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|Itinerary at a Glance
|3||Taormina & Mt Etna|
|4||Taormina & Syracuse|
|6||Palermo, Segesta, Marsala & Trapani|
|Rome & the Amalfi Coast Pre-Tour Extension|
|4||Rome & Vatican City|
|5||Rome & Sorrento|
|6||Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi & Ravello|
|7||Sorrento & Capri|
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Newark (EWR), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), Logan (BOS); other gateways on request|
|Highlights||Taormina and Palermo. Mt Etna, Syracuse, Agrigento, Marsala. Marsala wine tasting. Optional Extension to Rome and the Amalfi Coast|
|Included in the Price||
|Travel Style||This moderately-paced, escorted tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.|
Sicily’s history stretches back 3,000 years, and over that time, its many inhabitants, including Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and others, have created the fascinating modern island that draws visitors from throughout the world. And no wonder. This wild, arid island, the largest in the Mediterranean, is covered in fragrant fruit and nut trees, rugged volcanoes, gorgeous vistas, fabulous cuisine and friendly, welcoming people, make traveling to Sicily an unforgettable experience.
You’ll experience the best of Sicily on our Splendid Sicily tour. Visit the beautiful town of Taormina, the ancient Greek city of Agrigento, the salt mine of Trapani and much more on this inspired and affordable tour of Sicily.
Vacationing in Italy for Spring Break was our 13-year-old son's idea. We hadn't a clue how to pull it all together in less than 5 weeks, and then a friend recommended Friendly Planet. From the get-go (meaning my initial contact with your reservation agent), I knew that we would be in good hands. The tour of 8 key cities in Italy, including Rome, Florence, Venice, and Siena, was beyond our wildest expectations. And the price was right! And our charming tour guides were one better than the other! We also enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers -- all truly wonderful people. Since then, every chance I get, I recommend Friendly Planet to my family and friends.
Fran Carpentier, New York, NY
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Ticketing: Flights must be ticketed within 24 hours of booking. Additional charges for flights from cities other than Newark or JFK will be charged within 24 hours of your booking. Once issued, the tickets and these charges are unchangeable, non-refundable and non-transferrable.
We must receive photocopies of the signature and picture pages of your passport(s) in our offices within 24 hours of your reservation being completed. If we have not received this information, your reservation will be subject to a higher airfare and/or cancellation.
Day 2: Catania/Taormina. Arrive in Catania. After customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Taormina, a resort town on the coast. This evening, enjoy a cocktail reception and welcome dinner at your hotel. Accommodations: Hotel Villa Diodoro. Dinner provided.
Day 3: Taormina & Mt Etna. After breakfast, start your exploration of Sicily with an excursion to the slopes of Mt. Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Drive through the fertile slopes to a height of approximately 6000 feet for some breathtaking views. Pass through villages that are built on top of ancient volcanic eruptions. Return to Taormina. In the afternoon enjoy a walking tour of the charming city center and the Greco-Roman amphitheater. Take in the spectacular view of Giardini Naxos and Mt. Etna. Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Taormina & Syracuse. This morning, depart for Syracuse or Siracusa, the birthplace of Archimedes. See the Archaeological Park, the Greek Theater, and Latomia del Paradiso, an ancient quarry which collapsed during an earthquake and is now planted with orange and olive groves. Also, visit the Ear of Dionysius, an artificial cave carved into the limestone. Tonight, enjoy a special Sicilian dinner with wine in a typical restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5: Taormina, Agrigento & Palermo. Today, drive through central Sicily to Agrigento on the southern coast. Tour the magnificent Valley of the Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage site, dating to the 5th century B.C., and described by the poet Pindar as “the most beautiful city built by mortal men”. See the Doric style temples, all constructed within a century and all facing east so that the statue of the gods would face the rising sun. The Concordia Temple is similar in design to the Parthenon in Athens, and is preserved in almost perfect condition. Continue to Palermo and check-in at your hotel. Dinner tonight will be at your hotel. Accommodations: Grand Hotel des Palmes or Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 6: Palermo, Segesta, Marsala and Trapani. Start the day driving to Segesta, and see the beautiful Doric temple, one of the best preserved Greek architectural sites. Continue to the sea-side town of Marsala, famous for its sweet wine, which was re-discovered in the 18th century by John Woodhouse, an English merchant. Visit a wine cellar and enjoy a special tasting session of the Marsala wines. Drive along the coast to Trapani and for a Sicilian lunch at a sea-side restaurant. Return to Palermo. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 7: Palermo. Tour the city of Palermo. See the Quattro Canti (Four Corners), a splendid example of Spanish Baroque architecture. Visit the Palace of the Normans, which can be traced back to ancient times, and restored into a sumptuous residence by the conquering Normans. See the superb Palatine Chapel, adorned with extraordinary Byzantine mosaics.
