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Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily
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Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 13 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 16 people
Destination(s): Italy  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Food & Wine  
Season: October
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 7899 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 7899 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Dates:
October 8 - 21, 2015
October 9 - 22, 2016

Timeless architectural beauty and intriguing history combined with sumptuous gastronomic offerings and a host of fine wines abound in this corner of Italy. Sprinkle this combination liberally with sunshine and the warmth of friendly people and you have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable vacation.

Our journey starts in Rome, the seat of the great Roman Empire, and later the home of the papacy. The Forum, the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, medieval churches, palaces, amphitheatres, fountains and squares all compete for our attention with their elegant columns, carvings and architectural beauty. From Rome we wind our way down the strikingly beautiful mountainous Amalfi coast, staying in the romantic and charming resort town of Sorrento for 4 nights. A visit to the enchanting island of Capri is unforgettable. A day in Pompeii will leave you speechless. There is no place on earth where you can so clearly see 2,000 years into the past, watching people going about their daily life in a Roman town.

The ferry takes us to sun drenched Palermo, Sicily where the locals say, “We get angry when it rains. It's an insult, and we take it personally.” Sicily, the home of cannolis and a unique cuisine that has a north African twist is also known for its excellent Marsala, Corvo and Regaleali wines. Syracuse hosts the largest Greek Amphitheatre in existence, and some of the world's best-preserved classical Greek architecture is located in the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento. A trip to Sicily would not be complete without a visit to Sir Winston Churchill’s favorite vacation spot, Taormina, the crown jewel of Italy: pastel plastered walls, garden terraces of geraniums, trees laden with oranges and lemons, ancient ruins. It is said to be the most beautiful place in the world! Sicily, Rome and the Amalfi coast, an incomparable not-to-be missed glorious sensory experience!

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1.
We start our journey in Rome, where our small, elegant hotel is located in a central neighborhood, where we can easily walk to many of Rome’s architectural and historical treasures. The Roman Forum and the Coliseum are brought to life for us by our local expert guide. Dinner tonight is at a neighborhood ristorante with wonderful Roman specialties.
Overnight: Rome | Includes: (D).

Day 2.
This morning we have a private guided tour of the Vatican Museums, with their rich trove of priceless art treasures; the Sistine Chapel; and St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest cathedral in the world, containing the exquisite masterpieces of Botticelli and Michelangelo. In the afternoon we have free time to explore Rome on our own.
Overnight: Rome | Includes: (B).

Day 3.
Today head for the charming seaside town of Sorrento, where we stay for the next three nights in a fabulous five-star hotel overlooking the Bay of Naples. After some free time to explore the town and to enjoy our gorgeous hotel, we reconvene to go to a local working farm in the Sorrentine hills, where we will be treated to a mozzarella-making demonstration, followed by a light-hearted Neapolitan pizza-making lesson. We then dine on the fruits of our labor. After dessert, we sample the farm’s homemade limoncello!
Overnight: Sorrento | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 4.
Today we enjoy a boat excursion across the Bay of Naples to the enchanting Isle of Capri. The main town is nestled between two mountains, with its houses connected by winding, hilly alleys that lead into the main square of Piazza Umberto. During our walking tour, we visit the Villa San Michele, with spectacular views of Capri and the Amalfi Coast. We see the Gardens of Augustus, a beautiful terraced park of trees and flowers. We look down onto the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius and shudder at the thought of the Roman Emperor Tiberius throwing his enemies over the cliff. We return by boat to Sorrento, where tonight is free to choose from one of the town’s many wonderful restaurants or attend a folklore musical show.
Overnight: Sorrento | Includes: (B).

Day 5.
Today we take a full-day tour along Italy’s magnificent Amalfi Coast. Our first stop is Positano, where we see what is considered to be the “jewel” of the area. We then visit the villages of Amalfi and Ravello, where we visit the 13th century Villa Rufolo, with its elegant gardens and a magnificent panoramic view of the Gulf of Salerno. Tonight is a gastronomic experience at Sorrento’s finest Michelin-starred restaurant.
Overnight: Sorrento | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 6.
After breakfast and checkout, we say arrivederci to Sorrento and to the Amalfi Coast and head to the most remarkable archaeological discovery ever unearthed: Pompeii. The incredibly preserved houses, streets, shops, even brothels, present a fascinating chronicle of daily life in 79 A.D., when one fateful day the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius “froze” life in an instant. Afterward, we stop at a local vineyard for lunch and a generous sampling of several types of their wine. Next on our agenda is Pompeii’s sister city, Herculaneum. This is a Roman town where the volcanic mud from Mt. Vesuvius preserved the houses and streets exactly as they looked 2,000 years ago. At the end of a memorable day, we board the overnight ferry to cross the Bay of Naples to Palermo, Sicily.
Overnight: Overnight Ferry | Includes: (B), (L).

