Italy Grand Tour | 16 Nights/17 Days
Day 01: Rome Arrival | Welcome to Rome! After meeting your driver at the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel (Transfer included!). At 8:30 pm reach the meeting point (on the corner of Via del Traforo (near street no. 148) and Largo del Tritone, on the wide sidewalk opposite the wedding-dress shop) to be ready for the departure of the Rome by night tour. Our local expert guide will lead you to discover the wonders of the Eternal City, charming by day - absolutely romantic by night. You enjoy the whole center of this magic city in the moonlight during this panoramic mix of bus and walking tour. The tour ends at the Colosseum area. Overnight in Rome.
Day 02: Rome > Assisi > Siena > Florence | Departing at 7:15 am from your hotel by a deluxe coach, you will arrive in Assisi, ready to explore, at your own leisure, this tiny town surrounded by walls, built in the Middle Ages. Take your time to visit the basilica of St. Francis, where you will see masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue and, then, have free time for lunch (not included). Board on the bus to reach Siena, a Unesco World Heritage Site, world-known for the Palio, the historical horse race around the shell-shaped town square: Piazza del Campo. Next, you will continue on to Florence, where you will check-in at your hotel before enjoying dinner and a well earned night of rest. Overnight in Florence.
Day 03: Florence | After breakfast, you will spend the day venturing around beautiful Florence, the “Cradle of Renaissance, where, with the help of Michelangelo, Italian art reached its pinnacle. Based on Etruscan –Roman origins, the city flourished in the Middle Ages as a free “Comune” and was further refined during the Renaissance. You will be fascinated by the uncountable monuments, churches, and buildings as Santa Maria del Fiore, more commonly referred to as the Duomo. On your visit, you will be amazed by its magnificent dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi. Cross a small piazza to see the “Campanile” tower (partly designed by Giotto) and the Baptistery, with its bronze doors where Michelangelo imagined the “Gates of Paradise.” In the heart of the city, you will see Piazza Della Signoria, (also known as Palazzo Vecchio), and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce. Spend the afternoon strolling the cobblestone streets of Florence on your own or take a short trip to Pisa (optional), one of the four main historical Marine Republics of Italy. There, you will tour the Piazza dei Miracoli with the Duomo, Pisa’s symbol “the Leaning Tower” and the Baptistery. Dinner at leisure. Overnight in Florence.
Day 04: Florence > Bologna > Padova > Venice | After breakfast in Florence, departure to Bologna. There, you will discover the elegant city center with its “porticos”, it’s shopping streets and so on. From Piazza Malpighi you will walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore (Neptune square and Major square) in the heart of the city, then King Renzo’s Palace; Palazzo Podestà and the basilica of San Petronio, one of the biggest in the world. Bologna is a real gourmet’s heaven…do not miss a tasty meal at your own leisure! In the afternoon, continue toward Padova, with Sant’Antonio Basilica: one of the most visited churches by pilgrims of the catholic world. Later in the afternoon, arrival in Venice: the City of Love, one of the most romantic cities in the whole world and, undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man! Check-in at your hotel for dinner and overnight stay. Overnight in Venice.
Day 05: Venice | After breakfast, enjoy your private water –taxi transfer to Piazza San Marco, with “skip the line” tickets to visit the splendid St.Mark’s Basilica and, after this, check out the most iconic places of the “Floating City”: the Palazzo dei Dogi, symbol of Venice’s glorious past, the legendary “Bridge of Sighs”. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight in Venice.
Day 06: Venice > Montepulciano (Tuscany wine region) | After breakfast, a departure from Piazzale Roma heading to Tuscany, world-known for its landscapes, its churches and castles, and its delicious wines. You will proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art. Known for its “Nobile” wine, on purchase in local wine houses, Montepulciano also hosts an annual Jazz and Wine Festival every July. Lunch in a typical restaurant included!!! After lunch, a quick stop to spend some free time. In the evening, you will arrive in Rome to check-in at your hotel. Overnight in Rome.
Day 07: Rome | Between 7:45 – 8:00 am, after breakfast, depart from the hotel for the included tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peters’s Basilica with our exclusive “Skip the Line” access! No stress to reach the area: upon arrival, your guide will lead you into the museums where you’ll visit one of the most important art collections of the world. Walk along the beautiful Galleries of Tapestries and Geographical Maps before admiring Raphael’s Rooms and, then, the amazing Sistine Chapel. After this incredible masterpiece, you will be taken by a privileged door to St. Peters’s Basilica: the biggest church in the world! The tour ends on St.Peter’s Square: enjoy the rest of the day to explore the city at your own leisure or get any one of our selected tours for the afternoon or at night! Overnight stay. Overnight in Rome.
Day 08: Rome | Enjoy an energetic breakfast at your hotel before spending the day exploring Rome on your own or by selecting one of our regular tours in the city or its surroundings. Overnight in Rome.
