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Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily (insightvacations)

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Rome, Italy

Catania, Italy

15 days, 14 nights

August 2024 to October 2024

US$ 5693.00 (1 adult - twin)


Trip Type:

Continents:

Countries:

Country Roads

Europe

Italy


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Highlights


Dining Summary

  • 6 Dinner with Wine (DW)
  • 14 Breakfast (B)
  • 1 Lunch with Wine (LW)
  • 1 Dinner (D)

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Capri: Discover the luxuriant Gardens of Augustus with a Local Expert and admire views of the Faraglioni rocks.
  • Capri: Enjoy a tasting of limoncello and learn the history behind this traditional lemon liqueur.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Palermo: Visit the spectacular 12th Century Palatine Chapel. Its sombre exterior gives away few clues to the riches inside. Step into a world where the walls glitter with 12th century mosaics, the best of their kind in the world.
  • Palermo: Learn about the civil anti-mafia movement and discover the lesser known history of Palermo.

Additional Included Highlights

  • : Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • : 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.
  • : We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • : From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • : Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • : 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.

Authentic Dining

  • Rome: Enjoy dinner at a uniquely Roman restaurant, the perfect exploration of Lazio's typical flavors.
  • Palermo: Sample a variety of cuisine on your Dine-Around evening.

Insight Choice

  • Capri: Discover the luxuriant Gardens of Augustus with a Local Expert and admire views of the Faraglioni rocks.
  • Capri: Enjoy a tasting of limoncello and learn the history behind this traditional lemon liqueur.

Insight Experiences

  • Rome: Enjoy exclusive access to the Basilica of Saint Praxedes during an after-hours visit. This 9th-century basilica’s simple facade guards the world's best-preserved Byzantine mosaics. The history of the church springs to life as you admire the interior’s treasured collection, including Bernini's first sculpture and the renowned mosaics, illuminated for your visit. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is a rare and unforgettable insight into Rome and its religious history.

Make Travel Matter

  • Alberobello: Dine at Trattoria Terra Madre, where owner Alessandro and his nonna have built a restaurant that focuses on sustainability and creating jobs for locals. Everything is grown organically and harvested on site, and excess produce is donated to their community. The restaurant sources their produce locally, implements a strategy to reduce their food waste and promotes sustainable agricultural practices. Trattoria Terra Madre, advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production.
  • Grottole: Participate in the fascinating Wonder Grottole Project. This regeneration initiative works to rehabilitate the abandoned historic center and preserve village life. Your visit advances United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
  • Palermo: Learn about the civil anti-mafia movement and discover the lesser known history of Palermo.

Top Rated Highlights

  • 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 like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
  • Capri: Cruise by jetfoil to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters.
  • Alberobello: Led by a 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.
  • Matera: With your Local Expert, visit the famous Sassi or cave dwellings, which were home to approximately 20,000 people until 1950 and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Palermo: Visit the spectacular 12th Century Palatine Chapel. Its sombre exterior gives away few clues to the riches inside. Step into a world where the walls glitter with 12th century mosaics, the best of their kind in the world.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the first century.
  • Messina: Cross the Straights of Messina to Sicily by ferry.
  • Taormina: Visit the ancient Greek Amphitheater with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to Mount Etna.
  • Taormina: Should you awake early, you may see why this is known as 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.'
  • Cefalu: Your Travel Director will show you the cathedral, built to fulfil a vow. Walk to the medieval stone fountain in the old fishermen's quarter, find the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina and see the harbor.
  • Agrigento: Admire magnificent Hellenistic remains in the Valley of the Temples, such as the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno.
  • Syracuse: Walk through the gardens of Paradise Quarry, listen to the acoustics in the mysterious Ear of Dionysius and visit the Greek theater.

Well-being

  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Itinerary


Day 1: Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome

Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and baroque churches. Settle in before joining your Travel Director for a private visit for Insight Vacations guests to the Basilica of Saint Praxedes, welcomed by the Rector of the basilica. Gaze in awe at the Byzantine mosaics, illuminated for this evening's experience, and see the first sculpture by Bernini. End the day getting to know your fellow travelers over Roman specialties during dinner at a local restaurant.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Kolbe, Rome
Dinner with Wine
Rome

Day 2: Rome with the Locals

Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizza, and our guided walk with a Local Expert has it in abundance. Sightsee the local way, with a leisurely passeggiata through the backstreets, where a friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place. 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 the incredibly characteristic Roman quarter of Trastevere. Get off the beaten track and explore Rome’s most untouched and unique districts and most consistently unchanged medieval neighborhoods, Trastevere is dotted with ancient and dimly lit churches, crumbling buildings and streets barely wide enough for a Fiat. With your Local Expert, explore the medieval labyrinth of alleyways and pause from time to time to take in this very atmospheric area. A maze of food shops, art galleries, cafes, apartment buildings and pretty squares, this district was once rather run-down and working-class, but has now become one of the city's liveliest and most popular neighborhoods.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Kolbe, Rome
Breakfast
Rome

Day 3: Vatican and Alberobello

With your Local Expert, visit the Vatican Museums. Inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling before visiting St. Peter’s Basilica. Next, journey to Alberobello.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Rome, Alberobello

Day 4: The Trulli of Alberobello Relaxed Start

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, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience using home-grown organic and locally sourced, seasonal produce, you sit down to a delicious four-course, Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Alberobello

