Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily (Summer 2015)

Prices From: €  (Per person)

Tour Cat.: Country Roads Tour

Duration: 13  days


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Tour Code: E725M10

Cat. Name: TourStyles

Tour Cat.: Country Roads Tour

Duration: 13  days

Description:

Besides the unmissable treasures of Rome, Pompeii and the Neapolitan Riviera, you also explore the unique ‘trulli' houses of Alberobello and the Sassi di Matera, complemented by the rich Greek, Roman and Norman heritage of Sicily.Tour Pace - Comfortable

Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome

On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(Welcome Reception and Dinner) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 1
Accommodation: Veneto Palace, Rome


Papal & Imperial Rome

After a relaxing breakfast, join your local expert to visit St. Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Cross the Tiber to visit the famous Colosseum where gladiators once fought and see the Forum – former religious, political and commercial heart of the Roman Empire. The rest of the day is free to do as you please.(Buffet Breakfast) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 2
Accommodation: Veneto Palace, Rome


The Vatican and on to Ancient Pompeii and Sorrento

This morning, meet a local expert for a guided tour through the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Later, pass the hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino and cross the Apennines to some of the lesser travelled provinces of Italy. Continue to Pompeii, buried in AD79 by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk with a local expert through the cobbled streets for a glimpse of daily life of Roman civilisation before arriving at the picturesque resort of Sorrento.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 3
Accommodation: Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento


Exploring Capri, the Isle of Dreams

Wake up full of anticipation for your trip to Capri - the isle of dreams. Under the Mediterranean sun, take an open top taxi up to Capri Town, where you can explore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and enjoy the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by funicular railway before returning to Sorrento for some relaxation time.(Buffet Breakfast) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 4
Accommodation: Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento


Scenic drive to Matera and Alberobello

Venture along country roads to Matera for an in-depth exploration of the extraordinary ‘Sassi' - troglodyte dwellings and churches dug out of the rock, the most extensive example of their kind in the Mediterranean. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mel Gibson chose Matera as the setting for his film ‘The Passion of the Christ'. Continue to the region known for its strange white Trulli buildings.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 5
Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa Di Chietri, Alberobello


The Trulli of Alberobello and Castellaneta Experience

In the morning, admire the Trulli of Alberobello - circular structures with conical roofs and domed within, built with local limestone and stacked without using mortar. Now on to medieval Castellaneta, birth place of Rudolph Valentino where in an underground cellar, witness a pasta making demonstration of the local Orecchiette pasta with Chef Pino followed by a highlight lunch, including the local Primitivo wine and Burrata cheese, both specialities from Puglia. Enjoy! After lunch, see Castellaneta's picturesque Great Ravine before returning to Alberobello where the rest of the day is free.(Buffet Breakfast / Highlight Lunch) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 6
Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa Di Chietri, Alberobello


Alberobello at Leisure

Today is free for you to enjoy this fascinating town. Perhaps visit Ostuni with its stark, white-washed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways, Ostuni is reminiscent of a North African Arab Medina. Later relax and enjoy the facilities of your Signature hotel.(Buffet Breakfast) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 7
Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa Di Chietri, Alberobello


Over to Sicily & the Taormina Riviera

The local roads take you south this morning to follow the shores of the Gulf of Taranto to the mountainous Calabria region. Continue along the Purple Coast to the very toe of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily. According to ancient legend, it was here at the Straits of Messina where the twin whirlpools of Scylla and Charybdis carried unwary seafarers away to their doom! It is not too far now to your hotel for three glorious nights on the Taormina Riviera. Relax, settle in, and admire the uninterrupted views of the sea from the comfort of your hotel.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 8
Accommodation: Hilton Giardini Naxos


Taormina & the Dawn Coast of Europe

Early risers may experience what D.H. Lawrence christened the ‘dawn coast of Europe'. After breakfast, transfer to Taormina which clings to the side of Mount Tauro, overlooking the Ionian Sea and the snowy peak of Mt. Etna. Join a local expert for a visit to the Greek Theatre, graced with the most spectacular of backs. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina's grandest building. Further along elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. Then enjoy Sicily's most idyllic town at your own pace.(Buffet Breakfast) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 9
Accommodation: Hilton Giardini Naxos


