Grade

Moderate

Duration

12 Days

Category

Multi Days

Tour Type

Semi-independent

Sicily, Tuscany and Cinque Terre – Rome Included
12 days/11 nights

Customized semi independent Tour
Palermo (4 nights) – Taormina (2 nights) – Rome (2 nights) – Florence (3 nights)

Land | Palermo airport
Departure | Florence Airport


Route:

Saturday: Arrival at Palermo airport
Sunday: Full day Tour to Roman Villa in Piazza Armerina and Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
Monday: Full day Palermo Street Food Market & Monreale
Tuesday: Full day tour Erice & Segesta lunch included in Olive oil farmhouse
Wednesday: Palermo > Cefalù > Taormina
Thursday: Taormina day at leisure (possible facultative activity)
Friday: Taormina > Catania Airport > Rome airport > Rome
Saturday: Half day Rome Tour (to choose between following options: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Basilica OR Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Sunday: Rome > Siena and San Gimignano >Florence
Monday: Florence walking tour
Tuesday: Cinque Terre discovery and wineyard escape, with seafood lunch
Wednesday: Departure from Florence airport

Day 1
Saturday: Palermo Airport > Palermo
Our Staff Disposal: transfer only
Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo airport (PMO) please proceed through the Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then private transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure.
Day 2
Sunday: Palermo > Piazza Armerina > Agrigento > Palermo
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Following breakfast, departure to Piazza Armerina to visit the amazing Roman Villa of Casale (Admission Fee: not included) in Piazza Armerina. The mosaics discovered here are celebrated among scholars of antiquity. This afternoon, after a short stop for a snack including a mixed starter, water and coffee, we drive through the interior of Sicily to reach the Archaeological Park of Agrigento. Here you will visit the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples (Admission fee: not included). Later we transfer to Palermo. (BB S)
Day 3
Monday: Palermo Market and Monreale
Our Staff Disposal: full day (appointment at meeting point)
Information: walking tour of Palermo for around 3-4hours to explore the town

Breakfast at hotel. Start your walking tour admiring the Massimo Theatre (external view), then explore a suggestive and lively open air market, a place with strong Arab influences, resembling a souk, with picturesque stands of fresh fish, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. During the tour you will have the opportunity to observe local people in their daily activities and to savor foods that a real Sicilian people love to eat! Tasting of typical street food is included. The walking tour through the ancient center of Palermo is around 3-4 hours and you will visit several monuments including Piazza Pretoria and the Cathedral.
At the end of this tour you will reach Monreale by taxi for a stop to visit the Dome (Admission fee: not included), a wonderful example of the Arab-Norman art and architecture. Launched in 1174 by William II, the Dome represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Later back to Palermo by taxi. (BB S)
Day 4
Tuesday: Palermo> Erice> Olive Oil Winery > Segesta > Palermo
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Information: walking tour of Erice for around 2  hours up-and-down to explore the town
Early departure to tour western Sicily where we reach Erice uptown. The Elymians settled the medieval town of Erice, which was an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops—world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. Later we proceed to have a light-lunch in a local winery-farmhouse including tasting of mixed local product such as cheese, salumi, olives, local bread combined with their production of olive oil and wine. This afternoon we continue onto Segesta, one of the major cities of the ancient indigenous Elymian people, to visit the unfinished Doric temple (Admission fee: not included), late 5th century BC, built on a hilltop just outside of the ancient city and has a commanding view of the surrounding area. Later we return to Palermo. (BB L)
Day 5
Wednesday: Palermo > Cefalù >Taormina
Our Staff Disposal: full day
Breakfast at hotel. Today departure to Cefalù, a charming coastal town built on a promontory dominated by a sheer cliff. Still keeping its ancient print, Cefalù has grown around the Cathedral, one of the most interesting medieval monuments of the island, that boasts outstanding mosaics and a wonderful cloister. Stroll through the medieval narrow street and admire the picturesque houses on the sea and the long beach of finest sand. This afternoon we then continue to Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily. (BB)
Day 6
Thursday: Taormina at leisure
No services included
Breakfast at hotel.
Today is at leisure: Taormina is a hill-village with a glossy sheen of glamour. A drink at the tables of Caffè Wunderbar (or similar) in Piazza IX Aprile may set you back a few euros, but you'll be basking where Tennessee Williams and Elizabeth Taylor basked before you. As well as the famed Greek-Roman Theatre (Admission fee: not included), there are several minor sites to be discovered around Taormina. The attractive principal thoroughfare, Corso Umberto is pedestrian and ideal for strolling and window-shopping. Picturesque lanes above and below the Corso are interesting to explore, while if you want to stretch your legs further there are attractive walks up into the hills, or down to the sea. Given its compact size, Taormina has a huge range of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can while away pleasant hours while admiring the views. (BB)

