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Best of Italy & Sicily

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Mt. Etna, Castelmola, Sicily
Tour Style: First Class
16 Days from $3,506 per person

A full odyssey of Italy and Sicily, from the meandering calle of Venice to the Grecian remains of Agrigento. See the imperial monuments of Rome, the Romanesque architecture of Pisa and Venetian glassblowing on Giudecca Island. Travel through the heart of Italy to Pompeii, Naples and Sorrento before your Sicilian hop to Palermo, Taormina and the Valley of the Temples.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Journey to the capital of the world – a city with an irresistible verve that you'll find intoxicating. On arrival to Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9.30am, 12.30pm and 3.30pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Later you'll join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive to admire the city's enchanting cityscape.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Villafranca
  3. We visit The Vatican this morning, joining an included sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist to see Michelangelo's magnificent Pietà inside of St. Peter's Basilica. Ancient Rome is our next stop. See the Circus Maximus and visit Colosseum where gladiators and slaves fought to their deaths.
    meal(s):BB
  4. We venture north to the town of Pisa and visit the Square of Miracles and the incredible Leaning Tower that bears this city's name. A short drive takes us to Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance, where we'll spend the evening at leisure.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Mediterraneo
  5. The magnificent marble Duomo, Santa Croce Basilica, Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria feature on our walking tour with a Local Specialist through Florence's grand boulevards and quaint cobblestone lanes. Spend some time shopping before leaving Florence for the island city of Venice.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Le Boulevard
  6. Embark on an orientation cruise by private launch to the gateway of Venice, St. Mark's Square. See the ornate Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Cathedral and the Bridge of Sighs, before venturing to Giudecca Island for a fascinating Cultural Insight into the centuries-old craft of glassblowing. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore more of the sights.
    meal(s):BB
  7. We drive south through the golden fields of Umbria to the green heart of Italy, stopping at the mystical medieval hilltop town of Assisi. Join a Local Specialist for a walking tour of the town, which includes a visit to St. Francis Basilica to view its magnificent frescoes.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Hotel Assisi
  8. We pay homage to the thousands of brave souls who lost their lives during the Battle of Monte Cassino, stopping at the Commonwealth War Cemetery en route to the tragic city of Pompeii. Join a Local Specialist to delve into the fascinating account of the excavations before traveling to Naples for your overnight cruise to Palermo, Sicily's fiery capital. 
    meal(s):BB
  9. We arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital, Palermo where we will join our Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour, which includes the Teatro Massimo and Piazza Bellini. Traveling to the town of Monreale on the slopes of Monte Caputo overlooking the orange, olive and almond groves of La Conca d'Oro, we visit the magnificent 12th century Norman Cathedral. Continue your journey to Mondello fishing village before returning to Palermo this afternoon. 
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Mercure Palermo Centro
  10. Join a Local Specialist today in Agrigento to tour the impressive Greek Valley of Temples dating back to 6th century BC. This evening we dine in our hotel. 
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Dioscuri Bay Palace
  11. We travel through the vineyards of the southern hills towards the charming seaside resort of Taormina, your home for the next two nights. Enjoy spectacular vistas and a taste of la dolce vita  in this quaint hillside town, enjoying free time on arrival.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Sant Alphio Garden
  12. Spend the day relaxing in this chic Sicilian resort. Consider joining an Optional Experience to Savoca, the village made famous by ‘The Godfather', and Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna. This evening, join your companions for a special Be My Guest dinner in a vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  13. Today we cross the Straits of Messina to mainland Italy by ferry, driving north through rustic Calabria via Salerno to our hotel in the charming town of Sorrento.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:La Residenza
  14. The exquisite craft of inlaid wood is explored today during a Cultural Insight in Sorrento before we cruise to the charming Isle of Capri where we will enjoy a guided walking tour of Capri Town with a Local Specialist.
    meal(s):BB
  15. Admire the dramatic coastline, driving north from Sorrento to the Eternal City of Rome. This afternoon, we gain priority access to the Vatican Museums where a Local Specialist will take us on a fascinating guided tour. Admire the magnificent frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, pained by Michelangelo in 16th century and the opportunity to observe the array of exquisite artifacts at the Museo Gregoriano Profano, founded in the Lateran Apostolic Palace at the behest of Gregory XVI Cappellari in 1844. You'll also enjoy an exclusive al fresco Farewell Dinner under Vatican summer skies boasting spectacular views of St Peter’s - a treat for the senses. Should there be adverse weather; a contingency is provided in a newly-created dining space within the Cortile della Pigna.