Free Time on the Taormina Riviera

Enjoy a full free day at leisure to relax at your resort's private beach, visit the historic Greek and Roman ruins, or explore the medieval quarter? Don't miss the chance of an optional drive through the vineyards to Mt Etna, Europe's largest volcano, plus a visit to Syracuse, founded by Corinthians eight centuries before Christ. For dinner this evening, you are offered a ion of local restaurants for a more intimate dining experience.(Buffet Breakfast / Dine-Around) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 10
Accommodation: Hilton Giardini Naxos


Head to Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples and on to Palermo

Drive to Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily, where the Valley of the Temples once formed part of the ancient Greek colony of Akragas. Meet with a local expert and walk along the fortified ridge, stopping at all the main temples. Especially impressive are the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno, overlooking the sea. In the afternoon, continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.(Buffet Breakfast) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 11
Accommodation: Hotel Garibaldi, Palermo


Palermo & the Golden Age of the Normans

After a restful night's sleep, join a historian to see the highlights of the city. Pass the huge Teatro Massimo to the Baroque Quattro Canti Square and glimpse the beauties of the ‘fountain of shame'. Palermo Cathedral has been altered over the years - go inside to appreciate the composite of architectural styles. Now to the amazing Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans. Outside, there are few clues to its astonishing interior - completely covered in glittering 12th century mosaics. In the afternoon, there is free time to explore or shop in Palermo or continue sightseeing. Tonight, join your fellow guests for an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine, wine and music.(Buffet Breakfast / Celebration Dinner) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 12
Accommodation: Hotel Garibaldi, Palermo


Depart Palermo

Today your journey draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Palermo Airport at 06:00 and 08:00.(Buffet Breakfast) Duration
1 day(s)
Start Day
day: 13


Country Locations

Italy Italy
ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: Enjoy a private guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Alberobello: Explore the unique Trulli buildings. Join in the social ritual of ‘La Passeggiata'.
  • Taormina: Visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
  • Palermo: See Quattro Canti Square. Visit Palermo Cathedral.
  • Sorrento: Explore this delightful resort.
  • Scenic Drives: Apennines, Calabria mountains, Sorrento cliff top road, Capri corniche.

HIGHLIGHT HOTELS AND LOCATIONS

  • Rome: The Elegant 4 star Veneto Palace hotel is an exclusive and restrained residence in one of the most elegant parts of the historic centre, just moments from the fashionable Via Veneto and Rome's largest public park.
  • Alberobello: The signature La Chiusa di Chietri hotel is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenic surrounds.

SIGNATURE DINING

  • Castellaneta: In an underground cellar in medieval Castellaneta, enjoy a pasta making demonstration followed by a delicious lunch with wine and Burrata cheese.
  • Taormina: Choose from our hand-picked ion of local restaurants for tonight's Dine-Around evening, each with its own ambience and distinctive cuisine.
  • Palermo: Enjoy fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine at your Celebration Dinner.
  • Welcome Reception (WD), 12 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 Highlight Lunch (H), 3 three-course table d'hôte Dinners, or Buffets, plus tea or coffee (D) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD).

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES AND DINING

  • Rome: Witness the wonders of ancient Rome! See the Forum, and visit the Colosseum with a local guide.
  • Rome: Gain VIP entrance into the Vatican Museums and be among the few to admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Admire the Popes' treasure-trove and confront the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a local expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle and in the style of the jet-set, ride up to town by open top taxi.
  • Matera: Visit the famous ‘Sassi' or cave dwellings, which were home to about 20,000 people until 1950.
  • Taormina: Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats in the ancient Greek Theatre and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
  • Agrigento: A guide leads you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples.
  • Palermo: Walk through the Palace of the Normans to stand in the jewel-like Palatine chapel for an up close look at some of the finest examples of Norman art.

INCLUDED FIRST CLASS SERVICES
  • An expert Insight Tour Director - at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges', expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
  • Insight motor coach - Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • Personal radio headsets - gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere - with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Complimentary WiFi - the majority of Insight hotels have free WiFi access in lobby or bedroom areas. You will also find that WiFi is generally available on most touring coaches.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

(*) FLIGHTS NOT INCLUDED - Please ask for a quote

      
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