T782 Tourcode :SGT_5

Small Group Tour: Southern Italy and Grand Tour of Sicily 
Rome - Naples – Pompei – Sorrento – Capri – Amalfi – Palermo – Cefalu - Tindari – Taormina – Etna – Syracuse – Noto – Caltagirone – Piazza Armerina – Agrigento – Monreale – Palermo

13 days / 12 nights

Special Deluxe Tour for Small Groups on private basis
Day 1Welcome to Rome
Upon arrival to Rome's Fiumicino Airport, collect your luggage and proceed through customs to the arrivals hall where a local assistant will meet your group and escort it to a private bus.
Transfer to the city center, check-in. Free time to explore the Eternal city on your own. In the evening a welcome dinner in a typical restaurant with music. After dinner enjoy a "Rome by night" tour. Overnight in Rome.
Day 2 Rome – Naples – Best Italian pizza
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out. This morning you will travel south to the busting and ever-lively city of Naples. Naples, the capital city of Italy's Campania region, is a fascinating, dynamic city. Its origins are Greek. Its bay views are amazing and its pizza is out of this world. (You're in the home region of pizza, mozzarella di bufala and Limoncello). Upon arrival to the hotel in Naples (or "Napoli" as it is locally called), your group will store its baggage with the reception staff and immediately move with a local guide to Naples' Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The guide will lead a 2-hour tour of the area's best attractions before accompanying your group back to the hotel. After check-in and time to freshen up, group dinner in a typical pizzeria where you will taste the authentic Italian pizza. Overnight in Naples.
Day 3Pompei - Sorrento – Wine & Limoncello tastings
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. The group will travel south by private bus to Sorrento. En route you will visit the ruins of Pompei, the ancient city destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. After the eruption, the city and its citizens were deeply covered by ash and volcanic pumice rock – and then left untouched for 1600 years until Pompeii was discovered. The result – after much excavation – was a remarkable view of what a city in ancient Rome probably looked like. So very much had been preserved in those packed layers of ash and pumice. Enjoy your guided tour through this amazing archeological site, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through the Roman Forum, Market Place and the House of the Vettii to see narrow streets and luxurious villas stoned in time.

Afterwards visit to a wine estate where you will taste the famous local wine Lacrimae Christi (tears of Christ), produced on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, and have a light lunch. Then continue travelling to lovely Sorrento, which will be your seaside base for the next two nights. Check-in in Sorrento. Afterwards visit to a lemon garden in the center of Sorrento and taste the Limoncello liqueur at the factory beside the garden, tasting liqueurs, baba cakes with Limoncello cream and ice-cream made with Limoncello. After the tasting, you can buy on-site Limoncellos, jams made from local Sorrentine lemons. Overnight.
Day 4Excursion to Capri
Today after breakfast your group will head to Sorrento's port for a sightseeing excursion to the enchanting island of Capri. You will reach Capri by a local speed hydrofoil and then in few minutes you will get to the famous little square of Capri, “Piazzetta”, by funicular. After a short walk, you will proceed to Anacapri where you will enjoy the picturesque historic center of Anacapri, you'll discover a very different island, one of quiet little lanes and peaceful piazzas. Visit to Villa San Michele, built by the Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe, surrounded by an impressive garden, it houses an important art collection. The majority is of Roman, Etruscan or Egyptian origin, many are sculptures. Free time for lunch and shopping. Weather permitting you could visit the Blue Grotto, a miracle of equilibrium among water, light and reflections of wonderful sea floors (extra service, not included in the package). Your group will travel back to Sorrento in the afternoon,and the evening is at leisure. Overnight in Sorrento.
Day 5Excursion to Amalfi coast – Transfer to Naples port – Ferry boat to Sicily
After breakfast your group will check out and depart for an Amalfi Coast sightseeing tour. Enjoy the drive along one of Europe's most beautiful shorelines. Brightly coloured houses hug the cliffs amidst lush gardens and olive-green slopes, which hover over the clear sea below. Explore the charming town of Amalfi, seeing historic buildings built between the 10th and 13th centuries, visit the cathedral. After free time for lunch and exploring, in the late afternoon your group will travel to the port in Naples. Tonight you will take a comfortable overnight ferry to Sicily (Palermo).
Day 6 Palermo – Cefalu - Tindari - Taormina
You will wake up this morning in the city of Palermo. Arrive at 06:45 in Palermo port. A local guide will meet your group in the ferry terminal and accompany it towards Taormina with a sightseeing tour in Cefalu and Tindari. En route your group will stop in the historic town of Cefalu, renowned for its narrow streets and elaborate house decorations. Here you will have a nice Italian breakfast with cappuccino and Sicilian pastries “cannolo siciliano”. Afterwards you will visit the cathedral and continue your journey to a town founded in 395 BC, the Roman-Greek town of Tindari. Here you will visit the sanctuary of the Madonna of Tindari with the famous Black Madonna and the archeological park. Lunch in Tindari. After lunch the guide leaves and the group will travel along the coastal road to Taormina without the guide. Arrival in Taormina Alta. Check in. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight.
Day 7Etna tour by jeep 4x4 - Lunch at a wine estate with wine tasting
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning your group will embark on a guided adventure to Mount Etna, the highest (elevation of approx. 10,000 feet) and largest active volcano in Europe. We will take you to the opening of the lava flow and you will hear about the eruptions that have occurred in the last years. The excursion begins at an altitude of 1,923 meters (Cableway Departure Station). On board a modern gondola, the altitude of about 2,500 meters can be reached in a few minutes. Upon arrival, get on the special off-road vehicles 4x4, led by experienced drivers and proceed to climb up to the altitudes permitted by the competent authorities. Enjoy the spectacular views from the top, take nice pictures, listen to the stories of the expert guides that will explain the mysteries of Mt Etna, walk across the lava flows and experience the incredible power of the nature. Return back on foot to the funicular that will bring you back to the bus.

