Day 2- Palermo City tour / Street food Capo Market / Monreale Cathedral
Breakfast in our hotel before embarking on an orientation tour showcasing the highlights of this historic city. We visit the Teatro Massimo, (largest opera house in Italy) the Baroque Quattro Canti Square, Palermo Cathedral, the Palace of the Normans . Afterwards we will move to the Capo market. We will immediately begin to explore the Sicilian culture and cuisine. The itinerary begins with a visit to the Capo market, the oldest market in Palermo, where we will see and taste the famous street food: panelle, arancine, croquettes and pani ca meusa. You will admire the small and colorful shacks that characterize the richness of fruit, fish and meat; the sellers, screaming, to get your attention.
This afternoon we travel to the hill top town of Monreale, (UNESCO World Heritage site) where we visit the magnificent Norman Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece with its interior of glittering 12th century Byzantine mosaics - B-Street Food-
Day 3 – Palermo / Erice / Saline dello Stagnone e Mozia
This morning we visit hill top medieval village of Erice with its breathtaking views, Erice is often referred to as the ‘ Village in the Clouds.’
This historic town is surrounded by defensive town walls, crowned by a castle and dominates the surrounding area from it’s mountainous height of approximately 800 metres above sea level.
Walk along the cobbled streets lined with superb examples of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Be sure to sample the famous sweets of Erice,at the Pasticceria Maria Grammatico, where ancient recipes were handed down by the nuns of cloistered monasteries. After the visit, let's go to the Saline dello Stagnone in Marsala. Then we will take the boat to visit mozia Island and the Whitaker Museum. At the end Return to the hotel in Palermo. B-L- Pastry shop
Day 4 – Palermo . Cantina Planeta – Menfi /Scala dei Turchi / Agrigento Valley of the temples
This morning we travel to the wine growing town of Menfi, whose surrounding hills are carpeted by acre upon acre of vineyards. Here, at Planeta Dispensa winery we will enjoy wine tasting and a lunch of typical Sicilian products. After the visit, we continue to Agrigento and along the way we stop to admire the Scala Dei Turchi. Time needed to take pictures and continue to Agrigento.
This afternoon, we visit Agrigento with its famous ‘Valley of the Temples’, one of the largest and best preserved collections of ancient Greek architecture outside of Greece. This magnificent archaeological park consists of eight temples built between 430 and 510BC, all majestically positioned in the same area on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento. . B-WT-L
Day 5 - Agrigento / Val Paradiso Oil Company / Piazza Armerina – SYRACUSE
After breakfast we will leave for Naro, guided tour at the Val Paradiso company with a visit to the olive groves and fields conducted in organic; visit of the oil mill, the cellar, bottling room with in addition a tasting guided by our panels, of EVO oil.
Sicilian Food Festival - Street Food served buffet style at the Val Paradiso Academy "permanent school of Sicilian oil". The buffet includes: assorted bruschetta, olives and olive pate, bread and panelle, arancine, pizza by the slice, sfincione, Sicilian cheeses and cold cuts, a first of cold pasta, a second cold
typical of Sicilian cuisine, eggplant parmigiana or caponata, and other seasonal specialties. After lunch, we move to Piazza Armerina known worldwide for the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Continue to Syracuse, overnight at the hotel. . B-OT-L
Day 6 - Siracusa/ Visiting Ragusa & Modica
After breakfast we visit the Baroque towns of Ragusa and Modica with our guide. Both these towns have been inscribed by UNESCO World Heritage as ‘representing the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe’.
Ragusa is picturesque aristocratic and grand as well as urban and modernistic. The town is divided in two parts, the older Ragusa and the new, both unique and totally different to each other. Ragusa
is a favourite stop for fans of inspector Montalbano where scenes where shot at the castle of Donnafugata and neighbouring town of Modica. Here we visit Ragusa Ibla (old town), cathedral San Giovanni, Duomo Di San Giorgio. Giardino Ibleo .