Day 7.
We disembark the ferry bright and early this morning and have breakfast in a local pastry shop in Palermo. After a tour of Palermo, our local guide takes us to the small hill town of Monreale, where we see a spectacular tribute to Arab-Norman architecture: the cathedral of Monreale. It boasts a remarkable interior with magnificent gold mosaics. Next, we take a scenic drive along Sicily’s northern coast to the charming village of Cefalù. We have lunch and free time to explore its quaint medieval streets. Our journey then takes us south to Agrigento, where we check into our lovely hotel. After sampling the local wines, we enjoy a delicious home cooked Sicilian dinner.
Overnight: Agrigento | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 8.
This morning we take a private guided tour of the incredible archaeological site, the Valley of the Temples. Founded in 582 BC by Greek settlers, the town was described by the Greek poet Pindar as “the most beautiful of those inhabited by mortals.” Here, in the midst of a natural setting of olive groves and almond orchards, we explore the remains of the principal temples built in the 5th century BC, including the massive and majestic Tempio della Concordia, which has remained intact for more than 2,000 years. Across the valley is the Tempio di Giove (Temple of Jupiter), whose ruined columns stood 20 meters high and used to “house” colossal statues. Our expert guide takes us through the site’s museum, where many of the treasures from the Valley can be seen. This afternoon we relax at our hotel and take an entertaining cooking class to learn some Sicilian recipes. We dine tonight on several dishes we have prepared.
Overnight: Agrigento | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 9.
After leaving Agrigento, we visit another of Sicily’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the 4th century Villa Romana del Casale. Unearthed in the late 1800s after being buried by a landslide in the 12th century, it contains the richest and largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world. Driving across undulating low hills, we continue to the east coast, where we check into our beautiful hotel in the famous historic city of Syracuse (Siracusa). Tonight dinner is another Sicilian feast.
Overnight: Siracusa | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 10.
This morning we take a private guided walking tour of Siracusa, which includes the ancient Greek theatre and the fascinating Catacombs of San Giovanni. We then head north to our final destination, the stunningly beautiful village of Taormina. We check into our 5-star hotel on the waterfront, relax, and enjoy a gourmet dinner.
Overnight: Taormina | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 11.
After today you can say that you have walked on an active volcano! We take a short drive to the still-active Mt. Etna for a guided tour and explanation of this geological marvel. Then, at the foot of the volcano, we enjoy a very special wine-tasting lunch at a beautiful vineyard. We then return to Taormina to explore this gorgeous hill-top town. Tonight is a free evening to stroll Taormina’s quaint streets.
Overnight: Taormina | Includes: (B), (D)(served mid-day).

Day 12.
Upon popular demand, we have left today free to enjoy Taormina and our lovely resort. We reconvene in the evening for a gourmet farewell dinner.
Overnight: Taormina | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 13.
This morning we drive to the Catania Airport for our return flight home.
Includes: (B).

Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price Includes:

- Roundtrip airfare from Boston or New York (airfare price can be deducted)
- 12 nights deluxe accommodations, with private baths, in Rome (2); Sorrento (3); overnight ferry with outside cabin (1); Sicily: Agrigento (2); Siracusa (1); Taormina (3)
- Stay in 5-star oceanfront hotels in Sorrento and Taormina
- All (12) breakfasts, 1 lunch, 9 dinners, many gastronomic
- Wine-tastings at Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna
- Full time tour escort
- Transportation in comfortable, air-conditioned minibus
- Private guided visits to: Rome (Colosseum, Forum, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica), Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Capri, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Mt. Etna, Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Siracusa
- All tour guides, all museum and monument entrance fees, tips and taxes.

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