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Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily

Operated by: Insight Vacations

14 Days from $4,046 per person
APR - OCT 2022
Roman Forum in sunshine, Rome, Italy

Countries Visited

Italy, Vatican City ...more Italy, Vatican City

Locations Visited

Rome, Vatican, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, Alberobello, Matera, Taormina, Agrigento, Palermo ...more Rome, Vatican, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, Alberobello, Matera, Taormina, Agrigento, Palermo
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Industry leading 3-step protocols

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Entry Guide

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FAQ’s on traveling now

COVID-19 Requirements

FAQ’s on traveling now

  1. 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. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director at 17:30, and get to know your fellow travellers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Welcome Piram Hotel, Rome.
  2. 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. 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?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Welcome Piram Hotel, Rome.
  3. Day 3 VIP Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica and on to Sorrento

    Meet your Local Expert for a guided visit through the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your priority 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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.
  4. Day 4 Capri, The Isle of Dreams

    Cruise by jetfoil through the impossibly blue sea to the sun-drenched island of Capri. On arrival, enjoy an escorted ride in an open-top taxi to Capri Town and meet your Local Expert for an orientation walk through narrow alleyways. Explore Capri with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the immaculate Gardens of Augustus with a Local Expert and admire the views over Faraglioni Rocks. Alternatively, enjoy a tasting of limoncello, Capri's famous lemon liqueur. Descend to the port by funicular, before returning to Sorrento where you are at leisure for the rest of the day.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.
  5. Day 5 Pompeii 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. Venture on to Alberobello.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
  6. Day 6 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 at Trattoria Terra Madre. Alessandro, the owner, shares his philosophy of using home-grown organic and seasonal produce. See Nonna making orechiette pasta during a demonstration, before a delicious four-course, Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
  7. Day 7 Alberobello at Leisure Relaxed Start

    The day is free for you to enjoy this fascinating town. Perhaps visit Ostuni - reminiscent of a North African Arab Medina - with its stark, whitewashed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways? Later, relax and indulge in the amenities of your remarkable hotel.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
  8. Day 8 Journey South to Matera Relaxed Start

    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’. This evening, indulge in a delicious meal with wine at your hotel.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MH Matera Hotel.
  9. 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. 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.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina.
  10. Day 10 Free Time on the Taormina Riviera Relaxed Start

    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 national park to Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina.
  11. Day 11 A New Dawn in Sicily Relaxed Start

    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.In the evening, venture to a local restaurant for a tasty meal accompanied by wine.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina.
  12. Day 12 Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples and on to Palermo

    Drive to Agrigento and walk along the fortified ridge of the Valley of the Temples with a Local Expert. See the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno, overlooking the sea. In the afternoon, continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel NH Palermo.
  13. Day 13 Palermo and the Golden Age of the Normans

    Join a historian on a guided walk to see the gems of the old city. Visit 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. Continue to the Palermo Cathedral which has been altered over the years and a venture inside will help you to appreciate the blend of architectural styles. 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.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel NH Palermo.
  14. Day 14 Depart Palermo

    Your journey draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport at 06:00 and 08:00.

    meals Breakfast
Country Roads Southern Italy Sicily Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

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, Capri's traditional lemon liqueur.

Authentic Dining

  • Rome: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at a uniquely Roman local restaurant.
  • Capri: Enjoy a tasting of limoncello, Capri's traditional lemon liqueur.
  • Palermo: At a local restaurant, enjoy fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine at your Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Dinner with Wine (DW), and 13 Breakfast (B)

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.
  • Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
  • Capri: Discover the luxuriant Gardens of Augustus with a Local Expert and admire views of the Faraglioni rocks.
  • Capri: Cruise by jetfoil to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
  • Capri: Relax and enjoy the views as you are driven in an iconic open-top taxi.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
  • 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.
  • 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: Discover the Sicilian capital with your Local Expert. See Pretoria Square and the 16th century fountain. View the composite architectural styles of the Palermo Cathedral and visit the Cathedral of Monreale.

