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Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Palermo Cathedral, Sicily
Tour Style: Premium
15 Days from $3,713 per person

Experience the treasures of Rome, Pompeii and the Neapolitan Riviera, the unique ‘trulli' houses of Alberobello and the Sassi di Matera, and the rich heritage of Sicily.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a family run restaurant near Via Veneto.

    meal(s):DW
    hotel:Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome (2 nights).
  3. 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 inside the Colosseum? 

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
  4. Meet a Local Expert for a guided tour through the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Continue with your Local Expert to visit St. Peters Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Later depart for the picturesque resort of Sorrento.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento (2 nights).
  5. Wake up full of anticipation for your trip to Capri - the Isle of Dreams. Under the Mediterranean sun, ride up to the 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 before returning to Sorrento. Investigate the art of 'intarsio' or marquetry wood inlaying before returning to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento.
  6. 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. Journey along country roads to Matera to meet a Local Expert enjoy in-depth exploration of the extraordinary ‘Sassi' - troglodyte dwellings and churches dug out of the rock, 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.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Hotel La Chiusa Di Chietri, Alberobello (3 nights).
  7. 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 savoring the fresh flavors of your Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Hotel La Chiusa Di Chietri, Alberobello.
  8. 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.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Hotel La Chiusa Di Chietri, Alberobello.
  9. 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 day is at leisure. You may wish to spend it climbing to the top of Monte San Biagio to see Maratea's own Christ the Redeemer Statue, relaxing on one of its many pocket-sized beaches or sipping cocktails with the jet-set at the stylish harbor. A delicious Italian meal is served with wine at your resort. 

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Hotel Pianeta Maratea Resort
  10. In the morning, travel along the Purple Coast to the very toe of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily. 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 Theater, 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.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hilton, Giardini Naxos (3 nights).
  11. 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, plus a stop in Savoca, the village used for the filming of The Godfather.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hilton Giardini Naxos.
  12. 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 fro a tasty meal accompanied by wine.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hilton Giardini Naxos.
  13. 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 Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno, overlooking the sea, are especially impressive. In the afternoon, continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo (2 nights).
  14. 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 - venture inside to appreciate the composite of architectural styles. Journey on 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. At night, join your fellow guests for an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine, wine and music.

    meal(s):BB, WD
    hotel:Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo.
  15. Your journey draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Palermo Airport at 06:00 & 08:00.

    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.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
6 Apr 18 20 Apr 18 $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Apr 18 27 Apr 18 $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
20 Apr 18 4 May 18 checkmark $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
27 Apr 18 11 May 18 $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 May 18 18 May 18 checkmark $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
11 May 18 25 May 18 $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
18 May 18 1 Jun 18 checkmark $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
25 May 18 8 Jun 18 $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Jun 18 15 Jun 18 checkmark $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
8 Jun 18 22 Jun 18 $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Jun 18 29 Jun 18 checkmark $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
22 Jun 18 6 Jul 18 $4,195$3,776pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
29 Jun 18 13 Jul 18 $4,195$3,776pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
6 Jul 18 20 Jul 18 $4,195$3,776pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Jul 18 27 Jul 18 $4,195$3,776pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
20 Jul 18 3 Aug 18 $4,150$3,735pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
27 Jul 18 10 Aug 18 $4,150$3,735pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
3 Aug 18 17 Aug 18 $4,150$3,735pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
10 Aug 18 24 Aug 18 $4,150$3,735pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
17 Aug 18 31 Aug 18 $4,150$3,735pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
24 Aug 18 7 Sep 18 checkmark $4,150$3,735pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
31 Aug 18 14 Sep 18 $4,225$3,803pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Sep 18 21 Sep 18 checkmark $4,225$3,803pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Sep 18 28 Sep 18 checkmark $4,225$3,803pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Sep 18 5 Oct 18 checkmark $4,150$3,735pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Sep 18 12 Oct 18 checkmark $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 Oct 18 19 Oct 18 checkmark $4,125$3,713pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
12 Oct 18 26 Oct 18 $4,125$3,713pp 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 $770 p.p.

Triple Room Discount $150 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $162 per person.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

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

Included Quality Dining

13 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

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 confront the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Explore the city's backstreets on a leisurely passeggiata as a passionate Roman explains how modern life takes place around ancient
    treasures. 

Pompeii:

  • Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town.

Isle of Capri:

  • Cruise to this famous isle and in the style of the jet-set and and enjoy a ride by open-top taxi.

Matera:

  • Visit the famous ‘Sassi' or cave dwellings, which were home to about 20,000 people until 1950.

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.

Taormina:

  • Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats in the ancient Greek theatre and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.

Agrigento:

  • A Local Expert will lead you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples.

Palermo:

  • Walk through the Palace of the Normans to stand in the jewel-like Palatine chapel for a close-up look at some of the finest examples of Norman art.

Reviews

Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Planning was so easy. Agent was fantastic and helpful
Vacation : Excellent tour. Have traveled with Insight several times and obviously returned because they were top notch. This trip didn't disappoint. Our driver Claudio was fantastic and out tour guide, Beatrice Richichi was the best ever. She is a doll. Warm, friendly,efficient, patient, and never seemed to get tired of having to repeat herself to those who didn't listen.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Excellent tour director and quality hotels. Will consider GET again
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you! We hope to be able to work with you in the future.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Vacation : Quality of tour director, itinerary, and hotels
Friday, June 16, 2017
Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everyone should have the good fortune to take a trip with Brad as the tour director. Besides being extremely knowledgeable he was patient, fun, professional, etc. Nothing was too much for him. We really lucked out.
Vacation : It was exactly what I hoped for. No complaints.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Anticipated needs and interests, well versed about the sites.
Vacation : Right mix of talk nd walking.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Great price, service and trip. We always book with them for all our trips.
Vacation : Great trips always and working with the company is great too.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Did not receive an itinerary prior to trip. Was not aware of change in first hotel location.
Vacation : Good
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Very satisfied.
Vacation : Very satisfied.
  • 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.

  • While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is 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 frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa.  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. 

  • 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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