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Day 1 Arrive Palermo Welcome to Sicily!

Upon arrival into Palermo Airport you are met by your Travel Director and embark on an orientation tour showing the highlights of the city (pending arrival time). Pass the Teatro Massimo, the Baroque Quattro Canti Square, Palermo Cathedral and Palace of the Normans. Tonight join your Travel Director at a local restaurant for a Welcome Dinner. (DW) Hotel: Mercure - 2 nights

Day 2 Monreale & Mondello Excursion

Today we travel to the town of Monreale on the slopes of Monte Caputo overlooking the orange, olive and almond groves of La Conca d’Ora, we visit the magnificent 12th century Norman Cathedral. Then continue to Mondello fishing village before we return to Palermo. Tonight we attend a traditional Sicilian puppet show performance at the Teatro Carlo Magno (Subject to availability). (B)

Day 3 Palermo – Agrigento& the Valley of the Temples

We delve into historical wonders of Segesta during time at an archeological site, marvelling at the unfinished temple and absorbing sweeping vistas of Sicily’s sun-drenched valleys and undulating hills. Continue to Agrigento on the southern coast of the island. Here we join a Local Expert to explore the Valley of the Temples, Sicily’s finest Greek sanctuary. Tonight we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D) Hotel: Hotel della Valle – 2 night

Day 4 Agrigento – Sant’Angelo Muxaro – San Biagio Platani

After breakfast we will travel to reach the hinterland of Agrigento where on the hill in After breakfast we will travel to reach the hinterland of Agrigento where on the hill in the center of the Platani River it was born little village call Sant’Angelo Muxaro(old Kamikos, famous for Dedalo and Minosse mitos). The tour allows you to enjoy the peculiarities offered by Sant'Angelo Muxaro, even with a few hours to spare. It is a walk among the picturesque village lanes with stops, tastings and encounters.  A dairy stop with tasting of cheeses produced each day by a local family. A bakery stop with a taste of "pani cunzatu " (bread with local olive oil and pepper), almond cookies and honey, etc. An artisan stop. The tastes and artisinal products are the excuse for the “encounters”. We'll recount a lesser known Sicily to you through its people. After breakfast at the hotel, in the afternoon we continue to San Biagio Platani and its La Festa degli Archi di Pasqua is the spectacular and evocative outcome of an artisan-craft competition, unique in its kind in Sicily. For many weeks, before Easter, the confraternities of the "Madunnara" (devotees to the Madonna) and the "Signurara" (devotees to Jesus), are engaged in the construction of impressive compositions of reeds and clasps. These act as frameworks for magnificent artistic decorations of citrus, laurel and especially bread, in the most varied shapes and sizes. The grandiose artistic constructions, of arches, domes, and bell towers are then arranged along the Corso Umberto I, the main street of the town: the extraordinary refinement of the decorations, combined with the evening lighting transform San Biagio Platani into the most sumptuous and welcoming sky lounge open. (B-SL)

 Day 5 Agrigento – Piazza Armerina  – Taormina

After breakfast departure for Piazza Armerina known worldwide for the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Lunch in a typical Farmhouse and continue to Taormina. (B – L) Hotel Villa Diodoro 3 Nights

Day 6 - Taormina

After breakfast at the hotel, meeting with the guide and visit of the old town of Taormina that clings to the side of Mount Tauro overlooking the Ionian Sea. Join a local expert for a visit to the Greek Theatre graced with the most spectacular of backdrops. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina’s grandest building. We then enjoy an Easter lunch at a local  restaurant. Later transfer to our hotel which has panoramic views of Naxos Bay and where the remainder of the day is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 7 Taormina – Mt Etna Excursion

Today we travel to Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. Ascend through the lush fertile foothills to the craters and barren lunar landscapes nearer the top. Enjoy a walking tour with a Local Expert where the views over the eastern Sicilian coast and Ionian Sea are spectacular. We then enjoy lunch and a wine tasting at Barone di Villagrande, located on the slopes of Mt Etna and surrounded by organically cultivated vineyards, where, for centuries, the tradition of winemaking has been handed down from generation to generation. (B,LW) 

Day 8 Taormina – Milazzo & Ferry to Lipari

This morning we travel to Milazzo to take the ferry crossing to Lipari located in the Aeolian Islands, which are a volcanic archipelago off the coast of Sicily. Here we spend the next 3 nights. Upon arrival we enjoy a walk around the old town with its Archaeological Park and Cathedral, then there is some free time to explore at your own leisure, before we transfer to our hotel. Tonight we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D) **Please note: There is no coach at groups disposal during your stay in the Aeolian Islands. Hotel: Carasco Hotel – 3 nights