Day 09: Rome > Naples > Pompeii > Sorrento | After breakfast, pick up at your hotel at 7:00 am approximate. Departure by coach heading south crossing the regions of Lazio and Campania. Arrival in Naples and short panoramic tour climbing up to Vomero hill to enjoy beautiful views over the Gulf of Naples with the Vesuvius, Capri, Ischia and Procida and the city below; time to take some nice pictures. Descending towards the port of Mergellina you will leave the city and travel south toward Mount Vesuvius, and, once you reach the town of Pompeii, you will have lunch with the real Neapolitan pizza! After lunch, you will enter into one of the most important archaeological sites in the world: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruins of Pompeii, with Skip the Line entrance and a guided tour. Visit the haunting ruins of Pompeii, traveling back in time to the tragic days in 79 AD when the silent Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted, covering the prosperous Roman city in deadly volcanic ashes and poisonous gases, leaving this prosperous city crystallized until our days. You'll learn how people lived at that time, visiting houses and “bars” of the time, admiring frescoes and mosaics to imagine how rich and prosperous was the city before the dreadful day. After the visit, you will drive along the Sorrentine Coast, arriving in Sorrento for dinner (dress code: jacket for men) and an overnight in your new hotel. Overnight in Sorrento.
Day 10: Sorrento > Capri > Sorrento | After breakfast, get ready for an exciting excursion to the island of Capri: one of the most exclusive summer destinations of the Mediterranean! Depending on weather and sea conditions, you will admire the dreamy Blue Grotto on a small rowboat. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then roam the island at your own pace. Once back on the mainland, return for dinner and your last overnight in Sorrento.
Day 11: Palermo |Arrive in Palermo and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, have dinner in the hotel and rest up for the adventure that lies ahead. Overnight in Palermo.
Day 12: Palermo | Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and then head out on a morning excursion to Monreale, recently included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, an ancient royal town famous for its almonds, olive oil, and citrus fruits, as well as for its fine Norman architecture. Visit the elaborate Cathedral of Monreale and then enjoy some shopping of local delicatessen and souvenirs. Back to Palermo and continue with a walking tour of the city. 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 - with an incredible mix of influences coming from several dominations on the island. Enjoy free time in the late afternoon and return to your hotel for dinner. Overnight in Palermo.
Day 13: Palermo > Saline Della Laguna > Agrigento | Early breakfast and departure 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 is perfect for a cool and pleasant morning amble. Continue to visit the Saline, an extraordinary lagoon, where history, nature, archeology find a perfect synthesis and allow the visitor to try different, unique and charming experiences. Have a nice boat trip to the islands, located nearby. The tour of the natural reserve of the "Stagnone di Marsala" is one of a kind archaeological and naturalistic experience. Board on these special boats, designed ad hoc to be able to navigate in the lagoon bottoms that at low tide reach only 25 cm. With a helpful audio guide, you will admire all the islands of the lagoon of the Stagnone up close, remaining comfortably seated in the boat, sailing at a speed of 4 knots. You will pass from the Island of Mozia, Isola Lunga, Isola di Schola, from the Ancient Via Punica Sommersa. After this wonderful experience, enjoy your lunch in a restaurant by the lagoon. Return to your coach and travel to Agrigento, your final destination of the day. Visit Ancient Greek monuments and ruins at the Valley of Temples (entrance included) - a UNESCO World Heritage site - and learn about archaeological relics like the Classical Temple of Concord the Temple of Hercules; the Temple of Jupiter, one of the largest Doric-style buildings. Check in to your hotel in the evening. Dinner and overnight. Overnight in Agrigento.
Day 14: Agrigento > Piazza Armerina > Ragusa | Breakfast at the hotel and travel to Piazza Armerina a pretty and historic town nestled into the heart of Sicily. Entrance in Villa Romana del Casale to admire the largest, richest and most complex Roman mosaics in the world. It is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy since 1997. The mosaics spread over 3,500 sq m show mythological scenes and portrayals of daily life. Depart to Ragusa and visit the enchanting historical center “Ibla”, with its stunning baroque palaces and churches; together with the other seven cities in the Val di Noto, Ragusa is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit the old gate of San Giorgio, the Giardini Iblei and then walk to Piazza Pola where we will visit the church of San Giuseppe: a little gem. Be enchanted by the elegant Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Church of the Souls in Purgatory and the magnificent Cosentini palace, one of the most interesting Late Baroque palaces in Sicily! Arrive in hotel, dinner and overnight. Overnight in Ragusa.
Day 15: Ragusa > Syracuse > Taormina |Breakfast at the hotel and travel to Noto, a picturesque fishing town popular for its stately Baroque architecture. Visit Cathedral of San Nicolò, recently restored after an earthquake, and then have a nice walk in the town’s center. Continue along the south coast to Syracuse, on Sicily’s southeastern tip. Visit “Parco Archeologico della Neapolis”, Syracuse’s famous archaeological area, home to a vast collection of Greek and Roman ruins from all over Sicily. Head inside to see impressive landmarks such as the Greek Theater, the Roman Amphitheater and the Ear of Dionysius - an artificial limestone cave. After the visit, cross one of the city’s bridges for a visit to the island of Ortygia - the most ancient part of Syracuse - home to a wealth of Baroque churches and medieval palaces. In the late afternoon arrive in Taormina, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner. Overnight in Taormina.
Day 16: Mount Etna and Taormina | Breakfast at your hotel and then head off to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe and the highest mountain in Italy. Learn about volcanic activity and marvel at the old lava fields and black magma rock that comprises Etna’s landscape. If weather permits, you have a chance to climb to the summit (1800 m). After, return to Taormina, the beautiful and romantic town located on Mount Tauro. Return to Taormina in the afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight. Overnight in Taormina.
Day 17: Taormina | After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport (Not Included). Arrivederci!