The Splendors of Italy with Sicily
This colorful Italy tour combination showcases the most famous cities of the mainland with the highlights of Sicily, the biggest island of the Mediterranean.You’ve heard about Italy—its magnificent architecture, majestic cathedrals, ancient history, world-class art, sumptuous cuisine and wine, and relaxing cafés—and now it is your turn to experience it. On this Italy tour, explore its most famous cities and discover its unique sights. This Italy tour offers you the opportunity to step back in time. Imagine what life was like during the classical Greek period when you visit Sicily’s Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, an archeological jewel. See the Acropolis in Selinunte, a city at the apex of its power before 409 BC. Immerse yourself in the Roman Empire times when you visit Rome’s Colosseum, the amphitheater used for deadly gladiatorial contests, and Roman Forum, the political, social, and commercial center during the Roman Empire. Imagine life during the Middle Ages as you explore San Gimignano’s medieval squares, town walls, streets, alleyways, and 14 towers still standing from the Middle Ages. Visit Florence, the Renaissance gem, where your walking tour features most of the city’s highlights, including the beautiful Piazza Signoria, the center of Florence’s social and political life since the 14th century.On this Italy tour, you’ll discover some of its magnificent cathedrals. In Orvieto, the Cathedral is a masterpiece and a great example of gothic architecture in Italy. In Assisi, where St. Francis was born, visit the world-famous Romanesque and gothic Basilica, where the saint is buried. See Pisa’s Square of Miracles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose three precious structures—the Leaning Tower, Cathedral, and Baptistery—have been considered central to religious life. In Palermo, you will visit the Cappella Palatina, with its exquisite Byzantine mosaics. You’ll also experience a wine tasting in Greve, the capital of Chianti, and an orientation in Venice including a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square, Venice’s most popular square. Witness Venetian glassblowers create works of art just as they did centuries ago and spend some free time admiring the crisscrossing canals, the pretty gondolas passing under the arched bridges, the palaces and the quaint piazzas. In Sicily, you will take a scenic cable car to Erice, a charming fortified town overlooking Trapani and the Egadi archipelago.Breathtaking landscapes, including Tuscany’s rolling hills, the emerald-blue strait of Messina, the green orange groves on the flanks of Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano, and much more, will become part of your fond memories of this fabulous Italy vacation designed for the value-minded traveler.
Individual headsetsSightseeing:Visits to Orvieto Cathedral, Siena, San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti with wine tasting, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice, Assisi’s St. Francis Basilica. Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable
ROME Fleming (ST)SIENA Degli Ulivi (F)MONTECATINI Settentrionale Esplanade (F)VENICE AREA Poppi (ST) at Mira or Holiday Inn (ST) at MargheraSORRENTO Ascot (F) or Central Park (ST) at MassalubrenseTAORMINA Albatros (ST) at Letojanni or Kennedy (ST) at S. AlessioAGRIGENTO Kore (F), PALERMO Politeama (F) or Cristal Palace (ST)ROME Holiday Inn Parco dei Medici (F)
Buffet breakfasts daily; 6 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Siena
NOTE:December 21 Departure – Christmas lunch in FlorenceDecember 30 Departure – New Year’s Eve in Rome
Transportation: Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal transfer boat in Venice