Insight Experiences

  • Vatican: Gain priority access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

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.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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September 2022
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Optional Add-Ons

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

Rome

Available on Day 2

Rome Of The Ancient Christians

Outside the ancient Roman city walls, we'll visit the early Christian Catacombs, underground cemeteries carved out of soft Tufa Stone, with our Local Expert. Nearby, we'll also visit one of the major basilicas of Rome, St. Paul's, the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle, famous for its Byzantine Mosaics.
Adult Price: € 39

Discovering Trastevere

Get off the beaten track and explore Rome’s most untouched and unique district, Trastevere. One of Rome's 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 our local expert, we’ll 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!
Adult Price: € 31

Sorrento

Available on Day 3

Sorrento Evening

A chance to enjoy a delicious dinner of local specialties. We arrive at one of the area's unique local restaurants for an incredible dining experience featuring some of the famous dishes of this region!
Adult Price: € 63

Available on Day 4

Amalfi Coast Drive & Positano Visit

Drive along the clear blue waters and picturesque resorts of the Amalfi Coast, arguably the most glamorous and scenic stretch of coast in Europe. Minibuses wind their way down serpentine roads to the exclusive artists' paradise of Positano, clinging to the cliff face, as if about to cascade into the turquoise waters below. Spend time exploring the elegant shops, watching the artists at work, or enjoying an 'aperitivo' in a beachside cafe.
Adult Price: € 56

Island Tour of Capri

Experience the spectacular cliffs and famous turquoise waters of Capri during a relaxing cruise to the most beautiful part of the island, the southern side. View the beautiful grottoes and unique coastline before ascending to Capri town. This optional experience is weather dependent and may be replaced by a minibus tour of the Island with a visit to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele.
Adult Price: € 42

Alberobello

Available on Day 7

The White Town of Ostuni and Olive Mill

In the company of our Local Expert, experience the town of Ostuni which is 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. afterward, we'll visit a Mill to taste the renowned olive oil produced in this area that incorporates olives from the ancient groves of Puglia!
Adult Price: € 34

Masseria Dinner

Puglia is a food lover's paradise, famous for its local dishes using the freshest of ingredients! Tonight it's off to the countryside to a local 'Masseria,' a typical ancient fortified 'Farmhouse' of Puglia. We enjoy an incredible, authentic Puglian-style dinner in a beautiful setting! A wonderful 'country roads' experience all served up with great wines from this region!
Adult Price: € 60

Taormina

Available on Day 10

Dinner in the Clouds

With one of the most incredible rides of your lives, you will arrive high above the sea, a world apart from the areas that tourists tread. You'll arrive in your terraced authentic local restaurant for a truly educational meal of delicious regional specialties, with accompanying local wines.
Adult Price: € 70

Mt Etna

Where myth and legend merge into reality! With a Local Expert, we'll drive up Mt. Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. Ascend through the fertile foothills, bypassing small villages, lush forests, ancient craters and lava flows to see amazing lunar landscapes and houses surrounded by lava. Admire astonishing panoramic views over the eastern Sicilian coast and Ionian Sea whilst discovering the history of Sicily’s most popular attraction and its eruptions.
Adult Price: € 56

Available on Day 11

The Power Of Syracuse

With our Local Expert, we'll visit Syracuse, at one stage more powerful than Athens, and one of the most influential cities of "Magna Grecia." The fascinating archaeological remains give you an inkling of the glories of its past. Move on to Ortigia, the beautiful medieval island with one of the most symbolic churches of Sicily, combining paganism and the transition to Christianity. The quaint shorefront, the whitewashed buildings and the baroque influence - it's a must.
Adult Price: € 59

Palermo

Available on Day 12

Dinner in Palermo

Sicilian dining is one of life's true pleasures! We'll indulge in great food made from the freshest ingredients, accompanied by the island's delicious wines.
Adult Price: € 60

Available on Day 13

Hidden Palermo

Walk the ancient streets of the historical center and learn, through the eyes of our Local Expert, how the Palermitani live. You’ll discover hidden treasures of this fascinating city that most visitors don't get to see, like a private visit to the palace of the family of the Counts of Palermo, whom we’ll meet and who will share their amazing experiences with us.
Adult Price: € 34

