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 the airport
• English-speaking tour guides throughout
• 10 nights’ accommodation in your choice of apartments in historic center in Sorrento - 3 nights, Syracuse – 3 nights and Taormina – 3 nights
• Tour of Pompeii with a private tour guide
• Lunch in wine producing villa on Mt. Vesuvius
• Full day excursion in private car to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
• Full day excursion with guide in private boat to Capri and Anacapri
• Private walking tour of Syracuse
• Day excursion to Ragusa and Modica
• Private walking tour of Taormina
• Day excursion to Catania and Mt. Etna
• Boat tour of the Taormina coastline
DAY 1: Arrival
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: The Amalfi Coast
Your driver will negotiate the curves while you enjoy the view of the Amalfi Coast, which would be like any other breath-taking cliffside drive along a waterfront, except that this water is a color that shows up most often in your dreams or Technicolor movies from the 1950s pristine. Your first stop will be Positano, a tiny jewel of a town with lovely galleries, shops, and homes overlooking small lemon groves. At a bar with a terrace overlooking the sea you can enjoy a “granite al limone,” or Italian lemon ice, quite possibly made with lemons picked off the tree that morning. From Positano you will drive to Ravello, atop Mount Cerreto, where you will have lunch on the most spectacular panoramic terrace you have ever seen, followed by a stroll through the lovely gardens of Villa Ruffolo, home of the world-famous summer music festival. The day wraps up in Amalfi, where you will visit the eleventh century cathedral of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of the town.
DAY 4: Dive into the Waters off Capri
You will spend an unforgettable day on a private boat to Capri and may, if you wish, dive into the pristine blue waters of the world-famous grottos that encircle the base of the island. Your captain will take you to nearly private coves, and your guide is prepared for impromptu toasts of prosecco. Upon docking, you will take a private open-roof taxi up the hairpin curves to Anacapri. On the way, sneak a few peaks at the whitewashed villas behind the flowers. Your day concludes with a stroll at the top of the mountain to visit the famous Capri sandalmakers, a look at the breathtaking view from the enchanting villa San Michele, perched on the furthest edge of the mountain, and a sumptuous seafood lunch upon your return to the dock, at a restaurant where the fresh catch of the day is all that is offered. Your captain awaits to take you back to Sorrento.
DAY 5: Transfer to Sicily and Syracuse.
In the morning, your driver will take you to Naples Airport for your flight to Catania, on Sicily's eastern coast. There, you will be met at the airport and driven to Syracuse, once one of the most important cities in the Greek Empire.
DAY 6: Private Tour of Syracuse
Your day in Syracuse begins with a guided visit to its Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi, containing one of Europe's most important acheological collections. From here you will visit the nearby archeological park, which boasts the world’s largest Greek theater as well as a Roman amphitheater. Unlike the ruins of Pompeii, which might be compared to Manhattan, the ruins of Syracuse are broader and more sprawling, scattered among grass and trees, and therefore a pleasant walk even in summer. After lunch, you will tour the island of Ortygia - the historic center of Syracuse, much of which escaped the devastation of the war. You may take this tour in a small electric cart if you prefer not to walk.
DAY 7: Day Excursion to Ragusa and Modica
The baroque town of Ragusa consists of an upper town, Ragusa Superiore, where you will begin your tour, and a lower town, Ragusa Ibla, which are connected by 242 winding steps that offer splendid rooftop panoramas along the way. In the lower town you will be met by a private car for a visit to Modica, where you can explore cobbled streets and sample the chocolate for which the town is known.
DAY 8: Transfer to Taormina and Tour of the City Center
You will arrive in Taormina by private car. 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: Day Excursion to Catania and Mt. Etna
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and drive you to Catania, Sicily’s second largest city, dominated by Mt. Etna. Following a volcanic eruption and then an earthquake, much of the town was rebuilt in the eighteenth century and is therefore a fine example of classical architecture and city planning. Your visit will include a tour of the lively daily fish market, located behind the Duomo. After lunch at a selected restaurant, your trip to Sicility will culminate with a visit to Mt. Etna, which has been erupting for half a million years or more and remains continental Europe's only active volcano. You will take a cable car to the 2,500-meter mark, where you can enjoy the spectacular views.
DAY 10: Boat Tour of the Taormina Coastline
On this, your last full day in Italy, you will see Taormina from it best vantage point: the sea. You will cruise by private boat along the Sicilian coastline, with stops on the famous Isola Bella and the Bay of the Mermaids, where you can swim in the cool, clear waters, if you wish. After a sumptuous lunch, you will visit the incomparable Blue Grotto, named for the color of its water.
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 to 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 YOI'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 30 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 a voucher with a reservation number that will be used for payment by credit card on the online portal of Blue Pay, 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 also recommend checking with your credit card company, which may offer travel coverage.
- 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 often give us a bundled price for the services provided and so 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.