$999 PER PERSON* | 10 DAYS: MARCH 16 - 25, 2017
*Price based on land-only, double occupancy. Deadline for this price is November 15, 2016. International flight and travel insurance extra, available upon request.
Visits to Rome, Sorrento, Taormina, Piazza Armerina Roman Villa, Selinunte Acropolis, Erice, Marsala. Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Agrigento archaeological site, Trapani, Palermo; professional Tour Director while touring
Buffet breakfasts daily except day 9; 3 dinners
Mountains and hills over the sea, archaeological sites, an active volcano, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, blue skies, and breathtaking views…this is Sicily. Starting from Rome, you will travel through the south of Italy to reach Villa San Giovanni where you will cross the sapphire-blue waters by ferry to reach Messina.
On this Sicily tour, visit some fantastic historic sights. At Casale, visit the Roman Villa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally an extravagant residence of a powerful Roman family in the 4th century AD, admire the well-preserved mosaics on the floors and walls. Agrigento, founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century BC, is a treasure trove of remains. Visit its Valley of the Temples, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see remains from the classical Greek period. Visit the Doric Temple of Concord, one of the finest examples of Greek
civilization, and the Temple of Juno Lacinia, which was severely damaged by fire toward the end of the 5th century BC. Also visit Selinunte, an ancient Greek city on the southwestern coast of Sicily that was at the apex of its power before 409 BC. Here, see the remains of the Acropolis, with its temples and fortifications.
Another highlight of this Sicily tour is a visit to the heights of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. Enjoy a guided tour in Trapani, set on a harbor that was once a powerful trading network; explore Erice, a medieval hilltop town with cobbled streets, fortifications, and ancient churches; and visit Marsala, known throughout the world for its wine. In Palermo, your sightseeing tour includes Cappella Palatina (Palatine
Chapel), built in the 1100s, with byzantine mosaics depicting famous scenes from the bible.
This tour through Sicily designed for the value-minded traveler is the best way to visit this charming island!
DAY 1 ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore Italy’s ancient capital. Tonight, meet your local host/Tour Director and fellow travelers.
DAY 2 ROME–SORRENTO
Travel south along the Highway of the Sun to spend the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the charming bayside resort of Sorrento with its cafés, shops, beaches and colorful alleys. (B, D)
DAY 3 SORRENTO–VILLA SAN GIOVANNI–FERRY CROSSING–TAORMINA AREA
Today, travel through the rustic mountainous scenery of Italy’s southernmost region, Calabria, before boarding the FERRY for a 45-minute crossing to Sicily. Continue to the Taormina area. (B, D)
DAY 4 TAORMINA AREA. EXCURSION TO MOUNT ETNA
Magnificently situated on a 700-foot plateau overlooking the Ionian Sea, the heart of Taormina is Piazza Nove Aprile, a paved square with unrivaled views of the sea and Mount Etna. Take a stroll along the Corso Umberto, and maybe taste a refreshing granita or a sumptuous cannolo? Later, enjoy a visit to the heights of MOUNT ETNA and the option of a jeep or cable-car ride for a better view of Europe’s largest active volcano (subject to weather conditions). (B)
DAY 5 TAORMINA AREA–PIAZZA ARMERINA–AGRIGENTO
Drive to Piazza Armerina, a maze of steep streets positively overflowing with the colorful atmosphere of Sicilian life. At nearby Casale, visit the ROMAN VILLA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its mosaics, including the whimsical “Bikini Girls.” On to Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, one of Italy’s archaeological jewels. Visit the DORIC TEMPLE OF CONCORD, one of the finest examples of Greek civilization existing today, and the hilltop TEMPLE OF JUNO LACINIA. (B, D)
DAY 6 AGRIGENTO–SELINUNTE–MARSALA–PALERMO
Leave for Selinunte, one of the most striking and interesting sites in Sicily. At the apex of its power before 409 BC, the city exceeded 30,000 people, excluding slaves. Here, you will see the remains of the ACROPOLIS with its temples and fortifications. On the western coast of Sicily, stop in Marsala, known for its celebrated Marsala wine. Here, you will visit a local SALT MINE and learn how this local product is extracted and refined. Then, head to Palermo, capital of Sicily. (B)
DAY 7 PALERMO. EXCURSION TO TRAPANI & ERICE
Two Sicilian treats are on the agenda today. First, visit enchanting Trapani with a Local Guide, set on a harbor that was once at the heart of a powerful trading network stretching from Carthage to Venice. The city center stretches along the port and was built in primarily baroque style. Next is the medieval hilltop town of Erice, reached by cable car. Situated about 2,500 feet above sea level, it immediately impresses with its defensive walls and castle affording breathtaking views over the Trapani Gulf and Egadi Island and on clear days, all the way to the African coast. Return to Palermo. (B)
DAY 8 PALERMO (EMBARKATION)–OVERNIGHT FERRY CROSSING TO NAPLES
A full day to enjoy this busy and colorful city full of interesting squares and marketplaces, churches, and palazzos in every style—from Moorish to baroque. Join the included sightseeing tour to learn more, and visit the magnificent CAPPELLA PALATINA. This evening, embark for an overnight FERRY crossing from Palermo to Naples. (B)
DAY 9 NAPLES (DISEMBARKATION)–ROME
Disembark at the bustling port of Naples, and return to the “Eternal City,” with plenty of time to enjoy an optional excursion, do last-minute shopping, or maybe sip a drink at Piazza Navona and watch the world go by.
DAY 10 ROME
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)