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Insight Vacations Grand Tour of Italy and Sicily (Preview 2018) (E921)

18 Days from Rome to Palermo Print
Tour Style: Regional Trip
Europe Britain Preview 2018/19
Visits: Italy

Contrast the domed cathedral of Florence with the beehive Trulli of Alberbello or Taormina's hillside location with the beautiful canals of Venice.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: Enjoy a private guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Pisa: See the Cathedral, Baptistery and ‘Leaning Tower.
  • Italian Lakes: Join us in the social ritual of ‘La Passeggiata'.
  • Verona: See the Roman Arena and Juliet's balcony.
  • Venice: Cruise to St. Mark's Square by private launch. See St. Mark's Basilica, bell tower, clock tower, Doges' Palace and Bridge of Sighs.
  • Florence: During your guided walking tour, see the Cathedral, belltower, ‘Gates of Paradise' on the Baptistery and visit Signoria Square. Witness a leather-work demonstration.
  • Sorrento: See an‘Intarsio' demonstration.
  • Taormina: Visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
  • Palermo: See Quattro Canti Square. Visit Palermo Cathedral.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Alberobello: Stop at a cellar for a local insight into the robust wines of the region with tasting.
  • Sorrento: Choose from a fine selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around evening.
  • Palermo: Enjoy an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine, wine and music.
  • 16 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 5 three-course table d’hôte Dinners (DW), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Rome: Be among the select few to gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums, see the Bramante Staircase and Michelangelo's ceiling 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.
  • Cinque Terre: Spend time at this picturesque UNESCO World Heritage listed Site with a Local Expert.
  • Portofino: Get a taste of the ‘sweet life' in this elegant fishing village and cruise to Santa Margherita.
  • Venice: Delight in the unique magic as you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
  • Florence: Visit the Accademia Museum with a Local Expert to see Michelangelo's masterpiece, David.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle to meet your Local Expert and enjoy a ride 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 absorb the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
  • Palermo: Standing in the Palatine chapel, get up close to some of the finest examples of Norman art.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Rome: Located in the heart of Rome, the luxurious Romanico Palace Hotel offers easy access to all the historical sites of the Eternal City.
  • Alberobello: The signature La Chiusa di Chietri hotel is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

