Italy and Sicily Grand Tour

  • Duration : 14 Days (approx.)
  • Product code : GRAND
From EUR €2,860.00
BEGINS ON SATURDAYS FROM PALERMO
ENDS IN VENICE

SEMI ESCORTED HOSTED TOUR | ITALY & SICILY

Begins on Saturday from Palermo 
13 nights / 14 days
Provided with: 
minimum of 2 clients 
Style of Accommodation: 
First Class

Day 1 (Saturday) Palermo
Our Staff Disposal: no
Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo airport (PMO) please proceed through the Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then independent transfer to your hotel. 
The balance of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 (Sunday) Palermo/Agrigento/Palermo
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Following breakfast, we drive through the interior of Sicily to reach the Archaeological Park of Agrigento. On arrival independent visit of the Archaeological Museum (Admission fee: not included) that offers a fine introduction to the splendors of ancient Akragas and gives an insight into the life of the Greek settlers. Then you will visit the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples (Admission fee: not included). Later we return to Palermo. (BB)

Day 3 (Monday) Palermo & Monreale
Our Staff Disposal: half day
Information: walking tour of Palermo for around 2 hours to explore the town

Breakfast at hotel.
Today a short drive take us to Monreale, to see where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory with the Duomo (Admission fee: not included), launched in 1174 by William II. It represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Then transfer to Palermo and walking tour of the city center. The walking tour will start with the lively Ballarò Market, a place overflowing with beautiful fresh fish, and local vegetables and cheeses.  Originating from the era when Sicily was occupied by the moors, this 1000 year old market has run much in the same manner for centuries.  It has strong Arab influences, resembling an eastern souk, and these influences are also evident in the merchandise itself.  Next to mounds of ricotta and caciocavallo cheeses, barrels of olives and fat slabs of swordfish sit saffron and other spices, as well as sacks of beans and gorgeous indigenous fruit and local vegetables.  Here we have the opportunity to taste a typical palermitano dish, such as the famous Panelle (a thin paste of crushed ceci/garbanzo beans rolled into sheets, fried and served in pizza-like slices). Then by walk we reach Piazza Pretoria and the famous “four corners” converge in a quartet of baroque palaces from the climax of the Spanish rule dating from 1560.  Then our short stroll will continue through Via Maqueda with the external view of Massimo Theater (The Opera House). The visit will end in Piazza Politeama. from there you will have the opportunity to join your hotel (walking distance).
Afternoon and evening at leisure. (BB)

Day 4 (Tuesday) Palermo/Erice, Segesta, Olive Oil & Winery/Palermo
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Information: walking tour of Erice for around 2  hours up-and-down to explore the town

Early departure to tour western Sicily where we reach Erice uptown. The Elymians settled the medieval town of Erice, which was an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops—world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. Later we proceed to have a light-lunch in a local winery-farmhouse including tasting of mixed local product such as cheese, salumi, olives, local bread combined with their production of olive oil and wine. This afternoon  we continue onto Segesta, one of the major cities of the ancient indigenous Elymian people, to visit the unfinished Doric temple (Admission 
fee: not included), late 5th century BC, built on a hilltop just outside of the ancient city and has a commanding view of the surrounding area. Later we return to Palermo. (BB L)

Day 5 (Wednesday) Palermo/Piazza Armerina/Taormina
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure for Piazza Armerina. Upon arrival we visit the amazing Roman Villa of Casale (Admission Fee: not included) in Piazza Armerina. The mosaics discovered here are celebrated among scholars of antiquity. This afternoon we then continue to Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily. (BB)

Day 6 (Thursday) Taormina/Siracusa/Taormina
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure to Siracusa that belongs to the Unesco heritage. Siracusa was founded by colonists from Cornith in 735 B.C. and once the most important competitor to Athens. On arrival stroll through the streets of Ortygia Island, the heart of the city center. This afternoon independent visit through the Archaeological Park highlights the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry. Later back to Taormina.

Day 7 (Friday) Taormina at leisure
Our Staff Disposal: no
Breakfast at hotel. 
Today is at leisure: Taormina is a hill-village with a glossy sheen of glamour. A drink at the tables of Caffè Wunderbar (or similar) in Piazza IX Aprile may set you back a few euros, but you'll be basking where Tennessee Williams and Elizabeth Taylor basked before you. As well as the famed Greek-Roman Theatre (Admission fee: not included), there are several minor sites to be discovered around Taormina. The attractive principal thoroughfare, Corso Umberto is pedestrian and ideal for strolling and window-shopping. Picturesque lanes above and below the Corso are interesting to explore, while if you want to stretch your legs further there are attractive walks up into the hills, or down to the sea. Given its compact size, Taormina has a huge range of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can while away pleasant hours while admiring the views. (BB)
Enjoy your stay at leisure in Taormina or inquiry us for an Optional Excursion! 