    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Sheraton Parco De Medici
  16. For now it's a fond Ciao Roma  as we prepare to depart for our journey home. Return transfers will arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7am and 9.30am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):BB

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
19 Apr 18 4 May 18 checkmark $3,895$3,506pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
26 Apr 18 11 May 18 checkmark $3,995$3,596pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
3 May 18 18 May 18 checkmark $4,050$3,645pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
10 May 18 25 May 18 checkmark $4,050pp Request Quote Book Now
17 May 18 1 Jun 18 checkmark $4,050$3,645pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
24 May 18 8 Jun 18 checkmark $4,050$3,645pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
31 May 18 15 Jun 18 checkmark $4,050$3,645pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jun 18 22 Jun 18 checkmark $3,975$3,578pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jun 18 29 Jun 18 checkmark $3,975$3,578pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jun 18 6 Jul 18 checkmark $3,975$3,578pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jun 18 13 Jul 18 checkmark $3,975$3,578pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 18 20 Jul 18 $3,975$3,578pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 Jul 18 3 Aug 18 checkmark $3,975$3,578pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Aug 18 17 Aug 18 checkmark $3,975$3,578pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
30 Aug 18 14 Sep 18 checkmark $4,095$3,686pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 18 21 Sep 18 checkmark $4,095$3,686pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 18 28 Sep 18 checkmark $4,095$3,686pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 18 5 Oct 18 checkmark $4,095$3,686pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 18 12 Oct 18 checkmark $4,095$3,686pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 18 19 Oct 18 checkmark $4,050$3,645pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $670 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $100 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $146 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7:00 am and 9:30 am.

Cruise Connection: This trip starts or ends in a popular cruise port, so you can combine a cruise with a more in-depth guided vacation in Europe.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

14 nights, 14 hot buffet breakfasts, 6 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Visit Maria Marano's wine farm at the foot of Mount Etna for a walking tour through the estate and cellars, and enjoy home-made appetizers accompanied by the local wine

Cultural Insight

  • Enjoy a private visit inside the Vatican where you will tour the Museo Gregoriano Profano featuring Roman and Ancient Greek antiquities before an exclusive private dinner.
  • Witness the exquisite crafts of inlaid wood in Sorrento and glassblowing on Giudecca Island, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries.

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Assisi, Pompeii, Palermo, Agrigento and Capri

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Rome, Florence, Pompeii, Palermo, Agrigento, Assisi, Capri
  • Orientation of Venice, Taormina, Sorrento
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Roman Colosseum, St. Francis Basilica, the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino, the excavations at Pompeii, the Norman Cathedral at Monreale, the fishing village of Mondello, the Valley of the Temples, the Isle of Capri, the amazing Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square in Venice, sail to the Isle of Capri
  • View the ancient sites of Rome, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo in Florence, the Byzantine St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Palermo Cathedral and the fortress town of Enna, Benedictine Abbey in Monte Cassino

Reviews

Friday, October 27, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The very best thing they did was to hire Maite Morelli as our tour guide. She ran a tight ship; however, she was very loving, kind and considerate of each one of us and made it so much fun. She's extremely knowledgeable. Her hard planning work made it easy-peasy for all of us. We just showed up and did what she told us and it was all great. Leonardo, the driver, was safe and courteous and went beyond being helpful. The luxury bus was just that - luxurious. Also, the selection of hotels was very satisfying. Thank you for a fantastic trip.
Vacation : All things considered, it was a fair price. Mostly because everything was done for us. We did not have to worry about details or problems that arose. Maite Morelli was always on top of things.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review of your trip to Italy and Sicily. We are very proud of our Travel Directors and Drivers, and are thrilled to hear you had a wonderful time with Maite and Leonardo.  
Monday, October 30, 2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : They handled everything flawlessly from beginning to end!
Vacation : The trip was an excellent overview of Italy, we really enjoyed it.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Services were very good. Tour Director was fabulous, One suggestion and it may have not been your fault, but perhaps something to consider. When traveling around on and off a tour bus, perhaps Trafalgar could provide face mask for the people on the bus for those times when someone had a cold and it was spread throughout the bus and so many were victims of this nasty virus. Many of our group were sick and we were stuck on the bus with many people coughing, blowing their noses etc. , and it just was pretty.
Vacation : I truly believe that a tour was an efficient way to see so many sites and experience so many extra excursions of places that those traveling by themselves would not have known where to go to experience them.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our tour guide Marina was fabulous. The coach driver was amazing. Her knowledge of the country was fabulous. Would love to do another tour. The specialist we had along the way were wonderful, too. Loved every minute of it!!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We appreciate you taking the time to write a review. We're glad to hear you enjoyed your tour of Italy and Sicily - Marina is a wonderful addition to our team! We will pass along your suggestions to our product department.  
Friday, September 1, 2017
Vacation : I wish some of the excursions were part of the original tour. We did all of them, but if the tour is going to Venice the gondola ride should be included in the original cost. Like the tour to go to the fountains should of been included also
Friday, June 9, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Grand European is top notch in service,They are very easy to work with, and they stay on top of any last minute changes in your tour, like airline flight cancellations, or other changes to your travel itinerary
Vacation : Destination selection was Great!!! Truly the best of Italy and Sicily
Friday, May 26, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : From the moment I called to get information about this trip until the moment I left Rome for the airport to fly home i thought the service was excellent.
Vacation : I could not have done a trip like this on my own. I would never had seen as much of Italy and had all the wonderful Italian experiences i had on this trip if I tried to do this on my own. It was great!
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Italy must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Italy.

