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Ragusa, a hilltop city in southeast Sicily

Italy Encompassed

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Ragusa, a hilltop city in southeast Sicily
Uncover the timeless beauty of Italy with a journey across its most breathtaking regions. Explore Florence, Venice, Bologna, Rome, Capri, Palermo, Siracusa, Taormina and more!
Italy
Cultural
Independent Holiday Packages

Highlights

Discover the beautiful city of Florence, known as the cradle of the Renaissance

Enjoy skip-the-line access to St. Mark's Basilica in Venice

Experience the charm of the wine region of Tuscany

Visit the famous Vatican Museums, taking advantage of a  skip-the-line access

Marvel at the ancient ruins of Pompeii with skip-the-line access

Witness Sorrento's breathtaking views—stunning sunset and clear blue seas!

Venture to the magical Capri Island and see the Blue Grotto

Relive the ancient times in the archaelogical sites of Sicily

Dubbed as  Bel Paese  or “The Beautiful Country”, Italy entices tourists all over the world with its diverse landscape, the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, mouth-watering cuisine and so much more. This incredible, 17-day tour takes you to the most beautiful regions and cities of Italy from Rome to Sicily. Explore the medieval cities of Assisi and Siena en route to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the sanctuary of many famous Italian artists. Continue to Venice, Italy’s Floating City, via Bologna and Padua. Discover the highlights of religious and ancient Rome at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Head south to Sorrento, the garden of Italy, visiting the archaeological excavations of Pompeii along the way and take an excursion to the beautiful Isle of Capri. Finally, explore Sicily, the pearl of the Mediterranean, with its crystal-clear waters, ancient Greek-Roman ruins and cultural treasures.

 

2020 Guaranteed Departure Dates

6 & 27 April

11 & 25 May

8 & 22 June

6 July

10 & 24 August

7 & 21 September

5 & 26 October

 

2021 Guaranteed Departure Date

15 March

 

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Included

16-night accommodation in 4-star hotels
Meals as per itinerary
Transport by deluxe coach
English-speaking tour escort
Entrance tickets to St Mark's Basilica, Vatican Museums, Pompeii excavations & archaeological sites of Sicily
Capri and the Blue Grotto excursion
Overnight ferry from Naples to Palermo

Itinerary

Expand Collapse  all days
Day 1
Rome - Assisi - Siena - Florence

This morning, depart Rome and travel to Assisi, ready to explore this tiny town that is surrounded by walls. Enjoy some free time to visit the Basilica of St. Francis, where you will see masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue. Board the travel and travel on to 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. 

Dinner
Day 2
Florence

After breakfast, you will spend the day venturing around beautiful Florence. During your visit of the city, you will be amazed by its magnificent Cathedral's dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi 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, Palazzo della Signoria (also known as Palazzo Vecchio), and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Enjoy lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. 

Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3
Florence - Bologna - Padua - Venice

After breakfast at your hotel in Florence, depart to Bologna. Once in Bologna, you will discover the elegant city centre with its “porticos” and shopping streets. Join a walking tour which will take you from Piazza Malpighi to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore (Neptune square and Major square) in the heart of the city, then on to King Renzo’s Palace; Palazzo Podestà and the Basilica of San Petronio. In the afternoon, continue toward Padua. Here, you will see the Sant’Antonio Basilica: one of the most visited churches by pilgrims of the catholic world. Later in the afternoon, arrive in Venice. 

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4
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. 

Breakfast
Day 5
Venice - Tuscany Wine Region (Montepulciano) - Rome

After breakfast, depart from Piazzale Roma, Venice and travel to Tuscany, which is world-known for its landscapes, churches, castles and delicious wines. Proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art and known for its “Nobile” wine. Enjoy lunch together today in a typical Tuscan restaurant. After lunch, you will have some free time before you board the bus and travel on to Rome. 

Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6
Rome

Following breakfast, depart early for a tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica with your exclusive “Skip the Line” access! 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. From here, you will be taken by a privileged door to St. Peter’s Basilica: the biggest church in the world! The tour ends in St. Peter’s Square and you will have the remainder of the day to enjoy at leisure. 

Breakfast
Day 7
Rome

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your hotel before spending the day exploring Rome at your leisure. 

