ITALY TOUR PALERMO – MILAN
We are pleased to present to you our ultimate program to enjoy Italy at its finest:
Arrival in Palermo, transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a typical Italian welcome dinner. Overnight in Palermo.
Morning sightseeing of Palermo. Highlights are:
– Palazzo dei Normanni. The vast range of artistic periods and styles to be seen inside the Palazzo Dei Normanni make it one of the most fascinating royal palaces in Europe, and together with its
– Cappella Palatina chapel, lined throughout with Byzantine mosaics outlined in pure gold, ranks as one of the world’s most beautiful religious buildings.
Then the trip goes on to the
– Cathedral of Monreale, overlooking Palermo, a jewel of Norman art.
Afterwards enjoy some leisure to get accustomed to the Italian way of life: have a coffee, an ice-cream or some nice pasta dinner with a glass of wine, or do some shopping in via Roma. Overnight in Palermo.
After breakfast you leave Palermo for a day dedicated to the impressing temples of
– Segesta: The magnificent 5th century BC Doric temple rises out of the landscape and is one of the best-preserved examples of a Greek temple
– Selinunte: take your time to explore the huge archaeological park; Greek temples, ancient town walls, the ruins of residential and commercial buildings. The temples’ setting close to the sea is very picturesque. Your day ends in Agrigento. Check-in, dinner, overnight.
After breakfast you will visit the breathtaking archeological site of Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples, UNESCO world heritage site with a local guide. Then your tour will go on eastwards. Stopover in Piazza Armerina to visit the Roman Villa del Casale with its famous astonishing classical mosaics. Continue your trip to Taormina, a popular and fashionable tourist resort with stunning views and a picturesque Graeco-Roman theatre high above the sea. Check-in at the hotel in Taormina, dinner and overnight.
After breakfast a local guide will take you around in Taormina, including the Roman Theatre. Afterwards you will take the coach and drive to
– Siracusa, an ancient town on the sea, which was of immense importance as Greek Syracuse. It has a superb archaeological zone (the Teatro Greco is one of the finest and largest of its kind, it was enlarged several times over the centuries, and is still in use today) and a lovely historic center on the island of Ortigia with a breathtaking baroque architecture.
On your way back to Taormina you may catch a glimpse of the notable Etna, an active volcano. Overnight in Taormina.
Leave Taormina after breakfast. In Messina your coach will get to the mainland of Italy with a ferryboat. Now you will continue to
– Alberobello, a picturesque destination which is becoming an important point of interest for travelers from all over the world. The trulli districts in this small town is now a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unusual, the characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses.
Your trip continues to
– Matera, one of the most interesting, unusual and memorable tourist destinations in Italy. It is still little-visited by foreign travellers, a town famous for the sassi, its extensive cave-dwelling districts. Check-in at hotel in Matera, dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, a local guide will explain the fascinating caves of Matera. Guided visit, made by a local guide, of the Sassi, including cave-houses which have been filled with period fittings to show how life was once lived here. You will also taste the local produce with a snack provided by local farmers. Leisure in Matera, overnight.
This day is dedicated to the world-famous Amalfi Coast, a beautiful and renowned stretch of mountainous coastline south of Naples, situated in a steep and rocky peninsula. Stopovers in
– Amalfi, the principal jewel of the famous Amalfi Coast and its most popular resort on this mountainous stretch of coastline. The ninth-century Duomo is one of the town’s greatest attractions that dominates the town’s central piazza, Positano, the charming and stylish village, and Sorrento. Head on to Naples. Check-in at the hotel; dinner in a typical restaurant. Overnight in Naples.
After breakfast you will be taken to the magnificent archeological site of Pompei and Herculaneum, where a guide will explain to you what happened when the Vesuvius erupted and buried the entire area around. The afternoon is on your disposal for exploring Naples on your own. Overnight in Naples.
Morning sightseeing of Naples with its picturesque narrow streets, the spacious Piazza del Plebiscito, churches, and, as a highlight, the San Severo Chapel. You can admire the Veiled Christ , one of the most famous and impressive works of art in the world. Afterwards your journey will continue northbound. Stopover at Montecassino Abbey, the home of the sacred relics and monastery of St. Benedict (480-543), the patron saint of Europe and the founder of western monasticism. On to Rome. Check-in at the hotel, dinner in a typical restaurant, overnight in Rome.
Be ready for a full-day Rome guided tour of Rome! Your day starts with a visit of Ostia Antica. There are impressive mosaics and columns everywhere, but you can get a glimpse of everyday life in Ancient Rome: the fishmonger’s marble slab, the bar with its wares illustrated on the wall, the communal public toilets, the residential villas with peaceful courtyards. The guided tour continues with the visit to the Colosseum and Forum Romanum. The Colosseum is for sure one of the world’s most famous buildings. Its initial impact is overwhelming. The Forum was the center of political and social activity in Ancient Rome, the marketplace of Rome and also the business district and civic centre. The most ancient monuments at the Roman Forum are dating back to the sixth century BC. Monuments and basilicas followed regularly with emperors trying to outdo their predecessors, the last being added around 600AD.Enjoy some leisure and explore Rome on your own. Overnight in Rome.
