9 AM - 6 PM IST - Mon-Fri

10 AM - 1 PM IST - Saturday

The Splendors of Italy with Sicily - GSA (6415)

17 days from Rome to Rome

2017 Tour Details2018 Tour Details »

This colorful Italy tour combination showcases the most famous cities of the mainland with the highlights of Sicily, the biggest island of the Mediterranean.

You’ve heard about Italy—its magnificent architecture, majestic cathedrals, ancient history, world-class art, sumptuous cuisine and wine, and relaxing cafés—and now it is your turn to experience it. On this Italy tour, explore its most famous cities and discover its unique sights.

This Italy tour offers you the opportunity to step back in time. Imagine what life was like during the classical Greek period when you visit Sicily’s Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, an archeological jewel. See the Acropolis in Selinunte, a city at the apex of its power before 409 BC. Immerse yourself in the Roman Empire times when you visit Rome’s Colosseum, the amphitheater used for deadly gladiatorial contests, and Roman Forum, the political, social, and commercial center during the Roman Empire. Imagine life during the Middle Ages as you explore San Gimignano’s medieval squares, town walls, streets, alleyways, and 14 towers still standing from the Middle Ages. Visit Florence, the Renaissance gem, where your walking tour features most of the city’s highlights, including the beautiful Piazza Signoria, the center of Florence’s social and political life since the 14th century.

On this Italy tour, you’ll discover some of its magnificent cathedrals. In Orvieto, the Cathedral is a masterpiece and a great example of gothic architecture in Italy. In Assisi, where St. Francis was born, visit the world-famous Romanesque and gothic Basilica, where the saint is buried. See Pisa’s Square of Miracles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose three precious structures—the Leaning Tower, Cathedral, and Baptistery—have been considered central to religious life. In Palermo, you will visit the Cappella Palatina, with its exquisite Byzantine mosaics.

You’ll also experience a wine tasting in Greve, the capital of Chianti, and an orientation in Venice including a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square, Venice’s most popular square. Witness Venetian glassblowers create works of art just as they did centuries ago and spend some free time admiring the crisscrossing canals, the pretty gondolas passing under the arched bridges, the palaces and the quaint piazzas. In Sicily, you will take a scenic cable car to Erice, a charming fortified town overlooking Trapani and the Egadi archipelago.

Breathtaking landscapes, including Tuscany’s rolling hills, the emerald-blue strait of Messina, the green orange groves on the flanks of Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano, and much more, will become part of your fond memories of this fabulous Italy vacation designed for the value-minded traveler.

 Destinations & Sightseeing

Individual headsets

Sightseeing:
Visits to Orvieto Cathedral, Siena, San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti with wine tasting, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice, Assisi's St. Francis Basilica. Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable

Guides:

Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence; professional Tour Director while touring

Scenic Highlights:
Chianti Valley

NOTE:
December 21 Departure – Christmas lunch in Florence
December 30 Departure - New Year's Eve in Rome

Transportation:

Transportation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal transfer boat in Venice

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Buffet breakfasts daily; 6 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Siena

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1

Arrive in Rome, Italy. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this ancient capital. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2

Rome. Rome, the “Eternal City,” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and the mighty COLOSSEUM to understand more about life in ancient Roman times. In the evening, you have a chance to join an optional Rome by Night excursion. (B)

Day 3

Rome–Orvieto–Siena. Journey to charming Orvieto in the Umbria region to visit its black basalt and yellow limestone CATHEDRAL, an excellent example of Italian Gothic architecture. Reach Siena, with time to visit this jewel of Tuscany. Sit in one of the cafés surrounding the Piazza del Campo and admire one of Italy’s most unique squares, famed all over the world for its medieval-style Palio horse race. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 4

Siena–San Gimignano–Greve–Montecatini. Arrive in San Gimignano and discover one of Tuscany’s greatest attractions. Its medieval squares, town walls, streets, alleyways, and 14 towers make it unique. Next, head into the very heart of the Chianti vineyards; watch out for names such as Castellina in Chianti, Badia, Gaiole, and Brolio, where Chianti Classico wines are produced. Stop in Greve for some WINE TASTING at the Vicchiomaggio wine estate. Arrive in Montecatini in time to join the optional Tuscan dinner outing. (B)

Day 5

Montecatini–Excursion to Florence. This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled the entire day. Wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” (B,D)

