Sicily, Tuscany and Cinque Terre

From EUR €2,815.00
  • Duration: 13 Days (approx.)
  • Product code: 5TERRE
BEGINS ON SATURDAYS FROM PALERMO
ENDS IN ROME

Semi Escorted Hosted Tour
12 nights / 13 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/Etna Jeep ride/Taormina
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure to Etna Volcano where you will start your exciting tour with Land Rover. After a lovely drive along the slopes of the Volcano (regular road) you will reach the nearest point to have a great view of the Bove Valley (to get to this point we will drive along an off-road area and it will be necessary to have a short trekking to join the point to see the Valley), a spectacular natural basin where the lava flows during the Mount Etna Eruptions. We will then proceed to an area called Piano Provenzana where we will see the effect of the great eruption of 2002. From there, after an off-road itinerary you will visit the lava front of 2002 and a natural cave created from the lava flow. After that, proceed to have lunch in a local farmhouse. After lunch the tour will get back to your hotel located in Taormina area. (BB L)

Day 7 (Friday) Taormina at leisure/Rome
Our Staff Disposal: no
Breakfast at hotel.
The morning is at leisure: Taormina is a hill-village with a glossy sheen of glamour. 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. 
In the afternoon 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.  (BB) 

Day 8 (Saturday) 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 9 (Sunday) Rome/Montepulciano/Pienza/Siena 
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure to the rolling hills of the Chianti Region, reaching Montepulciano, a hilltop town rich of medieval and Renaissance buildings, and world renown for producing one of the
oldest wines of Italy, the “Nobile di Montepulciano”. Visit to a Winery and tasting of wines and local products like ham, cheese, and salami. Then proceed to Pienza,
birthplace of
Pope Pius II that had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town. It is also well known for its pecorino cheese. Then the visit continues towards Siena, the beautiful medieval city renowned for the Palio horse race. Walk along the old city centre admiring splendid palaces and focus your attention on the Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in the
world. Dinner at the hotel. (BB S D)

Day 10 (Monday) Siena/San Gimignano/Tavarnelle/Chianti area/Pisa/La Spezia 
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure to San Gimignano, a medieval hilltop town unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses. You will then proceed to Tavarnelle Val di Pesa located within the Chianti Classico “Gallo Nero” region, where you’ll enjoy an excellent wine tasting with light lunch at a local farmhouse. The tour continues onto Pisa, where you will have free time. Then you will have a pleasant walk into the enchanting historical centre, Piazza dei Miracoli, with its famous Leaning Tower (exterior visit), The Baptistery (exterior visit) and other beautiful monuments. Proceed to La Spezia. Dinner at the hotel. (BB L D)

Day 11 (Tuesday) La Spezia/Portovenere/Gulf of Poets/Cinque Terre/La Spezia
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure by boat for an unforgettable day dedicated to the discovery of one of the most amazing and enchanting landscape in the World. The five villages, “Cinque Terre” is an area
suspended between sea and land, hanging from sheer cliffs surrounded by hills and vineyards. You will enter into a little piece of heaven. By touring the coast line by boat, you will have the possibility to admire this amazing landscape from the seaside like in a postcard and to stop in Portovenere, Vernazza and Monterosso for visiting them at leisure 
(in the event of rough sea,
the visit will be done partly by coach and partly by train). Portovenere, on the Gulf of Poets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its picturesque harbor is lined with brightly colored houses, while narrow medieval streets lined with shops lead up the hill from the ancient city gate to the castle. The small fishing village Vernazza is probably the most characteristic of the Cinque Terre and is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The village is surrounded by very steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce among the finest olive oil in the country. Monterosso is the largest of the five coastal villages. Its amazing beaches, its beautiful reefs and the sea’s crystal clear waters, make this small village one of the most hospitable of the Ligurian Riviera. Board the train from Monterosso and arrive in La Spezia. Dinner at the hotel. (BB D)

Day 12 (Wednesday) La Spezia/Carrara/Montecarlo di Lucca/Rome
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure to Carrara for a visit of the impressive marble quarries carved deep into the mountain. This is where Michelangelo took the raw material to create his superb masterpieces.
Continue to Montecarlo di Lucca, a lovely town located on the hills around Lucca. This territory is ideal for the production of top quality wine and extra virgin olive oil. We will stop and
visit a farmhouse where the owners will have you taste delicious Tuscan food specialities, from olive oil to cheese, from bread to wine and of course pasta, which you will taste with
different wines. Proceed to Rome and arrival in the evening (BB L)

Day 13 (Thursday) Rome 
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: 
-First class accommodation 
-Daily breakfast buffet
-All sightseeing, tasting and excursions as specified in the itinerary
-
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
-VAT


WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
-City Taxes
-Beverages and meals not mentioned in the program
-Gratuities to Tour Director/Driver-Escort, Local Guide and Driver
-Admission fees
-Transfers not specified
-Optional Excursions
-Travel Insurance

FEATURED PROPERTIES USED FOR THIS TOUR
Palermo (4 nights):  
Hotel Plaza Opera, Hotel Principe di Villafranca, OR similar Hotel.
Taormina area (2 nights): Hilton Giardini Naxos (seaside area), Hotel Villa Diodoro, OR similar Hotel.
Rome (3 nights): Hotel Romanico Palace OR Hotel The Building OR similar Hotel.
Siena (1 night):
Hotel Garden OR similar Hotel.
La Spezia (2 nights): Hotel 
NH La Spezia 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.