Day 8 (Saturday) Catania/Rome
Our Staff Disposal: no
Breakfast at hotel.
Time to say goodbye to Sicily. Then independent transfer to Catania airport (CTA) and take the flight to Rome. Upon arrival at Rome airport (FCO) please proceed through the Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then transfer to your hotel in Rome (included). 
The balance of the day is at leisure. (BB)

Day 9 (Sunday) Rome
Our Staff Disposal: half day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today enjoy a 3 hours Rome walking tour. Your visit will start from Largo Argentina, place of the murder of Julius Caesar. Then you will continue to the famous Navona Square, one of the best examples of Baroque art in Rome, where you will admire Bernini’s fountain of the Four Rivers. Then visit the church of San Luigi dei Francesi and the Pantheon that with its magnificence has impressed travellers for centuries. Experience the magnitude of the emperors visiting Colonna Square with the sublime column of Marco Aurelio and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Your tour will finish at the Spanish Steps, then independent transfer to your hotel.
The balance of the day is at leisure. (BB)

Day 10 (Monday) Rome/Assisi/Siena/Florence 
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure to Assisi, a suggestive town still surrounded by ancient walls and world famous to be
the
birthplace of Saint Francis and St. Clare. Visit the Basilica of Saint Francis with its early Renaissance masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue. At the end of the visit continue towards Siena, the beautiful medieval city renowned for the Palio horse race and declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Then proceed to Florence. Dinner at the hotel. (BB D)

Day 11 (Tuesday) Florence 
Our Staff Disposal: half day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today sightseeing tour of the city, world known to be the cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the beautiful Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of St. John, and Santa Croce, the 13th century Franciscan Church with Cimabue’s famous crucifix.
The balance of the day is at leisure. Free time for sightseeing or shopping OR inquiry us for an Optional Excursion (we suggest the PISA half day tour)!
Dinner at a local Restaurant. (BB D)

Day 12 (Wednesday) Florence/Padua/Venice
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure to Venice. Along the way you will stop in Padua, a picturesque town with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large squares and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat. Visit the famous Cathedral of St. Anthony, guarded by Donatello’s “Gattamelata”, then continue towards Venice. Upon arrival enjoy a
panoramic guided walking tour of this unique city. You will see the St. Mark’s square, the Basilica of St. Mark, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and the Prisons.
Dinner at the hotel. (BB D)

Day 13 (Thursday) Venice 
Our Staff Disposal: half day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today you will cross by boat the lagoon with a view of the islands and will reach the island of Murano where you will assist to a demonstration of glass blowing (some time will be allowed for shopping).
The balance of the day is at leisure. Dinner at the hotel. (BB D)

Day 14 (Friday) Venice
Our Staff Disposal: no
Breakfast at hotel and end of our services. (BB)


Meal Legend: BB Buffet Breakfast Snack Lunch or Light Lunch  Dinner

Full Day: around 7 hours and always in accordance with the itinerary and route
Half Day: around 3 to 4 hours

WHAT IS INCLUDED: 
-Palermo: four nights accommodation 
-Taormina area: three nights accommodation
-Rome: two nights accommodation
-Florence: two nights accommodation
-Venice: two nights accommodation
-Daily breakfast buffet
-One light lunch in a local winery-farmhouse with tasting of local dishes, wine and olive oil tastings
-Four dinners at hotel or at local restaurant (drinks not included)
-
Local flight from Catania to Rome
-Arrival transfer from Rome airport to the hotel in Rome
-Vehicle/coach with air conditioning, no toilet
-Driver Escort/Tour Director
-English speaking local guides on the tour when needed
-All sightseeing, tasting and excursions as specified in the itinerary
-Hotel & VAT


WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Intercontinental Flight
- Porterage at airport
- Airport transfers
- Fee for luggage handling fee at hotel
- City Taxes
- Beverages and meals not mentioned in the program
- Gratuities to Tour Director/Driver-Escort, Local Guide and Driver
- Admission fees
- Optional Excursions
- Travel Insurance
- Tips


HOSTED TOUR

This tour includes Hotel Accommodation, transportation, sightseeing and some meals. This tour will be
conducted by a driver escort or a tour escort (depending the number of people confirmed on the activity planned for the day) and can include licensed local guide (as per tour details and conditions). The person that will conduct the tour could be different day by day.
An hosted Tour is ideal for people who want some freedom but still have the comfort of a Tour leader who will take care of group and will orchestrate all services.


FEATURED PROPERTIES USED FOR THIS TOUR
Palermo (4 nights):  
Hotel Plaza Opera, Hotel Principe di Villafranca, OR similar Hotel.
Taormina area (3 nights): Hilton Giardini Naxos (seaside area), Hotel Villa Diodoro, OR similar Hotel.
Rome (2 nights): Hotel Romanico Palace OR Hotel The Building OR similar Hotel.
Florence (2 nights):
Hotel Rivoli OR Hotel Adriatico OR similar Hotel.
Venice (2 nights): Hotel Continental OR similar Hotel.

Hotel may be substituted with similar categories.
We do not guarantee all people on the tour will be lodging in the same Hotel.


SICILY AIRPORT TRANSFERS package: per person
The rate covers the transfer-in from Palermo airport to Palermo hotel and the transfer-out from Taormina hotel to Catania airport

-Euro 80,00 per person, based on a minimum 2 people travelling together and sharing the same vehicle