Your 10-night Southern Italy tour starts in Rome, where you have free time to explore its famous sights like the Colosseum or visit the Vatican. Then continue south by coach for 10 exciting days, traveling through the Campania region, the Amalfi Coast and the island of Sicily.
Throughout your tour, learn about the culture of Southern Italy, where life runs at a slower pace than the bigger cities in the north. Enjoy the spectacular Italian coastline, admire medieval and baroque architecture in small villages, and be wowed by the volcanic ruins of Pompeii, a World Heritage site.
Standard or superior accommodation (make your choice when booking) is included for one night in Rome, two nights in Sorrento, two nights in Palermo, one night in Agrigento, two nights in the Taormina area and one night in Catania, plus one night on an overnight ferry to Sicily. Some meals are included, and for the rest, you’ll have free time to visit local restaurants on your own to enjoy the fabulous regional cuisine.
Please note: Rates do not includes city taxes, which you will pay directly to hotels upon arrival or checkout according to the procedures of local city boards; city taxes will change according to hotel category. Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking; in the rare event that the mentioned hotel is unavailable, you will be accommodated at another centrally located hotel of the same star rating.
Day 1: Rome
Check in to your Rome hotel in the early afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. The city is a sightseers’ paradise with architectural delights to be found around every twist and turn. Maybe stroll around the area known as ancient Rome to see the Colosseum or check out the Vatican City, home of the pope. All entrance fees, attractions and meals are at your own expense.Overnight: standard accommodation at 3-star Holiday Inn Express or superior accommodation at 4-star Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio, Atlantico or Mediterraneo in RomeDay 2: Rome – Naples – Pompeii – Sorrento (B, D)
Leave central Rome in the morning, and travel by coach to sunny Naples – your first destination of the day. After arriving in the late morning, set off to explore on a walking tour. Centered around its UNESCO Cultural Heritage site (Naples’ historical center), your tour takes in the top city attractions like Piazza del Plebiscito – home to the Royal Palace of Naples (Palazzo Reale) – and Galleria Umbero I, with its glass-roofed arcade.
Travel inland to Pompeii, and after lunch in town (own expense), visit the UNESCO-listed archeological site to see Pompeii’s ancient ruins with your guide. Hear how the city lay buried under volcanic ash for centuries following Mount Vesuvius’ 79 BC eruption, and marvel at the incredible ruins that lay scattered around. Return to your coach and travel to the Amalfi Coast. Stop in the picturesque town of Sorrento and check in to your hotel in time for dinner.Overnight: standard accommodation at 3-star Hotel Villa Maria or superior accommodation at 4-star Hotel Capodimonte in SorrentoDay 3: Sorrento – Capri – Sorrento (B, L, D)
Enjoy breakfast, and then travel from Sorrento port to the Island of Capri by hydrofoil boat. Hop aboard a rowing boat at Capri’s Marina Grande harbor and relax as your guide rows you to the magical Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) – an under-lit cave. Return to Marina Grande and travel to the village of Anacapri, perched high above its glamorous Capri Town neighbor. Explore at leisure, admiring its romantic wisteria-draped villas and gaze down over the beautiful Bay of Naples.
After a break for lunch in Capri Town, take a walk around the swanky Piazetta (Piazza Umberto) – the place to see and be seen on the island. Board another hydrofoil boat in the late afternoon and return to Sorrento in time for dinner.Note
: your Blue Grotto trip is subject to good weather conditions. In the event of storms or heavy rain, your tour visits Faraglioni (a rocky inlet), instead.Overnight: standard accommodation at 3-star Hotel Villa Maria or superior accommodation at 4-star Hotel Capodimonte in SorrentoDay 4: Sorrento – Palermo, Sicily (B)
After breakfast, spend your morning in Sorrento at leisure. If you’ve not had much time to discover its charm, then here’s your chance. Perhaps take a stroll along Corso Italia and climb the steps to see atmospheric Piazza Tasso, tucked away in the heart of the Old Town. Soak up views of the sun-soaked cliffs and shop for any last-minute souvenirs of the Amalfi Coast.
