This 10-night trip takes you to where the sun always shines! With three nights in Sorrento, three in Syracuse, and three in Taormina, you will visit Pompeii, lunch on Mt. Vesuvius, travel along the Amalfi Coast, cruise to Capri, and take a cable car up Mt. Etna. As a grand finale, you will experience Taormina, Sicily's most gracious city, from its best vantage point: the sea.
- Private Mercedes transfers to and from airports
- Accommodation in selected hotels in the historic centers of Sorrento - 3 nights, Syracuse – 3 nights and Taormina – 3 nights
- English-speaking local tour guides throughout your vacation
- Private Tour of Pompeii with lunch and wine tasting in Villa on Mt. Vesuvius
- Private Day Excursion to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Lunch on panoramic terrace in Ravello (not included)
- Private Day Excursion with guide to the Island of Capri. Private Boat Tour around the island
- Private introduction to Syracuse Walking Tour
- Private Day Excursion to visit the towns of Ragusa and Modica with visit to chocolate-making factory
- Private Introduction to Taormina Walking Tour
- Private Day Excursion to visit Catania and Mt. Etna. Lunch in selected countryside restaurant (not included)
- Private Boat Tour of the Taormina Coastline
DAY 1: Welcome to Italy!
Your driver will pick you up at the airport in Naples and accompany you to your hotel in Sorrento.
DAY 2: Explore Ancient Pompeii and Settle into Sorrento
You will be picked up at your hotel - destination Pompeii. With its intact streets and buildings, some reaching up to the second story, Pompeii is the most well-preserved ancient city in Italy. Its wealthy residents resided in airy homes with vivid wall frescoes depicting lives of leisure, while its workers lived in apartment blocks, ate "fast food" on the go, and bathed in public facilities. All lived their lives in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano that eventually killed them - and where you'll have lunch! Following a delicious and lava-free repast, your driver will take you to back to your hotel.
DAY 3: Let the Coast Awaken Your Spirit
Your experienced driver will handle the twists and turns of the winding roads of the Amalfi Peninsula while you sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views. In the tiny jewel of Positano, a small town that clings to a mountain rising from the sea, you will have the opportunity to take in the local style - white linen dresses, artisan sandals, jewelry - in charming courtyard markets, and the local refreshments - including true Italian lemon ice, or "granite al limone" made of fresh local lemons - at bars with terraces overlooking the sea. The colors are so bright and pure that you might have to pinch yourself to remember that this is real reality and not the virtual kind. From Positano you will be taken to Ravello, at the top of Mount Cerreto, where you will lunch at the most spectacular panoramic terrace you have ever seen, then stroll in the lovely gardens of Villa Ruffolo, home of the world-famous summer music festival. Wrap up the day in Amalfi, where you will visit the 11th century cathedral of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of the town.
DAY 4: Dive into the Waters off Capri
Your guide will pick you up at your apartment and accompany you to the port of Sorrento where you will board the ferry to Capri. There you private boat and captain will be waiting to accompany you on a dream like day in the waters of Capri. Be prepared to dive in the pristine blue waters of the world-famous grottos that encircle the base of the famed island. Your captain will navigate to nearly private coves where the colors of the water dance amongst the many hues of the deep blue that characterizes this enchanting island. No need to bring towels or drinks, your captain will have them on board. You will also have snorkeling equipment to use while swimming. Upon docking, dry off and meet your guide will accompany you in a private vehicle up the hairpin, narrow road to Anacapri. On the way, sneak a few peaksat the white washed villas masked by an abundance of colored flowers. A stroll at the top of the mountain to visit the famed Capri sandal makers as well as a breathtaking view from the enchanting villa San Michele perched on the furthest edge overlooking the bay. You can also choose to go up the funicular to see the views fro the very top of the island. After lunch your guide will accompany you on a walking tour of the town of Capri and its port.
DAY 5: Arrival in Sicily
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to the Naples Airport for your flight to Catania, on Sicily's eastern coast. There, your driver will meet you at the airport and accompany you to Syracuse, once one of the most important cities in the Greek Empire.
DAY 6: Introductory Walking Tour of Syracuse
Your private, in-depth tour of Syracuse will begin with a visit to the Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi. Much of Syracuse was destroyed during WWII, but its archeological treasures – one of the most important collections in Europe - have been preserved. The nearby Archeological Park, which you will visit next, boasts the world’s largest Greek theater and a Roman amphitheater. After lunch, you will tour the narrow street of Ortygia, the city's histori center, in a golf cart. This small island is a popular destination for shopping and entertainment. Its landmarks include the Cathedral, the Piazza del Duomo, the Piazza Archimede, the Fountain of Arethusa, and wonderful views of the sea.
