Ultimate Italy Tour

Vacation Code: EVULIT042014
18 Days and 17 Nights
27 Meals: (15 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 10 Dinners)

Tour Description > View Itinerary

This is the ultimate experience of Italy. A balanced blend of sightseeing, guided touring, and time for leisure, this tour is ideal for travelers of all experience levels, from the novice European visitor to seasoned travelers who’ve already scoped out their favorite parts of this remarkable country. From beginning to end, this tour provides you with memories that last a lifetime, all wrapped up in one neat little package – Italy!

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Itinerary

ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Rome
Day 2: Rome – Assisi – Siena – Florence
Day 3: Florence
Day 4: Florence – Bologna – Padova – Venice
Day 5: Venice
Day 6: Venice – Montepulciano – Rome
Day 7: Rome
Day 8: Rome
Day 9: Rome – Naples – Pompei – Sorrento
Day 10: Sorrento – Capri – Sorrento
Day 11: Sorrento – Palermo – Overnight on boat
Day 12: Palermo
Day 13: Palermo
Day 14: Palermo – Erice – Marsala – Agrigento
Day 15: Agrigento – Modica – Siracusa – Taormina (Giardini Naxos)
Day 16: Taormina (Giardini Naxos)
Day 17: Taormina (Giardini Naxos), Savoca and Forza D’Agro, Catania
Day 18: Catania

Day 1: Rome

Welcome to Italy!

Get ready to embark on an unforgettable experience. Upon your arrival, a private driver will meet you and take you to your hotel. Today, take advantage of a day at leisure, so rest up as you prepare to embark on your Italian adventure!

Day 2: Rome – Assisi – Siena – Florence

(Breakfast, dinner)

Rise and shine for an early departure (7:15am from Hotel Diana) via deluxe motor coach to your next next destination, ASSISI. Today, you will meet your tour guide and get to know your fellow guests. Relax, enjoy the ride, and welcome to the Ultimate Italy tour!

Assisi: Arrive in Assisi, in Italy’s Umbrian region, and enjoy some leisure time in this tiny town surrounded by ancient walls and graced by grand castles and historic ancient churches. A visit of the Basilica of St. Francis, a World Heritage Site, will provide visitors with a chance to view the frescoes of Giotto and Cimabue as well as many other beautiful works of art.Departure from ASSISI to SIENA.

Siena: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Tuscan hill town includes magnificent cathedrals, pretty botanical gardens, Gothic palazzos, and the shell–shaped Piazza del Campo, the town square and favored gathering place, home to the Palio horse race, an excellent art museum, and plenty of opportunity for people-watching. Departure from SIENA to our destination of the evening, magnificent Florence.

Florence: Arrive at your hotel. Enjoy a leisurely dinner and comfortable overnight accommodations.

Day 3: Florence

(Breakfast, lunch)

After breakfast, we’ll spend the morning exploring this popular city of Etruscan- Roman origins, which flourished in the Middle Ages as a free commune. Now the most populated city in Tuscany, Florence is recognized as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and is lauded for its magnificent sites. You’ll visit the architectural gem of Florence, the domed cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as The Duomo (outside visit). This 14th century masterpiece is visible throughout the city and is the most-visited attraction in Florence. The tour will then proceed to the Campanile (bell tower), partly designed by Giotto, and the accompanying Baptistery, graced with spectacular bronze doors that artist Michelangelo dubbed “The Gates of Paradise.

Lunch in a typical restaurant in Santa Croce Square.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, with the option of visiting nearby Pisa (46 euros per person to be paid directly to the tour guide). Known, of course, for its famous Leaning Tower, Pisa achieved notoriety as one of Italy’s four 11th century Maritime Republics and was the birthplace of physicist/astronomer Galileo. While in Pisa, we’ll take time to admire the Square of Miracles where we’ll find the lovely Duomo, the quirky Leaning Tower, and many other notable sites.

Upon return to Florence, settle in for an overnight stay

Day 4: Florence – Bologna – Padova – Venice

(Breakfast, dinner)

After breakfast you will depart Florence by a deluxe coach and head to BOLOGNA.

Bologna: Situated between the Po River and the Apennines, the city of Bologna is home to the oldest university in the Western world (established in 1088) and is known throughout Italy for them excellent quality of life it provides its residents. The landscape of this city, one of the most developed in Italy, is enriched by elegant and extensive arcades (or porticos), an architectural element for which the city is famous. Have your camera ready as we explore Neptune Square and its beautiful fountain, and nearby Major Square, both located in the heart of the city. Home to companies such as Lamborghini and Masserati, Bologna is a pedestrian-friendly city where guests can feel free to explore on foot. Here, you’ll be fascinated by the opulent King Renzo Palace, the Podestà Palace, and the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the largest basilicas in the world. Departure from BOLOGNA to PADOVA.

