Day 1 - Sunday - Depart USA - Rome
Boarding your overnight flight, you’re off on the adventure of a lifetime!
Day 2 - Monday - Rome - Afternoon at Leisure - Dinner in Hotel
Benvenuti a Roma, the eternal city! We are pleased to offer complimentary transfers from the Rome airport to your hotel at scheduled times. Your Perillo representative will be at the airport to greet you. There will be time to relax this afternoon before dinner with fine local vino at our hotel. B
Day 3 - Tuesday - Rome City Sightseeing - Colosseum - Dinner Out Tonight
Hail Caesar! All aboard our chariot for a panoramic tour of Imperial Rome including the Roman Forum, Largo Argentina (where Caesar was stabbed by Brutus) and the Circus Maximus. Then we’ll enter the Colosseum, reliving the brutal entertainment of the gladiators and the lions, refereed by the Emperor himself. Tonight, we enjoy a fun dinner out. BB, D
Day 4 - Wednesday - Rome - Pompeii - Naples - Dinner in Hotel
This morning, after a delicious breakfast, we’re off on the beautiful drive south to Pompeii. We’ll travel back in time to the fateful year of 79 AD. A city perfectly preserved by the ash that rained-down from Mt. Vesuvius, you’ll see the tragic fossils of people attempting to escape with their children and dogs. You’ll be amazed to see the streets, homes and stores still perfectly intact.
Next, we continue our journey to Naples, birthplace of Caruso & Sophia Loren. Be sure to have your cameras ready because we will arrive in Naples via Vomero Hill, overlooking the sapphire Bay of Naples, Capri, Ischia and proud Vesuvius in the background. We enjoy a brief panoramic tour before going to our beautiful hotel, the Royal Continental. Tonight we enjoy an authentic Neapolitan dinner in our hotel, with stunning views of the legendary Castel dell‘Ovo. BB, D
Day 5 - Thursday - Naples - Capri - Naples
This morning, we board our speedy jetfoil to the world’s most enchanting island – Capri. We’ll enjoy a private boat tour around the island (weather permitting). We’ll cruise by the magnificent Faraglioni, Capri’s iconic rock formations which tower above the Mediterranean Sea.
Next, we visit one of the lesser-known but equally beautiful sea caves, the Grotta Bianca. Then we’ll have free time to explore the island on our own, or take advantage of a special optional excursion with our tour leader. This afternoon we return to Naples where you can relax before you head out for dinner on your own. Ask your tour guide for some recommendations. Try a pizza Margherita – invented right in Naples! Pizza Margherita owes its name to Italy's Queen Margherita who in 1889 visited the Pizzeria Brandi in Naples. The Pizzaiolo (pizza maker) on duty that day, created a pizza for the Queen that contained the 3 colors of the new Italian flag. The red tomato, the white mozzarella and fresh green basil! BB
Day 6 - Friday - Naples - Matera - Lecce - Dinner in Hotel
Enroute to Lecce in the region of Puglia, we’ll drive through the Region of Basilicata and stop in Matera, known as "la Città Sotterranea" (the Subterranean City).
Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera" (stones of Matera) where Mel Gibson filmed the Passion of the Christ! The Sassi originated in a prehistoric settlement, and these dwellings are thought to be among the first human settlements in Europe. These Sassi (stones), began as natural caves and grottoes, and over the centuries were adapted as homes. We continue on to charming Lecce, often referred to as “Florence of the South”, for dinner and overnight in the hotel. BB, D
Day 7 - Saturday - Lecce - Alberobello - Lunch in a Masseria - Lecce City Tour
Today we will drive to Alberobello, famous for its fairytale like 14th Century trulli - characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses. These beehive-shaped homes, white-tipped as if dusted by snow, are made from local limestone. Some of the trulli are now used for stores, restaurants, and lodging, but many are still inhabited by locals. We stop in a local Masseria, an ancient fortified farmhouse, for a lunch with typical dishes of the area. The Masserie are as much a symbol of Puglia as are the endless olive groves and trulli.
After lunch, we return to Lecce, the main city in the Salento Peninsula, in the heel of Italy's boot. Enjoy an afternoon tour around the 300-year-old cobblestone streets of the city. Tonight, it’s dinner on your own. A must-try specialty of Puglia is orecchiette, a popular type of pasta named for their characteristic shape reminiscent of an ear (orecchiette means ‘little ears’), usually served with cime di rapa (broccoli rabe) and garlic, or fresh tomatoes and ricotta cheese. BB, L
Day 8 - Sunday - Lecce - Taormina - Dinner in Hotel
This morning we drive south to Calabria to board our ferry across the Straits of Messina to Sicily!
Our home in Taormina will be the great Villa Diodoro, which boasts stunning views of Mt. Etna and the bay of Naxos. Tonight, we enjoy a delicious Sicilian dinner in our hotel. BB, D
Day 9 - Monday - Taormina City Tour - Dinner Out Tonight
After this morning’s leisurely tour, you’ll know why Taormina is known as the “Jewel of Italy “. Its winding streets and secluded gardens are truly enchanting. The snow covered volcano, Mt Etna, serves as a dramatic backdrop to the well-preserved Greek and Roman outdoor theaters we’ll be visiting.
This afternoon is all yours! Why not stroll the medieval streets lined with interesting little shops, take a dip in the hotel pool, or treat yourself to one of Sicily’s greatest inventions – the cannoli! It’s like heaven in your mouth! Tonight, we enjoy dinner and great “vino Siciliano” at a fine local restaurant. BB, D
Day 10 - Tuesday - Taormina - Mt. Etna Winery Visit & Tasting - Light Lunch
This morning, you’ll meet one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Mt. Etna is in an almost constant state of eruption. But don’t worry – we’ll keep a safe distance!
The fertile volcanic soil supports extensive agriculture, orchards and vineyards. So let’s visit a local winery for a tour, a wine tasting and a light lunch! Tonight, you can enjoy dinner on your own. Have you tried pesce spada yet? Swordfish is Sicily’s favorite seafood. BB, L
Day 11 - Wednesday - Taormina - Piazza Armerina - Palermo - Dinner in Hotel
We’re off to Palermo, stopping along the way for a fascinating visit to the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina. The elaborate villa, owned by a Roman aristocrat from the 4th Century, is famous for its intricate mosaics. And who ever said the bikini was invented in St. Tropez in the 1950’s? You’ll see proof that the Romans invented it centuries ago! After an exciting and educational day, a delicious relaxing dinner is served in our hotel with fine local wines. BB, D
Day 12 - Thursday - Palermo City Tour - Marsala Wine Tasting & Dinner
This morning we explore Palermo, the fascinating capital city. We’ll visit the Royal Palace which General George Patton turned into his headquarters in 1943. We’ll also take in the Palace of the Normans, the Palatine Chapel, the Cathedral of Palermo and Monreale, as well as a few other highlights.
Next, we continue along the coast road to Marsala. Marsala is famous for 2 things: Wine and Garibaldi! Marsala is a thick, sweet, fortified wine loved around the world. Marsala was also the landing site for Garibaldi and his thousand men (the Mille) in 1860, starting the chain of events that lead to Italy's unification. We’ll tour the winery, enjoy a tasting and a light dinner. BB, D
Day 13 - - Friday - Flight Home from Palermo to USA
This morning, we transfer to the Palermo airport for our flight home, arriving in the USA the same day. While we say “arrivederci” to Italy, we realize we’re taking a little piece of it back home with us . . . and maybe along with some wine too! Arrivederci Bella Sicilia! BB
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