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
Rome is not only the modern capital of Italy but also a spectacular encyclopedia of living history. You will be met on arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30 transfers depart for your hotel. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(WD)
Day: 3 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local
In the morning, you will be joined by a resident expert to guide you through the art collection of 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. More of Michelangelo's genius is on display next door in St. Peter's Basilica. There's free time to do as the Romans do, or perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum. Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking tour this afternoon 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 in Piazza Navona.(BB)
Day: 4 Pisa and Santa Margherita Ligure
Enjoy a delightful drive through rolling countryside dotted with cypress trees, passing vineyards and olive groves to Pisa and with a Local Expert, view the incredible Leaning Tower, and the beautiful cathedral and baptistry. Afterwards, continue to the pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.(BB / DW)
Day: 5 The Charms of the Cinque Terre
Head for the famous Cinque Terre (Five Lands) - the gorgeously wild but hospitable coastline and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit two of the picturesque fishing villages before taking the train to Santa Margherita Ligure and then journeying onto Portofino. Admire the coloured houses, browse the boutiques, stay a while in the café bars on the piazzetta and watch the yachts moored in the harbour. Return along the rugged Ligurian coast by boat (weather permitting) to your hotel in the resort of Santa Margherita.(BB)
Day: 6 Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lakes
(Relaxed Start) Head north to beautiful Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lake District. On arrival, settle into your hotel and breathe in the magical scenery. In the evening, why not join in the traditional ritual of la passeggiata?(BB)
Day: 7 Fair Verona and onto Venice, Queen of the Adriatic
Follow the southern fringes of the Alps to romantic Verona, setting for one of literature's saddest love stories. See the ancient Roman Arena and stand beneath Juliet's balcony in a Renaissance courtyard - can you recite Shakespeare's immortal words? Travel on through the Soave vineyards, past Padua to the canals of Venice.(BB / DW)
Day: 8 Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’
(Relaxed Start) Even for the experienced traveller, there can be no better joy than waking up in Venice. Admire the art of glassblowing on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then cruise by private launch along canals lined with ornate palaces. Arrive at St. Mark's Square where St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs await. Later board your glossy black gondola for a serenade through the beautiful canals. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere, music and songs as you drift along in romantic awe. The afternoon is entirely at leisure.(BB)
Day: 9 A Scenic Journey to Florence
Bid farewell to Venice and begin your journey to Renaissance Florence. On arrival join your Local Expert to visit Michelangelo's David in the Accademia Gallery. Walk to the cathedral to see Giotto's bell tower and ‘Gates of Paradise' before continuing to Signoria Square. Your walking tour will finish at Piazza Santa Croce, in front of the basilica where Michelangelo lies buried.(BB / DW)
Day: 10 Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance
(Relaxed Start) Start the day with a traditional Florentine leather-work demonstration with plenty of time to shop or perhaps visit San Gimignano? The rest of the day is at leisure.(BB)
Day: 11 Ill-fated Pompeii and on to Sorrento
Take the smooth motorway south through the volcanic hills of Frascati to Pompeii, buried in 79AD by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets for a glimpse of daily life of Roman civilisation. Follow the clifftop road to the resort of Sorrento.(BB)
Day: 12 Capri, the Isle of Dreams
Cruise to the beautiful Isle of Capri to meet your Local Expert. The funicular railway takes you up to Capri town to browse among the shops and admire the sea views. Descend to the port by open-top taxi and return to Sorrento. On arrival, investigate the art of ‘intarsio’ or marquetry wood inlaying before continuing to your hotel. For your dining pleasure, choose from a selection of local restaurants.(BB / DA)
Day: 13 Sassi di Matera and Alberobello
After breakfast, venture to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, first 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 and then continue to Alberobello.(BB / DW)
Day: 14 Alberobello Sightseeing and Wine Tasting
(Relaxed Start) Admire the Trulli of Alberobello - circular structures with conical roofs and domed within, built with local limestone and stacked without using mortar. This region is paradise for wine-lovers so join an expert vintner with a tasting of Puglia's most robust and structured red wines. In the afternoon, perhaps enjoy an optional experience to the stunning city of Ostuni?(BB)
Day: 15 Sicily and the Taormina Riviera
The local roads take you south in the 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 and on to Taormina.(BB / DW)
Day: 16 Taormina and the Dawn Coast of Europe
(Relaxed Start) After breakfast, 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 elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. The remainder of the day is yours to take at your own pace.(BB)
Day: 17 Palermo, Capital of Sicily
Head to the Sicilian capital of Palermo. On arrival, your Local Expert shows you the highlights of the capital. Pass the Teatro Massimo, the Baroque Quattro Canti Square and glimpse the ‘fountain of shame’. Palermo Cathedral has been altered over the years - go inside to appreciate the composite of architectural styles. Next, head to the amazing Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans. Outside there are few clues to its interior - completely covered in glittering 12th century mosaics. At night, join your fellow guests for an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine and wine.(BB / CD)
Day: 18 Depart Palermo
Your journey draws to an end with departure transfers arriving at Palermo Airport at 06:00 and 08:00.(BB)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare, Triple

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Insight Tour Dates


Guaranteed Departure  indicates Guaranteed Departure
*Air(USA) DepartsInsight RetailRequest Quote
04/12/2018 $4,595.00
Guaranteed Departure 04/19/2018 $4,595.00
04/26/2018 $4,595.00
Guaranteed Departure 05/03/2018 $4,750.00
05/10/2018 $4,750.00
Guaranteed Departure 05/17/2018 $4,750.00
05/24/2018 $4,750.00
Guaranteed Departure 05/31/2018 $4,595.00
06/07/2018 $4,595.00
06/14/2018 $4,595.00
06/21/2018 $4,650.00
06/28/2018 $4,725.00
07/05/2018 $4,725.00
07/12/2018 $4,675.00
07/19/2018 $4,625.00
07/26/2018 $4,625.00
08/02/2018 $4,625.00
Guaranteed Departure 08/09/2018 $4,625.00
08/16/2018 $4,625.00
08/23/2018 $4,775.00
08/30/2018 $4,795.00
09/06/2018 $4,795.00
Guaranteed Departure 09/13/2018 $4,795.00
Guaranteed Departure 09/20/2018 $4,775.00
09/27/2018 $4,595.00
10/04/2018 $4,595.00
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