Enjoy your stay at leisure in Taormina or inquiry us for an Optional Excursion! 
Day 7
Friday: Taormina > Catania Airport > Rome Airport > Rome
Our Staff Disposal: private transfers only
Breakfast at hotel.
Time to say goodbye to Sicily. Then private transfer to Catania airport (CTA). (BB)

Flight to Rome by domestic airlines (included in the tour rate)

Welcome to Rome! Upon arrival at Fiumicino Airport (FCO | Your Arrival by TBA ) please proceed through Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then meet your driver and transfer to Rome. The balance of the day is at leisure.
Day 8
Saturday: Half Day Rome Tour
CHOICE BETWEEN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TOURS:
Half Day Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
OR
Half Day Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Basilica



Half Day Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Medium size (up to 30 people) group tour
Get ready to enter into the legend! Jump into Roman history and discover with an expert guide the “Anfiteatro Flavio”, the Colosseum: the largest amphitheater not only in the Eternal City, but in the world! Get the most complete tour of the Colosseum , Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Access the Palatine hill with no line and discover the hill where Rome was founded at the beginning.
Then reach the Colosseum and be amazed by this monument that is the symbol of Rome in the world.The Amphitheater created to entertain ancient Roman citizens with bloody shows of gladiators, animals and cruel games, is now one of the most fascinating landmark of the City. Then, walk on the original path of ancient Rome along the Via Sacra and see the Temples of Vesta, Antonino and Faustina, the ancient Basilica Julia and Aemilia and dream about the glorious past of the Roman Empire. Unforgettable!

OR

Half Day Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Basilica
Medium size (up to 30 people) group tour
Take a tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, jumping the lines! No stress to reach the area: upon arrival, your guide will lead you into the museums, through our preferred entrance, hence you’ll visit one of the most important art collections of the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Geographical Maps before arriving at the famous Sistine Chapel and the unforgettable Basilica! After the Sistine Chapel you will be taken, through an exclusive access to St. Peter’s Basilica, skipping long lines.
Day 9
Sunday: Rome > Siena and San Gimignano > Florence
Private vehicle and English speaking driver disposal for full day
Today pick up at your hotel and departure to Tuscany. On the way, we will stop in Siena and San Gimignano, two of the region’s most picturesque towns! Set in a beautiful landscape, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Siena is one of the most enchanting medieval cities in Italy. Explore Siena’s picturesque streets, admire Piazza del Campo, where twice a year dashing horses compete in the heart-rendering Palio race and visit the city’s awe-inspiring Duomo: it boasts one of the most beautiful floors in the world.
Then travel on to San Gimignano, UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most splendid examples of a medieval town. Renowned as “the city of beautiful towers” it is a charming ancient town and has been used as a background in many movies. Discover the sturdy tall towers which characterize the town, delight in the airy squares and shop for the area’s premium saffron and hand-made Santa Fina pottery. Continue to Florence.
Day 10
Monday: Florence walking tour: best of Florence, Accademia and Uffizi
Medium size (up to 25 people) group tour
Discover Florence as you pleasantly walk through it and then visit the main Florence museums with a professional English speaking guide: meet David, the greatest Michelangelo’s masterpiece, then enjoy a variety of artists (Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and many others) at the Uffizi Gallery; finally learn the history and the secrets about the Vasari Corridor, the Medici family's secret passageway.

