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Insight Vacations Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily (Summer 2017) (E725)

15 Days from Rome to Palermo Print
Tour Style: Country Roads Tour
Europe & Britain 2017/18
Visits: Italy

Experience the treasures of Rome, Pompeii and the Neapolitan Riviera, the unique ‘trulli' houses of Alberobello and the Sassi di Matera, and the rich heritage of Sicily.

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.
  • Taormina: Visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
  • Sorrento: Explore this delightful resort.
  • Scenic Drives: Apennines, Calabria mountains, Sorrento cliff top road, Capri corniche.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • 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 handpicked selection of local restaurants for your Dine-Around evening, each with its own ambience and distinctive cuisine.
  • Palermo: Enjoy fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine at your Celebration Dinner.
  • 13 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Highlight Lunches (HL), 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 three-course table d’hôte Dinners (DW), 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Rome: Gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums and be among the select few to admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Admire the Popes' treasure-trove and confront the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Rome: Sightsee the local way with a leisurely passeggiata through the backstreets, where a friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
  • 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. Your Local Expert will show you around the narrow alleyways and exclusive boutiques.
  • 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 Local Expert will lead 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 a close-up look at some of the finest examples of Norman art.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Alberobello: The signature La Chiusa di Chietri hotel is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
  • Giardini Naxos: Overlooking the Ionian Sea, the Hilton Giardini Naxos boasts traditional Mediterranean hospitality and fabulous rooms and facilities.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • 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.
  • A personal radio headset 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.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • 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.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

Day: 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day: 2 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.(WD)
Day: 3 Rome with the Locals
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking tour in the morning has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time to do as the Romans do, or perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum?(BB)
Day: 4 VIP Vatican and onto Sorrento
In the 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 depart for the picturesque resort of Sorrento.(BB)
Day: 5 Exploring Capri, the Isle of Dreams
Wake up full of anticipation for your trip to Capri - the Isle of Dreams, where you will meet your Local Expert. Under the Mediterranean sun, ride up to the town by funicular railway, where you can explore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and enjoy the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis before returning to Sorrento. Investigate the art of 'intarsio' or marquetry wood inlaying before returning to your hotel.(BB / DW)
Day: 6 Pompeii, Matera and Alberobello
Start your day in Pompeii, buried in AD79 by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets. Later, venture along country roads to Matera, with a Local Expert enjoy 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 on to Alberobello.(BB / DW)
Day: 7 The Trulli of Alberobello and Castellaneta Experience
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, with a Local Expert, admire another of Italy's record number of World Heritage sites, the Trulli of Alberobello - circular structures with conical roofs and domed within, built with local limestone and stacked without using mortar. Head to medieval Castellaneta, birth place of Rudolph Valentino where in an underground cellar, you will 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. After lunch, see Castellaneta's picturesque Great Ravine before returning to Alberobello where the rest of the day is free.(BB / HL)
Day: 8 Alberobello at Leisure
(Relaxed Start) The day is free for you to enjoy this fascinating town. Perhaps visit Ostuni - reminiscent of a North African Arab Medina - with its stark, white-washed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways? Later, relax and indulge in the facilities of your Signature hotel.(BB)
Day: 9 Journey South to Maratea
(Relaxed Start) The local roads take you south to the coastal town of Maratea. Known as 'the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian', its beautiful and peaceful location has offered an idyllic hideaway for many of the rich and famous over the years, including Frank Sinatra and Princess Diana. After checking into your hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure, so you may wish to spend it relaxing on one of its many pocket-sized beaches or sipping cocktails with the jet-set at the stylish harbour.(BB)
Day: 10 To Sicily and the Taormina Riviera
In the morning, travel 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! You will soon arrive at your hotel where you will spend three glorious nights on the Taormina Riviera. 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. Further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. In the evening, take your pick of specially selected restaurants for your Dine-Around evening.(BB / DA)
Day: 11 Taormina and the Dawn Coast of Europe
(Relaxed Start) The day is at leisure to relax at your resort's private beach, or perhaps 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 stop in Savoca, the village used for the filming of The Godfather.(BB)
Day: 12 Free Time on the Taormina Riviera
(Relaxed Start) Early risers may experience what D.H. Lawrence christened the ‘dawn coast of Europe'. The day is free to explore Taormina at your leisure or to embark on an optional experience to Syracuse, to witness Caravaggio's painting the 'Burial of St. Lucy'.(BB / RD)
Day: 13 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 of the Valley of the 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.(BB)
Day: 14 Palermo and the Golden Age of the Normans
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 - venture inside to appreciate the composite of architectural styles. Journey on 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. At night, join your fellow guests for an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine, wine and music.(BB / CD)
Day: 15 Depart Palermo
Your journey draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Palermo Airport at 06:00 & 08:00.(BB)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare, Triple

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Guaranteed Departure 09/08/2017 $3,695.00
Guaranteed Departure 09/29/2017 $3,525.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/13/2017 $3,525.00
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