Grand Tour

Grand Tour – Sicily, Malta, Palermo & Puglia | Cultural Italy

Tour Introduction

23 NIGHT TRIP
Great journey from Malta to Southern Italy (including Sicily, and Puglia) and Rome.

Highlights:

  • The island of Malta, Mediterranean paradise
  • Monreale Abbey, the world’s most beautiful temple
  • Pompeii excavations and the spectacular Amalfi Drive
  • The ancient Sassi of Matera and cave dwellings
  • Ancient Rome and Michelangelo's Masterpiece

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN MALTA
Upon arrival private transfer from the airport to your hotel, in the city center of Sliema. Check in. Enjoy a nice dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight stay.

DAY 2: MEDIEVAL MODINA AND ST ANTON BOTANICAL GARDENS
Breafast at the hotel. This morning join a tour that will take you on a journey to discover this charming medieval town, known as the 'silent city'. Discover the secretive narrow winding streets and dwarfed doorways, untill you reach the city's bastions from where you’ll enjoy a stunning almost 360 degrees panoramic view of the island. The tour continues with a visit to the Dingli cliffs, known as the highest cliffs on the island. The tour will end with a visit to the botanic gardens of San Anton, originally build for a palace which once served as a leisure residence for the Grand Master. Dinner at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 3: GOZO, ISLE OF CALYPSO
Breafast at the hotel. Day at leisure to either discover more of Malta, or visit the island of Gozo, considered one of Mediterranean’s top diving destination. Greeer, smaller and more rural than the sister’s Island of Malta, is thought to be the legendary Calypso's isle of Homer's Odyssey - a peaceful, mystical backwater. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 4: SICILY - TAORMINA
Breafast at the hotel. Departure transfer to Malta’s airport to board your flight to Catania. Upon arrival at Catania airport, private transfer to Taormina hotel. After check in, meet your guide for an afternoon guided walking tour that includes a visit to the Greek Theater. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 5: SIRACUSA & ORTIGIA ISLAND
Breafast at the hotel. Departure transfer to Siracusa. Upon arrival and check in, enjoy a walking tour of this extraordinary example of Magna Grecia art and culture, also known as the birthplace of Archimedes. Continue the tour with a visit to the island of Ortigia, the baroque historical center of Siracusa. Dinner at leisure and overnight stay.

DAY 6: FROM BAROQUE NOTO AND MODICA TO GREEK RUINS
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure transfer to Agrigento. On the way, stop for a visit of Noto, considered the most beautiful baroque town in Sicily. After lunch, before heading to your destination, stop for a visit of Modica, another baroque town also well known for its chocolate, making it an ideal destination for food-lovers. Check in at your hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 7: AGRIGENTO VALLEY OF TEMPLES
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet you guide for a walking tour of the Valley of the Temples. Excavated and partially restored, this area contains some of the best preserved ancient Greek buildings outside Greece itself and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 8: PALERMO SICILY CAPITAL
Breakfst at the hotel. Departure transfer to Palermo. Check in at the hotel. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 9: UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE: MONREALE ABBEY
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet your guide for a tour of Palermo and Monreale. Discover this incredible city with its many influences. Founded by the Phoenicians, named by the ancient Greeks and ruled by the Arabs and Normans, Palermo is a city full of flavor and mixed cultures. After lunch, visit Monreale, famous for its incredible beautiful cathedral which contains the largest cycle of Byzantine mosaics in Italy. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 10: FROM THE BOOT TO THE HEEL - PUGLIA
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure transfer to Palermo’s airport to board your flight to Bari. Upon arrival transfer to Alberobello. Check in. Dinner at a typical restaurant. Overnight stay.

