14 Day Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily

Insight Vacations Country Roads Tour starting in Rome and finishing in Palermo

Read 6 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on Insight Vacations's 14 Day Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily. Experience the treasures of Rome, Pompeii and the Neapolitan Riviera. See the unique trulli houses of Alberobello and the Sassi di Matera, and witness the rich...read more
Overview
Operator: Insight Vacations
Type: Country Roads Tour (Premium)
Style: Country Roads
Max Group Size: 40
Duration: 14 Days
From: Rome to Palermo
Tour Code: E725
Visits: Italy, Sicily
Our Price From:
$ 4,620
Per Person ($AU)
Save This Month:
$ 630
Per Person ($AU)
Day By Day
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1
Welcome To The Eternal City Of Rome.
On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, complimentary transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a family run restaurant near Via Veneto. (DW) Stay Two Nights: Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome
2
Rome With The Locals.
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration with a Local Expert 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. Perhaps join a tour to discover an unknown quarter of Rome, Trastevere? (B)
3
Vip Vatican, St. Peters Basilica And Onto Sorrento.
Meet your Local Expert, for a guided visit through the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-tracked entry and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Continue with your Local Expert to visit St. Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Later depart for the picturesque resort of Sorrento, perched upon the southern cliffs of the Bay of Naples and looking over to Mount Vesuvius. (B) Stay Two Nights: Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Naples
4
Exploring Capri, The Isle Of Dreams.
Wake up full of anticipation for your trip to Capri, the Isle of Dreams. Meet your Local Expert and cruise to the island. Under the Mediterranean sun, ride up to Capri 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 and return to Sorrento where rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. (B)
5
Pompeii, Matera And Alberobello.
Start your day in Pompeii, buried in A.D. 79 by the historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets to see a city frozen in time. Journey along the country roads to the ancient town of Matera, specially selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Meet with a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the extraordinary Sassi, a complex of cave dwellings carved into the mountainside, 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'. Venture on to Alberobello. (B/DW) Stay Three Nights: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello
6
The Trulli Of Alberobello.
Admire another of Italy's record number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a Local Expert. The Trulli of Alberobello are circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within. They are built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar. In the evening, meet the owner of Trattoria Terra Madre, who will share his philosophy of using only organic, seasonal produce that he grows himself. See Nonna making orecchiette pasta, before savouring the fresh flavours of your Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner. (B/DW)
7
Alberobello At Leisure.
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 remarkable hotel. (B)
8
Journey South To Maratea.
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 afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure, you may wish to spend it relaxing on one of Maratea's many pocket-sized beaches or sipping cocktails with the jet-set at the stylish harbour. A delicious Italian meal is served with wine at your resort. (B/DW) Stay: Grand Hotel Pianeta Maratea Resort, Maratea
9
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 across the Strait of Messina. 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 of Taormina, 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. Take your pick of specially selected restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. (B/DW) Stay Three Nights: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera
10
Free Time On The Taormina Riviera.
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 Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano, and a stop in Savoca, the village used for the filming of The Godfather. (B)
11
The Dawn Coast Of Europe.
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, where you can witness Caravaggio's celebrated painting, the 'Burial of St. Lucy'. In the evening, venture to a local restaurant for a tasty meal accompanied by wine. (B/DW)
12
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. The massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno, overlooking the sea, are especially impressive. In the afternoon, continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo. (B) Stay Two Nights: Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo
13
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 and a venture inside will help you to appreciate the blend of architectural styles. Continue 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. In the evening, join your fellow guests and Travel Director at a local restaurant for a Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine and wine. (B/DW)
14
Depart Palermo.
Your journey draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport at 06:00 and 08:00. (B)
Insight Vacations Inclusions
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Sightseeing Highlights
  • Rome: Explore the backstreets of Rome and experience local life, alongside a passionate Roman who will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, the Living Room of Rome.
  • Vatican City: 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 witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel before venturing inside St. Peter's Basilica to see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
  • Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
  • Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
  • Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
  • Matera: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and see famous Sassi or cave dwellings, which were home to about 20,000 people until 1950.
  • Matera: With your Local Expert explore this town that Mel Gibson chose as the setting for his film 'The Passion of the Christ.'
  • Alberobello: With your Local Expert, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the Trulli of Alberobello. Circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within, built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar.
  • Maratea: Wander through the rugged streets with your Travel Director to see why this peaceful little coastal town has been named the pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea.
  • Straits of Messina: Cross to Sicily by ferry.
  • Taormina Riviera: Visit the ancient Greek Ampitheatre with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
  • Taormina Riviera: During your orientation with your Travel Director, visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
  • Agrigento: A Local Expert will lead you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples. See the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno.
  • Palermo: With a local historian, see the Teatro Massimo en route to Quattro Canti Square to glimpse the Fountain of Shame.
  • Palermo: Visit Palermo Cathedral and walk through the Palace of the Normans to stand in the jewel-like Palatine chapel for an up-close look at some of the finest examples of Norman art.
  • Scenic Drives: Admire the beauty of southern Italy as you travel along the Bay of Naples, past the Apennines and Calabria mountains, along Sorrento cliff top road and Capri corniche and later see the picturesque Great Ravine of Catellaneta.
Trip Inclusions
  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
Included Meals
  • Alberobello: Meet the owner of Trattoria Terra Madre, who will share his philosophy of using only organic, seasonal produce that he grows himself. See Nonna making orecchiette pasta, before savouring the fresh flavours of your Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.
  • Taormina Riviera: Choose from our handpicked selection of local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening, each with its own ambience and distinctive cuisine.
  • Palermo: At a local restaurant, enjoy fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine at your Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
Accommodation
  • Alberobello: The Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
  • Taormina Riviera: Overlooking the Ionian Sea, the Hilton Giardini Naxos boasts traditional Mediterranean hospitality and fabulous rooms and facilities.
Trip Notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
  • Twin prices are per person.
  • Isle of Capri: Open-top taxis are dependent on favourable weather conditions.
Insight Vacations
Insight Vacations Reviews: (428)
Tours on Sale: 152
Accommodation: 4-5 Star
Average Age: 55-60+ years
Types: Coach Tours & Short Breaks
Max Group Size(s): 40 & 26
Budget: Luxury & Premium
Destinations: Asia, Canada & Alaska, Europe, South & Central America, UK & Ireland, USA
Reviews (6)
Trip reviews from past clients of Global Journeys who have travelled on Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily with Insight Vacations.
VIC, Australia
Oct 2018
3 Helpful Votes
1 Trip
“Country Roads of Southern Italy”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Excursions
Optionals
Booking With Global Journeys
The itinerary of this tour gave a comprehensive coverage of Southern Italy and Sicily that could be achieved comfortably in 14 days. In Rome we particularly enjoyed visiting the Pantheon and then the Sistine Chapel with a taste of other areas of the Vatican Museum. Then south to Puglia via other well-known towns and sites to the area around Alberobello with their unique, conicle-roofed houses. The agricultural emphasis in Puglia was an interesting variation to many other areas of Italy. And the history of previous civilisations was showcased throughout our tour and was different as we journeyed along.