Modica, like Ragusa was severely damaged in 1693 by an earthquake and consists of an upper and lower town. It is famous for its Baroque style churches and Aztec chocolate, a 400 year tradition of chocolate making. Modica chocolate makers believe their chocolate has certain health benefits claiming one square of dark choclate a day reduces sugar cravings and can help loose weight! A visit to the Antica Pasticceria in Cordova Umberto I, for chocolate tastings and a hot chocolate at the bakery called Pasticerria Di Lorenzo should not to be missed. Visit a typical cheese factory for a tasting. Highlights such as the Church of San Pietro, the Church of San Giorgio and the
magnificent view of Modica from the gorge should not be missed. B -Tasting Cheese – Tasting Chocolate
Day 7 - Siracusa. Ortigia - Noto
Siracusa was the largest city in the ancient world during the Greek Classical Period. Today we will visit the Neapolis Archaeplogical park, with its famous Greek Theatre, the Apollo Temple and Cathedral Square. Your walk will continue to Ortiga Island, the historical centre of Siracusa. Walk at the vibrant local fish markets where you will be confronted with an explosion of colour, scents, authentic flavours and where you can enjoy all delicious street food on offer. Tasting of typical Sicilian products, in the famous F.lli delicatessen. Burgio and inthe afternoon we will continue to Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along its main axis it will be possible to admire the palaces, convents and churches that characterize the historic center, among which the Cathedral, the Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata stand out. Overstay a Siracusa B- SL
Day 8 - Siracusa / Shopping Centro Sicilia / Castelmola / Taormina
Shopping: . Designer clothing, shoes bags, gold jewellery, ceramics, Today is set aside for shopping at the famous outlet store Sicilia, or just sitting in the square enjoying a coffee and a delicious canola or maybe a wine while absorbing the atmosphere and the spectacular views or maybe just to catch you breath! Sicilia outlet village Gucci, Hugo Boss, Armani, Michael Kors, Coach, Hilfiger, Dolce and Gabbana, etc. Late afternoon visit to Castelmola, a village perched precariously on a mountaintop above the community of Taormina. A visit to Caffe Turrisi can be entertaining. B-
Day 9 - Taormina Savoca and Forza d’Agro /Home Retaurant da Salvina
After breakfast our guide will take us on a walking tour of the nearby attractions including, the splendid Greek Theatre dating back to the third century BC with magnificent views of the coastline and the fashionable Corsica Umbretto 1, being the vibrant main street of Taormina. Enjoy the breathtaking views from Belvedere Square, stroll on the small courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, the most majestic building in Taormina. We continue our tour to Savoca and Forza d’Agrò where we enjoy lunch at ‘Trattoria Anni 60’ in Forza d’Agro. Director Francis Ford Coppola has chosen these two typical Sicilian villages to set and film many of the most important scenes in the film "Il Padrino" the Godfather starring El Piccino. Visit the church of Santa Lucia where the wedding scene took place or maybe sit down and enjoy a typical Sicilian granita at bar Vitelli, where the meeting between Michael Corleone and Apollonia’s father took place. . Lunch at Salvina's house, (with typical seasonal products,
e.g. caponata, baked pasta with fennel) who will host us to make us taste the delicacies of true Sicilian cuisine thanks to the experience that binds his family to the ancient art of bread B-L
Day 10 - Taormina. Mt Etna Jeep Excursion/ Winery Barone di Villagrande
After breakfast we move to the meeting point with our jeeps, to start a "volcanic" path in every sense is the off-road stretch that we will travel between chestnut trees and puma cola, before reaching one of the most famous and sensational places of Mount Etna: the Valle del Bove. With snow or in the middle of summer, a walk on the edges of the Valley, will allow you to understand the grandeur of the natural events that originated the highest active volcano in Europe. But the adventure doesn't end there! Another walk awaits us: the Bottoniera dei Sartorius, with its extinct craters, surrounded by woods of white birches, will offer you the opportunity to appreciate the singularity of one of the places of the highest naturalistic interest that Sicily can boast. After a short stop at the refuge / chalet, the time comes to penetrate the deep mysteries of Etna: we will take you inside a lava flow cave to discover what the seething magma leaves behind when it leaves the surface and continues inexorably its path hidden from the eyes of man. We will explain the interesting underground geological phenomena that occur as a result of the passage of the incandescent flow, and after admiring the secret work of Etna, with eyes still full of lights and colors never seen before, we will resume the way back. The jeep tour will last about 4 hours.Lunch and a wine tasting and lunch, at Barone di Villagrande, located on the slopes of Mt Etna is included. B-WT-L