  • The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in Italy, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Italy. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. While pizza and pasta are national favorites, few travelers understand just how varied Italy’s cuisine actually is. In fact, each of the country’s 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine.  Lunch (pranzo) is traditionally the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then fruit.  Finish with espresso and maybe a splash of liqueur.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink.  Find out about some local specialties to try in Italy’s top destinations below.

    Throughout Southern Italy, you can enjoy a variety of fresh and dried pasta with tomato sauce, vegetables marinated in olive oil, seafood, limoncello (lemon liqueur), and  a selection of delicious desserts. In Rome, you can try humble pasta dishes such as carbonara, amatriciana, aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) and cacio e peppe (pecorino cheese and pepper). Other foods to try include pizza, a variety fried foods called fritti  that come stuffed with everything from salted cod to zucchini flours, and and a selection of cheeses including the popular pecorino Romano. You’ll also find traditional desserts such as Rome’s crostata di ricotta, Italy’s version of cheesecake, deep-fried zeppole rolled in sugar, as well as Sicily’s famous cannoli.

  • In Italy, the weather changes very quickly, with temperatures varying from morning to night. We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At bars and restaurants, tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change and seasonal availability. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip, and pricing. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can only be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Florence

Dinner, Wine And Music In The Tuscan Hills

Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant where a selection of regional favorites is served, accompanied by a selection of local wines and live music. A truly unforgettable experience, with an atmosphere that is the essence of all things Tuscan.

Palermo

Colors and Traditions of Palermo

A panoramic drive through verdant forest with spectacular views over the city of Palermo brings us to the summit of Mt. Pellegrino. Here we visit the grotto of Santa Rosalia, Palermo's patron saint. Later, with a Local Specialist, we explore and sample Palermitano street food at one of the most famous and colorful markets with its stalls of olives and spices. A wonderful opportunity to enjoy picturesque Sicilian everyday life.

Sferracavallo With Lunch Or Dinner

Join us for a drive to the coast of Sicily, where we’ll arrive at the quaint fishing village of Sferracavallo. You’ll have the chance to sample a delicious fishermen’s feast, accompanied by wine and soft drinks.

A Visit to Cefalu

Take a drive along the blue coastal highway to the quaint medieval village of Cefalu. You'll have the chance to stroll from the long golden beaches into the winding Arab streets with your Local Specialist.

Rome

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

Discover the most charming areas in the city with a Local Specialist. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares of Rome's historic center, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.

Roman Evening with Dinner

Spend a lighthearted evening with us in Rome. Relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine with drinks and music. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a drive and provide a glimpse into how Romans enjoy their city.

Sorrento

Neapolitan Dinner and Dance

Join us for an evening of Neapolitan specialties at one of our favorite family-run restaurants. While you’re wined and dined, enjoy a cultural experience performed by local artists who'll take center stage and demonstrate the famous Tarantella dance.

Sorrento Farmhouse Dinner

A scenic drive takes you through the Sorrentino countryside to an 18th century Olive Oil mill. You’ll enjoy a guided visit of the gardens, mill and wine cellar, followed by a simple meal of traditional pizza and wine. And there'll also be the chance to see how mozzarella and pizza are made.

Experience The Isle Of Capri

Experience Capri's spectacular cliffs, famous turquoise waters and white grotto the best way: by boat. In Capri town, enjoy a lemon granita, a specialty of the island. Or if the weather doesn't allow, we'll take you on a tour of the island to Anacapri, and a visit to Villa San Michele.

Amalfi Coast and Positano

Come with us for a drive along the famous Amalfi Coast. You’ll have a chance to visit the exclusive artists’ paradise of Positano, which is magnificently positioned on the Mediterranean coast.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Taormina

Sicilian Dinner and Entertainment

A fantastic Sicilian evening, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner of Southern Italian specialties, with musical entertainment.

Mt Etna, Savoca And The Godfather

Discover rustic village life with your Local Specialist as we visit Savoca, the Sicilian setting for 'The Godfather'. Enjoy the stunning views before a visit to Vitelli's bar, featured in the film and famous for 'granita di limone'. Later, you’ll journey up Mt Etna, one of the most intriguing volcanoes in the world.

Dinner in Castelmola, the Most Dramatically Located Village in Sicily

Climb by minibus to the heights of Castelmola, above Taormina, to enjoy the best views of this magical part of Sicily. You'll enjoy wandering the cobbled streets with interesting shops and cafes. Then, dine in a restaurant that has the best view in Sicily, with wine included.

Venice

Gondolas and the Grand Canal

Join us for a scenic cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal. You’ll admire the magnificent palazzi, as well as catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways.

Venice's Secrets and St. Mark's Basilica

Explore the hidden maze of streets which make up this unique city as your Local Specialist gives you a fascinating insight into Venice's past and present. You’ll visit the majestic Basilica of St Mark, where you’ll have a chance to view some of the prized trophies looted by the Venetians in their rise to power. Alternatively, we’ll visit the outside terrace for exceptional vistas.

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks

Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-colored houses - a real photographer's paradise.

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