From Puglia it was on to Sicily with its evidence of the early habitation by the Moors and Greeks. We appreciated the sightseeing at Taormina, Syracusa and Agrigento as examples. As Sicily had experienced heavy rain, our tour director, Margaret, changed the itinerary enabling us to safely see all our planned sights. Personally, we would have liked to reach the top of Mt Etna; but maybe another day. Margaret also ensured we all enjoyed our tour. The coach was very comfortable and always spotless. Our driver, Massimo with his excellent driving skills, made us feel safe and was always there to provide assistance off the coach as required. Thankyou Margaret and Massimo! This tour was filled with great variety, excellent direction and comes highly recommended.
SA, Australia
Sep 2018
1 Helpful Vote
2 Trips
“Southern Italy and Sicily”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Excursions
Optionals
Booking With Global Journeys
Enjoyed the tour and saw some amazing places and met some great people. Had a few hiccups due to weather and a landslide on the Amalfi Coast and earth tremor in Sicily. Tour director was OK but not as good as ones I have had on other trips.
QLD, Australia
May 2016
2 Helpful Votes
3 Trips
“Great tour”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Excursions
Optionals
Booking With Global Journeys
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour especially Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, Materas extraordinary 'Sassi' - troglodyte dwellings, the Puglia region including the Trulli of Alberobello and Ostuni with its stark, white-washed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways. A highlight was the vist to Maratea and the drive up to the Christ the Redeemer Statue, apparently it was the first time the bus has actually driven up there. Then on to Sicily and the Greek theatre at Taormina. At Syracuse we visited the Archaeological Park of Neapolis which was a disappointment as it was quite dirty and overgrown with weeds etc. However the island of Ortigia is definitely worth the visit. Also the optional visit to Mt Etna was also great. Agrigento and the Valley Of The Temples was a favorite, great sights and the local tour guide was brilliant. Palermo was everything we hoped for so much to see and do but not enough time. We stayed an extra 2 days in a B&B in the Old Quarter and had a fantastic time exploring all the alleyways and street food outlets at night.

Accommodation was generally good although the Hilton in Giardini Naxos was a disappointment mainly because it was not in a very central location and appeared to be due for an overhaul. The Grand Hotel La Chiusa Di Chietri, Alberobello was also some distance from the town (approx 6-7kms) however the accommodation was good. The Grand Hotel Di Maratea Pianetamaratea, Maratea although a little dated was great especially for the views and being a slightly older hotel the room was actually one of the larger ones we had. Our tour guide (Chris Beck) was great and very knowledgeable and our driver (Sabatino) was fantastic. The places he maneuvered the coach through were amazing especially through the very narrow streets. What ever he is paid it is no where near enough. (GJ: I'm sure he'd agree! :)
Australia
Aug 2015
1 Trip
“Had a great time”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Excursions
Optionals
Booking With Global Journeys
Had a great time but tour could have more of the smaller towns included. That way, we would see more of local culture in that region.
QLD, Australia
May 2015
2 Helpful Votes
1 Trip
“Enjoyed everything about this itinerary ”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Excursions
Optionals
Booking With Global Journeys
We thoroughly enjoyed everything about this itinerary and the services of Insight Vacations. Our tour director, Anne Kennedy, was outstanding and went beyond the call of duty particularly with the end of tour flights changes from the impact of the Rome airport fire. Roserio, our driver, was amazing and so professional and attentive to customer needs. This is only our second tour with Insight Vacations and will no doubt not be our last. This is our first experience with Global Journeys, and the service provided was simple, stress free, timely, and professional. Thank you Michelle.
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03 May 2019

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Tour Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Insight Vacations. Full terms & conditions are available here.

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