Day 5: Free Time in Alberobello Relaxed Start

The day is free for you to enjoy this extraordinary town as you wish. Why not join an Optional Experience to the stunning city of Ostuni? With its dazzling white houses and fascinating history, it is a true delight. Your Local Expert experience reveals this town reminiscent of a North African Arab Medina. Admire the stark white-washed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways. Set against three hills and perched high above the beautiful sea; 'The White Town' is a photographer's delight. Afterwards, visit a Mill to taste the renowned olive oil produced in this area that incorporates olives from the ancient groves of Puglia. Or, join an optional Masseria Dinner in Puglia, a food lovers' paradise. You’re off to the countryside to a local 'Masseria', a typical ancient fortified 'Farmhouse'. Enjoy an authentic dinner in a 'country roads' experience all served up with great wines form the region.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Breakfast
Alberobello

Day 6: Journey South to Matera Relaxed Start

Visit Matera with a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sassi — a labyrinth of cave dwellings, churches, staircases and arches, hewn out of the solid rock. You may recognise Matera as the biblical backdrop for the film ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ Continue to the small village of Grottole. Once a thriving community, it has lost most of its activity and population. Meet Andrea, a local striving to bring back the traditional way of living of the area. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience explore the historic old town to learn about the fascinating history of the village. Later, enjoy a light lunch with wine, helping to preserve the local culture.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
MH Matera Hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner
Alberobello, Matera

Day 7: Pompeii and Sorrento

Journey to the region of Campania to visit 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. Venture on to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, perched upon the southern cliffs of the Bay of Naples and looking over to Mount Vesuvius.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Breakfast
Matera, Pompeii, Sorrento

Day 8: Capri, the Isle of Dreams

Cruise by jetfoil across the impossibly blue sea to the sun-drenched island of Capri. On arrival ascend to Capri Town and meet your Local Expert for an orientation walk through the narrow alleyways. Explore Capri with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the immaculate Gardens of Augustus with a Local Expert and admire the views over the Faraglioni Rocks. Alternatively, enjoy a tasting of limoncello, Capri’s famous lemon liqueur. Descend to the port by funicular before returning to Sorrento.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.
Breakfast
Sorrento, Capri, Sorrento

Day 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 Grecian legend, this was home to the mythical sea monsters Scylla, a six-headed rock monster, and Charybdis, a whirlpool, based on either side of the strait. Together, they posed an inescapable threat to passing seafarers as avoiding one meant passing too close to the other. You will soon arrive at your hotel where you will spend three glorious nights on the Taormina Riviera.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina.
Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Sorrento, Villa San Giovanni, Giardini Naxos

Day 10: Taormina and the Dawn Coast of Europe

Your hotel faces east, so early risers may learn why D.H. Lawrence christened this 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.' After breakfast, perhaps take an Optional Experience through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. Travel to the old town of Taormina, which clings to the side of Mount Tauro, overlooking the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna. With your Local Expert, visit the Greek theater set on a cliff and open to the sky. Take a moment to sit in this ancient theater and admire the view through the crumbling arches to Mount Etna. Stroll through the old town and admire Taormina's grandest building and along the elegant Corso Umberto.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina.
Breakfast
Taormina

Day 11: Cefalu and Palermo

Travel to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu. The town's imposing cathedral was erected to fulfill a vow made by the Norman King Roger II. Stroll down to the medieval stone fountain and seek out the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina for a picture-perfect view of the little harbor. Later, travel onwards to Palermo.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
NH Palermo.
Breakfast
Taormina, Cefalu, Palermo

Day 12: Palermo & the Golden Age of the Normans

Explore Palermo with Insight Choice. Choose a walking tour with a visit to the spectacular 12th century Palatine Chapel with a Local Expert. Alternatively, join the Anti-Mafia tour of Palermo, part of a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and find out how locals are working together in modern day Palermo. In your free time this afternoon, you could visit Palermo Cathedral which has been altered many times over the years and observe its unique blend of architectural styles. For your dining pleasure, you can experience the foods the locals like to eat and experience how they like to eat it on your Dine-Around Evening.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
NH Palermo.
Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Palermo

Day 13: Explore the Valley of the Temples and on to Ragusa

Journey to Agrigento. Explore the Valley of the Temples with a Local Expert and see the massive Temple of Concordia and the clifftop Temple of Juno overlooking the sea. Your travels continue to the hilltop town of Ragusa.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Mediterraneo Palace, Ragusa.
Breakfast
Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa

Day 14: Ancient Syracuse and Catania

Sightseeing with your Local Expert takes you to Syracuse’s Paradise Quarry with its unusual Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped grotto with an unusual echo. See the superb Greek theater, carved out of solid rock, one of the largest of the ancient world. There is time to explore the atmospheric Old City, a maze of narrow streets lined with palaces, sprawling over the island of Ortygia. It was here that the famous geometrician Archimedes ran naked through the streets, crying ‘Eureka!' Continue to Catania to celebrate your time in Sicily over Dinner with your fellow travelers.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
NH Catania Centro.
Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania

Day 15: Depart Catania

Appreciate views of Mount Etna on your way. Departure transfers arrive at Catania Airport at 06:30 and 08:30.


Duration
Accommodation
Meals
Locations Visited

1
Breakfast
Catania

What's included


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2024-08-172024-08-314839.05availableAgent Number
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2024-09-072024-09-215312.8closedAgent Number
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2024-10-052024-10-195874onRequestAgent Number


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