Padova: Our stop in Padova includes a visit to the beautiful Sant’Antonio Basilica in the heart of the city. Departure from PADOVA to our next destination, VENICE.

Venice: In the evening when the city sparkles, arrive in spectacular Venice, often described as one of the most romantic cities in the world, famous for its gondola-traveled canals and magnificent architectural sites.

Enjoy dinner in this magical city and a good night’s sleep before a day of sightseeing.

Day 5: Venice

(Breakfast, dinner)

Eat breakfast and then transfer by vaporetto to St Mark Square. You’ll tour the square as well as an inside visit of St. Marks Cathedral, Dodge’s Palace (outside), a symbol of the glory and authority of Venice, former residence of the Dukes, and seat of the government and the Court of Justice. We’ll cross the famous Bridge of Sighs, where it is said prisoners would catch their last glimpse of Venice before being incarcerated in the attached prison.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and the chance to visit numerous other Venetian sites such as Ca d’Oro – one of the city’s most magnificent palazzi, or the Basilica de Santa Maria della Salute.

Enjoy dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Day 6: Venice – Montepulciano (Tuscany) – Rome

(Breakfast)

Eat breakfast at your hotel and depart by motor coach from Piazzale Roma to Montepulciano.

Montepulciano: Known for its pork, cheese, pasta, honey, and famous Vino Nobile wine, this attractive ancient city is situated in southern Tuscany. A medieval and Renaissance hill town, it’s a great place to enjoy a little wine tasting. A pedestrian-friendly, car-free town, Montepulciano also boasts several handsome churches and a small palazzo designed by Michelozzo. Departure from Montepulciano to our last destination, Rome.

Rome: Evening arrival in Rome and an overnight stay.

Day 7: Rome

(Breakfast)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and depart at approximately 7:30 am for a walking tour of Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica and jump the lines! No stress to reach the area: upon arrival, your guide will lead you into the museums where you will visit one of the most important art collection in the world. Admire the beautiful spiral stairway, the gallery of tapestries and geographical maps, before arriving at the famous Sistine Chapel. The tour also includes the visit of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Spend your afternoon at leisure exploring more sites, eating gelato, or hobnobbing with the friendly locals.

Day 8: Rome

(Breakfast)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and a full day at your leisure! Interested in tour of the the Catacombs? Ask your Travel Specialist to make reservations for you. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 9: Rome – Naples – Pompei – Sorrento

(Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Rome: Breakfast at the hotel and depart from Rome to Naples.

Naples: After leaving Rome, the coach will take the “Sun Route” motorway, driving through the regions of Lazio and Campania, providing views of the Abbey of Montecassino. Upon arrival in Naples, guests will embark on a short panoramic city tour which will include: Margellina, Castel dell’Ovo, Plebiscito Square, the Royal Palace, the Maschio Angioino, and the port. We’ll stop for a pleasant lunch in a local restaurant before departing for POMPEI.

Pompei: Visit the excavations of this famous Roman City, destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A. D. After the tour, we will depart and drive along the Sorrentine Coast on our way to the town of Sorrento.

Sorrento: Arrival at the hotel, where you will eat dinner and enjoy an overnight stay.

Day 10: Sorrento – Capri – Sorrento

(Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Sorrento: Eat breakfast at the hotel and depart for the port, where we board a boat for the Island of Capri.

Capri: In Capri, weather and sea conditions permitting, we will visit the Blue Grotto in small row boats – a truly magical experience for visitors of all ages. Afterwards, enjoy a tasty lunch at a local eatery and time at your leisure to explore this picturesque island.

In the afternoon, return to Sorrento for dinner and and your last overnight in Sorrento.

Day 11: Sorrento – Palermo – Overnight on boat

(Breakfast)

Eat breakfast at your hotel and enjoy a morning of leisure. In the afternoon you will depart towards the Naples harbor to take the ferry to Palermo.

Overnight on boat (Dinner and breakfast not included).

Day 12: Palermo

(Dinner)

Early arrival in Palermo by boat and transfer to hotel. Today you will have the day to explore Palermo at your leisure. Dinner and overnight.