Day 11 - Taormina / Messina / Tropea
This morning we travel to Messina, where we board our ferry to cross the Messina straight toward Italy. Travel through the mountainous region of Calabria to our coastal destination of Tropea. Tropea is perched above the Tyrrhenian Sea and is stunningly beautiful with fantastic beaches, a charming historical centre, and restaurants serving the most delicious fresh seafood. (B)
This morning we have a walking tour of this beautiful town, exploring its wonderful streets and pristine white beaches renowned for being amongst the best and cleanest in Italy. Dramatic rock formations, cliffs coves, and grottoes dot the coastline of this Caribbean-like water Be sure to taste their famous chocolate truffle ice cream, you’ll go back for more. B - L
Day 13 - Tropea / Polignano / Ostuni
Today we travel to the stunning city of Ostuni Along the way, we stop at Polignano , for a visit. B
Day 14 - Sunday – Alberobello
Explore the narrow streets of the unique and spectacular town of Alberobello. These small white-washed houses known as Trulli – circular structures with conical roofs, domed interiors and built entirely without mortar are clustered together throughout the city . The visit will last a half day. 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 we visit a local ‘Masseria’ a typical ancient fortified ‘Farmhouse’ of Puglia. We enjoy an incredible, authentic Puglian style dinner in a beautiful setting. B-D
Day 15 - Ostuni
This morning we have a guided tour 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 sea, the white town is a photographer s delight.
Visit the museum ‘Civilta’ found in the church of San Vito Martire, and see the 26,000 year old skeleton of a pregnant Palaeolithic woman (later named Donna Di Ostuni) was found.
We then Visit a mill to taste the renowned olive oil produced in this area that incorporate s olives from the ancient groves of Puglia . B – OT - D
Day 16 - Ostuni / Matera / Sorrento.
On route to Positano we visit the UNESCO World Heritage site and 2019 Cultural Capital of Europe for 2019, the city of Matera. Matera is a labyrinth of cave dwellings, churches, staircases and arches, hewn out of solid rock. You may recognise Matera as the biblical backdrop for the film ‘The Passion Of Christ”, it is the 3rd oldest city in the world.
We continue our travel across the countryside to the magnificent Amalfi coast. Tonight our stay is in the breathtaking Sorrento. B
Day 17 - Sorrento. Isle of Capri
This morning we board the hydrofoil to the isle of Capri. Capri is famed for its upscale fashion to limoncello and hand made leather sandels. One of the best known natural sights is the Blue Grotto, a dark cave where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave. (A visit to the blue grotto is at your own expense) Travel in a topless convertible to the residential district of Anna Capri. Dinner tonight is at the famous ristorante Circolo dei forestieri In Sorrento. B-D
Day 18 - Sorrento Pompeii / Rome
This morning we journey north to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, eerily preserved by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A D. 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. Visit Half day. Continue to the Eternal City of Rome where the remainder of the afternoon is free. B
Day 19 - Rome
This morning we visit the Vatican, included today will be a guided tour through the Vatican museums which contain 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 all- the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling painted by Michelangelo is considered the work of a genius! Next door in St Peters Basilica is another of his works, the emotive ‘Pieta’. Stand beneath the splendid dome completed after Michelangelo death.
The remainder of the afternoon is free. 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-D
Day 20 -Rome. Colosseum. Trevi Fountain / Pantheon / Piazza Navona
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. Walk in the footsteps of Roman solders and gaze over the incredible ruins of the Forum, once the centre of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty 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 will then finish in Piazza Navona with its pavement cafes, 17 century fountains and architecture. B
Day 21- Welcome Italia
Our memorable tour ends this morning after breakfast with transfers to Rome Fumicino airport for onward flight home
B= Bed and breakfast
WT= Wine tasting
OT= Oil Tasting
3 Nights a Palermo Hotel Piazza Borsa 4* or similar
1 Night Agrigento Hotel Dioscuri 4* or similar
3 Nights Siracusa Caportigia Boutique hotel Hotel 5* or similar
3 Nights Taormina Palace Hotel 4* or similar
2 Nights Tropea Solmaris Hotel 4* or similar
3 Nights Ostuni Hotel Monte Sarago 4* or similar
2 Nights Sorrento Miramare Hotel 4* or similar
3 Nights Roma Navona Queen Hotel 4* or similar
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
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. Extras • Optional excursions • Anything not mentioned in “Price Includes”