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Charles Pariano
Friday, May 27, 2022
Service
Overall good experience and GET was helpful when we learned our trip had been canceled they help with date changes etc.
Vacation
Great weather beautiful sights, good food and wine. Fantastic tour director
Caron Klemm
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Service
I realize with covid things are a little crazy. Closer to the date we left, we had better communication, but we had to make several calls to get information.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so glad you enjoyed your trip. Things were changing so often and right up to the day of your departure, but we do apologize for any gaps in communication.
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Vacation
Our travel director, Lisa was great! She had obstacles with covid, but she was on it and making phone calls so our vacation was pretty smooth for us. It was obvious Lisa was there for us and did a wonderful job! Our driver, Antonio was so friendly and had a great attitude. Don't know how he got us around some of those super small country town roads!
Trusted Customer
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Service
Quick and easy
Vacation
If this was premium I would hate to see first class. The hotel in Rome was shabby, with black mold on the bathroom ceiling, and in desperate need of renovation. Many complained about it and we were told there had been complaints from other groups but, since there were few choices that could accommodate large tours, you continued to use this hotel. We stayed in another hotel prior to the tour, about 300 meters away, that was awesome and about the same price. The Maratea hotel in was locked in the 70's and badly in need of a renovation. The other hotels were fine. The breakfast was uniformly good. The dinners were uniformly bad. I found you could eat at the same restaurant and get good food, so I assume it was the tour's food budget that was the issue. You would be better served to eliminate dinners totally, allowing participants to have dinner on their own. We started to do just that. No point being in Italy with mediocre wine and food! It seems a large tour is the cause of both issues and I will never take one again. Very disappointed, particularly with the food and wine. I excepted more of GET.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We appreciate your honest feedback and we will bring this to the attention of Insight Vacations, who operates this tour. Their Quality Control team looks at every review for hotels and meals so we thank you for bringing these issues to our attention. We hope that there were some happy memories made on your trip.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Wendy Brouwer
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Service
No problem booking, but I did not know I was traveling with another company.
Vacation
Nice coach with 28 people. A number of my hotel rooms were subpar. Too many optional tours and not many included meals, which greatly increased the cost of the trip. Will not use this company again.
Trusted Customer
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Service
]Travel Director, Sara, was knowledgeable, caring, funny; Alessandro our excellent driver was a complete gentleman always there to lend a hand to shaky travelers exiting the bus and always with a smile. Local tour guides supplemented what Sara had told us and efficiently guided us around the various sites. Our accommodations were wonderful and the included dinners allowed us to make friends with out fellow passengers. Such a great group of people.
Vacation
Marvelous tour director, Sara; excellent driver, Alessandro, knowledgeable local tour guides; wonderful accommodations selected to make it convenient to tourist sites and a great group of fellow travelers.
Response from Grand European Travel:
That is fantastic to hear. Thank you for sharing!
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Linda Jackson
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Service
Well planned tour as always. I would definitely recommend GET.
Vacation
We saw some hidden gems in southern Italy.
Trusted Customer
Friday, May 17, 2019
Service
She was very helpful in every stage.
Vacation
This was another great Insight tour. Our tour guide Sara Brocki was exceptional! She was knowledgeable, helpful, patient, organized, and creative. Her ability to relate history and music to everything we saw and everywhere we went was refreshing and entertaining. Her good humor and flexibility were unflappable. Alessandro was an extraordinary driver who made the trip smooth and comfortable despite road conditions. He was polite, patient, and entertaining with a good sense of humor. They made an excellent team and made the trip memorable. We would love to travel with them again.
Michael Green
Friday, October 12, 2018
Service
Rep was OK and answered questions, but was most unhelpful with the air arrangements. This is the second time I have had this issue with GET and will not use you to make my air arrangements again - if I travel with you again. You could learn a lot from how OAT handles air.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Palermo is a difficult city to get in and out of and we have limited options when it comes to flights. We're sorry that you felt the arrangements were not helpful. We will use this as an opportunity to improve for the future. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Friday, October 12, 2018
Vacation
The overall trip was very good, but not excellent. The itinerary could use a little work. Too many days (3) in/around Alberobello, where we had lots of "free time" but were too far from anything to actually do much exploring on our own. Better to add a day in Sorrento or Sicily and subtract one in Alberobello where we had plenty of time to do the whole itinerary there anyway.
Le Roy Campbell
Friday, August 10, 2018
Service
GET does everything almost perfect. What they do not do is properly communicate the need for a Double bed when booked with Insight. They use the term TWIN and this means to Insight Vacations that we want a Twin bed when we want a double bed. This can be fixed by having a choice of Single, Twin and Double instead of just Single and Twin. Other than that they are good to work with. One other plus would be to add a "Nickname" to the information. My Passport Name is LeRoy but I preferred to be called Roy. I was able to let my Insight tour director this information and the bed information prior to our trip so my badge and our room were correct. Both of these could have been handled by GET with just simple tweaks to their booking system.
Vacation
Just an amazing trip with an amazing Tour Director Ernesta, Great Travelers with us using Insight Vacations
Hassan Tondravi
Friday, June 22, 2018
Service
The quality of the included meals was disappointing. Also, the number of optional tours were many and not enough tour included.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're sorry to hear that the meals were not to your liking. We will certainly pass this on tour Quality Control team for immediate review. Thank you.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Vacation
We always go trough GET and have had pretty good experience with them.
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