Breakfast
Day 8
Rome - Naples - Pompeii - Sorrento

After breakfast, have an early departure to travel south to the region of Campania. Upon your arrival in Naples, have a short panoramic tour up to Vomero Hill where you will enjoy the beautiful views out over the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius, Capri, Ischia and Procida. Time to take some nice pictures. Descend towards the port of Mergellina and continue south towards Mount Vesuvius. Once you reach the town of Pompeii, stop for lunch with the real Neapolitan pizza followed by a tour of the most important archaeological sites in the world: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruins of Pompeii. Enjoy your guided tour as you hear the story of 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 tour, board the bus again and travel along the Sorrentine Coast to Sorrento. Tonight, have dinner together at a local restaurant. (Dress code: jacket for men). 

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9
Sorrento - Capri - Sorrento

After breakfast, you will join an exciting excursion to the island of Capri which is one of the most exclusive summer destinations of the Mediterranean! Depending on weather and sea conditions, you may have the opportunity to visit dreamy Blue Grotto on a small rowboat. (This need to be arranged with your tour guide and is not guaranteed). Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then roam the island at your own pace before your journey back to Sorrento. Once back on the mainland, return to your hotel for dinner and your overnight stay. 

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10
Sorrento - Palermo (Overnight on ferry)

After breakfast at your hotel, you will have some free time to explore more of Sorrento. In the afternoon, depart and travel to Naples where you will board the Tirrenia/SNAV ferry to Palermo. Dinner and breakfast are NOT included on the ferry. 

Breakfast
Day 11
Palermo

Arrive in Palermo, disembark the ferry and join the transfer to your hotel. Tonight, you will have dinner in the hotel. 

Dinner
Day 12
Palermo

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before joining a morning excursion to Monreale, 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, you will join 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. Enjoy free time in the late afternoon and return to your hotel for dinner. 

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13
Palermo - Erice - Saline della Laguna - Agrigento

This morning, travel to Erice, a medieval village stacked into the side of Monte San Giuliano. Continue to visit the Saline, an extraordinary lagoon. Here, you will take a nice boat trip on the lagoon to discover the islands nearby. The tour of the natural reserve is a one of a kind archaeological and naturalistic experience. With a helpful audio guide, you will be able to learn all about the islands of the lagoon of the Stagnone whilst remaining comfortably seated in the boat, sailing at a speed of 4 knots. You will pass the Islands of Mozia, Isola Lunga, Isola di Schola, from the Ancient Via Punica Sommersa. After this wonderful experience, enjoy lunch in a restaurant by the lagoon before returning to the coach and travelling to Agrigento, your final destination of the day. Visit the Ancient Greek monuments and ruins at the Valley of Temples and learn about archaeological relics. 

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14
Agrigento - Piazza Armerina - Ragusa Ibla - Ragusa

This morning, travel to Piazza Armerina, a pretty and historic town nestled into the heart of Sicily. Visit the Villa Romana del Casale to admire the largest, richest and most complex Roman mosaics in the world. Depart to Ragusa and visit the enchanting historical centre “Ibla”. Visit the old gate of San Giorgio, the Giardini Iblei, before you walk to Piazza Pola where you will visit the church of San Giuseppe, the elegant Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Church of the Souls in Purgatory and the magnificent Cosentini palace. You will then continue to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay. 

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15
Ragusa - Noto - Siracusa - Taormina

Breakfast at the hotel and travel to Noto, a picturesque fishing town popular for its stately Baroque architecture. Visit the Cathedral of San Nicolò, which has recently restored after an earthquake. You will then continue along the south coast to Syracuse and visit Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, Syracuse’s famous archaeological area. Head inside to see impressive landmarks, such as the Greek Theater, the Roman Amphitheatre, and the Ear of Dionysius - an artificial limestone cave. After the visit, cross one of the city’s bridges to discover the island of Ortygia, the most ancient part of Syracuse which is 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. 

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16
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 comprise Etna’s landscape. If weather permits, you have a chance to climb to the summit. Afterwards, return to Taormina in the afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. 

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 17
Taormina

Enjoy one final breakfast before the tour comes to an end. 

Breakfast

Additional information

Official language
Italian
Currency
EURO
16 nights
from AUD5,047
per person, twin share
Rome (Monday)
06 April - 26 October 2020 / 15 March 2021

Important notes

SHORTER SECTORS AVAILABLE:

  • 11 days/10 nights Rome – Catania
  • 7 days/6 nights Palermo – Catania

 

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