The remainder of the day is at leisure. Alternatively, you may choose an optional tour to the picturesque fisherman’s village of Cefalù. Tonight, join your traveling companions for a festive farewell dinner in a local fashionable restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8: Palermo/USA. Your memorable Sicilian journey ends today as you say arrivederci and transfer to the airport for your return flight. Arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
Take advantage of your included international airfare, and combine your stay in Sicily with a pre-tour in Italy. Tour Rome and the Sunbelt of Italy – Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. You will depart the USA 6 days prior to the dates listed.
Day 2: Rome. Arrive in Rome. After completing customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. This evening, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception. Accommodations: Visconti Palace Hotel.
Day 3: Rome. Enjoy a free day in the Eternal City, filled with monuments, fountains, antiquities and more. Discover the ancient and modern in the cosmopolitan city of Rome. In the evening, there will be many local praetorians to choose from. After dinner, explore the exciting Roman Dolce Via and nightlife. Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Rome & Vatican City. After breakfast this morning, transfer to the Vatican for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, and that most famous of religious and artistic treasures, the Sistine Chapel, with its unique ceiling painted by Michelangelo and wall frescoes created, among others, by Ferruginous and Botticelli. Visit St. Peter's Square with its colonnade designed by Benin, and St. Peter's Basilica the largest church in the Christian world, built over the tomb of St. Peter. Proceed to the Piazza Venetia and the Coliseum, where gladiators fought to the death before audiences of thousands. You'll also visit the Forum, political heart of the Roman Empire and site of some of history's greatest events, and Palatine Hill, home to Rome's aristocratic residences and palaces for centuries. See the Arch of Constantine, the Circus Maximums, the Great Synagogue, Iso la Iberia and Cast el Santa’Angelo. Tonight, there will be a special farewell dinner with wine in a lovely Roman restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5: Rome & Sorrento. This morning, drive south along the Highway of the Sun to Naples, for an orientation drive past the Via Capriccio (the seafront promenade), the San Carlo Opera House, Santa Lucia and the Angelina Castle. Tour Pompeii, the ancient city covered by volcanic lava and ash more than 2000 years ago. See the remarkably preserved ruins of temples, houses, gardens and public buildings. Continue along the spectacular coastal road around the Bay of Naples to Torrent, your home for the next 3 nights, famous for its orange and lemon groves. Dinner tonight will be at your hotel. Accommodations: Grand Hotel La Pace. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 6: Sorrento, Positano, Amelia & Ravello. This morning, depart for Positano, stopping at the Belvedere for a unique view of the Moorish architecture blended with pastel colored houses. Descend to the town by minibus, past the elegant boutiques and craft stores to visit the charming town center. Weather permitting, board a motor-launch and cruise along the coast to Amalfi. (During inclement weather, drive by motor-coach). Upon arrival, there will be a walking tour of Amalfi’s old town which highlights its powerful 11th century maritime republic history. Continue to Ravello. Enjoy lunch while taking in the spectacular view of the Amalfi coast and the Bay of Salerno. After lunch, enjoy some free time to stroll, buy souvenirs or enjoy a gelato, or even visit Villa Rufolo whose tropical gardens inspired Wagner’s opera “Parsifal”. Return to Sorrento. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 7: Sorrento & Capri. This morning, a jetfoil will whisk you across the blue Bay of Naples to the fabled Isle of Capri. Ascend to the Piazzetta, the town center, and visit the Floral Gardens of Caesar Augustus. There will be some free time for shopping and lunch, before returning to Sorrento. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in a trendy local restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8: Sorrento, Catania. Transfer to the airport in Naples for your flight to Catania, Sicily. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Taormina, where you will meet up with your traveling companions. See Day 2 in the above itinerary. Breakfast provided.
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