DAY 11: PRIMITIVO WINE TASTING AND MATERA CAVE HOUSES
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning visit Gioia del Colle, Puglia’s hidden jewels as the name, gioia, literally means jewel. The small town, located strategically in the heart of Puglia, is also the birthplace of the popular Primitivo wine. Upon arrival you will stop a wine cellar and enjoy a wine tasting in the vineyards. Continue your tour and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Matera, the ancient Città Sotterranea (Underground City), carved right into the Appenine Mountains. Return to Alberobello. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 12: ALBEROBELLO AND SURROUNDINGS
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will visit the Castellana Grotte, the large and famous complex of caves with amazing rock formations. After the grotte visit Polignano a Mare and stop for lunch in a slow food restaurant. Afternoon guided tour of Alberobello, with visit of the Trullo Sovrano and its museum. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 13: CASTEL DEL MONTE: THE OCTAGONAL SHAPED CASTLE
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure to the historical fishing port of Trani and visit of the waterfront, the cathedral and the historical center. Lunch in a typical restaurant in the countryside selected by “Michelin’s guide”. After lunch visit the UNESCO heritage site of Castel del Monte, the most important testimony in the region of the Hohenstaufen Monarchy and site full of unrevealed mysteries. Return to Alberobello. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 14: ENCHANTING AMALFI COAST
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure private transfer from your hotel to Bari’s train station. High-speed train to Naples. Upon arrival, private transfer from Naples train station to Sorrento and enjoy the spectacular panorama that will present to you. Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is renowned for its natural beauty as well as its characteristic towns. The crystal clear ocean waters and breathtaking landscapes are offset by the famous towns of Sorrento, Praiano, Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi, whose charming architecture elegantly blends into the mountainous landscape. Check in at the hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 15: POMPEII EXCAVATIONS
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning tour to the world famous Pompeii Excavations, ancient Roman town buried under 65 ft  of vulcanic ashes during the cataclysmic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 16: CAPRI
Breakfast at the hotel. Today enjoy a full day excursion of the island of Capri. Stop first at the famous Villa St Michele, built by Axel Munthe followed by the visit of the Church of San Michele. Continue to the center of Capri, discover the famous Piazzetta and explore the narrow streets and its glamorous boutiques. Lunch on your own and free time for individual discovery. Return transfer by hydrofoil to Amalfi. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 17: DAY AT LEISURE
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day at leisure to relax by the pool or take a dip in the crystal clear waters or to do some shopping in the many characteristic shops. Overnight stay.

DAY 18: ESSENCE OF ROME
Breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer from your hotel in Sorrento to the train station in Naples. High-speed train to Rome. Private transfer to your hotel in the city center and check in. Late afternoon orientation tour of central Rome, including the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps.The grand finale unfolds just steps away from the Pantheon at one of Rome’s most famous bar where you will enjoy the tradition of the Italian aperitivo with appetizers. Overnight stay.

DAY 19: ANCIENT ROME
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will enter the Colosseum, led by your tour guide, learn about everyday life in Ancient Rome. You will extend your visit to the Roman Forum, where you will encounter the final resting place of Julius Caesar, the incredible Arch of Constantine and the Temple of the Vestal Virgins. You will also visit the Palatine Hill, the birthplace of Ancient Rome and the location of some of its oldest and most impressive ruins, where you will learn the legend of twins Remus & Romulus, founders of Rome. Late in the afternoon, an amazing food tour by night in the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere, considered to be the heart of the traditional Roman cuisine. Overnight stay.

DAY 20: CHRISTIAN ROME
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will enjoy a special tour in the Vatican Museums, before it opens to the general public, accompanied by a delicious breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard. You will walk through empty galleries to be the first inside the Sistine Chapel, to enjoy this masterpiece in peace. You will embark on a full tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica: your guide will lead you through the best of the collection, teaching you about the art and history of the Vatican, with a focus on the many characters that have lived and worked here. In the afternnon optional tour to the Cryps and Catacombs of Rome. First visit the Domitilla Catacomb and Basilica of San Clemente, following the Capuchin Crypt, where you’ll see a Caravaggio painting and admire a chapel entirely made out of human bones. Learn about past burial customs and secret places of Christian worship during this fascinating exploration into the history of Rome. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 21: ROME AND THE ILLUMINATI
Breakfast at the hotel. Today be fascinated by the Angels & Demons tour, inspired by and around the sights in Dan Brown’s sensational, international bestseller. Explore Rome’s most picturesque churches, charming piazzas, and timeless cobblestone alleyways while getting a feel for their underlying air of mystery that so inspired the author. You will be guided through the secret Illuminati symbolism throughout the city’s streets and architecture. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 22: ITALIAN MASTERPIECES – BORGHESE GALLERY
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning guided tour of Galleria Borghese, to see works by Caravaggio, Bernini, Canova, Raphael and Titian. Late in the afternoon enjoy an authentic culinary experience, to learn some tricks to make Italian dishes. After having enjoyed a typical Italian aperitif on the terrace, you will start your class by learning to make pasta from scratch with a typical sauce. At the end, you will enjoy the food you’ve learnt to cook, with a dessert and wine. Overnight stay.

DAY 23: ROME AT LEISURE
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day at leisure to enjoy the Eternal City. Optional: Day tour to Tivoli, Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana. Overnight stay.

DAY 24:  DEPARTURE
Breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer to the airport and departure. Goodbye!

 

NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change based on the availability of the services/tours/activities listed at the time of your traveling.

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