Transfer to a wine estate on the road back to Taormina, wine tasting and lunch on the slopes of Mt Etna. Return to Taormina in the afternoon where you will have free time to do some shopping and buy some souvenirs. If you wish, you will have a chance to visit the Taormina Greek Theatre. Taormina is one of Sicily’s most interesting and beautiful towns. The views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Giardini Naxos are fantastic. There is no noisy traffic here since the town is all pedestrian area. We suggest you to taste a Sicilian Granita, a famous and typical product of Sicily, made from crushed ice and various flavorings. Overnight.
Day 8Taormina – Syracuse sightseeing tour of Ortigia
After breakfast and check-out, transfer to Syracuse to Southern Sicily. Syracuse with its 3000 years of history is one of the most interesting cities in Sicily. In its heyday it was the largest city in the ancient world, including Athens and Corinth. It was founded by the Corinthians in 734 BC when they landed with their fleet on the island of Ortigia. The oldest part of Syracuse, the most "ancient " historical center of the city, is actually ... an island! Today you will visit “Ortigia”, connected to the mainland by two bridges, the Umbertino Bridge and the Santa Lucia Bridge. Here, in a maze of alleys, there are many of the most important monuments and museums, as well as many restaurants and clubs. Check-in in Syracuse. Overnight.
Day 9Visit the archeological sites of Syracuse and discover the Sicilian Baroque of Noto
After breakfast a local guide will take your group to visit the ancient Greek theatre of Syracuse which is said to be the burial site of Archimedes, the Paradise Quarry, the Ropemakers' Cave, the Altar of Heron and the Roman amphitheatre. All sites are inside of the Archeological Site of the Neapolis "new city", located in the western part of the city, the more modern one, at the base of Colle Temenite. The Greek Theatre is still used today to stage classical performances. In the raised part of the Greek Theater you can also observe the caves that served as dressing rooms for the actors. Then you continue towards the “Latomie” (ancient stone quarries), the most famous of which is the so-called Ear of Dionysus, due to its unique ear shape, located just below the theater. Free time for lunch.

After lunch, proceed to Noto, at 40 km south Syracuse. Completely destroyed by the terrible 1693 earthquake, it was rebuilt, creating a new town, based firmly on Baroque ideals, enriched with elements of the Renaissance and neoclassical pseudo-Spanish elements, creating an imaginative and dreamlike style. You will visit its Cathedral, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Palazzo Nicolaci which represent the expression of the striking Baroque of Noto, built by the architect Nicolaci in 1731, with ninety rooms, frescoed vaulted ceilings and eighteenth-century paintings. Free time in Noto. Transfer back to Syracuse. Overnight.
Day 10Caltagirone – Piazza Armerina - Agrigento
After breakfast your group will check out and travel westward towards the Valley of the Temples. Before getting to Agrigento you will stop for a short walk in Caltagirone, the capital of pottery, to admire the workshops of great Sicilian potteries and ceramics. The outstanding quality and creativity of Caltagirone’s ceramics is best admired in the most famous landmark of the town: the monumental Santa Maria del Monte staircase, whose 142 steps are all decorated with hand-painted ceramic tiles, using the typical colors, shapes and patterns of the most traditional pottery production and art. Afterwards proceed to Piazza Armerina, where you will meet the local guide. After lunch you will visit the Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO heritage site in Piazza Armerina, one of the most famous monuments in Sicily. Originally the property of a powerful Roman family, it dates back to the 4th Century A.D. This majestic Imperial villa has captivating mosaics, considered the most beautiful and best-preserved of their kind. Proceed then to Agrigento. Arrival at approximately 19:00. Check-in. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight.
Day 11 Valley of the Temples – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out. Meet the local guide and visit to the awe-inspiring Valley of the Temples. Inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site there are fantastic ruins of temples, cemeteries, houses, streets, auditoria, a small amphitheater and a fine archeological museum. Lunch in a restaurant with view on the Valley of the Temples. After lunch move to Palermo. Check in, free time to explore the city by your own. Overnight in Palermo.
Day 12Palermo - Monreale – Wine tasting and dinner in the countryside
After breakfast meet the local guide and have a sightseeing tour of Palermo, including the Duomo, the Palace of the Normans. Lunch in Palermo. In the afternoon proceed to Monreale and visit the beautiful Cathedral with stunning mosaics and charming Norman architecture. Free time in Monreale. Move then to a vineyard in the countryside, visit the winery and enjoy a wine tasting of Sicilian wines. Relax yourself. Dinner at the winery. Return to Palermo. Overnight.
Day 13Departure
After breakfast check-out. Your group will travel by private bus to Palermo Airport where it will board its return flight home. End of services.

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ID: T782, Tourcode :SGT_5