Day 9 Boat trip to Salina

After breakfast we transfer to the port and will board a boat to discover some of the most beautiful bays of Lipari and Salina. We will make the first stop at Cave of pomice for a swim, then sail along Acquacalda bay and direct to Salina. The first stop will be at St. Marina Salina to visit the most important municipality of the island. We will visit the wonderful church of Santa Marina with its ancient majolicas! You’ll have time to buy some typical local products such us capers and the liquorose wine Malvasìa. After having skirted the eastern side of the Island, we will stop for a second swim in the charming bay of Pollara, made famous by Massimo Troisi movie “Il Postino”. Next we stop at Lingua, a small fishing village, where in addition to the delightful coves where you can swim, you can visit the salt lake which gave name to this island. For lunch you will enjoy a typical “pani cunzatu” and the delicious “granita” served by Alfredo. On the way back we will visit the most beautiful coves of Lipari and we will enjoy a swim in the beach of Vinci, facing the Faraglioni. In the afternoon back to Lipari and transfer back to our hotel.(B,L)

 Day 10 Boat trip to Panarea & Stromboli

Transfer to the port and board our boat to continue to Panarea where we will visit the Bay of Calajunco, above which the prehistoric village of Capo Milazzese lies and we stop in the adjacent Cala Zimmari for a swim. We will enjoy the scenic ride between the islets by visiting the Cave of Lovers, to arrive at Panarea harbour. Once on the island we will visit the Church of St Peter, which boasts a breathtaking panoramic view, then we will head to the prehistoric village. There is then time for lunch. In the afternoon we will reach Stromboli where we will admire the sea and the small Ginostra and the gigantic rock Strombolicchio. Back on the island, we will visit this charming village, including the house where Ingrid Bergam stayed during the filming of the movie “Stromboli land of God” and where she fell in love with Roberto Rossellini. You will have free time to dine, stroll browsing in shops and in the magnificent gardens or have a swim in the beautiful cobalt blue waters. At sunset we will stop in front of the Sciara del Fuoco, a steep slope crisscrossed by streams of lava, to observe the lava flow and its reddish lapilli. In the evening return to Lipari and overnight. (B)

Day 11 Lipari – Ferry to Milazzo– Catania - Siracusa

This morning we transfer to the port and travel by ferry from Lipari back to Milazzo and then reboard our coach and continue to Catania where we visit the quaint fish market, better known as “la pescheria”, where you will have the opportunity to taste local cheeses, olives and some exquisiteness in oil. On our orientation tour we then see the magnificent Duomo and Piazza, Villa Bellini and the elegant noble buildings of the Palazzo Senatorio. Overnight Siracuse. Tonight we have dinner at included at a local restaurant. (B,D) Hotel: Grand Hotel Villa Politi – 2 night

Day 12– Sitacusa e Noto

After breakfast, we Visit  to Syracuse, where on a walking tour with a local expert, we go off the beaten path in the old town centre and see the town’s landmarks, including the Apollo Temple and Cathedral Square, plus the quiet lanes of the Jewish Quarter. Learn about Syracuse’s history while admiring the Fountain of Aretusa. The tour will end at the vibrant local fish and fruit markets where you can take a breath of local life, colours and scents. We have some free time before we travel to the beautiful town of Noto to explore the traditions and culture. Enjoy a guided tour of the charming town with a knowledgeable guide, admiring the exquisite Baroque architecture. Then spend some time wandering the main shopping streets at your leisure. Perhaps try the Sicilian pastry dessert of cannolo (literally meaning ‘little tube’) or the semi-frozen dessert called Granita, made with sugar, water and flavourings, both originally from Sicily. (B)

Day 13 Siracusa – Polignano A Mare

This morning we transfer to board our ferry from Sicily to Italy. Travel along the Purple Coast and through the mountainous Calabri region and follow the shores of the Gulf of Taranto to our hotel in Polignano a Mare in the Apulia region of Italy for our 3 night stay. Dinner tonight is included at our hotel. (B,D) Hotel: Cala Ponte Hotel – 3 nights

Day 14 Alberobello

Explore the narrow streets of the spectacular town of Alberobello. We admire the small white-washed houses known as Trulli - circular structures with conical roofs and domed within, are clustered together throughout the city and built entirely without Mortar. This region is a paradise for wine-lovers so join an expert vinter for a tasting of Puglia’s most robust and structured reds. Tonight it’s off to the countryside to a local ‘Masseria’, a typical ancient fortified ‘Farmhouse’ of Puglia. We enjoy an incredible, authentic Puglian style dinner in a beautiful setting. A wonderful ‘country roads’ experience all served up with great wines form this region! (B,DW)

Day 15 Ostuni Excursion

Today we travel to the stunning city of Ostuni, with its stark white-washed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways. Ostuni is reminiscent of a North African Arab Medina. Perched high above the beautiful sea, the ‘White Town’ is a photographer’s delight. Then, we’ll visit a Mill to taste the renowned olive oil produced in this area that incorporates olives from the ancient groves of Puglia! (B)