Day 13: Palermo – Monreale

(Breakfast, dinner)

Relax over breakfast, and then head out on a morning excursion to Monreale an ancient royal town famous for its almonds, olive oil and citrus fruits, as well as its fine Norman architecture. Visit the elaborate Cathedral of Monreale or perhaps shop for local produce to take home. 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 – amassed from each of the city’s successive rulers. Enjoy free time in the late afternoon and return to your hotel for dinner. Overnight.

Day 14: Palermo – Erice – Marsala – Agrigento

(Breakfast, dinner)

Rise early for 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 make for a pleasant morning amble.Continue to Marsala, a pretty coastal town on the westernmost point of Sicily.

Explore at leisure, perhaps shopping for a bottle of local Marsala dessert wine to take home. Return to your coach and travel south, passing Mazara del Vallo – the closest Sicilian city to Africa – before stopping in the town of Agrigento, your final destination of the day. Visit Ancient Greek monuments and ruins at the Valley of Temples(admission included), a UNESCO World Heritage site, and learn about archeological relics like the Classical Temple of Concord the Temple of Hercules, and the Temple of Jupiter, one of the largest Doric-style buildings. Check in to your hotel in the evening. Dinner and overnight.

Day 15: Agrigento – Noto – Siracusa – Taormina (Giardini Naxos)

(Breakfast, dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel and travel to Noto, a picturesque fishing town that’s popular for its stately Baroque architecture. Visit Cathedral of San Nicolò, a recently renovated structure, and then stretch your legs on a walk around the center. Continue along the south coast to Syracuse, on Sicily’s southeastern tip. Visit Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, Syracuse’s famous archeological zone that’s home to a vast collection of Greek and Roman ruins from all over Sicily. Head inside to see impressive excavations such as the Greek theater, 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, 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.

Day 16: Taormina (Giardini Naxos)

(Breakfast, dinner)

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. Relax over dinner and then get some well-deserved rest. Return to Taormina in the afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight.

Day 17: Taormina (Giardini Naxos) – Savoca and Forza D’Agro, Catania

(Breakfast, dinner)

After breakfast travel to Savoca and Forza D’Agrò a pretty hillside villages where Francis Ford Coppola filmed some of the immortal scenes of Godfather’s trilogy. A visit for lovers of this movie but also even if you aren’t a fan, this stop is a fascinating way to visit these unspoiled and typical Sicilian hill towns a real insight into the island and the heart of its people. A stop for a lemon granita at Bar Vitelli is a must for any visitor in town. It is still run by the family who owned it at the time of filming and exhibits a collection of photos taken when Francis Ford Coppola shot some scenes of The Godfather II. We also leave you time to explore further and really soak up the atmosphere of this hidden, not-for-tourists Sicilian hilltown. Everything here is just like in the movie. After the visit depart to Catania. Afternoon free time to explore Catania’s UNESCO-listed historical center with his Baroque palaces and Roman ruins. See Piazza Dante and the Fountain of the Elephant, carved from volcanic rock. Dinner at the hotel and overnight.

Day 18: Catania – Home

(Breakfast)

Enjoy a final breakfast and meet the driver for the transfer to Catania airport.

Not ready to go home yet? Having too much fun exploring magnificent Italy? Your travel specialist will review all the options available to you at the end of the trip, including an extended opportunity to explore the country or the option of spending an extra night in Taormina. If you must go, let us assist you by reserving a private car and driver to the Catania airport. Remember, we are always eager to help you create the travel experience you desire, so don’t hesitate to ask if you’d like to keep your travel options open!

Additional Information:

The tour includes:

  • Private transfer to and from airport
  • Transportation by deluxe motor coach
  • Multilingual tour guide and escort
  • Accommodation at the hotels
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Entrance to Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Entrance to St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice
  • Entrance to the Archaeological site of Pompeii
  • Visit of the Blue Grotto in Capri
  • Entrance to the Archeological Sites in Sicily as per itinerary
  • Panoramic visits as per itinerary
  • Luggage service: 1 piece of luggage and 1 carry-on per person
  • US Taxes and fees
  • 24 hour emergency hotline

The tour does not include:

  • Tips
  • Drinks and extras at the hotel
  • Entrance fees to monuments and museums not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Extra luggage may occur additional fee
  • Rome Hotel Taxes (2 euros per person per day for 3 star hotels or 3 euros per person per day for 4 star hotels) paid to hotel
  • Florence Hotel Taxes (4 euros per person per day) to be paid directly to hotel
  • Venice Hotel Taxes (4 euros per person per day) to be paid directly to hotel
  • Sorrento Hotel Taxes (1.50 euros per person per day) to be paid directly to hotel
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