DAY 7: Visit Ragusa, Modica and a Chocolate-Making Factory
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Ragusa, where you will tour the city with a private guide, beginning with a visit to the church of San Giorgio, remarkable in Sicily for having withstood earthquakes over the centuries. The Giardino Iblis is a beautiful park with three churches and a magnificent view of the two valleys surrounding Ragusa. The most beuatiful palaces of the city are found en route to the Piazza Duomo where, at the end of a monumental staircase enclosed by a wrought iron gate, is the late baroque Church of San Giorgio, a work by Gagliardi with a facade that is considered a prime example of its style. Lastly, you will visit the Larocca Palace, famous for its baroque masks, and the Palazzo Arezzo Trifiletti, where a member of the family that has owned it since the end of the 17th century will be your guide. After lunch, you’ll visit nearby Modica, a UNESCO-listed baroque town. You will also indulge in a chocolate-making class at the Dolceria Bonajuto, which, at 150 years, is the oldest working chocolate factory in Sicily. Just wait ‘til you taste their sweets – and your own!
DAY 8: Arrival in Taormina and Introductory Walking City Tour
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to Taormina. After you check into your hotel, you will be introduced to the city by a private guide. First artists, then expatriates, and then simply the very rich have wandered through the city, calling it their own. Over-exposed it may be, but where else in the world can you take in the view of a third century Greco-Roman amphitheater, a smoldering volcano, and the blue Mediterranean without even turning your head? There are times when it is worth traveling thousands of miles even if you're not the only one there!
DAY 9: Ascend Mt. Etna and Walking Tour Catania
Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you on an adventure. Any visit to Sicily culminates with Mt. Etna. It has been erupting for half a million years or more and is still erupting today. Your visit will include a cable car ride to the 2,500-meter mark, where the spectacular views will leave your speechless. Weather and seismic activity permitting, you can opt to ride to the top in a jeep, a trip not for weak of heart or wearers of pacemakers! After lunch, your driver will take you to Catania, Sicily’s second largest city. Much of Catania was rebuilt in the eighteenth century, following a volcanic eruption and then an earthquake. The city’s wide central square, Piazza del Duomo, features the whimsical Fontana dell’Elefante statue and richly decorated Catania Cathedral. In the southwest corner of the square, you’ll visit La Pescheria, a lively fish market behind the Duomo that provides a daily rowdy spectacle surrounded by seafood restaurants.
DAY 10: Private Boat Tour along the Taormina Coastline and the Blue Grotto
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to your private boat in Taormina’s port. You will view Taormina from the best vantage point, the sea, then relax as you cruise along the Sicilian coastline, with stops at the Isola Bella ("Beautiful Island") and Bay of the Mermaids, where you will be able to swim in the cool, clear waters. Your ultimate stop, after a sumptuous lunch, is the incomparable Blue Grotto.
DAY 11: Departure
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel with plenty of time to make your flight from the airport at Catania. We salute you with a warm and heartfelt “arrivederci." See you again! Now that you’ve traveled with us, you have friends here in Your Own Italy.
- When should we start planning our trip?
- Ideally, we ask for at least 3 months' advance notice, especially in the high season (May through September). Arrangements can be made on shorter notice, but you run the risk of missing out on the availability of our favorite hotels and guides. We want the best for our clients, and the more time we have, the more we can guarantee just that.
- What are Your Own Italy's payment terms?
- For our customized vacations, we require a 20% deposit upon approval of the itinerary we have presented to you. The balance is due 45 days prior to your arrival date.
- What happens after I've made a reservation through your website?
- Upon submitting your reservation through our website, you will be provided with an invoice with a link to be used for payment by credit card on the online portal of PayPal, our credit card processor.
- Should I purchase travel insurance?
- We strongly encourage you to buy travel insurance at the time of booking, in the event you must cancel and forfeit funds or in the unfortunate case of injury or loss. We offer travel insurance through out partner, Allianz.
- What kind of information will we receive before our trip?
- Approximately one month prior to your departure date, you will receive a Your Own Italy travel packet consisting of a detailed day-to-day itinerary, our list of recommended restaurants, a “Helpful Hints Guide” for Italy, and your specific destinations, plus detailed information and contacts for your accommodations, tours, excursions, and transportation.
- Can you give me a cost breakdown of my customized vacation and what is included?
- The vacations we create are bundled packages and therefore we do not provide a cost breakdown. Our local suppliers give us bundled prices for the services provided and we do the same for our clients. We arrange for all your accommodations, transportation, local tour guides, restaurant reservations, and any other fun activities and experiences from the moment you arrive until the day of your departure.