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 driver transfers to and from airports
- Accommodations: selected 4-star boutique 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 wine producing villa on Mt. Vesuvius
- Private Day Excursion to the towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
- Private Day Excursion with guide to Capri including 3-hour Private Boat Tour around the island
- Private Tour of the Syracuse Archeological Park and Paolo Orsi Museum
- Private Day Excursion to visit the towns of Ragusa and Modica
- Private Introductory Walking Tour of Taormina
- Private Day Excursion with guide to Mt. Etna
- Private Boat Tour of the Taormina Coastline
Day 1: Welcome to Italy and Settle into Sorrento
Your driver will pick you up at the airport in Naples and accompany you to your hotel in Sorrento. You'll have the rest of the day to enjoy this seaside town with its many shops, boutiques and restaurants.
Day 2: Explore Ancient Pompeii and Enjoy Lunch and Wine Tasting on Mt. Vesuvius
You will be picked up at your hotel - destination Pompeii. Your guide will meet you at the site and take you on an unforgettable tour of this ancient city. With its intact streets and buildings, many two stories tall, Pompeii is a trip back through time and into the world of people who were not all that different from today's. Whether enjoying an affluent citizen's life in spacious, frescoed houses centered around airy courtyard, or struggling along as a working stiff, eating on the go at a “fast food” restaurant and bathing in public baths, Pompeii's inhabitants lived their lives in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, which will be your next stop for lunch and wine tasting at a family-owned winery.
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 of 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 peaks at 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 Syracuse
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: Tour of the Archeological Park, the Paolo Orsi Museum and a Golf Cart Ride through Ortygia
Your guide will meet you at the entrance to the museum for an in-depth tour of the Paolo Orsi Regional Archeological Museum. 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 historic center, in a golf cart. This small island is a popular destination for shopping and entertainment as well as the location of your hotel. Its landmarks include the Cathedral, the Piazza del Duomo, the Piazza Archimede, the Fountain of Arethusa, and wonderful views of the sea.
Day 7: Tour of Ragusa and Visit to Modica and a Chocolate Factory
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the baroque gem of Ragusa. Your local guide will take you on a walking tour 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 beautiful 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. After lunch, you’ll visit nearby Modica, a UNESCO-listed baroque town and shop for chocolate at the Dolceria Bonajuto Chocolate Factory, which, at 150 years, is the oldest working chocolate factory in Sicily.
Day 8: Arrival in Taormina and Introductory 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 Visit to Catania
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 driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to the foot of the volcano where you will meet your guide. The tour 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! Afterwards, your driver will take you for a visit 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 - Arrivederci !
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?
- We require a 20% deposit upon approval of your vacation package. The balance is due 45 days prior to your date of travel.
- What happens after I've made a reservation through your website?
- Upon approval of your vacation package, an invoice with payment instructions will be sent by email. Payment method options include Paypal, any major credit card or a personal check.
- 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 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 simply 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. We also follow through your itinerary with you upon arrival to departure with 24/7 concierge service from Rome, Italy.