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Best of Italy & Sicily

Ancient Theater, Taormina
16 Days from $3,308 per person

A full odyssey of Italy and Sicily, from the meandering ‘calli' 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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Tour Pace: Comfortable
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City. Spend the day relaxing. Join your fellow travelers and Travel Director this evening for a Welcome Reception. Then an orientation drive will give you a perfect introduction to the sights which await you.
    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Villafranca
  3. This morning your included sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist begins with a visit to St. Peter's Basilica to see Michelangelo's magnificent Pietà. St. Peter's is a place of pilgrimage and is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. Your tour continues in ancient Rome. See Circus Maximus where chariot races were once held and visit the impressive Colosseum. There's time afterwards to explore the city on your own, or simply relax and watch the world go by.
    meal(s):BB
  4. This morning, travel to the town of Pisa and visit the Square of Miracles, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the incredible Leaning Tower and see the medieval Cathedral and Romanesque Baptistery. You will arrive later in the Renaissance city of Florence.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
  5. Experience the incredible sights on your walking tour with a Local Specialist. View the magnificent Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce Basilica and visit Piazza della Signoria. Enjoy some free time before driving to the floating city of Venice. This evening, why not appreciate this elegant city from the comfort of a gondola?

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Best Western Biasutti
  6. Your cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square is spectacular. View the Bridge of Sighs and the ornate Doge's Palace. Gain a Cultural Insight when you watch Venetian craftsmen at work creating masterpieces at a glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island. Spend free time shopping or relaxing. Consider a boat trip to the colorful island of Burano for a delicious meal.
    meal(s):BB
  7. Drive south from Venice to Umbria, the green heart of Italy. Later, in the spiritual city of Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio, visit St. Francis’ Basilica on your walking tour with a Local Specialist.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Dei Congressi
  8. This morning, stop at Cassino to visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery and view the Benedictine Abbey. Arrive later at the ancient city of Pompeii which was buried beneath volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, and lay undiscovered for centuries. Your Local Specialist gives a fascinating account of the excavations during your walking tour. A short journey brings you to Naples for your overnight cruise to Palermo, Sicily's capital.
    meal(s):BB
  9. Arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. Meet your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of the city which includes the honey-coloured cathedral and Piazza Bellini. Travel to the town of Monreale and visit the magnificent 12th century Norman Cathedral. Admire views of the Conca d'Oro before continuing your journey to visit the beautiful fishing village of Mondello. Return to Palermo this afternoon.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Mercure Centro
  10. In Agrigento, your Local Specialist takes you on a tour of the Valley of the Temples. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to five ancient Greek temples dating from the 6th century BC. These are some of the grandest Grecian remains outside Athens. Dine tonight at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Dioscuri Bay Palace
  11. Travel through the vineyards of the southern hills towards the seaside resort of Taormina, your home for the next two nights. On arrival enjoy free time to explore the sights.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Sant Alphio Garden
  12. Spend the day relaxing in this fun Sicilian resort. Perhaps swim and sunbathe or shop for handmade lace on the Corso. Consider joining an Optional Experience to Savoca, the village made famous by ‘The Godfather', and the crater of Sicily's active volcano, Mount Etna, widely regarded as one of the most impressive in the world. This evening, join your companions for a special Be My Guest dinner in a vineyard close to Mount Etna.

    meal(s):BB, BG
  13. Cross the Straits of Messina to mainland Italy by ferry, driving north through rustic Calabria via Salerno to your hotel in Sorrento. Tonight, relax at your hotel and take in the scenery.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:La Residenza
  14. Visit an inlaid-wood workshop for a Cultural Insight into a local specialty craft. Take a short cruise to the charming Isle of Capri, and enjoy a guided walking tour of Capri Town with a Local Specialist. Appreciate views across the sea and Marina Piccola. Spend free time afterwards exploring this charming island on your own. Later return to Sorrento – famous for the alcoholic digestive Limoncello. Visit Piazza Tasso, with its many cafés, and shop in boutiques on the Corso Italia.
    meal(s):BB
  15. Admire the spectacular coastline as you drive north from Sorrento. This afternoon, gain priority access to the Vatican Museums where a Local Specialist will take you on a guided tour. Admire Michelangelo's magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel when it is less crowded and join an official representative of the Vatican Museums for a private guided tour of the Missionary Ethnological Museum, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, with its remarkable collection of artworks and historical relics from missions all over the world. You'll also enjoy an exclusive Farewell Dinner at the museum in the midst of three centuries of art, history and antiquities.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Sheraton Parco De Medici
  16. Say ‘arrivederci Roma' as you prepare for your journey home with wonderful memories of your vacation. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
    meal(s):BB
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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.

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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • 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 guided tour and exclusive dinner in the midst of three centuries of art, history and antiquities at the Vatican's Missionary Ethnological Museum. 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
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
13 Apr 17 28 Apr 17 $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
20 Apr 17 5 May 17 checkmark $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
27 Apr 17 12 May 17 $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
4 May 17 19 May 17 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
11 May 17 26 May 17 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
18 May 17 2 Jun 17 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
25 May 17 9 Jun 17 $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
1 Jun 17 16 Jun 17 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
8 Jun 17 23 Jun 17 $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
15 Jun 17 30 Jun 17 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
22 Jun 17 7 Jul 17 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
29 Jun 17 14 Jul 17 $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
6 Jul 17 21 Jul 17 checkmark $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
13 Jul 17 28 Jul 17 $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
20 Jul 17 4 Aug 17 $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
27 Jul 17 11 Aug 17 checkmark $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
3 Aug 17 18 Aug 17 $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
10 Aug 17 25 Aug 17 $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
17 Aug 17 1 Sep 17 $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
24 Aug 17 8 Sep 17 $3,725$3,353pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,725 $3,353 pp
31 Aug 17 15 Sep 17 $3,775$3,398pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,775 $3,398 pp
7 Sep 17 22 Sep 17 checkmark $3,775$3,398pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,775 $3,398 pp
14 Sep 17 29 Sep 17 checkmark $3,775$3,398pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,775 $3,398 pp
21 Sep 17 6 Oct 17 checkmark $3,775$3,398pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,775 $3,398 pp
28 Sep 17 13 Oct 17 checkmark $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp
5 Oct 17 20 Oct 17 checkmark $3,675$3,308pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,675 $3,308 pp

 

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 $700 p.p.

Triple Discount: $80 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 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.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

  • 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 48 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. 

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