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South Italy Odyssey 20 days/19 nights

20 days / 19 nights   June 12 - July 01    2016

DAY 1 - Rome (3 nights) LAZIO
Arrive in the Eternal City of Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire. In the evening, meet your travelling companions and tour director for welcome cocktails and dinner. (D)
DAY 2 - Rome
After breakfast we explore some of the wonders of Ancient Rome, including the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Capotoline Hill and Piazza Venezia. After lunch we take a leisurely stroll around some of Rome’s other sights including the Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight. (B, D)
DAY 3 - Vatican City
Today we dedicate the morning to visiting Holy City, where we discover the amazing Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica – and admire works of art by some of Italy’s most renowned artists including Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Take the afternoon at your leisure to further explore the sights or go shopping. Dinner will be in a typical Roman restaurant. (B, D)
DAY 4 - Pompeii, Sorrento (4 nights) CAMPANIA
On our way to Sorrento we visit the ancient city of Pompeii and explore the remains of this Roman city which was buried under ash after the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. It is one of the best-preserved examples of Roman civilisation. Continue to hotel and rest of the afternoon is at your leisure, until dinner when we will indulge in the city’s favourite food – Pizza!!! (B, D)
DAY 5 - Isle of Capri
Today is completely dedicated to exploring the famous Isle of Capri. We will have the opportunity to visit the fabulous Blue Grotto as well as other spectacular sights on this playground of the rich and famous. We will tour the village of Anacapri and lunch in a typical local restaurant before returning to Sorrento. (B, L)
DAY 6 - Amalfi Coast
After breakfast we travel to the spectacular Amalfi coast and also visit the town of Ravello with its breathtaking views. After lunch we will have the opportunity to see how the local drink, Limoncello is made.  (B, L)
DAY 7 - Amalfi Coast
Today is completely at your leisure to rest and re-charge your batteries.
DAY 8 - Vulture, Melfi, Matera (1 night) PUGLIA
The morning is dedicated to Vulture and the surrounding area and beautiful countryside. We then travel to Rionero famous for its lakes inside an extinct volcano and where we will sample some of the local produce. We continue to Melfi at the foot of Monte Vulture with its Norman castles which dominate this area. Then on to Matera and overnight (B, D)
DAY 9 - Matera, Taranto (2 nights)
After breakfast we take a guided tour of Matera “The city of Rocks”. This is one of the most extraordinary spots on Earth, which is why UNESCO has listed it among its 365 official World Heritage List locations. The city is characterised by the houses which are literally carved out of the “tufo” rock and was used as the setting for the film “The Passion of The Christ”. We will visit the peasants Museum and the Grotto Di Castellana. In the afternoon we continue to Taranto one of the most important Naval Bases in the Mediterranean. First founded by the Ancient Greeks from Sparta in 706BC, the city is now an important Naval Base and industrial centre of the region. After a tour of the historical centre we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (B, D)
DAY 10 - Alberobello, Ostuni, Lecce
Today we visit Alberobello the heart of the Trulli houses and Ostuni one of the most stunning cities in Southern Italy famous for the dazzling effect of its whitewashed houses. The city is a series of levels, staircases, alleys and arches with hints of the Middle Ages in every corner and with views to the sea from every angle. We will visit the main Cathedral and enjoy a degustation menu of the local produce. Then on to Lecce, the city that has been dubbed the Florence of Baroque. It’s heyday was when it was part of Spain in the 17th century. Carved from golden sandstone the exuberant architecture looks like a sumptuous theatrical set. (B, L)
DAY 11 - Pizzo, Tropea, Bagnara (3 nights) CALABRIA
Departure for Pizzo. Visit the Aragonese Castle and the Little Church of Piedigrotta which has been completely carved out of the Tufo rock. We then continue on to Tropea, the “Pearl of the Mediterranean”, where we visit the Cathedral and take a walk through the historic centre and enjoy the magnificent views from its balcony on the sea. Rest in the afternoon. (B, D)
DAY 12 - Reggio, Scilla
Today we tour Reggio di Calabria and visit the National Museum where the famous Bronzes of Riace are kept along with other artefacts of the Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) period. Walk along the lungomare “The most beautiful kilometre in Italy”. We next visit mythical Scilla and the quaint fisherman’s quarter of the Chianalea. (B, D)
DAY 13 - Mount St. Elia, Gambarie
We take a trip to Gambarie a mountain resort town situated 1,100 mtrs above sea level in the heart of the Aspromonte mountain range. Enjoy a walk through the forest and then on to a typical restaurant for a lunch of local produce, bread, cheeses, wine and other home made foods. We continue on to Monte St. Elia with its spectacular views over the Mediterranean (B, L)
DAY 14 - Villa St. Giovanni, Taormina, Mt. Etna, Catania (2 nights) SICILY
Today we cross the Straits of Messina to Sicily. We first visit Taormina “the jewel of Sicily” with its Greco-Roman theatre and views across to Mt. Etna. This city has been a destination for holiday makers since Roman times, with free time for shopping. After lunch we travel to Mt Etna for a guided tour of the largest active volcano in Europe then on to Catania and overnight. (B, D)
DAY 15 - Catania, Syracuse
Catania was founded by the ancient Greeks in 729 BC who were followed by the Romans, Saracens, Normans, Swabians, Aragonese all of whom have left their mark on the city. After a guided tour of the city we continue to Syracuse the greatest city outside Greece and at one time surpassing Athens in splendour and glory. After lunch we are taken on a guided tour of this city which was founded by the Corinthians in the 8th century BC and is home to some of the greatest testaments to both the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. The Greek theatre, Roman amphitheatre, the Ear of Dionysius, the Temple of Apollo and the island of Ortigia are just some of the places we visit. (B, L)
DAY 16 - Noto, Modica, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento (1 night)
We now move on to the Baroque city of Noto. Conquered by the Arabs in 866 AD it rose to become the stronghold of Muslim power in Sicily and was still the centre of power under Norman and Swabian rule. We will also stop in Modica where we can enjoy chocolate still made to the original recipe. Then on to Piazza Armerina where we visit the Roman Villa built between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, famous for its fabulous mosaic floors. We continue to Agrigento and the magnificent Valley of the Temples, perhaps the greatest testimony of the glorious period of Greek settlement in Southern Italy. (B, D)
DAY 17 - Cefalu’, Palermo (3 nights)
The morning is dedicated to visiting the Valley of the Temples. Then on to Cefalu’, where after lunch, we will have a guided tour to discover the many charms of this picturesque fishing village. (B, L)
DAY 18 - Palermo, Monreale
A tour of the major sites of Palermo with a visit to the Cathedral, Teatro Massimo and the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo. We then visit Monreale and the Duomo “the most beautiful temple in the world”, built in the 12th century by the Norman King William II after he had a vision of the Virgin Mary asking him to build a church. We will also visit the Royal Palace and the Benedictine Monastery. (B, L)
DAY 19 - Palermo
Today we visit the heart of Palermo, the open air market with its many flavours and colours. The afternoon is at your leisure. (B, D)
DAY 20 - Departure
Transfer to Palermo Airport and departure for your next destination. (B)
 
(B) Breakfast
(L) Lunch
(D) Dinner
Tour Costs - per person $Aud
$7,450 -  Single Supplement $990
 

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