Your guide will take you to the Vatican Museums. In this overwhelming surroundings you will find countless works of art by the most famous artists in the world: Raphael’s Rooms, The Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s frescoes, Botticelli, … will leave you impressed forever. After the Museums, you will also enter into the Basilica of St. Peter’s, impressive not only for its dimensions (it is the biggest church in the world), but also for the treasures visible inside. In the afternoon, the tour will take you to Navona Square, Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain, to name but a few of the monuments to discover in Rome. Overnight in Rome.
Free day in Rome. Overnight in Rome.
Early departure from Rome. Visit of Assisi with local guide, the picturesque religious town, home of St.Francis. Your trip continues to Siena, one of the most appealing towns in Tuscany, with well-conserved medieval streets and buildings. Time permitting, enjoy a stopover in San Gimignano. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its particular architecture. Then proceed to Florence, check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Florence.
Every day on your journey is worth remembering, but this day is bound to be a true highlight: First, have a guided tour through the Galleria degli Uffizi (Giotto, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera, Leonardo’s Annunciation , Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch, Perugino, Titian, Rubens, Caravaggio and so many more. Afterwards, you will be swept away by the beauty of the artistic treasures of the Galleria dell’Accademia, with, among its highlights Michelangelo’s David. Overnight in Florence.
You will enjoy an excursion to the beautiful town of Pisa, with its famous Leaning Tower. The Piazza dei Miracoli altogether is a very delightful view. Afterwards you will be taken to a typical Tuscan Estate to enjoy some wine and dishes from this region and relax. Return to Florence for overnight.
Free day. Overnight in Florence.
You leave Florence for a visit to the Cinque Terre, five perilously-perched villages strung along a short stretch of cliffs. Afterwards you continue for Bologna, check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Bologna.
Full-day excursion to Ravenna, famous for its fabulous early Christian and Byzantine mosaics, which date back to the time when Ravenna was the capital of the Western Empire, then under Ostrogoth and Byzantine rule. Visit, among other places, the Mauseoleum of Galla Placidia and the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo with a local guide. In the afternoon you will even visit another country: the coach will take you to SAN MARINO. The independent republic’s steep slopes, cliffs and castles are impressive enough in themselves, what really takes your breath away is the view from the town. On a clear day you can see the Adriatic a few miles to the east, and in other directions the hilly land rises into central Italy, small hill-top villages and other castles and fortresses. Return to Bologna, overnight.
This morning is dedicated to one of Italy’s top brands: FERRARI. Visit the Museum in Maranello. If you want to, you can even try to guide one yourself! Your next stop is Padua, home to an ancient university. Its biggest tourist attraction is Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), with its priceless frescoes, followed by the Basilica of St. Anthony , always visited by pilgrims devoted to this Saint. Leave Padua for a short trip to Venice. Check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight .
You will never forget this day in Venice. A vaporetto boat will take you to St.Mark’s Square with the Arcades, the Basilica, and the Campanile, where you will meet the local guide for an exhaustive tour of the treasures of this famous town built on the water. Enter the magnificent Doge’s Palace, one of the most important buildings in Venice, the center of power, from where the Venetian Republic was ruled; see the Bridge of Sighs. Enjoy a gondola ride or make, in your free time, a short trip to the Murano and Burano islands, where you can admire the glass blower art. Overnight in Venice.
You leave Venice heading to Verona, which you will explore with a local guide. Verona was an important Roman town and is rich in archaeological sites, the grandest of which is the Roman Arena, nowadays venue for opera festivals. Verona is also home to the famous central characters of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, so you cannot miss to see the balcony! If time is left, you may make a stopover at the Lago di Garda, and even go for a romantic ride on a boat. On to Milan, Italy’s financial capital, home of Italy’s stock exchange, and the heartland of the wealthy and productive north. Check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Milan.
After breakfast, meet your local guide for a half-day guided tour of Milan, You will be taken inside the Teatro della Scala, one of the most important opera houses in the world; you will discover the jaw-dropping Duomo, Milan’s cathedral, one of the largest churches in the world, with 135 spires and 3,400 statues. You will even reach its roof to enjoy the fantastic view, stretching over the city to the Alps, and the atmosphere is incomparable, and these are only the highlights. The rest of the day is at leisure. In this vibrant and elegant city you may do some shopping or enjoy a good bottle of wine with some nice dinner. Overnight in Milan.
The last day of your journey in Italy takes you first to Turin. There you will meet your local guide who helps you discover some aspects of this very noble and elegant city, full of equestrian statues of Savoy princes and arcaded streets for all-weather strolling, with an atmosphere that is calmer than most Italian cities. Piazza Castello is the center, here you find Palazzo Reale, the royal palace of the Savoy dynasty, and Palazzo Madama, previously a castle, prison, barracks, senate house, and now a museum. The visit will also take you to the Cathedral, which treasures the Shroud; if you are lucky, it is on view. Your day ends with a visit of the Langhe, the region in Piemonte where Barolo is produced and the famous truffles are found in fall. Visit Barolo, Monforte or Alba in the afternoon. With a winetasting you will learn to appreciate the best wines in the world. The day, and the trip, will have a conclusion with a farewell dinner in one of the excellent restaurants or wine estates. Return to Milan. Overnight.
Transfer to the airport for departure.