Your vacation begins with three overnights in Rome, the “Eternal City,” and guided sightseeing that includes the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Then, view the Gulf of Naples from the top of Mount Vesuvius and learn about Pompeii, the town that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Take a ferry to the Isle of Capri and spend two nights enjoying its special flair. Cross the waters to the charming seaside resort of Sorrento, admire the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, then set off toward Sicily, Italy’s biggest island. Spend two nights in the enchanting Taormina area and ride up Mount Etna, Europe’s biggest volcano. Visit Syracuse, once the greatest city of Magna Grecia, and Noto, the baroque jewel of the south. Marvel at Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples with the well-preserved ancient Greek temples and Selinunte’s acropolis remains before reaching colorful Palermo, a city bearing evidence of the many invasions during its 3,000-year history. Ferry to Naples and motor back to Rome for the finale of your vacation.
Day #1 Arrive in Rome, Italy. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring this great city.
Day #2 Rome. Two days in which to get well acquainted with Rome. Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum. Optional excursions are available to discover more of the “Eternal City.” (B daily)
Day #3 Rome. Two days in which to get well acquainted with Rome. Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum. Optional excursions are available to discover more of the “Eternal City.” (B daily)
Day #4 Rome–Vesuvius–Pompeii–Capri. South all the way today. First, a stop to enjoy the awe-inspiring sights of one of Europe’s greatest live volcanoes—Vesuvius! Leave the coach and walk to the top to view its crater. Then, to Pompeii, where time stopped in 79 AD, when the Vesuvius eruption totally destroyed it. On the included visit you can see the luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Just a few more miles to the Neapolitan Riviera for embarkation on the ferry to Capri to enjoy two overnights on this charmed island. (B,D)
Day #5 Capri. This legendary island is surrounded by a rocky coastline—the crashing sea has formed remarkable caves. The town, with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and smart restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set, and optional excursions take you to see more of the island. Join Tiberius, Emma Hamilton, and Axel Munthe, historical figures who all fell in love with this exquisite spot. A full day to do exactly what you please. Maybe explore some of the island’s lovely walks or join an optional excursion to see Mount Solaro and the house of Axel Munthe (San Michele). (B,D)
Day #6 Capri–Sorrento. Excursion to Amalfitan Coast. Take the ferry to Sorrento this morning. Few places in the world match the very special charm of Sorrento. This picturesque resort overlooking the Bay of Naples boasts a marvelous climate, beautiful views, trendy shops and boutiques, interesting museums, and a vibrant nightlife. Don’t miss out on the included excursion along the breathtakingly beautiful Amalfitan Coast. (B,D)
Day #7 Sorrento. Two full days to enjoy this town set on a plateau high above the waters of the Bay of Naples and with truly spectacular views as far as towering Vesuvius. Sorrento’s terraces, hung with flowers, jut from winding streets and alleys above a small harbor. Streets are filled with shops, cheerful bars, and cafés. Day 7 (B), Day 8 (B,D)
Day #8 Sorrento. Two full days to enjoy this town set on a plateau high above the waters of the Bay of Naples and with truly spectacular views as far as towering Vesuvius. Sorrento’s terraces, hung with flowers, jut from winding streets and alleys above a small harbor. Streets are filled with shops, cheerful bars, and cafés. Day 7 (B), Day 8 (B,D)
Day #9 Sorrento–Villa San Giovanni–Ferry Crossing–Taormina Area. Today, by way of the autostrada, travel through the wild and mountainous scenery of Italy’s most southern regions before boarding the ferry for the 45-minute crossing to Sicily. Only a few more miles to the Taormina area, where you overnight. (B,D)
Day #10 Taormina. Magnificently situated on a 700-foot plateau, Taormina has wonderful views along the coast. The heart of the town is Piazza Nove Aprile, a paved square with unrivaled views to the sea and the Mount Etna volcano. (B,D)
Day #11 Taormina Area–Mount Etna–Syracuse. This morning, take advantage of the visit to the heights of Mount Etna and the option of a Jeep or cable-car ride for a better view of Europe’s largest active volcano. Drive even farther south to Syracuse, where you have the option of visiting the ancient Grecian archaeological sites or doing just as you please. (B,D)
Day #12 Syracuse–Noto–Agrigento. Westward today with a visit to the 18th-century baroque town of Noto. Then, past Caltanissetta, surrounded by sulphur mines, to Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, one of Italy’s archaeological jewels—especially in spring when the slopes are frosted with almond blossoms. Visit the Doric Temple of Concord, one of the best preserved outside Athens; the hilltop Temple of Juno Lacinia is the valley’s most impressive. (B,D)
Day #13 Agrigento–Selinunte–Palermo. Leave Agrigento for Selinunte, one of the most striking and interesting sites in Sicily. See the remains of the Acropolis. Then, northeast to Palermo, the capital of Sicily. This evening, enjoy an optional farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. (B)
Day #14 At Leisure in Palermo (Embarkation)–Overnight Ferry Crossing to Naples. A full day to enjoy this busy and colorful city full of interesting squares and marketplaces, churches, and palazzos in every style—from Moorish to baroque. Join the optional sightseeing tour to learn more about this city. Evening embarkation for the overnight ferry from Palermo to Naples. (B)
Day #15 Naples (Disembarkation)–Rome. North this morning back to the “Eternal City” with plenty of time to enjoy one of the optional excursions, to do last-minute shopping, or maybe sip a drink in Piazza Navona and watch the world go by.
Day #16 Rome. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)