In the afternoon travel to the Port of Naples to board your ferry to Sicily. Lunch and dinner are not included, but meals are available on board the boat (own expense). Spend your night at sea as you cruise toward Palermo, Sicily’s capital.Overnight: at sea between Sorrento and Palermo
Day 5: Palermo (D)
Dock in Palermo in the morning and, after checking in to your hotel, the day is yours to spend doing as you wish. Perhaps go for breakfast at one of the city’s seafront cafes (own expense), and then explore independently, admiring the fading grandeur of the Quattro Canti area or visiting Il Capo Market.Overnight: 4-star Hotel Mercure in PalermoDay 6: Palermo – Monreale – Palermo (B, D)
Relax over breakfast, and then head out on a morning excursion to the neighboring town of Monreale. The ancient royal town is famous for its almonds, olive oil and citrus fruits, as well as its fine Norman architecture. Visit the elaborate Cathedral of Monreale or perhaps shop for local produce to take home.
Spend your afternoon in Palermo on a walking tour, and get to know the city sights. Wander the streets of the Old Town, hearing tales of Palermo’s 3,000-year history and discovering attractions like Palermo Cathedral. Walk inside the impressive-looking place of worship and marvel at its arches, cupolas and mosaics – amassed from each of the city’s successive rulers.
Enjoy free time in the late afternoon and return to your hotel for dinner.
Overnight: 4-star Hotel Mercure in PalermoDay 7: Palermo – Erice – Marsala – Agrigento (B, D)
Rise early for breakfast and travel west along Sicily’s north coast to Erice, a medieval village stacked into the side of Monte San Giuliano. Many say that little has changed in the village since the sixth century, and its labyrinth-like twist of lanes make for a pleasant morning amble.
Continue to Marsala, a pretty coastal town on the westernmost point of Sicily. Explore at leisure, perhaps shopping for a bottle of local Marsala dessert wine to take home (own expense). Relax in one of the elegant piazzas and saunter through the streets of the Old Town, gazing at the majestic Baroque buildings.
Return to your coach and travel south, passing Mazara del Vallo – the closest Sicilian city to Africa – before stopping in the town of Agrigento, your final destination of the day. Visit Ancient Greek monuments and ruins at the Valley of Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and learn about archeological relics like the Classical Temple of Concord. Check in to your hotel in the evening and enjoy dinner with a glass of wine.
Overnight: 4-star Hotel Della Valle in AgrigentoDay 8: Agrigento – Noto – Syracuse – Taormina (B, D)
Leave Agrigento after breakfast and travel to Noto, a picturesque fishing town that’s popular for its stately Baroque architecture. Visit Cathedral of San Nicolò, a recently renovated structure, and then stretch your legs on a walk around the center. Continue along the south coast to Syracuse, on Sicily’s southeastern tip.
Visit Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, Syracuse’s famous archeological zone that’s home to a vast collection of Greek and Roman ruins from all over Sicily. Head inside to see impressive excavations such as the Greek theater, Roman amphitheater and the Ear of Dionysius – an artificial limestone cave. After exploring the ruins, cross one of the city’s bridges for a visit to the island neighborhood of Ortygia, home to a wealth of Baroque churches and medieval palaces.
Continue traveling around the coast to Taormina, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner.
Overnight: standard accommodation at 4-star Hotel Antares or 4-star Hotel Olimpo or one of the Parc Hotels chain in the Taormina areaDay 9: Taormina – Mount Etna – Taormina (B, D)
Travel inland after breakfast to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Explore the foothills of the mountainous volcano, and – if weather permits – head up to the summit with your guide. Learn about volcanic activity and marvel at the old lava fields and black magma rock that comprises Etna’s landscape.
Return to Taormina in the afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure.Overnight: standard accommodation at 4-star Hotel Antares or 4-star Hotel Olimpo or one of the Parc Hotels chain in the Taormina area
Day 10: Taormina - Savoca - Forza d'Agrò - Catania (B, D)
After breakfast at your hotel, travel to Savoca and Forza d'Agrò, two pretty villages that starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy and serve as perfect examples of unspoiled Sicilian hill towns.
Visit the stone-built Bar Vitelli in Savoca that featured in the first film and is still owned by the family who welcomed the film crew. See the bar's photos taken during filming, and then enjoy free time to stroll around this hidden gem of a town.
Afterward, continue to Catania and enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Perhaps opt to explore its UNESCO-listed center, with its Baroque palaces and Roman ruins, admiring highlights such as the Fountain of the Elephant carved in volcanic stone. Later, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner.
Overnight: standard accommodation at 4-star Hotel II Principe in Catania
Day 11: Catania (B)
Check out of your hotel after breakfast, finishing your 10-night tour of the Amalfi Coast and Sicily.