those who died here in the WWII battle, and view the Benedictine Abbey, originally founded by Saint Benedict in the 6th century. Next, stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pompeii. Your "Local Specialist" will take you on a walking tour of the excavations buried for centuries under a layer of volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted. See such sites as the Gymnasium, the Temple of Apollo and the impressive Basilica before arriving later at your hotel in Sorrento.
3nd Day: A Day on the Isle of Capri
Take a ferry to the Isle of Capri, the isle of sirens according to Greek mythology. You'll ascend to Capri town by funicular railway and see the famous Piazzetta during your guided walking tour with a "Local Specialist" . Spend some free time people-watching at one of the local cafes before returning to the mainland where you can enjoy free time in Sorrento. (Breakfast, Dinner)
4th Day: Cross the Strait to Taormina (3 Nights)
Drive south via Salerno and through Calabria, crossing the straits of Messina to Sicily and the beachside resort town of Giardini Naxos below Taormina. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
5th Day: Gardens and More in Taormina
Your "Local Specialist" will take you on a walking tour of Taormina on the slopes of Monte Tauro overlooking the sea. Visit the Greek theater and see the terraced botanical gardens. Then, stroll along the elegant Corso Umberto with a gelsi gelato and on to the Piazza for splendid panoramic views across the bay. Later, there's free time for shopping for souvenirs and handmade ceramics on the Corso.
6th Day: Taormina Your Way
Enjoy a full day to do as you please in this beautiful resort town. Shop, relax, see the sights of your choice or consider an "Optional Experience". Whatever you decide, your Travel Director will be on hand to help you get the most out of your day. Tonight, "Connect With Locals" during a "Be My Guest" experience hosted at a beautiful family-owned Sicilian lemon farm overlooking Mount Etna.
7th Day: Journey to Ancient Agrigento
Enjoy views of Enna on the way to Agrigento, where your "Local Specialist" will take you to the Valley of the Temples - the finest Greek sanctuary in Sicily. See the Temple of Concord and the Temple of Juno overlooking the sea.
8th Day: Explore Sicilian Towns and on to Palermo (2 Nights)
Travel to Erice and explore this famous hilltop medieval town in western Sicily with its cobbled streets, Norman castles and stunning views of the sea, salt pans and wooded hillsides. Perhaps take a walk to the ruins of Venus Castle with its Balio Gardens. Before arriving in Palermo, the Sicilian capital, visit the chic seaside resort of Mondello, with its beautiful beach, popular with the elite Palermitans.
9th Day: Enjoy the Views in Monreale
Meet your "Local Specialist" this morning for a sightseeing tour of Palermo. See Palermo's famous Opera House and the Cathedral. Travel to Monreale for views of La Conca d' Oro and explore the magnificent12th-century Norman Cathedral. Late, join your companions and celebrate your journey with a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
10th Day: Journey Home
Say "arrivederci" to Sicily and your newfound friends at the end of a memorable vacation.