Day 6

Montecatini–Pisa–Venice Area. This morning, drive to Pisa to see its SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and no less than 16 feet out of the perpendicular. Head across the wooded Apennine hills into the farmlands of the Po Valley to the Venice area. (B)

Day 7

Venice Area. Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and quiet piazzas. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)

Day 8

Venice Area–Assisi–Rome. Travel across the Po Delta, then into the green Apennines to Umbria. Stop in medieval Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome. (B)

Day 9

Rome–Sorrento. Travel to Sorrento, a town set on a plateau high above the waters of the Bay of Naples and with truly spectacular views as far as towering Vesuvius. Sorrento’s terraces, adorned with flowers, jut from winding streets and alleys above a small harbor. Streets are filled with shops, cheerful bars, and cafés. (B,D)

Day 10

Sorrento–Villa San Giovanni–Ferry Crossing–Taormina Area. Travel through the wild and mountainous scenery of Italy’s southernmost regions before boarding the FERRY for the 45-minute crossing to Sicily. Continue to the Taormina area. (B,D)

Day 11

Taormina Area. Excursion to Mount Etna. Magnificently situated on a 700-foot plateau overlooking the Ionian Sea, the heart of Taormina is Piazza Nove Aprile, a paved square with unrivaled views of the sea and Mount Etna. Later, ascend to the heights of MOUNT ETNA and the option of a jeep or cable-car ride for a better view of Europe’s largest active volcano (subject to weather conditions). (B)

Day 12

Taormina Area–Piazza Armerina–Agrigento. Drive to Piazza Armerina, a maze of steep streets positively overflowing with the colorful atmosphere of Sicilian life. At nearby Casale, visit the ROMAN VILLA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its mosaics, including the whimsical “Bikini Girls.” On to Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, one of Italy’s archaeological jewels. Visit the DORIC TEMPLE OF CONCORD, one of the finest examples of Greek civilization existing today, and the hilltop TEMPLE OF JUNO LACINIA. (B,D)

Day 13

Agrigento–Selinunte–Marsala–Palermo. Leave for Selinunte, one of the most striking and interesting sites in Sicily. At the apex of its power before 409 BC, the city exceeded 30,000 people, excluding slaves. Here, you will see the remains of the ACROPOLIS with its temples and fortifications. On the western coast of Sicily, stop in Marsala, known for its celebrated Marsala wine. Here, you will visit a local SALT MINE and learn how this local product is extracted and refined. Then, head to Palermo, capital of Sicily. (B)

Day 14

Palermo. Excursion to Trapani & Erice. Two Sicilian treats are on the agenda today. First, visit enchanting Trapani with a Local Guide, set on a harbor that was once at the heart of a powerful trading network stretching from Carthage to Venice. The city center stretches along the port and was built in primarily baroque style. Next is the medieval hilltop town of Erice, reached by cable car. Situated about 2,500 feet above sea level, it immediately impresses with its defensive walls and castle affording breathtaking views over the Trapani Gulf and Egadi Island and on clear days, all the way to the African coast. Return to Palermo. (B)

Day 15

Palermo (Embarkation)–Overnight Ferry Crossing to Naples. A full day to enjoy this busy and colorful city full of interesting squares and marketplaces, churches, and palazzos in every style—from Moorish to baroque. On the included guided tour, learn more, and visit the magnificent CAPPELLA PALATINA. Evening embarkation for the overnight ferry from Palermo to Naples. (B)

Day 16

Naples (Disembarkation)–Rome. North this morning back to the “Eternal City” with plenty of time to enjoy one of the optional excursions, to do last-minute shopping, or maybe to sip a drink in Piazza Navona and watch the world go by.

Day 17

Rome. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

 Accommodations

ROME Fleming (F)
SIENA Four Points by Sheraton Siena (ST)
MONTECATINI Settentrionale Esplanade (F)
VENICE Poppi (ST)
VENICE Holiday Inn Venezia (ST)
ROME Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (ST)
ROME Holiday Inn Eur Parco Dei Medici (F)
SORRENTO Central Park (TC)
TAORMINA RIVIERA Albatros (TC)
AGRIGENTO Della Valle (F)
AGRIGENTO Kore (ST)
PALERMO Politeama (ST)

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).
jq

Want to be the first to get latest offers & deals?

Sign up for free to receive latest updates and exclusive email offers!