Walk through the amazing center of Florence and discover its unique secular heritage and breathtaking beauty with an expert and fun tour guide. Our tour explores the historic and architectural evolution factors from the Roman foundation through medieval centuries and its Renaissance glorious period up to modern time Florence. Our guide will take you to some of the most important spots where the greatest minds and artists have stood and been inspired: Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo, the Baptistery, Santa Trinita and Orsanmichele Church, Pontevecchio Bridge, the secret Vasari Corridor and much much more.
Then enter the Accademia Gallery museum with a fast-track priority entrance ticket and discover the original Michelangelo's masterpiece that has become the symbol of Renaissance splendor: The David. Admire it from every perspective, gaze in awe at David, that dominates the central gallery of the museum. The David was sculpted by a very young Michelangelo (in his twenties) entirely from a single block of local Carrara marble and it's 5.17 metres tall (17 ft). It represents the biblical hero David that killed Goliath and when it was unveiled, in 1504, it soon came to symbolize the defense of the civil liberties embodied in the Florentine Republic. Admire also Michelangelo's famously unfinished sculptures - Prigioni and San Matteo. The Accademia Gallery Florence houses also many other masterpieces, both paintings and sculptures, from the Middle Ages to Renaissance, by the greatest artists, like Botticelli, Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Sarto and many more, which you will discover with your knowledgeable English-speaking guide.
Then move toward Signoria Square and enter the beautiful Uffizi Gallery, where you will enjoy an approx. 2.5-hour guided tour of the main rooms of the Uffizi Gallery, skipping the usual long lines. You will thus be able to view the main masterpieces by artists like Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc. Finally our professional English speaking guide will lead you on a discovery external walk along the Vasari Corridor, the secret Corridor built by Giorgio Vasari ad commissioned by the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de' Medici in 1564, with the aim to build a path that would allow him and the Medici family to move freely from their residence (Palazzo Pitti) to the government palace (Palazzo della Signoria, other side of the Arno river), passing above the famous Pontevecchio (the landmark of Florence). With a focus by our art expert, uncover the Vasari Corridor history and secrets (no entrance in the corridor - please see notes) : Hidden between city houses and even passing through a church, the Vasari Corridor has evolved as one of the most astounding architectural masterpieces of the Renaissance. There will be a break during the visit: take the time for a frothy cappuccino or coffee at the Uffizi Café located on the terrace above the ancient Loggia dei Lanzi, with a spectacular panorama on history.
Day 11
Tuesday: Cinque Terre discovery, wineyard escape and seafood lunch
Small size (up to 16 people) group tour
Unveil the secrets and authentic charm of the area off-the-beaten tourist path, relish the flavors of ancient typical cuisine and aromas of sensational wines. Set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet le Cinque Terre, five ingeniously constructed fishing villages, are a Unesco World Heritage site since 1997, and still today look very much like a version of a seafront garden of Eden! Travel in full comfort aboard our comfortable minivan, lay back and admire the scenery: sinuous paths run across stunning cliffsides, and a 19th-century railway line cut through a series of coastal tunnels ferries the footsore from village to village. Learn all about the Cinque Terre's history and unique feature from your guide: the steeply terraced cliffs bisected by a complicated system of fields and gardens hacked, chiseled, shaped and layered over the course of nearly two millennia. So marked are these artificial contours that some scholars have compared the extensive “muretti” (low stone walls) to the Great Wall of China! And all enhanced by the charming villages - Riomaggiore, founded in the 8th century by Greek settlers fleeing persecution in Byzantium, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Monterosso - which look onto the gleaming pristine waters of the sea. Lose yourself in the gorgeous scenery, hike/walk along the famous trails (including the Via dell'Amore - please see notes) and explore a few of the fascinating villages traveling by boat, train and on foot. Crown your day with a memorable typical Ligurian seafood feast, and exquisite regional white wines, in a lovely seafront restaurant. Learn about the area's one-of-a-kind grape harvesting techniques enjoying an exclusive leisurely hike through luxuriant seafront vineyards: nobody in sight apart from the deep blue sea, verdant vines, your group and guide. Weather and sea conditions permitting you will also admire the scenario from the water during a fabulous cruise.
Back to Florence.
Day 12
Wednesday: Florence> Florence Airport
Our Staff Disposal: No


Today independent transfer to Florence Airport (FLR) on time for your departure flight.
Included
  • All sightseeing, tasting and excursions as specified in the itinerary
  • English speaking Tour Director/Driver-Escort (as per program)
  • Licensed Local Guide as per program
  • Vehicle/coach with air conditioning  - no toilet
Not Included
  • Admission fees
  • Beverage and meal not specified
  • City taxes
  • Fee for luggage handling fee at hotel
  • Gratuities and tips
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Optional Excursions
  • Porterage at airport
  • Travel Insurance
Contact us for price information

Tour Map