Day 16 Polignano A Mare - Matera – Sorrento

Visit Matera with a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sassi - a labyrinth of cave dwellings, churches, staircases and arches, hewn out of the solid rock. You may recognise Matera as the biblical backdrop for the film ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ Your journey continues with rolling green hills and wide mountain views paving the way, as you head towards the Tyrrhenian Sea. Take the dramatic coastal road to the lively clifftop town of Sorrento. We enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant, featuring some of the famous dishes of this region! (B,D) Hotel: Art Hotel Gran Paradiso – 3 nights

Day 17 Isle of Capri Excursion

Board the jetfoil to the sun-drenched island of Capri. Arrive at Marina Grande and take a funicular ride up to Capri town. A Local Expert escorts you to the luxuriant Caesar Augustus Gardens for views of the Faraglioni rocks and a crunchy, refreshing lemon granita - a specialty of the island. Savour the cosmopolitan mood of the Piazzetta before descending to the port by open-top taxi and returning to Sorrento where you are at leisure for the rest of the afternoon. (B)

Day 18 Amalfi Coast Excursion

Travel along Italy’s finest coastline, the Amalfi Coast. Stop for a bird’s-eye view of the terraced houses of Positano before venturing in to the heart of the town. There’s time to be tempted by the boutiques before returning to Sorrento to enjoy stunning views down to the clear waters of the Bay of Naples. Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, is a hub of activity; maybe relax over coffee and contemplate your options. You could stroll down to the harbour, visit the Church of St. Francis, take a swim from the foot of the cliffs or just relax and enjoy the warm, southern sunshine. (B)

Day 19 Sorrento – Pompeii - Rome

Journey north to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, eerily preserved by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Your Local Expert walks you through cobbled streets to explore some of the shops, villas and temples. Witness the colourful frescoes that were hidden for centuries. Continue beneath the brooding hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino and to the Eternal City of Rome, where the remainder of the evening is free. (B) Hotel: Colonna  Palace – 3 nights

Day 20 Rome Sightseeing

This morning with our local expert, we’ll explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire and hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat inside the mighty Colosseum. Then, we’ll walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and gaze over the incredible ruins of the forum, once the centre of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty Roman Empire. We then discover the most charming areas in the city. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares of Rome’s historic centre, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City. We then finish in the Piazza Navona with its pavement cafes, 17th century fountains and architecture. (B)

Day 21 Rome Sightseeing

Join a local expert for a guided visit through the Vatican Museums containing the accumulated treasures of the Popes. We visit a number of rooms, including the famous collection of tapestries and maps, before arriving at the greatest treasure of them all – the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling painted by Michelangelo is considered a work of genius! Next door in St Peters Basilica, wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pieta’ and stand beneath the splendid dome completed after his death. The remainder of the afternoon is then free at leisure. Perhaps shop in the boutiques near the Spanish Steps or relax in a sidewalk café? In the evening join your fellow travellers at a local restaurant for a Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine and wine! (B,DW) Day

22 Day Depart Rome

Our memorable tour ends this morning after breakfast with a transfer to Rome Fumicino airport for our onward flight home! (B)

 

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WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Accommodation: based on twin share in handpicked hotels for 21 nights. Hotels quoted are to be used as a guide only and are subject to availability and change at the time of booking. If the quoted hotel is unavailable, we will secure another hotel in the same category as similar as possible.
  • Sightseeing and meals: all included as per the itinerary.
  • Travel Director: services of a professional English speaking Travel Director throughout, for days 1 to 22. Local Expert guides where required and as noted on the itinerary.
  • Service charges: tips to restaurants where a meal is included by Amunì Viaggi. Service charges and local taxes on services provided by Amunì Viaggi. (Except local airport and border taxes).
  • Transportation: exclusive use of air-conditioned coach from day 1 - day 9 and day 12 - day 22 (subject to conditions). Arrival and departure transfers are based on one group arrival and one group departure transfer. Should members of the group require transfers outside this time, they will have to make their own transport arrangements. Local coaches used for included transfers /sightseeing arrangements only; Day 9,10,11 and 12. Local coaches are 20 seaters.
  • Porterage: one piece of luggage per person, in and out of hotels provided by Insight.

 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

The following can be discussed with us in addition to the quote issued so far: International, domestic and internal airfares. Optional Experiences, travel insurance, visas and items of a personal nature. Gratuities to Travel Director, Driver and Local Guides. Refer to separate cost for prepaid gratuities to Travel Director and Driver. Recommended tipping for Local Guides is 2.00 EURO per person per guide.

















 
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